Washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 17, April 27, 2018

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Guess who’s coming to dinner

Kathy Griffin talks death threats, ‘faux outrage’ on eve of Correspondents’ Dinner visit By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com Don’t be disappointed, but Kathy Griffin isn’t bringing her infamous fake severed head of President Trump to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday. “I’m only going to bring my head, but that’s attached to my body,” Griffin said. “I’m not sure the feds would find the joke is funny a year later as they didn’t find it funny a year ago.” Griffin, who will be a guest of the Washington Blade and Los Angeles Blade at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, talked about the controversy in a wide-ranging exclusive interview that revisited the fallout from the photo and her subsequent resurgence, which includes a worldwide comedy tour, a sold-out upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall and a newly announced event at Radio City Music Hall. Although it’s customary for the president of the United States to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Trump has indicated he won’t appear. It’s the second consecutive year Trump has decided to skip it. But Griffin jokingly predicted Trump would make an appearance. Asked if

KATHY GRIFFIN will be in D.C. this weekend as a guest of the Blade.



Madaleno faces uphill battle in Md. governor’s race Warns of ‘untethered’ Hogan if popular Republican is re-elected By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com

Maryland State Sen. RICH MADALENO (D-Montgomery County) speaks to the Washington Blade editorial staff on April 19. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) last week conceded he faces an uphill battle to become the state’s first openly gay governor. A poll that Goucher College released

on Wednesday notes Madaleno would lose to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan by a 27-45 percent margin if he were to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary on June 26. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they were undecided in the hypothetical race. A second poll that Goucher College released in February indicates 19 percent of respondents would vote for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and 12 percent would vote for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in the primary, compared to two

percent of respondents who said they would vote for Madaleno. “The public polling data certainly has been challenging,” Madaleno told the Washington Blade’s editorial staff in an interview on April 19. Madaleno nevertheless pointed out the polls indicate most Maryland voters remain undecided. He also noted he and his running mate, Luwanda Jenkins, have won straw polls that have been conducted after candidate forums. CONTINUES ON PAGE 16

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Boese beats Nadeau for Stein Club endorsement in Ward 1 Cheh wins Ward 3 backing; no endorsement made in at-large race By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club voted Monday night to endorse gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kent Boese over incumbent Brianne Nadeau for the Ward 1 D.C. Council seat in the city’s June 19 Democratic primary. By unanimous voice vote, the club also endorsed Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh, a longtime LGBT rights supporter who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. In the race for the Democratic nomination for one of two at-large D.C. Council seats, the club will not make an endorsement because none of the candidates, including incumbent at-large Council member Anita Bonds, received a required 60 percent of the vote needed for an endorsement under the Stein Club’s rules. Boese’s victory over Nadeau by a margin of 31 votes to 8 votes surprised some observers who noted that Nadeau has been a strong supporter of LGBT rights during her first term in office. Some club members wondered why more of her LGBT supporters in the ward didn’t turn out to vote for her. Boese, who’s a member of the Stein Club, the city’s largest local LGBT political group, told club members that in addition to his experience working on a wide range of city issues as an ANC member, his status as a gay man gives him a greater insight into issues of concern to LGBT residents of the ward and the city as a whole. “As the only LGBT candidate in this race I understand nuances that the others may not,” he said. The vote came during the first of two candidate endorsement forums the Stein Club has planned for the city’s Democratic primary. It was held in a meeting hall at Kelsey Temple Church of God on Park Road, N.W. in the heart of the city’s Columbia Heights neighborhood in Ward 1. In addition of Boese and Nadeau, two other Democrats challenging Nadeau in the primary — Lori Parker and Sheika Reid — attended and spoke at Monday night’s forum. All four of the Ward 1 candidates expressed strong support for LGBT rights. Reid received 3 votes and Parker received 2 votes among club members in the Ward 1 race. Also expressing strong support for LGBT issues were Bonds and three Democratic candidates challenging Bonds for the at-large Council seat in the June 19 primary – Marcus Goodwin, Aaron Holmes, and Jeremiah Lowery. The outcome of the vote by Stein Club

KENT BOESE won the endorsement of the Stein Club.

members in the at-large race also surprised some observers. Bonds, a longtime LGBT rights supporter who was considered the favorite to win the club’s endorsement, and Goodwin each received 14 votes. Lowery received 5 votes, Holmes received 4 votes, and the category of “no endorsement” received one vote. In accordance with club rules, members approved a motion to hold a runoff vote between Bonds and Goodwin as the top two vote getters. In that second round of voting Bonds received 12 votes and Goodwin received eight votes. Four members voted for “no endorsement.” But Bonds fell short of receiving the club’s endorsement because the club’s rules require a 60 percent or greater vote total in order to win an endorsement. The outcome means the club will not make an endorsement for one of the two at-large D.C. Council seats up for election this year. If it chooses to do so, the club can make an endorsement of a candidate running for the second at-large seat, which cannot go to a Democrat under the city’s Home Rule Charter approved by Congress. In that race, lesbian restaurant owner Dione Reeder is running as an independent against incumbent at-large Council member Elissa Silverman, who’s also an independent. Reeder attended Monday night’s Stein Club endorsement forum, saying she attends as many of the city’s election forums as time permits. She said she would also seek the club’s endorsement when it considers candidates running in the general election later this year. During a question and answer period, nearly all of the candidates said they thought one of the biggest concerns for LGBT people in the city was the same as that for the public at large – the skyrocketing cost of housing that is forcing many longtime city residents to leave the city. The candidates also cited the threat of anti-LGBT violence as another key issue

Council member TRAYON WHITE was criticized after reports he used his constituent services fund to make a $500 donation to a Nation of Islam conference. PHOTO COURTESY OF BOESE


they would work to address. The Stein Club has scheduled its second endorsement forum for May 15 in which it will consider endorsements for mayor, City Council chair, the Ward 5 and Ward 6 Council seats, the city’s congressional delegate seat currently held by Eleanor Holmes Norton, and the “shadow” House and one of two “shadow” Senate seats up for election. Stein Club President Earl Fowlkes told the Washington Blade after Monday night’s forum that club members’ strong support for Boese over Nadeau and their unexpectedly strong support for political newcomer Marcus Goodwin in the atlarge Council race may be due to changing demographics among the city’s voters. “The political climate is changing in D.C.,” he said. “We have a lot of new people moving in and their expectations of City Council members are different. And I think both candidates who are incumbents have to spend a lot more time educating new voters and younger people about their records,” Fowlkes said.

Semitic and fake conspiracy theories. The controversy appeared to be fading until the Post reported on Friday that White used his Council constituent services fund to make a $500 donation in January to a Nation of Islam conference in Chicago in which Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan made remarks disparaging of Jews and transgender people. Each of the Council candidates that spoke at Monday’s Stein Club forum responded to the questions by saying White made a mistake in using constituent services funds to make his donation to the Nation of Islam. Each also called on White to request a refund of the donation. Nadeau reiterated her earlier statement calling on the Council to vote to reprimand White for his donation to the Nation of Islam. Bonds called for White to seek a refund of his donation but said she was undecided over whether the Council should reprimand White. Fowlkes said he believes Farrakhan is both anti-Semitic and a homophobe, but he said he doesn’t think White or all members of the Nation of Islam should be held responsible for what Farrakhan says or does any more than all Catholics should be held responsible for what a Pope says. He said he thinks White made a mistake in making the donation with constituent funds to the Nation of Islam conference in January. White, who won election to the Council in 2016, has expressed support for LGBT rights in his responses to the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance’s candidate questionnaire at the time White ran for his Council seat in 2016. White has also signed on as a co-sponsor to a bill introduced last year by Nadeau that would require the city’s motor vehicles department to allow people to choose the category of “non-binary” in describing their gender on a driver’s license rather than having to choose their gender as either male or female.

Trayon White ‘anti-Semitic’ allegations surface

During the round of questioning from club members, each of the candidates in the Ward 1 and at-large Council races was asked about the controversy surrounding D.C. Council member Trayon White (D-Ward 8). The controversy first surfaced last month after the Washington Post published stories reporting that White had stated on social media that the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking family in Europe, controlled the weather and had influence over the U.S. government and the World Bank. White issued an apology after prominent Jewish community leaders expressed concern that those views were part of longstanding anti-


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Comings & Goings Meet HRC’s new VP and the new head of Creating Change By PETER ROSENSTEIN The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at comingsandgoings@washblade.com. Congratulations to John Baez named the Human Rights Campaign’s new vice president of marketing. HRC is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ people. JOHN BAEZ PHOTO COURTESY OF BAEZ Olivia Dalton, HRC’s senior vice president of communications and marketing, said, “In this role John will oversee marketing strategy, digital media efforts, and brand management. John is a creative and strategic thinker who brings more than 20 years of high-level experience in marketing, advertising and media. We are thrilled to have John on board helping to ensure we’re prepared to meet the challenges ahead in our fight for full equality.” Baez previously worked for Viacom Velocity as vice president of marketing operations and strategy. He is the coauthor of “The Gay and Lesbian Guide to College Life.” ALEX MISURELLA PHOTO COURTESY OF MISURELLA He has also worked for Punkmouse as a founding partner and senior consultant. Prior to that he worked for Clear Channel Advantage and was an adjunct lecturer and instructor at The City University of New York. Congratulations also to Alex Misurella who recently moved to D.C. to become the Patron Services Associate at the Constellation Theatre Company. Constellation says its mission is, “to tell big, powerful stories in an intimate space. We spark curiosity and imagination with plays from all over the world that feature visual spectacle, original music, dynamic movement and passionate ANDY GARCIA acting ensembles.” Constellation was founded in 2007 PHOTO COURTESY OF GARCIA and its three eligible shows in 2017 received 19 Helen Hayes nominations. Misurella brings real talent to his job. Although young he has already worked with a number of theater companies as an intern including Jacob’s Pillow and Barrington Stage Company. He has also been an administrator with Berkshire Pulse where he managed a dance studio. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in theater from East Stroudsburg University where he received a President’s Outstanding Service Award. Finally, congratulations also to Andy Garcia the next director of Creating Change for the National LGBTQ Task Force. In addition to running the annual Creating Change Conference, he will oversee the Creating Change Department, including its leadership development programming. The Creating Change Conference is the National LGBTQ Task Force’s annual gathering of nearly 4,000 advocates and activists, The Creating Change Conference is the foremost political, leadership, and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ social justice movement. Since 1988, Creating Change has created opportunities for thousands of committed people to develop and hone their skills, celebrate victories, build community, and to be inspired. More information can be found at CreatingChange.org. Sue Hyde, founder of the conference, said, “It is my pleasure to welcome and celebrate Andy Garcia as he takes the wheel of the Creating Change Conference. His years and wealth of experiences and relationships in the LGBTQ movement will well serve Creating Change, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and the movement.” Garcia previously worked with the Equality Federation as senior manager of leadership programs and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. He has held many roles within the LGBTQ movement including with the Pipeline Project and as program director at the Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth, including organizing the annual BAGLY Youth Prom, an event that annually draws 2,000 youth from throughout New England.

The O’s will celebrate LGBT Pride on June 27.

Orioles announce first official Pride Night The Baltimore Orioles announced this week plans for a first-ever official Pride Night to be held on June 27 against the Seattle Mariners. Gay fans have organized unofficial Pride nights in past years, but this year’s event is officially sanctioned and promoted by the team. LGBT Pride Night ticket packages include a ticket to the game and an O’s Pride cap with a portion of proceeds benefitting Moveable Feast, a Baltimore-based organization that provides meals and other services to preserve the quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening conditions. A limited number of VIP ticket packages are available with access to a pregame party on the center field roof deck. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit orioles.com/LGBTpride. STAFF REPORTS

Kevin Edson Mullen dies at 53 Kevin Edson Mullen died Dec. 11 at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., according to friends. He was 53 and died of a heart attack. Mullen was born in Alexandria, Va., on April 26, 1964 and lived most of his life in the D.C. area. In the last five years of his life, Mullen spent as much time as possible in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where he co-owned a home with Claudia Davis, a friend for nearly 30 years. Davis said Mullen would have lived full-time in Rehoboth if he could KEVIN EDSON MULLEN worked in have. Mullen was gay. property management. He worked for about 17 years as general manager of the Carriage House Condominiums and worked most of his life in property management. He was of the Episcopal faith. His friend Curtis Olson remembered Mullen fondly. “He liked the beach, Kevin liked people,” Olson said. “He liked hanging out at Trio on 17th Street. He was always giving. He’d give anyone the shirt off his back. He was a friend you could really count on.” In addition to Davis, Mullen is survived by a niece, Ruthann Hewitt Murakami and nephews Gregory Hewitt, Jr. “Chip,” Brandon Hewitt and Joseph Mullen “JT.” He had many friends, Olson said. A service where friends will be received is slated for Saturday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at Mount Comfort Cemetery (6600 South Kings Highway) in Alexandria, Va. JOEY DiGUGLIELMO


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ANC commissioner stopped prosecution of boyfriend 6 months before his murder Dual incidents of domestic violence led to activist’s death By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com A gay former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in D.C. that Prince George’s County police say was stabbed to death last month in Beltsville, Md., allegedly by his former boyfriend, prevented authorities in Baltimore from prosecuting his then boyfriend for attempting to slash him with a knife six months before the fatal stabbing, according to court documents obtained by the Washington Blade. Prince George’s County police announced on April 13 that they had charged 23-year-old Baltimore resident Canaan Peterson with first-degree murder for the March 2018 stabbing death of Antonio Barnes, 27. A police statement says Peterson and Barnes had been in a domestic relationship. P.G. County Police said Barnes was found unconscious on March 14 on a sidewalk outside his Beltsville apartment building suffering from a stab wound. He died a short time later in a nearby hospital. In a development that experts on domestic violence say is not uncommon, Barnes declined to cooperate with prosecutors in Baltimore last September after Peterson was arrested for attacking him with a knife. As a result of the lack of cooperation multiple assault charges were dropped against Peterson. Six months later, P.G. County police charged Peterson with fatally stabbing Barnes in an act of domestic violence. According to charging documents filed in Baltimore City District Court, Baltimore police arrested Peterson on nine assault related charges in August 2017 for allegedly attacking Barnes, his then boyfriend, and Canaan’s own mother in a fit of rage. The Baltimore court documents show the incident took place both outside and inside the house where Peterson lived with his mother and where Barnes stayed when visiting Peterson on the 1200 block of Luzerne Avenue in Baltimore on Aug. 23, 2017. “Mr. Barnes and the defendant are in a domestic relationship,” one of the charging documents prepared by a Baltimore police officer who was on the scene states. “Mr. Barnes advised that defendant was upset about a text message that was sent stating that he (Barnes) was going back home to D.C.,” the document, listed as a statement of probable cause, says. “When Mr. Barnes pulled up in front of 1229 N. Luzerne Ave. with Sharron Peterson (mother of defendant) the defendant approached the vehicle and pulled Barnes out of the car and attempted to hit him with a piece of wood

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

but missed and did not make contact with his body,” the charging document states. The document says Peterson followed Barnes into the basement of the house where an argument between the two escalated, with “defendant Peterson destroying property and ransacking the house on all three floors.” The document adds, “The defendant retrieved a small knife and attempted to cut Barnes by slashing at him several times. Barnes restrained the defendant and was able to disarm him but the defendant did bite him on the left chest and both arms during this assault, causing small welt marks and Barnes sustained a small cut to his right pinky finger from the knife as well.” At one point during his rampage Peterson stated to his mother “I’ll fuck you up too,” according to the charging document. It says he then charged at his mother “and struck her several times with a closed fist in the face and body, threw her down to the ground, and bit her on the stomach.” Barnes pulled Peterson off of his mother, who is identified in the document as Sharron Peterson, after which Canaan Peterson “retrieved the knife again and this time attempted to stab his mother,” the charging document says. It says she sustained a small cut on her left hand. The document says Peterson fled the scene when police arrived and appeared to have hid in the backyard of the house next door before police found him and placed him under arrest. The charging document says that Peterson’s sister was present during the entire incident and witnessed her brother’s actions against Barnes and his mother. Despite what appeared to be a strong case against Peterson, court records show that all nine charges filed against him were dismissed during a court hearing on Sept. 19, 2017. The dismissed charges 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 someone, and malicious destruction of property. The court documents obtained by the Washington Blade do not show why the charges were dropped by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. But when contacted by the Blade, Melba Saunders, a spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s office, gave this explanation: “The criminal justice system relies heavily on victims and witnesses to participate in the proceedings, especially when the alleged crime is domestic related,” Saunders said in a statement. “Unfortunately the victim and witnesses, related to this case, were unwilling to cooperate and without their participation the office could not proceed with the charges against Mr. Peterson,” Saunders said.

Friends of Barnes in D.C. say they believe he broke off his relationship with his boyfriend but they did not know when that happened. “The preliminary investigation reveals the suspect stabbed the victim during an argument,” according to a statement released by P.G. County police at the time of Peterson’s arrest for Barnes’ murder. Upon learning of Barnes’ death, community activists in D.C. who knew him through his tenure on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E, which represents the city’s Sursum Corda and Shaw neighborhoods, praised him for him for what they said was his dedication to improve the neighborhood he represented. Fellow gay ANC member Alex Padro said Barnes was “gay and out” to his fellow commissioners and many of the people within his ANC district.

Activists decry anti-LGBT violence at vigil

Several high-level aides to Mayor Muriel Bowser and at least one member of the City Council joined close to 300 people last Thursday night at Stead Park near Dupont Circle for a candlelight vigil in support of two gay men attacked and beaten in what police have listed as a hate crime. Several speakers at the vigil, including lead organizer Jerry Blackmon, who heads an LGBT About 300 turned out last week for a vigil supportive kickball league, said they protesting anti-LGBT violence. were prompted to take action after WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY seeing a video of the attack taken by a bystander with a cell phone who posted it on Twitter. The graphic video shows one of the victims being knocked unconscious and the other punched and kicked in the head. D.C. police have released parts of the video on YouTube with an appeal to the public for help in identifying three male suspects shown on the video assaulting the two men. Police said witnesses heard one or more of the attackers yell antigay slurs during the incident. Police said the attack took place about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, April 15, at the corner of Vermont Avenue and U Street, N.W. in the heart of the U Street entertainment district where four gay bars are located. “When I heard this happened to members of my kickball family I was livid and realized it is time to take a stand,” Blackmon told the gathering. “This event will be the first of a series asking what do we do now,” he said, adding that he and others who know the two victims have heard of other anti-LGBT assaults that have taken place in and around the U Street area in recent weeks. Jay Penuel, a D.C. sign language interpreter who is friends with the two victims, said both are also sign language interpreters. He said that as a sign of solidarity and support for the two men, about 20 other sign language interpreters turned out for the vigil. Friends of the two men have identified them in social media as Michael Creason, who spoke at the vigil, and Zach Link. Both are D.C. residents. D.C. Police Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the department’s LGBT Liaison Unit, told the gathering that Police Chief Peter Newsham and the entire police force were dedicated to thoroughly investigating hate crimes targeting all communities. “I cannot stand here and promise you this is the last time something like this will happen,” Parson said. “But what I can say to you from our Chief of Police on down to our nearly 3,800 police officers, our partners, federal and local, we will not rest until crimes like this stop.” LOU CHIBBARO JR.


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Bi Md. lawmaker talks coming out, conversion therapy Insists her state senator father is not a ‘monster’ By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com Maryland state Del. Meagan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel County) was having dinner with fellow lawmakers last month in Annapolis when she overheard state Del. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery County) talking about a bill that seeks to ban socalled conversion therapy for minors. State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) introduced Senate Bill 1028 in the Maryland Senate. Cullison sponsored it in the House of Delegates. Cullison told Simonaire that SB 1028 was “basically dead” in the state Senate. Cullison added it was being held up by a “certain senator” who turned out to be Simonaire’s father, state Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel County). Meagan Simonaire in a speech she gave on the House floor on April 4 before SB 1028 passed said her parents suggested she undergo conversion therapy after she told them she had been in a relationship with another woman. Meagan Simonaire also came out as bisexual. “I was in complete shock, of course,” she told the Washington Blade on Thursday during an interview at her office in Northwest D.C., noting she had less than two days notice that SB 1028 was moving in the state House. “[It was] kind of an out of body experience.” Meagan Simonaire in 2014 was elected to represent House District 31B in Anne Arundel County after she campaigned on a platform that included fighting human trafficking and advocating on behalf of homeless youth. She is currently the youngest member of the General Assembly. Meagan Simonaire, who holds a cosmetology degree from Bob Jones University in South Carolina, is not seeking re-election. Meagan Simonaire told the Blade she was “completely” closeted when she was with her first girlfriend, whose parents kicked her out when she was a teenager after she came out to them. “Everything was on the DL,” she said. Meagan Simonaire spent most of her time with her girlfriend at her home in Baltimore. She said she brought her to a Christmas tree lighting when she was running for office. Meagan Simonaire also told the Blade that a Baltimore taxi driver once kicked them out of his cab after he saw them holding hands and was “grossed out.” “I was already feeling guilt and shame of how I was raised,” she told the Blade, recalling the incident and what she had been taught about homosexuality. “We never talked about being gay,”

Maryland state Del. MEAGAN SIMONAIRE (R-Anne Arundel) sits in her office in D.C. on April 19, 2018. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

added Meagan Simonaire. “I just knew it was one of the sins.” Meagan Simonaire and her girlfriend had already broken up by the time she was elected. Meagan Simonaire came out to her parents in January 2015 and told them about their relationship “The following few months were the hardest, worst months of my life,” she said, noting she was suffering from depression and had contemplated taking her own life. “I couldn’t drive in the car without wanting to drive into a tree. It was horrible.” Meagan Simonaire stressed her father “never said go to conversion therapy, we need to fix you.” “He said, ‘You can get help. I’m going to try and help you because I love you,’” Meagan Simonaire throughout the interview repeatedly stressed her parents are not anti-gay. “My parents weren’t hateful,” she told the Blade. “They weren’t mean. They were broken-hearted. They were sad and that sometimes is worse because they’ve been the best parents.” “I’ve always been my mom’s best friend and my daddy’s little girl,” added Meagan Simonaire. “It was really, really difficult at the same time and then add onto that oh, and I ran as a Republican.”

Father ‘in shock’ after speech

Meagan Simonaire said she listened to her father’s comments in opposition to SB 1028 before she wrote the speech that she ultimately delivered on the House floor. “Obviously [I] wanted to be as respectful and loving as possible and not paint him as this monster, because he’s not,” she told the Blade. “But I just realized I said you know what, I have four days left in session . . . four more days in session, I knew that

there was no option of me hiding who I am for the rest of my life. I’m not going to be 39 years old in my office with bills up on the wall and be single and/or hiding who I am dating. That’s not an option.” Meagan Simonaire texted her father before she gave her speech and then put her phone in airplane mode. Meagan Simonaire said her father did not hear it because he was voting in the Senate. “He was obviously in shock,” she told the Blade. “He didn’t hear my speech first so all he saw were these press releases going online and it stabbed him in the heart.” “He felt really betrayed and hurt because that’s what he saw and that was the hardest thing for me,” added Meagan Simonaire. “I am daddy’s little girl and I just want him to love me and be proud of me.” Meagan Simonaire said her father accused her of lying before she told him to watch her speech. Meagan Simonaire told the Blade he wasn’t hurt over the fact she had come out or supported SB 1028, but rather she wasn’t “clear enough on the details and how that gave a lot of room to interpret things.” She pointed out her father had said conversion therapy can be done lovingly, which she stressed is “never going to be received well.” Meagan Simonaire also said some of the press coverage of her speech was not accurate. “I was like I never thought that you were trying to send me away to some torture camp,” she said, referring to the conversations she had with her father after her speech. “But I don’t think it makes a difference between Christian counselor or conversion therapy when the outcome is the same.” Meagan Simonaire acknowledged these conversion conversations were “super painful,” but she told the Blade they are slowly getting easier. Meagan Simonaire also said some of the comments that she has

read about her father have been “horrible.” “I adore him and we strongly disagree on this,” she said. “We strongly disagree that conversion therapy can be done lovingly, 100 percent, and we’ve disagreed on other things in the past too. But to say that he’s not a good father and he’s a sperm donor, you know, of course, that’s really hurtful.” Bryan Simonaire has yet to return the Blade’s requests for comment. The Anne Arundel County Republican during an interview with Bruce DePuyt, senior reporter at MarylandMatters.org, echoed Meagan Simonaire’s criticism of how the media covered the speech. “I’m seeing reports that we sent her to conversion therapy when she was a child,” Bryan Simonaire told DePuyt. “This was a simple family conversation when she was 25 or 26 years old. She was an adult child talking to her parents. It was one simple conversation.” “She was dealing with depression and anxiety after she had revealed that she was bisexual,” added Bryan Simonaire. “So, she was asking for advice. We gave her some advice for Christian counseling. She decided not to go to it. She never attended. And that was the end of the conversation.” Bryan Simonaire also described those who criticized him for recommending conversion therapy to his daughter as “so-called tolerant people.” “They just spew hateful comments and they don’t really have all the facts,” he told DePuyt. Eleven states and D.C. currently ban conversion therapy for minors. The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would ban the widely discredited practice in the state. A similar measure passed in the Hawaii House of Representatives earlier this month. The California Assembly on Thursday approved a bill that would classify conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice in the state. Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has yet to sign SB 1028, but he publicly supports it. “I’m so happy it’s being talked about,” said Meagan Simonaire, referring to efforts to ban conversion therapy for minors. She told the Blade she would like to become more involved with the LGBT rights movement and efforts to fight conversion therapy. Human Rights Campaign staffers met with her on Wednesday in D.C. Meagan Simonaire has not publicly said whether she plans to leave the Republican Party over its hostility to LGBT-specific issues. “It’s a decision that’s going to be made,” she said. “It’s almost impossible for people to stay in a Republican Party when they are not doing the right thing and standing up for people who don’t have a voice and who are being persecuted on a daily basis and it’s 2018. It’s unacceptable.”


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Anti-LGBT judicial nominee confirmed to Fifth Circuit

Astronaut SALLY RIDE’s partner says she’d be ‘shaking her head’ over the new anti-LGBT NASA chief.

Sally Ride would be ‘shaking her head’ over new NASA chief Sally Ride, the late first American woman in space, wouldn’t be happy about NASA’s new administrator, her partner of 27 years said Monday. Tam O’Shaughnessy told the Washington Blade that Ride would be “shaking her head” over Jim Bridenstine, whom the U.S. Senate confirmed last week as head of NASA by a party-line vote of 50-49. “I think Sally would have been shaking her head in dismay during the Senate confirmation vote last week,” O’Shaughnessy said. “She would have been skeptical about Jim Bridenstine serving with honor as NASA administrator.” The cause of concern for Ride, O’Shaughnessy said, would be both his anti-LGBT record and statements denying climate change — a subject NASA has studied in the past. “His public record shows he is anti-science based on his misinterpretation and misrepresentation of global climate change,” O’Shaughnessy said. “And his public statements show that he does not believe in social justice based on his views of marriage equality for same-sex couples.” A three-term member of Congress who earned a “0” from the Human Rights Campaign on its most recent scorecard, Bridenstine has co-sponsored legislation against samesex marriage and called the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act “a disappointment.” In 2013, when the Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay youths, Bridenstine delivered a speech on the House floor in opposition to the change, suggesting LGBT people are immoral. “The left’s agenda is not about tolerance, and it’s not about diversity of thought,” Bridenstine said in 2013. “It’s about presenting a worldview of relativism, where there is no right and wrong, then using the full force of the government to silence opposition and reshape organizations like the Boy Scouts into instruments for social change.” On the issue of climate change, Bridenstine has denied that human actions are responsible for increasing global temperatures. “I would say that the climate is changing,” Bridenstine said in a 2016 interview. “It has always changed. There were periods of time long before the internal combustion engine when the Earth was much warmer than it is today.” Both those viewpoints, O’Shaughnessy said, would have been unacceptable to Ride for someone as administrator of NASA. “Sally believed NASA should study our home planet just as it studies the rest of the solar system — and educate the public about how human activities like burning fossil fuels are changing the air, making the global climate warm,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Sally also valued people from all walks of life and all ways of living and loving.” Ride, an American physicist and astronaut, joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983 as a crew member on space shuttle Challenger. She took part in a second space flight in 1984 and spent a total of more than 343 hours in space. Upon her death in 2012, Ride revealed in her obituary O’Shaughnessy had been her partner for more than 27 years — outing herself as a member of the LGBT community. CHRIS JOHNSON

The U.S. Senate has confirmed to the federal bench a Trump judicial nominee who made a major component of his career as a lawyer blocking LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and transgender student Gavin Grimm’s access to the high school boys’ room, Kyle Duncan, a partner at the D.C.-based Schaerr Duncan LLP, was confirmed Tuesday to a seat on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals — which has jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi — by a party-line vote of 50-47. When same-sex marriage came before the Supreme Court in 2015, Duncan filed a brief on behalf of 15 states in opposition to nationwide marriage equality. Additionally, he led efforts to keep in place marriage bans in Louisiana and Virginia. After the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, Duncan said the decision was an “abject failure” and “imperils civic peace.” Later, Duncan suggested the ruling was invalid, saying it “raises a question about the legitimacy of the court.” Although the Supreme Court ruled contrary to his views, Duncan wasn’t done. In Alabama, he represented the birth mother of three children who refused visitation rights to her former same-sex spouse. Although the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in the birth mother’s favor, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed that decision in accordance with Obergefell. On transgender rights, Duncan represented in litigation the Virginia school that sought to bar transgender student Gavin Grimm from using the restroom consistent with his gender identity. Duncan also represented North Carolina Republican lawmakers in their attempt to defend in court House Bill 2, which sought to bar transgender people from using public restrooms of their choice. In addition to anti-LGBT work, Duncan was also the lead attorney in the Hobby Lobby case, which led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in 2014 that closely held corporations could deny health insurance to female employees that includes birth control coverage. CHRIS JOHNSON

HHS seeks to nix rule for trans health The White House has declined to comment on recent indications the Trump administration is set to undo an Obama-era rule barring medical providers from refusing service to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery. The Washington Blade sought to ask White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the proposed reversal Monday during the daily briefing, but the spokesperson didn’t call on the Blade for a question, nor did any other reporter ask about the issue following a report on the development in the New York Times. In response to an email request for more information, the White House referred the Washington Blade to HHS, which didn’t respond to a request for comment. OMB also didn’t respond to the Blade’s request for information. The Obama-era rule interpreted Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which bars discrimination in health care on the basis of sex, to bar refusal of service to transgender people based on their gender identity, including the denial of transition-related care such as gender reassignment surgery. As the Times first reported, the U.S. Justice Department noted in a filing last week in a lawsuit challenging the rule the Department of Health & Human Services “had submitted a draft of a proposed rule” for review to the White House Office of Management & Budget. The OMB website reveals it’s considering a proposed rule related to “non-discrimination in health programs and activities.” Although the Justice Department filing doesn’t explicitly say the pending proposal would undo the Obama-era rule, that seems likely based on the decision to file it in a lawsuit challenging the provision and the history of the Trump administration. The Trump administration has already declared federal law barring discrimination on the basis of sex doesn’t apply to cases of transgender discrimination in education and employment. The Education and Justice Departments rolled back Obama-era guidance requiring schools to allow transgender kids to use the restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Additionally, the Justice Department reversed a memo from former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder finding Title VII of Civil Rights of 1964 prohibits anti-trans discrimination in the workforce. The Obama-era rule is currently moot in any event. Last last year, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued an injunction barring the U.S. government from enforcing the rule as a result of litigation filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. CHRIS JOHNSON


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Griffin won’t bring Trump head to Correspondents’ Dinner CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

she was disappointed over Trump’s announcement that he won’t attend and the resulting missed opportunity to meet her face-to-face, Griffin envisioned an unusual scenario. “Because Sarah Huckabee Sanders is supposedly going...he’s going to do like a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and make a Sarah Huckabee Sanders skinsuit and sit there wearing a Sarah Huckabee Sanders skinsuit with just his crazy eyes popping up and we could listen in,” Griffin said. After posing in a photo last year with a fake Trump head looking as though she just decapitated the president, Griffin faced criticism from both the left and the right. Much of the controversy, however, was ginned up by Trump-friendly outlets like Breitbart News and Trump associates, including Donald Trump Jr., who said she should be “decimated.” After being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Griffin declined to discuss many details — such as the current location of the mock head — but did say the most surprising aspect of the fallout was the swift reaction against her. “I didn’t know that the Trump machine had this apparatus ready to go and waiting for an incident like my photo because I’ve said controversial things my whole career and Trump himself has had me roast him,” Griffin said. “He actually had me roast him as part of a challenge on ‘The Apprentice.’” Griffin said one group that didn’t desert her was the LGBT community. A group of drag queens on Fire Island, she said, made their support known after the controversy in a group video. “I don’t know what the party was but there were like five drag queens dressed as me and a couple of them had Trump heads done,” Griffin said. “A couple of them just had like other, silly things to hold up. I saw it on Twitter or something. Somebody sent me that and I was like of course the drag queens are ahead of their time again. Yes, the LGBT community as usual got it, didn’t get freaked out by it.” The Blade announced last month that it had invited Griffin to join its table at the Correspondents’ Dinner. “Kathy Griffin has stood up for LGBTQ visibility,” said Blade editor Kevin Naff. “She has marched with us, spoken out against injustices and, yes, made us laugh. You don’t throw your allies under the bus and the Blade is happy to host her in D.C. and excited to welcome her to our table.” But there was one member of the LGBT community who wasn’t as forgiving. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who hosted a popular New Year’s Eve special with Griffin until last year because of the controversy,

Comedian KATHY GRIFFIN said she has endured a year of death threats following a stunt in which she posed with the fake severed head of Donald Trump. PHOTO COURTESY GRIFFIN

said on Twitter he was appalled by the photo and called it “disgusting and completely inappropriate.” Griffin said falling out with Cooper was “the one that hurt.” “I didn’t hear from him for five months and he just sent me a couple of texts and they were kind of bitchy and so, no, things have not improved,” Griffin said. But a year after the drama, Griffin is in the midst of a resurgence. Coming off her yearlong tour of Europe, Griffin has an upcoming show at Carnegie Hall, which sold out immediately after it was announced, and another scheduled appearance at Radio City Music Hall on June 25. As part of her comeback, Griffin said she’s most looking forward “to telling this whole story.” “To not be able to work in your own country because of something that is nothing but a ridiculous sort of

falsified faux-outrage media moment perpetuated by the fucking president of the United States — or as I call him, the accidental president, because this whole thing’s a big accident as far as I’m concerned — and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and the Department of Justice — it’s so extreme that it actually became funny,” Griffin said. As part of her routine, Griffin said she reads some of the threats she’s received from Trump supporters, whom she said are “not so good with grammar.” One of the threats Griffin described was relayed to her from a theater owner, resulting in her having to cancel a performance. “They’re not used to getting calls,” Griffin said. “I play venues where they do shows like ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘Stomp’ and ‘Lion King’ and stuff. They’re not used to getting calls saying if Kathy Griffin goes on stage, I’m going to shoot her in the

cunt, decapitate her and then shove her head up her cunt. You do that enough and theater owners get a little nervous.” Despite the drama, desertions and investigation by federal law enforcement officials, which Griffin said makes her a “living example” of what can happen to someone who opposes Trump, the comedian said that shouldn’t deter individuals from speaking out against him and they should “absolutely do it.” “My advice is absolutely get out there and speak out so nothing should deter us,” Griffin said. “And I’ll tell you why: Our lives depend on it. I don’t feel the gay community is as safe that they were two years ago. I, as a woman, I absolutely don’t feel as safe, and I mean physically, politically, professionally, we’ve got Nazis marching in Charlottesville and we have a president saying it’s both sides, so I think that this is the time when everybody should be extremely vocal and not just online, but you know, with your ballot and marching and all the ways that activism has worked.” Griffin’s observation about the state of LGBT rights under Trump is spot on. Among the attacks on LGBT rights are Trump’s proposed transgender military ban, the Justice Department denying that federal civil rights laws protect LGBT people and “religious freedom” executive actions that enable anti-LGBT discrimination. In the face of all this erosion of LGBT rights, Griffin remains optimistic the nation will recover once a new Democratic administration is elected because, “the idea that the Democrats don’t have rock stars is bullshit.” “I think we have an embarrassment of riches,” Griffin said. “It’s the other team telling us that Kamala Harris isn’t great or Booker isn’t great or Elizabeth Warren isn’t great.” Griffin, however, had some choice words for supporters of 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has indicated he may pursue a 2020 run against Trump. “By the way, don’t let the Bernie Bros fuck shit up either,” Griffin said. “Like, just realize that whole Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Sanders thing — Bernie Sanders fucking loved it when he was mentioned in the Podesta emails.” With the congressional mid-term elections nearing, Griffin said Americans are now marching who “would never do that sort of thing two years ago” and political awareness is at an all-time high, which she said will be key to making change. “I’ve never been so aware of every single local candidate,” Griffin said. “Every attorney general is important, all this stuff, all the down-ballot stuff. So I think it’s good that people really are engaged and I think most of us get that we’re kind of in a fight for our lives.”


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Madaleno warns of ‘untethered’ Hogan if he’s reelected CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

“When people have had a chance to hear from us, I come out ahead,” said Madaleno, noting he received 57 percent of the vote in a recent Baltimore County straw poll. “When people know me, I do well. It’s a matter of getting known and getting the resources to get known.” Madaleno is accepting public funding for his campaign. Madaleno, Baker and Kamenetz will face off against former NAACP President Ben Jealous; former State Department official Alec Ross; lawyer Jim Shea and Krishanti Vignarajah, who was former first lady Michelle Obama’s policy director, in the primary. The winner will run against Hogan, who has a 69 percent approval rating in the latest Goucher College poll. Madaleno in recent months has emerged as a vocal critic of Hogan. Madaleno throughout his campaign has also sought to position himself as the most progressive candidate. “We cannot afford to have an untethered governor when we have an unhinged president,” Madaleno told the Blade when asked whether Hogan would become a more conservative governor if he were to be re-elected in November. “I’m really not running against Larry Hogan’s first term. I’m running against his second term and what is that going to look like.” He has pointed out to the Blade during previous interviews that he is among the lawmakers and advocates who led efforts to secure passage of Maryland’s samesex marriage bill in 2012. Madaleno in 2014 introduced a transgender rights bill that became law that year. Madaleno told the Blade he supports a bill that would allow Marylanders to obtain state-issued ID cards and driver’s licenses with an “unspecified” gender marker. He noted trans women — and especially trans women of color — in Baltimore “wind up the victims of violence or are murdered.” Madaleno told the Blade many of them turn to sex work or use drugs. “That’s why having progressive laws that let people live their lives as who they are are important to providing stability to individuals and to the community as a whole,” he said. Madaleno said he supports the legalization of marijuana in Maryland, but did not say whether he backs the decriminalization of sex work in the state. Madaleno has previously said he would support a bill that would repeal Maryland’s sodomy law. He explained to the Blade why the statute remains on the books, even though the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in the Lawrence v. Texas case rendered it unconstitutional. “We made the strategic decision after Lawrence that we were making progress,”

Maryland Gov. LARRY HOGAN continues to enjoy sky-high approval ratings in advance of his November re-election bid. PHOTO BY TOM NAPPY; COURTESY OF THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

said Madaleno, noting lawmakers after the landmark decision were advocating for nondiscrimination and hate crimes bills. “We were playing defense on relationship recognition . . . we were doing all these things.” Madaleno conceded to the Blade the lack of progress on repealing the sodomy law has “been a source of frustration.” He said he would encourage the state’s attorney general and state attorneys to sit down and figure out how to remove the statute from the books. “We have spent our political capital on I think more important things and made progress in Maryland,” said Madaleno. “I would rather still have this arcane language sitting there that is embarrassing but unenforceable and have a sexual orientation and gender identity-inclusive anti-discrimination law than be in the situation with Virginia where you’ve decriminalized that but you can still be fired for being gay.” Madaleno told the Blade he would ask the state’s attorney general to clarify whether the Maryland National Guard has the authority not to implement President Trump’s ban on trans service members. “That’s one way you can stand up to the Trump administration,” said Madaleno.

Ross comment ‘offensive’ Madaleno spoke with the Blade less than three weeks after the Maryland House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors. Madaleno, who sponsored the bill in the Maryland Senate, said he “had not a clue” state Del. Meagan Simonaire (R-Anne

Arundel County) was going to come out as bisexual and disclose in a speech on the House floor that her father, state Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel County), and her mother suggested she undergo conversion therapy. Madaleno during the interview also reiterated his criticism of Alec Ross over his comment after a candidates forum in Frederick last month that he “prances around Annapolis.” “At a minimum, it was a poor choice of words,” Madaleno told the Blade. “I don’t think that’s a word that people use.” Ross and his running mate, Julie Verratti, who is a lesbian, strongly rejected Madaleno’s criticisms and accusations. Madaleno reiterated to the Blade that he found the comment “personally offensive.”

Beyer running for Madaleno’s seat

Madaleno, 52, has represented the 18th Senate District since 2007. He became the first openly gay person elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 2002. Madaleno also worked for state Sen. Barbara Hoffman (D-Baltimore City) and the late state Del. Pete Rawlings (D-Baltimore City). Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer, who ran unsuccessfully against Madaleno in 2014, is running for Madaleno’s seat that he will vacate at the end of the year. Madaleno told the Blade he has “not taken a position” in the race. “We’ll see how that plays out,” he said. Madaleno also said he will support the Democratic nominee if he does not win the primary.

Baltimore takeover would be ‘aggressive’ Madaleno during last week’s interview also discussed a number of non-LGBT issues. He said all of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates should release their tax returns as he did last week. Madaleno also told the Blade the state should work with Baltimore officials to reduce the city’s crime rate and improve its schools and infrastructure. “You want to do that in partnership with the elected officials of the city,” said Madaleno. “To do a city takeover would, I think, be very aggressive and confrontational.” “You want to do that as much as possible hand-in-hand with the city leadership and not set up a fight where it’s like the bad big brother coming in to demand a change,” he added. Madaleno said he supports increased investment in Maryland’s public university system as a way to lure Amazon to build its second headquarters in the state. He also told the Blade that any effort to impeach Trump should hinge upon the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether his presidential campaign had any involvement with Russian interference in the 2016 election. “Trump has ethical problems,” said Madaleno. “There are things that we should try and make sure we know about what conflicts he has. At the same time, some unusual things happened in the election.” (Editor’s note: Blade staffers Kevin Naff, Chris Johnson and Lou Chibbaro Jr. participated in the interview with Madaleno.)



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Anti-LGBT group receives PEPFAR grant A South Africa group that is affiliated with Focus on the Family has received a grant through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Think Progress last week reported Focus on the Family Africa on Sept. 18, 2017, received a $49,505 PEPFAR grant from the State Department’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for its Thriving Family program in South Africa. The program includes “No Apologies,” an abstinence-based curriculum that Focus on the Family Africa’s website states “helps young people make wise choices regarding high-risk behavior, including sexual involvement before marriage.” Understanding “the value of character and abstinence leading to healthy behavior” and identifying “clearly the consequences associated with premarital sexual activity” are among the curriculum’s four objectives that Focus on the Family Africa outlines. The South Africa Department of Education, which is a PEPFAR partner, began to implement the program in the country’s schools in 2002 after Focus on the Family Africa developed it. A State Department official on Monday told the Washington Blade the program has reached more than 2 million South African students. The official also noted Focus on the Family Africa requested the PEPFAR funding “for the schools that are currently not being funded by the (South Africa) Department of Education, but where they have requested the program.” “Thriving Family delivers a highly interactive, character-based abstinence curriculum,” the official told the Blade. “Thriving Family is an abstinence-focused program, which teaches that while abstinence is the best method to prevent HIV, it is not the only method,” said the official. “Thriving Family provides referrals for any services or information that they do not directly offer,” added the official. Focus on the Family Africa began in 1992. Focus on the Family Vice President of Communications Paul Batura in a statement to the Blade describes Focus on the Family Africa as “an independent global partner of Focus on the Family,” which is based in Colorado Springs, Colo. Focus on the Family Africa’s website says marriage “is intended by God to be a thriving, lifelong relationship between a man and a woman.” It also states that “God created humans in his image, intentionally and immutably male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships.” Focus on the Family’s website contains the same definition of marriage that Focus on the Family Africa uses. It also contains the same reference to God creating “humans in his image, intentionally and immutably male and female.” South Africa in 1994 became the first country in the world to explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution. The country’s constitution also bans hate speech and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. So-called corrective rape of lesbians and other forms of discrimination and violence against LGBT South Africans nevertheless remains commonplace. Same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in South Africa since 2006. The South African government in 2016 banned an anti-LGBT pastor from the U.S. from entering the country. The State Department official with whom the Blade spoke said the PEPFAR South Africa HIV and AIDS Community Grants Program, which oversees the allocation of PEPFAR funds to community-based organizations that fight HIV/ AIDS in the country, “assessed and confirmed” that Focus on the Family Africa “is committed to providing nondiscriminatory access to HIV services, or appropriate referral for such services, to all individuals, including LGBTI persons.” “Across all of its programs, PEPFAR is deeply committed to ensuring nondiscriminatory access to HIV prevention and treatment services for all individuals, including LGBTI people,” added the official. Former President George W. Bush created PEPFAR in 2003 as a way to combat the global AIDS epidemic. PEPFAR has invested nearly $75 billion in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Roughly $1.4 billion of this figure has been spent on what a State Department official described to the Blade as “abstinence and be faithful activities,” even though scientists and HIV/AIDS service providers have questioned whether they actually reduce the risk of contracting the virus. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is among those who have also criticized President Trump’s proposed cuts to PEPFAR. MICHAEL K. LAVERS


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Media portrayal of Trayon White does him no justice Washington Post’s unfair coverage ignores record of good deeds

LATEEFAH WILLIAMS is a D.C.-based attorney and community advocate. Reach her at lateefah_williams@msn.com.

Over the past few weeks, there has been immense focus on Ward 8 Council member Trayon White’s comments in a Facebook video that the Rothschilds are manipulating the weather. Once The Washington Post discovered the video, it began running articles with headlines that White said “Jews control the weather,” which he never said. The distinction between saying “Rothschilds” versus saying “Jews” is important because The Post went from merely reporting facts to ascribing intent to White’s statements. Media outlets worldwide then picked up the story. White did not know that his statement about the Rothschilds could be construed as targeting Jews as a group. To reach that conclusion, he would have needed to know that conspiracies about the Rothschilds are long-running antiSemitic themes, which he and numerous others, including local Jewish leaders, acknowledge that he did not know. Upon hearing of the history of Rothschilds conspiracy theories and the impact that they have on the Jewish community, White sincerely apologized, and met with his Jewish Council colleagues and Jewish community leaders, including Rabbi Batya Glazer. The Jewish leaders he met with believed his apology was sincere and expressed a willingness to work with him. White then attended Passover Seder with his Council colleague Elissa Silverman, who is Jewish, and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine. After that, he attended a guided tour of the Holocaust Museum, set up by the Jewish Community Relations Council. In response to criticism about White’s tour of the Holocaust Museum, after another Washington Post article, Jews United for Justice, a D.C.-based progressive organization, noted in a statement that,

“We have spoken with several people who were present for the museum visit, including a Jewish leader, who say the Post article isn’t an accurate picture. They describe Trayon as sincere in his desire to learn, and that the vast gaps in knowledge and understanding between Black and Jewish communities became evident again and again during the tour.” These are not the actions of someone who is anti-Semitic and not interested in learning more about Jewish history. White admits in a Facebook Live video that he was “ignorant” about Jewish history and never learned about the Holocaust in school, so disparaging him for asking sincere questions is counter-productive and serves no one. It’s also insensitive and elitist, as many people learn best by asking questions and engaging in dialogue. White should not have been derided by a Washington Post reporter for asking questions in a sincere attempt to learn about a topic that is new to him. Jews United for Justice’s statement further said that, “Councilmember White closed his Council office to ensure that the entire staff would be present for the museum visit. This in itself shows the depth of his seriousness.” Nonetheless, he was criticized for “leaving early” when he walked away from the group to explore the museum on his own, which he said he did to avoid the uninvited reporter who was following him. Last week, The Washington Post wrote an article about a $500 donation that White made to the Nation of Islam back in January because local members, who provide much-needed community support in Ward 8, asked him. The donation was made before Louis Farrakhan made anti-Semitic and homophobic comments at a February event that has garnered recent attention. The donation was also made months before the Rothschilds comment was made, so it has no bearing on the sincerity of White’s outreach efforts with the Jewish community. However, the media just became aware of the donation when White filed his April campaign finance report, so a donation that was made months prior to his attempts to make amends with the Jewish community is being used to assert that his efforts are not heartfelt. Trayon White was born and raised in Ward 8, the District’s poorest ward. Markita Bryant, 31, a youth activist and paralegal, grew up with Trayon in Southeast and

went to college with him. The media coverage of White particularly bothers her because “that’s not who Trayon is. If he feels that he hurt or offended someone, he internalizes it, acknowledges it and works on it. He takes in criticism and he will improve himself.” “He sacrifices a lot to serve the community, including food and sleep,” she said. “He has literally given a neighborhood child the shoes off his feet at a community event when the child’s shoes were stolen.” Bryant further noted, “Trayon’s brilliant because he takes the time to sit there and understand the information in front of them. If he’s not learning, he’s helping others. That’s why he graduated with a 3.7 from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He’s the biggest listener and he’s so patient. He works his butt off for the people.” Star Bennett, 28, is a transgender woman and one of the founders of Check It, a former LGBT gang turned entrepreneurs. When discussing White’s openness to all people, Bennett said, “Trayon was always cool and very respectful. He never had a problem with me being transgender. He’s always smiling every time he sees me.” Bennett mentioned that White was at the grand opening for the Check It Enterprises store in Ward 8. “He always comes and supports us.” Wendy Glenn, 50, a community engagement specialist and longtime ward 8 resident, said, “Councilmember White has gone out and galvanized a group of marginalized folks. He’s given the youth something to aspire to. They know that he came from meager beginnings and now represents everyone. He is a young man that has grown up in the same way as they have, and he hasn’t let that stop him.” Glenn, who has known White since he was a teenager, was “impressed with him as a teen and more impressed with him on the Council. I saw his growth,” she said. “I had a group of LGBTQ youth that did modeling at Barry Farm Rec Center and he was very supportive of them.” Glenn described the recent media coverage of White as a “false depiction. It’s sensational journalism. To know Trayon is to know him in love. He’s a church boy. He has shown no level of hate. He hates injustice in any form.”

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Let’s march to the polls and #takebackourcountry Turning Election Day into a mass movement for change

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

It’s time to come together for the March to the Polls #takebackourcountry on Nov. 6, 2018 to prove we not only resist we will VOTE to take back our country. Republicans are clearly counting on the people not coming out to vote as they continue to pass legislation, talk about and initiate destructive policy, and do everything they can to screw the majority of the American people. Whether they continue to get away with it is up to us. For some reason it is easier to get mas-

sive numbers of people out to march in the streets in all kinds of weather than to get them to a voting booth. So I am calling for a March to the Polls on Nov. 6, 2018. We must begin immediately to register march leaders in every congressional district in the nation to ensure a massive turnout at every polling place. The logistics should be in place and the momentum in full swing in time for the beginning of early voting. If the people don’t come out to cast a ballot this year, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ+ community, African Americans, Latinos, and every other minority, will all continue to suffer at the hands of this administration and Congress. In recent elections in New Jersey, Alabama, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and many other communities it’s been proven when the people come out to vote, when elections often turn on local issues with great local candidates, we the people win. We know we can win on Nov. 6. The only question remaining to be answered is whether we have the will and commitment to do it. These mid-term elections are the most

important in decades and maybe ever. They are about taking back our democracy from a runaway band of ultra-right wing zealots led by a president who often appears to be deranged. Even once moderate and reasonable Republicans have capitulated and are voting in a way that shows how much they fear this president, his tweets, and his die-hard supporters. It’s as if they have given up any semblance of a backbone and decency and have given in to the worst instincts of the president and his supporters. Examples of how important it is to participate in the March to the Polls is a recent poll from Quinnipiac showing the Ted Cruz-Beto O’Rourke Senate race in Texas at 47-43 and within the margin of error. A look at the results of the primary in Texas show 500,000 more Republicans came out to vote for governor than did Democrats. A second example is Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema’s race for the open Arizona Senate seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R). She is leading in all match-ups against Republicans at the moment but no matter what the polls say if Democrats don’t come out to vote, E DIT OR IAL CA RT O O N

then Republicans will continue to win and nothing will change. We have seen millions of people come out for a series of marches beginning with the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration. They have come together in Washington, D.C., and countless cities across the country. We marched for immigration, science, voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality and most recently in the March for Our Lives when approximately 800,000 came together in D.C. to march for common sense gun control with sister marches in more than 850 locations around the nation. If we can do that and get people out in every kind of weather we must do the same on Nov. 6, when we will make a lasting difference. The March to the Polls will succeed if we have the support of major organizations — unions, environmental groups, Change.org, EMILY’s List, the LGBT Victory Fund, HRC and others. We must form coalitions at the local level in every congressional district in the nation. If the awesome students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., could put together the March for Our Lives in less than six weeks from the Valentine’s Day shooting at their school, surely we can successfully organize the March to the Polls in the six months we have until the mid-term elections. Decent, committed and wealthy activists like Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg among others should commit the necessary planning money to fund the basics of the March to the Polls. Those include both a national and local website in every district and the grassroots organizers in every congressional district who will recruit the millions of volunteers to make this happen. The March to the Polls will not endorse candidates, it will leave that to others. It will be the mechanism to get people to the polls and we trust when the decent people of America come out to vote in huge numbers they will do the right thing and vote to #Takebackourcountry. We know we need to excite people to get them to the ballot box. We need everyone who has ever marched this year to come out again on Nov. 6. We need everyone who has ever tweeted using the hashtag #resist or #strongertogether; everyone who has ever spoken out or stood up to the Trump administration or Republican leadership in Congress. We need all of them to sign up for the March to the Polls. If they do and get all their neighbors and friends to come out with them to march and vote, we win. Decency wins, the nation wins and the world wins. March to the Polls #takebackourcountry on Nov. 6, 2018.


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An overdue honor for Bayard Rustin Thank you to Mont. County for naming school after civil rights icon By ROBT SEDA-SCHREIBER An open letter to the Montgomery County Board of Education and the greater community at large: You have done an incredibly unique and wonderful thing in naming your elementary school in Rockville for Bayard Rustin. You have indeed made a conscious choice to right a tragic cultural wrong and to be on the right side of history. Naming your school in honor of Bayard Rustin is truly not only an inspirational symbol but a recognition and an affirmation of not only Bayard Rustin but of so many students and adult community members who have been ignored and marginalized for far too long. I am the chief activist for the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, a newly formed community activist center and educational enclave I founded after having taught for almost 25 years at the same school I attended as a student. I

have served as the “Champion of Equality” for the state of New Jersey, on the world stage as a Fulbright MF Scholar to Japan and most recently as the NEA’s “Social Justice Activist of the Year,” the first person to be recognized as such for works primarily in the LGBTQIA arena. Bayard Rustin has long been an inspirational figure to me in my life’s work to be a friend to the friendless and a voice to the voiceless, but sadly his name and his great works have been lost to history. Even more tragically, this is not a case of oversight; it is indeed an act of homophobia and fear. Bayard Rustin was, hyperbole aside, the very essence of the Civil Rights Movement, but his contributions therein were ignored simply because of whom he loved. History shows that he was the primary architect of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. He inspired the Freedom Riders to venture forth on their great journey. He helped bring the principle of non-violence to the Civil Rights Movement, directly from his studies in India with Mahatma Gandhi. But many folks do not know who Bayard Rustin is or was. He was forcibly erased from

the story of the Civil Rights Movement because of a simple heartbreaking truth: He was a gay man and he would not disavow who he was or who he loved so he had to work in the shadows, shunned by the very folks to whom he gave so much. He was not only not given his due respect, but he was not given the basic kindness that we all deserve. This cannot and will not happen again. We need to recognize and love and respect each and every one of us, regardless of personal, philosophical, religious or any other differences that separate us and allow us to see anyone as “other.” Bayard Rustin’s story really is a great microcosm of what inclusivity, or in his case, the lack thereof, can mean, and how much inclusivity can help or harm a movement or an individual therein. You have now done your part to right a tremendous and devastating historical wrong. You have indeed inspired your students and your community by naming this school after this incredibly important man and you actively and unequivocally show how your district, your schools, you as a people, can come together and not only accept each other’s differences but

indeed respect and embrace them. This honor will also serve as catalyst for what the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice now hopes to achieve and will work passionately toward: Creating a nationwide drive to name other schools for important and inspirational figures in the LGBTQIA community. If any readers of the Blade would like to be of service in this endeavor, please feel free to contact us at centerforsocialjustice.blogspot.com We need to show these kids that we stand for them and with them. Remember that arc of justice will bend only if we do the good works to make it so. You have done that in your support of your students who need it in so many ways by having done this simple thing: naming their school in honor of a man who stood up for them at a pivotal time in our history and got nothing in return but being knocked down for doing it. You showed them (and us all) where you stand now by standing up for Bayard Rustin and in turn for them as well. ROBT SEDA-SCHREIBER is chief activist for the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice.


Market hatred by the left stymies housing affordability Government policies play a role, but aren’t real solution to economic displacement

MARK LEE is a long-time entrepreneur and community business advocate. Follow on Twitter: @MarkLeeDC. Reach him at OurBusinessMatters@gmail.com.

One of the greatest impediments to easing the housing affordability crisis in evermore-expensive both-coast cities like Washington is the dominance of marketplace-hating and regulation-loving attitudes among political and affluent elites. These influential constituencies mistakenly believe that more development mandates and regulations will somehow ease the accelerating economic exile of both middle-class and lower-income residents. Worse, it prompts an unseemly melding of free-market opposition and classic NIMBY-intervention intent on code-worded concepts such as neighborhood character, historic preservation and allowable density.

This was ironically evident in the testimonies of many while-also-bemoaning-gentrification at last month’s D.C. Council public hearing on proposed reforms to the city’s Comprehensive Plan guiding development, zoning and land use policies. Sufficient availability to meet demand is the single factor determining whether housing is affordable at multiple economic levels. The more difficult, costly, and restrictive it is for the private sector to create new housing controls overall market affordability. Merely allowing for the integrated development of a relatively small number of modest-sized multi-unit buildings in established well-to-do neighborhoods would generate much of the needed housing capacity and supplement housing growth in newly developing areas. It would also lessen economic segregation and improve access to the amenities of all types typical to them. The fierce opposition by a politically liberal yet “we-gotours” landed gentry is the obstacle, as much here as it is in San Francisco. The dilemma for urban-dominant Democrats in the nation’s most expensive cities experiencing the worst of these problems is that the party increasingly represents two separate and disparate ends of the economic spectrum – the wealthy and the poor. The party has proven increasingly inept at reconciling an expanding internal

tension between the haves and have-nots among politically affiliated voters. No matter how loudly shouted the demands of left-leaning activists, no massive new taxpayer funding for low-income housing production will realistically be allocated or prove sufficient to even marginally match the positive effect of making marketrate and work-force housing easier to build. This is particularly true in places like D.C., where in-migration population growth is increasingly comprised of highincome and high-wealth new arrivals able to afford high-cost housing. An inadequate supply of market-rate housing sends shelter seekers down the pricechain to gobble-up housing that would otherwise be available for less. In an intensely competitive housing market with demand exceeding availability, housing that once was and could be more affordable becomes pricier due to a lack of inventory. Rather than a housing market able to adequately accommodate the most people at a maximum range of price points, housing acquisition instead becomes a domino-dance of winners and losers. That’s not to say that government doesn’t have a contributing role to play in easing the pressures causing a continuously worsening displacement in some of the largest urban areas benefiting from growing population pressures. Government, however, is

not the real, or even primary, solution and offers only minor mitigation at best. More important is that local governmental policies both promote ease of private-sector housing development and prevent citizen interventions from delaying or denying its creation. D.C. has instituted a broad complement of policies and programs designed to make housing more accessible and affordable – exceeding other cities in both financial consideration and strategic sophistication. Yet, despite all that, the housing affordability problem grows worse. Measured by recent data analyzed by authors of a respected national study, D.C. is among the very worst cities in the country for making housing more expensive and costing nearly twice the rate of a less-regulated market. Treating developers like demons while imagining government as devil-slayers has become a popular political fantasy among left-leaning activists and political groups, and has regrettably become bible-andverse for moderate-no-more Democrats. Unless the political and regulatory focus is fundamentally shifted toward easing the opportunity path and incentives for private-sector development of new housing, the District will only continue extending a warm embrace to the wealthy and a cold-shoulder to those not.



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With hate crimes on the rise, what’s to do? Stay vigilant, stay active and stay charitable

BROCK THOMPSON is a D.C.-based freelance writer. He writes regularly for the Blade.

You’ve probably heard all about it by now, or even seen the horrific cell phone video capturing most of it. Just after midnight on Sunday, April 15, two gay men were viciously assaulted on the corner of Vermont Avenue and U Street. Sort of a strange place for such a thing to happen, given that it’s practically in sight of the entrances to three of the city’s busier gay bars, one of which, for better or worse, was recently named the best in the nation. These instances are always jarring, especially when they happen in your own

city, in stretches of pavement you pound with regularity. It’s even more jarring given the statistics surrounding it — LGBTQ hate crimes are on the rise here at home and around the world. It’s depressing. And I’m not so naive to think that Obama’s magic gay marriage wand would

were 66 instances of bias-related crimes in 2015 and 107 in 2016. Last year saw at least 163 instances. So where is it all coming from? Certainly, there is some fromthe-top-down blame to go around. When Obama announced in 2012 that he had ‘evolved’ on gay marriage, it pro-

There’s a lot of love out there to counter this trickle down of hate. have done away with this sort of thing. But I was hopeful that it might help. People are struggling to find a cause for this uptick in hate. D.C.’s own top cop Police Chief Peter Newsham admitted that, “it’s hard to say exactly what the increase is due to.” This much is certain, It seems to be an angry age we find ourselves in. And it’s certainly not just the queer community feeling the brunt of this. Hate crimes generally seem to be on the rise across the board. Even instances of anti-Semitism are up. Here in Washington, D.C., there

vided a tone of acceptance that other Americans were able to draw from (just look to Maryland for an example of this). So, when it comes to tone and trendsetting, can the same be said for the current administration, meaning can this sort of thing cut the other way? Is President Donald Trump to blame for the uptick in bias-related hate crimes? Well, maybe. At the very least he might be an unindicted co-conspirator. And this is not all that farfetched. It’s been proven that the man and his rallies incite violence. Any cursory

reading of his Twitter feed shows that he has no boundaries whatsoever. The man sitting in our highest office has no qualms about petty insults and name-calling. And this sort of hateful and reckless rhetoric tends to trickle down. So what’s to be done? Know that soon, something has to give. And it will certainly break our way. But until then, take a cue from others. Yes, it is incredibly disheartening that someone posted the video of the assault on Twitter, as if to brag of it and further humiliate the victims. But at the end someone does come to their aid, and someone called for help. It’s in these worst of times that people can show the best in themselves. Take solace in the fact that the community raised over $20,000 for the two victims. And know that a local gay dentist volunteered his time and skill to repair their cracked smiles, charging nothing for his services. Know there’s a lot of love out there to counter this trickle down of hate. In the long run, eventually something has to give. And if these waves of hate tend to come and go, the next crest may be ours. So until then, stay vigilant, stay active, and stay charitable.

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A newly expanded Goodwill in Charles Town, W.Va.

Thrift store fun

Goodwills are hit or miss — but that’s part of the appeal By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com

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You probably already know if you’re a thrift store-inclined person or not. I never particularly thought I was until a few years ago. There’s a Goodwill across from my gym and I found myself stopping by weekly. This started about five years ago. I soon learned two things — thrift stores (especially certain ones) are gold mines of second-hand finds but you have to go regularly to find the good stuff. Pop in once or twice a year and you’ll wonder what the big deal is. Aside from increasing your odds of landing a good find, going regularly also gives you a sense of how common or uncommon certain items are. It gleans your pounce-or-pass instinct over time. If you’re a Miss Pixie’s (1626 14th St., N.W.) shopper — and she’s great for certain things — obviously you’re gonna pay a lot more because you’re paying for her highly curated inventory and her no doubt exorbitant rent. I’ve splurged and bought some major pieces there in the last few years because, although they were fairly pricey (like $600 for an industrial metal apothecary-type cabinet), years of flea market and thrift store shopping (and antique shopping in general) gave me a strong sense of how unlikely it would be to find comparable items elsewhere. Goodwills, though, are like Pixie’s minus the kitsch/cool factor and there’s a whole lot more crap to sift through. But that’s also part of the fun. I don’t consider it a fail whatsoever if I leave my weekly Goodwill visit empty handed. I know the goodies will be there soon enough. You also have to train yourself to be judicious — your home, especially if you live in a small space, can get overrun with junk you don’t need if you’re not careful. But that’s also the beauty of Goodwill — you don’t want it, you just take it back. Sometimes with books, VHS tapes (yeah, I still watch them on occasion — you’d be surprised how much good stuff

never made it over to DVD or Netflix) and LPs, I sometimes think of Goodwill more as a library where you just return whenever. No due date or late fees! Home decor wise, I’ve had the best luck with funky, off-the-beaten path items that you just luck into. Last weekend I got a 5 ft.-tall, four-tiered circular shelf with a storage area in its base for all of $6. Luckily it slid easily into my car when I put the front passenger seat down. It’s great for plants, tchotchkes (I’m a whore for kitschy tchotchkes) or whatever. I was tired of cologne bottles clogging up my bathroom sink and window sill so now they’re there. Goodwill Industries, which has its headquarters in Rockville, Md., and bills itself as an LGBT-affirming employer, is also great for household items you don’t realize you don’t have until you go for them and they’re not there — like ramekins or margarita glasses. Yeah, you could get the same stuff at the outlets or make do with bowls or tumblers you already own, but that’s no fun. I’m fussy about stemwear but at the same time I don’t want to spend a lot. You’ll also quickly discover that all Goodwill stores are not created equally. Some are much cleaner and better organized than others. If you don’t mind driving a little or you happen to be out in the exurbs, the two biggest, brightest and cleanest ones I know of are in Frederick, Md. and Charles Town, W.Va. The gargantuan Frederick, Md., location (5831 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick) has several rooms and is almost as big as a Target. If you go, definitely make time to visit the nearby Old Glory Antique Market (5862 Urbana Pike, Frederick), just feet away and one of the best antique malls I know of in our area. The Charles Town Goodwill is at 136 Patrick Henry Way in Charles Town, W.Va., and is newly expanded. Probably not worth a drive just for it, but make time for it if you’re out that way for something else. Smaller but still decent are ones in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Winchester, Va. Hagerstown’s is nothing to write home about. I rarely have much luck there or at the one off Rt. 1 just past Old Town in Alexandria, Va. What are the other great thrift stores in the region? E-mail me (joeyd@washblade.com) and I’ll include them in a future column.


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Welcome A WaRm

Create an inviting space with hanging baskets & container gardens ďŹ lled with Petunias, Geraniums, Bacopa, Million Bells, Allamanda & Sweet Potato Vine

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Vote in the Tuesday, June 19, 2018 Primary Election

Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm.

During the Primary, only Democratic, Republican, DC Statehood Green, and Libertarian voters may vote on the candidates. However, every registered voter, including unaffiliated and minor party affiliated voters, may vote on the Initiative Measure that will appear on the ballot.

CONTESTS ON THE BALLOT: Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives Mayor of the District of Columbia Chairman of the Council At-large Member of the Council Ward Member of the Council for Wards 1, 3, 5 and 6 Attorney General of the District of Columbia United States Senator United States Representative National and Local Party Committee Members Initiative Measure No. 77, the “District of Columbia Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2017”*

* All voters, regardless of party affiliation status, will be asked to vote “YES” to approve or “NO” to reject the Initiative Measure in the Primary. For the complete text of the Initiative Measure, please visit our website at www.dcboe.org

WANT TO VOTE EARLY? Early Voting will start at One Judiciary Square on June 4, and at ward-based Early Voting Centers on June 8. Early Voting Centers are open daily (including weekends) through June 15, 2018 from 8:30 am until 7 pm.

EARLY VOTING CENTERS: MONDAY, JUNE 4 — FRIDAY, JUNE 15 Ward 2: One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street NW

(PAPER & TOUCHSCREEN BALLOTS) FRIDAY, JUNE 8 — FRIDAY, JUNE 15 (TOUCHSCREEN BALLOTS ONLY) Ward 1: Columbia Heights Community Center, 1480 Girard Street NW Ward 3: Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW Ward 4: Takoma Community Center, 300 Van Buren Street NW Ward 5: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue NE Ward 6: Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street NE Ward 6: King Greenleaf Recreation Center, 201 N Street SW Ward 7: Deanwood Recreation Center, 1350 49th Street NE Ward 8: Malcolm X Opportunity Center, 1351 Alabama Avenue SE

NEED MORE INFORMATION? For more information on the upcoming election, on voter registration, to confirm your registration information, or to find your polling place, please visit www.dcboe.org or call (202) 727-2525.


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Sights and smells of spring D.C. region teeming with garden tours, seminars, farmers’ markets and lots more By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com It’s the season of garden tours, farmers’ markets and flea markets and Washington and the region are bustling as usual. Here are some highlights. Queer Radicals, a group of queer George Washington University students, and the GroW Garden host Queer Gardening Hours in the GWU GroW Garden (2300 H St., N.W.) today (Friday, April 27) from 1-3 p.m. The group will tend to the garden, which supports Miriam’s Kitchen. After gardening, there will be a small potluck lunch. Attendees are invited to bring a dish to share with the group. For more details, visit facebook.com/gwqrad. Flower Mart at the National Cathedral is Friday, May 4 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (just one day this year) with floral displays, family activities, musical entertainment and more. Vendors will be on hand selling herbs, flower and produce. It’s free. Registration and details at eventbrite.com. The 90th annual Georgetown Garden Tour is Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. starting at 31st and O streets. The self-guided tour will visit eight private gardens sponsored by the Georgetown Garden Club. Tickets are ?? and include an afternoon tea. Details at georgetowngardenclubdc.org. The Delaplane Strawberry Festival in Delaplane, Va., bills itself as the largest strawberry festival in the region with two days of family activities, live entertainment, children’s games, pony rides, a petting zoo, raptor exhibit, antique cars, food and crafts. It will be held rain or shine on May 27-28 at Sky Meadows State Park (11012 Edmonds Lane, Dalaplane, Va.). It’s about 55 miles west of Washington. Tickets are $20 per car in advance or $25 at the gate. Look for the event on Facebook for details. Shop Made in D.C. offers DIY Paper Flower Making with Alison Kirby on Friday, May 4 at 6 p.m. at the shop (1330 19th St., N.W.). The 60-minute class will teach patrons how to make their own Mother’s Day bouquet with paper flowers. Snacks will be offered. Tickets are $50.61 at eventbrite.com or look for the event on Facebook. Van Ness Farmers Market has its opening day on Saturday, May 5 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.


Flowers in bloom last spring at Hillwood Estate. Hillwood hosts its Divas Outdoors movie night on Friday, June 15. On Sunday, Sept. 9 it will host a family picnic with Rainbow Families.

at 4401 Connecticut Ave., N.W. with locally grown fruits, vegetables, kids’ activities, live music, arts and crafts. The market is held every Saturday through November in front of the UDC Law School in Van Ness near Acacia Bistro & Wine Bar. It’s a short walk from the Van Ness Metro exit on the red line. Look for the event on Facebook for details. MISA Floral offers an intro floral arrangement workshop at Steadfast Supply (300 Tingey St., S.E. no. 140) on Sunday, May 27 from 1-3 p.m. Florist Michelle Samson, owner of MISA, will teach you how to care for cut flowers and send you home with a summer arrangement. Flowers, vases and tools are included in the two-hour workshop. A second workshop will be held on June 24. Tickets are $75. Look for the event at eventbrite.com or Facebook for details.

A Homebuying & Mortgages Seminar will be held at the Capitol Hill branch (1391 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.) of Signal Financial Federal Credit Union on Wednesday, May 9 at 5 p.m. hosted by loan officer Rob Cohen. It’s free. Look for the event on Facebook for details. Temple of Nyame (1501 T St., S.E.) holds its Spring Rites Celebration on Sunday, May 27 from 2-6 p.m.. This community celebration and planting ritual features drumming and dancing as attendees “attune ourselves to the forces that give life, harmony, balance and peace.” It’s free but donations will be accepted and can be made online in advance. Look for the event on Facebook for details. Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens has events throughout spring such as

gardener’s focus events (April 28, May 1, et. al.), hanging basket workshops (May 5), “Gardens Alive!” a preschool event (May 9, 10, et. al.), container garden workshop (May 12), “The Fashionable Life of Dina Merrill” (May 22), “Divas Outdoors presents Marie Antoinette” (June 15) and much more. Full details at hillwoodmuseum.org. Merrifield Garden Center has a bounty of spring events planned as usual this year such as “What’s New with Magnolias and Hydrangeas?” (May 5), “Wildlife Habitats: a Naturalist’s Garden” (May 6), Spring Blooms Nursery Tour” (May 19) and more. Events vary at Merrifield’s three local locations (Gainesville, Falls Church and Fairfax) so double check that before planning to attend. Full details at merrifieldgardencenter.com.

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JUNE 6-10, 2018


Major renovation projects can feel daunting at the outset but consider the longterm cost/benefit analysis before you decide.

SEP 5-9, 2018

Home makeover?

Think about expanding your living space with these projects (StatePoint) — Building a new home? Overhauling an existing one? Here are three renovation ideas that will add beauty and value.

EXPAND YOUR LIVING SPACE Don’t let that basement sit unfinished and unused. Substantially expand your home’s livable areas by turning your attention to the bottom floor. Finishing a basement is an involved project, potentially requiring electrical and plumbing work, insulation, drywall and more, but the end result is worth the effort and expense. And some of the less technical aspects of this renovation could even be DIY-ed. Before getting started, consider what type of space would most benefit your household long-term. You may even be able to recoup some cost of the investment. For example, turning your basement into an at-home fitness center means ditching the costly gym membership. Want to reduce time and money on your commute? Your basement may just make an ideal home office.

ADD A FOCAL POINT Is your interior design in need of a little

something? The right eye-catching elements can make a room pop while adding vitality to your living spaces. A fireplace, for example, adds ambiance and comfort while also creating a natural gathering space. New models pair the charm of a traditional open-front fireplace with the design flexibility of gas models. The Phoenix TrueView from Heat & Glo offers the convenience of gas without the glass, giving homeowners an unobscured view of the flames against the traditional brick or fade-resistant reflective black glass liner. An optional Bluetooth speaker system allows one to hear the fire as well as see it, making it a focal point for the ears as well as the eyes.

BOOST THE BACKYARD If you find that your household spends very little time in the backyard, figure out why. Is there a lack of shade? Are there not enough places to sit? Take a poll so you can diagnose the problem and take steps to correct it. Consider also how to make this space usable for a larger portion of the year, such as adding a fire pit or an enclosed, heated patio. Also consider aesthetics. A bit of landscaping can make your backyard as visually appealing as your home’s interiors. This season, consider the renovations that will go furthest to boost your home’s livability, beauty and value.


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Find Your Oasis Come Home to a Gorgeous New Apartment, Steps from the New Carrollton Metro

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Trixie time! ‘All Stars’ season three champ brings her ‘Moving Parts’ tour to Washington By MARIAH COOPER mcooper@washblade.com Trixie Mattel’s “Now With Moving Parts Tour” is aptly named for the drag queen who hasn’t stopped moving since her debut on season seven of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Mattel, real name Brian Michael Firkus, was eliminated from that season but embarked on a drag journey not every queen gets to have. Mattel, 28, became co-host of the

WOWPresents web series “UNHhhh” along with her fellow season seven sister Katya Zamolodchikova. The mini episodes, which featured the duo talking about everything from dating to plastic surgery, received millions of views. Viceland picked up a spinoff series to the YouTube sensation with “The Trixie & Katya Show.” While in its first season,

Katya relapsed on methamphetamine and suffered a psychotic break. Mattel’s friend and season eight “Drag Race” winner Bob the Drag Queen filled in for Katya during her recovery. Mattel also released two folk/ country albums, an uncommon choice in a drag world dominated by pop and R&B, with “Two Birds” in 2017 and

“One Stone” in March. Finally, Mattel solidified her spot among the “Drag Race” royalty of Chad Michaels and Alaska by winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season three. Chatting from her bathroom in Los Angeles, Mattel dished on clashing with CONTINUES ON PAGE 48


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By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com It may feel like HIV/AIDS is under control but there are still pressing issues associated with the disease. It’s a big reason why Monte Ephraim, a licensed certified social worker at the LGBT Health Resource Center in Baltimore, has been participating in AIDS Walk Baltimore since the late ‘80s. AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore is Sunday, May 6 at the Maryland Zoo (1 Safari Pl., Baltimore). Put on each year by Chase Brexton, the agency hopes to raise about $150,000. Supporters can register for the walk or run, start a team, join an existing team or make a donation at events.chasebrexton.org or look for the event on Facebook. About 33 percent of the goal has been raised as of Blade press time this week. Ephraim, a 60-year-old native Baltimore resident, is on a team that so far has raised $1,300 for the event. Last year nearly $100,000 was raised for HIV prevention, outreach and testing services. About 500 participate each year. The walk joins the Charm Ball gala, held in September, as one of two major Chase Brexton fundraisers for the year. All the money raised stays in the Baltimore area. Ephraim works by day as manager of psychosocial services at the LGBT and Older Adult Programming and Services at Chase Brexton (this is its fourth year running the AIDS Walk) and facilitates the Long-Term HIV Survivor Group support group there as well. Ephraim, a lesbian and LGBT activist for 40 years, has been married for 27 years to Leitner Winstead, a clothing designer. They live with two dogs and a cat in Mt. Washington. Ephraim enjoys walking her dogs and “spending time on an exceptionally worn and lovely red sofa” in her free time.

Serving Our Community for 35 years

a d v i C e • m e d iat i o N • L i t i G at i o N • a P P e a L S • C o L L a B o r at i o N

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How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I have been out for 40 years. I am not sure I could identify any one person. My struggle was unrealistically internal as every time I came out to family or friends, there was no change in the relationship. That is not always the case. I never lose sight of that. Who’s your LGBT hero? Ruth Ellis and Peppermint Patty What’s Baltimore’s best nightspot, past or present? Mary’s Describe your dream wedding. I had it — at City Hall in a room with Astroturf, a wire mesh canopy and a broom. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Animals. They exceed us in unconditional need and regard while too many exploit their vulnerability. What historical outcome would you change? There are several, but going with my visceral response and physiological discomfort when I read this question, albeit obvious, the last election. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? The Read Street Festival. An event and era of abundant pop culture. On what do you insist?


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? I don’t Facebook or tweet. It is not because of a political or philosophical reason, it’s a generational gap for me. I have most of those conversations in my head and the majority live. If your life were a book, what would the title be? “An Unintentional and Fully Enjoyable Journey”

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? Be myself. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? Infinite bubbles What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Let’s really be inclusive all the time and not wait for the next threat, crisis or injustice. There is enough of that to prompt the need daily. What would you walk across hot coals for? A wounded child or animal. More globally, an equitable world of kindness and tolerance. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? Lesbians and rugby shirts; vertical stripes don’t work for me. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “Ma Vie en Rose” (1997) What’s the most overrated social custom? Electronic communication. Bring back the art of live conversation. What trophy or prize do you most covet? The trophy I covet most is my basketball coaching trophy earned for the most effort. I have no understanding or skills in basketball. While coaching, prompted out a lack of skilled, knowledgeable people, I advocated for half points if it was the wrong end of the court for the youth I worked with. They also spelled my name wrong making it even more priceless. What do you wish you’d known at 18? What I know at 60. Why Baltimore

Why not?


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CHRISTINE ROLAND GARNER Washingtonian Magazine’s Top 100 Agents 2015, 2016 & 2017

SINCE 1988 30 years of Real Estate and counting!

My priorities are simple...they’re yours! (703) 587-4855 For additional photos & information: www.ChristineGarner.com

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OLD TOWN $3,995,000

OLD TOWN $1,799,000

Fabulous restored historic property located within blocks to the river with 4 bedroom, 4.5 baths, off street parking space and a heated inground pool! Over 6000 sq. ft. of living space with soaring ceilings, tall windows, rich moldings, custom built-ins and heart of pine floors. Vestibule entry, gorgeous parlor with gas fireplace and formal dining room. Spacious Chef’s kitchen, butler’s pantry and breakfast room with French doors to the covered terrace overlooking the pool. Upper level features a family room with bar and gas fireplace, full bath and 2 bedrooms including the Master suite with dressing room. Two additional bedrooms on the 4th level with a full bath. Finished lower level with tall ceilings and full bath has access to the yard.

What’s old is new again! This 3 bedroom, 3.55 bath historic property has over 1,000,000 in renovations. Located in the desirable S.E. quadrant of town just 2 blocks from the river this circa 1820 home features a 3 story addition with quality craftsmanship and high end finishes throughout. Living room with gas fireplace and wet bar. Dining room with 2 zone wine fridge and fabulous Chefs kitchen with island and breakfast bar. Adjoining family room with gas fireplace and French doors to the deep fenced yard with 2 patios, (1 covered). Main level Master suite with balcony and 2 upper level bedroom suites, (one with river views from the balcony).

OLD TOWN $1,625,000


Gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath historic plaqued home in the heart of Old Town just a few blocks from the waterfront and King Street. Over 2300 sq. ft. of living space with period woodwork, 3 relined gas fireplaces, tall ceilings, abundant built-ins, front and rear staircases. Main level family room, gourmet kitchen with granite island, SS appliances and breakfast room with access to beautiful private garden. The upper level features a den, 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths including the Master suite with a gas fireplace and luxurious en suite bath. Plenty of storage in the unfinished lower level and attic with PDS.

Lovely 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath brick home in south Old Town with attached garage plus an underground parking space! Over 2000 sq. ft. on 4 levels with 2 wood burning fireplaces, hardwood floors and crown molding throughout. Entry level with half bath and family room with french doors to a flagstone patio. Main level features a dining room and living room with Juliette balconies and pass thru to the kitchen with Corian counters, new wine fridge and refrigerator. Two bedrooms and 2 updated full baths on the 3rd including the Master suite. 4th level with 3rd bedroom and 3rd full bath.


JEFFERSON PARK $1,149,000 Classic 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath Sears Tudor built in 1930 on a spacious lot with a detached garage. Nearly 2600 sq. ft. of living space on 3 levels. Totally updated with high end finishes, beautiful woodwork, custom built-ins and light filled rooms. Spacious living room with wood burning fireplace and formal dining room. Gourmet eat-in kitchen and main level half bath. Upper level features 3 bedrooms, a dual entry bath and Master suite with vaulted ceiling and spa inspired full bath. Spacious lower level with French doors to the yard, 4th bedroom and 3rd full bath... perfect for guests!


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This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com Clove. Apr 27-May 5. The Clarice. theclarice.umd.edu. Underground Railroad Game. Thru Apr 29. Woolly Mammoth. woollymammoth.net.


Women House Thru May 28. National Museum of Women in the Arts. nmwa.org.

Questions about a woman’s “place” resonate in our culture, and conventional ideas persist about the house as a feminine space. This eye-opening exhibition features more than 30 global artists who conceive of home as a place for demonstration and liberation rather than a space solely for nurturing comfort and stability.

Northern Lights Apr 28. National Philharmonic at Strathmore. nationalphilharmonic.org.

A cappella singing and New Age music align in this fascinating concert juxtaposing the rich traditions of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers featuring the famous Bogoroditse Devo (Now Let Thy Servant Depart), with new sounds by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s Northern Lights and The Lake Isle (of Innisfree), invoking the Celtic air with guitar, string quartet and piano.

Top and Bottom Thru Apr 29. DC Art Center. dcartscenter.org

Top and Bottom is an encounter between two young men who want to explore their fantasies in sexual bondage scene.

Tudor Nights: Hamilton May 3. Tudor Place. tudorplace.org.

Seeing the historic house and a mini-exhibit presented by the curator, and in the Dower House, hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks, wine, beer and a specialty cocktail. PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS

THEATRE Iron & Coal. May 3-May 4. Strathmore. strathmore.org. Hamlet. May 2-May 6. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. John. Thru Apr 29. Girlfriend. Thru Jun 10. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org. Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies. May 2-Jun 3. Paper Dolls. Thru Apr 8. Mosaic Theater Company at Atlas. mosaictheater.org. Rite of Spring. Apr 27-May 27. Pointless Theatre. pointlesstheatre.com. Michael Jons’ Wicked Thoughts!. Apr 28. DC Arts Center (DCAC).

dcartscenter.org. Investigation: Detective McDevitt. Thru May 26. Ford’s Theatre. fords.org. Zarzuela a la Cubana. Thru Apr 29. In Series at GALA Hispanic Theatre. inseries.org. The Crucible. Thru May 20. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. Comedy Showcase Night. Apr 28. Stand-Up Studios. standupstudios.com. Vietgone. Thru May 20. Studio Theatre. studiotheatre.org. Roz and Ray. Thru Apr 29. Theater J. theaterj.org. If/Then. Thru Apr 28. Theatre Lab. theatrelab.org.

Cambodian New Year. Apr 28. Cambodian-American Heritage at Gunston. cambodianheritage.org. Goldberg Variations--ternary patterns for insomnia. Thru Apr 28. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. ReVision dance company. Apr 28-Apr 29. Dance Place. danceplace.org.

MUSIC Jarrod Lawson. Apr 28. AMP. ampbystrathmore.com. Robin Spielberg, piano. Apr 27. Jenny Lin–Melody’s Mostly Musical Day. Apr 28. Strathmore. strathmore.org. Paul Huang, violin. Apr 27. The Jazz Epistles Apr 28. WPA at Kennedy Center. washingtonperformingarts.org. Fortas Chamber Music Concerts. May 3. Renée Fleming’s VOICES 20182019 Season. Thru Sep 1. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Elder conducts Strauss & Haydn Symphony. May 3-May 4. NSO at Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. The Barber of Seville. Apr 28-May 19. WNO at Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Bach and Chopin--A Musical Kinship. Apr 29. GMU Center for the Arts. cfa. gmu.edu. Malena Dayen, mezzo-soprano. Apr 27. Embassy Series at Embassy of Argentina. embassyseries.org. Ovid’s Vineyard. Apr 27-Apr 29. Folger Consort at Folger Theatre. folger.edu. Chamber Music at Noon. May 3. Goethe-Institut. goethe.de. Sarah Hughes, Saxophonist. May 2. Hill Center. hillcenterdc.org. American Vocal Music of the 20th Century. Apr 29. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. Shenson Chamber Music Concert: Angela Hewitt. May 2. National Museum of Women in the Arts. nmwa.org. Mythos and Identity. Apr 28. Chiarina Chamber Players at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church. chiarina.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. Michel Sittow. Thru May 13. nga.gov. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Hung Liu In Print. Thru Jul 8. nmwa.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A Right to the City. Thru Apr 20. anacostia.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. Antebellum Portraits by Mathew Brady. Thru Jun 3. npg.si.edu.

GALLERIES Arlington Arts Center. Spring Solos 2018. Thru Jun 2. arlingtonartscenter.org. DC Arts Center. Judging Me Judging You. Apr 27-Aug 12. dcartscenter.org. District Architecture Center. reBirth::Washington DC 50 Years after 1968. Thru Jun 1. aiadac.com. gallery neptune & brown. A Visual Dialogue. Thru May 25. galleryneptunebrown.com. Gallery Underground. ‘’Hot/Cool’’ National Juried Show. May 1-May 25. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Glen Echo Park. Wild Things: National Capital Art Glass Guild. Thru Apr 29. glenechopark.org. Goethe-Institut. Early UFA Film Posters: Projecting Women. Thru Apr 30. goethe.de. Hill Center. Viewfinders: 8 Photographers. Thru Apr 29. hillcenterdc.org. The Art League. The 2018 Biennial Ikebana Exhibit. May 1-May 6. theartleague.org. Zenith Gallery. What’s Real To You?. Thru May 12. zenithgallery.com.

AND MORE... Film Fest DC. Apr 19-29. In venues throughout the DC. filmfestdc.org Washington Jewish Film Festival. May 2-13. In venues throughout the DC. wjff.org. National Gallery of Art. The SixtySeventh A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts. Thru May 13. nga.gov. Hill Center. Brunch & Bubbly: Croquettes + Pound Cake Trifles. Apr 29. Crossing Borders: Sushi Rolling. May 2. hillcenterdc.org.


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Solar Development & Consulting


E: 01.13.2017


34 • AP R IL 27, 2018

O U T & A BO U T



322 MASS. AVE. NE • 202.543.7656



Gay Day at the Zoo is May 6 Gay Day at the Zoo celebrates International Family Day at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) on Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This will be the Smithsonian National Zoo’s first year recognizing International Family Equality Day which occurs on May 7. There will be rainbow-themed activities including sloth bear enrichment, otter enrichment, giant panda ice treats, great ape enrichment, giant panda enrichment, meet-a-farm animal and more. There will also be field games with prizes and live music. For more information, visit facebook.com/gaydayatthezoo.




Rainbow Families to hold conference

SALES REPRESENTATIVE: JOE HICKLING (jhickling@washblade.com)

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 he 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 esponsible 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, r 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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Rainbow Families hosts its 2018 Family Conference and Gathering at Georgetown Day High School (4200 Davenport St., N.W.) on Saturday, May 5 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ADVERTISER SIGNATURE By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the Virginia Del. This Danica (D-Manassas) and Maryland gubernatorial washington blade newspaper. includes but is Roem not limited to placement, payment and insertion schedule. candidate Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (seen here) will be the conference’s keynote speakers. There will be workshops and panels focused on LGBT family planning and parenting. Workshops will include Paths to Parenthood, Creating Families; Educating Our Children, Welcoming Schools; Raising Our Children, Parenting and Healthy Families and more. A kids camp for children 2-and-a-half years old through elementary school age and programs for tweens and teens by COLAGE will also be offered. Advanced registration for members is $70 and $105 for nonmembers. On-site registration is $85 for members and $120 for non-members. For more information, visit rainbowfamilies.wildapricot.org.


Farrow to present book at Sixth & I Politics and Prose presents journalist Ronan Farrow with Mary Louise Kelly at Sixth & I Synagogue (600 I St., N.W.) on Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. Farrow, who identifies as part of the LGBT community, will discuss his book “War on Peace: the End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence,” a commentary on the decline of diplomacy and the rise of the military industrial complex gathered from his firsthand experience working in the State Department. He will be in conversation with Kelly, co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” and former national security correspondent for NPR. Farrow’s investigative journalism on the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations earned Farrow a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Admission is $18. Admission including a copy of “War on Peace” is $30. Two tickets and a copy of the book is $45. For more information, visit sixthandi.org.

Bluf: D.C. returns to the Eagle D.C. Leather Pride presents Bluf: D.C. at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) on Sunday, May 6 from 4-9 p.m. There will be drink specials and cigar smoking on the patio. Dress code is leather. Men and women welcome. This event occurs the first Sunday of every month. For more details, visit dceagle.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 Queer Radicals, a group of queer George Washington University students, and the GroW Garden host Queer Gardening Hours in the GWU GroW Garden (2300 H St., N.W.) today from 1-3 p.m. The group will tend to the garden, which supports Miriam’s Kitchen. After gardening, there will be a small potluck lunch. Attendees are invited to bring a dish to share with the group. For more details, visit facebook.com/gwqrad. Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts Dark and Stormy, an alternative dance party, tonight from 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Kangal, DJ Mindjacket and DJ Spookster will play a mix of electronic, synthwave, goth, industrial, EBM and dark disco music. Cover is $5. This is an all ages party. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com. Bull Run Unitarian Universalists (9350 Main St., Manassass, Va.,) hosts Pride Bingo tonight from 6-10 p.m. There will be prizes including a date with an elected official. Guests must be at least 18 years old to play and 21 to win any gift baskets with alcohol. For more details, visit facebook.com/bullrunuu. The 14th annual Georgetown French Market kicks off today along Wisconsin Avenue from O Street to Reservoir Road from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be more than 40 boutiques, cafes, salons, galleries and more that will be selling French food, art, goods and furnishings. Street performers, face painters and live music will be featured at the festival. The festival continues through the weekend. For more information, visit georgetownfrenchmarket.com. Gamma D.C., a support group for gay or bisexual men who are now or have been in relationships with women, meets at Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Ave., N.W.) tonight from 7:309:30 p.m. For more information, visit gammaindc.org. Stockholm-based Andersson Dance and Glasgow-based Scottish Ensemble perform “Goldberg Variations: Ternary Patterns for Insomnia” at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. The two groups come together to present their version of Bach’s famous classic work with a mix of dance and sound. This will be the debut Kennedy Center performance for both Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble. There will also be performances on Sunday at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29-89. For more details, visit kennedy-center.org.

SATURDAY, APRIL 28 CTRL: Dungeons and Drag Queens is


Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble performing ‘Goldberg Variations: Ternary Patterns for Insomnia.’ They perform tonight at the Kennedy Center.

at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight from 11 p.m.-3:45 a.m. Doors open at 10 p.m. Drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Cover is $15 from 10 p.m.-midnight and $12 after midnight. For more information, visit towndc.com. National Theatre Live presents a screening of the Young Vic production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at Shakespeare Theatre Company (450 7th St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. The production, directed by Benedict Andrews, stars Sienna Miller, Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney. Tickets are $20. For more details, visit shakespearetheatre.org. Chorus presents Diva, its latest party, at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Enrico Meloni will play vocals-only music all night. Advanced tickets are $39 and include access to the after party, Syn. Tickets are the door are $20. For more information, visit chorus_ diva.eventbrite.com. Washington D.C. History and Culture hosts a Saturday Night Moon Walk starting at the World War II Memorial (1750 Independence Ave., S.W. tonight from 6:45-9:30 p.m. The walk will pass notable D.C. landmarks including the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Korean Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. There will be a meet and greet with other members of the group from 6:45-7 p.m. Admission is free. For more details, visit facebook.com/ dchistoryandculture. Project D.C. hosts a D.C. Potter Crawl, a “Harry Potter”-themed bar crawl, in Dupont Circle today from 2-10 p.m. Specials will

include $2 beers, $3 rail drinks, $4 butter beer shots and food deals. Participating bars will be Public Bar, District Anchor, Café Citron, Eden, the Bottom Line, Recessions, 1831, the Front Page and more. Costumes are encouraged. There will be a costume contest with prizes. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 day of the event. Tickets include a refillable Potter mug, party favors, raffle entry and free pictures of the event. For more information, visit dcpottercrawl.com.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29 Where the Girls Go hosts its Overeasy Tea Dance, an LGBT day party, at Dodge City D.C. (917 U St., N.W.) today from 3-8 p.m. DJ Jacq Jill, DJ Vanniety Kills and DJ Wolfblister will spin tracks. No cover. For more details, visit facebook.com/ wherethegirlsgo. WERQ presents Syn, Diva’s after party, at Tropicalia Lounge (2001 14th St., N.W.) this morning from 3:30-9 a.m. DJ Paulo Fragoso will play music all morning. Tickets are $39 in advance and includes admission to Diva. Tickets at the door are $20. For more information, visit chorus_ diva.eventbrite.com. The D.C. Concert Orchestra presents a free concert at the Church of the Epiphany (1317 G St. N.W.) today at 3 p.m. The program will feature performances of the “Prelude to Die Meistersinger” by Richard Wagner, “Petite Suite” by Claude Debussy and “Symphony in D Minor” by Cesar Franck. Admission is free but donations to benefit the D.C. Concert Orchestra Society will be accepted. For more details, visit dcconcertorchestra.org.

MONDAY, APRIL 30 The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

TUESDAY, MAY 1 Republic (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.) hosts Alegre Happy Hour, an LGBT happy hour, today from 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit republictakoma.com. The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts its ”FUK!T Packing Party” from 7-9 p.m. tonight. For more details, visit thedccenter.org or greenlanterndc.com.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 Bookmen D.C., an informal gay men’s literature group, discusses “Let’s Shut Out the World” by Kevin Bentley at the Tenleytown Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, visit bookmendc. blogspot.com.

THURSDAY, MAY 3 The Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Community hosts a support group meeting at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The meeting is cosponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Society D.C. and Asian Queers United for Action. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.



A PR IL 27, 2018 • 37

Vulgar refinement


New Momofuku chef urged to ‘fuck it up’ By EVAN CAPLAN What if a punk rocker shows up at the Kennedy Center and wasn’t invited? And he wasn’t only not invited, but is conducting an opera in primetime, permanently? It’s happened in the food world: the punk rocker is Chef David Chang, and the operatic opus is his restaurant Momofuku CCDC. David Chang, the avant garde, lavished celebrity chef with a cookbook, TV show and line of sauces, opened the first D.C. outpost of his famous Momofuku restaurants in what is likely the glitziest section of town, CityCenter. A former Megabus stop and now one of the most expensive acres of real estate downtown, CityCenter now plays home to the playful chef who coined Ugly Delicious: a hashtag to glorify downhome dishes not crafted for Insta stories. When Momofuku CCDC opened in 2015, alongside its sweet sister, Milk Bar (known for the crack pie calorie bomb), it was an immediate hit. Though he grew up in Vienna, Va.,, David Chang waited more than a decade after starting the Momofuku empire before opening here. Each Momofuku property is slightly different, but they all serve dishes that are flashy and innovative, with varying hints of Asian influence. As a concept, Momofuku also aims to support “local, sustainable and responsible farmers and food purveyors.” Back in 2015, Chang was anxious about the D.C. spot. In a tweet, he said, “Against my better judgement @momofuku ccdc opens today at 5pm. Good to be back home Washington DC.” The original menu featured Momofuku classics, as much as they can be called that. It was a selection of the buns that made him obscenely famous (Chinesestyle, with pork, scallion and cucumber, awash in hoisin), snacks that nodded to both Korea and the Mid-Atlantic (Old Baydusted pork rinds), and the other dish that Momofuku is best known for, ramen. A couple years later, Chang’s decided to blow the lid off the original concept. He hired a new executive chef and has taken a step back. This chef is another local, Tae Strain, who’s setting out to develop a menu that combines his extensive experience with his local sensibilities. “After six years of working in restaurants around the country, I’m excited to come home and bring my experiences together with Momofuku’s point of view,” Strain says. “This region has incredible produce and ingredients that I’m looking forward to cooking with again, from black bass from Virginia to Chesapeake oysters to kohlrabi and sunchokes from local farmers.

一䄀䬀䔀䐀 夀伀䜀䄀 䴀漀渀搀愀礀猀 ☀ 眀攀搀渀攀猀搀愀礀猀

㘀㨀㌀ 倀䴀

琀甀攀猀搀愀 礀猀 ㄀⼀㈀ 瀀爀椀挀攀 氀漀挀欀攀爀猀 ☀ 爀漀漀洀猀


Clam Toast at Momofuku CCDC.

I’m humbled and thrilled to be given the opportunity to put my stamp on Momofuku CCDC here in my home city, using ingredients that reflect my point of view.” Chang has given Strain a long leash. In an interview with the Washingtonian, Chang was quoted as having said, “I was like, ‘Tae, I want you to fuck it up. I want you to find what you can do. D.C. is more sophisticated in its palate, more worldly in its cuisine than the rest of the nation understands, and they deserve a worldclass chef.” While Strain began in the fall, his new menu just debuted. He’s gone profoundly New American, while maintaining many Asian influences. Those buns and ramen have been wiped away. In its place are small plates like a clam toast (no avocado here), with dill mayo and Sichuan sausage; soupy dumplings and enormous shareable plates like the showstopping rotisserie chicken, a buttermilk-brined chicken made with green curry butter and served with chicken-fat rice and dipping sauces. Worry not that the carbs are gone, though. Momofuku CCDC has introduced bing, a Chinese-inspired flatbread that Chang is said to have coined himself. The fluffy, tearable, pita-like bread is constantly evolving (currently, made with whole-wheat flour), and is meant to be used utensil-like with seasonal dips that are nearly meals unto themselves. Such dips include the umami bomb of roasted Chesapeake oysters, swimming in cream and spinach and baked under breadcrumbs; and dill-flecked labneh topped with screaming-orange trout roe. So, can a foul-mouthed superstar chef still be a rebel in one of the most lavish and slick slices of the city? While scooping fluffy brown bread through creamy dips may not be the most elegant, and while messy bits of kimchi may fall on your napkin out of the beef lettuce wraps, the luxe digs are not lost on anyone. These dishes indeed are delicious, but let us not be fooled — nothing here would be confused for ugly.

㠀 愀洀 ⴀ 洀椀搀渀椀最栀琀

猀愀 琀甀爀搀愀 礀猀 最爀愀戀 愀 ␀㔀 漀昀昀 挀愀爀搀 愀琀 吀刀䄀䐀䔀 昀愀挀攀戀漀漀欀⸀挀漀洀⼀琀栀攀挀爀攀眀挀氀甀戀

㄀㌀㈀㄀ ㄀㐀琀栀 猀琀 一圀

“ Before

I could be she I had to be me.


TransAmerica Because everyone has the right to be their authentic selves.

June 2nd, 8pm June 3rd, 3pm

877.435.9849 gmcw.org

Special guest soprano: Breanna Sinclairé

Lincoln Theatre 1215 U St. NW

Tickets and Groups of 10 or more, 202.293.1548

Brought to you by Presenting Sponsor


38 • A PR IL 27, 2018


New We the People group unveils month-long series


‘May Is? All About Trans’ offers panel discussions, social events, awards dinner

Photo by Cory Weaver

By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com

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.

We the People, a new, Washingtonbased transgender activist group, is launching with a month-long series of events throughout May organizers have dubbed “May Is? All About Trans.” SaVanna Wanzer, founder of D.C. Trans Pride, is calling We the People a quasi-spin off group of Trans Pride. The new group has been in various stages of execution for about the last five years, Wanzer says. “It needed to be separate because I wanted it to be a national endeavor for all cities to take the idea and use it,” Wanzer says. “If we put it under the umbrella of Capital Pride, that would have limited it.” “May Is? All About Trans” runs May 1-31 and features events throughout the D.C. area. The events are: May 1: Trans Summit at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 9 a.m.5 p.m. with continental soul breakfast, lunch at Busboys & Poets with keynote speaker Deb Dunn and cocktail reception from 5-8 p.m. at Busboy & Poets. Free. May 2: Conversation “Trans Sexuality What Transitions?” at Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W. from 6-8:30 p.m. Light snacks provided. Free. May 6: Youth Ball at 8240 Professional Place Suite 207B Landover, Md. (Walking distance from the New Carrollton Metro Station) with food and cash prizes. May 8: Conversation “Trans & HIV” at Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.) 6-8:30 p.m. No phones or recording devices will be allowed. Dinner sponsored by Jensen Free. May 9: TransDimensional Support Group “Conversation on Trans Safety” at Us Helping Us People Into Living (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) from 5:30-8 p.m. May 10: Conversation with Trans Men at Shaw Library (1630 7th St., N.W.) 7-8:30 p.m. Snacks provided. Free. May 11: Awards Dinner at 800 Florida Ave., N.E. from 6-9 p.m. honoring trans members from the D.C. area and a community organization for outstanding services. Keynote speaker is Diego Sanchez. Free May 12: Open Mic event with emcee Juju B. Jadoir of Westminster at 400 I St., S.W., 4-7 p.m. Following the concert movie screening of “Miss Major” from 7-9 p.m. with refreshments. Free. May 13: “Meet Up for Allies, Intersex and Queer” at Denizens (1115 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, Md.) Time is TBD.


SAVANNA WANZER hopes to increase transgender D.C. visibility with her new group We the People.

May 14: “Trans and Aging” presentation at Shaw Library (1630 7th St., N.W.) from 7-8:30 p.m. Snacks provided. Free. May 17: “Rayceen! Fix Me Up!” at Shaw Library (1630 7th St., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. Dating mixer. May 19: Capital Trans Pride at Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.) from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Stead park (1625 P St., N.W.). Free. May 20: TWEET Church Service at New Hope Baptist Church (309 E St., N.W.) from 2-4 p.m. Reception following service. May 21: “Bridging the Gap part two,” a conversation with gay men and the transgender community at Shaw Library (1630 7th St., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. All welcome. Snacks will be provided. Free. May 26: Workshop at D.C. Black Pride 1-3 p.m. Wanzer says her vision for the series is to “bring more of the community together to bridge the gaps of non-inclusiveness.” She and her team of nine chose May so they could dovetail their events with Trans Pride and D.C. Black Pride, both local events that are always held in May. Wanzer says local agencies such as WhitmanWalker Health, Capital Pride and especially Us Helping Us, have been supportive. Wanzer, who freelances as a local trans and HIV activist, says community support for the various events will be crucial to making “All About Trans” a success. She emphasizes that any LGBT folks or allies are welcome; one does not have to be trans to attend. Operating expenses are about $30,000, Wanzer says. Donations are being accepted but most events are free to attend. “Our team has put a lot of hard work into this,” she says. “I know it may look overwhelming because there are so many events, but please come and attend … and we’ll have a great learning experience together.” Look for the event on Facebook for full details.


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Annual Spring Gala

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN Sat, May 12 Big band show with special guest Laura Osnes and a free after-party!

5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852 | 301.581.5100 | STRATHMORE.ORG


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Photo of Charles Tangires & DaVon Moody by Christopher Mueller

Film fest season

Mike and Will find themselves drawn to each other in this vibrant coming-of-age musical based on Matthew Sweet’s seminal album

Now through June 10

Pride Nights: May 11 & May 18

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

I may not fit some ideas about gender, and I am a proud part of DC. Please treat me the same way any person would want to be treated: with courtesy and respect. Discrimination based on gender identity and expression is illegal in the District of Columbia. If you think you’ve been the target of discrimination, visit www.ohr.dc.gov or call (202) 727-4559.



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


Maryland and Jewish film festivals both feature queer content By BRIAN T. CARNEY Two of the region’s most popular film festivals return this week. As usual, both feature thought-provoking and entertaining programming including several features with strong LGBT content. Running May 2-6, the Maryland Film Festival is celebrating “20 years of film for everyone.” The festival includes 40 feature films and 10 programs of shorts that span all cinematic genres with works from all over the world. Movies will be screened throughout the Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District with the award-winning SNF Parkway serving as the artistic and social hub. As always, the festival will feature a film selected and introduced by legendary Baltimore filmmaker, artist and visionary John Waters. This year Waters has selected “I, Olga Hepnarova” which he describes as “a hypnotic black-and-white docudrama based on the case of a pretty, 22-year-old, chain-smoking lesbian from Prague who in 1973 hopped in a truck and mowed down 20 pedestrians on a sidewalk. Deadpan indeed.” The LGBT feature films include “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” already a hit on the festival circuit, and “We the Animals” based on the awardwinning semi-autobiographical novel by openly gay author Junot Diaz. Directed by Desiree Akhavan (“Appropriate Behavior’), “Cameron Post” stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a high school girl who is caught in the back seat of a car on prom night with another girl. She is quickly shipped off to a conversion therapy center where she is subjected to outlandish discipline and earnest Christian rock songs, but where she also finds an unlikely gay community. “We the Animals” stars Evan Rosado as Jonah, the youngest child in a dysfunctional Puerto Rican family who is slowly discovering that his love of art and literature and his sexuality are dividing him from his family. Raúl Castillo (“Looking”) plays Jonah’s abusive macho father. Two documentaries also examine diverse elements of the LGBT community. The moving Dutch documentary “Genderbende” follows five genderqueer youth as they proudly define and defend their identity. Distilled from 400 hours of raw footage, “Shakedown” looks at the clientele and culture of the Los Angeles urban lesbian strip club scene in the early 2000s. The festival opens with a program of innovate shorts, including “The Jump Off,” about a young man and his closeted lover and closes on May 6 with “Won’t You Be My


A scene from ‘The Cakemaker.’

Neighbor?” a charming documentary by Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville about beloved TV host Fred Rogers. And for the 16th year, the Alloy Orchestra comes to the festival to perform a live, original score to accompany “A Page of Madness,” a masterpiece of the Japanese silent cinema. Full details at mdfilmfest.com. Running May 2-13, the Washington Jewish Film Festival is an international exhibition of cinema that celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture and experience through the moving image. One of the highlights of the festival is the RATED LGBTQ strand, movies screened throughout the festival that explore the intersection of faith and sexuality. One of its Spotlight features (and part of RATED LGBTQ) is “The Cakemaker.” After his Israeli lover dies, German baker Tomas travels to Jerusalem and finds work with his lover’s widow, but decides to keep his identity a secret. Both mourning the same man, the survivors stave off loneliness by finding common cause in the kitchen, but their fragile friendship is threatened by suspicions, jealousies and cultural differences. RATED LGBTQ also includes: “Saving Neta,” about four women whose lives are changed by a chance encounter with a mysterious drifter named Neta; “The Strangest Stranger” about the mysterious relationship between Joni Waka, a Jewish man living in Tokyo and a new arrival named Johnnie Walker; and “Summer” and “Sunset,” two tender shorts about sexual awakening. Other highlights of the Festival include the opening night film “Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me,” a new documentary about the ground-breaking African American performer who converted to Judaism, and the closing night film The Jewish festival will screen movies at the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center, the AFI Silver and the Bethesda Row Cinema. Full details at wjff.org.


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42 • A PR IL 27, 2018


61st Annual


KYLIE MINOGUE opted for a stylistic departure on new album ‘Golden.’

Aussie country?

May ay 12-13, 2018

Kylie Minogue’s new ‘Golden’ is a genre blender

Mother’s Day Weekend



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© Joseph Harrison Snyder



It’s been a year of comebacks. Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Woods” and Toni Braxton’s “Sex & Cigarettes” remind us of artists who have managed to remain essential to the pop vocabulary over several decades. Add Australian pop star Kylie Minogue to that list. Minogue, who recently released her 14th studio album “Golden” on BMG, has been a staple of dance-pop since her debut album “Kylie” (1988). With “Golden” the singer takes an unexpected turn toward country while giving more than a nod to her longtime fans. “Golden” is somewhat of a departure from previous albums such as “Kiss Me Once” (2014) and “Aphrodite” (2010). Leaving the purity of the dance floor anthem, Minogue moves to a self-reflective genre, and not without precedent — we need only think of Lady Gaga’s recent country-esque turn with “Joanne” (2016). With a writing credit on every track, Minogue has taken a more direct ownership over the content, signaling a return to an earlier iteration of her musical career. In fact, the song “Cowboy Style” from her album “Impossible Princess” (1998) anticipates both the style and feel of “Golden.” The album’s two singles, “Dancing” and “Stop Me from Falling” provide a fair sample of the pop/country blend Minogue is aiming for. “Dancing” is just what the name suggests suggests — a well-produced dance track engineered for mainstream radio with the potential for country crossover. The accompanying music video, however, is much more telling. It features Minogue in vintage country star glamour (think Dolly Parton), complete with glitter, cowboy boots and line dancing. Minogue imagines herself a queen of country, surrounded by dancing cowboys — a fantasy straight out of a Nashville bar, the city where Minogue recorded parts of her album. “Stop Me from Falling,” the second track

on the album is a hand-clapping appeal to contemporary country. The imagery is all right, but it still ends up sounding more like the various country covers of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” than country music per se. But to make a serious comparison between Minogue’s album and country is perhaps to miss the point entirely. “Golden” is much more like a costume party than a real crossover album, and that is partly why it’s so fun. The title track demonstrates this playfulness with genres. Beginning with an unmistakable variation on the theme from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” it quickly transforms into a upbeat dance track. This almost humorous movement between two different genres is what gives the album its character. Banjos and acoustic guitars mix freely with synthesizers throughout. The linedancing country bar becomes a nightclub. That said, there are two notable exceptions to the otherwise widespread genre mixing, which are “Radio On” and “Sincerely Yours.” “Radio On” is a real candidate for country radio. The song has the most depth of any on the album. Without resorting to a pulsing electronic beat, Minogue breaks through the kitsch and camp of her other country-inspired songs, demonstrating her talents as a versatile singer and songwriter. It makes for a welcome contrast to the upbeat tracks and gives authenticity to the whole project. The other deviation comes from “Sincerely Yours,” a return to classic Kylie. A pure dance-pop track, it’s as though Minogue is reminding fans that this is all a phase and that she will be returning to the normal order of business when she’s done. While by no means a revelation, “Golden” is a good album overall and a enjoyable distraction from ordinary pop. At its best, it showcases Minogue’s ability to write fresh, fun and occasionally deep songs. At its worst, it is offensively palatable — a sometimes forgettable wash of dance beats and banjo. But if one thing is clear, it’s that Minogue is looking to have a good time. And she’s taking us along for the ride.


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Photo by Karli Cadel /Glimmerglass


Dulling the pain? New Martin Duberman memoir chronicles painful years ’76-’88

TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER has been reading since she was 3 years old. She lives in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books. Reach her at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.


May 5–26 | Opera House Music by Leonard Bernstein / Book Adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler in a New Version by John Caird / Lyrics by Richard Wilbur with Additional Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, and Leonard Bernstein In English with Projected English Titles Production from The Glimmerglass Festival


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

Additional support for Candide is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In his new book “The Rest of It: Hustlers, Cocaine, Depression and Then Some 1976-1988,” gay writer Martin Duberman takes time to fill in some gaps. Having penned other books of memoirs, Martin Duberman says people often ask why he’s omitted roughly a decade of his life story. Once noted, he realized that “the mid-‘70s to the mid-‘80s … were the most painful years of my life.” They began with his mother’s illness in late 1976, and her surgery for cancer that was initially said to be non-cancerous, but that was finally diagnosed as malignant melanoma. Duberman had had a complicated relationship with his mother and they’d made their peace; still hers was a horrible death and it plunged him into his work and a bout with depression. For years, Duberman had been involved in the LGBT community as an activist, and “in the wake of my mother’s death I hadn’t jumped ship, hadn’t abandoned academia or run off to join the circus.” Still, he looked for ways to cope: he had his “circadian chart” read and he used a fair amount of cocaine and pot. He immersed himself in projects, both of the literary kind and for the gay community and he picked up

his political engagements. Duberman worried that the stress was bad for him and he may’ve been right, because he had a few health scares, including a heart attack, and another bout with depression and “desperation.” Still, he continued to write. It was a time “of a flowering of gay culture” when many gay literary giants were publishing, including Duberman. It was a time when bath houses dotted New York City, AIDS was emerging as a crisis and Duberman was celibate and addicted. It was a time when he had nearly hit bottom before he found help and love. You may be thinking that “The Rest of It” is on the self-contemplative side, and you’re right, though it could also be argued that many memoirs are such. No matter; what keeps you reading isn’t the biography that author Martin Duberman offers here. It’s what’s behind it. Duberman’s life was keenly interesting in the dozen years between 1976-1988, but so were then-current events, which he carefully recounts. This book shows an emergence of gay culture on a larger scale, growing activism and the dawn of AIDS; his voice is occasionally snarky as he takes on the medical establishment of the times, gay nightclubs and bath houses and Reagan politics. In these ways, his deeply personal memories, mixed with what happened when, are vastly more appealing than if this book were mere memoir. Though it may not attract young readers, this book is perfect for older (i.e. gay Boomers and older Gen Xers) readers who remember these times. Also, for historians’ bookshelves, “The Rest of It” shouldn’t be missing. ‘THE REST OF IT: HUSTLERS, COCAINE, DEPRESSION AND THEN SOME 1976-1988’ By Martin Duberman Duke University Press $27.95 242 pages


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Pediatrics for her. Primary care for you. All in one loca


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The National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) held its third annual “Best of the Best” awards ceremony at the Washington Hilton on April 18. Journalist Jonathan Capehart served as the emcee. Awardees included Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), singer/songwriter Mandy Harvey and Olympian Adam Rippon.


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‘Drag is like this great kept secret’: Trixie CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

Adam Lambert, imparted a few choice words to Shangela stans and spilled her real plans for the $100,000 prize. WASHINGTON BLADE: Between your season seven “Drag Race” appearance and “All Stars” you were arguably one of the most successful queens. Do you feel the Hall of Fame title validated your success? TRIXIE MATTEL: It was sort of like I was already going to prom and this crown is like my corsage. I really think part of what makes me an all star is I never relied on a title or a crown. I never even relied on RuPaul telling me I was a winner or a superstar. I just was like, “I’m going to do whatever I want and I’m going to find a way to do it.” Winning is great but it’s always been really important to me to open all the doors I want to open whether or not anybody said I was a winner. BLADE: During the “All Stars” season one of your weaker points was during the Snatch Game when you portrayed RuPaul. Why do you think it didn’t work? MATTEL: I was just like, “I want to swing big.” It wasn’t the choice that made it not work; it was just me. I was scared. I just messed up because I choked. It’s sort of like when you prepare something and then you get up there and you blank. That’s what happened. It was more of an artist having a bad day. It was my only low point of “Drag Race.” I feel like “Drag Race” tried to paint this picture like, “Trixie, you really stumbled in the competition.” I’m like, “Bitch, where?” It was literally once. I was in the bottom as many times as Shangela. Let’s all calm down. BLADE: During the Kitty Girls challenge, Adam Lambert didn’t like your attitude. Did you realize at the time he had a problem with you? MATTEL: I think he’s threatened by anyone who wears more makeup than him. No, I have a deep, dark, dry sense of humor. I mean if a drag queen makes a joke about gender and you don’t catch it, I don’t know what happened to you. I don’t know who hurt you. But he thought I was standoffish and so if I ever see him in Hollywood I’m going to show him what standoffish looks like. But he’s so hot. I never thought he was hot in pictures. In real life, he was so sexual looking. He was probably just picking up on me being legitimately afraid of how beautiful he was. BLADE: Obviously one of the most shocking moments of the season was Ben De La Creme pulling out the lipstick with her name on it. What was going through your head? MATTEL: For me, it’s a competition so

if somebody doesn’t want to be there I’m like, “Great, leave.” But on a friend level in front of the camera I’m like, “No, girl. Stay.” But on the inside I’m like, “Bitch, get out. I don’t need you to make this harder for me than it already is.” I know this is probably not a popular opinion but I wanted the fucking money, Stephanie. For me, I had already proven to myself that I don’t have to win “Drag Race” to do whatever I want to do. So I was like I’d rather win the cash and prizes. Doing a summer of shows and I probably spent like $20,000-30,000 to get costumes. I’m like, “I’m trying to make my investment back Brenda.” BLADE: What are you going to do with the $100,000? MATTEL: Well, I haven’t received it yet. But, I grew up poor and will have a poor people mentality forever so I’m just going to do what I’ve done with every cent I’ve ever had. I’m just going to save it. I’m the fable about the grasshopper who parties all summer and then has no food. I don’t want to be the grasshopper.

One of the runway looks TRIXIE MATTEL modeled on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season three. PHOTOS COURTESY LOGO/VH1

BLADE: It very easily could have come down between you and Ben De La Creme if she hadn’t self-eliminated. Do you think you still would have had a shot at the crown? MATTEL: Oh yeah, sure. I mean, I beat Kennedy Davenport in a lip sync which means I could probably beat anybody. She’s the best lip-syncer there is. BLADE: Shangela fans were pretty vocal on social media that she deserved the title. Did the backlash damper your win? MATTEL: There’s exactly one queen in the episode who vocalized that Shangela should be in the top two. Do you know who that queen was? Me. I walked in and they said, “Who do you think should be in the top?” and I said “100 percent Shangela. She is and always will be an all star.” I’m the one who wanted her to come. So whatever reason the other queens didn’t pick her, I mean, my hands are clean. I was rooting for her. I literally told the group of people voting to vote for her. “Drag Race” is a game of what you do today comes back to bite you tomorrow. I can’t get into the minds of the people who voted but obviously they felt some type of way. I feel like the perception is that because she sent people home but it’s like Thorgy voted for her, who she sent home. Chi Chi didn’t vote for her who is like one of her best friends. I’ve known Shangela didn’t make it to the top two for a year and I was gagged. I would have picked her lipstick. I was disappointed, on behalf of her, to watch her heart break like that. But it’s been done and over for us like a long time. BLADE: Did anything ever happen with

that backup dancer you were attracted to during the final challenge? MATTEL: I follow him on Instagram which is how I think every great love story begins. He was so hot, it was stupid. He had pouty lips. He looked like an extra in “Pearl Harbor” or like a swing dancer in Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman” video. I also have a boyfriend so that’s complicated. But this is L.A. so I’ll wait for the right moment and then have a scandal. I’ll wait until my next album comes out and then leak my nudes or something. BLADE: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has gotten a much bigger audience since switching to VH1. People are having “Drag Race’ viewing parties at bars like sports games. Has that diversified your fanbase? MATTEL: Drag is like this great, kept secret. Gay people are like, “Yes, bitch. We been knew that drag was cool.” But, it’s fun to watch the rest of the world keep up with it and be like, “This is cool.” Drag is for everyone. I know that drag is inherently political. For me, it’s not so political. It’s just Halloween every day. If anything, “Drag Race” humanizes us and just shows it’s just costumes. It’s not like this crazy, gay, gender agenda. It’s just dressing up and having fun and everyone likes to dress up. I don’t care who you are. If you just put on a wig and look in the mirror, you’ll have a laugh. There’s a queen for everyone in the same way everyone has a favorite comedian, favorite movie. You don’t have to like everyone but I promise there will be one that just makes you chuckle or you think is so pretty. We’re not just gay people putting on gowns. We’re human beings who take our work

very seriously and I think that’s what’s inspiring to audiences. BLADE:“The Trixie & Katya” show suffered a setback in its debut season because Katya had to take time off. Did you think you would stop filming the show? MATTEL: I automatically was like call Bob the Drag Queen. Literally, same day we had him on the phone. Bob is so funny, not just as a drag queen. He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I have a great friendship and repertoire with him. I knew that if he showed up with zero warning he would turn the party. BLADE: Is there going to be a second season with Katya? MATTEL: I can neither confirm nor deny. BLADE: What can people expect from your show? MATTEL: My show is 60 percent stand up and 40 percent music. There’s video elements. There’s costume changes, wig changes. There’s some great jokes, plenty of bad jokes. I’m really proud of the show. I think it’s really going to open people’s minds to what drag is capable of. It’s not just a dress and a wig. It goes by for me in the blink of an eye. I look forward to it all day and then doing it, I’m just in heaven. Then I just can’t wait to do it the next day. TRIXIE MATTEL ‘Now with Moving Parts’ Thursday, May 3 7 p.m. Lincoln Theatre 1215 U St., N.W. $20-99


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