On Friday, September 25th the Mautner Project of Whitman-Walker Health, a leader in health services for LBTQ women, honored 3 outstanding members of the LBTQ women's community at their 25th annual Mautner Gala.
"The women we have honored this year really represent some of the values of Mautner Project of Whitman-Walker Health: quality, affirming health care, service, and strong community. I'm excited for folks to meet them," says Jacquetta Brooks, manager of Mautner Project of Whitman-Walker.
Among the honorees is Eboné Bell, managing editor of Tagg Magazine, who was honored with the Image Award for her work in leading the area's premier publication for lesbian news, culture, and events. Tagg Magazine, available in both digital and print form, is the only lesbian and queer women's publication serving the Washington D.C. community. Bell is a long time supporter and advocate of non-profit organizations, including Mautner, and has used her position as founder and managing editor of the magazine to create outlets for affirming and inspiring representations of women and the LBTQ community.
With a background in advertising and marketing, Bell began her career in print publication as advertising manager for the Chronicle of Higher Education, building her skills, learning her craft, and collecting contacts and resources. After noticing a severe lack in the opportunity for queer women to speak and for their voices to be heard, Bell filled in that gap by creating Tagg Magazine.
"I wanted to show that visibility but also provide great content, great stories, events, and resources for the community," Bell says. For this reason, Tagg Magazine features content ranging from dating, to arts and entertainment, to community and out at work articles that aim at engaging, representing, and speaking to the diverse backgrounds of women in the LBT community. Tagg Magazine also features a series of stories and resources, including an event page and a resource page. The resource page tackles a variety of topics, including coming out late in life, black lesbian support groups, trans support groups, rainbow response, domestic violence, etc. The events page is designed to connect LBT women with their community.
"Our mission is to connect people," explains Bell, who is constantly asked why she named the magazine Tagg. She adds, "When I was thinking about the magazine, I wanted a name that said 'connecting.' Connecting women, connecting the queer women's community...that's our mission. When you play the game of tag, you reach out and touch someone." That is exactly what Bell has done with her magazine, which now serves the Maryland, Delaware, DC, and Virginia areas. Bell cites her mother and grandmother as her greatest inspirations.
"I hope that as Tagg continues to grow, that we are really leaving our community with some sort of history," notes Bell. "Some young queer girl growing up now, ten years from now, will know about people who paved the way. I hope Tagg tells their stories and leaves a mark on the DC queer community." It is for this reason that Bell has received the Image Award, ensuring that the voices of many are heard through engaging content and capturing the spirit of community.
Other honorees for the evening included Schroeder Stribling, executive director of N Street Village, who will receive the Healing Works award for her efforts in providing services and empowering recovery for homeless and low-income women in the community. Major Jamie Lee Henry, the first active duty army officer to come out as transgender, will be awarded with the inaugural Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Award, the first of its kind.
As Mautner continues to provide LBTQ health services, it will continue to honor the hard work of many in the community.