Washingtonblade.com, Volume 48, Issue 50, December 15, 2017

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‘A great day for Alabama’ Jones stuns homophobe Moore in win seen as rebuke of Trump, Bannon By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com In a stunning political development celebrated by LGBT rights advocates, Democrat Doug Jones defeated notorious homophobe Roy Moore in an Alabama special election Tuesday for a U.S. Senate seat. According to New York Times estimates, Jones, a former U.S. prosecutor, won 50 percent of the vote over Moore, who has a long career as an attorney and judge and who captured

about 48 percent of the vote. Major media outlets called the election for Jones at 10:25 p.m. EST. Jones told supporters in Birmingham after his win he thinks he’s “been waiting for this all my life, and now I just don’t know what the hell to say.” “I have always said that the people of Alabama have more in common than what divides,” Jones said. “We have shown the country the way that we can be unified.” Jones gave thanks to the black community in Alabama, which had a large turnout widely seen as a major factor in his win, as well as Latinos. Jones also wished his Jewish friends a “happy Hanukkah.” Concluding his remarks, Jones said Alabama has often been at the crossroads

DOUG JONES is the first Democrat to win a statewide race in Alabama in 25 years.



Lesbian Council candidate leads in fundraising Two gay candidates for Ward 1 seat trail opponents in money raised

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com

Restaurant owner Dionne Bussey-Reeder, who is running for one of two at-large D.C. Council seats up for election in 2018 and who would become the Council’s first out lesbian member if she wins her race, has raised $36,100 for her campaign in the eight weeks since she entered the race. According to candidate finance reports

DIONNE BUSSEY-REEDER has raised more than $36,000 in her bid for City Council. PHOTO COURTESY TWITTER

released on Monday by the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, Bussey-Reeder is far ahead of the two incumbent at-large Council members she’s running against – Independent Elisa Silverman, who has yet to officially file papers to run for re-election; and Democrat Anita Bonds, whose report says she had raised just $150 as of the Dec. 10. Both Silverman and Bonds are expected to raise a significant sum for their reelection campaigns once they officially launch their fundraising efforts. But political observers consider the $36,100 that BusseyReeder raised from 230 individual small and CONTINUES ON PAGE 06




Annise Parker focused on the candidates as she takes over Victory Fund.

Procrastinators rejoice! Our guide has ideas for for local, last-minute gifts.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ really is that good. And it opens here this weekend.




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Comings & Goings Morash takes on media role at Task Force By PETER ROSENSTEIN The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at comingsandgoings@washblade.com. Congratulations to Alex Morash who recently joined the National LGBTQ Task Force as Director of Media and Public Relations. At the Task Force, Morash will be responsible for handling media relations, and assisting the communications director with the organization’s messaging, including working on the Task Force’s 2018 annual Creating Change Conference, that will be held next month from January 24-28 at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in D.C. ALEX MORASH When accepting the position, Morash said, “I PHOTO COURTESY OF MORASH am really excited to join an LGBTQ organization so committed to progressive values and bringing into focus the needs of LGBTQ people of color, those with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged LGBTQ people. This age of resistance is such an important time to be involved in the fight for LGBTQ equality, and I think the National LGBTQ Task Force will be one of the main LGBTQ organizations to lead this fight, which is why I feel honored to work with everyone here.” Prior to joining the Task Force, Morash was at BROOK ROSE Media Matters where he wrote about economic PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSE policy. Before that he was with NGP VAN Inc., as a national account executive and Innovative Policy Solutions as a press and communications consultant. He earned his bachelor of arts in political science from Framingham State College and his master’s in political science from Northeastern University in Boston. Among other volunteer work, Morash is an officer in the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club. Congratulations also to Brook Rose, owner of Brook Rose Development for winning an award from Delta Associates for Best Washington/Baltimore Boutique condominium community 2017 for his project The Helicopter Factory. Upon being notified of the award, Rose said, “I feel a great sense of gratitude to be recognized for helping create a special residential building that honors the property’s old history in a modern, yet timeless manner. It was a great team that made it happen.” This isn’t the first award this project has won as it was named best condo project by Washingtonian in 2016. Rose has said about the project, “This exciting development includes extraordinary, industrial-inspired townhouse residences built within and adjacent to an early 20th century factory owned by the eminent inventor Emile Berliner.” Berliner was best known for inventing an early sound recording device but he also invented and built an early version of the helicopter at his Gyro Motor Company on Girard Street. From 1907 to 1926, Berliner dedicated himself to improving the technologies of vertical flight through the development of a lightweight rotary engine. Rose began designing and building luxury residential properties in Washington, D.C. in 2002. His goal was to intermix quality construction with exciting, timeless design. He says if you are committing time, effort and finances to building something, then you should put in the extra work and make it special. He has said, “A home, like a person, should have its own distinct personality and style, from top to bottom.”


Freddie’s Beach Bar wins human rights award The Arlington County, Va., Human Rights Commission on Thursday, Dec. 14, was scheduled to present its 2017 Human Rights Award to Freddie’s Beach Bar, a gay bar and restaurant located in the Crystal City section of Arlington. Freddie Lutz, the owner of Freddie’s Beach Bar, was expected to accept the award at a reception at the Arlington County government offices on Thursday evening. “This award is intended to highlight the work of individuals, community groups, non-profit organizations, and businesses in Arlington for sustained commitment and ‘I’m just extremely honored having grown up in Arlington County and went outstanding accomplishments in the area from elementary school to high school in of human rights,” the commission said in a Arlington County to be recognized in this way,’ said FREDDIE LUTZ. letter to Lutz in October, when it announced his business had been selected for the award. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY Under Lutz’s direction Freddie’s has served as host to numerous events organized by LGBT rights organizations. Lutz, who describes Freddie’s as “straight friendly,” said it has also become known as a welcoming place for LGBT employees and members of the military stationed at the Pentagon, which is located a short distance from the bar. “We have served as a safe space for our military friends long before the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” Lutz said in referring to the now-defunct policy that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. “People have told me that back in the day the military people couldn’t come out,” said Lutz. “But because Freddie’s was welcoming to everyone, they then could come in there without sort of blowing their cover,” he said. “I’m just extremely honored having grown up in Arlington County and went from elementary school to high school in Arlington County to be recognized in this way,” he told the Washington Blade. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Anti-gay minister to run for U.S. Senate in Va. A minister who has compared gay men to pedophiles on Monday announced he is running for U.S. Senate in 2018. E.W. Jackson — founder of Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake — is running against Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart and state Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) in the Republican primary. The winner will face off against U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in the general election. The Washington Post on Monday reported Jackson criticized Stewart, who once chaired President Trump’s campaign in Virginia and narrowly lost to former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie in June’s GOP gubernatorial primary, over Sharia law and other issues. Jackson on his Twitter page described Gillespie as a “fellow Republican and friend” and said he would support him if he wins the nomination. “If they choose me I expect he will do the same,” wrote Jackson. “I just believe that I am the candidate with the message and background to beat Timmy Kaine.” Jackson in 2013 unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor. LGBT rights advocates and their supporters repeatedly criticized Jackson during the campaign, noting that he once compared gay men to pedophiles and said they are “very sick people.” He has also said he disagrees with Pope Francis’ previous suggestion that the Roman Catholic Church has grown “obsessed” with marriage rights for same-sex couples and other social issues that include abortion. “I’m a person who respects every individual,” Jackson told then-News Channel 8 talk show host Bruce DePuyt during a live interview that aired less than a week before losing to now Gov.-elect Ralph Northam. LGBT advocates in Virginia with whom the Washington Blade spoke on Monday once again criticized Jackson. “As the last four statewide elections have shown, LGBT equality wins in Virginia,” said Equality Virginia Advocates Executive Director James Parrish in a statement. “Voters in the Commonwealth have demonstrated time and time again that if you’re running to represent them, you must value all of its citizens. Through his past discriminatory statements and actions, E. W. Jackson has proven that he would not make LGBT Virginians a priority.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS


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Casa Ruby client hospitalized after attack by intruder Image of suspect captured on security camera By LOU CHIBBARO JR. An unidentified male suspect who entered the Casa Ruby LGBT center offices on Georgia Avenue, N.W., on Tuesday afternoon punched a female transgender client and sprayed her in the face with mace before fleeing the scene, according to Casa Ruby executive director Ruby Corado. Corado said the client, who is in her 20s, was taken to a hospital by ambulance shortly after D.C. police arrived on the scene in response to a 911 call by a Casa Ruby employee. “She was sprayed all over with the mace,” said Corado, who added the suspect sprayed the mace in other parts of the Casa Ruby offices before running out of the office. A police report of the incident obtained by the Washington Blade on Wednesday morning says police have listed the incident as a “suspected hate crime” based on the victim’s status as an LGBT person. The report lists the action by the suspect as a “simple assault.”

CASA RUBY executive director Ruby Corado said an intruder sprayed a client with mace. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

The report says a member of the police LGBT Liaison responded to the scene and that a Third District Police detective was notified of the incident. Corado, who wasn’t at the office when the incident occurred, said police are

in possession of video images of the suspect captured by a security camera that Casa Ruby installed after another male attacker assaulted a transgender female client in March. Police later arrested D.C. resident

Andrew Cook in connection with that incident, charging him with misdemeanor assault and felony destruction of property for smashing a glass door to gain entrance to Casa Ruby. The police report of the incident on Tuesday, Dec. 12, says a witness to the incident observed the suspect “running out of the building” after spraying the victim with pepper spray. It says the witness saw the suspect “jumping into a car on the 700 block of Gresham Street, N.W. and heading westbound in that block.” Police spokesperson Rachel Schaerr Reid said Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the LGBT Liaison Unit, also responded to the scene of the incident on Tuesday. Corado said she is hoping police will release a photo of the suspect in this week’s incident obtained from the video camera so that potential witnesses or someone who knows him will come forward to help police make an arrest. “When you come in an establishment and attack people they just feel like they’re so powerful they can beat somebody up and get away with it,” Corado said. “That’s the kind of mentality and it’s so wrong.”

Lesbian D.C. Council candidate leads in fundraising CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

moderate size donors to be a respectable showing for a political newcomer in the early stages of her campaign. “I’m humbled and blessed to get so many supporters and volunteers – all in less than eight weeks,” Bussey-Reeder told the Washington Blade. So far she is the only other independent to enter the race against independent Silverman in a contest that D.C.’s election law requires one of the two at-large seats to be held by a non-majority party member – meaning a non-Democrat. Although independents and members of other parties are eligible for both of the at-large seats, a Democrat is only eligible for one of the seats. So far, four Democratic candidates have entered the race to challenge Bonds for the Democratic Party nomination in the city’s June 19, 2018 Democratic primary. Some political observers believe BusseyReeder has a shot at winning more votes than Silverman in the November 2018 general election in a two-candidate race for the non-Democratic seat. Silverman, a strong supporter of LGBT rights, came under fire from many of the city’s small business owners in her role as

the lead sponsor of a controversial family leave bill approved by the Council that imposes a tax on employers to pay for part of the leave program. As the owner of Cheers at the Big Chair Restaurant in Anacostia, Bussey-Reeder has been among the small business owners expressing opposition to the paid leave bill. “I’m definitely in favor of some type of family leave for D.C. employees,” BusseyReeder said. “But the funding shouldn’t come on the backs of small businesses like mine that are already struggling.” Silverman has disputed claims that the leave legislation is unfair to businesses, saying it helps businesses provide needed leave for their employees. Meanwhile, two gay men running as Democrats for the Ward 1 Council seat against incumbent Democrat Brianne Nadeau say they are confident they too have a shot at winning the seat in an upset victory. Ward 1 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and law librarian Kent Boese raised what observers also say is a respectable $33,503 as of the Dec. 10 campaign finance reporting period for his campaign. Boese announced his candidacy for the Ward 1 seat in July. Ward 1 gay civic activist and American Sign Language interpreter Jamie

Sycamore, who filed papers for his candidacy in October, raised $681 for his campaign as of the Dec. 10 filing deadline. He said he has raised several hundred dollars more since the Dec. 10 filing as he formally launched the fundraising phase of his campaign. Boese and Sycamore are among four Democrats and one independent candidate who are challenging Nadeau for the Ward 1 seat. Assuming they obtain the required number of petition signatures to get on the ballot, Bose, Sycamore and Democrats Lori Parker and Sheika Reid will face off against Nadeau in the June 19, 2018 Democratic primary. The campaign finance reports released on Monday show that Nadeau has a commanding lead in fundraising in the Ward 1 race, with a sum of $195,000 raised as of Dec. 10. The reports show that Reid raised $49,972 and Parker raised $49,666 as of Dec. 10. The reports show that the total raised by Reid includes a $9,900 loan she made to her own campaign. The reports show that the amount raised by Parker, a former judge, includes a $20,000 loan she made to her campaign. Similar to Silverman, Nadeau has emerged as a strong and outspoken supporter of

LGBT rights since taking office as the Ward 1 Council member in January 2015. Boese and Sycamore have each outlined their platforms and goals for making what they say are needed improvements in Ward 1’s representation on the Council. Nadeau is expected to aggressively campaign for votes in the LGBT community as she did in her 2014 race, in which she beat incumbent gay Council member Jim Graham, who died earlier this year. Observers say Nadeau could benefit from the four Democrats running against her in the primary because they would likely divide the opposition vote, increasing her chances of winning the race. Earl Fowlkes, president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest local LGBT political group, said Boese, who’s a member of the club, and Sycamore will have a chance to make their case for a club endorsement at a candidate’s forum the club will hold in the early spring. The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance will also weigh in on the Council races by issuing candidate ratings on LGBTrelated issues prior to the primary and general election as it has in every Council election since the middle 1970s.



Pentagon to allow trans enlistments Jan. 1 after court order Judge denies DOJ’s request for a temporary stay on accessions By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com The Pentagon has affirmed it will allow transgender enlistments starting Jan. 1 on the same day a federal judge asserted her order against President Trump’s ban on their service means they can accede into the military on that target date. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, issued the order Monday in response to a request from the U.S. Justice Department for a temporary stay on the portion of her order requiring the Pentagon to admit transgender service members starting Jan. 1. “For more than a year preceding the summer The Pentagon under Secretary JIM MATTIS will allow transgender of 2017, it was the policy and intention of the service members to enlist starting military that transgender individuals would soon Jan. 1. begin to accede,” Kollar-Kotelly said. “Moreover, the court issued the preliminary injunction in this case approximately six weeks ago, and since then defendants have been on notice that they would be required to implement the previously established policy of beginning to accept transgender individuals on January 1, 2018. In other words, with only a brief hiatus, defendants have had the opportunity to prepare for the accession of transgender individuals into the military for nearly one and a half years.” Kollar-Kotelly also takes a jab at the Justice Department over the process in which it requested a stay, saying the “portrayal of their situation as an emergency is belied by their litigation tactics.” She notes the appeal of her initial decision didn’t come until weeks later and the request for a partial stay didn’t come until December. “If complying with the military’s previously established January 1, 2018 deadline to begin accession was as unmanageable as defendants now suggest, one would have expected defendants to act with more alacrity,” Kollar-Kotelly writes. The judge had already clarified in response to a request from the U.S. government that her order against Trump’s transgender military ban, issued in response to a lawsuit filed by GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, means transgender enlistments must begin Jan. 1. That was the target date Defense Secretary James Mattis established for transgender enlistment in a memo he issued in June delaying that change in policy for another six months in response to a joint request from military service chiefs. Transgender enlistments were initially scheduled to begin June 30 as a result of a change initiated in the Obama era under former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a statement the Trump administration’s assertion “our highly sophisticated military is unprepared to implement a minor policy change after more than a year of preparation are simply not credible.” “The military has studied this issue extensively and determined that permitting qualified transgender people to enlist and serve will only strengthen our nation’s armed forces,” Minter writes. “This administration’s claim that allowing transgender people to enlist will lessen military preparedness is contradicted by the military’s own conclusions.” The Justice Department has already appealed Kollar-Kotelly’s decision against Trump’s transgender ban as well as her clarification it means transgender enlistments must begin Jan. 1 to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has also appealed an order against the transgender ban issued by a federal judge in Maryland as a result of a separate lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Lauren Ehrsam, a Justice Department spokesperson, is quoted in the Washington Post as saying the department disagrees with the ruling and is “currently evaluating the next steps.” “Plaintiffs’ lawsuit challenging military service requirements is premature for many reasons, including that the Defense Department is actively reviewing such service

D E CE MBE R 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 • 0 7 requirements, as the president ordered, and because none of the plaintiffs have established they they will be impacted by current policies on military service,” Ehrsam reportedly added. Prior to the ruling, as reported by the Associated Press, the Pentagon announced Monday it’s preparing to admit transgender people into the armed forces starting Jan. 1 despite the Justice Department’s continued efforts to fight the court orders. Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, told the Washington Blade the U.S. military “will begin processing transgender applicants for military service on January 1, 2018” as legal opportunities to challenging the court orders are evaluated. Eastburn said the Pentagon will still disqualify potential recruits with “gender dysphoria, a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who underwent reconstruction.” However, those recruits, Eastburn said, will be allowed into the military if a medical provider certifies they’ve been clinically stable in their gender identity for 18 months and “are free of significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, questioned on the Pentagon announcement by NBC News during the daily briefing, said the change reflects the requirements of court orders against Trump’s transgender military ban. “As of right now, they’re simply complying with a court order and preparing to implement a previous policy to remain in compliance,” Sanders said. Sanders added, however, the Justice Department is “currently reviewing the legal options to ensure that the president’s directive can be implemented,” deferring additional questions to the department. hope to do that.”

Supreme Court won’t hear case seeking Title VII protection for gays The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it won’t hear a case seeking protections for lesbian, gay and bisexual workers under existing civil rights law barring sex discrimination. The court announced it denied a writ of certiorari in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital as part of an order list Monday reflecting decisions made by justices at a conference last Friday. It takes a vote of four justices to agree to take up a case, although the vote isn’t made public. The petition, filed in September by the LGBT group Lambda Legal, sought clarification the nationwide prohibition on sex discrimination in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to cases of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Greg Nevins, Lambda Legal’s Employment Fairness Project Director, expressed disappointment in a statement that the Supreme Court refused to take up the case. “By declining to hear this case, the Supreme Court is delaying the inevitable and leaving a split in the circuits that will cause confusion across the country,” Nevins said. “But this was not a ‘no’ but a ‘not yet,’ and rest assured that Lambda Legal will continue the fight, circuit by circuit as necessary, to establish that the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual orientation discrimination.” Although the order list indicates the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case, the court allows the filing of the friend-of-the-court briefs from 76 business and organizations, anti-discrimination scholars, LGBT groups including GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders as well as legal scholar David Boyle. Nevins told the Washington Blade the Supreme Court allowed the filing of these briefs even though it didn’t take up the case as “a courtesy kind of thing,” but that has no bearing on the merits of the case or the issue itself. Lambda Legal filed the petition after the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Jameka Evans, a security guard who claims she was targeted for harassment and effectively terminated from her job at Georgia Regional Hospital for being a lesbian. Bucking a nationwide trend of court rulings, a three-judge panel on the 11th Circuit determined Title VII afforded Evans no basis for relief because sexual orientation is separate from sex discrimination. Earlier this year, the full 11th Circuit refused to reconsider the decision “en banc,” or before the full court, prompting Lamdba Legal to file the petition. The 11th Circuit ruling stands in contrast to a decision by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which found gay protections under Title VII. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. agency charged with enforcing federal employment non-discrimination law, determined in 2015 sexual orientation discrimination amounts to unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. CHRIS JOHNSON


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Grassley trashes Trump nominee who called trans kids ‘Satan’s plan’ Mateer faces strong opposition from LGBT groups By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com In a rare public rebuke of President Trump, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee urged the administration to reconsider the judicial nomination of Jeff Mateer, who was recently exposed on tape calling transgender kids “Satan’s plan.” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said in exclusive comments to CNN he advised the White House to “reconsider” the nomination of Jeff Mateer, whom Trump nominated for a federal judgeship in Texas. Additionally, Grassley said the administration “should not proceed” with the nomination of Brett Talley, who Trump picked to become a federal judge in Alabama. “I’ve advised the White House they ought to reconsider,” Grassley was quoted saying as he left a Judiciary Committee hearing. “I would advise the White House not to proceed.” No explanation is provided in the CNN article for why Grassley recommended reconsideration of the judicial picks. Grassley’s office didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request to comment for clarification.

The reason may be they’re unable to succeed given opposition to the choices. Although opposition from LGBT rights advocates isn’t uncommon for Trump’s judicial nominees, Mateer has reached new heights after a video recording was unearthed following his nomination in which he called transgender kids “Satan’s plan.” LGBT rights advocates have urged Trump to withdraw the nominee. Failing that, they say the U.S. Senate should defeat the nomination. At a Capitol Hill rally last month, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) joined LGBT rights advocates and mothers of transgender children in calling for defeat of the nomination. David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Trump should heed the advice of Grassley and withdraw the nomination. “With Sen. Grassley’s call for Trump to reconsider Mateer’s nomination, the writing is on the wall: Mateer has to go,” Stacy said. “Mateer has spent his career publicly voicing his contempt for LGBTQ people, opposing LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, and even attacking transgender children. As we have said from the beginning, the White House must immediately withdraw his nomination.” Mateer, who’s now serving as the first assistant attorney general of Texas, made the comments about transgender kids during the same 2015 Iowa conference

Sen. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-Iowa) urged President Trump to rethink a judicial nominee who called transgender kids ‘Satan’s plan.’ WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

organized by pastor Kevin Swanson, who became infamous in the LGBT community for taking that opportunity to call for the death penalty for LGBT people. (Others in attendance were then-Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.) At the same conference, Mateer endorsed widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy and warned marriage equality would lead to polygamy. Other reporting has emerged in which Mateer was shown to have said the contraception mandate in Obamacare

was similar to religious crackdowns in Nazi Germany. Additionally, Mateer proclaimed “we discriminate” against gay people in the Baptist Church to justify anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of religious freedom. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who initially supported Mateer, has since taken issue with the nominee for failing to disclose the remarks prior to his nomination, calling it a “serious breach of protocol.” Talley, on the other hand, isn’t facing the same level of opposition from LGBT groups. Opposition to him is likely based on his lack of judicial experience. Although he’s a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department, Talley has never tried a case and was unanimously rated “unqualified” by the American Bar Association. The nomination of Mateer, who has yet to even have his confirmation hearing, remains pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee approved Talley last month, but his nomination hasn’t yet come before the full Senate. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday she was “not sure” if Grassley and Trump had directly spoken about the nominations, declining to answer directly if Trump intended to withdraw the nominees. The Blade has placed a request with the White House seeking more information. � CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Sexual harassment reaches a tipping point High-profile abusers falling like dominoes in #MeToo era By KAREN OCAMB This is what a tipping point looks like. The once-common practice of entitled men sexually abusing, harassing and intimidating women (and men) is now being met with public exposure, pushback and the power of the #MeToo movement pressuring change, including calls for President Trump to be investigated or resign over alleged sexual harassment. Trump denies the allegations, despite his bragging on the Access Hollywood tape about kissing and grabbing powerless women by the pussy because he’s a star. Recognizing the transformational moment, Time magazine declared “The Silence Breakers” as the 2017 Person of the Year. The explosion of sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Bill Cosby and through a lawsuit filed by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson against heretofore untouchable media guru

Roger Ailes encouraged women and men to break their silence about Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein and closeted gay actor Kevin Spacey. The #MeToo movement was born. Since then, names of the accused have been dropping daily in every profession— equalizing the accusers from Hollywood star to the undocumented hotel housekeeper whose job fragility forced them into silence or the economic complicity of consent. Perhaps one of the biggest developments is that the accused harassers are not the only ones being called out. Now the person at the top is being held responsible, too—such as the Dec. 10 forced resignation of the 20-year CEO of pioneering LGBT Fenway Community Health Center, Stephen L. Boswell, who failed to inform the board and properly handle allegations of sexual harassment toward at least three male employees and bullying of male and female co-workers by Dr. Harvey J. Makadon, 70, until a Boston Globe investigation exposed the cover up. Time will tell, but the “casting couch”

has apparently been tossed onto the junk heap of history after serious charges were leveled at Hollywood talent agents, including APA agent Tyler Grasham who is being investigated by the LAPD for a “sodomy crime” after actor Tyler Cornell filed a police report, according to Variety. Filmmaker Blaise Godbe Lipman identified Grasham as the man who sexually assaulted him as a teenager. “The powerful agents knew about Harvey [Weinstein], but it was more important to maintain their relationship with him,” a longtime producer anonymously told The Hollywood Reporter in early November. “Both sides had a mutual benefit to make it go away. That’s the real cover-up.” The world is now watching the contretemps between Trump and possible 2020 challenger, New York Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, who says no one, including the president, is above the law. Gillibrand renewed a call for Trump’s resignation after a Dec. 11 Los Angeles news conference by three of Trump’s 16 accusers who came forward with accusations in

2016 but were largely ignored. Gillibrand joined five other senators in calling for Trump’s resignation—but he only attacked her. “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Charles E. Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump,” the president tweeted Dec. 12. “Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!” Sen. Elizabeth Warren called Trump out on his sexist innuendo. “Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand? Do you know who you’re picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted,” she tweeted. Gillibrand is among a growing chorus of congressional women and men who have called upon the Republican-run House Oversight Committee to launch investigations into the allegations made by Trump’s accusers. However, unless Democrats take back the House in 2018, those investigations seem unlikely.


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Parker on leading Victory Fund: ‘My focus is on the candidate’ New CEO says LGBT public officials could thwart Trump By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com After more than 40 years of activism and three terms as mayor of Houston, Annise Parker has taken on a new leadership role as CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute. The change in leadership for the organizations was announced Dec. 1 at the annual International LGBTQ Leaders Conference. Parker, 61, told the crowd times have changed since she began her activism in the 1970s, but too many LGBT people “still have to fear” many of the dangers LGBT people faced decades ago. “We celebrate milestones,” Parker said. “My race was one. But when you’re checking off milestones, it means you have not reached the end of the journey, and we don’t reach the end of this journey until all those fears are swept away and until all of our communities — across the United States, across cultures, across ethnicities — everyone of us has an equal opportunity to succeed.” In an interview with the Washington Blade on Friday at the conference, Parker said the focus of her work would be on supporting LGBT candidates ready to make a difference. “But it’s not just about having candidates, it’s about making sure that those candidates are funded and the Victory Fund does a great job of vetting candidates,” Parker said. “You have to have a good candidate, but passion’s not enough. You have to demonstrate their viability, and their ability to be successful.” Parker takes the reins of the Victory Fund and Institute after the organizations were led for two-and-a-half years by Aisha Moodie-Mills, whose tenure was marked by historic wins by transgender candidates in local races in 2017. MoodieMills has left the organization with the stated purpose of championing work as a progressive activist. Based on her long history in the LGBT movement, Parker said she brings a “different mindset” than Moodie-Mills and will be focused on the candidates, not progressive activism. “I bring a different energy, I bring a different focus. My focus is on the candidate, but that doesn’t mean that anything we’ve done has been wrong or misplaced or inappropriate,” Parker said. “We just bring different styles and interests.” Parker said the Victory Fund and Institute would take on the Trump administration “whenever we feel it’s

necessary,” but keep electing LGBT candidates as the focus. “Because it’s clear that simply standing up and speaking out against President Trump doesn’t have an impact, the best way to blunt his ability to hurt us is to put people in office who can vote against his anti-gay policies,” Parker said. Parker will stay in Houston as CEO of the Victory Fund and Institute, but plans to travel often for the organizations, and will regularly be in D.C. Her tenure as CEO begins Monday. Read the full interview here: Washington Blade: We’ve seen a lot of success with LGBT candidates in 2017, particularly with the transgender wins in local races. How do you plan on building on that success going forward? Annise Parker: Being successful in political campaigns starts with the candidate, so we are just as proud of the turnouts for our candidate training, the expressions of interest from candidates all over the country in running out and seeking Victory Fund support, so continuing to tap into the passion that people have right now and helping channel that into the campaigns. But it’s not just about having candidates, it’s about making sure that those candidates are funded and the Victory Fund does a great job of vetting candidates. You have to have a good candidate, but passion’s not enough. You have to demonstrate their viability, and their ability to be successful. And so, that process is an important piece. But then, once you have the right candidate in right race, it’s about making sure they have the resources and I know a lot of what I’ll be focused on, as the board does, is making sure that our candidates have the funding they need. What I’ve seen over this — not quite a year — now, but through 2017 is the energy across the country. LGBT candidates, candidates of color, candidates who are women who are stepping up saying, “Enough is enough.” I want to make a difference and I’m going to jump into races, and they’re not discouraged at all by the idea that it’s an uphill battle, or that from an objective perspective, doesn’t look like they can win there. They’re in it to win, but they’re not afraid of losing. They want to get out there and make statements. It’s a great time to come and tap into that kind of energy. So we’re going to do that, but the fundamentals of Victory Fund haven’t changed in a very long time. Blade: I wanted to ask you about that because I know you talked in your speech about how hard it was to be part of an organization in 1975 compared to 2017.

ANNISE PARKER is now CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Parker: Different and it’s not different. We have made tremendous progress, but if you look at when I was an activist in the 70s and 80s, I used to debate homophobes all the time, and they used to talk about the gay agenda. Remember the gay agenda? And I used to laugh and say there was no gay agenda. Over time, I finally realized that there was a gay agenda, and the gay agenda is fairly straight forward. We want to be able to go to school without being bullied, we want to be to work at jobs we love and earn a paycheck so we can pay taxes to this country, we want to be able to serve openly in the military, we want to be able to walk down any street in America in safety, we want to be able to marry the people we love, we want to be able to adopt and raise children. That’s the GLBT agenda. Many of those things we have achieved, but what we see now is how easily they can be swept away when we have the wrong person in the White House and the wrong attitude in Congress. So we made progress, but we can take this giant step back if we don’t keep our eyes focused on moving forward. Blade: But what I wanted to get at there is do you think it’s simply enough for candidates to be out about their sexual orientation and gender identity, or is there something more that’s needed in 2017 in order to make

an impact? Parker: Yes and no. It’s not enough to be a gay candidate. You have to be good at what you do. We have high expectations for our candidates, and that’s why we vet them, it’s why we look closely at their viability and the races they’re in. Not everybody who seeks a Victory Fund endorsement gets that Victory Fund endorsement. But are we sending them out to be activists? No. We are sending them out to be who they are and represent their constituents and do the job they’ve been elected to do because when they do that, they make the really profound changes that we need to see that have been so transformative in America. This latest anti-trans movement really, I think, unfortunately, wasn’t launched in Houston, but our HERO campaign [the 2015 campaign to preserve the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance] was where it really flowered. We had right-wing groups from all over the country, pouring money and resources in Houston. We had the right-wing ideologues coming through, the Mike Huckabees and Ted Cruzes coming though Houston and doing transbashing in Houston, and then they took it on the road to North Carolina and back to Texas with the statewide bathroom bill. Much more of this interview at washingtonblade.com



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Trans woman running for Colombian Senate BOGOTÁ, Colombia — A transgender woman who is running for the Colombian Senate hopes to make history in the South American country. Tatiana Piñeros on Monday formally registered her candidacy with Colombian election officials. Piñeros is ninth among the list of candidates for the “List of Decency” — a coalition that includes the center-left Independent Social Alliance and Patriotic Union parties and the Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement. Congressional elections are scheduled to take place on March TATIANA PIÑEROS is a transgender woman who 11. Piñeros would become the first was a member of former Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro’s cabinet. She spoke with the Blade at her openly trans person elected to the home in Bogotá on Sept. 27. Colombian congress if she receives BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS enough votes. “We need to have new voices,” she told the Washington Blade on Tuesday from the Colombian capital of Bogotá. “We need new leaders.” Piñeros was born and raised in Bogotá. She transitioned a decade ago when she was working for a public relations company. Piñeros ran Bogotá’s social welfare agency and tourism office during the administration of former Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro that ended in 2015. She also participated in a Victory Institute-sponsored event on LGBT Colombians’ involvement in their country’s political process that took place in Bogotá in 2013. Piñeros told the Blade in September during a sit-down interview at her apartment that overlooks Bogotá’s Chapinero neighborhood that trans people have less access to education and employment opportunities because of discrimination based on gender identity. She told the Blade on Tuesday that increased access to health care with a “different approach to trans people” is part of her campaign platform. “I am moving forward with every desire to represent not only LGBT people but all of Colombian society,” added Piñeros, noting her platform also includes free public education and fighting for people with disabilities. Piñeros also discussed the peace agreement that President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londoño, the then-commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, signed in the city of Cartagena on Sept. 26, 2016. Voters narrowly rejected the agreement — which specifically acknowledged the war’s LGBT victims — in a referendum that took place a few days later. Santos renegotiated the agreement with the FARC and the Colombian congress ratified it last November. The FARC and the Colombian government began to implement the agreement earlier this year. “Social issues must be addressed in the post-conflict scenario because that is what is going to prevent or provoke a new conflict in the country,” Piñeros told the Blade on Tuesday. “People without opportunities fall into delinquency and we cannot think about militarization, we cannot think about filling the streets with police officers. We need to address the social issue.” Piñeros would join a handful of openly trans elected officials in Latin America if she were elected. Michelle Suarez, who is a member of the Uruguayan Communist Party, is the first openly trans person elected to the country’s Senate. She told the Blade after she assumed her seat on Oct. 11 that she feels “very honored” to have made history in her country. Diane Rodríguez earlier this year won a seat in Ecuador’s congress when she ran on the ticket of current Congressman Carlos Vera, a former World Cup referee who was a candidate for the left-leaning Movimiento Alianza PAIS party. Tamara Adrián, a member of the left-leaning Popular Will party that is part of the opposition against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, in 2015 was elected to the country’s National Assembly. Luisa Revilla in 2014 became the first openly trans person elected to public office in Peru after she won a seat on the local council in La Esperanza, a city that is located in the province of Trujillo. Adela Hernández in 2012 became the first openly trans person to hold public office in Cuba when she became a member of the Caibarién Municipal Council in the province of Villa Clara. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Puerto Rico Senate approves ‘religious freedom’ bill The Puerto Rico Senate on Sunday approved a religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth. The bill — which is known as the Law for the Protection of Religious Liberty in Puerto Rico — notes the U.S. and Puerto Rican constitutions guarantee freedom of religion. The measure also states “it is important to remember the situations of confrontations that the religious sector experienced in the past administration where the public education sector tried to impose an ideology contrary to parents’ Christian principles.” The bill specifically refers to obligatory “teaching of gender ideology in all private education” through the Puerto Rico Department of the Family’s campaign against child abuse that then-Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration launched in 2014. García was in office from 2013 until January of this year. His administration in 2015 announced it would no longer defend Puerto Rico’s same-sex marriage ban. Same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in Puerto Rico since shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Obergefell case that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples throughout the country. Laws that banned anti-LGBT discrimination in Puerto Rico and added sexual orientation and gender identity to the U.S. commonwealth’s domestic violence statutes took effect in 2013. García in 2015 issued executive orders that prohibit hospitals from discriminating against patients based on their gender identity when they seek treatment in an emergency room and allows trans Puerto Ricans to change the gender on their driver’s license. “It must be made absolutely clear that this statute cannot be interpreted with the purpose of discrimination in the way the state provides services,” reads the bill. “The state has the obligation to always provide public services to all citizens, without discriminating based on race, religion, sex or sexual orientation and gender identity.” The Puerto Rico House of Representatives in May approved the bill. LGBT rights advocates and their supporters quickly criticized the senators who supported the measure. “Your religious liberty cannot impede my rights,” tweeted Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a Puerto Rican LGBT advocacy group, on Monday. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Bermuda poised to repeal marriage equality Members of the Bermuda House of Representatives approved a bill that would repeal marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory. The Royal Gazette newspaper reported lawmakers approved the Domestic Partnership Act — which would allow same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships as opposed to get married — by a 24-10 margin. Lawmakers debated the measure for five hours on Dec. 8 before they voted on it. “As it stands now, they can have the name marriage but without the benefits,” said MP Lawrence Scott, according to the Royal Gazette. “But after this bill passes, they have the benefits and just not the name marriage. The benefits are what they really want.” LGBT rights advocates in Bermuda have sharply criticized the bill. More than 60 percent of Bermuda voters in 2016 rejected marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples in a non-binding referendum. Same-sex couples have nevertheless been able to marry in Bermuda since Charles-Etta Simmons, a judge on the territory’s Supreme Court, ruled in favor of the issue. The Bermuda Senate will now consider the Domestic Partnership Act, which will become law if Gov. John Rankin signs it. His government would become the first in the world to rescind marriage rights for same-sex couples if the measure takes effect. The Senate was set to deliberate and vote after Blade press time. MICHAEL K. LAVERS


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Doug Jones slays anti-LGBT candidate Roy Moore CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

of U.S. history, but voters that night “took the right road.” The audience chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!” Jones pulled off a stunning win against Moore in a deep red state that President Trump won by a handy margin in 2016. Jones is the first Democrat to win statewide election in Alabama since 1992. Endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, Jones has expressed support for LGBT rights. The senator-elect was caught on camera telling a supporters the Trump administration was “wrong” to have rescinded Title IX guidance assuring transgender kids access to the school restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Further, Jones said Trump’s transgender military ban was “wrong.” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement the election demonstrates “attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ community is a surefire way to get yourself beat on Election Day.” “Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama is monumental, and was made possible by the overwhelming and unprecedented, grassroots resistance of ordinary Alabamians against the politics of hate and division,” Griffin said. “From our victories in North Carolina, Virginia, and now in Alabama, equality voters have proven that LGBTQ people and our allies are a voting bloc to be respected, soughtafter and feared by candidates on both sides of the aisle.” Moore faced accusations of sexual misconduct from nine women over his campaign, including three accusations of sexual assault, which likely affected Alabama voters. The most prominent accuser was Leigh Corfman, who said Moore sexually assaulted her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32. Another, Beverly Young Nelson, said when she was 15 in 1977 she received unwelcome attention from Moore. Nelson said one year later Moore sexually assaulted her. Other women accused of him pursuing inappropriate relationships with them when they were teenagers. Moore was already well known in the LGBT community for his hostility toward LGBT rights, even when it meant abandoning the rule of law. Many LGBT observers predicted a Moore win would have been tantamount to a revival of late Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who championed homophobic policies during his tenure in Congress. After he started his run for the U.S. Senate, a tape emerged from 2005 in which Moore said same-sex relationships, which were illegal in many states just two years earlier before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, should be criminalized. On the day of the election, CNN reporter Jake Tapper questioned Moore

Court, determining Moore “failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.” (It wasn’t the first time Moore was suspended from the bench. It happened in 2003 when he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building.) Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the defeat of Moore is a “great day for Alabama.”

ROY MOORE is best known for his attacks on LGBT people and for allegedly preying on teen girls. PHOTO COURTESY OF TWITTER

spokesperson Ted Crockett if the candidate still believes homosexuality should be illegal. His response: “Probably.” Asked what the punishment should be, Crockett replied, “It’s just a sin, OK? That’s what it is.” Pressed further, Crockett said, “It’s what my Bible tells me. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament.” (Although the Old Testament calls when a “man lies with a male as with a woman” an “abomination,” the admonitions in the New Testament on homosexuality are sometimes seen instead as prohibitions on male prostitutes and pederasty.) “That’s what this is about,” Crockett added. “You people want to take the whole two or three thousand years of our history, and ya’ll just want to throw it out the window as if you’re just going to make your own rules, your own manmade rules, and do whatever you want in sin. And that’s part of the problem we’ve got in Washington, D.C., today.” Lane Galbraith, a transgender activist in Mobile, Ala., said the election results were a step forward for his state. “Alabamians can hold their heads high,” Galbraith said. “We overcame white supremacy, bigotry, ignorance and religious oppression.” The most prominent part of Moore’s anti-LGBT record was his opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage. Moore called the decision “an immoral, unconstitutional and tyrannical opinion” and instructed Alabama state judges to ignore federal rulings in favor of marriage equality. Last year, Moore issued a directive saying despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision for same-sex marriage, probate judges should still deny marriage licenses to gay couples because the Alabama Supreme Court never withheld its 2015 ruling upholding the state law against gay nuptials. For encouraging state officials to defy federal courts, the Alabama judicial court suspended Moore for the remainder of his term from the Alabama Supreme

“We’ve seen through the demagoguery of a man who has been kicked out of office twice for putting his religious beliefs above the U.S. Constitution,” Cohen said. “We’ve seen through the hypocrisy of a man who has preyed on young girls while suggesting that gays and lesbians should be executed in order to protect children from them. It’s a great day for every person in Alabama who rejects bigotry and values the rule of law.”

Conservatives thank Trump for anti-LGBT policies A host of anti-LGBT leaders met with President Trump on Monday afternoon to thank him for keeping his promises from 2016, including his administration’s actions against LGBT people. The meeting at the White House coincided with Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — a move long sought by social conservatives that many leaders in the international community have warned is dangerous. At a press gaggle outside the White House after the meeting, the anti-LGBT leaders said recognizing Jerusalem is at the top of the list for which they’re thankful, but they thanked him for more than that. Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, cited the “religious freedom” executive order signed in May, which he said amounted to “defending the rights of men and women of faith to express their faith in the public square.” Although the order doesn’t explicitly mention LGBT issues, it led to the “religious freedom” guidance from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions observers say could allow denial of services to LGBT people. Reed also said they thanked Trump “for sending the solicitor general to the United States Supreme Court in the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop case on behalf of religious freedom.” At the Supreme Court last week, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco voluntarily argued on behalf of a Colorado baker seeking a First Amendment right to deny wedding cakes to same-sex couples. Francisco indicated during the course of arguments a bakery should be able to put up a sign declaring it won’t make wedding cakes for same-sex couples — a position the White House says Trump shares. Reed also commended Trump for leadership on the tax reform package, crediting him for the expanded child tax credit in the Senate bill and estimating it amounts to a $6 trillion tax cut. “That doubling of that tax credit in the Senate bill would not have happened without his leadership, so we were here with him today to express our gratitude, to pray for him and to make it clear that our support for him is unwavering and unequivocal,” Reed said. Tony Perkins, president of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, was also present at the gaggle and said the leaders told Trump he’s an “anomaly” because “he keeps his promises.” “Evangelicals, conservatives across this country are grateful for the fact he’s actually done exactly as he campaigned on,” Perkins said. “He campaigned on protecting religious freedom, he campaigned on making the military strong and reversing the radical social policies of the previous administration, he focused on making our economy strong again. In short, he’s working to make America great again despite what some might say.” Perkins’ reference to reversing social policies in the military is likely a nod to Trump’s transgender military ban. However, the Pentagon has announced it will begin accepting transgender recruits starting Jan. 1 after multiple court orders against the policy. Others present at the gaggle were social conservative leader Gary Bauer; Paula White, a Pentecostal Christian televangelist; and Bishop Harry Jackson, the senior pastor at Hope Christian Church who led opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage in D.C. CHRIS JOHNSON



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Keep your promise to protect each other.

PrEP usage low in young gays CDC finds PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Less than 4 percent of young adult men who have sex with men in the U.S. are on PrEP according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data was taken from an anonymous online survey of 2,347 black, white and Hispanic men ages 18-24 who’d had anal sex but were not HIV-positive, Reuters reports. “We have had a sense that PrEP is not reaching the communities that could benefit from it most, but the overall level of 3.4 percent is surprisingly low,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, an infectious disease physician at U.W. Health in Madison, Wis., who was not involved in the study. In 2015, youth ages 13-24 accounted for over a fifth of all new diagnoses, and most occurred in gay and bisexual males, the agency found, according to Reuters. The current study was conducted by Sarah Marks at Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and colleagues. The overwhelming majority of participants had at least some college education, health insurance and access to a primary health care provider (PCP)/ clinic, according to the researchers. Some 65 percent of survey participants who said they didn’t use PrEP met at least one CDC criterion for PrEP use, primarily condom-less anal intercourse in the preceding six months, Reuters reports.

Meningitis outbreak inspires vaccinations MELBOURNE, Australia — Health authorities here are offering a free meningococcal vaccine after eight men were struck down with the disease’s C-strain since May, an Australian branch of ABC News reports. Victoria’s deputy chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said almost all the patients identified as gay or bisexual. “Eight doesn’t sound like a big number, but if this were to affect the whole of Melbourne at the same rate as it’s affected men who have sex with men, we’d be talking about a couple of hundred cases over a few months,” he told ABC. Meningococcal disease is uncommon but it can be deadly. Ten percent of cases are fatal within 24-48 hours of diagnosis. The bacteria lives in the throat and nose and is passed on through close and prolonged contact. “That includes intimate kissing and we think that’s what’s driving transmission in this outbreak,” Sutton told ABC. Patients in the high-risk group who come down with a high fever, headache and light sensitivity should see their doctor or go to hospital. Men can get the vaccine from their local doctor as of this week, ABC reports. As of June, 29 people in Los Angeles County had been diagnosed with meningitis. Los Angeles County health officials were urging vaccines for Pride month, the Los Angeles Times reported. It’ appears this is the same strain affecting Australia. In the California cases, men who have sex with men were disproportionately affected, health officials said. Other outbreaks have been reported in gay communities in Chicago, New York, Berlin, Paris and Toronto in the last decade.

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The number of HIV and AIDS patients residing in Riverside ADVERTISING County last year was 51 percent higher than previously estimated, due to a data PROOF ISSUE DATE: 10.26.12 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS (bpitts@washblade.com) revision that more accurately reflects migration of patients from one #1 location to PFLAG promotes the equality and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, another, county health officials told the Anza Valley Outlook. REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisionsand must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of and transgendered persons, their families friends through: proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of According to the Department of Public Health, the total number REVISIONS of “people the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is living with HIV/AIDS” countywide in 2016 was 8,404 people, rather thanREDESIGN the 5,552 responsible forto any cope legal liability arising out adverse of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users • Support with an society. can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or TEXT REVISIONS any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any people first estimated, the Outlook reports. • Education to enlighten public. copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, an music,ill-informed image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, The recalculation stemmed from a change in counting methodology called or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE NO REVISIONS • Advocacy and secure equal rights. washington blade)to and end to hold discrimination brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade)civil harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contr liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred “migration prevalence.” washington blade newspaper. This includes but is n by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations payment and insertion schedule. and warranties. “We’ve always suspected the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was Trained facilitators lead the Arlington Support Group and confidentiality is maintained. For higher than previously reported,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health further information about the Arlington Support Group, contact us at arl.pflag@gmail.com. officer, was quoted as having said in the Outlook. “This data gives us a more Our groups meet on the second Sunday of each month, from 3 – 4:30pm at the Unitarian accurate picture of what’s happening in Riverside County and the challenges Universalist Church in Arlington, at George Mason Drive & Route 50. facing patients, medical providers and the systems that serve them.” According to health officials, prior HIV and AIDS surveillance was based on A.L.Y. is a group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning Youth and Allies in “standard prevalence,” which associated patients with a specific geographic location grades 7-12. Our goal is to give LGBTQ youth a safe place to gather. Trained facilitators lead the based on where they were living at the time of diagnosis. The new methodology, youth group. Confidentiality maintained. For more info, contact: aly.pflagdc@gmail.com. migration prevalence, counts patients according to where they are currently residing, defined by a specific local health jurisdiction, the Outlook reports. Our Washington DC Chapter of PFLAG may be reached at 202-638-3852.


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Political earthquake in Alabama Dems now have chance to take back both chambers of Congress

PETER ROSENSTEIN is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

The voters of Alabama have spoken and elected Doug Jones. This is a huge loss for President Trump, as it can have major implications for his entire agenda. It is a stunning win for Democrats. Now that this election is over we still need to look at all the issues that were brought to the fore prior to Tuesday when we had no way to know how the people of Alabama would vote in the special election to replace Jeff Sessions, who was named by Trump to be attorney general. Trump won Alabama by just under 30 percent, which was actually 1.5 percent more than Mitt Romney won it in 2012. In 2014, Sessions ran unopposed in both the Republican primary and the general election, capturing more than 97 percent of the vote. So based on that backdrop the idea that Doug Jones running as a fairly liberal pro-choice Democrat had a chance in hell of winning is incredible. But the polling in Alabama was all over the place with a general feeling that the race between him and Roy Moore was too close to call. Clearly there was an unusual situation with Moore being accused of molesting teenagers and harassing and abusing a series of women. In just about any other state this surely would have kept him off the ballot. In Alabama, the governor (a Republican and a woman) said she had no reason to not believe the women making allegations against Moore but would still vote for him. We heard evangelical pastors support Moore some with the rationale that even if he abused teenagers electing him was better than the Democrat’s position on abortion, which was enough for them to say morally Moore was the best choice because abortion could kill millions of unborn babies while Moore has only abused the living and not all that many. Incredible to most of us not

Republican and accused pedophile ROY MOORE lost his Senate bid to Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday. PHOTO COURTESY OF YOUTUBE

living in Alabama and not being of a rabid evangelical faith. Alabama schools rank 8th worst in the country and their economy is the 8th worst, so other states have even bigger problems; but none had the focus of the nation centered on what Alabamians would do in this election. This was less about education and economy than it is about moral values. What would this election say about what the people of Alabama consider moral enough for a politician? Would they want to be known as the state willing to send an abuser of children to the United States Senate? SThe race also became a trial for the Republican Party. The Republican Party in Alabama determined it would continue to support Moore even with all the allegations against him. Initially the national Republican Party withdrew its support. But then Trump, who claims his right to harass and abuse women and has a series of women making allegations against him, decided to give a full-throated endorsement of Moore and the Republican National Committee, representing the Republican Party, once again changed course and endorsed Moore. There were some Republican senators embarrassed enough to say they wouldn’t vote for him including the other Alabama senator, Richard Shelby, who said he instead wrote in a name because he couldn’t vote for Moore.

Some Republican senators threatened to vote to expel Moore were he elected. So, as the people of Alabama went to the polls everyone held their breath. Trump’s tax plan may be on the line. Republicans would be saddled with Moore win or lose as Democrats in 2018 will make hay of the fact that the party endorsed him. Democrats will be debating if Jones had not been a pro-choice Democrat but rather a pro-life Democrat like Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) would the race have been easier by taking that issue out of the equation. Can the Democratic Party get beyond some of its most ardent progressives and be a big enough tent to allow for pro-life Democrats to run in areas where being pro-choice in a normal election basically guarantees losing? Will they accept a Democratic candidate with Casey’s position who commits to vote for the Democratic leadership and says his position doesn’t mean he would defund Planned Parenthood? The election of Doug Jones doesn’t in any way end some of these discussions and both parties will have to look deep into how they will run in 2018. Democrats now have the opportunity to take back both chambers of Congress and stop Trump in his tracks. That has to be the Holy Grail and what drives all Democrats and decent thinking people in every party.

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HRC stands with Dreamers across America Opposing the Trump-Pence assault on 800,000 immigrants By MARY BETH MAXWELL On a magical night not so many years ago, my home was filled with amazing, hopeful and savvy teenagers who had traveled to Washington to lobby for the DREAM Act legislation that would give them conditional residency in the only country they’d known. These undocumented young people, camped out in sleeping bags on my living room floor, told me they knew the dangers of being out as a “Dreamer,” but they had chosen to emerge from the shadows to claim their identity as Americans. Today, in cities and towns all across this country, the brave and inspiring young people I met on that December day in 2010 are among the hundreds of thousands of our neighbors, friends and family members living in this moment of grave uncertainty. By rescinding DACA, Donald Trump launched a fresh assault on the American Dream, risking the lives — and livelihoods — of more than 800,000 Dreamers. There are more than 75,000 LG-

BTQ people who are eligible for DACA; an estimated 36,000 of them have received DACA status and face uniquely complicated — and potentially dangerous — circumstances if the Trump-Pence assault is carried out. Not everyone has the luxury of being born into wealth, much less the child of a New York real estate mogul. But through DACA, America has helped give young Dreamers, brought to this country as children, a chance to live up to their potential — the very essence of what makes our country great. Dreamers are graduating from colleges and universities, they are leading successful careers, they are serving in our military, and they are living and working alongside us across this country. Most of all, they — like all immigrants — are human beings, deserving of dignity and respect. Today and every day, the LGBTQ community stands with immigrants and Dreamers. Many LGBTQ people know what it feels like to hide who they are as an act of survival, to look over one’s shoulder in fear, or to wonder what opportunities might be pushed out of reach if they are discovered. This is what we have fought against for decades, and we can’t let Donald Trump and Mike Pence push anyone back into the shadows be-

cause of who they are. HRC President Chad Griffin has spoken eloquently about our community’s connection with LGBTQ Dreamers like Jesus, who came with his family from Mexico when he was three years old and realized his dream of going to college. After coming out as gay, he came to work at PFLAG and HRC to help other LGBTQ youth. Jesus is a DACA recipient. And Javier, who came to the United States as a young boy from Guatemala with his brother and mother, who simply wanted to protect her son and bring him to a place where he would be safe and could seek opportunity. Javier, who came out as queer when he was 16, is fortunate to have legal status today. He’s an HRC Youth Ambassador and vocal advocate for the many others like him who still do not. An extraordinarily frightening aspect of what Trump-Pence are proposing — many of the DACA-eligible LGBTQ people risk being deported to countries where they have not only never lived, but that have horrendous human rights records. To be openly LGBTQ in parts of Central America is potentially life threatening. The United Nations has called for an investigation into violence against transgender women in El Salvador. LGBTQ people in Guatemala often face harassment and abuse at the hands of police.

And in Honduras, at least 192 LGBTQ people were murdered between 2008 and 2015. Congress must protect these innocent Dreamers from the Trump-Pence administration’s heartless attacks. We share a belief in the U.S. that a person’s circumstances at birth, or where their life takes them as a child, shouldn’t determine their ability to pursue the American dream. I’ll never forget that on the same day the Dream Act failed back in 2010, Congress repealed the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, which had barred LGBTQ people from serving openly in the military. I dreaded going home and facing my young guests who had come so far only to lose — and on a day when our LGBTQ community was celebrating the DADT victory. But as we gathered around my kitchen table, I felt nothing but happiness and support from the Dreamers for a vote for LGBTQ equality — and they pledged to be back, to keep organizing, and to build more support to win. And today, on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign’s grassroots army of 3 million members and supporters, to every Dreamer across America today, I say we are with you. MARY BETH MAXWELL is HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training.


Democrats need to get their fight on Reacting hastily and unilaterally to scandals bodes ill for 2018

RICHARD J. ROSENDALL is a writer and activist. Reach him at rrosendall@starpower.net.

We are governed by traitors and vandals. Selfishness, ignorance and spite threaten war overseas and civil strife at home. Amid growing danger to the nation and the world, progressives sternly police their own ranks on sexual harassment while conservatives practice the ancient art of “straining at gnats and swallowing camels” (Matthew 23:24). If we cannot overcome gerrymandering, voter suppression, and apathy, will we just politely watch our country and decades of social progress be destroyed? Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, a disgraced judge and credibly accused pedophile, said the last time America was great was before the

Civil War. He said “too many rights” were handed out in 1965, meaning voting rights. He said women should not run for office, work outside the home, nor vote. He said gay couples should lose their marriage rights. The problem is not only Moore, whom Trump endorsed and the RNC backed. 45 provokes a new Intifada in the Mideast by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, while his appointees pursue radical policies on taxation, the environment, health, education, national parks and monuments, civil rights protections, national defense, and protections for children, the elderly, and the poor. As long as he appoints antiabortion judges, his evangelical supporters are unconcerned about children being raped. With that as a moral compass, one might as well consult a Magic 8 Ball. Trump’s impulsiveness and incompetence may oddly be our salvation, crucially assisted by FBI employees who take seriously their oath of office. The oath contains a pledge to defend the Constitution, not Trump nor Russia. Despite desperate efforts to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he quietly and doggedly pursues his investigation into L’Affaire Russe. Yet Trump is still in office, Mueller is not done, and Democrats do not cover them-

selves in glory. As Sen. Al Franken said in announcing his resignation, “[T]here is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.” Republicans engage in all-out tribal warfare while Democrats play by the Queensbury Rules. This marriage of virtue and powerlessness bodes ill for public policy. I much prefer Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones’s hard charge against Moore on Dec. 5: “I damn sure believe I have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail, and not the United States Senate.” Democratic haste in self-purging risks falling into a trap. As Masha Gessen wrote in The New Yorker on Dec. 7, renegotiating sexual norms tends to yield “ever more restrictive regimes of closely regulating sexuality.” It also produces uneven standards whereby a mere jerk may be treated worse than a pedophile. How unjust and perverse. Meanwhile, at oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop on Dec. 5, attorney Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom noted that racial discrimination brings heightened scrutiny but sexual orientation discrimination does not. We can thank Jus-

tice Anthony Kennedy, with his preference for flowery language over rigor. Now Kennedy’s pro-gay legacy wavers after he voiced sympathy with the baker. At the Atlantic’s LGBTQ Summit on Dec. 6, an ADF attorney made a distinction between identity and expressive content so implausible the audience laughed. Our high court hovers over an abyss. If Justice Ginsburg, Breyer, or Kennedy dies while the GOP holds the presidency and the Senate, we will get a court majority ready to reverse marriage equality, abortion rights, and much else. Anyone not straight, white, Christian, and male faces renewed threat. We must not be reactive. When a problem is distributed along a spectrum, imposing a one-size-fits-all solution makes no sense. Building a workplace climate of respect and trust is undermined by punishing responsiveness. Sacrificial lambs will not appease adversaries bent on overrunning us. If Roger Stone makes good on his threat of more accusations against Democratic politicians, and Democrats do not answer, “Trump goes or no dice,” we are ceding ground to greater predators who share none of our values. That is political malpractice. Copyright © 2017 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.


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Cooking Sunday Dinners at Casa Ruby To build community, we must break bread By BROCK THOMPSON & RUSS HELSABECK They’re called Sunday Dinners, no matter what day of the week they may fall on. Something done, I suppose, to install a since of warmth, family, and togetherness, even routine, for those who might be missing these things in their lives. Last week, my dinner club went to Casa Ruby to cook for the residents there. I’ve written about DC Gay Dinner Club before and the benefits I see in it. And as a club, we began to talk about ways to infuse some charity work into our own intimate gatherings, gatherings that were started, after all, as a way to bring our community together. The initial idea was to hold a fundraiser, maybe raise some money and collect a pile of winter clothing. Both are things that Casa Ruby desperately needs.

But Dinner Club is about community, and as powerful as monetary donations and clothing drives are for an organization that serves the neediest members of our community, real community building cannot be achieved by writing a check. To truly build community, you have to show up, talk to each other, express caring and solidarity, and yes, break bread together. For those that might not know, Casa Ruby is a bilingual multicultural organization providing services for the neediest members of the city’s LGBT community. Notices on the walls alerted residents and walk-ins as to what charities throughout town offered free showers, where you could get a rapid HIV test, or a hot meal. One thing that was striking to me — sitting down with residents and talking about their needs, wants, future plans — was the need of donations, items of any kinds really. But clothes are the most sought after. “So, what would you really like for Christmas this year,” I asked one. “A coat,” she replied. But for those who





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weeks ago, sponsored by Dave Perruzza and his staff, Ruby stood up in front of our dinner club members and the rest of the bar’s patrons to impress upon us the importance of our activism, and the sentiment was, “We are a part of the community too. Thank you for showing that you are here for us.” Here, too, we’d like to tell you about our experience because we want to shine a light on an organization that is doing incredible and important work, life-saving work, for trans people of color and so that everyone knows that they are welcome at Casa Ruby. As I was leaving, one caseworker grabbed my arm, saying “tell everyone what we’re doing here.” I hope this story will inspire you to find a way to get involved. Or as Gladys Zapata, the Casa Ruby house manager put it, “nuestra casa es su casa!! Sweet people and great company are always welcome home!” Donate online or email Eve Howe at ehowe@casaruby.org to schedule a night for your organization to cook Sunday Dinner.

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are in the process of transitioning, who have recently found shelter after weeks on the street, who are living their lives as their true selves for the first time, a coat means much more than warmth. Not only do these individuals need coats, they need coats that allow them to express their femininity (or masculinity). They need coats and other pieces of clothing that allow them to be themselves. I can’t lie. The group we assembled to take to Casa Ruby was a group of cisgender gay men, and I was a little nervous about how we would be received by the residents at Casa Ruby. I’d certainly be skeptical. But what I have come to realize through this experience, is that volunteering at Casa Ruby is a very loud and important demonstration of solidarity. We are all represented by a letter in the string of letters that represents our community, and the trans community has been left behind in so many ways over the past few decades of progress. At the fundraiser we held at JR.’s a few


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Fun, fast & easy

Eliminate stress from your holiday to-do list with these last-minute gift ideas By MARIAH COOPER


For the pet owners, the Cheeky Puppy (1709 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) offers a variety of cute pet essentials and accessories. Get a pup into the holiday spirit with a festive snow man or hot chocolate chew toy ($13.99-14.99). Add some political humor with Fuzzu’s Donald Trump Presidential Parody Cat Toy with organic cat nip ($19.99) and Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin Cat Toy with

organic cat nip ($19.99). For a functional and humorous pet item, pick up a Smear Campaign Trump Poop Bag which features 80 “Repooplican” bags featuring Trump’s face ($15.99).

Proper Topper (1350 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has an assortment of knick knacks including Gentleman’s Hardware Flight Ready Kit ($25) which includes airport-friendly grooming items such as hair and body wash, face wash, shaving cream and post-shave lotion. Show love for your favorite musician with “Paint by Sticker Music Icons” ($14.95) which WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY lets you create full-color sticker paintings of icons like David Bowie, Madonna, Prince and more. Kickstart a holiday family game night with trivia games “Things They Don’t Teach You in School,” “I Should Have Known That” and “Brainfart” ($22 each).

Make a gardener’s dreams come true with garden gifts from Merrifield Garden Center (8132 Lee Hwy., Falls Church, Va.). Let your loved one create their own blooms with Amaryllis (starting at $16.99) and Paperwhite Ziva ($14.99) gift sets. Add some PHOTO COURTESY MERRIFIELD GARDEN CENTER decoration to the garden for visitors with painted bird houses (starting at $29.99). Merrifield Garden Center also offers feeders, birding accessories, fresh cut arrangements and more at various prices.

Find the hottest book releases at Kramerbooks (1517 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) for the book lovers in your life. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY Relive the 2016 presidential election through the eyes of Hillary Clinton in her book “What Happened” ($30). Delve into the mysterious world of “Night Vale” with accompanying books to the podcast by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Get the newest novel “It Devours,” the original novel “Welcome to Night Vale” and the episode transcripts “Mostly Void, Partially Stars” and “The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe” ($15.99-21). WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Head over to Wake-Up Little Suzie (3409 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) for everything from toys to home decor. For the kids give the Mudpuppy My Pop Up Dollhouse ($24.85) which features three rooms, play furniture and stickers. Kid O Myland Living and WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY Kid O Myland Sleeping ($32) is an interactive doll house ideal for toddlers. Items in the house light up when the character sits or stands and the character can be heard snoring when it sleeps, among other details. Move away from ordinary paper dolls with “Papermade Paper Fashion” ($14.95) featuring paper dolls of fashion icons like Karl Lagerfield, Tom Ford and Anna Wintour. Adorn the house with glass coasters ($16.25 each) featuring figures of David Bowie, Frida Kahlo, the Capitol Building and more. Give the gift of stationary with a leather-bound notebook ($40-63) or lined notebook ($23) from GoodWood (1428 U St., N.W.). A leather and suede pouch ($68) could also be a good stocking stuffer.




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Get a drift bottle cap crab magnet ($25) from Tanglewood Works (5132 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, Md.) to add spice to the refrigerator door. Pick up a cute accessory with the ever felt animal coin purses ($12 each) which includes animals such as a dog, elephant, sheep and more. ?????

Downtown Holiday Market (F St., N.W. and 8th St., N.W.) runs through Dec. 23 with a rotating schedule of exhibitors selling clothes, accessories, jewelry, art, soaps, antiques and WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY much more. Let the gift recipient decide what to pick up with Downtown Holiday Market’s gift certificates which range from $10-100. Music fans can support local music venues with a variety of items from 9:30 Club, the Anthem, Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Lincoln Theatre. Get a limited edition 9:30 N a k e d PHOTO COURTESY NAKED DECOR Club gold ornament ($15), a 9:30 Club Decor lets cupcake ornament ($5), Merriweather Post you show how Pavilion 50th anniversary ornament ($25), important your an Anthem T-shirt ($15) and more. Visit pet is to you merch.930.com for a complete list of items. with its Pooch Decor Collection designed by Supon Phornirunlit. The collection includes more than 75 breeds from dogs to cats. Give a colorful pillow featuring your favorite canine’s face ($49.95). Make your home even more dedicated to your four-legged friend with a oven mitt ($15), tea towel ($14) or clock ($39.95). Visit nakeddecor.com.

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‘Shape’ shifting Veteran actor Richard Jenkins shines in gay role By BRIAN T. CARNEY

Veteran actor Richard Jenkins has trouble describing his latest movie, Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.” But then again, he notes, so does everyone else. “I really enjoy listening to people trying to describe it, because it’s really hard. It’s a lot of things. It’s a heist movie. It’s a romance. It’s a bit of a thriller. It’s very funny in places.” But ultimately, the actor says, “It’s an adult fairy tale. It’s about love. The phrase that comes back to me when I think about this movie is ‘love is love.’ For me, that’s the theme of the whole film.” “Shape” is shaping up to be one of the

year’s most critically acclaimed releases. It won the Golden Lion in August at the Venice International Film Festival, was named one of the top 10 films of the year by the American Film Institute and is up for seven Golden Globe Awards, including a nod for Jenkins in the best supporting actor category. It’s showing in Washington at the Landmark theaters (E Street and Bethesda Row) and at Angelika Film Center Mosaic. That theme is especially resonant given Jenkins’ character. He plays Giles, the gay best friend and neighbor of Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins). Since the story, a visionary queer retelling of Cold War-era paranoid

monster movies like “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” is set in Baltimore in 1962, Giles is also a fish out of water. “He’s looking for things in all the wrong places,” Jenkins says. “He’s alone. He’s made some bad choices.” He has a crush on the vapid manager of the local pie shop (a franchise that serves terrible pie) and he’s an illustrator for an ad agency at a time when they’re starting to use photographs instead of hand-made drawings like his. But, in a delightful inversion of the period movies, Giles is part of a web of characters that come together to save the strange aquatic creature (played with

amazing sensitivity by Doug Jones) from the grasp of the sadistic government agent (played with psychotic menace by Michael Shannon). At the center of the web is Elisa, who is mute. They’re joined by Elisa’s colleague Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) who is under suspicion because he is an intellectual and a foreigner. Jenkins says he enjoyed working with the entire cast, especially Hawkins, with whom he has most of his scenes. “We had about two weeks of rehearsal CONTINUES ON PAGE 33



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Wonderful ‘Water’ Sublime fantasy film is one of year’s best By BRIAN T. CARNEY The queerest film of 2017 may well be “The Shape of Water.” Under the steady hand of Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro, the movie is a magical celebration of resistance and a lyrical adult fairy tale of love and loss and triumph told with a sublime sense of visual artistry, a sensitive ear for mythic storytelling, an assured sense of cinematic rhythm and just a touch of surreal fantasy. Set in Baltimore in 1962, “The Shape of Water” centers on Elisa Esposito (the amazing Sally Hawkins). Elisa is mute, so she communicates through sign language and occasionally dance. Her best friend is her next-door neighbor Giles (the superb Richard Jenkins), a gay man whose work as an illustrator at an ad agency is being threatened by the increasing popularity of photography. Elisa and her friend Zelda Fuller (a delightful Octavia Spencer) work as cleaners at a government research lab. She discovers that a gentle creature (Del Toro regular Doug Jones) is being studied and tortured at the facility. With the help of her friends, she develops a plot to free the “Amphibian Man.” They’re aided by Dr. Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg as a scientist with a secret) in their struggle against Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), the twisted government agent who has captured the creature and wants to kill him. Del Toro’s splendid movie is a brilliant and timely reworking of the paranoid monster movies of the Cold War era

(most notably “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”), but he and his ingenious collaborators draw from a variety of cinematic sources. For example, the charming score by Alexandre Desplat smoothly blends period pop music with the lilting sounds of Parisian accordions. The stunning cinematography by Dan Laustsen references television and cinematic culture throughout. The decrepit cinema beneath Eliza and Giles’ apartment is showing the Biblical epic “The Book of Ruth” while the televisions in every living room feature guest performances from the likes of Mr. Ed, Betty Grable, Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda and Dobie Gillis. Laustsen also has a sensual feel for the power of water (both literal and metaphorical). He captures water in a multitude of forms, from the mops and buckets that Elisa and Zelda use to clean the facility to the buckets catching the rainwater falling through the cracks in Elisa’s roof, from Elisa’s bathtub to the tanks the creature is kept in, from the glass of water that Strickland spills to the boiling water cooking the eggs Elisa eats every day. He and Del Toro also have a wonderful facility for seamlessly blending realistic period detail with echoes of cinematic history and the iconography of ancient mythologies. The acting is outstanding throughout. Hawkins is delightfully winsome as Elisa. She is elegant yet down-to-earth, eloquent in her gestures, heart-breaking in her initial loneliness and passionate in her defense of the Amphibian Man. Spencer is both funny and deeply-moving in her comic monologues about her husband, her fierce defense of Elisa, and the deep compassion she feels for her friend while enduring her own oppression.





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By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com About five years ago, nightlife performer/musician Linsay Deming used to sing “Happy Birthday Jesus” during her holiday nightclub performances. A friend heard it and suggested a Sunday school-themed show. “The moment he said that, a light bulb went on as I realized a church service is the perfect format for a variety show,” the 31-year-old Sioux City, Iowa, native says. And thus Church Night, a monthly service/variety show, was born. It started at the Wonderland Ballroom in April 2013 and moved to the Black Cat in 2015. Deming performs as her alter ego, youth pastor Kathy Piechota along with Rev. Stevedore Maybelline Bidet, esq., and Randy St. Oates Jr., an altered boy (both are queer characters; in “real life,” Landon Letzkus and Jeremy Frank are “ferocious allies and like most people are somewhere on the Kinsey Scale that’s not zero,” Deming says). Last year they started regular shows in New York at the Cobra Club. Each show features rotating stand-up and burlesque or drag performers. Shots-n-tots communion (a tater tot and shot of whiskey) is offered at each show and no two are alike. About 150 attend each month. Five episodes of a spin-off web series have also been made. The Church Night Holiday Spectacular! is Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. Details at churchnight.org. “You can expect a whole lot of debaucherous holiday-themed comedy, elaborate sparkly decorations, a light show, games with prizes and more,” Deming says. Deming works by day as a museum educator and though married to a guy (Ted), she embraces her bisexuality. They live in a row house in Stronghold. Deming enjoys singing, playing guitar, reading, cooking and crafting in her free time.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? Eight years. I came out when I was 23, but I’m continually coming out since I’ve been married to a man for a decade and present straight. Hardest person to tell was my husband because we’d been married a couple years and then, you know, had to figure out how to incorporate it into our lives. He was so supportive. Who’s your LGBT hero? Someday I want to have an empire like RuPaul. What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? House/apartment events are the best in D.C. For artists, it can be hard to get your work or performance into a venue, so for years, people all over the city have been hosting music, comedy and art shows where they live. Plus you can let your hair down and let your freak flag fly higher when the event is semi-private. Describe your dream wedding. A courthouse in South Dakota with only immediate family and close friends present. Mexican food after. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Equity for minorities and gender equality are on par for me. What historical outcome would you change? The colonizing of the Americas by the Europeans and the genocide of native people. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Janet Jackson’s boob at the Super Bowl XXXVII halftime show. On what do you insist? A good night’s sleep.


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? A post about these cool holiday ornaments I’m making to sell at Church Night and Rock-n-shop. They’re called Peepshow Ornaments and look like a normal tree ornament, but there is a little window on the back. When you turn on a little LED, you can see what’s inside.

If your life were a book, what would the title be? “The Midwestern Cunt” If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? Assume that with the advent of genetic alteration humans are now capable of never dying, so I’d try to live forever. If the GOP got their hands on it, I’d join the resistance. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? Empathy is a virtue that bonds the human race together. Your struggle is mine and mine is yours. Your success is mine and mine is yours. The mysterious connection between people and our capacity for love is the x factor of life. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? This moment in history feels like a step backward so it’s extremely important to keep fighting for our rights and promoting love for all people. What would you walk across hot coals for? To save a loved one’s life. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? That there is a specific way to be L, G, B or T. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “Milk” What’s the most overrated social custom? It’s not that common in America, but I always shudder at that custom where men get handshakes but women get kisses on the cheek. What if I don’t want a kiss? What trophy or prize do you most covet? Best outstanding yearbook prize. What do you wish you’d known at 18? AVOID STUDENT LOANS! Why Washington? D.C. is full of incredibly passionate and intelligent people. Whatever you want to do and whoever you want to be is possible in this city.



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SEAMUS WONS (left) and VAL PIZZO off the rugby court. The friends and teammates say they’ve found friendship and acceptance in the Baltimore Flamingos.

Rough and rugged LGBT rugby team offers acceptance, competition By KEVIN MAJOROS The Baltimore Flamingos Rugby Football Club nominated two players with perfect attendance to be featured in this week’s All-Star spotlight series in the Washington Blade. What they also gave us was two athletes who don’t necessarily fit the preconceived notion of a male rugby player. The sport has long been perceived as a hypermasculine environment filled with big burly players. In a beautiful nod to what can happen in an inclusive LGBT space, we meet two players who have found acceptance through sports. The Flamingos launched in the summer of 2016 and played two seasons outside of a league with matches being held against other gay teams throughout the region. Last season they joined USA Rugby’s Mid-Atlantic Senior Men’s Division IV conference, a mix of gay and straight teams. Val Pizzo spent his childhood in Frederick, Md.. avoiding sports and hating gym class. After years of encouragement from his athletic mother, he finally gave in and joined a women’s rugby team at age 15. He was on the cusp of transitioning and the sport filled a void that he needed to embrace his identity. “I wanted to prove myself as tough,” Pizzo says. “Not long after that I had my identity transition.” He began hormone replacement therapy just two weeks before showing up to play rugby as a freshman on the men’s club

team at Rochester Institute of Technology. “When I went to that first practice, I was told to go to the women’s team,” Pizzo says. “I kept showing up and no one questioned me again. They just thought I was gay and my past was not discussed.” After five years of playing at college, he returned to Maryland and knew he was going to join a gay rugby team. He was especially interested in being on a developing team and he signed up for the Baltimore Flamingos in August, 2016. He plays as a scrum-half. “This experience has been way more than I ever thought it would be,” Pizzo says. “The Flamingos have feminine, masculine, straight, gay and trans players and I relate so well to everyone. I had been in gay spaces before, but not gay sports.” After being benched throughout his college rugby career, Pizzo came into the Flamingos with experience and he is serving as a captain and as the social chair. He has also received his coaching certification and next year he will be attending his first Bingham Cup in Amsterdam. The tournament draws roughly 1,000 players. “I am so excited for Bingham Cup. It will be the most rugby players I have ever been around,” Pizzo says. “Playing with the Flamingos has been affirming and it’s great to be able to share my past. I am happy to be in a place where I can break down barriers and combat transphobia and homophobia.” Earlier this year, Seamus Wons was honored with the Flamingos’ Gay & Inclusive Award. As a self-described effeminate gay man, Wons says that

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means he is the gayest man on the team. Born in Bedford, N.H., he swam competitively through high school and for two-and-a-half years at Goucher College. After ending his swimming career, Wons turned to running as his main form of fitness and completed the Baltimore half marathon. Looking for something new, he joined the Flamingos in January and began going to their conditioning classes and touch games. “I immediately had a blast. It is such a positive experience because everyone is so great,” Wons says. “I was quiet at first because I have never really known how to perform as a broey dude. Once I warmed up, I had the comfort to be myself.” That comfort level has led to him wanting to become a part of the decisionmaking process and he will be running for a board position in the coming year. As a rugby wing, he has set goals for himself both#1off and on the pitch.ISSUE DATE: 10.28.2016` PROOF SALES REPRESENTATIVE: SIRIWAT PATHARAPANUPATH (s “I have yet to score my first try. I was so REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of close in our last game against theproof. Charm the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts REVISIONS omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is City Knights,” Wons says. “When you responsible go for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users REDESIGN can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or TEXT REVISIONS any rgihtsyou of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any up against a 250-pound rugby center, copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, are NO still going to go after him nocompetition, matter or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the AD REVISIONS washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By s how fabulous you are off the pitch.” liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred wash by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations paym warranties. Wons says he takes a lot of and pride in being gay and that he expresses a lot of freedom as an effeminate gay man. He has a message for others who may not feel as confident. “I feel like I have been able to be fully M-TH 11:30AM-10PM • F-SAT 11:30AM-11PM immersed in one of the toughest, most SUN. BRUNCH 11AM-3PM / DINNER 3-10PM masculine sports. It is empowering, and I want that empowerment to be felt by everyone,” 322 MASS. AVE. NE • 202.543.7656 he says. “I am giving the finger to whatever is considered masculine or feminine.”




2 4 • DECE MB ER 1 5, 2017


This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com St Nicholas. Thru Dec 17. Quotidian Theatre Company. The Writer’s Center. quotidiantheatre.org.

DANCE Kwanzaa Celebration. Dec 16-17. Dance Place. danceplace.org. Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show. Dec 15-30. Step Afrika! Atlas. stepafrika.org. The Spirit of Kwanzaa. Dec 15-17. THEARC. thearcdc.org.


An American in Paris Thru Jan 7. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org.

An American in Paris’ stunning combination of classic music, timeless story, breathtaking dance, and state-of-the-art design results in a spectacular production the New York Times declares “outshines anything else currently on Broadway.”

An Evening with ThePianoGuys Thru Dec 16. National Theatre. thenationaldc.org.

YouTube superstars ThePianoGuys bring their one-of-a-kind arrangements and comedic charm to the National Theatre for a limited holiday residency this December.

Christmas with Choral Arts Dec 17-24. Choral Arts Society at The Kennedy Center. choralarts.org.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays to join the Choral Arts Society of Washington for an evening of enchanting Christmas music that will fill you with the joy of the season.

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry Thru Jan 21. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov.

This landmark exhibition examines the artistic exchanges among Johannes Vermeer and his contemporaries from the mid-1650s to around 1680, when they reached the height of their technical ability and mastery of genre painting, or depictions of daily life. Works by Vermeer and his fellow painters of the Dutch Golden Age include Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, Frans van Mieris, Caspar Netscher, and Jan Steen. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE KENNEDY CENTER

THEATRE Holiday Follies Cabaret. Thru Dec 16. Crazy For You. Thru Jan 14. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org. The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens. Thru Dec 31. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Thru Dec 31. Theater J. theaterj.org. Les Misérables. Dec 20-Jan 7. National Theatre. thenationaldc.org. The Second City Presents Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains). Thru Dec 31. Woolly Mammoth. woollymammoth.net. The Real Americans. Thru Dec

22. Draw the Circle. Thru Dec 24. Mosaic Theater Company. Atlas. mosaictheater.org. On My Mind/In My Heart: The Voices of Women in Public Housing. Dec 18. Theater J. EDCJCC. theaterj.org. A Christmas Carol. Thru Dec 31. Ford’s Theatre. fords.org. An Irish Carol. Thru Dec 31. Keegan Theatre. keegantheatre.com. A Christmas Carol. Thru Dec 24. Annie. Thru Dec 31. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. Curve of Departure. Thru Jan 7. Studio Theatre. studiotheatre.org. Horton Foote’s A Coffin in Egypt. Thru Dec 16. Conor McPherson’s

Tom Teasley & Seth Kibel. Dec 20. Skylark. Dec 21. Strathmore. strathmore.org. NSO: Handel’s Messiah. Thru Dec 17. KC Jazz Club: Harriet Tubman. Dec 16. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming. Dec 15-23. Folger Consort. Folger Theatre. folger.edu. A Bohemian Christmas. Dec 18. Atlas. atlasarts.org. Vienna Boys Choir. Dec 17. GMU Center for the Arts. cfa.gmu.edu. Vaughan Williams, Respighi, & Others. Dec 17. Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association. Church of the Epiphany. wmpamusic.org. A Candlelight Christmas. Thru Dec 22. The Washington Chorus. Kennedy Center. thewashingtonchorus.org. Stradivari Anniversary Concert: Dover Quartet. Dec 18-Dec 19. Library of Congress. loc.gov. The Christmas Revels. Thru Dec 17. Washington Revels. GW Lisner Auditorium. revelsdc.org. The American Pops Hosts The Holidays. Dec 15. American Pops Orchestra. MGM National Harbor. theamericanpops.org. Turtle Island Quartet with Liz Carroll. Dec 17. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. Handel’s Messiah. Dec 16-17. National Philharmonic. Strathmore. nationalphilharmonic.org. The Richard Payne Trio & The FAME Jazz Band. Dec 16. The Clarice. theclarice.umd.edu. Holiday Cheer! Dec 16. National Chamber Ensemble. Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. nationalchamberensemble.org. Joy of Christmas. Dec 1617. Cathedral Choral Society. Washington National Cathedral. cathedralchoralsociety.org.


Folger Shakespeare Library. Painting Shakespeare. Thru Feb 11. folger.edu. National Archives. Remembering Vietnam. Thru Jan 6. archivesfoundation.org. Dumbarton Oaks. Collecting in Paris and London, 1912–1919. Thru Mar 31. doaks.org. Kreeger Museum. Reinstallation of the Permanent Collection. Thru Dec 31. kreegermuseum.org. Library of Congress. Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I. Thru Jan 1. loc.gov. National Gallery of Art. Edvard Munch: Color in Context. Thru Jan 28. Posing for the Camera: Gifts from Robert B. Menschel. Thru Jan 28. nga.gov. National Geographic. Wild: Michael Nichols. Thru Jan 12. Tomb of Christ. Thru Aug 15. nglive.org. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Inside the Dinner Party Studio. Thru Jan 5. Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today. Thru Jan 21. nmwa.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. Gateways/Portales. Thru Jan 7. anacostia.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery. Antebellum Portraits by Mathew Brady. Thru Jun 3. Celebrating Fifty Years. Thru Jan 6. npg.si.edu. Woodrow Wilson House. The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay. Thru Feb 28. woodrowwilsonhouse.org.

GALLERIES The Art League. Petite December. Thru Jan 7. Darryl Halbrooks. Thru Jan 8. theartleague.org. Waverly Street Gallery. Holiday Art Show! Thru Jan 6. waverlystreetgallery.com. Zenith Sculpture Space. Black Artists of Today: Reinventing Tomorrow! Thru Jan 6. zenithgallery.com. Bender JCC. Adi Shani. Thru Dec 17. benderjccgw.org. District Architecture Center. The AIA|DC 2017 Awards Show. Thru Jan 26. aiadac.com. gallery Neptune & Brown. Wolf Kahn. Thru Jan 6. galleryneptunebrown.com. Glen Echo Park. Holiday Art Show and Sale. Thru Jan 7. glenechopark.org. Goethe. German Jazz. Thru Jan 26. goethe.de. Hill Center. Rachael Bohlander. Thru Dec 30. Karin Edgett. Thru Dec 30. Michael Ford. Thru Dec 30. hillcenterdc.org. JCCNV. Charitable Art | Omanoot L’Tzedakah. Thru Jan 25. jccnv.org. Korean Cultural Center DC. Korean and American Artists Confront Humanity and Nature. Thru Jan 24. koreaculturedc.org.



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“A PARIS TO SWOON FOR!” —The Washington Post


ERIC M. MESSNER and JOHN LESCAULT in ’Twist Your Dickens.’

Irreverent ‘Carol’ Second City spin on Dickens classic is clever, fast paced By PATRICK FOLLIARD As Ford’s Theatre marks the 500th performance of its current production of “A Christmas Carol,” nearer to the river, the Kennedy Center is presenting “Twist Your Dickens,” a less reverential take on Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas ghost story about the miser who finds redemption. Produced by the Second City (the legendary comedy enterprise that originated in Chicago) and penned by former “The Colbert Report” writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, this yuletide satire is rife with outrageous gags, sketch comedy and improvisation. Directed by Frank Caeti, it’s frantically fast paced and the five-person cast (who with the exception of local actor John Lescault as Scrooge play multiple roles) possess comedic talent and energy to spare. Still, like any sketch/improv show, some of the skits fall flat, but since it’s moving so quickly from one joke to the next, you’re soon laughing again. “Twist” loosely follows the Dickens’ narrative but it’s in no way moored to the 1843 work’s Victorian setting. It veers toward more contemporary times and riffs on other Christmas classics. The Peanuts kids make an appearance. They’re chiding Linus (Eric M. Messner nailing Linus’ lisp as heard on the beloved TV specials) about whether it’s OK to include Christ in Christmastime. And a harried George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life” (again Messner — he’s a talented mimic) makes a cameo. He’s having an existential moment. Scrooge isn’t

helpful. Next, it’s some familiar faces from the island of misfit toys possibly finding homes with a pair of blasé D.C. hipsters. The anachronisms don’t go unnoticed. Shouting from the audience, a loudmouth Dickens purist (Paul Jurewicz) points out a Starbucks cup onstage along with myriad other inaccuracies. Unfazed by the mistakes, he climbs on stage, sheds his hoodie to reveal a Victorian vest and coat and joins the fun. As Scrooge, Lescault is at turns apoplectically incensed, crotchety and slyly devilish. He hates the poor and goes so far as stealing the money kettle from a Salvation Army bell ringer. But he’s not entirely wicked. When the Ghost of Christmas Past, (a hilarious spikyhaired Jurewicz as an ‘80s hair/metal rocker) guides Scrooge back in time to a Christmas party thrown by his first employer, kindly Mr. Fezziwig, Scrooge says, “The happiness he gave us was as great as a fortune.” He’s thawing. The show’s best parts are drawn from Dickens’ book. But of course, all is upside down. Scrooge’s goodhearted nephew Fred is manically mad. His put-upon clerk Bob Cratchit (Aaron Bliden), Mrs. Cratchit (Anne Bowles) and their preternaturally perky dying son Tiny Tim (Tia Shearer) plot doing away with the boss. They think staging a suicide would work best. Yes, there’s some language and bawdy humor (recommended for ages 16 and over), but it’s also often clever and a lot of fun, even ending with a singalong. ‘TWIST YOUR DICKENS’ Through Dec. 31 The Kennedy Center $49-79 202-467-4600 Kennedy-center.org




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Now thru January 7 | Opera House TICKETS ON SALE NOW! KENNEDY-CENTER.ORG | (202) 467-4600 Tickets also available at the Box Office. Groups call (202) 416-8400. For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.

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Additional support is provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley.


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CA LE N D A R details, call George at 301-395-0544 or visit primetimersdc.org.

E-mail calendar items to calendars@washblade. com two weeks prior to your event. Space is limited so priority is given to LGBT-specific events or those with LGBT participants. Recurring events must be re-submitted each time.

MONDAY, DEC. 18 The D.C. Center presents “Taking the Stage, Taking a Stand: LGBTQ Voices Against Violence” at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. LGBT artists will address the topic of violence through poetry, song, dance and more. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the event. Admission is free. For more information, visit thedccenter.org. The Choral Arts Society of Washington hosts its 37th annual holiday concert and gala at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) tonight from 7 p.m.-midnight. At 7 p.m. the Choral Arts Chorus will perform a Christmas concert in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. At 8:30 p.m. there will be a reception and silent auction featuring luxury items on the roof terrace. A gourmet dinner and dancing will follow from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Tickets start at $675. For more details, visit chroalarts.org.

TODAY Balance Gym hosts its annual holiday party at Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garden (1216 18th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres, drink specials and dancing. All are welcome. For more information, visit facebook.com/balancegymdc. 18th & U Duplex Diner (2004 18th St., N.W.) hosts the Janky Sweater Party, a holiday party, tonight from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Guests are encouraged to wear ugly Christmas sweaters. Goldie Grigio hosts the party. DJ Khelan Bhatia and DJ Adam Koussari-Amin of BreakfastClub will play music. No cover but there is a suggested $10 donation for the Trevor Project. For more details, visit facebook.com/ duplexdiner. DC-PAH hosts “PupMas,” a holiday pup night, at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) tonight from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. A $10-15 gift bag is suggested or a Secret Santa exchange. Admission is 18 to enter and 21 to drink. For more details, visit facebook.com/eagledc. Shamir performs at U Street Music Hall (1115 U St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. Partner opens the show. Tickets are $18. For more information, visit ustreetmusichall.com. Gamma D.C., a support group for men in mixed-orientation relationships, meets at Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Ave., N.W.) today from 7:309:30 p.m. The group is for men who are attracted to men but are currently, or were at one point, in relationships with women. Meeting locations are in private residences. For more information about the group and location, visit gammaindc.org.

SATURDAY, DEC. 16 Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts Pop Off: Holidazed, a holiday dance party, tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Chord Bezerra plays music all night. Drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Cover is $15 from 10 p.m.-midnight and $12 after midnight. For more information, visit towndc.com. Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington present “The Holiday Show” at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) today at 3 and 8 p.m. The performance will include a campy version of “The Nutcracker” as well as renditions of holiday songs like “Sleigh Ride,” “The Christmas Song” and “I Should Have Been a North Pole Elf.” Tickets range from $25-65. For more details, visit gmcw.org. Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts Gay/Bash, a gay dance party, tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Jaxknife Complex, Salvadora Dali, Jane Saw, Donna Slash and Betty O’Hellno will perform. There will be shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. The

TUESDAY, DEC. 19 Impulse D.C. hosts Walter Lundy’s seventh annual Red Themed Toy Drive Party at Eighteenth Street Lounge (1212 18th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-11 p.m. There will be an open bar and a soul food buffet. Guests are asked to wear red and to bring unwrapped toys that will be donated to vulnerable and underserved children and families in the community. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/impulsegroupdc. PHOTO COURTESY DRAFTHOUSE COMEDY THEATER

CAMERON FOLMAR in ‘The SantaLand Diaries,’ which will be performed on Thursday, Dec. 21.

Barber Streisand will play music for the night. No cover. For more information, visit facebook.com/tradebardc. Calvary Baptist Church (755 8th St., N.W.) hosts Hamiltunes D.C., a “Hamilton” sing-along, tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Audience members are encouraged to come on stage to perform or sing-along in the crowd. Tickets are $22 and include light appetizers and access to advance song sign-up. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. For more details, visit facebook.com/hamiltunesdc. LULAC Lambda D.C. hosts its holiday party at the Chastleton Cooperative Ballroom (171 16th St., N.W.) tonight from 8-11 p.m. There will be holiday music, food, drinks and special performances. All guests are asked to make a $12 donation toward LULAC Lambda’s annual scholarship or to become a 2018 LULAC Lambda Member for $35. For more information, visit facebook.com/ lulaclambda. Lure D.C. hosts Bare: Grinch Style, a ladies dance party, at Cobalt (1639 R St..,

N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Rosie and DJ Keenan will play music and the DystRucXion Dancers will perform. Cover is $7 before midnight and $10 after. For more details, visit facebook.com/lurewdc. Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts Bears Can Dance Holiday Dance Party tonight from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Jeffrey Eletto will spin tracks. Guests who arrive early will receive a Santa hat. For more information, visit greenlanterndc.com.

SUNDAY, DEC. 17 Shi-Queeta-Lee presents “Salute to the Divas”, a celebrity impersonation drag show, at Chateau Remix Event Center (3439 Benning Rd., N.E.) today at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. General admission is $30. VIP admission is $45 and includes 5:30 p.m. entry and a drag waitress to serve you. For more details, visit facebook.com/salutetothedivas. Prime Timers of D.C., a social group for mature gay and bi men, will meet at Windows above Dupont Italian Kitchen today at 4 p.m. for cocktails and pizza. For

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 20 Bruno Mars performs at MGM National Harbor (101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill, Md.) tonight and Thursday at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $135-300. For more details, visit mgmnationalharbor.com. Bookmen D.C., an informal gay men’s literature group, discusses “Gay Directors, Gay Films: Pedro Aldomovar, Terence Davies, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, John Waters” by Emanuel Levy at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St.., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com. The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner needed. For more information, call 301-345-1571.

THURSDAY, DEC. 21 Drafthouse Comedy (1100 13th St., N.W.) presents “The SantaLand Diaries” by David Sedaris tonight at 7:30 p.m. Cameron Folmar plays a gay writer who gets a job as a Macy’s elf. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $20. The show runs through Dec. 23. For more information, visit drafthousecomedy.com.



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From left are TIMOTHEE CHALAMET as Elio, MICHAEL STUHLBARG as Mr. Perlman and ARMIE HAMMER as Oliver.

‘Name’ that swoon Leisurely paced gay romance is coming-of-age tale By DAVID EHRENSTEIN and JOHN PAUL KING The most shocking thing about “Call Me By Your Name” is that it isn’t as shocking as you might think. If you’ve been following the news even in passing over the last few months then you know that intergenerational gay relationships have sprung up as a kind of cultural “third rail,” but director Luca Guadagnino, armed with a screenplay adapted by James Ivory from Andre Aciman’s bestselling novel, shows no prurient interest in exploring this topic. It opens this weekend in the Washington area and is screening at Landmark’s E Street and Bethesda Row Cinemas. “Call Me By Your Name,” which details the summer fling between a 24-yearold man and the 17-year-old son of his

employer, unfolds as a sweet-spirited romantic idyll, blithely unconcerned with societal disdain and therefore at a considerable (and comfortable) remove from the current brouhaha. It’s up for three Golden Globe Awards including nods for both its leads. Set in northern Italy in 1983, the film takes place in the home (and surrounding bucolic environs) of Professor Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) who specializes in the study of Greco-Roman culture. Every summer, the professor hosts a learned acolyte to assist with his work; this year it’s a youthful, vigorous and handsome scholar named Oliver (Armie Hammer). This new arrival in the household catches the interest of the professor’s son Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and the feeling is mutual. Though each feigns indifference, as the summer progresses their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, until it blossoms into a full-blown but secretive romance. Again, it can’t be emphasized strongly

enough how un-sensational this all is. There is none of the heavy breathing of “Brokeback Mountain” nor even the guilthaunted caressing (and accompanying social angst) of Ivory’s gay classic, “Maurice.” When the sex finally happens, although undeniably erotic, it’s handled with a kind of staid observational academicism. Guadagnino and his actors emphasize tenderness and feeling, capturing the magic of first-time dalliance in a way that makes it seem, if not wholly innocent, at least wholesome. Although the sex is a crucial element, it’s not all there is to “Call Me By Your Name.” More than a romance, the film is really a coming-of-age story, a key aspect that benefits greatly from Chalamet’s remarkable performance. He commits completely to revealing all the complex, contradictory impulses that accompany his rite of passage. As for Hammer, an actor whose career has survived several misfires largely on the

strength of his looks, he offers a less showy, but equally effective performance as Oliver. Introduced as an enigma, approachable yet aloof and seemingly as arrogant as he is polite, he slowly allows the layers to peel back as he lets Elio into his carefully guarded emotional inner sanctum, subtly revealing that this heady summer fling is perhaps even more of a joyful release for him than it is for his youthful lover. Though both straight, they have an electrifying chemistry, an essential component of what makes the film work. There is also fine work from the supporting ensemble. And director Guadagnino knows his actors are key, but he doesn’t ignore the ample opportunity afforded by the picturesque Italian villa and surrounding landscape in which his film is set. “Call Me By Your Name” is a sophisticated exploration of a situation long overdue for such expression. It’s a gay love story told without judgment and without apology.


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Some think I should dress more like a woman. Some think I should dress more like a man.

I may not fit some ideas about gender, and I am a proud part of DC. Please treat me the same way any person would want to be treated: with courtesy and respect.

The porn problem? Hard to go back to just sex after introducing videos in relationship

Discrimination based on gender identity and expression is illegal in the District of Columbia. If you think you’ve been the target of discrimination, visit www.ohr.dc.gov or call (202) 727-4559.



Show your support! Spread word of the #TransRespect campaign by photographing this ad and sharing on Twitter.

MICHAEL RADKOWSKY, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with gay individuals and couples in D.C. He can be found online at personalgrowthzone.com. All identifying information has been changed for reasons of confidentiality. Have a question? Send it to michaelradkowsky.com

MICHAEL, I feel like porn is ruining my sex life. Ed and I have been together 15 years. OK, the sex does get kind of rote after awhile. We’re monogamous so sometimes I would look at porn on my own for something new and exciting. I knew Ed was doing the same thing. At some point we started jerking off together occasionally while watching. Before long porn became a regular part of sex with us. Meaning we’d use it to get aroused and then focus on each other. But over the last few years we’ve stopped the “focusing on each other” part. A lot of times sex is just jerking each other off while our eyes are on the screen. Even when we’re having oral sex or intercourse we’ll be watching something. I noticed recently that we don’t even come unless we’re focused on the porn. I didn’t like this realization and tried to see if I could come without looking at the porn, but I couldn’t. I had to play a hot scene in my head to actually get off. I feel like we’re just using each other’s bodies to get off to the fantasy we’re watching. I think this is seriously messed up and want to stop. Ed disagrees. I wonder if he no longer wants to be exclusive but am afraid to ask. What should we do? MICHAEL REPLIES: Porn has its charms, but as you’ve discovered, it can also have some pitfalls. With infinite variety instantly available, porn can give us exactly what we’re looking for and can always offer something new, making it potentially

more exciting than a real-life person, especially if that person is our partner. So we may get more aroused more easily by a screen than by the person next to us. Getting off to a hot scene can be a lot less complicated than having sex with another person. We don’t have to deal with their imperfections or our imperfections, judgment around turnons and turn-offs, not having things be exactly the way we’d like, the boredom of routine, or the physical and emotional closeness. Closeness can be scary, even if it also can feel good. Of course, some people do just fine with watching porn and having good, connected sex with a partner, if that’s what they are looking for. But you’re saying that porn leaves you feeling unable to connect to your partner, so pay attention to your concern. Stopping your porn watching can help you let go of intrusive images and fantasies over time. Focus on staying present during sex and on re-building a feeling of connection to Ed. You can start by keeping your eyes open, looking into Ed’s eyes and tuning in to the sensations in your body when you touch. Don’t put pressure on yourself to come, as that will make you more anxious and less in-the-moment. Just enjoy what is happening between you. You’ve got a problem, though, if you and Ed aren’t in agreement about taking porn out of your joint sex life. I get it that he enjoys watching porn while having sex with you, but if you tell him that you’re feeling disconnected as a result and want to focus exclusively on the two of you, what are his reasons for balking? While you say that you’re afraid to pursue this question, it is where you need to go. Can you talk to Ed, not to change his mind but to understand his reasoning? If not, a therapist who specializes in relationship counseling can help you develop your ability to have difficult conversations. One more thing: I’m wondering if the standoff you are in where one of you says “no” to the other’s important request is only happening around this particular issue, or is a regular feature of your relationship. In either case, couples counseling could help the two of you get better at collaborating with each other, including collaborating on making sex between just the two of you more close and connected.



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All-weather rides BMW, Mazda unveil spiffy new models By JOE PHILLIPS ‘Tis the season to be jolly — and to scope out holiday deals on all-weather haulers. Below are a few top picks that are both naughty and nice.

BMW X1 XDRIVE28i $36,000 Mpg: 22 city/32 highway 0-to-60 mph: 6.4 seconds If X marks the spot, then the BMW X1 xDrive28i is in the sweet spot. Redesigned last year, this all-wheel-drive compact crossover is taller, wider and lighter than ever. There’s more legroom, headroom and cargo capacity — the most stowage in its class — with gobs of storage bins, including one under the front seat and a huge space under the cargo floor. And the list of standard features is long, with push-button start, rain-sensing wipers, hill-descent control, automatic stop/start, regenerative braking and more. Plus, the power liftgate can be opened by swinging your foot under the rear bumper. The quiet cabin is elegant, with choice of aluminum or wood trim. And those finely sculpted seats are a chiropractor’s dream. A 6.5-inch info display comes standard, but splurge for the optional 8.8-inch monitor. Ditto the double-panel sunroof and M Sport package with its oh-so-taut handling. But other common luxury items are missing, such as cooled seats, power-adjustable steering wheel and rear-seat entertainment. And various safety features; including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and pedestrian detection; are optional, not standard. Still, it’s hard to resist all the goodies this baby BMW has to offer. MAZDA CX-3 $20,000 Mpg: 27 city/32 highway 0-to-60 mph: 8.1 seconds Mazda prides itself on being a niche player, offering sporty yet economical rides. The CX-3 crossover fits the bill with a wide-mouthed grille and sharp-edged

styling just like a Lexus NX. The wellbolstered seats and sweeping dash also look like they came from the NX playbook, yet the CX-3 price tag is about half as much. While it’s a subcompact with limited space for rear-seat passengers and cargo, the size is perfect for urban commuters, helping them nestle the CX-3 into Matchbox-sized parking spaces. The 146-hp four-cylinder engine is tops in fuel economy for tiny haulers, but acceleration isn’t as peppy as the racy exterior would suggest. For 2018, the cabin gets thicker window glass, better door seals and more sound insulation to help reduce noise. Along with choice of front- or all-wheel drive, there are plenty of standard features in each of the three trim levels, including rearview camera, 7-inch touchscreen and automated emergency braking. The topof-the-line Grand Touring adds a sunroof, head-up display, steering-wheel paddle shifters and more high-end safety gear.


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-B ring Out The ChampagneVW GOLF ALLTRACK $26,000 Mpg: 22 city/32 highway 0-to-60 mph: 7.4 seconds Despite all the hoopla over crossovers, VW is making noise with the all-new Golf Alltrack station wagon. Styling and handling are more athletic than the basic Golf SportWagen (and many boxy crossovers, for that matter). The result is a ruggedly chic yet comfortable car, with minimal body roll, standard all-wheel drive and good acceleration from the 170-hp four-cylinder turbo. Plenty of room for cargo and front-seat passengers, but backseat legroom is tight. The well-built cabin is clean and functional, if not a bit spartan. Three trim levels, which all come with heated side mirrors, dual-exhaust pipes, LED daytime running lights, all-wheel drive, rearview camera and smartphone integration. Yet it’s easy to see the allure of the higher-tiered models, which add keyless entry, pushbutton start, tire-pressure monitoring system, panoramic sunroof and rainsensing wipers with heated nozzles. One quibble with VWs has been the lackluster infotainment system, with a teeny 6.5-inch screen and low placement on the dash. But for 2018 models, a more dynamic 8-inch monitor is now available.

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Sugar plum fairies unite The Washington Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” at Warner Theatre (513 13th St., N.W.) through Sunday, Dec. 24. Septime Webre’s “The Nutcracker” sets the classic holiday tale in historic Georgetown. Notable historical figures such as George Washington and King George III make appearances. Tickets range from $30-147. For a complete list of showtimes and to purchase tickets, visit warnertheaterdc.com.




EVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of oof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of e date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts mnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is sponsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users n link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or ny rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any opyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair ompetition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ashington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all bility, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred y brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations nd warranties.

A D V E Rgroups T I S I N Gready P R O holiday OF D.C. choral concerts

The Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Washington Chorus present festive-themed concerts for the holiday season. The Choral Arts Society of Washington (seen here) presents “Christmas with Choral Arts” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 24 at 1 p.m. The performance ADVERTISER SIGNATURE By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the will include holiday carols, seasonal classics and sing-alongs for the whole family. washington blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, payment and insertion schedule. Conductor Scott Tucker leads the choir. Tickets range from $15-69. For more information, visit choralarts.org. The Washington Chorus performs “A Candlelight Christmas” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on Friday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. They will have additional performances at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, Md.) on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. The chorus will perform holiday songs such as “The Dream Isaiah Saw,” “Hallelujah Chorus” and more. Tickets range from $18-79. For more details, visit thewashingtonchorus.org.

Cold outside, hot inside Gay bars Uproar and Green Lantern are turning up the heat with parties that require minimal clothing. Uproar (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts Shirtless Saturday on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. Drink specials include $4 rails, domestic beers and jumbo wings. The party is followed by Butch House Night featuring music from DJ Matt Pierce. There is no cover. For more details, visit facebook. com/uproarloungedc. Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts Jox: the GL Underwear Party on Saturday, Dec. 23 from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ David Merrill will spin tracks all night. Clothes check will be available. For more information, visit facebook.com/ greenlanterndc.



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The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington performed ‘The Holiday Show’ at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 9. For tickets and showtimes, visit gmcw.org.

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Jenkins played ghostly dad on ‘Six Feet Under’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20

together. We used it to get to know each other and we became friends. She is incredibly generous as an actress and is really easy to play a scene with.” Since the character of Elisa is mute, the two communicate through sign language. “We did go over the sign language a lot because I didn’t want to get ahead of her or behind her. If I missed something, she would go back. She actually does that once in the film.” In the moving scene when Elisa tells Giles about the creature, “she signs something again because I didn’t quite say it right. That was really cool. We had rehearsed that scene over and over and over again, but when we finally shot it, it was totally different than any time we rehearsed it.” The seasoned actor is also full of admiration for writer/director Guillermo Del Toro. “He is amazing, like no one else,” Jenkins says. “He’s really smart. I don’t think there’s a movie he hasn’t seen and he understands what the movies are about. He understands how to speak in

film language. Nothing is wasted in his movies. When you see a scene, everything has a purpose, everything has a reason.” He cites one scene where Sally is waiting for a bus and sees a guy with balloons and a birthday cake with one piece missing. The director said it was the character’s birthday party but he was the only person there. Those few seconds of film, barely noticed by most viewers, expand Del Toro’s visual palette and expand the movie’s theme of lonely people trying to make connections. Jenkins, who may be best known to LGBT audiences as the ghostly father in HBO’s gay drama “Six Feet Under,” is now taking a well-deserved break after being in Berlin for five months for the second season of “Berlin Station,” a spy series that has just been renewed for a third season. In the meantime, Jenkins, a straight ally, is looking forward to spending the holidays with his expanding family, including a newly married son and new granddaughter. But, like any actor, Jenkins is open to the next opportunity. “If something interesting comes along, I may go back on my word.”


Voices for Unheard/Presence for Unseen

THE PLAYWRIGHTS SANCTUARY The Tri-Coastal Theater Foundation announces upcoming publication of

Director Dr. Larry Myers Myers’ memoirs

(Whitman - Edward Carpenter - Gavin Arthur- Neal Cassady - Bill Cannastra- Tennesee Williams - Dr. Myers)


2 minute play competition of LGBTQIA rights issues Winners will receive readings at a sanctuary wing (Los Angeles, New York City, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Washington, D.C.)

and his new plays… CAKEWALK

“If I knew you were coming…” about Supreme Court cake decisions

“The Triumph of the Other Isis” about #me too the new women’s movement

For more information, contact laurencelarry1@aol.com or by phone at (212) 501-4381

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There goes the gayborhood Where are the gays? Everywhere! By STEPHEN GAICH Is there still a gayborhood? It’s a question that many folks ask me, whether a visitor or a resident of Washington. There was once a defined gay area in Dupont Circle to call our own, and it seems different now. What happened to it? For generations now, Dupont Circle has been the hub of gay nightlife; JR.’s, Cobalt, Larry’s Lounge, Duplex Diner, the Fireplace, Dupont Italian Kitchen and other establishments anchored the area as the gayborhood, even while Remingtons, Bachelor’s Mill, Tracks, Nation, Phase One and other hotspots were established in other parts of the city. In 1974, we got a bookstore: a symbol of our right to exist in the bright sunlight and not just behind closed doors and in private clubs: “We are proud of the history of gay culture and of the struggle for political and social equality. We want the shop to be a showcase for the wide variety of happy, healthy gay lifestyles found among the quarter of a million gay men and women in Washington Metropolitan area.” With this announcement, Deacon Maccubbin opened the first LGBT bookstore in Dupont Circle, Lambda Rising. It start-

ed as a quaint 300-square-foot space, but the size didn’t matter as much as what it symbolized. It finally gave gays and lesbians in D.C. a visible, positive presence in the nation’s capital. Whitman-Walker Clinic, named for the famous (assumed gay) poet and Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War-era physician who shattered norms by achieving a medical degree and wearing men’s clothing (along with two pistols by her side in the operating room!), has had a long presence in the gayborhood as well. Its first location at 2335 18th St., N.W., was opened in 1980 and was an indispensable institution, saving lives during the height of the AIDS epidemic. It continues today with a half dozen offices in the region, and while it serves all clients, regardless of identity, it maintains its commitment to LGBT-oriented care. With the vibrant bar scene, plus these two pillars of the community in Dupont Circle, the neighborhood was clearly a safe haven for the LGBT community in the area. Along with The Castro in San Francisco, Hillcrest in San Diego, Greenwich Village in NYC, Boystown in Chicago, and West Hollywood in Los Angeles, Dupont Circle is viewed as historic in American gay identity. But these days, gays are branching out all across the city. One sports bar that identifies as gay seems to be predominantly heterosexual (and female) on most

nights. There doesn’t seem to be a “gayborhood” the way it used to be. Is that a bad thing, though? A few years ago, a gay buyer might have been attracted to the convenience and the feeling of comfort and security offered by a gay enclave like Dupont Circle. Conversely, there were probably a good number of straight buyers who might have shied away from the area because of their discomfort with our presence. But these days, it seems just the opposite; many of my clients who are not LGBT want to know where gays are living because they want to live among us. They might appreciate our lively, vibrant culture and fun traditions that can add a little spice to their city life—but they may also be after the bump in property values a neighborhood might experience after it gets a “gay makeover.” In fact, it is that bump in property values, both in rents and sale prices, that are pushing new D.C. residents, most often very young and with lower incomes, to areas that are less developed. Young gay buyers can no longer afford expensive Dupont prices. Neighborhoods that might have felt unsafe to some a few years ago are now the most competitive neighborhoods to buy in. In some cases, people are fighting over the shell of a home that needs a complete remodel from top to bottom. Home values are skyrocketing in areas

such as Shaw, Bloomingdale, Trinidad, Brookland, and even farther east of the city. These areas have blossomed with new apartment buildings, condos, retail space, restaurants, and endless coffee shops to support the gentrification of these neighborhoods. But what about the neighborhood that once was the only part of town that LGBT lived and played in? Have we forgotten our roots in the city? Have we abandoned the area just because it’s not predominantly LGBT? The truth is that we will always have Dupont Circle as “our” neighborhood even if it isn’t truly “the” gayborhood anymore. The most honest answer I can give when asked “Where are the gays?” is quite simple: “We are everywhere.” Not just in Dupont, not just in D.C., but all over the country. We are seeing more acceptance, which in turn makes us more comfortable, giving us more freedom to choose where we want to live and not where we have to. It means that while places like Dupont are still in our hearts, they no longer exist in the same reality. Even though D.C. may not have a defined gayborhood, we have certainly have a Gay City. STEPHEN GAICH is a Realtor with Bediz Group, LLC at KWCP, winner of Washington Blade’s Best of Gay DC for Real Estate Group in 2015 and 2017. He can be reached at steve@bediz. com or 202 304 9932.

Grandma’s House TRANSLATION: No electrical improvements since 1926. To be used at the top of collateral:

VALERIE M. BLAKE, Associate Broker, GRI, Director of Education & Mentorship Dupont Circle Office • 202-518-8781 (o) • 202.246.8602 (c) Valerie@DCHomeQuest.com • www.DCHomeQuest.com

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