MARCELLE G AFRAM (they/he)
Chef + Co-Owner of Shababi Palestinian Rotisserie Chicken
Words to live by
Something my grandfather used to say to me [that] I have tattooed in Arabic over my heart: “Ma col elbi,” which translates to “With all your heart.” Essentially, anything one does in life, do it with all your heart.
Your impact on the District
As a person that belongs to many marginalized groups — trans, Arab, Assyrian — I try to bring attention and visibility to both the joy and struggles that we face. As a chef, I’m trying to reclaim the food of my people, create a bridge of awareness to social justice issues, and create a safe space — socially and in a work environment — for those of us from these marginalized and oppressed communities.
How D.C. supports the LGBTQ+ community
We are in a privileged, progressive bubble, with legal protections and a diverse community that many in this country are not a part of. It allows us to live with a sense of safety and autonomy.
What the city can improve upon
There’s no shortage of visibility that can continuously be celebrated but also normalized, as well as constant increased protections. Specifically for the trans community, a movement toward things like gender-neutral bathrooms would go a long way.
What you’re looking forward to most this summer
I came out as trans on social media last summer, and the outpouring from those in the community was so amazing. I’m excited to make those connections in person while grabbing a bite at some of my favorite places I haven’t visited since the pandemic started, and hopefully create a local LGBTQAI+ alliance group for those in the restaurant industry.
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
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.