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Finance director, beloved soccer player Dan White dies at 57

Longtime Washingtonian once worked for Whitman-Walker

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Dan White, gay news, Washington Blade
Dan White (Photo via Linkedin)

Arlington, Va., resident Dan White, an award-winning amateur soccer player and longtime supporter of the Federal Triangles Soccer Club, D.C.’s LGBTQ soccer league, who worked as a finance director for domestic and international nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years, died at his home on Dec. 22 of a heart attack. He was 57.

Friends and associates said White displayed a unique dedication, commitment, and affection for both the multitude of soccer tournaments and LGBTQ amateur participants he played with as well as for the nonprofit organizations for which he worked.

“Dan’s professional work was rooted in nonprofit finance,” said Nick Napolitano, a friend and associate with the Federal Triangles Soccer Club. “He worked at the Whitman-Walker Clinic’s Office of Finance for 15 years, rising from staff accountant to the level of finance director,” Napolitano said. According to White’s LinkedIn page, he worked at Whitman-Walker, now known as Whitman-Walker Health, from 1987 to 2002.

Cornelius Baker, who served as Whitman-Walker’s executive director from January 2000 to December 2004, said White worked closely with Whitman-Walker’s longtime executive director Jim Graham from the time White began working at Whitman-Walker in 1987. Graham left Whitman-Walker at the end of 1998 after winning election to the D.C. Council.

Baker said White’s skills in financial management were especially helpful in 2001, at the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when major fundraising events, including Whitman-Walker’s annual AIDS Walk, were severely curtailed.

Following his 15-year tenure at Whitman-Walker, White served as finance director or finance manager for at least five other nonprofit organizations, including his most recent stint as finance and administration director for the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics, known as Jhpiego.

The program, which is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, provides global health experts who live and work in more than 40 developing countries who help improve the quality of health services for women and families, a write-up on its website says. White, among other things, oversaw the financial planning, management and reporting activities for the organization’s global health projects. 

Prior to joining Jhpiego, White served as director of finance and administration for Mothers2Mothers, an international nonprofit group based in Cape Town, South Africa. Its website says it is dedicated to preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV by providing education and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV.

White’s friend and soccer teammate Leslie Engleking said White worked out of the organization’s Cape Town and London offices from June 2018 to December 2019 to oversee its $28 million budget.

In earlier years, White served from 2004 to 2018 as associate director of finance and later as finance manager for the D.C. office of FHI 360, a human development organization that provides family planning and reproductive health services in 70 countries and all U.S. states.

In 2004, White served for 10 months as finance manager for U.S. Action, a D.C.-based social justice advocacy group, shortly after serving a year and a half as director of finance for the D.C.-based international group Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), which advocates for the rights of women and children.

White was born and raised in Arlington, Va., where he graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School in 1980. He later received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Md.

“He was proud to be a lifelong Washingtonian,” said Napolitano, who noted that White as an adult had lived in the D.C. neighborhoods of Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, and Columbia Heights before moving back to Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood about two years ago.

Napolitano and Engleking, both former soccer teammates of White, and his longtime friend Laila Hirschfeld said White’s role as an amateur soccer player and his involvement with the Federal Triangles Soccer Club, for which he was the founding treasurer in 1990, were among the most important aspects of his life.

“Dan was one of the most talented players to ever step on the pitch for Federal Triangles Soccer Club,” Napolitano said. “He won the Golden Boot at the 2001 International Gay and Lesbian Football Association World Championships in London, and more often than not he was the goal leader on the many teams he played on, which included FTSC squads that traveled to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Buenos Aires, Montreal, Toronto, Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia,” according to Napolitano. The Golden Boot is an award given to a player who scores the most goals in a game or tournament.

White was also among the first inductees into the FTSC’s Hall of Fame in 2006, said Napolitano, who noted that White continued playing in various local soccer leagues until 2016, when a foot injury ended his playing endeavors.  

“Dan managed to pack a tremendous amount of life into a short amount of time, and had traveled to almost every continent,” Hirschfeld said. “He loved good food and savored good wine,” she said, adding, “his favorite place was on the beach, especially the Outer Banks, drink in hand, surrounded by a small group of laughing friends. Which is how we, his chosen family, the family that loved and cherished him just as he was – a kind, loving, smart, funny, flirty, generous, successful, thoughtful, talented soul – will think of him always.”

Hirschfeld and other close friends said White is survived by his soccer fans and former team members and a long list of friends and chosen family members. They said that due to COVID-19 restrictions, a memorial celebration of White’s life will be postponed until later this year.

Per his request, he was to be cremated and his ashes will be scattered later this year in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Hirschfeld said. She said condolences in White’s name can be expressed with donations to Whitman-Walker Health, the local LGBTQ youth advocacy group SMYAL, and Team D.C., the LGBTQ sports organization of which the Federal Triangles Soccer Club is a part.

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District of Columbia

Four LGBTQ candidates running for delegate to Democratic National Convention from D.C.

Thirty-two candidates competing for 13 elected delegate positions in April 20 party caucus

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From left, candidates include John Fanning, Jimmie Williams, Monika Nemeth and David Meadows. (Photos courtesy of the D.C. Democratic Party)

Four LGBTQ Democratic Party activists are running for election as delegates from D.C. to the Democratic National Convention at an April 20 local Democratic Party caucus election in which all D.C. voters who are registered as Democrats will be eligible to vote.

The four LGBTQ candidates are among 32 candidates competing for just 13 elected delegate positions. D.C. will have a total of 51 delegates to the Democratic Convention, but the other 38 include elected officials and party leaders who are considered “automatic” or appointed delegates. The convention will be held in Chicago Aug. 19-23,

Under the delegate selection process put in place by the D.C. Democratic Party, six of the thirteen elected delegate positions will be elected by voters in a section of the city designated as District 1, which includes Wards 1,2, 6, and 8. The other seven elected delegates will be chosen by voters in District 2, which includes Wards 3, 4, 5, and 7.

The LGBTQ candidates include longtime gay Democratic activists David Meadows of Ward 6 and John Fanning of Ward 2 who are running in District 1. Transgender rights advocate and Democratic Party activist Monika Nemeth of Ward 3 and gay Democratic activist Jimmie Williams of Ward 7 are running in District  2.

All four of the LGBTQ candidates have been active members of the Capital Stonewall Democrats, one of D.C.’s largest LGBTQ political organizations. Nemeth and Meadows are past presidents of the organization. Williams has served as chair of the Ward 7 Democratic Committee and is a current member of the committee. Fanning has served as an elected member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee from Ward 2 and served as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

A total of 12 candidates are running in each of the two districts. Under party rules the highest six vote getters in District 1 and the highest 7 vote getters in District 2 will be declared the winners.

The Saturday, April 20 caucus election for the delegate candidates will take place at the Walter E. Washington D.C. Convention Center. An announcement by party officials says two voting sessions will take place, one from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the other from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Aside from the elected delegates, two prominent D.C. LGBTQ Democratic leaders will be appointed as delegates to the 2024 Democratic National Convention in their role as members of the Democratic National Committee from D.C.

They are Claire Lucas, a highly acclaimed Democratic Party and LGBTQ rights advocate and party fundraiser; and Earl Fowlkes, one of the lead organizers of D.C.’s annual Black LGBTQ Pride celebration and former president of Capital Stonewall Democrats.

Lucas and Fowlkes and the four LGBTQ candidates running in the April 20 caucus election are committed to backing President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for re-election.

Statements from each of the candidates running for delegate in the April 20 caucus election, including the four LGBTQ candidates, can be accessed here: Candidates for Delegate | DC Democratic Party

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District of Columbia

HIPS D.C. launches ‘Harm Reduction’ vending machine program

LGBTQ supportive group says program aimed at ‘saving lives’ in response to overdose crisis

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HIPS official Alexandra Bradley, at right, provides information about the HIPS Harm Reduction Vending Machine at Whitman-Walker's Max Robinson Center as University of Maryland Professor Andrea Lopez, who is conducting a study of the vending machine program, stands beside a red syringe disposal bin that accompanies the vending machines. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

HIPS D.C., the LGBTQ supportive organization that provides support and services for drug users and sex workers, officially launched on April 5 a ‘Harm Reduction Vending Machine Pilot Program’ that it says will help save lives by providing free of charge harm reduction supplies for drug users in locations where there is a “higher than average” rate of overdose cases.

The announcement of the project was held outside the Whitman-Walker Health Max Robinson Center building at 1201 Sycamore Dr., S.E., next to where one of the first three HIPS vending machines is located.

Alexandra Bradley, HIPS’ Outreach and Community Engagement Manager, told a small gathering at the announcement event that among the supplies provided free of charge through the vending machines are naloxone, the life-saving nasal spray medication used to treat an opioid drug overdose; fentanyl test kits, syringes, and syringe wound care kits; drug snort kits, condoms, and other items, including  water bottles and snack food such as crackers and granola bars.

Bradley and other officials with HIPS and Whitman-Walker Health said they believe most people, when informed of the rationale behind the vending machines and other programs supporting drug users, will understand that the programs are not encouraging drug use.

“People will use drugs,” Bradley said. “We want them to use them safely,” she added, with the hope that they will seek support to get off drugs. “We can’t help anybody if they are dead. We want to keep people safe,” Bradley said.

A statement released by HIPS says the vending machine pilot program is being funded by a grant from the D.C. Department of Health. It says anyone can access the machines free of charge by contacting HIPS through a phone number posted on the machines – 202-779-0486 – to obtain a four-digit participant code “that they will then punch in to use the machines.” It says that as of April 5, 150 individuals had already registered and enrolled in the program.

Bradley pointed out that registration is not required to obtain naloxone supplies, which can be obtained through a code number posted on the machines. She said each of the three machines are also accompanied by a metal disposal receptacle for safely placing used syringes.

“These machines have been placed in areas where there are higher concentrations of overdose deaths and/or underserved areas with high levels of need for access to services and supplies,” the HIPS statement says.

In addition to the HIPS vending machine at the site of Whitman-Walker’s Max Robinson Center, the second HIPS vending machine is located at The Michelle Obama Southeast Center of Bread for the City at 1700 Marion Barry Avenue, S.E., and the third one is located at Bread for the City’s Shaw neighborhood facility at 1525 7th Street, N.W.

The announcement of the vending machine harm reduction project comes at a time when many in the D.C. LGBTQ community have mourned the loss of beloved local LGBTQ members from a drug overdose, including accidental drug overdoses caused by contamination of their preferred drug such as cocaine with fentanyl.

Also speaking at the announcement event was Andrea Lopez, an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland’s Department of Anthropology, which she said is partnering with HIPS to conduct a  study of the vending machine pilot program and its impact as a public health project and the public health benefits of vending machines as an “intervention” in support of those in need.

Others who spoke at the event and provided details of the vending machine project were Cyndee Clay, the HIPS Executive Director; Starr O’Leary, the HIPS Community Outreach Coordinator;  and Jona Tanguay, an official with Whitman-Walker Health.

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Maryland

Md. lawmakers pass several LGBTQ rights bills during 2024 session

Senate committee failed to vote on HIV decriminalization bill

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland lawmakers passed a number of LGBTQ rights bills during this year’s legislative session that ended on Monday.

House Bill 1397, which would strengthened the state’s nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, passed on Monday. 

The Freedom to Read Act, which, among other things, would “protect local library personnel from dismissal or disciplinary action for doing their jobs, in accordance with prescribed standards,” passed in the Maryland Senate on April 5. 

The state Senate on April 4 passed House Bill 602, which would bolster Maryland’s employment discrimination law. The Maryland House of Delegates on the same day approved a measure that would make Maryland a sanctuary state for transgender people and their health care providers.

FreeState Justice Policy Advocate and Legal Impact Coordinator Camila Reynolds-Dominguez in a statement notes lawmakers also “affirmed Maryland’s commitment to the federal Equal Rights Amendment” and “created much needed oversight for Maryland’s prison system.” 

She noted lawmakers “defeated a myriad of anti-trans bills and harmful amendments” during this year’s legislative session. Reynolds-Dominguez also criticized the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee over its failure to vote on a bill that would repeal the criminalization of people with HIV.

“This legislative session was monumental for LGBTQIA+ Marylanders,” she said. “While we are extremely disappointed that the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee did not bring an HIV criminalization repeal law to a vote for the second year in a row, there is much else to celebrate.”

“It is too apparent from the harmful comments and misinformation we heard during legislative debates that there is still so much work that must be done to change certain legislators’ anti-LGBTQIA+ biases,” added Reynolds-Dominguez. “Nonetheless, we’re also celebrating the overwhelming majority of our elected officials who are wonderful and supportive allies in the fight to make Maryland an inclusive state where everyone has dignity and equal rights no matter who they are or who they love. We would like to thank all the advocates, allies and activists who helped us achieve so many victories this session — none of this would be possible without dozens of people’s hard work, tireless effort and unwavering dedication.”

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