Washingtonblade.com, Volume 49, Issue 34, August 24, 2018

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Why are so many of us closeted at work? Trump a factor among federal employees but study shows half of LGBT workers still aren’t out By ABBY WARGO Imagine working in the State Department as an openly gay employee in 2015. There were Pride month celebrations featuring senior leadership. Prominent speeches in support of LGBT equality from the secretary. And you enjoyed expanded benefits for your partner thanks to marriage equality. Then Donald Trump came to town. The arrival of Trump and his anti-LGBT Cabinet members has forced many government workers back into the closet. A gay employee at the State Department who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said that although he has been out on the job, he and fellow LGBT employees have been more guarded at work. “The day Trump was elected, I deleted my Twitter. I tweeted a lot about LGBT rights and I didn’t want to

Nearly half of LGBT Americans are still in the closet at work according to an HRC study.

draw additional attention to myself,” he said. As a result, LGBT staffers are demoralized. “It makes people do their job and go home,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I stayed after five. Two years ago I had a career, now I have a job.” The State Department employee said that in the department, LGBT acceptance is dependent on the boss’s views. “During the Obama administration, State became a place where people could be open, and being LGBT was something people could be proud of,” he said. “Now, it’s back to who you report to and who is appointed.” He is currently seeking employment elsewhere. His situation reflects a larger trend of LGBT people remaining closeted at work. The Human Rights Campaign in June released the results of a study that found 46 percent of LGBT people in the United States remain closeted at work. The study, “A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide,” is



Mass. is ground zero in fight for trans rights In a first, state voters face referendum on bathroom access By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com

Massachusetts Gov. CHARLIE BAKER (R) signed a trans rights law that is now headed to referendum.

Massachusetts will be ground zero in the fight for transgender rights on Election Day when state voters will decide whether to approve or reject a referendum aimed at CONTINUES ON PAGE 14

compromising public bathroom access for transgender people. The referendum, Question 3, seeks to repeal an update to the state’s nondiscrimination law approved by the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in 2015 barring discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations, including hotels, restaurants as well as public restrooms. Should voters decide to repeal the law with a majority vote of “no” on the referendum, transgender people would still have




Rep. Duncan Hunter, notorious homophobe, faces corruption charges.

D.C. athletes bring home trove of medals from Paris Gay Games.

A tribute to legendary Aretha Franklin from a lifelong fan.




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Comings & Goings JEL Creative becomes Brunch Digital By PETER ROSENSTEIN The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at comings and goings@washblade.com. Congratulations to Josh Levie who has just rebranded his business formerly JEL Creative and re-launched it as Brunch Digital. Levie has built the company over the last 10 years and currently has six full-time employees and three interns working for him. He said, “I launched Brunch Digital as an open invitation for a truly inclusive experience for both my employees and client partners. Brunch is about a team, really a community, coming together to work on projects with people we would want to have over for brunch. I see everything I do as an adventure, and it’s one I want to take with my friends, colleagues, and client partners.” JOSH LEVIE One of Brunch Digital’s first projects was PHOTO COURTESY OF LEVIE the development of all of the brand identity (including the mural on the bar’s patio) and website for the new LGBT sports bar, Pitchers DC. Other area nonprofits and businesses Levie has developed branding and web design for include: Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, Duplex Diner, Hummingbird Inn (LGBT-owned BnB in Easton, Md.), George Washington University’s Annual LGBT Health Forum, and LUNA+EISENLA media. Brunch Digital has developed a strategic partnership with RJ Whyte Event Production, another LGBTowned business offering event experiences for high-profile events in the area including the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan NICK MARTIN Washington’s annual RAMMY Awards Gala, PHOTO COURTESY OF MARTIN and Wooly Mammoth Theatre among others. Levie grew up the D.C. area and only left when he went to college earning his bachelor’s in psychology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. Congratulations also to Nick Martin who began his new position as director on the Public Affairs team at Forbes Tate Partners (FTP). He brings to them nearly a decade of experience combining policy, politics, and grassroots advocacy, specializing in healthcare issues. The FTP team has a history of working with government officials, C-Suite executives from Fortune 100 companies, and leaders of some of America’s most dynamic organizations. According to its website, “Our knowledge of the complex anatomy of government decision-making processes opens doors to our clients across the nation’s capital and around the country. We have developed and continue to maintain productive working relationships with local, state, national, and international policymakers that allow us to provide successful, integrated solutions for our clients.” Martin’s experience includes having worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, focused on implementation of the Affordable Care Act and MACRA. Working with a variety of different stakeholder groups, he also developed engagement strategies around open enrollment, delivery system reform, and public health crises. Additionally, he advised the Secretary of Health and Human Services and senior HHS officials on the priorities of industry and advocacy organizations before the department. He has also worked as a member of the grassroots field team at the Human Rights Campaign. Most recently he led communications and outreach efforts for the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care. He is a graduate of Northeastern University, where he received a degree in international affairs. He is a native of upstate New York and has called Washington, D.C. home for many years.


D.C. bill to ban LGBT ‘panic defense’ stalls

Tactic used in criminal trials as excuse for murder By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com In a little-noticed development, five members of the D.C. City Council in February 2017 co-introduced a bill to ban the use of the so-called gay and transgender “panic” defense in criminal trials. It’s called the Secure A Fair & Equitable Trial Act of 2017, or B22-0102. Supporters of the bill, including the LGBT Bar Association, say the legislation is needed to put a stop to a practice in which defense attorneys ask a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for a perpetrator’s violent action against an LGBT person, including murder. California, Illinois and Rhode Island have adopted laws to ban such a defense and similar laws are pending in other states as well as in D.C. Last month, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) introduced a bill in Congress that would ban the use of the LGBT panic defense in federal courts. The D.C. bill has been stalled in the Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety since its February 2017 introduction. A spokesperson for the committee’s chairman, Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), couldn’t immediately be reached this week to find out if Allen plans to call a public hearing on the bill. The Council members who introduced the bill were David Grosso (I-At-Large), the bill’s author; Robert White (D-At-Large), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3). Council member and former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill. The D.C. bill is different from the bills approved by the three states and the congressional bill in that it expands the categories of crime victims for which the panic defense cannot be used by a defendant in a trial beyond just LGBT people. “For any crime of violence, sufficient or adequate provocation for a defense premised on ‘heat of passion’ shall not exist if the defendant’s actions are related to the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of one or more of the following characteristics or perceived characteristics of the victim,” the D.C. bill states. The bill lists those categories as, “disability, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the characteristic belongs to the victim or the defendant, even if the defendant and victim dated or participated in sexual relations, or if the defendant or victim romantically pursued the other…” Representatives of local LGBT organizations have yet to take a position on the D.C. bill, in part, because the Council members who introduced it took little or no action to publicize it and the LGBT groups were unaware of the bill, according to activists contacted by the Washington Blade. Meanwhile, the national ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers decided not to take a position on the pending congressional bill to ban the LGBT panic defense, spokespersons for the two organizations said this week. A spokesperson for the ACLU’s D.C. area chapter said the chapter has yet to take a position on the D.C. bill. Sources familiar with the two groups, who spoke on condition of not being identified, said the ACLU and NACDL most likely were troubled over a possible ban on the ability to use a criminal defense on grounds of “mitigating” circumstances such as a defendant’s surprise to discover a female sex partner has male genitals. The sources speculated that the two groups may not have come out officially against legislation to ban the panic defense in deference to their support for the LGBT community. A spokesperson for Council member Allen didn’t immediately respond to a question by the Washington Blade sent by email asking whether Allen has similar reservations about the bill and whether he’s intentionally blocking the measure by bottling it up in committee. In a statement on its website, the LGBT Bar Association noted that the American Bar Association, the nation’s preeminent organization of lawyers, strongly endorsed legislation to ban the gay and transgender panic defense in a resolution approved by its members in 2013. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM


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Lesbian D.C. Council candidate could benefit from petition challenge

Lesbian businesswoman DIONNE REEDER received a boost this week when news emerged that one of her rivals might be disqualified from being placed on the ballot. PHOTO COURTESY OF TWITTER

Silverman asks election board to disqualify lead rival from ballot By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com Lesbian businesswoman Dionne Reeder, whose campaign for an at-large D.C. Council seat has run short on money, received an unexpected boost this week when news surfaced that one of her two main rivals might be disqualified from being placed on the ballot. D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) surprised political observers on Monday by submitting documents to the Board of Elections challenging 3,906 petition signatures submitted by rival candidate S. Kathryn Allen as being invalid. Silverman charges in her documents challenging the signatures that many of them appear to be forged. Among the signatures under suspicion was that of local gay activist Marvin Bowser, the brother of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, whose name appeared twice on the petitions, with his first name misspelled on one of them, according to Silverman’s challenge. Her challenge, if upheld by the Board of Elections, would result in Allen having 2,169 valid signatures, more than 800 fewer than the 3,000 petition signatures from registered city voters she needs to be placed on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election. If the election board were to force Allen off the ballot Reeder would immediately emerge as the lead rival to Silverman, who some political observers consider to be politically vulnerable this year. Allen’s campaign released a statement on Monday acknowledging that it “fell victim to a petition circulating service” run by a private company that was supposed to enhance the campaign’s signature collection efforts. The statement disputed Silverman’s claim that nearly 4,000 signatures were invalid, saying the Allen campaign has “verified over 4,000 signatures.” The statement says the Allen campaign was confident that the Board of Elections, upon completing its review, would certify Allen for placement on the ballot. Silverman says in her challenge that her review of Allen’s petition signatures shows significant irregularities, including “widespread and intentional signature fraud” among some of Allen’s petition circulators. Allen and Reeder, both of whom are running as independents, are considered the two leading challengers to Silverman’s re-election bid. Reeder was the first major challenger to enter the race late last year. But the dynamics of the race changed in June when Allen became a candidate with the backing of gay former D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At-Large) and former D.C. Mayor and longtime LGBT community ally Anthony Williams (D). Williams and Catania are serving as co-chairs for Allen’s campaign. Allen is an attorney who served as the city’s insurance commissioner while Williams was mayor. She currently owns two insurance related businesses. Reeder also worked in the Williams administration as the mayoral coordinator of community services for Ward 8. She is the current owner of Cheers at the Big Chair, a full-service restaurant in the city’s Anacostia neighborhood. Up until the time Allen entered the race, Reeder led the field of at-large candidates in fundraising. Now she and Allen’s finance reports filed with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance show that many of the small, medium and large businesses that contributed to Reeder switched sides and appeared to throw their support to Allen. Meanwhile, Silverman, who had been trailing Reeder in fundraising, has pulled ahead

according to her most recent report filed on Aug. 10, which shows she has raised a total of $111,597 compared to $93,546 raised by Reeder. In the two months since becoming a candidate Allen raised a total of $88,442, according to her Aug. 10 report. However, the same reports show that Silverman had $80,135 in cash on hand as of Aug. 10 and Allen had $55,235 in cash on hand. Reeder’s report shows she had just $4,542 in cash on hand after having loaned her campaign $6,954.75. Had she not infused her campaign with a personal loan the campaign would have been in debt with a negative balance. Alfreda Davis, Reeder’s campaign manager, told the Washington Blade on Monday that the campaign during the most recent finance reporting period concentrated on gathering petition signatures and other efforts rather than fundraising. “We focused this past quarter or cycle on putting a sound infrastructure in place so that we would be able to run the race effectively,” she said. “And that’s all we’ve done.” Unlike the Allen campaign, which relied heavily on a private company to gather petition signatures, Davis said Reeder’s signatures were obtained by volunteers dedicated to the campaign. “We were doing it the old fashioned way,” Davis said. “We went out and we got people who were engaged with communities and we worked those communities and we got the signatures,” she said. No information has surfaced to indicate anyone filed a challenge to Reeder’s petition signatures as of Monday, which was the deadline for filing such a challenge. Silverman, Reeder and Allen have each expressed strong support for LGBT rights. The three along with four other candidates are running for an at-large Council seat that cannot be held by a Democrat under the city’s election law. The others running for the “non-Democratic” seat are Statehood Green Party candidate David Schwartzman, Libertarian Party candidate Denise Hicks; Republican Ralph Chittams Sr., and independent Rustin Lewis. Their campaign finance reports show they have raised far less money than Reeder, Allen, and Silverman, leading political observers to view them as having little chance of winning. Incumbent Council member Anita Bonds (D-At-Large) is also running for re-election for the second of two at-large seats on the ballot this year. Under the city’s election law, the non-Democratic candidate will be on the same ballot as Bonds, with voters having the option of voting for two candidates. The two receiving the highest vote counts will be declared the winners. Bonds, who has a strong record of support on LGBT issues, is considered the strong favorite to win re-election to one of the two seats.

Rehoboth restaurant launches ‘Let’s Make History’ campaign The Pines, a soon-to-open new restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, has launched its “Let’s Make History” campaign, which calls on the community to submit photos of their favorite memories of Rehoboth. These photos can range from landscapes, old family beach houses, images of downtown, family photos or anything historic. The Pines is looking for 200+ photos for the campaign. Photos can be submitted by email to info@ThePinesRB. com. The Pines requests that submissions include name, contact info, a short description and year if possible. The Pines is slated to open in the fall in about six to eight weeks. Tyler Townsend and Bob Suppies, the owners of the restaurant, said they wanted to pay homage to Rehoboth Beach as it’s a place where so many visitors have created lasting memories. “We have a very thoughtful and unique vision for The Pines. The town of Rehoboth is currently filled with great food and lots of love, but I feel we can set ourselves apart with an upscale city approach to our tavern concept, while still being able to realize what makes Rehoboth so great to so many,” Dane Wilfong, the executive chef, told the Blade in June. “We hope to utilize our local resources from farms, orchards, growers and captains for our entirely from scratch fresh take on tavern cuisine.” Suppies and Townsend are planning to use some of their own personal photos but are keeping them as a surprise for their guests at the restaurant. “The response has been amazing. We have received dozens, and it has been really moving to see all the memories and to read the stories behind them,” Townsend said of the photos they have received so far. BLAKE CHAMBERS


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Will Pope’s ban on death penalty boost church support for LGBT people? Catholic activists hope to end ‘teaching’ that gays are ‘disordered’

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com

Two prominent LGBT Catholic organizations say they are hopeful that Pope Francis’s decision earlier this month to change an official “teaching” of the Catholic Church to make the death penalty entirely unacceptable would open a path to change the church’s position on homosexuality. Leaders of the Catholic LGBT advocacy groups Dignity USA and New Ways Ministry released statements this month saying Pope Francis’s directive approving a change in the Catechism of the Catholic Church to declare the death penalty under all circumstances to be contrary to Church teaching has set a precedent for the pontiff to unilaterally change the Catechism on other issues. Among the other issues is the Church’s official teaching that being gay is “objectively disordered” and that all same-sex relationships “are contrary to the natural law” by closing “the sexual act to the gift of life.” Dignity USA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke and New Ways Ministry Executive Director Francis DeBernardo also said in separate statements that the Catholic Church’s across the board opposition to the death penalty would boost efforts by international human

POPE FRANCIS earlier this month changed an official teaching of the Catholic Church to make the death penalty entirely unacceptable. PHOTO BY JEON HAN; PHOTO COURTESY OF KOREAN CULTURE AND INFORMATION SERVICE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

rights organizations to end the death penalty for LGBT people in the 10 or more nations where being gay or transgender are grounds for being executed. “Pope Francis’ action to change the Catechism on his own, without the approval of the College of Cardinals or any other official body, means that he can also change the harmful and dehumanizing language that says being gay is ‘objectively disordered’ and that all

same-sex relationships are ‘contrary to natural law,’” Duddy-Burke said in an Aug. 6 statement. “We call on Pope Francis to change or eliminate this language, which has caused so much harm for so many through the years,” she said. “Finally,” Duddy-Burke wrote in her statement, “we call on all Catholics committed to justice and equality for LGBTQI people to insist that this

important and welcome change in the Catechism be applied to LGBTQ people in the same way it is applied to others.” DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry said the Pope’s death penalty change undercuts arguments by opponents of LGBT rights that the church’s anti-LGBT doctrine cannot be changed. “It’s important for Catholic advocates for LGBT equality to take note of this change because for decades Catholic opponents of LGBT equality argued that it is impossible to change church teaching,” DeBernardo said in his own statement. “They often pointed to the fact that condemnations of same-sex relationships were inscribed in the Catechism, and so were not open for discussion or change,” he said. “We now have a clear, explicit contemporary example of church teaching changing, and also a look into how it can be done: with a papal change to the Catechism,” he said. “That means the theological and even ecclesial discussion and debates right now about LGBT people have great potential to shape future changes in church teaching in regard to those topics,” he said. News reports of Pope Francis’s action regarding the death penalty have been overshadowed by the revelations this month about the findings of a Pennsylvania grand jury of widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests of thousands of children in several Pennsylvania counties over a 50-year period and alleged actions by church leaders to conceal the abuse.

Threatened Okla. trans student’s family raising money to move The kindness of strangers emerges From STAFF REPORTS After violent threats, the family of transgender schoolgirl Maddison Kayleen Kleeman is trying to move away from Achille, Okla., their small rural town near the Oklahoma-Texas border. The Los Angeles Blade reported Aug. 14 that Kleeman, 12, had been the target of a group of adults in a private Facebook Parents Group page devoted to the elementary school she attends. Members of the group were angered by her use of a girl’s bathroom and the apparent affirmation of her gender identity by school staff. Kleeman’s parents were forced to seek protective orders, the county sheriff’s office launched an investigation and one adult has been suspended from his job. The story went viral on social media and was spotted by Anne Babb, a writer and journalist based in Oklahoma City, whose


first thought was that the group was wrong. Her second thought was to start a GoFundMe to help the family move. Babb then spoke with Kleeman’s mother, Brandy Rose, and they created a GoFundMe page. “I was just like, ‘Well, that’d be a blessing to be able to move out of the area,’” Rose told NBC News about their conversation. “That’s when she told me that her and a neighbor of


hers had been discussing it. They thought that it would help us to start a GoFundMe page Move4Maddie to get the funds to move … I thought that was very sweet and amazing and a blessing, so she set that up for us.” Babb initially wanted to set the fundraising goal for $15,000 but decided to start with $10,000. When contributions reached that goal in the first 22 hours,

she increased the goal to $15,000. That figure has since been exceeded. “I never imagined that we’d get the donations that we’ve gotten, because I mean it’s strangers,” Rose said. “I didn’t expect strangers to do that. But it’s been amazing.” As of Aug. 20, the donations had reached nearly $25,000. “I hope we get our ducks in a row so we can move to Houston as soon as possible,” Rose told NBC News. “We just want to do it the right way, so it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, but that is our plan—to just get out of this little town.” Oklahoma does not have a law protecting transgender people against discrimination and last February, the U. S. Department of Education withdrew guidance protecting trans students under federal law. A spokesperson for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told the LA Blade that it has sent memos clearly stating that the USDOE will not process any complaints from transgender students experiencing discrimination in schools. (Reporting by NBC News and the staff of the Los Angeles Blade)


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Anti-LGBT Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted But will voters in his conservative district care? By KAREN OCAMB It’s an odd trifecta. For a good part of the day, cable news focused on split-screen coverage of two trials with enormous political consequence: Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen were found guilty of eight felony counts each, with Cohen directly implicating Trump in two campaign finance crimes. Meanwhile, in San Diego, a federal grand jury indicted Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife Margret, his campaign manager, for misuse of campaign finances and wire fraud. “The indictment alleges that Congressman Hunter and his wife repeatedly dipped into campaign coffers as if they were personal bank accounts, and falsified FEC campaign finance reports to cover their tracks,” U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said in a statement. “Elected representatives should jealously guard the public’s trust, not abuse their positions for personal gain. Today’s indictment is a reminder that no one is above the law.” “Congressman Hunter believes this action is purely politically motivated,” Michael Harrison, a spokesman for Hunter, told The Hill in an email. “The charges against Rep. Hunter are deeply serious. The Ethics Committee deferred its investigation at the request of the Justice Department,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “Now that he has been indicted, Rep. Hunter will be removed from his committee assignments pending the resolution of this matter.” The serious question for the republic now is: Will voters care? Democrats trying to retake the House hope so. They’ve been working to win six solid Trump GOP seats in California with some Republican red districts starting to swing more into “toss-up” or “lean Republican” territory. But for all the volunteers who’ve turned out and all the money contributed to Ammar Campa-Najjar, the former Obama administration official, Hunter’s lock on the 50th congressional district seemed assured — Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has Hunter “safe” and up by 7 points. After all, it’s a legacy seat: together Duncan Hunter and his father have held the seat for 40 years. But last August, Hunter fans got a surprise—headlines saying the offices of his former campaign treasurer had been raided by the FBI. They seized computers and documents in their investigation into whether Hunter (R-Alpine) had violated campaign finances rules by using campaign funds

Rep. DUNCAN H. HUNTER was indicted along with his wife this week for campaign finance violations. PHOTO COURTESY HUNTER.HOUSE.GOV

for personal use. The search warrant was revealing. “It was the more than $1,300 in video game purchases by Hunter’s campaign that first drew the attention of federal election officials and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Hunter blamed his son for the video game purchases, saying he had used the wrong credit card. Other unusual spending by Hunter’s campaign included a now-infamous airplane ride for the family rabbit and payments to nail salons, his children’s private school and a Phoenix resort,” the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. Hunter told Politico he did nothing wrong. “I was not involved in any criminal action,” Hunter said. “Maybe I wasn’t attentive enough to my campaign. That’s not a crime.” Hunter also has repeatedly pointed out that he reimbursed his campaign around $62,000 for money he used for such expenditures as oral surgery, gifts from Disneyland and a family trip to Italy. Though he easily won his safe San Diego seat by nearly 27% in November 2016, his loose ethics and possible criminal behavior prompted six opponents in the June 2018 primary, including two Republicans. “We need to bring Integrity back to the 50th District. We cannot stand for this!” tweeted GOP challenger Andrew Zelt, who failed to make the top two in the jungle primary. Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a communications consultant, came in second with 17.5% to 47.4% for Hunter. Campa-Najjar noted that it was the first time Hunter received less than 50% of the vote in one of the most conservative districts in California. Voter registration in that district is 41.6% Republican, 27.4% Democrat and 25.13% no party preference. San Diego voters have been aware of Hunter’s alleged impropriety since at least March 2017 when the House said they were delaying their own investigation into Hunter

in deference to the Department of Justice. The Office of Congressional Ethics voted 5-0 to recommend that the committee review allegations concerning Hunter “because there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Hunter converted campaign funds to personal use to pay expenses that were not legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes,” the San Diego UnionTribune reported. “Rep. Hunter has shown a blatant disregard for the rules, spending tens of thousands of dollars from his campaign for his personal benefit,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement at the time. “This is the most egregious Congressional spending scandal since Aaron Schock. We are glad to see the Office of Congressional Ethics voted unanimously for an investigation and will be closely following the FBI’s criminal investigation in Congressman Hunter.” “Last year, Congressman Hunter became aware of expenditure issues confronting his campaign committee. Out of an abundance of caution, he took corrective action in consultation with the FEC and, ultimately, he and his wife personally repaid the campaign approximately $60,000,” Hunter’s attorneys said in response. “Congressman Hunter intends to cooperate fully with the government on this investigation, and maintains that to the extent any mistakes were made they were strictly inadvertent and unintentional.” At a town hall meeting, Hunter was unshaken by the irregularities. “I am not going to make excuses for it,” he said. “It was my responsibility for my family, for the charges my kid made, that’s on me…. And I take responsibility for it. I fixed it, and as far as I am concerned, end of story.”

And with that, Duncan Hunter Jr. resumed the congressional life he apparently inherited from his anti-LGBT father. Hunter senior, a “born-again” Baptist, was a staunch conservative “family values” congressional vote from 1981 to 2009. His son has had a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign since he was elected. But just how anti-LGBT is Duncan Hunter Jr.? He actively seeks to set back LGBT civil rights. Hunter and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (RMo) set the stage for the anti-transgender service members ban that Trump has been advocating since his tweet of July 26, 2017. Many viewed the team attack as another bow to Trump—Hunter was the second member of Congress to endorse Trump after Rep. Chris Collins—who has been virtually maniacal about eliminating any clue of Barack Obama’s presidency. The Congress members declared that transgender open military service was part of Obama’s social engineering of the armed forces after Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban on June 2016. Trans troops started receiving medical care on Oct. 1, 2016 and changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon’s personnel system. In August 2017, Hunter and Hartzler led the House effort to pass an amendment to the annual defense policy bill to prohibit the Pentagon from paying for gender transition surgeries and hormone therapy as part of military’s health care system. “Figure out whether you’re man or a woman before you join,” said Hunter. “U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill.” After some reported behind the scenes maneuvering by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, opposition from 24 Republican lawmakers and the refusal of Speaker Paul Ryan to bring the bill to the floor, the amendment was dropped. But that wasn’t the end of it. The anti-LGBT team appealed to Vice President Mike Pence and along with Pence-whisperer, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and a few White House players, the trans ban was brought to Trump who tweeted out the new policy. Hunter was thrilled. “The President’s decision was the absolute right decision. National security should trump social experimentation, always. It’s about time that a decision is made to restore the warrior culture and allow the U.S. military to get back to business,” he posted on his official website on July 26, 2017. Interestingly, before he caved to Trump’s orders, Mattis did not object when Navy Sec. Spencer said “any patriot” should be allowed to serve, echoing other commanders supporting their trans service members. Equality California and the State of California filed a lawsuit to stop the trans ban, one of four such lawsuits nationally. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM



A U G U ST 2 4 , 2 0 1 8 • 1 1

Do Brazil’s gay-friendly certified cities protect LGBT residents? Discrimination, violence persist in popular tourist destinations By FELIPE ALFACE PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Brazil’s tourism board has certified seven cities — Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Recife, Salvador, Porto Alegre, Florianópolis and the country’s capital of Brasília — as gay-friendly destinations. But are these cities doing enough to protect their LGBTI residents? According to a report issued this year by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation’s Public Policies Analysis Directory, the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro had the highest number of complaints of LGBTIrelated crimes in 2017. The Federal District in which Brasília is located had the most complaints per 100,000 people. The data contained in this study is based on complaints to the Dial 100 service the Brazilian Human Rights Ministry reported. The Dial 100 service was created specifically to map information around human rights violations based on factors that include prejudice and homophobia. This data would then be used to support the creation of new public policies and programs designed to help the LGBTI community cope with discrimination and educate Brazilians around issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. The Dial 100 website notes the service received 1,720 complaints of violations against LGBTI people in 2017. These statistics include 193 homicides, which are 127 percent higher than the previous year. So how can Brazil, with those numbers and the highest rate of transgender murders in the world, ever be considered gay-friendly by Embratur, the country’s tourism board? According to “Depois do fervo” (“After the party is over”), a documentary that focuses on the everyday life of LGBTI people in Florianópolis, the answer is simple: The beach city in southern Brazil has a lot to give as far as natural beauty and seasonal opportunities — like carnival and the city’s Pride celebration — to attract “pink money.” Florianópolis has beaches that are popular with gay men from across the region. It is therefore important for local officials to project to tourists an image that has nothing to do with the everyday life of LGBTI people living in the city, which, according to the last Census in Brazil has the highest concentration of LGBTI people within the country. Another counterpoint to Florianópolis’ gay-friendly moniker can be seen in the number of cases of violence the Association in Defense of Human

The scene in downtown Florianópolis, Brazil. PHOTO BY RODRIGO SOLDON VIA FLICKR

Rights (ADEH), a local advocacy group, documents, which averages 70 a month. ADEH encourages local residents who are attacked because of their sexual orientation and gender identity to go to the organization first because it is the ones dealing with “gay issues,” which further highlights how unprepared police officers and other public service providers in cities that are considered to be gay-friendly are in dealing with LGBTI-specific issues. ADEH actually provides one of the only places to meet, discuss and judicial and psychological support in the city. “Florianópolis is a gay-friendly city as long as the tourist has money to spend in local businesses,” “Depois do fervor” director Matheus Faisting told the Washington Blade. “We don’t have enough public policies to promote the city as a capital where LGBT phobia is fought against, for example. It is all a question of marketing used to promote the city to a niche with high purchasing power while not really worrying if these LGBT tourists will actually be safe during their stay here. One of the things that surprised me while researching for the movie was that there are much more cases of violence against LGBT people than I already knew. The numbers are high but that reality is under shown to attract pink money from tourists.” Porto Alegre, the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil, is another example of a certified gayfriendly city where the reality of its LGBTI residents is different. The state from the outside seems to be in the forefront of LGBTI issues, since two emblematic wins for the community took place there: The first civil union recognized by the Brazilian Supreme

Court before same-sex marriage was approved across the country in 2013 and the first adoption by a same-sex couple. According to Priscila Leote, president of the State Council for the Promotion of LGBT Rights, an organization that is part of the Rio Grande do Sul state government, those two legal victories should not be seen as a barometer of where the state is with regards to supporting LGBTI rights, since they are individual cases and don’t represent the sense of abandonment members of the community in Porto Alegre and across the state feel. Leote said members of the community feel abandoned, in part, because there is a lack of places to get together and simply be part of the community. Porto Alegre has a general shortage of LGBTI-identified places to gather, including gay bars and night clubs. There are also few options to support Leote’s group to further LGBTI-specific issues in the city. To understand how Porto Alegre is an example of a city that is only LGBTIfriendly on paper, one can use the example of its Pride parade. The parade became a part of the city’s official calendar this year but it is also set to take place without any financial support from the mayor’s office for the second year. “Even the date offered to us to throw this year’s Pride as a part of the calendar of the city is a problem, since we have done it for 21 years in the park and on the date they offered, the park is not available to receive our Pride,” said Leote. Leote also said anti-LGBTI violence in Porto Alegre remains a problem. The Reference Center for Victims of Violence in Porto Alegre, which the local

government created, on its website says it is prepared to assist every victim of violence, whether they are a child, a woman, an elderly person or a member of the LGBTI community. But that information is not widely known and Leote said she feels the people working in those centers aren’t equipped to assist LGBTI people because they are not properly trained. So, most violence complaints are received by e-mail at the State Council for the Promotion of LGBT Rights or forwarded to it by the Dial 100 service or even officers at police stations who receive them. Porto Alegre is one of few places in Brazil that has a city law against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Activists nevertheless remain critical of the mechanisms in place to report it. “One of the biggest problems of being LGBT in Porto Alegre, or even in Brazil as a country, is that we advance a lot in sexuality and identity discussions, but most people aren’t prepared to back themselves up politically as a part of the LGBT community,” said Leote. “We don’t elect LGBT candidates. So, we see advances in ways and freedom to express ourselves as we are but in the political sphere we haven’t graduated yet.” “Because we still don’t have public policies more importantly to help us being safe as we are in a place where violence rates and religious fundamentalism are growing faster than we can organize ourselves politically to fight against those things that work to oppress us as a community,” she added. The Blade has reached out to Embratur for comment.


1 2 • A UGUST 2 4 , 2018


Study finds nearly half of workers not out on the job CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

the third major study of its kind HRC has conducted. The first workplace environment study, “Degrees of Equality,” found in 2008 that half of LGBT people were closeted at work. “The number of LGBT workers that are closeted has barely budged in 10 years,” said Deena Fidas, author of “A Workplace Divided” and director of the HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality program. The reasons for this are similar from year to year, she said. LGBT workers can face stereotypes and double standards. Thirty-eight percent of closeted LGBT workers are not open about their sexual orientation or gender identity for fear of being stereotyped. The study found that 28 percent of LGBT workers lie about their personal life; 17 percent felt exhausted from spending their time and energy concealing their sexual orientation and 13 percent from concealing their gender identity. “On Monday morning, if your coworkers are sharing what they did over the weekend and a straight, cisgender person mentions their spouse, it’s normal. If a lesbian queer woman does the same thing, people will say that bringing personal life into the office is inappropriate,” Fidas said. “When [LGBT workers] feel frozen out of social circles and have to hide who they are, that has a significant impact on how to be effective workers.” A transgender music director for a

Catholic church said she does not share much personal information with her coworkers, who do not know she’s trans. “I have to hide all the [information] pertaining to my gender identity and transition, my personal beliefs regarding LGBT issues, and probably aspects of my own shifting faith and beliefs,” she said. The Blade granted her anonymity so she could speak freely. Fidas, who identifies as queer, said this double standard exists because LGBT people are still seen as “the other,” and are perceived as fundamentally different from their straight counterparts. “We’re still a ways away from non-LGBT individuals understanding that they, too, have a gender identity and sexual orientation,” she said. Even with a rise of understanding and acceptance of LGBT people in recent years, these stereotypes have been reinforced by legislation. Despite significant progress, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, 31 states lack LGBTinclusive anti-discrimination laws. “Many people are showing up to work at risk simply for who they are and who they love,” Fidas said. For some LGBT individuals, coming out of the closet could result in being fired. The “Workplace Divided” study found that 13 percent of LGBT workers feel that they would be fired because of their workplace’s stance on LGBT people. The trans church music director cited other music directors’ termination for being in same-sex marriages and said that coming

out would be detrimental to her career. “I would almost certainly lose my job immediately. … I never heard of other trans organists; I think that in the long run this would be harder to conceal,” she said. Even if LGBT workers don’t lose their job because of their identity, remaining closeted at work affects their ability to perform their duties. According to the study, 25 percent of LGBT workers reported feeling distracted at work, 31 percent reported feeling sad or depressed at work, and 20 percent said they had stayed home from work before due to an uncomfortable work environment, according to the study. Twenty percent of LGBT workers searched for a different job. The music director said that while concealing her identity has not caused shortterm issues, it could become a problem. “I have the constant underlying feeling that I should not be in this job for the long run. As much as I love my job, which I really do, not being able to live authentically probably prevents me from wishing to pour my whole life’s energy and duration into this particular institution,” she said. While some companies may have more progressive policies in place to protect LGBT workers, leadership that is not proLGBT can inhibit LGBT employees from coming out. One in 10 LGBT employees have heard their supervisor make negative remarks regarding LGBT people, a statistic that has remained the same since HRC’s first workplace environment study in 2008. “A Workplace Divided” also found that

45 percent of LGBT workers agree that the enforcement of non-discrimination policies depends on their supervisor’s personal feelings about LGBT people. “If someone’s supervisor is not welcoming, that will impact the totality of their work,” Fidas said. “If your supervisor is signaling that they’re not welcoming, that defines a lot of the workplace experience.” The study used focus groups of 804 LGBTidentifying individuals. To compare the results with non-LGBT people, 811 straight individuals were surveyed. Fidas said there was a special focus on intersectionality to ensure that a wide range of perspectives were captured. Using the information from in-depth interviews, researchers analyzed the similarities and differences between the two groups. “We wanted to be as close to a representative sample of LGBTA folks of all walks of life to understand what folks are going through among the sample,” Fidas said. “It’s an effective way to get at the diversity of LGBT people.” The purpose of the study, Fidas said, was to raise awareness of issues LGBT workers face every day, and to get companies and leadership to read and share the findings. “We want this research, training and education to bridge some of this divide. It doesn’t benefit employers to have employees closeted. Being open will allow them to be creative and engaged in their work,” Fidas said. “I want this to start important conversations to help bridge the divide that we see in a lot of American workplaces.

Pioneering minister Robert Wood dies at 95 Early advocate of gay acceptance within Christian churches By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com Rev. Robert Wood, a Protestant minister who participated in gay rights demonstrations in the early 1960s and was the first known American clergy member to call on Christian churches to welcome gay people and recognize samesex marriage died on Aug. 20 at his home in Concord, N.H. He was 95. Malcolm Lazin, executive director of the Philadelphia-based LGBT civil rights organization Equality Forum, which oversees LGBT History Month, called Wood a major figure in the early LGBT rights movement’s efforts to build bridges to people of faith. In a write-up on Wood’s life and career, Lazin said Wood enlisted in the Army shortly after the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor in 1941 while he was a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rev. ROBERT WOOD was the first known American clergy member to call on Christian churches to welcome gay people. PHOTO COURTESY EQUALITY FORUM

He was severely wounded during the allied invasion of Italy, according to Lazin’s write-up, and later received the Army’s Combat Infantry Badge, the Purple Heart, two battle stars and the Bronze Star. Through financial assistance from the G.I. Bill, Wood graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in Ohio. In 1951, he was ordained as a minister in the Congregational Church and for the next 35 years served as a

parish pastor in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, Lazin’s write up says. Wood’s advocacy for LGBT people first surfaced in 1956 when a gay supportive article he wrote called “Spiritual Exercises” was published in a gay magazine. In an action unheard of at that time, Wood used his real name in the article’s byline and allowed the magazine to publish a photograph of him wearing his clerical collar, Lazin’s write-up says. In 1960, Wood wrote a book entitled “Christ and the Homosexual,” which became the first known published work by a clergyman to call on the Christian Church to welcome homosexuals and to recognize same-sex marriage, Lazin’s write-up says. Also in 1960 the Mattachine Society, one of the nation’s first gay rights organizations, honored Wood with its Award of Merit. In 1962, Wood met Hugh Coulter, an artist, cowboy, and World War II veteran. Lazin’s write-up says the two became a couple and remained together for 27 years until Coulter’s death in 1989. Wood’s role as an out gay rights activist continued in June 1965, when in clerical collar he marched in a picket line in front

of the White House with 26 other gay and lesbian activists in the first gay rights demonstration in the nation’s capital. The event was organized by D.C. gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny. On July 4, 1965 at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, Wood was among 40 activists, including Kameny and LGBT movement pioneer Barbara Gittings, in the first annual Reminders demonstration, which linked the then fledgling homosexual rights movement with the nation’s founding principles of democracy. “Wood participated in the Annual Reminders at Independence Hall each July 4 from 1965 to 1969,” Lazin said in his write-up. “These seminal Annual Reminders, which were the first to call for equality and involved activists from the East Coast, laid the groundwork for Stonewall and the LGBT civil rights movement,” Lazin said. Wood later appeared in the documentary “Gay Pioneers,” which profiles six early LGBT rights leaders who tell the story of the early LGBT rights movement.


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Mass. voters face referendum on trans rights CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

recourse under state law if they faced discrimination in employment, housing and education, but not if they’re turned away in bathrooms or other public accommodations in Massachusetts. David Topping, field director for Yes on 3, said the campaign is “working every day” to ensure Massachusetts voters know what’s at stake for transgender people if the referendum fails. “It means transgender people can be transgender at home, they can be transgender at work, they can be transgender at school, but they can’t go out in public and be transgender,” Topping said. Topping said Yes on 3 is “building a robust campaign” that includes staffers in major cities, such as Boston and Worcester. In terms of finances, Topping was reluctant to disclose goals, but said the campaign has a more than $1 million budget and reserved $1 million in airtime for TV ads throughout Massachusetts. The stakes are high not just for transgender people in Massachusetts. The referendum marks the first time a transgender non-discrimination measure will come before voters at a statewide level. The results will likely impact the national discussion on such protections. Kasey Suffredini, president of strategy at Freedom for All Americans, said the coalition seeking to uphold the law recognizes the outcome of the vote will have bearing outside Massachusetts. “It’s a fight of tremendous local significance because it impacts the very basic ability of transgender people to just about their daily lives in public,” Suffredini said. “It also has national significance because it is the first statewide vote on transgender non-discrimination protections in our country’s history, and the anti-transgender activist who put this question on the ballot have said if they are successful in Massachusetts, they will work to roll back LGBT protections across the country.” The question was placed on the ballot as a result of anti-trans groups gathering enough signatures for a voter-initiated referendum. In 2016, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin certified opponents of the law submitted 34,231 qualified signatures to out the measure up for a vote, which is slightly more than the 32,375 names needed. The referendum will be the latest in a series of votes across the United States in recent years on transgender access to

Massachusetts Gov. CHARLIE BAKER (R) signed a law barring discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations.

restrooms and public accommodations. In 2015, Houston voters rejected by a wide margin the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have banned discrimination against LGBT people and other groups in a range of areas, including employment, housing and public accommodations, after opponents inflamed fears about transgender people using the restroom, falsely suggesting the measure would enable child molestation. Things changed this year. In Anchorage, Alaska, voters upheld a portion of the city ordinance barring discrimination against transgender people in bathrooms and public accommodations by a 52-47 margin. The turnabout in this referendum three years after the Houston defeat was credited to transgender people in the city bringing their personal stories to the forefront. Topping was in Houston for the HERO campaign in 2015 in the last two weeks before Election Day. Recalling the disappointment when the results came in, Topping added the national movement has learned much since that time. “What we’ve learned from Houston and Anchorage is that when you talk to voters directly about what our opposition is saying, we can bring them back,” Topping

said. “What we do is we talk to voters at the door, over the phone, and explain to them why this fight is so important and help them process any concerns that they may have about the law, whether it’s about safety, whether it’s about what it means to be transgender or just in general what the law is actually.” Suffredini said Yes on 3 is “absolutely” applying lessons from earlier battles at the ballot over transgender rights and highlighting the stories of transgender people because there’s “no better way to destroy myths and stereotypes.” “The core of our efforts is elevating transgender voices and telling transgender stories so that voters can actually see through the misleading information that our opponents put out about who transgender people are, what nondiscrimination protections do and see that we are not the same as everybody else, but that protecting us from discrimination really doesn’t impact the welfare of anybody else,” Suffredini said. The final vote on the referendum could be a nail-biter. A poll from WBUR radio in May found a slim majority of Massachusetts voters — 52 percent — want to uphold the anti-discrimination

law, while 38 percent would vote to repeal it. Despite those numbers, Topping expressed confidence Massachusetts voters will affirm transgender rights at the ballot in November. “I am confident that Massachusetts voters will vote yes this year, but we can’t take that for granted,” Topping said. “We have a staff building across the state, having volunteer actions every single day when we’re talking to voters and where we really making sure that we’re discussing this campaign and talking to people about what it means to be transgender.” That win, Topping said, will send a signal throughout the rest of the country that voters will reject attempts to undermine transgender rights whenever they’re put up for a vote at the ballot. “I think that, hopefully, Massachusetts can set an example to the rest of the country that when these protections go the ballot, we will win every single time no matter where we are,” Topping said. The No on 3 campaign didn’t respond to the Washington Blade’s request to comment for this article on why repeal of the transgender non-discrimination law is necessary.



A U G U S T 24, 2018 • 15

New trans clinic opens in Nashville NASHVILLE — Vanderbilt University Medical Center will open a new clinic dedicated to transgender patients this week, expanding a limited-yet-growing number of options for transgender-tailored health care in Tennessee, The Tennessean reports. The clinic, which is intended as a comprehensive health care provider, will offer primary care, medical specialists, mental health services, hormone therapy and guidance both before and after transition surgery, according to an announcement from the hospital. The new clinic will open in the existing Vanderbilt Health Walk-in Clinic Bellevue, located at 7069-B Highway 70 South. “This new clinic allows us to meet our patients where they are in their journey and help them with the resources they need,” said Dr. Shayne Sebold Taylor, medical director of the clinic, in a comment to The Tennessean. “I can help them access Vanderbilt’s specialists allowing us to coordinate their care wherever they are in the transition process.” Primary care will be offered all week during regular clinic hours. Vanderbilt physicians and nurse practitioners will see patients by appointment on Fridays from 1-5 p.m. The new clinic will be dedicated to surgery patients one Friday per month, The Tennessean reports.

LGBT Latinx support offered in Boston BOSTON — Fenway Health is offering a new Spanish support group for Latinx LGBT people, The Rainbow Times reports. “Many LGBT people in the Latinx community struggle to reconcile their sexual orientation or gender identity with entrenched anti-LGBT cultural and religious stigma,” said Gerardo Moreno-Serrano, a bilingual psychotherapist at Fenway Health, who facilitates the group, according to The Rainbow Times. “Additionally, they must contend with racism and homophobia within our broader society, higher rates of HIV, immigration and asylum issues, and other issues of health and safety. Our group aims to give LGBT Latinx people the tools and support they need to live healthy, authentic, fulfilling lives.” About 1.4 million (4.3 percent) of Latinx adults in the U.S. identify as LGBT, the Times reports citing Williams Institute numbers. Data analysis by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs shows that LGBT Latinx people are more likely than people of other racial and ethnic minority backgrounds to experience hate violence. The community is also disproportionately affected by HIV. According to the CDC, gay and bisexual men accounted for 85 percent (7,271) of the HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino men in 2015. Hispanic and Latina transgender women are also significantly affected by HIV, the Rainbow Times article notes. The LGBTQ Process Group in Spanish for the Latinx community meets weekly at Fenway Health’s Ansin Building, 1340 Boylston St, 7th floor, from noon-1:15 p.m. every Wednesday. The group is an open and ongoing culturally sensitive intervention for the Spanish-speaking LGBT community to explore how race/ ethnicity, gender/sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, culture/traditions, family/society, and developmental stage have an impact on Latinx LGBT people. The group is open to Fenway Health patients and others (age 21 and up) regardless of where they get medical services and referrals are accepted on an ongoing basis, The Rainbow Times reports.

Denmark to revise blood donation laws in 2019 COPENHAGEN — Sexually active gay men in Denmark will be able to donate blood in 2019, the Copenhagen Post reports, citing the country’s health minister. The new rules mean gay men will be able to donate blood if they haven’t had sex with a man within a quarantine period of four months. The quarantine period is voided if the donor is in a relationship with one partner. “The authority has found a model we feel is safe and we will therefore incorporate it into Denmark. All safety mechanisms in our blood donation system are built on trust and we have some very advanced tests that screen the blood,” health officials said according to the Copenhagen Post. Advocates have been pushing for the change for several years, the paper said, but only last year did the country’s Authority for Patient Safety seriously look into a viable model. Since 2009, all donor blood has been screened in Denmark for the likes of HIV and hepatitis B and C.

Help advance HIV research.


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PO Box 53352 Washington DC 20009 PHONE

Return of the D.C. lesbian bar ‘I’m really glad you’re here’

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

Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Madonna, Amelia Earhart, Wanda Sykes, Janelle Monáe — one wall running alongside the space is decorated with an array of women of then and now, many queer, many who simply pushed the boundaries of gender and expression, power and politics, some just well ahead of their time. Last week, on opening night, A League of Her Own was packed and the energy inside palpable. The space itself occupies the first floor of Pitchers, the city’s newest gay bar opening in the heart of Adams

Morgan. The city hasn’t seen a dedicated space for lesbian and queer women in almost three years, a turnaround of a worrying trend that saw many cities, even the fabled San Francisco, close the last of its lesbian bars. Again, the place is packed. “We have a space to be ourselves,” Alden told me. “A solid space,” she went on. There are plenty of gay bars in the city, but to have a dedicated space for women within the gay community is something different. Alden said that “it’s hard walking into a gay bar and knowing it’s not really yours.” A League of Her Own is seeking to change all that. A bar with a sort of sports theme, it’s fitting that one person I talked to described it as a new “home base” for queer women. Casey, Amy, Robin, and June were congregating across the bar, all from D.C. and Northern Virginia. On the opening of a new queer women’s bar, “It’s about time,” one said. On the importance of queer spaces in the city, “it helps people find community,” they told me, adding that E DIT OR IA L C A R T OON

“the way in which we survive is through our connections.” Traditionally, gay bars have been more than just queer watering holes. Bars seem to take on roles as community centers, places to congregate and activate. Indeed in its short time, Pitchers has already raised thousands of dollars for local charities like Casa Ruby. I found Kinsey and Esther upstairs socializing on one of the two roof decks at Pitchers. Kinsey looked around, turned back to us and noted that “this looks like a family reunion.” “I haven’t seen some of these faces in years,” Esther told me. The city’s last lesbian bar, Phase 1, sputtered along until finally officially closing its doors two years ago. Opening in 1970 in D.C.’s Barrack’s Row section of Capitol Hill, Phase 1 held the title for some time of the longest continuously operating lesbian bar in the country. The building sold for more than $3 million last year. The website is still up, though. On the return of the lesbian bar: “Let’s celebrate this shit,” Kinsey said. Back downstairs, I chatted with Joe the bartender and manager of A League of Her Own. Since moving to D.C. some 13 years ago, she’s seen a turn behind the bar at practically every gay establishment in the city at one time or another. She described it to me as “if you put booze in a space, gay men will come. Gay men will come and connect with the space. Women connect with each other,” she said. For queer women, connections seem somehow more authentic, genuine, as networks are more often built on activism and shared experiences. Waiting on her food order, I found Morgan, who came all the way from Fort Meade, Md., probably an hour’s drive. She seemed to echo what I had been hearing upstairs. “The one thing we have in common. . .is that we all have each other.” Just then Kinsey and Esther passed behind us, on their way back down the three or four steps to A League of Her Own. Kinsey put her arm around Esther, leaned in and said, “Hey, I’m really glad you’re here.” I suppose people need their own bars, their own spaces, if not just to hear that.

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




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‘Cardinal Wuerl is not telling the truth’ Evasions continue in wake of grand jury report on child sexual abuse by priests

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

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington and former Bishop of Pittsburgh, responded like a politician to the Pennsylvania grand jury report on child sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses: by covering his ass. “I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse,” His Eminence insisted. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro responded, “Cardinal Wuerl is not telling the truth. Many of his statements in response to the Grand Jury Report are directly contradicted by the Church’s own documents and records from their Secret Archives. Offering misleading statements now only furthers the cover up.” Yes.

Reading a fraction of the report leaves you numb. Three hundred priests sexually abused 1,000 victims. The catalog of outrages runs 900 pages. Here I will cite just one case, that of Father Ernest Paone of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. “In … another confidential memorandum sent … to Wuerl, Paone’s various assignments and sexual abuse complaints were again listed in detail. The Grand Jury noted that this process showed no concern for public safety or the victims of child sexual abuse. Approximately 41 years after the Diocese learned that Paone was sexually assaulting children, he was finally retired from active ministry. In spite of Wuerl’s statements to the Vatican, the clear and present threat that Paone posed to children was hidden and kept secret from parishioners in three states.” The Roman Catholic Church is the world’s largest religious organization, and is used to holding itself above the law. The abuses described in the grand jury report persisted for decades, shielded by evasions that would not be accepted from a child. Our public order substantially relies on norms of behavior. It is a deep irony that one such norm is respect for the very moral authority misused by the church in betraying its position of trust. The pull that the church exerts on those weaned at her breast, and the

customary assumption that priests are above reproach, provides cover, however unintended, for corruption. Christ said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea.” Drowning is a bit drastic. But until there is real accountability, and public relations campaigns are no longer the first response to scandal, the church will face continued distrust from congregations and potential converts due to its facilitation and coverup of child sexual abuse. In my own historically Catholic family, my youngest sister suggested boycotting churches or putting condolence letters to the victims in the collection basket. An article in LGBTQ Nation is headlined, “American Catholic leaders blame the Pennsylvania sex abuse scandal on gays.” This is perhaps overly broad. The article quotes only two people with the views described: Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, whom Pope Francis removed as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican supreme court) in 2014 and reappointed as a cardinal member in 2017. Church leaders have often deflected criticism regarding sexual abuse by

scapegoating gay clergy. But the creaky libel of gays as child molesters does not withstand scrutiny. Instead of assuming a defensive crouch, LGBT Catholics and their allies are encouraging Church leaders to end the treachery of the closet and offer gay people a healthier option than lifelong celibacy. Rev. James Martin, S.J. wrote a book, “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.” New abuse cases decreased after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in 2002. The new grand jury report will boost continued reform efforts by clergy and laity. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has persevered despite persecution from bishops. New Ways Ministry educates and advocates for LGBT Catholics. His Holiness says he is on the side of the abuse victims. Let him then accept resignations from Wuerl and others who covered up sexual crimes by priests against children, and stop the silencing of victims. Let the church be shaken to its foundations; for were they not strongly laid? Copyright © 2018 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.


Term limits, retirement at 80 for Congress, Supreme Court Rethinking the rules of our democracy

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

We are approaching the time to seriously discuss term limits and a mandatory retirement age for Congress and the Supreme Court. While never before a proponent of either looking at the current members of Congress and the court has me rethinking my position. Doing this would require a constitutional amendment, which is unlikely to pass today; but it is something worth having a national discussion about. Also included in the discussion should be doing away with the Electoral College. For years the percentage of voters actually voting in a presidential election has hovered in the 50-58 percent range. There are many reasons for the low numbers and

much lower ones in midterm elections. A major one might be people no longer think it matters. Young people and millennials apparently don’t believe they have a connection to the people leading our nation. The Democratic Party has a number of politicians who will be 80 or within spitting range of it saying they are actively considering running for president in 2020. Others nearing that age will be in line to become president due to the office they hold. There is a mandatory retirement age for membership on many corporate boards and other jobs such as airline pilots and air-traffic controllers have mandatory retirement ages. Currently in the U.S. Senate, 25 members (or 25 percent) are over 70 and eight members are over 80. Any discussion on term limits should look at whether the current two-year term for members of the House of Representatives makes sense. With today’s need to raise exorbitant amounts of money to run; members find the day after they are sworn in they must start running for reelection. It might make more sense to have a four-year term for members of the House. Then we should consider a six-term limit allowing members to serve up to 24 years. If Senate terms remain at six years there could be a four-term limit allowing them up to 24 years in office.

Instead of lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court it might make sense to apply a 24-year limit on service. These limits would allow people to serve for what is generally considered a full generation. Then the retirement age could be applied to all of them. The idea of asking people to retire at 80 will be attacked as ageist and the concept of term limits has been attacked by those who say term limits already exist because voters have the right to not reelect someone. Up until recently I agreed. But today there are people running for the Senate who will be nearly 90 when their term ends and others, one in South Florida, running in a primary to be a freshman member of the House when she will be nearly 80 when sworn in should she win. Considering achieving seniority in the House today takes about 10 years, she would have to be reelected five times and would be nearly 90 by that time. If we are serious about getting young people and a generation of millennials to vote it might be easier if we aren’t asking them to vote for candidates who are old enough to be their grandparents or great grandparents. This is not to say there aren’t many people age 80 and over who are able to do their jobs. But reality is anyone who has followed the careers of the septuagenarians and those older in Congress closely over the past few years

has seen they, like others their age, do start to slow down. Now members of Congress are given large staffs to work for them and members of the Supreme Court don’t have that heavy a load; but we must question why they wouldn’t want to step off center stage and allow younger generations to take the reins of leadership. It can be assumed some of the reason involves ego but that shouldn’t be enough to keep them there. There are many opportunities for those of us over 70 to make use of the experience and the wisdom we have gained over the years. We can advise young people and mentor them if they ask as they move up in their careers. There are countless non-profit organizations that would welcome a former member of Congress working with them. And nothing would stop them from becoming advisers to a new generation of politicians. They won’t need the money because if they are of retirement age after 24 years of service they are provided with generous pensions and healthcare for life. I am not naïve enough to think this will happen right away but it should be part of the discussion on how we can improve our political system and make the Congress and the court more representative of what the country looks like today and what it will look like in the future.


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‘Far from the Tree’ will enrich your understanding of family

KATHI WOLFE, a writer and poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade.

Jean, my stepmom and I loved each other. Yet, though she tried very hard, Jean couldn’t understand what it’s like for me to be lesbian and legally blind. After many years, she stopped believing that lesbians are disgusting and became a supporter of marriage equality. Jean was proud of me. She’d post every poem I wrote on her fridge. Yet, Jean felt that I’d have had a much happier life if I hadn’t been queer and visually impaired. Nearly every queer and/or disabled person I know has experienced this feeling of both love and isolation from their family. This disconnection often doesn’t come from lack of parental love. We’re disconnected from our families because our identities are so different from theirs. Mister Rogers taught us to like everyone as they are. But that’s difficult to do if we can’t find bridges between differences.

The experience of ourselves and our families is rarely accurately represented on screen. Thankfully, ”Far From the Tree,” a new documentary playing nationally, directed by Emmy Award-wining Rachel Dretzin, speaks eloquently to our experience. The film, available on Video On Demand, is adapted from the best-selling 2012 book with the same title by gay writer Andrew Solomon. The documentary tells eye-opening stories of difference and identity. Solomon, an LGBTQ rights activist and a Columbia University Medical Center professor of clinical psychology, is a producer of the film. Solomon’s book tells hundreds of stories of parents who love, but struggle to relate to children who are so unlike them. For the book, Solomon profiled families with children who were autistic, deaf, transgender, criminals, people with dwarfism or different in other ways from their parents. The 93-minute film, though it features only a few people, is no less powerful than the book. Through the doc, we meet Jason who has Down syndrome and his mom; Jack, an autistic teen; Loini who feels that she’s found her tribe when she attends the Little People of America convention for the first time; the Reese fam-

ily whose teenage son Trevor has murdered a child; and Joe Stramondo and Leah Smith, a hetero married couple with dwarfism. Like the parents featured in the film who struggle to comprehend their children’s identities, Solomon’s folks, when he was growing up, didn’t understand his gay identity. On screen, Solomon talks movingly about his life. “I think my mother imagined that her first-born son would be part of the real mainstream, the kind of kid who was popular at school, athletic, at ease in the world and basically quite conventional,” he says, “And instead she got me.” Why does “Far From the Tree” speak so forcefully to me and many others who are queer and disabled? Because so few people have recognized the parallels between the different facets of ourselves and our families’ attempts to not only love, but understand us. Don’t get me wrong. The film doesn’t imply that different identities are alike. It doesn’t say that having Down syndrome, being a little person or autistic is the same as being queer; or that being a criminal is the same as being LGBTQ or disabled. What “Far From the Tree” does say is this: Parents love their children no matter how different their identity is from theirs.

“You love your children,” Solomon says, “It isn’t really up to you. They just have come along and changed you.” When I was young, homosexuality was considered an illness. If I’d have come out to my parents as a teenager, they’d likely have sent me to a psychiatrist. Though things have radically changed, I worry that in the Trump era this progress could be set back. Many people believe that I want to be healed. They don’t get that my vision impairment isn’t a tragedy; it isn’t just eye disease. It’s a part of my identity. Leah Smith and Joe Stramondo don’t want to be cured of their dwarfism. It’s essential to who they are. There are similarities in experiences of oppression between queer and disabled people, Joe Stramondo emailed the Blade. “There is a history of LGBTQ people being regarded as ‘defective’ and in need of a fix or cure,” he wrote, “to most people outside of disability activist circles, it is almost unthinkable to regard disability as an identity to have pride in rather than a defect to be fixed.” “Far From the Tree” does much to correct this misperception. Check it out. It’ll enrich your understanding of identity and family.


A U G U ST 2 4 , 2 0 1 8 • 1 9


A TWO NIGHT EVENT LABOR DAY WEEKEND at the Rehoboth Mall, 18908 Rehoboth Mall Boulevard (Please enter the Rehoboth Mall on the side facing Route 1, next to Tuesday Morning).


SUNDANCE: RAINBOW XXX | SUNDAY, SEPT. 3 The party begins at 8 PM, with dancing until 2 AM.. Open Bar all night. MUSIC: DJ/REMIXER JOE GAUTHREAUX | LIGHTS: PAUL TURNER Shuttle transportation available from downtown Rehoboth Beach throughout the night. Tickets $45 per event or $80 for both events. CAMPREHOBOTH.COM, CALL: 302.227.5620




Pre-need Specialist, Scott Burdette









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The Manhattan Transfer

Featuring the American Festival Pops Orchestra

Family Series

Virginia Opera

Saturday, September 30 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Saturday, October 6 at 8 p.m. Sunday, October 7 at 2 p.m.


Street Scene

SE CF AS A’ O S1 N 8 BE /1 GI 9 NS !

Daniel Hope and Friends Air-A Baroque Journey

Friday, November 2 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, September 29 at 8:30 p.m. This performance is part of the ARTS by George! benefit.


Located on the Fairfax campus, six miles west of Beltway exit 54 at the intersection of Braddock Road and Rt. 123.

Apply for Discounts on Your Utility Bills Discounts are Subject to Income Eligibility Requirements

- Apply for Discounted Rates on Telephone

Lifeline Program (Economy II)

Annual discount on one land line service per household.

Natural Gas

Residential Essential Service (RES) Program

Potential savings up to $276 during the winter heating season.


Residential Aid Discount (RAD) Program

Potential savings are between $300-$475 annually.


Customer Assistance Program (CAP)

Potential discount could be over $450 annually.

For more info call 311 or visit doee.dc.gov/udp


To apply for the telephone Lifeline Service (Economy II), call 800-253-0846. These programs are for DC residents only.

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DANA MARSH says he developed an affinity for classical music at an early age. PHOTO BY DAVID BETTS; COURTESY METROPOLITAN PHOTOGRAPHY

A new era for the Washington Bach Consort Classical music ensemble welcomes lauded director By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com To say the Washington Bach Consort was sent reeling with the June 2016 death of its founder J. Reilly Lewis is an understatement. Lewis founded the Consort in 1977 dedicated to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach — arguably the most towering figure in the history of western music — and his contemporaries. Its board opted to use its 2017-2018 40th season as a lengthy audition process for a new artistic director. Dana Marsh, an Eastman-trained singer/conductor/ organist, has secured the position and will open the 41st season on Sunday, Sept. 16 with “Handel & Bach: Sing a

New Song” at National Presbyterian Church (4101 Nebraska Ave., N.W.; details at bachconsort.org). Marsh received “very enthusiastic support” from Consort musicians, Charles Reifel, head of the group’s artistic committee and a Consort board member, said in a press release. “We feel very fortunate to have found him.” He holds a master’s and doctoral degree in historical musicology from the University of Oxford and has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as an “energetic and persuasive conductor” and dubbed a “powerful and expressive countertenor” by the New York Times. He taught early

music history at Oxford and Cambridge universities. Marsh, 56 and gay, is starting his fifth year as associate professor of music and director of the Historical Performance Institute at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He’ll continue there and commute to Washington to lead the Consort. Marsh spoke to the Blade by phone last week from his Indiana office. His comments have been slightly edited for length.

mission. True? DANA MARSH: Yes, there’s a great deal of overlap. What I do at Indiana University is considered historical performance where we use period instruments that are different from the versions used in modern orchestras that have been updated hugely. We try to do a bit of period drama and I direct at department at Indiana University that deals with that and the Washington Bach Consort also performs with period instruments.

WASHINGTON BLADE: It sounds like your work at the Historical Performance Institute will dovetail with the Consort’s

BLADE: I was reading some liner notes CONTINUES ON PAGE 32

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By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com Jeanette “MsNightLyfe” Ferrell says poetry chose her rather than the other way around. “Poetry got into me when I began to self destruct,” the 39-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, native says. “It shattered everything I thought I was and showed me the light within. Poetry is my place of peace.” Ferrell says most of her poems are written and never shared while some are performed and published via her blog and various books she’s had published. Ferrell also writes for local and national magazines and also writes novels and short stories. She calls poetry her “second full-time job.” Ferrell earned her nickname when she started writing. Her main subjects were nightclubs and indie artists so she was always out visiting nightlife hot spots. Her book “Reclaiming My Time” was released last summer, a practical guide to self care written for women of color. Ferrell calls it a “call to action to take care of yourself before assisting others.” “It’s had an exceptional response,” Ferrell says. “It’s been used at women’s empowerment seminars, self-care workshops and women’s organizations at a couple of colleges.” Ferrell blogs at sweettoothmedia.com and will host “Femme Fatale: Healing He(ART),” a workshop on Sept. 21. Visit her website for more information. Ferrell, a lesbian, works by day as an academic enrichment coordinator. She came to the area two years ago for marriage and a new job. She and partner TJ live in Fort Washington, Md. She enjoys writing, traveling, meditation and wine in her free time.


How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I came out at the age of 17 (22 years ago). The hardest person to tell was my father. Who’s your LGBT hero?

Nikki Giovanni

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? Wicked Bloom Mondays and A2Zee Friday happy hours at Decades. Describe your dream wedding. An intimate island wedding at sunset.

sexual orientation, what would you do? Nothing, I am fabulous just as I am. They say God makes no mistakes. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? In a multidimensional universe. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Remain visible and vigilant. What would you walk across hot coals for? To pay off my student loan debt

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Black Lives Matter and education.

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? That lesbians move really fast. (U-Haul)

What historical outcome would you change? Slavery would never have existed.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar”

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Beyonce’s “Lemonade”

What’s the most overrated social custom? Recording trauma on cell phones.

On what do you insist? That people buy and read my book, “Reclaiming My Time.”

What trophy or prize do you most covet? My Tagg Magazine Enterprising Woman of the Year award and Teacher of the Year award

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? An invite to a cruise that I’m featured on next summer. If your life were a book, what would the title be? “May the Odds Forever Be in Your Favor” If science discovered a way to change

What do you wish you’d known at 18? I wished I would have known then to keep working toward my goals, without cessation or breaks. Why Washington? It’s the nation’s capital and love called me. The diversity is amazing here and it has done wonders for my art form.



A U G U S T 24, 2018 • 23

Dating anyone? Gay D.C. newbie frustrated by hookup culture

I’m really discouraged. When I have sex with someone I just met, I feel sleazy and really unsatisfied. And now when I go on an app, I feel like I’m participating in this weird and depressing objectification ritual. I would just like to really get to know someone! MICHAEL REPLIES:

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 22 and just moved to D.C. in June after graduating college and I’m having a horrible time adjusting to gay life here. Doesn’t anyone want to date in this city? Almost every guy I’ve met online so far only wants to hook up, even when we have met for a drink or coffee. If we make plans to meet again (AKA a date) the other guy really just wants to have sex, no matter what we have put on the agenda. When I feel like there’s more than just a physical connection, then the guy invariably says he just wants to be friends. As if there’s something wrong with having a physical relationship with someone you like? I was waiting to get a haircut today and the guys waiting on either side of me at the salon were both going through hookup apps the entire time they were sitting there. Suddenly I had the realization that all the guys I’ve met in this town just are looking for the next sexual conquest and aren’t interested in anything other than physical connection, usually one time only. No one I’ve met really wants to talk about anything that might lead us to get to know each other, just really surface-y stuff. Or, my favorite, preferred sexual position. Really? I joined a sports league hoping to meet people in some other way. All we do after playing is go out and drink. Or go to a restaurant, where everyone is looking at hookup apps on their phones while we wait for the food. I feel like I’m in “The Stepford Wives” and every other guy has gotten his brain hijacked. I come from a small town and went to a small college that didn’t really have a gay presence. So I’m ready to start my life as a gay man. But it seems no other gay men have the same desire for a relationship as I do. Is this just a D.C. thing or is it a gay man thing?

Don’t let yourself get discouraged. You aren’t the only guy who feels this way. I hear your complaint from a lot of people and I don’t know every gay man in Washington, not by a long shot. So clearly, there are many guys out there looking for more than an endless string of hookups. At the same time, what you’re observing is real. It’s not just a gay male thing: Lots of people, especially in younger generations, aren’t really interested in dating or relationships. And what you’re describing is also a gay male thing: men (stereotype acknowledged) often enjoy pursuing and having no-strings sex and multiple partners. But simply because many guys want to go this route doesn’t mean that you have to give up your dream of a different path. OK, you’ve had some bad experiences with the sports league you joined. Time to move on. The question to ask yourself, again and again: What else can I do to meet another guy whom I might like to date? Summer is drawing to a close but there are still plenty of group activities for gay men with all kinds of interests. Look around, find some possibilities you might like and jump in. Do you have any religious faith? Find a gay-friendly service to attend. Take a class in some subject that interests you, at an institute of higher learning or a museum. Start a meet-up and see who shows up. Join a gay hiking group. Don’t give up. You’ve got plenty of time. And for gosh sakes, keep your eyes off your phone when you’re out and about. When I walk by a bus stop at rush hour, it makes me sad to see everyone staring at their phones. This is a great way to avoid the anxiety of being around people you don’t know, but totally gets in the way of real-life encountering. If you’re aware of the people around you, you may catch the eye of someone you might want to interact with. If this happens, consider taking a chance and actually saying hi. These are my ideas and I imagine that readers of this column may have many more inspiring suggestions for ways you can meet guys without going online. Request to all readers: If you’d like to share your success stories of finding gay love in D.C., shoot me an email. I’m hoping to get some more great suggestions that I can feature in an upcoming column.


Colonel Larry H. Lang, Commander and Conductor

Heritage to Horizons Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. “Strengthening Alliances” featuring The Airmen of Note, Air Force Strings and Singing Sergeants

Air Force Memorial

1 Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA



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This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com


Passion Thru Sep 23. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org.

Set in 1860s Italy, this gorgeous musical ignites a fiery love triangle when a handsome army captain is transferred to a remote military outpost and into the blinding infatuation of Fosca, the ailing cousin of his superior. Fosca’s fervent longing draws him in as it threatens to upend his career in an exhilarating tangle of obsession, desire, madness, and above all, passion.

Jazz in the Garden: Speakers of the House Friday. Aug 24. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov.

Final Cnocert of the Season! Speakers of the House is a mash up of 2 of the area’s more popular and diverse bands…….All Mighty Senators and The Junkyard Saints. The band was formed 3 years ago in an effort to play the old school funk, boogaloo and rock that we all listen to.

Wonder Woman Aug 26. Strathmore. strathmore.org.

Come early to stake out your spot, enjoy pre-show activities.

Remix: Black Out Thurusday. Aug 30. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. npg.si.edu.

What’s old is new again in a happy hour that fuses the past with the present and draws inspiration from the special exhibition Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now. PHOTO COURTESY OF SIGNATURE THEATRE

THEATRE Blues Revolution featuring Akua Allrich. Thru Aug 25. Passion. Thru Sep 23. Signature Theatre. sigtheatre.org. Don Cristobol. Thru Sep 9. Pointless Theatre at Dance Loft. pointlesstheatre.com. Hamilton. Thru Sep 7. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Naked Girls Reading Presents: Reading Banned Books. Aug 24. In the Closet. Thru Sep 15. DC Arts Center (DCAC). dcartscenter.org. Shear Madness. Aug 28-Sep 30. Kennedy Center. shearmadness.com.

Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl. Aug 29-Sep 23. Round House. roundhousetheatre.org. The Bridges of Madison County. Thru Sep 2. Keegan Theatre. keegantheatre.com. The Color Purple. Thru Aug 26. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org.

DANCE Art Project BORA Tail Language. Aug 29. Korean Cultural Center DC at Kennedy Center. koreaculturedc.org.

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Aug 24. Bollywood Boulevard: A Journey Through Hindi Cinema. Aug 26. Kenny G and The Tenors. Aug 30. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org. In Series: Viva V.E.R.D.I Director’s Salon. Aug 27. In Series at Casa Italiana. inseries.org. Jazz in the Basement with Brian Settles and Anthony Priog. Aug 26. Goethe-Institut. goethe.de. Jazz in the Garden: Speakers of the House. Aug 24. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. Live from the Lawn: The Sweetback Sisters. Aug 29. Strathmore. strathmore.org. Violin and Piano Chamber Music Concert. Aug 26. Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association at The Lyceum. wmpamusic.org.

MUSEUMS Dumbarton Oaks. Outside/IN: Martha Jackson Jarvis at Dumbarton Oaks. Thru Sep 2. doaks.org. Folger Shakespeare Library. Form & Function: The Genius of the Book. Thru Sep 23. folger.edu. Kreeger Museum. Against the Day by Richard Deutsch. Thru Jan 1. Reinstallation of the Permanent Collection. Thru Dec 31. kreegermuseum.org. Library of Congress. Drawn to Purpose. Thru Oct 20. Baseball Americana. Thru Jun 29. loc.gov. National Archives. Remembering Vietnam. Thru Jan 6. archivesfoundation.org. National Gallery of Art. Water, Wind, and Waves: Marine Paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. Thru Nov 25. Exhibition: Sense of Humor. Thru Jan 6. 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. Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018. Thru Sep 16. Bound to Amaze: Inside a Book-Collecting Career. Thru Nov 25. nmwa.org. Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. ACM 50th Anniversary Program: Block Watch. Thru Feb 28. A Right to the City. Thru Apr 20. anacostia.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. National Portrait Gallery

- Recent Acquisitions. Thru Nov 4. Portraits of the World: Switzerland. Thru Nov 12. npg.si.edu.

GALLERIES African American Civil War Memorial and Museum. 20th Anniversary Celebration: Hubert Jackson & Curtis Woody. Thru Sep 30. zenithgallery.com. Del Ray Artisans. Ancestry. Thru Sep 2. delrayartisans.org. District Architecture Center. 2018 Professional Awards of the Potomac Chapter, ASLA. Thru Aug 31. Beyond Practice: Watercolors by David Cox, FAIA. Thru Aug 31. aiadac.com. Dupont Underground. 20/20: Double Vision. Thru Aug 28. dupontunderground.org. Gallery Clarendon. Gallery Clarendon August Show. Thru Sep 9. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Gallery Underground. “POWER OF NATURE” Juried Exhibition. Thru Aug 31. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Glen Echo Park. Organic Growth: Meaghan Busch and Annalisa Leonessa. Thru Aug 26. Design Domain: Contemporary Furniture and Inspired Decor. Thru Aug 26. Art Walk in the Park: First Friday of every month thru September. Thru Sep 7. 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. Korean Cultural Center DC. K-Arts Exhibitions: Expanding Spacetime: Works by Chae Eun Rhee and Sky Kim. Thru Sep 4. koreaculturedc.org. Metro Micro Gallery. Pop: Recall Cory Oberndorfer. Thru Aug 24. metromicrogallery.com. Strathmore. Jennifer Kahn Barlow. Thru Dec 1. strathmore.org. The Art League. Value Exhibit. Thru Sep 2. Ito Briones A Murder in Bruges: Cast of Characters. Thru Sep 2. theartleague.org. VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital. Atomic Dog and Consequential Cat. Thru Sep 30. delrayartisans.org. Zenith Gallery. Expressing Humanity: Historical, Spiritual & Symbolic. Thru Sep 22. zenithgallery.com. Zenith Sculpture Space. Zenith Comes of Age: 24 years at 413 7th St, NW. Thru Aug 25. Traveling Full Circle. Aug 27-Jan 5. zenithgallery.com.



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Washington-area athletes at this month’s Gay Games in Paris.

Team D.C. athletes capture 226 medals at Gay Games Area swimmers shatter 15 IGLA records at quadrennial summit By KEVIN MAJOROS The 10th edition of the Gay Games ended on Aug. 11 in Paris. About 10,000 athletes from 91 countries vied for medals in 36 sports. Athletes from Team D.C. hauled in 226 medals in 12 sports with the swimmers from District of Columbia Aquatics Club leading the way with 120 medals. The swimmers competed at the swimming venue of the 1924 Olympics and D.C. swimmers shattered 15 IGLA (International LGBT Aquatics) world records. “I think Team DC represented very strong and we had a very diverse group of athletes. I am so proud of everyone,” says Brent Minor, founder and executive director of Team D.C. who was attending his seventh Gay Games. “It was nice meeting people who were competing at the Gay Games for the first time. These Games completely reinforced my belief that this event is good for our community, especially on an international scale. It’s nice to be reminded of that every four years.” A couple things noted this year were that Team D.C. had sports couples competing together in swimming, rowing, golf, tennis, road running and volleyball. Also noted from conversations with athletes from around the world is that some older athletes are switching to sports that have less impact on their bodies. Their desire to compete is still strong and they are finding new sports to remain tied to the Gay Games. The next edition of the Gay Games will be contested in Hong Kong in 2022 and marks the first time that the event has been held in Asia.

A Gay Games reunion and celebration party is in the works for mid-September for all the D.C. athletes and their friends. Below is a list of the Team D.C. medal winners. Swimming Sara Hewitt – 3 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze Craig Franz – 6 Gold Jay Fisette – 4 Gold, 4 Silver Matt Kinney – 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze Logan Dawson – 2 Gold, 2 Bronze Barry Haddan – 4 Gold, 1 Silver Neill Williams – 6 Gold, 1 Silver Noura Hemady – 5 Gold, 3 Silver Dawson Nash – 2 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze Amr El-Sayed – 6 Gold, 1 Silver Patrick Barrett – 2 Gold, 1 Silver Tommy Scibilia – 3 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze Jerry Frentsos – 8 Gold Jeff Mead – 4 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze Jay Calhoun – 3 Gold Corey Carlisle – 3 Gold, 1 Silver Kevin Majoros – 3 Gold Arthur Staub – 3 Gold Jack Markey – 2 Gold, 1 Silver Brent Quinn – 1 Silver Eric Czander – 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze John Tustin – 1 Gold Drew Fitzmorris – 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze Greg Koch – 1 Gold Fred Dever – 2 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze Open Water Swimming Jay Calhoun – 1 Gold Drew Fitzmorris – 1 Bronze Craig Franz – 1 Gold Soccer Earl Armstrong – 1 Silver John Corr – 1 Silver Geoff Duvall – 1 Silver Emory Ellis – 1 Silver

Jim Ensor – 1 Silver Ross Furbush – 1 Silver DJ Holland – 1 Silver Oliver Jacob – 1 Silver Ian Jenkins – 1 Silver Kyle McAleese – 1 Silver Alex Paterson – 1 Silver Kevin Smith – 1 Silver Zach Straus – 1 Silver Mark Summerside – 1 Silver Kevin Taylor – 1 Silver Scott Teribury – 1 Silver Brandon Warner – 1 Silver John Whitfield – 1 Silver Craig Williams – 1 Silver Track & Field Jeff Dutton – 1 Bronze Allison Brager – 8 Gold, 1 Silver Thomas Nguyen – 3 Gold, 1 Bronze Road Running Lennie Carter – 1 Bronze Grace Thompson – 1 Silver Joan Bellsey – 1 Gold Maura Hackett – 2 Bronze Fencing Andrew Byun – 1 Bronze Golf John Guzman – 1 Gold, 1 Bronze Steve Sparks – 1 Bronze Paul Sliwka – 1 Bronze Triathlon Leslie Hill – 1 Bronze Hunter Gaiotti – 1 Bronze Bryan Frank – 1 Gold Philip Deeter – 1 Bronze Bowling Matthew Todd-Adrik – 1 Bronze Tennis Reese Scott – 2 Gold

Tim Murphy – 1 Silver Mateo Barney – 1 Bronze Robbie Cao – 1 Bronze Vincent Travaglione – 1 Bronze Rowing Jeff Morrison – 2 Silver, 1 Bronze Steve O’Banion – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze Joey Bowman – 1 Silver Pedro Falto – 2 Silver Brian Hackney – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze Joseph McGuirk – 1 Silver, 2 Bronze Berin Szoka – 1 Bronze Samir Bitar – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze Jude Graham – 1 Silver Rondel Milton – 1 Silver Nate Swinton – 1 Silver John Lucier – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze Lindsay Cochrane – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze Volleyball Bill Christmas – 1 Gold Mike Snyder – 1 Gold John Wang – 1 Gold Jason Tolton – 1 Gold Alex Benjamin – 1 Gold Jesse Anderson – 1 Gold Gabriel Saucedo – 1 Gold Eric Brielmann – 1 Gold Will Hansen – 1 Gold Steve Post – 1 Bronze Kevin Galens – 1 Bronze Kent Hansen – 1 Bronze Michael Gordon – 1 Bronze Adam Bocek – 1 Bronze Tim Claus – 1 Bronze Jack Fleming – 1 Bronze Kyle Anthony – 1 Bronze George Atiyeh – 1 Gold David Chang – 1 Gold Joshua Schwartz – 1 Gold Austin Bowen – 1 Gold Tyler Jacob – 1 Gold Lynn Katoa – 1 Gold Julian Dawson – 1 Gold Tim Mechlinski – 1 Gold


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TODAY The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Woof, a happy hour, this evening from 5-11 p.m. Drink specials run through 11 p.m. Free pizza will be served at 7:30 p.m. No cover before 9:30 p.m. For more details, visit facebook.com/eagledc. Reel Affirmations and Center Latinx present a screening of “Hard Paint (Tinta Bruta)” at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. “Hard Paint (Tinta Bruta)” tells the story of a reclusive cam boy whose niche is spreading neon paint on his body. When he hears that a rival is ripping off his body

CA LE N D A R & O U T &A BO U T paint act, he tries to find the person in the outside world. After the screening, Shareese Mone from Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center will speak on its local campaign to decriminalize sex work. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/events/hardpaint. Gamma D.C., a support group for men in mixed-orientation relationships, meets at Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Ave., N.W.) today from 7:309:30 p.m. The group is for men who are attracted to men but are currently or were at one point in relationships with women. Meeting locations are in private residences. For more information about the group and location, visit gammaindc.org.

SATURDAY, AUG. 25 LezBeSocial, LitLivesMatter and Daryl Wilson Promotions host the Biggest Pool Party #LGBT Edition tonight from 7 p.m.midnight. Location will be given to guests at a later date. Drinks and food will be


Sundance 2018 is next weekend CAMP Rehoboth presents Sundance 2018: In the Name of Love, a two-night party, at Rehoboth Beach Convention Center (229 Rehoboth Ave., Del.) on Sept. 1-2. The Sundance Auction, a silent and live auction, kicks off the weekend on Saturday, Sept. 1 from 7-10 p.m. There will be an open bar and food. Lorne Crawford will serve as auctioneer and Stephen Strasser will play music for the evening. On Sunday, Sept. 2, there will be two dances. The Sundance is from 7 p.m.2.am. and will feature music from DJ Joe Gauthreaux. There will be an open bar all night. At the same time as Sundance, there will be the Sundance Disco Twilight Tea featuring music from Studio 54 DJ Robbie Leslie. Tickets are $80 for both days or $45 for one day. All proceeds will benefit CAMP Rehoboth. For more details, visit camprehoboth.com.

Flashy Sundays returns Sept. 2 Flash (645 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts Flashy Sundays Labor Day Weekend, a holiday dance party, on Sunday, Sept. 2 from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. There will be a drag show on the roof deck at 11:30 p.m. and another show at 1 a.m. featuring drag performers Kristina Kelly, Gabrielle Dupree and Labella Mafia. DJ Twin and DJ Sean Morris will spin tracks on the main floor while DJ Mike Babbitt plays music on the roof deck. Admission is free for the first floor. Cover is $20 for the main floor and roof deck. For more information, visit facebook.com/flashydc.


‘Hard Paint (Tinta Bruta)’ screens tonight at HRC headquarters.

provided. There will also be hot body and swimsuit contests. Floaties are allowed. DJ Honey will spin tracks. Tickets are $27.62. For more details, search “Biggest Pool Party #LGBT Edition” on Facebook. Bar Roubaix (1400 Irving St., N.W.) hosts a drag night tonight from 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Desiree Dik hosts the show. Performing queens include Sylvanna Duvél, Ivanna Vivaldi, Nubia Love-Jackson and Paul Warren as Paula. DJ Milko Santander Espinoza will play a mix of house, EDM and Latin music all night. Drink specials run all night. Show starts at 10:30 p.m. No cover. For more details, visit facebook.com/roubaixdc. Swazz Bar (2218 18th St., N.W.) presents Queer Shapes Party, a geometrythemed party, tonight from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Dress code is inspired by shapes such as squares, circles, triangles and polygons. There will be craft cocktails, food, raffle prizes all night and a costume contest with prizes. Pre-sale tickets are $10. Tickets at the door are $15. For more information, visit swazzbar.com. CTRL, a gay dance party, is at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2:45 a.m. DJ Adam Koussari, DJ Dvonne and DJ Jeff Prior will play music for the night. There will be drag shows and giveaways. No cover. For more information, visit facebook.com/ctrldc.

SUNDAY, AUG. 26 Fantom Comics (2010 P St., N.W.) hosts its Queer Book Club today from 2-4 p.m. The group will discuss “Fence Vol 1,” a comic about the illegitimate son of an Olympic fencing champion who learns to navigate the world of competitive fencing at a prestigious all boys school. For more information, visit facebook.com/ fantomcomics. Little Academy D.C. presents Black Queer History, its final summer course, at Reliable Tavern (3655 Georgia Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The course will focus on the history of black queer culture in America ranging from slavery to black queer TV characters. Tristian Cabello, assistant director of the Master of Liberal Arts program at John Hopkins University, will lead the course. Tickets are $37.87 and include

one complimentary beverage and a course chapbook. For more details and to register for the course, visit facebook. com/littleacademydc.

MONDAY, AUG. 27 AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center (8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) screens the comedy-drama “Venus” tonight at 7:05 p.m. “Venus” tells the story of Sid, a transitioning woman who discovers she has a 14-year-old son. General admission tickets are $13, senior tickets are $10 and child tickets are $8. For more information, visit silver.afi.com.

TUESDAY, AUG. 28 Congressional Chorus (733 8th St., N.W.) holds tenor and bass auditions today. Those who are interested should email David Simmons at dsimmons@ congressionalchorus.org to reserve an audition time. He’ll provide location details.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 29 The Lambda Bridge Club meets at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No reservations required and new comers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540. The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts its weekly karaoke night tonight from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. For more details, visit facebook.com/eagledc.

THURSDAY, AUG. 30 Go Gay D.C. hosts its LGBT community social at the Embassy Row Hotel (2015 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. TJ Flavell will be on site to greet guests. All are welcome. There will be a cash bar and an appetizer and dinner menu available. Name tags will be provided. Dress code is casual attire. No cover. For more details, visit gogaydc.org. District Karaoke hosts Pride Karaoke at the Ugly Mug (723 8th St., S.E.) tonight from 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Ugly Mug will have Tex Mex drink and food specials all night. No cover. For more information, visit facebook.com/districtkaraoke.



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Aretha Franklin: an appreciation Soul legend spun magic despite uneven musical output By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com Aretha Franklin’s career accomplishments were, of course, impressive — 18 competitive Grammys (only Beyonce with 22 and Alison Krauss with 27 have her beat among women), first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a gravitas in the culture that meant when the U.S. wanted to put its best foot forward — Obama’s inauguration, Pope Francis’ stateside visit — Franklin was the go-to performer (oddly, those two performances were among her less memorable musically). In a way, Franklin’s accomplishments are a bit curious. She was more a singlesoriented artist, so her various albums (often cobbled together from various recording stints not necessarily recorded with any cohesive statement in mind) never went through the roof. When the 1985 title “30 Greatest Hits” reentered the Billboard chart last week at No. 7 upon news of her death, it was her highest-charting album since her landmark gospel masterpiece “Amazing Grace” made it to no. 7 way back in 1972. There were also long stretches where Franklin went eons between albums and even when she did release them, they sometimes barely made blips on the charts. Beyonce is, of course, an arbitrary comparison in many ways — she and Franklin are of different eras — but a Beyonce album is always an event. All six of her studio albums have hit the top spot, while Franklin never once had a no. 1-selling album. During her hottest era upon first signing with Atlantic in the late ‘60s, the top spot proved evasive with 1967’s “I Never Loved a Man” peaking at no. 2, “Aretha Arrives” at no. 5, “Lady Soul” at no. 2 and “Aretha Now” at no. 3. Later releases sometimes tanked for decent records like “Through the Storm” (no. 55) and “What You See is What You Sweat” (no. 153), unthinkable numbers for a Beyonce or a Mariah Carey. Franklin was 47 when “Through the Storm” came out in spring, 1989. Carey was 45 when her last album, 2014’s “Me. I Am Mariah …” made it to no. 3. For some hard-topinpoint reason, Franklin never developed the fiercely loyal fan base that ensures veteran acts top 10 album releases even decades after their heydays. And although Franklin’s overall Billboard Hot 100 chart heft is impressive — she held the women’s record with 73 entries until Nicki Minaj broke it (mostly with a legion of “featured artist” cameos) last year — she only hit the no. 1 spot twice (with “Respect”


An assistant to ARETHA FRANKLIN handed out these autographed 8x10 glossies to fans gathered outside a stage door at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall during the singer’s ‘The Queen is On’ tour on Oct. 25, 2003. It was billed at the time as her farewell tour, but Franklin continued concertizing throughout the next 14 years.

and “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me,” a George Michael duet) compared to Carey’s 18 no. 1 Hot 100 hits, Rihanna’s 13 and Madonna and the Supremes’ 12 each. Franklin did rack up a bounty with 20 no. 1s on the R&B chart. And Franklin had a relatively meager three platinum (1 million copies certified) albums in her whole career (two were for compilations) and just one certified double platinum album (“Amazing Grace”). She never had a monsterselling legendary album like a “Rumours” (Fleetwood Mac, 20x platinum), a “Come On Over” (Shania Twain, 20x platinum), or a “Jagged Little Pill” (Alanis Morissette, 16x platinum). And yet could you imagine Twain or Morissette being called upon to perform for the pope or a historical presidential inauguration? Hardly. What I’m getting at is that despite an impressive track record in all the usual ways we measure music industry success, Franklin’s stats are not quite what you’d think they would be considering her cultural impact. There’s no question about it — her output is uneven. Put any of her studio albums on at random and track for track, you’re just as likely to encounter filler as grandeur. There are moments to enjoy on them all — all of which I own — but efforts like “Hey Now Hey,” “You,” “Sweet Passion,” “Almighty Fire” and “La Diva” are erratic. “A Rose is Still a Rose” (1998) was her last great album although 2003’s “So Damn Happy” is underrated and quite good. Later efforts like “This Christmas Aretha” (2008) and “A Woman Falling Out of Love” (2011) are almost painfully bad despite glimmers of magic. So what gives exactly? In some ways I feel Franklin was underrated; in other ways I think it’s remarkable what she managed to achieve considering how up and down her overall

quality — admittedly a subjective assessment — was. Franklin, especially in later years, did things her way. She would never have handed over a project to an outside producer the way, say, Loretta Lynn did with her classic “Van Lear Rose” album that Jack White produced in 2004 or the way Johnny Cash did with his American Recordings series with Rick Rubin which gave him a nice victory lap in his final years. Impresario Clive Davis held some sway with Franklin — we can largely thank him for Franklin’s final studio effort, 2014’s solid “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics,” but only to a point. Even some of the ‘80s work they collaborated on like “Jump To It” (1982) and “Get it Right” (1983) (both of which Luther Vandross produced) are hit and miss. But while Franklin’s choice of material was often uneven, her interpretive abilities were nearly peerless. She knew how to unfurl her trademark improvised melismas with a finesse that never sounded overwrought as it often does in lesser hands (I’ve heard singers whoop and dip so recklessly they end up in different keys than they began). Were a lesser singer (and many have) to have taken the luxuries of tempo and pacing Franklin did on the title cut of her “Amazing Grace” album, for example, for most, it would sound ridiculously self-indulgent and extreme. “Would you just sing the damn sing already,” as a friend of mine used to say about such musical excesses. It’s just a “thing” in the black gospel tradition, though. A singer I used to work with at the Blade — we’d sometimes goof off watching YouTube clips when we should have been working — would say of this approach, she took a common song and “made it her own,” which is exactly what Franklin does with expert pacing, theatrics and phrasing. Many of the obits this week have

erroneously referred to her as a mezzo soprano, a tessitura usually associated with opera (Franklin, of course, did sing opera a bit later in her career, but always in a very “Aretha” style; she didn’t possess anything like a Leontyne Price-type voice, nor did she pretend she did). Franklin’s range, even in the ‘60s-‘70s was never stratospheric (Patti LaBelle has higher notes at her disposal, for example) but Franklin’s interpretive abilities were so solid, you never really thought much about what her range exactly was. After she quit smoking in the early ‘90s, her range expanded noticeably. Just think of the big finale number of “Natural Woman” from the first VH1 “Divas” show back in 1998. Who was caterwauling (Celine) and who was holding court (Aretha)? And who was relegated to the sidelines (pretty much everyone else)? I was lucky to have seen Franklin live in concert eight times over 20 years, all but once in the D.C. area. I tried to go every time she was in town and saw her many times at Wolf Trap, at Constitution Hall and other venues. Her shows — like her studio albums — could be everything from head scratching to transcendent. I kept going back because there was never any doubt, even in her later years, that I was in the presence of greatness. As another friend of mine likes to say, Aretha takes your ass to church. Of course, it was always fun to hear “Chain of Fools,” “Respect” and “Don’t Play That Song,” but the moments I enjoyed most were the gospel numbers like “Old Landmark,” “Amazing Grace” or sometimes not even a song, just an extended, black church-style gospel vamp in which Sister ‘Ree would give her testimony. In recent years it was often a riff on how she’d been supposedly healed from her mystery 2010 illness. Perhaps the pancreatic cancer that ultimately killed her had been in remission for a time. Her pal Stevie Wonder said this week she’d battled it for more than a decade. That it eventually did her in does nothing to sully those cherished concert memories however. Franklin’s testifying transcended creed or denomination. She sort of reminded you that hope — even if you feel life is random — is still a commodity in the world, God is still there at work. “Just wait on him,” she used to say. Franklin was preceded in death by her sisters Erma (who died at age 64 in 2002), Carolyn (who died at age 43 in 1988) and brother Cecil (who died at 49 in 1989). We’re lucky that Aretha, the one Jesse Jackson famously said “wears the coat of many colors” on her 1987 live gospel album “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,” was with us as long as she was. As a journalist, I hate it when people say such-and-such defied words. I make my living with words, so I tend to think there’s a way to say just about anything. However with Aretha’s music — both live and on recording — I would say it touched me in a way that does somehow defy language, emotion and logic. That was her brilliance.


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Closet eras

REMIX: Black Out

Thursday, August 30 | 5:30–8:30 p.m. | Kogod Courtyard What’s old is new in a party that fuses the past and the present. Join an after-work happy hour celebrating all things silhouette.



8th and F St. NW • Washington, DC • npg.si.edu • #myNPG DJ Ayes Cold by Travis Vaughan.

We also host private events LINCOLN Restaurant 1110 Vermont Ave., NW Washington, DC 20005 www.lincolnrestaurant-dc.com


New Rainbow Theatre production explores life’s various stages

TEDDY & The Bully Bar 1200 19th St., NW Washington, DC 20036 www.teddyandthebullybar.com


Coming out of the metaphorical closet space isn’t always easy. While confining, closets can be a refuge from ostracism and harsh attitudes, or in some cases a means of job security. While less so today (I think/hope), the closet still holds an uncomfortable place in our culture. “In the Closet,” now making its world premiere at Rainbow Theatre Project, the reliably good local company dedicated to the LGBT experience, is a deeply affective work by out playwright Sigmund Fuchs who unflinchingly explores the roles closets play in the arc of gay life. Staged by Rainbow’s producing artistic director H. Lee Gable, the intergenerational dramedy boasts a committed and versatile fourman cast. Here’s how the story unfolds: The morning after hooking up with a guy for the first time, 18-year-old John (Patrick Joy) ducks into the metaphorical closet where he’s greeted by three gay men of varied ages. Each are going through tough times at decisive moments in their lives which, for better or worse, have pushed them back into the closet. The idea isn’t to remain there forever. Wounded 20-something Man no. 3 (Zachary Dittami) is in the closet after being raped by two guys at a party where he was bartending. Angry and unhappy middle-aged Man no. 2 (Christopher Janson) has had a breakdown after suffering a major panic attack that’s left him withdrawn and unsure of his future in a youth-obsessed culture. And the eldest, wryly candid Man no. 4 (Tim Caggiano), is back in the closet while dealing with the hospitalization of his lover who’s suffering from terminal cancer. In his experience, hospitals and nursing homes aren’t particularly welcoming to gay couples.

In the program notes, out director H. Lee Gable writes, “(it’s) a play that speaks to all gay men, form remembering entering that first gay bar to dealing with our place in our community as we age.” And it’s true. By including stories from different phases of gay life, playwright Fuchs smartly gives a wide-ranging glimpse at coming-of-age, middle and old age. But while cleverly conceived, “In the Closet” is uneven. Some scenes feel repetitious and there’s a lot of didactic dialogue; still, other scenes soar with insight and poignancy, particularly those between the two youngest characters. The play’s clever and most engaging aspect is revealed at the end of the first act (though most audience members will have it figured out long before then). It gives the characters a truly vested interest in each other’s stories. With “In the Closet” (completed in 2015), Fuchs returned to playwriting after 10 years primarily spent practicing law. The D.C. resident’s previous plays include “Never Turned Out to Be Four Months” and “A Night Out at the Movies” (2002). Out designer Greg Stevens’ serviceable black-and-white set playfully combines illustration with real racks, hangers and clothing; and this closet comes equipped with a compact kitchen wherein lies the provisions brought by Man no. 3 who frequently reiterates the fallacy that all middle-aged gay men boast well-stocked pantries. After spending time in the closet, young John contemplates remaining there forever and possibly marrying a woman to avoid the future disasters and calamities with which his older closetsharing brethren are grappling. But his new-found friends do their best to convince him that despite everything, it does get better. ‘IN THE CLOSET’ Through Sept. 15 Rainbow Theatre Project DC Arts Center 2438 18th St., N.W. $35 Rainbowtheatreproject.org



A U G U S T 24, 2018 • 29


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Summer streaming New and recent movies hit home formats, VOD By BRIAN T. CARNEY Luckily, during those dog days of summer when it’s too hot to go outside you can stay inside and enjoy some of the new releases on DVD/Blu-ray or a variety of channels for streaming or download. Here’s a small sampling to get you started. A fitting movie for the dog days of summer is the quirky but entrancing “Isle of Dogs” by visionary director Wes Anderson, who returned to the intimate world of stop-action animation for his latest movie. After an outbreak of canine flu, the mayor of Megasaki, Japan, exiles all dogs to a barren island. His nephew Atari rescues the family dog and the brave duo lead a rebellion against the mayor and his corrupt cronies. Fans of the Marvel Avengers series can now freeze-frame “Avengers: Infinity War” and search for clues for the next installation in the saga (still unnamed, but slated for release in April). On a lighter note, there’s “Deadpool 2.” Ryan Reynolds stars as the foulmouthed superhero in tight red spandex. The movie features the first explicitly LGBT characters in the Marvel cinematic universe: the mutant Negasonic Teenage Warhead (played by out actor Brianna Hildebrand) and her mutant girlfriend Yukio (Shioli Kutsana). Reynolds has confirmed that his character is pansexual but is currently committed to his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). There’s also the campy “Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel” which stars co-writer/co-director Vincent J. Roth as Surge, cinema’s first out gay superhero. Surge heads to Las Vegas in his robotic Surgemobile to battle his nemesis Metal Master and the mysterious Augur (a delightful Eric Roberts). There are great cameos from such minor Hollywood

luminaries such as Gil Gerard, Bruce Vilanch, Linda Blair, Nichelle Nichols, Lou Ferrigno, Walter Koenig and Richard Hatch. Identifying them could make a great drinking game. Set in an Orthodox Jewish enclave in London, “Disobedience” stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams as childhood lovers who are reunited as adults. Directed by Sebastián Leilo (“A Fantastic Woman”), the movie also stars Alessandro Nivola as their childhood friend. The popular “Love, Simon” was the first Hollywood rom-com to feature gay teens. Nick Robinson (“Jurassic World”) is charming as the closeted student who is trying to track down the real identity of his virtual boyfriend. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel are terrific as Simon’s sympathetic parents and Natasha Rothwell nearly steals the show as Simon’s fiercely supportive drama teacher who is directing a lackluster high school production of “Cabaret.” Traditional gender roles are challenged in two new home releases. In “A Kid Like Jake,” Alex and Jake Wheeler (Claire Danes and Jim Parsons) are forced to reevaluate their roles as parents and spouses when their 4-year old son’s teacher (Octavia Spencer) points out that Jake likes to engage in “gender-expansive” play. In the fascinating “Every Day,” 16-year old Rhiannon (an excellent Angourie Rice) falls in love with “A,” a mysterious entity who inhabits a different body every day. On a much darker note, recent DVD releases include Toni Collette in “Hereditary.” She plays artist Annie Graham, whose family is threatened by sinister family secrets which come to light following the death of her creepy mother. Although the movie received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, Collette’s intense performance received universal praise. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

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Grande slam

Ariana’s new album ‘Sweetener’ doesn’t disappoint By THOM MURPHY

It would hardly be an understatement to say Ariana Grande is the biggest phenomenon in pop music right now. At 25, she has already landed two albums at the Billboard no. 1 spot, as well as a third at no. 2, and the number of her monthly listeners on Spotify is approaching 40 million. She has also regularly collaborated with other artists, including several songs with Nicki Minaj and the recent single “Dance to This” with Troye Sivan, from his upcoming album “Bloom.” Her fourth studio album, “Sweetener,” which debuted at no. 1 on iTunes, is in large part a return to familiar themes of love, sex and romance, and the singer continues to bring her vocal A-game. But it’s also Grande’s first major release since her 2017 Manchester concert was the target of a terrorist attack. In contrast to “Dangerous Woman” (2016), which featured hits “Into You” and “Side to Side,” the new record takes a more reflective tone. It prefers a sample-heavy, often futuristic-sounding R&B to the straightforward dance-pop sound of earlier hits like “Break Away.” It’s a sophisticated album that is both provocative — see the single entitled “God is a woman” — and irresistibly likeable. With the exception of the short introductory track entitled “raindrops (an angel cried),” the first several songs were written and produced by rapper Pharrell Williams, who collaborated with Grande on several tracks which turn out to be the album’s most experimental. The song “blazed” (featuring Williams) has a strange, uptempo bass and percussion groove with otherwise sparse instrumentation. Over the percussionheavy accompaniment, Williams relies on his falsetto while Grande sings with a robust ‘90s R&B sound. The following track, “the light is coming” (featuring Nicki Minaj), is another somewhat odd track that relies on highly repetitive samples. The first several songs feel like yawn and stretch, a sort of warmup for the rest of the album, which truly hits its stride with “R.E.M.” And once it gets going, it doesn’t miss a beat. “R.E.M” has a sexy R&B/rap sound, reminiscent of artists like Frank Ocean. This, in turn, is followed by “God is a woman,” released as the album’s second single. The song cleverly employs sacred language to talk about profane, sensual things. But there is no ambiguity when Grande sings in her sensuous soprano,


ARIANA GRANDE continues her pop domination on her fourth album ‘Sweetener.’

“When all is said and done/You’ll believe God is a woman.” The record’s title number is a cheery, R&Binfused pop track. It’s an interesting place from which to draw the album’s title, which could have just as easily been “no tears left to cry” or “God is a woman.” It’s neither the best written nor the most powerful song on the record. What it captures, however, is a certain defiant optimism that runs through the music. After the tragedy in Manchester, Grande is chin-up, looking at the brighter side of things. The album’s lead single, “no tears left to cry,” deals explicitly with the need to move on after a tragedy: “Ain’t got no tears left to cry/So I’m pickin’ it up.” The song is one of several collaborations between Grande and Swedish songwriters ILYA and Max Martin, who also produced the multi-platinum lead single “Problem” from her sophomore album. “no tears left to cry” shares a similar musical feel that is as warm as it is methodical. The collaboration is an unsurprising pick for the lead single, and the formula appears to have worked again: the music video is just shy of 500 million views on Youtube. There are so many good songs on the album that it’s almost hard to choose favorites — “better off,” “everytime” and “goodnight n go” are all solid contenders. The song “breathin,” which deals with anxiety, is another well-crafted and catchy collaboration with ILYA. One thing, however, is clear: “Sweetener” is album from an artist at the height of her powers, a pop diva for a new generation.


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Scholars say Handel, Schubert, others were likely gay CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21

recently that said something to the effect of what was actually likely heard in Bach’s churches at the time is not something we would find pleasant today. Is that true? MARSH: There may be some truth to that speculation, that it would have sounded very out of tune to our ears. That could be the case but probably isn’t at least as far as the tuning goes. The performance practice itself, the way they made music and expressed text, some of that might have come as a shock to us, but when we start from the first temperament that we know of, they were very strict temperaments and they were probably more in tune than modern equal temperament because there weren’t as many key areas emphasized so it actually means it was very, very in tune. BLADE: What is the appeal of period instrumentation for you? MARSH: The idea of all this isn’t to tell people not to play Bach on modern instruments. There are lots of people who play on modern instruments who understand the detail and nuances (of early music) quite well. You can on modern instruments come extremely close to creating the same types of historical effects musically speaking that you can on earlier instruments. … One thing you certainly wouldn’t want to do is play lots of late 18th or 19th century music on tunings that were devised for the early 17th century. We’d think everyone was playing out of tune or incompetent. It has to fit the music it goes with. BLADE: How did you develop an affinity for historically informed performance? MARSH: I think it has to do with my really early musical training. Early on in life, when I was a choir boy both in New York and in England, first at the St. Thomas Choir School then at Salisbury Cathedral in England, a lot of the music (we performed) tended to be from the 15th and 16th centuries, so I felt a super strong affinity for those styles. I had a passion to find out in much more detail all I could about early music. BLADE: Since you encountered it at a young age, is there a nostalgia factor for you with that music the way the Beatles and Motown and stuff like that has for the more general population? MARSH: Yes, I would say so. I think whatever music we listen to, we tend to associate it with particular times in our lives, an experience, a smell or any sensory type of thing and you know, that automatically speaks to us from the inside in a certain way but there’s an intellectual fascination as well and that can be a great part of it too. BLADE: Was your family musical? MARSH: Yes, my dad was first violinist at the time for a well-known string

quartet and he was on the road doing 50-60 concerts a year. My mom was an elementary school music teacher so there was no escape. … It was in my blood stream from a very early age. BLADE: What’s life like in Bloomington, Indiana? MARSH: Bloomington is an awesome town, right here in the middle of Indiana, this bastion of redness that’s very conservative but Bloomington has always been more liberal even going back to the 1950s. … It’s also aesthetically beautiful and there’s lots going on in the arts. There are over a thousand concerts a year associated with the school of music and seven operas done on a professional scale each year. It’s a surprisingly progressive and culturally rich town. BLADE: How are you going to manage flying back and forth logistically? MARSH: I checked into those concerns before I applied. The flights from Indiana to Reagan are incredibly efficient. I can leave my house by 6 a.m. and be on the Metro by 9:30. I’ll be in D.C. about half of September and more throughout the fall of course. Many of my colleagues have very full performing careers and are on the road so as long as one can shuffle everything around, the students and the school are totally behind it. It helps maintain their reputation. BLADE: It sounds like a lot. Are you concerned you might spread yourself too thin? MARSH: That’s always a possibility but for me things like that are sometimes almost counterintuitive. I find the more I’m in one situation, the more likely I am to get in a rut. If there’s something stimulating happening in the other situation, it helps me stay engaged (in my main work). It energizes me. BLADE: What do you do at I.U.? MARSH: I conduct and teach. I sort of have to wear a lot of hats from administrative functions to teaching to performance and then I also coach individual vocalists on performance style and conduct our early music ensembles. We have a bit of a rotation among faculty and with my administrative job, there are two entities. At the Historical Performance Institute is the musical research side of things and then the Historical Performance Department, which is the educational institute, that’s where the school of music deals with the students and faculty and everything that involves. BLADE: I imagine you had been familiar with the Washington Bach Consort prior to hearing of the position? MARSH: Absolutely. In fact, a few friends of mine who are professional singers had sung solos for Reilly in the past.

BLADE: Would you say the Consort has an international reputation? MARSH: I would definitely say national, maybe not so much international and that’s one of the things we want to work on and will be an essential part of our new strategic plan. BLADE: What is the Consort’s annual operating budget? MARSH: I believe it’s about $1 million. BLADE: Bach’s music is so heavily steeped in Christianity. Are you a Christian and do you feel Christians, people of other faiths and atheists can savor Bach equally or does his music tend to have added resonance for Christians? MARSH: I was brought up in the church and Christianity though from a spiritual standpoint, I would say my horizons have broadened a bit and I would categorize my beliefs in that way now. There’s a lot of great art that came out of Christianity. When you think of all the people designing stained glass or building cathedrals, there had to have been skeptics among them and yet anyone can look at that art and be entirely struck by it. … I don’t think you have to be a believer to fully grasp what the composer means. … There are atheists who write about theology and are fascinated by it. … You can be an atheist and be absolutely struck by, say Bach’s “Mass in B Minor.” BLADE: How religious does the elite classical music performance world tend to be in your experience? MARSH: Certainly that community is well represented but I wouldn’t say it’s a majority. I would say it’s more like a long continuum and you have people whose beliefs would overlap with some of the places we perform like the National Cathedral or other outstanding church programs in the D.C. area, but also go exceptionally far beyond that as well. BLADE: Is Bach really considered early music? MARSH: The term early music has been something of a moving target. It used to be considered anything before 1750 with the emphasis on medieval and renaissance music but it kept moving forward and now it can be anything up to the end of the 19th century but it’s more about understanding the instruments they had at their disposal and how musical values have changed over time. BLADE: When did you find out you got the job? MARSH: I got the news in the middle of May but it wasn’t announced ’til August. I think the board wanted to get as much mileage out of the announcement as

they could. BLADE: What do you have planned for the opening concert? MARSH: It will be very celebratory. We’re doing one of the Bach cantatas (BWV 190). The translation is “Sing Unto the Lord a New Song.” The second piece is by Handel and it’s his ode to St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, a wonderfully rich piece. Then the final piece will be the Bach “Magnificat,” which is probably the best known of the three. BLADE: How many singers and players are in the Consort? MARSH: There are three formats: the subscription series at the National Presbyterian; the cantata series (six per year) at Church of the Epiphany and St Peter’s Capitol Hill; and the chamber series is held at the First Congregational FCC at 10th and G Streets. For the subscription series, where we do the larger-scale performances, there’s a choir of 16 and an orchestra of maybe 30 players. For the chamber series, it’s much smaller. BLADE: So Bach wasn’t working with huge choirs and orchestras then in his day? MARSH: No. He was always complaining to the town council about it. Sometimes he had just eight singers and proportional orchestras with single instruments except for the two violin parts. BLADE: Did you ever meet Dr. Lewis? MARSH: No, I never did but … I feel I met him in a way through his incredible legacy. (The Consort members) are really very nice and care about each other and that’s not always the case in organizations such as these. BLADE: Do you still play the organ? (Marsh’s undergraduate major was organ performance) MARSH: I do but not as much as I did. The first four years I was back in the U.S., I played at the Episcopal Cathedral in Indianapolis but since I’ve been at I.U. I haven’t been playing as much. I have some recitals scheduled next year. I’ll be doing one in New York in March and I’ll be playing on some noon recitals as well. There’s always an organ prelude with the cantatas so I’ll be doing a few of those. I’m definitely keeping the fingers moving. BLADE: Would you say you’re a conductor first and foremost? MARSH: At the moment, I’m doing more conducting than singing or playing. I’m doing the least amount of singing but sometimes, truth be told, I miss it. ■ CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

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Setting expectations when hiring an agent Good customer service is in the eye of the beholder By VALERIE M. BLAKE Last weekend, I took part in an online discussion among real estate agents about how we meet, exceed, or, from time to time, fail to live up to our clients’ expectations when helping them buy or sell a home. The original scenario was this: Your buyer client has made an offer on a property and you have received a counter-offer from the seller. The buyer asks you to meet her to go over it and discuss what to do next. In this day of electronic signatures, how do you respond? A host of people replied, “I’ll send it to you to read and sign electronically.” Others said, “Let’s discuss it on the phone and I will amend it as necessary and email it to you for signature.” A smaller number said they would meet the client but cautioned that if she didn’t respond quickly, another buyer might come along. My response was, “I’ll be right there.” I got a little pushback from some agents who thought I should be setting more stringent boundaries with my time, but a number of them agreed with me when I insisted that my job was to make the process easier for my client, not for myself. I’ve found that meeting a potential client is like going on a first date when you’ve

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both swiped right. If there weren’t some type of attraction, then you wouldn’t be there, but you’re both on your best behavior and are cautiously looking at each other as a potential mate. There is no “one size fits all” for houses or the people who buy and sell them. That’s one thing I love about the job. Likewise, good customer service is in the eye of the beholder. Accordingly, I recommend interviewing the agents you are considering hiring face-to-face in a comfortable setting whenever possible. This gives you an opportunity not only to listen to their presentations, but also to ask questions and observe their demeanor and body language to see whether you “click.” For most people, personality also

plays a large part in decision-making. In general, if you enjoy the company of the agent you hire and feel a mutual connection, then you’re more likely to trust his or her advice. Interviewing an agent who has been recommended by a friend can be a good start, since there’s at least one person that you both know and like. Consider whether the agent is focused on you and your needs. Is he rushing through his presentation or taking time to explain how choosing him will benefit you? Is she allowing for questions and answering them to your satisfaction? Is he respectful of your time and your family? A seller always wants to talk about price and commission, but there may be other important issues that need to be resolved. One point of discussion might be the type of marketing that will be done and where those materials will be displayed. You might also need to reach consensus on what to repair or improve, and whether to use your existing furnishings or a professional stager. As a buyer, you’ll want to know your agent’s availability and whether it suits your schedule. Ask how he will help locate the right house and how he will protect your interests. Discuss any creative ways in which her clients have won in multiple offer situations. Whether buying or selling, if you’re interviewing someone who manages a team of agents, you’ll probably want to know whether you’ll be dealing with the principal or another member of the team.

It’s fine to interview the team leader, but you may also want to meet and talk to whoever will be your point person during the process and learn which team member will be helping you at various steps. Most importantly, determine how you’ll keep in contact with your agent. In a service-oriented business such as real estate, poor communication is an issue that can quickly scuttle a business relationship. Your agent needs to know how and when you would like to keep in contact, so speak up to ensure that you’re both using the same definition of good communication. For example, do you want to chat via phone, text, email or something else? Do you listen and respond to voicemail? How often do you want updates? Every day? Once a week? Just when something changes? And don’t forget to compare travel schedules to be sure you can stay in touch. You’ll find most agents anxious to provide a positive experience and willing to accommodate your communication preferences. And, if you’re the tech-averse lady who wanted an agent to come over to discuss that counteroffer in person, then I’m at your service. Just put on a pot of coffee and I’ll be right there. VALERIE M. BLAKE is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and Director of Education & Mentorship at Real Living| At Home. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.

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Notice of Appointment, Notice to Creditors and Notice to Unknown Heirs Kevin Riley Gowen, whose address is 560 N Street SW, #N201, Washington, DC 20024 was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Robert Paul Wilkinson who died on May 27, 2018 with a Will and will service without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, DC, Building A, 515 5th Street, NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20001, on or before 8/17/2019. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before 2/17/2019, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of it’s publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship. Date of First Publication: 8/17/2018 Kevin R. Gowen A True Test Copy Anne Meister, Register of Wills



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MASSAGE ROSSLYN - CMT available for massage in Arlington, SunTues or DC, Thurs-Sat. Call or text Gary 301-704-1158. mymassagebygary.com.

BULLETIN BOARD Best Selling LGBT Memoir “First Mistake: Facing Death, Finding Life” is a love story about defying the odds (even certain death) and spiritual memoir. www.amazon. com/dp/B07F2MWXT4

EMPLOYMENT COMPUTER RETAIL & SERVICE CENTER Seeking Friendly and Dependable Sales Persons “ Send Resume to lisa@LambroInc.com.

LOCKER ROOM ATTENDANTS NEEDED! The Crew Club, a gay men’s naturist gym & sauna, is now hiring Locker Room Attendants. We all scrub toilets & do heavy cleaning. You must be physically able to handle the work & have a great attitude doing it. No drunks/druggies need apply. Please call David at (202) 319-1333. from 9-5pm, to schedule an interview.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Results-Oriented • Affordable

Larry Cohen, LICSW

30 years serving the LGBT community

202-244-0903 socialanxietyhelp.com

See website for NPR story on my work

Dr. Melvin L. Phillips, Jr., Ed.D., LICSW, LCSW, CSAC

Offering psychological solutions for depression, anxiety, chronic pain and illness

(202) 544-5440


DAVE LLOYD & ASSOCIATES Top 1% Nationwide NVAR Life Member Top Producder






STEVE O’TOOLE PHOTOGRAPHY Fine Art Photographer for Portraits & Weddings & more! Check out my website - www. steveotoolephotography. com. Specializing in Bears & Big men. Steve 703-861-4422.



ADOPTION & ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE Law Attorney Jennifer Fairfax represents clients in DC, MD & VA. interested in adoption or ART matters. 301221-9651, JFairfax@ jenniferfairfax.com.

FERNANDO’S CLEANING: Residential & Commercial Cleaning, Reasonable Rates, Free Estimates, Routine, 1-Time, Move-In/ Move-Out. (202) 234-7050, 202-486-6183.

*25 words or less prints free - anything more is $1/word.

WHOLISTIC SERVICES, INC. seeking Full Time Direct Support Professionals to assist intellectually disabled adults with behavioral health complexities in group homes & day services throughout DC. Requirements 1 year exp., valid drivers license, able to lift 50-75 lbs, complete training program, become DDS Med Certified within 4 months of hire, ability to pass security background check. Associates degree preferred. For more information, please contact the Human Resources (HR) Department at 202-832-8787.



FULL SERVICE LAW FIRM Representing the GLBT community for over 35 years. Family adoptions, estate planning, immigration, employment. (301) 891-2200. Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, P.A. www. SP-Law. com.

LIMOUSINES KASPER’S LIVERY SERVICE Since 1987. Gay & Veteran Owner/ Operator. 2016 Luxury BMW 750Li Sedan. Properly Licensed & Livery Insured in DC. www.KasperLivery.com. Phone 202-554-2471.

TELL ‘EM YOU SAW THEIR AD IN THE Blade classifieds!

PLUMBERS DIAL A PLUMBER, LLC - FULL SERVICE PLUMBER JUST SAY: I NEED A PLUMBER! Bathroom Sinks, Tubs, Vanities, Kitchen Sinks, Disposals, Boilers & Furnaces, Hot Water Heaters, Drain Service! 202-251-1479. Licensed, Bonded & Insured. DC Plumbers License #707. Visa, MasterCard, American Express accepted.


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

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

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM CONTINENTAL MOVERS Local & long distance. $80 x 2 men; $100 x 3 men, gas charges applied. 25 Years Family Business Operated. cmora53607@ msn.com. www. continentalmovers.net (202)438-1489, (301)340-0602, (703)929-1302.

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


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

MOVERS AROUND TOWN MOVERS. Professional Moving & Storage. Let Our Movers Do The Heavy Lifting. Mention the ‘Blade’ for 5% off of our regular rates. Call today 202.734.3080. www. aroundtownmovers.com GREAT SCOTT MOVING INC. Local & Long Distance, Pianos! A Great Move at a Great Price call (301) 699-2066. Highly` rated by Consumer Check Book, Better Business Bureau, Yelp & Angie’s List. We’ve moved the Blade, let us move you!

SHARE / DC LARGE MBR SUITE AVAILABLE Gay Married couple renting LARGE Master Bedroom Suite, $1200 per mo. Util incl. Loc. Ft Lincoln NE DC. Email: MarcSnDC@gmx.com for details.

RENT / DC 1B-1BATH-CONDO-CAIRO FOR RENT 1bedroom, 1bath Condo for rent Sept.1st..Cairo...1615 Que Str .NW. 321-345-4356 Reinhold@ bluegreenplanet.net


Competitively priced 3 bedroom. 3.5 bath semidetached house with great views, a unique turret, private garden patio, large bright home office/studio/ fitness or entertainment center and parking in a great neighborhood convenient to places to work or play in Palisades, Georgetown, downtown and along the Potomac river. Call Marjorie Newman: 202-536-8646. Long & Foster Real Estate marjorie.newman@ longandfoster.com.

Playmates and soul mates...



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

RENT / MD WHEATON METRO 4 BR/3.5 BA townhouse featuring finished basement w/ built-in bar, new kitchen appliances & flooring. Abundance of closet space/storage. 2 parking space passes provided & plenty of street parking. 10-minute walk to Wheaton Metro/bus stop. Nearby you will find Costco,Safeway, Giant, and plenty of restaurants. All of this for only $2200 (not incl. utilities). Available September 1, 2018 - Call 301-252-3075.

RENT / VA CLARENDON METRO GYMS, restaurants, grocers, shops, new 1 bedroom basement apartment, 750 square foot, extensive wet bar. $1750/mo. utilities included. 703 850-9319.

SALE / DC Rambler/Colonial Village, DC 3000+ sq.ft. 4BR,3FB, Sunroom, FP, Large Back Yard, second KT in Basement. Blocks to SS. Mid $800Ks. Needs updating. Linda Burton, Realtor, 301-335-7687.


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.

MEN’S PERSONALS Penis Enlargement. Gain 1 to 3 inches permanently & safely. Resolve ED. Licensed medical vacuum pumps, surgical & supplements. For free brochures/consultation call: Dr. Joel Kaplan 888-978-HUGE (4843). www.getbiggernow.com.


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