Washington D.C. Man Sues Teachers Union For Gay Based Discrimination

A Washington D.C. man is suing the Washington Teachers’ Union after suffering discrimination and ultimately being fired because he’s gay.

According to PR Newswire, Barry Hobson, a 36-year-old Upper Marlboro resident who worked as a receptionist and office assistant, has filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Hobson is saying that his rights under the D.C. Human Rights Act were violated. He claims that the former Chief of Staff expressed disgusting views about him due to his sexuality. In addition, he says the President did nothing to stop the Chief of Staff and supported his firing.

Even though the organization presides over 5,000 teachers in D.C.’s public schools, the union’s leaders have little diversity training concerning LGBTQ employees. Hobson says he dealt with “hostile and retaliatory actions” while on the job.

The filed complaint included documentation of emails from Dorothy Egbufor, the former Chief of Staff. After Hobson “confirmed he engaged in same-sex intimacy,” Egbufor became nasty and refused him access to the organization’s health plan.

“Never in WTU's past have we allowed any individual to participate on our group policy 'openly gay' and I don't think this should be an exception," she wrote.

She later wrote in the same email that having Hobson and LGBTQ employees on the union's medical plan would cause a "substantial premium/rate increase" for other members because LGBTQ people "have AIDS, HIV and STDs."

According to the Washington Blade, the lawsuit also includes the following section explaining an interaction Egbufor and Hobson had after he applied for company benefits.

“Shortly after he submitted his paperwork, on or about January 31, 2017, Plaintiff had a disturbing phone call with Defendant Egbufor that she initiated about Plaintiff’s benefits,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant Egbufor said that she saw ‘Timothy’ listed on the benefits documents. Defendant Egbufor then asked, ‘Exactly who is he to you?’ Plaintiff responded ‘my fiancé,’” the lawsuit says.

“Prior to abruptly hanging up on Plaintiff, Defendant Egbufor said in a tone of disgust with a raised voice, ‘Your fiancé, ok Barry goodbye.’ Then she immediately hung up,” the lawsuit says.

Another attached email also showed that Egbufor wrote:

"Barry's nature of resistance and pushback is common among his peers in the homosexual community and will be an ongoing issue for WTU if not addressed while we maintain authority within the probationary period of employment.  As a result, I plan to recommend termination and immediately begin reassigning the remainder of his job duties to various staff in the coming days."

"What happened to Mr. Hobson was just plain awful,” said Brian J. Markovitz. “President Davis should resign immediately.  The head of the union that represents the teachers who teach our children and shape their values should not condone treating people poorly at work because of who they love.  That's not how people in the DC area want the world to be."

Now, Hobson is looking for $1 million in damages from the union and it’s leaders. According to the filed complaint, Hobson suffered through anxiety symptoms, chest pains, bad sleep, weight loss, breathing problems, and panic attacks because of the discrimination.

h/t: PR Newswire, The Washington Blade

Alleged Hate Crime In Washington DC Sent Gay Man To Emergency Room

William Southern, who recently moved to Washington, D.C., says he and a friend were the target of a violent hate crime this past Sunday.

In a post on his Instagram, Southern wrote that he and his friend, Robbie Barletta, were at the corner of 16th and U Street when the incident occurred.

According to Southern, they were attacked and beaten by mob of 4 men and a woman simply because they were gay.

Both men suffered several cuts and bruises, and Southern was sent to the emergency room for stitches to treat a split lip.

Southern posted photos of his injuries as well as their bloodied t-shirts.

But the social media post was not a ‘woe-is-me’ story. Southern makes it clear the incident only underscores his self-confidence in knowing who he is and living his life out loud.

“I will never stop being gay, I will never feel ashamed of who I am,” writes Southern. “Most importantly, I will never let anyone around me feel like less of a person simply because of who they are!”

He also thanked members of his Stonewall kickball league family for being there for him even though he’s a fairly new transplant to the DC area.

Southern closed his post with an upbeat message of community unity, writing, “May we stand strong and move forward.”




So, this is extremely hard for me and I have not 100% settled on how I feel it. But, Sunday a friend of mine @robertandre and I were the target and the victims of a hate crime. We were attacked by 4 men and a women on the corner of 16th and U in Washington DC, simply because we were gay. The four men and the lady brutally attacked myself and my friend, I was sent to the ER where I received stitches to pull my lip back together. But, the moral of this story is not that it happened or for people to feel sorry for me. This is a statement, I will never stop being gay, I will never feel ashamed of who I am. Most importantly, I will never let anyone around me feel like less of a person simply because of who they are! I am fortunate enough to have an amazing support system even though I have only lived in DC for a few months. I am proud and honoured to be apart of @stonewallkickball, my kickball family came together and has given me amazing support and I never would have met them without the lady’s and gentlemen who were courageous enough to put together these teams to support LGBTQ rights and give them a safe haven to be themselves. May we stand strong and move forward.

A post shared by William Southern (@wsouthernxd) on

(h/t Towleroad)

A Washington D.C. Gay Hate Crime Victim Had His Broken Teeth Fixed For Free

Last month, we shared with you the tragic news that two gay men were attacked on a populated Washington, D.C. street known as U Street.

Now, we’re happy to share with you the story of one dentist’s effort to right a portion of the wrong done to one of those two men.

When we reported the story to you and shared a video of the attack, we also included the fact that the men sustained injuries such as a broken nose, broken bones, and a chipped tooth. Specifically, it was one of those men, Zach Link, who sustained the broken nose and teeth.

At first, Link's new appearance alarmed him. Thankfully, he was then contacted by Dr. Christopher Banks at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry, because the good man wanted to fix his teeth at no cost.

After meeting and being treated by Dr. Bank, Link made a post on Facebook to express how grateful he was to the man.

In the post, he said:

“All I did that night was cry about how my teeth had been broken. It has been a lot more difficult mentally to see and feel my damaged teeth than I wanted to admit. Dito was able to connect me with this outstanding man, Christopher Banks, who completely donated his time and talents to bring my smile back, even for continued follow ups if something happens to them down the road. So, I just want to say that I am forever grateful for him and for the care he gave me at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry.”

Then recently, according to ABC news’s Washington affiliate WJLA, Capital Cosmetic Dentistry released a statement about Dr. Banks and Mr. Link:

“While Dr Banks certainly did not render his services for the benefit of himself or CCD, we certainly appreciate the recognition.

When Dr Banks was contacted by Dito Sevilla regarding the hateful crime Zach Link suffered, his response was immediate: he wanted to help. Chris reached out to Zach and expressed that he “would love to help” and render assistance. As a dentist who prides himself on the art of his cosmetic dentistry AND as a member of the LGBTQ community, Dr Banks met with Zach and proceeded to restore his smile. Zach came in with remarkable and visible damage to several of his front teeth, the result of severe and aggressive punching and kicking to his face. Zach came into the office and after a few hours walked out of with a restored smile.

As a parting personal note, Dr Banks wants it to be known: “this community is beautiful in its resilience and desire to support each other. In a day and age wherein we shake our heads and proclaim hate and violence toward the LGBTQ is senseless and barbaric, we all know it still happens and all we can do is try to help each other pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Without knowing the depth, breadth and expense of Zach’s injuries, I reached out and offered full care because we are all members of a powerful loving LGBTQ community before anything else. It is through these acts of love in the face of hate that we will persist, thrive, and succeed in showing the world we want to be ‘one’.”

We're happy to hear this tragic event was made right, even if just a little.

The "Gays For Trump" Rally Had An Awkwardly Small Crowd This Past Weekend

A “Gays For Trump” rally happened this past Sunday (March 4), but its numbers were pretty unimpressive.

“Gays For Trump” President Peter Boykin called the march a triumph, but the turnout wasn’t great at all.

The Washington Blade reports that about 100 people showed up around noon to the rally at the Lincoln Memorial, but then only 25 stuck around to march towards the White House after that.

During the first half of the event, Boykin, and about a dozen other speakers, spoke in a “open mic” format. Due to there being no scheduled speakers, anyone was allowed to go to the mic and speak, including their “liberal friends.” That said, only Trump supports spoke.

Donald Trump has delivered for us every single day,” Boykin said. “And you can see here our president has drained the swamp in Washington as he has promised.”

“We love a president who is open and honest,” Boykin added. “We don’t have the fireside chats. We have his Tweets at 3 in the morning.”

Despite the low attendance count, Boykin insists the event was a success. He then blames the weather for the lack of attendance.

“A lot of people stayed home and organized local Trump rallies. For every one person here there are 1,000 Trump supporters who could not be here today.”

On top of that, Boykin and others attending noted the diversity within the crowd. This is especially true for Boykin’s husband, Tavaris ‘David’ Smith, who describes himself as a proud Trump supporter and a proud Black man.

 “I was raised in a Democratic family,” Smith told the crowd as he wore a red “Make America Great Again” hat with a Human Rights Campaign decal attached to it, “I’m a Republican. I voted for Trump. I’m on the American team and I’m gay,” he said. “God bless America. God bless Trump.”

In addition, a young man visiting from South Korea told the South Florida Gay News that he compared American’s who disliked Trump to unpatriotic South Koreans who sympathized with North Korea.

Then around 2:30, the crowd, which had dwindled to only 25 people, marched towards the White House with two U.S. Park Police guiding them on motorcycles.

Several of the 25 marchers carried signs saying, “Thank You President Trump,” or rainbow flags with the words “Gays for Trump” printed on them.

Afterwards, Boykin and some of the remaining marchers walked to the nearby Trump Hotel for a late lunch.