ANTHONY HESSELIUS (he/him/his)
President, Linda Roth Associates PR
Words to live by
It is not always easy, but I try to let empathy inform everything I do. Understanding another person’s perspective builds kindness and compassion, and really just enables us to be better to each other.
Your impact on the District
Like a lot of people, I moved to the District to go to grad school, and I was a server and a bartender trying to put it all together. As I’ve built my life here, I’ve sought out places in the city where I think I can add value. I’m proud of what I’ve been able to contribute to the business community. If you know me, you’ve definitely been to one of my restaurant openings or all sorts of events over the years. I’ve been able to support the Human Rights Campaign through our Chefs for Equality events. But through my work I’ve also learned just how serious issues around hunger and food equity are. I have been volunteering with the incredible people at the Capital Area Food Bank for 10+ years and found a network of amazing organizations all over the city that are working to fill food deserts, grow food locally, and sustain the young people, working families and senior citizens who need access to better food. I also take the community garden near my house very seriously!
How D.C. supports the LGBTQ+ community
I feel incredibly lucky to have found support systems and friends that have been on my side since day one in D.C. Sadly, that’s not the case for a lot of us, but I have also met so many people who are outspoken, tireless advocates for our community. I think there is this misconception that D.C. is as transient as it maybe once was – I’ve been here for 20 years alongside many of the same, proud people who continue to do incredible work towards making our city a more welcoming, safe space for everyone.
What the city can improve upon
There remains a huge inequity among just these letters. We (and I mean all of us) need to be unwavering in supporting and protecting our trans sisters and brothers, especially those in the Black trans community. We need to consider how to rebuild queer spaces and invest in the businesses and organizations that protect LGBTQ+ youth and those that provide safe spaces for those who need it. We cannot be complacent, because too many remain underserved and underrepresented. There will always be more work to do.
What you’re looking forward to most this summer
Where to start?! Hugging my friends. Dancing to live music – I’ve got tickets to the rescheduled Pet Shop Boys and New Order show at Merriweather [Post Pavilion], but I hope we are dancing again well before then! And I can’t wait to have a drink at an actual bar and then give an appropriately large tip to the bartender who is safely back to work.
Read the rest of our LGBTQ+ names to know below:
Marcelle G Afram | KC B. Yoncé | Chord Bezerra | Charity Blackwell | Allister Chang | Esther Ciammachilli | Cassidy DuHon| Lana Duran | Michael Edmonson | Clarence Fluker | Cey Cey Green | Anthony Hesselius | Joseph Ireland | Andra “AJ” Johnson | DJ Lemz | Arvind Manocha | Dusty Martinez | Chloe Mcinnis | Kyle Meeks | Brixton Millner | DJ Mim | Mykie Moll | Peter Morgan | Aaron Myers | Monika Nemeth | Eric North | Brendan Padgett | Carl Parker III | Rach Pike | Brittany Rheault | Shady Rose | Bianca Russo | Ella Schiralli | Sloane Spencer | Mane Squeeze | Bobbi Strang | Alli Vega | Whit Washington | Dr. Imani Woody
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