La Clinica Del Pueblo is going into unchartered territory and its executive director couldn’t be happier.
“This is the first time we’ve been part of a dance party benefit and I’m really thrilled,” says Alicia Wilson. “This feels really good right now — some time to be together, to be positive, to laugh and dance.”
She’s referring to the Love Trumps Hate Rainbow Bash, a Washington Blade-sponsored event at Town Danceboutique on Thursday, Jan. 19. Conceived as an LGBT-affirming alternative to the inaugural hoopla surrounding the incoming administration, proceeds generated will benefit La Clinica Del Pueblo; the Anacostia Watershed Society, an environmental non-profit dedicated to protecting the Anacostia River; and the Washington Blade Foundation, an arm of the Blade founded in 2010 to digitize the paper’s archives and raise money to fund enterprise journalism in Latin America and beyond.
La Clinica, a non-profit, federally qualified health center that serves the Latino and immigrant population in Washington, is not LGBT-specific, but has LGBT clients. It offers LGBT-specific programming and though no numbers are available on how many LGBT residents use La Clinica, Wilson says hundreds of young gay and trans Latinos under age 30 utilize its services each year.
La Clinica, located at 2831 15th St., N.W., has about 135 on staff. Wilson guesses about 20 percent of them are LGBT. Its annual operating budget is about $13.5 million and about 8,000 people receive more than 50,000 services from the agency every year Wilson, a lesbian, says.
As a 501(c)(3), La Clinica staff takes no position on partisan politics, but Wilson says the incoming administration has raised concerns for La Clinica clients.
“The community La Clinica serves has benefited greatly by the Affordable Care Act and we’ve been at the forefront of reducing stigma and homophobia and we feel like just about everything we do has been caught up in the crosshairs of the presidential campaign,” Wilson says. “We are concerned that a lot of the gains that the LGBT community has made in the last eight years are at risk and so we feel strongly that we need to take a stand, to be out and loud and proud and dance when we can.”
The Blade is partnering with D.C. Brau, Absolut Vodka, Tequila Avion, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Town Danceboutique for the Rainbow Bash. DJs Keenan Orr and Tim Jackson will spin. Pre-sale tickets are $10 and include 10 free raffle tickets. Additional raffle tickets will be for sale at the bash. All proceeds of the ticket and raffle sales will benefit the aforementioned non-profits.
Look for the event on Facebook for full details.