March 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm EDT | by Steve Charing
Howard Co. exec convenes LGBT Roundtable
Alan Kittleman, gay news, Washington Blade, LGBT roundtable

Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman’s LGBT Roundtable is believed to be the only such meeting among the state’s jurisdictions. (Washington Blade photo by Steve Charing)

Deb Dunn, a physician’s assistant on Chase Brexton’s medical team at the Columbia Center, says that the personnel at the county’s detention center lack sufficient training for treating transgender adults and adolescents. She and other representatives from the county’s LGBT population responded to questions from Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and held an open discussion during the second installment of the LGBT Roundtable on March 15. The first such meeting occurred on Oct. 26.

The meeting, which takes place at the George Howard building in Ellicott City, Md., is part of Kittleman’s ongoing desire to stay informed about issues concerning the LGBT community.  The LGBT Roundtable is not a formal group or a commission; it is a periodic listening session for members of the community to bring issues to the county executive’s attention.

At the first meeting, topics discussed included de-gendering single stall restrooms; training for first responders and other county employees; ways to make both county government and private businesses more LGBT-friendly; and generally encouraging greater social acceptance through education and institutional change.

Ten people were involved at the March meeting where several topics were discussed. Among them were how senior centers treat LGBT elders as well as the interaction between transgender individuals and county service providers. Kittleman, a Republican who worked to pass marriage equality while he was a member of the General Assembly, agreed to bring in department heads at subsequent meetings to foster a better understanding of LGBT issues.

“As county executive, I convened the LGBT Roundtable to ensure that I continue to have open lines of communication with the LGBT community and to better hear and understand the issues that are important to the community,” Kittleman told the Blade. “In this way, we can ensure that county government is doing all it can to promote acceptance and inclusiveness of all people, and work to eliminate discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

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