Washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 26, June 29, 2018

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JUNE 29,







LGBT groups join massive immigration protests planned for this weekend By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com

A man holds a sign during a rally against President Trump’s ‘zerotolerance’ immigration policy that took place in Freedom Plaza in D.C. on June 27. Hundreds of protests against the controversial policy are scheduled to take place across the country on Saturday.

The Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force are among the co-sponsors of protests against President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that are scheduled to take place across the country on Saturday. A #FamiliesBelongTogether rally is scheduled to take place in Lafayette Square across from the White House. Other rallies and protests are scheduled to take place in Baltimore; Alexandria, Va.,; Dover, Del., and in hundreds of other cities and towns across the country. The events will take place against the backdrop CONTINUES ON PAGE 16


LGBT and homeless An in-depth look at the problem in partnership with Street Sense Media. PAGES 21-28




Ben Jealous to face Gov. Hogan; Beyer falls short in Senate bid.

Justice Kennedy, author of key pro-gay rulings, is stepping down.

Town set to close after weekend of parties. A look back.




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Jealous wins Md. Democratic gubernatorial primary Beyer falls short in Senate bid; Mary Washington holds lead By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous on Tuesday won Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Jealous defeated Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker by a 39.8-29.4 percent margin. Lawyer Jim Shea came in third with 8.3 percent of the vote. Krishanti Vignarajah, who was former first lady Michelle Obama’s policy director, and state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) came in fourth and fifth with 8.2 and 5.7 percent respectively. Former State Department official Alec Ross came in sixth place with 2.3 percent of the vote.

Former NAACP President BENJAMIN JEALOUS will face Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election after he won the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary on June 26. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Jealous will face Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November. Madaleno described Jealous as “an amazing person with a great story to tell” during a brief interview with the Washington Blade after he and Jenkins spoke to their supporters at the Marriott

Bethesda. “I hope people will listen to that,” added Madaleno. Ross also congratulated Jealous. “I look forward to helping Ben win this fall and to joining him on the trail to talk about his plan for preparing Maryland for

the 21st century economy,” said Ross in a statement. “I also want to congratulate the other participants in the Democratic primary on their spirited campaigns. We all have a lot to be proud of tonight,” he added. Madaleno was poised to potentially become the country’s first openly gay governor if he were to have won the general election. Ross’ running mate, Julie Verratti, would have been Maryland’s first out lieutenant governor if she and Ross would have been elected in November. The LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed Madaleno. An openly gay Maryland House of Delegates candidate won his primary on Tuesday. Gabriel Acevero came in second place in the Democratic primary in House District 39 with 20.2 percent. Acevero would be the first openly gay man of AfroLatino descent elected to the General CONTINUES ON PAGE 08

Trans woman kicked out of D.C. restaurant HRC staffer ‘forcibly removed’ from Cuba Libre By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com A D.C. restaurant apologized to a transgender woman last weekend after it forced her to leave the establishment because she used the women’s restroom without complying with its demand that she show identification confirming she was a female. The apology, posted on Twitter, came one day after activist Charlotte Clymer, who works for the national LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, posted a detailed account on Facebook and Twitter of her ouster on Friday night, June 22, from the Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in downtown D.C. Her social media postings about the incident created an uproar among LGBT activists and others who read her account of what happened that included messages of support from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton. “Last night, I was told by the manager of Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar — Washington, D.C. — that I couldn’t use the women’s restroom,” Clymer said in a Facebook posting. “[A]nd after challenging his discrimination with D.C. law and responding to his threat of calling police with ‘please do so,’ I was forcibly removed from the restaurant,” she stated


in her posting. “I’m so sorry this happened to you,” Bowser said in a Twitter posting the following day. “While I’m glad to hear that D.C. Police Dept. were there to represent our true D.C. values, we won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, D.C.,” the mayor said. “It’s not just illegal; it’s against all we stand for.” Clymer states in her postings on Facebook and Twitter that the restaurant’s manager disputed her assertion that under D.C. law customers of places of public accommodation such as a restaurant must be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

According to Clymer, the incident took place after she and a large group of her female friends came to the restaurant for a bachelorette party for one of those friends. All had a “great time that included dancing,” she said, until she attempted to enter the restroom. The ultimate dispute that led to her being ejected from Cuba Libre began when “an attendant stuck out his arm and said he needed to see my ID” as she tried to open the restroom door, she wrote in one of her postings. Clymer added, “When I asked why, he said that ‘female’ must be on an ID to use the women’s restroom.” Clymer continued, “I told him that’s nonsense, turned on my heel, and continued into the restroom” as one of her female friends tried to tell the attendant he was making a mistake. She said the attendant didn’t ask any of the other women entering the restroom to show ID. “I go into a stall to do my business and I hear him walk in and search for me in this busy restroom full of women,” Clymer says in her Facebook posting. “He is doing everything but opening the stall doors. I ignore him, and after a few minutes, he leaves. I do my business, wash my hands, and walk out,” she wrote. “On the other side of the door are the attendant and the manager, who says it’s D.C. law that you must have ‘female’ on your ID to use the women’s restroom,” Clymer wrote. “I tell him he’s wrong and there’s no chance I’m showing him my ID.” She then left the restaurant on her

own and used her cell phone to look up D.C. law and regulations pertaining to bathroom use by trans people, she explains in one of her postings. With the law and regulation in hand, she returned to the restaurant and approached the manger with the hope that he would realize the restaurant’s restroom policy and ID requirement were illegal. “He treated me like I was irrational, glanced over the text and said, ‘that’s incorrect,’” Clymer continues in her account of what happened. She said the manager refused to show her the “law” he claimed required people to show identification to use the restroom and asked her to leave. After being forced out by a bouncer she reluctantly called D.C. police for assistance, she wrote. Clymer told the Washington Blade she planned to file a complaint against the restaurant with the D.C. Office of Human Rights, which is in charge of enforcing the city’s Human Rights Act. The act, among other things, prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. “We are extremely sorry for the incident that occurred at our restaurant last night, Cuba Libre said on Saturday in a Twitter message. “As a rule, we support safe bathrooms and welcome guests of all gender identifications. Clearly our staff did not do so last night and treated you in an unacceptable manner,” said the message. “We are immediately retraining our entire staff to ensure this does not happen again.”



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Gay GOP U.S. Senate candidate GENE TRUONO, left, and Log Cabin Republicans President GREGORY ANGELO after speaking at a gun rights rally on steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gay, trans Republicans speak at Supreme Court gun rally The president of the national LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Delaware, and a transgender Republican activist from San Diego were among the speakers at a gun rights rally on Tuesday on the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Second Amendment Institute, which organized the event, said it was called to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2008 Supreme Court decision D.C. v. Heller, which held that the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense. The ruling struck down a provision in D.C.’s decades old gun control law that prohibited the possession of handguns by private citizens and required that firearms in the home must be stored unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a locking device. “If you are gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects us all,” Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory Angelo told about 150 people that turned out for the gun rally and several hundred others attending a separate rally protesting the court’s decision that same day upholding President Trump’s ban on immigrants and visitors from several Muslim countries. “And within the Bill of Rights no amendment protects us more than the Second Amendment,” Angelo said. “If you are part of the LGBTQ community as I am, you are more likely to face physical violence and to be targeted for who you are and for who you love,” he continued. Noting that Log Cabin Republicans has supported hate crimes legislation, he added, “You can pass all the hate crimes legislation you want. But the best way to stop a hate crime from ever happening is to have a would-be homophobe question whether the gay man or the transgender woman he is about to attack is able to adequately defend themselves and exercise their Second Amendment constitutional rights.” Also speaking at the rally were gay businessman Gene Truono, who’s running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate seat in Delaware currently held by Democrat Tom Carper, an LGBT rights supporter; and Gina Roberts, a transgender woman, gun rights advocate, and Log Cabin member from San Diego, Calif. Truono told the Washington Blade after delivering his remarks at the rally that he’s a strong supporter of the Second Amendment as well as the First Amendment. “I’m a constitutionalist and a state’s rights person,” he said. “I believe Delaware needs change because we are currently represented by three representatives on the U.S. level that are all against the Second Amendment.” Truono is running unopposed in Delaware’s upcoming Republican primary. He’s expected to face off against Carper, who’s ahead in the polls, in the November general election. Roberts said she came to D.C. this week as part of a group of 50 women who are members of a group called the D.C. Project, which advocates for gun rights. “My point is the Second Amendment applies to everybody, not just white single people or sis people,” she said. “And for the LGBT community it is especially important because we are targets of opportunity for a lack of a better word for a lot of criminals because they think we’re typically not armed and we’re typically sitting ducks.” Many of the participants at the rally protesting the Trump Muslim ban shouted down and heckled speakers at the gun rights rally, with some shouting “Lives matter, not guns.” Among those participating in the protest against the Muslim ban were members of the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Rep. JARED POLIS (D-Colo.) secured the Democratic nomination for governor of Colorado. WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY DAMIEN SALAS

Polis advances in bid to become Colorado governor U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) claimed the Democratic nomination on Tuesday in his bid to become governor of Colorado, setting himself up on a path to become the first openly gay person elected governor in the United States. In a crowded primary, the five-term member of Congress won a plurality of 44 percent of the vote compared to former state treasurer Cary Kennedy, who won 24.7 percent; former State Sen. Mike Johnston, who won 23.3 percent; and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, who won 7.3 percent. In a statement to supporters Tuesday night, Polis offered his thanks and declared, “It’s an honor to be the Democratic nominee for governor of Colorado.” “It’s not about me — it’s about what we can all accomplish together,” Polis said. “We have the potential, in this moment, to take bold, innovative strides in our state: saving people money with high-quality universal health care, free full-day preschool, 100 percent renewable energy, and building a strong economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.” As a five-term member of Congress and co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Polis has taken the lead on many LGBT issues. Polis was chief sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and has taken the lead on the Student NonDiscrimination Act. Polis is also a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, comprehensive legislation that would prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in all areas of civil rights law. Polis could become the first openly gay person elected governor in the United States, but he has competition for that distinction. Lesbian former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez claimed the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Texas. Neither candidate would be the first openly gay governor. That distinction to belongs to former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who came out as gay in 2004 before resigning amid scandal. In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown, who’s bisexual, became the first openly LGBT person elected governor in the United States. She remains in that position and is seeking re-election this year. The Republicans also held their primary in Colorado on Tuesday and selected Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton as their nominee to take on Polis. According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Stapleton is an opponent of LGBT rights who ran on support for President Trump. On his website, Stapleton identified ending sanctuary cities and expanding access to charter schools as among his priorities. Annise Parker, CEO of the Victory Fund, congratulated Polis in a statement and urged continued support for his campaign. “Tonight Jared Polis pulled off a huge victory and is on-track to become the first openly gay man elected governor of a U.S. state,” Parker said. “While it is a historic and promising night for the LGBTQ community, primary voters chose Jared not because he could be a historic first, but because of his unquestionable integrity and positive vision for Coloradans. Voters will have a stark choice in November – between a long-time public servant who governs with values, and the Republican nominee who stands behind the divisive rhetoric and destructive policies of Donald Trump. I am confident Coloradans stand with Jared.” CHRIS JOHNSON


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Peaceful country setting close to 301 & the Bay Bridge. Excellent condition. On over five acres, with 5 bedrooms/4 baths and master on the first floor, Beautiful glass surrounded sunroom overlooking the heated pool and private yard backing to the woods. Two story detached garage/ barn with plenty of space. Fire-pit, 3 new Carrier units, garage spaces for 5 cars, and so much more. Welcome Home!




Well kept rancher with open floor plan on one acre. Kitchen with stainless appliances and granite. Vaulted ceilings, skylights, and pellet stove. Large screened in porch (pavers), sidewalks, patio/terrace and professional landscaping. Partly wooded, private, shaded fenced in backyard. Great location on cul-de-sac with shed, two car garage and just minutes to Route 50 and the Bay Bridge.



Kent Narrows Waterfront Condo 116 OYSTER COVE DR #1D, GRASONVILLE

First floor waterfront condo with wide plank wood floors, open floor plan and lots of light. Layout is ideal for entertaining with a back porch to watch the sunsets. 3 spacious bedrooms and 2 updated baths. New exterior siding and new windows. Boat slip available for lease. Community has 2 marinas, pool, 2 tennis courts, jog/walk path and clubhouse. Walk to restaurants. Close to Bay Bridge.






6.9 acreswith 1000ftof waterfront ontheWye River.Main house isone levelwith 8800squarefeet,Gunite poolwith bathhouse, gazebo, private deep water pier that accommodates up to a 90 ft. yacht and 4 additional spaces for dockage, boat house and gate house. Detached carriage house with 8+ additional garage spaces,5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.Welcome to the Shore!


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This custom estate known as Hunters Rest was built for entertaining. Main Lvl living + 3 extra rooms dwn. 6000sqft+ brilliantly designed and thoughfully crafted ML w/Lux MBR & BA, Gym, HUGE Gourmet Kit 26x19, FR, 2 Laundry, 5 Fireplaces. Movie room w/King Murphy Bed Built in. 22 acres, Private Pier over 720 of waterfront! 3 car detached garage.


Vacation where you Live! One level living in the community of Prospect Bay. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and an open layout ideal for entertaining. Hardwood floors and coastal feeling throughout. Large rooms, fireplace, and privacy. Located on a cul-de-sac. Community has pool, tennis, playground, clubhouse, restaurant, marina and more. Close to Bay Bridge. Open Saturday 6/16 12-3PM. Welcome Home!

QA#10266954 $495,000 4 KEEL HAUL DR, GRASONVILLE

Very motivated sellers! Bring offers. One floor living on cul-de-sac backing up to the golf course. Privacy and great winter water views. Open floor plan with hardwood floors throughout. All season enclosed glass porch is the full length of the house. Open kitchen perfect for entertaining. Community offers golf, boat ramp/basin, tennis courts, pool, restaurant, pro-shop and so much more.

QA#10113502 $499,000 114 PROSPECT BAY DR, GRASONVILLE

Enjoy sunrises over the golf course from large rear deck and patio; sunsets over Eastern Bay from covered front porch. Cool cottage style renovation with open plan and natural light. Wide pine floors & Shiplap accent walls. 3BR/2.5B in main house; 1BR/1BA cottage.1+ acre of tranquility with space for family fun. Unique opportunity to enjoy golf course frontage with an easy walk to boat basin.




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Supreme Court sends back ‘religious freedom’ case from anti-gay florist Arlene’s Flowers seeks right to refuse same-sex weddings By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced that it has sent back for review to Washington State a lawsuit filed by an anti-gay florist seeking a First Amendment right to refuse service to same-sex weddings. The court announced the decision in an orders list on Monday, which reflected decisions made on many petitions for certiorari considered at its conference last Thursday. Although the Supreme Court granted certiorari and vacated the decision against her by the Washington Supreme Court, justices also remanded the case back to that body for reconsideration in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s narrow decision for Colorado baker Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit. That means the U.S. Supreme Court won’t consider the judgment Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, was seeking: A sweeping right under the First Amendment based on freedom of religion and freedom of speech to refuse to provide floral services for same-sex weddings. Alliance Defending Freedom, the antiLGBT legal group representing Arlene’s Flowers, nonetheless praised the action from the U.S. Supreme Court as a win. Kristen Waggoner, the senior vice president of ADF’s U.S. legal division, said in a statement the U.S. Supreme Court

“rightfully asked the Washington Supreme Court to reconsider Barronelle’s case in light of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision.” “In that ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court denounced government hostility toward the religious beliefs about marriage held by creative professionals like Jack and Barronelle,” Waggoner said. “The state of Washington, acting through its attorney general, has shown similar hostility here.” The Washington Supreme Court ruled against Stutzman last year as a result of legal action brought against her by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who contended she violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination by declining to provide floral services for the same-sex wedding of Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll. The decision upheld the ruling of the Benton County Superior Court, which found Stutzman violated the law and fined her $1,000. Waggoner, who argued on Stutzman’s behalf before the Washington Supreme Court in 2016, insisted Stutzman “serves all customers,” but won’t create “custom art that expresses messages or celebrates events in conflict with her deeply held religious beliefs.” “The Washington attorney general’s efforts to punish her because he dislikes her beliefs about marriage are as impermissible as Colorado’s attempt to punish Jack,” Waggoner said. Waggoner said Ferguson didn’t prosecute a business that berated and discriminated against Christian customers with anti-abortion, anti-LGBT views, but in contrast pursued measures to punish Stutzman for refusing to provide floral services for a same-sex wedding.

BARRONELLE STUTZMAN of Arlene’s Flowers is seeking an OK to refuse service to gay couples. WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Ferguson said in a statement “we expected this procedural step” from the U.S. Supreme Court in the aftermath of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. “The Washington State Supreme Court now has the job of determining whether the U.S. Supreme Court ruling affects this case,” Ferguson said. “I am confident they will come to the same conclusion they did in their previous, unanimous ruling upholding the civil rights of same-sex couples in our state.” Much like the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, LGBT groups are split on the action from the U.S. Supreme Court in the Arlene’s Flowers case. Praising the decision was Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, who pointed out the Supreme Court has now on two separate occasions declined to issue a sweeping ruling allowing anti-

LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.” “Opponents of LGBTQ equality have asked the Supreme Court for a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and the Court has refused to do so on two separate occasions first in Masterpiece, and now in Arlene’s Flowers,” Davis said. “Earlier this month, the Supreme Court reaffirmed our nation’s longstanding promise of equal opportunity for all, making clear that all business owners and all customers should be treated with respect.” Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel and law and policy director at Lambda Legal, had a different take and called the Supreme Court’s decision “immensely frustrating and disappointing.” ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Gay Afro-Latino candidate wins primary in Md. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 04

Assembly if he were to win in November. “We won,” said Acevero in a tweet. Mila Johns, who is openly bisexual, came in sixth in the Democratic primary in House District 18. Kevin Mack, a gay man who is living with HIV, came in fifth in the Democratic primary in House District 15. State Dels. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery County), Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery County), Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City) and Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) won their respective primaries. State Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) held a slim lead over longtime incumbent Sen. Joan Carter Conway in Senate District 43 as of Wednesday morning. Washington is a lesbian; Conway was supported by prominent state Democrats and has served in the Senate since 1996. With more than 96 percent of precincts

GABRIEL ACEVERO on June 26 came in second in the Democratic primary in House District 39. He would be the first openly gay man of Afro-Latino descent elected to the General Assembly if he wins in November. PHOTO COURTESY ACEVERO

reporting, Washington led with 9,032 votes to Conway’s 8,503. “I’m very mindful as an out African American in the General Assembly… I embody intersectionality,” she told

the Washington Blade during a recent 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. I bring that perspective to the work that I do.” Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer lost her bid against state Del. Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery County) and Michelle Carhart in Senate District 18. Beyer, who unsuccessfully ran against Madaleno in the 2014 Democratic primary, would have become the country’s first openly transgender state senator if she had won her race. Beyer took 5,869 votes to Waldstreicher’s 7,921 and Carhart’s 2,077 with 91 percent of precincts reporting. Longshot candidate Chelsea Manning, the transgender service member who served seven years in prison for leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks, finished a distant second to Sen. Ben Cardin in the Democratic race for U.S. senator, with 32,163 votes compared to 450,373 votes for Cardin.


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Pre-Stonewall gay rights pioneer Dick Leitsch dies at 83 Helped end police entrapment arrests of gay men By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com Dick Leitsch, a New York City gay rights leader in the 1960s who is credited with playing a lead role in ending police entrapment arrests of gay men and helping to organize the first known gay civil disobedience protest to end a ban on serving drinks to gays in bars – died June 22 in a Manhattan hospice from liver cancer. He was 83. Gay historian David Carter said Leitsch’s early accomplishments as a homosexual activist were remarkable in that they took place in the mid-1960s prior to the June 1969 Stonewall riots, the tumultuous six-day uprising in New DICK LEITSCH was York’s Greenwich Village considered the starting point of the an eyewitness to the modern LGBT rights movement. Stonewall riots. He died at age 83. According to accounts by friends and fellow activists, PHOTO BY DELOREAN08; Leitsch described himself as a “hick” from Kentucky who COURTESY WIKIMEDIA knew nothing about gay rights when he followed his boyfriend to New York City in 1959. Those who knew him said that not long after arriving in New York he and his boyfriend joined the Mattachine Society of New York, a chapter of one of the nation’s early “homophile” organizations that cautiously advocated for better treatment of homosexuals. Over the years Leitsch worked as a bartender and freelance journalist. Carter said gay rights leader Frank Kameny of Washington, D.C. played some role in Leitsch’s rise to become president of the Mattachine Society of New York in 1965. According to Carter, Kameny, known as an unapologetic, militant advocate for full gay equality before such assertiveness had been embraced by Mattachine chapters in cities outside D.C., appeared as a guest speaker at a Mattachine Society event in New York. “That speech may have been Frank’s greatest, for it galvanized the MSNY membership to such an extent that they threw out the old board and officers who had supported the ‘research and education’ approach that the homophile movement then embraced,” said Carter, who is currently working on a Kameny biography. Carter noted that the then prevailing “approach” among most Mattachine chapters, including the New York chapter, was “it is best to let the psychiatrists and psychologists speak for us because it is better to be thought to be sick and in need of understanding and therapy than to be branded as criminals who belong in prison.” With that as a backdrop, Carter told the Washington Blade that Dick Leitsch, who sided with the Kameny faction, was swept into office as vice president of the Mattachine Society of New York. By 1965, when the newly elected president resigned, Leitsch became president. “Leitsch then tackled the issues of ending police entrapment and legalizing gay clubs, the two main steps Kameny had urged for New York homophiles in his speech,” Carter said. “Leitsch managed, largely through a successful press campaign, to pressure the newly elected mayor of New York, John Lindsay, to order the police department to end entrapment and, in part through the direct action tactic of what the press labeled a ‘sip-in,’ as well through other actions, including court challenges, to make gay clubs somewhat less illegal,” said Carter. Carter was referring to a 1966 civil disobedience action that Leitsch and four other Mattachine Society of New York leaders organized at Julius’s, a Greenwich Village bar then popular among gays that has since been designated as a historic landmark. With Leitsch leading the way, the Mattachine members, dressed in business suits, sat down at the bar, ordered alcoholic beverages, and declared to the bartender that they were homosexuals who were acting in an “orderly” manner. A policy believed to have been in place at the time mandated by the New York State Liquor Authority held that establishments licensed to serve liquor could not serve drinks to disorderly people, including homosexuals, who were known lawbreakers for violating the state’s sodomy law. Thus under this policy gays were automatically considered to be “disorderly” and could not be served drinks. When the Julius’s bartender responded by refusing to serve the Mattachine members drinks, the group had arranged for reporters for the New York Times and the Village Voice to be present to witness and photograph the refusal. The action created an immediate stir among many New Yorkers, who thought it unfair to deny law-abiding citizens a drink at a bar. Years later, Leitsch told fellow activists he and his fellow Mattachine Society members modeled their “sip-in” after the famous sit-ins at segregated lunch counters that African-

NATIONAL NEWS American civil rights activists organized in the early 1960s. Similar to the actions by their African-American counterparts, the gay “sip-in” had an immediate positive impact that led to the liquor board backing down and claiming no such “official” regulation banning gays from being served drinks had been adopted in the first place. Carter told the Blade that in the years since the Stonewall riots broke out on June 28, 1969, many observers have overlooked Leitsch’s important role as an eyewitness and early chronicler of the six days of rioting and unrest in the streets surrounding the now famous Stonewall Inn gay bar. Leitsch has said he arrived on the scene shortly after learning the Stonewall had been raided by New York City police and its gay, lesbian and transgender customers fought back. In its obituary on Leitsch the New York Times reports that on the morning after the police raid that triggered the Stonewall riots, then Mayor Lindsay called Leitsch and pleaded, “You’ve got to stop this!” “Even if I could, I wouldn’t,” the Times quoted Leitsch as saying. “I’ve been trying for years to get something like this to happen,” the Times quoted him as reportedly saying. Carter is the author of the 2004 book “Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution,” which is considered the most authoritative and thorough account of the Stonewall riots. “[F]ew people have ever taken note of the fact that Dick Leitsch wrote not only the longest contemporary accounts of the Uprising, but they were literally out on the street long before the two most famous accounts by Village Voice reporters Howard Smith and Lucian Truscott,” Carter told the Blade. “This is because Dick’s first account was written up and distributed both as a handout and mailed out in the mail,” said Carter. “This means that the first lengthy account of the Uprising made public was written by an openly gay eyewitness,” he said. “Without Leitsch’s well-written and accurate accounts, our understanding of what transpired during the Stonewall Uprising would be much less detailed and complete than it is.” In one of his write-ups on the riots, which was later published in the LGBT magazine The Advocate, Leitsch wrote, “Those usually put down as ‘sissies’ or ‘swishes’ showed the most courage and sense during the action. Their bravery and daring saved many people from being hurt.” When it became known earlier this year that Leitsch was suffering from terminal cancer, among those who wrote to him was former President Barack Obama, according to the New York Times. “Thank you for your decades of work to help drive our nation forward on the path toward LGBT equality,” the Times quoted Obama’s note as saying. “Our journey as a nation depends, as it always has, on the collective and persistent efforts of people like you.” Leitsch is survived by his brother, John, and sister, Joanne Williams. Timothy Scoffield, his partner of many years, died of AIDS in 1989.

LGBT groups condemn Supreme Court travel ban ruling LGBT advocacy groups on Tuesday condemned the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding the Trump administration’s policy that effectively bans the citizens of five Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Lambda Legal Executive Director Rachel B. Tiven in a statement said the ruling is “as shameful as the internment of Japanese Americans and the doors slammed shut to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.” “This is a dark day for the United States,” she said. Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow echoed Tiven. “Make no mistake: This is an unnecessary and dangerous ban against Muslims that recklessly puts lives in danger and undermines civil liberties in this country,” said Warbelow in a statement. “We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to uphold what is clearly a xenophobic effort that scapegoats persons of a particular faith, threatens the safety of human beings seeking refuge, encourages violence and discrimination against Muslim Americans, and does nothing to keep all Americans safer.” Kierra Johnson, deputy executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, in a statement described the ruling as “shameful” and stressed it “will be viewed by history as one of the court’s most heinous decisions, comparable to such decisions as Dred Scott and Bowers v. Hardwick.” Johnson is among those who spoke at a rally against the ruling that took place on the steps of the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Glenn D. Magpantay, executive director of National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, in his statement referred to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that banned Chinese people from entering the U.S. and internment camps in which Americans of Japanese descent were held during World War II. Magpantay also referenced the 1969 Stonewall riots. “Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban has a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people and will tear families apart,” he said. The policy that the Supreme Court upheld in a 5-4 ruling applies to Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea and certain Venezuelan government officials. An executive order that President Trump signed last September established the policy. MICHAEL K. LAVERS


JUNE 29, 2018 • 11

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Cuomo issues order against anti-trans bias in health care Effort seeks to counteract expected Trump attack By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com As New York celebrated Pride, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced a series of actions to assure transgender people in the state have access to health care, including transition-related care such as gender reassignment surgery. Cuomo announced the order at a Pride breakfast in New York City, citing plans by the Trump administration to roll back a rule under the Affordable Care Act barring anti-trans discrimination in health care. “New York was founded upon the principles of fairness and equality and we won’t stand idly by while Washington seeks to claw back hard-earned rights and protections,” Cuomo said in a statement. “For every step the Trump administration takes backwards, New York will take two steps forward, and these regulations will guarantee and expand protections for transgender New Yorkers to help ensure every resident has equal access to health care.” According to Cuomo’s office, the Trump administration’s plan to undo the rule under Obamacare would leave around 90,300 transgender people vulnerable to discrimination in health care. The

New York Gov. ANDREW CUOMO issued an order against anti-trans discrimination in health care.


proposed rule change is before the White House, but the Trump administration has yet to pull the trigger. Donna Lieberman, executive director of New York Civil Liberties Union, was among those who hailed the change enacted by Cuomo. “These measures are an important step to ensure that all New Yorkers can access the health care they need, regardless of gender identity,” Lieberman said. “As the Trump administration continues its attack on the dignity and health of trans people, New York is once again stepping up, as it must, to protect all New Yorkers.” Under the order, Cuomo directed the State Department of Health to issue a regulation requiring all New York hospitals to update their statements of patient rights to prohibit discrimination

against transgender patients. Further, Cuomo has directed the State Department of Financial Services to issue new regulations to expand the scope of anti-discrimination protections for transgender individuals seeking access to health insurance. According to Cuomo’s office, Obamacare prohibits anti-trans discrimination in individual and small group health insurance policies, but does nothing for large group policies. Under Cuomo’s order, DFS will go beyond that scope and bar discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the administration of large group policies. Glennda Testone, executive director of the New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, said in a statement Cuomo was standing up to

the Trump administration with his order. “I applaud the governor’s efforts to counter damaging actions the federal government has threatened to make against our community,” Testone said. “Under his leadership, New Yorkers will not be stripped of their health care rights and will have access to the resources and assistance needed to lead quality lives in the greatest state there is.” The actions build on an order Cuomo signed in 2015 interpreting New York’s Human Rights Law, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, to apply to cases of anti-trans discrimination. That order applied to employment, housing providers and credit, but made no explicit protections in health care. For years because of Republican control of the New York Senate, the New York state legislature has been unable to pass legislation known as the Gender Expression NonDiscrimination Act, or GENDA, which would make anti-trans discrimination unlawful in New York. Just last month, a Senate committee killed the legislation following passage of the bill in the Democratic Assembly. Cuomo also issues the order as he faces a challenge in a Democratic primary from “Sex and the City” star and queer actress Cynthia Nixon. On Sunday, Nixon revealed her eldest child is transgender. The New York primary for state elections is Sept. 13.

For first time in 11 years, DOJ Pride not held in Great Hall Rosenstein speaks at event closed to media By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com The Justice Department kept with its annual tradition Tuesday and hosted a Pride event for its LGBT attorneys and law enforcement officials — but for the first time in 11 years, the ceremony wasn’t held in the building’s Great Hall. The Great Hall is a large open space in the Justice Department adorned with the department’s seal and two statues in the classical style representing the virtue of justice. The Justice Department’s annual Pride event — an official event coordinated by the LGBT affinity group DOJ Pride — took place there each year since 2008. This year, an event announcement for the Pride event reveals it was set to take place in a seventh floor conference center traditionally reserved for press conferences as opposed to the Great Hall. A source familiar with the event confirmed the event took place in the smaller room as indicated on the schedule. Sources familiar with the event speculated the event was moved because

attendance was expected to be low. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment in response to the Washington Blade’s question on why the event was moved. Set to speak at the event this year was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supervises Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — as well as gay conservative media pundit Guy Benson. Even though a high-ranking Justice Department official spoke at the event, the Justice Department spokesperson indicated it was closed to media because it didn’t take place in the Great Hall. The Washington Blade wasn’t able to attend to witness the remarks. Benson didn’t respond to a request to comment on his speaking engagement. The Justice Department didn’t respond to a request Wednesday to share remarks from either speaker at the event, nor did the Justice Department’s public affairs department promulgate them. The DOJ Pride group also didn’t respond to a request Wednesday to comment on the event. Also unlike previous years, DOJ Pride held a separate unofficial event to issue awards to individuals for their work on behalf on the LGBT community. In years

past, the awards ceremony was part of the official Pride event. The recipient of the James R. Douglass Award for contributions to the work-life environment of the Justice Department’s LGBT employees was given to John Elias, a former president of DOJ Pride. The Pride event took place a year and a half into the Trump administration with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who has sought to roll back LGBT rights — at the helm of the Justice Department. Sessions has rescinded Obama-era guidance requiring schools to allow transgender kids to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity, issued a memo declaring Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 doesn’t cover antitrans discrimination and promulgated “religious freedom” guidance seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination. Under Sessions’ tenure, the Justice Department intervened in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and argued a Colorado baker should be able to refuse to make a custom-made wedding cake for same-sex couples on First Amendment grounds. Additionally, the Justice Department sent an attorney to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to argue Title VII doesn’t cover sexual orientation

discrimination and employers should be able to fire people for being gay under current law. The annual DOJ Pride event first took place during the Clinton administration and was held in those years in the Great Hall. But during the majority of the George W. Bush administration, the event was scaled back and the affinity group held events in conference centers as opposed to the Great Hall. That changed in the final year of the Bush administration, when then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey allowed the event once again to take place in the Great Hall and spoke there. The event took place in the Great Hall during each of the eight years of the Obama administration. Former U.S. Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch had addressed LGBT employees there during their tenure at the Justice Department. DOJ Pride also took place in the Great Hall in the first year of the Trump administration. The Washington Blade sought to cover the event, but was removed on the basis that no Justice Department principal was speaking there. Former Justice Department public affairs officials have disputed that reasoning and said all events in the Great Hall are public events.


JUNE 29, 2018 • 13


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Arlington teen makes history as first trans Va. Senate page Sean Bender-Prouty met governor, Danica Roem By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com RICHMOND, VA. — A teenager from Arlington this year became the Virginia Senate’s first openly transgender page. Sean Bender-Prouty, 14, told the Washington Blade on April 14 during an interview before attending Equality Virginia’s annual Commonwealth Dinner with their father, Bob Prouty, that they and the other pages with whom they worked ran errands for the senators and passed messages “back and forth” to them. Bender-Prouty, who uses gender neutral pronouns, told the Blade they met Gov. Ralph Northam at the Executive Mansion and “thanked him for supporting LGBT equality.” Bender-Prouty also met state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas),

SEAN BENDER-PROUTY was a Virginia Senate page during the 2018 legislative session. BenderProuty is the first openly transgender teen chosen to take part in the program. PHOTO BY PENELOPE BENDER

who is the first openly trans person seated in a state legislature in the U.S. “It was awesome,” said Bender-Prouty as their father listened. “It was really cool knowing that she was just over there in the House.” Bender-Prouty, who was an eighth grader at the Nysmith School for the Gifted in Herndon when they spoke with

the Blade, was one of 35 pages who were chosen to work in the state Senate during the 2018 legislative session that began on Jan. 10 and ended on March 10. Bender-Prouty told the Blade that lawmakers “treated me fine,” even though “only a couple knew that I was trans.” Bender-Prouty said some of their fellow pages made transphobic comments toward

them, in part, because they were not aware of issues relating to gender identity. Bender-Prouty said the Senate Page Leadership Program administrators were “very supportive” of them. “I was definitely glad I did it,” they told the Blade. “In general, I think it went well and I think Sean took the whole thing as a positive experience,” said Prouty. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation earlier this year chose Bender-Prouty as one of its HRC Youth Ambassadors. BenderProuty is also the editor of LGBTeen, a magazine they told the Blade “is for and by LGBTQ-plus teenagers.” “I didn’t feel there was enough representation of LGBTQ youth in the media,” they said. “I wanted there to be a way for LGBTQ youth and teenagers who were writers or poets or artists to be able to express that and publish their work.” Bender-Prouty will be a freshman at Maret School in D.C. in the fall.

CBS reporter who covered Hurricane Maria comes out David Begnaud tweeted picture with partner By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com A CBS News reporter who has received widespread praise for his extensive coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico came out publicly on Sunday. David Begnaud tweeted a picture of him at a dinner with his partner, Jeremy, and wrote, “reporting the truth includes my own.” The tweet also includes the hashtag “happy Pride.” “It just felt right,” Begnaud told the Washington Blade on Monday during a telephone interview from South Texas where he is covering the impact of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that includes the continued separation of immigrant children from their parents. “I was inspired by what I was seeing in New York City for the Pride celebration.” Begnaud and his partner, who lives in Los Angeles, have been together for nearly seven years. Begnaud, a Louisiana native who is currently based in Dallas, told the Blade he came out to his family a decade ago. Begnaud added “it just felt right” to share the picture of him and his partner on his Twitter page. “It was on my heart,” said Begnaud. “Jeremy, my partner, is the salt of the earth.” Begnaud told the Blade his sexual orientation “is something that is as old as I am.”

DAVID BEGNAUD reports from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. commonwealth. He came out publicly as gay on June 24 when he tweeted a picture with his partner. PHOTO COURTESY OF CBS NEWS

“It’s also not a banner headline for me,” he added. “It’s who I am. It’s who I love.” Begnaud was in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, when Maria made landfall on the island’s southeast coast with winds of 155 mph. He also covered the hurricane’s immediate aftermath; which included a lack of electricity, running water and cell phone service across the island and a shortage of food and other basic supplies. Begnaud interviewed Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and other officials in the U.S. commonwealth about Maria, its impact and the status of the relief effort. Begnaud also helped Puerto Ricans contact their relatives in the mainland U.S. after Maria. The hurricane’s official death toll remains 64, but it is likely much higher. Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Colorado School of Medicine and other institutions have concluded Maria may have killed upwards of 4,645 people. Other estimates place the death

toll at around 1,000. Residents of the Candelero Arriba neighborhood of Humacao, a city on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast, had no electricity last month when the Blade was in the area last month. Begnaud on Monday noted residents of Utuado, a town that is located in the U.S. commonwealth’s mountainous interior, have not had electricity for more than nine months. Begnaud on June 23 tweeted 2,669 “customers still do not have power” in Puerto Rico and “it may be another months (sic) before they get it.” He retweeted an article from El Nuevo Día, a Puerto Rican newspaper, on Monday that says “at least 248 critical facilities” across the island are running on generators because they still do not have electricity. Begnaud in his tweet noted it costs $2.1 million a day to keep them running. Begnaud told the Blade he has “an obligation to not let people forget about Puerto Ricans, our fellow Americans” even as he “moves on to other stories.”

The organizers of New York’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade earlier this month honored Begnaud. He was unable to attend Los Angeles Pride with his partner because the parade took place on the same day. “A piece of my heart will always remain in Puerto Rico,” Begnaud told the Blade. “The love they have shown towards me has just humbled me.” Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a Puerto Rican LGBTI advocacy group, on Sunday applauded Begnaud. “The award-winning journalist who has won the hearts of Puerto Ricans — because he has made Puerto Rico one of his priorities — today during this month of the LGBTT fight shared who has won his heart,” tweeted Serrano. “Congratulations David Begnaud.” LGBT Puerto Rico, an LGBTI website on the island, in a tweet that congratulated Begnaud for coming out describes him as a “hero of Puerto Rico.” Begnaud conceded to the Blade he felt “a little trepidation” about coming out publicly, in part, because of the teasing he said he suffered as a child. Begnaud said he was “overwhelmed” by the positive reaction he has received. “I thought it was so profound,” he said. Begnaud added he wants to “inspire other people to feel comfortable telling their story.” “I want to encourage them by saying: It took me 24 years to get to the place where I was ready to tell my family and another decade before I was ready to do so publicly,” he said. “So, whenever you’re ready there’s a world of love waiting to embrace you.”


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LGBT groups back protests against Trump immigration policy CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

of growing outrage over Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that includes the separation of more than 2,000 immigrant children from their parents. Trump on June 20 signed an executive order that ended the separations. Attorneys general from D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, California, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont on Tuesday filed a lawsuit that seeks to force the Trump administration to reunite immigrant children with their parents. A federal judge in San Diego on Tuesday ruled all of them must be reunited within 30 days. U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) told the Washington Blade after he visited South Texas on June 17 there is no policy in place that specifically addresses the needs of LGBT immigrant children who are in custody. “HRC will be sponsoring the rally in D.C. on June 30 and will also be mobilizing our 3 million members and supporters for the other rallies around the country as we stand united in condemning this administration’s unconscionable actions,” HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy told the Washington Blade last week. Stacey Long Simmons, director of the Task Force’s Advocacy and Action Department, on Tuesday said her group is supporting the #FamiliesBelongTogether protests because “ripping children away from their parents is inhumane.” She also noted to the Blade that former first lady Laura Bush is among those who have publicly criticized the policy. “Trump’s policies have jeopardized the lives and emotional well-being of nursing infants, toddlers, and other children by forcing them away from their parents, ignoring the needs of unaccompanied minors and locking these children up like dogs in cages,” said Simmons. Other LGBT advocacy groups across the country are also supporting the protests. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York, which is the world’s largest LGBT synagogue, earlier this week traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. Capitol police on Jan. 18 arrested Kleinbaum and other immigrant rights advocates during a protest at the Russell Senate Office Building. Kleinbaum in a statement she sent to the Blade on Monday said she believes “God demands of us to put our bodies on the line for as long as it takes to protect the vulnerable, to protest evil and injustice and to non-violently take action that brings redemption to this world.” “I will not be silent and our congregation will be wherever we need to be to joyously bring God’s vision of justice to our world,” she said.

Capitol Police on Jan. 18, arrest Rabbi SHARON KLEINBAUM of New York’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah during a protest in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at the Russell Senate Office Building. Congregation Beit Simchat Torah is among the organizations expected to participate in protests against President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that are scheduled to take place across the country on June 30. PHOTO COURTESY OF TASHA CALHOUN/CONGREGATION BEIT SIMCHAT TORAH

Equality Florida has also encouraged its supporters to take part in the #FamiliesBelongTogether protests. “Equality Florida adds its voice to the

overwhelming public outcry against the Trump administration’s policy that has torn more than 2,300 traumatized children, toddlers and infants from

Kennedy steps down from Supreme Court U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy — the author of major U.S. Supreme Court rulings in favor of gay rights — has announced plans to step down from the bench. Major media outlets reported Kennedy — appointed by President Reagan in 1988 — announced plans to step down Wednesday afternoon as the court’s 2017-2018 term came to a close. The Washington Blade confirmed Kennedy’s plans for departure with the Supreme Court. “It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy said in a statement. According to the statement, Kennedy on Wednesday told his fellow justices he’s submitting to President Trump formal notification, effective July 31, to “cease active status as an associate justice and to assume senior status.” That would

asylum-seekers and immigrant parents who believed the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty,” said Nadine Smith, the group’s CEO, on Tuesday.

effectively mean he’s stepping down. The statement says Kennedy’s family was happy for him to continue to serving on the Supreme Court, but he decided to step down in part to spend more time with them. Kennedy also has admiration for his colleagues and will Justice ANTHONY KENNEDY “retain warm ties with announced he’s stepping down. each of them in the years to come.” The news broke as the Blade was going to press. Visit washingtonblade.com for full coverage. CHRIS JOHNSON



J U N E 29, 2018 • 17

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Starbucks expands health care for trans staff NEW YORK — Starbucks has announced it will begin offering comprehensive health care for transgender employees, NewNowNext reports. The company began covering gender-affirmation surgery in 2012, and will now also cover services previously considered elective, such as breast reduction, augmentation, facial feminization, hair transplants and other transition-related care. Advocates are encouraged by Monday’s announcement, having long argued that while these procedures are often seen as solely cosmetic, they are in fact life-saving and necessary for the survival of trans and gender-nonconforming people, NewNowNext reports. Starbucks partnered with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health for guidance on its new policies and to ensure that they were as inclusive as possible. “The approach was driven not just by the company’s desire to provide truly inclusive coverage, and by powerful conversations with transgender partners about how those benefits would allow them to truly be who they are,” Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks, said in a statement. The company earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index for 2018, earning it the title of a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

Health disparities compound as LGBT people age LONDON — LGBT people of all ages have experienced health inequalities, but researchers have begun to delve into the consequences of a lifetime of that inequity and what happens to their health as they grow older, MedicalXPress reports. “They’ve been relatively invisible, undercounted and underserved,” said Dr. Karen Fredriksen Goldsen. “We’re talking about a major public health issue.” LGBT people face health disparities due to stigma, discrimination and violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study Healthy People 2020. But those problems spike as LGBT people age, said Fredriksen Goldsen, a researcher behind the ongoing Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study. It’s a federally funded project following 2,450 LGBT adults from age 50-100-plus. According to the report, about 2.7 million U.S. adults 50 and older identify as LGBT, including 1.1 million age 65 and older. Those numbers are expected to nearly double by 2060. About 13 percent of LGBT older adults report being denied health care or given poor care because of their sexual or gender identities. Among transgender participants, that number jumped to 40 percent, MedicalXPress reports. Older LGBT adults are more likely than heterosexuals to smoke, drink excessively and report depression, according to the study.

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LONDON — Bisexual men have a higher risk for heart disease compared with straight men across several modifiable risk factors, finds a new study published online in the journal LGBT Health reported on by MedicalXPress and other outlets. In the United States, more than 30 percent of men have some form of heart disease and it is a leading cause of death. However, little is known about the impact of sexual orientation on heart disease risk in men, despite the fact that 5130 Wisconsin Ave. NW • DC • (202) 966-6400 • www.JosephGawlers.com gay and bisexual men may be at a higher risk based on modifiable factors like tobacco use and poor mental health, researchers found. ADVERTISING In this study, the researchers examined differences in modifiable risk factors for heart disease and heart disease diagnoses in men of different sexual orientations. PROOF #1 ISSUE DATE: 10.26.12 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS (bpitts@washblade.com) Risk factors measured included mental distress; health behaviors such as tobacco REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of use, binge drinking, diet, and exercise; and biological risk factors such as obesity, adviC e Proof • m i a t ifinal o and N will • beL submitted i t i Gfor apublication t i o Nif revision • a isPnot P submitted e a L Swithin • 24 C hours o LofL a B o r a t i o N proof. wille bed considered the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts REVISIONS omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol. Participants who reported having angina, 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 coronary heart disease, heart failure, heart attack, or stroke were considered as TEXT REVISIONS any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS having a diagnosis of heart disease, MedicalXPress reports. competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE NO REVISIONS washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contr The researchers analyzed responses from 7,731 men ages 20-59 who were part liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred washington blade newspaper. This includes but is no 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. of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2012), a national and warranties. survey that is used to monitor the health of Americans. Differences were analyzed across four groups based on their sexual identities: gay men, bisexual men, men FamiLY | eState PLaNNiNG | emPLoYmeNt | immiGratioN who have sex with men but identify as straight (MSM) and straight men. ComPLeX LitiGatioN | CiviL riGHtS | LGBt | adoPtioN | BuSiNeSS Researchers found no differences in heart disease diagnoses based on sexual orientation, but risk for heart disease was more complicated. Gay men and MSM reported lower binge drinking compared with straight men, but otherwise few differences in health behaviors were noted, MedicalXPress reports. at tor N e YS at L aw • d C | m d | va But bi men had higher rates of heart disease and risk factors such as mental distress, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Researchers urged more screening for bi men. 3 0 1 . 8 9 1 . 2 2 0 0 • S P - L aw. C o m

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Our cruel, ginned-up border crisis America has a homegrown infestation of bigotry

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

Many of us cried listening to it: an audio recording of migrant children crying for their parents at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility. Obtained by ProPublica, it was played on the House floor by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on June 22. I appreciate his defiance of the presiding officer. We are in a pitched battle for truth. There is no crisis on our southern border except the ripping apart of migrant families by our president. His relentless lies about immigrants are to inflame his white nationalist base, who will not accept America’s founding creed that we are all created equal. His “zero tolerance” policy, which he falsely blamed on Demo-

crats, is both cruel and incompetent. His tweet that immigrants are an infestation carries echoes of Hutus calling Tutsis cockroaches during the run-up to the Rwandan genocide. Speaking of which, if you don’t like Holocaust comparisons, don’t take children from their parents while claiming that you’re giving them baths. If you don’t like slavery comparisons, don’t tear babies from their mother’s breasts. If you have a soul, don’t say “Wah wah” like former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about a girl with Down syndrome being taken from her parents. Trump’s tribemates, as they imagine themselves, double down in his defense, even as people across the spectrum denounce his use of children as political hostages. Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on June 20, “The number of families that are posing as families has quadrupled trying to cross our borders. So you’re having people who are doing human trafficking, terrorists, and cartel members.” Hayes requested evidence; Marshall said it was for Hayes to investigate. While we’re in the gutter, it is high time the media stopped facilitating the spread of fabrications. E DIT OR IA L C A R T OON

On June 23, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tweeted a purported photo of MS-13 gang members with the caption, “Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House.” Trump’s claim that Pelosi “came out in favor of MS-13” has been rated as false by PolitiFact. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who defended the right of bakers to refuse service to gay customers, tweeted of a Virginia restaurateur who asked her to leave, “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” As with her insults of reporters at White House press briefings? Trump on June 22 used families of murder victims to slander immigrants, despite immigrants having a lower crime rate than native-born Americans. We should be focusing on homegrown terrorists like Dylann Roof, the racist who murdered nine African Americans at a Bible study class in Charleston in 2015. Instead, Trump cherrypicks crimes by brown people. On the aforementioned audio, amid children crying for “Mami” and “Papá,” 6-year-old Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid is heard saying that she memorized her aunt’s phone number and insisting she be allowed to call her. The composure of this brave little girl should shame us into demanding answers regarding those who cannot provide such information. The supremacists are not going to budge. The reason to report on their immigrant ancestors is to expose hypocrisy, not in hopes of an epiphany that will change their hearts and minds. Conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan urges us to cave: “[G]ive him his fucking wall. He won the election. He is owed this.” Setting aside the likelihood of the wall being a $70 billion boondoggle, and evidence that the president was installed by vote suppression and Russian meddling, we owe him nothing. As long as our constitution guarantees due process, and a “mighty woman with a torch” stands in New York harbor, we owe liberty and justice to all – including Alejandra, a Salvadoran trans activist at the Cibola detention center in New Mexico. Another conservative columnist, George F. Will, urges “independents and temperate Republicans” to vote against congressional Republicans in November. Will is right. Democratic majorities in Congress are needed to curb 45’s destructive impulses. If we fail to ensure a blue wave, we may not get another chance. Copyright © 2018 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.

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JUNE 29, 2018 • 19

Why I support the Red Hen restaurant

Owner’s tactic a legitimate way to make a point

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

Hearing that Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., has clearly caused many people to rethink what it means to discriminate against someone. My thoughts immediately went to the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing the baker in Colorado to discriminate against a gay couple. I thought of the two African-American men who were kicked out of a Starbucks in Philadelphia. It brought back memories of the 1960 civil rights protest in Greensboro, N.C., in which a number of African-American students sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworths and refused to leave after being

denied service in the segregated store. With the passing of Dick Leitsch, an early gay rights activist, we were reminded that in New York in the 1960s, a bar could deny a drink to a gay person. In each of those cases I was appalled a public establishment could or would refuse to serve a law-abiding person. So I questioned myself when my immediate reaction to what Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, did was to cheer her. My response was to find her on Facebook and say thank you. I questioned how this equated to the totally opposite reactions I have always had when others were denied service. Then I read the tweet from Chrissy Teigen, “Didn’t you morons get your panties in a wad defending the baker that didn’t want to make cakes for gay couples?” And, yes, while offended at being called a moron it made me think even more about my reaction to the Sanders incident. Something that struck me is there is a difference between being discriminated against for who you are, rather than for what you do. With Sanders it is what she does. My thoughts led to thinking about what is happening in our country and whether or not we are in normal times. Was the reaction to what happened to her and her

party a logical response to what she is doing day after day from the podium in the White House? Her daily lies and support of policies that have made life harder for women, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants and African Americans. Her support of policies turning back the clock on issues of fairness and decency. How do we in a civil society respond to what she is saying and doing daily? How do we make a point in a civil way and try to educate her and help her understand what it feels like to be turned down by a baker when all you are doing is ordering a cake in a public place? Or being thrown out of a Starbucks that welcomes all the other customers around you? So while some may consider it hypocritical to condone refusing her service in a public establishment it is one legitimate way to make a point. When after the incident Sanders tweeted from her White House account saying about Stephanie Wilkinson, “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so,” it made me even more confident Wilkinson did the right thing. You have to wonder what Sanders thinks is respectful about the policies her boss the

president implements toward immigrants. The civil action Wilkinson took when asking her to leave has my full support. Maybe if it happens more it might make an impact on Sanders and others who are working every day to support and implement the horrendous policies of the Trump administration. One had to wonder at the young men and women of the administration who recently complained they couldn’t get a date in D.C. because they work for Trump. After laughing, my thought was: When you work every day supporting a president who is screwing the American people you can’t get screwed in D.C. That’s karma. In all seriousness, denying Sanders a seat at the restaurant is a way to make a statement about how decent, hard-working people believe she and others are wrong in supporting and implementing policies that cause the same thing to be done to others. We who support what happened to Sanders in the Red Hen are not the hypocrites. That honor belongs to Sanders who believes her actions every day, lying to the American public and supporting the policies of a president who is destroying our Democracy, are respectful of anyone.


Sedaris reflects the joys, sorrows and pride of family life New book ‘Calypso’ tackles middle age woes and more

(and house cleaner) on public radio where he made listeners laugh out loud by recounting his experience as an elf in Santa-

often proud of our families. We know that, however much we try to stop it, mortality looms before us and our loved ones.

‘Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle ages.’ KATHI WOLFE, a writer and poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade.

“We’re both nuts!” David, my late brother joked to me one Christmas, “that’s why we haven’t killed each other!” “Yeah! Certifiable!” Pat, my sister-in-law added, joining in on the teasing. As Pride season winds down, the Trump administration continues to separate immigrant children from their parents and bakers with “family values” refuse to bake gay wedding cakes, I’m thinking about families. In his latest essay collection “Calypso,” award-winning, beloved gay humorist and writer David Sedaris riffs hilariously and poignantly on the joys and sorrows of family life. “Calypso” is Sedaris’ ninth book. Sedaris, 61, got his start as a young, unknown writer

Land at Macy’s over the holidays. In “Calypso,” Sedaris, a famous, bestselling author who’s been with his boyfriend Hugh for 26 years, has moved far from his elf days. In “Calypso,” he tells us what it’s like to be middle-aged, thinking about mortality, performing his work across the world, reeling after the election of Donald J. Trump and, above all, a member of his family. Why does “Calypso?” and Sedaris’ other work resonate so much with readers and listeners of all generations? Because your family – no matter how much you love them – will, more times than you’d care to count, drive you crazy. Yet, LGBTQ or not, many of us wouldn’t want to be parted from our families. No matter how our family is constituted (married couple or a group of friends) or perversely, no matter how bizarre, we’re

Often, we think of tragedy as being separate from comedy. Sedaris, who received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Medal for Spoken Language in May, throws this bifurcation under the bus from the get-go in “Calypso.” “Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle ages,” Sedaris writes in the book’s first essay “Company Man.” But, just as Sedaris seems to be taking you into Debbie Downer Land, the piece quickly morphs into Sedaris’ musings on how he and Hugh act around houseguests. “The only perk [to middle age] I can see,” he writes, “is that, with luck, you’ll acquire a guest room.” Like so many of us, Sedaris wants he and Hugh to be on their best — “company” — behavior when they’re around guests. “I

remind Hugh that for the duration of their visit, he and I will be playing the role of the perfect couple” he writes. “This means no bickering...If I am seated at the kitchen table and he is standing behind me, he is to place a hand on my shoulder right on the spot where a parrot would perch if I were a pirate instead of the ideal boyfriend.” Sedaris’ family is its own hilarious, eccentric ecosystem. Hugh observes to Sedaris that most of his family never says good night when going to sleep. His brother Paul is obsessed with juicing his food. Sedaris and his sister Amy buy distressed clothing in Tokyo. Yet, pain lurks within the humor. In 2013, Sedaris’ sister Tiffany committed suicide. Before her death her family wasn’t aware that Tiffany was mentally disturbed. “All of us had pulled away from the family...in order to forge our own identifies,” Sedaris writes, “Tiffany, though, stayed away.” Sedaris tries to connect with Lou, his 95-year-old father and Trump voter who once kicked him out of the house for being gay. In the essay, “Why Aren’t They Laughing,” Sedaris confronts his family’s failure to acknowledge his mother’s alcoholism. Being gay is only one facet of Sedaris’ sensibility and his family is unique. Yet “Calypso” reflects the joys, sorrows and pride of our family life. Check it out.

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JUNE 29, 2018 • 21

Bowser, city ‘committed’ to meeting needs of LGBT homeless Shelter operators required to undergo competency training By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com (Editor’s note: The Washington Blade is one of many local media outlets partnering with Street Sense Media, a local news outlet that publishes a biweekly newspaper and other content in a mission to end homelessness in Washington, on its third annual media day). Inspired by an 88-outlet collaboration in San Francisco in 2016, Washington had its first installment that same year with three outlets. Six outlets joined in 2017. This is the Blade’s first year participating. Look for Street Sense on your favorite social media outlet (streetsensedc on Facebook or @streetsensedc on Twitter) for links to complementary coverage in other regional publications. The D.C. Department of Human Services, which oversees the city’s homeless programs, has put in place policies and procedures to ensure that LGBT homeless people, both adults and youth, are treated with respect and receive the services they need, according to two department officials. DHS spokesperson Dora Taylor said that since taking office in 2015, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has made it known that aggressively addressing the city’s homeless problem, including specific issues pertaining to LGBT homeless people, are among her administration’s highest priority. Taylor noted that among DHS’s actions since Bowser became mayor has been its implementation of the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Reform Amendment Act, which the D.C. Council passed unanimously in 2014. Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and then-Council member Bowser (D-Ward 4) were the co-introducers of the legislation. Among other things, the measure allocates city funds for expanding existing homeless facilities, including shelters, to include additional beds for “youth who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.” The legislation also requires service providers, including operators of homeless shelters, to put in place “best practices for the culturally competent care of homeless youth” that identify as LGBT or questioning. Taylor and DHS Senior Advisor Carter Hewgley said implementation of the law included a policy change adopted by DHS that requires all homeless shelters operated by the city or by city contractors


D.C. Mayor MURIEL BOWSER has made it known that addressing the city’s homeless problem remains a top priority.

to allow transgender people – youth or adults — seeking to enter a shelter to choose the one that is consistent with their gender identity. The two noted that under the city’s shelter system, shelters are segregated by gender except for those designated for families with children. Hewgley said DHS has an ongoing program for training shelter employees, including case managers, on how to appropriately deal with LGBT homeless people. “The expectation is that you are meeting every person where they are and treating them with dignity and respect,” he said. According to Hewgley, the shelter system has a comprehensive grievance process for situations where a shelter resident believes he or she has been treated improperly by a staff member or a fellow shelter resident. He said DHS’s training programs are aimed at greatly minimizing if not completely eliminating reports from LGBT activists in the past about how LGBT shelter clients were bullied or harassed by other shelter residents because of their sexual

orientation or gender identity. Hewgley told the Blade that DHS and the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs in September organized a joint “listening session” to obtain suggestions from LGBT activists familiar with the city’s homeless programs, along with other experts, on how to improve homeless services for LGBT people in need. Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, who described the listening sessions as focus groups, said her office has been involved in providing competency training for employees of all city agencies and is especially interested in assisting with trainings for shelter workers. Hewgley said the listening sessions or focus groups were divided into four subgroups that discussed the needs and concerns of four categories of LGBT people using the city’s homeless shelter system – unaccompanied women, unaccompanied men, couples and families, and transgender and non-binary individuals. He said the sessions resulted in a decision by DHS to prepare a 10-page report summarizing the findings and

recommendations of the participants in the four groups called “LGBTQ+ Homeless Services: Identifying Service Gaps for LGBTQ+ Adults and Youth Experiencing Homelessness and Creating a Vision and Strategy for Improving Support to this Community.” Among those who participated in the listening sessions were officials with LGBT and other organizations that provide services for homeless clients, including Casa Ruby, Whitman-Walker Health, SMYAL, the Wanda Alston House, Catholic Charities, HIPS, and the Fiscal Policy Institute. Some of the recommendations of the participants include anecdotal reports by LGBT clients of shelters about instances of less than adequate treatment by staff and other shelter clients showing that improvement is still needed. This story is part of our contribution to the 2018 #DCHomelessCrisis news blitz. Local media outlets will be reporting and discussing stories about ending homelessness in the nation’s capital all day. The collaborative body of work is cataloged at dchomelesscrisis.press.

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QU E E RY : 2 0 Q U E ST I O N S F O R D O MI N I Q U E ‘D O MO ’ H A RD Y


By GRACE PERRY At age 17, Dominique “Domo” Hardy was homeless and “living from pillow to post.” Now, he’s an advocate and mentor for other LGBT youth experiencing homelessness and adversity. The 30-year-old D.C. native recalls fighting every day to survive in the streets alongside other gay teens also rejected by their families. At the time, Hardy says there were few resources in place to help kids like him, so he was forced to grow up fast and fend for himself with little to no support from the city. However, over the last decade, Hardy says this absence of resources has been addressed with organizations like Casa Ruby, which provides housing and other social services to the LGBT community. Hardy used to work at Casa Ruby and still visits frequently, both to socialize and provide current residents with the support and guidance he wanted when he was in their shoes. “Places like this (Casa Ruby) are very inspirational because I didn’t have this coming up,” Hardy says. “I support the cause; I support the movement … I want to give back to my community.” Hardy gives back to his community through his mentorship and advocacy; given his personal experience with homelessness, he feels a deep sense of empathy for the current residents at Casa Ruby. “I see me inside of them … their struggles were my struggles.” Hardy is currently looking for work and would like to find employment in an office or mailroom. He lives in Northwest Washington. Hardy dreams of a future D.C. with more places like Casa Ruby and more opportunities for him to be “a voice for the little people.”


How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I was 13 years old; my father.

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? Stay the same.

Who’s your LGBT hero? Ruby Corado of Casa Ruby.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world? Life after death.

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?

The Edge

Describe your dream wedding. Nightfall, spring and lit. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? The fight against cancer. What historical outcome would you change? Donald Trump as president. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Britney Spears On what do you insist?


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? A Facebook message to my boyfriend. If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Truth”

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Keep up the good work. What would you walk across hot coals for?


What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? That we’re loud and ghetto. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “Queer as Folk” What’s the most overrated social custom? Shaking hands. What trophy or prize do you most covet?

A BET Award.

What do you wish you’d known at 18? How to save money. Why Washington?



JUNE 29, 2018 • 23

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Casa Ruby offers short- and long-term housing Founder is trans immigrant and former homeless person By GRACE PERRY During the early 1990s, Ruby Corado spent most nights in public parks throughout D.C., trying to meet the basic needs of the homeless LGBT youth who had no safe space to go after 5 p.m. when the HIV clinics closed. And so the movement began. Now, 26 years later, Corado is the director of Casa Ruby, a local bilingual and multicultural organization founded in 2012 that provides housing and social services to LGBT individuals 24 hours a day. The transgender El Salvador native says Casa Ruby started as an “emergency room.” “We were taking care of very sick people that were disposed (of) by society and that were barely holding on,” she says. While the organization continues to do emergency work when necessary, its primary focus is now on preventative work and longterm planning and personal development. “Our goal is to have someone come to Casa Ruby and three years down the line, they will no longer be homeless,” Corado says. Casa Ruby can accommodate up to 100 individuals across its four housing programs: hypothermia or low barrier, short-term, transitional and permanent. Residents in every program receive three meals a day, meaning Casa Ruby prepares and delivers 4,000 meals every month. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the hypothermia or low barrier program offers anyone in need a place to rest with no commitment or age restrictions. At least one case manager is on site at all times. Corado estimates that Casa Ruby has housed 9,600 people in this program over the past six months alone. “We never close,” Corado says. “Our doors are always open.” Stephanie Carey, a current resident at Casa Ruby since February, sees the organization as the oasis Ruby intended. The 29-year-old Maryland native recently moved to D.C. to join the Casa Ruby community. “I had been kind of ostracized by my family. I come from a very Evangelical, southern, conservative family,” Carey says, who identifies as pansexual and outside the gender binary. “I was going through some hard times and I Googled LGBT shelters and Casa Ruby was the first one that popped up.” All three of the other housing programs are reserved for LGBT youth ages 18-24. The short-term program provides these


RUBY CORADO (right) with one of her residents.

clients stable housing and support services for three-six months and aims to help them transition to more permanent housing. Transitional housing is similar to short term, but clients may stay up to 18 months. Also, it requires that residents complete 35 hours of “personal improvement” each week. These hours may be completed any number of ways, including through school or an employment service. Permanent housing is designed for residents who have stable jobs but are unable to secure long-term housing. “Landlords never really saw them as ideal renters” because “they were either too gay, too black, or too big or something,” Corado says. These residents work and pay rent for these houses owned by Casa Ruby. The only eligibility requirement might surprise you.

“When you come to Casa Ruby, you don’t have to be willing to give love to other people, but you have to be willing to accept it, and it begins with that,” Corado says. Around 215 youth have gone through short-term, transitional and permanent housing since 2012. Despite currently having 100 beds, Casa Ruby still has a 100-person waitlist for its programs, which it’s hoping to eliminate with more funding and resources. In 2017, Casa Ruby’s annual operating budget was $1.7 million and Corado projects 2018’s will be around $2.1 million. Approximately half of the budget comes from government support and the other half comes from individual donations and grants from foundations. “We have thousands of one-dollar donations,” Corado says. “Which is great because I think it stays true to the mission of

being grassroots.” Even though her advocacy and activism has changed and evolved over the past few decades, Corado says her role has fundamentally stayed the same: “My job as the founder and director today still is to make sure that we restore dignity to people that have been denied their dignity for so long.” For Carey, Casa Ruby serves a multitude of purposes from simply “a place to rest your head” to a space “to be around people you identify with. … Casa Ruby is everybody’s home,” she says. This story is part of our contribution to the 2018 #DCHomelessCrisis news blitz. Local media outlets will be reporting and discussing stories about ending homelessness in the nation’s capital all day. The collaborative body of work is cataloged at dchomelesscrisis.press.


JUNE 29, 2018 • 27

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Wanda Alston House celebrates a decade in operation LGBT youth shelter named after slain D.C. activist By ABBY WARGO The first LGBT youth-focused shelter in D.C. is continuing its legacy of serving one of the most vulnerable demographics. The Wanda Alston House and Foundation, now in its 10th year of service, serves LGBT individuals ages 16-24. The residential home-turned-shelter currently houses eight people, and hundreds have been through its doors over the last decade. The house is named after the late Wanda Alston, a D.C.based LGBT activist who was murdered near her home in 2005. Individuals enter the program based on their level of vulnerability and what kind of care the city’s homeless management providers think will best fit that person’s circumstances. The facility provides 24-hour support for residents through counseling, mental and medical health services. Tuition assistance and professional development is provided and other life skill services such as learning how to balance a checkbook, shop for groceries and manage a credit score are also offered. Residents receive three meals a day, clothing and toiletries as well as other necessities like Metro cards. Full-time staff is trained, culturally competent and trauma-informed to ensure that all residents are supported. The operations manager and case manager work full-time at the house to make sure that everything runs smoothly and a clinical supervisor is also fulltime to provide assessments and connect residents with the support they need. The staff works together as an agency and as individuals to connect with the youths and help them cope, give support and help them navigate their lives. Sometimes that can be difficult and residents can respond by acting out. “We are dealing with homeless youth that are isolated and rejected by the community,” says June Crenshaw, executive director of the Wanda Alston Foundation. “They’re forced to survive some unspeakable situations. Most, if not all, arrive having experienced some severe trauma. This can show up in less-than-positive ways like addiction, inability to cope with stress or not being able to navigate positive communication skills. But they’re human and they’ve had to endure circumstances that most of us couldn’t survive.” Crenshaw, a self-identified “old-fashioned” lesbian and woman of color, says most youth in the program are women of color. “When I started in this role two years ago, a resident came to me and said she never saw a person that looked like me in a leadership role. That stuck with me,” she says. “I’m proud


‘We are dealing with homeless youth that are isolated and rejected by the community,’ said JUNE CRENSHAW, executive director of the Wanda Alston Foundation.

to be a brown woman of the community that’s working hard to make things better.” The program at the Wanda Alston House is slightly different from the programs at other LGBT shelters, she says. There are certain requirements that the residents must participate in that help them accomplish their personal goals within the 18-24 months they live there. “We provide connections and care in all the ways that a person would need,” Crenshaw says. After leaving the house, individuals stay connected to the care at the facility for 90 days-six months. Staff continues to support them however they need it — like buying groceries, clothes or Metro cards and finding housing and employment as well as providing case management to help them navigate other support and services available. Crenshaw says there’s an “epidemic of LGBT homelessness.” Around 50 percent of the homeless youth in D.C. are LGBT-identifying. At the Wanda Alston House, residents “talk and share experiences around being treated

differently, misgendered, disrespected, attacked and discriminated against.” She says the city is committed to the youth but that in homeless centers that are not culturally sensitive to LGBT people, “grave mistreatments” can occur. “Our population is trending as the most affected by homelessness and mental health issues,” she says. “We have a responsibility to do better by our youth, make sure they stay safe and are allowed to thrive. Facilities like ours are needed as long as these circumstances exist.” The facility costs slightly over half a million dollars to run each year and most comes from local government offices such as the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs. Grant dollars are used to run the shelter and pay staff, but that doesn’t cover all the expenses. They also rely on fundraising and the LGBT community and allies to support them. Donations amount to 25 percent of the budget. Although D.C. has some of the most progressive laws in the nation and has been widely noted as one of the U.S. cities

LGBT individuals can feel most open and supported, the competitive job market and high cost of living creates difficulties for LGBT people. LGBT people of color are more likely to be unemployed and represent a large portion of impoverished individuals and victims, Crenshaw says. D.C. has the highest number per capita of LGBT individuals compared to other American cities. Crenshaw says not enough of the resources the city provides for homeless people are going to LGBT organizations and there is a lot of work yet to be done to resolve this epidemic. The Wanda Alston House, however, has survived the turbulence of 10 years of operation and Crenshaw says they are ready and looking forward to at least another 10. This story is part of our contribution to the 2018 #DCHomelessCrisis news blitz. Local media outlets will be reporting and discussing stories about ending homelessness in the nation’s capital all day. The collaborative body of work is cataloged at dchomelesscrisis.press.


JUNE 29, 2018 • 29

SMYAL’s 18-month shelter program houses LGBT youth Housing hub inspired by alarming 2015 D.C. study By MARIAH COOPER mcooper@washblade.com Chris Lewis aspires to be a beauty influencer on YouTube with millions of subscribers. Although there are few beauty gurus who are men of color, Lewis is ready to pioneer a beauty movement with SMYAL’s transitional housing program serving as a stepping stone for his goals. The 25-year-old was born in Queens, N.Y., and later raised in the D.C. area. Lewis, who identifies as gay, says he was facing “extreme homelessness to the point where I was sleeping out on the street and in parks and sometimes from couch to couch.” Lewis found housing with the Wanda Alston Foundation, D.C.’s first transitional house for homeless LGBT youth which opened in 2008. After graduating from the program, Lewis moved into SMYAL’s transitional house in November. SMYAL’s transitional housing program opened in January 2017 in response to D.C.’s 2015 Homeless Youth Census, which states that 43 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT. The facility can accommodate 12 residents at a time for SMYAL’s 18-month program. Since its opening, 13 residents have been housed. Residents are referred to the program through social workers, doctors, therapists, school personnel or through another agency. Once referred, potential residents come in for interviews and assessments. If the resident is accepted, they receive a welcome kit with toiletries, sheets and towels. Transportation is paid for and Safeway gift cards are distributed for residents to buy their own groceries and cook their own meals. Director of Youth Housing Jorge Membreño, a program assistant, a case manager or another member of staff is on site anytime between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The program offers case management for the development of a personal action plan and weekly check-in meetings. Supportive services are offered including medical care, mental health services and self-care support. Residents also learn skills pertaining to job hunting, apartment hunting, finding programs to get food stamps and more. There are also community outings and LGBT youth networking opportunities. Membreño says there hasn’t been any major behavioral issues so far in the program. After residents leave the program staff follows up with them for one year through text, email or a phone call at least once a week.


SMYAL Director of Youth Housing JORGE MEMBREÑO.

The annual operating budget is funded completely by the D.C. Department of Human Services. The program is designed for LGBT residents but Membreño says the program doesn’t screen potential residents based on their sexuality. He trusts that LGBT residents looking for a safe place to express themselves will be drawn to the program because they can safely be themselves. Membreño says many of their residents have recounted stories of staying at shelters and having to hide their gender expression or sexuality to be safe. According to Membreño, LGBT homeless numbers are similar in D.C. compared to other major cities such as New York City and Chicago. However, Membreño thinks the factors for LGBT homelessness are not widely known to the public. “The one you hear the most is when a family ostracized someone,” Membreño says. “Something we don’t talk about a lot is parental incarceration, low parental involvement, family homelessness. There are different factors that

contribute to LGBT homelessness other than just the ostracization.” Membreño identifies as straight but LGBT homelessness is close to his heart. He started his career as a social worker for the LGBT community and eventually found himself working in homelessness as a school social worker. He also is a licensed therapist and decided to incorporate the world of therapy and social work together. “The more and more I got involved with it and the more I worked with LGBTQidentifying youth I decided to merge the two into two passions I loved working with and then being able to focus my attention within the city to make sure that our youth had access to equitable housing and that D.C. was really paying attention,” Membreño says. Lewis is also realizing his dreams through SMYAL’s transitional housing program. He cites YouTubers Jackie Aina, Jeffree Star and Manny MUA as inspirations for his career. He also credits a friend who died for getting him interested in makeup.

“I want to be in a space where I can create a studio with all my makeup and really reach out to people who are like me, men of color, who want to become a beauty influencer and create a brand that is all-inclusive for everybody,” Lewis says. In a place like SMYAL’s traditional housing program Lewis’ goals are encouraged in a way that may not be as accepted in a nonLGBT program. “Having a place where you can identify with the people you’re with also helps create a level of safety, family and community that you might not find in other residential or transitional living centers,” Membreño says. For more information on SMYAL’s transitional housing program, visit smyal.org. This story is part of our contribution to the 2018 #DCHomelessCrisis news blitz. Local media outlets will be reporting and discussing stories about ending homelessness in the nation’s capital all day. The collaborative body of work is cataloged at dchomelesscrisis.press.

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Town Danceboutique takes its victory lap this weekend. For many years, the club was the hub of D.C. gay nightlife. Other spaces, such as Cobalt and the long-shuttered Apex and Omega, had dance floors, but Town was always the biggest and most heavily attended. WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY WYATT REID WESTLUND

Town’s swan song Danceboutique ends decade-plus in business with mega party weekend By MARIAH COOPER mcooper@washblade.com Town Danceboutique, a staple in D.C. nightlife, shuts its doors permanently on Sunday, July 1 after more than a decade of serving the area’s LGBT community. Owners Ed Bailey, John Guggenmos and Chachi Boyle announced the news last June after Bristol Capital Corp sold the building located at 2009 8th St., N.W. to the Jefferson Apartment Group. The space, which became a local gay hotspot, will be turned into an apartment complex. Since 2007, Town has hosted bear happy

hours, performances from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” favorites, appearances from adult entertainment stars, election night watch parties and much more. It was sort of an unofficial successor to shuttered LGBT hubs such as Tracks and Velvet Nation. Bailey says Town has remained consistently crowded during its 11 years in business. The crowds kept the staff, which fluctuates between 40-50 people, busy. The number has dwindled as staff have begun seeking employment

elsewhere as the closing approaches. Town won dozens of awards in the Blade’s annual Best of Gay D.C. readers poll. Its drag cast Ladies of Town were perennial winners for many years. As for the DJs and drag performers that kept Town buzzing each weekend, it appears that relief and sadness are the consensus. While some have already sought gigs at other establishments, Bailey says others, including himself, are looking forward to a break.

“Many of the people who work with us haven’t had a weekend off in years and they’d like one. I jokingly say all the time I’d like to actually watch ‘Saturday Night Live’ when it’s actually live. It’s been years and years since I’ve actually been able to do that,” Bailey says. However, the loss of Town weighs heavy on Shi-Queeta Lee who is the last drag performer from the original cast CONTINUES ON PAGE 40


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This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com

Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018 Thru Sep 16. National Museum of Women in the Arts. nmwa.org.

This exhibition seeks to disrupt the predominantly masculine narrative that surrounds metalworking and demonstrate that contemporary women artists carry on a vibrant legacy in the field.

Feinstein’s Cabaret at AMP: Marilyn Maye Jul 14. AMP by Strathmore. ampbystrathmore.com.

Marilyn Maye is a cultural and musical treasure. In the years since Maye first appeared in the spotlight as a pre-teen vocalist in a series of amateur contests in Topeka, Kansas, she has received an endless stream of kudos. Mixing Broadway theatrics with jazzy finesse, Maye’s timeless voice is simply enthralling.

A Vintage Evening: Toast Hamilton Jul 19. Anderson House. societyofthecincinnati.org.

Learn about the spirits served to Hamilton and his fellow Society members, and enjoy brandy tastings offered by Catoctin Creek Distilling Company. Executive Director Jack Warren and George Washington University professor Denver Brunsman will highlight truths and lies about Alexander Hamilton.

Sizzlin’ Summer with The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington Jul 19. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org.

It’s better with two! Fabulous soloists from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC will join together in a cabaret of bawdy duets and sensual tangos told through songs and stories. PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS

Kennedy Center at West Lawn US Capitol. kennedy-center.org. Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers and The Wood Brothers. Jun 29. Reba McEntire. Jul 1. Barenaked Ladies Last Summer On Earth Tour with Better Than Ezra and KT Tunstall. Jul 2. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org. Celebrate Independence: Music of Hamilton’s Time. Jul 2. Anderson House. societyofthecincinnati.org. Chamber Music at Noon. Jul 5. Goethe-Institut. goethe.de. City of Fairfax Evening Show & Fireworks. Jul 4. Fairfax High School. DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents with the NSO. Jun 29. NSO at Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Independence Day Parade. Jul 4. Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets. Jazz in the Garden: Joshua Bayer Jazz. Jun 29. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. Onnik Dinkjian – The Soul of Dikranagerd. Jul 3. Library of Congress. loc.gov. Revelator Hill at Lubber Run. Jun 29. Aztec Sun at Lubber Run. Jun 30. Arlington Cultural Affairs at Lubber Run. arlingtonarts.org. Rockville Independence Day Celebration. Jul 4. Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park. Sarah McLachlan. Jun 29. Strathmore. strathmore.org. Stephen Stills & Judy Collins. Jun 30. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Summer Concert Series: Soul Crackers. Jun 30. BlackRock. blackrockcenter.org. Thomas Strønen: Time is a Blind Guide. Jun 29. Dupont Underground Presents: Video Art and Jazz Performance. Jun 29. Dupont Underground. dupontunderground.org.

MUSEUMS THEATRE Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations. Thru Jul 22. Hamilton. Thru Sep 7. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Dancing in my Cockroach Killers. Thru Jul 1. GALA Hispanic Theatre. galatheatre.org. Entirely Elvis Cabaret. Thru Jun 30. The Scottsboro Boys. Thru Jul 1. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org. On The Town. Thru Jul 22. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. One Destiny. Thru Jul 12. Ford’s Theatre. fords.org. Other Life Forms. Thru Jul 7. Keegan

Theatre. keegantheatre.com. The Vagrant Trilogy. Thru Jul 1. Mosaic Theater Company at Atlas. mosaictheater.org.

DANCE Art on 8th: Culture Shock, Washington, DC. Jun 29. Dance Place. danceplace.org. Company Danzante at Lubber Run. Jul 1. Arlington Cultural Affairs at Lubber Run. arlingtonarts.org.

MUSIC A Capitol Fourth Concert. Jul 4.

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. Thru Sep 23. folger.edu. Kreeger Museum. Reinstallation of the Permanent Collection. Thru Dec 31. kreegermuseum.org. Library of Congress. Drawn to Purpose. Thru Oct 20. Baseball Americana. Jun 29-Jun 29. loc.gov. National Archives. Remembering Vietnam. Thru Jan 6. archivesfoundation.org. National Gallery of Art. Italian Renaissance Collection. Thru Jun

30. Great Paintings: The Nation’s Collection. Thru Jun 30. Cézanne Portraits. Thru Jul 1. Heavenly Earth: Images of Saint Francis at La Verna. Thru Jul 8. nga.gov. National Geographic. National Geographic: Exploration Starts Here. Thru Jan 1. Titanic: The Untold Story. Thru Jan 6. nglive.org. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Hung Liu In Print. Thru Jul 8. Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018. Thru Sep 16. nmwa.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. Your Community, Your Story: Celebrating Five Decades Of The Anacostia Community Museum, 19672017. Thru Jan 6. anacostia.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers. Thru Sep 3. National Portrait Gallery Recent Acquisitions. Thru Nov 4. npg.si.edu.

GALLERIES DC Arts Center (DCAC). Judging Me Judging You. Thru Aug 12. dcartscenter.org. Dupont Underground. Selected Video Works by Liliane Blom. Jun 29-Jul 17. dupontunderground.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. Arigat?, 10 Years at Glen Echo Park. Thru Jul 1. Super America: Paintings and Prints by Ric Garcia. Thru Jul 1. glenechopark.org. Goethe-Institut. 1968: A Time of Uproar in Europe and the US. Thru Aug 24. goethe.de. Hill Center. Hill Center Galleries Regional Juried Exhibition. Thru Sep 22. hillcenterdc.org. Metro Micro Gallery. Diary of a Self Important Fat Girl. Thru Jun 30. metromicrogallery.com. 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 Jul 7. zenithgallery.com.


JUNE 29, 2018 • 33


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O U T & A BO U T



‘Not on an associate professor’s salary …’ Landmark’s West End Cinema (2301 M St. N.W.) screens the Oscar-winning “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Wednesday, July 11 at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Released in 1966, this explosive drama was an instant hit and has since become an American classic. Starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, the film centers around the tumultuous marriage of a middle-aged couple who bring another couple into their drama over an evening of sadistic “fun and games.” The late Edward Albee, author of the play from which it was faithfully adapted, was gay and the film is a gay classic despite all straight characters. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at landmarktheatres.com. The theater is handicap and hard-of-hearing accessible.


D.C. gears up for the 4th 4th of July in D.C. is always packed and this year is no different. At 8 a.m., the National Archives (700 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) begins its festivities with a free T-shirt giveaway to the first 1,000 guests, followed by a live musical performance by Brass Connection. Next, at 10 a.m., the Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony takes place, and the morning concludes with the National Independence Day Parade at 11:45 a.m. For more details, visit archivesjuly4.org. The celebrations continue at Wharf D.C. (noon-4 p.m.; 735 Water St., S.W.) with its 4th of July Summer Party. Guests can enjoy a family friendly afternoon filled with games, face painting and music from Rocknoceros. Guests are also encouraged to stay after the event ends to watch the fireworks from the pier (expected to start around 9 p.m.). Beyond the pier, people can also watch the fireworks from a number of rooftop terraces, including W Washington D.C. Hotel (515 15 St., N.W.) and CityBar (400 E St., S.W.). The W Washington D.C. Hotel hosts its annual party “Boom With a View” from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Guests get to watch the fireworks from the hotel’s terrace overlooking the mall while enjoying signature cocktails, vibrant beats and food. Tickets are $275 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. CityBar offers partiers yet another viewing opportunity, featuring an allAmerican buffet, passed bites, open bar and music. The event starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $200 for adults and $100 for children (12-years-old and younger) and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. After the fireworks, D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts an Independence Day bar night from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Guests can enjoy Jell-O shots in red, white and blue and will get one shot free if they’re wearing at least one of the colors. Tickets are $10 at the door.


Westminster launches first Pride day Saturday, July 7 marks Westminster, Md.’s Pride weekend, featuring its first-ever Pride Festival (noon-5 p.m.; E Main St., Westminster, Md.) and drag show, “Shantay You Stay” (8 p.m.; 17 Bond St., Westminster, Md.). The Pride Festival offers attendees an afternoon of music, entertainment, food and more. With two stages and five performers throughout the day, guests can get a little taste of everything from local indie punk to New Orleans R&B. The event is free and open to the public and family friendly. For additional information, visit westminsterpride.org. That evening, the “Shantay You Stay” drag show hits the stage, featuring East Coast-based queens. Tickets are $10 each and can only be purchased with cash at the door. Cash bar is available with beer and wine and light food will be served. For more information, search for the event on Facebook or visit westminsterpride.com

‘Pride Has No Age’ celebrates queer seniors TERRIFIC, Inc. hosts “Pride Has No Age” today (June 29) at 6:30 p.m. at the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust, Inc. (1816 12 St., N.W.) in honor of D.C.’s LGBT seniors. Founded in 1975, TERRIFIC, Inc. is a local nonprofit that helps families in crisis by finding them safe, affordable housing and providing them complimentary support services. “Pride Has No Age” is a celebratory night of festivities, including catered dinner, beats from DJ MIM, and special guests Rayceen Pendarvis, “Goodness of D.C.,” and Blair Michaels, Miss Capital Pride 1999. The dress code is business casual or fashionably chic. The event is free, but guests should register in advance at eventbrite.com.



J U N E 29, 2018 • 35


Gym bod burnout Hubby tired of pressure to look perfect

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

MICHAEL, I’m sick of my husband’s expectations that the two of us be fabulous gym bunnies. For gosh sakes, we are in our late 30s. I have no interest in working out two hours a day, six days a week. I don’t care about having a six pack anymore. Or about having big muscles in all the right places, a V-shape or even being thin. For that matter I hate hanging out with our friends drinking or going to clubs. So vapid. Ditto weekends sitting at the rooftop pool in a skimpy swimsuit that takes a lot of work to look hot in. Listening to everyone gossiping about everyone else is no longer my idea of fun. When I don’t go to the gym, Will complains. When I eat as much as I want of whatever I want, he criticizes me. Somehow his excessive drinking is fine with him. Over the past year I’ve decided I want to enjoy life and to hell with body fat percentage. I’ve gained 15 pounds So what? I’m far from morbidly obese. But Will is furious. He complains that he’s not attracted to me anymore and that he’s embarrassed to be out with me. I’m this close to not going out anymore anyway, so I couldn’t care less. I feel like it’s time we grew up and stopped trying to meet a standard that is better suited to 22 year olds. Will says he is thinking we should separate and says I’m not living up to his expectations. And I’m starting to agree about splitting. Shouldn’t I be able to expect that my husband will accept me for who I am? MICHAEL REPLIES: Expectations are a tricky thing in relationships. Of course you want to be accepted by your spouse. And of course you want respect. But even the best of partners may struggle at times to be accepting and respectful, especially when under stress

and when confronting differences that they perceive to be threatening. Thoughtfulness? That gets complicated if your mate thinks that your being thoughtful involves doing whatever he wants you to do. Exercise, food, activity choices? Even if two people agree about such issues at the start of a relationship, they’re both going to change in some way or another as time goes by. And clearly, that’s what’s happened in your marriage. Your tastes — and far more importantly, your values — have changed, and now you want to lead a life that is different from the one you’ve been leading. If you want a shot at being happily married going forward, drop your expectations and accept that your husband wants to keep living life the way he lives it. Gym, drinking, rooftop pool and all. Even if you think it’s way past time that he grew up. Even if he doesn’t extend the same courtesy to you. Expecting reciprocation is also an expectation. And it’s not going to get you anywhere. However, if you stop telling Will that your way is the right way, you will be taking a big step to reduce the antagonism in your marriage. If you take on this challenge, you’ll have to find a way to deal with your husband’s criticism that does not involve criticizing him in return, or acting morally superior. “Even though you’re criticizing me, I’m not going to tell you how ridiculous you act” is pouring gasoline on the fire. Instead, how about, “Even though you’re criticizing me, I’m committed to this relationship and I don’t think we should tell each other how to live.” Regarding the two of you separating: You made a commitment and it’s worth asking yourselves why you got married in the first place. Was it just to have someone to sit by the pool and be skinny with or was it for something more? From your letter, it doesn’t sound like the two of you have much common ground. But maybe all the hostility has gotten in the way of your seeing anything good in your marriage. Here is one big positive that you do have: a spouse who is challenging you to grow. This is a blessing in disguise. You and your husband are both being pushed to figure out how to accept difference and collaborate with someone who sees things very differently from you. The good news is, you have identified that it is time to redefine your life. Your challenge now is to see what happens if you stay committed to your principles and desires while avoiding unwinnable arguments about who is “right” and staying connected with your husband at the same time. Commitment doesn’t only mean enjoying good times together. It also means rolling up your sleeves and doing your best to work through difficulties.

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


TODAY Naked Eyes continues today at ARTECHOUSE (1238 Maryland Ave., S.W.) starting at 10 a.m. Created by the renowned artists NONOTAK studio, the audio/visual exhibition transports its viewers into another world, blurring the lines between the real and the virtual. Daytime tickets (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and military ID holders and $8 for children under 12. Evening admission ($15; 5:30-11 p.m.) is reserved for guests 21 and up; drinks can be purchased at the venue for an additional price. The exhibit is not recommended for individuals with a family or personal history of epilepsy, anxiety, claustrophobia, migraines, heart conditions, a history of seizures and/or sensitivity to flashing lights. Old 97’s takes the stage tonight at the 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) with folk opener Brian Dunne. With hits like “Question” and “Timebomb,” the alternative country band has enjoyed a successful career spanning two decades. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at 930.com. Doors open at 8 p.m. Town Danceboutique (2009 8 St., N.W.) hosts its final Bear Happy Hour tonight from 5-8:30 p.m. Friday night continues from there for all guests 18 and up with a drag show at 9:30 p.m. featuring Tatianna, Shi-Queeta-Lee, Ba’Naka and more. Tickets ($40) for the show can be purchased at flavorus.com. Seats operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will also be a special show by all the Ladies of Town upstairs later in the night and music will be by Wess and BacK2bACk. Doors open at 9 p.m., and entry tickets ($35) can be purchased at the door.

SATURDAY, JUNE 30 Yoga Factory hosts Waterfront Workouts today from 9-11 a.m. at District Pier (1100 Maine Ave., S.W.). The morning will feature beginner-friendly yoga taught by Yoga Factory’s Tess Pearson. The event is free and open to the public, but guests must bring their own yoga mats. Independents Day hits the streets today at 10 a.m. throughout Georgetown where guests can join 30 independent merchants in celebrating the spirit of small business. Stores will offer up to 75-percent-off merchandise plus 4th of July giveaways. Additional 4th of July festivities — including music, games, face painting, food and more — will take place in the TD Bank lot (1611 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) and the FORNASH lot (3217 P St., N.W.) from noon-3 p.m. The event


One of the displays at ARTECHOUSE’s Naked Eyes exhibit which plays with and distorts viewers’ conceptions of space, time and reality.

is free and open to the public. For more information, visit georgetowndc.com/ independentsday. Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.) hosts DJ Squirrel and DJ Beneficial tonight starting at 10 p.m. The DJs will play a mix of old school, hip hop, EDM and top 40. Guests can also enjoy a special menu offer, which includes a drink, appetizer and beer selection for $5. The rooftop and main floor both open at 8 p.m., and there is no cover charge for the event. More information available at clarendonballroom.com. Town Danceboutique (2009 8 St., N.W.) hosts its closing party tonight for all guests 21 and up. The drag show is sold out, but guests can still enjoy one final night of festivities after the show ends with a performance from the Ladies of Town and music by Wess and Ed Bailey. Admission after the drag show is $35. Details at towndc.com.

SUNDAY, JULY 1 The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival continues today on the National Mall. This year, the event highlights cultural heritage enterprises in Armenia and Catalonia through food, craft, music and dance. The event is free and open to the public. More details available at festival.si.edu. Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts drag brunch today starting at noon. Guests can enjoy performances by local drag artists over an all-you-can-buffet featuring cheesy grits, fresh seasonal fruit, homemade desserts and more. The first mimosa and Bloody Mary are also included in the ticket price. Nellie’s advises guests to arrive 15 minutes early to ensure being seated on time. Tickets are $42 and include gratuity and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. “Yoga with a Cop” takes place today from 4:30-6 p.m. at Unity Park (1771 Columbia Rd., N.W.). Guests can come enjoy an afternoon of yoga taught by Holly Meyers from Embrace Yoga Studio while getting to know local law officials.

The event is free and open to the public and family friendly. Freddie’s Beach Bar (555 23rd St., Arlington, Va.) hosts karaoke tonight starting at 9 p.m. Guests are encouraged to come early and enjoy happy hour specials from 4-8 p.m. All guests must be 21 and up, and there is no cover charge for the event. For more information, look for the event on Facebook.

MONDAY, JULY 2 Coffee & Conversation for Older LGBT Adults meets today at 10 a.m. at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.). Guests can stop by and enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee over conversation with fellow LGBT community members. For more information, email david@thedccenter.org. The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) also hosts its monthly volunteer night tonight at 6:30 p.m. Those interested in volunteering can drop by and help in a variety of ways such as cleaning up, sorting book donations or taking inventory. Attendees will also get the chance to socialize with one another and learn more about the community center. To register, visit thedccenter.org/events.

TUESDAY, JULY 3 Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts Gaymer Night tonight at 7 p.m., featuring multiplayer games on seven TVs, raffle prizes and drink specials including $3 Bud Lite. For more details, look for the event at cobaltdc.com. Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Sam Smith plays at D.C.’s Capitol One Arena (601 F St., N.W., 8 p.m.) tonight with opener by American country singer, Cam. The London native is currently on tour for his second studio album “The Thrill of It All,” which was released last November and features hit single “Too Good At Goodbyes.” Tickets range from $40-125 and can be purchased at ticketmaster. com. There is a four-ticket limit for the event and a two-ticket limit for the Front Row Package.

“Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations” takes the stage tonight at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.). This electrifying new musical tells the story of The Temptations — an internationally renowned R&B group with countless hit singles including “My Girl” and “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.” The performance contains some strong language and is recommended for ages 12 and up. Tickets range from $59-175 and can be purchased at kennedy-center.org.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 Center Careers Job Club meets tonight at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) starting at 6 p.m. The job club offers support to job entrants and seekers, including the longterm unemployed. The session will focus on developing interview techniques, goal planning and improving self-confidence. To sign up, visit thedccenter.org/events. For more information, email centercareers@ thedccenter.org. “Son Veteranos” takes the stage tonight at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (2700 F St., N.W.), offering guests a salsa party featuring American veterans from Puerto Rico in honor of 4th of July. The event is free and open to the public.

THURSDAY, JULY 5 Asian Pacific Islander (API) Queer Support Group meets tonight from 7-8 p.m. at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.). Anyone who identifies as API is encouraged to attend the support group and engage with fellow community members. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/events. The 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) celebrates Mock Identity’s debut record release tonight at 7:30 p.m. Formed in the winter of 2017, Mock Identity is comprised of some of D.C.’s most innovative and forward-thinking musicians in the experimental music scene. General admission tickets are $10 and be purchased at ticketfly.com.


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All Star spotlight: Washington Renegades Straight and gay players find challenge, athletics with local team By KEVIN MAJOROS The ongoing All Star series in the Washington Blade features players from sports teams in D.C. who welcome players regardless of sexual orientation, race or ethnicity. This week we meet two players from the Washington Renegades rugby team, one gay and one straight. The Washington Renegades field competitive sides in the Mid-Atlantic Conference of USA Rugby. They recently sent three teams to the Bingham Cup in Amsterdam with all three squads reaching the semi-finals of their respective divisions. The Blues team won the Bingham Bowl beating the San Francisco Fog 20-0 in the final. While completing his degrees at the University of Texas at Dallas, Haroon Chang attended a Halloween party hosted by a rugby team. He went to one of their practices and fell in love with the sport. Growing up in Taiwan, Chang played a little basketball but was mostly focused on academics. His family moved to Dallas right before he started his college education. After graduation, he eventually moved to D.C. in 2012 because he wanted to see more of the country. A quick internet search led him to the Renegades. “I didn’t know anyone when I moved here and I was looking to meet people and join a community,” Chang says. “I love rugby because it is physically demanding and a good workout. The sport has offered me a sense of family and brotherhood.” Chang plays both inside and outside centre positions on the Renegades Reds team and last month competed in his second Bingham Cup in Amsterdam. Along with local league play, he has also traveled

to tournaments with his teammates in Charlotte, Seattle and Nashville. “It is amazing to play against teams from all over the world. On the field everyone is trying to win, but off the field we are a family,” Chang says. “It’s great reconnecting with other players at these tournaments. I am a little sad at the end because I wish it would keep going.” The Renegades play rugby sevens in the summer but Chang, who works as a CPA, will be taking the summer off to catch up with friends. He will be back for the Renegades competitive match schedule in the fall. “This is a good mix of gay and sports for me. We all play the sport because we love it and we come to the pitch to play,” Chang says. “Team means everyone, gay and straight.” Rugby makes the world seem a little less big for Logan Cotton. After moving to D.C. in the fall of 2015, he posted on Facebook for rugby recommendations. A friend from college knew somone dating a guy on the Renegades and he signed on to play. “The Renegades are committed to inclusion and I find that affirming and positive,” says Cotton, who is straight. “No one is beating their chest and there is no toxic masculinity. It’s super refreshing.” Cotton grew up in Chicago and competed in soccer and swimming. He switched over to football while in high school and his first step into club rugby was while he was attending Tufts University. It was also at Tufts where he evolved to an inclusive mindset through his work at their LGBT center. “Seeing it manifest in a new context (by playing sports on an LGBT-friendly team) is a good thing. Heteronormativity exists in all sports, but the Renegades have created a positive echo chamber and excel as stewards of the game,” Cotton says. “You can be great at the sport you are playing and still be better angels of our nature.” ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM



JUNE 29, 2018 • 39

The annual Winchester Pride celebration was held at the Old Town Mall in downtown Winchester, Va. on Saturday. The event included vendor booths, speakers, drag shows and a walking parade along the outdoor pedestrian mall.


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still performing. Lee has worked at the nightclub for more than 10 years. “I’m very sad to see another one of our safe spaces/venues we call home for some and work for others lost to housing in D.C. Like we need more of them,” Lee says. Town’s closing follows the shuttering of lesbian bar Phase 1, which ended its 45year run in 2016. “I have lived through many closings and openings of bars and how that has shifted over time,” Bailey says. “There have been some voids in there where there has been less nightlife. There have been times where there’s been more. The community adapts to that. It will adapt to this.” For Bailey, the nightclub’s legacy is making gay nightlife more visible. “Town has existed in a neighborhood that has taken the concept of the ‘big club’ out of the shadows and the other parts of town that aren’t as accessible and moved it into kind of a front-and-center location and a place that has established gay nightlife as being something that can happen in front of everybody, not just on the other side of town hidden away so that the rest of the city doesn’t have to see it or be confronted with it,” Bailey says. He believes that the LGBT community is entering a new era in which the Internet allows individuals to connect and forge community in a way that was not accessible before. However, Bailey is still adamant on the importance of a physical space for LGBT people to gather. Bailey and his Town co-owners are on the hunt for such a place. “We are aggressively trying to find another opportunity to continue to do what we have done previously,” Bailey says. “We’re not retiring. We’re not stopping. We’re trying. The right opportunity has not presented itself yet and we’re not going to do it unless it’s the right opportunity.” Town says goodbye with a weekend full of events that have been curated to give patrons the chance to say goodbye without feeling like they’re missing out by just attending one party. The final Bear Happy Hour is June 29 at 5 p.m. with entry ending at 8:30 p.m. Later, the final Friday night party for the 18-and-over crowd begins with a sold-out drag show at 9:30 p.m. Tatianna, Shi-Queeta Lee, Ba’Naka, Riley Knoxx and Sasha Adams will perform. Lena Lett, another Town original cast member, will host the show. Entry to the party begins at approximately 11 p.m. DJ Wess will spin tracks upstairs for the night and Back2Back will play music downstairs. GoGo boys start dancing after 11 p.m. Bailey wants the younger crowd to enjoy their last night at Town just as much as older patrons. “I’m a proponent of figuring out how to


provide an 18-and-over environment for our community because that’s generally a very formative time and you need to have opportunities, to enjoy yourself and to be around people who you feel comfortable around and figure out who you are in the world,” Bailey says. “I wouldn’t want the Friday night crowd to feel slighted as though Saturday is somehow more important even though it’s literally the closing night.” On Saturday, June 30 Town hosts “The party to end all parties,” according to its website. The drag show, also sold out, starts at 9:30 p.m. with encore performances from Tatianna, Shi-Queeta-Lee, Ba’Naka, Riley Knoxx and Sasha Adams. Lena Lett hosts the show for the final time. Bailey will DJ upstairs and DJ Wess will keep the music going downstairs. Entry to the party begins at 11 p.m. Admission to both Friday and Saturday parties will only be at the door. For more details on the final weekend’s events, visit towndc.org. As Town prepares to bid farewell, Bailey says that patron support has made all their hard work on Town over the years “worthwhile.” “The thing that allows me to keep getting up every day during this process is that inevitably at some point someone will come up to me on the street, in a bar or at the club and say, ‘I know you don’t know me but I just wanted to let you know that I met my husband here’ or ‘I came out here’ or ‘I moved to D.C. and I didn’t have any friends and I found your place and now I have this great group of friends and we all met here,’” Bailey says. “So when people tell us that we’ve accomplished that goal for them in their life and that their life is better for it, that’s the amazing moment that you live for.”

Team D.C. sponsors its annual ‘Fashion Show and Model Search’ on March 8, 2014. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY DAMIEN SALAS

The D.C. Bëar Crüe holds its regular ‘Bear Happy Hour’ at Town, as pictured here on Aug. 23, 2013. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY JON WOOTON

The Cherry Fund raises money for HIV/ AIDS causes at events at Town as well as throughout the city at the yearly circuit party. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY HUGH CLARKE

D.C. Latino Pride holds it annual dance on June 5, 2014. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY DAMIEN SALAS



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Town holds a Halloween party on Oct. 31, 2015.

The D.C. Rawhides host the regular ‘Town&Country’ events with country line dancing. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY DAMIEN SALAS WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY DAMIEN SALAS

Performer EPIPHANY B. LEE prepares backstage before a performance on April 13, 2014.

Actress MICHELLE CLUNIE (Queer as Folk) appears at an ‘Out and Ready for Hillary’ fundraiser on Jan. 15, 2014. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY DAMIEN SALAS


Whitman-Walker Health holds its 40th anniversary party at Town Danceboutique on Jan. 18, 2018. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY WYATT REID WESTLUND

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Inside a short-term luxury living arrangement Ampeer Residences offers 92 furnished units in Dupont By AMPEER RESIDENCES Nontraditional residential developments are increasingly becoming popular choices for renters in the Greater Washington D.C. metro area. Modern short-term living arrangements provide a unique option for residents by incorporating five-star amenities, like fully furnished units, onsite housekeeping, and complimentary food and drinks, paired with a high-end apartment lifestyle of flexible lease terms and included utilities. Intrigued? Look no further than Dupont Circle for an option in the newly redeveloped building, Ampeer Dupont Circle. Ampeer accommodates 92 fully furnished studio and one-bedroom units with lease terms ranging from 1 to 12 months, designed for the highly mobile professional. The property began leasing in July of 2017 and is nearly at full capacity for the summer. So, why are these living arrangements becoming increasingly popular? Here are just a few reasons people are turning to short-term, flexible accommodations: Increase in Remote Working The career landscape has changed drastically over the last several years with employers offering more remote work op-

Ampeer Residences offers complimentary breakfast and happy hours, among other amenities. PHOTO COURTESY AMPEER

portunities. According to a Gallup survey, 43 percent of employed Americans spent time working remotely in 2016, which represented a four percent increase since 2012. This direct effect is continuing to create a demand for short-term leasing and flexible accommodations where employees can work from one destination to the next. Move-in ready apartments are especially appealing, allowing professionals working long hours to focus on projects versus juggling calls and appointments with cable and internet vendors. In D.C., especially, the target for this option is certainly the diplomatic community, employees within the State Department, the Department of Treasury, other executive branches, as well as people that are transient. The work lifestyle of the younger demo-

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graphic is also a major factor to its popularity. Millennials and the Gen Y workforce are all-in on the mobile trend and do not find rigid and strict leases appealing. Hospitable Amenities Staying in a hotel for several months can get expensive quickly, and a room arranged through Airbnb certainly doesn’t accommodate turndown services. There is also something to be said about staying somewhere that feels like your own. So, it’s no surprise that a short-term apartment can be the ideal choice. Ampeer, for example, offers a suite of perks to their residents including complimentary breakfast and happy hours, secured internet and utilities, and optional laundry and housekeeping services. The neoclassical-style manor also provides several common areas including a restored ballroom, a kitchen/dining room, a fitness center, a library, and a courtyard. And the units? They are all appointed with 300 thread-count bedsheets, Egyptian cotton towels, and Keurig coffee makers. Immerse in Local Culture and Activities Just like any hotel concierge service, a short-term apartment also offers activities and arranges exclusive opportunities that allow residents to enjoy the city’s culture in one way or another. Ampeer Residences has an extra historical flair than most since the building was originally called The Patterson Mansion — named after socialite Eleanor “Cissy” Patterson’s family — and was constructed in

the early 20th century. For the recent renovation, the developers hired renowned D.C. designer, Darryl Carter, to re-imagine the common areas where regular resident activities are being held all summer long, including live musical performances, wine tastings, and cultural speaking events. Ampeer also snagged the most coveted tickets in town to hold a contest to attend Hamilton: An American Musical at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as a free two-night stay at the residences (the contest is still live on their social media channels if you’re interested in entering). With all that the short-term apartment lifestyle offers, it is understandable why these accommodations are trending. If you’re interested in checking out this option, many buildings offer personal tours or allow potential residents to attend upcoming events to experience what life is like for their residents.

AMPEER RESIDENCES is a short-term, fully furnished luxury residence built around a legacy of style and simplicity combined with activated luxury living space. Residents can choose from appointed studios and one bedrooms in either the grand mansion or modern new tower. Rent includes utilities, cable and internet, food and drink offerings — group breakfasts, happy hours — and other social programs. The mansion’s common areas include a cocktail bar in the original ballroom, a study and library, and a shared kitchen. These areas are also intended to host social gatherings and events for members. For more information about Ampeer, please visit AmpeerResidences.com.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: A man and his family grapple with the cost of living in the nation’s capital.

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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.


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

ZEN INFUSED MICROHOME 3 Levels. Gated. Parking. 2nd Floor Rear Deck, Skylights, All Brick. Stone and Granite Walls. Must be seen to be appreciated. Was developers unit. Overbuilt (priced under market for quick sale!). TEXT 202 817 6260 for pics & more.

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



JUNE 29, 2018 • 47


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Woman Owed Small Business


ISSUE DATE: 180629




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