JA NUARY 18, 2019 • VOLUME 50 • I S S UE 3 • WA S HI N GTONB LAD E.CO M
02 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
JA NUARY 18, 2019 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 03
VOLUME 50 ISSUE 03 ADDRESS
PO Box 53352 Washington DC 20009 PHONE
Past MAL celebration Washington Blade File Photo by Denis Largeron
50 years of the Blade
MAL celebrates 40 years in the
Shenandoah LGBTQ Center set to
open in historic building
Queery: Gerald Turner
Comings & Goings
Different Drummers don drag
AIDS activist, LGBT ally
‘The Heiresses’ full of strong
13 14 15
William Beale dies at 77
N.Y. advances trans rights bill,
BENT unveiled with a bang
Barr hints at continuing anti-LGBT
policies at Justice Dept.
A cross over, an electric and
Pompeo trip to Egypt prompts calls for U.S aid cut
a hybrid 43
Protecting the American Dream
202-747-2077 E-MAIL email@example.com INTERNET washingtonblade.com PUBLISHED BY Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. PUBLISHER LYNNE J. BROWN firstname.lastname@example.org ext. 8075 EDITORIAL EDITOR KEVIN NAFF email@example.com ext. 8088 FEATURES EDITOR JOEY DIGUGLIELMO firstname.lastname@example.org ext. 8081 SR. NEWS REPORTER LOU CHIBBARO JR. email@example.com ext. 8079 NEWS REPORTER CHRIS JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org ext. 8083 REPORTER & INTERNATIONAL NEWS EDITOR MICHAEL K. LAVERS email@example.com POP CULTURE REPORTER MARIAH COOPER PHOTO EDITOR MICHAEL KEY firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS PETER ROSENSTEIN, MARK LEE, LATEEFAH WILLIAMS, KATE CLINTON, KATHI WOLFE, RICHARD J. ROSENDALL, HELEN PARSHALL, ERNESTO VALLE, NICOLÁS LEVY, BUNMI JOHNSON CREATIVE DESIGN/PRODUCTION AZERCREATIVE.COM SALES & ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING STEPHEN RUTGERS email@example.com ext. 8077 SR. ACCT. EXECUTIVE BRIAN PITTS firstname.lastname@example.org ext. 8089 ACCT. EXECUTIVE JOE HICKLING email@example.com ext. 8094 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING/ADMINISTRATION PHILLIP G. ROCKSTROH firstname.lastname@example.org ext. 8092 NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA 212-242-6863; email@example.com For distribution, contact Lynne Brown at 202-747-2077, ext. 8075. Distributed by MediaPoint, LLC All material in the Washington Blade is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Washington Blade. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Although the Washington Blade is supported by many ﬁne advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Washington Blade, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. A single copy of the Washington Blade is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within a 50-mile radius of Washington, D.C. Multiple copies are available from the Washington Blade ofﬁce only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 52-week mailed subscription for $195 per year or $5.00 per single issue. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Phil Rockstroh at prockstroh@ washblade.com. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Washington Blade, PO BOX 53352 Washington, DC 20009. The Washington Blade is published weekly, on Friday, by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. Individual Subscriptions are $195 per year for 52 issues (only $3.75 per issue mailed to you USPS). Rates for businesses/institutions are $450 per year. Periodical postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing ofﬁces. Editorial positions of the Washington Blade are expressed in editorials and in editors’ notes as determined by the paper’s editors. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Washington Blade or its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words; commentaries should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for veriﬁcation. Send submissions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 05
FILE NAME: CMCIN18016M10_9.75x11.5_WashingtonBlade_v01.indd
45 years ago, an ad promoting leather clubs
The leather community has been celebrated by the Blade for decades. Here is an advertisement from 1974 showcasing four leather bars from New York to D.C. The D.C. Eagle is still a popular
nightclub, though is now located on Benning Road. Several events are planned at the Eagle this weekend for the annual Mid-Atlantic Leather celebration.
06 â&#x20AC;˘ WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M â&#x20AC;˘ JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
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Shenandoah LGBTQ Center set to open in historic building
An LGBT contingent is again slated to join Monday’s MLK Day Parade. Washington blade photo by Michael Key
LGBT contingent to march in MLK Day Parade
CHRISTOPHER WOOD, co-founder of the new Shenandoah LGBTQ Center in Staunton, Va. Photo courtesy Wood
The Shenandoah LGBTQ Center, which began operating in temporary office space in Staunton, Va., in August 2018, is scheduled to open its new offices and meeting space on Jan. 26 in Staunton’s historic Masonic Building. Christopher Wood, the LGBTQ Center’s founder, and Emily Sproul, the Center’s executive director, gave the Washington Blade a tour of the soon-to-beopened offices and meeting space in December. The two noted that the Center’s new home is in the heart of downtown Staunton, which serves as a hub for Virginia’s expansive Shenandoah Valley. “The Shenandoah LGBTQ Center was announced on July 13, 2018 in response to the severe lack of resources available in the Shenandoah Valley and Greater Appalachian region for LGBTQ individuals and their families,” the Center states on its website. Wood said new owners of the Masonic Building, which first opened in 1895 as a Masonic temple, are supportive of the Center’s mission and offered favorable terms on the Center’s lease. Last weekend, Wood said he and others involved with the Center traveled to the Ikea store in Northern Virginia to buy office furniture and other items for the new space. “So the space is being redone this coming weekend,” he said. “There’s a work day actually on Saturday,” he noted, when volunteers will help put the finishing touches on the new space. Although LGBT people often face challenges in rural parts of the Shenandoah Valley, Wood said the new center is fortunate that city officials in Staunton, including the mayor, police chief, and city manager as well as the local business community, have been welcoming and supportive. Wood and his husband own and operate a retail store in downtown Staunton not far from the LGBTQ Center’s new offices. He also serves as executive director of LGBT Tech, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for the LGBT community on technology issues. He said an important role of the LGBTQ Center will be to provide access to technology for those who visit the Center, especially LGBT youth, such as computer terminals and advice on devices such as smart phones. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
The D.C. Center for the LGBT Community is organizing an LGBT contingent for the city’s annual Martin Luther King Holiday Parade, which is scheduled to begin at noon on Monday, Jan. 21 near Anacostia Park. In an announcement on its website, the D.C. Center said organizations joining it in the parade so far include the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. “All LGBT organizations and individuals are welcome to join us,” the announcement says. It says the LGBT contingent will meet at 10 a.m. near the Anacostia Park entrance in Southeast Washington. Organizers say the parade will kick off at noon on Good Hope Road, S.E. near the Anacostia Park entrance. It will travel along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, S.E. to the Rise Center on the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital campus, where a MLK Holiday Festival and Health Fair will take place. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
LGBT ANC members create Rainbow Caucus LGBT members of the city’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions have formed a Rainbow Caucus, which they say will serve as a forum for sharing ideas and concerns and possibly advocating for issues and legislation. Community activist Japer Bowles, who won election on Nov. 6 to ANC single member district 1C07 in Adams Morgan, said he and a few other newly elected commissioners came up with the idea of creating an LGBT ANC caucus at an election night party at the Adams Morgan gay bar Pitchers, which is in his district. “We had our first organizational meetand-greet meeting in early December and expect to meet every other month in
a different ward,” he told the Washington Blade in an email. “These meetings will be public and an agenda will be made available upon request,” he said. “The goal and purpose of this caucus is to share resources/event opportunities among each other and positions within the caucus,” he said. The caucus’ second meeting, which was to take place Sunday, Jan. 13 at a public library, was switched to a telephone conference call due to the snow storm. Transgender activist Monika Nemeth, who won election in November to an ANC seat in Ward 3, said the phone conference included a discussion on plans to draft an official mission statement for the caucus and several issues planned for further discussion at future meetings. Bowles and Nemeth were among 30 openly LGBT candidates that ran for ANC seats in the Nov. 6 election that the Washington Blade learned about. Out of those 30 candidates, 23 won their races. Bowles said the caucus has since learned of at least two other out LGBT people who won election to an ANC seat on Nov. 6, bringing the total known LGBT ANC members to 25. There are a total of 296 ANC members throughout the city in 40 separate Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. Congress created the ANCs as part of the city’s Home Rule Charter in the early 1970s. They are unpaid, nonpartisan positions charged with providing advice to D.C. government agencies on community based issues such as trash collection, zoning, business licensing and other local matters. “It was a good general discussion with folks just introducing their thoughts and ideas,” Nemeth said in discussing Sunday’s telephone conference. “The only decisions made were to have the mission statement drafted and to meet on a monthly basis,” she said. “Everyone is excited about this.” Nemeth also won election last month as president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest local LGBT political group. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
08 • WA S HI N GTON B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9 • LO CAL N EW S
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6 9 3 0 C a r r o L L av e , S u i t e 6 1 0 • ta k o m a Pa r k m d JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 09
Serving the LGBT Community in DC/MD/VA since 1983 Lawrence S. Jacobs/McMillan Metro, PC
Comings & Goings Scott Bloom to debut film ‘Raceland’ 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 Scott Bloom on the completion of his film “Raceland.” It is the story of Blake and Lloyd, two old friends from the bayou. As kids they were thick as thieves. After being separated for a number of SCOTT BLOOM years, they’ve rekindled their friendship. During a day of fishing, Lloyd is tragically injured and Blake nurses him back to health. It’s during this time together they realize the love they had for each other back when they were kids, did not disappear but was rather buried under years of social cues and macho veneer. Bloom has worked as a freelance editor in Southern California on hundreds of feature documentaries, sitcoms, film trailers and reality television episodes. In 2005, he left the edit suite and stepped behind the camera as producer and director of the award-winning documentaries, “Original Pride: The Satyrs Motorcycle Club,” “Call Me CHRISTOPHER Troy” and “Out for the Long Run.” “Raceland” is his first PEPIN-NEFF narrative film, a personal story drawing from actual events in his life. Bloom has been invited to screen “Raceland” in one festival in Colorado and to premiere it on its own in New Orleans in early 2019. Congratulations also to Christopher L. PepinNeff appointed a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Sydney. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Palm Center, San Francisco. Prior to moving to Sydney to continue his education, he worked as a researcher for the Pew Environmental Group in D.C., executive director of Outright Vermont PETER CLARK in Burlington, a senior policy advocate with the Service Members Legal Defense Network and a staff assistant in the Office of former Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). He has authored a book that will be out this year, “FLAWS: Shark Bites and Emotional Public Policymaking.” He has written numerous journal articles including, “Reducing fear to influence policy preferences: An experiment with sharks and beach safety policy options.” Pepin-Neff was an executive committee member for the University of Sydney LGBTQ Ally Network. He earned his bachelor’s from James Madison University, his master’s in public policy from the University of Sydney; and his Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Sydney, Department of Government and International Relations. Congratulations also to Peter Clark who was promoted to Assistant General Counsel and Tort Liability Program Manager with the Office of Risk Management for the District of Columbia. Clark has extensive experience managing various types of injury and property damage claims. About this position he said, “I believe my experience as an attorney and training manager as well as being an adjunct professor of paralegal studies is of great benefit to both the Tort Division and the District as a whole.” He moved to the District from Massachusetts in 2016 to work for the District of Columbia. His experience includes working as a claims administrator with the Amity Insurance Co. in Braintree, Mass. and Unit Coordinator Training Manager with the New England Medical Center (Tufts) in Boston. In addition for more than 12 years he had a private law practice specializing in the areas of general liability, personal injury, premise liability, estate planning, and real estate closing. Clark earned his bachelor’s from Suffolk University and his JD from the Southern New England School of Law. He also attended the San Diego School of Law in London, England where he did a Comparative law barrister internship and received highest honors.
LGBTcontingent expected for Saturday’s Women’s March
Controversy over anti-Semitism allegations prompts protests By LOU CHIBBARO JR. LCHIBBARO@WASHBLADE.COM
At least eight LGBT advocacy organizations are among about 175 civil rights and progressive groups that are listed as partners for the 2019 Women’s March on Washington scheduled to begin at the National Mall on Saturday, Jan. 19. Two transgender women and two lesbians are also listed as members of a recently created 31-member Women’s March Steering Committee, which organizers say has played a lead role in setting the march’s agenda. However, unconfirmed reports have surfaced that some LGBT organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD, have joined dozens of other civil rights groups in withdrawing their “partner” status in response to allegations of antiSemitism among the march’s leadership. The Women’s March organization has issued statements condemning anti-Semitism and disputing claims that some within its leadership expressed anti-Semitic views. “The Women’s March is excited to announce over 175 organizational partners for the 2019 Women’s March on Washington,” March organizers said in a Jan. 19 statement. “We are proud of the diversity and breadth of organizations involved, which reflect the vibrance of the Women’s March movement,” says the statement. Organizers are calling on participants to gather at 10 a.m. on Saturday on the National Mall at the corner of 12th Street and Jefferson Drive, S.W. They say the march would begin at 11 a.m. but haven’t released the specific route of the march. A statement released by organizers says a rally was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Constitution Gardens located adjacent to the Mall between the Vietnam Memorial and the World War II Memorial. The LGBT organizations included in the current list of Women’s March partners are the TransLatin Coalition, National Black Justice Coalition, Trans People of Color Coalition, Trans Student Educational Resources, Trans Youth Equality Foundation, Gender Diversity, Work For Peace, and Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. The Washington Blade couldn’t immediately identify partner organizations that may have requested to be removed from the Women’s March partners list. However, a Tweet from women’s rights activist Tali B. Goldsheft claims that HRC and GLAAD were among the groups that withdrew as partners. Spokespersons for HRC and GLAAD said they were looking into the two organizations’ current position on the Women’s March but
didn’t immediately respond to a question from the Blade about whether they withdrew as partners of the march. Abby Stein, one of the two transgender women serving on the 2019 Women’s March Steering Committee, is listed in a biography on the March website as a Jewish educator, writer, speaker and activist. In a posting on her Facebook page this week Stein made an impassioned appeal for the Jewish community to remain supportive of the Women’s March on Washington and of the dozens of sister Women’s Marches planned for Jan. 19 in cities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Among other things, she expressed solidarity with other Jewish women who are supporting the march on grounds that it has emerged as an important and growing coalition of marginalized groups including Jews, African Americans, Hispanics, and LGBT people. “Emma Goldberg isn’t writing my own words, but some of it feels like it,” Stein wrote in her Facebook post. “I am proud to be joining the 3rd Annual Women’s March on Washington steering committee, together with the 2 amazing Jewish women leaders April Aviva Baskin and Yavilah McCoy.” According to the New York Times, one of the lead organizers of the first Women’s March in January 2017, which drew more than a million women to the nation’s capital to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, had expressed some form of support for the Nation of Islam and its controversial leader, Louis Farrakhan. Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory, the Times reports, has acknowledged praising Farrakhan for his role in uplifting black men through his Million Man Marches in past years, but she said she did not agree with Farrakhan’s inflammatory anti-Semitic and homophobic statements in speeches. Mallory, who is on the leadership team of the 2019 Women’s March, told the New York Times that anti-Semitism has no place in the Women’s March. Other March leaders have pointed to the Jewish, lesbian and trans women serving on the March Steering Committee. In addition to transgender and Jewish activist Abby Stein of New York, the other trans and lesbian members include Bamby Salcedo, a nationally recognized Latina transgender activist who serves as president of the TransLatin Coalition; lesbian activist Kerri Evelyn Harris who ran as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2018 in Delaware’s Democratic primary; and lesbian Marisa Franco of Phoenix, a community organizer and writer.
10 • WA S HI N GTON B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9 • LO CAL N EW S
Dr. Mathilde Krim
PHOTO BY ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
July 9, 1926 to January 15, 2018
Accomplished scientist, compassionate humanitarian, indefatigable AIDS activist.
JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 11
AIDS activist, LGBT ally William Beale dies at 77
‘People on both sides of the aisle understand that these protections are necessary,’ said Equality Virginia Executive Director JAMES PARRISH. Washington blade photo by Michael Key
WILLIAM H. BEALE JR. was a D.C. resident and an outspoken advocate for AIDS education and LGBT rights. Photo courtesy of Wallace Corbett
William H. Beale Jr., a D.C. resident who in the early 1990s became an outspoken advocate for AIDS education and LGBT rights after his gay son died of AIDS and whose LGBT friends describe as a dedicated straight ally, died Jan. 3 at the D.C. Veteran’s Hospital. His daughter, Keya Beale, said in a social media posting he was 77 years old and died of complications associated with pneumonia and a chronic heart condition. Courtney Williams, editor and publisher of an online newsletter that covers the D.C. African-American LGBT community, said Beale and his family in 1992 created the Dwayne S. Brown Foundation as a tribute to their late son who died of AIDS. “The foundation’s mission was to break the mold of silence in the African American Community in which some families of people with AIDS lived,” Williams said in a statement. “Dwayne’s mother appeared on posters and in a video, hoping to persuade people to stop hating men like her son,” Williams said. “Mr. Beale talked to caregivers and youth about using condoms to protect themselves from the virus.” Beale became the president and CEO of the nonprofit foundation, according to Williams. Williams and others who knew Beale said he became a beloved ally for the local LGBT community, especially for African-American LGBT people. “He had worked to educate the mainstream African-American community on GLBT issues by approaching churches, organizations and individuals to bring an inclusive message,” Williams said. D.C. transgender activist Earline Budd and D.C. resident Wallace Corbett, who were longtime friends of Beale, said they considered him a father figure and mentor. “He was a man of integrity and had a heart of gold,” Budd said in an email to LGBT community activists. “Most striking to me was the fact that he was a father and advocate for HIV after losing his son Dwayne Brown to HIV at an early age,” Budd said. “He did not have to embrace the LGBTQ community nor become a leading advocate for HIV, but he did,” said Budd. “I as a transgender woman found him to be ideal as a father, and I will truly miss him.” Corbett said he first met Beale in the 1990s when Corbett was a participant in D.C.’s annual AIDS Ride bicycle fundraising event. He said Beale was a financial supporter of the event. “From that point on he became my father and mentor,” Corbett said. “He helped with the biking team and feeding the group and helping us raise money and talking about his son.” Budd has joined Keya Beale in promoting a campaign to raise money for Beale’s funeral expenses through a GoFundMe appeal. Search for his name at gofundme.com to contribute. Keya Beale said tentative plans were being made for a military burial for Beale, who was a U.S. Navy veteran. A memorial service and celebration of his life has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington at 474 Ridge St., N.W. in D.C. Corbett said friends and family are suggesting that well wishers send flowers to the church at the time of the service. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Va. Senate committee approves 2 non-discrimination bills The Virginia Senate General Laws Committee this week approved legislation designed to protect LGBT Virginians from discrimination in housing and public employment. The legislation passed with bipartisan support, with a 13-1 vote on housing and 11-3 vote on public employment. “Seeing the housing bill come out yesterday with the support of everyone except [Sen. Dick Black] shows good momentum that people on both sides of the aisle understand that these protections are necessary,” said Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish. Passing these nondiscrimination bills in both the state Senate and the Virginia House of Delegates is one of Equality Virginia’s top priorities in 2019. For the past three years, the bills have made it out of the Senate with support from both Republicans and Democrats. However, Republican leaders in the House of Delegates have blocked the bills from receiving a vote on the floor. Over the past few months, Equality Virginia has worked with community members in more conservative areas of state to gather support for LGBT protections. Since last session, the organization has launched “Virginia Beach for Fairness,” a campaign seeking to rally support among Virginia Beach residents for nondiscrimination legislation. Three members of the House committee that determine whether the employment and housing bills reach the floor represent Virginia Beach. On a statewide level, Equality Virginia and some of its partners are collecting stories and postcards from residents who have been impacted by anti-LGBT discrimination. Equality Virginia has mailed these stories to House Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). Parrish said the postcards aim to “demonstrate a need for these laws by sharing people’s stories of discrimination and show that support for these two bills comes from across the commonwealth.” Freedom for All Americans, an LGBT
advocacy group seeking to secure support for nondiscrimination protections, also emphasized that Monday’s victory in Virginia is part of a greater national push for nondiscrimination protections. In the past four weeks, five governors have signed executive orders that forbid anti-LGBT discrimination in public employment. They include three Republicans — current Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — and two Democrats — current Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and current Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has signaled her desire to pass the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity on a national level, in this Congress. JAMES WELLEMEYER
Slain D.C. resident remembered at vigil More than 80 people turned out Jan. 11, for a candlelight vigil to honor the life of gay retail and language services company manager Vongell Lugo, 36, who police say was stabbed to death in his apartment in Northwest D.C. on Jan. 6 by a man he knew. Friends, co-workers, and family members wept and laughed as they told stories of their interaction with a man virtually all who spoke said was beloved for his ability to lift people up and ease their troubles. U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman Collin Potter, 26, has been charged with seconddegree murder while armed in connection with Lugo’s death. He is being held without bond at the D.C. Jail pending a Jan. 18 preliminary hearing in D.C. Superior Court. Police have yet to disclose a motive for the murder other than to list it as an incident of domestic violence. Those attending the vigil said they worked and quickly became friends with Lugo during his stints as a manager in the men’s clothing department at the D.C. area retail stores J. Crew, Bloomingdale’s, and the Gap beginning in 2003. A funeral was held Jan. 14. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
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N.Y.advances trans rights bill,‘ex-gay’ ban
Kansas guv bans anti-LGBTbias
‘We righted a 16-year-old wrong by passing GENDA’
Latest in series of similar moves across country
By CHRIS JOHNSON CJOHNSON@WASHBLADE.COM
By CHRIS JOHNSON CJOHNSON@WASHBLADE.COM
With Democrats in control of the New York Senate for the first time in a decade, lawmakers on Tuesday sent to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo two long-awaited pro-LGBT measures — one banning widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy, the other banning anti-transgender discrimination. The New York Senate approved the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which amends the New York Human Rights Law to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public spaces and education, by a vote of 42-19. The Assembly later approved the legislation by a 100-40 vote. On the same day, the New York Senate approved legislation prohibiting conversion therapy for youth by a vote of 57-4. The Assembly approved the legislation by a vote of 135-3. Juli Grey-Owens, executive director of transgender-led Gender Equality New York, said in a statement approval of GENDA “sent the strong message that our state supports the free expression of gender identity and the right of genderexpansive New Yorkers to be our authentic selves.” “We thank our leaders in the Assembly and Senate who have supported our community with explicit and permanent protections from discrimination,” GreyOwens said. “The passage of GENDA not only represents the final chapter in the fight for legislative equality, but also sends a strong message across our state that there will no longer be any excuse for discrimination against those who are transgender and non-binary.” The vote on GENDA essentially brings to an end a fight of 16 years in seeking to the pass the legislation. The New York Assembly has passed the legislation 11 times over the years, but 2019 marks the first time the New York Senate has approved the bill. (Last year, GENDA was killed by committee vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.) New York Assembly member Danny O’Donnell, who’s gay, commended the New York Legislature for advancing the pro-LGBT measures. “Across our state and our country, LGBTQ Americans face discrimination for who they are; suffering violence, being kicked out of their homes and struggling to find acceptance,” O’Donnell said. “Today we righted a 16-year-old wrong by passing GENDA and protected countless young people from the hateful fraud of conversion therapy.” Once GENDA becomes law in New York, Wisconsin will be the only state in the country with a statewide banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but not gender identity. Although neither GENDA nor the “ex-gay” therapy ban were laws in New York, Cuomo during his tenure sought to enact the goals of those measures through executive order. In 2015, Cuomo directed New York’s Division of Human Rights to interpret state law barring sex discrimination to apply to cases of anti-trans discrimination. In 2016, Cuomo banned public and private insurers in New York from covering conversion therapy. Cuomo in a statement commended the legislature for approving GENDA, saying the actions stand in contrast to anti-trans policy under the Trump administration. “At a time when the federal government is doing everything it can to roll back the hard won rights of transgender Americans, New York State is once again stepping up for full equality and equal protections under the law,” Cuomo said. “We were the first state in the nation to issue regulations prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, and continue to fight this federal administration’s despicable attacks on trans people. This is an issue of basic fairness, and today marks an historic day for those in the LGBTQ community who fought tirelessly for the passage of this bill.”
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On her first day of office, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday became the latest new governor to sign an executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination. Kelly signed the directive, Executive Order No. 19-02, shortly after being sworn into office in Topeka. The order bars discrimination in state employment, services and contracts based on numerous characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. The order provides LGBT people in Kansas the only statewide protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Kansas is among 31 states without an explicit law on the books barring anti-LGBT discrimination. Kelly’s order against anti-LGBT discrimination was expected. After her victory over Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach, she signaled during her transition period she’d issue the directive. Additionally, Kelly said she’d look for ways to thwart a new Kansas “religious freedom” adoption law, which allows adoption agencies to deny child placement into LGBT homes for religious reasons. The order is the sixth in a string of directives from governors — both Democrat and Republican — prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, both Democrats signed similar orders shortly after taking office, as did Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. (Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, excluded LGBT people from his non-discrimination order.) Meanwhile, two other Republicans, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, signed executive orders against anti-LGBT discrimination in December during their remaining weeks in office. The order restores and expands an executive order signed in 2007 by former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, another Democrat. That order prohibited anti-LGBT discrimination in state employment, but said nothing about services and contracts. Eight years later, former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in 2015 issued another order rescinding the Sebelius directive, making the case those protections couldn’t be “unilaterally” afforded without the consent of the state legislature. (LGBT rights supporters would later cite this action as reason to oppose Brownback for confirmation under the Trump administration as U.S.
Kansas Gov. LAURA an executive order discrimination.
KELLY signed against LGBT
Photo courtesy of the Kelly Campaign
ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.) Kelly’s order not only reverses Brownback and restores Sebelius’ prohibition on anti-LGBT discrimination in Kansas government employment, but it expands the earlier protections to state government services and contracts. Sebelius, who went on to become secretary of health and human services during the Obama administration, was among those commending Kelly for the order. “Gov. Kelly’s order is the right thing to do for Kansas, and a step toward ensuring our state is well-positioned to attract and maintain businesses that strengthen our economy, our communities, and our families,” Sebelius said. “Kansans support treating all people fairly and equally because it’s the right thing to do. We also know that common sense and inclusive policies are critical to maintaining our state’s economic competitiveness.” Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, said in a statement the executive order “brings immediate relief to LGBTQ Kansans who work with the state government and actually had nondiscrimination protections taken away from them in recent years.” “We thank Gov. Kelly for taking this important step toward making Kansas a fair and equitable place for LGBTQ people to live and work, and a more competitive state for businesses looking to recruit and retain talent,” Davis said. “Today’s victory in Kansas is a big step forward – but the state’s history is a reminder as to why passing legislation is so critical to enacting lasting nondiscrimination protections. The best way to ensure future governors won’t undue this progress is to pass a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill that covers all LGBTQ Kansans.”
Barr hints at continuing anti-LGBT policies at Justice Dept. Trump nominee grilled over past homophobic comments By CHRIS JOHNSON CJOHNSON@WASHBLADE.COM
William Barr, President Trump’s pick to become the next attorney general, held his cards close to the vest on LGBT issues Tuesday during his confirmation hearing, but hinted upon confirmation he’d pursue the anti-LGBT policies of his predecessor Jeff Sessions. The answers from Barr suggest he’d continue to uphold the Justice Department’s view that LGBT people aren’t protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workforce. Additionally, Barr suggested he’d uphold religious freedom even at the expense of anti-LGBT discrimination. In his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr recognized the increasing number of hate crimes in the United States, including LGBT people, and pledged to address them under the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. “We can only survive and thrive as a nation if we are mutually tolerant of each other’s differences, whether they be differences based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or political thinking,” Barr said. “And yet, we see some people violently attacking others simply because of their differences. We must have zero tolerance for such crimes, and I will make this a priority as attorney general if confirmed.” But under questioning on LGBT issues from Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Barr indicated enforcement of the hate crimes law would likely be the extent of his pro-LGBT advocacy at the Justice Department. Booker initiated the questioning on LGBT issues by referencing a 1995 article Barr wrote for a conservative Catholic publication that laments growing acceptance of the LGBT movement compared to religious communities. Asserting the 1995 article demonstrated a view being LGBT was immoral, Booker asked Barr whether he still holds those views, Barr replied “no,” but disputed the article conveyed antiLGBT views. After Booker insisted he was quoting the actual language, Barr said he’d inform the committee about his views. Barr reflected on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling for same-sex marriage. “If I had been voting on it at the time — my view is that under the law, under
the Constitution, as I originally conceived it before it was decided by the Supreme Court, marriage was to be regulated by the states, and if it was brought to me, I would have favored martial unions, single-sex,” Barr said. When Booker interjected he was questioning Barr about his views in the 1995 article and whether the LGBT movement is immoral, Barr expressed a need for tolerance. “In a pluralistic society like ours, there has be to a live-and-let-live attitude, and mutual tolerance, which has to be a twoway street,” Barr said. “My concern, and the rest of the article addresses this, is I am perfectly fine with the law as it is, for example, with gay marriage, perfectly fine, but I want accommodation for religion.” When the New Jersey Democrat interjected LGBT youth are disproportionately bullied at schools, Barr interrupted to recognize anti-LGBT hate crimes. Booker acknowledged that before adding many LGBT youth report they are missing school because of fear of being bullied and are disproportionately homeless. Booker asked Barr whether he thinks laws “designed to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination contribute to what you describe as a breakdown for traditional morality.” Barr replied “no,” but added, “I also believe there has to be accommodation to religious communities.” Booker acknowledged, “You and I believe in freedom of religion,” but shifted the focus to anti-gay workplace discrimination. Barr replied, “I think’s that wrong.” When Booker asked whether that means the Justice Department should protect LGBT kids from harassment and hate crimes and pursue efforts to protect the civil rights of LGBT Americans, Barr replied. “I support that.” Referencing his opening statement, Barr said, “As I said in the beginning, I’m very concerned about the increase in hate crimes.” But when Booker asked Barr if he sees a role for the Justice Department in banning anti-LGBT discrimination, the nominee had a different take. Barr replied, “If Congress passes such a law.” Barr then referenced the petitions currently before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking clarification on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex in the workplace, applies
to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination. “I think the litigation going on now on Title VII is what the the 1964 act actually contemplated, but personally, I think —,” Barr said. Before Barr could finish and venture an opinion on Title VII, Booker interrupted and asked to verify whether lawmakers contemplated including LGBT people in Title VII. Barr rejected that idea, saying “no.” “I think it was male-female that they were talking about when they said sex in the ’64 act,” Barr added. Booker then interjected again by conflating anti-LGBT discrimination with sexual harassment: “So protecting someone’s basic rights to be free from discrimination because of sexual harassment is not something the Department of Justice should be protecting?” Playing with one of the many U.S. Senate coasters before him on the witness stand, Barr insisted the onus is on Congress to make the law. “I’m saying Congress passes the law, the Justice Department enforces the law,” Barr said. “I think the ’64 act on its face — and this is what is being litigated, what does it cover? I think for like three or four decades, the LGBT community has been trying to amend the law.” Booker interrupted again before Barr could finish, saying the Obama administration’s Justice Department “was working to protect LGBT kids from discrimination.” (The Justice Department in the Obama years asserted anti-trans discrimination was illegal under Title VII, but took no position with respect to the law on anti-gay discrimination despite pleas from LGBT rights supporters.) When Booker asked if Barr would pursue the Obama administration practices, Barr replied, “I don’t know what you’re referring to.” “I’m against discrimination against anyone because of some status, their gender or their sexual orientation or whatever,” Barr continued. Hirono picked up where Booker left off, asking Barr directly about the Justice Department’s friend-of-the-court brief before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals arguing anti-gay discrimination isn’t covered under Title VII. As Hirono noted, both the Second Circuit and the Seventh Circuit have “rejected the department’s argument” about the law.
The Hawaii Democrat asked Barr if he’d appeal those decisions to the U.S. Supreme Court. In response, Barr seemingly referenced the petitions before justices, noting, “I think it is going up to the Supreme Court.” When Hirono asked if DOJ will continue to argue Title VII doesn’t bar antigay discrimination, Barr initially declined to answer directly. “It’s pending litigation and I haven’t gotten in to review the department’s litigation position, but the matter will be decided by the Supreme Court,” Barr said. Hirono responded: “That sounds like a ‘yes’ to me. The department will continue to push the argument that has been rejected.” At this point, Barr tipped his hand on his view Title VII doesn’t cover antigay discrimination. “It’s not just the department’s argument,” Barr said. “It’s been sort of common understanding for almost 40 years.” Asked by Hirono if discrimination is OK, Barr replied, “That’s not at all what I’m saying. I’m saying the question is the interpretation of the statute passed in 1964.” “As I’ve already said, I personally, as a matter of my own personal feelings think there should be laws that prohibit discrimination against gay people,” Hirono said. When Hirono asked Barr if he’d review the Justice Department’s position, Barr replied, “No. Because there’s a difference between law and policy.” “I will enforce the laws as passed by Congress,” Barr said. “I’m not going to amend them. I’m not going to undercut them. I’m not going to try to work my way around them and evade them. Hirono responded: “The DOJ doesn’t have to file an amicus brief either.” The Hawaii Democrat wasn’t done on LGBT issues, asking Barr about an explosive report in the New York Times asserting the Department of Health & Human Services was preparing a rule to define transgender people out of existence under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972. Asked by Hirono if he believes transgender people are protected from discrimination under Title IX, Barr dodged. “I think that matter’s being litigated in the Supreme Court, too,” Barr said. When Barr added he doesn’t know the Justice Department’s position on the issue, Hirono said she’d ask him to review the issue.
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Pompeo trip to Egypt prompts calls for U.S.aid cut SEPTEMBER 23, 2018 — MARCH 3, 2019 AT THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART
Secretary of State MIKE POMPEO reiterated the United States’ commitment to a strategic partnership with Egypt. Photo by Gage Skidmore; Courtesy of Flickr
“A loose journey of self-discovery that can be read in mythological or biographical terms or, often, both at once.”
— New York Times, April 27, 2017
Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day, presented at The Baltimore Museum of Art, is made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council – Department of Commerce, Nancy L. Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff, Gabriel and Deborah Brener, Katherine and Joseph Hardiman, John Meyerhoff, M.D. and Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff, Mafia Papers Studio, and Hauser & Wirth. The project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.
Mark Bradford, 2017. © Mark Bradford. Photo: Carlos Avendaño
Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater had a broken water heater. It was covered, luckily by Peter’s new home warranty.
VALERIE M. BLAKE, Associate Broker, GRI, Director of Education & Mentorship Dupont Circle Ofﬁce • 202-518-8781 (o) • 202.246.8602 (c) Valerie@DCHomeQuest.com • www.DCHomeQuest.com
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Egypt last week has prompted renewed calls for the U.S. to cut aid to the country over its anti-LGBTI human rights record. Pompeo on Jan. 10 met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo. Deputy State Department Spokesperson Robert Palladino in a readout of the meeting said Pompeo “reiterated the United States’ commitment to the strategic partnership with Egypt and in its ﬁght against our common security threats, including terrorism and the Iranian regime’s malign inﬂuence.” “The secretary thanked President Sisi for his leadership in advancing religious tolerance, including by promoting the equality of all Egyptians,” said the readout. “The secretary also emphasized the importance of the protection of human rights and the vital role civil society plays in giving a voice to all citizens to help address their countries’ challenges.” Pompeo in a speech he delivered at American University in Cairo on Jan. 10 reiterated the same message. “As we seek an even stronger partnership with Egypt, we encourage President Sisi to unleash the creative energy of Egypt’s people, unfetter the economy, and promote a free and open exchange of ideas,” said Pompeo. “The progress made to date can continue.” The State Department notes Egypt received more than $1.34 billion in aid from the U.S. in ﬁscal year 2017, with nearly $1.24 billion of it going to “peace and security sectors.” Egypt received nearly $1.45 billion in aid from the U.S. in ﬁscal year 2016. El-Sissi has been in power since he ousted then-President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, a now outlawed Islamist group, in 2013. The State Department’s 2017 human rights report notes the arrest of LGBTI people are among “the most signiﬁcant human rights issues” in Egypt. MICHAEL K. LAVERS
2 killed, 40 detained in Chechnya crackdown
A Russian advocacy group this week said at least two people have been killed and upwards of 40 people have been detained in the latest anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya. The Russian LGBT Network in a press release said a “new wave of illegal detentions in Chechnya based on the alleged sexual orientation of victims, both men and women” began late last year with the detention of an administrator of a social networking group. “It was followed by other numerous detentions,” said the Russian LGBT Network. “The Russian LGBT Network learned about this situation in the beginning of January 2019. There is information that around 40 people were detained, both men and women. At least two people died as a result of torture.” Igor Kochetkov, a prominent Russian LGBTI activist, in the press release said, “it is impossible to name the precise number of victims.” “However, we know that the detentions are conducted by the law enforcement ofﬁcers, and the victims are detained in Argun [a town outside of the Chechen capital of Grozny].” Chechnya is a semi-autonomous Russian republic in the North Caucasus. Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper, in April 2017 reported Chechen authorities had arrested more than 100 men because of their sexual orientation. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last month released a report that documents extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses against LGBTI people in Chechnya. The Associated Press on Monday reported a spokesperson for Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov — a close ally of Russian President of Vladimir Putin — described the reports to the Interfax news agency as “complete lies and don’t have an ounce of truth in them.” President Trump — who is under increased scrutiny over his alleged involvement in the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election — has not publicly commented on the anti-LGBTI crackdown. MICHAEL K. LAVERS
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Gov. JAY INSLEE announced last week his intent to provide an expedited process for granting clemency to those with marijuana-related convictions. Photo by Jay Inslee; Courtesy of Flickr
Washington guv to pardon those with marijuana convictions OLYMPIA, Wash. — Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week his intent to provide an expedited process for granting clemency to those with past marijuana-related convictions. Under the proposed plan, those convicted of a marijuana misdemeanor after Jan. 1, 1998 will have their records vacated. It is estimated that 3,500 individuals will be eligible for expungement. “For decades, people have faced criminal prosecution for behavior that is no longer considered a crime in Washington,” the Inslee administration stated in a press release. “[F]orgiving these convictions will allow people to move on with their lives without these convictions causing additional burdens on people, their families, their employers and their communities. This is a small step, but one that moves us in the direction of correcting injustices that disproportionately affected communities of color. A successful pardon of a marijuana possession conviction can assist with barriers to housing, employment and education.” Last year, California lawmakers enacted legislation mandating the automatic review and sealing of past marijuana-related convictions. In November, the newly elected governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer (D), publicly announced her intent to take executive action to automatically pardon former marijuana offenders. “Our sense of justice and our principles of fairness demand that officials move swiftly to right the past wrongs of cannabis prohibition and criminalization,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “It makes no sense to continue to punish people for actions that are no longer considered to be criminal in nature.”
Mo. county won’t prosecute minor marijuana offenses ST. LOUIS — Minor marijuana possession offenses will no longer be criminally prosecuted in St. Louis County, according to a policy instituted last week by newly elected prosecutor Wesley H E A LT H • JANUARY 18, 2019 • WA SHINGTON B L A DE . COM • 19
Bell. Bell was sworn into office last week. The policy change mirrors that of Jackson County (Kansas City) prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who announced in November that her office would no longer charge offenders for marijuana possession violations. In 2017, members of the Kansas City chapter of NORML successfullyled a municipal initiative effort to decriminalize minor possession offenses. Nearly 30 percent of Missourians reside in either Jackson County or St. Louis County. Under state law, the possession of more than ten grams of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. In recent months, District Attorneys in a number of municipalities around the country – such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Norfolk, Virginia – have instituted similar policy changes.
Medical schools including cannabis in curriculum PITTSBURGH — A growing percentage of colleges of pharmacy are instituting medical cannabis training as part of their curriculum, according to survey data published in the journal Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh contacted 140 U.S. schools of pharmacy regarding whether they include medical cannabis-related topics in their curriculum. Among respondents, 62 percent reported that they had instituted some level of medical marijuana training, while 23 percent answered that they intended to incorporate the topic to their coursework within the next 12 months. The study is the first inventory of medical schools with regard to the inclusion of medical cannabis-related topics to their curriculum. According to a 2015 evaluation of student pharmacists’ attitudes, 90 percent of respondents indicated that they favored the inclusion of medical cannabis instruction to their curriculum. (Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at email@example.com.)
Gay dads, kids report discrimination
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NEW YORK — Gay dads in a recent survey report widespread discrimination and stigmatization in the U.S. Reuters Health reports citing a study published in the academic journal Pediatrics. Nearly two-thirds of gay dads reported encountering stigma and half said they’ve avoided situations out of fear of mistreatment or discrimination. Their children experience stigma, too. One-third of gay fathers said their kids were stigmatized by other children and one in five dads said their children had avoided forming friendships out of fear of mistreatment or discrimination, Reuters reports. For the study, researchers surveyed 732 gay fathers with 1,316 children in 47 states. Researchers ranked states based on how many legal protections they offered to gay parents that covered things like marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, adoption, child custody and anti-bullying policies, Reuters reports. Not surprisingly, gay fathers were more likely to report stigma affecting their lives in states with fewer legal protections. They also reported more active discrimination in states with fewer legal protections, particularly from family members and in religious settings, Reuters reports. Many fathers reported barriers to becoming parents. About 41 percent had difficulties with adoption and one-third encountered problems arranging custody of children born in straight relationships. The study can’t prove whether parenting status or sexual orientation directly impacts discrimination and it wasn’t nationally representative, Reuters reports.
Health care dicey for LGBT travelers ADVERTISING PROOF
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NEW YORK — About 50 percent of LGB and 70 percent of trans travelers report discrimination from health care providers when traveling abroad, the New York Times reports citing data from Lambda Legal. ADVERTISER SIGNATURE By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the washington blade newspaper. This includesSocial but is not limited to placement, media can help when looking payment and insertion schedule. for doctors and making local connections, John Tanzella, president of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association told the Times. But be careful — misinformation abounds online. Be especially careful when researching vaccine information, the Times advised. When it comes to your health while traveling, knowledge is power. Travelers should make themselves familiar not only with the health risks of any given destination,
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but with its laws and culture. Dozens of countries around the world have restrictive laws surrounding sexuality, and those can impact the type of medical care you get when you need it, the Times reports. In Qatar and the UAE, for example, being pregnant and unmarried is illegal and can carry a jail sentence. While these laws mostly target migrant workers, they technically can be applied to anyone. In upward of 70 countries, same-sex relationships are a crime, the article notes. Alongside the usual travel warnings from the State Department, Equaldex and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association track sexual orientation laws by country, so you can be prepared before you even book your trip, the Times advised.
Bi vets especially at risk for PTSD LOS ANGELES — New research indicates that service members and veterans who identify as bisexual may be at higher risk for mental health issues including PTSD and depression than their gay, lesbian or straight peers, MedicalXPress reports. Today, there are an estimated 1 million LGB veterans in the United States. Bisexual individuals represent the largest segment of the LGBT community and interestingly, both bi men and women are overrepresented among those who have served in the military, MedicalXPress reports. In terms of active duty service members, 2 percent of men identify as gay and 2 percent identify as bisexual, while 7 percent of women identify as lesbian and 9 percent identify as bisexual. This is likely an incomplete picture, as bi people are less likely to be out than gays and lesbians and not everyone attracted to men and women identifies as bi, one of the researchers told MedicalXPress. Researchers found that bisexual veterans are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from severe depression and 2.3 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than their straight peers. The research broke new ground by confirming that bisexuals are three times more likely to suffer from severe depression and nearly twice as likely to suffer from PTSD than their gay and lesbian peers, MedicalXPress reports. While further research is needed to evaluate the causal factors that may contribute to bisexual veterans’ increased risk for depression and PTSD, a large body of existing research suggests that both depression and PTSD are often linked to trauma, MedicalXPress reports.
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is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.
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is a D.C.-based writer who contributes regularly to the Blade.
is a long-time entrepreneur and community business advocate. Follow on Twitter: @ MarkLeeDC. Reach him at OurBusinessMatters@gmail.com.
is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.
Questions for a new DCPS chancellor
LGBTQ issues among topics nominee should address D.C. is once again hiring a new chancellor for its public school system. Along with the chief of police this is most likely the most important member of the mayor’s cabinet with regard to the impact it will have on District of Columbia residents. The mayor has nominated Lewis D. Ferebee to the position and it will now be up to the D.C. Council to hold hearings and determine whether or not they will confirm him. Ferebee comes from Indianapolis where he has spent the past five years as superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). They, like D.C., have an ethnically diverse student body and are facing some of the same problems we have here. Let us begin by accepting Ferebee is not a miracle worker. I have never met a school chancellor or superintendent who is. Indianapolis has a somewhat different system than we do in D.C. The superintendent of IPS has oversight over about 31,000 students with 26,000 in what we would call the public school system and 5,000 in charter schools. There is no separate charter school board. Enrollment in IPS has gone down for a number of years. While accepting that no one is a miracle worker what we must look for in a new chancellor is a commitment and the ability to make things better. To understand what makes for a good teacher and a good principal and commit to supporting those who are. They need to understand our students come from a variety of backgrounds and socioeconomic situations and schools must be held accountable to ensure all of them are learning. The person entrusted with this responsibility must have a vision for what a good school system looks like and what it can accomplish. I taught fourth and sixth grade, in Harlem, N.Y., when I graduated from college. Later in my career I served as CEO of the National Association for Gifted Children for 14 years and as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia for nearly five. We owe every child a quality public education geared to meet their needs. Under our system in D.C. the mayor
chooses a chancellor and that person is responsible to her. Muriel Bowser has many hours invested in picking the person she believes is best qualified to serve our children and she has chosen Ferebee. It is now the obligation of the Council to ask the questions the public wants to hear answers to as they consider the nomination. Here are some suggested questions the Council should ask: What is your view of special education and what do you believe is the way we can best serve students with special education needs? What are your thoughts on gifted and talented education programs and how do you meet the needs of children who are ready to move forward in a particular subject faster than their classmates? What are your thoughts on the most important criteria on which to evaluate both teachers and principals? How do you make sure D.C. schools are welcoming places for both LGBTQ+ students, teachers and staff? Five years from now what would you want people to say were your accomplishments as chancellor of DCPS? We know one of the key questions a chancellor in D.C. must deal with is how to close the achievement gap. It is one of the most difficult to answer even though everyone throws out ideas many of which imply you can close the achievement gap if you don’t worry about raising the top and only focus on the bottom. That is clearly a disservice to those students who excel. At the same time we know there must be a laser like focus on those at the bottom to determine what they need to help them succeed. It is complicated and while people will disagree with me, I believe there is no simple solution to closing the achievement gap; rather we should look at this as making sure all students learn something new each day they are in school. What they learn may differ from child to child but each must succeed and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each school day. It is this sense of accomplishment that will lead to a desire to continue to learn and make school a place students want to be.
is a D.C.-based writer who contributes regularly to the Blade.
Big and small screen — a new age of queer entertainment Now can we have LGBT actors front and center in those depictions? I do love award season — the Golden Globes, the Oscars, all of it. Straight people have their ‘playoffs’ and what not, we have the red carpet and honoring the best of Hollywood. It’s sort of our thing, really. And out of all of the award season shows, the Globes has always been a favorite of mine. Why? Well, the whole thing is a little less stuffy than the Oscars and, as the night goes on, everyone gets a little smashed on camera. It’s hilarious to watch. Just Google “Elizabeth Taylor Gladiator” and you’ll see what I mean. It was perhaps her finest hour. Something struck me as a bit odd, or at least interesting, while watching this year’s Globes. First, it was pretty gay. And secondly, that was hardly news. Yes, as I’ve mentioned the Globes and the like are fairly gay affairs to begin with, but this time the make up of artist, subject matter, and general films and programs being honored in one single year was the gayest I can ever remember. Think about it for second. From both the big and small screen you had “Pose,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “Boy Erased,” “A Very English Scandal,” “Green Book” and “Assassination of Gianni Versace.” That’s a lot. Anyone of my generation and before can tell you that for years we were absolutely starved to see representations of ourselves in entertainment. For so long we had little to go to. And it’s been fairly sparse even recently. I will still argue that we have not had a mainstream successful gay film since “The Birdcage.” And that movie came out, so to speak, in 1996. Yes, I know what you are going to say — what about “Brokeback Mountain?” Well, again even that was 12 years ago, and even Hollywood was willing to only go so far with it. It lost to the calamity that was “Crash” at the 2006 Academy Awards in what still remains a sore spot for the gay community.
Of those being honored this year, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a favorite. And while some criticized the film for straightwashing Freddie Mercury’s queerness, I found a lot of that to be unfounded. Frankly, I thought his queerness, and more importantly his own struggles with it, were fairly front and center. But check out too “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Melissa McCarthy continues to amaze me. Yes, she’s sort of been pigeonholed into outlandish slapstick. But I’ve always found her to be a pretty meaningful actor. She’s fantastic as lesbian-writer-turned-fraud Lee Israel. That, and the film gives a great glimpse into 1990s gay New York. And, for television, “Assassination of Gianni Versace” was some of the best I’ve seen in years. Gripping, eerie and for those of us who remember the Cunanan manhunt as it was actually happening, it was downright scary to watch. But of all those mentioned here, the best in gay goes to Ben Whishaw, winning for his excellent portrayal of Norman Scott, a former model/former blackmailer, in “A Very English Scandal.” Honestly, if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth getting Amazon Prime for. A three-part BBC miniseries both so deliciously absurd and remarkable, even more so when you learn it’s all a true story. But, of course I have to point out, of all the shows and actors honored, Whishaw was the only openly gay person playing an openly gay person. Sure, some of that’s still Hollywood’s problem to deal with. Essentially can out stars make it in the studio system? For years the answer, we were told, was no. But, it seems that cracks are starting to appear. If queer subject matter is now fodder for mainstream consumption, can we have queer actors front and center in those depictions? That appears to be our next hurdle to clear.
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Colonel Don Schofield, Commander and Conductor
is a long-time entrepreneur and community business advocate. Follow on Twitter: @MarkLeeDC. Reach him at OurBusinessMatters@gmail.com.
Will the party that is defeated be the party that wins? 2020 presidential race has already begun, and it isn’t going to be pretty It didn’t take long. The 2020 presidential race has already begun. Shortly after the dust settled on midterm balloting, several Democratic candidates have already launched their campaigns. It’s going to seem interminable. It also won’t be pretty. There are expected to be in excess of two-dozen Democratic hopefuls, perhaps as many as 30 or more, competing for the party’s nomination and surpassing the 17 Republicans who shared intramural debate stages last time. So many Democrats are expected to run that the national party committee is planning to divide them up in dual debates to accommodate them all without it looking like the stair-step set of television game show “Deal or No Deal.” The process will undoubtedly prove grueling for candidates and exhausting for voters. The real question is whether the political party that loses the White House in two years will actually be the winner. Commanding the afﬁnity of shrinking segments of the public, the two major parties garner the allegiance of modestly modulating voter shares hovering up and down around one-quarter portions each. Nearly half of all Americans, and a solid majority of those 35 and younger, selfidentify as independents offering everweakening support for either party. Growing voter alienation toward both parties exacerbates the highly polarized partisan and evenly divided ideological national split straight down the middle. The party that ignores the center and fails to appeal to moderate voters is the party that loses elections. Yet both parties are currently tacking to the extreme edges of the factional spectrum. President Trump focuses his efforts on exhorting a core group of hyper-conservative and culturally disaffected citizens most angry about government policies and their own diminishing place in society and the economy. Many rank-and-ﬁle Republicans have started jumping ship, literally freaked out by the temperament and tenor of the titular party ﬁgure and wholly disillusioned by his erratic behavior, reactive decision-making, divisive tactics, and demeaning speech. Democrats have swerved so far to the
extreme left that the party’s political brand and radical message doesn’t resonate with persuadable voters outside of core loyalists now in control of dictating philosophy and policy. Democrats run the risk of losing a presidential election they should be positioned to win, by nominating a candidate pandering primarily to hardcore party activists and incapable of garnering sufﬁcient support in the few states where the outcome isn’t easily predictable. The reality is that most electoral votes could be tallied today. Mainstream Democrats are painfully aware of the dilemma, pondering whether any of the anticipated candidates are capable of appealing to moderates and besting the incumbent. If any party is capable of losing an election it should win, Democrats know they are it. Republicans are afﬂicted by an undisciplined wild card as standard-bearer constantly alienating moderate, particularly suburban and exurban, Republican-leaning voters. While a majority of men and white voters remain supportive, along with recenthistory high-percentages of Hispanic and black voters, it is those just outside cities and especially the women living there who are backing away from the character in charge. Democrats are burdened with a roster of leftist candidates mostly racing to outdo one another in pushing for a burgeoning government incurring outlandish costs and necessitating huge tax increases up-and-downand-sideways on the economic scale. Middlestratum voters, now abandoned by a party comprised of and primarily responsive to those of higher-wealth or lower-income, aren’t buying the fuzzy math of simplistic slogans suggesting that “taxing the rich” will generate anywhere near the cost of massive new entitlements and preposterous proposed programs. Both political parties are adrift, although ﬂoating in opposite directions. Winning the White House would convince the victorious party that nothing is internally amiss, despite the fact that neither party is on a sustainable political path or positioned to broaden its electoral appeal and remain politically viable in future elections. Losing the next election could be the best thing to happen to the party that doesn’t win.
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FREE CONCERT! Schlesinger Concert Hall Alexandria, Virginia
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FROM LEFT: STEVE HEYL enjoys the services of bootblack Allen Fox at the D.C. Eagle in 1986. Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle. MATTHEW BRONSON, center, is named ‘Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather’ in 2012. Washington Blade photo by Denis Largeron.
MALcelebrates 40 years in the District Annual fetish/leather/BDSM event made D.C. its home in ’79 By MARIAH COOPER MCOOPER@WASHBLADE.COM
Glenn Pitcher of the Links Motorcycle Club (MC) rented a suite at the WaldorfAstoria Hotel in New York City in 1976 for his leather-clad friends to enjoy cocktails before heading out for the evening. The clink of a metal cock ring hitting the bathroom tiled floor alerted the group that Jerry McChristiansen, also a Link MC member, had been trying to free himself during the party. That sound would unexpectedly be the start of the yearly tradition of Leather Cocktails, now in its 43rd year. The event eventually evolved into the now wildly popular Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, which draws thousands of attendees to the three-day leather/fetish event. It’s the second largest event of its kind in the United States. This year is the 40th year the annual event has been held in Washington. MAL weekend, which is sponsored by the local group Centaur MC, will hold its official events at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill (400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.) Jan. 1820. Leather Cocktails — it’s the Centaurs 35th year hosting that event — takes place on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 7-9 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom. There will also be official, off-site events at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) and the 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.). The weekend generates plenty of
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Mr.MAL where are they now? We checked in with three past titleholders to celebrate 34 years of the contest By JOEY DIGUGLIELMO JOEYD@WASHBLADE.COM
A man participates in the Presentation of Colors at the beginning of the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather contest in 1986. Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle
excitement so lots of local bars and clubs also have their own MAL-inspired parties. Another highlight of the weekend is the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather contest, which has a group of men compete for the leather community’s coveted title. President of Centaur MC Todd White told the Washington Blade that MAL’s theme this year is “Let the Games Begin.” It’s a nod to MAL’s oldest event, Olympia, an outdoor weekend event that typically took place on Labor Day weekends, which started in 1971. This year will also mark a change in the official MAL Closing Dance Party at 9:30 Club on Sunday, Jan. 20 from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. This year the dance is in partnership with the Frankie Knuckles Foundation. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the foundation. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. The dance is also included in the MAL Full Weekend Package. White says that the dance won’t have the “dark” circuit music it typically plays. “Frankie has a much lighter sound in how he puts his music together. So we’re
hoping the buzz about that will help people realize the event is really emphasizing the fact that MAL is truly a safe and welcoming space for everybody. It’s just light and love. That’s basically what we tried to create and focus on this year,” White says. Overall, White says there’s something for everyone at MAL. It’s that welcoming vibe that keeps people coming back no matter what MAL event they choose to attend. “I’ve heard it called leather family reunion,” he says. “I call it my leather Christmas. It’s going home. Most attendees will tell you, even people who are coming back just for the second time, it’s coming home. I think the cocktail party is what sets the framework up for that because that’s something very intimate and that’s something you do with friends and family. I think that where the foundation started is something that, thank God, through all these years, the club has been able to stay focused on. So whether you attend cocktails or you don’t attend cocktails, you feel it throughout the whole weekend.”
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NAME: Matthew Bronson YEAR WON: 2012 HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU ATTENDED MAL? 6 WILL YOU BE GOING THIS YEAR? Yes RESIDENCE: Emmaus, Pa. RESIDENCE THE YEAR YOU WON: Emmaus, Pa. HOW DID YOU GET INTO LEATHER? I have always found myself attracted to leather bars and men. I found the men at leather bars more genuine and were easy to have a talk with. HOW MANY COMPETITORS THE YEAR YOU WON? 8 DID YOU ENTER CASUALLY OR COMPETITIVELY? Causally HOW DO YOU ID? Gay WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TITLE TO YOU? Because of MAL’s history, the title was very important to me. I wanted to represent a person who was very approachable in the community and return all that was given to me from that community. DID YOU COMPETE IN ANY OTHER LEATHER CONTESTS? Before MAL, I was Mr. Pittsburgh Leather/Fetish. Also, because I won MAL I ran for International Mr. Leather. ADVICE TO THIS YEAR’S CONTESTANTS? Just be yourself and enjoy the whole experience. It’s a fun ride! You will meet some amazing people. If you do not win, it’s life telling you it wasn’t your time or place to win. Continue to put yourself out there and follow your passions. They will lead you in the direction you were meant to be following. WHY DO YOU FEEL MAL HAS LASTED? Mid-Atlantic Leather, at its soul, is about leather. It has a strong history. People still want to follow that history to show the leather generations for tomorrow where we came from in our past. I always feel MAL is a reunion of leather friends and family. NAME: Frank Nowicki YEAR WON: 1993 HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU
ATTENDED MAL? Thirty-nine years for Leather Cocktails and 34 years for the contest and weekend. WILL YOU BE GOING THIS YEAR? Yes RESIDENCE: Washington, D.C. RESIDENCE THE YEAR YOU WON: Washington, D.C. HOW DID YOU GET INTO LEATHER? Some of my closest friends that I met in 1978 were members and friends of the Centaur M.C. Dick Cogan (past president of the Centaurs and owner of The Leather Rack), Paul Criss (aka Lainie Kazan, director of The Rogue show bar), Tony Bacharach (founder of BHT) and Lou Ritz (Owner of the Eagle in Exile). Always loved the smell and feel of leather growing up, the feeling of power and confidence when wearing it. Guess it was a natural progression. HOW MANY COMPETITORS THE YEAR YOU WON? It was held at Tracks and there were 25 contestants, the largest to date. DID YOU ENTER CASUALLY OR COMPETITIVELY? I entered MAL 1992 casually against 18 contestants and placed first runner-up. I realized the contest was much more than dressing in leather and parading around on stage. I returned the next year in 1993 competitively and won. I spent the prior year donating my time and involvement with the community and clubs as AIDS was at its peak. Fundraising to assist our friends who were dying was so very important at that time. HOW DO YOU ID? Gay WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TITLE TO YOU? The most significant aspect of being Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather was that it provided me with a vehicle to open doors that otherwise may have been closed. In the ’80s and ’90s, we were battling the AIDS epidemic head on. We had lost innumerable friends and loved ones to this plague. I utilized my year as MAL to do fundraisers, assist other titleholders with their fundraisers traveling throughout the United States and to Europe. I was blessed being entertaining on a microphone and
Continues on page 40
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The candle ceremony is observed at the 2015 Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Contest. Washington Blade photo by Damien Salas. RICK OTIS and friend SHIRLEY sit atop a motorcycle outside of the D.C. Eagle in 1986. Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle. DOUG PAMPLIN of Pittsburgh wins the title of Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2011. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key. Mr. International Leather MARK RYAN is flanked by Mid-Atlantic Leather contestants in 1991. Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle. RICHARD LEGG and MATT BAMFORD attend the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend. Bamford is named Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2010. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The titleholders of the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather contest gather in 1992. Photo by Dawn Lewis. PERI JUDE RADECIC and Ms. Southeast Leather 1990 Diane Suissa attend Leather Weekend in 1991. Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle. The Mid-Atlantic Uniform League (MAUL) gather in Thomas Circle during Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in 2010. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key. CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR shows off his leather during Leather Week 1993. Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle. Mr. MAL contestants gather at the Mid-Atlantic Leather Contest in 1991. Washington Blade photo by Doug Hinckle
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QUEERY Gerald Turner
Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key
QUEERY: GerardTurner The 2018 Mr. MAL winner answers 20 gay questions By JOEY DIGUGLIELMO JOEYD@WASHBLADE.COM
It took Gerard Turner a while to feel comfortable in the gay leather world although he says he’s loved the feel of leather, even as a 3 year old. “I’ve been actively involved in the scene for six years but before then, I took in the shadows and watched from afar for more years than I care to remember,” the 41-yearold Elizabeth City, N.C., native says. But when he did get involved, he got quite involved. Turner is the reigning Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather titleholder, a contest he won last January against five other contestants. Winning, he says, was surprisingly emotional. “It was overwhelming,” Turner says. “A very humbling experience. I cried and could not stop. It was true joy.” Turner will act as head judge this year. The contest is Sunday, Jan. 20 from 1-4 p.m. at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill (400 New Jersey Ave.,
N.W.). The contest is part of the weekend package but tickets are also available to purchase. Details at leatherweekend.com. Turner started going to MAL seven years ago and says he most enjoys the intimacy the weekend offers. “You develop better relationships with those in your company,” he says. His favorite event is Leather Cocktails. Any advice for this year’s contestants? “Gird your loins,” he says. “You’re about to have one of the most memorable weekends of your life. Never be ashamed of your journey. Walk in your truth and love the skin you’re in.” Turner is in a relationship with George Diaz and works as a program manager. He lives in Gaithersburg, Md., and came to the D.C. area after several years in Baltimore for work. He enjoys walking, growing orchids, making stone bracelets, writing poetry, photography and baking in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? Eleven years and it was hardest to tell my parents but I did and they still love me unconditionally. Who’s your LGBT hero? Bayard Rustin, openly gay civil rights activist. What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? In the past, Washington had this nightclub called Tracks. Describe your dream wedding. It would only have to happen once, very simple with water in the view somewhere. Not too big, comfortable, rustic, intimate and a moment that leaves me feeling like I can speak with my eyes before my voice sounds. What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? Every issue in my life feels like an LGBT issue because we are all connected and multi-faceted. The more I think about it, the deeper my thoughts become with this question. What historical outcome would you change? History has a way of repeating itself and what we are experiencing right now with our federal government has happened at another time under different circumstances. I would change this, now historical outcome
of this being the longest government shutdown ever. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Michel Jackson’s video “Remember the Time.” On what do you insist? Unconditional love and respect in our community. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? A video post I made about supporting Code RED Fundraising Event in the fight against HIV and AIDS. If your life were a book, what would the title be? “How To Get Through the Unimaginable” If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? Sit back and eat popcorn. You can’t fix what’s not broken. You can’t change what’s in your heart and soul with science. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? I believe that we all have another journey to embark on after we leave our physical being. The spiritual being is only a scratch on the surface of eternity in the heavens above. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
30 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director
Harlequinade Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
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Listen before you speak, watch before you act and when you take action, make sure you’re capable of taking all the responsibility if it goes your way for the good or the bad.
Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside, photo by Marty Sohl
What would you walk across hot coals for? Understanding. I would walk across hot coals in search of answers if I am ever faced with such, that would place me in that situation. What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? Thinking that we’re all the same, when we are all very complex, unique and different. What’s your favorite LGBT movie? “Paris is Burning.” It was real life and PROOFreality #1 ISSUE DATE: 01.13.2017 before reality TV existed. What’s the most REVISIONS REDESIGN overrated social custom? TEXT REVISIONS Going viral for likes
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What trophy or prize do you most covet? A certiﬁcate that says I beat cancer.
What do you wish you’d known at 18? To buy stock at Amazon. Why Washington? It’s multicultural and accessible. If you can survive living in D.C. for at least ﬁve years, then you can live in any major city.
January 29–February 3 Opera House
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JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 31
Groups call (202) 416-8400 For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540
American Ballet Theatre’s engagement is made possible through generous endowment support of The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund. Support for Ballet at the Kennedy Center is generously provided by Elizabeth and C. Michael Kojaian.
TOP PHOTO: Team D.C. Casino Night Washington blade photo by Pete Exis. BOTTOM PHOTO: Frederick, Md., native NYLE DIMARCO will celebrate the opening of New Spire Arts’ new theater. Photo by William Callan
Different Drummers don drag D.C.’s Different Drummers, an LGBT music ensemble, presents its ninth annual Drag Show fundraiser on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 3-4:30 p.m. at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) Members of Different Drummers
and their friends will perform as drag kings, queens and more. There will be a silent auction with prizes such as musical instruments, concert tickets, bottomless bunch for four and more. Sylvanna Duvél hosts the event. People can also volunteer to help with drag makeup or general volunteering duties. Proceeds from the event will directly support operating costs and financial assistance for members with limited means. For more information, visit dcdd.org/events.
Green Lantern unveils new otter party Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) presents its new dance party Ottermatic on Friday, Jan. 25 from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. The Barber Streisand and Jesse Jackson will play music for the night. Grant Collins hosts the party and Matt Strother and Scott M. Douglass will serve drinks
32 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
for the evening. Vibrant and expressive looks are encouraged. Cover is $5. For more details, visit greenlanterndc.com.
Casino Night returns Jan. 26 Team D.C. hosts its annual Casino Night at Buffalo Billiards (1330 19th St., N.W.) on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 8 p.m.midnight. Attendees can play blackjack, poker or craps with dealers from local LGBT sports teams. Playing chips are $10 or $20 and can be redeemed at the end of the night for rafﬂe prize entries. Proceeds will be split between all participating clubs. No cover. For more information, visit teamdc.org.
Aquarians unite for Vamp party Mim Entertainment and Jaywalking Productions presents Vamp, a ladies dance party, at XX+ (1926 9th St., N.W.) on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. This party is in celebration of all women with Aquarius birthdays. Vamp takes place every second and fourth Saturday of the month.Guests can indulge in craft cocktails and small bites. DJ Mim and guest DJs will spin tracks. Cover is $10. For details, visit facebook.com/ mimentdc.
Reel Afﬁrmations screens “The Heiresses” at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. The ﬁlm, set in Asunción, Paraguay, tells the story of Chela and Chiquita who are both descended from wealthy families and have been together for more than 30 years. The couple faces ﬁnancial crisis and Chiquita is sent to prison for fraud. Chela must start her new life without him when she meets Angy, a much younger woman. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the screening. General admission tickets are $12. VIP tickets are $25 and include VIP seating, one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and movie candy or popcorn. For more information, visit thedccenter,org/ events/theheiresses. LezLink Events hosts Vibez, an R&B social for LGBT women, at XX+ (1926 9th St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Wristbands will be available for guests to wear that designate “single,” “taken,” “open,” “poly” and “I have no idea.” There will also be games such as Connect Four, pool, Conversation Dice, Cuff Cards, Uno and more. No dress code. Tickets are $10 and available online. A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door. For more details, visit facebook.com/ lezlinkevents. Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts a “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4” viewing party tonight from 8-9:30 p.m. Trade queens and guest hosts will add commentary throughout the episode. There will be games and prizes. WesstheDJ will spin tracks before, during and after the episode. For more information, visit facebook. com/tradebardc. The Point in Fells (1738 Thames St., Baltimore) presents Friday Night Drag Brunch tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Robyn Ya’Men hosts the brunch. Performing queens will be announced. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include a seat and a brunch buffet. $20 bottomless brunch is also available featuring unlimited mimosas, rum punch, sangria, screwdrivers and Natty Bohs. For more details, visit facebook.com/thepoint1738. A Knyght Productions hosts Miss Gay Northern Maryland’s “The Feather Ball” at The Lodge (21614 National Pike, Boonsboro, Md.) tonight from 8:30 p.m.2 a.m. The show will honor Miss Gay Maryland 2018 and Miss Gay Northern Maryland 2018, Nicole James, and will crown the 2019 Miss Gay Northern Maryland queen. Performers will include Anastacia Amor, Dezi Minaj, Joanna Blue, Ashley Bannks, Stephanie Michaels, Chi Chi Ray Colby and Rebecca Blaqueout. Pageant starts at 9 p.m. and dance ﬂoor opens at midnight. For more information,
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search “Miss Gay Northern Maryland’s The Feather Ball” on Facebook.
Saturday, Jan. 19 New Spire Arts (115 East Church St., Frederick, Md.) presents the grand opening of its New Spire Stages, its brand new theater, featuring “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model” winner Nyle DiMarco. DiMarco, who identiﬁes as sexually ﬂuid, is a Frederick, Md., native and a Maryland School for the Deaf alum. Tango dancer Augusto Balizano will perform and Celeste Miller will premiere a new theater work in collaboration with Frederickbased actors, dancers and musicians. General admission tickets are $55 and student and senior tickets are $41.25. For details, visit newspirearts.org. Freddie’s Bear Bar (555 23rd St. S Arlington, Va.) hosts its Freddie’s Follies Drag Show tonight from 8-10 p.m. Cover is $5. Drag show starts at 8 p.m. and karaoke begins at 10 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. For more details, visit facebook.com/ freddiesbeachbararlington. LURe D.C. celebrates the 10th anniversary of BARE, a queer women’s dance party, at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Rosie will play music on the Cobalt level dance ﬂoor and DJ Keenan will spin on the Level One ﬂoor. Admission is $7 before midnight and $10 after. For more information, visit facebook.com/lurewdc.
Sunday, Jan. 20 Pretty Boi Drag celebrates its three-year anniversary with #PrettyBoiAnniversay at Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd St., N.W.) today from 2-5 p.m. The show will feature ASL interpretation. General admission tickets are $20. Anniversary package tickets include one general admission ticket, one limited edition anniversary T-shirt in gold or silver and one Pretty Boi Drag shot glass. For details, visit facebook.com/ prettyboidrag. Panic! at the Disco, featuring pansexual frontman Brandon Urie, plays at Capitol One Arena (601 F St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $30-70. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Monday, Jan. 21 The D.C. Center and the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce march as part of the LGBT
Continent in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade today from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. All LGBT individuals and organizations are welcome to join. The parade kicks off at noon from Good Hope Road near the Anacostia Park entrance along MLK Avenue to the Rise Center on St. Elizabeth’s campus where the MLK Holiday Festival and Health Fair takes place. The group will meet near the Anacostia Park entrance (1900 Anacostia Dr., S.E.) at 10 a.m. For details, visit thedccenter.org.
Tuesday, Jan. 22 Republic (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.) hosts Alegre Happy Hour, an LGBT happy hour, this evening from 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit republictakoma.com.
Wednesday, Jan. 23 Queer Girl Move Night presents a screening of the 2008 British romantic drama “I Can’t Think Straight” at Denizens Brewing Co. (1115 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, Md.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. The ﬁlm tells the story of a Palestinian woman living in London who is planning her wedding in the Middle East. She meets a British-Indian woman who is dating her best friend and the women ﬁnd themselves falling for each other. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the movie starts at 8 p.m. For more information, visit facebook. com/queergrrlmovienight. Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd St., N.W.) presents Profs and Pints: Hamilton’s History Remix tonight from 6-9 p.m. Richard Bell, associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, will examine how accurate the musical is about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution and the birth of the United States. Bell will lead a discussion on how the musical dramatized and simpliﬁed some of the events told in the story. Advance tickets are $12. Tickets at the door are $15. Talk begins at 6:30 p.m. For more details, visit facebook. com/profsandpints.
Thursday, Jan. 24 The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Blackout Thursdays tonight at 9 p.m. This lights-out party includes happy hour until 9 p.m. featuring $2 off all drinks, $10 bottomless Bud/Bud Lights and $12 bottomless premium drafts. Guys who wear harnesses, jocks or underwear will receive $3 rail and domestic drinks. For more information, visit dceagle.com.
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ANA BRUN as Chela in ‘Ther Heiresses.’ Photo courtesy Distrub Films
‘The Heiresses’ full of strong performances, beautiful cinematography Paraguay import inspired protests for lesbian content in home country
By BRIAN T. CARNEY Reel Affirmations begins the New Year off right with “The Heiresses,” a deeply moving, award-winning film from Paraguay. As the movie opens, Chela (the sensational Ana Brun) and Chiquita (Margarita Irún) have been lovers for over 30 years. For most of their lives together, they have been protected from the country’s political turmoil and conservative social standards by their wealth and social status. But recently, their financial circumstances have begun to decline. They have been forced to fire their maid and have begun selling off their inherited possessions (there is a delightful squabble over which grandmother left them one of the paintings they have sold). Things take a turn for the worse when Chiquita is imprisoned on fraud charges. The sheltered Chela, who has lived in the same house her entire life, is forced to run the household with the help of a newly hired, inexperienced maid. She starts to drive again, even though she does not have a license, so she can visit Chiquita in prison. When her imperious neighbor Pituca (a delightful María Martins) sees that Chela is driving again, she subtly
blackmails Chela into driving her to her card game. Soon Chela is running a taxi service for Pituca and a group of elderly wealthy ladies. Along with the badly needed cash, Chela gains a sense of self confidence and even begins a flirtatious friendship with Angy (Ana Ivanova), an attractive young woman she encounters on one of her outings. “The Heiresses” is the first full-length feature film by Paraguayan writer/director Marcelo Martinessi who guides the action with subtlety and confidence. He lets the action unfold slowly, with an emphasis on the small details that shape Chela’s life. Before she leaves for prison, for example, Chiquita gives the new maid detailed instructions on how to prepare Chela’s morning tray. Throughout the movie, Chela explains to Pati (Nilda Gonzalez) why the precise placement of each object is so important. Sometimes her reasons are practical, sometimes she is merely clinging to the last remnants of her old life. Martinessi’s attention to emotional and physical details is deeply enhanced by his collaboration with director of photography Luis Armando Artega, who subtly captures how Chela’s ancestral home has become both comforting and confining and how the rooms change as family heirlooms are sold. He uses beautiful architectural features such as hallways, doors, windows and mirrors to frame the action and to construct Chela’s slowly expanding horizons. In contrast to the sedate interiors, the prison yard where Chiquita holds court is a splash of noise and color. Martinessi’s collaboration with his sound team (Daniel Turini, Fernando Henna and Rafael Alvarez) is equally effective. The silence in Chela’s house is by turns soothing and oppressive, and the arrival of buyers appraising heirlooms and haggling over prices is both an emotional and sonic invasion. The sputtering car almost becomes a character in its own right and the periodic eruptions of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” to underscore Chela’s growing confidence are delightful. The writer/director also gets superb performances from his female-led cast, many of whom are making their film debuts. Ana Brun is magnificent as the sheltered lesbian slowly moving into the world outside her door and the supporting cast is excellent. Brun captures Chela’s journey in intimate details that reveal the character’s changing circumstances as well as the society that is crumbling around her. Perhaps most importantly, Martinessi and his cast and crew deserve great praise for making a quietly revolutionary movie. In any country, making a movie that centers on a long-term lesbian couple and a group of elderly women would be noteworthy. In Paraguay, making a movie about lesbians is a bold political act. When the movie was recognized by the Paraguayan Senate, half of the senators stormed out in protest and one female senator verbally assaulted Brun (who is performing under a pseudonym to protect herself). “The Heiresses” has been a hit on the international film festival circuit. It has won about two dozen major awards, including three prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Best Film Award at the Madrid International LGBT Film Festival. In addition, despite protests, the film was the official submission of Paraguay for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 91st Academy Awards, although it did not make the shortlist announced last month. REEL AFFIRMATIONS PRESENTS ‘THE HEIRESSES’ IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES Tonight at 7 p.m. (Friday, Jan. 18) HRC Screening Room 1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W. 7 p.m. thedccenter.org/events/theheiresses/
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THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND WA S H I N G T O N , D . C .
Colonel Don Schofield, Commander and Conductor
A performer at the inaugural BENT party. Photo by Shantel Mitchell Breen; courtesy AMP
BENTunveiled with a bang New 9:30 Club party more queer- than gay-focused By EVAN CAPLAN When one door closes — and then the whole building around that door is ﬂattened by a real-life non-Miley wrecking ball — another one opens. This ﬁrst door, of course, was Town. The second is BENT, 9:30 Club’s new queerinclusive dance party. BENT launched Jan. 5 with streamers, glitter, leather-studded performers and all. BENT aims to be Town’s phoenix, says organizer and DJ Steve Lemmerman, arising from so many spilled vodka-sodas. In the mourning summer of 2018, the staff of 9:30 Club gathered for an all-staff meeting, led by I.M.P. owner Seth Hurwitz (I.M.P. manages 9:30 Club, The Anthem and other venues). A longtime employee suggested a stronger gay nightlife presence, especially given the imminent shuttering of Town. And so the idea of BENT was born. Lemmerman, known as DJ Lemz on stage, jumped at the opportunity. “I offered myself as tribute, ‘Hunger Games’-style,” he says. He and Hurwitz together got BENT off the ground. Lemmerman explain that the goal of the event is so that “the community in D.C. can come together to just have fun, leave their cares at door and dance the night away.” The sold-out late-night party was much more than highly danceable tunes, however. BENT takes its cues from weekends at Town, featuring shirtless, gender-bending dancers atop platforms across the main dance ﬂoor. Drag performances punctuated the evening, more forceful and energetic than ever, as the runway penetrated deep into the crowd. DJ Lemz himself also offered a heartfelt thanks to the crowd. Lemmerman’s goal with BENT is to “create new chapter for D.C. in our nightlife. I wanted to construct a beautiful home for many people to feel safe in, and to escape their lives if only for a night.” The party also is meant to “highlight as many people in this well-deserving community as possible.” BENT certainly
isn’t a solo project. Lemmerman had company behind the booth from DJs like Keenan Orr and The Barber Streisand. Meanwhile, on stage, Pussy Noir played both emcee and artist, the ﬁrst time performing at 9:30 Club. Pussy Noir was joined by Donna Slash, Bombalicious Eklaver and others. Noir noted that, “while big gay clubs are falling out of fashion, the queer population is ever increasing and so is the need for safe, fun and exciting spaces in which to exist. The best thing is the party is not gay, it’s queer, and for us that means all people, all weirdos and all creative souls.” In the moody downstairs space of the club, DJ Jacq Jill held court for a sister party named HELLBENT. Lemmerman called it, “a showcase of the underground side of queer DJs. It’s women-focused and I’m pumped for that.” Lemmerman, a Baltimore native, has been working the D.C. music space for several years. He started DJing at 9:30 Club at age 18, and later became a resident DJ at Nellie’s. He also founded Sleaze almost two years ago, a queer party in the upstairs space of Wonderland Ballroom. Lemmerman worked with collaborators like Guillaume Desnoe, the creative director for I.M.P., and Dustin Sugar-Moore, the marketing director, to reinvent the ﬂoor space of the venue. They worked to minimize the spotlight on the DJ and refocus on the center of the room so that partygoers could better meet each other. Audrey Fix Schaefer, I.M.P. communications director, says, “having a ﬁrst-time event like this to sell out made my heart explode. We’d love for this part to become permanent.” As for future iterations, she remained demure. “There will always be surprises. We’re going to keep it exciting and unpredictable — that’ll be the hallmark.” For Lemmerman and his co-hosts, BENT signiﬁes a celebration of every corner of queerdom. The party, he says, “received huge support, bringing in many different levels of our D.C. community. There’s just so much passion from everyone.”
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2019 ConcertBand F R E E CO N C E R T!
Schlesinger Concert Hall | Alexandria, Virginia
THURSDAY, JAN. 24 AT 8 P.M.
SAVE THE DATES! Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at 8 p.m. featuring David Childs, euphonium Thursday, Apr. 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. featuring Joe Lulloff, saxophone
for FREE tickets, please visit: www.usafband.eventbrite.com
Revisiting Judy Singers shine in Signature Garland tribute cabaret By PATRICK FOLLIARD
JUDY GARLAND is the subject of a cabaret review at Signature sung jointly by AWA SAL SECKA and KATIE MARIKO MURRAY. Photos courtesy Signature
Celebrating one of history’s greatest voices can get a little tricky. So rather than overthink things, Signature Theatre’s new cabaret, “Judy Garland: A Star Is Born,” jumps right in and gives a fresh and fun account of Garland’s legendary talent. Out director Matthew Gardiner, who also conceived the cabaret, keeps it simple: Two singers, a couple musicians and an unadorned stage except for, of course, a baby grand piano and an outsized, iconic photo of Garland. By morphing The ARK (Signature’s smaller black box space) into an intimate club setting, Gardiner creates the ideal environment for an informal evening saluting the brilliant though troubled performer. The singers, who so pleasingly cover Garlands’ hits, are Awa Sal Secka and Katie Mariko Murray. The terrific pair is accompanied by music director/pianist Chris Urquiaga, and Bill Hones on standing bass. In about 90 minutes and almost 20 songs, they track Garland’s career from her debut as vaudeville toddler Frances Gumm; meteoric rise to stardom at MGM; comebacks with the film “A Star Is Born” and seminal, award-winning concert performances; and finally decline and untimely death from accidental drug overdose in 1969 at just 47. The familiar playlist reads like a dream, Mariko Murray and Sal Secka ably take turns with the classic material: “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “You Made Me Love You,” “The Trolley Song,” a plaintive “By Myself,” “The Man That Got Away” and others. Sel Secka gives a gorgeous rendition of “The Boy Next Door,” first sung by Garland in the 1944 film classic “Meet Me in St. Louis” directed by one of her husbands and Liza’s father, Vincent Minelli. Sal Secka’s luscious take on the standard is the highpoint of the show. There are duets too including a jazzy “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead!” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). The show lovingly closes with “Over the Rainbow,” famously from the same film, followed by a superb encore that I won’t reveal. Sel Secka and Mariko Murray share both narration duties and a playful
rapport. Though their patter can be a tad unpolished at times, a charming enthusiasm and love for Garland always shines through. Gardiner, who adores Garland and danced to her albums as a little boy at home in suburban Maryland, neither eschews Garland’s highs of stardom nor the terrible lows including unceasing criticism of her appearance, prescribed amphetamines for pep and weight loss, a difficult abortion, a dependence on drugs and alcohol and on and on. The uglier particulars are well known to diehard Judy fans. Yet, when delivered by performers who are newly acquainted with the seamier details of the star’s life, followed by gasps of disbelief from some uninitiated audience members, these facts drive home the harsher realities of Garland’s legend. The show skips over the dubious sexuality of some of Garland’s husbands and her father’s attraction to young men. There’s no mention of her death possibly sparking the Stonewall riots. But it does include some surprises (for me, anyway). Like who knew the great Johnny Mercer wrote “That Old Black Magic” with Garland in mind? Or that after her death, Frank Sinatra paid off Garland’s sizeable debts? The cabaret singers’ affinity extends to Urquiaga, the accompanist. They enjoy when he takes a key-pounding, hairtossing solo; but, like Mariko Murray wise cracks, it’s always “Back to Judy.” Perhaps what’s most striking here, is how the singers who were born long after Garland’s death, display an authentic exuberance and deep respect for the woman and her artistry. They’re awed by her consummate storytelling and the vulnerability found in her performances. That’s some tribute.
‘JUDY GARLAND: A STAR IS BORN’ Through Jan. 26 Signature Theatre 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington, Va. $38 703-820-9771 sigtheatre.org
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This year, sedans have lost their mojo, at least for now. As their market share decreases, the number of SUVs and other vehicles is exploding. Here are three top rides for any driver’s shopping list. CROSSOVER/SUV: FORD EXPLORER $34,000 Mpg: N/A Zero-60 mph: N/A Two weeks ago, Ford launched its all-new Explorer. At the Detroit auto show this week, the automaker fired two more salvos in the crossover wars, announcing hybrid and highperformance models of the popular midsizer. It’s too early to know mileage and other stats, though pricing for the base model is competitively priced at just $400 more than the previous version. All are 2020 models, which go on sale later this year. While the Explorer gets a complete redo, I find it hard to tell much difference on the outside. The front fascia is most notable, with a windswept grille that borrows heavily from the ritzy Range Rover. Style-wise, Ford didn’t want to mess with success and it works. Ford has whooped up the standard safety features, with blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, pre-collision warning and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. But the big news is in the cabin, especially the cargo space. Fold down the seats and there’s enough room for a 4-foot-wide sheet of plywood to lay flat on the floor—or perhaps you just want a nice place to canoodle on a weekend camping trip. There’s also more headroom, legroom and, yes, even more hip room for anyone with an expanding keister. Geeks will love the tech gear, including smartphone and Waze navigation integrated into an eight-inch touchscreen (up from 4.2 inches in the old Explorer).A driver can even lock, unlock and start the car using a smartphone. And an optional 10.1-inch infotainment display juts up vertically like an iPad above the center console. Lest any passengers feel disconnected from their electronics, the Explorer boasts four USB ports, three 12-volt outlets, a 110-volt outlet and Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices. PLUG-IN HYBRID: BMW i8 ROADSTER $165,000 Range: 118 miles (electricity/gas), 35 miles (gas only) Zero-60 mph: 4.1 seconds While the Jaguar I-Pace is exciting, the BMW i8 roadster is both exotic and erotic. Who knew sheet metal could be so seductive, mixing climactic curves with long, languid lines? That evil grin of a grill had me at hello. Those sexy scissor doors were bewitching, beckoning me inside. And the deep, throaty exhaust growl was lascivious. But I wasn’t the only one. No other vehicle I’ve tested turned as many heads as the i8. And this is a plug-in hybrid, not a high-test Lamborghini (though
the i8 accelerates like one). Forget the Batmobile, this is what Batman and Robin would drive on date night. And yet this sexpot, this car of any gearhead’s fantasy is decadently impractical. Sure, the i8 rides like a dream, cresting hills and tackling switchbacks better than any contender in this price range. The techy cockpit — with tiered-level dashboard, an 8.8-inch freestanding display, and digital gauges that change color based on driving mode — would make any Tron fan drool. The sultry two-tone exterior (echoed tastefully in the cabin) doesn’t hurt, either. Nor does the folding soft top or dazzling, 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo. But the i8 has no stowage, aside from a cubby behind the front seat and the trunk (if you can call it that) measuring a measly five cubic feet. Aside from taking limbo lessons, there’s no graceful way to straddle the extra-wide doorsill while trying to slouch in and out of this low vehicle. Plus, there’s only room for two. But practicality be damned: Sometimes you need to ignore the angel on your shoulder and embrace that devil called “form over function.” That’s when you follow your passion. ELECTRIC VEHICLE: JAGUAR I-PACE $71,000 Range: 234 miles Zero-60 mph: 4.5 seconds It’s sometimes hard to keep pace with Jaguar. Just two years ago, the automaker launched its first crossover, the wildly successful midsize F-Pace. Last year came the compact E-Pace. Now there’s the I-Pace, Jaguar’s first electric vehicle. (In hindsight, it might have made more sense to name this EV the E-Pace, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.) Luckily, the I-Pace more than makes up for its confusing moniker in both style and substance. Those sinewy lines out-sashay even Tesla, the standard bearer of luxury EV design. Sure, a Tesla may have a longer battery range, but most Teslas cost more. And the I-Pace’s impressive range of 234 miles still outpaces most EVs. Then there’s the thrilling steering and acceleration. Motoring around town is a treat, turning the most jaded commuter into an auto enthusiast. Jaguar even tossed in a faux exhaust rumble based on its Formula E racecar. Inside, there’s plenty of room for passengers and cargo. Fit and finish are top drawer, of course, with streamlined dash and sculpted, supportive seats. There are touchscreens everywhere, and a space-age center console practically hovering in midair. While handy options abound — including a head-up display and four-zone climate control — other add-ons really should have been standard: heated seats, heated steering wheel and surround-sound stereo. So beware price creep on must-have amenities. All in all, though, I found the I-Pace checked off quite a few boxes: a practical, five-seat crossover (check!), killer looks (check!) and incredibly sporty handling, cornering and braking (check! check! check!).
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FROM TOP: PLUG-IN HYBRID: BMW i8 ROADSTER. CROSSOVER/SUV: FORD EXPLORER. ELECTRIC VEHICLE: JAGUAR I-PACE.
A crossover,an electric and a hybrid Splashy new models come from diverse automakers By JOE PHILLIPS
Leather contest is MALtradition Continued from page 27 found out quickly the power of suggestion in raising funds from an audience while at the same time making them laugh during a time when all of us wanted to cry from the loss of our friends. I have emceed/hosted the MAL contest since 1995. DID YOU COMPETE IN ANY OTHER LEATHER CONTESTS? International Mr. Leather 1993, fourth place. When you win MAL, you represent the local leather community at IML in Chicago on Memorial Day weekend. Contestants from around the world compete. My year, there were 63 contestants. ADVICE TO THIS YEAR’S MR. LEATHER CONTESTANTS? Know that the fact you have taken the time and effort to be in the contest makes you a special representative of our community. Enjoying yourself on stage brings confidence. Cherishing the experiences and friendships you will have the rest of your life are the rewards you win. Winning or not winning does not define you; use the contest experience as a stepping stone to become more involved with our community and a way to support your personal causes. Some of my closest friends and confidants are the very contestants and titleholders I met 26 years ago. WHY DO YOU FEEL MAL HAS LASTED? I personally feel that Leather Weekend celebrates 45 years because of the welcoming and gracious feeling one experiences whether you are a first timer or a multi year alumnus. Over the four decades of existence embracing change yet respecting tradition is the key to the success of the weekend. The Centaurs welcome everyone and celebrate the diversity of choice over the adversity of judgment. NAME: Mauro Walden-Montoya YEAR WON: 1996 HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU ATTENDED MAL? I started attending MAL in 1993, and have been going ever since. But I’ve missed several years since I have been with my now husband because he can’t get off work often enough for us to go. I was there for my 20-year anniversary in 2016. WILL YOU BE GOING THIS YEAR? Unfortunately I will not be attending this year. RESIDENCE: Albuquerque, my hometown. RESIDENCE THE YEAR YOU WON: Lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’d moved there from D.C. six months before I won. HOW DID YOU GET INTO LEATHER? First time I started getting into leather was when my ex and I were having sex and out of the blue, he said, “Hit me.” I was startled but he kept repeating it, so I
did. And we both went, “Ooooh,” and it started me on my journey where I discovered I like inflicting consensual pain on those willing to receive it. I always loved the look of the Tom of Finland men and the look and feel of wearing leather is intoxicating. HOW MANY COMPETITORS THE YEAR YOU WON? 6 DID YOU ENTER CASUALLY OR COMPETITIVELY? I entered casually, being relatively new to the scene and not really knowing what to expect. I entered more for fun than anything, and my ex, who had said he wanted to compete before we moved to Puerto Rico, had put the idea in my head. After we moved and split up, I was going to go to MAL anyway (my fourth time), and just decided to compete for fun. I had no idea I had to go on to compete at IML and had to ask someone what IML was. But once it happened, I was hooked and have lived in leather ever since. HOW DO YOU ID? Gay Latino man WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TITLE TO YOU? When I entered, it was for fun. But during the competition, I found a true spirit of brotherhood, and I saw the greatness of the community, the brotherhood, the spirit of love and spirit of service to others. I have always been about service to the community, so this fit in two of my many interests. As I went through the competition, and ended up winning, I realized how I could use my platform as a titleholder to do more good in the community. DID YOU COMPETE IN ANY OTHER LEATHER CONTESTS? I have competed in many titles besides MAL, but MAL was the first. I was Mr. Leather Puerto Rico in 1998, and in 1999, won Mr. South Florida Leather Daddy. After that, I started judging, and then producing contests, and produced Mr. Florida Leather as well as Mr. & Ms. Rio Grande Leather. ADVICE TO THIS YEAR’S MR. LEATHER CONTESTANTS? Have fun and love what you’re doing, make the judges and audience laugh and show yourself and who you are. WHY DO YOU FEEL MAL HAS LASTED? MAL has lasted for 45 years because it is an amazing event. It is, to me, the truest leather event out there now. It has always stayed true to its roots. It is where I send people for their first “real” leather experience because it has it all. The hotel lobby, the Leather Market, the events, the contest, the spirit of brotherhood shown by the Centaurs in hosting it year after year, it all makes for an incredibly special event that if leather is in your journey, you simply should not miss. I highly commend the Centaurs for keeping this going for 45 years because it is not an easy task, especially in an all-volunteer organization.
Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend returns Jan 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.). The Leather Exhibit Hall will feature more than two-dozen exhibitors selling products and gear. Admission is $30 for the full weekend, $15 for Friday, $20 for Saturday and $15 for Sunday. Other events include a rubber cocktail party on Friday, Jan. 18 from 7-9 p.m., Puppy Park XI on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., brunch on Sunday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m.-noon, the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Contest on Sunday Jan. 20 from 1-4 p.m. and the closing dance party, which this year is a tribute to Frankie Knuckles, at 7 p.m. Visit leatherweekend.com for a full list of events. There will also be plenty of off-site parties celebrating MAL weekend. Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts Rough House: Leather Edition on Friday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. Lemz and the Barber Streisand will spin tracks for the evening. Matt Strother and Scott M. Douglass will mix drinks. Cover is $10 and includes clothes check. For more information, visit greenlanterndc.com. Highwaymen Tnt host Impact: Heroes MAL Fetish Ball at the Hyatt Regency (400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.) in Ballroom B on Friday, Jan. 18 from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Attendees are invited to dress as their favorite superhero. Cover is $10. DJ Twin will play tracks. For details, visit facebook.com/highwaymen_tnt. Honcho presents DJ Josey Rebelle at U Street Musical Hall (1115 U St., N.W.) on Friday, Jan. 18 from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Rebelle is known for her house, techno and breakbeat sounds which she has performed in clubs across Europe and Asia. There will be a full clothes check. Advance tickets are $14 and day of show tickets are $18. Attendees ages 18-20 will be admitted by advance ticket only. For more information, visit ustreetmusichall.com. Distrkt C hosts Masters, Boys and Pigs at Karma D.C. (2221 Adams Pl N.E.) on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. DJ Barney Philly plays the opening set followed by DJ Tony Moran. Rocco Steel makes a guest appearance. Tickets are $70. For more details, visit distrktc.com. La Fantasy hosts SexShop Party at L8 Lounge (727 15th St., N.W.) on Friday, Jan. 18 from 10 p.m.-7 a.m. DJ Alex Acosta, DJ X Gonzalez and DJ Joe Pacheco will play music. Coat check available for $5. Tickets are only available in advance for $40. For details, visit lafantasyproductions.com. The Onyx Cocktail Party and Gear Show is at the Hyatt Regency (400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.) on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 2-6 p.m. There will be cocktails and a fetish auction to benefit Youth Empowered Society. Cash, credit and debit will be accepted for auction purchases. There is a suggested donation at the door. For more details, visit facebook.com/onyx.midatlantic. 495 Bears celebrates MAL weekend at Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. with its dance party the Bear Cave. DJ Popperz will spin tracks ranging from retro to electro. Drink specials run all night. No cover. Clothes check available. Visit greenlanterndc.com for more information. The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Sircuit, an MAL weekend party, on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. DJ Sean Morris will play music all night. GoGo boys Israel Hermes and the Honey Bear will perform for the evening. Alcohol service runs until 4 a.m. and music goes until 6 a.m. Tickets in advance are $30 and tickets at the door are $40. For more details, visit thedceagle.com. The Imperial Court of Washington presents Leather and Lace at Freddie’s Beach Bar (555 23rd St., S Arlington, Va.) on Sunday, Jan. 20 from 8-10 p.m. The show will raise awareness and funds for the group’s Reign VII Charities including the True Colors Fund. For more details, visit imperialcourtdc.org. The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) presents “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Aja,as part of MAL weekend, on Sunday, Jan. 20 from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. There will be a meet and greet with Aja and go-go boys Israel Hermes and the Honey Bear at 10 p.m. At midnight there will be a performance by Aja, Ba’Naka, Desiree Dik, Katrina Colby, Alicia Love and Crystal Edge. DJ C Dubz will spin tracks. General admission advance tickets are $15. General admission tickets at the door are $20. Advance meet and greet tickets are $25 and meet-and-greet tickets at the door are $30. For more information, visit thedceagle.com. MAL weekend continues at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) with Penchance Afterhours, an MAL afterparty, on Monday, Jan. 21 from 1:30-6 a.m. Drinks will be served until 4 a.m. and music keeps going until 6 a.m. with DJ Ryan DoubleYou. Go-go boys Israel Hermes and the Honey Bear will also keep dancing.Advance tickets are $15 and tickets at the door are $20. Visit thedceagle. com for more information.
40 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
EN AR JO TS Y A AT LL CF THE A!
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON 2018/2019 SEASON
Enchantment Theatre Company
Opus Cactus Friday, January 25 at 8 p.m.
The Phantom Tollbooth
Sunday, January 27 at 2 p.m.
Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar Friday, February 8 at 8 p.m.
Asere! A Fiesta Cubana Saturday, February 9 at 8 p.m.
This performance is also at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on Sat., Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Information at HyltonCenter.org ff
Havana Cuba All-Stars
Family Friendly performances that are most suitable for families with younger children
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! 703-993-2787 OR CFA.GMU.EDU
Located on the Fairfax campus, six miles west of Beltway exit 54, at the intersection of Braddock Road and Rt. 123.
P R E S E N T S
Test Drive the All-New
FEB 9 AT 8PM | FEB 10 AT 3PM BASED ON THE BOOK BY
STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & NINA FASO
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY GORDON GREENBERG SONGS BY CRAIG
CARNELIA, MICKI GRANT, LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, MARY RODGERS & SUSAN BIRKENHEAD, STEPHEN SCHWARTZ, JAMES TAYLOR
FOR TICKETS CALL 202-399-7993 OR VISIT GMCW.ORG FOR
TICKETS & GROUPS OF 10 OR MORE CALL 202-293-1548 ATLAS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER | 1333 H ST NE
Working (2012 Revised Version) is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are supplied by MTI.
JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 41
Ready to Own, Ready to Live at National Harbor!
Only 3 remaining for this special! VA loans with $0 down and all closing costs paid*
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First Heritage Mortgage, LLC 3201 Jermantown Road, Suite 800 Fairfax, VA 22030 First Heritage Mortgage, LLC | Company NMLS ID #86548 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) This is an advertisement and not a guarantee of lending. Terms and conditions apply. All approvals subject to underwriting guidelines. Prepared: 09/05/2018.
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** not valid on previous contracts and must settle on or before 12/31/18.
Potomac Overlook Brownstones from the $600's 503 Halliard Lane, National Harbor, MD 20745 firstname.lastname@example.org | (703) 955-1187 42 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
Protecting the American Dream of homeownership
Looking for a home? D.C. law protects you from discrimination based on a wide range of categories. Photo courtesy of Bigstock
D.C. law bars housing bias in wide array of categories By VALERIE M. BLAKE Next Monday, as we commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of his most famous speech of Aug. 28, 1963. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be selfevident: that all men are created equal.” When I hear, “I have a dream,” I automatically associate it with The American Dream of homeownership, which so many of us take for granted. If you have a job, a good credit score and a bit of cash, you can buy a home no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you pray to (or not). But it wasn’t always like that. One of the most important legislative initiatives, The Civil Rights Act of 1964,
ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Then in 1968, shortly after the assassination of Dr. King, President Lyndon Johnson signed The Fair Housing Act as a tribute to King’s work in the Civil Rights Movement. The act prohibited housing discrimination based on race, color, religion and national origin, and in 1974, sex was added to the list. In 1988, President Ronald Regan signed The Fair Housing Amendments Act, which added handicap (physical or mental) and familial status (pregnant woman or a parent or guardian of children under the age of 18) to the list of classes protected by law from discrimination, bringing the total to seven. Those of us who are members of the National Association of Realtors must follow a strict code of ethics that prohibits discrimination. We complete fair housing refresher courses every two years and there are even testers, who play the role of a buyer on the phone or at an open house to ensure that we are adhering to fair housing principles. Although the seven national protected
JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 43
classes haven’t changed, most states have added a few more over time. I’ve been licensed in California, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and I have to say that D.C. has the most progressive and inclusive protections against housing discrimination of any state I know. In addition to the national protected classes, The District of Columbia Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, adds 11 more. Age, marital status and sexual orientation are three that are also common in other states, but we have some that people may not be aware of. The family responsibilities category builds on familial status and protects those who are supporting any person in a dependent relationship, such as a child, grandchild, or parent. Whether you wear the blue jersey, the red one, the green one, or some independent color, you cannot be discriminated against for your political affiliation. Don’t want to lease your property to a large group of unrelated people? Be careful. If they are enrolled in a college, university, or secondary school, then they are covered by the matriculation protected class.
Source of income is another protected category, so money from a parental cosigner, a trust fund, or even a Russian oligarch is good here. If you live in mom’s basement in Chevy Chase or do most of your work at Starbucks on Capitol Hill, the geographic location of your place of residence or business cannot be used to discriminate against you. Are you tattooed, pierced, underweight, overweight, clad in a leather harness and chaps, or looking fabulous in a pink wig and stilettos? Good news! You cannot be discriminated against because of your personal appearance. D.C. has taken a decidedly broadminded and compassionate stance by adding the two most recent protected categories: gender-related identity or expression, appearance or behavior that is different from what you are assigned at birth and victim of an intra-family offense, one who was subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Now, I’m betting that anyone can fit into at least one of the preceding categories, but just in case, I’ve added a few of my own. Most anyone who owns a puppy, kitty, or other furry animal will tell you his pet is part of the family, so much like familial status and family responsibilities, furparents should be a protected class. Hip hop or opera, country or smooth jazz, showtunes or go-go, nobody should be discriminated against for the type of music that brings them joy. And finally, whether it’s Kimmel, Colbert, Corben, Fallon, Myers, Maher, Noah, Oliver, or the cast of Weekend Update, discrimination based on your preference of late-night television host will be strictly prohibited.
Valerie M. Blake
is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and Director of Education & Mentorship at RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-2468602, email her via DCHomeQuest. com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.
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EMPLOYMENT LOCKER ROOM ATTENDANTS NEEDED! The Crew Club, a gay men’s naturist gym & sauna, is now hiring Locker Room Attendants. We all scrub toilets & do heavy cleaning. You must be physically able to handle the work & have a great attitude doing it. No drunks/ druggies need apply. Please call David at (202) 319-1333. from 9-5pm, to schedule an interview.
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44 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
SHARE ADS ARE FREE.
All Classified Ads - Including Regular & Adult Must Be Received By Mondays at 5PM So They Can Be Included in That Week’s Edition of Washington Blade and washingtonblade.com
SHARE ADS ARE FREE
Place your HOUSING TO SHARE ad online at washingtonblade.com and the ad prints free in the paper and online.* *25 words or less prints free - anything more is $1/word.
Place your HOUSING TO SHARE ad online at washingtonblade.com and the ad prints free in the paper and online.* *25 words or less prints free - anything more is $1/word.
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JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 45
Lease a 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sport
/mo * +tax
MAKES ANY ROUTE ANYTHING BUT ROUTINE. Room for everything except the ordinary. A uniquely Italian driving experience, Stelvio delivers 280 HP and 306 lb-ft of torque through a turbocharged, direct-injected engine. With an 8-speed transmission, patented AlfaLinkTM rear suspension and the most direct steering ration in its segment, Stelvio redefines the luxury SUV, infused with Alfa Romeo performance.
SCHEDULE YOUR TEST DRIVE TODAY Alfa Romeo of Arlington 2710 S. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22206 888- 7 6 3 -8 7 21
*ON APPROVED CREDIT. Offer expires Jan 31, 2019. Available only at Alfa Romeo of Arlington to qualified lessees with approved credit through Chrysler Capital. Delivery by Jan 31, 2019 required. Subject to availability, this offer [vin: B61928]. Payment shown based on a 24-month closed-end lease for a new 2018 model year Stelvio AWD with MSRP of $45,490. Total cash due at signing is $4,999.00, plus first month's payment of $299, security deposit waived. Total amount of monthly payments is$7,176. Purchase option at lease end for $28,203 plus taxes. Lessee is responsible for insurance, maintenance, repairs, $.25 per mile over 10,000 miles per year and excess wear. Title, taxes, license, registration, destination. And acquisition fee of $895.
46 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • JAN UARY 1 8 , 2 0 1 9
Lease a 2019 Maserati Levante for $599/mo. Maserati of Arlington 2710 South Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22206 888.402.2116 | www.maseratiofarlington.com *ON APPROVED CREDIT. Offer expires Jan 31, 2019. Available only at Maserati of Arlington to qualified lessees with approved credit through Maserati Capital. Delivery by Jan 31, 2019 required. Subject to availability, this offer [VIN: 317555]. Payment shown based on a 39-month closed-end lease for a new 2019 model year Levante with MSRP of $83,780. Total cash due at signing is $7,500, plus first month’s payment of $599, acquisition fee of $795, taxes, tags, processing and destination (security deposit waived). Total amount of monthly payments is $23,361. Purchase option at lease end for $46,079, plus taxes. Lessee is responsible for insurance, maintenance, repairs, $.30 per mile over 5,000 miles per year and excess wear. Not applicable towards any other vehicles or special orders.
JA NUARY 18, 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.CO M • 47