March 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. LGBT youth ‘gang’ is subject of documentary film

Check It, gay news, Washington BladeThe producers of a documentary film about Check It, the D.C. LGBT youth gang that has struggled to evolve into a fashion clothing enterprise, are appealing for support to help them complete a film they believe will shed light on a compelling subject.

“CHECK IT is a feature-length documentary about a gay African American gang struggling to survive in one of Washington, D.C.’s most violent neighborhoods,” filmmakers Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer say in a write-up on the film.

“It is an intimate portrait of five childhood friends as they claw themselves out of gang life through an unlikely avenue – fashion,” the write-up says.

The Check It group attracted attention in the D.C. media – including the Washington Blade – when news surfaced that a group of gay and transgender youth banded together to fight back in the Trinidad neighborhood where they lived after being subjected to violent bullying and attacks because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Community activist and anti-gang advocate Ron Moten, who is interviewed in the film, has been credited with helping Check It members evolve into a fashion clothing enterprise that has included fashion shows and efforts to sell a line of clothing.

“We’ve spent the past three years capturing The Check It’s story, but we cannot deliver the final film without your help,” Flor and Oppenheimer said in their write-up and introduction to a trailer for the film.

A trailer for the film and information on the fundraising campaign can be viewed at

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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