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PRIDE 2018 BRINGS PARTIES, FESTIVALS, PARADES — AND SOME UNEXPECTED SIGHTS. PAGES 10, 27, 42-45

JUNE 15,

2018

VOLUME 49

ISSUE 24

AN AWKWARD PENTAGON PRIDE, PAGE 12

AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE

PULSE VICTIM REFLECTS ON ATTACK, PAGE 18

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

ORIOLES TO HOST FIRST PRIDE NIGHT, PAGE 23


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LGBT ‘health data collection’ bill introduced in D.C. Council D.C. Council members David Grosso (I-At-Large) and Robert White (D-At-Large) introduced a bill last week that would require the D.C. Department of Health and the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education to collect demographic data on sexual orientation and gender identity as part of their public health surveys of adults and students. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Health Data Collection Amendment Act of 2018, among other things, would require the two city agencies to utilize annual health surveys to understand the health barriers impacting the LGBTQ community,” according to a statement released by White. In a separate statement, Grosso said that although the city’s education department is already collecting some data pertaining to LGBT students, a decision by the Trump administration to cut back on LGBT data collection in various federal surveys makes it necessary for D.C. to expand its own data collection in this area. “At a time when the federal government is retreating from its responsibility to protect everyone’s human rights, we must ensure that D.C. is doing everything it can to ensure those rights,” Grosso said. “Part of that is documenting the health disparities that affect our LGBTQ neighbors so that we can target interventions to end those disparities,” he said.  In addition to Grosso and Robert White, the 11 remaining Council members, including Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) all signed on as co-introducers of the bill. LOU CHIBBARO JR. Del. Gov. JOHN CARNEY is expected to sign a ban on ‘conversion therapy’ passed last week.

Delaware poised to ban ‘conversion therapy’ The Delaware House last week voted 24-14 to approve a ban on “conversion therapy,” a widely discredited practice that purports to change sexual orientation from gay to straight. Senate Bill 65, which prohibits the use of “conversion therapy” on LGBTQ youth in Delaware is sponsored by State Sen. Harris McDowell and State Rep. Debra Heffernan (D-Bellefonte). The measure was approved by the Senate last year and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Carney. Delaware would join 12 other jurisdictions that ban the practice, including New Jersey, Nevada, California, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, Oregon, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York and the District of Columbia. New Hampshire is in a similar situation as Delaware, with its General Assembly passing legislation preventing the use of “conversion therapy” awaiting signature from its governor. The Human Rights Campaign said in a statement that research has shown “conversion therapy” can result in numerous harmful risks, including decreased self-esteem, depression, substance abuse, homelessness and suicidal behavior. The practice has been condemned by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and American Medical Association. “For young people across Delaware, this legislation provides vital and potentially lifesaving protections from the damaging, dangerous and discredited practice known as ‘conversion therapy,’” said HRC National Press Secretary, Sarah McBride, in a statement. “While Delaware has made historic progress on LGBTQ equality, we can and must do more to protect LGBTQ youth from rejection, stigma and harm. SB 65 is a critical and significant step in the right direction.” McBride is a native Delawarean, born in Wilmington. She worked as a campaign staffer for Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden’s 2010 campaign and Gov. Jack Markell’s 2008 campaign. “We thank those members of the General Assembly who voted to protect LGBTQ children against the dangerous and harmful practice of conversion therapy, and especially prime sponsors Sen. Harris McDowell and Rep. Debra Heffernan and their legislative aides for their leadership,” said Equality Delaware’s Mark Purpura in a statement. “We look forward to Gov. Carney signing the bill into law promptly.” Under the measure, a licensed medical practitioner who performs the practice could be fined or have their license revoked. BLAKE CHAMBERS

Last weekend’s Pride Run 5K raised thousands. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Pride Run 5K raises thousands for charity The sixth annual DC Front Runners Pride Run 5K held at Congressional Cemetery on June 8 was another sold out success, raising thousands for local charities. This year’s theme was “Run for a Cause” and 1,500 runners raised more than $25,000. Beneficiaries included SMYAL, which received $15,000; the Team DC Scholarship Fund with $5,000; $2,500 each for Casa Ruby, the Wanda Alston Foundation and Teens Run DC Mentoring; and $500 to the Washington Blade Foundation. STAFF REPORTS


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D.C. candidates make final push as election nears Mayor, Council members showcase strong records of LGBT support By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com  D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and six members of the City Council who are running for re-election in the city’s June 19  Democratic primary have highlighted their strong records of support on LGBT issues in an election where nearly all of their opponents also expressed support for LGBT rights. LGBT rights advocates have said that D.C.’s longstanding status as a city in which all serious candidates for public office are supportive of LGBT equality has prompted many LGBT voters to look to non-LGBT issues to help them decide which candidates to back. In the Ward 1 Council race, gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and law librarian Kent Boese is one of three candidates challenging incumbent Democrat Brianne Nadeau, who has been a loyal ally of the LGBT community since winning election to the Council four years ago. Boese, who has worked on a wide range of issues impacting Ward 1 in his role as an ANC commissioner, has argued that he would be the best to represent all of the ward’s residents, including LGBT residents. He has criticized Nadeau for not retaining the level of constituent services maintained by her predecessor on the Council, the late Jim Graham who was gay. Nadeau defeated Graham in the 2014 Democratic primary following a series of allegations that Graham violated city ethics rules, which Graham strongly denied. Nadeau disputes claims she has fallen short on constituent services. Boese has received endorsements from the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest local LGBT political organization, and the LGBT Victory Fund, a national group that provides financial and logistical support for LGBT candidates it deems viable and qualified for public office. Nadeau has pointed to her strong record of support on LGBT issues and has said her record on other issues, such as addressing homelessness, affordable housing, and tenants’ rights, among other issues, has benefited the ward’s LGBT residents. The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, a nonpartisan group that rates candidates based on LGBT and some non-LGBT issues, gave Nadeau a +9.5 rating on a scale of -10, the worst possible rating, to +10, the highest possible rating. The group gave Boese a rating of +9, saying both he and Nadeau showed an excellent understanding

D.C. Mayor MURIEL BOWSER is the odds-on favorite to beat lesser-known challengers in the Democratic primary on June 19. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

and knowledge on the issues it deems important in their responses to GLAA’s candidate questionnaire. In a statement accompanying its ratings, GLAA said Nadeau’s slightly higher score was based on her record and accomplishments in office, a factor that the group acknowledges gives an advantage to incumbents. Boese, meanwhile, is one of nine openly gay or lesbian candidates on the ballot in the June 19 primary, but most observers say he is the only one with a shot at winning election to a governmental office. Among the nine candidates, five gay men and one lesbian are running for seats on the D.C. Democratic State Committee, which serves as the governing body for the city’s Democratic Party. One of them is veteran gay rights and Ward 8 activist Philip Pannell. Gay Libertarian Party candidate Martin Moulton is running unopposed for his party’s nomination for mayor. Gay Libertarian activist Bruce Majors is also running unopposed in the primary for his party’s nomination for the city’s congressional delegate seat held by Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton. Norton, who’s facing token opposition in the primary, is considered the overwhelming favorite to win re-election in the November general election. The Stein Club voted by acclamation to endorse her re-election bid. Moulton received more votes than President Donald Trump when he ran for the congressional delegate seat in D.C.’s November 2016 general election, although he lost to Norton by a lopsided margin. Bowser, who many LGBT activists consider one of the city’s most LGBT supportive mayors, has received high ratings in public opinion polls among all city voters. She is considered the odds on favorite to beat lesser-known challengers James Butler and Ernest Johnson in the June 19 Democratic primary.

Her LGBT supporters note that she has appointed more than a dozen LGBT people to high-level positions in her administration, including cabinet level posts, more so, they say, than any previous D.C. mayor. In a city where 76 percent of registered voters are Democrats, Bowser and the Democratic Council candidates who win in the primary next week are expected to easily win in the general election in November. However, political observers say three of the Council’s Democratic incumbents, including Nadeau, are facing competitive challenges in the primary. In addition to Boese, Democratic contenders Lori Parker, a former Superior Court judge, and community activist and progressive stalwart Sheika Reid, are running spirited races for the Ward 1 seat. Observers say Nadeau has the advantage in facing three challengers who could divide the opposition vote to enable her to win the race. Although Parker and Reid have expressed support for LGBT rights, GLAA assigned Parker a rating of +1.5, saying her responses to the group’s questionnaire lacked specificity on some issues and were at odds with GLAA’s positions on other issues. The group gave Reid a “0” rating for not returning the questionnaire. The latest candidate filings with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance show that Nadeau has a commanding lead in money raised for her campaign. As of June 10, she had raised $243,935 compared to $80,620 raised by Boese. The finance reports show that Reid raised $71,455 and Parker raised $60,306. While Nadeau’s report shows that all of the money she raised came from individuals and businesses, the reports filed by Boese, Reid, and Parker show part of the money they raised came from loans from themselves. Boese loaned his campaign $10,000, Reid gave her campaign a loan of $17,900, and Parker

loaned her campaign $20,000, according to their respective finance reports. Political observers say D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large), a longtime supporter of LGBT rights who’s running for his sixth term on the Council, is also facing a competitive challenge by community activist Ed Lazere. The Stein Club endorsed Mendelson and GLAA gave him a +9.5 rating. But in a development that surprised some LGBT activists, The Trans United Fund, a political action committee that backs candidates it deems supportive on issues of importance to the transgender community, endorsed Lazere. Lazere has also received the backing of a number of progressive groups despite Mendelson’s reputation as being one of the Council’s most progressive members. In the city’s at-large Council race, Democratic incumbent Anita Bonds, also a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, received a +10 rating from GLAA. Yet in another development that surprised activists, Bonds was unable to win an endorsement from the Stein Club. One of two Democrats challenging her in the primary, Jeramiah Lowery, received enough votes from Stein Club members to prevent her from receiving a required 60 percent vote to win the endorsement, even though she received the most votes. Lowery also won the endorsement of the Trans United Fund. And in another unexpected development, the Washington Post endorsed the other Democrat running against Bonds, Marcus Goodwin. Lowery received a +7 GLAA rating. GLAA gave Goodwin a “0” rating because he did not return the GLAA questionnaire. Goodwin told the Washington Blade he’s a strong supporter of LGBT rights and planned to return the questionnaire before the election. Similar to Nadeau, some political observers say Bonds also has the advantage of having two opponents who could split the opposition vote to help her win the primary. Among the other Council races, Ward 3 incumbent Mary Cheh (D), a longtime LGBT rights supporter, is running unopposed in the primary. She won the Stein Club endorsement and received a +10 rating from GLAA. Ward 5 incumbent and LGBT rights supporter Kenyan McDuffie (D) won the Stein Club endorsement and received a +8 rating from GLAA. Each of four lesser known Democrats running against McDuffie in the primary – Gayle Hall Carley, Nestor Djonkam, LaMonica Jeffrey, and Bradley Thomas – received a “0” rating from GLAA for not returning the questionnaire. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM


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JUNE 15, 2018 • 07

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Arrest made in 5th D.C. anti-gay assault since April Suspect charged with destroying Pride decorations, assaulting shop employee

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com  D.C. police on Sunday arrested a 34-year-old District man for allegedly destroying Pride decorations attached to the outside of a Dupont Circle area pet grooming shop and for allegedly assaulting one of the shop’s employees and threatening to assault another. According to a police arrest affidavit, Uduak E. Iben allegedly stated “fuck gay people” while attacking two employees of Doggy Style Bakery, Boutique and Pet Spa at 1642 R Street, N.W. after they asked him to stop damaging the Pride decorations. The affidavit says the incident occurred about 5 p.m. Sunday, June 10, one day after the Capital Pride Parade traveled

along 17th Street a short distance from where the pet spa is located and on the same day that the Capital Pride Festival and Concert took place a few miles away on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Police charged Iben with one count each of Simple Assault, Destruction of Property, and Attempted Threats to Do Bodily Harm. He pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment in D.C. Superior Court on Monday and was released on his own recognizance pending a status hearing set for July 10. The incident marks the fifth time since April 15 that one or more male suspects have attacked male victims in D.C. while yelling anti-gay slurs. The latest incident at the pet spa became the second time police have made an arrest in one of the five incidents. All of the incidents have occurred in different locations, with three of the five taking place near gay bars or gay clubs. Based on the two arrests and descriptions of the suspects in the three unsolved cases, the perpetrators appear to be different people in each of the incidents.

In the latest incident at the pet spa, the arrest affidavit says the incident began when Iben entered the establishment and became “loud and boisterous” and management personnel asked him to leave. “The defendant departed the establishment and then proceeded to rip a Gay Pride Ribbon in half which was affixed to the establishment,” the affidavit says. “Complainant one (1) approached the defendant followed by Complainant two (2) and asked the defendant to stop,” the affidavit continues. “The defendant refused to stop and continued to destroy the property while simultaneously stating “fuck gay people” and then threw several punches at Complainant – however none took effect,” it says. “Complainant one (1) took the defendant to the ground and maintained control of him until my arrival on the scene,” says the affidavit, which was written by one of the arresting officers. A separate charging document says Iben threatened to assault other complainant, referred to as Complainant 2, resulting in his being charged with

Attempted Threats to Do Bodily Harm. The affidavit says Complainant 2 corroborated the information given by Complainant 1. It says that while being interviewed by the officers on the scene defendant Iben stated to Complainant 2, “Fuck you, you fucking bitch. I’m going to fuck you in the ass.” A separate police incident report lists the incident as a suspected anti-gay hate crime based on the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation. Court records from Maryland show that Iben has been arrested numerous times on mostly misdemeanor offenses in Montgomery County since 2010. The records show that at least three 2018 cases are still pending, one for a Jan. 18 arrest for “intoxicated public disturbance;” another for a Feb. 14 disorderly conduct arrest; and the third for a May 7 arrest for possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage. The court records show Iben was living in Montgomery County at the time of the three arrests. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Mary Washington looks to unseat longtime Md. state senator Says Gov. Hogan not ‘a strong ally’ on LGBT issues By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com State Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) on Monday said her Maryland Senate campaign is about more than a single issue. “I’m very mindful as an out African American in the General Assembly . . . I embody intersectionality,” she told the Washington Blade during a telephone interview. “There’s often discussions in the LGBTQ community that there are always these tensions around class and race and sex and our range of sexuality in our community.” “I live intersectionality,” added Washington. “I bring that perspective to the work that I do.” Washington is challenging state Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore City) in the Democratic primary for Senate District 43 that will take place on June 26. Washington has represented House District 43 in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2011. She is the first openly LGBT elected official of color in the state. The LGBTQ Victory Fund and LPAC have both endorsed Washington. She also thanked her partner of 10 years, Jodi Kelber-Kaye, for her continued support. “I am so grateful for my partner in this race,” Washington told the Blade.

MARY WASHINGTON is looking to move from the House of Delegates to the Maryland Senate. PHOTO COURTESY WASHINGTON CAMPAIGN

Washington’s campaign website notes her platform includes a pledge to “continue to protect vulnerable people in need: Homeless youth, rights of prisoners and returning citizens.” It also highlights her support of LGBT rights. “Delegate Washington will continue to ensure women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, people of all immigration statuses, people of any or no religious affiliation, and every member of our community receive the respect, attention and intentional action they need and deserve from our government,” says her campaign. “Delegate Washington believes every community should have a voice when addressing issues that concern the community as a whole.” Washington told the Blade that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples was “a great step forward,” but it did not end other forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and

gender identity. Washington said transgender, gender queer and nonbinary Marylanders in particular remain vulnerable to discrimination in housing and in other areas. “We still have so much to do around housing discrimination those people are still experiencing,” she told the Blade. “In addition, people who identify as gays and lesbians and bisexuals are still being discriminated against.” Washington’s platform also includes raising Maryland’s minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, the implementation of universal pre-kindergarten in Baltimore public schools and banning assault weapons in the state. “I identify as a progressive,” Washington told the Blade. “That progressive agenda is one of intersectionality.” Washington said she doesn’t “have the privilege of being a single-issue person.” She also told the Blade the state Senate

can play a role in challenging the Trump administration’s policies toward LGBT people, immigrants, health care and the environment. “The Senate will be the frontline for the defense against the Trump administration that will roll us back,” said Washington. Washington would be the first openly LGBT senator of color in the state Senate if she were to win. Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer would become the country’s first openly trans state senator if she were to win her state Senate race. State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), who is among the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, could become the first openly gay governor if he were to defeat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November. Washington acknowledged Hogan last month signed a bill, which Madaleno introduced in the state Senate, that bans so-called conversion therapy for minors in Maryland. Washington said he “had no choice” after state Del. Meagan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel County) in an April 4 speech on the House floor before the final vote on Senate Bill 1028 came out as bisexual and said her parents — including state Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel County) — suggested she undergo conversion therapy. Washington also pointed out there were enough votes to override Hogan’s potential veto. “That office does not identify as a strong ally,” Washington told the Blade.


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LO CA L N E W S

Thousands turn out for Capital Pride Predicted thunderstorms and parade protesters fail to materialize

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com  Tens of thousands of D.C.-area residents and visitors from the MidAtlantic region turned out for D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade last Saturday and the annual Capital Pride Festival and Concert on Sunday. And to the delight of both participants and spectators of the weekend’s LGBT festivities, predictions by weather forecasters of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms did not materialize. Instead, thick clouds hovering over the parade, festival, and concert during both days provided relief from the normal oppressive heat that has accompanied the events in past years. “I think the Lord is looking down kindly on us,” said a young woman standing in front of a booth at the festival set up by United Methodist Churches of the National Capital Area. The booth was among at least a dozen booths set up at the festival by LGBT supportive churches and faith organizations. Similar to past years, the parade followed a 1.5 mile route from Dupont Circle to the Logan Circle area, traveling past the 17th Street, N.W. restaurant district to 14th and R Streets, N.W. There were at least 200 contingents in the parade, and thousands lined the streets along the way to watch. One ‘contingent’ that did not show up at the parade this year was No Justice No Pride, a dissident group whose members disrupted the Capital Pride Parade last year by forming a human chain that blocked the parade’s path. D.C. police at the time rerouted the parade, choosing not to arrest the protesters, an action that averted a confrontation but that delayed the parade for nearly two hours. Spokespersons for No Justice No Pride did not respond to a request from the Washington Blade for comment on whether they planned to stage a protest against the parade this year. In a statement released in April, the group criticized Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes many of D.C.’s Pride related events, including the parade, for not agreeing to a series of demands it sent to Capital Pride. Among them were calls for banning police from participating in the parade and festival, barring corporate sponsors associated with defense and weapons manufacturing, and restructuring its board to include more transgender people of color and Native Americans. Capital Pride officials have said they have

significantly increased the diversity of the group’s board and volunteers and that many trans people of color have and continue to be part of the Pride events. Several corporations involved in defense work had parade contingents this year, including Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, which had a colorful float with large models of three fighter jets. As it has each year since 2014, an eightmember contingent of the U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard representing all five branches of the military also marched in this year’s parade, drawing loud applause from spectators. Among the parade contingents receiving the loudest cheers this year was a float from the Washington Capitals hockey team, which appeared less than a week after the Capitals made history by winning the Stanley Cup championship. Unlike the past two years, there were no Capitals’ players on the float this year due, in part, according to some observers, to their appearance on the same day at Washington Nationals Stadium to be honored for their Stanley Cup victory. Also receiving loud applause were Dennis and Judy Shepard, the parents of murdered gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. The Shepards served as grand marshals for this year’s Capital Pride Parade. Among other things, they founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation to address the issue of antiLGBT violence shortly after their son’s 1998 murder in one of the nation’s most notorious hate crimes. Among the local elected officials marching in the parade were D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), City Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large), and D.C. Council members Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), Elisa Silverman (I-At-Large), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6). All but Evans are running for re-election this year in the city’s June 19 primary. Others marching in the parade were lesbian businesswoman Dionne Reeder, who’s running for an at-large D.C. Council seat as an independent in the November general election, and gay Maryland State Sen. Rich Madaleno, who’s running for governor. Gay Libertarian Party activist Martin Moulton, who’s running for D.C. mayor, and his fellow gay Libertarian leader Bruce Majors, who’s running for the city’s congressional delegate seat, distributed their respective campaign literature at a booth at the festival. Michael Bekesha, a Republican running for the Ward 6 D.C. Council seat, handed out campaign literature at the D.C. Log Cabin Republicans’ booth at the festival. The gay GOP group has endorsed his candidacy. There were at least 300 festival booths

TROYE SIVAN was a headliner at Sunday’s Pride Concert.

on Sunday, which lined Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in three separate rows between 3rd and 7th Streets. Among them were those set up by dozens of local and national LGBT organizations and LGBT supportive groups such as the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Widespread reports that the administration of President Donald Trump is rolling back LGBT supportive policies put in place during the Obama administration did not appear to deter a number of federal agencies from setting up booths at this year’s Capital Pride Festival. Although the federal agency booths were operated by members of LGBT employee groups at the agencies, sources familiar with the groups said the agencies gave their approval for the groups to appear at the Pride festival. Among them were the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA. Similar to past years, FBI and CIA employees at their respective booths handed out recruitment literature beckoning LGBT festival goers to consider working for the two security agencies. The two agencies began hiring gays in the 1990s when President Bill Clinton issued an executive ordering banning all government agencies from denying a security clearance for gays solely on grounds of their sexual orientation. Among the headliner entertainers that performed on the main stage of the festival’s concert were singer, songwriter

WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

and actress Keri Hilson and Kim Petras and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Asia O’Hara. Also performing was 22-year-old singer, songwriter, and actor Troye Sivan. “The community was eager to come out and participate in and experience Pride,” said Capital Pride Alliance Executive Director Ryan Bos. Bos noted that as he has for the past few years, he greeted the crowd from the festival’s main stage near the U.S. Capitol Building by asking how many in the audience were there at a Pride festival and concert for the first time. “Thousands of people raised their hands and cheered,” said Ryan, adding, “It’s like that every year.” He said the idea of creating a safe space for such a large number of people, many of whom are young and have just come out as LGBT, is highly gratifying for the Capital Pride staff and its large contingent of volunteers. Transgender rights advocate Ruby Corado, founder and executive director of Casa Ruby, the D.C. LGBT community services center, was among the leaders of local groups that had both a festival booth and a contingent in the parade. “I feel happy that people are finally understanding that LGBT Pride includes all of us,” Corado said. “And I see so many more people coming together, and that makes me happy because I do hope that as we gain LGBT rights, no one is left behind. I see trans people getting more recognition than ever and, again, it is important that no one is left behind.”


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NATIONAL NEWS

Tension as Pentagon hosts Pride while pushing to ban trans members Speakers address struggles under Trump policy By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com Pride is supposed to be a time for celebration, but there was palpable tension Monday at the annual Defense Department Pride event as LGBT civilians and members of the armed forces recognized the occasion. The event — hosted by DOD Pride, an affinity group for LGBT Pentagon employees — has been held each year within the Defense Department since 2011 when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal was certified. But the elephant in the room was President Trump’s transgender military ban. It was the first such celebration since Trump announced in July 2017 on Twitter he’d ban transgender service members “in any capacity.” That didn’t stop transgender service members — who are free to continue service thanks to court orders against Trump’s military ban — from speaking at the event in the Pentagon auditorium and sharing inspirational thoughts about Pride. Maj. Jamie Lee Henry, staff internist and a transgender active duty physician at Walter Reed Medical Center, said Pride is a time for “celebration of our humanity, our resilience and our bravery,” but alluded to difficulties under the transgender military ban. “I am not a stranger to the dark,” Henry said. “Recent events had me think a lot about experiences that I’ve gone through over the last five years.” Henry said she is sometimes asked about the experience of being a transgender doctor, and her best response is a quote from French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, who called affliction “physical pain, distress of soul and social degradation all at the same time.” “It was in 2013 when my only New Year’s resolutions were to not end my life or end up in jail,” Henry said. “I was an active duty captain. At the time, those goals seemed like the lowest hanging fruit I could reach.” Henry, who said she had to find Jesus Christ after learning “we have to find people of character who give us the reins” to be better people, became emotional as she talked about the challenges and had to pause briefly before she could continue. The Pentagon held the event without issuing any kind of formal memorandum recognizing Pride — another first since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal certification in 2011. A Pentagon spokesperson, nonetheless, told the Blade the celebration in the auditorium was “an official event.” No senior Pentagon official was on the

Lt. Cmdr. BLAKE DREMANN attended the DOD Pride event as a recipient of DOD Pride’s Military Leadership Award. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

stage for the event, although Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey and Vee Penrod, acting secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, were seated in the audience, as well as Maj. Gen. Tammy Smith, the first openly gay general officer. Although under the Obama administration Chuck Hagel and Ashton Carter attended the event and delivered remarks, Defense Secretary James Mattis — who recently penned his name to a 45page recommendation against transgender service — wasn’t in attendance. Matthew Thorn, executive director of the LGBT military group OutServe-SLDN, was present at the event and afterward told the Blade attendees were able to embrace the Pride spirit. “I think it’s evident from the energy of the people, from the attendance of certain people, including Sgt. Maj. Dailey, that there are individuals in this building, the command and the military structure — both civilian and uniformed — that still support LGBT individuals in service,” Thorn said. Another transgender speaker at the event was Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann, a staff officer for the Nuclear Enterprise Support Office at the Defense Logistics Agency headquarters, who attended the event as a recipient of DOD Pride’s Military Leadership Award. Although he’s serving under Trump’s transgender military ban, Dremann said he enjoys “a lot of privilege” in the military compared to other transgender troops “as an officer who has broken barriers in many ways, with a good reputation and as a male.” “My struggles are wholly different than many of the service members that I have the privilege of leading,” Dremann said. Dremann recalled the story of a

transgender soldier who faced significant pushback and admonition during her transition, but “that drove her to be the best that she could be,” and another story of a sailor who came out as transgender after she was promoted to chief, but was able to keep the position and begin mentoring others. “Transgender service members are some of the most resilient service members that you will ever meet,” Dremann said. “It is a reminder to leaders that we should be doing our best to remove barriers to service.” Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the keynote speech and said Pride is a time for celebration of LGBT people, but also to reflect on “the road that we’ve taken, the challenges that we face and the obstacles we’ve overcome.” “I firmly believe that the right, the privilege and the responsibility to defend our nation should not be denied to any American,” Brown said. “But throughout our history, it’s been a struggle for the military to accept the service of courageous women, African Americans, gays and lesbians and now of transgender Americans.” Praising the contributions of transgender people to the U.S. military, Brown called for action to support “thousands of transgender Americans who have fought and died and are currently serving in uniform.” “It’s important that President Trump gives transgender service men and women, transgender Americans, the same right to serve their country, and if not, the courts and Congress must repudiate any ban on such service,” Brown said. Members of the audience broke their

silence and responded with applause to Brown’s remarks on potential action from Congress and the court against the transgender military ban. But the event didn’t ignore the progress made on LGBT inclusion in the military, such as repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Douglas Wilson, who served as head of public affairs for the Defense Department during the early Obama years and was the first openly gay person ever confirmed to a senior Pentagon position, was the recipient of DOD Pride’s Civilian Leadership Award at the event and spoke to that progress. “This is amazing for me because when I was at the Pentagon, there was no such thing as this,” Wilson said. Wilson recalled the time when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was debated in Congress and having an exchange with troops in the close confines of a tank about having to serve with gay people. Each service member said he had no problem with it. “That is when I knew ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was going to be repealed because I knew then that the military was not separate from the society in which we lived and reflects the society in which we live,” Wilson said. Brown left the audience with thoughts signaling that just as the military became a welcoming place for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, it will one day be the same for transgender people. “As we continue this journey, we’ll do so as a society that understands — more so than ever before - that the LGBT community’s story is one part of our larger American story, a story of struggle and hope, or reversal and redemption of a nation that sometimes falls short of our ideals, but that’s always determined to overcome,” Brown said.


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JUNE 15, 2018 • 13

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Trump admin adopts Obama-era goals in fighting HIV/AIDS Progress achieved for trans women, but not gay and bisexual men By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com The Trump administration has gained a reputation for repudiation of policies enacted during the Obama years, but has adopted the plan of the Obama White House in combatting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of HIV/AIDS & Infectious Disease Policy issued a 69-page progress report indicating the Trump administration has “affirmed its support” for the 2010 National AIDS Strategy, which was issued during the Obama administration and enumerated gay and bisexual men as groups vulnerable to the disease. “At the start of 2017 there was uncertainty about how the Trump administration would approach HIV and whether the NHAS would continue to guide our nation’s response to HIV,” the report says. “The Trump administration has affirmed its support of the NHAS and its goals, recognizing that adaptation and flexibility may be required. This is necessary in order to respond efficiently and effectively to scientific advances, changes in the needs of people living with and at-risk for HIV, and other factors that drive the response to HIV and AIDS.” The report also indicates the Trump administration will issue either a new or updated report by 2020 that will reassess the epidemic domestically and make new goals in combatting it. According to the report, work on that updated strategy will begin this year. “In 2018 we will begin work on a new or updated NHAS that carries forward the theme of a national plan developed with the input of individuals living with HIV and at risk for infection, community groups and national organizations, the faith community, providers from various disciplines, researchers, federal, state, and local governments, and so many others,” the report says. “The new or updated NHAS will also build upon existing knowledge and experiences, set new goals and targets and guide us beyond 2020 to the end of HIV in America.” The report also includes a timeline of the Trump administration’s effort to combat HIV/AIDS. Starting with the inauguration of Trump in January 2017, the report notes milestones such as an executive order renewing the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS for another two years and new funding from the Centers for Disease Control for state health departments. Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of the AIDS Institute, said his organization is on the whole “very pleased” the Trump

PRESIDENT OBAMA’s National AIDS Strategy from 2010 remains the guiding document for combating the epidemic. PHOTO BY ADRIGU; COURTESY WIKIMEDIA

administration has affirmed the Obamaera National AIDS Strategy. “We’re pleased that they adopted this,” Schmid said. “We know it was approved by the secretary’s office and that they’re moving forward. Commitment to ending AIDS was in there, which is really important and that they want to also start the process of drafting a new strategy.” The progress report itself enumerates gay and bisexual men among other groups as a population disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as transgender women. While progress hasn’t been achieved reducing HIV among gay and bisexual men, the report says the goals have been met in reducing the viral loads for transgender women in HIV care. • For the goal of reducing the percentage of gay and bisexual men who have engaged in HIV risk behaviors by 10 percent, the report found the number climbed from 34.1 percent in 2013 to 35.2 percent in 2015. The annual target was 33.3 percent. • For the goal of reducing the disparities in the rate of new diagnoses by at least 15 percent among gay and bisexual men, the report found the disparity steadily climbed from 20.5 to 22.7 in 2015. The annual target was 19.7. • For the goal of reducing the disparities in the rate for new diagnoses by at least 15 percent among gay and bisexual men, the report found the disparity escalated from 109.4 in 2010 to 118.5 in 2015. The annual target was 105.3. • For the goal of increasing the percentage

of transgender women in HIV medical care who virally suppressed to at least 90 percent, the report found that number steadily increased from 62.2 percent in 2010 to 73.9 percent in 2015. The annual target was 71.9 percent. “Indicators measuring disparities in new HIV diagnoses did not meet the annual target among gay and bisexual men overall, young Black gay and bisexual men, and among persons living in the southern United States,” the report says. “In contrast to these results, new HIV diagnosis disparities were reduced among Black women and the annual target was met.” The report indicates goals among gay and bisexual men aren’t met, while progress is made on other goals, such as increasing the number of people who know their HIV status and reducing the number of new diagnoses overall by at least 25 percent. The number of new diagnoses was 43,806 in 2010, but that number fell to 40,040 in 2015, according to preliminary data. Despite the enumeration of this data, Schmid said the report wasn’t without faults, decrying how it excluded affirmation of the Affordable Care Act. Another absence was information on young gay Latinos, whom he said is another population where HIV/AIDS is “actually going up.” Schmid also credited the Obama administration for laying the groundwork for the report. All the data, Schmid noted, goes until 2015, which was before Trump

took office. “The data is always lagging, so it doesn’t represent the actual work of progress under the Trump administration,” Schmid said. “They’re just reporting out on what occurred.” Schmid said the report was expected on World AIDS Day on December 1, but it was only issued recently around Memorial Day. The report since that time has yet to receive significant attention in the media or elsewhere. But it wasn’t a surprise the Trump administration affirmed the National AIDS Strategy. Assistant Secretary of Health Brett Giroir, Schmid said, informed Congress the Trump administration would continue the Obama-era plan during his confirmation hearing. “We’ve been hearing positive things from the administration on HIV,” Schmid said. “So, I was obviously pleased...I think it’s important for the community to know that they are moving forward.” The Trump administration adopts the Obama-era strategy against HIV/AIDS as much of the internal infrastructure against the disease found in the previous administration is not in place. For starters, Trump has yet to appoint a director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, which was a position consistently filled in the Obama years. The President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS has gone without any member for nearly six months after Trump in December terminated the tenures of the Obama-era members, as first reported by the Washington Blade. Trump fired the remaining members of the council after six resigned in June 2017 over objections to the lack of an HIV strategy. The most recent budget from the Trump administration for fiscal year 2019 also proposed modest cuts to domestic HIV programs, while making significant cuts to global programs. Congress is expected to unveil its own budget proposal in the coming days, which will address whether they’re affirmed or rejected. Schmid said he’s heard from the Trump administration they intend to replace members of the President’s Advisory Council “soon, soon, soon.” “I hope it’s very soon because we need to have that check and that involvement with the community and the administration, and frankly, to keep the pressure on them,” Schmid said. As for the appointment of a White House AIDS czar, Schmid said the Trump administration seems to have a general practice of decentralization to Cabinet departments. “As long as the assistant secretary of health has the authority, has the leadership to implement these plans, to convene the different agencies, Cabinet agencies, we’re comfortable with that,” Schmid said.


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JUNE 15, 2018 • 15

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H E A L TH NEW S

J U N E 15, 2018 • 17

Keep your promise to protect each other.

PrEP affects Aussie gay sex practices NEW YORK — Now that Australia has PrEP, condom usage among gay men is down but so are HIV infection rates — even among guys not using the HIVprevention drug — according to a new Lancet HIV study reported on by the New York Times. The cross-sectional survey included almost 17,000 men in Victoria and New South Wales who said they had recently had casual sex with a male partner. From 2013-2017, the proportion of HIV-negative men using PrEP increased to 24 percent from 2 percent. During that time, the proportion of respondents with casual partners who said they consistently used condoms dropped to 31 percent from 46 percent, the Times reports.  Though PrEP was only approved in Australia in 2016, some men accessed it online internationally earlier.  “Safe sex is basically transformed by PrEP,” said Martin Holt, a researcher at University of New South Wales in Sydney, who led the study, according to the Times article.  Strikingly, unprotected sex among men who did not take PrEP increased 9 percent. “Rightly or wrongly, there is a sense among people that men can have safer sex without condoms for the first time,” said Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC, which promotes HIV prevention worldwide, to the New York Times. “We need a nuanced conversation about the patterns of choices.” One concern is that PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections. As use of the pill spreads, some clinicians are detecting more cases of diseases such as gonorrhea, as well as drug resistance to them. The Times cited Dr. Paul Volberding, director of the AIDS Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, for the information but other health officials have cited similar trends.

Gays warned of Hep A outbreak in Ohio JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio — The Jefferson County Health Department is reporting that Ohio has seen a surge of hepatitis A infections and that gay men are particularly at risk, WTOV9, a regional station, reports.  Local pharmacies like Rite Aid in Steubenville are now offering Hepatitis A vaccines. The liver disease is relatively rare, but health department data shows the reported cases of hepatitis A has already surpassed all of last year’s cases. “As of this morning, we have more than 80 cases in the state of Ohio,” said Annette Stewart of the Jefferson County Health Department, according to WTOV9. “All of last year, we had a total 45 for one year’s time. So, that is quite an increase.” The disease is transmissible through contaminated food and bodily fluids, but not through skin contact.  In the meantime, the Jefferson County Health Department is reminding residents they have clinics available for various health services, including STI and diabetes screenings. A new clinic is opening in Bergholz Tuesday. The new clinic will open at 387 3rd Street. Another new clinic opened in Toronto at the city’s municipal building, WTOV9 reports. 

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LONDON — LGB people living in states where it’s legal to deny services to same-sex couples may have an increased risk of mental illness even when they don’t personally experience discrimination, a U.S. study suggests. Reuters reported the findings.  ADVERTISING Direct exposure to discrimination based on sexual orientation, race and #1 ISSUE DATE: 10.26.12 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS (bpitts@washblade.com) a range of other factors has long been linked to higher risk PROOF of psychological distress. But less is known about the impact of state laws that let providers of 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 goods and services — whether they’re clerks issuing marriage licensesREVISIONS or doctors the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is or lawyers or bakers — turn away same-sex couples. 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 To examine this question, researchers looked at nationally representative survey 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, data collected from 2014-2016. Results were published May 23 in JAMA NO Psychiatry.  or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE 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 They analyzed data from 37,514 adults in three states — Utah, Michigan and 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. North Carolina — that passed laws permitting services to be denied to same-sex couples in 2015. They also had data from 71,575 individuals in six states without these laws: Idaho, Nevada, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and Delaware, Reuters reports. Researchers defined mental distress as experiencing depression, anxiety and other emotional problems on 14 or more days per month. In states that passed denial of service laws in 2015, the proportion of sexual minorities reporting mental distress rose from 22 percent in 2014 to about 33 percent in 2016. Where no such laws existed, the proportion of LGB adults reporting psychological problems rose only about 1 percentage point during that period, Reuters reports. 


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I survived Pulse, now I’m fighting to change gun laws Channeling anger and pain into political advocacy By TIARA PARKER When I think of getting closer to my little cousin Akyra, I think of sharing new experiences, secrets, and aspirations; not hiding from an active shooter in a nightclub bathroom stall. Two years ago, on June 12, we were celebrating — my little cousin Akyra had just graduated from West Catholic Prep, third in her class. She was set to attend Mercyhurst University in the fall on a basketball scholarship. But that night, our celebration turned into a nightmare when Akyra, 20 strangers, and I got as close as possible in a tiny bathroom stall and prayed that our lives would not be taken. I was shot, not only in my side, but I also sustained a grazed hip, burned back, and injuries to my right arm and legs. I was lucky

— not everyone was fortunate enough to live. My cousin, Akyra Murray, was shot and murdered in the second deadliest mass shooting in American history. I watched Akyra as she bled out while I tried to save her life by putting my weight on her wounds to stop the endless bleeding. The Pulse nightclub shooting happened two years ago, when a man walked into Pulse nightclub armed with a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol and opened fire in the crowded nightclub, murdering 49 and wounding 53 others, including myself. While I was hiding to save my life, I was also lying in other people’s blood and body fragments — blood and fragments of mothers, sons, cousins, fathers and daughters. The shooter brutally took the lives of people who were deeply loved, including my cousin Akyra — a young, beautiful and talented woman who had her whole life ahead of her. The Pulse murderer carried out this E DIT OR IA L C A R T OON

atrocity with an assault weapon and large-capacity magazines, weapons that are too easily accessible to people in this country. Despite the overwhelming majority of Americans favoring a ban on both of these military-grade weapons, Congress and Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country refuse to address these concerns because it would mean forfeiting their NRA blood money. This needs to change. That’s why I joined Pride Fund to End Gun Violence as a member of the Board of Advisors. Everyone can make a difference, and I’ve chosen to take my anger, my frustration, my pain and dedicate it to changing our country’s inadequate gun laws through political advocacy. Pride Fund’s mission to save lives starts with supporting the right candidates at the state and federal level. They only endorse candidates who will act on sensible gun policy reforms while championing LGBTQ safety and equality. Pride Fund is changing our nation’s gun laws by raising funds to elect pro-LGBTQ candidates who support common sense gun safety reforms; mobilizing its network of grassroots activists; running targeted digital campaigns, and advocating for legislation at the state and federal levels. Though it has been two years since the Pulse shooting, I urge all of us, including you, to stay involved in this life or death fight. We must never forget, and we must never let go of our memory of the 49 victims — we have to stay in this fight. Gun violence is a public health epidemic that takes the lives of 38,000 Americans every year. We know there are commonsense measures that Congress could pass today that would save lives - they just need the courage to stand up and do what’s right. And if they won’t, it’s up to us to elect leaders who will. To learn more, visit www.pridefund.org . Like on Facebook at: facebook.com/pridefund and follow on Twitter: @Pride_Fund. TIARA PARKER is a survivor of the June 12, 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and a member of the board of advisors at the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence.

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JUNE 15, 2018 • 19

Florida voters should reject ‘closeted’ 77-year-old Shalala Embrace next generation and elect David Richardson to Congress

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

Rep. David Richardson calls himself a progressive. I call him a courageous progressive with a record of bringing responsible, forward-thinking solutions to the problems Floridians face at the local and state level. He will do the same in Congress. David made history in 2012, becoming the first elected openly gay person to win a seat in the Florida Legislature. He represents House District 113 including all of the City of North Bay Village, City of Miami Beach, downtown Miami and Little Havana. During his second term he was the House Minority Floor Leader, a remarkable accomplishment for a sophomore legislator, and he was part of the Caucus Leadership Team. He has earned the respect of his colleagues for his groundbreaking work on criminal justice and prison reform and for his advocacy for sensible gun control, quality public education and his unstinting commitment to civil liberties and equal rights for all. He made reforming Florida’s corrupt, for-profit prison system a top priority. His work “revealed evidence of officeron-inmate violence at youthful offender facilities, caught officers withholding food from inmates, and persuaded the Department of Corrections to close down Lancaster Correctional Institution, a prison incarcerating youth,” according to his campaign. David will continue fighting for solutions to issues impacting Floridians in Congress. He will stand up to the Trump administration and oppose rollbacks in the Affordable Care Act and support Medicare for All. He believes in a single-payer healthcare system and reinstating the Paris Climate Accords. He will fight any rollbacks of the rights of women, Hispanics, African Americans, the LGBT community and all minority groups, while fighting to expand those rights. David was born in Houston and moved to Florida in 1968, a hometown boy growing up in Longwood where he attended Lyman High School. He earned his bachelor degrees in biology and accountancy from the University of Central Florida and his master’s of business administration from the University of Tampa. He began his ca-

reer as an auditor at the U.S. Department of Defense, after which he joined Ernst and Young, an international accounting and consulting firm. In 1993, he started his own advisory services firm focused on forensic accounting of government contracts. He has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Florida for 33 years. The Democratic primary is now a twoperson race between David and Donna Shalala. I know and respect Shalala having first met her in the early 1970s after her appointment to the ‘Big Mac’ board, the corporation set up by New York Gov. Hugh Carey to keep New York City out of bankruptcy. We met at a friend’s Christmas tree trimming party, which she attended with City Council member Robert Wagner III. Bobby came from a political family. His dad had been mayor and his grandfather a U.S. senator. In the early ‘60s there was a campaign “to rid New York City of gay bars in full effect by order of Mayor Wagner, who was concerned about the image of the city in preparation for the 1964 World’s Fair. The city revoked the liquor licenses of the bars, and undercover police officers worked to entrap as many homosexual men as possible.” So not surprisingly Bobby brought a woman with him to the party as it was universally assumed he was as deep in the closet as I was at the time. I would meet Donna a number of times over the years even getting to dance a jitterbug with her at an event in D.C. when she was Secretary of HHS (she’s a great dancer). When being vetted for the position at HHS she denied being a lesbian and it was then considered irrelevant. However, in 2018, being honest and open with your constituents when running for elected office is relevant

DONNA SHALALA denied being a lesbian in the ‘90s while serving as President Clinton’s HHS Secretary. PHOTO BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS; PHOTO COURTESY OF KNIGHT FOUNDATION

mitted to representing the people in his District including those of Cuban heritage and those who are there from Puerto Rico, many because of the blatant disregard the Trump administration has shown to our fellow citizens after Hurricane Maria. He is committed to repealing the GOP tax plan and raising corpo-

I have to question why at nearly 80 years old she feels the people of Florida will be well served having her as a freshman member of Congress when she has never served in a legislative body. and I choose to believe mutual friends who have told me she remains closeted. Donna is brilliant and accomplished. But I have to question why at nearly 80 years old she feels the people of Florida will be well served having her as a freshman member of Congress when she has never served in a legislative body. With all due respect to her and others of my generation it is time we use the wisdom and experience we have accumulated to support the next generation of leaders — especially in Florida’s 27th district where the people already have a great candidate ready to represent them. David has outlined his priorities and they include the economy, education, healthcare, and immigration. He is com-

rate income taxes. He would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2020. He will work to pass an infrastructure plan to rebuild Florida’s crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants and other infrastructure. He supports the Paycheck Fairness Act guaranteeing equal pay for women. He will fight to invest $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program for disadvantaged young Americans to ensure the next generations of Americans have the support they need to advance in the economy and find good paying jobs. He would lift the income level being taxed for social security to $250,000 to ensure every American can retire with dignity. He supports requiring employers to provide

at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, two weeks of paid vacation, and seven days of paid sick leave. He will fight for a clear pathway to citizenship for immigrants and to protect Dreamers. David has always supported common sense gun control. He has said he is in awe of the courageous young students of Parkland who stood up and spoke out after the tragedy in their school. He supports mandatory Universal Background Checks, a total ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and wants the minimum age to purchase a gun raised to 21. He will fight the NRA. David supports legalizing marijuana and changing the way we determine sentences for non-violent, low-impact crimes. David understands in today’s world, especially with Trump in the White House, it’s important to have another ‘out and open’ member of the LGBTQ+ community at the table. He can speak effectively on issues such as ending LGBTQ youth homelessness, ensuring fair adoption laws, and fighting for the rights of transgender individuals. I urge the voters of Florida’s 27th congressional district to vote for the candidate who is true to and honest with himself and therefore will always be respectful and honest with them. The progressive candidate with legislative experience. That candidate is Rep. David Richardson.


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VIEWPOINT

Vote to pay LGBT servers a secure, living wage Employees remain at mercy of bigoted customers By JERAME DAVIS A full day’s pay for a full day’s work. That’s what will be at stake when D.C. voters consider Initiative 77 on June 19. The Washington restaurant scene has reached soaring heights over the last few years. That prosperity—and the dining experiences we’ve grown accustomed to—have been built by working people putting in exhausting hours on the restaurant floor and behind the bar. Working people deserve to receive a fair share of the wealth they help create. And, they certainly deserve economic security while lifting up a booming industry. Instead, servers and bartenders are being paid a $3.33 hourly wage, relying on customers’ unpredictable tips to make their living. That leaves employees wildly vulner-

able to harassment, discrimination and painfully low wages. Queer workers—especially women and people of color—are predictably at greater risk than most. From blatant bigotry toward queer servers to increasingly common fits

agers to pay them their due. Through lax enforcement and coercive management tactics, that often doesn’t happen—leaving workers to survive off less than minimum wage in a crushingly expensive city. The industry has been quick to obscure

This Pride month, we can make sure the voices of queer workers are heard loud and clear at the ballot box. over any public utterance of Spanish to rampant sexual harassment, employees have been left at the mercy of less-thanstellar patrons. Currently, when a worker’s tips don’t add up to minimum wage, the employer is obligated to make up for the rest. But that puts the onus on the most vulnerable workers to speak up and ask their man-

the economic reality their workers are facing. In his recent piece opposing Initiative 77, Mark Lee claimed that “tipped employees earn incomes well above minimum wage, typically totaling $25, $35 or more an hour.” That simply isn’t true. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tipped restaurant workers in the District earn approxi-

mately $11.81 per hour. There’s no reason these workers should be left behind. It’s time for them to earn a guaranteed $15 wage—just like their counterparts in every other industry—while continuing to collect tips. It’s a common-sense notion. The National Restaurant Association’s own internal polling found that 7 in 10 Americans support a higher minimum wage. What’s more, they’re willing to pay more for their meals to make it happen. But the broken status quo has some deep-pocketed allies. Restaurant and bar owners have rushed to funnel money—and press their employees—into a wrong-headed campaign against the best interests of D.C.’s LGBT community. We have a chance to break through those efforts. This Pride month, we can make sure the voices of queer workers are heard loud and clear at the ballot box. JERAME DAVIS is executive director of Pride at Work.

VIEWPOINT

Battling the despicable misuse of religion Masterpiece Cakeshop’s mixed ruling kicks the cake stand down the road

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

Even many believers have their doubts about heaven, hell, and the jealous tribal deities that provide pretexts for so much human cruelty. As Satan says in Paradise Lost, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” The hell we make for ourselves and one another is exemplified by those who use their faith to justify anti-gay discrimination. Which brings us to the latest gay-related Supreme Court ruling, issued June 4. James Esseks of ACLU offers a good summary: “In the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled for a bakery that had refused to sell a wed-

ding cake to a same-sex couple. It did so on grounds that are specific to this particular case and will have little to no applicability to future cases. The opinion is full of reaffirmations of our country’s longstanding rule that states can bar businesses that are open to the public from turning customers away because of who they are.” Justice Anthony Kennedy, in his opinion for the majority, writes that “any decision in favor of the baker would have to be sufficiently constrained, lest all purveyors of goods and services who object to gay marriages for moral and religious reasons in effect be allowed to put up signs saying ‘no goods or services will be sold if they will be used for gay marriages,’ something that would impose a serious stigma on gay persons.” One Colorado civil rights commissioner is quoted saying, “[W]e can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to—to use their religion to hurt others.” This perfectly accurate statement has been characterized as an attack on religion. But decrying those who dress up their homophobia and transphobia in religious garb is no more an attack on faith itself than objecting to racist police

methods constitutes a generalized attack on policing. LGBT people ourselves embrace a diversity of beliefs. Calling out faith-based discrimination does not turn the discriminators into victims. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes in dissent, “I see no reason why the comments of one or two Commissioners should be taken to overcome Phillips’ refusal to sell a wedding cake to Craig and Mullins. The proceedings involved several layers of independent decision making, of which the Commission was but one.” Ginsburg notes, “Phillips declined to make a cake he found offensive where the offensiveness of the product was determined solely by the identity of the customer requesting it.” I have defended the free speech rights of my religious foes, from marriage equality opponents advertising on Metro buses to the homophobic owner of the Museum of the Bible to a Chick-fil-A outlet in the District. Equal rights are not only for those who agree with us. But for a business open to the public to deny service on religious grounds breaks the social contract whereby members of a diverse society put up with one another for the common good. Imposing one group’s faith dictates in the public square is a threat to social cohesion. One-way respect is not respect at

all but subjugation. Masterpiece Cakeshop yielded fast fruit. The Arizona Court of Appeals on June 7 cited it in upholding a Phoenix ordinance barring anti-LGBT discrimination. Meanwhile, Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented baker Jack Phillips, wants to broaden it to bar the denial of government contracts to religious organizations that discriminate against gay couples in adoption services. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” proclaim the ruling pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Under America’s aspiring autocrat, an anti-gay baker’s free speech is championed, while NFL players protesting police brutality are denounced as un-American. Those who consider Trump’s posturing patriotic are putting the symbols of our freedoms before the freedoms themselves. In religious terms, that is idolatry. The Trump regime may ultimately represent the last gasp of white Christian hetero male supremacy. But while it so furiously thrashes, and as the president quietly, steadily packs the federal courts, our struggle continues. Copyright © 2018 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.


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America Now: SOLSTICE EDITION Saturday, June 23 | 5:30–11:30 p.m. | Free NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY & SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM & NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY Keep cool at the summer’s hottest event, America Now, when three of your favorite museums unite for a mid-summer moveable feast featuring a happy hour, block party and live concert. AmericaNow.si.edu

America Now is a three-museum collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is made possible by the generous support of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Family Foundation. The Washington Post is the media sponsor of America Now.


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GREG BADER says he’s been pleasantly surprised he could be out on the job with the Baltimore Orioles. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY KEVIN MAJOROS

A lifetime with the Orioles Gay executive marks 25 years on staff; first Pride Night is June 27 By KEVIN MAJOROS Not many people can spin their lifelong passion into a career, but that’s exactly what Greg Bader has done. Born and raised in Baltimore, Bader knew by age 12 that he wanted to be a part of the Orioles organization. A lifelong fan, he found himself feeling love for the team even in losing seasons. At the time, he didn’t realize that he could be an openly gay man and work in Major League Baseball. Even while he was pursing his degree in liberal

arts from Trinity College, the idea felt incompatible. Bader points to how things have developed culturally in regard to his comfort level with the organization. “The Orioles and Major League Baseball created an environment that allowed me to not feel different,” Bader says. “Acceptance starts at the top and the way I have been treated is a clear indication of the support of the executive management toward diversity and inclusiveness.” And it’s not just token inclusion — the

team’s first official LGBT Pride Night will be held June 27 at their game against the Seattle Mariners.  During the past offseason, the Baltimore Orioles’ front office staff made a concerted effort to create more theme nights to target particular interests. Pride Night tickets are $35 and include a special edition O’s Pride cap. They’re also offering a VIP package for $70, which gets ticketholders into a pregame Center Field Roof Deck party with drinks and music.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Moveable Feast, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that provides food and services to individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and those afflicted with terminal illness. The Washington Blade is media sponsor for the event. For several years, a group of gay men in Baltimore had organized an annual LGBT night at Camden Yards in an unofficial CONTINUES ON PAGE 47


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QU E E RY : 2 0 Q U E ST I O N S F O R ST E P H A N I E ME RCE D E S

STEPHANIE MERCEDES

WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? Since I was a young teenager, but I’m still not out to my Argentinian family. The hardest person to tell will be my father. I think his life is really difficult right now and I don’t want to burden him more.   Who’s your LGBT hero?  Felix Gonzalez Torres 

By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com Like many great artists, Stephanie Mercedes stands out because she thinks of things that don’t occur to average folks. For her piece “The Ring of Freedom,” Mercedes (the name she goes by) bought a Sig Sauer MCX rifle — the same kind used in the Orlando, Fla., Pulse nightclub 2016 massacre — and melted it, using the aluminum to make 49 liberty bells to represent the 49 victims. “I wanted to make liberty bells because in Latin America, culture bells and chimes are rung to bring back and pay tribute to the dead,” she says. “The NRA also uses the Liberty Bell as a symbol for its organization. This to me, seemed highly symbolic of everything that is currently wrong with gun control in the United States.” Mercedes, a Halcyon Arts Fellow (Halcyon is a D.C.-based art/social enterprise collective), is one of the artists featured in the inaugural By the People Festival which runs June 21-24 in Washington and is billed as a “fourday extravaganza with interactive visual art installations, performances ranging from ballet to go-go, speakers and an augmented reality art hunt.”  Mercedes will perform at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building (900 Jefferson Dr., S.W.) on Saturday, June 23 and her piece “Harmonizing Freedom” will be featured on Sunday, June 24 at gallery 102 (801 22nd St. N.W.) from 3-5 p.m.  Her piece “Stephanie Mercedes: the Ring of Freedom” will also be on display at gallery 102.  A festival kick-off concert is Wednesday, June 20 with Ray LaMontagne and Neko Case at the Anthem (901 Wharf St., S.W.) at 7:30 p.m. Full festival details are online at halcyonhouse.org/by-the-people.  Mercedes says being a lesbian influences her work. “I don’t think my work is particularly queer in form, but in context,” she says. “To me, the work is unapologetically about queer violence but doesn’t necessarily present as queer. It just happens to be about my community.”  Mercedes was born in San Francisco but has lived in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico City, Columbia, Switzerland and Spain. She came to Washington last October for her artist residency with Halcyon Art Labs and has been dating her girlfriend Houry for the past two-and-a-half months.  She lives in Halcyon’s artist housing in Georgetown and enjoys art, melting bullets and guns and dancing in her free time. 

Serving Our Community for 35 years

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What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? Freddie’s in Virginia is a dream.  Describe your dream wedding.  Mmm — not sure about marriage.    What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?  Gun control, although it and all issues have ramifications on the queer community.  What historical outcome would you change? 

Pulse

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? I have always loved Shakira and have regularly listened to her music. One of the works in the show, is a large scale (body sized) musical score that finishes the last song that couldn’t be finished at Pulse because the shooting began. The last song, I discovered, was Shakira’s “La, la, la,” a song I had regularly sung in the shower or danced to. That felt very traumatic to me because I had always associated the song with celebration. Gun bullet markers scatter the score I made for where the sound of the bullets would have landed in the song. My hope is that as viewers experience the score they imagine what the people at pulse were hearing.  On what do you insist?  I insist on being unapologetic about who I am and unapologetic in the work that I make. I insist on art that transforms the very materials of violence. That is both lethal and delicate, fierce and soft. I insist on transcending violence rather that re-performing it. I insist on considering the queer body and I insist in using art to create safe spaces of our communities. I insist on music.  What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?  The last thing I posted on Facebook was for the poetry reading I am organizing at my exhibit tonight at Gallery 102 in honor of the Pulse victims. We will be reacting to the installations in the piece and trying to pay homage through a collective poetry score I’ve written. 

If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Che.” It’s Argentinian slang that essentially means nothing and Che is a person who was sort of a Latin American political hero. At the last residency I did, everyone called me that.  If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? A hundred percent nothing. I am so fucking grateful to be gay. It’s a true blessing and I would be horrified to be any other way.  What do you believe in beyond the physical world?  Art and music’s ability to transcend and reconcile violence.    What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?  Remember the power of art, even when it isn’t clear that art creates direct social change or relates to activism. Remember to create space for poetry and the in-between. Support artists who are fierce and unapologetic but also soft and open to interpretation. Art, if you give it time and support it, can change the hearts and minds of many and can be a way of inviting dialogue across party lines.    What would you walk across hot coals for?  Anyone I love, good art, family, empanadas and dark chocolate.  What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?  Hyper-obnoxious didactic queer art that is re-performing the stereotypes it is trying to subvert and doesn’t create space for the poetic.  What’s your favorite LGBT movie?  That movie where the women paint each other and then roll around on canvases, eat chocolate off each other and have sex. Can’t remember what it’s called.  What’s the most overrated social custom?  Guns   What trophy or prize do you most covet?  Maybe the Ibero-American Art Prize? What do you wish you’d known at 18?  It is possible to be a full-time artist. Go for it.  Why Washington?  I love how artists here work and walk side by side politicians, lawyers, activists, researchers and lobbyists. When I lived in New York, the people who came into my studio were mostly curators and artists. I’m far more interested in engaging with people and institutions outside of the “art world.” I also think my practice as a civically engaged artist is much better suited for the D.C. community. 


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ARMENIA | CATALONIA | SISTERFIRE JUNE 27-JULY 1 AND JULY 4-8 l WWW.FESTIVAL.SI.EDU On the National Mall between 12th and 14th Streets

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A RT S & CU LT U RE

This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com Jun 17. DC Arts Center (DCAC). dcartscenter.org.

DANCE Art on 8th: DC Casineros. Jun 15. Capitol Tap. Jun 15-Jun 16. Dance Place. danceplace.org. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Jun 19. Rhythmaya Dance. Jun 20. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org. The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence. Thru Jun 17. Step Afrika! at Hartke Theater. stepafrika.org.

Other Life Forms Jun 15-Jul 7. Keegan Theatre. keegantheatre.com.

Roommates Ben and Jeff couldn’t be more different. Ben is a struggling journalist who can’t get anything to go his way. Jeff is a successful researcher who glides through life with little resistance. At Jeff’s insistence, they both give online dating a try. Other Life Forms is a dynamic comedy that sets out to prove the existence of love, and how we often get in the way of it.

The Importance of Being Earnest Jun 23. Dupont Underground. dupontunderground.org.

Be transported to the 1890s at Dupont Underground with cocktails and Picnic Theatre Company’s one-act performance of Oscar Wilde’s wildly entertaining comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”.  

America Now: Solstice Edition Jun 23. Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. npg.si.edu.

Gather at the National Museum of American History for a speakeasy happy hour in the galleries before heading over to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Block Party and Beer Garden. Then, close out the night at the National Portrait Gallery with live music by Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics, and D.C.’s own Oddisee.

Screening: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Jun 28. Folger Theatre. folger.edu.

The story takes place in present day Hollywood - a place where glamorous stars, commanding moguls, starving artists and vaulting pretenders all vie to get ahead. This modern vision breathes new life into a classic tale. Combined with a cast of established and emerging stars, as well as a pulsing original soundtrack, the film will appeal to ardent fans of the Bard as well as audiences discovering Shakespeare for the first time. PHOTO COURTESY OF KEEGAN THEATRE

THEATRE Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations. Jun 19-Jul 22. Broadway Center Stage: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Thru Jun 10. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Botticelli in the Fire. Thru Jun 24. Woolly Mammoth. woollymammoth.net. Girlfriend. Thru Jun 17. The Scottsboro Boys. Thru Jul 1. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org. On The Town. Jun 20-Jul 22. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. One Destiny. Thru Jul 12. Ford's

Theatre. fords.org. Round House Theatre & Mimosas at Waverly Street Gallery!. Jun 16. Waverly Street Gallery. waverlystreetgallery.com. The Remains. Thru Jun 24. Studio Theatre. studiotheatre.org. The Tempest. Thru Jul 1. Avant Bard. Gunston II. wscavantbard.org. The Skin of Our Teeth. Thru Jun 16. Theatre Lab. theatrelab.org. The Vagrant Trilogy. Thru Jul 1. Mosaic Theater Company at Atlas. mosaictheater.org. Trayf. Thru Jun 24. Theater J. theaterj.org. WIT Road Show: Interplay. Thru

MUSIC American Roots Concert Series: A Juneteenth Celebration with Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons. Jun 19. Hill Center. hillcenterdc.org. Art on 8th: Quiet Life Motel. Jun 21. Dance Place at Arts Plaza at Monroe Street Market. danceplace.org. Audra McDonald. Jun 19. A Night of Jazz with Gregory Porter. Jun 21-Jun 27. Eschenbach conducts Haydn’s ‘Oxford’ Symphony / R. Strauss’s First Horn Concerto. Jun 15-Jun 16. NSO at Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Brass 5. Jun 19. Hylton. hyltoncenter.org. Columbia Pike Blues Festival 2018. Jun 16. Arlington Cultural Affairs at Columbia Pike & S. Walter Reed Drive. arlingtonarts.org. Jazz in the ‘Hoods. Jun 16. Kreeger Museum. kreegermuseum.org. Jazz in the Garden: Michael Thomas Quintent. Jun 15. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. LADAMA. Jun 15. The Grandsons. Jun 16. Hamiltunes: Encore Stage. Jun 17. Arlington Cultural Affairs at Lubber Run. arlingtonarts.org. Maritime Voices at the C&O Canal. Jun 17. Washington Revels at Great Falls Tavern. revelsdc.org. Now & Then: Takoma Park Folk Festival 40th-Year Celebration. Jun 16. We Are Takoma at Takoma Park Community Center. takomaparkmd.gov. Sing-A-Long Sound of Music. Jun 16. Steven Tyler and The Loving Mary Band with The Sisterhood Band. Jun 21. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org. The Emperor of Atlantis. Jun 16-Jun 24. In Series at Atlas. inseries.org.

MUSEUMS Dumbarton Oaks. Outside/IN: Martha Jackson Jarvis at Dumbarton Oaks. Thru Aug 19. doaks.org. Folger Shakespeare Library. Form & Function: The Genius of the Book. Jun

16-Sep 23. folger.edu. Kreeger Museum. Second Nature: Portuguese Contemporary Art from the EDP Foundation Collection. Thru Jul 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. Heavenly Earth: Images of Saint Francis at La Verna. Thru Jul 8. nga.gov. National Geographic. Titanic: The Untold Story. Thru Dec 21. National Geographic: Exploration Starts Here. Thru Jan 1. nglive.org. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Hung Liu In Print. Thru Jul 8. nmwa.org. Old Greenbelt Theatre. Vincent Van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing. Jun 17-Jul 18. greenbelttheatre.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A Right to the City. Thru Apr 20. anacostia.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. Daguerreotypes: Five Decades of Collecting. Jun 15-Jun 2. npg.si.edu.

GALLERIES DC Arts Center (DCAC). Judging Me Judging You. Thru Aug 12. dcartscenter.org. gallery neptune & brown. Rhythm & Blues. Thru Jul 21. galleryneptunebrown.com. Gallery Underground. Out of the Blue All-Member Exhibit. Thru Jun 29. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Glen Echo Park. Inside the Garden Walls: Botanical Art by Anne Clippinger and Joan Ducore. Thru Jun 30. Super America: Paintings and Prints by Ric Garcia. Thru Jul 1. Arigat?, 10 Years at Glen Echo Park. Thru Jul 1. glenechopark.org. Goethe-Institut. 1968: A Time of Uproar in Europe and the US. Thru Aug 24. goethe.de. Korean Cultural Center DC. Artistic Records exhibition. Thru Jun 28. koreaculturedc.org. Strathmore. Jennifer Kahn Barlow. Thru Dec 1. strathmore.org. The Art League. Michael McSorley: ''Collections of Perceptions''. Thru Jul 1. theartleague.org. Waverly Street Gallery. Waverly Street Gallery presents 'Resilence' with Han-Mee Artists. Thru Jul 7. waverlystreetgallery.com. Zenith Gallery. Journeys, Memories, and Dreams for the Future. Thru Jun 23. zenithgallery.com.


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Don’t swallow your PRIDE! Towns within a few hours’ drive of D.C. have major events planned

Not Prided out yet? Willing to hop in the car for a road trip? This weekend and the following have major Pride events planned in Shepherdstown, W.Va.,; Baltimore; Norfolk, Va.; and Frederick, Md.

W.Va.’s Panhandle Pride runs this weekend Under new leadership, event moves to downtown Shepherdstown By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com MARTINSBURG — West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle Pride is significantly different this year with new leadership and all new events. Pride here started five years ago organized by the now-dormant Eastern Panhandle LGBTQ Alliance of West Virginia under the leadership of John Mason, a former minister. A Pride day was held in Morgan’s Grove Park in Shepherdstown, W.Va., a small college town about 73 miles from Washington, with live music, drag performances and a small festival. The Panhandle encompasses West Virginia’s Berkeley, Morgan and Jefferson counties. At last year’s event, Mason said illness prevented him from continuing and asked for others to volunteer to take the reins. Over the winter, a new group formed and is offering four main events this year: • Vendor Street Fair is Saturday, June 16 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. featuring queer artisans, networking opportunities and live performances. DJ Jerrbear, a staple of Panhandle Pride who’s emceed all four previous years, will host. Luscious Purr, Michael Ratliff and Darrell Russ will perform. • A Pride Float is planned for Saturday, June 16 from 2-6 p.m. Interested parties can meet at the Shepherdstown Library (100 E. German St.) at 2 p.m. with bathing suit in tow. River Riders will provide inner tubes and bus rides to and from the river. Cost is $36 per rider. Call 304-535-2663 to book a spot. The code is “Pride Float.” • A Disco Party will be held Saturday night from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at Domestic (117 E. German St., Shepherdstown). DJ Sidekick will spin. It’s free but a $5

WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

West Virginia’s Panhandle Pride attracted between 300-400 attendees the past few years but is in a new location for 2018.

donation is suggested. • On Sunday, June 17, a Brunch & Art Exhibit will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the Town Run Tap House and Community Pub. Singer Chelsea McBee will perform. The Tap House will feature art from local LGBT youth. Full details for all events is on Facebook — just search “Eastern Panhandle Pride 2018.” Alex Orton and his partner Rod Snyder have helped organize the new group along with former state Del. Stephen Skinner (D-W.Va.) and Shepherdstown business owner Mark Harding, who leads the planning committee. “We’re just a group of people here who really wanted to make sure this event continues in our area,” Orton says. “This is our first year bringing Pride into town and we want to make sure it’s a success.” Flooding in the region prevented a drag show as has been held in previous years. Orton says they plan to have one later in the summer. A few hundred attended last year’s event. The decision was made to move from the park into town to increase LGBT visibility. “We thought about bringing them to

the brunch, but we didn’t want to do something half-way,” he says. “We want to take time to give that event the respect it deserves.” DJ Jerrbear (aka Jarvis Jerry Leland Brooks) says he’s honored to continue emceeing. “Eastern Panhandle Pride has always been one of my favorite events that I would headline and donate my time to each year,” he says. “I’ve seen what an impact showing love, sharing your talent or gifts at these events has over others because I know how it touches and blesses me.” Mason says there’s no hard feelings. “Our organization was very happy to turn over responsibility for Pride to the new Panhandle Pride organization,” he says. “We’ve offered them any help they need and we’re very happy with the job that they’ve done.” Coming up in Shepherdstown, this year’s installment of the Contemporary American Theater Festival (July 6-29) features two plays with LGBT characters/ themes — the unusually timely “The Cake” by Bekah Brunstetter and “Thirst” by C.A. Johnson. Details at catf.org.

Hampton Roads Pride turns 30 Events near Norfolk, Va., kick off next week By MARIAH COOPER mcooper@washblade.com Hampton Roads Pride celebrates 30 years of Pride with a week’s worth of events on the theme “Stand Up Stand Out 30 Years Strong” starting Thursday, June 21. The organization’s first Pride event was organized by the social and political group, Our Own Community Press, who brought a June potluck picnic to the community in 1986. The tradition of a summertime festival began in 1988. Since then, the festival has expanded welcoming an estimated 30,000 guests to CONTINUES ON PAGE 28


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its celebration in 2017. It’s also the only Pride organization in the United States to host a Pride Boat Parade. Hampton Roads Pride gets an early start with the Chrysler Kickoff at the Chrysler Museum of Art (1 Memorial Pl., Norfolk, Va.) on Thursday, June 21 from 6-9 p.m. Guests can pose with the LOVE sign outside and then go inside for a cash bar, food and live music by DJ Melody & Co., Ju Ju Drum and more. There will be a Make & Take table where attendees can create their own flags. The event is free for museum members and Hampton Roads Pride members. $5 for non-members. Croc’s 19th Street Bistro (620 19th St. Virginia Beach, Va.) hosts a Pride Drag Brunch on Sunday, June 24 with showtimes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Pride pre-party will have a fundraiser, raffle prizes, food, drinks and more. Beach Beats and Brews is at Smartmouth Pilot House (313 32nd St., Virginia Beach, Va.) on Monday, June 25 from 6-9 p.m. Details on this event will be announced closer to the event date. The Hampton Roads LGBT InterFaith Group hosts its sixth annual Interfaith Celebration at the New Life Metropolitan Community Church (1000 Sunset Dr., Norfolk, Va.) on Tuesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. The service is open to all faith communities, members of the LGBT community and allies. An ASL interpreter will be provided. Hampton Road Pride and Pride on the Peninsula present Pride 30, a reflection of the last 30 years of Pride in the Hampton Roads area, at the Virginia Air & Space Museum Library (600 Settlers Landing Rd., Hampton, Va.) on Wednesday, June 27 from 4-6 p.m. Keynote speaker Dr. Charles Ford will lead an open moderated discussion on Pride history. The fourth annual Pride Party on the Peninsula is at Carousel Park (602 Settlers Landing Rd., Hampton, Va.) on Wednesday, June 27 from 6-8 p.m. There will be free rides on the historic Hampton Carousel, free food and drinks. Later in the evening, attendees can board the Miss Hampton II for the second annual Drag Down the River Boat Cruise. Crafty Queen Weekend Wind-Up is at O’Connor Brewing Company (211 West 24th St., Norfolk, Va.) on Thursday, June 28 from 6-10 p.m. Details will be announced closer to the event. The seventh annual Pride Block Party is at Norfolk Scope Arena (201 East Brambleton Ave., Norfolk, Va.) on Friday, June 29 from 7 p.m.-midnight. Advance tickets are $12 before June 25 and tickets at the door are $15. The Pride Boat Parade kicks off PrideFest along the Town Point Park (113 Waterside Dr., Norfolk, Va.) waterfront

WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Attendees at last year’s Hampton Roads Pride.

WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

on Saturday, June 30 at noon. Small and large boats will travel along the waterfront with themed decorations. The “Out on the Boat” party on the American Rover (333 Waterside Dr., Norfolk, Va.) follows the festivities.

PrideFest is on Saturday, June 20 from noon-7 p.m. at Town Point Park (113 Waterside Dr., Norfolk, Va.). “Empire” star Jussie Smollett headlines the music festival. There will also be a performance from the Hampton Roads Pride Mass

Choir, a local LGBT history and walking tour, family games, vendors and more. For more information on Hampton Roads Pride, visit hamptonroadspride.org. CONTINUES ON PAGE 29


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Baltimore Pride is this weekend Fashion show, drag show, fetish party and more planned By GRACE PERRY Tonight Baltimore kicks off its 43rd annual Pride weekend. One of the oldest U.S. Prides, Baltimore Pride began in 1975 with a rally of about a dozen activists. It has since grown tremendously over the past four decades, with about 30,000 people at last year’s festivities, and organizers are expecting an even greater turn-out over the weekend. This year’s theme, “United We Shine,” is about celebrating similarities and differences and embracing community as a means of combating injustice. The weekend begins tonight with several pride festivities, including a fashion show (7-10 p.m., 2 N. Charles St.), drag show (8:30-10 p.m., 10 W. Franklin St.) and fetish party (9 p.m.-2 a.m., 2022 N. Charles St.) to name a few. And Saturday and Sunday are equally packed from start to finish. Saturday begins at 12:30 p.m. at 25 St. and N. Charles St. with a race in which men wear not-made-for-racing heels of at least two inches to mark the official beginning of Pride weekend. To participate, sign up at baltimorepride.org. The day continues from there with Saturday’s main event, the Pride Parade, with floats, musicians, civic leaders and more marching South on Charles St. from 33rd to 23rd. This year’s grand marshals are Shawnna Alexander, three-time winner of Best of Baltimore Drag Queen; and Davon Fleming, Baltimore native and semi-finalist on NBC’s reality singing competition “The Voice.” Saturday also marks the Pride Block Party (4 p.m., Charles St. and 22 St.), headlined by Miami Tip, Taylor Bennett and TT the Artist and featuring Grand Marshall Devon Fleming. Tailgating will also be available from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Lez Lot (1915 N. Howard St.) with food trucks on site. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com for $20 and include two attendees; each additional person will be $5 (cash-only) at the door. Sunday marks the annual Pride Festival (noon-6 p.m., Druid Hill Park), an all-day celebration with music headlined by Tish Hyman — native Bronx rapper best known for her song “Dreams” featuring Ty Dolla $ign — a drag stage, exhibitors and local food trucks.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

Revelers at last year’s Baltimore Pride enjoy a Village People performance.

Both Family Pride and Elder Pride will also take place beginning at noon on Sunday at Druid Hill Park, offering a chance to celebrate elders of the LGBT community and educate the next generation about its history. For a map with specific locations within the park for each event, visit baltimorepride.org. While official Baltimore Pride festivities run just this weekend, there are lots of unofficial parties and events throughout the rest of June in celebration of Pride month. For a comprehensive list of all events, visit facebook.com/baltimorelgbtqpride or baltimorepride.org.

Frederick Pride continues to grow in Maryland Southern diva Chi Chi DeVayne of ‘Drag Race’ to headline WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY CHRIS JENNINGS

By ABBY WARGO Frederick Pride, now in its seventh year, is Saturday, June 23 from 11 a.m.6 p.m. at Carroll Creek Linear Park in downtown Frederick, Md. Organizers are expecting up to 8,000 attendees and about 100 participating organizations. Admittance is free and families and allies are welcome. All attendees receive a Frederick Pride rainbow bracelet from welcome stations at each major park entry. There will be two entertainment areas featuring bands, drag shows, DJs,

dancing and more at both the Carroll Street Amphitheater and the Market Street venue. The musical headliner is transgender country singer Brody Ray, who auditioned for both “American Idol” and “The Voice” as well as advanced to the celebrity judge auditions of “America’s Got Talent.” Chi Chi DeVayne, from season eight of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (and season three “All Stars”) is the drag headliner. The keynote speaker is Rebecca King, a community storytelling advocate for the

National Center for Transgender Equality. Organized group youth activities will be located near East Street. A food court featuring beer and wine will be next to the amphitheater. Official Pride merchandise from the Frederick Center, the LGBT non-profit that organizes Frederick Pride, will be available. Proceeds will go toward supporting local LGBT community center programs. For more information, visit thefrederickcenter.org/Frederick-pride.


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By ABBY WARGO PHOTO COURTESY STORY DISTRICT

LGBT storytellers unite Story District presents Out/Spoken on Thursday, June 21 at 8 p.m. at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. N.W.). LGBT storytellers will share true stories about their experiences, such as coming out to family members or wardrobe malfunctions at prom. Show director and storyteller Phill Branch is seen here in a past event at the Lincoln Theatre. Tickets are $25 each, and doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, visit storydistrict.org. PHOTO BY KURT KULAC; COURTESY WIKIMEDIA

Harry Styles coming to D.C. Harry Styles brings his “Live On Tour” to Capital One Arena (601 F St. N.W.) on Sunday, June 24 at 8 p.m. Kacey Musgraves opens. The former One Direction singer (who’s straight and seen here in a 2014 file photo) is touring behind his eponymous 2017 hit solo album debut. A wide range of prices are available ranging from $26.80-332.50. Details at Ticketmaster.com.

LGBTQ Senior Splash is June 23 PHOTO COURTESY REEL AFFIRMATIONS

‘Ideal Home’ screens June 22 “Ideal Home,” starring Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan and written and directed by Andrew Fleming, is showing Friday, June 22 at 7 p.m. at the Human Rights Campaign Headquarters (1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.). Hosted by Center Men, Reel Affirmations, Center Arts, the D.C. Center, Go Gay D.C. and DCHomos, the film focuses on gay couple Paul and Erasmus, whose lives change once a 10-year-old boy shows up on their doorstep claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson. General admission tickets are $12 and VIP tickets, which includes VIP seating, one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and movie candy or popcorn, are $25. Tickets can be purchased at thedccenter.org/reelaffirmations.

The Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs presents LGBTQ Senior Splash on Saturday, June 23 from 2-5 p.m. at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave. N.E.). Attendees may join LGBT seniors for pool activities and exercise, including free water aerobics activities. Free refreshments will be provided by the Office on Aging. There will be a free “Know Your Rights” workshop with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Reasonable accommodations are provided on request with seven days’ advance notice by calling 202-727-9493. The event is free and open to the public but RSVP is required by Wednesday, June 20 at noon. Tickets can be found on Eventbrite.com.


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CA LE N D A R afternoon tea at the Aqua Grill (57 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.) today from 4-7 p.m. Point awards scholarships for higher education to LGBT students. There will be cocktails, including the signature “American Dream” cocktail, of which proceeds benefit Point. There will also be a silent auction. The event is free but to register online, visit pointfoundation.org/ events/aqua-point-2018. Slash Run and Queer Girl Movie Night hosts “The L Word” season two movie night at Slash Run (201 Upshur St. N.W.) tonight from 6-11 p.m. They will be screening the first four episodes of season two. The screening will be shown with captions. The event is free to all ages. Look for the event on Facebook for details.

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.

By ABBY WARGO

TODAY District of Pride, featuring local performance artists, will be at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St. N.W.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. Hosted by the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, Pretty Boi Drag and Capital Pride, this showcase features artists and performers like Destiny B. Childs, Batala Washington and the Love Gospel Choir. It’s hosted by Pretty Rik E and DJ Matt Bailer is spinning. Tickets are free and an RSVP is required at districtofpride. eventbrite.com. Seating is first come, first served. The event is ASL interpreted. Pup Night is at the DC Eagle (3701 Benning Rd. N.E.) tonight from 8 p.m.3 a.m. Guests must be 18 to enter and 21 to drink. For more information, visit facebook.com/events and search D.C. Eagle’s Pup Night. Gaycon, hosted by Kahlon, is at the Metro Gallery (1700 N. Charles St.) tonight in Baltimore. This Pride celebration begins at 8:30 p.m. and features DJ sets from Abdu Ali, Sissy Elliott and Precolumbian. There will also be live sets from DDM and FLUENT and drag performances curated by GRL PWR. Tickets are $6 in advance and $10 at the door. For more information, go to facebook.com/events and search Gaycon.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16 LGBT Figures of the American Civil War is at the National Mall and Memorial Parks (900 Ohio Dr. S.W.) today from 1011 a.m. Attendees will learn the history of Medal of Honor recipient Dr. Mary Walker and poet and war nurse Walt Whitman. Meet at Lincoln Memorial Chamber. No tickets or reservations are required. Contact Ranger Hornberger at 202-3597080 for more information. Queeta’s Palace Chateau Remix Drag Brunch is today from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Chateau Remix (3439 Benning Rd. N.E.). Shi-Queeta Lee and her Divas of Illusion perform impersonations. There will be an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet and the first mimosa or Bloody Mary is free. Tickets are $40 and can be found at eventbrite.com. Pretty Boi Drag and the D.C. Public Library are hosting Just Be You: Drag 101 at the Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Ave. N.W.) today from 1-2 p.m. Cherry Snow, Miss Buffy Wilde and Phoenix King will perform. The event is open for all ages to learn about drag and gender. For more information, visit facebook.com/events and search Just Be You: Drag 101. LezLink is hosting a Singles Coffee Mixer at the Colony Club (3118 Georgia Ave. N.W.)

MONDAY, JUNE 18

PHOTO BY AUTUMN DE WILDE; COURTESY KENNEDY CENTER

Ally and Tony-winning Broadway diva AUDRA McDONALD returns to the Kennedy Center for a concert with the NSO Pops Tuesday night.

today from 1-3 p.m. Drink coffee and tea and participate in casual conversation with queer and lesbian women. Tickets start at $7.33 and late tickets are $10.50 on Eventbrite. Space is limited. Bloomingays hosts the third annual Pride in the Park today from 1-4 p.m. in Crispus Attucks Park (Crispus Attucks Ct. N.W.). Host tickets are two for $40, advance tickets are $25 and day-of tickets are $30, available at ticketstripe. com. Tickets include a commemorative drinking cup and signature cocktails at homes around the park. Proceeds benefit the park and LGBT organizations. Geeks Out D.C. is hosting a Pokemon Go Queermunity Day today from 1:45-5 p.m. Attendees will meet at the Smithsonian Metro Station’s Independence Avenue exit (12th St. and Independence Ave. S.W.). This month is the Larvitar event and attendees will walk around the National Mall in search of Pokemon. Look for the event on Facebook for details. Creating Space for LGBT Hindus is at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple (6905 Cipriano Rd., Lanham, Md.) today from 4-5:30 p.m. There will be a discussion on LGBT Hindu inclusion and support. It is free and open to the public. For more information, visit facebook.com/events and search Creating Space for LGBT Hindus. Love Gospel Choir, featuring Rev. Diedre Mouton-Gray, performs at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St. N.W.) today from 5-8 p.m. A love offering will be taken. For more information, go to facebook. com/events and search Love Gospel Choir Concert. Miss Buffy Wilde and Cherry Snow read at a storytime and Havdalah

family experience at Temple Shalom (8401 Grubb Rd., Chevy Chase, Md.) this evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. There will be hands-on activities and a pizza dinner as well as a Havdalah ceremony and dance party. All ages are welcome. Tickets are $5 per person, with a $25 max per family and can be purchased at Eventbrite.com. The Ladies of LURe present BARE at Cobalt (1639 R St. N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Keenan Orr will spin and the DystRucXion Dancers will perform. There will be drink specials all night. The event is open to 21 and up with a valid ID. Doors open at 10 p.m. and tickets are $7 before midnight and $10 after. For more information, visit facebook.com/events and search BARE- Pride Month. Gay Bash is tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. at Trade (1410 14th St. N.W.) featuring shows from Jaxknife Complex, Salvadora Dali, Jane Saw, Donna Slash and Neon Calypso and jams from Dvonne. Doors open at 10 p.m. and shows begin at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. There is no cover charge and guests must be 21 years old or older. Peach Pit, a ’90s Dance Party, is at DC9 Nightclub (1940 9th St. N.W.) tonight at 10:30 p.m. Resident DJ Matt Bailer is spinning. Doors open at 10 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door. Tickets are $5 before midnight and $8 after. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.

SUNDAY, JUNE 17 The Brencore Allstars Band performs a “Tribute to the Music of Motown” at the Carlyle Club (2050 Ballenger Ave., Alexandria, Va.) today at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $35 and same-day tickets are $40. For more information, visit brencore.com. The Point Foundation is hosting

Brett Ableman’s “Switch,” a play exploring the gender binary and produced by the Welders, will be performed at Logan Fringe Arts Space’s Trinidad Theatre (1358 Florida Ave., N.E.) tonight. Industry Night with Mindi Mimosa is at 8 p.m. prior to the performance. The show contains nudity. Tickets are $25 at capitalfringe.org.

TUESDAY, JUNE 19 Gays Against Guns is hosting a Post-Pride meeting at Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library (1630 7th St. N.W.) tonight from 7:30-9 p.m. Members are reviewing and debriefing Pride and other actions throughout the summer and fall. Newcomers and representatives from other gun violence or LGBT organizations are welcome. Tony Award-winning actress and singer Audra McDonald performs with the NSO Pops at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St. N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29119. For tickets, visit kennedy-center.org.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20 Lambda Legal in D.C. hosts Power of the Party at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.) tonight at 6:30 p.m. There will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as well as a keynote speaker. For tickets, visit lambdalegal.org. Bookmen D.C. meets at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St. N.W., Suite 105) to discuss Timothy Liu’s poetry collection “Hard Evidence.” All are welcome. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com. The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.). No partner is needed. For more information, call 301-345-1571.

THURSDAY, JUNE 21 “The Nance,” a play by Douglas Carter Beane about gay life in 1930’s New York, is at the Little Theatre of Alexandria (600 Wolfe St., Alexandria, Va.) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $19-22 and can be purchased at 703-683-0496.


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F I LM

PHOTO BY JON PACK; COURTESY IFC FILMS

JIM PARSONS (seated) and LEO JAMES DAVIS in ‘A Kid Like Jake.’

‘Jake’s’ gender Family movie tackles thorny topics nobly By BRIAN T. CARNEY

JUNE 22 & 23 AT 8 P.M. CONCERT HALL Steven Reineke, conductor

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.

“A Kid Like Jake” is a thoughtprovoking and moving family drama about the challenges of parenting a gender non-conforming child. It certainly won’t be the last movie to tackle the subject, but it’s a great place to start the conversation. Greg and Alex Wheeler (Jim Parsons and Claire Danes) are an upwardly mobile couple who move to a chic neighborhood in Brooklyn so their 4-year old son Jake (Leo James Davis) can attend the excellent local public school. Greg is a hard-working therapist with an apparently thriving practice. Alex is an attorney, but has taken time off from her career to be a stay-at-home mom. The problems start when the Wheeler’s new home is zoned out of the school district. Things get more complicated when their friend Judy (Octavia Spencer), who is also the director of Jake’s preschool, encourages them to acknowledge Jake’s “gender-expansive play.” Jake, she emphasizes, is a bright and creative boy with great test scores, but he needs to find a school where he will be “safe and accepted” since he is already having behavioral issues. The Wheeler’s rather brittle facade begins to chip away as they enter the hyper-competitive race for admission slots and financial aid at New York private schools and as they start to realize that Jake’s preferences for princesses and skirts over cars and jeans is probably not just a phase. From there, other complications ensue, the pressure increases and a series of confrontations flare up. Transgender director Silas Howard (who has directed episodes of “Pose,”

“This Is Us” and “Transparent,” as well as several short films) handles this messy scenario with great skill and control. He builds the mounting tension with great precision, starting with small details in the opening scenes that finally build to a brutal argument where long-repressed resentments erupt. The final clash is beautifully filmed, with the combatants breaking through years of fears and frustrations as they stormily follow each other through the house. Howard’s work with the cast is wonderful. Danes tackles the challenging and sometimes unlikable role of Alex with honesty and bravery. Alex, who feels trapped by the social expectations that her family has put on her, understandably worries about the potential downside of putting a label on her son so early. Parsons also turns in a fine performance as the mild-mannered Greg. Greg tries to keep the peace at all cost, even refusing to confront the doctor in the neighboring suite whose “scream therapy” sessions are disturbing his own patients. Greg and Alex both fiercely love their son, but it’s not clear that they will they find the courage to let him express his authentic self. In addition to the excellent Spencer, the supporting cast features Ann Dowd as Alex’s abrasive mother Catherine; Priyanka Chopra as Amal, a divorced family friend; and the superb Amy Landecker as Sandra, one of Greg’s patients. Unfortunately, most of these characters are underwritten and need more development. “A Kid Like Jake” is a strong featurelength directorial debut for Silas Howard. He explores a trending issue with great sensitivity and a strong command of the camera. Despite weaknesses in the script, he and his cast create a moving family drama that is a must-see, especially for LGBT audiences.


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THEATER

75+ COMICS. 6 VENUES. U N D E R 1 R O O F.

PHOTO BY KALEY ETZKORN; COURTESY ROUND HOUSE THEATRE

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DEZI BING as Rexy in ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride.’

Dezi Bing’s awakening

PATTON OSWALT HARRY SHEARER THE SECOND CITY RIOT! A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN IN COMEDY

Long-time D.C. actress starts afresh with big changes

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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.

By PATRICK FOLLIARD In early January, Dezi Bing had a sort of epiphany. She knew without a doubt that the day had come to begin her transition in earnest. “I was ready to stop being afraid and stop being sad. Whether it was God nudging me, I don’t know,” Bing says. “But I started hormones a couple weeks later and ever since have felt like I’m coming into alignment.” For Bing, 34, transition hasn’t come without risks. Before beginning her journey, she was known as Desmond Bing, a popular and busy young actor with an impressive resume. “Professionally, it was a risk,” she says. “But I believed in my talent. I knew someone out there would want me for something. I bring a lot to the table as an actor. I also write plays. I finished a playwrighting fellowship at the Kennedy Center last year. I knew my gifts. I was ready.” Evidently the theater community agrees. Currently Bing is playing two parts in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” at Round House Theatre in Bethesda. Penned by out playwright Matthew Lopez, it’s the story of Casey (Zack Powell), a failed Elvis impersonator who unwittingly finds success and friendship as a drag queen. Bing plays Casey’s loyal friend Jason, a straight guy who has dated a gender nonconformist. Not what you might expect from a good ole boy from the Florida Panhandle. Bing also plays Rexy, a resilient drag queen who’s both street and book smart. Dressed in T-shirt, tights and baseball cap, Bing dines on takeout chicken and chats before an evening performance at Round House. “I’m not sure where my career will go exactly. But as my body continues to change I’ll be up for more roles,” she says.

“But I still am misgendered a lot. I still get called ‘sir’ because my voice is masculine and that may or may not change. I don’t feel very masculine but I guess I am to some people.” As a little boy, Bing wanted to get through this life and come back as a girl. And when Bing started having crushes on boys, she assumed she was gay, yet most of her intimate relationships have been with men who identify as straight. (She’s currently single.) But it was while looking at trans woman Laverne Cox’s Instagram account that a streak of recognition hit her: “I thought this is me! Like me, she also suffered from depression too. Hard to be in the world when you feel out of place. It was a realization of who I actually was.” But there were lingering concerns and self-doubts about career, hormones and whether she would ever be passable as a girl. Prior to Bing’s life-changing day in January, she spent four years getting to the place where she felt ready to transition. Today Bing exudes confidence and warmth. She makes a safe home in Northwest, D.C. with supportive housemates and spends time with friends. “I think makeup is fun and it makes me feel pretty but I don’t want it to be a prison,” she says. “That aspect of femininity doesn’t interest me. It can be counterproductive. For me this is about becoming authentic and actually becoming the person who I’ve always been.” For now, Bing’s mother is having a hard time seeing Bing as her daughter. “She still sees me as her little boy. But it’s time for me to assert myself with my mom in a way that’s not rude. It’s important for me to step into my authentic adulthood. This is who I am. And this is how it’s going to be. She’ll get used to it.” ‘THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE’ Through July 1 Round House Theatre 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Md. $45-65 202-644-1100 Roundhousetheatre.org


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BY MATTHEW LOPEZ DIRECTED BY TOM STORY

To ‘oink ’ or not? Mockery is intimacy killer in lesbian relationship

NOW PLAYING THROUGH JULY 1!

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

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A D V I CE

MICHAEL, I think my girlfriend doesn’t respect me and I don’t know what to do about it. We’re a pretty typical 20-something lesbian couple. She works for queer justice, not making much money but definitely helping to make our world a better place. I have a boring job that is helping me pay off my student loans and keeps a roof over our heads. And I spend most of my free time on my real passion, working for animal rights. That’s the big problem between me and Christie. She is always ragging on me for caring more about animals than people. She says if I have free time I should be fighting for “our” cause. She asks me why I waste my time trying to get people to stop eating pigs or rescuing animals from slaughterhouses when LGBT teens are being bullied. I don’t get how she can be so compassionate toward humans and so shut down about the suffering of animals. She says that’s a stupid comparison. I wonder why can’t she have compassion for everyone. When we go out to eat, she’ll sometimes make insulting remarks about what I eat to our friends and then say how “yummy” her non-vegan food is, asking me if I want a bite or holding up a slice of bacon and saying “oink.” She says she’s just being funny but I feel totally disrespected. And I find her lack of compassion toward other sentient beings pretty chilling. I’m still with her because aside from this she has a really generous heart. The work she does for our community is beautiful and except for this stuff, she is a very caring girlfriend. Also, she’d have trouble affording a place to live on her own and I don’t want to destabilize her life like that. Do you think I’m being too sensitive? Is there a way to get her to be more respectful of the things I care about? I’ve asked her to stop being so critical multiple times and she won’t.

MICHAEL REPLIES: You are not being too sensitive. You describe repeatedly asking Christie to stop denigrating a cause you care deeply about and Christie continuing to mock what you hold dear. If Christie simply didn’t care much about animal rights, that wouldn’t be problematic, as long as she was respectful of your wanting to put your energy and passion into alleviating nonhuman suffering. Both members of a couple don’t have to care about all the same causes. The problem is that Christie is relentlessly critical of your beliefs and the work you do. That’s no way for someone to treat her girlfriend and no way for you to live. You wonder if there’s some means by which you could convince Christie to be more respectful of your work on behalf of animals. What more do you imagine you could do, given that you’ve asked her to stop repeatedly and she hasn’t? If you want to stop being subjected to Christie’s obnoxious criticisms, your surest bet is to get out of the line of fire. So let’s think about why you aren’t doing that. I get your concern about destabilizing Christie’s life, given that she relies on you to pay the bulk of the rent. But Christie, like you, is an adult. It’s up to her to find a way to take care of her own needs, including shelter. If you’re staying with her because you’re afraid she can’t find a way to cover her rent, you are actually disrespecting Christie, by treating her like an incapable child. And of course you are doing yourself no favors if you are staying in a relationship out of pity. So ask yourself, why are you choosing to stay with her? You say that aside from the behavior you describe, she is a very caring girlfriend. Really? I’m curious how you could see Christie’s ongoing taunts as compatible with being a very caring girlfriend. Here is a possibility to consider: Do you have a history of not being treated well in some previous relationship —romantic, familial or otherwise? That might contribute to your accepting nasty behavior as “just part” of being in a relationship. I may be on the wrong track here, because you do seem to see Christie’s behavior accurately, but is it possible you need to open your eyes a little more to reality? I’d also like you to consider whether you might be staying in this relationship in some part because doing so allows you to feel a sense of superiority, for tolerating Christie’s insults; or virtuousness, for helping Christie keep a roof over her head. Again, I may be on the wrong track. But your continuing to stick it out in a miserable situation, in part because you don’t want to shake up Christie’s life, makes me wonder if you have a taste for martydom.


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A U T OS

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琀栀攀

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

ALPHA ROMEO STELVIO

Euro haulers feature spark, panache 2018 model standouts include Alfa Romeo, Mercedes By JOE PHILLIPS Three new vehicles from Alfa Romeo, Mercedes and Mini show how you can savor the flavor of Europe without ever leaving the States. Think of it as owning a staycation on wheels. Alfa Romeo Stelvio $44,000 MPG: 22 city, 28 highway Zero-60 mph: 5.4 seconds From the land of Prada and last year’s steamy “Call Me by Your Name” romance, there’s now a sexy crossover from Alfa Romeo. The compact Stelvio — aptly named after a scenic Italian mountain pass with 48 hairpin turns — is quick, nimble and sculpted like a fashion runway model. The class-leading acceleration erases any notion this is a ho-hum daily driver and the exhilarating exhaust note is more sophisticated snarl than NASCAR thunder. Power comes from a sturdy 280-hp turbo, and for more gusto there’s a 505-hp Quadrifoglio version, which can blast from zero-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. But such Q4 power comes at a price: $82,000. That’s why the base Stelvio is perfectly fine, with form-fitting seats, sporty Euro dash and a wacky-butfun ignition button on the steering wheel. Lots of luxe and safety options are also available, such as blind-spot monitor, collision warning, dual-pane sunroof and Harman Kardon stereo. But some downsides exist, such as the clunky infotainment system and questionable vehicle reliability. Still, if Alfa had made the Stelvio back in the 1980s, Armie Hammer’s character in “Call Me by Your Name” just might have remained in Italy to cruise around with his lover. Mercedes GLC 350E 4MATIC $50,000 MPG: 25 gas only, 74 gas/electric Zero-60 mph: 6.2 seconds After the VW diesel-emissions scandal a few years ago, German automakers

really jumped on the hybrid bandwagon. This includes the all-new GLC 350e 4MATIC, Mercedes’s second plug-in hybrid crossover. Quick and efficient, this compact ride teams a four-cylinder turbo with an electric motor for up to 320 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard and autobahn purists will love the firmyet-refined handling. To help eliminate driver distractions, there are plenty of safety features: blind-sport monitor, 360-degree camera, collision prevention, drowsy-driver alert and cross-traffic assist. There’s even “crosswind” assist and traffic-sign assist, with wrong-way warning. A head-up display shows current speed, posted speed limits and other info. Then there’s the high-quality cabin, with natural grain wood, diamond-stitched leather seats, pre-entry climate control and a power liftgate. The noise-insulating front glass keeps things incredibly quiet. And an app lets you control the charging process, park the car from outside the vehicle and determine the fastest and most fuel-efficient routes to take.

㘀㨀㌀  倀䴀

琀甀攀猀搀愀 礀猀 ㄀⼀㈀ 瀀爀椀挀攀 氀漀挀欀攀爀猀 ☀ 爀漀漀洀猀 㠀 愀洀 ⴀ 洀椀搀渀椀最栀琀

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

㄀㌀㈀㄀ ㄀㐀琀栀 猀琀 一圀

Mini Cooper S E Countryman All4 $37,000 MPG: 27 gas only, 65 gas/electric Zero-60 mph: 6.4 seconds Mini is always expanding its line-up in the United States, from the iconic twodoor coupe in 2001 to the four-door sedan, convertible, Clubman hauler, Countryman crossover, high-end John Cooper Works models and other variants. Now there’s the Countryman plug-in hybrid. At $13,000 less than a Mercedes GLC 350E plug-in, the Countryman is a pennypincher’s delight. But there are a few caveats. Acceleration is slightly slower than with the Mercedes. Cargo space is less than on a traditional Countryman. And this hybrid gets only 12 miles of electric-only range, while other plug-ins can go two to four times as far. But cornering and parking are a breeze, the standard all-wheel drive comes in handy on slick roads and there’s a surprising amount of headroom (though rear-seat legroom is a bit scrunched). Plus, the nicely finished cabin is full of nifty Mini touches, including retro toggle switches, a multicolored LED ring circling the infotainment system and an 8.8-inch touchscreen with navigation, enhanced Bluetooth and wireless phone charging.

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P H O T O S BY W Y A T T RE I D W E ST LU N D

The Washington Blade in partnership with LURe DC held the first Pride on the Pier celebration at the District Wharf on Saturday, June 9.


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P H OTO S B Y M I CH AEL KEY

The annual Capital Pride parade was held on Saturday, June 9. The Grand Marshals of the parade were Judy and Dennis Shepard.

JUNE 15, 2018 • 43


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P H O T O S BY MI CH A E L KE Y

The annual Capital Pride Festival was held along Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday, June 10. Performers at the Capitol Concert Stage included Kim Petras, MAX, Troye Sivan, Asia O’Hara, Keri Hilson and Alessia Cara.


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P H OTO S B Y W YA TT REID WESTL U ND

JUNE 15, 2018 • 45

The Washington Blade held a Capital Pride Parade Viewing Party at Studio Theatre on Saturday, June 9. Guests included Virginia Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas Park). Taylor Gourmet and the Washington Blade sponsored a night of Drag Bingo to kick off Capital Pride weekend. Drag queens Bombalicious Eklaver and Ba’Naka performed and read off the numbers to the guests competing for an iPad. The event was a fundraiser for the LGBT support services organization Casa Ruby.


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W A SH I N G T O N BLA D E . CO M

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A R T S & EN TE RTA I NMENT

JUNE 15, 2018 • 47

Extra effort paid off for lifelong Orioles fan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23

capacity. The built-in base gives the Orioles a lead-in to creating something special for the LGBT community. As of press time, more than 900 tickets have been sold for the event. “It was a natural fit to take a grassroots outing and make it official,” says Bader, vice president of marketing and communications for the Orioles. “This is really exciting for us and it promises to be a great, top-notch experience.” Bader’s path with the Orioles is a classic case of working hard and moving up through the ranks. He worked as an intern with the Orioles after his freshman year of college and returned each season, moving from ticket seller to the scoreboard control room. After graduating from Trinity College, he was hired in a full-time capacity and worked in premium ticket sales and suites. He segued into spring training coordinator for several years before assuming the role of advertising and affiliate relations manager. In his current role as vice president of communications and marketing, Bader oversees the club’s marketing,

GREG BADER says Orioles theme nights are meant to be fun, festive and family friendly. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY KEVIN MAJOROS

advertising, public relations, broadcasting, publishing, productions and community relations efforts. Now in his 25th season with the O’s, Bader is married to husband John and has a few tips for those hoping to work in professional sports. “Always give that extra effort in any

duty, any task,” Bader says. “A good way to get noticed is to over-perform.” Throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles’ LGBT Pride Night will be gay Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott, who retired earlier this year. Joining Scott on the field for pregame festivities will be Billy Bean, Major League Baseball vice president and

special assistant to the commissioner. “I’m looking forward to attending and supporting the Orioles LGBT Pride Night on June 27,” Bean says. “I can’t think of many better places to be than Camden Yards on a summer evening meeting lots of proud O’s fans.” With 81 home games, the Orioles have planned a season-long schedule of promotions, special events and theme nights. In addition to LGBT Pride Night, the slate will include “Star Wars” Night, Bark at Oriole Park, “Game of Thrones” Night and Yoga at the Yard. “At the end of the day, LGBT Pride Night is one of several initiatives that celebrate diversity, whether LGBT or other diverse audiences,” Bader says. “They are meant to be fun, family oriented and great entertainment. Everyone is welcome at Oriole Park.”

LGBT PRIDE NIGHT Mariners at Orioles Classic Wednesday, June 27, 7:05 p.m. Oriole Park at Camden Yards 333 W. Camden St. Baltimore $35-45 VIP: $70 mlb.com/orioles


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W A SH I N G T O N BLA D E . CO M

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REALESTATE

Five must-do’s to sell your home Winning tips from an architect-turned-Realtor By JOHN COPLEN If you’ve been thinking about listing your property, stop what you’re doing and grab a coffee — you’ll want to read this article right away. I’m going to share the five crucial steps you MUST take when you list your property for sale. Selecting the Right Agent For You Selecting the right agent may be the most financially important part of your home sales process. Pick an agent that isn’t just a sales person, but also has some specific knowledge about homes, design, or specialty from which that can draw experience of contextualize your home. Interview three agents in person. Are they presentable and respectful? Knowledgeable about the market, and equipped with a plan to sell your home? But, don’t be deceived by statistics; numbers can say a lot of different things. Above all, your agent must be likable because in the end, a friendly and professional agent will close your deal faster and in your favor. After all, your agent is your representation. Best to put your best face forward. Lastly, do they have references? If so, call a few. Remember, this is big money, so treat your investment with the level of importance it needs. Being Less Than Perfectly Clean Can Cost You Big Money

This living room was dark and cluttered before and bright and clean after.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a CLEAN house. Seriously — cleaner than you have ever seen it. A buyer’s perception of a dirty house translates to it being worth less. Consider that you’re selling a new life to someone, not your old messy home. Most importantly, kitchens and bathrooms must look unused; clean enough to eat off of the floor. This includes smells, it has to smell good. Don’t forget inside your fridge because you better believe buyers will open it. Details Count For Staging and Curb Appeal Curb appeal and staging are things everyone knows they should do, but folks can get overwhelmed at this important step. Make sure your agent is well versed in this, and have them help. An agent with an eye for design is helpful! First, stand curbside and analyze your home. Pick five small improvements that will help attract the eye,

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like painting the front door, mulching, or power washing the sidewalks. Paint colors need to be be neutral and bright. I like Benjamin Moore “Barren Plain” for interior walls. Second, every room must have a clear purpose and be set up to explain that purpose instantly. Arrange furniture or add staging to inform this purpose. Storage areas and closets must be clear, organized, and look like you have more space than you need. And finally, please take down personal items (yes, all of them)! Again, you’re selling a new life, not your life. A First Impression is the Only One That Counts Most buyers will decide in 60 seconds if they’ll bid on your home or walk away. SIXTY SECONDS. The first impression is everything. Take a 60-second walk around the inside of your home. See what they will see, touch what they will touch. Is it perfect? If not, it needs to be. Think about driving a luxury car

vs. the car you might have driven in college. How quickly do you note the difference? So, don’t leave that loose door knob, replace it with something high end and solid. Digital Marketing is Where it’s At! This is where homes get sold. At the outset, make sure that your agent offers services that are inline with the way today’s buyers view homes. It’s important that the property have its own web page, which includes professional photos of the space. A 3D tour is also a useful tool that many buyers look for, along with rendered floor plans. Finally, get the listing and those amazing photos on Instagram and Facebook Ads that link to the property webpage. I hope the five Must-Do’s have given you a lot to think about if you’re planning to sell your home. And of course, I’d be happy to talk to you about them when the time is right.

JOHN COPLEN is an award-winning and topproducing Realtor with Long and Foster Christie’s International Real Estate. John began his real estate career in 2011, when he recognized a need for real estate professionals with a design-adds-value approach, and began representing sellers who want to maximize their sale by correctly preparing their properties for market and discerning buyers who want to customize their new home to their own specific needs and taste. John’s diverse experience includes designing custom homes and international urban planning. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the School of Architecture and Planning at Catholic University of America. Reach him via christiesrealestate.com/eng/ associate/170-a-77837-81214/john-coplen, Instagram.com/john.coplen, 410-591-0911 or john.coplen@longandfoster.com.

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ELEGANT 1920’s COLONIAL REVIVAL Hagerstown $765,000 Architect-designed Colonial Revival on treelined boulevard in Oak Hill Historic District. Grand center hall, manicured landscaping, stone walls, charming porches, Vermont slate patio. Small city location, commutable to D.C. metro area. Convenient to City Park, Maryland Symphony; walk to Gordon’s Grocery. $765,000.00, Hagerstown, MD. Cathy Wantz, Realtor, 301-791-9046. http:// www.realestatetoday. pro/#/1165-the-terrace/

Washington:

202-448-0824

18+ MegaMates.com

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

SALE / WV

BERKELEY SPRINGS B&B DREAM REDUCED Spacious 1890 Victorian 5BR, 2BA w/ original woodwork, hdwd floors, 9’ Ceilings, over 2900 sq. ft. 79 S. Green Street. Only $130,000. Teresa White, Perry Realty, 304-258-3681 (Office), 304-676-7832 (Cell).

RENT / DC

BODYWORK

CAPITOL HILL 1BR

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

$1,539.00 + util/mth. 1122 F St. NE #4. Call or email Joel Martin at 202-4981065 jn1martin@aol.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. fromlucas@yahoo.com.

PLACE YOUR FREE AD ONLINE


W A SH I N GTO NB LAD E.C OM

JUNE 15, 2018 • 53

y t r a P l o o P WITH

DJ HAMSEY

Join us poolside every Sunday this summer for must-try brunch, guest DJs, and drink specials by Justin Golash. DRINK…OR SWIM Noon–5pm | $10 at the door

1155 14TH STREET, N.W. WASHINGTON, DC 202-379-4366

21+

DNVROOFTOP


5 4 • J UN E 1 5 , 2 0 1 8

W A SH I N G T O N BLA D E . CO M


W A SH I N GTO NB LAD E.C OM

JUNE 15, 2018 • 55

Alexandria - $399,000

Alexandria City - $649,900

No excuses. Just results. TalktoRay.com

Ft. Washington, MD - $340,000

RE/MAX’S #1 REALTOR® in the DC metro area.

703-824-4731

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RAY GERNHART

AND ASSOCIATES VA, DC & MD

www.TalktoRay.com

RE/MAX Allegiance, Each office Independently Owned and Operated.


Washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 24, June 15, 2018  

Washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 24, June 15, 2018

Washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 24, June 15, 2018  

Washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 24, June 15, 2018

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