AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE
Will D.C. decriminalize prostitution? 8 candidates back eﬀort, while Bowser seeks ‘alternatives to incarceration’
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. email@example.com
Council member DAVID GROSSO (I-At-Large) has introduced a bill to decriminalize prostitution involving consenting adults. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
Six candidates running for seats on the D.C. Council and at least two candidates running for mayor in the city’s June 19 primary have said they support a bill introduced last year by Council member David Grosso (I-AtLarge) to decriminalize prostitution involving consenting adults. Mayor Muriel Bowser and four members of the D.C. Council who are running for re-election said they are
either undecided or did not state a deﬁnitive position on the Grosso bill, although each said they are sympathetic to the plight of sex workers and favor programs to oﬀer them social services. The four Council members in the undecided or uncommitted category include Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Kenyan McDuﬃe (D-Ward 5), and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6). A total of 16 out of 26 candidates running in the June 19 primary stated their positions on the Grosso bill and the issue of decriminalization of sex work in their responses to a questionnaire on a wide range of issues sent to all candidates by the Gay and Lesbian
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Ros-Lehtinen talks retirement Florida Republican slams Trump’s trans military ban By MICHAEL K. LAVERS firstname.lastname@example.org Retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) last week reiterated her criticism of President Trump over a host of issues that includes his eﬀort to ban transgender people from the military. “We’re looking at Americans who want to sign up and serve our country,” Ros-Lehtinen told the Washington Blade on May 21 during
an interview at her oﬃce in the Rayburn House Oﬃce Building. “These are the bravest individuals, the most patriotic folks that we would want there.” “It just doesn’t make any sense when we are still ﬁghting in so many parts of the world,” she added. “We need patriotic, committed, able to serve individuals, whether they are male, female, transgender.” Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Cuba, was ﬁrst elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989. She was elected to the Florida House
CONTINUES ON PAGE 16
Rep. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R-Fla.) speaks with the Washington Blade at her oﬃce on Capitol Hill on May 21. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
TIME FOR PRIDE
Get your tickets for Bernhard’s Pride show at washingtonblade.com/tickets
Lennie Carter ready for annual 5K race at Congressional Cemetery.
A preview of next week’s events, concerts as D.C. prepares to celebrate.
Q&A, PAGE 21
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LO CA L N E W S
Blade named sponsor of MLB All-Star Week WASHINGTON — Major League Baseball and the Washington Blade today announced that the Blade will serve as a sponsor of 2018 MLB All-Star Week, which will be hosted in Washington D.C. in July, marking the ﬁrst time that MLB has partnered with an LGBT news outlet on the event. The 2018 MLB All-Star Game and related events will take place in July at Nationals Park and other locations throughout Washington, D.C. The Washington Blade will work with MLB to promote and advertise the All-Star celebration events and will be credited as a sponsor during the week. In conjunction with All-Star Week, the Blade will publish its sixth annual Sports Issue on July 13 with a special focus on LGBTQ issues in baseball and other professional and collegiate sports. “Everyone at the Blade is excited to work with Major League Baseball on this groundbreaking collaboration,” said Blade editor Kevin Naﬀ. “As LGBTQ visibility and acceptance continue to grow, we appreciate the eﬀorts of MLB to foster an inclusive environment for players and fans.” This year’s All-Star festivities include GEICO All-Star FanFest from Friday, July 13 through Tuesday, July 17 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center; the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and Legends & Celebrity Softball on All-Star Sunday, July 15 at Nationals Park; the T-Mobile Home Run Derby as part of Gatorade AllStar Workout Day on Monday, July 16 at Nationals Park; and the 89th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday, July 17, also at Nationals Park. Billy Bean, Vice President & Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Major League Baseball said: “MLB is pleased to have the Washington Blade as one of the sponsors of our Midsummer Classic. Working together to promote many of the incredible events is another example of MLB’s inclusive message for all baseball fans. All-Star Week is a oncein-a-lifetime experience, and we are all looking forward to being in Washington D.C.” STAFF REPORTS
Caps fans rock the red for Stanley Cup LGBT fans of the Washington Capitals turned out Monday night at D.C.’s Capital One Arena and Nellie’s Sports Bar to watch the opening game of the Stanley Cup ﬁnals. The Vegas Golden Knights beat the Capitals by a score of 6 to 4 in Las Vegas in a suspenseful opening game that could have been won by either team up until the last few minutes, when the Golden Knights scored two goals. Craig Brownstein, one of the founders of Puck Buddies, an LGBT Capitals fan club that is oﬃcially recognized by the Capitals, said the group has not organized a speciﬁc event or activity around the Capitals’ participation in the Stanley Cup ﬁnals. LGBT Caps fans have embraced ally BRADEN HOLTBY as the team battles for the Stanley Cup. But he said he expected many Puck Buddies participants along with a large PHOTO COURTESY WASHINGTON CAPITALS number of D.C.’s LGBT Capitals fans to turn out with their friends to watch the opening game on Monday and the remainder of the best of seven series at Nellie’s, the gay sports bar in the city’s U Street, N.W. entertainment section. Brownstein and Brent Minor, executive director of Team D.C., a coalition of LGBT sports leagues, each said they also expected many LGBT Capitals fans to watch the ﬁrst two games at the Capital One arena, which was to broadcast the games on its giant video screen. Admission is free on Monday and for the second game on Wednesday. Channel 4 News reported that more than 12,000 enthusiastic Capitals fans turned out at the arena on Monday night.
Brownstein said he and other Puck Buddies members would be watching the game at home on TV. Although the group hasn’t been too active this year Brownstein said its members remain enthusiastic supporters of the Capitals. “We’re still actively following the team very closely,” he said. “We’re excited about tonight,” he said on Monday afternoon prior to the start of the game. “And we’re going to be watching from home, giddy in front of the TV.” Gay activist and D.C. government employee Christopher Dyer, an avid Capitals fan, said he would be attending Monday night’s “watch party” at the Capital One arena as well as at least one of the Capitals’ home games scheduled at the arena. According to a write-up on Nellie’s Sports Bar’s Facebook page, the bar would be showing the Stanley Cup ﬁnals games on its video screens both in its dining room and its second-ﬂoor deck. LGBT Capitals fans have said they are especially appreciative of the Capitals star goal tender Braden Holtby, who, along with his wife, marched in D.C.’s Capital Pride Parade in 2016 and 2017 as part of a National Hockey League contingent in the parade. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Stonewall fundraiser attracts prominent Democrats to Rehoboth Delaware Stonewall PAC will hold its annual Summer Fundraiser on June 16 in Rehoboth Beach. The event will feature guests including Sen. Tom Carper, Gov. John Carney and a speech from Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. Delaware Stonewall PAC’s mission is “to secure for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people the equal human rights guaranteed for all citizens by the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Rep. LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER is slated to speak at an event June 16 in Rehoboth. Delaware.” The organization also seeks to promote and grow the WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS principles of the Democratic Party. The group has played an important role in electing pro-LGBT Democrats to oﬃce. Delaware Stonewall PAC endorsed Gov. Jack Markell in 2008 and Sen. Chris Coons in 2010, both proved to be solid supporters of LGBT equality. “We only do one event a year,” said president and founder of Delaware Stonewall PAC, Peter Schott. “The money that we raise and virtually every cent that we get at these events goes to supporting the candidates and working on these issues.” The organization started out as an entity within the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats, which was founded in 2003. Delaware Stonewall PAC now continues as its own, separate entity. Schott said one of his favorite memories working with Delaware Stonewall PAC was being able to have Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts at the organization’s very ﬁrst event. Schott said Frank’s appearance at the event gave Delaware Stonewall PAC credibility as an organization due to his national prominence. This year’s Delaware Stonewall PAC fundraiser will honor CAMP Rehoboth and Rep. Bryon Short. “Delaware Stonewall has served our Delaware community well over the years and continues to do much needed work in our state,” said Murray Archibald, president of the board of directors for CAMP Rehoboth. “We are grateful to Delaware Stonewall for honoring CAMP Rehoboth at their annual summer celebration on June 16.” Delaware Stonewall PAC has endorsed numerous candidates for this election cycle so far, including Stephanie Bolden of the Delaware House of Representatives in District 2, Stephanie Hansen of the Delaware Senate in District 10 and John Viola of the Delaware House of Representatives in District 26. BLAKE CHAMBERS
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Krishanti Vignarajah highlights support of LGBT rights Former Michelle Obama adviser among Md. gubernatorial candidates By MICHAEL K. LAVERS email@example.com Krishanti Vignarajah on Tuesday said her position within the Obama administration solidified her support for LGBT rights. Vignarajah, who was former ﬁrst lady Michelle Obama’s policy director, during a telephone interview with the Washington Blade as she was traveling to a campaign event in Western Maryland with her 11-month-old daughter noted President Trump has been “far, far less supportive” of LGBT rights KRISHANTI VIGNARAJAH is among the Democrats running for governor of Maryland. than former President Obama. Vignarajah also PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISH FOR MARYLAND speciﬁcally criticized the Trump administration over its eﬀorts to ban transgender people from the military. “Sometimes you don’t appreciate what you’ve got until you lose it,” she said. Vignarajah, 38, was 9-months-old when her parents ﬂed the civil war in their native Sri Lanka and settled in Maryland. “The Maryland where Krish grew up gave her parents opportunities to serve as public school teachers in Baltimore City,” reads Vignarajah’s campaign website. “But Baltimore schools were more than an employer for Krish’s parents; they became part of the family as teachers and principles alike helped new immigrants navigate a new country and become part of a new community as neighbors.” Vignarajah’s website notes she was with her mother when she canvassed in support of former U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)’s ﬁrst U.S. Senate campaign. Vignarajah worked for former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) when she was in college. Vignarajah was also a senior adviser to former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Vignarajah said as governor she would support Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s decision to challenge the Trump administration’s eﬀorts to ban trans people from the military. Her campaign platform also notes she would take “decisive action here at home to ensure that no discrimination occurs within” the Maryland National Guard and “ﬁght any discrimination on federal facilities or installations” in the state. Vignarajah supports the repeal of Maryland’s sodomy law and would seek to eliminate the provision of the state’s trans rights law that exempts religious institutions and private institutions. Vignarajah’s campaign platform also calls for an end to discrimination against LGBT Marylanders in housing, healthcare, employment, education and public services. “Discrimination manifests itself uniquely in diﬀerent communities,” it reads. “ I also plan to work closely with local leaders to target speciﬁc points of tension and the barriers to equality.” Vignarajah has called for the use of additional funding from Maryland’s general fund to combat homelessness among LGBT youth. She would also support legislation “explicitly protecting” adoption rights for same-sex couples. Vignarajah’s platform also calls upon the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to make it easier for Marylanders to change the gender marker on their driver’s licenses. “My administration will make Maryland the most welcoming and anti-discriminatory state in the union,” says Vignarajah on her campaign website. Vignarajah is running against Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), former Montgomery City Councilwoman Valerie Ervin, former State Department oﬃcial Alec Ross. The winner will face Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November. Vignarajah would be Maryland’s ﬁrst female governor if she were to win the general election. Madaleno could become the ﬁrst openly gay man elected governor in the U.S. if he were to defeat Hogan.
“The diversity of the ﬁeld is the diversity and strength of our party,” Vignarajah told the Blade. “There are so many ways we can make history this year and part of that is incredibly exciting.” Vignarajah also lamented the fact that all of Maryland’s previous governors have been white men. “The fact that we have never had an openly gay governor is a lack of diversity,” she said. “The fact that we have never heard a woman here in Maryland be governor, but also a woman of color be governor in the Democratic Party is a lack of diversity.” “Our elected oﬃcials need to look like our constituents,” added Vignarajah.
Peter Bartis, folk life specialist, dies at 68 Peter Bartis, a nationally recognized expert in American folklore who is credited with playing a lead role in the development of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center during his more than 40 years of working there as a folklife specialist, died Dec. 25, 2017 of complications associated with lung cancer. He was 68. A write-up on Bartis’ career at the Folklife Center published in Folklife Today, an in-house blog, says that at the time of his retirement last fall Bartis was the “longest-serving employee in the American Folklife Center’s history, a record that will probably go unchallenged for a long time.” The write-up, written by Stephen Winick, one of Bartis’ colleagues, adds, “In many ways, Peter’s presence and diligent work has deﬁned the Center for over 40 years. All of us at the AFC, in addition to his colleagues throughout the Library, will miss him profoundly.” Bartis was a longtime resident of D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. He was born and raised in Pawtucket, R.I., in a multi-ethnic neighborhood that he told friends and colleagues provided him with an appreciation for his home state’s and the nation’s cultural diversity that remained with him throughout his life, according to the Folklife Today write-up. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1972 from Boston University and in 1974 received a master’s in arts degree in folklore at the University of North Carolina. He began course work for his Ph.D. in folklore and folklife at the University of Pennsylvania shortly before the American Folklife Center was founded in 1976. While continuing his studies, Bartis applied for and was hired for a temporary job related to a Folklife Center project in 1977 to document traditional arts in diverse ethnic communities in Chicago. The Folklife Today write-up says that when the project ended in 1977 he applied for a permanent job at the American Folklife Center and began work there on June 22, 1977. Among his ﬁrst projects as an employee was his role as co-curator of an exhibit he helped put together that included the voluminous folklife related archives that had been collected by the Library of Congress’s Music Division since 1928 and which was transferred to the American Folklife Center. “Peter earned his Ph.D. in 1982 with a dissertation about the American Folklife Center’s archive,” Folklife Today states in its write-up on Bartis. “It’s a crucial account of the archive’s ﬁrst 50 years, and AFC keeps a copy in the Folklife Reading Room so that researchers can have easy access to Peter’s scholarship,” it says. In his more than 40 years at the Folklife Center, Bartis coordinated numerous projects in several diﬀerent roles. Among them were the roles of ﬁeld worker and project manager; author of many resource guides and manuals for the Center, including its widely read Folklife Sourcebook and Folklife and Fieldwork; involvement in the Center’s educational and training programs; and his role as senior program oﬃcer for the Center’s highly acclaimed Veterans History Project. Folklife Today’s write-up says that upon his retirement from the Center last year Bartis continued to support the Center’s work by making a “generous gift to establish the American Folklife Center Internship Fund,” which will provide educational opportunities for emerging scholars who are both undergraduate and graduate college students. Bartis is survived by his husband, George Benjamin “Ben” Zuras; his brother Jim Bartis and sister Elizabeth Ann Goyer and their families; and by many friends and colleagues throughout the Library of Congress, the Folklife Today write-up says. “He’ll be missed particularly here at the American Folklife Center, where we have never before had to operate without his guidance, his cooperation, and his friendship,” it says. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
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Family of injured gay passenger doesn’t believe Amtrak Railway police claim upbeat Aaron Salazar was suicidal By KAREN OCAMB LOS ANGELES — There’s a story the late comedian Richard Pryor told in the ﬁlm “Live on the Sunset Strip” about how his wife caught him with another woman. He insists nothing is going on, asking her: “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” Though the circumstances are considerably more dire, the incredulous Salazar family believes the Amtrak chief of police want them to make a similar leap of reason about their beloved 22-year old gay son Aaron, a passenger on the Amtrak Zephyr, who was found beaten and broken by the railroad tracks near downtown Truckee, Calif., on May 15. Amtrak insists Salazar was suicidal. Everyone who knew him insists he was full of life. At a press conference in Truckee on May 29, Amtrak’s Chief of Police Neil Trugman explained that Amtrak investigators interviewed 300 people during their investigation and found witnesses who described Salazar as “distraught” and experiencing “life issues.” “[Salazar] shared with them a number of life concerns he was having,” Trugman said. “A fall from a moving train would cause signiﬁcant injury. There is no physical evidence or witnesses statements to (indicate) a physical altercation occurring on the train. There’s nothing to suggest he involuntarily was removed from that train…. There’s nothing to suggest criminal intent in this investigation.” Salazar “was very distraught,” Trugman repeated. “All indications right now appear that it was an attempted suicide.” Not so, say Salazar’s friends and family. “Someone who is suicidal does not constantly talk about their future. Aaron had big plans to graduate from Portland State with his degree in economics and continue his education through graduate school in Denver,” Morgan Patterson, a friend of his from Portland State University, told the Los Angeles Blade. “He wanted to be able to make decisions and change the world. Not once did Aaron display any type of behavior that makes me feel like he would want to take his own life. He has so much to live for and has such a close bond with his family and friends. We would know if Aaron needed help.” Despite the national interest prompted by revelations that Amtrak has responded poorly over the years to other families of missing or mysteriously dead passengers, Salazar’s parents remained silent—until Trugman’s press conference. “First and foremost, Amtrak is a for-proﬁt company that is currently investigating
AARON SALAZAR was found beaten near the railroad tracks in Truckee, Calif. on May 15. PHOTO COURTESY THE SALAZAR FAMILY
its own case to prevent any liability,” the parents wrote in an email to the LA Blade and investigation partner, Bob Conrad of ThisIsReno. “From the very start, they ruled this case an attempted suicide. Their investigators gave us misleading information, including telling us that they had a witness who saw Aaron jump out a window on the train. When we fact-checked their claim and confronted the detective, he simply backpedaled his statement. Amtrak’s investigators only investigated the case as an attempt at suicide.” Secondly, Salazar’s injuries are inconsistent with Amtrak’s theory. “For one, those burns that were supposedly from jumping out of a train are not consistent with the facts because Aaron’s jeans were not damaged and his injuries themselves do not match jumping out of a train. We are also surprised by this false theory because they have never had medical experts examine his body to determine the cause of his injuries. Their form of investigation has been little more than a smear campaign to sweep Aaron’s story under the rug like Robin Putnam’s case a few years ago.” Salazar ended up in extremely critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit of a Reno, Nev., hospital. He has since been upgraded to Guarded Condition but is still unable to communicate. Robin Putnam, to whom Salazar’s family referred, was not so lucky. In a case that mirrors what happened to Salazar, Putnam, 26, a junior at the California College of the Arts in Oakland who was perceived to be gay, disappeared around July 7, 2012 while riding an Amtrak train from Emeryville, Calif., to Grand Junction, Colo. His remains were found by Union Paciﬁc Railroad employees on Aug. 25, 2015 in a riverbed that had gone dry near Wells, Nev. Elko County Nevada Coroner, Dr. William Webb, listed the cause of death as “Undetermined.” Putnam’s family is still seeking answers.
They, too, claim Amtrak investigators lied to them, insisting that Robin Putnam had committed suicide. “He was quiet, fastidious about his appearance—well manicured and soft spoken. But he was happy and he had friends,” his mother Cindy Putnam said, adding, “Not suicidal.” Frustrated, Douglas Putnam ﬁled a Freedom Of Information Act request with Amtrak in October 2016 and while several sections were redacted, he did discover that their son’s wallet ended up at the Amtrak System Lost and Found at the end of the route in Chicago nearly a week after Putnam had gone missing. “We’re very sorry that Aaron’s family has to deal with those people,” the Putnams told the Los Angeles Blade. “Maybe the pressure being brought to bear on Amtrak may ﬁnally give us some answers as to what happened to our son.” The joint Los Angeles Blade/ThisIsReno investigation discovered that issues with Amtrak’s veracity could be much deeper than these two incidents. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior FBI oﬃcial with a working knowledge of Amtrak police operations, procedures, and policies noted to the Blade that Amtrak police have long had a reputation for being diﬃcult and less than transparent with families regarding incidents with their loved ones. The source noted that he is not directly connected to the Salazar matter. “Amtrak is about 30 years behind in technology and operational knowhow procedural wise — especially forensically,” the FBI oﬃcial said. “Another problem is Amtrak tends to keep investigations inhouse, rarely asking for assistance from other agencies, including the Bureau, that could provide the answers those families are looking for.” Framing the state of aﬀairs within the Amtrak system, an Amtrak employee who has worked on the California to Chicago lines and is familiar to the Los Angeles
Blade said on condition of anonymity that security at Amtrak “is next to zero.” “We often face hostile passengers. Often times they are not removed for fear of being reprimanded by management. A dining car LSA [Lead Service Attendant] was punched. Did security measures change? No. A conductor was shot because he would not let a passenger oﬀ to smoke at a stop that was not a smoking stop. Did security measures change? No. A conductor was stabbed in the head. Did security measures change? No,” the Amtrak employee said. “A passenger was attacked by another passenger with sledge hammers we keep on the train in case of an emergency and they are easily accessible by passengers. Did security measures change? No,” the employee continued. “Congress also allowed for guns to be checked in the baggage car. Is the baggage car locked? No. Can passengers get to it? Yes. A padlock is the only thing that keeps the guns locked. Every day we go to work we anticipate something happening because it’s a fact of life for us. It’s very much like the Wild West still.” On May 25, Oregon’s congressional delegation sent a pointed letter to Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson requesting a thorough investigation into the mysterious injuries sustained by passenger Aaron Salazar in Truckee. “We write today in great dismay at the news that Salazar, a Portland State University student, is ﬁghting for his life in a coma, with serious injuries to his brain stem and a broken pelvis,” they wrote. “This incident may have been a hate crime,” they said. “We … urge Amtrak to utilize all available resources to promptly investigate this case. We expect a full report on the investigation of this crime, to our federal delegation and to Aaron’s family.” The letter was signed by Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici, and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeﬀ Merkley. Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve expressed dismay at the ThisisReno report that found a number of similar, unexplained incidents of injury and death of Amtrak passengers. “I couldn’t be more disturbed by this investigation into @Amtrak. Thank you @ ThisIsReno for demanding answers for these families,” Schieve tweeted. “(It’s) shocking to read about similar incidents to those of Aaron’s. We continue to pray for him while he clings to life in a Reno hospital.” The Salazar family has set up a GoFundMe account, Justice for Aaron, to help defray medical and legal costs. This story is the result of a joint investigation by Bob Conrad of ThisIsReno, and Christopher Kane and Karen Ocamb and staﬀ at the Los Angeles Blade.
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JUNE 01, 2018 • 09
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Franklin Graham eyes evangelical gains in California Trump supporter using anti-immigration policies to spur Christian voters By CHRISTOPHER KANE Controversial evangelical leader Franklin Graham is traveling through California to drum up support for socially conservative candidates ahead of the state’s primary election on June 5. The message of his three-bus caravan, 10-rally tour: “Progressive? That’s just another word for godless.” “The church just has to be wakened,” Graham told the New York Times. “People say, what goes in California is the way the rest of the nation is going to go. So, if we want to see changes, it is going to have to be done here.” Churches need to “suck it up” and vote. In his version of what Jesus would want, Graham said Californians must ﬁght for President Trump’s immigration policies and against abortion, same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ-inclusive curricula in FRANKLIN GRAHAM AND BEKI FALWELL pose with public schools. DONALD TRUMP (and his Playboy magazine cover). “The gays and lesbians PHOTO VIA TWITTER have their people run for politics and win,” Graham said. “Christians, we are just being stupid.” As one of Trump’s most ardent defenders, Graham has also used his religious bully pulpit in advocating for the president’s travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries and supports Trump’s cruel treatment of undocumented immigrants, including separating mothers and children. Other faith leaders and religious denominations have denounced Trump’s immigration policies as anathema to biblical teachings. Evangelicals, once the moral arbiters of “family values,” continue to support Trump despite widespread outrage over reports that nearly 1,500 immigrant children taken into custody at the southern border are now “missing.” Even Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has been critical of the lack of accountability by U.S. Health and Human Services in the mishandling of immigrant children. In one case, federal oﬃcials reportedly handed over eight minors to human traﬃckers. Meanwhile, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has moved to destroy records related to the agency’s detention facilities, including reports and documentation of abuse. Nonetheless, evangelicals continue their solid support for Trump’s policies. In fact, new polls show he is now stronger than when he ﬁrst assumed oﬃce. And Graham hopes to use those harsh immigration positions popular with Trump’s evangelical base to elect candidates who will ﬁght against California’s sanctuary cities that refuse to hand undocumented immigrants over to ICE for detention and deportation. A May 24 report by Pew Research Center found white Evangelical Protestants, by more than two-to-one, believe “the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept refugees.” Additionally, 68 percent of Republicans share that view, which marks a decline in both groups of support for accepting refugees into the United States since Pew’s last poll in Feb. 2017, just after President Trump took oﬃce. Support for Trump’s performance among evangelicals and among Republicans is often nearly twice the President’s approval rating with the general public. During the same time, Democrats moved in the opposite direction with their support for the U.S. accepting refugees climbing from 71 to 74 percent. Trump’s tenure in oﬃce appears, therefore, responsible for the drop in the total support for refugee acceptance from 56 to 51 percent.
Many faith leaders have pointed out the discrepancy between the evangelicals’ position and biblical tenets that encourage believers to “treat refugees the way you want to be treated.” The Washington Post contrasted the ﬁndings from the Pew survey with a Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) story that listed nine biblical passages that each urge followers to welcome and love immigrants. The Post included a comment that represents the backlash CBN received from its conservative audience: “Shame on CBN for this very poorly written article full of political rhetoric. This is not a Biblical issue.” Another critic wrote: “You have taken scripture and misapplied it to reference people who are bringing in false gods, who want to bomb and kill us, rape our children and change our laws to sharia law to accommodate themselves.” Pew identiﬁed diﬀerences between older and younger evangelicals on attitudes toward immigration more broadly. Only 13 percent of older evangelical Protestants agreed with the proposition that the “growing immigrant population is a change for the better,” compared to 27 percent of Millennial evangelical Protestants. The poll also noted stark diﬀerences between white and black Protestants—a majority of the latter group, 63 percent, agreed the U.S. does have a responsibility to accept refugees, compared to only 25 percent of white Evangelical Protestants. Some of the most interesting ﬁndings, though, concern the attitudes of American Catholics vis-a-vis Protestants. In Pew’s survey, 62 percent of Catholic respondents opposed President Trump’s travel ban vs. 22 percent of white evangelical Protestants). As NPR host David Greene explained, the two denominations were historically divided, politically speaking, but came together under the banner of pro-life and traditional marriage movements. Now Trump’s presidency has divided Catholics and evangelicals, especially in regard to immigration. The immigration issue has become a priority concern among Catholics, particularly in California, which has become a battleground state over policies related to sanctuary cities. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez told NPR: “Mystics and missionaries, martyrs and immigrants, refugees and exiles—they came from everywhere to share their gifts and make this country what she was meant to be.” Several California counties have joined Department of Justice eﬀorts to overturn laws in sanctuary cities that the DOJ considers an aﬀront to the Administration’s plans to increase border security. Evangelical leader Frank Graham told The Times, “You are beginning to see a groundswell of revolt out here. Orange County, San Diego County are beginning to take on Governor Brown. It’s good for Christians to capitalize on that. So yeah, we could help turn the tide.”
Hawaii guv signs bill banning conversion therapy Hawaii Gov. David Ige late last week signed into law a bill that bans so-called conversion therapy for minors. “Sexual orientation is not an illness to be ‘cured’ — we accept you just the way you are,” said Ige in a tweet that included a picture of him signing the bill. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griﬃn in a statement praised Ige. “So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is a dangerous and inhumane form of child abuse that has no basis in science and is uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization,” said Griﬃn. “We thank the many advocates, allies, parents and survivors who spoke out against this abusive practice and urged their elected oﬃcials to adopt these crucial protections.” Mathew Shurka — a gay man with the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Born Perfect campaign who underwent conversion therapy when he was 20 years old — is among those who testiﬁed in support of the bill in the Hawaii State Legislature. Shurka on Friday in a statement said he “could not be happier that Hawaii has taken this important step to protect the health and safety of its LGBTQ youth from this terrible practice.” Ige signed the bill 10 days after Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan enacted a bill that bans conversion therapy for minors in his state. D.C., Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington also ban conversion therapy for minors. A bill that would ban the widely discredited practice for minors in New Hampshire is currently awaiting Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s signature. The California Assembly last month approved a bill that would classify conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice in the state. MICHAEL K. LAVERS
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Blade returns to Cuba By MICHAEL K. LAVERS firstname.lastname@example.org HAVANA — Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), which Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, directs, organized a series of events last month in Havana and in the city of Pinar del Río that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. LGBTI activists who work independently of Mariela Castro and CENESEX in Havana and in the provinces of Artemisa and Villa Clara are among those with whom the Washington Blade spoke while in Cuba in May. This trip took place less than a month after the Cuban National Assembly selected Miguel Díaz-Canel to succeed Raúl Castro as the country’s president. President Trump last June reinstated some of the travel and trade restrictions that former President Obama lifted in 2014 when he sought to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba. A boy wears a rainbow ﬂag around his body before a march commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia began in Havana on May 12, 2018. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Part of an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia exhibit in Pinar del Río, Cuba, that the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) organized. Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, directs CENESEX. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
VIOLETA CARDOSO PÉREZ, second from right, and her partner, ISABEL, second from left, attend an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia march in Havana on May 12, 2018, that the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) organized. Cardoso last October received custody of her late daughter’s three children who she is raising with her partner. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
A girl records a portion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia march in Havana on May 12, 2018. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Participants in a march that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia gather outside El Mejunje, an LGBT-friendly cultural center in Santa Clara, Cuba, on May 15, 2018.
A performer takes part in an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia march in Pinar del Río, Cuba, on May 17, 2018. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Spectators on a balcony watch the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia march in Havana on May 12, 2018, the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) organized. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
A participant in an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia march in Havana on May 12, 2018, that the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), organized holds a picture that reads, “Gyms free of homophobia.” WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
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D.C. candidates grapple with issue of decriminalizing prostitution CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01
Activists Alliance. Ten of the 26 candidates running in the primary did not return the GLAA questionnaire and their position on decriminalization couldn’t immediately be determined. None of the 10 who didn’t return the questionnaire are incumbents and nearly all are lesser known candidates who political observers say are not expected to win their races for Council or mayor. D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-AtLarge), long-shot mayoral candidate James Butler (D), and Ward 1 Council candidate and former D.C. Superior Court Judge Lori Parker (D) were the only candidates responding to the questionnaire that unequivocally said that they oppose Grosso’s decriminalization bill. Among the eight candidates expressing unequivocal support for the Grosso bill were Council member Anita Bonds (D-AtLarge) and Ward 1 Council candidate Kent Boese (D), who’s gay. Gay Libertarian Party activist Martin Moulton, who’s running for mayor, stated in his questionnaire response that he favors the full legalization of adult sex work. He also called for expunging the arrest records of all non-violent adult sex workers and customers while committing to “vigorously and thoroughly” prosecuting all forms of child and adult sex traﬃcking. “Only by legalizing sex work will private peaceful/non-violent/regulated business owners and entrepreneurs be free to create humane, safe and sanitary spaces for adult sex work,” Moulton stated in his questionnaire response. Longtime community activist Ed Lazere (D), who’s running against Mendelson in the primary, also expressed support for the Grosso bill. “We should not jail people who have turned to sex work, especially because discrimination and exclusion have prevented many from supporting themselves in the formal economy,” he said. GLAA is among several local LGBT and progressive organizations that joined forces to create the Sex Worker Advocates Coalition to lobby for passage of the Grosso bill, called the Reducing Criminalization to Improve Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2017. GLAA President Guillaume Bagal, who works as a health care advocate for D.C.’s WhitmanWalker Health, said the current criminalization of sex work has had an adverse impact on some segments of the LGBT community. “GLAA has opposed criminalization of sex work for many years now, with the understanding that these laws disproportionately impact groups that are already facing discrimination, especially people of color, gay and trans people, immigrants, and people with criminal convictions,” Bagal said at the time Grosso introduced his bill last October. The Grosso bill would repeal all current
Mayor MURIEL BOWSER did not state a deﬁnitive position on the Grosso bill to decriminalize prostitution and instead seeks ‘alternatives to incarceration.’ WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
D.C. laws that call for criminal penalties for commercial sex engaged in by consenting adults. It would cover sex workers and their customers. Grosso and the bill’s supporters say the legislation “absolutely” would leave in place all laws that make it illegal to engage in human traﬃcking or to force or coerce someone to engage in prostitution against their will. In her response to the questionnaire, Bowser did not give a deﬁnitive answer to GLAA’s question to mayoral candidates on whether she would sign or veto the Grosso bill if it were approved by the Council. “The issue of commercial sex, sex traﬃcking, and prostitution in general is highly complicated, generates a lot of emotional responses, and requires careful consideration,” Bowser stated in her response to the questionnaire. “While the bill to decriminalize prostitution has not been scheduled for a Council hearing, I would support alternatives to incarceration for individuals arrested for soliciting or engaging in sex work,” she said. “Several other cities have created arrest diversion programs for sex workers that focus on their personal needs, such as housing, mental and behavioral health, treatments, addiction services, and stable employment,” Bowser said. “These are options that merit consideration for the District,” she continued, adding, “But we must ensure a citywide conversation that engages sex workers, advocates, health experts, human traﬃcking experts, and our residents.” She concluded by saying the city must continue to identify and prosecute anyone engaged in human traﬃcking or forcing individuals, especially minors, to engage in sex work without their consent. In his questionnaire response opposing the Grosso bill’s provision calling for decriminalization of sex work, Mendelson points out that under his leadership the Council previously has signiﬁcantly decreased the penalty for the ﬁrst-time arrest of sex workers. Mendelson said, “there is a great deal of collateral crime associated with commercial sex work,” adding, “Now is not the time” for full decriminalization.
He said he does support a provision in the Grosso bill that would create a task force to study ways to address the city’s response to commercial sex work with the aim of improving the lives of sex workers. Ward 1 Council member Nadeau, who’s being challenged by Boese, said that while she supports decriminalization for sex workers she wants it to remain illegal to be a sex worker’s customer, a position that raised concern among sex worker advocates. “I support decriminalizing sex work, and I believe I will support this bill,” she said in her response to the GLAA questionnaire. “I just need to ensure that it does not inadvertently make it harder to identify and prosecute the actual criminals – the Johns and Pimps,” she said. “There must be a mechanism to gather information about them through the testimony of sex workers themselves,” she added. “I’ll work with my colleagues to ensure this legislation moves forward with all those things in consideration so we can prioritize the support of this vulnerable population while also creating a mechanism for targeting actual criminals,” she concluded. Cyndee Clay, executive director of the local sex worker advocacy group HIPS, said HIPS and other groups advocating for the Grosso bill would not support an eﬀort to change the bill to retain criminalization for the customers of sex workers. Clay said HIPS and other members of the Sex worker Advocates Coalition who helped Grosso draft his bill speciﬁcally did not “suggest that we decriminalize the selling side of prostitution and still criminalize the buying side.” Doing that would harm rather than help sex workers, she said. “It doesn’t increase safety for them. It doesn’t reduce stigma. It creates very problematic relationships between them and their clients who are not violent or abusive.” Added Clay, “We still ﬁrmly believe there are laws that are on the books that can help stop exploitation, that can help stop coercion, and we should use those laws as opposed to going after a consensual sexual exchange among adults.” In addition to Bonds, two other candidates competing for her at-large
Council seat expressed support on the GLAA questionnaire for the Grosso bill. They are Democrat Jeremiah Lowery and StatehoodGreen Party candidate David Schwartzman. Also expressing support for the bill is Democratic mayoral contender Earnest Johnson and Ward 6 Democratic candidate Lisa Hunter, who is challenging Allen for the Ward 6 Council seat in the primary. “Unlike my opponent, I fully support the Reducing Criminalization to Improve Community Health and Safety Amendment Act of 2017,” Hunter said in her questionnaire response. “It is long past time that we remove criminal penalties for engaging in commercial sex, and let sex workers control their own ﬁnancial regulations and choices,” she said. Allen chairs the Council committee that must approve the Grosso bill before it can come before the full Council. “I support the decriminalization of commercial sex work and I believe that the District should begin community conversations about the impact of the criminalization of commercial sex work on District residents, and particularly LGBTQ residents and residents of color,” Allen said in his questionnaire response. Allen said he has concerns about some of the provisions in the Grosso bill, including concerns he said have been raised “within the sex work and antitraﬃcking communities about some of its provisions having unintended and negative consequences.” He did not elaborate on what those consequences would be. But he added, “I think there should be further conversations around the bill’s proposals to decriminalize the solicitation of sex, pandering, and brothel operations, and the eﬀect decriminalization might have on survivors of sex traﬃcking and on sex workers.” Bagal, the GLAA president, said he had mixed reactions to the candidates’ responses to the group’s questionnaire pertaining to the Grosso bill. “I was pleased to see that many were open to sex work law reforms, but still disappointed at the conﬂation of sex work and traﬃcking displayed in many responses, and the lack of urgency in addressing the criminalization of individuals doing what they can to survive,” Bagal told the Blade. D.C. police statistics related to prostitution related arrests in the city show that sex traﬃcking associated with minors or adults is rare. The police data show that out of a total of 2,685 prostitution related arrests made in a ﬁve-year period in D.C. between 2013 and 2017, only eight were linked to sex traﬃcking of any kind. The full responses of all the candidates that returned the GLAA questionnaire on the issue of decriminalization of sex work can be viewed on the group’s election project page at glaa.org.
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Ros-Lehtinen talks retirement, slams Trump’s military trans ban CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01
of Representatives in 1982 and was a member of the Florida Senate until 1989. Ros-Lehtinen is the ﬁrst Latina oﬃcial elected to Congress. She currently represents Florida’s 27th congressional district that includes portions of Miami-Dade County and most of the city of Miami Beach. Ros-Lehtinen in April 2017 announced she will retire from Congress at the end of her term. She did not vote for Trump and pointed out to the Blade that she doesn’t “support him now.” Ros-Lehtinen nevertheless stressed Trump did not factor into her decision to leave Congress. “It was just time to go,” she said. “Like the Bible says, to everything there is a season and this was the time to say OK, let’s try something new.” Florida state Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach), who is gay, and University of Miami President Donna Shalala, the former Health and Human Services secretary during the Clinton administration, are among the Democrats running for Ros-Lehtinen’s seat. Republican candidates include Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and María Elena Salazar. Ros-Lehtinen described Richardson as “a great guy” who is running “a great grassroots campaign.” She nevertheless told the Blade she will support the Republican who wins the Aug. 28 primary. “The voters have a wonderful array of folks,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “They’re all great candidates.” Ros-Lehtinen in recent years has emerged as one of Congress’ most vocal supporters of LGBT rights. Ros-Lehtinen in 2012 became the ﬁrst Republican member of Congress to publicly support marriage rights for same-sex couples. She is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights law. The U.S. House last June nearly unanimously approved Ros-Lehtinen’s resolution that condemns the crackdown against gay men in Chechnya. Ros-Lehtinen told the Blade that she has no plans to leave the Republican Party. She added, however, the GOP will lose the support of young people and women if it continues to oppose “equality, fairness” and nondiscrimination eﬀorts. “We are in danger of losing the women’s vote and young people’s vote,” said RosLehtinen. “The issue of equality is the cornerstone of getting these folks back.” LGBT issues are also personal for RosLehtinen and her family. Her son, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, is trans. Ros-Lehtinen and her husband, Dexter Lehtinen, in 2016 appeared in a public service announcement with HengLehtinen that SAVE, a Miami-based LGBT
Florida State Rep. DAVID RICHARDSON (D-Miami Beach) is among those who are running for the seat that retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) will vacate at the end of her term.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Letinen criticized MARIELA CASTRO, daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, and says there’s no real equality in Cuba.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID RICHARDSON FOR CONGRESS
advocacy group, produced. Ros-Lehtinen said it was “a shock” when her son came out, but “we dealt with it as a family.” Ros-Lehtinen described him as a “good man with a lot of integrity.” “Everything is getting a lot better, but it takes guts to come out,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “It’s not easy, so congratulations to him because it just takes a lot of courage.”
There is ‘no real equality’ in Cuba
Ros-Lehtinen and her family ﬂed Cuba after the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. Ros-Lehtinen remains a vocal critic of the Cuban government, even though Miguel DíazCanel last month became the country’s ﬁrst president from outside the Castro family in nearly 60 years. Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro who spearheads LGBT-speciﬁc issues as the director of the country’s National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), during a May 4 press conference in Havana said her organization is planning to submit proposals to the National Assembly that would extend marriage and other rights to LGBT Cubans. The press conference took place ahead of CENESEX-organized marches and other events in Havana and in the city of Pinar del Río that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Ros-Lehtinen was quick to dismiss Mariela Castro and her organization’s eﬀorts, noting gay men were among those who the Cuban government
sent to labor camps in the years after the revolution. Ros-Lehtinen also pointed out the Cuban government until 1993 forcibly quarantined people with HIV/ AIDS in state-run sanitaria. Fidel Castro in 2010 apologized for the camps, known by the Spanish acronym UMAPs, during an interview with a Mexican newspaper. Cuba in 2015 became the ﬁrst country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Cuba since 2008 has oﬀered free sex-reassignment surgeries through its national health care system, but only a few dozen people have been able to receive them. Mariela Castro, who is a member of the National Assembly, voted against a 2013 proposal that sought to add sexual orientation to Cuba’s labor law because it did not include gender identity. “They had so much backlash that now she is the one who wraps herself in the gay ﬂag . . . and says that Cuba is very forward thinking and very accepting,” said Ros-Lehtinen, referring to Mariela Castro. “There’s no real equality (in Cuba,)” added Ros-Lehtinen. Ros-Lehtinen spoke with the Blade three days after a gunman killed 10 people at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. She said Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), in March “deﬁed” the National Riﬂe Association after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., when he signed a bill that raised the minimum age to buy a gun in the state from 18 to 21 and banned the sale of bump stocks.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
Ros-Lehtinen said she supports “commonsense” gun control eﬀorts, including “red ﬂag” laws that allow authorities to temporarily conﬁscate guns from people who show signs they may be about to carry out an act of violence. The Blade asked Ros-Lehtinen whether Scott, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and elected oﬃcials in general have done enough to address the issue. “Shame on all of us,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “I’m not throwing anybody under the bus. We just haven’t done enough.” Ros-Lehtinen spoke with the Blade nearly two years after a gunman killed 49 people inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi faced widespread criticism in the days after the massacre when they did not speciﬁcally mention the LGBT community in their public comments. Ros-Lehtinen told the Blade it is “a shame that Pulse did not get much attention in terms of action” around the issue of gun control as the shooting at Marjory Douglas did. “Was it the age of the victims,” asked Ros-Lehtinen, referring to the bill that Scott signed in March. “I don’t know what it is. And then Texas is not getting any attention. I don’t know what happens with certain events that capture people’s attention.” Ros-Lehtinen said she is unsure what she will do once she leaves Congress, but she told the Blade she would like to become a consultant or teach. Ros-Lehtinen added she hopes to remain engaged in international aﬀairs with a speciﬁc focus on Latin America and the Middle East. “It’s part of my DNA,” she said. “What happens in the world interests me greatly.”
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J U N E 01, 2018 • 17
Keep your promise to protect each other.
Trans brains more like gender they ID with: study WASHINGTON — A pair of new studies suggests that the brains of transgender people are more like those of people from the gender group they identify with than people belonging to the gender group they were assigned at birth, ThinkProgress reports. The ﬁndings — which held true even for children who have not yet begun puberty — further validate the legitimacy of transgender identities according to some, although many trans people and their allies expressed concern that such studies can do more harm than good. Dr. Julie Bakker from the University of Liège in Belgium presented the research this week at the annual meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology. Brain scans of children and adolescents studied— some of whom had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria — showed that the brains of transgender and cisgender boys responded similarly to various stimuli.The same was true for the brains of transgender and cisgender girls, ThinkProgress reports. Bakker suggested that brain scans could someday be used as a tool to help identify young people who might have gender dysphoria. “The earlier one can start with the treatment, including puberty inhibition … followed by cross-sex hormones, the better the outcome,” she told the online magazine Inverse. Trans activists and allies, however, have concerns. While the results could help chip away the arguments anti-trans conservatives make, there’s a danger, some say, that it could backﬁre. Some cite how relatively little sound data did to change views on lesbians and gays; people were much more likely to come around after knowing a gay person, ThinkProgress reports.
LG teens less stressed by romance; bi teens more so WASHINGTON — Teen romance can help lesbian and gay teens feel less mentally stressed and appears to work diﬀerently in LG teens than it does for their straight counterparts where studies have found it more often adds distress rather than alleviates it according to ﬁndings from new research published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and reported on by the Washington Post and other outlets. But the study of LGBT youth also showed romance can make bisexual youth feel worse. Too few transgender youth were included in the study to determine the eﬀects of romance on this group, the Post reports. For gay or lesbian young people, however, being in a relationship can be a huge source of support. Researchers asked 248 sexual minority youth in Chicago about their romantic relationships, level of psychological distress and frequency of stigmatization, starting when they were between 16-20 and then following up over ﬁve years. Lesbian and gay youth were 17 percent less distressed when they were in relationships than when they were not in relationships, the study found. But bisexuals were actually 19 percent more distressed in relationships, the Post reports.
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Gay men in rural areas of states such as Arkansas and West Virginia avoid getting tested for HIV, a vestige of the days, researchers say, when being gay was treated as a mental illness and interactions with doctors were fraught with stress, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. ADVERTISING Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met last PROOF #1 ISSUE DATE: 10.26.12 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS (email@example.com) month to discuss new ﬁndings. One survey in rural West Virginia showed that, despite the explosion of opioid use in the nation and the use of needles in drug REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of abuse, HIV is more commonly spread among men through sexual contact, the the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts REVISIONS omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is Democrat-Gazette reports. responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users REDESIGN can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or TEXT REVISIONS any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any Arkansas health care providers say men in Arkansas who have sex with men copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, postpone HIV testing because they don’t want people to know they’re gay. or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE NO REVISIONS washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contr liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred “In the southern states, people who are diagnosed with HIV often go to AIDS within washington blade newspaper. This includes but is n by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations payment and insertion schedule. and warranties. a year,” said Dr. Naveen Patil, the medical director for the Arkansas Department of Health’s infectious diseases branch, the Democrat-Gazette article notes. Cases of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas jumped about 46 percent between 2012M UR I E L BOWS E R .CO M 2016 — from 275-402, according to data from the department. Patil told the Democrat-Gazette that in Arkansas, HIV transmission falls in line / T E AM M UR I E L D C with the West Virginia study; it is mostly passed by men who have sex with men. “HIV is still perceived in most of the conservative churches in Arkansas as a punishment @M UR I E L BOWS E R and that the person has made choices and decisions that’s put them in that situation,” said Danny Harris, an outreach coordinator for ARCare, according to the Democrat-Gazette article. “And there’s a fear and a lack of knowledge of how it’s transmitted.” Paid for by Reelect Muriel Bowser Our Mayor, PO Box 90668, Washington, DC 20090. Jodi Ovca, Treasurer.
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In defense of trans service members I was discharged for being gay and am ready to speak out — lives depend on it By BRAD PEACOCK This past year, we have all seen the disgraceful instances of discrimination emanating from this president and his White House. One such instance of division has now come to fruition as President Trump has moved to ban most transgender troops from serving in the military. This immediately brings me back to the pain and shame I felt when I was discharged from the military for being gay. I was 18 years old when, without my parents’ knowledge, I voluntarily enlisted to serve my country. I remember that day vividly, as I couldn’t have been prouder to be following in my grandfather’s footsteps, a man I idolized and who also served in the Air Force. I grew up in a poor family, in a rural area in the southwest corner of Vermont. Like many young men and women in my community, college was not an option for me, and so I thought my greatest possibility for a higher education and brighter future would be through the military. My plan was to serve my time, and utilize the beneﬁts of the GI Bill, thus fulﬁlling two dreams: service to my country and eventually graduating from college. Oﬀ to basic training I went, where I was under no illusion of the diﬃcult transition ahead. I remember how scared I was that ﬁrst night, ushered oﬀ the plane in Texas, placed on buses in complete silence until we arrived on base. Then nothing but yelling, and picking up and putting down our bags until we moved in total unison as a team. I won’t bore you with more details of training, but suﬃce it to say it was a rapid period of growth. In that short time, I gained conﬁdence and purpose, while connecting with my fellow brothers and sisters from all across the nation—every race, religion, and culture coming together to grow as a team and defend this country. I had proven I could make it on my own. Directly after basic, I went to tech school for my security forces education. During this time, I began to change. What
I had suppressed for so long began knocking on my soul. My service, my brotherhood, my bond to the people around me grew stronger, yet I couldn’t conﬁde in anyone, because if I did, everything I had worked so hard for would be taken away. I started feeling depressed. I graduated tech school, but before heading to Shaw Air Force Base for my ﬁrst tour, I was granted 30 days of well-earned leave. I was so proud to have earned the security forces badge and beret, and I remember arriving at the airport feeling three inches taller in my dress blues, with a sense of accomplishment I had never felt before.
my government. There would be no GI Bill for me, no support system; there would be no hero’s welcome home this time. Only lots of questions, concerns, lies, and so much shame it almost made me pull the trigger and end my life. How could I face my family, my friends, my community, as a failure? How many brave men, women and trans people have taken their lives because of the shame our government has placed upon them, for simply being who they are? Now, after 18 years of carrying around this pain, I am speaking out to ensure no trans soldier will end their life because
I will not sit idly by while this president and many Republican members of Congress attempt to shame trans people who have signed up to make the ultimate sacriﬁce. I was greeted at the airport with a hero’s welcome by my entire family with a huge sign that read, “Welcome home, Brad! We are so proud of you.” Back in Vermont, I remember feeling like I was contributing to something larger for both my country and community. When I arrived in South Carolina, things quickly deteriorated. I became further depressed and most nights couldn’t sleep. I would wake up at 1, 2, 3 in the morning, and go out to the track and run, sometimes for hours, just to suppress the pain. Here I was, surrounded by people who genuinely cared for me, in a stable environment for one of the ﬁrst times in my life, and having to hide who I was. I ﬁnally started seeing a therapist on base, and my life changed forever. I came out as a gay soldier. The reaction was swift. Because of the disastrous policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I was released from the military for being gay, though they labeled it an “anti-social personality disorder.” Discharged from the family I had created, and for simply being who I was, rejected and sent home, I felt like a disgrace. After volunteering to serve, after raising my right hand and swearing to defend, protect and give my life for this country, I was discriminated against by
they feel rejected by this government. I will not sit idly by while this president and many Republican members of Congress attempt to shame trans people who have signed up to make the ultimate sacriﬁce. I will not sit by to watch this disgraceful, disqualifying discrimination happen again. Lives are at stake. Now is our time, America, to stand strong and rise united, embracing each other for all of our diﬀerences. Now is the time to open our arms and strengthen our communities, so that we all have a place to belong and call home, where we are celebrated and loved for exactly who we are. I know ﬁrsthand the power of an open and loving community, where people still wave, still stop to say hello, in an acknowledgment that you exist in the world—you matter. These are the connections and simple acts of kindness that can and do save lives. I know this to be true, because my community opened their arms and helped save mine.
BRAD PEACOCK is a U.S. Air Force veteran. For the past 12 years, he has worked as a farmer at Clear Brook Farm. He lives with his husband in Shaftsbury, Vt., and is running as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate.
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JUNE 01, 2018 • 19
Amid a regime’s mayhem, a Hallelujah Living truth deﬁes the delirium around us
RICHARD J. ROSENDALL is a writer and activist. Reach him at email@example.com.
That great American legal mind, Rudolph Giuliani, explained last week why his client would be risking a “perjury trap” by talking to special counsel Robert Mueller: “Truth is relative. They may have a diﬀerent version of the truth than we do.” I’m actually prepared to accept that after watching Rudy in recent weeks. The problem with this regime is not mere ﬂights of fancy but attempts to palm oﬀ counterfeit reality on credulous voters. This con artistry has worked better than anyone expected. Increasingly we see people who are not clear on their concepts: followers of Christ who oppose welcoming strangers; centrists who support authoritar-
ian measures; legislators who obstruct justice in the name of oversight; and patriots who cannot tolerate a silent protest by black athletes during the National Anthem. Journalist Touré tweeted on May 25, “What if NFL players stand for the anthem with their arms crossed in the Wakanda salute? Is that ok or disrespectful? Or will rich, old, white men decide what’s disrespectful as we go along?” The kneeling players are protesting racism and police brutality. In so doing they honor the values of justice and equality that our ﬂag and anthem are supposed to represent. Anyone who refuses to respect them for what they are doing is no diﬀerent from Christian supremacists who wave the Bible in the air but refuse to heed its wisdom on helping in Matthew 25. The America the team owners honor is neither great nor good but a petty, intolerant, hypocritical bully. A government that separates immigrant parents from their children, and doesn’t know whether 1,475 missing migrant children have been taken oﬀ-grid by their families or are being traﬃcked, is not prolife. An administration so obsessed with controlling women that it would decimate the Title X health care network is not committed to public health. An education sec-
retary who attacks church-state separation is not true to her oath to defend the Constitution. A Department of Justice that rolls back protections for transgender prisoners is neither just nor humane. A president who woos a dictator one day and threatens nuclear war the next is no candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, and no statesman when his foreign policy centers on lucrative business deals for himself. Think of it: our own government is pulling small children away screaming from their mothers in order to categorize them as unaccompanied minors. John Kelly says this is not cruel, but a “tough deterrent.” Ask yourself, who are the animals here? Resistance is not just about blocking noxious policies and registering voters. We must look past our struggles to see the world we want to build. Which brings me to Sheku Kanneh-Mason. The teenage cellist from Nottingham moved millions on May 19 when he played three selections at the royal wedding at Windsor, including the Schubert “Ave Maria.” Like Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon on love, the Kingdom Choir singing “Stand By Me,” guests who blended old world and new, and the bride’s mother Doria Ragland, the soulful performance by Kanneh-Mason conveyed grace and dignity
with an undercurrent of rebellion to the heirs of a bloody if faded empire. No amount of progressive symbolism can make a powerless prince’s nuptials a weighty matter. Still, the interracial wedding in St. George’s Chapel felt redemptive. Similarly, Kanneh-Mason’s 2017 recording of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is a balm in sordid times. Like newlyweds’ love, it celebrates our ability to endure despite our losses. The recent resurgence of racial poison alone is long and disturbing. Murders by police who continue to act like slave patrols. The suggestion by our president that American athletes who protest injustice should be deported. The blend of privilege and contempt that prompts a white woman to call police on black barbecuers in a public park. Yet these heartless, hateful acts will not conquer a people who journeyed from slaves building the White House to a ﬁrst lady and her daughters residing in it. The young black virtuoso, his very skin against a classical instrument signifying deﬁance and generations nurtured to keep their sights raised, says: for all the sorrow you have brought us, we are not defeated. Hallelujah. Copyright © 2018 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.
I N S IDE LGB T W A S HING TON
Democratic unity on Nov. 6 is crucial Interparty disagreements must take backseat this year
PETER ROSENSTEIN is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.
Democrats will keep losing elections if we don’t accept after a primary that we must unite and enthusiastically endorse and vote for the Democrat who will be on the general election ballot. If we learned nothing else from the 2016 presidential election it should be that dithering for a month after the primary before making an endorsement; allowing your supporters to believe it might be OK to vote for a third party or stay home in protest; and not getting your ego under control will all lead to a Republican winning whether it is for the state legislature, the governor’s mansion,
or Congress. We Democrats, conservatives, moderates, progressives or far left will always ﬁght over which road to take to our destination. If we listen carefully to each other we ﬁnd we have many similar goals all radically diﬀerent than those of the current Republican Party. We want racial justice, economic equality, good and affordable healthcare for everyone, and quality public education and aﬀordable college no matter where you live or your socio-economic status. We want a world at peace and a prosperous United States where everyone shares in the prosperity. Our ﬁghts are often over the path to these goals and how quickly we can reach them. If we don’t vote for a Democrat in every possible race for state legislature, governor, and Congress in 2018 we are assured not only won’t we reach any of our goals but we will continue on the path away from them that Republicans have us on. Primaries are the place for our ﬁghts. But if we are to replace Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), put a Democrat in the governor’s mansion in Georgia, and pick up congressional seats in Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and a host of other states, the internecine ﬁghts must be put on hold for the general election. To me it’s a waste to primary Gov.
Andrew Cuomo in New York, but you may think supporting Cynthia Nixon is crucial, so be it. But on Sept. 14 we must all join hands and support the winner and do so with no reservations. We saw how important that was in Virginia last year when Tom Perriello immediately and wholeheartedly endorsed Ralph Northam after a tough primary and helped elect a Democratic governor. Nov. 6, 2018 may well be the most important election in our lifetime. We are ﬁghting for our democracy. It is crucial we get people to the polls. The founding fathers understood that to build a lasting and prosperous nation, it would require compromise. They set out a blueprint for a government, our Constitution, with checks and balances. We know they didn’t get it all right from the start as there are 27 amendments. They anticipated that and provided a way to do it in Article V. So today we have two viable national parties in the United States — Democrats and Republicans — with a host of smaller ones trying to inﬂuence them. We have a few independents elected but to be eﬀective they choose one of the two major parties to caucus with. In 2019, the agenda in the United States Congress, and state legislatures, will be controlled by one of the major parties. The simple
fact is if you believe in the principles of the Democratic Party and in the general election you don’t vote or vote for a third party, then you are helping to elect Republicans. I may not agree with Joe Manchin, the Democrat West Virginians sent to the Senate, or Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat North Dakotans sent there, but they are both miles above the Republicans they ran against. They also will vote for a Democratic majority leader, giving us the chance to stop Mitch McConnell (RKen.) from being Majority Leader again. In my lifetime as a Democrat I have yet to see where the Democrat I don’t like isn’t better than the Republican he/she ran against. Every positive step forward our country has taken happened when Democrats were in control. Voting rights, civil rights, women’s rights, the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, the rights of Dreamers, Medicare and Medicaid, the Aﬀordable Care Act and more. Those are only some of the reasons Democratic unity on Nov. 6 is so crucial. If we truly care we must set aside our diﬀerences on that day. Your candidate losing the primary cannot stop you from working your heart out to get everyone to the polls to vote for the Democrat on the general election ballot. If we all do that we can, and will, win.
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SANDRA BERNHARD says ﬁnding a new stylist nearly two years ago was ‘a game changer.’
PHOTO BY JORDAN GRAHAM
Scintillatingly Sandra Stand-up legend on ‘Sandemonium,’ getting shade from RuPaul, the ‘Roseanne’ reboot and her new role on ‘Pose’ By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO firstname.lastname@example.org These are dark days and Sandra Bernhard knows it. “Are you gender neutral? Come face to face with a white supremacist? Swam through a ﬂood? Run from a ﬁre? Observed a chunk of the polar ice cap ﬂoating away? …,” the promos for her show “Sandemonium” read. If so, well, Sandy is here to help. She returns to Washington next week with a performance presented by the Washington Blade at Shakespeare
Theatre Company. She spoke to the Blade by phone May 18 from her home in New York City. Her comments have been slightly edited for length. WASHINGTON BLADE: You were just in D.C. recently, weren’t you? SANDRA BERNHARD: Exactly a week ago, actually. BLADE: Where did you play? BERNHARD: I was at the City Winery,
a new venue and it was fantastic. It was packed and the audience was terriﬁc. We had a great time. I hadn’t been to D.C. in a while and now I’m excited to come back again. I’ll be doing a lot of diﬀerent material than I did at the City Winery. All the songs will be diﬀerent and there’ll be a lot of material I didn’t do at City Winery plus a few little gay Pride surprises. BLADE: This is “Sandemonium,” right?
BERNHARD: Well, that’s just a title, you know. I put a new show together every year at Joe’s Pub so I always have a new title, but essentially I’m always writing new material because of doing my (Sirius XM radio) show “Sandyland” every day, I’m constantly curating new material so it’s nice to keep things really fresh and there’ll be some of that and some newer stuﬀ too. It’s always a work in progress. CONTINUES ON PAGE 44
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LENNIE CARTER How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I came out on Sept. 30, 1974 at the Gay Activist Alliance at Ohio State University. It was the most liberating experience of my life. Telling my parents was the most diﬃcult. I never actually had that talk, so we danced around it until I met my ﬁrst partner in August 1975.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO email@example.com Lennie Carter is a big-time runner — and that’s an understatement. Though at 65, he’s slowed a bit (“I run about 25 miles per week, about half of what I was doing when I was much younger”), he’s completed 35 marathons and plans to run in Paris in August. The D.C. Front Runners started a Pride race in 1981 with 27 runners. It was formally organized in 2013. The sixth annual event will be Friday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St., S.E.). It’s sold out. About 1,500 runners/walkers are expected. Full details at dcfrpriderun.com. “I love to run,” the Kingston, Ohio, native says. “I love to manage events, I’m a people person, I support LGBT causes. It feels really good to give back to the community.” The Pride Run is considered the kick-oﬀ event to Capital Pride. The race organizers partner with LGBT organizations to provide ﬁnancial support and recognition. The Washington Blade is a media sponsor for the event. Last year, proceeds of $30,000 were given to gay charities. Carter was the volunteer coordinator three previous years and ran in years two and three. This year he’s the race co-director with Grace Thompson. He’s been on the board of D.C. Front Runners for 10 years. Carter retired in 2015 from Georgetown University where he was former associate vice president of ﬁnancial operations. He and husband Charles Divan have been together since 1997; they wed in 2013. After 20 years in Baltimore, Carter moved to Washington in 1995. He enjoys running, genealogy, gardening and church in his free time. He’s minister of hospitality at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
Serving Our Community for 35 years
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Who’s your LGBT hero? There are a number of LGBT individuals I respect, but I do not have an LGBT hero. What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? My husband and I only go to the D.C. Front Runners happy hours. I enjoy Town and Nellie’s. Describe your dream wedding. We had it — an Episcopalian Mass at St. Margaret’s. We’re Catholic, so this was the closest we could get to a Catholic ceremony. I had a sister and nephew attend but I would have liked to have had more family there. That was the only negative. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Helping people, something I learned doing with my Dad when we’d visit elderly neighbors every Sunday morning, helping them with chores and shopping trips. I have continued supporting those in need throughout my life. What historical outcome would you change? More programs to help people get back on their feet and more programs for the elderly. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Seeing Cher perform at the Ohio State Fair in 1974. I walked up to the stage to watch — no security. On what do you insist? Manners. If someone is rude, I let them know. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? It probably had something to do with family. I am a great great uncle to two nephews and a niece. If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Never Stop Learning.” I was raised on a dairy farm. My parents both had eighthgrade educations, but insisted we all ﬁnish high school. I was the ﬁrst in the family to get an undergraduate and graduate degree.
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? Nothing. I am who I am. I admit that being straight would have been an easier path growing up. When I came out, adoption was not available for gay couples and I love kids. My ﬁrst partner had four kids. He, his ex-wife and I worked together as parents. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? If being a Christian counts as beyond the physical world, that would be my answer. Charlie and I are devout Catholics (and yes this has created conﬂict). I converted to Catholicism when I was 46. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Keep doing what you are doing. I am often overwhelmed with the progress that has been made since I came out in 1974. I was sitting in the doctor’s oﬃce waiting for a physical when the Supreme Court ruling broke. I almost cried. The doctor asked why my blood pressure was so high and I explained. He said, “You mean you could not marry before?” What would you walk across hot coals for? If it were to save someone’s life, then the list would be quite long. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? All gay men like to wear women’s clothes, are promiscuous or are great designers. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “Making Love” with Harry Hamlin. What’s the most overrated social custom? So much is overrated, especially social media. People need to learn boundaries. What trophy or prize do you most covet? Charlie and I won the Team D.C. Horizon Award. A close second is my ﬁrst Boston Marathon medal. What do you wish you’d known at 18? A career can wait. I would have traveled to Europe and sowed wild oats. I worked throughout college, graduated in June 1975, got a job and started a relationship in August 1975 and stayed in the relationship until 1995. Why Washington? I love Washington. The city is diverse, most people are intellectually stimulating and outgoing.
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This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com Quixote / Giselle. Thru Jun 3. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. DanceAfrica 2018: Urban Virtuosos, Usuthu Arts Production & Faraﬁna Kan. Jun 1. KanKouran West African Dance Company & Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble. Jun 2. African Heritage Dancers & Drummers & Faraﬁna Kan Junior Company. Jun 2. Usuthu Arts Production, Sankofa Dance Theater, Soul in Motion Players. Jun 3. Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble & Ezibu Muntu African Dance. Jun 3. Dance Place. danceplace.org.
The Remains Thru Jun 17. Studio Theatre. studiotheatre.org.
Ten years after their historic wedding, Kevin and Theo host a dinner for their families. In their gorgeously renovated condo, they talk philosophy, overcook lasagna…and reveal the truth of their seemingly perfect relationship. A comedy about the tragedy of loving, starring Maulik Pancholy.
Titanic: The Untold Story Thru Dec 21. National Geographic. nglive.org.
Discover the surprising link between the 1985 discovery of the Titanic by oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Robert Ballard and a top secret Cold War mission in our new fascinating exhibition. A partnership with the National Archives and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, this exhibition showcases the untold history of this incredible discovery and the evolution of deep sea exploration.
Nile Rodgers & CHIC with Chaka Khan Jun 5. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org.
As the co-founder of CHIC, Grammy winner Nile Rodgers pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like “Le Freak,” and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times.”
Art Walk in the Park Thru Sep 7. Glen Echo Park. glenechopark.org.
Come join us for some refreshments while you walk around the park watching artists work. Along with the open studios, the Popcorn, Stone Tower, and Park View Galleries will be open as well. PHOTO COURTESY OF STUDIO THEATRE
THEATRE Botticelli in the Fire. Jun 2-Jun 24. Woolly Mammoth. woollymammoth.net. Broadway Center Stage: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Jun 6-Jun 10. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies. Thru Jun 3. The Vagrant Trilogy. Jun 6-Jul 1. Mosaic Theater Company at Atlas. mosaictheater.org. Saint Joan. Thru Jun 10. Folger Theatre. folger.edu. Shear Madness. Thru Sep 30. Kennedy Center. shearmadness.com.
SigWorks: Fortune Cookies for Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes by Dani Stoller. Jun 4. Girlfriend. Thru Jun 10. The Scottsboro Boys. Thru Jul 1. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org. The Invisible Hand. Thru Jun 10. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. Trayf. Thru Jun 24. Theater J. theaterj.org. Waitress. Thru Jun 3. National Theatre. thenationaldc.org. WIT Road Show: Interplay. Thru Jun 17. DC Arts Center. dcartscenter.org.
DANCE Ballet Nacional de Cuba: Don
100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence. Jun 2. National Philharmonic at Strathmore. nationalphilharmonic.org. Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Jun 2. Library of Congress. loc.gov. Carla Bley and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra: A Salute to Charlie Haden. Jun 1. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Chamber Music at Noon. Jun 7. Goethe-Institut. goethe.de. Concert: Bolcom, Debussy, Dvorak & Washington Saxophone Quartet (DC). Jun 3. Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association at Church of the Epiphany. wmpamusic.org. DC JazzFest. Jun 8-17. In venues throughout the DC. dcjazzfest.org. Herndon Festival. May 31-Jun 3. Historic downtown Herndon. herndonfestival.net. Jazz in the Garden: The US Army Blues Swamp Romp. Jun 1. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. John Prine with Margo Price. Jun 1. Classic Albums Live Presents: The Beatles - White Album. Jun 2. Jake Owen with Chris Janson and Jordan Davis. Jun 3. Alison Krauss with David Crosby and Friends. Jun 6. Fitz and the Tantrums and X Ambassadors with Mikky Ekko. Jun 7. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org. Kaleidoscope, Brian Falkowski. Jun 1. Dupont Underground. dupontunderground.org. Lenny & Friends. Jun 2-Jun 9. The Washington Chorus at Live! at 10th & G. thewashingtonchorus.org. Maritime Voices at the C&O Canal. Jun 2. Washington Revels at Great Falls Tavern. revelsdc.org. Roy Hargrove. Jun 5-Jun 10. DC JazzFest at Blues Alley. dcjazzfest.org. Space, the Next Frontier. Jun 1-Jun 2. Eschenbach conducts Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian’ Symphony / Walton’s Viola Concerto. Jun 7-Jun 9. NSO at Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org.
SummerSet DC: Meredith Eib | Aurora Layao | JusPaul. Jun 7. DCCAH at National Mall. dcarts.dc.gov.
MUSEUMS Dumbarton Oaks. Outside/IN: Martha Jackson Jarvis at Dumbarton Oaks. 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. Letters to Lyrics: Alexander Hamilton at the Library of Congress. Thru Aug 21. loc.gov. National Archives. Remembering Vietnam. Thru Jan 6. archivesfoundation.org. National Gallery of Art. Cézanne Portraits. Thru Jul 1. nga.gov. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Hung Liu In Print. Thru Jul 8. nmwa.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. Bridging the Americas: Community and Belonging from Panama to Washington, DC. Thru Jan 31. anacostia.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. In Memoriam: Tom Wolfe. Thru Jun 3. npg.si.edu.
GALLERIES DC Arts Center. Judging Me Judging You. Thru Aug 12. dcartscenter.org. District Architecture Center. reBirth::Washington DC 50 Years after 1968. Thru Jun 1. aiadac.com. gallery neptune & brown. Lois Dodd & Colleen Cox Two Painters: A Visual Dialogue. Thru Jun 2. galleryneptunebrown.com. Gallery Underground. Out of the Blue All-Member Exhibit. Jun 1-Jun 29. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Glen Echo Park. Inside the Garden Walls: Botanical Art by Anne Clippinger and Joan Ducore. Jun 1-Jun 30. glenechopark.org. Korean Cultural Center DC. Artistic Records exhibition. Jun 1-Jun 28. koreaculturedc.org. Strathmore. Jennifer Kahn Barlow. Thru Dec 1. strathmore.org. The Art League. Michael McSorley: ''Collections of Perceptions''. Jun 6-Jul 1. theartleague.org. Waverly Street Gallery. Waverly Street Gallery 25th Anniversary Arts Celebration Show. Thru Jun 2. waverlystreetgallery.com. Zenith Gallery. Journeys, Memories, and Dreams for the Future. Thru Jun 23. zenithgallery.com.
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Pride Month kicks oﬀ with plenty of events in D.C., Maryland and Virginia throughout June. Port City Brewing Company (3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, Va.) hosts Priday Night with AGLA on Friday, June 1 from 3-11 p.m. DJ Laura Lopez will spin tracks. There will be outdoor games and activities. A portion of sales will be donated to AGLA. Admission is free. For more information, visit portcitybrewing.com/the-brewery/events. Jackson 20 (480 King St., Alexandria, Va.) hosts Rainbow Doggy Happy Hour every Tuesday in June from 4-7 p.m. There will be pup-tinis and doggie treats for the dogs and happy hour cocktails for the owners. For more information, visit jackson20restaurant.com. CrossFit Hierarchy Ivy City (1516 Okie St., N.E.) hosts OUTWOD D.C., a charity workout event, on Saturday, June 2 from 10-11:30 a.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. No experience necessary. Proceeds will beneﬁt the OUT Foundation’s LGBTQ scholarship for young adults and trans athletes. Registration is $30. For more details, visit outwod.com/events/outdc18. The ﬁrst Reston Pride Festival takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Church (1625 Wiehle Ave., Reston, Va.) on Saturday, June 2 from 2-6 p.m. The family-friendly event will include 35 booths and exhibits, presentations from local political and faith leaders and performers. Mama Celeste will serve as emcee and also perform. For more information, visit uureston.org/reston-pride. The Latino GLBT History Project hosts La Fe: Belleza Latinx as part of D.C. Latinx Pride at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 2 from 5-7 p.m. There will be a bilingual panel moderated by Jose Gutierrez, founder of Latino History Project and D.C. Latinx Pride. Panelists will include Alexa Rodriguez from TransLatina, Gia Martinez from NOVASalud, Paty Hernandez from Casa Ruby, Ale Moz from La Clinica del Pueblo and Jesse Martinez from LULAC Lambda. Rev. Dwayne Johnson; Rev. Cathy Alexander; Nancy Cañas, president of the project; Ryan Bos, executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance; Rev. Jorge Delgado; Rev. Alberto Jose Najera; and Mr. D.C. Latinx Pride 2018 Benicio Arena Rodriguez, will also make appearances. Free admission. For details, visit facebook.com/latinoglbthistory. Whitman Walker Health hosts the 2018 Pride Womxn Kickoﬀ Celebration at Big Chief (2002 Fenwick St., N.E.) on Saturday, June 2 from 7-11 p.m. For details, visit whitman-walker/org/pride-womxns-party. Tagg Magazine hosts its annual Pride Ladies Tea at Hank’s Oyster Bar (1624 Q St., N.W.) on Sunday, June 3 from 3-5 p.m. DJ Honey will play music. There will be happy hour drink specials, a special Pride Punch and food specials. No cover. For details, visit facebook.com/taggmagazine. The Latino GLBT History Project hosts Latinx LGBTQ History Tour starting in Adams Morgan at the corner of Columbia Road and 18th St., N.W. on Sunday, June 3 from 3-5 p.m. Board member Jose Gutierrez will lead the bilingual, free walking tour. The tour will stop by El Faro, the ﬁrst D.C. Latinx bar, Salud Inc., one of the ﬁrst D.C. Latino HIV/AIDS organizations and more. For more information, visit facebook.com/latinoglbthistory. Team D.C. presents Night Out at the Nationals at Nationals Park (1500 S Capitol St., S.E.) on Tuesday, June 5 at 4 p.m. Pre-game ceremonies start at 6:30 p.m. followed by the game at 7:10 p.m. Ticket sales proceeds beneﬁt Team D.C.’s student-athlete scholarships. For more information, visit teamdc.org. The Latino GLBT History Project presents La Platica as part of D.C. Latinx Pride at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) on Tuesday, June 5 from 6-9 p.m. The event will have a panel of experts and resources for the older LGBT community on ﬁnancial security, health and housing. There will be food and drinks. For more details, visit facebook.com/latinoglbthistory. Washington Blade and DC Brau host #PridePils Launch Yappy Hour at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) on Wednesday, June 6 from 6-9 p.m. The event is the launch of the #PridePils beer can. For more information, visit facebook.com/washingtonblade.
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Taylor Gourmet (1908 14th St., N.W.) and Washington Blade present Drag Bingo Night, hosted by Bombalicious Eklaver and Ba’Naka, on Thursday, June 7 from 6-9 p.m. New games will begin every 45 minutes. There will be prizes and complimentary Taylor Gourmet salads and cocktails. For more details, visit facebook. com/washingtonblade. The Capital Pride Heroes Gala is at 880 P (880 P St., N.W.) on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m. Capital Pride Heroes include Gregory A. Cendana, Jesse Garcia, Patrick Grady, Jorge Hernandez and Samantha Master. Engendered Spirits honorees include Karen Kendra Holmes and Linda Roberts. Tickets range from $65-85. For more information, visit facebook.com/capitalpridedc. The Latino GLBT History Project hosts D.C. Latinx Pride’s oﬃcial dance party Bellez Latinx at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) on Thursday, June 7 from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Joe El Especialista will play music. Cover is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For details, visit facebook.com/latinoglbthistory. D.C. Front Runners hosts its sixth annual D.C. Pride Run 5K at Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St., S.E.) on Friday, June 8 at 7 p.m. After the race, there will be a Finish Line Party with beer for race participants, a live DJ, entertainment and awards for the race’s top performers. This year’s race beneﬁts the Team D.C. StudentAthlete Scholarship, the Wanda Alston Foundation, Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center and SMYAL. For registration details, visit dcfrpriderun.com. Bet Mishpachah holds its National Pride Shabbat on Friday, June 8 at Sixth & I Synagogue (600 I St., N.W.) starting with a happy hour at 6:15 p.m. The service starts at 7:15 p.m. Dinner, dessert and a stand-up set by Stacey Axler will follow starting at 8:30 p.m. Cost is $30 for the meal. Service is free to attend without meal if desired. Details at sixthandi.org. Capital Pride hosts its Crack of Noon Pride Brunch at Human Rights Campaign (1630 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) on Saturday, June 9 from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. There will be gourmet brunch tasting stations and complimentary mimosas and vodka drinks. Pride Parade grand marshals, Pride honorees and other Pride 2018 specials guests will attend. Tickets are $50. Guests must be 21 and over. For more information, visit facebook.com/capitalpridedc. Washington Blade hosts Pride on the Pier at Wharf D.C. (1100 Main Ave., S.W.) on Saturday, June 9 from noon-3 p.m. The Pride Parade pre-party will feature speciallythemed cocktails at a waterfront beer and wine garden and a live DJ. Admission is free. For more details, visit facebook.com/washingtonblade. The Capital Pride Parade kicks oﬀ at P and 23rd Streets N.W. and runs through 14th and R Streets on Saturday, June 9 at 4:30 p.m. A family area will be located on Stead Field and a block party with a beverage garden and entertainment will take place adjacent to the parade route. For details, visit capitalpride.org/parade. D.C. Black Pride hosts a pool party at Penthouse Pool Club at the Yards (1212 4th St., S.E.) on Saturday, June 9 from 7-10 p.m. There will be cocktails and a DJ spinning tracks. Admission is $10. For more information, visit facebook.com/dcblkpride. Capital Trans Pride hosts its second annual Trans Pride Pool Party at Vida Fitness (1612 U St., N.W.) on Saturday, June 9 from 7:30-11 p.m. Taylor Lianne Chandler and Consuella Lopez will host the event. Light food will be provided. The ﬁrst 100 attendees will receive a free drink ticket. Admission is free but tickets are required. For more details, visit facebook.com/capitaltranspride. LURe D.C. hosts Fuse, the Capital Pride main women’s event, at Biergarten Haus (1355 H St., N.E.) on Saturday, June 9 from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Jai Syncere and DJ Honey will play music. Drink specials run all night. Cover is $15. For more information, visit facebook.com/lurewdc. The Capital Pride Festival takes place on Pennsylvania Avenue from 7th to 3rd Streets N.W. on Sunday, June 10 from noon-10 p.m. Exhibitors, including local community groups, businesses and organizations, will be on display from noon-7 p.m. Food and beverage vendors will be open from noon-9:30 p.m. Entertainment runs from noon-10 p.m. and includes headlining acts Troye Sivan, Alessia Cara, MAX, Keri Hilson, Kim Petras and Asia O’Hara. The concert will be followed by the Sunset Dance Party from 8-10 p.m. Concert is free. VIP tickets are available for $150 and include a private bar, complimentary beer and wine and more. VIP ticket proceeds beneﬁt Capital Pride Alliance and LGBT partner organizations. For more information, visit capitalpride.org/events/concert-2018. Center Faith hosts its 35th annual Capital Pride Interfaith Service at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) on Wednesday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. The service’s theme will be “Looking Back, Looking Forward.” Speakers will include the founders of the service Joe Pomper, Allan Armus and Charles Kenner. The LOVE Gospel Choir and Interfaith Community Choir will perform. Event is free. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/events/prideinterfaithservice. Brentwood Gay Pride Day is Thursday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Bartlett Park (4300 39th Pl., Brentwood, Md.). There will be a picnic with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and salsa and soft drinks. Guests are invited to bring a covered side dish to share. For more information, visit brentwoodmd.gov.
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6350 STEVENSON AVENUE ALEXANDRIA, VA 22304 Welcome Home to Elegant Entertaining and Endless Possibilities! Bright and sunny 3 bedroom 3 bathroom townhouse in the landmark area! This home is move in ready. The open concept main level is great for entertaining. This cooks dream kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite countertops and a cozy eat in breakfast area. Kitchen leads out to spacious hardwood deck great for barbecues or relaxing. The upper level has two large full master suites. The laundry room is conveniently located on the second level. The lower level could be a game room, movie room or could be that needed in-law suite and has a 3rd bedroom with its own full bathroom. Hardwood ﬂoors throughout home. The main level boasts sunny windows. Tastefully decorated, this large townhouse has a lot of upgrades! A new roof April 2018, new windows and AC installed in 2016, and new patio french doors installed in 2017. Great location close to shops, restaurants and transportation! 6350 STEVENSON AVENUE • ALEXANDRIA, VA 22304
Ray Gernhart: 703-824-4731 Ray@TalktoRay.com www.talktoray.com John Pionke: 703-403-9885 firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 2014 Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. Information is believed to be accurate, but should not be relied upon without verification. Accuracy of square footage, lot size and other information is not guaranteed. Each office independently owned and operated.
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CA LE N D A R Facebook.com/events and search Night Out at the Nationals.
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.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6 D.C. Brau and Washington Blade host the 2018 #PridePils launch Yappy Hour tonight from 6-9 p.m at the Town Patio (2009 8th St. N.W.). D.C. Brau Brewing Company is launching its Pride beer can at the event. The Town Patio only accepts cash but there is an ATM on site. For more information about the #PridePils can, visit PridePils.com. Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay literature group, meets tonight at 7:30 at the Tenleytown Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.) to discuss Martin Duberman’s dual biography, “Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callin, Essex Hemphill and the Battleﬁeld of AIDS.” All are welcome. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com. The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St. S.E.) across from the Marine Barracks. No partner is needed to participate. For more information, call 301-345-1571.
TODAY Invoke Your Pride is at the National Museum of African Art (950 Independence Ave.) tonight from 8-11 p.m. Attendees get access to various exhibitions such as Jim Chuchu’s “Invocations” as well as listen to talks by curators, music, dancing and cocktails. A cash and credit bar provided by Tortoise and Hare, music by DJ Alkimist and a GIF photo booth by OM Digital will be there. VIP Beneﬁts, which include early access, light fare and an open bar, will be available from 7-8 p.m. VIP Admission is $50 in advance and $60 at the door, and general admission is $30 in advance and $35 at the door. All ticket sales are ﬁnal; there are no refunds or exchanges. For tickets and more information, visit smithsonianassociates.org. A Pride Kick-Oﬀ Happy House NoVA social will be held this evening from 6:308:30 p.m. at Pinzimini Lounge in Westin Arlington Gateway (801 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, Va.). No cover, all welcome. Details at gogaydc.org.
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SATURDAY, JUNE 2 Queer Disco Night is at Swazz Bar (2218 18th St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Uni, also known as Cynthia Blancaﬂor, and DJ Kryptk are spinning. There will be go-go dancers, cocktails and a costume contest with prizes available. Attire is come as you are; sequins, bell bottoms and platform heels are welcomed. All genders, expressions, presentations and sexualities are welcome and the safety and comfort of marginalized people is prioritized. Tickets are $10 for pre-sale and $15 at the door. More information and pre-sale tickets can be found at facebook. com/events and search Swazz Disco Party.
SUNDAY, JUNE 3 BloominGays’ third annual Pride in the Park is today from 1-5 p.m. at Crispus Attucks Park (Crispus Attucks Ct. N.W.). BloominGays’ goal is to raise more than $5,000 to support the park as well as additional LGBT organizations. Host tickets are two for $40, advance tickets are $25 and day-of tickets are $30. All ticket purchases come with a commemorative cup and cocktails at homes surrounding the park. For tickets, visit ticketstripe.com and search Pride in the Park. Argot Magazine, a queer nonproﬁt that features local queer artists and writers, hosts a fundraiser today from 3-7:30 p.m. At Shopkeeper’s Gallery (1231 Florida Ave. N.E. DJ Baronhawk Poitier is spinning and
PHOTO COURTESY KARJAKA STUDIOS
Out organist CHRISTOPHER HOULIHAN will perform on the new organ at Christ Church Washington Sunday.
ThisChicksGotCake is sponsoring the event with themed cupcakes and other baked goods. A small art gallery will be displayed and from 4:30-5:30 p.m., there will be a performance and reading by a selection of writers. Tickets are available from eventbrite.com for $18 or at the door. BLUF D.C. is today (and every ﬁrst Sunday of the month) from 4-9 p.m. At the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd. N.E.). Attire is full leather but not required. For more information, go to Facebook. com/events and search BLUF D.C. Organist Christopher Houlihan performs at 5 p.m. at the Christ Church Washington Parish (620 G St. S.E.). The openly gay virtuoso’s program includes works by Bach and Schumann. The performance is free with a reception following. The event celebrates the dedication of Christ Church’s new Casavant Freres pipe organ, Opus 3914. For more information, visit ChristopherHoulihan.com.
MONDAY, JUNE 4 JR.’s Bar (1519 17th St., N.W.) hosts Pride Showtunes tonight from 8:30 p.m.1 a.m. The show tunes begin at 8:30 p.m. Draft beer is $4, Captain Morgan is $6 and Morgan Mules are $8. Look for the event on Facebook for details.
TUESDAY, JUNE 5 Night Out at the Nationals is at Nationals Park (1500 Capitol St. S.E.) tonight from 7:10 p.m.-midnight. Gates open at 4 p.m., and pre-game ceremonies start at 6:30 p.m. Happy hour goes until the game begins. The proceeds from ticket sales contribute to Team D.C.’s Student Athlete Scholarships. For single tickets or for groups of 12 or less, visit mlb. com. For All Star Partner groups, contact Matt Lewis. For groups of 10 or more and guaranteed seats together, contact Brent Minor. For more information, visit
Drag Bingo night is at Taylor Gourmet (1904 14th St. N.W.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. hosted by Bombalicious Eklaver and Ba’Naka. There are three rounds of bingo, with a new game beginning every 45 minutes. Bingo is free and open to the public and features complimentary salads and cocktails as well as prizes. Produced by Taylor Gourmet and Washington Blade, donations will be accepted for Casa Ruby, D.C.’s only bilingual LGBT organization that provides services and programs for LGBT community members in need. For more information, visit facebook.com/ events and search Drag Bingo Night. The exhibit opening and reception for Queer Enough, a D.C.-based portrait project created by photographer and artist Fid Thompson, is at 1314 Half/Gallery (1314 ½ 9th St. N.W.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. The Queer Enough Portrait Project explores queer imagination and representation through interactive portraits of D.C.’s queer community. The opening kicks oﬀ a month-long exhibition of the portraits and the gallery will be open to the public twice weekly throughout June. Light snacks and drinks will be provided. RSVP at eventbrite. com/e/queer-enough-exhibit-openingreception-tickets. The 12th annual D.C. Latinx Pride Oﬃcial Dance Party is at Town Danceboutique (2009 8th St. N.W.) tonight from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. DJ Joe El Especialista from El Zol will spin and the party will also have community performances. Latino GLBT History Project is hosting. The event is for those age 18 years or older, and tickets are $10 pre-sale and $15 at the door. For more information, go to Facebook.com/events and search 12th D.C. Latinx Pride.
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Join the Taylor Gourmet family and queens Bombalicious Eklaver and Ba’Naka for a DRAG BINGO BASH to kick off Capital Pride week! F E AT UR ING : 3 DRAG B ING O G AM ES • CO C KTA I L S LI GH T BITES • P R I D E SWAG • DJ • G O O D V I B E S •
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Brought to you by Taylor Gourmet and the Washington Blade, this event is FREE and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to Casa Ruby, a Bilingual, Multicultural LGBTQ organization in the District.
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Billy Porter won’t shut up ‘Pose’ star talks about smashing his closet and the path ahead By JOHN PAUL KING Once upon a time, Billy Porter was told to keep his mouth shut. In the ‘90s, as a young hopeful in a recording industry riddled with homophobia, his label had him under strict instruction to stay quiet, for fear that detection as a gay man would derail his career before it started. That career faltered, but Porter did not. He went on to have a successful career as a theater performer, culminating in his win of both a Tony and Grammy Award for his performance in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots” in 2013. Now, even while continuing to act (as well as write and direct), he has made a return to the recording studio – his most recent album, “Billy Porter Presents the Soul of Richard Rodgers,” debuted last year. “Getting back onstage and performing for people in concert, it was really amazing to remember, ‘You know, I love doing that!’ I had been so damaged by the record business that I had put that side of myself in a box – for many, many years,” Porter says. Still, he doesn’t really have any regrets. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me, because at the end of the day, I failed – and I put ‘failed’ in quotes, because nothing is really a failure if you learn something from it. When I had my record deal, I gave myself away until I had given everything – and when it imploded, I wasn’t even being myself. That’s never going to happen again,” Porter explains. He’s already proven that he means it. His stardom has given him a platform from which he has become a muchlauded advocate for the LGBT community; last month he was honored by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles with the Courageous Voice Award, and in 2017 he received GLAAD’s Vito Rossi Award – bestowed on out members of the media for promoting acceptance. In his speech at that ceremony, he emphasized the importance of out artists using their voices to speak truth to power, saying that the days of “shut up and sing” are over. He doubles down on that sentiment today. “It’s not just ‘shut up and sing.’ Really, it’s just ‘shut up.’ It’s institutionalized silencing, and people want to act like it’s normal. No! We did that already. We’re not doing it again, not without a ﬁght. At least, I’m not. Visibility matters. We continue to be marginalized if we stay in the shadows and act like our truth isn’t important to be told,” Porter says.
PHOTO COURTESY PORTER
BILLY PORTER appears in the groundbreaking Ryan Murphy series ‘Pose.’
Telling that truth is a central focus of Porter’s upcoming role on “Pose,” the highly anticipated Ryan Murphy series for FX, which premieres on June 3 and looks at life in the mid-‘80s underground ballroom scene of New York City. “I play the character of Pray Tell, the M.C. of the balls – I’m the one that keeps the room spinning, and I make sure it is warm and welcoming, because I’m essentially the godfather of the entire community. I love my children, and I chastise them, and I set ‘em straight. I smack ‘em back when I need to. It’s a great responsibility because they look to me for enlightenment,” Porter says. The ballroom culture was, of course, famously explored in the iconic 1990 documentary, “Paris is Burning” – a movie that had an impact on Porter. “That ﬁlm came out when I was in college, and it was the ﬁrst time that we had seen anybody who looked like us – and I mean people-of-color gays, not white gays,” Porter says. He chuckles a bit as he reﬂects. “It’s still like that, really – to this day I can’t get a guest spot on ‘Will and Grace,’” Porter adds.
He’s not bashing that show, though. “Marriage equality never would have happened without ‘Will and Grace,’ and everything else in that time period. Like Ellen, Rosie, Elton John coming out. I’m in the generation of people who could be out from the start because they paved the way,” Porter says. It’s one of the reasons he thinks “Pose” is important. “This is the ‘Will and Grace’ of the new generation, because you’re seeing LGBTQ people of color– and that includes the “T” which is usually forgotten. We have ﬁve transgender actresses of color in series regular roles. You get to live with these people on a weekly basis, it lets you understand how to relate to them as human beings – not as objects, or pawns for your political power plays,” Porter says. He’s particularly proud of the authenticity in the show’s casting; the subject of straight performers “playing gay” brings out his thorny side. “I’m over it. It’s oﬀensive. Because it doesn’t go in the other direction. It never does. All these straight actors, they think ‘Oooh, if I play gay, maybe I can win an
Oscar.’ And they do. But the only time I’m ever called in for a role, even with a Tony Award and a Grammy, is if the description says ‘ﬂamboyantly dot, dot, dot.’ Whatever else it is, ‘ﬂamboyantly’ always comes ﬁrst. So, you know what? If I can’t play straight, then y’all can’t play gay. It’s 2018. Everybody in the room should know better,” Porter says. “With ‘Pose,’ there’s none of that. It’s beautiful. Even the extras and day players and all that, they’re from the actual community, and it’s beautiful to watch this story ﬁnally be told – especially when the culture has been so appropriated. There’s not a pop star out there that hasn’t borrowed from this community, and so now we’re reclaiming it,” he continues. All this speaking up and truth telling, he says, is crucial to ﬁghting the regressive thinking of the current powers-that-be. “It’s time to start saying ‘This is who I am, this is what I believe in, if you’re with me, then come on, let’s do it.’ Thinking outside of what we used to do, and ﬁguring out how to do it diﬀerent, that’s what has to happen,” Porter says.
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OFFICIAL CAPITAL PRIDE AND PARTNER EVENTS
PRIDE CELEBRATION2018 THE MANY ELEMENTS OF US!
SATURDAY, JUNE 2 CENTER FAITH INTERFAITH INTERSECTIONAL FORUM BY CENTER FAITH
12TH DC LATINX PRIDE LA FE WOMXN’S KICKOFF CELEBRATION
PRESENTED BY WHITMAN-WALKER HEALTH CO-HOSTS TAGG MAGAZINE AND LADIES OF L R
SUNDAY, JUNE 3 LATINX LGBTQ+ HISTORICAL WALKING TOUR HOSTED BY DC LATINX PRIDE AND CAPTIAL PRIDE ALLIANCE
MONDAY, JUNE 4 WOMEN’S SPOKEN WORD: A NIGHT OF EXPRESSION CO-HOST BUSBOYS AND POETS
TUESDAY, JUNE 5 TEAM DC: NIGHT OUT AT THE NATIONALS 12TH DC LATINX PRIDE: LA PLATICA WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6 A CONVERSATION WITH CALL ME BY YOUR NAME AUTHOR ANDRE ACIMAN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
MEET THE FILM MAKER: BROCK YURICH THURSDAY, JUNE 7 HEROES GALA
WITH CO-HOST 880 P
12TH DC LATINX PRIDE OFFICAL DANCE PARTY: BELLEZA LATINX THURSDAY PR DE CELEBRATION KICKOFF PARTY
PRESENTED BY LASHY
FRIDAY, JUNE 8 EARTH, WIND, GLITTER, & FIRE – THE OFFICIAL OPENING NIGHT PARTY
PRESENTED BY BYT AND CAPITAL PRIDE ALLIANCE
SATURDAY, JUNE 9 IGNITE – THE OFFICIAL FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER PARTY PRESENTED BY WERQ
NATIONAL PRESENTING ADVOCATE
SATURDAY, JUNE 9 “CRACK OF NOON” PRIDE BRUNCH
PRESENTED BY ARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL AND HOSTED BY HRC
PRIDE – THE DAY PARTY AT THE PARK PRESENTED BY DARYL WILSON PROMOTIONS
THE BLOCK PARTY
PRESENTED BY MCDONALDS
CAPITAL PRIDE PARADE
PRESENTED BY MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
PRIDE YOUTH DANCE HOSTED BY SMYAL
TRANS PRIDE POOL PARTY
HOSTED BY VIDA FITNESS AND PENTHOUSE POOL CLUB
DC BLACK PRIDE POOL PARTY
HOSTED BY VIDA FITNESS AND PENTHOUSE POOL CLUB
FUSE: CAPITAL PRIDE’S WOMEN’S MAIN EVENT PRESENTED BY TAGG MAGAZINE, LURE DC AND CAPITAL PRIDE
SIN: CAPITAL PRIDE’S OFFICIAL MEN’S PARTY PRESENTED BY DISTRKT C
SUNDAY, JUNE 10 ACTION! OFFICIAL CAPITAL PRIDE AFTER HOURS PRESENTED BY THE CHERRY FUND
CAPITAL PRIDE FESTIVAL
PRESENTED BY LIVE! CASINO & HOTEL
CAPITAL PRIDE CONCERT
PRESENTED BY HOT 99.5 PRIDE RADIO BROUGHT TO YOU BY AMERICAN AIRLINES AND BILLBOARD
CAPITAL SUNSET DANCE PARTY C
PRESENTED BY COBALT
C AL CAP TAL PR DE CLOS N PARTY
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 35TH ANNIVERSARY PRIDE INTERFAITH CELEBRATION BY CENTER FAITH
FRIDAY, JUNE 15 DISTRICT OF PRIDE: DC’S PREMIER LGBTQ PERFORMANCE ARTISTS HOSTED BY MAYOR’S OFFICE OF LGBTQ AFFAIRS AND PRETTY BOI DRAG
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS VIST
32 • J U N E 01, 2018
“A one-of-a-kind musical supertalent” –The New York Times
Gay divorce? Playwright’s own life helped inspire ‘The Remains’ By PATRICK FOLLIARD
Photo by Autumn de Wilde
With “The Remains,” out playwright Ken Urban explores the internal and external pressures surrounding same-sex marriage. The new play, currently making its world premiere at Studio Theatre, is billed as a comedy about the tragedy of love and stars Maulik Pancholy (“Weeds,” “30 Rock,” “Star Trek: Discovery”) as upand-coming literature professor Kevin and Glenn Fitzgerald (“Dirty Sexy Money,” “Six Feet Under”) as his lawyer husband Theo. On the eve of divorce, the couple invites family to dinner at their well-appointed condo where they will announce their impending and unexpected break up. Guests include Theo’s well-educated parents Trish (Naomi Jacobson) and Len (Greg Mullavey) and Kevin’s brash but big-hearted sister Andrea (Danielle Skraastad). It’s an evening of revelations. New York-based Urban, 44, wrote the part of Kevin with Pancholy in mind.
AUDRA McDONALD with the
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
June 19 at 8 p.m. | Concert Hall TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
KENNEDY-CENTER.ORG | (202) 467-4600
Tickets also available at the Box Office. Groups call (202) 416-8400. For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.
David M. Rubenstein is the Presenting Underwriter of the NSO. AARP is the Presenting Sponsor of the NSO Pops Season.
WASHINGTON BLADE: Is “The Remains” about your life? KEN URBAN: Well, it was inspired by personal events that happened in my life, but I wouldn’t call it autobiographical. As a chuckle to myself, I named the lead Kevin because it sounds Like Ken. I was going to change it but it worked so I kept it. Similar to Kevin and Theo, my expartner and I were together for 18 years total. We married in 2011 and ﬁled for divorce in March or April 2015. In June 2015, same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states. Our timing was a little ironic. BLADE: You wrote the play not long after divorcing? URBAN: I wrote the ﬁrst draft in summer of 2015 in 36 hours uninterrupted with no sleep, which is strangely fast for me. And compared to most of my plays, it didn’t change much. The beginning, middle and end stayed the same. I really needed to get it out fast. By writing this play, I was teaching myself not to blame myself or my ex for our breakup. And the way I did that was by creating this dramatic world. BLADE: Because you were part of the ﬁrst wave of legal same-sex marriages, did you feel extra pressure to make it work? URBAN: We were together a long time and I felt the need to be a model minority and it was pretty perfect for a long time. For many of our friends, ours was the ﬁrst gay wedding they attended. So yes, there was some pressure. Sometimes you think you can redeﬁne the institution. Growing up outside of Philadelphia in a Republican town where my father was
PHOTO BY THOMAS GARCIA
the Republican mayor, I didn’t know any gay couples. So consequently, my ex and I could decide how we wanted our relationship to be which was both terrifying and liberating. But then once you attach marriage to the relationship, that word creates many expectations. BLADE: The cast is really superb. Were you involved in casting? URBAN: Yes, it took a year to cast. It was a long process and ﬁlled with sleepless nights but was worth it. Glenn and Maulik make a believable couple and play together beautifully. It’s been an intense emotional experience for them and it’s made the cast very close. The cast plays it like a super serious play even though there are jokes, and as a result it’s much funnier. Finding humor in the last two weeks and previews was great. And it’s nice that the audience has really keyed into that. BLADE: Are you a very political playwright? URBAN: The plays that inspired me to become a playwright were British plays. And British playwriting is more comfortable with the idea of writing about contemporary politics and history in a way that American playwrights shy away from. My job it is to be a good storyteller and write compelling characters and that’s the way to introduce the political thing. I’d never write anything to make a deﬁnitive point. I like ambiguity. BLADE: Have you soured on relationships? URBAN: No, I’ve been with my current partner for three years. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM ‘THE REMAINS’ Through June 17 Studio Theatre 1501 14th St., N.W. $20-85 202-332-3300 Studiotheatre.org
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Andre’s moment Towering fashion ﬁgure celebrated in new doc By BRIAN T. CARNEY “The Gospel According to André” is a delightful introduction to André Leon Talley, an openly gay African-American man who has been a ﬁxture in the international fashion world since 1974. Directed by Kate Novack, the ﬁlm explores his life and career from his childhood in the segregated South through his despair at the election of Donald Trump. Talley, named one of Out magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America” in 2007, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1949, but was raised by his grandmother in Durham, N.C. Although she worked as a cleaning lady at Duke University, Talley credits her with instilling an “understanding of luxury” in him. As he describes in the movie, his grandmother took him to church every Sunday where he delightfully observed the church ladies and their fabulous hats. She also introduced him to Vogue magazine. Talley reveals that his introduction to fashion also reinforced his understanding of the power of racism in the Jim Crow South. On one of his trips to Duke to buy the latest copy of Vogue, he was attacked by students who threw rocks at him. He also learned that black women, unlike white women, were forced to put on veils before they tried on hats at local department stores. Talley’s wonderful stories are the core of this enjoyable documentary and Novack captures the raconteur at his most entertaining. Towering over everyone else (he’s 6’6”) and swathed in glorious caftans, Talley uses dramatic gestures and every note in his melliﬂuous voice. In addition to astounding archival material, Novack also uses the voices of Talley’s friends and acquaintances to sketch out his life. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, says that she hired Talley because he was the only person who know more about the history of fashion that she did. Fran Lebowitz and Eboni Marshall Turman of Yale University Divinity School help to put his life in a broader cultural context. Most importantly, we see Talley with his friends Tamron Hall (from MSNBC) and Maureen Dowd (from the New York Times). Talley, an ardent supporter of Barack Obama (he introduced Michelle to designer Jason Wu who created her inaugural gown), designed the gown that his friend wore to the ﬁnal state dinner at the Obama White House. Observing her ﬁnal ﬁtting is both inspirational and deeply poignant. Equally moving is Talley’s performance during President Trump’s Inauguration.
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
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 㠀 愀洀 ⴀ 洀椀搀渀椀最栀琀
PHOTO BY COLIN GRAY; COURTESY MAGNOLIA PICTURES
ANDRE LEON TALLEY, subject of a new documentary.
He and Dowd live-tweet the event. Their coverage begins with Talley’s lighthearted defense of Melania Trump’s gown but ends with Talley showing his deep despair. Novack astutely uses the election of 2016 to frame the documentary. This device gives the ﬁlm a forward momentum and a sense of melancholy that supports his philosophical reﬂections on his life, especially when he reveals that he has never been in love. Novack also wisely avoids a chronological approach. She lightly weaves her subject’s stories around loose themes, but still catches the highlights of his long career: his childhood (which he compares to Truman Capote’s “Christmas Memory,”) his writing for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and the nights at Studio 54; his work with his beloved mentor Diana Vreeland; his tenure as the Fashion News Director at Vogue; and his radio show on Sirius XM. Unfortunately, Novack doesn’t spend much time talking explicitly about the complicated role of race in the fashion industry. Novack does discuss Talley’s work on the provocative “Scarlett N’ The Hood” spread for Vanity Fair (Naomi Campbell appeared as Scarlett with white designers playing her servants), but she doesn’t really discuss Talley’s work promoting black models and designers. Talley also remembers being called “Queen Kong,” but Novack doesn’t really discuss how racism and homophobia impacted his career. More noticeably, the movie does not mention the AIDS epidemic and its horriﬁc toll on the fashion industry. This is a serious omission which sadly reduces the ﬁlm to a breezy overview of Talley’s life in the fashion industry instead of a serious examination of his legendary impact on American culture.
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
36 • J U N E 01, 2018
SP O RT S
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SUBJECTS DEAN ROGERS; COURTESY A24
MASON DAVENPORT, left, and NICK COLLINS, members of Rogue Darts.
All Stars: Rogue Darts Variety of Drink and Food Options Online Ordering | Event Hosting Reservations
Local LGBT league welcomes diverse players By KEVIN MAJOROS
The spring season of Rogue Darts Tuesday Night Flights ended last week with the Last Bullseye winning the league championships. This week in the Washington Blade’s All Star series, we meet two players from the championship team. Rogue Darts oﬀers four leagues per year and registration is now open for the summer season. Mason Davenport refers to himself as an unathletic person who is not drawn to sports. He did compete in karate as a kid in Panama City, Fla., but his high school activities were focused on band. While attending William Peace University, he was active in social and political groups and led the school’s LGBT chapter. He came to D.C. in 2008 with his partner, who is now his spouse, while she completed her grad work at George Washington University. Davenport completed his own master’s degree in theology at Wesley Theological Seminary and is working as the assistant registrar at St. John’s College. A D V E R T I S IHe NG R O O Ffor groups in the queer wasP looking community and his friend Sam, who is a ISSUE DATE: 180601 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: captain in Rogue Darts, asked him to join the REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered ﬁnal and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of recent spring season. They had been playing the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts NS omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is darts together casually and it was Davenport’s responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users GN T H E G AY M E N ’ S C H O R U S O F WA S H I N GTO N , D C P R E S E N TS can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or EVISIONS any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any ﬁrst attempt at playing on a league. copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair /LOGO REVISIONS competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, “I wasn’t expecting it to be so or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE SIONS washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the competitive maybe that is because liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred washington blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited tobut placement, by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations payment and insertion schedule. and warranties. I haven’t competed in a lot of things,” Davenport says. “My skill level increased Because everyone has the right to be their authentic selves. through the season and I liked to joke with my teammates that our player order was based on skill and I was the last one.” Davenport identiﬁes as a trans man 877.435.9849 Special guest soprano: June 2nd, 8pm and in his spare time, he volunteers at gmcw.org Breanna Sinclairé June 3rd, 3pm Whitman-Walker where he co-facilitates Tickets and Lincoln Theatre Brought to you by a trans peer support group. His ﬁrst Groups of 10 or 1215 U St. NW Presenting Sponsor season with Rogue Darts was a place more, 202.293.1548 where he felt welcomed.
I could be she I had to be me.
“I am queer identiﬁed, present masculine and am in a long-term relationship with a woman,” Davenport says. “Being in a space that welcomes that is accepting and fun.” Davenport won’t be playing in the summer season, but he also doesn’t plan to retire undefeated. “I am deﬁnitely hooked and will show up again in the next Tuesday night season,” Davenport says. “This league is fun and there is a lot of good sportsmanship. Everyone is happy for you when you do well.” When Nick Collins was serving in the Air Force, it was common for dart boards to be on base. Growing up in Baltimore he had dabbled in little league baseball and wrestled in high school. While he was serving, he played various sports on base including darts. After the Air Force, Collins got married, had kids and settled into his career in the D.C. area with the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traﬃc controller. He retired in 2011 and is now working in federal contracting. After divorcing, he came out to himself in 2016 and to the world in 2017. Looking to get out and meet people, he joined Rogue Darts six seasons ago and learned something about himself. “I am a terrible loser, but a worse winner,” Collins says. “It’s been great to evolve in that respect because these people are really nice and there is good sportsmanship in the league.” Collins has also played two seasons with Stonewall Billiards and plays with the Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League. He went to his ﬁrst Gay Softball World Series last year in Portland where his team placed third in the master’s division. He is enjoying the social aspect of the sports leagues and the way they are fulﬁlling his competitive spirit. He is already looking forward to the next dart season. “After being a runner-up several times, it was nice to be on a championship team,” Collins says. “As long as there is a league, I will be a part of it. It’s too good of a time.”
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SHOWS ON SALE NOW!
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS X AMBASSADORS
JUN 8 + 9
SOUND OF MUSIC
LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
HOPELESS FOUNTAIN KINGDOM
THE LIFE TOUR
QUEEN LATIFAH COMMON
WITH CHRIS JANSON JORDAN DAVIS
THE WAR & TREATY
BOY GEORGE & CULTURE CLUB THE B-52S THOMPSON TWINS’ TOM BAILEY
NILE RODGERS & CHIC CHAKA KHAN JUN 5
HARRY CONNICK JR.
A NEW ORLEANS TRICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
STEVEN TYLER AND THE LOVING MARY BAND THE SISTERHOOD BAND JUN 21
MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER RHIANNON GIDDENS
WITH FRANCESCO TURRISI
ABBA THE CONCERT AUG 12
DR. DOG MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA
LUDOVICO EINAUDI ESSENTIAL EINAUDI
CRITICAL EQUATION TOUR
(SANDY) ALEX G
SHEILA E. JUN 24
WOLF TRAP OPERA NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
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JUNE 6-10, 2018 AUG 15-19, 2018 SEP 5-9, 2018 REMIX: Get Up, Stand Up
Thursday, June 7 | 5:30–8:30 p.m. | Kogod Courtyard Spend Pride with the Portrait Gallery at an after-hours party celebrating activism, visibility and social awareness.
8th and F St. NW • Washington, DC • npg.si.edu • #myNPG #GetUpStandUp DJ Ayes Cold by Travis Vaughan.
A D V I CE
J U N E 01, 2018 • 39
Shared space? Boyfriend doesn’t want to co-habitate after two years
MICHAEL RADKOWSKY, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with gay individuals and couples in Washington. He can be found online at michaelradkowsky.com. All identifying information has been changed for reasons of conﬁdentiality. Have a question? Send it to email@example.com.
MICHAEL, I want to move in with my boyfriend and he is pushing back. We’ve been dating for almost two years. Isn’t it time? I’m sick of planning who goes where on what night, worrying about having everything I need both at his place and mine and just sleeping alone sometimes. I want to have a home together. Buy groceries, decorate, split the chores, maybe get a dog or cat — really share our lives. Brad says he wants to wait. He says he likes having some space and time to himself. He says things are great as they are, meaning we have lots of time together and also some space. I told him we could get a two-bedroom and he can close the door when he wants. Since we’ve been dating, he’s always liked some time and space for himself and that’s been totally OK with me. So I’m sure I wouldn’t mind if he had his own space in a place we were sharing. But he still says no and won’t give me a timeline for when he would consider this. I just want to be more of a couple. I could see us getting married one day but we’re two guys in our 20s. Right now the idea of committing to being together forever is way too much. I think if we lived together, we could deepen our commitment and maybe down the road we would feel comfortable with marriage. I’m starting to feel like he has his arms out keeping me at a distance. I don’t know how much to push this. I don’t want to come across as clingy, because I’m not. I don’t think it’s clingy to want to live with your boyfriend whom you love. Is there any way to work this out or should we call it quits? MICHAEL REPLIES: Of course it makes sense that you want to move in with your boyfriend after
almost two years. But Brad doesn’t agree with you on this point and he doesn’t have to. It’s normal for couples to disagree about all sorts of things, including really important matters like when to start living together or whether to do so. Part of being in a relationship is ﬁguring out how to be a couple despite the diﬀerences that are bound to come up. It’s also true that sometimes when two people want to go forward in two diﬀerent directions that can’t be reconciled, it makes sense for them to part. But in any case, to deal with diﬀerences — and simply to know each other well — each partner needs to share what he’s thinking and why his stance on a given topic is important to him. That’s why Brad’s unwillingness to talk about future suggests there’s a big problem in your relationship, even bigger than a stalemate over moving in or not. You can work on deepening your relationship without living together, but you can’t have a close relationship with a man who won’t let you know what he’s thinking. Maybe I’m overreacting to Brad’s refusal to discuss about the possibility of you two living together, but I don’t think so. His unwillingness to open up on this subject is a giant red ﬂag speciﬁcally because the subject is so important to you. Is Brad is willing to talk with you about other sensitive topics? If so, that’s good news, because it suggests he values the importance of two people in a relationship opening up to each other. You could ask Brad if he would be willing to talk with you about why the issue of moving in together is so diﬃcult for him to discuss. Talking may not change his mind about moving in of course, but at least you will understand him better. If Brad doesn’t talk with you about other important topics, consider the likelihood that he is not comfortable having a relationship that is closer than the one you have now. You could spend a lot of energy trying to ﬁgure out why Brad might not want to open up. Maybe he’s just scared to have a relationship that’s close. Maybe he comes from a family where feelings aren’t ever discussed, so he doesn’t have a clue how to proceed. Maybe there’s some internalized homonegativity getting in the way of his going deeper into a relationship with another man. But your hypothesizing won’t alter the situation. Brad is the one who has to confront himself about his reticence to let you get closer if anything is to change.
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BY MATTHEW LOPEZ DIRECTED BY TOM STORY
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From the creators of Cabaret and Chicago comes a stunning musical based on a true story
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Pride Night June 8
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P H O T O S BY MI CH A E L KE Y
D.C. Black Pride held its annual Outdoor Festival at the Park on Memorial Day at Fort Dupont Park.
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– THE WASHINGTON POST
“A REMINDER OF HOW
LOVE CAN BE
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– DC THEATRE SCENE
“ TERRIFICALLY “
JUNE 01, 2018 • 43
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
girlfriend Now through June 10
A take-over of the entire Renwick Gallery, extending to the surrounding Golden Triangle neighborhood. The exhibition has been organized in close collaboration with Burning Man Project, a nonprofit public benefit corporation.
Support comes from
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17th and Pennsylvania Ave. | Free | AmericanArt.si.edu/ArtofBurningMan | #RenwickGallery FoldHaus, Shrumen Lumen, 2016. FoldHaus Art Collective. Photo by Rene Smith
Passion, power, and religious fanaticism light Botticelli’s world on fire. Will he save his love... or his art?
BY JORDAN TANNAHILL DIRECTED BY MARTI LYONS
NOW PLAYING THRU JUNE 24 Get $35 TIX to any June performance with the code PRIDE Code can be redeemed online, by phone, or in-person at the box office.
WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE COMPANY
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Roseanne’s Trump support baﬄing to Bernhard CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21
BLADE: Are you always listening for songs you’d like to cover or do you keep a list or what? BERNHARD: Kind of a little bit of both because a lot of times I’ll think my set list is all signed, sealed and delivered and then Mitch Caplan, who’s my musical director, we’ve been collaborating for years, he always laughs because literally a day before I’ll be doing a new show, I’ll ﬁnd a completely diﬀerent opening song or a totally diﬀerent closing song because sometimes the spirit just moves me and then I’m trying to ﬁnd the absolute right thing that really works so I’m always open to something new even if it’s just an hour before the show. BLADE: You seem really jaded in your standup at times but yet in interviews you sometimes seem rather joyous and upbeat. Is that just naturally your personality? Is it hard to balance the two extremes? BERNHARD: It depends on the situation. What’s fun about doing “Sandyland” is I’ve been able to tap into more of my positive side, you know, I think that part of my personality, I just think it registers better on radio and I’ll talk about what’s happening politically or gun violence or things that have a lot of emotion around them. But then day to day, I think I’ve been able to access that part of my personality that people have started coming to day in and day out, so it’s a surprise for me and it’s been a great self discovery. BLADE: How did your radio show come about? BERNHARD: I’ve been friendly with Andy Cohen for years and about three years ago, he put his channel Radio Andy together and we had lunch and he said, “I have this idea, I don’t know if you’d be into it, but I’ll be doing this channel on Sirius, I’d love for you to do this show.” I said, “Yeah, that sounds perfect,” because I kind of needed a platform and it’s harder and harder to get a talk show quoteunquote oﬀ the ground and they usually just don’t work and radio, especially Sirius, has this sense of freedom that you can’t ﬁnd anywhere. Never once has anybody walked into my studio and said, “No, don’t say that, don’t do that.” Nobody cares. They just let you do whatever you want because after all, it is home to Howard Stern. How can you be more obnoxious or outrageous than Howard Stern? … It’s just been really cool. BLADE: What’s the hardest part of doing your stage show that the average person wouldn’t ever think about? BERNHARD: Well, behind the scenes,
there’s just always the logistics. You know, like who’s going to the be the person to get your from point A to point B. I have a few diﬀerent people who work with me in terms of tour manager and I don’t really go out on the road like Stevie Nicks or some big rock band. I do two or three dates a month and sometimes I’m oﬀ the road for two months doing other stuﬀ. … It’s sort of a semi-well-oiled machine but sometimes gig to gig it takes a little more or less eﬀort to make sure it goes smoothly.
BLADE: Speaking of Stevie Nicks, what was it like at the (April, 1998) concert for the “Stormy Weather” album? When you’re doing something like that, are the super A-listers like her, Joni Mitchell and so on, are they polite but kind of standoﬃsh or what? BERNHARD: Well I’ve known all those ladies for years and I’ve been really lucky in the course of my career to get to be friendly with a lot of people in the music business. Chrissie Hynde is one of my best friends. I’m friends with Debbie Harry, Belinda Carlisle is one of my best friends and I don’t mean to name drop, but you know, music was really my ﬁrst love. I wanted to be just a singer and I kind of got sidetracked into comedy and I have no regrets because I think the combination of both has been really very fulﬁlling for me and fun for the audience. But I know Stevie, I know Joni, I know all those people and you know, I don’t always get to see all of them all the time, but in that setting, of course, I’m a little bit intimidated because they’re the best at what they do. I consider myself a decent singer and pretty decent musical person but, you know, I always defer to those people. But they’re always totally supportive and lovely and most people think I have a pretty good voice, so I take that as a nice compliment obviously. BLADE: Is there anybody of that ilk who is privately much diﬀerent from their public persona? Maybe somebody who’s actually raunchy or shy or something we’d never guess? BERNHARD: (laughs) No, nobody’s really raunchy. I think Belinda Carlisle is probably one of the most humble and shy people and so is Debbie Harry. Everybody who is really, really good, they play down what they do in their day-to-day life and almost all of them do something that is very grounding and they’re involved with a lot of diﬀerent social causes so I don’t know — I just think people who are really talented are usually very complex and interesting and not full of themselves. BLADE: Was it kind of trippy and surreal to see the “Roseanne” set so faithfully recreated for the reboot? BERNHARD: Um, yes it was and yet also in a way not because it just sort of
felt like, well, it’s not that shocking that it happened again because it was so iconic and it’s been on the air every single day since it went oﬀ the air, you know, oﬃcially. It’s been in rotation for 20 years so I think it was diﬀerent than it would have been if it was a show we hadn’t seen at all in 30 or 40 years, then it would have been more weird. So it was and it wasn’t.
BLADE: Does it feel much diﬀerent on the set this time? BERNHARD: It feels a little diﬀerent. There’s new kids and new writers but generally speaking, you know, Laurie Metcalf and all the main people, John Goodman, it has that continuity so it didn’t feel that much diﬀerent. I think people have all evolved a lot emotionally and spiritually so I think things are a little more relaxed than they were maybe early on. BLADE: What’s Roseanne like between takes? Is she high strung or kind of chill? BERNHARD: She’s pretty chill. She gets tired out pretty easily you know. She’s not like a hard-charging person so I think sometimes she just needs to like, escape and regroup a little and she’ll kind of keep to herself, but you know, when she’s around, she’s friendly, she’s nice to everybody. BLADE: How did you ﬁrst hear of the reboot and are you going to be in more of it or do you know yet? BERNHARD: Well, I sort of read about it like everybody else to be perfectly honest with you. And then I reached out to Sara Gilbert who was sort or rebooting the whole project and then I didn’t hear back from her for quite a while and then all of a sudden out of the clear blue, I did hear back from her and that’s sort of when it all came together for the last episode. It was the last episode they shot, even though it just aired a couple weeks ago. I’m sure they’ll have me back at least one or two more times during the next goaround, but they haven’t committed to anything yet. (Bernhard’s Blade interview occurred prior to the news this week that the “Roseanne” reboot was cancelled.) BLADE: Now that it’s had a long time to sink in, what impact do you think your (lesbian/bi) storyline and the kiss and all that had culturally? Do you think it reached more people because of “Roseanne’s” demographic? BERNHARD: Yeah, I think it reached everybody because the average weekly viewership of the show in its prime was 15-20 million … so I think it had a huge impact and opened the doors for a lot of diﬀerent conversations about sexuality and, you know, certainly it’s gone to places nobody could have imagined and that’s a cool thing. BLADE:
support bother you, either on the show or in real life? BERNHARD: I’m not happy about it. I think if it was strictly Roseanne the character, it would have been understandable but even then, not really because Roseanne and Dan were always liberals and he was a union guy and so none of it really makes sense at all and I think when they come back, I think it’s probably less political. I just read an article and the president of ABC, who’s a woman of color, she was saying, “No, it’s not gonna be this way next time around.” Because what’s the point of it? I mean, oh, to show people that Muslims are people too? Do we really need that primer in 2018? Really? I would hope people are smart enough and open enough to know that there are people in every path of life that are good and bad. I mean, how many more conversations do we need to have about this shit? I just don’t think it really resonates to me and I don’t think it resonates with anybody because I would hope people are intelligent enough to ﬁgure that out on their own. BLADE: I heard Carol Burnett say recently that shows take way longer to tape than they did back in the ’60s and ‘70s. She was saying on her show, it was zip-zip-zip, they’d be done in a few hours and go home, now it’s like a 10-hour ordeal when she guests on something. How long is a normal day when you’re taping something? BERNHARD: They’re all totally diﬀerent. If it’s a four-camera show, which “Roseanne” is, in other words, you’re shooting in front of a live audience, it’s really like preparing a little play every week and it can be a Wednesday or a Monday, it depends on the shoot. But you start with a table reading and work out sort of like what needs to get changed out initially. Then you go to the set, you do a run through and then as the week progresses you do more and more rehearsals and you start blocking and the longest day on “Roseanne” is the shoot day. You usually get there by 11 or 12 and they start shooting by 6 and you’re kind of done by 8 or 9. Roseanne doesn’t like to be around for hours and hours, nobody does. If you’re shooting single camera, that’s a whole diﬀerent ball game because you can be there for 12-14 hours because you’re setting up every shot and it’s a much more frustrating experience. BLADE: You’ve been on so many shows — “DTLA,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “2 Broke Girls.” Are there any you felt had more life in them or you wish would have really taken oﬀ? BERNHARD: Well I certainly would have liked more “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” CONTINUES ON PAGE 46
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Bernhard piqued by ‘Drag Race’ snub CONTINUED FROM PAGE 44
because it was really fun playing Chelsea Peretti’s mom and I think she was a fun, blowsy, kooky character but now that they’ve been picked up by NBC, maybe I’ll get a chance to reprise the role. “2 Broke Girls” was great because they had a ﬁve-episode arc and I got to fulﬁll that character’s sort of destiny on that show. I should also tell you that this coming Monday and Tuesday I’m shooting a role on the new show “Pose,” the new Ryan Murphy show so I’m really excited about that. I’m playing a nurse in an AIDS ward in 1986 or ’88 and, you know, having lost a lot of friends during the AIDS crisis and having visited many friends in hospitals, it’s sort of a ﬁtting role that I get to play opposite Billy Porter who’s a terriﬁc actor and supposedly it’s a recurring role. So I’m really excited. It’s the ﬁrst time I’ve done a Ryan Murphy project so I’m excited about it. BLADE: I know you have a few things in development yourself. Is it any harder or easier to get a green light in Hollywood than it was, say, 20 years ago? BERNHARD: It’s about the same. I mean there’s certainly more outlets for things. I have a couple of scripted projects but now two of the shows are back on hold again but one of them jumped ahead of the pack and I have a very well-known producer involved with it so it seems to be progressing and hopefully at some point this summer I’ll be pitching it to some of the diﬀerent outlets. I’m keeping my ﬁngers crossed. This is a little broader, kind of comedy than I’m normally, you know, thought of, so I’m kind of excited about that because I think it’s very accessible but still cutting edge and funny so we’ll see. BLADE: What’s your favorite venue for your live show? BERNHARD: Well I’d have to say Joe’s Pub. It’s my incubator for new material and I’ve done shows there now for well over 10 years. I’ve kind of lost track. People just come there, it’s intimate and it’s just the right setting for doing something new and people are very, you know, supportive and it just creates a vibe. I always do it the day after Christmas to New Year’s Eve and it kind of sets the tone for the end of the year and the beginning of the year. … It’s nice to have a little launching pad for everything. BLADE: You don’t mind working that time of year? Most people like to lay low that week. BERNHARD: No, I prefer it actually. I don’t love sitting around during the holidays and I certainly wouldn’t want to travel at that time. It’s crazy. I’d rather be on stage performing and engaged, then
SANDRA BERNHARD says she’s always intrigued by the juxtaposition of life in Washington. PHOTO BY JORDAN GRAHAM
when it’s done, that’s when I like to go away when everybody else is going back to school and work. BLADE: How are (partner) Sara and (daughter) Cicely? BERNHARD: They’re great, terriﬁc. They’re both super busy. Sara is doing a project for a magazine called Fast Company and Cicely just got home from college. She’s going to be doing an internship and working and volunteering this summer so everybody is fully engaged. BLADE: Did you give up Kabbalah? BERNHARD: No, but I do it on my own. I don’t go there to the center anymore. I go to a synagogue here in New York where there’s a very cool young rabbi and his wife and it’s just much less crazy. The scene there is more chill. BLADE: I’ve heard you say you like the more traditional prayers and songs and such. I’m just wondering because it’s the same thing in Christianity — I want the progressive, gay-friendly churches and it’s great, but the music and prayers suck. BERNHARD: I grew up conservative. It’s truly a crap shoot. I found this one place here in New York that’s totally LGBT friendly and even though it’s not a gay synagogue, there are a lot of gay people. … It’s a great mix and the kind of people I grew up with … so it reminds me of my family and there’s all these groovy young people and gay people and it’s very fulﬁlling to see everybody getting along and nobody judging anybody. That’s how
I think the world should be. I don’t think people should just have to be with their own people all the time. I think we should all be able to be together and embrace the diﬀerence and have fun together. BLADE: I sense you may be more of a traditionalist than people would guess. Are you? BERNHARD: I like continuity in my life and day to day, I like things that are sort of mundane in a way, things that are familiar. I guess that’s why I embrace certain aspects of my religion. It’s just sort of the way I roll in life. BLADE: Do you make it a point to put yourself out there more than you might otherwise be inclined to generate stuﬀ you can use in your comedy? BERNHARD: No, that happens naturally. There’s no way you could put yourself in a situation hoping something comes out of it because nothing ever does. It’s always when you least expect it. Literally shit happens when I’m in the grocery store or I’m trying to get a taxi or just my reaction to things in conversations with Sara, she’s really funny. We’ll sort of riﬀ oﬀ each other and I’ll run to my notes and write things down. It just ﬂows naturally. BLADE: Have you ever been invited to be a guest judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race”? BERNHARD: No, I have not darling and I know RuPaul from the day. I don’t know why Miss RuPaul’s so shady with me ‘cause I was on RuPaul’s show on VH1 Hanukkah special and now Ru gets
so shady with me and I don’t know why ‘cause I’ve never had any problem with Ru. I think I should have been one of the ﬁrst judges because listen, “Without You I’m Nothing,” the ﬁlm, all my background singers are drag queens. I embraced the drag world when I was like 19 years old. … I was hip to the drag world in the ‘70s when I was very, very young, so for me it’s sort of a natural but what the fuck? But whatever. I was a groundbreaking supporter of drag and every other kind of interesting gay, you know, anomaly, so I don’t have anything to worry about. BLADE: What did you think of Michelle Wolf’s bit at the Correspondents’ Dinner? BERNHARD: I thought it was brilliant. I thought she worked her ass oﬀ. It was A-list material. It was fucking brilliant. She went for broke and I thought her whole approach to taking down, you know, the journalists on both sides was brilliant and I thought what she said about smoky eye was fucking genius. She wasn’t trashing (Sarah Huckabee Sanders) for her looks, she was just saying how brilliant that she takes the ashes of lies and makes a smoky eye. How anybody could have interpreted that as saying she was ugly — no, you’re hearing that because is ugly is what’s going on inside the White House and it’s a reﬂection of people who don’t want to fucking face it. And the moral bankruptcy of this country and this particular moment and people don’t want to hear about it, even on the left, even that the Democrats have not fucking, you know, been able to squelch this thing as well, they should have a certain culpability in it. And that’s just the reality. So yeah, she fucking blew the roof oﬀ the joint. BLADE: Do you enjoy doing “The Wendy Williams Show”? BERNHARD: I love doing Wendy’s show. She’s always great, she loves me, she’s supportive, she’s fun, she’s not intrusive. I do it, I kiss her, we’re done and she’s totally cool. BLADE: How do you stay so thin? Do you work at it or does it come naturally? BERNHARD: Well I’m naturally skinny and then as I’ve aged, and once I had Cicely my body shifted a little bit. Now I gotta work on it but I think like Catherine Deneuve says, at a certain point you gotta keep an extra 10 pounds on your ass to make sure your face looks good and that’s the truth. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM WASHINGTON BLADE PRESENTS: SANDRA BERNHARD ‘SANDEMONIUM’ Shakespeare Theatre Company Harman Center for the Arts Friday, June 8 7:30 p.m. $59-99 washingtonblade.com/tickets
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DC Housing Expo & Home Show w
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5 reasons a master plan neighborhood could be right for you Good schools, quiet streets and universal curb appeal Neo-Traditional Communities or “Master-Planned” Communities are increasingly becoming the most popular choices for families. These neighborhoods typically provide recreational and entertainment amenities for residents, but what truly sets this option apart from others is the incredible sense of community fostered by close-proximity. With the summer buying season upon us, we’ve rounded up the five top reasons why a Master Plan neighborhood may be an option to consider for your family: Outdoor Space If you’ve ever watched an episode of “House Hunters” on HGTV, you’ll know that finding outdoor space for Fido is always high on the wish list. The American Pet Association has reported that 44 percent of all households in the U.S. own a dog, which means that a large percentage of families certainly have their pooch in mind when buying a home. New home neighborhoods tend to be specifically designed to provide a myriad of outdoor options from trails, to parks, to wide sidewalks and backyards. Some even have designated dog parks with ample room for man’s best friend to live his/ her best life.
The McKinley is just one model of the new homes available at Embrey Mill in North Stafford, Va.
Universal Curb Appeal A Master Plan community comes with just that – a master plan. When driving by these neighborhoods you will typically find manicured lawns and beautifully designed facades to create a cohesive community feel. For buyers, these communities provide many design and home options to match your lifestyle. For example, a modern urban townhome might be a perfect fit or a more traditional looking single-family home is more your speed. Top Schools
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As important as it is to be close to work, the interstate, public transportation and your local grocery store, one of the top items on the priority list is also to be in a great school district. One of the advantages to moving into a new home community in the Greater Washington, D.C. metro area is that your children can get a great education in a variety of counties in the DMV region. Here is a quick roundup of the best rated public schools: Loudon County – 2nd Best School in District in VA Stafford County – 17th Best School in District in VA Prince William County – 27th Best School in District in VA Frederick County – 3rd Best School District in MD Close to Everything, but Away from the Noise Master plan communities are typically located away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, but are developed near everyday conveniences such as restaurants, stores, healthcare, and schools. Depending on size and scale, some communities even have dining or shopping options on-site to make sure that their residents have options that they can easily walk to. “The Home is Built-In” It’s no surprise that Master Plan com-
munities have all the amenities that a family typically needs – but one thing buyers might be surprised to find is that when you join one of these communities you really will find community spirit. One great example of this is Embrey Mill, an 831-acre new home community in North Stafford, Va. Just recently the community celebrated the one-year anniversary of providing a deserving military family with a mortgage-free home from Newland Communities, Miller and Smith, and Operation Finally Home. The family is thriving with the continued support of their neighbors, which just goes to show the connections and relationships that can develop. While house hunting this season, be sure to include a Master Plan community on your list to check out what all the buzz is about. Good luck in your search! (Courtesy The Team at Embrey Mill by Newland Communities)
Embrey Mill is a new home community set in the rolling hills of historic North Stafford, Va. The 831-acre community is planned to have more than 1,800 homes, and combines 285 acres of meaningful open space and distinct, intimate neighborhoods to encourage community interaction. Embrey Mill is developed by Newland Communities, the largest private developer of planned residential and mixed-use communities in the United States. Learn more about Embrey Mill by visiting EmbreyMill.com.
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BODYWORK THE MAGIC TOUCH: Swedish, Massage or Deep Tissue. Appts 202486-6183, Low Rates, 24/7, In-Calls. STUNNING CONTEMPORARY 3BR/3.5BA open floor plan, 3 fireplaces, pine plank flooring throughout, private balcony off bedrooms, deck, screened Gazebo. Partially finished basement. View of Castle. Walk to downtown. New roof. Garage. 1.5hrs from D.C. 3 Lee Circle, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411. Text E67044 to 85377 for information.
All Classified Ads - Including Regular & Adult Must Be Received By Mondays at 5PM So They Can Be Included in That Week’s Edition of Washington Blade and washingtonblade.com
LUCAS IS BACK 5’ 9”, 170 LBS, 36 YO, Latino Masseur offering Swedish to Sensual massage on my heated table, in a private atmosphere. In/out, Hotels welcome, Parking Available, 24/7. Call Lucas, 240-462-8669. email@example.com.
Place your HOUSING TO SHARE ad online at washingtonblade.com and the ad prints free in the paper and online.* *25 words or less prints free - anything more is $1/word.
Queer your beer.
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2018 #PridePils Launch Yappy Hour
June 6, 2018 @ 6PM Town Patio 2009 8th St NW
All proﬁts of can sales to beneﬁt SMYAL and Blade Foundation
Visit PridePils.com for more information.
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W A SH I N G T O N BLA D E . CO M
Peter Rosenstein; Daniel Pattenden; Kathy and Tom Williams; Andrew Williams and Jason Babcock; Colleen Dermody; Chris Beagle, Berkshire Hathaway Gallo Realty, Rehoboth Beach; Darrin L. Glymph; Dale Curtis Communications; Floriana Restaurant; Khadijah Tribble; Level 2 Development; Lynne Brown, publisher, Washington Blade; Brian Pitts, co-owner, Washington Blade; Kevin Naff, editor, Washington Blade
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; Karl Racine, Attorney General, Washington, D.C.; David Muse, Artistic Director, Studio Theatre
Washington Blade Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-proﬁt
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JUNE 01, 2018 • 55
I love wandering through Smithsonian museums, eating on H Street with friends, and going to shows at Howard Theatre.
I’m a transgender woman and I’m part of DC. Please treat me the way any woman 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.