Trans Awakening

by Yusef Najafi | Metro Weekly

On Wednesdays, Earline Budd is behind bars.

It’s usually from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the 51-year-old spends her time at the D.C. Department of Corrections. She’s there by choice, serving not time but her clients –talking to gay and transgender inmates about their plans upon being released.

It’s a discharge-planning volunteer effort Budd started more than six years ago and it’s become one of her many duties as a treatment and healing specialist for Transgender Health Empowerment (THE), an organization that she helped found in 1996.

As a local activist, Budd also lends her time to other efforts, notably her recent testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in support of including transgender people in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

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