December 5, 2020 — March 28, 2021


See You There gathers documents, fresh stories and artworks, some of them newly commissioned. It casts back a queer look at some of the facts and some of the lore of Whitman-Walker. It catches a glimpse at vital stories about Black and Lesbian life in this city. It envisions a future of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and Black liberation. And it witnesses a younger generation giving voice to their aspirations. For when history is something we make together, a better future becomes imaginable.


See You There is inspired by The Whitman-Walker Oral History Project, which chronicles narratives and experiences of patients, advocates, program directors, and community members.


See You There: Making History at Whitman-Walker is curated by Ruth Noack with input from Jewel Addy, Paula Castro Martinez and Sol. 



As one of the earliest healthcare institutions focused persistently on HIV and LGBTQ care in this country, Whitman-Walker made history. This history is documented in the institution’s Oral History Collection and Archive.


LISTEN TO, and READ, some of Whitman-Walker’s oral history collection on the DC Public Library DIGDC website HERE.

HEAR playlists with full oral histories on Whitman-Walker’s SoundCloud and soundbites, or chopped down oral history highlights HERE.


CHECK OUT 40 Stories for 40 Years, a digital, multimedia story series highlighting programs, locations and people as part of Whitman-Walker’s 40th Anniversary in 2018 HERE.


WATCH Fearless at 40: The Story of Whitman-Walker, an hour-long documentary on Whitman-Walker’s shared history with community, continuation of the 40 Stories project and produced with DCTV, HERE.


March 9, 2021

Queer Women in D.C. Spaces of Our Own

March 23, 2021

Queer Women in D.C. Choosing & Defining Family


When Jewel Addy and I started to work together to bring the Oral History Archive of Whitman-Walker to life in the present moment, we envisioned a series of durational workshops, which would help us generate new material for an exhibition, a performance, a curriculum, and a microsite. Then Covid hit. All had to be revisioned and reconfigured. We were able to provide a safe environment for two workshops. Some of the material generated there has entered the exhibition. Other outcomes will feed Whitman-Walker’s Oral History site, to be launched 2021. One workshop morphed into a public program. And another one will reappear next year.


“Life is very short. What we have to do must be done in the now.”

The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action


An afternoon of sharing memories amongst present and former staff about the lobby of Whitman-Walker’s Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, having a chance to talk about our experiences of the ongoing response to HIV and connecting with other folks during this very specific moment in history. Led by Ted Kerr


The Wanda Alston Foundation 

cooperated with the Corner and Youth Services at Whitman Walker team over a series of workshops that allowed for creative expression, vulnerable conversations and new connections. These workshops took place on Tuesdays throughout the month of October. Together we captured our past to present our futures.




JEWEL ADDY (she/her) is a Washington, DC transplant by way of Silver Spring, MD, South Orange, NJ, and Liberia, West Africa. Jewel is the co-founder of Red Dot Campaign, Inc. a non-profit that supports menstrual health access and awareness through art, comedy and storytelling. Through this work, Jewel has co-led the curation of annual period-inspired art shows since 2016. Jewel works as the Director of Communications at Whitman-Walker Health, having worked at the organization in various capacities since 2015. During her time at Whitman-Walker, she has led projects including the 2017 and 2019 oral history collections through a partnership with the DC Oral History Collaborative and produced a 2018 documentary in partnership with DCTV called Fearless at 40: The Story of Whitman-Walker. The hour-long documentary highlights the organization’s shared history with community during its 40th anniversary year. The documentary was screened at the 2019 DC History Conference and the 2019 Alexandria Film Festival. Through these projects, Jewel has also led the creation of 40 Stories for 40 Years — a digital story series consisting of audio oral histories, short videos, and written pieces uplifting the stories of community members, Whitman-Walker locations and past programs. The story series has set an example for historical and impact storytelling and community archiving.




HOLLY BASS is a visual and performance artist and writer. Her performance work combines dance, written text, video and installation to address themes such as the black female body, gentrification, and the American South. She has received numerous grants from the DC Arts Commission and was a 2019 Red Bull Detroit artist-in-residence, a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellow and a 2019-2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow. A gifted and dedicated teaching artist, for four years she directed a year-round creative writing and performance program for adjudicated youth in DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services as well as facilitating workshops nationally and internationally. She is currently the national director for Turnaround Arts at the Kennedy Center, a program which uses the arts strategically to transform schools working to solve deep racial and economic inequities.




BENJAMIN BROOKS believes in the power of art and culture to transform society. Ben’s love of art comes from his continent-spanning childhood, where he grew up in a multi-generational family of artists. He learned from his mother that the act of creation can unlock hidden truths and express the otherwise inexpressible.


In his life, Ben examines the role of culture in producing our social structures and tries to find more ways to bring liberation and joy into the world. In his role as a health policy analyst at the Whitman-Walker Institute, Ben works as an advocate to advance health equity in DC.  


As a queer man, Ben enjoys learning about those lost to AIDS and how their work and lives affected the progression of art history and provided the foundation for the work that he does.




PAULA CASTRO MARTINEZ is an artist, abolitionist, educator, and zine-maker living in Washington, DC by way of Broward County. Getting involved with subculture at age 12 via straight edge hardcore, Paula has since then become an active participant of a wider international underground music and arts scene, contributing non-stop since adolescence through both her artistic projects and commitment to hanging out. She graduated from American University in 2019, majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Studio Art. Paula now works as an art educator at The Corner at Whitman-Walker, an LGBTQ+ cultural center, and publishes Demystification Magazine with collaborator Ambrose Nzams.




ANDREW ESCHRICH’S for public service comes from previously working at a nonprofit supporting refugees and immigrants in the Pittsburgh area, and joining the Peace Corps as a youth development specialist in Morocco. Andrew was drawn to the Wanda Alston Foundation because of their important mission and his continued desire to support at risk youth in reaching their full potential. 




SHARON FARMER is a photojournalist and lectures extensively on photography and photojournalism. Farmer’s most recent solo exhibits were held at the Africa House in Lynchburg, Virginia and the National Democratic Women’s Club in Washington, DC. She also exhibited with the ExposureGroup at the Candy Factory in Manassas, Virginia and at the Tolbert Bing Gallery on the Artswalk in D.C.’s Brookland community.


She has been a judge for three panels for the D.C. Arts & Humanities including the Art Bank with the newly created Washingtonia Collection, the Visual Arts Fellowship Program and the Public Art grants.


A White House photographer since 1993, she documented the Clinton-Gore Administration at it’s beginning. Farmer served as Director of the White House Photography Office from 1999-2001. In 2004, she was the campaign photographer for Sen. John Kerry’s presidential election run.


Farmer has been a professional photojournalist and exhibition photographer for more than 45 years, shooting news stories, political campaigns, cultural events, conferences, and portraits. Over the years she has photographed for The Washington Post, the Smithsonian Institution, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Urban League, the Brookings Institution, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to name a few.

Her photographic work resides in the collections of the Clinton Presidential Library, the U.S. National Archives, the Library of Congress, Howard University’s Moreland-Spingarn Collection, The District of Columbia Government; The Anacostia Museum and the National Museum of African American History & Culture of the Smithsonian Institution; The King Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio; The South African Museum in Pretoria and in private collections.


Sharon Farmer majored in photography and minored in music at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree.




JOSE GUTIERREZ holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University Ana G. Mendez in Washington, DC. Jose is a local and national long time human rights and social justice activist, immigration advocate, Latinx LGBTQ historian, artist, writer and a poet. He is the founder of the Jose Gutierrez Archives, the Latino GLBT History Project, the DC Latino Pride and co-founder of the Rainbow History Project. In 1996 Jose received a recognition by the National Latina/o LGBT Organization LLEGO for his contributions with the Latinx LGBTQ. As the first International Leatherboy in 2002 he raised awareness and funds for the leather community. In 2010 Jose served on the Washington, DC Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee. In 2014 he received the Jose Sarria medal of honor by Nicole Murray-Ramirez, The Queen Mother of the Americas from the Imperial Court for his contributions to the LGBTQ and in 2015 contributed to the book Queer Brown Voices, with an interview/essay entitled We must preserve our Latino LGBTQ history. Jose is serving in the board of directors of GLAA and Capital Pride. Jose works with the DC Gov DHS, currently he is writing a book about the history of the Washington, DC Latinx LGBTQ. He staged an exhibition of the Jose Gutierrez Archive in The Corner’s Community window.



JAMESE JOHNSON is a poet originally from Prince George’s County, MD, now living and working in Washington, D.C. Johnson’s work centers fantasy and escapism. In the future, Johnson hopes her work to be exhibited everywhere — including Uptown D.C., Downtown D.C., and South East D.C.


DWAYNE LAWSON-BROWN is a poet, playwright, and fiber artist raised in Southeast DC. Through his work, Lawson-Brown invites exploration of life, shared experiences, and a hope for equitable experiences for Black people. Whether rapping about the changing face of his neighborhood, the joy of raising his son, or the celebrating the power of self-expression, his work stands as an ambassador’s journal opened to the world.


BARBARA LEWIS PA-C has been affiliated with Whitman Walker since 1979, when she was a cofounder of the Lesbian Health Center at Whitman Walker’s first clinic site on 17th and Q. She continued to volunteer in Lesbian Health and HIV care throughout the ’90s. During that period, she was employed as a PA at The George Washington University AIDS Clinical Trials unit, helping to get life-saving HIV treatment medications approved for use. In 2000 she was hired as a staff Physician Assistant at Whitman Walker specializing in HIV care and staffing the lesbian health night. As the Clinic transitioned into a full service primary care health center, she has continued to provide care for the LGBTQ community, and the metropolitan DC community as well.


VALERIE PAPAYA MANN, a proud native Washingtonian was born in DC in 1952 in Freedman’s Hospital, which later grew into Howard University Hospital. Freedman’s was created to service Blacks freed after slavery, was one of the few hospitals in the district where Black women were able to give birth, at that time.  


Most popularly known as Papaya, she came out in DC in the mid-70s, and almost immediately became a part of a vibrant Black LBGTQ community. Being a poet she gravitated to the artist in the community and soon was helping Ray Melrose manage the Coffeehouse. It was an after hours private club, located in the carriage house behind his residence. The Coffeehouse was home for a talented and thriving Black artist community. She was a regular at the Clubhouse, also, the legendary house music dance club of the 80s for mostly

Black Gay people. Many who came from out of town dance to the pulsating rhythms. She was one of the coveted hosts of Children's Hour, the Clubhouse's Annual formal Gala. Her own LLC, Renaissance Productions has also given hundreds of varied special events for women in the Washington, DC area, the San Francisco Bay area, Atlanta, Georgia, also in Ghana, West Africa and mostly recently in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 


Papaya Mann attended undergraduate at HBCU Bowie University in the mid-70s and later matriculated from graduate school at American University in 1981; degreed in Education, Public Relations and Business Management. 


She was one of the first consultants hired by Jim Graham, the first, and incoming executive director of Whitman Walker Clinic to design a media and outreach campaign to alert African Americans of the dangers of the emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1982. Historically, it is the first of its kind in the city and perhaps the country, at that time. She later was on the organizing board of Sapphires Sapphos, a Black lesbian support, education, entertainment and politically involved organization active in the early 80s. Later the Black Lesbian Support Group (BLSG) organized in the 90s with a very similar mandate. Papaya also was an organizer of the first Black LBGTQ National Conference held at Harabee House, owned by Howard University in DC in the 80s. Audre Lorde was their keynote speaker. 


In the late 80s Papaya moved to the California Bay area where she became executive director for AIDS PROJECT EAST BAY. She was able to triple their budget to $4 million, which allowed them to become a full-service HIV/AIDS prevention and care non-profit, serving four counties. In the early 90s she returned to the DMW to become executive director of DC CARE Consortium, which provided services to people with AIDS, and in the late 90s she became executive director of the international organization Africa AIDS Watch. 


Back in DC after having lived in Ghana, West Africa for almost 5 years, Papaya is an organizational specialist who makes herself available for ‘legacy’ projects and divides her time between her residence in Washington, DC and Fort Lauderdale, FL. ​



LEIGH MOSLEY has been a Washington DC-based freelance photographer and educator for more than half a century. She has exhibited at the Anacostia Museum, the Corcoran College of Art & Design, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Kennedy Center and the Washington Women’s Arts Center. Her photographs have been published in The Washington Blade, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Art Forum, Ms. and Essence magazines. In addition to teaching at Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the Smithsonian’s Resident Associate Program (RAP), she has been an adjunct professor in Photography at American University and Television Production at the University of the District of Columbia where she earned a BA in Psychology in 1975. She received a Master's degree in Digital Art from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore in 2000. She is currently creating digital art for commercial and fine arts clients in photography and filmmaking and more recently has been shooting video for WHUT-TV. 




DAKOTA-OLIVER BARRETT is from New Haven, Connecticut. “I moved to the DMV area after working as a medical assistant at Yale University Hospital. My life’s passion has been to serve others while working on the front lines to give direct support to targeted populations. I started at the Wanda Alston Foundation as a house monitor, and due to my hard work and passion I was promoted to case manager. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to learn and grow with the Wanda Alston Foundation.”



ANJA SCHEFFER is an artist and theater director, whose interdsiciplinary performative projects are based on social research and make use of diverse elements of artistic expression and form. With sideviews, a collective of artists from different fields, she stages projects between theater, video, fine arts and art education in museums, schools and/or urban space. 


Amongst her many projects are LivingTOgether (German Consulate General, Toronto 2015), Anspiel/Kick-off (International Garden Exhibition, Berlin 2014-17, with Seraphina Lenz), projects for the Jewish Museum, Berlin and Berlin Biennale 2020. From 2011 to 2018, she conceived and built out a theater program for the Refik-Veseli-School in Berlin-Kreuzberg, cooperating with “Cultural Agents for creative schools”. 


Anja Scheffer has established a unique non-hierarchical method of work with and within communities, initiating new forms of social interaction. Her artistic research intends to open up new cultural avenues, creating a process of reconciliation between social, educational, artistic and historical subjects, guided by the current local issues and global context.



SOL is a 25 year old, Kenyan-born, DMV creator and curator. She started off as a poet, circulating the open mic scene, grew into loving and sharing her story through Music. Once she found her voice, she began working with a loop pedal to manipulate and create beats. This led her to begin studying sound and its healing power, then leading healing through sound workshops including one at the Alumni of Color Conference at Harvard School of Education. She enjoys curating safe, fun, and soul healing events/workshops and with her debut EP Release she strives to use her art to educate, inspire, heal and shed light on issues that affect her community. As a Black Queer womxnist, she has now taken on a new journey as an Art Educator for the Corner at Whitman-Walker to create opportunities for self-expression for underserved black and brown communities. To keep up with all of her work, follow her on instagram @sollikesoul.



LAUREN WRIGHT is a Texas born, DC devoted creative. A busy DJ, engineer, and curator, she has traveled all across the country performing in various underground scenes. Noted performances include UK Boiler Room’s 2019 North American Tour, Rinse FM (London), Quantica Online (Lisbon), The Lot Radio (NYC), and Honcho Summer Campout, one of the biggest hubs for the American queer techno scene. When she isn’t playing in a warehouse, she is getting physical with gallery installations and creating necessary art spaces outside of traditional formality. Lauren supported the installation of See You There. To find her upcoming art pop ups or latest music productions, follow her on instagram @itsjacqjill.




MEHRANEH ATASHI is an Iranian photographer, artist living and working between Amsterdam and Washington DC. Mehraneh earned her BFA in photography in Tehran and post graduate education at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Her/Their work unfolds between the time of the self and the time of the world. Through an excavation of memories, archiving and documentation of the self. Mehraneh’s work has recently been shown in London (V&A, British Museum), Amsterdam (DeAppel, rongwrong, Framer Framed), Graz (Kunstverein), Tirana (National Gallery of Arts), Paris (Palais deTokyo), Los Angeles (REDCAT), Antwerp (MHKA, Lodger), Salzburg (Kunstverein), Eindhoven (MU Art space) and Athens (State of Concept).




JEB (JOAN E. BIREN) is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and activist. She is best known for her groundbreaking work in chronicling the history of LGBTQ+ people. In 1979, JEB self-published her first book, Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians, a pivotal work that moved lesbian lives from the margins to the center. It is being re-issued by Anthology Editions in March 2021. Making a Way Out: Lesbians Out Front, JEB’s second book, was released in 1987. After receiving a public art commission, her photographs were installed on the façade of Leslie-Lohman Museum for 16 months. JEB’s work is in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and the Academy of Arts in Berlin, Germany among other places. Frameline distributes JEB’s award-winning videos. Her papers are archived at Smith College. JEB lives surrounded by chosen family and sometimes pretends that she is retired from photography and filmmaking. Her plan is not to retire from social justice activism. You can follow her work on Instagram @jebmedia




HANNAH BYRNE is a public historian in Washington, DC working at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. She holds a master’s degree in public history from American University.




RAYMOND CALDWELL is in his second season as Producing Artistic Director at Theater Alliance. He was born and raised in Southern Germany. Recent directorial credits include A Protest in 8 (Theater Alliance), Day of Absence (Theater Alliance) Anne Frank (National Players), Everybody Black and Thirty Meter Telescope Project (Kennedy Center), Les Deux Noirs (Mosaic Theatre), Blood at the Root (Theater Alliance), and The Frederick Douglass Project (Solas Nua). Raymond was the resident director and a faculty member in the Theater Arts Department at Howard University from 2013–2019. He holds an MFA with a focus in community outreach and developing new work from The Ohio State University and a BFA in acting from the University of Florida. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Arena Stage Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship, after which he joined Arena’s staff for six seasons as their Community Engagement Partnership Manager. He is committed to using theatre as a tool to transform communities all over the world. This past July in partnership with NGOs in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal he developed theatre with artists and activists in South East Asia to promote peace and counter violent extremism. He has done similar work throughout India, Ukraine, Croatia, Germany, and the UK.




JUNE CRENSHAW is the Executive Director of the Wanda Alston Foundation and oversees all operations of the organization. Since joining the Wanda Alston Foundation, June has increased awareness around the prevalence of homelessness among LGBTQ youth and the trauma LGBTQ homeless youth experience. She fights for resources to be allocated to programs that create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ youth. She has tripled the organization’s budget, and after 12 years of operations, has opened its 2nd location.




ABBY FENTON serves as the Chief External Affairs Officer and oversees branding, community relations, communications and media relations while also serving on the executive leadership team. Prior to joining Whitman-Walker, she served as the Director of Community Relations at ABC7/WJLA-TV and News Channel 8 where she oversaw the stations corporate social responsibility initiatives and public relations strategies and created partnerships and messaging opportunities for over 400 non-profits per year. Earlier in her career, she worked in event planning and fundraising in DC for the District Chamber of Commerce and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company as well as in Baltimore at Center Stage. While at Woolly, Fenton helped to raise nearly $9 million for BREAKING NEW GROUND: The Campaign for Woolly Mammoth. At Center Stage, she helped to raise over $14 million for their $12 million capital campaign. She has been named one of the YWCA of the National Capital Region’s Women of Achievement and was included in Washington Life Magazine’s list of the most influential people in Washington for four years in a row. Fenton worked as the Executive Producer for the award-winning feature film CRUZANDO. She is a graduate of the class of 2012 from Leadership Greater Washington and continues to be a speaker for their Rising Leaders program. She is a Commissioner for the DC Commission for Women and serves on NBC4’s Community Advisory Board. She is President of the Board of the Hearth Foundation — a local charity providing housing to people with disabilities and serves as board member for Leashes of Valor — an organization that trains rescue dogs to be service dogs for Veterans living with PTSD and TBI. Fenton is a graduate of Kenyon College and has lived in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC for over 20 years. 



KYMONE FREEMAN is an award winning playwright, founder of the Black LUV Festival WDC Mayor's Art Award Finalist for Excellence in Service to the Arts in 2006. He is a founding board member for the non-profit Words Beats & Life and co-founder of Bum Rush the Boards the largest annual youth chess tournament in WDC. He is the subject of one chapter of the book Beat of A Different Drum: The Untold Stories of African Americans Forging Their Own Paths in Work and Life (Hyperion). He is a 2010 Green For All Fellow & co-founder of We Act Radio DC’s Best Social Justice Radio Station 2017 by Washington City Paper and 1st Place PRNDI Award winner for his Lion and the Map Commentary with Anacostia Unmapped radio series on NPR their most successful local productions in 2016. He was featured in the most controversial Ebony Magazine in recent history and PBS Online Film Festival for the short film Fresh Prince of Anacostia.


TINA GVEROVIC works with installation, drawing, painting, sound, text and video. Her work — often in the form of immersive, disorientating installations — explores the economy and history of materials. One of the key questions in her work is where lies the potential of the political vision and re-invention? She finished MA at Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht and holds a doctorate from Middlesex University in London. Her work was recently shown as part of the 57th Venice Biennial, WKV Stuttgart, Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg, Trigon — Post Environment in Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien Graz, Suzhou Documents — Biennial, Tate Modern, and Busan Biennial. Her public art commission conceived in collaboration with Ben Cain was recently installed in The University of Reading Campus. She held teaching posts at Camberwell College of Arts, Slade School of Arts, Dutch Art Institute Roaming Academy, and WHW Academy in Zagreb.



TED KERR is a Brooklyn-based writer, organizer and artist whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS, community, and culture. Kerr's writing has been published in books, online and in magazines. Under the direction of Amy Sadao and Nelson Santos, Kerr was the programs manager at Visual AIDS where he worked to ensure social justice was an important lens through which to understand the ongoing epidemic. In 2016 / 2017 Kerr performed 10 interviews for the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art’s Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project. Kerr received his oral history training from Suzanne Snider as part of the Oral History Summer School. He was a member of the New York City Trans Oral History Project. Working with the Brooklyn Historical Society, Kerr indexed their AIDS oral history project. Kerr earned his MA from Union Theological Seminary where he researched Christian Ethics and HIV, and his BA from the New School where he was Riggio Writing and Democracy fellow. At his graduation he spoke about the queer every day in  surviving. Currently, Kerr teaches at The New School. He has lectured at Hunter College, Rutgers and Skidmore College.


D. MAGRINI As the Assistant Director of Community Commitment and Training at Whitman-Walker, D. Magrini focuses her energies on working to improve the health and well-being of all members of the LGBTQ community through increasing access to care as a result advocacy, direct client education and cultural competency training for health care providers. Ms. Magrini has over 25 years of experience in the area of health education with focus on the LGBTQ community. She began her professional career in 1991 as a community health outreach and education specialist for underserved lesbians of color and served as a member of the Women’s Health Consultants Collective (1991–94) where she trained third year medical students as well as seasoned providers how to conduct well-woman exams respectful of the woman’s perspective. From 1998–2006 Ms. Magrini was the primary health educator of the Lesbian Services Program of Whitman Walker clinic. She developed a range of successful strategies for encouraging a diverse range of women of color to participate in health promotion and early intervention programs. Notable among these efforts was the Avon- and Komen-funded Breast Health Initiative where she assessed and refined outreach strategies. This program facilitated mammograms for 400 uninsured women annually. In her current role, she oversees the cultural competency training and support for all new staff. She also continues to develop and deliver trainings on LGBT cultural competency for medical providers and allied staff locally and nationally.


ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE is best known for his powerful black-and-white portraits and self-portraits. His work featured an array of subjects, including portraits of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the S&M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art, including covers for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine. In the late 1970s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S&M scene. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the work of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which he established in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV.



MARIAH MIRANDA is a Washington, D.C. based documentary style freelance photographer, specializing in portraiture and lifestyle coverage. “Through my eye for raw and candid moments, I aim to showcase true characteristics of people from different walks of life. As an aspiring international photographer, I’ve completed courses and conducted projects in Israel, UK, Spain, France, and Morocco. My portrait was chosen to be in the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Diplomacy on commission for the United States Department and my most recent residency was with A Creative D.C. in 2019.”



JOHN MURPH is a Washington, D.C.-based music and culture journalist and DJ. He’s written for such prestigious media outlets as NPR, Washington Post, TIDAL, The Root, The Atlantic, AARP The Magazine, Down Beat, JazzTimes, and JazzWise.  



RUTH NOACK Washington, D.C.. Noack, a highly regarded German curator, art historian, writer and teacher, became known to the global art world as curator of documenta 12. Her 2020 exhibition When We First Arrived... amplified testimonies of children detained at the US-Mexico border through the works of 123 visual artists (in collaboration with DYKWTCA). Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life was shown in its most recent iteration at Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart in 2019/20. She has authored a monograph on Sanja Iveković and edited Agency, Ambivalence, Analysis. Approaching the Museum with Migration in Mind (2013). Her essays on Eva Hesse, Mary Kelly, Mary Ellen Carroll, Roger Hjorns, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Anna Daučíková, Maria Bartuszová, Alejandra Riera, Danica Dakić, George Osodi a.o. have been published internationally in catalogues and journals, such as Afterall and Camera Austria. She has given lectures and taught for 20 years all over the globe.


RAYCEEN PENDARVIS is an emcee, moderator, speaker, freelance writer, wedding officiant, community advocate, and lifelong Washingtonian. In addition to hosting various Team Rayceen events, including The Ask Rayceen Show, a free monthly event on first Wednesdays, March through November, at HRC Equality Center in DC, Rayceen regularly hosts festivals, fundraisers, fashion shows, and various annual events. Over the decades, Rayceen has received numerous honors, among them being recognized as a Capital Pride Hero in 2016 and being a finalist in The Mayor’s Arts Awards for Excellence in the Humanities in 2017. As an inspirational speaker, a tireless advocate for the community, disseminator of information, and host of numerous LGBTQ Pride events, Rayceen has earned the monikers High Priestess of Love, Goddess of DC, Queen of the Shameless Plug, and Empress of Pride. In addition to the Tell Rayceen interview series, which is on YouTube and Vimeo, Rayceen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 



PAMELA SNEED is a New York-based poet, writer, performer and visual artist, author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery, KONG and Other Works, Sweet Dreams and two chaplets, Gift by Belladonna and Black Panther. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Hyperallergic and on the cover of New York Magazine. She is online faculty in SAIC’s low-res MFA teaching Human Rights and Writing Art and has also been a Visiting Artist at SAIC in the program for 4 consecutive years. In 2020, She was the Commencement Speaker for the low-res program at SAIC. She also teaches new genres in Columbia Universities’ School of the Arts. She has performed at the Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Poetry Project, MCA, The High Line, New Museum, MOMA and the Toronto Biennale. She delivered the closing keynote for Artist, Designers, Citizens Conference, a North American component of the Venice Biennale at SAIC. She appears in Nikki Giovanni’s The 100 Best African American Poems. In 2018, she was nominated for two PushCart Prizes in poetry. She is widely published in journals such as The Brooklyn Rail. She is the author of a poetry and prose manuscript Funeral Diva published by City Lights in October 2020.


TONYEA WEST is a female artist from Baltimore, MD. Tapping into her talent as a singer during childhood, West has continued to hone her talents as a creative, always thinking how she can push herself. You can listen to West’s music on all streaming platforms and follow her on Instagram @comeupqueen



JALYSA WILLIAMS is a young aspiring photographer and resident of the Wanda Alston Foundation. 



Jewel Addy, Sheila Alexander-Reid, Jamila Alih, Mehraneh Atashi, Holly Bass, Leo Baumfeld, JEB (Joan E. Biren), Bryan Blanchard, Don Blanchon, Benjamin Brooks, Daniel Bruner, Roger M. Buergel, Tony Burns, Hannah Byrne, Raymond Caldwell, Mary Ellen Carroll, Beth Caseman, Paula Castro Martinez, Hans D. Christ, Jane Cohan, Court Cook, Carl Cornin, Derrik “Strawberry” Cox, June Crenshaw, Anna Daučíková, Pip Day, Nicole Doud, Andrew Eschrich, Sharon Farmer, Abby Fenton, Kymone Freeman, Berthony Gaspard, Masha Gessen, Amber and Kayla Ginsburg, Max Gomez-Sanchez, Jose Guiterrez, Tina Gverović, Karolyn Hatton, Shawn Henderson, Lee Hicks, Chris Holleman, Ericka Huggins, Joe Izzo, Chester Jenkins, Tracy Jenkins, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Jamese Johnson, Ellen Kahn, Ramatoulaye Keita, Theodore (ted) Kerr, Lisa Kim, Jennie Knight, Koyo Kouoh, Amie Krautwurst, Dwayne Lawson-Brown, Barbara Lewis, Juan Carlos Loubriel, D. Magrini, Papaya Mann, Miguel Mejia, Lucas Michael, Mariah Miranda, Leigh Mosely, Gabi Ncgobo, Amy Nelson, Charlotte Eleni Noack, Kasimir Percy Noack, Dakota Oliver-Barret, Michelle Parkerson, Sherry Paxon, Sophia Prinz, Randy Pumphrey, Josh Riley, Abby Schanfield, Anja Scheffer, Naseema Shafi, Joanne Sincero, Pamela Sneed, Sol, Azza Sultan, Ambrose Nzams, Nico Artiga-Oliver, Sue Tan, Gary Taylor, Lisbeth Tellefsen, Kermit Turner, Gerard Tyler, Simone van Saarlos, Tom Vosloh, Britt Walsh, SaVanna Wanzer, Joyce Wellman, Agnes Wegner, Tonyea West, Dejha Wright, Lauren Wright, Jessica Xavier, Amelie Zurn. 
Jewel Addy and Ruth Noack would also like to thank the DC Oral History Collaborative, the Staff, Volunteers and Boards of Whitman Walker, the Cleaners of The Corner, the Advisory Board of The Corner, Goethe Institute in Washington D.C., Dodge Chrome, Iced Coffee, Please, Dilligent Rocket, Moshe Zusman Photography, Rainbow History Project, DCTV, Havit, The Community, and all who couldn’t be here to share your part of the story. We hope we did it and you some justice. JEB would like to thank all the lesbians throughout the years who have allowed her to photograph them. Pamela Sneed would like to thank all those who were interviewed or appear as subjects in this work.