washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 16, April 20, 2018

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Attack on gay men caught on video U Street-area assaults listed as possible hate crime By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com

D.C. police released these images of three suspects sought in connection with an anti-gay assault on April 15.

D.C. police this week released a video that captured part of an incident in which three male suspects attacked two gay men early Sunday morning in the U Street, N.W. entertainment district that police are investigating as a possible hate crime. The video shows two of the suspects kicking and punching one of the victims in the head. It shows the second victim falling unconscious onto what appears to be a street crosswalk. Police released a statement on Sunday saying one or more of the attackers yelled “homophobic slurs” at the victims during the attack. D.C. Police Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the department’s Special Liaison Division, including the LGBT Liaison Unit, talked about the video and the incident at a news conference Monday night at the site near 10th and U Street, N.W. where police believe the incident occurred about 12:30 CONTINUES ON PAGE 11


EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Doug Jones talks LGBT issues Says gay son inspired him to embrace equality issues during campaign By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) reaffirmed his support for LGBT rights last week during a conversation with Senate staffers in which he acknowledged that having a gay son has influenced his views. Jones, who late last year scored a surprise win in a special election to represent Alabama

in the U.S. Senate, said he wanted to make candid support for LGBT rights a component of his campaign, which helped him win the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions upon his appointment as U.S. attorney general. “Being from Alabama, we really made a point of stepping out there this past year on equality issues,” Jones said. “It was easy to do for me.” Jones made the remarks before Gays, Lesbians & Allies Senate Staff, or GLASS, during an event hosted by the organization in the Russell Senate Office Building. Jones answered questions from members of the

Sen. DOUG JONES (D-Ala.) said he made a point of addressing ‘equality issues’ during his campaign against Roy Moore.






Longtime Iowa activist Donna Red Wing loses cancer battle.

Nat’l Cannabis Festival returns amid widespread changes in pot laws.

Singer Janis Ian on her lesbian fans, overcoming adversity and more.


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Ex-boyfriend arrested for murder of former ANC commissioner Baltimore prosecutors dropped assault charges against suspect 6 months before killing By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com Prince George’s County, Md., police on April 13 charged a 23-year-old Baltimore man with first-degree murder for the March 14 stabbing death of gay former D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Antonio Barnes, 27, outside Barnes’s apartment in Beltsville, Md. A police statement says the suspect, Canaan Peterson, was being held without bond for the murder and other related charges. Court records show police also charged Peterson with first-degree assault, possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, and reckless endangerment. The statement says police have listed the death as a “domestic related homicide.” It adds that “the suspect and victim were in a relationship.” In 2014, Barnes, who was gay, won election to a seat on D.C.’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E, which represents the city’s Sursum Corda and Shaw neighborhoods.

Gay former D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner ANTONIO BARNES was stabbed to death in March. PHOTO COURTESY OF LINKEDIN

Barnes’ single member district represented Sursum Corda. Barnes gave up the ANC seat before running for re-election in 2016 when he moved to P.G. County. Fellow gay ANC member Alex Padro called Barnes a dedicated community advocate who worked diligently to represent his constituents on the ANC. Padro said Barnes was “gay and out” to his fellow commissioners and to the people who knew him in the neighborhood. People who knew Barnes said he was an active member of the D.C. chapter of the Service Employees International Union

during his employment as a custodian at a downtown D.C. office building. At the time of the murder, police said they responded to a call to check on Barnes’ welfare by going to his residence on the 11200 block of Evans Trail in Beltsville about 10:30 p.m. on March 14. “When they arrived, the officers discovered the victim outside lying on a sidewalk suffering from trauma to the lower body,” a police statement said. The statement says he was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later. “The preliminary investigation reveals the suspect stabbed the victim during an argument,” according to the April 13 police statement announcing the arrest of Peterson. Maryland court records show that six months prior to Barnes’ murder, Baltimore City police on Aug. 24, 2017, arrested Peterson on nine felony assault related charges. They included two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, malicious destruction of property, and “intoxicated endanger.” In a development likely to raise concern among Barnes’ family members and friends, the court records show that the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Office, which acts as the prosecutor in

criminal cases in Baltimore, dropped all nine charges against Peterson on Sept. 19, 2017. The online court records do not show why prosecutors dropped the charges using the designation “Nolle Prosequi,” a Latin term used for discontinuing prosecution. The court records also do not identify the victim in the assault or say what, if any, relationship the victim had with Peterson. The Washington Blade has made inquiries with both the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and with the District Court for Baltimore City, where Peterson’s case was brought and later dropped, to determine why the charges were dropped. Barnes’ murder and the subsequent arrest of the man that people who knew him said was his former boyfriend will likely renew attention to the ongoing problem of domestic violence in the LGBT community. Experts with the New York City-based National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which monitors anti-LGBT violence, have said domestic or “relationship” violence is as prevalent among same-sex couples as it is among their heterosexual counterparts. Members of the D.C. police LGBT Liaison Unit have said domestic violence calls are among the most frequent calls for help the unit receives.

Rockville school named after civil rights icon Bayard Rustin Social media posts critical of decision to honor gay activist By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com The Montgomery County, Md., Board of Education voted 6-2 on April 12 to name a new elementary school in Rockville after African-American civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, marking the first time a school in the county has been named after a well-known gay person. The Bayard Rustin Elementary School is scheduled to open in September. Rustin, a lifelong civil rights activist, served as an adviser to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He is best known for his role as lead organizer of the 1963 March on Washington in which King delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Although his sexual orientation was known to his civil rights colleagues in the 1960s, published biographies say Rustin became an outspoken supporter of the LGBT rights movement in the late 1970s and 1980s. He died in 1987. In its decision to select the name Bayard Rustin Elementary School, the school board overruled a recommendation by an advisory committee of parents and community members created by the

board that called for naming the school after Lillian Brown. Brown was a Rockville native, educator and author who was barred as a child from attending the county’s public schools due to racial segregation. She died in 2002. According to Bethesda Magazine, parents of LGBT current and former students in the Montgomery County school system spoke out forcefully for naming the school after Rustin at two community meetings. Some, the magazine reports, expressed concern that opponents of naming the school after Rustin posted messages on social media claiming it would be inappropriate to name an elementary school after a gay person. “This kind of statement marginalizes as well as effectively makes invisible children who are part of LGBTQ families and children who may identify as LGBTQ themselves,” the magazine quoted Lucinda Grinnell, a professor of LGBTQ history and whose child will attend the school, as saying. “In my opinion, it would be great for Montgomery County Public Schools to honor a black gay man who made such an important contribution to the civil rights movement,” the magazine quoted her as saying. “It’s important for children’s sense of self-worth to see themselves represented in their schools,” she was

BAYARD RUSTIN served as co-organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. WASHINGTON BLADE ARCHIVE PHOTO BY DOUG HINCKLE

quoted as saying. The magazine quoted the mother of a former gay student as saying people who question the propriety of naming an elementary school after a gay person “are implying that there is something about gayness that compromises the innocence of our children.” The mother, Lily Qi, added, “So let me be very clear. There is nothing vulgar or

scandalous about being gay. The sooner we can begin these conversations, the more effective they will be,” the magazine quoted her as saying. Among those who expressed support for naming the school after Rustin were U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who worked with Rustin and King on civil rights issues; and Walter Naegle, Rustin’s longtime life partner. Members of the advisory committee that wanted the school to be named after Lillian Brown said they did not object to Rustin because he was gay. They said Brown would be a better choice for the school name because she was a native of Rockville who later taught in Montgomery County schools and co-authored a book on the history of Montgomery County’s black public schools, Bethesda Magazine reports. A statement released by Montgomery County Schools after the board voted to name the school after Rustin describes Rustin as “a believer in non-violence, a socialist, a civil rights organizer, and an openly gay black man.” It adds that Rustin “played a major role in civil rights and equality movements of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s” and noted he was active in the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).


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DOJ criticized for ‘roll back’ of LGBT youth data collection Bureau proposes dropping LGBT question for people under 18 By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com The U.S. Department of Justice announced on April ADAM ROMERO of the 10 that it is taking steps to discontinue asking 16- and Williams Institute criticized the proposal to drop LGBT 17-year-olds to voluntarily and confidentially disclose questions for youth. their sexual orientation and gender identity on the DOJ’s National Crime Victimization Survey. COURTESY OF UCLA SCHOOL OF LAW If its proposal to make this change is approved by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, DOJ said in a statement, “The minimum age for these questions will be raised to 18 due to concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions on adolescents.” The Williams Institute, an LGBT-oriented think tank at the UCLA Law School, says the proposed action would be harmful to efforts aimed at measuring and monitoring violent crimes targeting LGBT youth. It is calling on representatives of the LGBT community and their allies to submit comments opposing the proposed change during a public comment period that ends on May 11. According to the DOJ announcement, the Office of Management and Budget will decide whether to approve the DOJ proposal. The National Crime Victimization Survey is conducted twice each year by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of the DOJ. It is considered one of the nation’s most important means of measuring the frequency of crime, including crime not reported to police, hate crimes and domestic violence among other types of crime. Its findings have been used by researchers to analyze the impact of crime on different demographic groups in the U.S. population, including LGBT people. The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, which administers the survey, says the data is obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 49,000 households comprising about 100,000 people. “Since July 2016, self-reported data on sexual orientation and gender identity have been collected from all sampled persons age 16 or older,” the DOJ announcement says. “Within six months of OMB approval of this requested change, the single question on sexual orientation and the two-part question on gender identity (sex at birth and current gender) will no longer be administered to respondents ages 16 and 17,” the statement says. The statement doesn’t elaborate on its claim that the proposed change is based on concerns about the potential sensitivity of the questions on adolescents. A DOJ spokesperson couldn’t immediately be reached to find out who raised such concerns. “Asking National Crime Victimization Survey respondents to voluntarily and confidentially disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity provides crucial data on criminal victimization of LGBT people who are subject to high rates of hate crimes and other violence,” said Adam P. Romero, the Williams Institute’s Director of Federal Policy. “The Bureau of Justice Statistics at the Department of Justice has been a leader in advancing knowledge about the LGBT population, but the Bureau’s new leadership seems to want to bury its head in the sand,” Romero said. “While we appreciate the potential sensitivity of these questions for some people, no one is forced to answer them,” he said. Williams Institute research director and scholar Kerith J. Conron said youth have been answering questions about their sexual orientation in surveys for many years, including in numerous federal surveys. Among them, he said, is the highly regarded Youth Behavior Risk Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That survey, which experts say provides important data on LGBT youth, includes respondents as young as age 13. “We know that LGBT youth are more likely to be victimized, sometimes by their own families, and we need data from the National Crime Victimization Survey to learn whether crimes are reported and how the criminal justice system is responding to young LGBT victims,” Conron said. “Instead of dropping these items from the NCVS, which were cognitively tested and performed well, the Department of Justice should be focused on making it easier for youth to answer questions by investigating strategies to improve the data collection process,” he said. Comments in support of or opposition to the DOJ proposal can be submitted at federalregister.gov.


Former Lambda Legal attorney dies after setting self on fire LGBT rights advocates are mourning the sudden death of the former director of Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project. The New York Times reported David Buckel, 60, set himself on fire in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., early Saturday morning. Media accounts indicate Buckel, who had become an environmental activist after he left Lambda Legal in 2008, left a suicide note near the area in which his remains were found. Buckel also emailed a copy of it to the New York Times and other media outlets. “Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” wrote Buckel in his email the New York Times said it received from him. “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.” Buckel was the lawyer who represented the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that paved the way for same-sex marriage in New Jersey. He also championed the filing of a similar lawsuit in Iowa in 2005. Lambda Legal in a press release notes Buckel helped the organization “create” its focus on LGBT youth, which included its work to secure a landmark federal court ruling that said school administrators have an obligation to stop anti-gay bullying. Buckel also represented the mother of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Nebraska in 1993. The Nebraska Supreme Court in 2001 ruled a county sheriff did not do enough to protect Teena after he testified against the men who raped him before his death. Buckel also represented James Dale, who challenged the Boy Scouts of America’s policy of banning openly gay scouts and troop leaders. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dale, but the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 overturned the decision. The Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board in 2015 voted to end its organization’s ban on openly gay leaders. The organization two years earlier began to admit openly gay scouts. “David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many,” said Lambda Legal Director of Constitutional Litigation Camilla Taylor, who is also the organization’s acting legal director, in a statement. “He will be remembered for his kindness, devotion and vision for justice.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS

AIDS foundations seek to end epidemic in South The Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, and the Aileen Getty Foundation have announced they are joining forces to award an expanded series of grants aimed at “ending the AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States.” In an April 9 statement, officials with the three foundations said they would be awarding grants for $625,000 each to 12 organizations that would seek to end, among other things, the disproportionate impact of AIDS in the South on young people and communities of color. “We’re thrilled to have the Aileen Getty Foundation join our existing partners at The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, making this one of the largest philanthropic partnerships addressing AIDS in the Southern United States,” said Elton John AIDS Foundation Chair David Furnish. “By bringing particular focus on the needs and aspirations of young people and communities of color, and by delivering support to community-rooted organizations that have been engaging the epidemic for years, this partnership has incredible potential to reduce transmissions, improve quality of life, and speed the South’s progress toward an AIDS-free generation,” Furnish said. Among the projects the grants will support, according to a statement released by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, are a “welcoming, affirming, and safe center for LGBTQ youth” in Birmingham, Ala.; “comprehensive and LGBTQ-inclusive youth wellness services” in Corpus Christie, Texas; “HIV-specific services, including preand post-exposure prophylaxis education” in Memphis, Tenn.; and “expanded mobilization and advocacy programs for LGBTQ youth of color” in Atlanta, Ga. “Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation is once again extremely honored and humbled to be on the forefront of a transformative HIV response in the U.S. south in concert with Elizabeth Taylor’s dear friend, Elton John, and family member, Aileen Getty,” said Joel Goldman, managing director of the Taylor Foundation. LOU CHIBBARO JR.



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Federal judge extends injunction on trans military ban Will Pence be called at trial? By KAREN OCAMB The timing of U.S. District Court Judge Marsha J. Pechman’s ruling on the ban against open transgender military service could not have been more poignant. As the order circulated late April 13 among lawyers and plaintiffs in the OutServeSLDN and Lambda Legal lawsuit against the Trump administration, President Trump ordered “precision strikes” in Syria in response to chemical attacks in Damascus that killed at least 40 people. The juxtaposition of air strikes versus trans service members suing to serve makes the ban even more absurd. Pechman, ruling from her federal seat in Seattle, Washington, delivered some precision strikes of her own. She ordered that her earlier preliminary injunction against the ban remain in effect. In that Dec. 11, 2017 ruling, she wrote “The Court finds that the policy prohibiting openly transgender individuals from serving in the military is likely unconstitutional.” In her April 13, 2018 decision, Pechman rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the “new” trans ban implementation policy derived from Sec. of Defense Mattis’ recommendations in late March was not a new policy at all since it violated the same constitutional

protections. She said the OutServe-SLDN and Lambda Legal case could proceed to trial with Trump still a defendant. And stunningly, Pechman wrote: “The Court also rules that, because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class. Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care, and will be subject to the Court’s ‘strict scrutiny.’ This means that before Defendants can implement the Ban, they must show that it was sincerely motivated by compelling interests, rather than by prejudice or stereotype, and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests.” “The entire decision, which is 31 pages, is chock full of great discussions that really indicate that this judge just gets it,” Peter E. Perkowski, legal director for OutServe-SLDN, told the Blade. “She understands the issues. She’s not falling for the government’s kind of shell game… keep changing the policy to try to get out of court. But she’s not falling for that. She’s definitely interested in reaching the merits of this case.” The judge did not grant all the LGBT legal groups’ requests. She denied permanent injunction and the request for a ruling on the merits without a trial. “She said she’s not willing to do that now because she wants to hear specifically

Vice President MIKE PENCE’s connection to the trans ban is something ‘the legal teams will look at in the discovery process.’

how the 2018 recommendations from Sec. Mattis and the panel of experts, as it’s been called—how much deference she needs to give to those results of that proceeding,” Perkowski says, “And whether she gives any deference at all or some or a lot – whether the ban, as it exists now, still has to meet constitutional revue, as she set forth in her decision.” Going to trial means the legal groups would have a discovery process, which could finally reveal how, exactly, the ban on transgender service members wound up as a Trump Tweet last year. Using very reliable sources, the LA Blade reported on Aug. 9, 2017 that the origin story lead from the Air Force Academy to religious Republican conservatives in the House — led by Rep. Duncan Hunter of California

and Rep. Vicki Hartzler from Missouri — to evangelical lobbyist Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, along with his colleagues Ken Blackwell and Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (ret), to Vice President Mike Pence, who agreed to help. Since then, others have reported similar accounts, including Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern and Think Progress’ Zack Ford. Meanwhile, Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade, reported on April 12 that Army Secretary Mark Esper has had no problems with unit cohesion, which goes against a trans ban talking point. Would the legal teams use the trial discovery process to get to the truth of how, who and why the ban was created? Perkowski said he would not disclose trial strategy but added: “Yes, we are looking into all avenues to prove that this policy is not motivated by legitimate government objective but rather is motivated by bias— and that would include developing evidence that people like people in the [anti-LGBT] religious community had input into how this policy was made and how it was announced. That would be very critical evidence or at least powerful evidence about what deference the court would owe to the ban, for example and whether it survives constitutional review.”


Longtime LGBT advocate in Iowa dies after battle with cancer Red Wing oversaw LGBT activism after state enacted marriage equality By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com A longtime LGBT advocate in Iowa who oversaw victories in her state that included marriage equality and the loosening of restrictions on her state’s HIV criminalization law has died after a battle with lung cancer, One Iowa announced Tuesday morning. Donna Red Wing, who served as executive director of One Iowa from 2012 to 2016, died Monday evening at age 67 after an eight-month battle with lung cancer, according to the Des Moines Register. Red Wing is credited with dedicating more than 30 years of her life to the fight for LGBT rights in Iowa as well as D.C. and around the country. Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, the current executive director of One Iowa, said in a statement Red Wing was “a force to be reckoned with and will be greatly missed by individuals across the country.”

DONNA RED WING, shown here in 1994, was an LGBT advocate in Iowa who died at age 67 after a battle with cancer. WASHINGTON BLADE ARCHIVE PHOTO BY KRISTI GASAWAY)

“Donna inspired so many including myself,” Hoffman-Zinnel said. “I was lucky enough to get to know her when she first came to Iowa and co-founded One Iowa’ s LGBTQ Health & Wellness Conference. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Donna’s support and mentorship.” Once dubbed “the most dangerous woman in America” by the Christian

Coalition, Red Wing was known for her charisma and civil approach to activism. In addition to leading One Iowa for four years, she briefly served as director of the Eychaner Foundation, a non-profit that awards scholarships to students who champion LGBT issues, and served on the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission, where she launched an LGBT advisory council. The commission recently named its annual Lifetime Achievement award after Red Wing in recognition of her longtime work. Active in the marriage equality movement, Red Wing took the helm of One Iowa after the state enacted same-sex marriage and supporters beat back an antigay constitutional amendment in the state legislature. During her tenure at One Iowa, she helped guide to passage legislation in 2014 that loosened the restrictions on HIV criminalization in Iowa, which at the time had one of the most draconian laws against people with the disease. In 2013, Red Wing told the Washington Blade in the wake of securing marriage equality working with local HIV groups to repeal her state’s HIV criminalization law was her No. 1 legislative priority.

“Over the years, I’ve been troubled that as the face of AIDS changes, fewer and fewer LGBT organizations are engaging in this struggle,” Red Wing said. “It seems like the right thing to do, you know? Because in the early days, if it wasn’t for our people, if it wasn’t for the LGBT communities, we would not be where we are today.” Three years later, when the Blade visited the offices of One Iowa in 2016 during presidential caucuses, Red Wing recalled in 2014 then-Gov. Terry Branstad was compelled to sign the legislation because it passed on a bipartisan basis, but looked uncomfortable at the signing ceremony. “We had every Republican in the House and Senate signed on,” Red Wing said. “He had to [sign it]. It was bulletproof. So were we surprised? No. We were there. He didn’t look happy. He was surrounded by queers and people with HIV and had to sign it.” Sharon Malheiro, board emeritus of One Iowa, said in a statement Red Wing’s “passion and dedication to serving the LGBTQ community was unparalleled, and I am honored to have known and worked with her.”


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Pompeo grilled over anti-LGBT statements during hearing CIA director reiterates opposition to marriage equality By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com Mike Pompeo last week during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of state faced questions about his previous anti-LGBT statements. Pompeo reaffirmed his opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples when U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asked about a 2015 speech in which he cited a prayer from an anti-gay preacher that described homosexuality as a “perversion” and an “alternative lifestyle.” Pompeo also did not directly answer Booker’s question about whether he thinks “being gay is a perversion.” “My respect for every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, is the same,” Pompeo told Booker and other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. President Trump last month nominated Pompeo — who is the current CIA director — to succeed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after he fired him. Pompeo represented Kansas’ 4th Congressional

The confirmation hearing on CIA Director MIKE POMPEO’s nomination to become the next secretary of state took place before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 12. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

District from 2011-2017. Pompeo opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He also co-sponsored a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would have allowed states to refuse to recognize the marriages of gays and lesbians. Pompeo also has longstanding ties to the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a hate group. The Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal are among the dozens of LGBT and civil rights organizations that have come out against Pompeo’s nomination because of his previous

statements against homosexuality, marriage rights for same-sex couples, Muslims and other issues. “We had a terrible fellow in Kansas named Fred Phelps,” Pompeo told Booker in response to a question about his previous statements against Muslims. “I called him out.” Pompeo told Booker that he treated married gay couples at the CIA “with the exact same set of rights.” Pompeo also said to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen that he has “honored and valued every CIA officer, regardless” of their sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. “I treat each and everyone of our officers with respect,” Pompeo told Shaheen. “I promise I will do that as secretary of state.” The hearing took place against the backdrop of increasing concern over whether Trump will fire Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and/or special counsel Robert Mueller who are investigating whether his campaign had any ties to Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. Trump in the coming days is also expected to potentially authorize a military strike against Syria after President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons to attack a one-time rebel stronghold outside of the country’s

capital of Damascus. Trump in the coming weeks is also expected to meet with North Korean President Kim Jong-un, who is under pressure to end his country’s nuclear weapons program. “If we do not lead for democracy, for prosperity, for human rights around the world, than who will,” said Pompeo during the hearing. Pompeo also told senators he would work to bolster morale at the State Department and seek to fill positions that went unfilled during Tillerson’s tenure. “I believe deeply the State Department’s workforce must be diverse,” he said. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who chairs the committee, on Thursday said he “avidly” supports Pompeo’s nomination. U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in a statement announced his opposition to Pompeo, citing his positions on a host of issues that include the deal with Iran over its nuclear program and torture. “He has shown himself to be antiequality and anti-Muslim, and quick to limit access to reproductive health care and deny the pressing issue of climate change,” notes Van Hollen in his statement. “For all of these reasons, I cannot support his nomination as secretary of state.” ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Barbara Bush remembered as gay ally who fought AIDS stigma Iconic first lady dies at 92 By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday night at age 92 from an unspecified cause, leaves a legacy as both a former first and second lady for encouraging good citizenship and patriotism. But she is unique also for using her position to embrace gay rights and HIV/AIDS at a time when they were unpopular issues, especially among conservatives. The standout moment for Bush on gay rights was in 1990 when she was first lady under the administration of her husband former President George H.W. Bush and responded to a letter from PFLAG president Paulette Goodman, who led the group for parents and friends of gay people and sought support for the thenfledgling organization. In the letter, Bush called Goodman, whose daughter was a lesbian and who helped co-found the D.C. chapter of PFLAG, a “caring parent and compassionate citizen.” “I firmly believe we cannot tolerate discrimination against any individuals or groups in our country,” Bush said. “Such treatment always brings with it pain and perpetuates intolerance.”

First lady BARBARA BUSH supported gay rights, gave visibility to HIV/AIDS as first lady.

Bush concluded, “Your words speak eloquently of your love for your child and your compassion for all gay Americans and their families.” The letter, which may have been the first gay-positive comments to come from the White House, was reported by the Associated Press and reportedly ignited a firestorm among social conservatives, who were pushing for the U.S. government to condemn gay people at a time when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was at its height. In a statement to the Washington Blade, Goodman said Bush’s letter to

PFLAG “put us on the national scene” and in the aftermath “our letters were picked up by press, and PFLAG National began getting calls.” “What first attracted me to Mrs. Bush, to write this letter, was that I saw her on TV, visiting a home with babies and children affected by HIV and AIDS, and I thought, ‘This is a woman I could write to,’” Goodman said. “And she was, indeed, a most wonderful person. We had further correspondence after that first letter, and she was a most down-to-earth person. Mrs. Bush, with her correspondence, really put PFLAG on the national map.” Indeed, the letter from Bush was consistent with her work on HIV/AIDS as first lady. In 1989, Bush visited Grandma’s House, a D.C.-area hospice for children with HIV/AIDS. At time when HIV infection was a death sentence, she was seen hugging children and adults with HIV/AIDS to help dispel stigma and fears the disease could be transferred simply through touch. In 1992, when her husband sought reelection, Bush distanced herself from the Republican Party’s anti-gay rhetoric at a time when Pat Buchanan stoked fears over gays at the Republican National Convention as attendees chanted, “Family Rights Forever/Gay Rights Never.” Bush told the media being gay — as well as the choice to have an abortion — was

a “personal thing” and they “should be left out of, in my opinion, out of platforms and conventions.” President George H.W. Bush lost reelection to President Bill Clinton and Barbara Bush gave up the position of first lady to Hillary Clinton. Their son, George W. Bush, on the other hand had two terms as president, winning re-election in 2004 after a campaign stoking fears about same-sex marriage and in support of a U.S. constitutional amendment that would have banned it nationwide. One action after Bush left her role as first lady echoes the sentiments she previously expressed on gay rights. In 2013, she attended the same-sex wedding in Kennebunkport, Maine, of her friends Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen. George H.W. Bush served as a witness at the ceremony. Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said Bush leaves an important legacy on gay rights, which he said she approached in a manner consistent with her actions as first lady. “Barbara Bush was a prime example of a Republican who was willing to engage with gay Americans, and didn’t shy away from doing so,” Angelo said. “Hers was a more demure brand of allyship, but she demonstrated a bold compassion for others — not just LGBT Americans, but all Americans.”


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HRC holds annual global summit in D.C. Theresa May ‘deeply’ regrets anti-LGBTI colonial-era laws

From left: IRWIN IRADUKUNDA of Burundi, ALBA LUCÍA REYES ARENAS of Colombia and HAZEL MOKGATHI of Botswana are among the 31 LGBTI rights activists from around the world who took part in HRC’s Global Innovative Advocacy Summit. PHOTO COURTESY HRC

Thirty-one LGBTI rights advocates from around the world attended the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Global Innovative Advocacy Summit that took place last week in D.C. Activists from Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Japan, Kuwait, Thailand, Albania, Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, St. Lucia, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey and Kazakhstan attended the summit that took place at HRC from April 9-12. Alba Lucía Reyes Arenas — a Colombian woman whose son, Sergio Urrego, took his own life in 2014 after administrators of the high school he attended targeted him after a teacher saw a picture of him kissing his boyfriend — is among those who spoke. “Being here has been electrifying,” Hazel Mokgathi, director of African Women for Sexual Health and Gender Justice, a group that advocates on behalf of transgender women and other groups in Botswana, told the Washington Blade on April 11. “It’s like a wave of energy has just been pumped into me.” Danilo Manzano, an LGBTI rights advocate who lives in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, said the summit was “the ideal opportunity to highlight the LGBTI reality” in his country. Manzano told the Blade the summit also provided an opportunity to network with other activists from around the world. Irwin Iradukunda, director of programs at Moulin des Libertés, an LGBTI advocacy group in Burundi, noted to the Blade on April 11 that consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized in his country. Iradukunda also said the Burundian government’s crackdown on civil society organizations is “the most pressing issue” for Moulin des Libertés. “We are doing some work back home,” he told the Blade. “But being here and being exposed to people doing different work in different countries is so good to me.” The summit took place against the backdrop of anti-LGBTI crackdowns that continue to take place in Indonesia, Egypt and other countries. HRC President Chad Griffin on March 29 once again urged President Trump to publicly condemn the crackdown against gay and bisexual men in Chechnya. Mike Pompeo on April 12 during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of state did not directly answer U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)’s question about whether he thinks “being gay is a perversion.” The U.S. continues to promote LGBTI rights abroad, even though the Trump administration’s record on LGBTI-specific issues in the U.S. has sparked outrage among advocacy groups and their supporters. Advocates in Latin America, the Middle East and other regions have also criticized the White House’s immigration policies. Mokgathi specifically criticized Trump over his efforts to ban trans people from the military. She also described him as “a horrible bully.” “He should just finish his term and go and the right person in there; someone who is open-minded, someone who is for all communities,” Mokgathi told the Blade. “He can’t be a leader of a country and then speak for a certain group of people and denounce the rest of the people.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday said she “deeply” regrets colonial-era laws criminalizing consensual samesex relations the U.K. introduced in Commonwealth countries. “Discriminatory laws made many years ago continue to affect the lives of many people, criminalizing same-sex relations and failing to protect women and girls,” she said in a speech at the Commonwealth summit British Prime Minister THERESA MAY on April 17 said she ‘deeply’ regrets anti-LGBTI in London. laws the U.K. introduced in Commonwealth “I am all too aware that these countries. PHOTO BY POLICY EXCHANGE; COURTESY FLICKR laws were often put in place by my own country,” added May. “They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. As the U.K.’s prime minister, I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.” More than half of the Commonwealth’s 53 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. Peter Tatchell, a prominent British LGBTI rights activist who is director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, on Monday urged May to apologize for the laws. May’s comments come less than a week after a judge in Trinidad and Tobago, which is a Commonwealth country, struck down the former British colony’s sodomy law. “This acknowledgment by the U.K. is significant as it disrupts the narrative that homosexuality was imported from the west when in fact it was homophobia which was imposed on the nations of the Commonwealth by the British colonizers,” Maurice Tomlinson, a gay lawyer who has challenged Jamaica’s sodomy law, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday Henry Aho, president of the Tonga Leitis Association, an LGBTI advocacy organization in the Pacific island nation of Tonga, which is also a Commonwealth country, told the Blade he is “encouraged by the admission of wrong doing.” Aho added he is “hopeful that (May’s) government will back her statements in assisting grassroots organizations in Commonwealth countries such as the Tonga Leitis Association push for law reform.” Tomlinson made a similar point. “This ‘alien legacy’ has ruined lives, spread HIV and destroyed families across the 53 nations and nearly 2.5 billion people of the Commonwealth,” he told the Blade. “The U.K. should therefore go beyond a mere acknowledgment and tangibly support efforts to clean up its toxic export.” May is not the only head of state who has apologized for their country’s antiLGBT laws in recent years. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November 2017 formally apologized to those who suffered persecution and discrimination under his country’s antiLGBT laws and policies. A British law that received royal assent earlier in the year posthumously pardoned thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted under the country’s homophobic laws between 1885-2003. The law is named after Alan Turing, a pioneering mathematician who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 for having a relationship with another man. Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 posthumously pardoned Turing, who broke Germany’s secret Enigma code during World War II. The governments of Germany and New Zealand have also made similar overtures to men who were convicted of consensual same-sex sexual relations in their respective countries. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry in January 2017 formally apologized to State Department personnel who were fired during the so-called “lavender scare.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS



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D.C. police release video of anti-gay attack CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

a.m. Sunday, April 15. Parson declined to say how police obtained the video. But Fox 5 News reports that a person standing near the incident filmed part of it on a cell phone and posted it to Twitter. Police said the two victims were taken to a hospital Sunday morning and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Parson told reporters at the news conference on Monday that the two have been released from the hospital and were recuperating from the injuries they sustained from the attack. A police report of the incident released early Monday says one of the victims suffered a broken nose and chipped tooth. The report says the other victim had been knocked unconscious and according to a Facebook posting by a friend suffered a concussion. Police released the video less than an hour after they released several fuzzy still photos of the three suspects that appeared to be taken from the video. In a statement accompanying the still photos and video, police reiterated that at least one of the suspects “yelled homophobic slurs” at the victims during the attack. The latest statement calls on members of the public to contact police if they recognize one or more of the three attackers in the photos or video. “Anyone who can identify these individuals or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s Text Tip Line at 50411,” the statement says. Similar to the earlier police statement, the statement accompanying the video and photos provides a description of each of the suspects: “Suspect One—A black male, between 20-25 years of age, wearing a white t-shirt, dark pants and gray high-top sneakers…” Suspect Two is described as a “black male between 2025 years of age, wearing dark clothes with distinctive shoes” as shown in the photo. Suspect Three is described in the police statement as a “heavy set black male between 20-25 years of age, wearing a white shirt, jeans, red boxers and dark shoes.” Friends of the victims have identified them on social media as D.C. residents Michael Creason and Zack Link, both of whom are said to work as sign language interpreters. Sgt. Jessica Hawkins, the supervisor of the LGBT Liaison Unit, accompanied Parson at Monday night’s news conference. “This violent criminal act does not serve the District of Columbia and it certainly doesn’t reflect the D.C. values that we hold true here in the District of Columbia,” Parson said at the news conference. “We take these very seriously and we know that while it was a crime against two individuals that were injured here, there are many, many other people,

D.C. Police Sgt. BRETT PARSON speaks to reporters.


Troye Sivan, Alessia Cara to headline Capital Pride concert

D.C. Police Chief PETER NEWSHAM said he is confident police will track down the suspects and make an arrest in the anti-gay attack. PHOTO BY USMS OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS VIA FLICKR

not just in the LGBT community, but in the surrounding neighborhood and also their friends, family members and co-workers, who may be impacted by a crime like this,” he said. “And that is why it is so important that members of the community who may have information to get that information to us so that we can bring these people to justice,” Parson told reporters. At a Tuesday news conference on an unrelated matter, police released no new information about the anti-gay attack. But Police Chief Peter Newsham said he is “confident” police will track down the suspects and make an arrest. Mayor Muriel Bowser nodded her approval of Newsham’s comments but didn’t say anything about the incident at the press conference.

Troye Sivan and Alessia Cara will headline the 2018 Capital Pride Concert on Sunday, June 10, Capital Pride announced on Monday. The Capital Pride Concert kicks off on three stages at 1 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue at Third Street during the Capital Pride Festival. Sivan, 22, started his career as a YouTuber whose vlogs earned him thousands of viewers and millions of subscribers. The openly gay singer released his first single “Happy Little Pill” in 2014 before releasing TROYE SIVAN his debut studio album PHOTO BY HEDI SLIMANE “Blue Neighbourhood” in 2015 featuring the hit singles “Youth,” “Talk Me Down” and “Heaven.” Cara broke onto the music scene with her hit debut single “Here,” which reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She had another successful solo hit with “Scars to Your Beautiful” which reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Cara also collaborated with fellow artists for a number of hit singles including the suicide prevention anthem “1-800-273-8255” with rapper Logic and dance anthem hit “Stay” with Zedd. Sivan and Cara teamed up for their own collaboration, “Wild,” which was featured on Sivan’s album “Blue Neighborhood.” Admission to the concert is free. For more details, visit Capital Pride’s site. MARIAH COOPER



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Sen. Jones talks LGBT issues, says gay son influenced views CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

LGBT affinity group for Senate staffers during the 40-minute talk before posing with them for photos. The Washington Blade was the exclusive media outlet invited to the event. In contrast to Jones, his opponent in the special election, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, holds draconian views on LGBT rights. After saying in 2005 he thinks homosexuality itself should be illegal, Moore as a former Alabama Supreme Court Justice, urged probate judges in Alabama to ignore court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage. As a candidate for U.S. Senate, Moore called for the impeachment of the judge who ruled against Trump’s transgender military ban. “I also knew that ultimately we were going to be running against someone in Alabama who was as far from equality as you could possibly get,” Jones said. “I wanted to make that front and center in the primary campaign and for that to be an issue in the general election. We made clear where the Doug Jones campaign was on all issues involving equality.” Over the course of his campaign, Jones was seen on video expressing support for transgender rights, declaring his opposition to the Trump administration revoking Obama-era guidance ensuring transgender kids have access to school restrooms consistent with their gender identity and Trump’s attempt to ban transgender people from the U.S. military. The video was posted to YouTube by someone who thought those views would harm Jones’ campaign and gave it the title, “Doug Jones commits political suicide in Alabama Senate Race!” The prediction of the individual who posted the video proved incorrect. “We had the campaign trolls, or whatever it is, get me on camera, video,” Jones said. “Some people got a little bit concerned about how it’s used, and I said, ‘Why? I answered the question about transgender people in the military honestly, the way I think, and so, what the hell? We shouldn’t be worried about that.’ And so, we never pulled back, we never backed off.” Jones said his commitment to LGBT rights continues. “It speaks a lot when a voice from the Deep South can talk about equality issues, especially given the history of Birmingham, Ala., and racial discrimination that was practiced so much in the South, and still, to some extent, around the country today,” Jones said. The Alabama senator and former U.S. attorney was quick-witted throughout the GLASS event. When he was introduced as its distinguished guest, Jones replied, “Who is that?” Many of the questions posed by staffers were non-LGBT related: What

This photo of CARSON JONES (second from left), the gay son of Sen. DOUG JONES, went viral after Instagram users praised his side-eye glance at Vice President MIKE PENCE.

has surprised him the most as a senator? “My damned schedule.” What’s his goal for staff representation? “Finding the best people, seeking diversity and having Alabama connections.” As a former Senate staffer, what advice would he give current staffers? “Do everything possible to make your boss look absolutely the best.” Questions on LGBT issues also came up. Asked what he thinks will be the next big thing for LGBT rights, Jones said it would be instituting non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which he called “very, very important.” “That will be a challenge,” Jones said. “If that will happen, it will rank right up there with the Obergefell decision. I’m a cosponsor of that. I’d like to see it happen this Congress. I doubt it will.” Jones said he co-sponsors the Equality Act, legislation introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in the U.S. Senate that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws. The website for the Library of Congress indicates Jones became the 46th cosponsor for the bill on Tuesday. One way in which Jones said he seeks to advance LGBT rights is through data collection on hate crimes. Although the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act allows the Justice Department to collect data on anti-LGBT hate crimes, Jones said many state and local governments still resist the practice out of “fear of social backlash, political backlash.” “It’s an issue that I think needs to be addressed, and hopefully it’s being addressed more, I think, as issues of equality are becoming more acceptable to the South,” Jones said. Key to the senator’s views on LGBT rights were his son, Carson Jones, a gay student at Colorado State University who has gained a following from his Instagram account. The senator joked he’s “often times more widely known as the father of Carson Jones,” whom he said is “rapidly becoming a legend in his own mind.”

When the senator was asked about having an openly gay son — including his Instagram account, which prompted Jones to quip, “We’ve all seen it” — he said “it would be misleading” if he said that didn’t affect his views because “at the end of the day, a lot of this is so personal.” “Has it affected me? Absolutely,” Jones said. “Did my representation...of a probate judge in Jefferson County whom we defended when Roy Moore tried to shut him down giving marriage licenses? That affected me, too.” Jones said witnessing the first samesex marriages in Alabama was “just phenomenal” and after seeing “the love, the happiness” wondered “what in the hell were people thinking” who opposed same-sex unions. “Everything affects you, but obviously a child affects you more than anything else,” Jones said. “I’m happy to do that, I’m happy to be there to defend him — when he can be defended, as we always say, when he can be defended.” Asked by the Blade after the event about the experience of his son coming out to him, Jones said the experience was powerful. “That’s a little bit harder to answer,” Jones said. “Only that he knew and we expressed unconditional love and wanted to make sure he knew that and that was the case at that point, and it was just pretty much that simple.” Jones was candidly pessimistic on some points. Asked whether he’s seen a shift in Alabama in favor of LGBT rights, Jones replied succinctly, “Nope.” In fact, Jones added, “There’s been some things that are just the opposite.” As evidence, Jones pointed to legislation that advanced in the state legislature, but never became law, in the aftermath of marriage equality that sought to remove Alabama from the business of marriage altogether. “That was a direct reaction to probate judges who didn’t want to perform gay marriages,” Jones said. “And we’ve seen that. You’ve got to remember, when you have someone like Roy Moore who’s kind

of leading the charge, you’re going to get people all riled up. So, I haven’t seen a lot of things in a positive way on that front.” But Jones said countering that trend is opposition to anti-LGBT legislation from the business community, pointing to the outcry over the anti-transgender bathroom House Bill 2 in North Carolina that led to the ouster of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in the 2016 election. That fallout, Jones said, had an effect on Alabama. “It helped neutralize that and people finally started seeing how embarrassing some of those can be on a state, and businesses saw how it can affect economic development, because at the end of the day, as much as I want to think that these are civil rights issues, for so many people, it’s all about the money,” Jones said. “It’s all about economic development and whether or not we’re going to attract business.” Jones also said those economic concerns were a factor in his win in Alabama. The state was concerned that outrageous comments from Moore “the first time he was on ‘Meet the Press’ or something’ would jeopardize business in Alabama, Jones said, and the election outcome there had “nothing to do with my pretty face.” Despite the climate in his state, Jones said he’s not going to downplay his views on social issues, recalling advice he said he received from former Vice President Joseph Biden that political candidates must stay true to their views. “I am constantly getting asked how will you navigate the social issues being a Democrat from Alabama in the 2020 presidential year, Trump won the state 61, 62 percent,” Jones said. “How are you going to navigate? I always tell them that, look, navigate means that you’re consciously trying to steer something for political advantage, and I’m not.” One development on LGBT issues that Jones said gave him political cover was Sen. Richard Shelby, the senior senator from Alabama, who said in response to the transgender military ban, “any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet those standards should have the opportunity to do so.” “I don’t navigate things, but I like political cover, and he gave me a lot of political cover for that,” Jones said. Asked by the Blade about what he makes of findings from Defense Secretary James Mattis against transgender military service, Jones said he’ll stick to his previously stated opposition to Trump’s ban. “I kind of go back to the fact of what I said earlier,” Jones said. “I think people who are willing to serve and are fit to serve, physically and mentally, they should be allowed to serve. Period.”

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D.C. DOH launches trans Latino PrEP campaign

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WASHINGTON — Transgender Latino activists in Washington have collaborated with the D.C. Department of Health on targeted PrEP outreach effort. The “Pledge to Be PrEPared” campaign has been launched and organizers sought local trans input in launching the effort, the department said. “The transgender community participation in the campaign took place from the strategic planning and focus groups to the inclusion of real transgender Latina women in the promotional materials,” department officials said in a press release. “This resulted in trusted messages in hopes of building trust among this community when deciding to take PrEP, as well as understanding its benefits.” Alexa Rodriguez, director of Trans-Latin@ DMV, praised the effort. “It’s important to educate the transgender community, as well as to break barriers and taboos about taking PrEP, and understand the real benefits of taking it, especially to prevent HIV,” Rodriquez was quoted as having said in a press release.. She added that “the DC Department of Health’s efforts to benefit the transgender community are a big step, but there is still a lot to be done.” The campaign includes a website that lists FAQ from sexually active trans people about HIV/AIDS. It includes local resource agencies such as HIPS, Whitman-Walker, Casa Ruby, et. al. The department also has targeted PrEP pages for black women and gay men. According to the department, there are nearly 13,000 D.C. residents who are HIV-positive. With daily use, PrEP has been proven to be highly effective at preventing HIV infection.

Sexual violence data high for bi Utah residents NEW YORK — Gay and especially bi Utah residents reported unusually high incidents of sexual assault in a 2016 survey, NewNowNext reports citing data from the Utah Department of Health. Nearly half (45.5 percent) of bi residents and a third of lesbians and gays (33.6 percent) told health officials they had been the victim of sexual violence at some point in their lives compared to 8.7 percent of straight residents. “Sexual violence is rooted in the inequities of our society and disproportionately hurts those who have been pushed to the margins,” Turner Bitton, executive director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, told NewNowNext. “Utah communities are counting on us to ensure that everyone is included in prevention efforts.” The findings align with results from similar studies, including the Centers for Disease’s Control’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. A study from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that nearly half of all transgender people have experienced sexual assault or abuse. This was the first time Utah health officials included men in a survey about sexual assault. They found that, overall, one in ten adults in the state reported being victims of sexual violence.

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ATLANTA — Children and teens who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health woes, HealthDay reports citing new data published in the April edition of the journal Pediatrics. ADVERTISING P R study, O O F the overall rate of mental health conditions in transgender and In the ISSUE DATE: 10.26.12 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS (bpitts@washblade.com) gender non-conforming youth was three-13 times higher than in those whose gender matched the one they had at birth. REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof wille bed considered will publication is hours adviC edate • of m i a twillifinal o and N • beL submitted i after t i 12:01 Gfor apm t wednesday, i o Nif revision •theaweek Pnot Pofsubmitted epublication.Brown a L Swithin • 24 Cnaff o pitts LofL a B o r a t i o N The study authors found that depression rates were 49 percent in young trans the proof. Revisions not be accepted NS omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is women and 62 percent in young trans men. Those depression rates were fourresponsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users GN can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or EVISIONS any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any seven times higher than they were in typical youth, researchers said. copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair /LOGO REVISIONS competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, The rates of attention-deficit disorder were 15 percent for trans women and or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE SIONS washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred 16is not percent for trans men. Those numbers were three-seven times higher than washington blade newspaper. This includes but limited to placement, 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. for the matched group of typical kids and teens, the findings showed. The researchers used electronic medical records to identify almost 600 trans girls and nearly 750 trans boys and teens who had been seen at Kaiser FamiLY | eState PLaNNiNG | emPLoYmeNt | immiGratioN Permanente sites in California or in Georgia. There was also an age-matched ComPLeX LitiGatioN | CiviL riGHtS | LGBt | adoPtioN | BuSiNeSS typical youth group, for comparison. A second study in the same issue of the journal looked at almost 82,000 high school students in Minnesota in 2016. The researchers searched for experiences of childhood adversity. Then the information was sorted by sexual and gender identity. at tor N e YS at L aw • d C | m d | va The study found that, compared to straight teens, those who were LGBT were 3 0 1 . 8 9 1 . 2 2 0 0 • S P - L aw. C o m much more likely to experience physical abuse or witness domestic violence.

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Ugandan refugees cling to hope Displaced LGBT Africans need our help

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

The hazardous state of LGBT rights in many parts of the world was illustrated last month when Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s viciously homophobic Speaker of Parliament, threatened to withdraw from the Inter-Parliamentary Union after some nations tried to amend a declaration on migrants and refugees to include LGBT people. Edwin Sesange of the African Equality Foundation criticized Kadaga and pointed out “that the west introduced homophobia, not homosexuality, to Africa and Asia.” This is a point that many anti-colonialists refuse to grasp. The criminalization of “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between two males, as you may surmise from the phrasing, derives

not from Ugandan tradition but from the old British Penal Code. In a desperate situation, the lifesaver, if not careful, can be pulled under. Like intensive care nurses, those of us who wish to help must steel ourselves to avoid being overwhelmed, or we will be of no use to those in need. And the need is certainly there. I remembered this last week as I was flooded by appeals from gay Ugandan refugees. The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 was blocked in court on a technicality, but the campaign for the bill stirred up violence that caused many LGBT people to flee to Nairobi, Kenya for their lives. There they registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. UNHCR works with HIAS, an American nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid to refugees. The refugees did receive aid. But a growing caseload has forced a cutoff of the monthly stipends many depended on to sustain themselves during a process that can drag on for years. The xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia they face are barriers to employment. Here are several examples of what the refugees are going through. I have changed their names. Nat’s case has been pending with UNHCR for two years. Badly beaten during E DIT OR IA L C A R T OON

a protest, he was taken to the Kakuma Refugee Camp where he did not receive care. Problems with his back caused him to return to Nairobi. Pain medications are expensive. People he doesn’t know are calling him using private numbers threatening to kill him. He verges on despair. Hassan found help with rent, but last week people broke into his place and stole his clothes, shoes, laptop, and the gas he used for cooking. He made a crime report to police, but there is little prospect of getting his belongings back. In a chat over WhatsApp, he said several times in his quiet, elegant voice that he might as well die. I urged him not to lose hope. Seven transgender protesters outside the Kakuma Camp were attacked, leaving one in a coma. Stan was attacked while walking home and hospitalized with head trauma. Andrew needed a dentist to extract a painful tooth. Ras was put out on the street, but was taken in by another refugee. Amid hunger and fear, the despised help one another. We can do more than watch in anguish. We can raise funds and voices for our displaced Ugandan brothers and sisters. I began my involvement with two refugee leaders I knew. Aside from modest monetary assistance, I have drafted letters of inquiry to UNHCR and RSC Africa (Resettlement Support Center) and offered moral support, which requires resisting hopelessness. We are stronger together. There have been arguments over whether LGBT people should flee Uganda. I will not second-guess decisions made in extremis. Unlike those languishing in Kenya, I have not received anonymous death threats nor been disowned by my family. The Ugandans are less visible than other displaced people like the Syrians whom Trump, ignoring Christ, refuses to welcome, though last week he eagerly joined another attack in their devastated land. Yet our folk are standing up for themselves, like the gay Kenyans fighting their persecutors in court. Nairobi’s LGBT refugees need shelter, food, and medication. Their gentle spirits and varied talents will enhance any community in which they find a home. But right now they need our help. You can donate via the African Human Rights Coalition’s relief fund at tinyurl.com/lgbtrel7 or the refugees’ GoFundMe page at tinyurl.com/nairobirel. Let us extend a hand and uplift them. Copyright © 2018 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.

202-747-2077 E-MAIL news@washblade.com INTERNET washingtonblade.com PUBLISHED BY Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. PUBLISHER LYNNE J. BROWN lbrown@washblade.com ext. 8075 EDITORIAL EDITOR KEVIN NAFF knaff@washblade.com ext. 8088 FEATURES EDITOR JOEY DIGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com ext. 8081 SR. NEWS REPORTER LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com ext. 8079 NEWS REPORTER CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com ext. 8083 REPORTER & INTERNATIONAL NEWS EDITOR MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com POP CULTURE REPORTER MARIAH COOPER PHOTO EDITOR MICHAEL KEY mkey@washblade.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS PETER ROSENSTEIN, MARK LEE, LATEEFAH WILLIAMS, KATE CLINTON, KATHI WOLFE, RICHARD J. ROSENDALL, HELEN PARSHALL, ERNESTO VALLE, NICOLÁS LEVY, BUNMI JOHNSON CREATIVE DESIGN/PRODUCTION AZERCREATIVE.COM SALES & ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING STEPHEN RUTGERS srutgers@washblade.com ext. 8077 SR. ACCT. EXECUTIVE BRIAN PITTS bpitts@washblade.com ext. 8089 ACCT. EXECUTIVE JOE HICKLING jhickling@washblade.com ext. 8094 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING/ADMINISTRATION PHILLIP G. ROCKSTROH prockstroh@washblade.com ext. 8092 NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA 212-242-6863; sales@rivendellmedia.com For distribution, contact Lynne Brown at 202-747-2077, ext. 8075. Distributed by MediaPoint, LLC All material in the Washington Blade is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Washington Blade. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Although the Washington Blade is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Washington Blade, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. A single copy of the Washington Blade is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within a 50-mile radius of Washington, D.C. Multiple copies are available from the Washington Blade office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 52-week mailed subscription for $195 per year or $5.00 per single issue. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Phil Rockstroh at prockstroh@washblade.com. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Washington Blade, PO BOX 53352 Washington, DC 20009. The Washington Blade is published weekly, on Friday, by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. Individual Subscriptions are $195 per year for 52 issues (only $3.75 per issue mailed to you USPS). Rates for businesses/institutions are $450 per year. Periodical postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. Editorial positions of the Washington Blade are expressed in editorials and in editors’ notes as determined by the paper’s editors. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Washington Blade or its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words; commentaries should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Send submissions by e-mail to knaff@washblade.com.




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Re-elect Muriel Bowser mayor of D.C. No one will fight harder to improve the lives of city residents

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

The District of Columbia has been my home since 1978. When I first moved here it was a small sleepy southern town. In trying to explain why it’s complicated and doesn’t always work John F. Kennedy once said, “Washington is a city of northern charm and southern efficiency.” We have come a long way from JFK’s time and from when I moved here. The District of Columbia is a bustling, growing modern city. Our population has reached 700,000 and it’s projected that by 2045 there will be one million people living here. We have growing and balanced budgets and it is difficult to remember the time we had a federal control board. We are spending more money on affordable housing, education, social services and healthcare than ever before. Yet we still we have many problems and a long way to go to meet the needs of all our residents, to ensure equality, and deal with the structural racism that exists. Muriel Bowser is a fifth generation Washingtonian. She grew up in North Michigan Park in the same house where you can still find her dad who was an ANC commissioner and her mom a nurse. They inculcated in Muriel the value of a good education and importance of giving back to the community. Ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and thrive is what forms Muriel’s vision for her second term. She knows no matter how much was accomplished in her first term it’s only a start of all she wants to accomplish for the people of the District. Make no mistake she has accomplished a lot. She focused on areas crucial to moving people forward and giving them a better life. Education has been a major focus for her and she understands the recent issues we are uncovering in that area must to be dealt with head on. She has said after the primary she will begin the process of hiring a new DCPS chancellor, one who will work with her to ensure no student graduates high school unprepared to go to college or begin a career. Muriel will look for a chancellor who charts a course ensuring D.C. can again be the


fastest improving school district in the country. Even with the problems, D.C.’s public school system is making progress under her leadership. But she and we the voters know it’s not fast enough. This year will see the mayor make the largest investment in public education ever in the District. Soon after her election, Muriel quickly negotiated a contract with the teachers’ union after teachers worked

prisoners to workforce training and real opportunities. She understands the way to fight recidivism is by providing these opportunities. There is more to do in this area as well. The mayor launched the largest deployment of body worn cameras to our police officers, which is helping increase accountability during community and police encounters. This helps build the community’s trust in our police,

Ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and thrive is what forms Muriel’s vision for her second term. without one for five years. In response to the need, the mayor opened the District’s first all-male high school, the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School. Again we know there is much more to do but building a public education system in our city were every child has an equal opportunity for a quality education is a goal moving closer to reality. In the area of public safety this mayor’s efforts have resulted in a drop in crime including violent crime and property crime. In addition, Muriel has focused on providing second chances to our citizens who commit a crime by connecting returning

a crucial need when you are combating crime. Under a program sponsored by the mayor, every resident, business and church that installs a security camera can apply for a rebate; another way to combat crime and make our residents safer. During Muriel’s first term, her efforts to promote the economy have seen unemployment across the District decrease and her administration is proud that this includes those communities that are often seen as underserved. The mayor announced a new Infrastructure Academy to train D.C. residents for job opportunities in good paying infrastructure jobs.

She has invested in workforce programs through the LEAP and Career Connections programs that are putting D.C. residents to work. She understands there is much more to be done. The mayor is justifiably proud of the expanded Mayor Marion Barry Summer Youth Leadership Program now serving young people to age 24. These are just a few of the ways Muriel is fighting every day to protect and defend D.C. values and give expanded opportunities to D.C. residents. Muriel understands we must celebrate our diversity and inclusivity and has said in no uncertain terms our city will not tolerate hate. She invested $1 million to help our undocumented neighbors access legal help. She fought to bring the Gay Games to D.C., even taking a 24-hour trip to Paris during the effort. While we didn’t get the games it was one more effort made to ensure the District is an open and welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community. Muriel joined with mayors across the globe to support the Paris climate agreement. Under her leadership, D.C. was named the first LEED Platinum city in the world. Muriel continues the fight to make D.C. the 51st state. For these and so many more reasons I urge voters in the District to give Muriel Bowser a second term. No one is perfect but no one will fight harder to improve the lives of all the people of the District of Columbia.

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National Cannabis Festival returns for 4/20 weekend Annual concert/summit offers LGBT-inclusive education, music and more By MARIAH COOPER mcooper@washblade.com The National Cannabis Festival plans to bring music, education and good vibes to RFK Stadium with plenty of LGBT support. The festival was the brainchild of Caroline Phillips who envisioned a cannabis event that was more affordable than the typical cannabis trade show. Phillips also wanted a space for people to learn about advocacy groups that have worked toward the legalization of cannabis nationwide for decades. In 2015, the inaugural National Cannabis Festival, founded and executive produced by Phillips, welcomed an estimated 5,000 attendees for its all-day event that included a concert from De La Soul. This year marks the festival’s third annual event, which is expected to bring in an estimated 10,000 attendees for music, games, contests, food and education sessions. Legendary hip hop group Cypress Hill will headline the all-day concert, which will include performances from reggae artist See-I and newcomer Beau Young Prince. Local artists will also take the stage including go-go band Backyard Band, DJ Ayes Cold, indie-soul band Oh He Dead, Names and Marlee. Samy K and Reesa Renee will host the concert. For attendees more interested in policy, the festival also hosts the National Cannabis Policy Summit on Friday, April 20 at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.). There will be speakers and panels such as “All the Buzz: How Does Media Portrayal Impact the Future of Cannabis?,” “The Exit Drug: Can Medical Cannabis End the Narcotics Epidemic?” and more. Registration is free. Laila Makled was running the D.C. chapter of Women Grow, a women’s business cannabis networking organization, when she was introduced to Phillips. Interested in further pursuing a career in cannabis advocacy, Makled came on board as co-chair of the National Cannabis Festival Advocacy Committee. Makled says that throughout the festival there will be speeches from activists and leaders including Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia), D.C. Council member At-Large Robert C. White Jr., Maryland Del. David Moon and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). For Makled, mixing education throughout the concert is an ideal way to let attendees


Last year’s National Cannabis Festival in Washington.

have fun but still learn cannabis policy. “We want those people who are just coming to chill, smoke and listen to music to come in and see that we have an education pavilion where we’re having policy talks all day. We have an advocacy pavilion where they can go talk to the advocacy groups, sign up for email lists and get involved on a local level,” Makled says. “With all of those things they really have no choice but to walk out with a little extra knowledge than they had before. It’s ingrained into the festival.” The Weedmaps Educational Pavilion will give some of that knowledge with lessons on cannabis legalization and the cannabis industry. Guests can also peruse the Bulb Wellness Pavilion where they can speak with medical professionals, holistic medicine practitioners, yoga instructors, dispensary owners and more. When attendees aren’t learning about cannabis health, policy or listening to music, they can wander through the Exhibitor Fair, which features more than 70 exhibitors from around the United states. The D.C. Glass Gallery General Admission Lounge will have high-end pipes, accessories and activities throughout the day. Guests can stop by the Hempworx Munchine Zone for snacks, beverages and free water. Other on-site activities will include lawn games, a photo booth and game zone. The LGBT community will be well represented at the festival with LGBT-

identifying speakers and LGBT-friendly vendors. Statistically, the LGBT community has been more accepting of cannabis usage than heterosexuals. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 30 percent of LGBT Coloradans had consumed cannabis in the past month compared to 12.9 percent of heterosexuals. And 64.4 percent of LGBT respondents surveyed also said that they had consumed cannabis in their lifetime compared to 48.7 percent of straight respondents. A study conducted by the General Social Survey also reports that in 2016, 80 percent of LGBT Americans supported the legalization of cannabis compared to 58 percent of heterosexuals. Makled, who identifies as queer, says that for her the LGBT community and the cannabis community share a common stigma by society. “I think there’s a natural connection between the cannabis movement and the LGBTQ movement. I had come out at a very young age,” Makled says. “I was 16. I realized I wanted to pursue a career in advocacy and business within cannabis. It was a whole other coming-out process. Because both the cultures have been living on the fringe of society and have been forced to celebrate behind closed doors. Not only are you having to come out saying, ‘I’m gay’ but also

coming out saying, ‘I support consuming and legalizing cannabis and criminal justice reform.’” LGBT participants this year include D.C. Vote’s Barbara Hemlick; Get Hemp Butter’s Kyla Hill; Marijuana Policy Project’s Kate Bell; Hemp Kettle Tea Company, a queer-owned indy tea company; Jenn Michelle Pedini from VA NORML; and Drug Policy Alliance’s Queen Adesuyi. Makled hopes that more widespread cannabis legalization and criminal reform will lead to people becoming more open about cannabis usage. “I think like any group of people or culture there’s a need and desire to celebrate that culture. That’s exactly what the National Cannabis Festival is. It’s the perfect intersection of culture, advocacy, arts and music. More people would come out of the green closet, which people compare coming out of the LGBTQ closest, to coming out of the cannabis closest. The more people are comfortable, the more people realize the medicinal and social benefits of cannabis, the more people will start to come out,” Makled says. NATIONAL CANNABIS FESTIVAL Saturday, April 21 Noon-8 p.m. RFK Stadium 2400 E Capitol St., S.E. $42-90 nationalcannabisfestival.com


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In adults with HIV on ART who have diarrhea not caused by an infection IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION This is only a summary. See complete Prescribing Information at Mytesi.com or by calling 1-844-722-8256. This does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment.

What Is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine used to improve symptoms of noninfectious diarrhea (diarrhea not caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on ART. Do Not Take Mytesi if you have diarrhea caused by an infection. Before you start Mytesi, your doctor and you should make sure your diarrhea is not caused by an infection (such as bacteria, virus, or parasite).

Possible Side Effects of Mytesi Include:

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Enough is Enough Get relief. Pure and simple. Ask your doctor about Mytesi. Mytesi (crofelemer): • Is the only medicine FDA-approved to relieve diarrhea in people with HIV • Treats diarrhea differently by normalizing the flow of water in the GI tract • Has the same or fewer side effects as placebo in clinical studies • Comes from a tree sustainably harvested in the Amazon Rainforest What is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine that helps relieve symptoms of diarrhea not caused by an infection (noninfectious) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Important Safety Information Mytesi is not approved to treat infectious diarrhea (diarrhea caused by bacteria, a virus, or a parasite). Before starting you on Mytesi, your healthcare provider will first be sure that you do not have infectious diarrhea. Otherwise, there is a risk you would not receive the right medicine and your infection could get worse. In clinical studies, the most common side effects that occurred more often than with placebo were upper respiratory tract (sinus, nose, and throat) infection (5.7%), bronchitis (3.9%), cough (3.5%), flatulence (3.1%), and increased bilirubin (3.1%).

For Copay Savings Card and Patient Assistance, see Mytesi.com

Should I Take Mytesi If I Am: Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant? • Studies in animals show that Mytesi could harm an unborn baby or affect the ability to become pregnant • There are no studies in pregnant women taking Mytesi • This drug should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed A Nursing Mother? • It is not known whether Mytesi is passed through human breast milk • If you are nursing, you should tell your doctor before starting Mytesi • Your doctor will help you to decide whether to stop nursing or to stop taking Mytesi Under 18 or Over 65 Years of Age? • Mytesi has not been studied in children under 18 years of age • Mytesi studies did not include many people over the age of 65. So it is not clear if this age group will respond differently. Talk to your doctor to find out if Mytesi is right for you

What Should I Know About Taking Mytesi With Other Medicines? If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplements, or vitamins, tell your doctor before starting Mytesi.

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Please see complete Prescribing Information at Mytesi.com. NP-390-17

• Upper respiratory tract infection (sinus, nose, and throat infection) • Bronchitis (swelling in the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs) • Cough • Flatulence (gas) • Increased bilirubin (a waste product when red blood cells break down) For a full list of side effects, please talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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With many more special guests!

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ISSUE DATE: 180413




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Educated at Brown, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins Washingtonian Magazine Top Doc US News & World Report Top 1% of Doctors in USA Dual Board Certified: Facial Plastic Surgery Body Plastic Surgery

Be careful traveling throughout the region with pot in your possession. It’s illegal to transport across state lines.

No pot uniformity in DMV region Restrictions fewest in D.C.; tightest in Virginia From staff reports Spend time in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Rehoboth Beach? Be careful — cannabis laws vary significantly in our region. The District has the freest laws. In Washington, medical and recreational cannabis use is legal for adults over 21. It joins eight states (Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Alaska) as the pot-friendliest jurisdictions. In Maryland, Delaware or if you venture into West Virginia, cannabis is approved for medical use with a doctor’s recommendation. In Virginia (and throughout the Bible Belt), CBD-only (Cannabidiol) laws allow for some medical access. Virginia, however (along with Missouri), has the most expansive CBD laws of the 17 states with CBD-only laws. Be careful traveling though — no states allow transport of cannabis across state lines. Cannabis is prohibited in all forms in four states — Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. That means three-fifths of the country (60 percent) lives in an area where medical pot is legal. And more than one fifth of the country (21 percent) lives in a state with legal cannabis. Other interesting cannabis numbers, courtesy of the 2018 publication “Marijuana Goes Mainstream”: • 88 percent of Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana according to a CNN poll.

• 84 percent of Americans support ending jail sentences for those caught with small amounts of marijuana (CNN). • 60 percent of Americans support outright legalization of marijuana according to Gallup. • marijuana ranks third among recreational drugs in the U.S. after alcohol and tobacco according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws • 75 percent of U.S. marijuana sales come from California or Colorado (herb.com). • $6.7 billion was paid for legal marijuana sales in the U.S. in 2016, up 30 percent from the previous year according to Arcview Market Research. It’s expected to hit more than $20 billion by 2021. • Black market marijuana sales accounted for $46.4 billion in sales in 2016 (Arcview). • Daily cannabis users average 600 extra calories a day (herb.com). • 55 million Americans have tried pot at least once (Marist/Yahoo poll) and 35 million are regular users averaging once or twicemonthly use. • smoking pot around your pets will affect them; symptoms of pets inhaling secondhand pot smoke include pacing, panting and loss of balance, usually within 30-60 minutes of exposure. • 14 percent of U.S. marijuana smokers are Republicans (Marist/Yahoo). • 11 percent of marijuana users say they hide their stash (Marish/Yahoo). • 76 percent of Americans say marijuana is more of a health risk than tobacco (Marish/Yahoo). • The famous Hollywood sign has been vandalized twice to read “Hollyweed” — in 1976 and 2017 according to the New York Times.

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Conference and Expo for Alzheimer’s Family Care Partners sponsored by Sibley Senior Association


Entertainment options abound in Washington this weekend as promoters unveil eclectic tie-in events to the Cannabis Festival.

Alzheimer’s care partners are invited to a FREE conference and expo. Get an update on Alzheimer’s disease care and research. Learn tips to improve connections with the person with memory problems. Find ways to take care of yourself in the process.

Saturday, May 5 Registration: 8:30 a.m. Program: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sibley Memorial Hospital Building A, Conference Rooms 1 and 2 5215 Loughboro Road, NW Washington, DC Complimentary parking, continental breakfast and light lunch will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required. Call 888-246-6812 to register. For more information, check out our event page: Facebook.com/SibleyHospital.

Pot parties galore! Stoner Fest, Up in Smoke among parties piggybacking on National Cannabis Festival By MARIAH COOPER mcooper@washblade.com Gifts From Earth hosts D.C’s third annual 420 Stoner Fest on Friday, April 20 from 2-8 p.m. at a secret location. There will be a dessert bar, buffet, non-alcoholic drink bar and live musical performances. Gift certificates are included with tickets to use for souvenirs. Stoner tickets are $28.45 and include general admission and two gift certificates. A Pair of Stoners is $46.39 and gives general admission for two and four gift certificates. 420 VIP is $107.62 and gives unlimited access to the VIP section, unlimited access to the buffet, a VIP gift certificate and a wristband for re-entry all day. For more information, visit facebook.com/ giftsfromtheearthdc. The High Society of D.C. Events hosts its second annual Up in Smoke 420 at an undisclosed location on Friday, April 20 from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. There will be vendors, glass blowing, food, music, live art and performing artists. General admission tickets are $10. Tickets can be purchased online or at the

door. For more details, visit facebook.com/ thehighsocietydc. Mamajuana Edibles has a weekend filled with events starting with its 420 Day Party at an undisclosed location on Friday, April 20 from 3-8 p.m. There will be gifts, giveaways, music, vendors and more. Admission is a $10 donation. A portion of the donation will benefit a cannabis non-profit organization. Location will be revealed with RSVP. The 420 After Party follows at the Abigail (1730 M St., N.W.) on Friday, April 20 from 11 p.m.-3 a.m. Drink specials will run all night. Tickets are $23.16. On Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. there will be a Wake and Bake Session. There will be giveaways, vendors, music and more. Location will be released with RSVP. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/ mamajuanaedibles. CREW D.C. hosts “Marijuana+CRE: A Pipe Dream,” a panel discussion, at the W Hotel (515 15th St., N.W.) on Thursday, April 26 from 10:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The panel will discuss emerging real estate issues within the cannabis industry. Speakers include David Grosso (D.C. councilman at-large); Chanda Macias, owner of the National Holistic Healing Center; and attorney Stanley Jutkowitz. Tina Reed, staff writer for the Washington Business Journal, will moderate. For more information and to register, visit crewdc.org.














JANIS IAN tells budding songwriters to study the classics and test your material on audiences who ‘couldn’t care less’ about you. PHOTO BY LLOYD BAGGS; COURTESY IAN

Vocal preservation Legendary singer/songwriter Janis Ian does what it takes to keep going By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com Janis Ian is having a rough weekend when we touch base April 13. The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter is soldiering on at CAMP Rehoboth Women’s Fest despite being dangerously close to having no singing voice. She plays the Birchmere next weekend (April 28) and responded to these questions via e-mail, citing vocal preservation. Her comments have been slightly edited for length. WASHINGTON BLADE: You’re playing CAMP Rehoboth Women’s Fest this weekend. What are the crowds like at

these lesbian events? Have you done many of them? IAN: It’s a lesbian event? (grin) I made a firm decision decades ago not to do any sort of exclusionary event, so the only “gay” events I’ve done have been Pride marches, or events like CAMP Rehoboth or the old Bloomington Women’s Music Festival (I think it has a new name now), both of which welcome all genders. As to the audiences, I’d say any time you have a festival-style event the crowds are going to be super enthusiastic because they’re there for more than just a few hours. They’re more relaxed and it’s a different excitement.

BLADE: How do you like performing at the Birchmere? Have you played there many times? IAN: Hah! So many, I can’t even count, at the old and the new Birch. One of the best clubs in the world and I’ve played pretty much all of them. Not a bad seat in the house. I’ve even got Birchmere “war stories,” which I won’t go into here. Tom Paxton and I premiered our world tour there. I’ve premiered albums there. I can’t imagine life without it. Once I made the decision to stop touring very much, the first place to approach me was the

Birchmere, via Mike Jaworek. I told him I wasn’t touring. He kept bothering me and bothering me and bothering me. I kept giving him reasons I couldn’t do it. He kept bothering me. He wore me down. Once I agreed, I got really excited. It’s like coming home and at 67, I have a perfectly good home in Tennessee already, thank you very much. BLADE: What are the acoustics like at Carnegie Hall? Of course they’re legendary, but are they that much better CONTINUES ON PAGE 41


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Q U E E RY : 2 0 Q U E ST I O N S F O R G U I LLA U ME R. BA G A L



By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com First, a question: If Washington has everything on the books one could pretty much hope for by way of LGBT rights, why is GLAA still needed? GLAA, founded in 1971 as Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, is an allvolunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the rights of LGBT Washingtonians. There are about 20 active members and 150 who are periodically engaged. Guillaume R. Bagal, its president for the last year and a half, says there’s more work to be done. “While the District is more progressive on LGBT issues than many other jurisdictions, we still have a long way to go in making sure that existing … protections are accessible to the more vulnerable members of our LGBT family,” the 32-year-old Greenville, N.C., says. “We are just scratching the surface when it comes to LGBT cultural competency … which is unacceptable given how many LGBT people live (here).” Passing laws, Bagal says, is only part of the story. “Once (pro-LGBT) laws are passed, are they actually being enforced and evaluated,” he says. “We also have to do better (at) folding the lives and experiences of trans people, immigrants and other minority groups into the baseline assumption from which we are writing these laws.” GLAA has its 47th annual Anniversary Award Reception on Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Policy Lounge (1904 14th St., N.W.). This year’s honorees (chosen by GLAA members and officers) are Check It Enterprises, Council member Mary Cheh and Whitman-Walker’s Don Blanchon. Tickets are $50 ($25 for students and seniors) but several patron levels are available. Details at glaa.org. Bagal joined GLAA two years ago recognizing its mission is “one that I feel honored to carry on.” He’s engaged to Bobby Gondola and splits his time between Providence, R.I. and McLean, Va. Bagal works by day as assistant director of policy at WhitmanWalker Health. He enjoys concerts, photography, coffee and cooking/baking in his free time.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I came out to most people when I was about 20. I waited another decade to come out to my biological father; living an ocean apart since I was 11 made it somewhat less of a priority until I proposed to the most amazing man I’ve ever met. He didn’t take it well (my dad, Bobby said yes!) but he’ll come around eventually. Who’s your LGBT hero? James Baldwin because of his unique contribution to American literature and the civil rights movement, all while navigating intersectional identities. What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? The Fireplace. It gets a bit crowded (intimate?) sometimes, but the music is always good and the drinks are cheap and strong. Describe your dream wedding. The black-tie Newport wedding Bobby and I are having this August, with everything from foie gras appetizers to a gourmet French fries food truck. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? All issues directly or indirectly affect LGBTQ people, but our broken education system is an issue I’m very passionate about and wish to meaningfully take on — once I’m consistently sleeping more than five hours a night. What historical outcome would you change? As far as changing recent history, definitely Ivanka’s dad winning the 2016 election. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Seeing “Hamilton” on Broadway in New York with Bobby. I still get a little teary-eyed thinking about Angelia reaching for Hamilton’s hand when I listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown.” On what do you insist? That Bojangles is superior to Popeye’s. Sorry not sorry. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? Pictures of my friends and me conducting a season special’s quality check at Popeye’s, almost exactly a year after Burger King acquired them. You

see, we worry about things that matter. If your life were a book, what would the title be? “No, You Can’t Just Call Me G” If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? Advocate against it. But what if a gay guy and his straight girlfriend think they are soul mates? Nah, they may end up not being sexually compatible at all and now we’re dealing with sacrifices and guilt and resentment. Yeah, definitely not a science area we should meddle in, even though I would “go straight” for Issa if she was interested. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? I’m Catholic-light, very light. Mostly believe in just being a good person and trying to make the world a more equitable place. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Listen more, talk less. What would you walk across hot coals for? A never-before-released Amy Winehouse album. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? That I must be friends with that gay guy you went to school with who may now live in the D.C. area. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” What’s the most overrated social custom? Everything about Valentine’s Day. What trophy or prize do you most covet? First place prize in a major portrait photography contest. What do you wish you’d known at 18? That being gay and out would be as awesome as it feels today. Why Washington? It’s a phenomenal place to be working on policy issues. The breadth and depth of expertise in people I encounter daily continue to blow me away.


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This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com

1 Mile Radius Project. Apr 20. The Clarice at Joe’s Movement Emporium. theclarice.umd.edu.

MUSIC Girlfriend Thru Jun 10. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org.

Girlfriend is a vibrant and tender coming of age musical duet from when flannel was the height of fashion and mix tapes were the language of love. It’s 1993 in small-town Nebraska during the summer between high school and whatever comes next.

Chris Botti Apr 22. Washington Performing Arts at Kennedy Center. washingtonperformingarts.org.

Trumpeter Chris Botti is famed for a sophisticated sound ranging from enchanting ballads to serious grooves. Fronting his always astounding, locktight band, the Grammy-winner and multiple Billboard chart-topper conjures the magic in D.C. once again on a swinging Sunday night in April.

After Spring Sunset Apr 21. Choral Arts Society at Church of the Epiphany. choralarts.org.

Artistic Director Scott Tucker and the Choral Arts Chamber Singers present a concert featuring pieces, that evoke serenity through melodies and lyrics invoking the beauty of the natural world. This evening celebrates spring renewal and the hope that comes with the spring season.

Vietgone Apr 25-May 20. Studio Theatre. studiotheatre.org.

In this high-octane comedy, Nguyen recreates (and kinda makes up) his parents’ reluctant courtship: Fresh from Saigon, they meet in an Arkansas refugee relocation camp in 1975. Vietgone follows these new Americans through a bewildering land in a story full of lust and heartache, hip-hop and motorcycles. PHOTO COURTESY OF SIGNATURE THEATRE

THEATRE The Winter’s Tale. Thru Apr 22. Folger Theatre. folger.edu. Paper Dolls. Thru Apr 8. Mosaic Theater Company at Atlas. mosaictheater.org. the feath3r theory. Apr 21-Apr 22. Dance Place. danceplace.org. Sketch Night. Apr 25-May 23. DC Arts Center (DCAC). dcartscenter.org. The Wiz. Thru May 12. One Destiny. Thru May 17. Ford’s Theatre. fords.org. The Crucible. Thru May 20. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. John. Thru Apr 29. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org.

Translations. Thru Apr 22. Studio Theatre. studiotheatre.org. Roz and Ray. Thru Apr 29. Theater J. theaterj.org. If/Then. Thru Apr 28. Theatre Lab. theatrelab.org. Underground Railroad Game. Thru Apr 29. Woolly Mammoth. woollymammoth.net.

DANCE Goldberg Variations--ternary patterns for insomnia. Apr 26-Apr 28. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. A Fairy Tale Gathering. Apr 22. JCCNV. jccnv.org.

John Lloyd Young. Apr 20. Be’la Dona. Apr 21. A Tribute to Eric Clapton. Apr 22. We Banjo 3. Apr 25. AMP. ampbystrathmore.com. Conrad Tao, piano. Apr 21. Washington Performing Arts at Kennedy Center. washingtonperformingarts.org. Scrap Arts Music. Apr 20. Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Apr 21. Strathmore. strathmore.org. Steven Isserlis and Richard Egarr. Apr 23. JFK Jukebox. Apr 25. Meshell Ndegeocello. Apr 26. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. The Hot Sardines. Apr 22. GMU Center for the Arts. cfa.gmu.edu. The Music of Dumbarton. Apr 21. Dumbarton Concerts dumbartonconcerts.org. Klezmer Brunch. Thru Jun 10. Washington Jewish Music Festival at EDCJCC. wjmf.org. Shostakovich & Iannaccone. Apr 22. Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association at GW Masonic National Memorial. wmpamusic.org. Bizet Carmen. Apr 22-Apr 23. Old Greenbelt Theatre. greenbelttheatre.org. Carmen. Apr 21. Los Angeles Philharmonic. Apr 26. The Washington Chorus at Kennedy Center. thewashingtonchorus.org. Harlem Quartet with Aldo LópezGavilán. Apr 21. Kreeger Museum. kreegermuseum.org. Gerald Finley and Julius Drake. Apr 25. Library of Congress. loc.gov. INSCAPE Chamber Orchestra. Apr 22. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. National Philharmonic Chamber Players: Next Generation. Apr 22. Potter Violins. pottersviolins.com. Ziyad al Harbi, Oudist & Friends. Apr 25. Embassy Series at Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center. embassyseries.org. Ana Popovic. Apr 25. Sierra Hull. Apr 26. John Corigliano 8.0. Apr 22. Wolf Trap at The Barns. wolftrap.org. A Portrait & a Frame. Thru Apr 21. NSO at Kennedy Center. kennedycenter.org.

MUSEUMS National Archives. Remembering Vietnam. Thru Jan 6. archivesfoundation.org. Dumbarton Oaks. Outside/IN: Martha Jackson Jarvis. Thru Aug 19. doaks.org. Folger Shakespeare Library. Beyond Words: Book Illustration in the Age of Shakespeare. Thru Jun 3. folger.edu. Kreeger Museum. Reinstallation of the Permanent Collection. Thru Dec 31. kreegermuseum.org. Library of Congress. Drawn to Purpose. Thru Oct 20. loc.gov. National Gallery of Art. Outliers and American Vanguard Art. Thru May 13. nga.gov. National Geographic. Tomb of Christ. Thru Sug 15. nglive.org. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Women House. Thru May 28. Hung Liu In Print. Thru Jul 8. nmwa.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A Right to the City. Apr 21-Apr 20. anacostia.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. One Life: Sylvia Plath. Thru May 20. npg.si.edu.

GALLERIES Arlington Arts Center. Spring Solos 2018. Thru Jun 2. arlingtonartscenter.org. DC Arts Center. Another Dimension. Thru Apr 22. dcartscenter.org. District Architecture Center. reBirth::Washington DC 50 Years after 1968. Thru Jun 1. aiadac.com. gallery neptune & brown. A Visual Dialogue. Apr 21-May 25. galleryneptunebrown.com. Gallery Underground. “Spring Break” Exhibition. Thru Apr 27. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Glen Echo Park. I Draw the Line. Thru Apr 28. glenechopark.org. Goethe-Institut. Projecting Women. Thru Apr 30. goethe.de. Hill Center. Viewfinders: 8 Photographers. Thru Apr 29. hillcenterdc.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A Right to the City. Apr 21. aiadac.com. Strathmore. Still Lives: Jennifer Allevato. Thru Apr 29. Up in the Air. Thru Apr 29. strathmore.org. The Art League. Robert Gilbert’s A Study of Manhattan. Thru May 6. theartleague.org. Zenith Gallery. What’s Real To You?. Apr 20-May 12. zenithgallery.com.


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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.

TODAY Reel Affirmations presents a screening of “A Moment in the Reeds” at Human Rights Campaign Center (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The film tells the story of two men who meet by chance at the lake and fall in love. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the event. General admission tickets are $12. VIP tickets are $25 and include VIP seating, one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and movie candy or popcorn. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/ reelaffirmations. Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts Rough House, a no-clothes dance party, tonight from 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Jane Saw and Salvadora Dali will host the party. The Barber Streisand and Lemz will spin tracks. Matt Strother and Scott Douglass will be the bartenders for the night. Cover is $5 and includes clothes check. No photography allowed. For more details, visit greenlanterndc.com. PEN/Faulkner Foundation presents “Call Me By Your Name” author André Aciman at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium (730 21st St., N.W.) to discuss the novel and movie tonight at 7 p.m. Spencer Kornhaber, culture critic at the Atlantic, will speak with Aciman about writing a gay love story, translating a novel into film and more. There will be a Q&A with the audience following the discussion and a book signing for VIP ticketholders. General admission tickets are $20. VIP tickets are $35 and include a copy of the book and the signing. For more information, visit facebook.com/ penfaulkner. LezLink hosts a singles mixer at 1942DC (1942 9th St., N.W.) tonight from 8-10:30 p.m. Guests will be matched with other guests based on questions answered after ticket purchase. During the mixer, guests will try to find their matches. Tickets are $15. Early arrival is strongly suggested. For more details, visit facebook.com/lezlinkevents.

SATURDAY, APRIL 21 Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.) and Real Talk D.C. host an open house for gender-affirming services today from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be information including medical, behavioral health and peer support, community health, legal services, public benefits and insurance navigation, youth services, research and more. There will also be a raffle and light refreshments. Admission is free. For more information, visit whitman-walker.org. Dyke Bar Takeover D.C. hosts Dyke


NINA NESBITT performs at DC9 on Tuesday, April 24.

Nite: Out for Victory at Republic Restoratives Distillery and Craft Cocktail Bar (1369 New York Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6-10 p.m. Alex DB will spin tracks with accompanying visuals from projectionist Mary Wright. Drink specials include $8 rail drinks and queer cocktails. Proceeds benefit the Victory Institute. Tickets are $10. For more details, visit facebook.com/dykebartakeoverdc. The Ladies of LURe D.C. hosts BARE: Spring Fling at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Rosie will play music. Cheer D.C. will give a special performance and collect money to benefit the Cheer for Life Fund and SMYAL. Cover is $7 before midnight and $10 after. For more information, visit facebook.com/lurewdc. Ivy Project hosts Queer-mosa Brunch, an LGBT brunch party, at Uproar Lounge & Restaurant (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) today from 1-6 p.m. There will be a pickthree style brunch menu for $15 and a full bottle of champagne mixed with juice or no juice for $15. DJ Electrox and DJ Milko will play music. Drink specials will be available. For more details, visit facebook. com/ivyprojectdc. Gay/Bash, a gay dance party, is at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Jane Saw, Salvadora Dali, Jaxknife Complex, Donna Slasha and Kunj will perform. There will be shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. The Barber Streisand will play music. No cover. For more information, visit tradebardc.com.

SUNDAY, APRIL 22 Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.)

hosts a drag brunch today with shows at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

MONDAY, APRIL 23 Bethesda Row Restaurant Week kicks off at various restaurants today through April 29. Specials include $18 three-course lunches and $34 threecourse dinners. Participating restaurants include American Tap Room, Jaleo, Kapnos Kouzina, Mamma Lucia, Mon Ami Gabi, Mussell Bar & Grille and Raku. For more information, visit bethesdarow. com/events.

TUESDAY, APRIL 24 HOPE D.C. hosts a community meeting with Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. Deputy Executive Director Naseema Shafi and Director of Community Commitment Josh Riley will be at the meeting to address the concerns with health care access at Whitman-Walker Health. For more information, visit facebook.com/ hopedcsocials. Pride Fund hosts its Pride Fund to End Gun Violence 5K kicking off in front of the Pride Fund office (21 Dupont Circle, N.W.) today from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The group will meet in front of the office between 6:30-6:45 p.m. The run starts at 6:50 p.m. All runners will receive a T-shirt and an invitation to the post-run reception. Tickets are $35. For more details, visit facebook.com/pridefund. Scottish singer/songwriter Nina

Nesbitt performs at DC9 (1940 9th St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. Whitney Woerz opens the show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit dc9.club.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 Queer Girl Move Night screens “The Feels” at Black Cat (181 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The group will mingle upstairs starting at 7 p.m. followed by the film at 8 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/ queergrrlmovenight. Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts Woman Crush Wednesday, a queer women’s happy hour, tonight from 6-10 p.m. For more details, visit tradedc.com. Prime Timers of D.C., a social group for mature gay and bisexual men, meet at Windows above Dupont Italian Kitchen (1637 17th St., N.W.) this evening at 6:30 p.m. For details, call George at 301-3950544 or visit primetimersdc.org.

THURSDAY, APRIL 26 JR.’s Bar (1519 17th St., N.W.) hosts a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 10 viewing party tonight at 8 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/jrsbardc. The D.C. Anti-Violence Project hosts a meeting at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. Project members work to reduce violence against LGBT individuals through community outreach, education and assisting members of anti-LGBT violence. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.


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‘Cat’ pounces at Shakespeare National Theatre Live hosts a screening of the Tennessee Williams’ (he was gay) classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company (450 7th St., N.W.) in Sidney Harman Hall on Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” tells the story of Brick (is he gay?) and his wife Maggie who return to his family’s plantation in Mississippi for his father’s birthday celebration. This production stars Sienna Miller, Jack O’Connell (seen here) and Colm Meaney. Tickets are $20. For more details, visit shakespearetheatre.org.




EVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of roof. 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 an 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 ability, 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.


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Nancy And Beth return to D.C. By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the washington blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, payment and insertion schedule.

Nancy And Beth perform at the Miracle Theatre (538 8th St., N.W.) on Sunday, April 29 at 8 p.m. “Will & Grace” star Megan Mullally and actress Stephanie Hunt make up the alternative country duo. Nancy And Beth made their debut with the release of their self-titled album in 2017. A second album is in the works for a 2019 release. Tickets are $35. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit themiracletheatre.ticketfly.com.


‘Eat Your Hart Out’ returns “Eat Your Hart Out: a Fat Burlesque Revue,” a Haus of Hart event, is Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m. at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.). The event will celebrate “fat, thick and curvy folks” and feature burlesque performs from all over the country. D.C.’s own Ophelia Hart, a 2017 Best of Gay D.C. Blade readers’ poll winner, will headline. In addition to live performance, the event will feature vendors with products such as pasties and paintings, cosmetics, waist beads and more. There will also be a raffle. Haus of Hart provides “high quality” entertainment while “creating an intentional safe space for fat performers who exist at the intersection of various marginalized identities.” Some are LGBT. Tickets are $15 in advance or $17 at the door. VIP tickets are $25. Search for the event on ticketfly.com for tickets.

Dark & Stormy party is April 27 Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts Dark & Stormy, a dance party, on Friday, April 27 from 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Kangal, DJ Mindjacket and DJ Spookster will play a mix of electronic, synth-wave, retro, goth, industrial, EDM and dark disco music. This is an all-ages party. Cover is $5. Tickets are available not of the show. For more details, visit blackcatdc.com.



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Fling ripples He hooked up with gym bud; wife can’t forgive and forget

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

MICHAEL, I had a brief sexual affair with a guy I met in a class at my gym a few months back. As I am married and want an honest, committed relationship, I realized I wasn’t doing the right thing and cut it off after a few weeks. I subsequently told my wife Amy about the affair because I didn’t want to deceive her. We are having a hard time moving forward. While I am mainly attracted to women, I am also attracted to men and was immediately drawn to Scott when I first saw him. I don’t really have any excuse for crossing the line. I could say that my wife and I have busy careers, kids, and scant couples time, but that doesn’t justify cheating. I’ve told Amy how sorry I am and I’m no longer in contact with Scott. I started working out in the morning instead of after work so that I won’t run into him. I’ve been arranging for Amy and I to spend more time alone together (babysitter, date nights). I know I’m not going to cheat on her again, but Amy is still angry and concerned that I will. She’s asked me to quit the gym on the grounds that I can’t be trusted and now is giving me a hard time about my friendship with a close male friend I’ve known since childhood. The friendship has always been totally platonic but Amy says our closeness makes her uneasy and she’ll feel better if I don’t spend time alone with him. So what’s the big deal? Well, I don’t want to stop going to my gym and I certainly don’t want to give up an important friendship. But Amy says that if I want her to trust me, I should be doing everything in my power to reassure her that I won’t cheat on her again. As the partner who cheated, am I obligated to do whatever she says, no matter the cost to me?

MICHAEL REPLIES: What would make you think you are obligated to do whatever someone wants at your own expense? Yes, you should be doing your best to be a loving spouse whom your wife can trust going forward. But that does not mean you must fulfill all of Amy’s requests, no matter the cost to you, because you had an affair. Relationships work best when both partners have room to be individuals as well as part of a couple. This means you each get a say in how you want to live and what is important to you. Obviously, because everyone is different, both of you aren’t always going to agree about everything, including who does what and what’s OK to do. The big challenge of commitment is figuring out how to make room for and tolerate the differences. As long as you can do so in an environment that’s usually suffused with mutual love and respect, you’ve got a relationship. You might decide to give up something important to you, because your doing so is important to your spouse. Generosity is a good thing in relationships. Given your affair, you would be wise to be especially generous right now. But if you give up what is important to you under duress, or because you are threatened with consequences unless you do what your wife wants, you’re likely to be resentful and bitter going forward. It’s up to you to decide if it’s more important to accommodate your wife’s wishes or to keep your gym membership and your longtime friendship. This has no easy answer. The same action can be taken from strength or capitulation. Only you can figure that out. In any case, your wife is in a tough spot. There’s no way she can know for certain that you won’t cheat on her, no matter how many assurances you give her and no matter how you curtail your behavior. She, like everyone else, has to tolerate living without a guarantee. If you can get past the gym/friend issue, both you and Amy will have to accept that healing takes time. Your efforts to hold yourself accountable, to live up to your standards, and to make sincere amends are impressive. And you are going to have to continue to show your dedication to this marriage in order for Amy to regain her trust in you. Amy will also have to show her dedication to this marriage by finding ways to soothe herself that don’t involve keeping you on a short leash. That approach is bound to backfire.

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Kennedy Center debut

Andersson Dance Artistic Director, Örjan Andersson

in collaboration with



Kennedy Center debut

Blessed be the fruit

Scottish Ensemble Artistic Director, Jonathan Morton

Creepy ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ returns for second season

Goldberg Variations— ternary patterns for insomnia


(Andersson /Bach, Sitkovetsky)

Photo by Hugh Carswell

Johann Sebastian Bach’s sparkling masterpiece comes to stunning life through a whirlwind of movement and sound in this entrancing collaboration.

April 26–28 | Eisenhower Theater 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.

International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

Season two of “The Handmaid’s Tale” (premiering on Hulu on April 25) is off to a great start. As the series moves into uncharted territory, the suspense increases and the personal and political pressures become even more intense. The series is based on Margaret Atwood’s monumental 1985 dystopian novel in which the United States is taken over by theocratic terrorists who establish the repressive Republic of Gilead. Environmental disasters have rendered most women infertile; the women who can still bear children are forced to become Handmaids (dressed in red), reproductive surrogates for the Commanders and their wives (dressed in blue). Season one follows the outline of Atwood’s novel closely, although it zooms out from the first-person narrative of the Handmaid Offred to add the stories and perspectives of other characters. Bruce Miller’s masterful adaptation also expands Offred’s flashbacks of her life before Gilead. Like the novel, season one ends with Offred (Elisabeth Moss) being forced into a van by the omnipresent guards, but season two opens with her arriving at an unexpected location, a stadium where Aunt Lydia (the magnificent Ann Dowd) has arranged a terrible punishment for the Handmaids who have defied her. The Aunts, dressed in brown, train the Handmaids and enforce their proper submissive behavior. Episode one becomes largely a battle of wills between Offred and Aunt Lydia. Aunt Lydia has the fearful power of the state behind her, but Offred has powers of her own: her fierce will and the fact that she is pregnant. Both actresses won Emmy Awards for their outstanding performances in season one and their work in season two is even stronger and richer. Forced into silence and stillness by the restrictive costume and strict decorum of the Handmaids, Moss creates a powerful

portrait of an independent woman beaten into compliance. Through subtle gestures, penetrating close-ups of her expressive face and frequently acerbic voice-overs, Moss and her colleagues provide Offred with a rich inner life. Her performance as June Osborne (as Offred was known before the coup) is a stunning contrast. As a representative of the oppressive new government, Dowd’s Aunt Lydia marshals both the might and righteousness of the new regime with great ferocity, but Miller and Dowd create a surprisingly multi-faceted character. In addition to Moss and Dowd, the entire principal cast returns for the second season, including Joseph Fiennes as Offred’s Commander and Yvonne Strahovski as his long-suffering wife (who was ironically one of the architects of the revolution); Max Minghella as Nick Blaine, the Commander’s chauffeur and the father of Offred’s unborn baby; O.T. Fagbenle as June’s husband and Samira Wiley as her friend Moira, both of whom have finally escaped to Canada; and Alexis Bledsel (Emily/Ofglen), Madeline Brewer (Janine/Ofwarren) and Nina Kiri (Alma) as Offred’s fellow Handmaids. Season two also introduces new characters: Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence, Clea Duvall as Emily’s wife, Cherry Jones as June’s mother Holly Osborne, and Marisa Tomei as a character whose identity has not yet been revealed. The new season also introduces a new location — the poisonous “Colonies,” where “Unwomen” are sent to clean up toxic waste. Season two also focuses more on Mayday, the growing resistance to Gilead. As Offred wryly notes, “It’s their own fault. They should never have given us uniforms if they didn’t want us to be an army.” “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a show that should not be missed. Besides the fascinating characters and gripping storylines, the series is a subtle examination of the mechanics or repression and the birth of a resistance movement. A timely tale, it is brave, bold, brutal and beautiful, sometimes all at the same time.



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SUSAN ROME and TOM STORY in ‘Roz and Ray.’

‘Roz and Ray’ is compelling tale of early years of HIV By PATRICK FOLLIARD Though not the usual play about HIV/ AIDS, Theater J’s current offering, “Roz and Ray” by Karen Hartman, tells an important story of both queer history and the history of HIV/AIDS in America. While it’s widely known that hemophiliacs were hit hard at the onset of the crisis, the disturbing details surrounding what happened to those boys and how drug companies were involved isn’t common knowledge. Here, the facts are laid bare. Directed by Theater J out artistic director Adam Immerwahr, the San Diego-set two hander spans some tough years, 1976-1987, and one difficult day in 1991. Dedicated pediatric hematologist/ oncologist Roz (Theater J associate artist Susan Rome) is charged with the complicated care of the hemophilic young twin sons of single father Ray (local favorite Tom Story). The play focuses on the pair’s unlikely relationship and how Roz reacts when new wonder drug, Factor VIII, is discovered to be giving patients HIV/AIDS at an enormously high rate. Factor VIII was a pooled blood product derived from plasma. And because it was a concentrated blood product, each dose contained blood from up to 20,000 donors, very often drawn from high risk populations, at a time before heat treatment was used to remove the virus from blood products. The implications were staggering. “Roz and Ray” spoke to Immerwahr immediately. He says that Theater J, a Jewish theater company, “has a long history dealing with plays that tackle tricky questions about values. How do you live in the world and make decisions you make and how do you do the right thing in impossible situations? For us

theses are deeply Jewish questions.” Immerwahr says it was a tricky time because while a few hemophiliac children in the early ‘80s had died of gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) and eight more exhibited symptoms, Factor VIII was also responsible for keeping children alive and giving them normal lifespans. Conflicting information from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Hemophilia Association flummoxed doctors and parents. Smartly, Hartman doesn’t tell an HIV/ AIDS story without including gay men. Ray was married to his sons’ mother and is having episodic relationships with men. “At the time, many more men were closeted and came out well into adulthood in a gradual shifting and changing way,” Immerwahr says. “And that’s what Ray does. To be coming out of closet while HIV/AIDS crisis at its height is an interesting time in gay history, His coming to terms with his sexuality and eventual public identification as gay takes the course of the play.” For out actor Tom Story, Ray offers some firsts: “He’s an interesting character, a type that I haven’t played before. He’s from Texas, smart but uneducated. He married young and after his wife leaves him, he becomes the single father of two young sons. I’ve never played a father.” Story also says his characters possible bisexuality adds layers for him to work with. “We want to categorize people,” Story says. “He does eventually come out. And he talks about waiting to be free. But still, Ray is capable of having fulfilling sexual and emotional relationships with women. That’s unusual onstage.” ‘ROZ AND RAY’ Through April 29 Theater J 1529 16th St. $24-69 202-777-3210 Theaterj.org

Photo by Cory Weaver

Off the GRID

The Barber of Seville

April 28–May 19 | Opera House Music by Gioachino Rossini Libretto by Cesare Sterbini In Italian with Projected English Titles WNO Production


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. Major support for WNO is provided by Jacqueline Badger Mars. David M. Rubenstein is the Presenting Underwriter of WNO. WNO acknowledges the longstanding generosity of Life Chairman Mrs. Eugene B. Casey.

WNO’s Presenting Sponsor

Generous support for WNO Italian Opera is provided by Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello.


38 • A PR IL 20, 2018

SP O RT I N ’ I N D . C.

More Champions Annual Team D.C. awards, scholarships held last weekend By KEVIN MAJOROS

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CAGLCC Business Directory 4.5 inches wide x 7 inches tall

*Reservation Deadline: May 11th *Artwork Deadline: May 18th *Book Delivery: June


Last weekend marked the return of Team D.C.’s Night of Champions. The annual event honors members of the LGBT sports community and recipients of the Team D.C. College Scholarship program. This year’s sold-out event at the Washington Hilton featured a visit from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who received the Champions Award for her advocacy in the LGBT sports community. In addition to the community awards, Team D.C. awarded six college scholarships to local LGBT studentathletes. The Scholarship Program was created in 2008 with a goal to support openly out student-athletes and to educate and foster discussions with coaches and school administrators about the challenges facing LGBT athletes. One of the scholarship recipients who spoke at the event was Claire Hutcheson, who rows crew at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax. Her sports path started with competitive swimming which continued through her freshman year of high school. She switched over to rowing her sophomore year and earned a spot in the top varsity boat rowing 4s and 8s. “Rowing is such a great team sport,” Hutcheson says. “You have four or eight people on the water together, several hours a day, up to six days a week. Even though it’s a great workout, it is also very calming.” Hutcheson was out to her teammates but chose not to come out to her coach. “One of my first girlfriends was on the team but I wasn’t sure if our coach would be accepting,” Hutcheson says. “Coming out to him felt too much like I was mixing my personal life with business.” Hutcheson will attend College of William & Mary this fall with plans to major in international relations. She has already checked out the club rowing team and visited the boathouse at William & Mary. With her swimming background, she is also intrigued by the possibility of playing club water polo. Attending the Night of Champions with her were her parents, John and Carolyn. She says they have been super supportive and were excited for her to receive the sports scholarship. “It is a very niche, unique experience to be an LGBT athlete,” Hutcheson says. “I am excited to see how it translates on the college level. I know I have a good community waiting for me on the


CLAIRE HUTCHESON, center, with her parents, John and Carolyn.

women’s crew team.” “The reception from the high schools has risen over the years and they are now reaching out us directly,” says Brent Minor, executive director and founder of Team D.C. “LGBT students are aware of the scholarship as early as their freshman year and just waiting to apply. The comfort level of the counselors, educators and coaches has evolved and I think that is a direct result of more athletes coming out. It’s not a huge shock anymore for a gay person to be an athlete. Now that’s progress.” This year’s Team D.C. College Scholarship recipients: Reeves Gift, Chesapeake Math & IT Academy, Laurel, Md.; University of Southern California Nakiyea Harris, Dunbar High School, Washington; undecided Caroline Hill, T.C. Williams High School, Alexandria, Va.; Virginia Commonwealth University Claire Hutcheson, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, Va.; William and Mary University Doratea Delback Macri, School Without Walls, Washington; University of California-Berkeley Thea Shaw, Dunbar High School, Washington; Washington Adventist University Along with the Mayor’s Award and the scholarship recipients, Team D.C. also recognized the following local LGBT sports community leaders: Sharifa Love: Washington Furies Women’s Rugby Team Jesse Anderson: D.C. Pride Gay Volleyball League Bud Rorison: Capital Tennis Association Les Johnson: Capital Area Rainbowlers Association Balance Gym: support of the local sports community


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Dodge Durango SRT

BMW X3 M40i

Power players BMW X3, Dodge Durango are brash crossovers with panache By JOE PHILLIPS As in American politics, there’s a lot of yin and yang on dealership car lots these days. On one hand, many buyers insist on high-tech, fuel-sipping green vehicles, some of which were profiled last month. Yet other drivers have an unquenchable thirst for high-test power and panache. Here are two of the best of today’s revved-up rides. BMW X3 M40i $55,000 Mpg: 20 city/27 highway Zero-60 mph: 4.6 seconds Introduced in 2004, the BMW X3 has held a sweet spot for enthusiasts who didn’t want to sacrifice excitement for the practicality of a crossover. Fully redesigned for 2018, this third-

generation Bimmer is bigger and roomier, with noticeably more rear-seat legroom. Gone are the hard interior plastics, replaced by a sophisticated cabin with premium materials found in the topof-the-line 7 Series. The base-model X3 is fully capable and a diesel model will arrive soon to satisfy the eco-chic crowd. But it’s the M40i version — the first X3 with sporty M Performance power and trim — that is oh-so spectacular. Switch on the ignition, and the 355-hp, sixcylinder turbo roars to life. With such a throaty exhaust growl, there’s no need for a jolt of Starbucks to wake you up in the morning. Ditto the thrill when stomping on the accelerator and rocketing from zero-60 seconds in just 4.6 seconds. Yet the smooth, sure handling is calming and provides some of the best cornering ever in a crossover. Of course, such fun comes at a price: the M40i costs about $10,000 more than a base-model X3. Toss in some must-have goodies such as the blind-spot monitor, heated steering wheel, backup camera, automatic parking, and the sticker jumps to $66,000. Still, this

is one BMW that lives up to the “ultimate driving machine” tagline. Dodge Durango SRT $63,000 Mpg: 13 city/19 highway Zero-60 mph: 4.6 seconds If American muscle is more your style, then Dodge has really beefed up its Durango crossover with a new highperformance SRT model this year. The potent Hemi V8 churns out a whopping 475 horsepower to help this 5,502-pound beast scoot just as fast as the BMW X3 M40i, which is 30 percent lighter. Despite the differences in weight, the Durango handles just as well as the BMW and actually performs better when braking from 60 mph to zero. And while the BMW has a very impressive exhaust rumble, the Durango SRT raises the decibel level so you actually feel the earth move under your feet. In other words, subtle is not a word to describe this badass Durango. Same for styling, with the wide front

fascia, large air-intake vent on the hood and a lower, slightly menacing profile. As if that weren’t enough, optional in-yourface racing stripes run the length of the vehicle. Inside are front-row sport seats, second-row captain’s chairs and a third row to seat two more passengers. An 8.4-inch touchscreen isn’t as large as what some competitors offer, but it’s very user-friendly. And the 506watt, BeatsAudio sound system comes with nine speakers and a thumpin’ subwoofer. The driver can choose from seven customized settings such as performance, snow and eco, and the 8,700-pound towing capacity is the best in its class. The biggest downside: fuel economy, which is way near the bottom for similar rides. Suddenly, the decision between this Durango and more fuel-efficient crossovers becomes harder. Yet only the Durango SRT comes with a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity: a free, daylong class at the SRT High Performance Driving School founded by renowned race-car driver Bob Bondurant.



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Ian wrote title cut on 1990 Bette Midler album CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

Cynthia Clawson, Marti Jones. It was an incredibly fertile period and I will always, always be grateful for it, and for Kye. I learned a ton about songwriting from her. She’s brilliant.

than other great halls? IAN: Yes. There’s the prestige of playing Carnegie, but there’s also the acoustics. Someone warned me about a “bass trap” in the upper left balcony before my first solo gig, so we faced the bass amp that way, and we were told it was the best sound from a band they’d ever heard. Most of the great halls were designed for non-amplified music — vaudeville halls. All the older, great Broadway halls. European halls and Carnegie. I think they’ve had to tear Philharmonic Hall apart now what — three times? — to fix the acoustics. Instead of relying on experience and ears, architectural firms and “soundscape engineers” (seriously? “soundcape engineer?”) rely on machines. Just stupid. BLADE: Do you have Joan Baez’s new album? Any thoughts? IAN: I do not have it yet, but my thoughts are that Joan has always been one of the kindest people on earth to me. I wish I had a song on it, but she’s done two of mine before and they’re among my proudest covers. BLADE: How do you decide what key a song you’re writing is going to be in? IAN: It feels right on my voice. Sometimes there’s a conflict — it might sound better in the studio a little higher or lower. Sometimes I have to change the guitar part to suit the key. BLADE: When other artists have recorded your songs, do they often change the key? IAN: Honestly, I have no idea. It never occurred to me to check. BLADE: Back in the ‘60s/‘70s heyday of the big labels, did they let you have input into what your singles would be? Was there ever an instance where you were hoping it would be one song but the label was insisting on another? IAN: I almost always had a good team around me, producer and A&R person, so I usually had input. I mean, no one wanted to put out a song the artist would refuse to sing on stage or TV, right? So fortunately for me, that’s never been a big issue. They’d have liked it if I’d written more commercial songs, but that’s not my gift. BLADE: Amy Grant had a No. 1 hit with your song “What About the Love” in 1989. What are your memories of writing that song and do you have any idea how it got floated to a gospel artist? IAN: I wrote it with Kye Fleming as we were sitting around her living room in Nashville, on the floor, just before Christmas I think. I was playing around with the guitar part, trying to put the first beat on the second note of the guitar

BLADE: Did you two have a private chuckle over a lesbian couple having penned a No. 1 song on the gospel music charts? IAN: Probably not. BLADE: Where did the material come from on your Unreleased collections? Are those alternate studio takes or songs you hadn’t previously recorded or both? IAN: Both. I’ve spent the past 10 years plus having everything I’ve written and recorded transferred, updated, transferred, put on line. There are a lot of alt versions, though very few alt studio takes. A lot of demos and work tapes that haven’t, or have, been released. JANIS IAN says the artistic drive doesn’t wane whether the industry is interested or not. PHOTO BY LLOYD BAGGS; COURTESY IAN

pattern and making myself crazy trying to work it into my fingers. Then I began singing, “I went to see my sister. She was living with a friend ...” and we were off and running. The minute we finished it, Kye said it had to go to Amy. I think Kye’s publisher must have done it, but she also knew Amy, so she may have pitched it herself. And Amy’s always said she’s a big fan of my work — she owns a hand-written copy of “At Seventeen,” for instance, so that may have helped get it in the door. Regardless, she’s a lovely woman and she did a great job. BLADE: Have you ever demo’d it or performed it yourself? IAN: It’s on the album “Breaking Silence.” Morgan Creek gave the rights back to me last year, so we’re in release now. In fact, I’ll be selling it at the Birchmere show because so many people have asked about it. Nice to have your first album after 10 years away become a Grammy nominee (she said musingly). It really is nice. It’s a fantastic audiophile recording; we’ve released it through Acoustic Sounds on vinyl, tape and SACD. BLADE: Are you still friendly with Kye Fleming? About how many songs would you say you wrote together? IAN: Yes, of course I’m still friendly with her. We lived together two-and-a-half years! We wrote 64 songs and among them are several of the absolute best songs I’ve ever been involved with. It’s a pity no one’s pushing them, because some are still un-recorded, but we did pretty well — Diane Schuur, Amy, Bette Midler, Charlie Daniels, Maura O’Connell,

BLADE: How long did it take you to write your memoirs? IAN: I gave myself a year, because I’d never written anything that long before. I also researched and I had several fans who helped with research — dates, places, times and the like. It was good, because for a year I never set foot on a plane. I did four professional things — hosted a tribute to Odetta, sang at a tribute to Pete Seeger, played bass for Marie Knight and something else I can’t remember. They were all fun things to do, and they convinced me that it was more fun to do less, but do the things that brought me pleasure, than to do too much. I had time at home — long periods of time. I hadn’t had that since around 1991, so it was quite marvelous. BLADE: What was your experience like working with John Mellencamp? What’s he like in the studio? IAN: John was great. Very honest, very hard working, very respectful. You have to remember that at the time he brought me into the studio, no one in the music business gave a crap about me. I couldn’t get a publisher, a manager, a booking agent, record company — nothing and no one. John was the only professional in my field to put his money where his mouth was. I mean, it’s lovely to hear, “Oh, you’re a great writer, great performer, great singer,” but it’s not so great when they can’t make space for you at the table. BLADE: What kind of feedback did you get as an Advocate columnist? Did you enjoy the gig? IAN: I loved working with Judy Wieder, my editor there. I’d been turning her down for a year or so, and she suckered me into lunch with her and my wife when we were in L.A. I made the mistake of going to the rest room and while I was gone,

they made the deal. I learned a ton that stood me in good stead when I wrote my autobiography. Having to come up with 1,000 words every month really teaches you a lot. As does having to be funny most of the time. So yes, I enjoyed it very much. I left when Judy was promoted and I had a new editor who didn’t see things the same way. When I began, I was literally hired to be the “resident iconoclast.” When I left, they had a lot of those. So it was time to go. BLADE: What’s a songwriting trap you see beginning writers succumb to commonly? IAN: Oh, gosh, there are so many. Settling. Being enthralled with yourself. Not knowing the basics. Is your second verse as strong as the first? Should your second verse be the first? Are you mixing metaphors? Are you saying that because it’s true, believable, what needs to be there, or are you saying it because it feels good on your voice? So, so many. I always tell people to play out and play out for people who don’t want to hear you. Don’t play for your friends and family — they’re obligated to like your work. Play for people who couldn’t care less. That’s part of how you learn. And remember the computer term GIGO — garbage in, garbage out. You listen to crap, you’ll write crap. Mostly, it’s the CD/technology issue. When you’re young, you don’t have much of a filter. You’re enthralled with your last song, because it’s astonishing and amazing and ennobling that you can even write a song. So, if you can make a CD for practically nothing, in practically no time, you end up putting all those songs on CDs. You make way too many CDs, too fast, and you think you’re growing, but you’re not. I had this discussion the other day with someone. When I started writing, none of us could afford songbooks. So we’d buy an album, listen to it, and write out the lyrics. Somehow, that connection from your hand to your brain teaches you. That’s what I’d tell young songwriters. Take a song you love by someone else. Listen to it and write out the lyrics. Once, twice, three times. Play it and sing it for a week. Get it into your body. Then move on to the next. Keep it different. Go from contemporary to Johnny Mercer. Don’t get tied down. And write them out.

■ A LONGER VERSION OF THIS INTERVIEW IS AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM JANIS IAN Saturday, April 28 The Birchmere 3701 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria, Va. 7:30 p.m. $45 birchmere.com janisian.com

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As co-working grows, consider new ways to use commercial property An integral transformation in the way we work By MIKE KRIEL Ten years ago, most people didn’t know what a co-working space was. In 2005, the first official “co-working space” was opened in San Francisco. Fast-forward to 2017 when, according to Statista, there were 4,043 co-working spaces in the United States. As one of the fastest-growing workplace movements of the last decade, the Oxford Dictionary defines co-working as, “the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.” Think this is just a trend that’s going away? The number of co-working spaces in the U.S. is expected to increase to 6,219 by 2022. And that’s a conservative estimate. Co-working space is no longer a trend; it has become an integral transformation in the way we work. So where will these thousands of new co-working spaces pop up? Everyone knows that real estate is all about location, location, location. The ideal location varies from person to person. Some co-working spaces are best suited in thriving metropolitan areas while others

experience the same success in more suburban locations. Rather than losing precious hours of time stuck in traffic commuting to the office every day, a co-working space offers people an office closer to home but with the benefits of being surrounded by like-minded professionals. Co-working spaces are much more than workspaces. They are places where members work, network, learn and socialize together. A recent survey done by Emergency Research concluded that 84 percent of professionals working in a co-working environment said they were more engaged and motivated when co-working and 67 percent said co-working improved their professional success. But before you run out to build a new commercial space, consider the option of renovating a vacant commercial space into a co-working solution. With the number of vacant commercial properties, building owners and managers should be thinking outside of the box on what to do with their spaces. Why not turn a vacant commercial property (or just one floor of it) into a co-working space? The owner has instant activity in their building and can build relationships with the tenants while becoming a resource to the tenant when their business has grown and they are looking for more space. Small businesses and entrepreneurs benefit by being offered furnished offices de-

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signed to best fit their work style, shorter leases, flexibility to grow and the chance to advance their business goals by working in a dynamic environment with likeminded people. Converting a vacant commercial space into a shared co-working one takes an open mind and working with a trusted adviser. The benefits of a co-working space are plentiful and hard to ignore for entrepreneurs, small businesses and building owners alike. A co-working space immediately livens up an otherwise vacant building and transforms it to a dynamic

business hub. Now’s the time for building owners and managers to think beyond the traditional options when faced with vacant commercial property space. Transforming space in an existing building into a thriving coworking space is the ideal solution for owners and managers as well as entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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LEGAL SERVICES ADOPTION & ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE Law Attorney Jennifer Fairfax represents clients in DC, MD & VA. interested in adoption or ART matters. 301221-9651, JFairfax@ jenniferfairfax.com. FULL SERVICE LAW FIRM Representing the GLBT community for over 35 years. Family adoptions, estate planning, immigration, employment. (301) 891-2200. Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, P.A. www. SP-Law. com.


Gay & Veteran Owner/Operator. 2016 Luxury BMW 750Li Sedan. Properly Licensed & Livery Insured in DC. www.KasperLivery.com. Phone 202554-2471.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Results-Oriented • Affordable

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CLEANING FERNANDO’S CLEANING: Residential & Commercial Cleaning, Reasonable Rates, Free Estimates, Routine, 1-Time, Move-In/ Move-Out. (202) 234-7050, 202-486-6183. TELL ‘EM YOU SAW THEIR AD IN THE Blade classifieds!

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SHARE ADS ARE FREE. Place your HOUSING TO SHARE ad online at washingtonblade.com and the ad prints free in the paper and online.* *25 words or less prints free - anything more is $1/word.

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All Classified Ads - Including Regular & Adult Must Be Received By Mondays at 5PM So They Can Be Included in That Week’s Edition of Washington Blade and washingtonblade.com




All Classified Ads - Including Regular & Adult Must Be Received By Mondays at 5PM washingtonblade.com



Playmates and soul mates...

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18+ MegaMates.com


COLUMBIA HEIGHTS/ PRIVATE Studio in Law Unit, Circulator & regular bus lines are a 1/2 block away. Utilities, FIOS TV/Cable package included. Renovated kitchen with all new appliances. Washer and dryer in unit. Bright LED lighting. Walking distance to supermarket, restaurants, department stores, gym, and more. Credit check will be conducted. One year lease and one month security deposit required. No smoking on premises and no pets allowed. No third party inquiries or requests to rent the unit sight unseen. benfevans@icloud.com, 202-265-1748.

RENT / DE LARGE REHOBOTH BEACH 6BR/4BA HOUSE Excellent IN-TOWN location, one block to beach/ boardwalk. Monthly or Seasonal preferred. 301-270-2531 or henney.com/rb40

All Classified Ads - Including Regular & Adult Must Be Received By Mondays at 5PM So They Can Be Included in That Weeks Edition of Washington Blade and washingtonblade.com

TOP RATED MASSEUR Custom bodywork! Exceptional deep tissue & sensual bodywork for total stress relief in private studio both on the Hill & at Farragut Square. Call Erik 202544-5688. In calls only! No texts! Intro Special $99.00.

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THE MAGIC TOUCH: SWEDISH, Massage or Deep Tissue. Appts 202486-6183, Low Rates, 24/7, In-Calls.


Soon to be 58 year old “thorough” African/American Passive Aggressive, seeking a “seasoned” BLACK Woman age 60+ Text me - kobo.user.1960@ gmail.com, or (240) 672-3764. - C.J.

LUCAS IS BACK 5’ 9”, 170 lbs, 36 yo, Latino Masseur offering Swedish to Sensual massage on my heated table, in a private atmosphere. In/out, Hotels welcome, Parking Available, 24/7. Call Lucas, 240-462-8669. fromlucas@yahoo.com.

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