AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE
State Department’s ‘cruel and bigoted’ policy Partners of UN employees must be married — but only 12 percent of member states allow same-sex marriage By MICHAEL K. LAVERS firstname.lastname@example.org
The Trump administration this week implemented a new policy requiring partners of foreign mission personnel to be married in order to qualify for a diplomatic visa.
A new State Department policy that requires partners of foreign mission personnel and employees of international organizations to be married in order to qualify for a diplomatic visa took eﬀect on Monday. A State Department letter the Washington Blade obtained last
PHOTO BY PALINCHAK; COURTESY OF BIGSTOCK
month states, “consistent with internal Department of State policy changes, partners accompanying oﬃcers and employees of international organizations or seeking to join the same must be married in order to be eligible for a derivative G-4 nonimmigrant visa or to seek a change into such status beginning October 1, 2018.” The letter also says the State Department as of Monday “will only accept the accreditation of spouses of newly arrived oﬃcers and employees of international organizations, both same-sex and opposite-sex, as members of the family of the respective international organization.” The State Department letter that CONTINUES ON PAGE 14
D.C. Eagle apologizes for ‘altercation’ with former mayor Allegation that bouncer assaulted Gray draws widespread media coverage By LOU CHIBBARO JR. email@example.com The D.C. Eagle gay bar and nightclub issued an apology for an incident last weekend in which former mayor and current D.C. Council member Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) accused an Eagle bouncer of assaulting him by pushing him out the door, causing him to fall and injure his back and hands. Gray said through a spokesperson that
the incident occurred when he attempted to enter the Eagle Saturday night, Sept. 29, to attend a city funded arts festival hosted by the Eagle and two other venues in Ward 7 called “Art All Night.” Gray spokesperson Sheila Bunn said when Gray arrived at the Eagle about 9:30 p.m. the bouncer stationed at the door requested to see Gray’s identiﬁcation. She said he refused to accept Gray’s D.C. Council ID card because it didn’t show Gray’s date of birth. When Gray, who’s 75 years old, politely asked to speak with one of the Eagles’ owners the bouncer walked out from behind a counter and shoved him out the door, Bunn said. She said Gray fell to the ground and CONTINUES ON PAGE 15
D.C. Council member VINCENT GRAY suﬀered injuries after allegedly being pushed by a bouncer at the Eagle. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
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Join Friends of the National Zoo for Boo at the Zoo, sponsored by Mars Wrigley Confectionery. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, jugglers and magicians, this frightfully fun evening is Washington D.C.’s favorite, not-so-spooky Halloween treat for the whole family. Best of all, it’s a great way to help us support the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s mission to save species. $20 FONZ members / $30 non-members LEAD SPONSOR: MARS WRIGLEY CONFECTIONERY. Additional Sponsors: Big Bus Tours, BIG 100, Comcast, FedEx, GEICO, Groupon, HOT 99.5, HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH), metroPCS, 97.1 WASH-FM, 98.7 WMZQ, Washington Parent and The Washington Post.
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Librarian, philanthropist Jim Arshem dies at 77
Longtime supporter of Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington By LOU CHIBBARO JR. firstname.lastname@example.org James A. “Jim” Arshem, a career librarian at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Oﬃce and a longtime supporter of LGBT causes, including the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, died June 13, 2018 at his apartment in Arlington, Va. He was 77. His neighbor and friend, Jamie Shoemaker, said the cause of death was complications associated with diabetes. Arshem was born and raised in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he was baptized and conﬁrmed at First Lutheran Church and graduated from JIM ARSHEM died earlier this year. He was a longtime supporter of the Gay Washington High School, according Men’s Chorus of Washington. to a write-up prepared by his family and published by the George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls. The write-up says he was active in high school in the Junior Red Cross, National Honor Society, drama and debate endeavors. He graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and later received a master’s degree in science from the University of Nebraska, the family write-up says. It says he then completed the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Librarianship. He worked for several years at the Denver Public Library before receiving a fellowship in Washington, D.C., to learn about patents and trademarks, the writeup says. It says he later accepted a job oﬀer from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Oﬃce, where he worked as a librarian and carried out a number of specialized librarian related duties until his retirement. “He enjoyed his travels with his ‘dog and pony’ show instructing libraries all over the world how to set up and use the Patent and Trademark Oﬃces in Washington, D.C. from their own libraries,” the write-up says. “He enjoyed all the people he met along the way and all of his library friends and contacts and continued attending as many conferences as he could,” it says. Neal Garver, one of Arshem’s D.C. friends, said Arshem was known by many in the D.C. LGBT community and was a generous ﬁnancial supporter for a number of nonproﬁt organizations, including LGBT organizations. “He was a major supporter of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington,” said Garver. “He attended every chorus rehearsal, performance, private and public event. He donated generously every year and bought blocks of 25 to 50 GMCW tickets to every performance as an extra means of support,” Garver told the Washington Blade. Garver said Arshem gave tickets as gifts to his friends and others, some of whom could not aﬀord the price of a ticket. “Jim was a silent, humble philanthropist to several charities including many gay organizations, as well as the medical and musical community locally and elsewhere,” Garver said. “He had several cameras and took many pictures of his work and travel,” the write-up by his family says. Shoemaker, who says he has known Arshem for more than 30 years, said Arshem for many years took photos of Gay Men’s Chorus events and its performers. A memorial service was held for Arshem at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls on July 9. A private burial was expected to take place at a later date at North Preston Lutheran Cemetery in Lake Preston, S.D. A D.C. celebration of his life hosted by his sister and brother-in-law Joyce and Don Elbert is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Oct. 7, at Trio Bistro, 1537 17th St., N.W., from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Garver has asked that those interested in attending email him their RSVP at email@example.com.
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Comings & Goings Barrio named Miami dev’l oﬃcer for Equality Florida 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Congratulations to Jonathan Barrio on being named the Miami Development Oﬃcer for Equality Florida. Equality Florida consists of two organizations — Equality Florida Institute, Inc., a 501(c) (3) educational charity and Equality Florida Action, Inc., a 501(c) (4) advocacy organization. Together, these organizations form the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing JONATHAN BARRIO full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRIO According to its website, “Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suﬀers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Barrio will manage major donor cultivation and stewardship programs for Miami. He will also plan, promote and execute Equality Florida’s Miami Gala. Prior to this he was Development Manager at Safeguarding American Values for Everyone/SAVE Foundation. He was also a real estate agent with Keller Williams Real Estate, Miami Beach. Barrio founded Gay Vista Social Club of Miami as a place where members of the LGBTQ community can ﬁnd an accepting and inclusive environment. He ROY HARRISON PHOTO COURTESY OF HARRISON continues to provide guidance and direction to a growing leadership team. He has also previously served as personal assistant to Opera Director David Gately. He studied psychology at Miami Dade College. Congratulations also to Roy Harrison who has just begun his new position with CSI Group in Kentucky. He will oversee the Management Consulting division of CSI Group. CSI Group is based in Lexington, and Toyota, Japan. It specializes in project management, import/export, automation, and staﬃng in the Japanese manufacturing space. Upon taking the position Roy said, “My role will be to manage and expand the consulting division inside North America and Asia, and explore entering the European manufacturing market, as well.” He added, “I’m excited to take a leadership role in the growth of this 50-person (across Japan and North America) company.” Roy is bilingual in Japanese and English and in a previous position was lead translator at Toyota in Georgetown, Ky., where he led the translation team for North America and Japan-based translation projects. Prior to his new position, his experience includes working as Digital Program Manager with Marriott International in Bethesda, Md.; manager at Lexmark in Lexington, Ky.; and a project manager with Consultant Solutions in Georgetown, Ky. Roy is an advisory panel member with the Lighthouse D.C. and Vice President for Membership with the Capital Tennis Association. He received his bachelor’s degree in International Aﬀairs from George Washington University and studied Japanese at Sophia University in Tokyo. He was named a Kentucky Colonel by Gov. Steve Beshear for civic leadership.
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LO CA L N E W S contrast to Comstock’s opposition to LGBT issues on a number of fronts. “It’s wonderful to see everybody here enjoying a beautiful day and celebrating our pride,” Wexton told the Blade as she and her supporters walked through the festival grounds greeting potential voters. In his remarks from the festival’s main stage Northam thanked organizers for inviting him to speak and urged people to vote in the Nov. 6 election. “I see a lot of my friends in the audience,” he said. “And I would not be here now if it wasn’t for you all who got out last year and made a diﬀerence and knocked on doors,” he said. “And I just want to remind you that these elections have tremendous, tremendous consequences,” he continued, adding, “So I encourage all of you to go out and exercise your right to vote on the 6th of November.” Northam noted that similar to his predecessor Terry McAuliﬀe, the ﬁrst thing he did after being sworn in as the state’s 73rd governor was to sign an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT people in state government agencies. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
WANDA ALSTON was a longtime LGBT advocate and government oﬃcial who was murdered in 2005. WASHINGTON BLADE ARCHIVE PHOTO
Alston Foundation to celebrate 10 years The Wanda Alston Foundation, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless LGBT youth, is inviting members of the LGBT community and its allies to attend its 10th anniversary celebration and fundraiser scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 10. The event, called Health Housing Hope: An Evening of Cocktails and Dancing, will be held at Ajax D.C. nightclub at 1011 4th St., N.W. from 6:30-10 p.m. Among those scheduled to attend is D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a longtime supporter of the Alston Foundation. The foundation is named in honor of the late Wanda Alston, a vocal LGBT rights supporter who was appointed by Williams as the ﬁrst cabinet-level Director of the Mayor’s Oﬃce of LGBTQ Aﬀairs. “For the past 10 years, the Wanda Alston Foundation has provided housing, health, and hope to the most vulnerable LGBTQ homeless youth in the District of Columbia,” a statement released by the foundation says. “Join us to celebrate our legacy, history, and achievement of creating a safe and welcoming home for D.C.’s most at-risk population – its homeless children!” Among other things, the Alston Foundation operates the Wanda Alston House, which provides temporary housing of up to 18 months to LGBT youth in need along with life skills development training, case management, and connections to medical and mental health care services. Information related to the purchase of tickets for the anniversary celebration can be obtained via wandaalstonfoundation.org. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Northam, McAuliffe speak at NOVA Pride Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliﬀe were among the speakers at the 5th Annual Northern Virginia Pride Festival held Sept. 29, on the fairgrounds of Bull Run Special Events Center in Centerville, Va. Brian Reach, president and executive director of NOVA Pride, the group that organizes the annual festival, said about 4,000 people from Northern Virginia and the D.C. metropolitan area turned out for the event. Among the more than 70 booths at the festival consisting of LGBT and LGBT supportive nonproﬁt organizations and many LGBT supportive small and large businesses, including GEICO Insurance and Gilead Sciences pharmaceutical giant, were booths catering to children and pets. “We wanted to be a little bit diﬀerent, a little bit more of a family focus,” said Reach in discussing the evolution of the NOVA Pride Festival since it was launched in 2014. “It’s dog friendly. It’s laid back. It’s a fall festival,” he said. “And I think it’s coming together very well.” Also speaking at this year’s festival was Danica Roem, who became the nation’s ﬁrst transgender person to win election to a state legislature last year when she won her race for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in Prince William County. After speaking, Roem, a Democrat, joined Democratic Party oﬃcials from several Northern Virginia counties in greeting festival goers and urging them to vote in the Nov. 6 election for LGBT supportive candidates for Congress and various county government bodies. Among the candidates present that Roem is backing was Democrat Jennifer Wexton, who is challenging Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock for the 10th District U.S. House seat in Northern Virginia. Wexton has expressed support for LGBT rights in
Anti-LGBT advocates host fundraiser for Baldwin’s opponent On the heels of hosting the Values Voter Summit, anti-LGBT advocates held a fundraiser for the challenger seeking to unseat lesbian Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). An invitation for the fundraiser, obtained by the Washington Blade, reveals the fundraising breakfast for Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Wisconsin State Sen. Leah Vukmir took place at the D.C. oﬃce for the Susan B. Anthony List, an Wisconsin state Sen. Leah organization that opposes abortion rights. Vukmir (R-Milwaukee County) is The fundraiser was presented by TAMMY BALDWIN’s opponent in Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the the 2018 election. Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, and Cleta Mitchell, a prominent anti-LGBT attorney with the Foley & Lardner law ﬁrm. Mitchell has a reputation for being “the conservative movement’s anti-gay eminence grise” and as board member of the American Conservative Union succeeded in banning the now-defunct gay conservative group GOProud from CPAC. Listed as co-hosts for the event were key ﬁgures of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, including Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell. The Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council a hate group over its anti-LGBT positions. According to the invite, tickets for the fundraiser ranged from $100-$250 for individuals and $1,000 to $5,000 for political action committees. The maximum contribution was $2,700 for individuals and $5,400 for couples. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the fundraiser was one of three for Vukmir in D.C. last week, although the Susan B. Anthony List event was the only one reported to have anti-LGBT advocates as co-hosts. The fundraiser took place on the same day the Susan B. Anthony List announced the Women Speak Out PAC, which seeks mobilize pro-life voters, would launch a six-ﬁgure digital expenditure campaign to elect Vukmir. The Blade placed a request with the Susan B. Anthony List to inquire about the amount of money raised for Vukmir at the event. Vukmir, who secured the Republican nomination on Aug. 18, has an anti-LGBT record that includes support for a 2006 constitutional amendment in Wisconsin banning same-sex marriage and opposition to a measure against anti-LGBT bullying. As chair of the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, Vukmir also sat on legislation that would have prohibited widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors in Wisconsin. In contrast, Baldwin is the ﬁrst out lesbian elected to Congress and has championed LGBT rights in her decades as a lawmaker, including by being a cosponsor of the Equality Act. Although one poll last month showed a close race between Baldwin and Vukmir, the Wisconsin Democrat has since that time taken a wide lead in the race. A Marquette law school poll published this month found Baldwin led Vukmir 52-40 in the race. CHRIS JOHNSON
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“...heʼs as good as they come... splendidly clear, steady and buoyant” – The New York Times
“. . . Latry sets the new standard.” – Fanfare
“Music, musician and instrument merged harmoniously...Commanding the console like a magician...He performs with calm control, and from memory. ...The audience was thrilled.” – The Plain Dealer
“...brilliant playing...a remarkable ability to breathe life into his phrases... Witnessing this creation unfold was an astounding and exhilarating experience.ʼʼ – Greensboro News & Record
OLIVIER LATRY Titular Organist, Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris
Thursday, October 18, 7:30pm First Baptist Church Sanctuary
1328 16TH ST NW, WASHINGTON D.C.
Olivier Latry presents a night of mesmerizing music including the
T N W, W A S H I N G T O N , D C 2 0 0 3 6 | + 2 0 2 3works 8 7 2of2 Bach, 0 6 Schumann, Brahms and Liszt. A love offering will be www.firstbaptistdc.org
collected to benefit one of FBC’s ministry partners, A.M.O.S., working to improve the health of impoverished communities in Nicaragua.
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LGBT tipped workers hail D.C. Council repeal of Initiative 77 LGBT tipped workers at the city’s restaurants, bars, and nightclubs joined their straight colleagues on Tuesday in celebrating a vote by the D.C. City Council to repeal an initiative passed by voters in June to end the so-called tipped wage system. In its ﬁrst of two required readings, the Council voted 8 to 5 to approve a bill calling for repealing Initiative 77, which voters passed by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent despite vocal opposition by what appeared to be a large majority of tipped workers. Council observers expect the Council to Mayor MURIEL BOWSER has vowed to sign a give ﬁnal approval to the repeal bill later repeal of Initiative 77 passed this week. this month. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has said she would sign a repeal bill. PHOTO BY ELVERT BARNES; COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS Had it become law, Initiative 77 would require restaurants, bars and other employers of tipped workers to pay those workers the city’s full minimum wage, which is currently $13.25 per hour and which will increase to $15 per hour in 2020. The minimum wage for tipped workers is currently $3.89 per hour. Under the city’s tipped wage law, employers in the city’s highly competitive hospitality industry are allowed to pay tipped workers a lower minimum wage on grounds that the workers make more than the city’s full minimum wage in tips. The law requires employers to pay the diﬀerence if workers’ tips fall short of the full minimum wage. Bar and restaurant owners said ending the tipped wage system would increase their labor costs to a degree that could force them out of business or force them to raise food and beverage prices, which they said would result in lower overall income for tipped workers. Supporters of the initiative disputed those claims, saying ending the tipped wage system in several other states has not brought about signiﬁcant problems for restaurants and bars. But opponents of the initiative, including large numbers of tipped workers, told Council members D.C.’s unique and thriving restaurant, bar and nightclub venues would be especially susceptible to serious and harmful repercussions if Initiative 77 were to become law. Employees and owners of several of the city’s gay bars were part of a coalition of hospitality industry businesses and employees that urged the Council to repeal Initiative 77. In a development that surprised some observers, once the Council voted 8 to 5 on Tuesday both in the Council’s Committee of the Whole and in the full Council to approve the repeal bill it voted unanimously in a third vote for an emergency version of the bill. The emergency measure takes eﬀect immediately, which prevents Initiative 77 from taking eﬀect this month while the Council moves ahead with its normal legislative process that takes about two months for passing the regular repeal bill. The process involves sending it to the mayor for her signature and completing a required 30 legislative day review by Congress. “LGBT tipped employees along with tipped employees across the city are celebrating tonight that Initiative 77 has been repealed by the City Council, which will protect their jobs and their livelihoods and their income,” said gay nightlife advocate Mark Lee, who served as managing consultant for NO2DC77, one of the leading groups opposing the initiative. “This sets a national standard of pushback against the outside organizations that came into Washington to try to impose this upon the workers,” Lee said. Many supporters of Initiative 77, led by the New York-based group Restaurant Opportunities Center United, denounced the Council for what they called a blatant move to overturn the will of voters who approved the initiative in the city’s June 19 primary election. Some said they would consider pushing for yet another voter initiative to bring the measure back for another vote at the polls. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
D.C. group provides HIV testing in tent For the past year, a D.C.-based nonproﬁt organization called One Tent Health has been oﬀering free “pop-up” HIV testing in neighborhoods across the city in a canvas tent that its mostly volunteer workers set up in parking lots of grocery and convenience stores.
LO CA L N E W S The group’s CEO and co-founder, MacKenzie Copley, has said he and its other cofounder, David Schaﬀer, who serves as policy director, set out to provide HIV testing on weekends to enable a its large team of student volunteers to carry out the testing at a fraction of the cost of using a van or other specialized vehicle. “We partner with local grocery and convenience stores, bring a 10 foot by 10 foot canvas tent directly into high risk areas of the city and, with over 300 undergraduate volunteers, provide screening in 15 minutes or less,” Copley told the Washington Blade. “We’ll have over 600 volunteers within the next three weeks and we even just partnered with Grindr, who’s going to let all of its D.C. users know where we’ll be each weekend,” Copley said in a Sept. 10 email to the Blade. “To boot, everyone in our organization is 26 or younger,” he said. Michael Kharfen, director of the D.C. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration, known as HAHSTA, said his oﬃce provides One Tent Health with HIV test kits and helps train the group’s volunteers on how to perform the tests and counsel people who get tested. On its website, One Tent Health says it also provides those who stop by its tent with information about the HIV prevention medication known as PrEP. It says it also has a partnership with Whitman-Walker Health, the city’s largest private health care organization that provides HIV-related treatment and services, including access to PrEP. Kharfen said that similar to all HIV testing centers that use the rapid oral HIV test, those who test positive at One Tent Health are referred to another facility where they receive a conﬁrmatory HIV blood test. Whitman-Walker is among the health centers that provides conﬁrmatory tests. “Having launched HIV screening in October 2017, One Tent Health hopes to provide HIV screening to at least 4,000 of Washington, D.C.’s most at-risk residents in 2018 by the District’s Metro stops, parks, grocery stores, homeless shelters, and community centers,” the group says on its website. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Officials hail opening of Freddie Lutz’s new restaurant At least three elected oﬃcials joined LGBT community members and friends in participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 30 to mark the grand opening of the gay-owned Federico’s Restorante Italiano in the Crystal City section of Arlington, Va. Gay Virginia State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and gay Virginia House of Delegates member Mark Levin (D-Arlington-Alexandria) were among Vintage photo of FREDDIE LUTZ at Café Italia. those participating in the event. They hailed PHOTO COURTESY LUTZ owner Freddie Lutz for his longstanding role as an LGBT supportive businessman and overall community activist in Northern Virginia. Federico’s is located on the same block on S. 23rd Street in Crystal City as Freddie’s Beach Bar, another restaurant-bar owned by Lutz. “We can’t think of Arlington and the whole rainbow community without thinking of Freddie,” Levine said. Also attending the ribbon cutting were former Arlington Board member Jay Fissette and Arlington’s current Clerk of the Court, Paul Ferguson. Lutz reminded many who attended the ribbon cutting on the sidewalk outside of Federico’s that he began his career in the restaurant business in the 1970s as the maitre’d at Café Italia, the restaurant that occupied the building in which Federico’s is now located. He said he remained in that position for around 25 years until he opened Freddie’s Beach Bar in 2001. Earlier in the day Lutz and his husband Johnny Cervantes hosted a social gathering and fundraiser at their nearby home for AGLA, the nonpartisan Northern Virginia LGBT advocacy organization formerly known as the Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance. Among those attending that gathering were Arlington Police Chief Murray “Jay” Farr and several candidates running for the Arlington Board of Supervisors, Arlington school board and the Alexandria City Council. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
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Log Cabin president to step down after 6 years Angelo announces exit at annual dinner that also featured Mass. guv By CHRIS JOHNSON email@example.com The list of Republicans announcing their exits from leadership roles in Washington prior to Election Day expanded into LGBT circles Tuesday night when Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, announced plans to step down after six years heading the organization. Angelo announced “this will be my ﬁnal Spirit of Lincoln dinner serving as your president” before the estimated 250 attendees at the annual event in D.C., which this year was held at the Mayﬂower Hotel. “Now is the time to pass that baton to someone who will continue our stride toward a more equal America,” Angelo said. Angelo cited as major milestones the commemoration of Log Cabin’s 40th anniversary, participation in the Conservative Political Action Conference, and recognition of the organization by the Republican National Committee. Angelo also cited “for the ﬁrst time in history, formal recognition of Log Cabin Republicans from a sitting Republican president,” thanking President Trump for the honor. Although many Republicans are heading for the exits ahead of the congressional mid-term elections, Angelo told the Blade his departure was planned for around this time when he ﬁrst came on board six years ago. “When I started at Log Cabin Republicans, I had stated to myself that what this organization needed more than anything was stability in its executive leadership — something Log Cabin Republicans had lacked for probably the better part of a decade,” Angelo said. “Having said that, I made a vow to head this organization for at least four, but no more than six years, and this is the sixth year. It’s time to grow.” Angelo said Log Cabin’s board of directors has had a search process for a new president in place “for the better part of the year” and he’d stick around until new leadership is ready, “potentially” past Election Day. Angelo, however, kept his cards close to the vest on the timing for the announcement of the new president and his own plans post-Log Cabin. Delivering the keynote address at the dinner was Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican who polls as the most popular governor in the United States and told attendees personal stories about people he knew who came out as gay, asserting the disclosure of their sexual orientation made no diﬀerence to him.
Log Cabin Republicans President GREGORY T. ANGELO announced his departure at the 2018 Spirit of Lincoln National Dinner at the Mayﬂower Hotel on Oct. 2. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
At the top of the list for Baker was his brother, whom Baker said came out in 1982 by asking him, “What would you say if I told you your brother was gay?” “I’d say, ‘That’s OK,’” Baker said he responded, eliciting applause from the audience. The response from his brother, Baker said, was “That’s actually great because I want you to tell Mom and Dad.” In the aftermath of the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage in 2003, Baker recalled attending his brother’s wedding ceremony. “I remember being at the wedding,” Baker said. “The thing I thought about the most, in addition to how happy our parents were, was how many opportunities have been missed, how many chances, friendships, partnerships, relationships were missed in that 20 years between the time my brother ﬁrst [came out] to me...and got married.” Baker also made the case for LGBT inclusion by insisting sexual orientation shouldn’t be a factor in decisions for businesses and organizations. “We talk all the time about how important it is for us to always ﬁnd the best people when you put together an organization or team or whatever it is,” Baker said. “Find the best people. How the hell are you going to ﬁnd the best people if you don’t let everybody play?” Baker said being willing to take on the best talent isn’t limited to disregarding sexual orientation in hiring practices,
noting he picked Stephanie Pollack as Massachusetts transportation secretary even though he said she sued him “like 10 times” as an attorney. Although Baker was introduced at the dinner as the governor who signed the update to Massachusetts civil rights law expanding protections for transgender people to public accommodations, neither he nor anyone on stage mentioned that law will come up as a referendum before state voters on Election Day. During the dinner, Angelo took the opportunity to hail LGBT victories he counted in the past year for Republicans, such as the U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highestranking openly gay oﬃcial in the Trump administration. (Grenell attended the dinner, but declined to speak to the Blade, asserting he was there “socializing.”) Angelo also hailed as a victory the lessening of anti-gay language in the 2018 Texas Republican Party platform. Log Cabin’s Houston delegation to the Texas Republican convention was brought on stage and presented with an award for the achievement. “Treating gay individuals as peers rather than combatants is a necessary step in the road to equality,” Angelo said. “And if you can do it in Texas, then you can do it anywhere.” (Although the document no longer contains language asserting God condemns homosexuality, the platform still endorses
widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy and anti-transgender bathroom legislation and condemns the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.) At a time of continual anti-LGBT policy decisions from the Trump administration, including the implementation that day of a State Department policy cancelling visas for the unmarried same-sex parents of foreign diplomats, Angelo cited pro-LGBT developments in the Republican Party to the Blade when asked why LGBT people should back Republicans on Election Day. “What did you see in this room tonight?” Angelo said. “What you saw at the Spirit of Lincoln dinner was LGBT Republicans who are energized to support allies, and we have a lot of them in the current Congress.” Angelo pointed out more Republicans now co-sponsor the Fair & Equal Housing Act than the number of Republicans who voted for the Employment NonDiscrimination Act in 2013 and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal in 2010. Recognized at the dinner for attending the pre-reception, but not the dinner itself, were Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as well as U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.). Retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), New Hampshire State Sen. Dan Innis D.C. Republican Party Chair Jose Cunningham and former Rep. Jim Kolbe attended the reception and stayed for the duration of the dinner.
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THE TONI A. GHAZI GROUP For the many, buying, selling or renting real estate can be a process ﬁlled with many challenging emotions – whether you have lived in the Washington Metro Area for most of your life or are relocating from another state or country - The Toni A. Ghazi Group believes that the mind will manifest what you believe-in and our belief will ALWAYS stand for the creation of a home search experience ﬁlled with peace, love, serenity, and fun. After all, you are looking for ‘your’ home, to live, love, laugh and create amazing memories with your partners, children, pets, family & friends. The Toni A. Ghazi Group is not your conventional Real Estate Team. With over 18+ years of experience combined, we are here to manifest your Real Estate wish into existence. Does it sounds too esoterical? Sure, we totally understand…allow us a chance to meet you and you will experience a magical experience. In the past 3-year alone, we have found homes to over 250 families. ‘Living’ a positive Karma is how our team operates – we are believers in goodness, being honest and ethical despite the challenges that we may face. We will never waiver on this belief! It ‘IS’ what our team stands for.
TONI A. GHAZI Skilled in the art of communication and negotiation, and having the ability to speak multiple languages from 4 continents, (English, Spanish, French, Arabic and currently learning Mandarin Chinese) Toni brings a multi-cultural perspective that enables him to understand nuances and business practices related to the international cultures within the Washington Metro Area – an edge he employs to deliver his clients a globally-appreciated high-quality level of service. Toni connects with everyone on a deep humane level - a level that pushes newly found client relationships to a higher level of friendships that’s forever lasting. Some of Toni’s clients have included 1st Time Home Buyers with modest incomes to the Royal Family of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, CEO’s, CFO’s, Entrepreneurs, World Bank, IFC & IMF Executives, State Department, and the White House. Toni has represented buyers, sellers, investors and renters as well. Above all, Toni believes in being ‘yourself,’ in whichever way that self is. Toni prides himself on being extremely professional, ethical, caring and above ALL judge-free. Toni lives in AU Park - Washington DC, with his ﬁancé Craig Hollinger & their 4-rescued dogs, Bae, Elliot, Siri & Aiden. Toni believes in giving back to his community and helping others – he serves on the Board of ‘KEEN Greater DC’ whose mission empowers young kids with disabilities by providing free, one-to-one programs of exercise and Fitness.
LLEDON STOKES A prominent agent on the DC real estate scene, Lledon is passionate about life and quality above all. As a former United States Army Reserve Veteran, she developed the discipline to accomplish tasks in the most efﬁcient manner, while a pageantry background has allowed her to cultivate the qualities necessary to establish relationships with ease. As an agent, Lledon has the ability to look at situations objectively, with the mindset that a solution is always within reach. Thanks to her experience in property management and transaction coordination, Lledon brings a multifaceted understanding of the real estate industry to help every client achieve their distinct goals. Well-versed in the nuances of contract law, Lledon is adept at maintaining an active checklist, keeping information organized, and prepping ﬁnal ﬁles for closing, while remaining a trusted advisor at every step of the way. And though she specializes in residential real estate, Lledon partners with clients in all stages and at all price points as she guides them through the process with ease. Whether you are looking to expand your wealth portfolio or purchase your ﬁrst home, Lledon combines her enthusiasm for real estate with a can-do attitude to drive unrivaled results. In her spare time, Lledon is an advocate for mental health—helping to facilitate everything from awareness to empowerment.
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Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland. 1313 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 202.386.6330
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Colombia mother ﬁghts bullying after gay son dies by suicide BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Alba Lucía Reyes Arenas beams with pride when she talks about her son, Sergio Urrego. She told the Washington Blade on Sept. 24 during an interview in the Colombian capital of Bogotá that he liked opera from “an early age” and he read his ﬁrst book, “The Neverending Story,” when he was around 6 years old. Reyes said her son was an atheist who enjoyed art and politics. Urrego was also a member of an anarchist student group. “There are many things that I can tell you,” said Reyes. “For all moms, our ALBA LUCÍA REYES ARENAS in Bogotá, children are very special, but Sergio was Colombia, on Sept. 24. Her son, Sergio Urrego, took his own life in 2014 after interested in things that were beyond his administrators of his high school bullied him age since he was very little.” because he was gay. Urrego was 16 when he took his own WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS life on Aug. 4, 2014. Administrators and a psychologist at Urrego’s Roman Catholic high school in Bogotá targeted him after a teacher saw a picture of him kissing his boyfriend on his cell phone. The parents of Urrego’s boyfriend accused him of sexually abusing their son. Urrego was to have begun attending another school the day after his suicide. Reyes was in the Colombian city of Cali when she ﬁrst learned something was wrong with her son. She ﬂew back to Bogotá and arrived at her home at around 9:30 p.m. Reyes said through tears the ﬁrst thing she found was a note with “very big letters” from her son. Reyes said she initially thought he had left it for her mother, but it was for her. Reyes told the Blade her son wrote, “I wasn’t able to go to school because there was a problem.” “When I saw this note, I said something happened,” she said. Reyes said she then went to her son’s bedroom and found books on his bed and a note that asked her to give them to his best friends. Reyes also found other notes that her son had written before his suicide. “It was something that ﬁlled me with anguish,” she said. “It was painful.” Urrego’s death sparked outrage among LGBTI rights activists in Colombia. Reyes ﬁled a legal complaint against Urrego’s school on Sept. 11, 2014. A Bogotá court a few weeks later ruled Urrego had been the victim of discrimination, but she did not receive any damages and the ruling did not order Colombia’s Ministry of Education to review the school’s policies. Reyes appealed the decision to the Council of State, which considers appeals from administrative courts. Then-Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez — an outspoken opponent of LGBTI rights who President Iván Duque named as Colombia’s new ambassador to the Organization of American States last month — ruled against Reyes on grounds that schools had the right to ban “kisses and hugs.” The school’s administrator, Amanda Azucena Castillo, resigned on Oct. 10, 2014. Colombia’s Constitutional Court on Aug. 21, 2015, overturned the Council of State’s decision and ruled in favor of Reyes on Dec. 11, 2015. Schools in Colombia cannot discriminate against their students based on their sexual orientation. An amendment to the nondiscrimination law that bares Urrego’s name also requires Colombian schools to update their policies to ensure they are not anti-LGBTI. Reyes since her son’s death has become a vocal anti-bullying activist. She was among the 31 LGBTI activists from around the world who attended the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Global Innovative Advocacy Summit that took place in D.C. in April. Reyes in May traveled to Cuba and participated in events commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia the country’s National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) organized. CENESEX Director Mariela Castro, who is the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, invited Reyes to take part in a panel that took place at CENESEX’s Havana headquarters. Reyes this year oﬃcially launched Fundación Sergio Urrego, which seeks to end discrimination in Colombian schools and prevent suicide among those who suﬀer discrimination. She told the Blade that suicide is the second most common cause of death among “our young people.” Reyes also noted statistics that indicate 192 people between the ages of 15-24 in Bogotá have taken their lives so far this year. “It is something that is not talked about here,” she said. “There is no institution that is
providing immediate attention to children who are in crisis.” The foundation has responded to roughly 70 cases. It also holds workshops for children and parents in businesses and in other locations throughout the country. “My goal is to prevent cases like Sergio’s from happening,” said Reyes. “This campaign gives me strength to continue, to keep going.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Nicaraguan activists attend Victory Institute workshop SANTA LUCÍA, Honduras — Five activists from Nicaragua who are participating in protests against their country’s government attended a regional LGBTI workshop that took place in Honduras last weekend. The activists — who are from the Nicaraguan capital of Managua and the city of Chinandega — are among the 28 people who attended the Victory Institute-sponsored workshop that took place outside the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa from Sept. 28-29. SOMOS CDC, Asociación Lambda and Caribe Aﬁrmativo — three LGBTI advocacy groups that are based in Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia respectively — also organized the workshop. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the Pan-American Foundation for Development and the InterAmerican Foundation provided ﬁnancial support. The workshop, which is one of three that are scheduled to take place in Central America over the coming months, took place less than six months after protests against the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, broke out over proposed cuts to social security beneﬁts and the government’s response to a ﬁre at the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve on the country’s Caribbean coast. Reports indicate more than 500 people have been killed since the protests began on April 18. The activists asked the Washington Blade not to identify them by name or to publish their pictures because of concerns over their safety. One activist, a gay man from Chinandega, noted the National LGBTQ Roundtable of Nicaragua was among the ﬁrst organizations that urged the government to stop using violence against the protesters. The activist pointed out the National LGBTQ Roundtable of Nicaragua on June 15 issued another communiqué that called upon the government to participate in a dialogue with protest leaders the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Roman Catholic bishops had brokered. The group also demanded “the end to repression at all levels and across Nicaragua” and the release of “all people who have been illegally imprisoned.” “The National LGBTQ Roundtable of Nicaragua strongly repudiates all of the violent actions the Ortega Murillo regime has carried out against the Nicaraguan people,” reads the communiqué. William Ramírez Cerda, a gay rights activist, was among the more than 200 people who were trapped inside a church on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Managua in July when pro-government forces surrounded it. Ramírez told the Blade during an interview after the 15hour siege that a student who was shot in the head outside the church died. The gay activist from Chinandega told the Blade that LGBTI people have been killed in his city during the anti-government protests. An activist from Managua who describes herself as a “lesbian woman” and “feminist organizer” said there are currently 11 LGBTI political prisoners in Nicaragua. The activists also said the government has launched a “disinformation campaign” on social media to target LGBTI activists and others who are taking part in the protests. A screenshot the gay activist from Chinandega sent to the Blade contains a picture of a “wanted terrorist” who is described as a “promoter of hate and violence through his social media networks.” Another screenshot of a Facebook page that was taken on Aug. 29 contains pictures of activists who are described as “right-wing terrorist murders.” “The disinformation campaign is directly targeting LGBT activists who have played a visible role in the struggle,” said the gay activist from Chinandega. MICHAEL K. LAVERS
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was distributed on July 20 also says, “all currently accredited same-sex domestic partners of oﬃcers and employees of international organizations serving in the United States who wish to maintain their derivative G-4 nonimmigrant visa status and acceptance of accreditation” should ask their organization “to submit appropriate documentation” to the State Department’s Oﬃce of Foreign Missions no later than Dec. 31 that indicates “the couple has legally married.” “After December 31, 2018, unless such individuals are able to obtain separate authorization to remain in the United States through a change of nonimmigrant status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, they will generally be expected to depart the country within 30 days,” reads the letter. “However, on or after October 1, 2018, partners of oﬃcers and employees of international organizations applying for a visa renewal in the United States must be married in order to qualify for a derivative G-4 visa.” Senior administration oﬃcials who spoke with reporters on a conference call on Tuesday said the new policy is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in the Obergefell case that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples across the country. They also said the new policy would impact 105 families, with 55 of them working with international organizations. The State Department letter notes the new policy applies to same-sex and opposite-sex partners. “It’s to promote the equal treatment of all family members and couples,” said a senior administration oﬃcial on Tuesday. Alfonso Nam, president of UN-GLOBE, a group that advocates on behalf of the U.N.’s LGBTI employees, told the Blade last month that most countries have yet to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. Nam on Tuesday reiterated this point when he discussed the new policy. “It doesn’t (take into account) the fact to be a same-sex couple in today’s world is to face a number of hurdles,” he told the Blade. Human Rights Campaign Government Aﬀairs Director David Stacy in a statement described the new policy as “an unconscionable, needless attack on some LGBTQ diplomats from around the world, and it reﬂects the hostility of the Trump-Pence administration toward LGBTQ people.” “It is unnecessary, mean-spirited, and unacceptable,” he said. Former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster on Tuesday told the Blade he “saw how diﬃcult it was to get accreditation for my husband [Bob Satawake] as a diplomat to a country where same-sex marriage was not recognized.”
Then-U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic JAMES ‘WALLY’ BREWSTER (left) and his husband, BOB SATAWAKE, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2015. WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
“It will limit quality leaders from around the globe from working here in international organizations,” added Brewster, referring to the new visa policy. “The argument of treating it the same as opposite sex relationships is either a smokescreen or another example of how this administration is blind to the facts. Either way the physical and legal damage many would face in their countries where it illegal to be married is real.” Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power in a tweet described it as “needlessly cruel and bigoted.” “Needlessly cruel & bigoted: State Dept. will no longer let same-sex domestic partners of UN employees get visas unless they are married. But only 12% of UN member states allow same-sex marriage,” she tweeted. The Obama administration in 2009 implemented a policy that asked countries to accredit same-sex partners of U.S. Foreign Service personnel on a “reciprocal basis” in order to receive diplomatic visas. A State Department oﬃcial with whom the Blade spoke last month said U.S. Foreign Service personnel as of Monday “must be married to enjoy the rights and beneﬁts of spouses.” “Parallel to that, and based on the principle of reciprocity, under which our current policy is based, the department will likewise require that, as a general matter, oﬃcials from other governments be married to enjoy the rights and beneﬁts of spouses for purposes of visa issuance and privileges and immunities,” said the oﬃcial. “We will continue to rely on modiﬁed principles of reciprocity to advocate for equality in countries which will not permit same sex marriage or accept our same sex spouses as persons forming part of the family of the US oﬃcer, with appropriate privileges and immunities,” added the oﬃcial. A senior administration oﬃcial on Tuesday told the Blade the new policy is “not meant to be punitive” against LGBTI diplomats and their families. “This is certainly not an attack,” said the oﬃcial.
House defeats anti-LGBT adoption measure The U.S. House skirted a proposed measure last week that would have inhibited adoption rights for LGBT couples, approving major appropriations legislation that omitted the initiative. The chamber voted 361-61 for a massive spending package to avert a government shutdown weeks before Election Day, sending the legislation to President Trump, who’s expected to sign it. Missing from the spending package was an amendment inserted by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) in July during markup of the spending legislation. The proposal would have penalized states and localities for having policies barring adoption agencies from placing children into families inconsistent with their religious beliefs, such as LGBT households. That measure was taken out of the legislation during the conference committee process as a result of opposition led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Ian Thompson, senior legislative representative with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement the defeat of the amendment ensured nondiscrimination protections for LGBT homes in the adoption process. “This amendment would have placed the religious and moral beliefs of certain taxpayer-funded child welfare service providers above the best interests of the children in their care,” Thompson said. “The only determination that should govern the actions of these providers is what is in the best interests of the child. No family should ever be told they are not qualiﬁed to serve as foster or adoptive parents because they are LGBTQ or the ‘wrong’ religion. The successful defeat of the Aderholt Amendment sends a clear message: There is no place for taxpayer-funded discrimination in the child welfare system.” The amendment was along the lines of new laws in many states enabling taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse placement into homes, including LGBT households, over religious objections. Those laws are in place in Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Kansas. With same-sex marriage the law of the land, Catholic groups have been spearheading these initiatives, claiming adoption agencies would have to close down if they are forced to place children into LGBT homes contrary to their religious beliefs. Among the opponents of the measure were more than 300 child welfare, civil rights and faith organizations as well as 40 senators led by Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) who wrote a joint letter in opposition to the amendment. According to the Family Equality Council, 44 states that prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in the adoption process could have lost up to 15 percent of their child welfare funding — an estimated $1.04 billion — if the bill became law. DeLauro, top Democrat on the labor, health and human services and education appropriations subcommittee, said in a statement she was proud to help defeat the measure. “I was proud to ﬁght to ensure that the Aderholt amendment—which would have inserted bigotry and discrimination into our foster care and adoption systems — was removed from this year’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill,” DeLauro said. “Children deserve to live in safe, happy, and healthy permanent homes, and their best interests should always be placed ﬁrst. No qualiﬁed adoptive and foster care parent should be discriminated against, period.” CHRIS JOHNSON
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sustained an injury to his back and bruises on both hands in an incident that D.C. police classiﬁed as a simple assault. Police, who Gray called after being ejected from the Eagle, did not arrest the bouncer but have said the incident remains under investigation. “We deeply regret that this situation escalated in the manner that it did and we appreciate and recognize the longstanding support and commitment Councilmember Vincent Gray has had for the LGBT community and the District as a
whole,” the Eagle said in a statement sent by email to the Washington Blade shortly after 10 p.m. on Monday. “For this altercation to have occurred, we do apologize,” the statement says. “The member of our security staﬀ at the door that evening has only lived in the area for 4 months and [was] not familiar with Councilmember Gray’s service to the District. We will retrain all of our staﬀ to ensure that a focus on customer service and de-escalation is adhered to.” The statement adds, “At this time, we are conducting an internal review and are cooperating with the relevant District
agencies and oﬃces.” It also makes an assertion about the city’s liquor law that one of Gray’s former election campaign spokespersons, Chuck Thies, says is not accurate. “D.C.’s Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration regulations stipulate that their investigators may check the identiﬁcation of any patron on our premises and anyone found to not have a valid ID would put our license at risk,” the Eagle’s statement says. Theis points to the city’s law regulating establishments licensed to serve alcoholic beverages, which requires
licensees to check whether a customer has a valid ID bearing his or her date of birth at the time when seek to buy a drink. Theis notes that the law does not require a person to have a valid ID as a condition to be admitted to a licensed establishment such as a bar or nightclub. “The establishment is required to determine age prior to serving alcohol,” Thies said. “That said, they do not have to check ID if/when age is obviously not a factor” such as when a customer is obviously older than D.C.’s minimum drinking age of 21, he said.
Judge: HB2 deal doesn’t impair bathroom access for trans people By CHRIS JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit against the compromise over North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 to continue, but found the new law doesn’t inhibit bathroom access to transgender people in the state. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled Sunday night the challenge to House Bill 142 can proceed insofar as it pertains to Section 3 of the law, which prohibits municipalities from enacting ordinances regulating private employment practices or regulating public accommodations until Dec. 1, 2020. “While HB142 presents the same barrier to anyone else seeking a protective ordinance as it does to transgender individuals, plaintiﬀs observe that transgender individuals have a greater need for protective ordinances than other groups,” Schroeder writes. “This is because protective statutes and ordinances that preexist HB142 — such as Charlotte’s ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sex — continue to be valid. Thus, plaintiﬀs plausibly allege they lack the protections that individuals in other vulnerable groups enjoy.” But Schroeder doesn’t allow the lawsuit to proceed regarding Section 2 of the law, which bars state agencies and colleges from “regulation of access” to restrooms and locker rooms. “While plaintiﬀs are correct that Section 2 prevents state entities like UNC from regulating access to restrooms, the court is unpersuaded that the mere provision of separate male and female facilities is regulation of restroom access, in the relevant sense,” Schroeder writes. As a result, Schroeder ﬁnds plaintiﬀs in the case “fail to state a claim based on Section 2, but succeed in stating a claim based on Section 3.”
North Carolina Gov. ROY COOPER took actions aimed at alleviating anti-LGBT discrimination in North Carolina. WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
HB142 was signed into law last year by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper as a result of a compromise with Republican lawmakers seeking to ease the burden of an economic boycott on the state over HB2, which barred transgender people from using public restrooms consistent with their gender identity and cities from enacting pro-LGBT ordinances. Former Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law, then was voted out of oﬃce that year. The new law prohibits municipalities from enacting ordinances regulating private employment practices or regulating public accommodations until Dec. 1, 2020 and bars state agencies and colleges from “regulation of access” to restrooms and locker rooms. Although major economic boycotts were curtailed with HB142 in place, LGBT rights supporters continued to object on the basis the law continued to undermine LGBT rights and stigmatize
transgender people. The lawsuit against the statute, Carcaño v. Cooper, was initially ﬁled by the American Civil Liberties Union and the LGBT legal group Lambda Legal when HB2 was on the books and was later modiﬁed to challenge against HB142 when the compromise was reached. Attorneys for these groups hailed the decision as a victory even though the judge ruled against allowing their claims against the portion of the law pertaining to bathrooms to proceed. Chris Brook, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, said in a statement the decision “lessens some of the harm that has been caused by these laws’ disgraceful and indefensible attacks on LGBT North Carolinians.” “The court’s decision does not account for the very real injuries LGBT people have faced under both HB2 and HB142, but we will continue ﬁghting for
the rights of all LGBT people in North Carolina as this case proceeds,” Brook said. “The bottom line is that LGBT North Carolinians deserve to feel secure in knowing that when they go about their daily lives and interact with businesses open to the public, any discrimination they encounter is unacceptable.” Tara Borelli, counsel for Lambda Legal, said in a statement the decision assures transgender people have access to the restrooms in North Carolina. “In light of this ruling, there should no longer be any excuse for discrimination in government facilities against transgender students and employees, who are simply trying to get through daily life like everyone else,” Borelli said. “HB 142 and HB 2 no longer provide a fig leaf for denying transgender people equal dignity and access to public facilities on the same terms that all other North Carolinians can take for granted.”
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LONDON — Approximately 40 percent of HIV-positive adults starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the United States would like to have children in the future, a proportion that remained unchanged after two years of followup, investigators report in Open Forum Infectious Diseases. The ﬁndings were published in the journal AIDSmap. There was no signiﬁcant diﬀerence in the proportion of women, men who have sex with women (MSW) and men who have sex with men (MSM) who said they would like to have children. Younger people and black MSM were more likely to want to have children, AIDSmap reports. The investigators believe their ﬁndings show the importance of regular assessment of the reproductive health and conception needs of HIV-positive patients. “Our data showed that overall, MSM, MSW and W (women) have similar parenting desires,” the authors wrote. “Hence, all of these populations would beneﬁt from preconception counseling, counseling about methods of contraception, and understanding how to prevent transmitting HIV to uninfected partners or to their future children.” Investigators undertook the study because little is currently known about the parenting desires of people living with HIV. The only studies to examine this were conducted 20 or more years ago and did not include MSM. Because of ART, many HIV-positive patients have an excellent prognosis; moreover HIV is untransmissable by individuals with an undetectable viral load. In the U.S., pregnancy and live birth rates among women with HIV are close to those observed in HIV-negative women, AIDSmap reports. Participants were recruited between 2009-2011 as part of a study of ART regimens for treatment-naïve individuals. Data were analyzed from adult men (over the age of 18) and adult women of reproductive age (18-45 years). At baseline and after 96 weeks of therapy, participants were if they would like to have children in the future (yes/unsure/no). Men were stratiﬁed according to whether they were MSM or were exclusively straight, AIDSmap reports. A total of 1,425 patients were recruited. Most (70 percent) were MSM, 13 percent were women and 17 percent were straight men. The median age was 36 years. Thirty-nine percent of patients were black and 36 percent were white. Two-thirds had some post-high school education and half were living on a low income (below $20,000 a year), AIDSmap reports. At baseline, 86 percent of MSM reported having no children, with only 27 percent of both straight men and women reporting having no children.
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NEW YORK — New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that HIV diagnoses are rising faster for young men who have sex with men (MSM) than for their older MSM peers. However, the extent to which the rates are being driven by increased testing or by an increase in transmission is unclear, MD Magazine reports. The CDC reported that between 2008-2016, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses among young MSM (those aged 13-29) increased by 3 percent per year, while decreasing 4 percent per year among MSM aged 30-49, and remaining virtually unchanged for MSM over the age of 50. Overall, the number of new infections among the youngest cohort of MSM was four times higher than among the 50-plus age group, MD Magazine reports. At the same time, the number of MSM living with HIV from 2008-2015 increased by 11 percent among the 50-and-older age group, and as of the end of 2015 there were three times as many 50-plus MSM living with HIV as there were young men with HIV. The latter ﬁgure is evidence of the eﬀect of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which is making it possible for people to live long lives even after an HIV diagnosis, MD Magazine reports. Andrew Mitsch, MPH, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said the age-cohort disparities themselves were not a surprise, but he and his colleagues were struck by the size of the gaps. However, Mitsch told MD Magazine the increase in diagnoses among young MSM might not be due to risky behavior.
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Clinging to hope amid Kavanaugh debacle #MeToo may not be enough to stop deplorable nominee
KATHI WOLFE, a writer and a poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade.
“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul –/And sings the tune without the words/And never stops – at all ,” Emily Dickinson said. For millions of us watching the debacle surrounding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination process, hope, if not com-
pletely stopped, is nearly at a standstill. Even as we, queer and hetero, dared to believe that #MeToo was changing the culture, the events around Kavanagh’s nomination have led us to temper our hopes. Who will ever forget what they ate for breakfast or when they stopped working to look at their phone that day, Sept. 27? When Christine Blasey Ford courageously, before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the world, testiﬁed that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teens. (Kavanaugh denies that he sexually assaulted or engaged in sexual misconduct with Ford or any of the other women who have accused him of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.) One of the most telling moments for me was when Ford said that Kavanaugh and Mark Judge had laughed at her, “having fun at my expense.” As I heard Ford’s story, like so many E DIT OR IA L C A R T OON
women, I recalled the times in my life when I’d experienced sexual harassment. Thankfully, I’ve never been raped or sexually assaulted. But there was the time when I was in an elevator between two men joking about rape. There was the day when I quickly got out of a cab at a stoplight because the driver began coming on to me. I was in an airport days after Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose were ﬁred because they had sexually harassed women they’d worked with. The news about their ﬁrings was on the airport TV. As I waited for my ﬂight, a man said to me, “hey, you should give Matt Lauer your phone number! It would be great for you!” As so often happens with survivors of sexual assault, Ford has been dogged by people (mostly men) wanting to know why she waited so long to tell anyone — her family or the police — about what happened to her. Only recently, with #MeToo, has it begun to be understood why women (and men) don’t immediately come forward when they’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed. Shame, fear of being blamed or of facing reprisals (if, for example, the sexual assault occurred in the workplace) can keep victims from coming forward. So, sexual assault survivors often turn inward or to counseling. “I brought it up in therapy, which seemed an appropriate place to deal with the sequelae [aftereﬀect] of the assault,” Ford said at the hearing. Kavanaugh’s demeanor was a brutal contrast to Ford’s brave honesty and vulnerability. Kavanaugh’s red-faced fury and partisan insults will be forever etched in our brains. “This whole two-week eﬀort has been a calculated ... political hit fueled with pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election,” Kavanaugh fumed, “revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.” The Senate could vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination late this week after the FBI conducts an investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh. It’s hard to believe that the investigation will be fair or impartial. The votes may not be there to keep Kavanaugh from being conﬁrmed, and even if he isn’t, the Republicans would likely have the votes to conﬁrm another conservative justice to the Supreme Court. Yet, not all hope is lost. Queer women supported gay men during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Sexual violence is as vital an issue for LGBTQ people as marriage equality or employment discrimination. #MeToo is an opportunity for LGBTQ folk to support male, female and gender queer sexual assault survivors in our community and the wider culture. Do this so your sisters, spouses, children, friends and colleagues will still have Emily D’s “thing with feathers.”
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Will the Senate conﬁrm a lying sleazebag? The Kavanaugh FBI investigation and beyond
PETER ROSENSTEIN is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.
The question before the Senate is now whether to conﬁrm the man who appears to be a lying sleazebag or to say no, we will not put a boozing, belligerent individual, also a possible sexual predator, on the highest court in the land. In all likelihood, the FBI investigation will not answer deﬁnitively whether Brett Kavanaugh committed the act of sexual aggression that Christine Blasey Ford has accused him of. While I believe her it may still come down to a he said/she said issue for the Senate. But what the investigation could conﬁrm is what all those who knew him in high school and college have said is true: He lied to Congress about his drinking. That his claim he was simply a basketball fanatic, hardworking choirboy, claiming getting into Yale proved he
didn’t drink, is a lie. Also beyond credulity were his explanations of the terms he used in his high school yearbook including “FFFFFfourth of July,” “Boof,” and the “devils triangle.” The FBI could conﬁrm all his friends understood what those terms meant to them and to all kids in those days. They could also conﬁrm what they all understood the term “Renate Alumnius” used by so many of his friends in their yearbook quotes meant. Like so many, I was riveted by the hearing. First watching as Ford, in quiet and believable words, opened herself up to the world and told us what she claims Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge did to her at a high school party. Then we heard from Kavanaugh. He came across as a belligerent, whiny, sniﬄing man of privilege as he denied everything and fought back. He rudely challenged Democratic senators in a way I don’t think anyone has ever seen in a congressional hearing. He just about shouted, “This whole two-week eﬀort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing
opposition groups.” That display alone should disqualify him from sitting on the Court. What it did is remind us of how his unhinged display contrasted with Hillary Clinton who faced 11 hours of badgering and oﬀensive questions by Republican senators in her Benghazi hearing and never once lost her cool. So the FBI investigation, which has been severely limited by agreement between Republicans in the Senate and the president, will ﬁnish and a report will be submitted to the Senate. Then they will vote. The reality is whichever way they vote this nomination and the process used will impact us as a nation for years to come. Like it or not the nomination and conﬁrmation of Neil Gorsuch and now the nomination of Kavanaugh can be laid at the feet of those who either didn’t vote in 2016 or voted for a third party. They apparently didn’t understand the ramiﬁcations of what they were doing. So these men were nominated by a president who many consider certiﬁable and a man lacking any human decency. But then he was elected to do this. What made this worse is how the Republicans who control the Senate Judiciary Committee handled the nomination. They willingly moved forward without 90 percent of the writings and background
information on the nominee. They were willing to move forward without an FBI investigation of charges made against the nominee. They were willing to send his nomination to the whole Senate without having those who made the charges, or any other witnesses, come before them for questioning. They apparently took a look at the hearings for Justice Thomas in 1991 and decided “it worked then so why not now?” They did learn one thing from those Thomas hearings, which was how bad it looked for a group of old white men to be the only Republicans asking questions of Anita Hill. So this time when questioning Ford, they hid behind the skirt of Rachel Mitchell who they hired to question Ford for them. It was telling that when it came to questioning Kavanaugh she was quickly dismissed as not being partisan enough. Will this be the future for all Senate hearings as long as Republicans are in control? One thing that seems to have been overlooked by some in the media, or chalked up simply to his being a big diva, was Lindsey Graham’s threat to women and Democrats that when he becomes chair of the committee if Republicans keep control of the Senate he will wreak revenge on them. That threat should be scary enough to get everyone to come out to vote on Nov. 6.
BR O CK PA PER SCI SSOR S
Kavanaugh and the end of the road for spoiled straight men Their reign of sexist, homophobic terror comes to a close
BROCK THOMPSON is a D.C.-based freelance writer. He writes regularly for the Blade.
Have you ever lived in, or even really visited an honest-to-god college town? You know the type — a small town nestled away somewhere, dominated by the school, dozens of bars with cheap beer and storied pasts. Through my rather long academic career I lived in two — Fayetteville, Ark., and Chapel Hill, N.C. Both, I would say, quintessential college towns. And I’m here to tell you, there were scores of Brett Kavanaughs running around. And that’s what I was reminded of while watching Brett Ka-
vanaugh’s sniveling, tantrum-like testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Am I connecting too many dots by linking Brett Kavanaugh’s deplorable actions to the LGBT community? In a word, no. If anything of the actions of Brett Kavanaughs out there tell us, if they have no respect for women, they’ll have none for others, especially members of our community. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time in Fayetteville. It was a beautiful place to live. But again, the Brett Kavanaughs, those entitled frat boys all dressed the same, us queer kids would cringe when they came rolling through spaces — acting as they pleased with no regard for others, especially us. I was also a teaching assistant during my time there, teaching literature and history courses. Kavanaugh answered many questions by making lame attempts at turning the questions back on the other person, like so many frat boys giving a report on a book of which the spine had never been cracked, “well, that’s a good question, what do you think the central theme of Moby Dick was?” This is who I saw when I saw Kavanaugh testify. The crybaby who didn’t understand that handing in no work would eventually
mean not passing the class. I especially saw it when he displayed obvious contempt for the female senators as they asked their questions. His back-and-forth with Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar was especially trou-
nowhere near as bad as others. I was just called ‘faggot’ here and there. No big deal, really. Thankfully I never suﬀered any physical violence. Others did for sure. But I hope these kids now, and from then, are watch-
If you were ever bashed by the Bretts, or even just mildly annoyed by their presence, know that you may still get justice yet. bling. She said she was ‘stunned’ by their exchange. I was disgusted at his how-dare-you, vitriolic attitude toward her and others. And I realize I’m painting frats with a rather large and broad brush. I have lots of gay friends that went Greek. I was the only one in my family that didn’t. And maybe they’ve changed since my college years. But, maybe they haven’t really. And the prep school and subsequent college years of those days in many ways produced Brett Kavanaugh. I’m guessing hundreds of people out there have a Brett Kavanaugh lurking in their past. My experience with this type of person is
ing the Kavanaugh controversy play out and taking a hard look at their actions. Their ‘good word’ will no longer be unquestionably accepted; in fact it seems their days of being on top are very much numbered. Yes, Kavanaugh may still be conﬁrmed. Though I predict he won’t. Or at least I sincerely hope he won’t. But if so, there is a little bit of a silver lining in all of this. It is that the heyday of the Kavanaughs out there, the Day of White Straight Male, and their time of acting with impunity in all things, is coming to a close. And if you were ever bashed by the Bretts, or even just mildly annoyed by their presence, know that you may still get justice yet.
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Bawling and belligerence in the ruling class RICHARD J. ROSENDALL is a writer and activist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republican Sen. Jeﬀ Flake has spent the Trump era delivering high-minded sermons deploring the president’s crassness while mostly continuing to vote the party line. Last week he made a show of being torn over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, only to announce on Friday that he would vote to conﬁrm. Minutes after Flake’s announcement, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher cornered him in a Senate elevator to tell him they were sexual assault survivors and rebuke him for falling in line despite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s brave, compelling testimony. Flake then attended a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, where he conferred with his friend, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, and others. This led Flake to leverage his senatorial power, backed by Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, to slow the process to allow a
week for an updated FBI investigation. The bipartisan breakthrough was a welcome interruption of partisan rancor; but the shift by Flake’s GOP colleagues from attacking Anita Hill in 1991 to politely dismissing or patronizing Dr. Ford today reﬂects a halfhearted desire to improve the optics, not growth in respect for women. At the Judiciary hearing on Sept. 27, the Democrats were sober and professional, in contrast to the belligerent nominee and his angry defenders on the Republican side of the dais. By its end, despite overheated right-wing accusations and conspiracy mongering, my overall sense was that Democrats appeal to aspirations while Republicans appeal to resentments. Kavanaugh could have striven to show he is more than a scion of white male privilege and a dedicated partisan operative. Instead, he pouted, cried, yelled at and insulted Democratic senators, and displayed an outraged sense of entitlement rather than anything like a judicial temperament. He left no doubt regarding the narrow interests he would serve on the Court. Last week showed that it matters who is at the table, who stands in the elevator doorway, and who does the reporting.
As a friend who knows the Court well recently noted, Trump’s ﬁrst Supreme Court nominee was “a rich white frat boy ... who attended Georgetown Prep with its own Olympic size swimming pool.” For the next vacancy on the Court, Trump chose “a rich white frat boy ... who attended Georgetown Prep.” My friend observes, “This from a populist president who promised to drain the Washington lobbyist swamp. He can’t even drain the Georgetown Prep swimming pool.” “Why,” my friend wishes a senator had asked Kavanaugh, “should we add such a similar pea to that small pod? What do you bring to the Court’s deliberations that Neil Gorsuch didn’t?” The answer, he suggests, is that conservative economic true believers “wanted to take no chance whatsoever on getting a rock solid antiredistribution, anti-regulatory Fifth Justice.” (Actually, they are ﬁne with upward redistribution to themselves.) The lack of diversity on the Court (every justice hales from Harvard or Yale) resembles that of commercial bananas, which are genetically identical to the point that a single blight could wipe out the entire world supply. Beyond their privilege blindness regarding sexual assault, Kavanaugh’s patrons overlook the innovation and vitality that
have come from immigrants and their children (see Steve Jobs). They dismiss the greater good that is served by environmental regulations. As they widen the gap between the monied class and the working class, they weaken the common cause that binds us as a people. They rob us of the adaptability that diversity gives us in facing future challenges. In contrast, the bracing spectacle of Flake’s “elevator moment” may inspire more women to end their miscasting as props for men. Standing against the trampling of norms and decency in pursuit of power, women and their male allies can work to restore the vital center and pull America back from alienation and governmental immobility. When Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono stood with women protesters in the Hart Senate Oﬃce Building, one felt a ﬁghting resolve stirring that will endure beyond the current battle. If Kavanaugh is defeated, his replacement may be scandal-free but will likely be just as bad on constitutional issues including reproductive choice. Trump cannot be negotiated with, only defeated. Consistent civic engagement is essential if equality is to prevail. Copyright © 2018 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.
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Vote in the Tuesday, November 6, 2018 General Election
Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm. During the General Election, all registered voters and District residents eligible to register, may vote.
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Double the blessings, double the fun
YAROSLAV KOPORULIN and JOHN O’MAHONY with their twin daughters CLAIRE and VIOLET.
Local gay couple has twin girls, expecting another set in early ’19 By MARIAH COOPER email@example.com Yaroslav Koporulin and John O’Mahony are typical parents to their 2-year-old twin daughters, born via surrogacy, Claire O’Mahony-Koporulin and Violet O’MahonyKoporulin. They proudly gush about their girls counting to 20 and reciting the whole alphabet. Their aﬀection for their children can be heard in their voices as they recount the ﬁrst time they were able to take the twins home from the hospital. Claire and Violet are already showered with love from their dads but soon they will take on new roles in the family — big sisters to another set of twins. Koporulin and O’Mahony’s status will also change from simply parents to the ﬁrst known gay couple in the U.S. to have two sets of twins via surrogacy. Koporulin and O’Mahony’s journey ﬁrst began when they met in 1996. Koporulin, now an artist, sculptor and graphic designer, came to D.C. from Moscow, Russia on a Russian American art exchange. O’Mahony, who originally hails from New York City, moved to D.C. after college when he was 23. A year and a half after meeting, O’Mahony went back to Moscow with Koporulin and worked at the U.S. embassy for four years before the couple moved back to D.C. They decided to open two bed and breakfasts in downtown D.C. which they operated for 14 years. Eventually, the
couple married in 2013 and started thinking about starting a family. The couple says they ﬁrst considered adoption but found the process diﬃcult. They also knew foster care wasn’t for them. “We don’t like foster care because it’s meant to get the parents back on their feet and then you have to give the children back” O’Mahony says. “It doesn’t make any sense to us because you can love a child and take care of them for three months and then you have to give them back. It’s not healthy for them or us.” Another factor in their decision was Koporulin’s father who died in Russia in 2012. Koporulin says his father was close with them both and wanted them to have biological children. The best option for Koporulin and O’Mahony became clear. They needed a surrogate. Koporulin and O’Mahony found their surrogate, whom they now call a friend, through an agency. They also went to Shady Grove Fertility Clinic where O’Mahony says they didn’t have a great experience because, “They just have dollar signs on their faces.” The process involved a lot of components. They found an egg donor, who was not the surrogate, and used sperm from Koporulin and O’Mahony with the same mother’s eggs. This way all of the children would be half siblings. Both embryos took and the couple became fathers to twin girls, Claire and Violet, in 2016. The new arrivals changed their lives. They realized that working 13-15 hour days 365 days a year made parenting diﬃcult.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
O’Mahony, who is an animal lover, decided to become a dog walker at DWDC (DogWalkingDC) to utilize a more ﬂexible work schedule. As the couple got into the swing of parenthood, they realized they wanted to expand their family. “We weren’t like, ‘Let’s have two sets of twins.’ We were like, ‘Let’s have one set of twins one from my partner and one from me.’ We had frozen embryos left over. We were like, ‘OK, we’re stable and we’re enjoying raising our two girls so let’s do it again,’” O’Mahony says. This time they decided to switch fertility clinics. They chose Columbia Fertility Associates and were thrilled with their experience. Yet again, both embryos took to their surrogate and a second set of twins are due in February or March. The remarkable achievement will make Koporulin and O’Mahony the ﬁrst known gay couple to be the father of two sets of twins. They ﬁnd out the sex on Oct. 27. “We’re so excited so we can start picking out names,” O’Mahony says. For other couples considering surrogacy, Koporulin and O’Mahony oﬀer some advice. “The hardest part is ﬁnding a surrogate. If you don’t have a good surrogate and they don’t text you back and they’re not reliable, the whole thing can take years and years. We did have someone who was going to be our surrogate before and she stopped picking up the phone. I’m not saying one minute, but if they don’t text back that day it’s not a good surrogate and go on to someone else right away,” O’Mahony says. Koporulin adds: “Chemistry matters as well. Just trust your feelings.”
Their surrogate is also from Pittsburgh which was a beneﬁt for the couple. “Pennsylvania has the best surrogacy laws in the country. In Pittsburgh Yaroslav goes on as parent one and I go on as parent two. So on the birth certiﬁcate it says Yaroslav’s name and mine. Our surrogate is not even listed on the birth certiﬁcate,” O’Mahony says. Koporulin and O’Mahony have a lot of plans for their future. They’re considering doing a reality show to document their growing family. They also are planning to sell Russian food at the 14th and Kennedy Farmers’ Market in April. They hope to open their own Russian restaurant in D.C. when their children are older. In the meantime, they invite people to keep up with their kids on Instagram @ wodieblumensind or @omahony34. Despite all the exciting changes, the best part about fatherhood for them are the little things. “They call me ‘daddy’ and they call Yaroslav ‘papa’ because ‘papa’ is dad in Russian. When you hear them say daddy you’re like ‘Wow, I’m a father.’ It’s cute,” O’Mahony says. Koporulin says that every stage of their lives brings something new to marvel over. “When you’re in the hospital and they bring you your baby and you hold them for the ﬁrst time. The ﬁrst bottle, the ﬁrst change of diapers. When you take them out in the car and drive them through D.C. and take them to your home. You know that they’re your children,” Koporulin says. “Right now, it’s the age where you see them learn and developing. When they come to you and run to you. They are sponges and they know so much and it’s so refreshing to see that happening.”
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Keep your promise to protect each other.
Dr. GUY RINGLER says fertility issues for same-sex couples have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. PHOTO COURTESY RINGLER
Wills & Trusts Powers of Attorney • Living Wills Partnership & Prenuptial Agreements
(240) 778-2330 • (703) 536-0220 www.PartnerPlanning.com
Serving the LGBT Community in DC/MD/VA since 1983
L.A.-based fertility doc shares essays By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy Ringler, a gay fertility doctor, started writing a few years ago as a way to explore a personal hobby but also to share the wealth of information he’s amassed in 20-plus years of helping couples conceive. “I felt it was very important to give back and by sharing these stories and this information, it was a way to give back not only to the LGBT community, but also so other people could learn about gay family building and how normal it is,” the 61-year-old Ringler, in practice in Los Angeles for 27 years at California Fertility Partners (californiafertilitypartners. com), says. “What’s really fascinating is SPEAK WITH OUR PREPLANNING ADVISOR, the surrogates, who basically give a year JAMIE ARTHURS AT (202) 966-6400 OR EMAIL of their lives, they often come from small JAMIE.ARTHURS@DIGNITYMEMORIAL.COM towns and they tell me they’ll be in the grocery store and people are shocked to hear they’re a surrogate and even more shocked they’re doing it for a gay couple so they’re really helping to educate others that it’s OK and right and everyone 5130 Wisconsin Ave. NW • DC • (202) 966-6400 • www.JosephGawlers.com deserves the right to have a family. We’re seeing lots of change in positive ways.” ADVERTISING PROOF About four years ago, Ringler — gay ISSUE DATE: 10.26.12 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS (email@example.com) himself but not a parent — started hav1381 BRENT POINT RD, STAFFORD, VA 22554 This historic home listed for $1,569,222 ing his columns published in outlets such REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of overlooks Aquia Creek with easy access to the proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts as The Advocate, Huﬃngton Post, LGNS Potomac River. With 15 rooms & 10.727 acres omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any& material to which users a concern. 3 presidents GN space privacy are not BTQ Nation, for GLAAD and more. Titles can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or EVISIONS any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or war misapporpriation any & civil generalsofstayed here. Features: 5294 ranged from “Gay Fertility Doctor on copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair /LOGO REVISIONS competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law space, or regulation, sq ft of living outside shower, goldfish or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE Twenty Years of Helping to Build LGBT SIONS pond, 4 car garage, shuffleboard/ horseshoes, washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, June 2015) to “What Families” (GLAAD, room for horses. With a luxury washington indoorand pool with by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations payment insertion schedule. and warranties. bathroom & automatic opening roof , 650 feet I really Want for Christmas: How to Tell of beach, water views , doc, & boat lift anyone Your Family You’re Having Kids” (Huﬃngwho loves the water will feel at home. ton Post, Dec. 2014), “Why Trans People Should take a Pregnant Pause Before Kevin Breen Transitioning” (LGBTQ Nation, Nov. 2016), (540) 834-8003 Coldwell Banker Elite “Poz People Can Still Have the Family They 990 Bragg Rd Fredericksburg VA 22407 Have Always Dreamed Of” (The Advocate, Licensed in The Commonwealth of Virginia Nov. 2014) and several more. Earlier this year, Ringler self-published the columns in a booklet called “Two Decades of Reﬂections by a Gay Fertility Doc-
Lawrence S. Jacobs/McMillan Metro, PC
A new booklet by Dr. GUY RINGLER collects essays he’s written on IVF, gay parenting and more. PHOTO COURTESY RINGLER
tor.” He’s selling copies for $9.99 on eBay. Ringler says family planning for LGBT couples has made — as one would expect — enormous strides in the last 20 years. He writes of the ﬁrst same-sex male couple who consulted with him on starting their family about 20 years ago wanting their child to be a “mix of their genetics.” They were able to do so, Ringler writes, by harvesting eggs from one partner’s sister and fertilizing them with sperm of his partner. “Everything worked out wonderfully,” he writes. Ringler says he now sees greater diversity of ages in his clients and people from diﬀerent parts of the world. One whole section of the book is devoted to “LGBT Family Building Around the World,” where he writes of his work in China, Japan, Spain and more. “Fortunately with growing societal acceptance, there are many more options and more clinics are opening their doors,” Ringler says.
Families of all kinds have plenty of fun options for fall events. PHOTO BY GALINA KOVALENKO; COURTESY OF BIGSTOCK
Fall family fun
Regional events for coming months include LGBT clans By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgetown Day School is hosting an LGBTQ open house on DAY, Oct. 29 from 9-10:30 a.m. at its high school campus (4200 Davenport St., N.W.). A representative from Rainbow Families will be present. Representatives from the school will discuss its academic program and parent/ student aﬃnity groups. Details at gds.org. Rainbow Families D.C. has several events this fall. Its Maybe Baby series is underway and continues for ﬁve weeks. The next meeting (two of ﬁve) is Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. at Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.). Its conception/family planning support group continues on Sunday, Oct. 28 (session two of three) at 5914 Hubbard Dr., Rockville. Pumpkin Madness 2018 is Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. at Cox Farms in Centreville, Va. Full details at rainbowfamiliesdc.org. The SMYAL Fall Brunch is Sunday, Oct. 14 at 10:30 a.m. at te Marriott Marquis (901 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.). Tickets are $250. Details at smyal.org. The Baltimore Museum of Industry (1415 Key Highway, Baltimore) will host the Baltimore Children’s Business Fair on Sunday, Oct. 21 from noon-3 p.m. to showcase the “creativity and genius of young entrepreneurs ages 6-14” as part of Free Fall Baltimore, a citywide celebration of arts and culture. An open house
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will run at the museum that day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It’s free. Look for the event on Facebook for details. The Hoof Cafe (1648 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore) hosts a kids’ movie night on Thursday Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. It’s part of a I like staying in shape, listening to series that continues monthly through Adele, and shopping in Friendship Dec. 20. Attendees can wear PJs and bring Heights with my mom and sisters. a pillow and blanket. The movie is “WreckIt Ralph!” Look for the event on Facebook for details. The 10th annual Fall Festival is Saturday, Oct. 13 from noon-4 p.m. at Thomas Johnson Elementary Middle School (100 E. Heath St., Baltimore. It’s billed as a “day of fun, food and games for the whole family.” Look for the event on Facebook for details. Mount Clare Community Council hosts a Fall Fun Fest on Sunday, Oct. 14 from 1:30-5 p.m. at Traci Atkins Park (1400 Ramsey St., Baltimore) with an “afternoon Please treat me the way any ADVERTISING full of fun, food, games and dancing.” to REPRESENTATIVE: be treated: PROOF #1 ISSUE DATE:woman 02.11.16would want SALES PHIL ROCKSTROH (firstname.lastname@example.org) There will be a costume contest. Look for with courtesy and respect. the event on Facebook for details. REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of Discrimination basedfinal onand gender identityforand proof. Proof will be considered will be submitted publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of TransFamily, a free, biweekly support the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts REVISIONS expression isthe illegal in the District of Columbia. omnimedia llc (dba washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users REDESIGN group for parents and guardians of trans can the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or If link youthrough think you’ve been the target ofto, such TEXT REVISIONS any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any and non-binary young people meets the copyright, patent, trademark, secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair discrimination, visittrade www.ohr.dc.gov IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, ﬁrst and third Saturday of month or or anycall other(202) right of727-4559. any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE NOeach REVISIONS washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contr liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred washington blade newspaper. This includes but is no at 9 a.m. at the Frederick YMCA Activby brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations payment and insertion schedule. and warranties. ity Room (1000 N. Market St., Frederick, Md.). It’s for adults. Details at thefrederickcenter.org. GLBT AFFAIRS A Queer Families Potluck Dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. at the GLBT Community Center (2530 N. Charles St., third ﬂoor, Baltimore). Bring a dish to share for 20-25 people, your own nonShow your support! Spread word of the #TransRespect alcoholic beverages and toys and books to campaign by photographing this ad and sharing on Twitter. share. Suggested drop-in cost (not required) is $5 per family. Details at glccb.org.
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Olly Olly out & free Years & Years lead singer made an album about societal dystopia but learned something unexpected about himself along the way By MARIAH COOPER
Years & Years lead singer OLLY ALEXANDER says he decided early on to be open with fans and the press, a decision he doesn’t regret. PHOTO COURTESY HIGH RISE PR
Olly Alexander is slightly out of breath when he gets on the phone after wrapping a studio session recording new music. The out frontman of the British synth-pop group Years & Years is coy about the new project vaguely describing the session as “working on a few bits.” The group’s latest album “Palo Santo” was released in July and the band has embarked on a North American tour, which already has sold-out dates including
the Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 11, to promote it. Alexander says they hope to have more new music out by year’s end. Years & Years, which rounds out its trio with group members Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen, ﬁrst hit the music scene with its 2015 breakout hit “King.” Since then, Years & Years has continued to pump out danceable hits including “Sanctify” and “If You’re Over Me” (which hit the top 10 in the U.K.) from “Palo
Santo,” which hit No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 1 on the U.S. Top Dance/Electronic Albums Billboard chart. A short ﬁlm, narrated by Judi Dench, about a dystopian world controlled by robots, also accompanied the group’s sophomore eﬀort. Alexander has also been busy as an advocate for mental health and LGBT issues. The 28 year old opened up about his struggles with mental health problems, which he began to
experience as a teenager, to the public. He’s also been candid about being an unapologetically gay pop star. Always on the move, Alexander caught up with the Washington Blade and talked about the new wave of LGBT pop artists, his love for Rihanna and his thoughts on masculinity — all while hailing a taxi in London.
CONTINUES ON PAGE 40
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Q U E E RY : 2 0 Q U E ST I O N S F O R D U RRY LE BRO O KS
PHOTO COURTESY BROOKS
DU RRYL E B RO O KS By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO email@example.com This weekend’s Baltimore Black Pride event ﬁnds the organization “in a growth year.” Current Executive Director Durryle Brooks says the planning committee is “redeﬁning what Black Pride can and should be for in the next iteration.” This year’s theme is “Healing & Celebrating Ourselves.” It kicks oﬀ Oct. 5 from 7:30-11:30 p.m., with a community opening networking session at the Downtown Radisson Hotel (101 W. Fayette St., Baltimore) with a DJ, food, vendors, resources on gender and name change and more. On Oct. 6, “Healing Black LGBTQ Trauma: Health, Agency & Love” will be held at 11 a.m. at the Jacques Journey Center (880 Park Ave., third ﬂoor). Brooks will give a presentation from his dissertation research on black queer love. On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., a community gala will be held at the Radisson where local leaders will be recognized. And on Oct. 7 from 12-3 p.m., Sunday Family Funday will be held at the GLCCB (2530 N. Charles St.). Baltimore Black Pride is helmed by The Center for Black Equity Baltimore (cbebaltimore.org). Search for Baltimore Black Pride on Facebook for details and updates. Brooks says it’s hard to say how long Baltimore Black Pride has been in existence since it started as an unoﬃcial event “at least since the early ‘80s.” “It has been told to me that the co-founders started it out of necessity,” Brooks says. “Out of the fact that so many of their brothers were dying from AIDS back in the early days of the epidemic. They created Black Pride to center, hold, honor, support and encourage one another through some of the most frightening days of the epidemic.” Brooks, who attended “frequently during my formative years,” accepted the director position in January. A group of between ﬁve-16 plans each year’s event. Attendance is hard to estimate though Brooks says block parties can sometimes attract “thousands.” “Black Pride is about recognizing and honoring our roots,” Brooks says. “It’s about recognizing how far we have come and how far we have to go.” Brooks, a native of Baltimore, works by day as a research associate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He’s planning a wedding with partner Blair. They live in Waverly in East Baltimore. Brooks enjoys karaoke in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I’ve been out for over 20 years, but I’ve known since ﬁrst grade! I think the hardest person I ever had to tell or that I felt it mattered to was my grandmother who raised me. Who’s your LGBT hero?
What’s Baltimore’s best nightspot, past or present? When I was coming of age, there was a club called Sportsmens. I loved it and had some very wonderful experiences during my formative years. Describe your dream wedding. Well since my wedding is May 11, 2019, I guess the one I’m planning. I think if I could have my way we would be married on the water, maybe a boat near a beach or a lake with about 40 family and friends. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Education for sure. I think education can be transformative if we understand what it really means to teach and educate in liberating ways. What historical outcome would you change? Christopher Columbus discovering the “new world.” What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? When Whitney Houston passed away. I was in Jamaica for work and I just remember the loss I felt was palpable for me and others in the bar that I was in. On what do you insist? Finding ways to love ourselves more and more every day. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? I posted today that it’s my one-year anniversary of vegetarianism. It’s a struggle but I love it.
If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Chillllle, you made it! Now Do Good Work!” If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? I wouldn’t change a thing. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? I hope that there is something there. Maybe it’s just the mystery of it all and that is enough. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Intersectionality is not an option. We must center the experiences of those most marginalized if we are to truly grapple with issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, bi-phobia, etc. What would you walk across hot coals for? For greater clarity about my purpose and my life. A deeper connection to myself. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? That all LGBT folks have style. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “Moonlight” What’s the most overrated social custom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet? I don’t really have anything that I covet. I would say I would love a Grammy or an Oscar because people say I can be overly dramatic. What do you wish you’d known at 18? Something along the lines of, “Don’t let that man’s good looks and charm fool you” or “You’re enough.” Why Baltimore?
Because it’s the greatest city in America!
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OC T OB E R 05, 2018 • 31
PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGG
KIMBERLY GILBERT as Billie and CODY NICKELL as Paul in ‘Born Yesterday.’
Billie’s betterment Bombshell studies up in ‘Born Yesterday’ revival at Ford’s By PATRICK FOLLIARD Part comedy and part civics lesson, Garson Kanin’s 1946 Broadway hit “Born Yesterday” follows the doings of a vulgar millionaire who storms Washington to grease palms and deregulate the scrap iron industry. It’s a familiar story that could have happened 50 years ago or this morning. Director Aaron Posner mounts a faithful yet relevant revival at Ford’s Theatre overlooking nothing in recreating the look and feel of postwar Washington. Nothing is amiss from set designer Daniel Lee Conway’s sumptuous hotel suite where tycoon Harry Brock and dim girlfriend Billie Dove make camp to Kelsey Hunt’s divine 1940s costumes including Billie’s garter belts, a Senate wife’s smart navy suit and hat and Harry’s doublebreasted pinstripe gangster suit to Anne Nesmith’s spot-on hair design. And then there’s the excellent cast of familiar faces led by Edward Gero as Harry and Kimberly Gilbert as Billie. Cody Nickell plays Paul Verrall, a hotshot magazine writer assigned to proﬁle Harry, and Eric Hissom is Ed Devery, Harry’s once-virtuous-but-now-shady attorney, who deadens his feelings with copious amounts of liquor. The stalwart supporting cast includes Evan Casey as Eddie Brock, Harry’s ﬂunky cousin; Todd Scoﬁeld as unprincipled Sen. Norval Hedges; and Naomi Jacobson who plays both proper Mrs. Hedges and a wisecracking chamber maid contemptuous of the one percent. A self-made junkman, Harry is used to getting what he wants. He “got” Billie from the chorus and now he wants to buy a United States senator for a good price. Once ensconced in temporary digs, Harry reluctantly meets with journalist Verrall. He takes a shine to the smug but idealistic writer and hires him to “smarten up” Billie. The idea is to make the exshowgirl more palatable to D.C. society. Here’s where “Born Yesterday” becomes a romantic Pygmalion tale too.
Verrall challenges his new student with a stiﬀ curriculum. Impressed with her cute tutor, Billie gives it her best shot. In no time, she’s visiting book shops and galleries. Her chaise is surrounded by stacks of books. Billie’s reading list covers everything from the daily papers to the works of patriot Thomas Paine. She improves her speech, but most of the improvements are internal. Soon, the kept woman realizes she has more to oﬀer than her body. Billie also develops a critical eye. She grows tired of people “taking it.” And she learns that it’s time for the individual to stick up for him or herself in everyday life and as citizens. Billie can’t understand why a guy with money gets to strongarm a Senator who’s representing a vast constituency. Conversely, Harry can’t fathom why his mink-clad girlfriend would question his methods. Judy Holliday shot to stage stardom playing Billie. She went on to earn an Academy Award for her comedic turn in the screen version. There are echoes Holliday in Gilbert’s New Yawkese but the local actor makes the part her own, whether airily dancing around the suite singing bits from Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” Billie’s last gig before hooking up with Harry, or aggressively going after the next man that strikes her fancy. Ultimately, her transformation from complacent courtesan to thoughtful woman is convincing. And Gero’s Harry is an unschooled guy who happens to have a big brain for business at which he ruthlessly succeeds. With mouth agape and a bruiser’s protruding bottom lip, his Harry is a charming lug, that is until he slugs an increasingly uncooperative Billie. “Born Yesterday” gets a bit didactic, but it’s more feel-good than anything else. Sadly, the very things that playwright Kanin rails against are perhaps more prevalent in American political life today than ever before. ‘BORN YESTERDAY’ Through Oct. 21 Ford’s Theatre 511 10th St., N.W. $17-62 202-347-4833 fords.org
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O U T & A BO U T
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CALL FOR RESERVATIONS M-TH 11:30AM-10PM • F-SAT 11:30AM-11PM SUN. BRUNCH 11AM-3PM / DINNER 3-10PM
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SMYAL to host youth dance, brunch SMYAL hosts its National Coming Out Day Dance at Eastern Market North Hall (225 7th St., S.E.) on Friday, Oct. 12 from 7-10 p.m. The dance is intended for youth ages 13-24. There will be food, music and performances from youth. DJ Honey will play music. SMYAL’S 2018 Fall Brunch is at the Marriott Marquis (901 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) on Sunday. Oct. 14 from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration is at 10:30 a.m. and includes a cocktail reception with a silent auction, open bar and photo booth. The three-course, seated brunch begins at noon featuring a program with both community leaders and SMYAL youth. General seating tickets are $150. Preferred seating tickets are $250. For more details on SMYAL’s fall events, visit smyal.org.
PHOTO COURTESY TEAM RAYCEEN
Rayceen to host violence town hall discussion Team Rayceen hosts a town hall discussion on LGBTQ domestic violence at the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Aﬀairs (2000 14th St., N.W.) on Thursday, Oct. 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. Rayceen Pendarvis will moderate the panel which will include speakers June Crenshaw, Jessica Raven and Sarah D. Lawson. Members of the community will have the chance to share their stories. Light refreshments will be provided. Admission is free. For more information and to register, visit teamrayceen.eventbrite.com.
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ADVERTISER SIGNATURE Todrick Hall to headline Oct. 8 concert By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the washington blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, payment and insertion schedule.
Capital Pride presents Music in the Night featuring special guest Todrick Hall at the Hamilton (600 14th St., N.W.) Monday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. Music in the Night will feature song and theatrical performances from member’s of the local theater company. Frank Britton will emcee the event. Notable members and allies of the LGBT theater company will also perform including Don Michael Mendoza, Joanna Chilcoat Fellows, Steven Cutts, Hien Le and more. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit capital pride.org/music.
PHOTO COURTESY MURRAY & PETER
Trixie coming to Baltimore Trixie Mattel, winner of this year’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season three, brings her “Now With Moving Parts Tour” to Rams Head Baltimore (20 Market Pl, Baltimore) on Monday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $38-165. VIP meet-andgreet packages are also available. Mattel is known for her exaggerated makeup, comedy and country music. Details at ramsheadlive.com.
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CA LE N D A R
E-mail calendar items to calendars@washblade. com two weeks prior to your event. Space is limited so priority is given to LGBT-speciﬁc events or those with LGBT participants. Recurring events must be re-submitted each time.
TODAY The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Woof Happy Hour and Porn Star Bingo today from 5-11 p.m. Beux Banks hosts Porn Star Bingo. Attendees will receive free pizza at 7:30 p.m. Drink specials run until 11 p.m. No cover before 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/dceagle. D.C. Bear Crue hosts Bear Happy Hour at Uproar Lounge & Restaurant (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) this evening from 5-10 p.m. Drink specials run until 10 p.m. and include $5 rail cocktails and $5 draft pitchers. Free appetizers will be handed out throughout the night. For more details, visit facebook.com/ bearhappyhour. The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) presents Birds of Prey, a drag show, tonight at 10:30 p.m. Brooklyn Heights will serve as guest host. Iyana Deschanel, Sasha Adams Sanchez, Ariel Von Quinn, Venus Fastrada and Alexa Shontelle will perform. DJ CDubz will spin tracks. Maxxi Overdrive will give a special guest performance. For more information, visit facebook.com/dcbridsofprey. Dan Savage’s Hump Festival is at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) tonight with two shows. The festival will screen the best amateur porn ﬁlms shown at the festival from 2008-2017. There will be showings at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $25. For more details, visit blackcatdc.com. Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) opens its October galleries with a reception from 7-8:30 p.m. Gallery A will feature the Touchstone Gallery Member Show. Gallery B and C will showcase “Pictures of Nothing,” an exhibit of paintings by McCain McCurray and “Multiple Dimensions” by Sally Canzoneri. This exhibit presents the same images in two and three dimensional works. Canzoneri is Touchstone’s guest artist. For more information, visit touchstonegallery.com. BlackRock Center for the Arts presents Signature Theatre Cabaret’s “Streisand Songbook” tonight at 8 p.m. Shayna Blass and Awa Sal Secka will perform the hits of La Babs. Tickets range from $25-45. Details at blackrockcenter.org.
SATURDAY, OCT. 6 All Things Go Fall Classic, a music festival, is at Union Market (1309 5th St., N.E.) today and Sunday. The line up includes Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessie Reyez, Ravyn, Billie Eilish, Misterwives, Betty Who and more. Two day general admission tickets are $95. One day general admission tickets are $65. VIP tickets include access to the VIP Lounge, front-of-stage viewing, complimentary food twice a day, cash
IMAGE COURTESY TOUCHSTONE
‘Multiple Dimenions,’ a work by Sally Canzoneri, is on display now at Touchstone Gallery.
bar, express lane entry and more. Two day VIP tickets are $229. Tickets for single day VIP admission vary. For more details, visit allthingsgofallclassic.com. Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) presents Lederhosen Realness, an Octoberfest party, today from 4-8 p.m. DJ Chord will play music. Attendees who wear lederhosen will receive drink specials and a discount on a giant stein of beer. There will also be Octoberfest draft beers and food specials. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com. The Fillmore (8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) hosts Party2K: A ‘90s Vs. 2000s Dance Party tonight at 8:30 p.m. There will be a video DJ, costume contest and live bands. The winner of the costume contest will receive tickets to see Lauryn Hill at the MGM Grand. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.50. For more details, visit ﬁllmoresilverpsring.com.
SUNDAY, OCT. 7 Pink Martini performs at the Anthem (901 Wharf St., S.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. NPR’s “All Things Considered” host Ari Shapiro will also perform as a special guest. Tickets range from $35-95. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit theanthemdc.com. Flash (645 Florida Ave., N.W.) celebrates the ﬁfth anniversary of Flashy Sundays tonight from 6 p.m.-4 a.m. DJ Twin and DJ Sean Morris will spin tracks. Admission to the ﬁrst ﬂoor is free. Cover is $20 for the main ﬂoor and roof deck. For more details, visit facebook.com/ﬂashydc.
The Takoma Park Street Festival is today from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in between the half-mile stretch of Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, Md. and Carroll St., N.W. There will be three stages featuring 18 local bands performing indie-folk, rock, blues, country, reggae and more. There will also be vendors selling paintings, photographs, pottery, soaps, ceramics, crafts and more. Kids can also enjoy crafts, face painting, inﬂatables and more. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/mainstreettakoma. Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) has a drag brunch today with shows at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Chanel Devereaux hosts. Drag entertainers will perform as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Pink and more. Tickets are $41.91 and include an all-you-can-eat buﬀet and one mimosa or bloody Mary. For more details, visit nelliessportsbar.com.
MONDAY, OCT. 8 The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts coﬀee drop-in hours for the senior LGBT community this morning from 10 a.m.-noon. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coﬀee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.
TUESDAY, OCT. 9 Us Helping Us (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) holds a support group for black gay men 40 and older tonight from 7-9 p.m. Overeaters Anonymous hosts a
meeting speciﬁcally for LGBT individuals at St. George’s Episcopal Church (915 Oakland Ave., Arlington, Va.) tonight at 7 p.m. Newcomers welcome. For more information, call 703-521-1999 or email email@example.com.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10 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. Big Gay Book Group meets at Trio Bistro Restaurant (1537 17th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss “Christodora” by Tim Murphy. Newcomers welcome. For more details, visit biggaybookgroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THURSDAY, OCT. 11 The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Highwaymen Hot Jock Night tonight from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. There will be a Hot Jock contest with prizes for event tickets, toys and more. Drink specials include $3 draft beer, $2 Jell-O shots and more. For more information, visit facebook.com/eagledc. Busboys and Poets (450 K St., N.W.) presents activist Angela Davis in conversation with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now today from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Full menu and bar will be available. Books by both Davis and Goodman will be available for purchase. For more details, visit facebook.com/busboysandpoets.
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OC T OB E R 05, 2018 • 35
PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGG
BRADLEY COOPER and LADY GAGA in ’A Star is Born.’
PHOTO COURTESY WARNER BROS.
Gaga wows in ‘Star’ Singer’s ﬁrst major ﬁlm role is Oscar worthy despite uneven script By BRIAN T. CARNEY When the music is playing, the latest version of “A Star Is Born” soars. When the characters are performing, improvising, rehearsing or writing songs, the movie (which opens wide today) crackles with electricity. But all too often, when the music stops, the movie sags until someone picks up a guitar again. This is the fourth Hollywood version of the classic showbiz story of mismatched lovers and misaligned careers. In the 1937 version, Norman Maine (Fredric March) is the Hollywood leading man who gets North Dakota farmgirl Esther Blodgett (Janet Gaynor) her ﬁrst audition and a new name: Vicki Lester. They make a movie and get married, she wins an Oscar, he drinks and commits suicide after his career collapses, and the griefstricken widow famously proclaims to her fans, “This is Mrs. Norman Maine.” The 1954 version follows the same basic outline with James Mason as Norman and Judy Garland as Esther/Vicki, but adds some incredible music for Garland, including “The Man That Got Away.” The 1976 remake starred Barbra Streisand as Esther Hoﬀman Howard and Kris Kristoﬀerson as John Norman Howard. In this version, both characters are singers, Esther wins a Grammy and Streisand launched the hit song “Evergreen” which won a real-life Grammy and Oscar. The latest version of the classic showbiz saga stars Bradley Cooper (who also wrote and directed) as Jackson Maine, a rock star who’s still at the top of his game but who is losing his hearing and is addicted to pills and booze. Late one drunken night, he accidentally stumbles into a gay bar. He watches Ally (Lady
Gaga) perform “La Vie en Rose” and is instantly smitten. She reveals that she is reluctant to sing her own material; he convinces her to join him onstage and, the rest is showbiz legend. She becomes an overnight international superstar while he spirals out of control. At a memorial concert, she introduces herself as “Mrs. Jackson Maine” and premieres his ﬁnal song, the haunting “I’ll Never Love Again.” As writer, director and star, Cooper’s achievements are mixed. The screenplay (written by Cooper with Eric Roth and Will Fetters) wastes a lot of great talent in underwritten supporting roles that drop in and out of the story. Sam Elliott as Jackson’s craggy older brother, Dave Chappelle as Jackson’s friend Noodles, Anthony Ramos as Ally’s gay BFF and especially RuPaul alum D.J. “Shangela” Pierce as the drag bar emcee all deserve more screen time. Surprisingly, the one supporting character who stands out is Andrew Dice Clay as Ally’s loving but infuriating father Lorenzo, a frustrated singer and successful businessman. In a few excellent scenes, he creates a compelling character who is both Ally’s biggest fan and biggest obstacle. Like the rest of the cast, Clay shines brightest in the reﬂected glow of Lady Gaga who turns in a bravura Oscarworthy performance in her ﬁrst major movie role. Gaga does something simply amazing. She creates a fully developed character named Ally who is certainly Gaga-esque but is deﬁnitely not Gaga. Lady Gaga, who co-wrote all of her songs, also writes and sings convincingly in Ally’s voice. The songs believably reﬂect Ally’s emotions and experiences. Gaga’s performances always sizzle. Her bond with the audience is palpable and her joy in entertaining is apparent in every note. Cooper on the other hand, is a ﬁne actor but only a passable musician; his musical performances only catch ﬁre when he’s singing with Gaga.
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Young Burgundy scientists examine the effects water can have on landscapes with an experiment in the sandbox.
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Burgundy Farm Country Day School 3700 Burgundy Road, Alexandria, VA • 703.329.6968 burgundyfarm.org • facebook.com/burgundyfarm
36 • OC T OB E R 05, 2018
CO ME D Y
Sampson’s Speak Easy Native Washingtonian returns for Oct. 11 event at African-American History Museum By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO email@example.com Native Washingtonian Sampson McCormick is bummed the National Museum of African-American History & Culture wasn’t open before he left town to move to Los Angeles six years ago. He’s visited it several times since it opened two years ago. “What I really love about it is they don’t just pick parts of it to include but we’re there in all our capacities, the 33-yearold, self-described old soul says. “Other museums may mention Bayard Rustin but they won’t mention that these were queer people of color. This museum really spells it out and I really like that.” Sampson, an established stand-up comedian, will headline an old-fashioned Harlem Renaissance Speak Easy event on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at the museum. It will also feature Charlene A. Carruthers, a black, queer feminist community organizer who will discuss her book, “Unapologetic” and spoken word artist 2Deep. It’s free but tickets are required. Sampson spoke to the Blade by phone last week.
Renegade humor, provocative insights, and unbridled cultural critiques flourish in more than 160 photographs, sculptures, and sound and video works created by the iconic artist and filmmaker. OCTOBER 7, 2018 JANUARY 6, 2019 TICKETS AVAILABLE AT ARTBMA.ORG
This exhibition is generously supported by The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation, Suzanne F. Cohen, Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Clair Zamoiski Segal, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Constance R. Caplan, Agnes Gund, Martha and Tad Glenn, Amy and Marc Meadows, The Pearlstone Family Fund, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, and Sherry and Stuart Christhilf. John Waters. Divine in Ecstasy. 1992. Collection of Amy and Zachary Lehman. © John Waters, Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery
WASHINGTON BLADE: How is California treating you? SAMPSON: I like it. California is a place where people come to be free and there isn’t as much judgement here as there is back east. They’ll say, “I don’t like you,” back there but here it’s a little more passive-aggressive. But it’s cool. I’m making it work. BLADE: Tell us about the event. SAMPSON: It’s a Harlem renaissancethemed evening to celebrate queer black artists. It’s basically gonna reﬂect on those who came before and show where we are now. I’m the ﬁrst queer comedian to headline there. BLADE: How did they know about you? SAMPSON: How could they not? I’ve been performing for 20 years and have created a body of work that speaks for itself. I use my platform to contribute as much as I can to our growth as a community. I have a really great reputation that I’m proud of. BLADE: Do you make it back to D.C. very often? SAMPSON: I love D.C. I hadn’t been for about a year. I was having a little bit of family drama … but I get back as often as I can. D.C. is home. BLADE: What prompted you to move? Career? SAMPSON: I was crazy, I moved out here
SAMPSON McCORMICK says D.C. will always be home. PHOTO BY ADAM MCMATH
for love. We met in D.C., were absolute love birds and after we’d been together a little over a year, we moved to the Bay Area. It was a big jump. We broke up last year. BLADE: Are you seeing anybody now? SAMPSON: You would think as gorgeous and sexy as I am, you would think I am, but dating is hard, especially with the apps now. But nobody serious right now, which is sad. BLADE: As a comedian, did the Cosby conviction hit you any harder? SAMPSON: It was hard seeing him shuﬄe down that hallway in those handcuﬀs. That was hard because that’s a part of your childhood. He was America’s dad. We were all disappointed, black or white. We all looked at him and held him up as a favorite family member. But somebody who rapes people, it’s wrong and they should have to suﬀer the consequences. BLADE: How are black gay guys diﬀerent in California than D.C.? SAMPSON: Oh Lord, you want me to be honest? They don’t date other black men in San Francisco or Los Angeles. If you see a black gay couple here, you better be taking some pictures because you won’t see it again for a long time. BLADE: Why is that? SAMPSON: I don’t have anything against interracial dating. Love is love, but I do believe there are some internal conﬂicts among black gay men out here. On the East Coast, it’s more celebrated but not as much on the West Coast. Atlanta, D.C., Chicago — those are black cities. The landscape is just a lot diﬀerent in L.A. and San Francisco. And if you’re a darker-skinned black man, a lot of times people are only interested in you as a sexual fetish. BLADE: What’s the last thing you saw that cracked you up? SAMPSON: I love “Insecure” on HBO. I would love to be on that show. And “Pose” is another show that’s really funny.
‘A SPEAK EASY EVENING FEATURING SAMPSON MCCORMICK’ Thursday, Oct. 11 7-11 p.m. National Museum of African-American History & Culture 1400 Constitution Ave., N.W. Free but passes required nmaahc.si.edu etix.com
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OC T OB E R 05, 2018 • 37
Feeling pressured Gay couple at impasse over threesome request
MICHAEL RADKOWSKY, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with gay individuals and couples in D.C. He can be found online at personalgrowthzone.com. All identifying information has been changed for reasons of conﬁdentiality. Have a question? Send it to michaelradkowsky.com
MICHAEL, My boyfriend wants us to have a threesome and I don’t want to. We’ve been together for almost a year and are monogamous. Nicholas is 22 and I am 26. When I was younger, I had a lot of sex with a lot of guys and the whole “sex for the sake of sex” thing is not appealing to me at all anymore. I like having sex with Nicholas because he is Nicholas, so I don’t want to have someone else join us. Also, I was in a relationship for about a year and a half that was open. At the time I was using recreational drugs a lot and the whole experience of the relationship didn’t really register much with me. After I got clean and started thinking back, I felt like I hadn’t really been in a relationship. There had been nothing between us to make us a couple. I don’t want to repeat that. When we started dating, Nicholas agreed to be monogamous, no problem. He said he liked the idea. But now he keeps pushing the threesome issue. We met shortly after he came out. He says he’s now realizing that he never had a chance to be wild and he doesn’t want to miss out for the rest of his life. I actually told Nicholas that if this is so important to him, he should go ﬁnd two guys to have a threesome with, but to leave me out of it. I don’t like the idea of him having sex with other guys but I could live with that. Nicholas said he doesn’t want to have sex without me. He says he would feel like he was cheating, even though I gave him permission. He also said that part of what would make a threesome exciting would be doing it with me. What’s my obligation here? We’re a serious couple and both of us are thinking we may want to stay together for the long term. But this is becoming an ongoing battle. It comes up every few weeks and Nicholas says I’m denying him
the fun that I got to have. MICHAEL REPLIES: You are in the very tough spot that occasionally and inevitably happens in all relationships: Your partner is asking you to do something you don’t want to do. Not liking your boyfriend’s request doesn’t mean you should automatically refuse him. If something is important to your partner, but the ask is not your cup of tea, it’s often worth responding with generosity, ﬂexibility and open-mindedness. However, you certainly don’t have to do something you don’t want to do, if you have good reason to say no. Violating your integrity to please your boyfriend is a bad idea. You should not behave in a way you don’t respect and you should not go against your personal code of how you want to live, even if your partner really wants you to. You’ve given multiple reasons for not wanting to have a threesome with Nicholas, no matter how important it is to him. So to answer your question, you don’t have an obligation to sell yourself out to accommodate his request. Your next step would be to let Nicholas know you’re certain that you aren’t going to change your mind on this. After that, the ball is in his court.Nicholas may accept your refusal and drop the issue or he may continue to push. If he does keep asking, it’s your job — if you want to stay with him — to hold your ground without becoming nasty or retaliatory. Getting snippy would keep this a battle over your refusal to give Nicholas what he wants. But standing ﬁrm on two points — you want to be with Nicholas and you won’t join a threesome — leaves Nicholas to confront himself with this question: Does he want to stay in a relationship where he isn’t getting something that is important to him? If I were writing to Nicholas, I’d tell him that every person in a relationship is in his spot occasionally. We want something of our partner that our partner won’t give us. That’s life. It’s inevitable that we’re going to be disappointed in the other person at times. While we’re free to leave a relationship if we don’t want to accept a particular disappointment, we do have to learn to tolerate being let down if we are going to be in a relationship at all. And of course, no matter the partner we choose, they will be disappointed in us, at times. If you want to stay with Nicholas, you have to tolerate letting him down. Changing your behavior to please him at the expense of your self-respect would be a mistake.
38 • OC T OB E R 05, 2018
MU SI C
THE HAMILTON LIVE
PHOTO COURTESY THE KARPEL GROUP
Cher’s new album is an extenuation of her appearance in the recent ‘Mamma Mia!’ sequel.
Cher covers ABBA Iconic singer infuses faithful arrangements with vocal maturity, nuance By THOM MURPHY
FRANK BRITTON JOANNA CHILCOAT-FELLOWS STEVEN CUTTS LARRY GREY CHRISTOPHER DAVID HARRIS DANIELLE HARROW CORY HIBBETTS HIEN LE TIFFANY LYN DON MICHAEL MENDOZA JJ VERA RICK WESTERKAMP CHARLIE WRIGHT EMCEE:
TICKETS: capitalpride.org/music ADVOCATES:
Conceptually, Cher’s new album of ABBA covers may be the kitschiest, campiest gayest record since “The Ethel Merman Disco Album.” But — you may be wondering — does it hold anything beyond novelty appeal? It does. In fact, “Dancing Queen” is quite great and strangely compelling. The legendary singer, whose career now spans ﬁve decades, remains in full voice and continues to record and tour widely. Her role in the recent “Mamma Mia!” sequel was her ﬁrst live-action role since “Burlesque” (2010) with Christina Aguilera. “Dancing Queen” follows on the heels of the “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” soundtrack release, but with a complete set of 10 ABBA covers. It’s Cher’s ﬁrst release since her 2013 album “Closer to the Truth” and a notable change of pace. “Dancing Queen” features exclusively songs popularized by a diﬀerent and likewise well-loved pop act. Of course, there are plenty of obvious commercial reasons to explain the new album: The release of a major Hollywood movie, the crossover of two hugely successful acts and so on. But the more interesting question is not so much about the why but the what — what about Cher’s recordings is diﬀerent from the ABBA originals? In terms of instrumentation, the tracks are almost unaltered, except for slightly heavier bass pulse on uptempo tracks like “Waterloo” and modiﬁed synth sounds. The diﬀerence can only really be summed up by the emotional tone the iconic singer brings to the four-decadeold songs. If one listens to Cher’s album “Take Me Home” (1979), which was released the same year as ABBA’s “Voulez-Vous,” it’s not hard to see certain stylistic similarities between the two. ABBA’s title track pulses with disco dance ﬂoor energy, not unlike
Cher’s titular single “Take Me Home.” And unsurprisingly, both albums are dominated by talk of youth, love and sex. But what Cher brings to the covers is of a diﬀerent order. It’s the sound of a major singer revisiting the past and it’s palpable in her voice. Take for instance the album’s titular song, “Dancing Queen.” Cher’s version is ﬁlled with a certain nostalgia absent from the original. It’s more reﬂective and soulful, almost as if the song has lost its innocence. There is an emotional force in the new recording that not only gives it new meaning but also makes one remember why the original is so great. It’s revitalized yet conveys a sense of longing — the dancing queen is not the pretty young girl in front of us, but instead her memory. “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” works especially well in Cher’s distinctive lower register. It also features her trademark Auto-Tune sound, reminiscent of her 1999 single “Believe.” It works even better as a club track than the ABBA original. In “Waterloo,” Cher’s version again makes use of a heavier synth sound but is vocally more reminiscent of her rock period (think “If I Could Turn Back Time”). The rendition of “Fernando,” which was quite well received in the movie, returns on the new album. The recording of “The Winner Takes It All” is particularly good. Cher’s opening is somber, almost tragic. And the lyrics seem to take on new meaning for the singer: “I’ve played all my cards/and that’s what you’ve done, too/nothing more to say/no more ace to play.” Yet as the music builds and the beat begins to pulse, there is no doubt about her power and resilience as a performer. One might say the same of the album’s aptly chosen ﬁnal track, “One of Us” from ABBA’s ﬁnal studio album “The Visitors” (1981). Of all the tracks, this one departs the most from the original in terms of instrumentation. Over a sparse piano and string accompaniment, she delivers the famous ﬁrst line: “They passed me by, all of those great romances.” And it’s every bit as enrapturing as the original, if not more.
W A SH I N GTO NB LAD E.C OM
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4 0 • O CTO B E R 0 5 , 2018
A RT S & E N T E RT A I N ME N T
Years & Years frontman eschews gender stereotypes CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27
people, I feel like it’s worth it in the end. Sometimes it’s a bit weird but then life is weird for everyone isn’t it?
WASHINGTON BLADE: Years & Years’ sophomore album is called “Palo Santo.” The ﬁrst album is called “Communion.” What is it about that spiritual/religious imagery that connects with you? OLLY ALEXANDER: I guess it’s always been something that fascinated me my whole life. When I was a kid my family moved around a lot. We moved to a house that was right next to a church and I used to play in the church yard. I think it was a way in to spiritual imagery which I think is so powerful. From my own life, I’m not religious. I also worked in this shop when I was 14 that sold spell books and candles and gem stones. So I’ve kind of always been fascinated by it. BLADE: “Palo Santo” has the same upbeat pop beat that was on “Communion” but the lyrics are darker. Did you intend for the album to be an emotional release or did you only see that when you ﬁnished the album and looked back? ALEXANDER: Making music is always an emotional release for me. Throughout the songwriting process I don’t really have much of a gauge on the overall themes. It wasn’t until the album was done that I realized looking back it had this more confessional and angrier tone to it than the previous stuﬀ I’ve written. That happened naturally, I think. When I think about it I was 19, 20, 21 when I was writing the songs on the ﬁrst album. Everyone changes over the course of however many years. The music on the second record was from 26, 27 and you’re always growing as a songwriter. BLADE: The album seems very personal to you, speciﬁcally. Did you have to convince your bandmates to let you take the lead on this? ALEXANDER: I’ve always been the lyricist and I’ve always written songs from my perspective. So we’re used to working that way. Although, I’ve deﬁnitely had a few conversations with Mikey and Emre where I’m like, “Look this is the way I want to do it. This is how I think we should make the song.” We have a few arguments but then they usually back me up. BLADE: What’s one thing you learned about yourself after completing the album? ALEXANDER: One thing I learned is I had all this pent-up anger. I would never describe myself as an angry person. I avoid confrontations at all costs. I always practice peace and kindness. I realized I had crushed all this anger inside of me and it was kind of like clawing to get out. That was mainly towards ex-boyfriends, my dad. All the big ones. I learned I’m not quite as good at letting go of my anger as
OLLY ALEXANDER says dancing comes naturally to him both in clubs and on tour. PHOTO COURTESY HIGH RISE PR
I thought I was. BLADE: The video component of “Palo Santo” looked like it could have been an episode of “Black Mirror.” On the ﬂip side, what would your utopia look like? ALEXANDER: Full of trees and nature. We’d all live in harmony with animals. We’d have equality and world peace. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen “Zeitgeist” but in one of the “Zeitgeist” movies they have templates for Utopian cities. There’s no money and everyone has their own role in society. They grow their own food and it’s like local and sustainable. Oh, and dolphins. We could swim with dolphins and they’d talk to us. BLADE: One of your last tweets said that “It’s been 107 days since I met Rihanna.” Is that how you measure your life now? ALEXANDER: Yeah, exactly. I have B.R. which is Before Rihanna and then A.R. which is After Rihanna. BLADE: Is there anyone else that you haven’t met yet that you’d freak out over? ALEXANDER: Plenty of people. Mariah Carey. Deﬁnitely Beyoncé. I would be a nervous wreck. Also Janet Jackson for sure. Joni Mitchell as well. And Stevie Wonder. Those are all my heroes. BLADE: You’ve mentioned that you’re a book worm. Any recent reads that have inspired you? ALEXANDER: One of the books I found super inspiring recently is “Aliens & Anorexia” by Chris Kraus who wrote “I Love Dick.” I was like “Wow, this woman’s voice is incredible.” I just wanted to read more and
more. That kind of inspired me lately. And “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang is amazing. BLADE: You’ve been very open about mental health and your sexuality. When you ﬁrst started Years & Years did you want to be an advocate for LGBT and mental health issues or did it just happen? ALEXANDER: I really had no idea that would be something I would end up doing. It did just kind of happen. Luckily, I’d already been through an intense mental health journey before I was in the public eye. I learned some tools to cope with my emotions and things I was going through. One of those tools was to be very honest about almost everything. So I just applied that to being in interviews and being with fans. Then I saw the response that me being open about my mental health had and it had such an intense reaction. I realized that people were so desperate to speak out and once that started happening I realized that this started feeling really meaningful. I want to be able to help in some way and make some change. I was like, “This could be a way that I could do this and help some people” so it just kind of snowballed from there. BLADE: Is it ever strange to know so many people know such intimate things about you? You’ve mentioned issues with your father and coming out. ALEXANDER: It is quite strange but I think it’s worth it. I’ve felt like I’ve built this foundation at super speed to withstand the attention especially around my personal life. But I feel much more like I can withstand that sort of attention now. And seeing ﬁrsthand how being open about stuﬀ encourages honesty in other
BLADE: I attended your concert at 9:30 club in D.C. a few years back. I remember people in the crowd kept saying they loved your dancing which you do on stage and in your videos. What is it about dancing that’s so integral to your performances? ALEXANDER: I’ve always loved being that boy at the school discos who is dancing when no one else is. When I was in my early 20s going out the club I lived for going out and the weekends. I would meet so many new people and see my friends out. It was like a gay initiation in lots of ways. It was a real scene and I knew everybody. I think that kind of gave me a love for dance music. Also, just as a performer I start to respect actual dances. I’m wishing in another life that’s what I would have pursued. It’s such a pure form of expression. BLADE: At the British GQ Awards you made a powerful speech about masculinity and gender stereotypes. For you, what’s your deﬁnition of a “man”? ALEXANDER: I guess I’m trying as much as possible not to deﬁne what it means to be a man. I know that sounds like a cop-out. I think we have to be so careful around language because words are all we’ve got. It’s kind of essentialist to think there’s one deﬁnition because there’s just so many. I would encourage people to ﬁgure it out for themselves. BLADE: There was a time a few years ago when LGBT artists weren’t as prominent as they are now. There was maybe Tegan and Sara and that’s it. But now there’s you, Troye Sivan, Kim Petras, Hayley Kiyoko. Did you ever think this would happen or did it shock you? ALEXANDER: Well, I think it’s a bit of both. I could never have imagined a pop landscape that included queer options. I never could have imagined that would exist when I was a teenager because I had no reference for it, really. Now, it does feel like a new wave of queer artists coming through. We’re seeing so many talented artists. I’m excited to see what happens next and how all these artists are going to continue to grow and inspire other people. I think we’re still in the early stages of the queer inﬂux of artists. Ones who are able to be out in the beginning of their career. So I’m excited to see how it continues. YEARS & YEARS ‘Palo Santo Tour’ With Cyn, Tunde Olaniran Thursday, Oct. 11 8 p.m. The Lincoln Theatre 1215 U St., N.W. SOLD OUT yearsandyears.com
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Older vs. newer buildings — which are better? Truth is, there are benefits to both By JOSEPH HUDSON Older vs. newer buildings — which are better? Well, there are many benefits to either choice, but they are different in how they are beneficial. Older construction has the benefit of being tested, standing up over the years through the wind, the rain, the thunder and hail. You can usually tell right away in a rainstorm with an older building how well it was constructed. Sometimes the older buildings are even more spacious, while lacking some of the fancy amenities of the newer buildings, but they have much more square footage and storage. Meanwhile, newer construction doesn’t come with the advantages of being tested like the older buildings, but they often do have so many amenities – roof decks, pools, meeting rooms, concierges, lounges, even pet grooming areas. Sometimes the buyer has the option of choosing the finishes in newer buildings – what backsplash they want in the kitchen, which light fixtures they want to have, so there is the chance to tailor the unit to the buyer’s needs. In many cases, new construction comes with a punch list for the buyer to provide to the builder before the settlement, with items to repair or to clean up
Older buildings like this one in D.C. built in 1920 boast character and quality construction. PHOTO COURTESY COMPASS
before the final walk through. No matter which type of condo building a buyer chooses, it’s important to note that each buyer gets the three-day condo doc review period to examine the financial health of the building, read through the bylaws, and also weigh their feelings about the various rules and regulations and they can back out of a ratified contract if they choose to do so. This is enforced by law
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in the District, and Maryland and Virginia have their own versions of this law as well. With the help of a trusted agent, a buyer can choose which tools in their belt to use to find the right condo, whether it’s newer or older construction, do a home inspection if needed and also provide a punch list or negotiate with the seller the terms of the sale price or a credit if needed. Then the final walk through happens, settlement
occurs and the buyer gets their new keys! Joe Hudson will be hosting a homebuyer workshop in Mount Pleasant in D.C. on the evening of Oct. 16. Please contact him to sign up and for more information.
JOSEPH HUDSON is a Realtor with The Oakley Group at Compass. Reach him at 703-587-0597 or Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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