''I'M PROUD THAT we are standing,'' says D. Magrini, health education coordinator at the Mautner Project, a lesbian health organization. ''I think the idea that an organization that serves lesbians and bisexual women is thriving is really important in the political climate that we live in.''
Susan Hester founded the Mautner Project in 1990, shortly after the death of her partner, Mary-Helen Mautner, died from breast cancer. The organization works to improve the lives of lesbians, bisexual women and their families through advocacy, education, research and direct services, including phone support, resource referrals and various programs. They include ''SHE-Circle,'' a program dedicated to improving the health and wellness of African-American same-gender loving women.
''It's a [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] supported program, and that in itself should tell you that's really pretty amazing, given our political climate,'' Magrini says. ''That is on the forefront of our minds at the moment, along with the range of services that we have.''
But it's not all about women.
''I think the Men of Mautner [annual dinner] sort of clears up that misconception,'' Magrini says. ''Men are active members of our board, and have been, and we certainly have men as supporters. Most of the men I know have family members or their lesbian friends who are impacted by cancer and other health issues that we can help with, and help them as caregivers.''
At Capital Pride, Magrini says she hopes the Mautner Project gains visibility.
''The hope is that we widen our client base, that folks know that we're there to offer support through client services, that we have educational programs, that will help women improve their health, and that we're an organization that's fun to volunteer with.''
For more information about the Mautner Project call 202-332-5536 or visit www.mautnerproject.org.