The It Gets Better Project is proud to partner with the release of the film, CHECK IT. CHECK IT is a feature-length documentary about a black gay gang struggling to survive in one of Washington D.C.’s most violent neighborhoods.



Synopsis

At first glance, they seem unlikely gang-bangers. Some of the boys wear lipstick and mascara, some stilettos. They carry Louis Vuitton bags, but they also carry knives, brass knuckles and mace. As vulnerable gay and transgender youth, they’ve been shot, stabbed, and raped.

Once victims, they’ve now turned the tables, beating people into comas and stabbing enemies with ice picks. Started in 2009 by a group of bullied 9th graders, today these 14-22 year old gang members all have rap sheets riddled with assault, armed robbery, and drug dealing charges.

Led by an ex-convict named Mo, Check It members are now creating their own clothing label, putting on fashion shows and working stints as runway models. But breaking the cycle of poverty and violence they’ve grown up in is a daunting task.

Life for the Check It can be brutal, but – it’s also full of hope and an indomitable resilience. At its heart, CHECK IT explores the undying friendship that exists between these kids – an unbreakable bond that is tested every day as they fight to stand up for who they are in a community relentlessly trying to beat them down.

To support Check It please visit: www.checkitenterprises.com.

Acclaim

“Check It is consistently compelling, with a brisk pace and vivid personalities making up for the occasional unanswered question. Assembly is aptly not over-slick but energetically well-turned.” -Variety

“Oppenheimer and Flor capture striking, unmediated moments of humor, violence, insight, and beauty.” -Brooklyn Magazine

“The new documentary 'Check It' gives a voice to a forgotten subculture for which self-expression is simultaneously dangerous and all-important.” -Vice i-D

Check It & It Gets Better

We were thrilled to march in the Capital Pride Parade this June in Washington, DC with Check It:



The Check It team also recorded a series of It Gets Better videos -- take a look:


Resources

Below are some resources for LGBTQ youth in the DC area. If you are looking for help elsewhere, visit our resources page!

FOR HOMELESS YOUTH:

Wanda Alston House
info@wandaalstonhouse.org
Wanda Alston House is solely dedicated to offering pre independent living and support services to homeless, or at risk gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth ages 16-24 in all 8 wards of the District of Columbia.

Casa Ruby
Visit Website
Casa Ruby is the first Multicultural community, social and resources center run by LGBT queer, gender Nonconforming, Trans People in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware is the only Bilingual Multicultural LGBT Organization providing life saving services and programs to the most vulnerable

Sasha Bruce Youthwork
Visit Website
Sasha Bruce helps young people find safe homes, achieve and maintain good physical and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, and explore opportunities in education and careers.


FOR HEALTH RELATED SERVICES:

Whitman Walker Youth Services
Visit Website
Provides health-related services to youth ages 13 to 24

HIPS
Visit Website
HIPS promotes the health, rights, and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use due to choice, coercion, or circumstance. HIPS provides compassionate harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement that is respectful, non-judgmental, and affirms and honors individual power and agency.


FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES:

LGBT Liaison Unit
Jessica.hawkins@dc.gov
The LGBT Liasion Unit is building trust between the Metropolitan Police Department and the LGBTQ community. For info please contact: Jessica Hawkins, Sergeant MPD 202-669-1139

DC Office of Human Rights (OHR)
Visit Website or call 202-727-4559
The DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) is a District government agency that mediates and investigates complaints of discrimination, and works to prevent discrimination from occurring. OHR also houses the Citywide Bullying Prevention Program actively works with school administrators and families to help address and provide support services to all those involved. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that causes significant harm to the target and involves a real or perceived power imbalance.

YOUTH MENTORING:

SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders)
Visit Website
SMYAL started in 1984, when local youth service professionals and community activists organized a conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth issues.

Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs
Visit Website
The Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs (LGBTQ) is a permanent, cabinet-level office within the Office of Community Affairs in the Executive Office of the Mayor, established by statute in 2006 to address the important concerns of the District's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. The District of Columbia has one of the highest concentrations of LGBTQ residents in the country with an estimated 7 to 10% of the population being LGBTQ.