May 29 2021


3:30 pm - 5:40 pm

LGBTQ Military Veterans Open Mic


The DC Center for the LGBT Community is seeking LGBTQ+ Military Veterans to share your stories at a virtual open mic event on Saturday, May 29, 3:30-5:40pm. This event bridges National Military Appreciation Month (May) with Pride Month (June) in honor of LGBTQ+ service members’ courage and perseverance.

The topic is Voices of LGBTQ+ Military Veterans. This is a virtual open mic story-sharing event where LGBTQ+ military vets can talk about situations they experienced while in the military, whether they were out or not, transitioned or not, experiences that many LGBTQ+ Veterans have not been able to share openly for reasons of privacy, career consequences/forced separation and personal safety.

First Hour Public Stream; Second Hour Private Conversation

This will be a two-part (part live, part private) open mic event. Our emcee will host a welcoming, safe and authentic space for LGBTQ+ Veterans, active military members, and civilian allies to hear and learn from shared experiences. The first hour from 3:30-4:30pm will be open and live-streamed via the DC Anti-Violence Project Facebook page, where Veterans will share their experiences of being LGBTQ+ in the United States military, to educate the public. Anyone may access the link to view the stream and post comments. The second hour from 4:40-5:40 will require registration for access to the closed open mic event. This approach is for the protection of speakers who wish to maintain a level of privacy and security as they share very personal information pertaining to their military experience. We will have an intermission between sessions to set up the transition into the closed session.

7-10 minute Headliner Speakers (5 slots available: Deadline to apply April 11, 5pm)

We are seeking LGBTQ+ Veteran guests with some experience in public speaking or storytelling who are comfortable relating their experience in 7-10 minutes through the virtual open mic format on Zoom. Headliners are invited to relate your experience as an LGBTQ+ service member in the military during your service, as a Veteran and/or with the Veterans Administration. Experienced speakers or dynamic storytellers help set the stage as a place for authenticity and courage. If you are an experienced speaker interested in one of the 7-10 minute slots, please contact Austin GaskinWe will offer a $50 honorarium each for 5 LGBTQ+ Veteran guest speakers. NOTE: Please tell Austin if you have a preference to speak during the live-streamed or the private part of the event.

3-5 minute Sign-up Slots and/or Open Sharing

The virtual mic will be open after the headliners for the time remaining for any other LGBTQ+ Veterans and Active Service Members interested to share as desired. Folks can sign up before the event with Austin Gaskin, or during the event via the chat text box. In the time remaining after those who have signed up to share, we will open the virtual mic for all who are attending the event. People can share additional experiences if desired, ask any questions and honor each other for having offered service despite the challenges of sexual and gender identity issues in military settings.

Zoom Link Registration

While anyone can view the first hour of the event via the DC Anti-Violence Project Facebook page, the Zoom link will only be available to registered participants. This is to help us keep this a safe and intimate virtual space. Register to attend via Zoom here.

*ASL interpreters will be available if requested. Please let us know your interpreting preferences on the registration form and we will do our best to meet your request.

Storytelling Workshop Series

For anyone interested in learning more about the art of storytelling, the DC Center is hosting a weekly workshop series for the first three weeks of May, free and open for anyone who would like to attend. To learn more or register, contact Adam Heller.
5/8/21 – 1. Beyond “Once Upon a Time”: Story Structure and How to Use It
5/15/21 – 2. Bring a Scene to Life: Tips to Make Your Story Real
5/22/21 – 3. Why Storytelling?: How Stories Help You Change Minds (and Lives)

WHY? Because Truth and Freedom.

LGBTQ+ people have experienced high rates of violence, abuse and trauma. LGBTQ+ Military Veterans have experienced very specific types of violence in military settings, but are often unable to talk about what they’ve experienced due to systemic oppressions, including concerns about being harassed, assaulted, discharged and many other abuses. It is our hope that people attending and/or speaking at this event are able to experience healing and release from the stigma and stifling of un-expressed mistreatment or harm. Note: Physical, sexual, verbal, psychological and emotional assaults, at any time in our lives, are all acknowledged as kinds of abuse and violence experienced.


FREE to all, thanks to the DC Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG)*. OVSJG underwrites the DC Anti-Violence Project and all its services at the DC Center, which include individual and group counseling, survivor events and public policy meetings.


The DC Anti-Violence Project (DCAVP) is an advocacy project of the DC Center for the LGBT Community. The DCAVP is dedicated to eradicating violence and stigma against and within the LGBTQ+ community. The DCAVP hosts LGBTQ+ Voices Against Violence open mic events as gatherings where LGBTQ+ survivors of trauma and violence can express themselves, find support and enrich the community with their shared experiences. The DCAVP also offers counseling for LGBTQ+ survivors of violence, trauma and abuse.


This event is sponsored by the DC Center for the LGBT Community and the DC Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants*.


Feel free to contact us at 202.682.2245 or Christina Cappelletti DCAVP Therapist/Advocate for more information.

* Events produced by The DC Center for the LGBT Community are under 2021-MDCC-01 awarded by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this event are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Executive Office of the Mayor.