Washingtonblade.com, Volume 50, Issue 29, July 19, 2019

Page 1

Illustration by Rafael Alejandro García/Tremenda Nota


J ULY 1 9, 2019 • VOLUME 50 • I S S UE 29 • WA S HI NGTON B LAD E.CO M

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*

Tom Gaffney | Senior Loan Officer NMLS ID #182206

Current Incentives**


tgaffney@fhmtg.com www.GaffneyLoans.com

• 1 year of Condo fees paid Current Incentives ** • Washer and dryer level 1 included • 2’’ faux wood white blinds - excluding the transoms • 2" faux wood white blinds – excluding the transoms • American gift card **not valid on previousExpress contracts$2500 and must settle on included or before 7/31/19.

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.

*Closing costs paid when using First Heritage Mortgage and does not include pre-paids. Pricing and terms may change, please speak with Loan Officer.

** not valid on previous contracts and must settle on or before 12/31/18.

MHBR #6755

Potomac Overlook Brownstones from the $600's 503 Halliard Lane, National Harbor, MD 20745 sales@integrityhmw.com | (703) 955-1187 0 2 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9


LIVE LOCAL Glass House Real Estate is proud to be apart of the Green Hedges School community. New Condo – Eckington New Construction Condos in Eckington in 230 S St NE #1 and #2

Glass House started with a vision to create a


NEW LISTING! modern, more affordable way to buy and a sell a home. With top-tiered professional service at a fraction of the cost, we believe

that affordability doesn’t have to come at the expense of service or results.

"Courtney and I, along with our twin daughters, Nahla and Ava, live in the town of Vienna and could not be happier with the friends, community, and fellowship we have experienced since joining the Green Hedges community."

Khalil El-Ghoul Principal Broker & Owner

-Khalil El-Ghoul

571-235-4821 Khalil@glasshousere.com glasshousere.com

601 Penn. Ave, #1004N - Downtown Price reduced in perfect Downtown location!

732 13th St SE 1 block to metro, easy access to Barracks row and Eastern Market.


Licensed in DC, MD, & VA VA. If you are already working with an agent this is not meant to solicit your business.

145 Church St., NW Vienna, VA 22180

718 7th St NW Washington, DC 20001



Licensed in DC, MD & VA. If you are already working with an agent this is not meant to solicit your business. JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 03


PO Box 53352 Washington DC 20009 PHONE

A Blade contributor from Cuba who is seeking asylum in the U.S. is being detained in inhumane conditions in Louisiana. A first-person account of the conditions inside, PAGE 14


Looking back:



50 years of the Blade


Rachel’s swan song


Comings & Goings


QUEERY: Desiree Dik


Bet Mishpachah


(aka George Marius)

names new rabbi


Two trans events coming soon

Gilead hit with more lawsuits


Arts & Culture

over harmful side


‘Lion King’ remake

effects of AIDS drug 12 14

epic but uneven

New Republic retracts


Time with Tan

controversial Buttigieg op-ed


Ballsy venture

Living an


Cars with muscle

‘American nightmare’


Floods, fireworks


Cannabis Culture


Straights up, gays down

and first-time buyers 46


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

in new HIV Israeli numbers ©2019 BROWN NAFF PITTS OMNIMEDIA, INC.

0 4 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

Modern Family available with Xfinity On Demand

Life Reflected. On X1, it’s pride all year, only with Xfinity.SM There’s power in seeing yourself on screen, and that’s why Xfinity created a first-of-its-kind community endorsed LGBTQ Film & TV Collection. With Xfinity On Demand, you have access to thousands of TV shows and movies at home and on-the-go. Simply say, “LGBTQ” into the X1 Voice Remote to easily immerse yourself in an awesome, diverse collection of content that reflects all of you. Simple. Easy. Awesome.

Find yourself at xfinity.com/LGBTQ

Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. No celebrity endorsement implied. © 2019 Comcast. All rights reserved. NPA223676-0009 NED LG Q3 MF V3

132859_NPA223676-0009 Life Reflected ad_V3_WshBld_9.75x11.5.indd 1

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 05

6/26/19 3:43 PM

30 years ago, airlines allow frequent fliers to bring ‘lovers’ FROM STAFF REPORTS

Thirty years ago this week, the Blade’s lead story was about TWA’s decision to allow frequent fliers to give their free tickets to “any companion.” Up until that point, TWA and other airlines restricted free tickets to legal spouses of frequent fliers. The TWA policy change came after a New York gay man filed a lawsuit against the airline. TWA’s change in policy was announced in an offensive statement from its marketing director that read in part: “We are aware of the non-traditional lifestyles prevalent in our society and our sole interest is the promotion of travel, not social commentary.” Take a walk down memory lane — visit washingtonblade.com/archives to browse the Blade’s unique 50-year archive of LGBTQ news and features.

0 6 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

Thank you to our founding sponsors and partners of the Washington Blade’s 50th anniversary year.

WA S H I N G TO N D. C . – T H E W H A R F

FULL LOGO (Preferred)


Text Only Stack

Text Only Inline

Community Partners

For more information on getting involved with the 50th Anniversary please contact Stephen Rutgers at srutgers@washblade.com JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 07

Comings & Goings Heng-Lehtinen joins National Center for Transgender Equality 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: comingsandgoings@washblade.com. Congratulations to Jay Vilar for appearing on the cover of Natural Awakenings magazine. Vilar said he feels he was chosen for the honor because, “As a nutritional therapist practitioner, I JAY VILAR work with clients to improve their health through proper nutrition. I was accepted into a program at the Rodale Institute (Organic Research Farm) that studies how the health of the soil impacts the health of the plant, which ultimately impacts the health of the human. I was studying how to grow nutrient rich foods that will improve someone’s health. I was commended for taking my work all the way back to the health of the soil and making that link to human health.” Vilar is the founder and nutritional therapist practitioner of Nourish, LLC, a nutritional therapy company whose mission is to educate RODRIGO the world on how to heal and optimize the HENG-LEHTINEN body with food and lifestyle. To carry out that mission he spends his time teaching people how to use food to heal their body and speaks to businesses on how to optimize focus & productivity using nutritional science. His intention is to align himself with a like-minded organization and be part of a team that shares the vision for a healthier world through proper nutrition, regenerative agriculture, and community building. Prior to that he was Nutritional Therapy Company Vice President, Business Development with Delucchi Plus. He has had an interesting background working in strategic digital communications with Time Inc., and before that with the Washington Business Journal. He was a consultant with Plan A Consulting, a company that helps people implement their start-up business plan. Earlier in his career he was a manager and event planner with the Human Rights Campaign Vilar received his bachelor’s from George Mason University; Nutritional Therapy Association/ Nutritional Therapist Practitioner George Washington University and was an ASC Regenerative Agriculture Fellowship Congratulations also to Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen who joined the National Center for Transgender Equality as deputy executive director for policy and action. Upon his appointment, Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “We are so excited to have such a dedicated and thoughtful advocate on our team. Rodrigo has dedicated his career to the core values of inclusion, justice, and equality that are at the heart of NCTE and the transgender movement. His work has already changed the lives of transgender people and their families across the country, and we are so excited to have him with us.” Rodrigo said “I am honored to join NCTE at this pivotal time. The organization has consistently led the charge on groundbreaking advances for transgender people across the country. With Americans now more open to transgender rights than ever before, it’s exciting to be part of this team and grow acceptance for our community.” Prior to joining NCTE, Heng-Lehtinen was vice president of public education, Freedom for All Americans where he oversaw a full range of legislative lobbying, field organizing, and communications strategies. Before that he was membership manager for GLAAD. Earlier in his career he was also a field organizer for the National LGBTQ Task Force and worked as campaign director for his mother, former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. He earned his bachelor’s in Latin American Studies from Brown University. Congratulations also to Wes Combs who received an award from BEQ Pride a business magazine as one of its leaders over 50 who helped create a legacy for Stonewall.

Slain trans woman remembered at service Friends celebrate life of Zoe Spears who was killed in June By LOU CHIBBARO JR. LCHIBBARO@WASHBLADE.COM Although she was only 23 at the time of her death, people who knew transgender woman Zoe Spears said she had a positive, lasting impact on their lives. Close to 100 people turned out at D.C.’s Metropolitan Community Church on July 12 for a Celebration of Life service for Spears, who was shot to death on June 13 on a street in Fairmount Heights, Md., just across the D.C. line in Prince George’s County. P.G. County police say they have no suspects in the case but continue to actively investigate the murder, which took place just a few blocks away from where transgender woman Ashanti Carmon, 27, was also fatally shot on March 30. Police say they have no known suspects in that case. Prior to the start of the service a viewing was held at the church in which well-wishers approached an open coffin. Among those who spoke at the service were D.C. Council member Vince Gray (D-Ward 7) and Sheila Alexander Reid, director of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. Reid read a letter from Bowser expressing condolences to Spears’s family and friends and expressing her support and solidarity with the transgender community. June Crenshaw, executive director of the Wanda Alston Foundation, which provides housing and services for LGBT youth; and Charmaine Eccles, an executive assistant at Casa Ruby, a D.C. LGBT community services center that also provides housing and services for LGBT youth, each spoke of their interaction with Spears. They noted that Spears was a client of their respective organizations. “She continued to drop by the Wanda Alston Foundation because she was loved,” said Crenshaw. “She was funny and sarcastic. She would send me emails in the middle of the night,” Crenshaw continued. “She had a plan. She taught me every day is an opportunity to live as yourself.” Added Crenshaw, “As an LGBTQ community we failed her…We failed to save her life. She is challenging us to do better.” Eccles of Casa Ruby called Spears “one

of the most unforgettable people I ever met,” adding that Spears in a positive way often challenged Casa Ruby’s rules and procedures. “She was a challenger and we need more people like that,” Eccles said. “She will continue to make an impact.” Casa Ruby founder and executive director Ruby Corado also attended the service. Corado has said she too got to know Spears, who she said called her “mom,” making Spears’ death especially painful, Corado has said. Gray, who noted that he expanded the city’s job training programs to reach out to transgender people during his tenure as D.C. mayor, said he would continue to push for such programs. LGBT activists have pointed out that both Spears and Carmon were murdered in an area known as a place where female sex workers, including female trans sex workers, congregate. Activists have said discrimination in employment often has forced transgender women, especially trans women of color like Spears and Carmon, to engage in sex work as a means of economic survival. Bishop Allyson Abrams, pastor of D.C.’s Empowerment Liberation Cathedral, officiated over the July 12 service for Spears. In a eulogy for Spears, Abrams called on the entire D.C. area community to take action needed to address underlying issues that place people like Spears in danger. D.C. transgender rights advocate Earline Budd, who helped organize the service, said among those in attendance were Schmeara Mocu, Spears’s sister, and Mocu’s husband. Budd said Mocu and her husband used their phones to livestream the service so that Spears’s mother, who was unable to travel to D.C. from South Bend, Ind., where she lives, was able to view the service. Budd said a fundraising effort through a GoFundMe campaign was underway to help pay for a burial for Spears in a D.C. area cemetery that Budd said was expected to take place in the near future.

08 • WA S HI NGTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • LO CAL N EW S

The Washington Blade’s

50th Birthday Gala Celebrating five decades of LGBTQ journalism

Friday, Oct. 18 Festive cocktail attire

Intercontinental Hotel 801 Wharf St., SW

WA S H I N G TO N D. C . – T H E W H A R F

Special guests and speakers to be announced

Tickets available at Blade50th.com

Benefitting the Blade Foundation. A portion of ticket price is tax deductible.

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 09

Bet Mishpachah names new rabbi D.C. Council member BRIANNE NADEAU introduced a bill that would require government buildings and businesses to make diaper changing tables available to both men and women. Photo by Lorie Shaull; courtesy of Creative Commons

JAKE SINGER-BEILIN is Bet Mishpachah’s new rabbi effective July 1.

The Board of Directors of Bet Mishpachah, which has served as D.C.’s LGBT community synagogue since 1975, announced it has selected Rabbi Jake SingerBeilin as the congregation’s new rabbi effective July 1. The announcement, which appears on Bet Mishpacha’s website, says Rabbi Singer-Beilin previously served as associate rabbi of Old York Road Temple-Beth Am in Abington, Pa., and as assistant rabbi and education director of Temple Chai in Phoenix, Ariz. It says he most recently has served as Interim Jewish Life Coordinator and Judaic Studies teacher at the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School in D.C. He earned a master’s in Hebrew Letters and a master’s in Jewish Education from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angles, where he was ordained in 2011, according to the announcement. It says he earned a bachelor’s in Religious Studies from the University of California at Davis. The announcement notes that his fiancé is Rabbi Rachel Ackerman, who currently serves as Senior Rabbi for Temple Shalom of Chevy Chase, Md. “I am excited for this opportunity to serve Bet Mishpachah as its rabbi, and to provide a spiritual home to members of the LGBTQ Jewish community, friends, and family members,” Singer-Beilin said in a statement. “Throughout my rabbinate, the most profound blessing has been to form relationships with congregants and to be invited to share in their lives, loves, losses, and celebrations,” he said. “I cannot wait to form these relationships with the individuals who make up this sacred community and to dream with them about the holy work that we will do together,” he said. The announcement says he will be co-leading his first Shabbat services as Bet Mishpachah’s new rabbi on Friday evening, July 26 and Saturday morning, July 27. The congregation, which normally holds its services at D.C.’s Jewish Community Center, is currently holding services across the street at Foundry United Methodist Church at 1500 16th Street, N.W. while the JCC facility is being renovated. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Gay male parents cited as beneficiaries of ‘diaper changing’ bill

D.C. Council member Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) has said a bill she introduced last month that would require government buildings and businesses, including restaurants and bars, to make diaper changing tables available to both men and women would benefit gay men with children. Nadeau and fellow Council members Robert White (D-At-Large) and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) on June 25 co-introduced the Equal Access to Changing Tables Amendment Act of 2019, which has been assigned to the Council’s Committee of the Whole. Council members Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Jack Evans (D-Ward

2), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), David Grosso (I-At-Large), and Elisa Silverman (I-AtLarge) signed on as co-sponsors. Nadeau said the bill is aimed, in part, at addressing concerns raised by men who are in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships with young children and male single parents who find that very few men’s bathrooms in public places have diaper changing tables. In its summary statement, the bill says it would require “Diaper-Changing Accommodations be available for use by all genders in a D.C. owned or occupied building that includes at least one toilet facility that is open to the public.” The summary statement adds that the legislation would also “require DiaperChanging Accommodations be available for use by all genders in newly constructed or substantially renovated business establishments and places of public accommodation that include at least one toilet facility that is open to the public.” The bill defines “substantially renovated business establishments” to mean any existing business, including bars, restaurants, or nightclubs, that undertake renovations costing $10,000 or more would be required to have diaper changing stations such as changing tables in men’s as well as women’s bathrooms or in another specifically designated space open to men and women. The potential impact of the bill on gay men surfaced on Monday when the Washington Post published a story with an interview and photos of a gay male married couple and their three-yearold daughter. One of the men, Jeremy Leon, told of the difficulties he and his husband have encountered in finding men’s bathrooms in restaurants and other public places that have diaper changing tables for their child. Gay nightlife advocate Mark Lee, who serves as coordinator of the D.C. Nightlife Council, said the bill’s requirements could pose problems for smaller, community based bars, restaurants and nightclubs that cater mostly to adults. He noted that many such establishments restrict their customers to people 21 years of age or older. He said it doesn’t make sense for a business like that, which might include gay bars and nightclubs, to have to install a diaper changing table in their bathrooms if they undertake a renovation project of $10,000 or more. Nadeau said she will consider these concerns when the bill comes up for a public hearing in the fall. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Gay ANC commissioner challenges Gray for Ward 7 seat Gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and community activist Anthony Lorenzo Green announced on July 12 in a Facebook message that he is a candidate for the Ward 7 D.C. Council seat currently held by former mayor and current Council member Vincent Gray. “Today, I decided to take the leap that many have been urging me to take and declare my candidacy to be the next Ward 7 Councilmember,” Green said in his Facebook statement. “My grandmother has always taught me that public service is the Lord’s work and I’m thankful for the trust people continue to put in me,” he said. Green becomes the second gay person to announce his candidacy for a D.C. Council seat as a Democrat in the city’s June 2, 2020 Democratic primary. Last month, gay activist John Fanning, who serves as chair of the Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission, announced he’s running for the Ward 2 Council seat currently held by Council member Jack Evans. Like Green, Fanning says he will be running in the June 2, 2020 Democratic primary. Neither Gray nor Evans has disclosed whether they plan to run for re-election next year, but most political observers believe the two will seek re-election. Green and Fanning are among 25 known LGBT ANC commissioners who won election or re-election in the city’s November 2018 election. Green couldn’t immediately be reached by the Washington Blade for comment. If Gray runs for re-election Green would be running against a former mayor and Council member who is considered by LGBT activists to be one of the city’s most LGBT supportive politicians, with a strong pro-LGBT record as both mayor and Council member. In his announcement statement on Facebook, Green did not mention LGBT issues but instead discussed problems and concerns raised by Ward 7 residents, saying “too many times we have leaders that don’t seem to hear them when they speak.” “I’m proud of the record that we’ve built together over the last 7 years of standing up for our own,” he said. “My service as an ANC Commissioner, civic association leader, social justice warrior, and community activist has prepared me for the work that lies ahead,” he said. “Will you join me?” LOU CHIBBARO JR.

10 • WA S HI NGTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • LO CAL N EW S

Gilead hit with more lawsuits over harmful side effects of AIDS drug AHF seeks $10 billion fund to compensate patients injured by TDF By LOU CHIBBARO JR. LCHIBBARO@WASHBLADE.COM

MICHAEL WEINSTEIN, executive director of AHF, said a large compensation fund would benefit both Gilead and the more than 1,000 patients that are plaintiffs in the multiple lawsuits against Gilead over the TDF issue.

Another two lawsuits were filed last week in California against the U.S. pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. by several dozen patients who claim the company withheld from the market for more than a decade a drug for treating HIV that it knew was safer and more effective than the drug it promoted during that period. The two personal injury lawsuits accuse Gilead of intentionally continuing to promote the HIV medication tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), which was known to cause serious kidney and bone damage, so it could profit from the drug before its patent on the medication was to expire in 2015. At the same time, the lawsuits charge, Gilead withheld from the market a far safer version of the drug called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), which it knew would more effectively treat HIV without causing any of the serious side effects caused by TDF. The lawsuits charge that many patients taking one of five Gilead HIV drugs for which TDF was a key component needlessly suffered debilitating and sometimes fatal kidney and bone damage as well as damage to their teeth. Also adversely impacted by TDF, the lawsuits claim, were HIV-negative people taking the Gilead drug Truvada, which contained TDF, as part of the HIV prevention regimen

known as PrEP. In response to these and as many as a dozen or more similar lawsuits filed by HIV patients and PrEP users in state and federal courts in California over the past two years, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Monday called on Gilead to create a $10 billion fund “for victims harmed by its TDF-based drugs.” Michael Weinstein, executive director of AHF, the nation’s largest AIDS advocacy and HIV/AIDS patient care organization, said a large compensation fund would benefit both Gilead and the more than 1,000 patients that are plaintiffs in the multiple lawsuits against Gilead over the TDF issue. “We had two goals in putting this out,” said Weinstein. “One was to underline the significance of the liability that they are facing based on their conduct,” which could amount to billions of dollars, he said referring to Gilead. “And second of all is simply to plant the idea in Gilead’s mind that ultimately the best resolution of this is to compensate the people who were harmed,” Weinstein said. “For years, Gilead represented its TDFbased medications as safe and effective, misleading Plaintiffs, their doctors, and the medical community into believing that no safer alternative design existed that would


have saved Plaintiffs from TDF’s dangerous effects,” says one of the two lawsuits filed July 12 in Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court. “Indeed, it was Gilead that discovered and helped develop the safer design around the same time it developed TDF in the mid to late 1990s,” the lawsuit says. “Gilead, however, shelved TAF, the safer design, in 2004. Gilead marketed and sold only the dangerous and less effective design – TDF and TDF-based combination pills – for approximately 15 years,” the lawsuit continues. “Then, when its monopoly on those TDF drugs was about to expire, Gilead sought and received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell, and market TAF-based drugs, allowing it to extend its exclusivity on tenofovir and keep its HIV drugs branded and priced high to increase its profits,” the lawsuit says. A spokesperson for Gilead Sciences didn’t immediately respond to an email and phone message from the Blade asking the company to comment on this and other similar lawsuits filed against it during the past two years over the TDF and TAF drug allegations. Gilead’s attorneys disputed the allegations that the company failed to adequately alert patients and doctors of the adverse side effects of TDF in a July 10 motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in a motion calling for the court to dismiss yet another lawsuit filed against it over the TDF-TAF issue. That case, Adrian Holley, et al vs. Gilead Sciences, Inc., was filed in March 2018 and is one of several TDF-related cases filed against Gilead in federal court in California. In its motion to dismiss, Gilead argues that plaintiffs have failed to provide sufficient evidence that “newly acquired information” surfaced to that would have allowed Gilead to “strengthen warnings contained in TDF medication labeling after 2008.” Gilead has stated in the past it has included warnings about possible harmful side effects of TDF for people who have a history of kidney or bone related ailments. The lawsuits, however, have charged the company with failing to issue an alert that TDF could cause serious kidney and bone damage for people who did not have a history of kidney or bone related problems. ‘Plaintiffs still have not alleged, inter alia, facts supporting when they or their doctors were exposed to any alleged misrepresentations, what

misrepresentations they or their doctors were exposed to, or if or how their or their doctors’ conduct changed based on any such misrepresentations, as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures 8(a) and 99(b),” Gilead attorneys state in their motion to dismiss the federal lawsuit. The motion to dismiss makes no mention of the other key allegation in this and the other lawsuits – that Gilead withheld the release of the safer HIV drug TAF to enable it to reap its profits from TDF until its patent on that drug expired in 2015. The lawsuit filed on July 12 in Alameda County, entitled Gary Smith, et al vs. Gilead Sciences, Inc. includes 41 plaintiffs who are seeking financial compensation for damages of an as yet undeclared amount on grounds that Gilead violated “Strict Products Liability – Failure to Warn” requirements; engaged in “Negligence and Gross-Negligence—Design Defect and Failure-to-Warn” related to the harmful effects of TDF; Fraud; and “Breach of Express and Implied Warranty.” The Smith v. Gilead lawsuit was filed five days after a separate lawsuit accusing Gilead of the same allegations of failing to adequately alert patients to the harmful side effects of TDF and withholding the release of the safer drug TAF was filed in San Diego County Superior Court under the case name Timothy Williams, et al vs. Gilead Sciences, Inc., et al. “This case is a shocking example of corporate greed,” said Elizabeth Graham, one of the lead attorneys with Grant & Eisenhofer, an Oakland, Calif.-based law firm that filed the San Diego case on behalf of the plaintiffs it is representing. “Gilead owed its consumer patients the safest possible drug, but opted to withhold that drug from the market in the name of profit,” Graham said in a statement. Liza Brereton, an attorney with HIV Litigation Attorneys, a law firm created to focus on personal injury and class action lawsuits filed against Gilead related to TDF, said judges with the multiple California state courts in which the pending lawsuits against Gilead have been filed have scheduled a hearing in Los Angles for July 30 in which the cases were expected to be consolidated into one large case. “So it’s taken a while but pretty soon we’ll be all in front of one judge in one court and things will be moving pretty quickly,” Brereton said. She said the cases in federal courts will continue as separate cases.

New Republic retracts controversial Buttigieg op-ed The New Republic, a magazine that covers art and politics, has retracted a controversial op-ed about Pete Buttigieg written by gay literary critic Dale Peck. NBC News reported that the op-ed, titled “My Mayor Pete Problem,” references the South Bend, Ind. mayor as “Mary Pete” throughout the article. Peck also refers to Buttigieg as “the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom.” Peck questions Buttigieg’s ability to be president because Buttigieg came out later in life. “The last thing I want in the White House is a gay man staring down 40 who suddenly realizes he didn’t get to have all the fun his straight peers did when they were teenagers,” Peck wrote. In another part of the op-ed, Peck writes that the difference between Buttigieg and the other “well-educated reasonably intelligent white dude who wanna be president is what he does with his d—.”‘ The article was published on Friday and by Saturday had been taken down by New Republic after it was slammed on social media for its offensive content. New Republic editor Chris Lehmann claimed to CNN that the op-ed was intended to be taken as satire. “The New Republic recognizes that this post crossed a line, and while it was largely intended as satire, it was inappropriate and invasive,” Lehmann told CNN’s Brian Stelter. However, Peck shared the story on his Facebook page and appeared to indicate that the story wasn’t meant to be satirical. CHRIS JOHNSON

Trump Defense pick rebuked over trans ban testimony

Trump’s defense nominee MARK ESPER is being criticized for ‘misleading’ comments on the trans military ban.

President Trump’s choice to become the next secretary of defense Mark Esper was rebuked Tuesday during his confirmation hearing for “misleading” testimony in which he asserted transgender people who “can meet the standards with special accommodations” can serve in the military. Esper made the comments, which largely defer to the Trump administration’s anti-trans report on transgender people in the military, in response to written responses to advance policy questions made public the day he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The 2018 report, which former Defense Secretary James Mattis signed off on before leaving the Pentagon, has been criticized for relying on junk science in seeking to justify that ban after Trump directed the Defense Department to implement it in the first place. In response to a question on the impact on allowing transgender people in the military consistent with their gender identity, Esper wrote the military is “a standards-based organization.” “Whoever can meet the standards without special accommodations can serve,” Esper writes. “Transgender individuals may serve so long as they can adhere to all military standards, including the standards associated with the biological sex.” The transgender ban technically allows transgender people to serve, but only if they’re willing to serve in their biological sex (which is very few transgender people). The policy forbids the enlistment of individuals who’ve obtained transitionrelated care, such as gender reassignment surgery, and requires the discharge of service members if they obtain a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. Esper hinted at the details of this in his response, referencing the 2018 report and stating individuals who don’t meet the criteria “could adversely impact military readiness and effectiveness and should be evaluated for the purposes of either accession or retention.” The Trump administration instituted a small exemption in its new policy: Transgender people who were in the military before the ban was implemented in April and obtained transition-related care are allowed to stay. Esper references this exemption in his response when asked which transgender service members should be grandfathered into the Obama administration’s policy, which as of 2016 allowed all qualified transgender people to stay in the military. Transgender people either contracted for enlistment or selected for entrance into an officer commissioning program before April 12, Esper states, are “considered exempt” from the new policy, as are contracted ROTC and military service academy cadets. Aaron Belkin, director of the San Francisco-based Palm Center, criticized Esper for his response on transgender service, saying the nominee’s testimony is “misleading, and goes to the heart of the

distortions that sustain the transgender ban.” “For every medical condition except gender dysphoria, troops are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they meet standards,” Belkin said. “For gender dysphoria, by contrast, service members are simply assumed to be unfit, and fired on that basis, even though research and experience show that transgender troops, including those who need medical care, are as fit as their non-transgender peers.” Last year, Esper was among the defense officials who, under questioning from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), asserted allowing transgender people in the military has had no impact on unit cohesion. In testimony with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Miller, Esper said, “Nothing has percolated up to my level.” “Young kids tend to raise the issue in front of them at the day,” Esper said at the time. “It could be that they’re performing all-night duty or didn’t get their paycheck, and this was just not an issue that came up at that moment in time.” This year, in his written responses, Esper similarly said in response to the same question he has “no specific reports on such impacts.” But Esper undercuts his own response, explaining why he might not have information about disruptions to unit cohesions one way or the other. “DOD policies protect the privacy of all service members, prevent discrimination against them, and preclude the systematic tracking of transgender service members to assess their performance and impact on unit cohesion and effectiveness,” Esper writes. Esper concludes his response on the issue with a vague comment about supporting the service of individuals who meet can meet the standards (which under the current policy would exclude transgender people). “I believe that anyone who can meet the standards (physical, mental, conduct, and security) without special accommodations and is worldwide deployable should be able to serve,” Esper writes. No member of the Senate Armed Services Committee — Democrat or Republican — queried Esper during the oral portion of his testimony Tuesday on transgender military service. Gillibrand, who’s currently in the middle of her 2020 presidential campaign, wasn’t there and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asked about ethics issues. Transgender service comes up in another part of Esper’s written response to questions on the “Deploy or Get Out” policy, which under the Trump administration discharges all service members who are unable to deploy in combat for a period of longer than 12 months Asked how this policy should apply to individuals who have HIV or are transgender, Esper writes the policy “should be applied equitably to all service members, and each service member is evaluated for retention on a case-by-case basis.” CHRIS JOHNSON

12 • WA S HI N GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • N AT IO N AL N EW S



We’re All In DIVERSITY + INCLUSION = ENGAGEMENT Engaged living is what we celebrate at Ingleside communities. We are who we are because of who we all are. We embrace diversity and inclusion every day by creating a welcoming culture that provides not just an exceptional place to live–but an extraordinary place to belong.


SAGECare Platinum Certified

Call for a personal tour, and discover what engaged living can mean to you!

An Ingleside Community

An Ingleside Community

3050 Military Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015 202-470-3413 | www.ircdc.org

701 King Farm Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850 240-380-2678 | www.ikfmd.org

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 13


Living an ‘American nightmare’ Blade contributor endures horrific conditions in ICE custody in Louisiana By YARIEL VALDES GONZALEZ

YARIEL VALDÉS GONZÁLEZ is a Washington Blade contributor who has asked for asylum in the U.S. and is being detained in inhumane conditions in Louisiana. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers

Editor’s note: Yariel Valdés González is a Washington Blade contributor who has asked for asylum in the U.S. Valdés has previously described the conditions at the Bossier Parish Medium Security Facility in Plain Dealing, La., where he remains in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as a human rights violation. An ICE spokesperson in response to Valdés’ previous allegations said the agency “is committed to upholding an immigration detention system that prioritizes the health, safety, and welfare of all of those in our care in custody, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals.” The Blade received Valdés’ piece below on June 29. PLAIN DEALING, La. — The American dream to live in absolute freedom — safe from the threats, persecution, violence, psychological torture and even death the Cuban dictatorship has imposed on me because of my journalistic work — fell apart in my hands as soon as I arrived in Louisiana. The Cubans here who are also seeking protection from the U.S. government welcomed me to the Bossier Parish Medium Security Facility with an ironic surprise. They opened their arms and told me, “Welcome to hell!” I could hardly believe they have spent nine, 10 and even 11 months asking, waiting for a positive response from immigration authorities in their cases. I was under the illusion that after an asylum official who interviewed me at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Center

in Tutwiler, Miss., on March 28 determined I had a “credible fear of persecution or torture” in Cuba, one hearing with an immigration judge would be enough to obtain my conditional release and pursue my case in freedom as U.S. law allows. But I was wrong. The locals (here at Bossier) once again took it upon themselves to dash my hopes. “Nobody comes out of Louisiana!” they proclaimed. It only took a few minutes for my dream, like that of many others, to turn into a nightmare. The more than 30 migrants who arrived in Louisiana on the afternoon of May 3, coming from Mississippi after more than a month detained at Tallahatchie, were plunged into a deep depression that continues today. Only the tears under the blanket that nobody can see are able to ease my desperation for a few minutes and then I once again feel it in my chest when I think of my family in Cuba who continues to receive threats of jail and death from the Cuban dictatorship because of my work with “media outlets of the enemy.” This reality is the only thing that awaits me back there. I therefore see the situation in Louisiana and I am once again afraid. I cannot see an exit. Prisoner here, prisoner if I return to Cuba. I feel trapped. I realized a few days after I arrived in Louisiana the subjectivity of who makes the decisions matters, not objectivity or attachment to those who are being held. Louisiana feels like a lost piece of “gringo” geography at which nobody seems to look, or to the contrary, it is a coldly calculated strategy that triumphs on authoritarianism, abuse of power or intransigence. I don’t know what to think. More than a few who have arrived here have come to the conclusion the U.S. has made migrants its new business. Keeping migrants in their custody for so long keeps hundreds of employees and lawyers in business, as well as generating huge profits for the prisons with which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts. It has become clear the government prefers to waste more than $60 a day per migrant than set us free under our own recognizance. “Louisiana is an anti-immigrant state,” Arnaldo Hernández Cobas, a 55-year-old Cuban man whose asylum process has taken 11 months, tells me. “It is not possible for any of the thousands of people who go through the process to leave victorious.” Hernández tells me ICE agents have not met with him once during his confinement and the deportation officer has never seen him. “I don’t know if I am allowed to have bail,” he says. “Judge Grady A. Crooks affirms that we do not qualify for this and

he does not give it to those who qualify for it because they can flee. This only happens in this state because migrants in other places are released and can pursue their cases on the outside after they make bail.” Another way to obtain conditional freedom is through parole, a benefit the federal government offers to asylum petitioners who enter the country legally and are found to have a credible fear of suffering, facing persecution or being tortured in their countries of origin. “To grant it, ICE asks for a series of questions that relatives should send to them, but what is happening is that they don’t give them enough time to do so,” says Arnaldo. This is exactly what happened with me. My family managed to send the documents the next day for my parole interview, which was scheduled for the following day. ICE nevertheless denied me parole because I did not prove “that I am not a danger to society.” I am sure they didn’t even take my case seriously. There are stories that border on the absurd because many migrants have received their parole hearing notifications the same day they should have filed their documents. One therefore feels as though ICE mocks you to your face and your feelings of helplessness reach the max. The awarding of parole is a new procedure ICE must complete, but it does not go beyond that. They use this and other crafty strategies to “stay good” in the eyes of the law and they therefore keep asylum seekers in custody for months. They bring them to hearings they will not win, pushing for the deportation of those who do not succumb to the pressure of confinement without properly assessing the risk to their lives that returning to their native countries would entail. ICE is required to free us a few days after it grants parole, and we already know it doesn’t want to do this. Their goal is to keep us locked up at all costs. “The cruel irony is that the majority of asylum seekers who follow the law and present themselves at official ports of entry don’t have to ask an immigration judge for their release from custody,” declared Laura Rivera, a lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that provides legal assistance to immigrants, in an article titled, “Stuck in ‘hell’: Cuban asylum seekers wither away in Louisiana immigration prisons.” “To the contrary, their only avenue to secure their freedom is to ask the same agency that detains them, the Department of Homeland Security.” But DHS — as Rivera details in the article published by the Southern Poverty Law Center — is ignoring its mandate to

14 • WA S HI N GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • N AT IO N AL N EWS

consider requests for release in detail. And to the contrary it denies conditional release without justification. “Men are kept hidden from the outside world, locked up and punished for defending their rights and are forced to bring their cases before immigration judges who deny them with rates of up to 100 percent,” affirmed Rivera. Another of the process violations in Arnaldo’s case was he was assured where he was first detained that he could win his case along with that of his wife, “but when he came” to Louisiana the judge “told me this was not allowed, that each case is different.” Arnaldo’s life cannot be different from that of his wife because they have been together for 37 years. His wife has been free for nine months, but he remains behind bars. And so, it happens with mothers and sons, brothers and people who have identical cases. Once again, subjectivity determines a person’s fate. During his hearing with Crooks, Arnaldo declared he feels “very uncomfortable” because he considers him an extremist. “He said that he only recognizes extreme cases,” says Arnaldo. “Doors mean nothing to him. He describes himself as a deportation judge, not an asylum judge. In the entire time that I have been here nobody has won asylum, not even bail, only deportations.” Conclusive proof of the judge’s extremism came one day when another judge ran the hearings and the migrants who presented their cases that morning received asylum. The example could not have been more illustrative. Douglas Puche Moxeno, a 23-yearold Venezuelan man who has spent nine months in Louisiana, also said the detainees “did not receive more information on how the process should be followed and how one should do it.” “I don’t know if they explained to us the ways to obtain a conditional release,” he says. In relation to their hearings, Douglas says, “the judge told me that he knew the real situation in Venezuela, but he did not grant me asylum because I am not an extreme case. He is waiting for someone to come to the United States without an arm or a leg to be accepted.” The migrants in Louisiana are trying every way possible to be released. They have made these complaints on television stations and have even gone to Cuban American U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “We have reached the point of filing a lawsuit against ICE,” Douglas explains. “A team of lawyers from the Southern Poverty Law Center have proposed a lawsuit seeking a reconsideration of parole. This is one of the most hopeful ways that we have to obtain freedom. If we are successful, the benefits will be for everyone.” “Various protests to pressure authorities and to reclaim our rights as immigrants have been organized,” says Douglas. “Relatives, lawyers and various institutions have come together in Miami, Washington and even here in Louisiana to make ICE aware of the injustices that have been committed against us for more than a year.”

‘This is not your country’

Bossier is a jail deep in Louisiana, hidden in the woods that surround it. Each day inside of it is a constant struggle for survival that takes a huge toll on my physical, psychological and above all emotional capacities. More than 300 migrants live in four dorms in cramped conditions with intense cold and zero privacy. My stay here reminds me of the school dorms in Cuba where we were forced to share smells, tastes and basic needs. Here we also share Hindu, African, Chinese, Nepali, Syrian and Central American migrants’ beliefs, cultures and ways of life. My personal space is reduced to a narrow metal bed that is bolted to the floor, a drawer for my things and a thin mattress that barely manages to keep my spine separated from the metal, which sometimes causes back pain. The most painful thing, however, is the way the officers treat us. For “better or for worse,” you feel as though you are a federal prisoner. “According to ICE, we are ‘detainees,’ not prisoners, but we have still suffered physical and psychological abuses,” says Arnaldo. “I remember one time when an official dragged a Salvadoran man to the hole for three days simply for eating in his bed. They don’t offer anything to us and they don’t talk to us, they yell. They wake you up by kicking the bed.” “The slightest pretext is used to disconnect the microwave, the television or deny us ice, affirming this is a luxury and not a necessity,” alleges Arnaldo. “When we complain about these situations. They tell us, ‘This is not your country.’” Smiles are not common inside the dorm. The faces of affliction and sadness predominate. Good news is almost always false and the frustration and stress this confinement causes us therefore returns. “I feel very sad, afflicted here, as though I had killed someone because of the mistreatment that we receive, the place’s conditions,” declares Damián Álvarez Arteaga, a 31-year-old man who has spent 11 months as a prisoner in the U.S. “Freedom is the most precious thing a human being has,” he adds. “I hope that I will receive a positive response to my case after spending so much time detained. We have demonstrated to the U.S. that we are truly afraid of suffering persecution or torture in Cuba.” Hours in here seem to have no end: They stretch, they multiply, but they never shorten or pass quickly. Our only contact with the outside the world are telephone communications or video calls (at elevated prices) with relatives, friends or lawyers and sporadic trips to the patio to greet the sun and take fresh air. “In all of the time that I have been here, I have seen the sun a few times and only for 15 minutes and this is because we have complained,” recalls Arnaldo. The yard, as we also call it, is a small rectangle of fences and surveillance cameras with a cement surface at the center of it where some of us play soccer when they give us a ball. I roll the pants of my yellow uniform up to my knees to


Washington Blade International News Editor MICHAEL K. LAVERS (left) with YARIEL VALDÉS GONZÁLEZ on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 25, 2019. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers

allow the sun to warm my extremities a bit while my eyes wander towards the lush forest that is a few meters away from me. I admire the sky, the few vehicles that are driving on the nearby highway and I take deep breaths of oxygen because I know I had just come out of the deep sea and desperately needed air to keep me alive. “Everyday is the same here from the same food to the same activities,” says Douglas. “This prison does not have sufficient spaces to accommodate so many people for so long. We don’t have a library or family visits.”

Soup is currency My day at Bossier begins a bit before 5 a.m. With the call to “line-up,” I receive a plastic tray with my breakfast. Today is cereal day, low-fat milk, bread and a small portion of jelly. The menu is the same each day of the week. I always save part of it because there is nothing more to eat until midday. “The food is not correct,” opines Damián. “My stomach is already used to that small portion. A piece of bread with hot sauce and some vegetables or mortadella cannot sustain an adult man, nor can it keep you in shape to resist such a stressful process.” The last meal of the day is at 4 p.m., and because of this it is a fantasy to be in bed at 11 p.m. with a full stomach. I reduce the hunger pains with an instant soup to which I add some carrots and a hot dog that I steel for myself from the day’s meals. Since I still have some money, I can buy soups and extra things to make Bossier’s bad food a little better. Bossier classifies those who don’t receive economic support from their families as “indigent” and they are forced to clean up for their fellow detainees in exchange for a Maruchan soup. Here soup is currency. Everything begins and ends with it, the savior of hungry nights. “You can buy these and other things at elevated prices in the commissary, the only store to which we have access and for which we depend on everything,” says Damián. Bossier’s medical services on the other

hand are so basic that there is not even a doctor or nurse on call, nor is there an observation room for patients and consultations only take place from Monday to Friday. “One who gets sick is put in punishment cells, isolated and alone, which psychologically affects us,” notes Arnaldo. “People sometimes don’t say they don’t feel well because they are afraid they will be sent to the ‘well.’ In extreme cases they bring you to a hospital with your feet, hands and waist shackled and they keep you tied to the bed, still under guard. I prefer to suffer before being hospitalized like that.” Yuni Pérez López, a 33-year-old Cuban, experienced this unfortunate situation first hand. He was on the hole for six days because he had a fever. “I felt as though I was being punished for being sick,” he says. “And even when the doctor discharged me, they kept me there. It was like being in an icebox: Four walls, a bed, a toilet and a light that never turns off. To leave from there I had to stop eating for an entire day to get the officials’ attention and they returned me to the dormitory.” Bossier also leaves you chilled to the bone because we cannot use blankets or sheets to cover ourselves from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is not a question of aesthetic or discipline because the officials are not interested in whether your bed is made well. The only thing that bothers them is when we are cover ourselves from the dorm’s intense cold. The migrants interviewed by the Blade are those who have been at Bossier the longest. They are all appealing Crooks’ decision not to grant them political asylum. I have not presented my case yet, so I am still a little hopeful that I will receive the protection of the U.S. Like them, I am trying to get used to this harsh reality and be strong, although most of the time sadness consumes me and erases positive thoughts. The U.S. to me — like for many — does not represent a comfortable life, the newest car or McDonald’s. None of this will ever be able to fill the void of my family, friends or passionate love that I left behind. The U.S. represents the opportunity to LIVE, so I will hold on to it until the end.

Plan Your Party! Situated in stunning Dupont Circle, The Rooftop at Lauriol Plaza is the perfect place to host your next party or event. We offer special dining options for large parties and private groups. This unique space features its own bar and can accommodate up to 80 for lunch or dinner and up to 120 for a cocktail party. Let us make your next event as memorable as it deserves to be.

Ideal for:

• Corporate Events • Private Receptions • Wedding Rehearsals • Class Reunions • Birthday parties and more


1835 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 | www.lauriolplaza.com 1 6 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

Cannabis Culture legislative priorities and provide Congress with a roadmap for ending America’s ongoing policy of cannabis criminalization. Commenting on the hearing, NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said: “For the first time in a generation, members of Congress engaged in a candid conversation that acknowledged the failures of marijuana prohibition in the United States, how this policy has adversely impacted tens of millions of Americans, and how it must be reformed at the federal level.” He added: “The ongoing classification under federal law of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance – a categorization that treats it in the same manner as heroin – is intellectually dishonest and has been scientifically debunked. It is high time that Congress address this Flat Earth policy and move forward with a plan that appropriately reflects marijuana’s rapidly changing cultural status in America.”

Cannabis use associated with lower risk of liver disease Baltimore State’s Attorney MARILYN MOSBY was among the public officials who testified last week.

Congress hears testimony on ending fed’l marijuana ban Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security heard expert testimony last week challenging the federal government’s policy of cannabis prohibition. The hearing, entitled “Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform,” debated the merits of various alternative policy options – including abolishing cannabis’ longstanding Schedule I criminal status under federal law. The hearing marked the first time in decades that members have entertained debate regarding the need to end the federal criminalization of cannabis and to de-schedule the plant from the Controlled Substances Act. Archived video of the proceedings is online. Witnesses testifying at yesterday’s hearing were Dr. David Nathan of the group Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Marilyn Mosby, State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Dr. G. Malik Burnett (formerly of the Drug Policy Alliance), and Neal Levine, Chief Executive Officer of the Cannabis Trade Federation. Their written testimony is available online. Members of Congress in attendance at the hearing included: Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Ben Cline (R-VA), Stephen Cohen (D-TN), Doug Collins (R-GA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Sheila JacksonLee (D-TX), Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), and Greg Stube (R-FL). Several members, including Reps. Cohen and Lieu, concurred with witnesses’ testimony that Congress should completely remove the cannabis plant from the federal Controlled Substances Act. A coalition of social advocacy groups – including NORML, the ACLU, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, The Immigrants Legal Resource Center, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Center for American Progress – released a joint Statement of Principles to coincide with the hearing. The Principles, which were entered into the record, highlight H E A LT H • JU LY 1 9, 2019 • WA SHINGTONBLA D E . COM • 17

SANTANDER, Spain — Subjects with a history of cannabis use are less likely than abstainers to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to longitudinal data published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. A team of Spanish investigators assessed the relationship between cannabis use and liver steatosis over a three-year period. They determined that those subjects “who reported continuing cannabis use were at lower risk for developing NAFLD.” They concluded: “Our results suggest that using cannabis could have a protective effect on liver steatosis. The beneficial effect of cannabis at the level of the development of steatosis seems to be secondary to its modulation effect on weight gain and the reduced development of obesity. ... These results are in line with previous studies in the general population, in which cannabis showed significantly lower NAFLD prevalence compared to non-users.”

Delaware to expand expungement eligibility DOVER, Del — Democratic Gov. John Carney has signed legislation into law permitting those with a broad range of nonviolent misdemeanors to petition the state to have their criminal records expunged. Senate Bill 37, which takes effect on December 27, 2019, permits those with criminal records for certain nonviolent misdemeanor offenses to petition the State Bureau of Identification to have their history either sealed or expunged. The stated intent of the new law is to “protect persons from [the] unwarranted damage which may occur when the existence of a criminal history continues indefinitely.” Separate legislation signed into law last year already provides “mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession [of one ounce or less], use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses.” State lawmakers in 2015 enacted legislation reducing the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis from a criminal act to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only – no arrest, and no criminal record. Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. For more information, visit norml.org.


Applications are currently being accepted for FY 2020 project-based grants for individuals and organizations For more information on available grant programs, including technical assistance workshops for applicants, contact us at www.dcarts.dc.gov | 202-724-5613

Straights up, gays down in new HIV Israeli numbers

Meanwhile, another potential vaccine began tests in 2017 on about 2,600 African women. Health officials believe having both trials, held in different parts of the world and on different demographics, can lead to quicker approvals for public use should they demonstrate success, the Advocate reports.

TEL AVIV — HIV-infection rates are up slightly in Israel overall but down among gay men, Haaretz reports. It’s a trend also seen in the latest numbers from Australia. According to a report by United Nations agency UNAIDS, more than half of all new HIV infections in 2018 were among sex workers, drug users, men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners and the sexual partners of these groups, Haaretz reports. In Israel, 431 people, including six babies, were diagnosed in 2018, according to a report by the Health Ministry released on Tuesday. This follows the resurgence of cases in 2017, when 405 new HIV carriers were diagnosed after four years of decline between 2012-2016, Haaretz reports. In 2018, there was a substantial increase of cases among women — 142 compared with 115 in the previous year. The number of infected straight people also increased significantly — 136 cases this year compared to 87, while the rate of infection among gay men declined, Haaretz reports. The report notes the increase in the number of diagnosed cases is correlated to continued immigration from Eastern Europe with 38 percent of new patients coming from the former Soviet. The overrepresentation of this specific group might be due to testing becoming more available for populations at risk, rather than an actual increase in infections. Medical sources underlined that obligatory HIV tests prior to the prescription of Hepatitis C has helped detect new cases, Haaretz reports.

States diverge on trans coverage

Thousands enrolled in HIV vaccine trial NEW YORK — Trials on a potential HIV vaccine will begin later this year in the United States and Europe, according to a Bloomberg interview with Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Advocate reports. Johnson & Johnson is leading the immunization effort, where approximately 3,800 men who have sex with men will be administered six shots over four sessions. The potential vaccine aims to target multiple strains of HIV, which mutates quickly in the human body. Johnson & Johnson’s potential vaccine has proven effective in about twothirds of animals. No harm was found in humans who’ve already been administered the drug, the Advocate reports.

PHILADELPHIA — States are diverging on whether to provide gender reassignment services, such as hormone treatments and surgery, under their Medicaid programs, the Pew Charitable Trusts reports. Iowa recently enacted a law denying coverage for transition services, and Medicaid policies in eight states exclude sexual reassignment treatment, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit based in Colorado. Officials from two of the eight states, Ohio and Wyoming, when contacted by Stateline, said that their policies no longer exclude those services. Twelve states also specifically exclude transition-related services from health benefits for state employees, Pew reports. On the other hand, Maine announced last month that it would begin covering transition services under Medicaid, and judges in Wisconsin, Minnesota and California recently ruled that health care providers in those states can’t discriminate based on gender identity. Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C., have specific prohibitions against discriminating in health care on the basis of gender identity, Pew reports. LGBT advocates say the new restrictions stem from prejudice, not medical science. “It’s nothing but politically driven animus,” said Sasha Buchert, a senior attorney with the gay rights organization Lambda Legal. She cited the American Medical Association and many other professional medical organizations that have backed public and private health insurance coverage for the treatment of gender dysphoria as recommended by a patient’s physician, Pew reports. Religious conservatives, including the Family Research Council, staunchly oppose the coverage. “We would oppose including gender identity as a protected category in any anti-discrimination codes,” said Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy, according to the Pew article. In May, the Trump administration issued regulations beefing up protections for medical providers who refuse to give care for religious reasons. A month later, the administration proposed to overturn an Obama-era policy prohibiting discrimination by gender identity under the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration is now seeking to remove those protections, Pew reports.

18 • WA S HI N GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • H EALT H N EWS

You don’t need A/C to chill Save Money on Peak Savings Days This summer, you can relax and save money by saving energy. On Pepco’s Peak Savings Days, the less energy you use the more money you could save on your bill. Learn more at pepco.com/peak © Pepco, 2019

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 19

Keep your promise to protect each other.

Wills & Trusts Powers of Attorney • Living Wills Partnership & Prenuptial Agreements

(240) 778-2330 • (703) 536-0220 www.PartnerPlanning.com

Serving the LGBT Community in DC/MD/VA since 1983 Lawrence S. Jacobs/McMillan Metro, PC 2 0 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9


is a regular contributor to the Blade and winner of the 2014 Stonewall Chapbook competition.


is president of the Log Cabin Republicans of the District of Columbia.

VI E WPO I NT • JU LY 19, 2019 • WA SHINGTONB L A DE . COM • 21


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


is a long-time entrepreneur and community business advocate. Follow on Twitter: @ MarkLeeDC. Reach him at OurBusinessMatters@gmail.com.


is a regular contributor to the Blade and winner of the 2014 Stonewall Chapbook competition.

Remembering AIDS activist and art critic Douglas Crimp


A polymath in cultural, intellectual and pleasurable pursuits

Now Thru September 7 Only Opera House

Best Availability Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday evenings Kennedy-Center.org (202) 467-4600 Theater at the Kennedy Center is made possible by

Major support for Musical Theater at the Kennedy Center is provided by

Groups call (202) 416-8400 For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540 Kennedy Center Theater Season Sponsor

“The formal word precise but not pedantic/The complete consort dancing together/Every phrase and sentence is an end and a beginning,” T.S. Eliot wrote in “Four Quartets.” I’ve been thinking of Eliot’s words on writing since I learned that scholar, curator, author, editor, AIDS activist and cultural and art critic Douglas Crimp died at age 74 at his Manhattan home. He had multiple myeloma. I hadn’t heard of Crimp until after his death. Now, how I wish I could have known him! A polymath in cultural, intellectual and pleasurable pursuits, he’d never have been boring. Crimp not only wrote dance criticism, he danced in discos and cruised in bars. His well-regarded art criticism was published in ARTnews and Art International. Crimp taught at the School of Visual Arts and was a curatorial assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Yet, he regularly attended meetings of the AIDS activist group ACT UP. In the 1980s, he disrupted the mainstream art world (which viewed itself as being apolitical) with his insistence that art had to engage with AIDS and the queer community. Crimp started to study poetry near the end of his life, his friends told The New York Times. “What was very remarkable for all of us who have taken care of Douglas in the years of his illness was his opening to new things,” art historian Rosalyn Deutsche told the Times. “In a way, it was as though as his body was dying, his spirit or his heart was opening and growing.” Crimp, born in 1944, grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. “It was very difficult, growing up in the ‘50s in Idaho, being gay, being a sissy, I guess,” he told writer Sarah Schulman, who interviewed him for the ACT UP Oral History Project. “It was jock culture; it was incredibly conformist culture.” He found gay culture and queer friends when he became a student at Tulane University in New Orleans. Crimp fell in love with the city and gay life. “I went to Greek

sailor bars, with other friends and faculty members and assorted drag queens and prostitutes and sailors,” he said in the Oral History Project interview, “...I was able to be out to the group of people that I knew in college, that I was friends with.” Why am I so drawn to Crimp? Because he championed new art forms (such as “Choreomania,” Joan Jonas’ performance art piece), advocated for queer art, and challenged institutional conventions and indifference to social justice. Throughout his career, Crimp opposed the idea that the art world – art and museums – existed in a vacuum, unconnected to its social, political, cultural or historical context. In 1977, he curated an exhibit called “Pictures” on the connections between art and culture. In 1987, he edited a seminal issue of the art magazine “October” on “AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism.” It was radically different from the usual art criticism of the time. The issue with its glossary of AIDS terms and stories of people with HIV was a wake-up call to the art world. “I wanted to talk about all of the issues of culture and representation that were raised by AIDS,” Crimp told Schulman. Art is activism by its alternative purpose and nature, Grace Cavalieri, Maryland’s Poet Laureate, emailed the Blade. But, she said, “Activism is not solo. It’s making the path wider by … bringing others along. Only then do we have heft.” Though committed to activism, Crimp was, he told Schulman, “temperamentally just so put off” by moral and political certainty. Crimp called out the homophobia of those who, he felt, claimed that the promiscuity of gay men caused AIDS. In the Trump era with its anti-LGBTQ agenda, the connection between art and activism is vital. As artists and activists, let’s honor Crimp by being open to new ideas, challenging conventional wisdom and being wary of moral certainty. R.I.P., Douglas Crimp.

22 • WA S HI N GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • V IEWP O IN T



is president of the Log Cabin Republicans of the District of Columbia.

Trump supporters are gay, trans, urban — and tired of being insulted Last week, Blade contributor Peter Rosenstein asked, “Why aren’t more Trump supporters embarrassed by him?” Rosenstein then proceeded to explicitly endorse Hillary Clinton’s 2016 “deplorables” slur, called the president a “disgusting pig,” and opined that “many of his supporters are as racist, sexist and homophobic as he is.” He expressed astonishment that some Trump supporters are in fact intelligent and well traveled, and judged these as “despicable” and “not rational” even if they don’t fit easily into the “deplorable” basket. Like many Trump critics, Rosenstein suffers from a “chicken and egg” misconception. The people who voted for Trump were used to being belittled and slurred as racists, homophobes, Islamophobes, etc., for decades. The difference is that now we have a loud voice providing a counterpoint to these ad-hominem attacks. I don’t think many Trump voters would argue that he is morally perfect, but he provides breathing space for conversations and debates about policy questions that have long been put off limits by the media and the establishments of both parties. The author can’t help but invoke the left’s moral panic of the moment when he says Trump is “OK with letting asylum seekers live in squalid detention camps” and “separating children from parents and putting children in cages.” Before assigning malicious motives, it might be more productive to take a breath and ask rational questions about an incredibly complex situation. Mass human migration is challenging political structures across the world, and all of the policy options are difficult. Many of the inflammatory photos used to attack President Trump on this issue were actually taken during the Obama administration. Why would a progressive president of color allow such a thing? Because we have hundreds of thousands people walking over the border who we have no knowledge of and not enough resources to care for. Many bring children. How do we know these anonymous adults are actually the parents of the children? Furthermore, we need to house these people somewhere until we figure out who they are and process their asylum claims. The law says we cannot detain children with adults, so the children are being kept in separate facilities. The Democrats complain that the facilities are substandard. Obviously to be improved they must be properly funded, but the left is resistant to this also.

It’s in the context of the border crisis that some Democrats may be receiving a wake-up call about gratuitous overuse of the “racist” slur. Freshman congresswoman and Democratic thought-leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has repulsively referred to our border facilities as “concentration camps,” recently bristled at the passage of a border-funding bill (partially meant to improve detention facilities) with near-unanimous Democratic support. She even implied that her own caucus leader and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a racist. Speaking of AOC, in an interview earlier this year she said, “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” Though I disagree vehemently with AOC’s views and methods, this quote taken out of context is an apt description of the feelings of many Trump voters. Trump may be an imperfect messenger, he may boast and brag and exaggerate, but at the core he understands our concerns and is willing to fight for them, and we are pleased with the general thrust of his policies. Just like any winning national political coalition, we are highly diverse. Some of us are blue-collar, small town, and more easily discarded in the “deplorable” basket. Some of us are sophisticated professionals with nuanced opinions about a complicated set of policy questions. Many of us are gay, lesbian, trans and urban. We are complex individuals and independent thinkers and we come in all shapes and sizes. We are also done with being bullied and marginalized, and if you value free thought and speech, you should join us in opposing the kind of political intimidation that led to the necessity of Trump-style populism in the first place. If a liberal San Francisco Democrat like Nancy Pelosi can be framed as a deplorable, so can you. Rosenstein answered his own question in the form of last week’s column. Many LGBT Republicans had serious misgivings about Trump in 2016, and some still do. What I can tell you for sure is that many more gays in the DMV support him today because of the relentlessly hostile and unfair treatment he’s received in the media from day one. We do not have the luxury to be more embarrassed by President Trump because the endless, unoriginal and gratuitous attack pieces against him (and us) like yours won’t allow us to be.

VI E WPO I NT • JU LY 19, 2019 • WA SHINGTONB L A DE . COM • 23

一䄀䬀䔀䐀 夀伀䜀䄀 䴀漀渀搀愀礀猀 ☀ 眀攀搀渀攀猀搀愀礀猀

㘀㨀㌀ 倀䴀

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

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

㄀㌀㈀㄀ ㄀㐀琀栀 猀琀 一圀

Family Building through: • Adoption • Donor Agreements • Surrogacy


827 Woodside Parkway • Silver Spring, MD 20910 p: 240.863.2441 • f: 240.491.9551 jfairfax@jenniferfairfax.com • www.jenniferfairfax



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.

AOC and Pelosi — youth vs. age and knowledge Freshmen members should focus on party unity, stop infighting Reading about the estrangement of the four new congressional members and Nancy Pelosi it is too easy to attribute it to a difference in age; but it’s more. Yes, Pelosi is nearly 80, but there is more than age creating the sturm and drang. In fact there is a wide disparity in the backgrounds of the four with AOC being the only one who is brand new to politics. Remember she won her primary with fewer than 16,000 votes; that’s not how much she won by but rather how many votes she got. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is 29 and new to politics; Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is 42 and spent 10 years in the Michigan House of Representatives; Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is 37 and spent less than a year in the Minnesota state legislature before running for Congress but has a lot of political experience; and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) is 45 and has worked in politics. In 2009, Pressley served as United States Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) political director, responsible for managing his relationships with elected officials at the city, state and federal level and with various community leaders and then spent eight years on the Boston City Council. So they are all younger than Pelosi but they come to Congress with differing backgrounds and representing differing constituencies. Some are Democrats and some are members of the Democratic Socialists of America. The four freshwomen must have one overriding goal and that is to get themselves reelected. Yes, they have a host of ideas and things they want to do but if they don’t win in 2020 and beyond they won’t be able to get anything done despite having millions of Twitter followers. Getting themselves reelected should be easy as Pelosi put it not so politely when chatting about AOC “suggesting that a glass of water running as a Democrat could win in Districts as liberal as theirs.” But you must never take things for granted, which is why AOC got elected. Former Rep. Joe Crowley forgot the main rule of politics as spoken by the venerable Speaker Tip O’Neill, “All politics is local.” So getting reelected must be their first goal while

Pelosi has much more to accomplish than getting liberal Democrats elected. Pelosi herself comes from a safe liberal District in San Francisco. She is trying to ensure Democrats keep the House of Representatives, which means getting all those other Democrats who are not in safe districts reelected. Those are the Democrats who make the difference as to whether Democrats keep the majority and give the four liberals any chance at all of moving their agendas forward. So 2020 is the time to focus on the agenda Pelosi has of keeping a Democratic majority in the House and not on the agenda of those four new members of Congress. Those four members are all smart. They must realize if we elect a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president they have a better shot at advancing their ideas. They can read the numbers as well as Pelosi. They understand where the people are and that they and others with their views couldn’t get elected today in the majority of Districts in the nation. They are smart enough to understand while their seats are safe Pelosi is trying to help elect more new members and reelect those like Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania and Amy Spanberger in Virginia who have real fights on their hands. In addition, Pelosi is working to have her caucus pass legislation giving the Democratic candidate who wins the nomination something to run on besides promises. So I would urge those four liberals who are fighting with Pelosi to take a look at the bigger picture at least until November 2020. Doing what AOC is doing and inferring Pelosi is a racist and then having to backtrack is insane. Letting her Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti free on Twitter seeming to speak for her and comparing today’s moderate Democrats to segregationists shows a total lack of ability to control her office and staff or something more insidious if she agrees with what he is saying. The very liberal freshwomen should hold their fire and get themselves reelected. If they do and Democrats keep the House and get a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president they will have time and maybe even a chance to move their agendas forward.

D.C. statehood, LGBT polls shock

Young adult LGBT affinity and national backing for District statehood are worsening

Two national polls producing headlines in recent days startled many. The data, indicating a huge drop in LGBT affinity among non-gay Americans under 35 and scant support nationwide for D.C. statehood, should not surprise. The reasons, however, are distinctly divergent. Released this week, a first-ever national Gallup survey asking whether D.C. should become a state indicated that the city’s quixotic quest is opposed by nearly twothirds of the country. Americans oppose statehood for the District by a margin of 64 percent to only 29 percent in favor. These results track with prior polls conducted over past decades, all showing weak support for a notion that isn’t growing. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, independents, liberals, moderates, and conservatives all reject the proposal. Much more than half of every demographic category – whether sliced-and-diced in major subgroups by gender, race, age, education, or political ideology – say no. Only 38 percent of residents in the northeast portion of the country stretching as far south as the District itself, arguably most familiar with the idea, back statehood. The rest of the nation weighs it at only onequarter endorsing. In fact, support for D.C. statehood has actually declined in recent years, despite a renewed effort by advocates to promote the idea across the country and now funded with city tax dollars. A Yankelovich national poll conducted in 1992 found that a smaller 57 percent opposed statehood, similar to a 1989 Washington Post poll showing only 52 percent opposed. For residents among the supermajority of locals hoping for statehood, the startling level of opposition elsewhere proved disheartening. Yet, truth be told, it is those who’ve lived here a while who often are the most circumspect about the deepening failure of advocacy groups and dim prospects to advance statehood. Only the most sanguine remain confident that a decades-long aspiration to add another star to the national flag is achievable. All good arguments aside, the

issue is now bluntly viewed through the starkly partisan lens of a highly polarized era and almost certain addition of two Democratic U.S. Senators and single House seat. Hate it or not, hope isn’t high that the city will become a state. Troubling for the LGBT community was GLAAD’s fifth annual “Accelerating Acceptance” national survey conducted by marketing research firm The Harris Poll. Released late last month only days ahead of the Stonewall 50th anniversary and WorldPride events in New York City, the notable finding was a substantial drop in Millennial and Gen-Z affinity as “allies” of the LGBT community. This dual cohort, combined among those aged 18-34, demonstrated a whopping 18-point decline in LGBT “strong” alliance in the past two annual measures. Most startling among this youthful age group were both the 27-point drop among men during those two years, falling from 62 percent to a mere 35 percent, and the 12-point downward shift among women in only the past single year, plummeting from 64 percent to 52 percent. While small shifts within the attitudinal margin of error for this annual survey have previously been over-hyped by GLAAD to the group’s increasingly diminished credibility, this select and significant finding is, in fact, worrisome. The problem is that GLAAD lazily attributes this specific highest-category affinity reversal to causational claims that miss the mark. Blaming this dramatic shrinkage solely on a harsher political environment simply doesn’t cut it – especially for the age group historically most supportive of LGBT equality and in light of an overall 80 percent in general support for full equality among all straight Americans of all ages. There is clearly a reason for the sudden hefty dwindling in LGBT affinity among younger Americans. It might just be because we’re becoming a bunch of bullies ourselves, increasingly led by a radical bossy-queer far-left fringe from which the youngest adults are revolting in reaction. Whatever the real and actual cause, we’d better figure it out. Soon.

24 • WA S HIN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • V IEW P O IN T

Saving IT Surplus from landfills since 1989! DELL Latitude & HP EliteBook LAPTOPS From


HP Elitebook 8470p, Core i5, 8gb, 500gb, Win 10 Pro



WIN 7 Business Class Towers & Desktops

FREE GIFT! Bring this Ad to Receive a FREE Gift with the Purchase of Any Laptop or Computer Offer Expires 8-15-19

*Full Warranty Available on Website!

Alexandria Location Woman Owned Small Business 4926-D EISENHOWER AVE 22304


Thank You for supporting Local Small Businesses Hours:

Tues - Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-6pm



ISSUE DATE: 190719



REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties.

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 25



By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the washington blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, payment and insertion schedule.

The Kinsey Sicks from left are TRAMPOLINA (aka Spencer Brown), RACHEL (aka Ben Schatz), TRIXIE (aka Jeff Manabat) and WINNIE (aka Nathan Marken). Photo courtesy Kinsey Sicks

Rachel’s swan song

Kinsey Sicks founder bids farewell to touring By YULANI RODGERS

The Kinsey Sicks is celebrating 25 years of dragapella, performing their hit Off-Broadway show “Things You Shouldn’t Say” and “Naked Drag Queens Singing” until September at the Art House in Provincetown, Mass. The tour is bittersweet however as Benjamin Schatz, founder and chief writer for the group, will retire along with his character Rachel at the end of the month. The quartet was founded in 1993 when five friends went to a Bette Midler concert as the Andrews Sisters and were requested to sing. Their decline was short lived once they realized that they all had musical backgrounds. From then on, they’ve performed all around the country at some of the most prestigious venues such as Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, the Nordstrom Recital Hall in Seattle, the Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale, the Hobby Center in Houston, the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Schatz/ Rachel spoke with the Blade about her beginnings with the Kinsey Sicks, her love for the stage and her plans for retirement. WASHINGTON BLADE: How were you introduced to drag? BENJAMIN SCHATZ: I used to do drag in college but I always did it as a politically provocative thing. This was back in the ’70s so drag was pretty threatening back then. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s when I was an attorney and executive director at the peak of the age of terror in terms of discrimination and hatred, I used to organize drag excursions with my friends. Part of my job as an activist back then was to be a respectable homosexual and I wanted to remind myself that I wasn’t, in fact, respectable. BLADE: When you founded the Kinsey Sicks, how did the character of Rachel come about? Or has Rachel always been the name you used while doing drag? SCHATZ: Back in college my friends and I assigned each other drag names. I’d do it to anybody who was queer, male or female, and I’d give them a drag name. So my friends called me Rachel. The character of Rachel has evolved or devolved over time to be somewhat different from Ben I hope. It was just a name that people originally assigned to me and it stuck. BLADE: How has Rachel shaped or shifted the way the way you present yourself as Ben? SCHATZ: I often say that Rachel gives Ben a fighting chance of being socially appropriate because Rachel gets all of that out of Ben’s system. Rachel is an unboundaried mess. A delightful unboundaried mess and let’s just say Ben has a tendency to let Rachel do the work for him. Rachel has changed over time. One of the Kinsey Sicks moms said, “You should

2 6 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

make Rachel more vulnerable,” and I did. I started making her more vulnerable and more lovable. She’s a lovable unboundarly mess. I think Rachel represents for a lot of people their queerness, unboundaried, embarrassing self. But she does it with such utter cluelessness that you just can’t help but love her. There is nothing she won’t do or say. Although, as a writer, there are many directions we won’t have her go. People think that we’ll go anywhere but in fact, as a writer, we’re very careful about racism, gender stereotypes and sexism. We’re very careful about who’s the butt of our jokes. BLADE: Speaking of your writing, as I was looking at your repertoire of songs, I noticed the amount of creativity that goes into creating these and I think it’s amazing. So, how do you come up with these titles? SCHATZ: I appreciate your lack of taste and judgment. That’s a promising sign. So there’s three different types of writing goes on. About 60 percent of our songs are parodies and 40 percent are original songs. For parodies, that just happens when I hear something and all of a sudden the idea comes to mind. It’s very easy to write words to another tune. The challenge is to change as few words as possible, use the original lines and completely subvert the original intention. So once I get an idea for a parody, I spend a lot of time with the original rhyme scheme and thinking about making as few changes as possible and words I can change the intent and the meaning 100 percent. With original songs, that’s more of isolating myself. I’ll often say I’m taking this time on the side to write a song. I don’t really know where they come from. I have no idea. Then there’s the writing of the script, which is a whole other beast in itself. They utilize different skills and they’re all entirely different skills than the performance. So, I can’t write when we’re on the road. That’s sort of an extroverted energy while writing is very quiet, withdrawn and un-Rachel like. I hate writing. I love having written. You can have an office job and coast but if you’re writing you want to write the best you can and you never can write the best you can. There’s always something better you can do which can make it torture. BLADE: With you retiring from the show, how will that process change? SCHATZ: The great thing is that I still get to offend people all over the world without having to get dressed or leave my house. That’s what I’m really excited about. I love the performing. I’ve loved it as much as I ever have but, touring life after a couple dozen years, and it’s not like we’re Cher or Madonna with a glamorous entourage, we’re schlupping luggage upstairs at three in the morning. It loses its glamour after a couple dozen years when your body gets old. So, I have mixed feelings about retiring from touring but

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

The Kinsey Sicks girls on an ABC TV show two years ago. Photo courtesy Kinsey Sicks

my body does not. So, it’ll require more communication with the group because part of what we do now is we test it out on the road and we say, “Oh that didn’t get a laugh” or “that needs a different ending musically because it doesn’t have enough pop” and I won’t be there for that. There will also be times when the group will be performing where I am. It’s much easier to critique what’s going on on stage when you’re not actually on stage performing. I will really be thrilled to be able to write stuff and then be in the audience not trying to remember my lines, or my note, or my choreography. Just to see what’s going on and how the audience reacted. That’s something I’m really looking forward to. BLADE: Angel is the group’s newest member. How will the transition from Rachel to Angel affect the content of the show? SCHATZ: Well the show is a show I wrote and we started it off with me. Angel is taking over the spot. Rachel and I met with J.B. (McClendon), who plays Angel, and we got to know each other and I think I gave him some useful tips. We’ve had people replace other people in the past, not too often because we have a lot of longevity like Jeff (Trixie) who’s been with us for 16 years, so the others tell me great things. It takes awhile for people to sink to the level of performing with a group. So there’s a certain kind of observation that’s our own and I think that culture remains very strong. So the others are really excited about Angel’s performances and I think they have the tools to guide Angel to blossom over the years to come. BLADE: You all are currently performing


two shows: “Things You SHouldn’t Say” and “Naked Drag Queens Singing.” How will “Naked Drag Queens Singing” be different or similar to previous shows? SCHATZ: The show that they’re doing in Rohoboth (“Things You Shouldn’t Say”) was the first time we broke character in the show. It’s a really powerful show, on top of being hilarious, it’s also very heartbreaking. So the question was what do we do after that? So “Naked Drag Queens Singing” was another “let’s try this experiment and see if it works.” So, everybody breaks character and we kind of go seamlessly back and forth between character and not and talking with the audience. It’s a very exciting experiment and it’s been going fantastically so that really people get eight characters for the price of four. It’s a really interesting experiment because lots of drag performers are very tethered to their personas and I think a lot of people are interested to see what’s behind drag and the members of the Kinsey Sicks are very thoughtful. While we are a comedy group, there’s a lot of thought behind what we have to say and why we say it. It was another big risk and it turns out it was a successful one. BLADE: Let’s say under this current administration that the Kinsey Sicks were invited to perform at the White House. What would you all perform and what would you want to accomplish? SCHATZ: I would totally take the opportunity to perform. My personal goal would be to induce a heart attack. I think that would be a worthwhile goal. People like the current administration need to

be challenged. They shouldn’t have safe spaces. So I would perform at the White House. And I’ll tell you what; when we’re done with this conversation, I’ll sit by my phone waiting for the invitation. I would definitely come out of retirement for that. BLADE: What will you miss about performing? SCHATZ: Well, I’ll definitely miss picking on big guys and sitting on them. It tends not to work very well in civilian life. I love making people laugh, making people think (and) I love the uniqueness of us. There’s nothing like us. I never feel more alive then when I’m on stage and I never feel more dead then when I’m on the road waking up at 3 in the morning getting ready for the next gig. I’ll miss the incredible excitement and satisfaction. I love the feeling of constantly growing and I do a lot of improvisational humor so I’ll definitely miss that. But, the goal is to quit while you still love it and while people still love you.

CAMP Rehoboth Presents The Kinsey Sicks

‘Things You Shouldn’t Say’ Rehoboth Beach Convention Center 229 Rehoboth Ave. Rehoboth Beach, Del. $35-500 camprehoboth.com kinseysicks.com/calendar

QUEERY Desiree Dik (aka George Marius) Photo by Katherine Gaines; Courtesy of AmbientEye Photography

QUEERY: Desiree Dik (aka George Marius)

The ‘Oddball’ hostess answers 20 queer questions By JOEY DIGUGLIELMO JOEYD@WASHBLADE.COM

Desiree Dik has a funny take on the evolving D.C. drag scene. “Drag queens are like roaches,” the 26-year-old performer says. “Even when places close, we go and invade another place and try to keep the party going.” She’s quickly become one of the city’s most ubiquitous drag performers. She headlines Rooftop Disco on July 19 at Cambria Penthouse (899 O St., N.W.) at 9 p.m. (details at tfl.events/dc). She hostesses the drag show with Leronica Vegas, Nadia Cole, Cake and Bombalicious Eklaver on Saturday, July 20 at 9 p.m. at Red Bear Brewing Co. (209 M St., N.E.) and also the monthly show “Desiree Dik’s: Oddball” on Friday, July 26 at 11:30 p.m. at Slash Run (201 Upshur St., N.W.). “‘Oddball’ started by me wanting to have a show where anyone can come and explore their wild side,” Dik says. “I wanted to provide a show where everyone gets an opportunity to try drag and to step out of their box, which you can’t really do in a lot of places in D.C. A lot of people expect

drag to be wearing gowns and looking beautiful, but oddball is for the ones who like to let their spooky ooky out and push the limits of art.” George Marius was born in Falls Church, Va., but sent to Peru at 6 months old to be raised by his sister. He lived there until age 10, went back to live with parents in Falls Church and was kicked out at age 16 for being gay. He got into drag on his 17th birthday at Freddie’s Beach Bar and said it just “made sense because I was a gay theater kid.” He tried it again a year later at a Town competition and was hooked and says he’d do drag full time “if I could.” Marius works by day as an assistant teacher and lives with his fiance, Jon Pallis, in Columbia Heights with their dog, Leila. He enjoys sewing, crafting, cooking, video games, horror movies and hanging out with friends in his free time. Follow Dik on social media (Desireedik69 on Instagram) for upcoming performances.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I have been out since I was 15 or 16 years old. I guess the hardest person to tell was my sister, but she raised me, so she basically knew. On the other hand, my mom and dad found out I was gay when they saw me hanging out with some gay friends. They despised that I was gay, kicked me out and I ended up becoming homeless. Who’s your LGBTQ hero? I’m a big fan of cartoons and animation so my hero is Rebecca Sugar, creator of “Steven Universe,” a queer-friendly cartoon. What LGBTQ stereotype most annoys you? When people think drag queens are bottoms. What’s your proudest professional achievement? When I got my certification in ASL Interpretation. I am also proud of how far my drag career has come. I can’t wait to see where it goes! What terrifies you? Not having enough lube. What’s something trashy or vapid you love? I have a Twitter porn addiction.

What’s your greatest domestic skill? Cooking, sewing and getting shagged on a Sunday afternoon. What’s your favorite LGBTQ movie or show? “Golden Girls,” “Queer As Folk,” “Pose,” “Dragula,” “Steven Universe,” “To Wong Foo,” “Paris Is Burning” and the “Eating Out” movie series. What’s your social media pet peeve? When people reply with just an emoji. What would the end of the LGBTQ movement look like to you? I can’t predict the future, but I think we will always need a movement. No matter how much progress we make, there are still people trying to hold us back. That’s why we can’t give up and must keep moving forward by spreading kindness, love and acceptance. What’s the most overrated social custom? The overuse of the phrase “I love you” when you’re not even that close to that person. Like am I supposed to say it back? What was your religion, if any, as a child and what is it today? 666 What’s D.C.’s best hidden gem? My butthole.

2 8 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? When I proposed to my fiancée at a Lady Gaga concert, while she sang “Bad Romance.” That night she also performed “The Cure” live for the AMAs and won favorite female artist. What celebrity death hit you hardest? When Billy Mays died. He knew how to sell me a product and make me wet at the same time. If you could redo one moment from your past, what would it be? I think everything happens for a reason, so I wouldn’t really change anything. But if I REALLY had to, I would have started drag earlier and polished it right away. What are your obsessions? Cartoons, Kit Kats and what’s my last name? Oh yeah, DIK! Finish this sentence — It’s about damn time: People are opening their eyes to some spooky-ooky drag. What do you wish you’d known at 18? That you can create your own family and that living in fear will only hold you back. You don’t have to be afraid to be yourself. Expressing yourself through your creativity will free you. Why Washington? Uhhh, I don’t know. I just got stuck here. JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9


Counterclockwise from left : REBA McENTIRE plays Wolf Trap next weekend. Photo courtesy Wolf Trap; GERALD ALBRIGHT, AUBREY LOGAN, DAVE KOZ, KENY LATTIMORE and RICK BRAUN on the ‘Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns Tour.’ Photo by Antonio Dixon; and The Blade’s LOU CHIBBARO JR. will be on a Stonewall panel July 25. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Two trans events coming soon The D.C. Area Transmasculine Society will host a social mixer at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th St., N.W.) on Wednesday, July 31 from 6-9 p.m. Free food and drink will be provided. Free tickets are required. Attendance is open to transfemme, transmasculine, and AMAB/AFAB gender diverse identities. The goal of the event is to bring members of the community together to network and socialize, as well as learn about a new George Washington University Cancer Center study that aims to learn more about the types of cancer screenings currently being recommended by their doctors. For tickets and information, visit eventbrite.com. Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW) hosts its seventh annual

fundraiser and celebration Monday, July 29 from 6-9 p.m. at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.). LGBTQ friends and allies are invited to a casual evening of celebrating and fundraising to support the legal needs of transgender and gender nonconforming people. Suggested donation is $10 and general admission includes appetizers and dessert. All funds raised go directly to clients receiving name and gender change services in the region. Visit its Eventbrite page for tickets and information.

musician, Sunday, July 28 at 8 p.m. McEntire, a long-time LGBT ally, told Pride Source back in 2015 that she embraced both her fans and her spirituality: “God did not make us all the same. So, I just pray for an open mind and a loving heart.” McEntire is set to sing audience favorites such as “Rumor Has It” and “My Kind of Country.” Tickets start at $45 and gates open at 6:30. Only a few lawn seats remain. For tickets and information, visit wolftrap.org.

Reba to play Wolf Trap

Stonewall panel to feature local experts

Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va.) presents Reba McEntire, three-time Grammy winner, member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and top-selling country

An LGBT history panel discussion called “Commemorating the Stonewall Uprising, LGBTQ Activism in D.C.” will be held on Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m. at the Cleveland

Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave., N.W.). Participants will discuss how D.C. activism was affected by the Stonewall uprising that took place 50 years ago in New York City. Scheduled speakers include Lou Chibbaro, Jr., senior reporter for the Washington Blade; Eva Freund, former member of the Mattachine Society and National Organization for Women; Rick Rosendall, former president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance; and Otis Sutson, cofounder of the Best of Washington social club. The discussion is free and open to the public. Look for the event on Facebook for more information.

Koz brings ‘Summer Horns’ to MGM Dave Koz brings his “Dave Kox and Friends Summer Horns Tour” to

3 0 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

TODAY The 9:30 club (815 V St., N.W.) hosts the “Beyonce vs. Rihanna” summer dance party tonight starting at 9 p.m. In an artistfor-artist, track-for-track music showdown, DJ Mills will be dropping Beyonce tracks while Craig B will be spinning Rihanna tunes. Tickets start at $15 and are limited to six per customer. For tickets and information, visit ticketfly.com. The Chinatown Block Party “Words Beats & Life” continues tonight and every Friday from 5-8 p.m. through Aug. 9 in the Chinatown Park (I St. N.W.). Attendees can enjoy live performances while exploring a host of free activities including graffiti art, DJing, double dutch, mega chess, a dance workshop and more. The Chinatown Block Party is part of the Discover Chinatown Parks programming series supported jointly by the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District and the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. For more information, visit eventbrite.com.

Saturday, July 20

the Theater at MGM National Harbor (ADDRESS) on Thursday, July 25 at 8 p.m. The sax virtuoso and Grammy nominee will be joined by Gerald Albright (sax), Rick Braun (trumpet), Kenny Lattimore (vocals), Aubrey Logan (trombone/vocals) and Adam Hawley (guitar) on material from the 2013 album “Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns” and the 2018 album “Summer Horns II from A to Z,” both of which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard jazz chart. Koz, who’s openly gay, has charted 11 No. 1 albums over a 30-year career and been nominated for nine Grammys. Tickets range from $43-77 at ticketmaster.com.

The Kennedy Center (2700 F St. N.W.) presents “NSO Pops: Apollo 11: A 50th Anniversary – One Small Step, One Giant Leap” tonight starting at 9 p.m. In collaboration with NASA, the National Symphony Orchestra celebrates 50 years since the 1969 moon landing with a concert hosted by Meredith Vieira and Adam Savage. Emil de Cou conducts with performances and appearances by Pharrell Williams, LeVar Burton and more. The evening also includes a never-beforeseen video of David Bowie performing “Space Oddity” live on his 50th birthday. Tickets start at $29. Visit kennedy-center. org for more information. Red Bear Brewing Company (209 M St., N.E.) presents its Drag Show Extravaganza hosted by Desiree Dik tonight from 9 p.m. Performers include Leronica Vargas, Nadia Cole, CAKE and Bombalicious Eklaver. Desiree and

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA D E.COM • 31

Bombalicious also co-host Drag Bingo every second and fourth Tuesday at Red Bear Brewing, which is free to play and open to the public. Tonight’s performance starts at 9 sharp. Look for the event on Facebook for more information.

Sunday, July 21 Frederick County Public Schools hosts its annual LGBTQ and allies family picnic today from 4-7:30 p.m. at the Pavilion in Nottoway Park (9601 Courthouse Rd., Vienna, Va.). Bring your own meat or vegetables to grill and the district will provide the charcoal and two grills. Children are welcome to this familyfriendly event, which includes volleyball for teens at 5 p.m. Look for the event on Facebook for more information. The Miss Gay Maryland United States Icon yearly competition continues today from 4-11:59 p.m. when D’Marje hands her title over to the new winner. The event takes place at Baltimore Eagle Night Club and Bar (2022 N Charles St., Baltimore) and competition categories include presentation (non-judged), evening gown, Americana runway and talent. Look for the event on Facebook for more information.

Monday, July 22 Wicked Bloom Social Club (1540 North Capitol St., N.W.) presents “Wicked Bloom Mondays” this evening from 5-10 p.m., featuring entertainment by DJ Mim, whose repertoire includes an eclectic mix across multiple musical genres. The venue is a cozy bar serving craft cocktails and offering a globally inspired bar menu. For more information, visit wickedbloomdc.com.

Tuesday, July 23 The Latino GLBT History Project and Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.)

present Drag Bingo for D.C. Latinx Pride tonight at 7 p.m. The Latino GLBT History Project is a non-profit volunteerled organization founded to respond to the critical need to preserve Latinx LGBTQ History and promote tolerance and acceptance of the community by the public. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Wednesday, July 24 The Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) across from Marine Barracks for duplicate bridge. No reservations are needed and newcomers are welcome. For more information or if you need a partner, phone 202-841-0279. The Hate-Bias Task Force Meeting presented by the D.C. Anti-Violence Project and hosted by the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105) takes place tonight from 7-8:15 p.m. The task force is a collaboration of agency and community partners in the District and focuses on addressing the needs of various affinity groups in the city in combating hate-bias crimes. The group facilitates the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Thursday, July 25 Reel Affirmations presents “Queer Japan” tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Landmark Theaters E Street Cinema (555 11th St., N.W.). This documentary explores the lives of LGBTQ people living in Japan to include activists, manga artists, drag queens, dancers, party planners and politicians. It shares their lives and stories in a world that frequently ignores them. “Queer Japan” offers an intimate look into the everyday triumphs and struggles of being a sexual minority in modern Japan. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com Culture Shock Washington, DC. Jul 25. Dance Place. danceplace.org. DancEthos. Thru Jul 27. EyeSOAR. Thru Jul 28. Little White Lies. Thru Jul 27. Oizys in the Waiting Room. Thru Jul 27. Capital Fringe at St. Matthews Lutheran Church. capitalfringe.org.


Disney’s Aladdin Jul 18-Sep 7. The Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org

Discover a whole new world at Disney’s Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical! From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy, and breathtaking spectacle.

Strauss - Ariadne Auf Naxos Jul 19-Jul 27. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org.

Combining slapstick comedy and beautiful music in a competition of “high” and “low” art, Ariadne auf Naxos is a cock-eyed tale about art, love, and infidelity. A wealthy patron commissions two pieces of entertainment for a party—an opera based on the Ariadne myth and a comedy by a song and dance troupe.

Vintage Evening – A French Encampment in Washington, DC Jul 20. Anderson House. societyofthecincinnati.org.

An evening to mark the anniversary of the encampment of French troops in our neighborhood in 1782 on their march north after the Siege of Yorktown—the only time a foreign army has ever camped within the boundaries of the present District of Columbia. Enjoy a tasting of French wines, French-inspired foods, and activities inspired by this historic event, which happened here!

LOC Summer Movies on the Lawn: A League of Their Own Jul 25. Library of Congress. loc.gov.

Director Penny Marshall used the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as a backdrop for this heartfelt comedy-drama, A League of Their Own. The cast includes Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell. See full schedule of screenings at CultureCapital.com PHOTO COURTESY OF THE KENNEDY CENTER

THEATRE Capital Fringe Festival. Thru July 27. Seventy-eight performances this weekend including. 33 1/3 Chorus Girls. Thru Jul 27. E Pluribus Screw ‘Em. Would You Rather…. at Arena Stage. 52 Pick Up, Amelia, Caribbean Command and Ghosts of Saturday Night at St. Augustine’s Church. Good & Kissed, Beyond These Walls, An Eye for an Eye at Christ United Methodist Church. See full schedule at capitalfringe.org. The Explorers Club. Thru Aug 4. Prologue Theatre. prologuetheatre.org.

Tiger Style. Thru Aug 18. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. Treasure Island. Thru Aug 18. Synetic Theater. synetictheater.org. Twisted Melodies. Thru Jul 21. Mosaic Theater Company at Atlas. mosaictheater.org. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Thru Jul 20. Arts Barn. gaithersburgmd.gov.

DANCE A Short History of Unfortunate Animals. Thru Jul 26. Capital Fringe at Arena Stage. capitalfringe.org.

Arlington concert honors Italian Americans. Jul 21. Opera NOVA at Wakefield High School. operanova.org. Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers with Amos Lee. Jul 24. Soja with Sublime with Rome and Common Kings. Jul 20. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org. Cedric Watson. Jul 25. Library of Congress. loc.gov. Dogo at Lubber Run Amphitheater. Jul 19. Hot Lanes at Lubber Run Amphitheater. Jul 20. Arlington Cultural Affairs at Lubber Run. arlingtonarts.org. Jazz in the Garden: Miles Stiebel. Jul 19. National Gallery of Art at NGA Sculpture Garden. nga.gov. Live from the Lawn: Joe Falero Band. Jul 24. Strathmore. strathmore.org.

MUSEUMS AU Museum at the Katzen. Squire Broel. Forward Press: 21st Century Printmaking. Being Here as ME. Crossing Boundaries & Breaking BordersMaia Cruz Palileo. Passages: Keith Morrison, 1999-2019. Thru Aug 11. american.edu. Anacostia Neighborhood Library. Right to the City. Thru Apr 20. anacostia.si.edu. Anderson House. French Memories of the War for America. Thru Oct 27. societyofthecincinnati.org. Dumbarton Oaks. Written in Knots. Thru Aug 18. Beyond Knotting. Thru Aug 18. Asian Art from the Bliss Collection. Thru Jun 1. doaks.org. Folger Shakespeare Library. Miniature Shakespeare Books. Thru Dec 31. The Architecture of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Thru Jan 5. folger.edu. Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain. La Cascada by Luzinterruptus. Thru Sep 27. Water: The Mirror of Life. Thru Sep 27. spainculture.us. Library of Congress. Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote. Thru Sep 1. loc.gov. National Archives. Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote. Thru Jan 3. archivesfoundation.org. National Gallery of Art. The Life of Animals in Japanese Art. Thru Jul 28. Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings. Thru Sep 15. A Century of Lunar Photographs from the 1850s to Apollo 11. Thru Jan 5. nga.gov. National Geographic. Queens of Egypt. Thru Sep 2. nationalgeographic.org. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Ursula von Rydingsvard. Thru Jul 28. More is More: Multiples. Thru Sep 15. New York Ave Sculpture Project. Thru Sep 20. nmwa.org.

Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake. Thru Jan 1. Americans. Thru Dec 31. americanindian.si.edu. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today. Thru Aug 18. Portraits of the World: Korea Exhibition. Thru Nov 17. Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence. Thru Jan 5. In MidSentence. Thru Mar 29. One Life: Marian Anderson. Thru May 17. npg.si.edu. The Kreeger Museum. Charles Hinman: Structures, 1965–2014. Thru Jul 31. kreegermuseum.org.

GALLERIES Atlas. Art Connection in the Capital Region Presents: Moving Walls. Thru Jul 31. atlasarts.org. Brentwood Arts Exchange. Mechanical Reproduction. Thru Aug 10. arts.pgparks.com. CHAW. Winners’ Circle Exhibit. Thru Aug 17. chaw.org. DC Arts Center (DCAC). Showcasing 30 Years from the DCAC Archives. Thru Jul 21. Richard Siegman New Work. Thru Aug 18. dcartscenter.org. Gallery Clarendon. Black & White Art Exhibit. Thru Aug 4. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Gallery Underground. Hot! Art Exhibit. Thru Jul 26. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Glen Echo Park. Escape from Between the Lines: Jeanne McManus and Sara Maddox. Thru Jul 27. More Obsessions: Thoughts and Things That Keep Living in My Head. Thru Jul 28. 10 Years of Silver Works: Looking Back and Forward Looking. Thru Jul 28. glenechopark.org. Hill Center. Solo Exhibitions. Thru Sep 8. hillcenterdc.org. Korean Cultural Center DC. Open Site: Mixed Media Works by Korean Artist Tae Eun Ahn. Thru Aug 7. koreaculturedc.org. The Art League. The Art League July Open Exhibit. Thru Aug 4. Inna Skidan Shadowed Solo Exhibit. Thru Aug 4. theartleague.org. Waverly Street Gallery. Off the Wall. Thru Aug 3. waverlystreetgallery.com. Zenith Gallery. Organic. Thru Aug 17. Play - Protection - Peril. Thru Aug 25. zenithgallery.com.

AND MORE... Docs in Progress. Filmmaking at Your Fingertips: The Smartphone Documentarian. Jul 20. docsinprogress.org. Hill Center. Kitchen 101: Knife Skills. Jul 24. Sausage Making. Jul 25. Confirmation Bias by Carl Hulse. Jul 25. The Art of French Cooking with Chef Gérard Pangaud. Thru Oct 5. hillcenterdc.org. Korean Cultural Center DC. The King’s Case Note. Thru Jul 25. koreaculturedc.org.

3 2 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9






JUL 28


JUL 26






AUG 23









AUG 17

AUG 21







JUL 27











JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 33

AUG 25


™ & © Universal Studios.


Easy, Breezy Beach Location... 130 Bay Avenue, Lewes, DE 19958 $1,250,000 | MLS Number: DESU141640

Spectacular Lewes 2-story, 3-bedroom, 3-bath penthouse in Breakwater House delivers panoramic sunrise and sunset views! Pristine condition home includes a modern kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, massive rooftop deck perfect for relaxing and outdoor entertaining. Walk to downtown restaurants & shops, ride your bike on scenic bike trails to Cape Henlopen State Park and Rehoboth Beach. A calm beach retreat with an authentic Lewes vibe!

503 Cedar Street, Lewes, DE 19958 $949,900 | MLS Number: DESU137406

Fresh for summer 2019, this renovation on Lewes Beach is the perfect trifecta: gorgeous three-unit home, a block away from Lewes Beach, on a generously sized corner lot. First floor features a 2-bedroom unit with an open floor plan, two living areas, three-season room, back deck, and more. The second floor holds two units that were completely renovated in 2019 - both with full kitchens and open living areas. This fantastic combination triples your potential and makes a great investment!

16698 Ki ngs H i ghway S t e . A , L e w e s , D E 19958 • ( 3 02) 645- 6 6 6 4 • L e e A n n Gr o u p . c o m

3 4 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

...and Model-Perfect Living! 26156 Rich Field Drive, Lewes, DE 19958 $389,900 | MLS Number: DESU142828

Luxury from your first steps into the foyer! Enjoy engineered hardwood flooring throughout the entire main living area, impressive 10-foot-high ceilings, recessed lighting throughout, and a stunning kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel sink, GE’s “Slate Profile”series matching appliances. Amazing full basement delivers 1,075 square feet of finished living space; 470 square feet of unfinished storage space, and roughed-in plumbing. The total package on an exceptionally large .80-acre lot!

41238 Gloucester Drive, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 $679,000 | MLS Number: DESU143952

Barely lived in Rehoboth Beach home has it all: a great location, tons of upgrades, and it is practically brand new. Upgrades throughout this 4-bedroom home include hardwood flooring throughout the main living area, Cortec luxury vinyl in the first floor master, ceramic tile in the master bath, granite countertops, custom closets, plantation shutters, and so much more! Tons of community amenities, too, with easy access to downtown Rehoboth Beach!

16698 Ki ngs H i ghway S t e . A , L e w e s , D E 19958 • ( 3 02) 645- 6 6 6 4 • L e e A n n Gr o u p . c o m

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 35

‘Lion King’ remake epic but uneven Unconvincing lip movements mar classic Disney tale By BRIAN T. CARNEY

+ Largest LGBT owned title company + Billions of dollars in transactions closed annually + 6 in house attorneys + Residential and commercial transactions + In home and in office refinance settlements + Licensed in DC, DE, MD, NJ, VA & WV CGI Baby Simba in ‘The Lion King’ remake. Photo courtesy Walt Disney Studios

The new photo-realistic computergenerated remake of Disney’s “The Lion King” is both a delight and a disappointment. It’s a delight because it’s impossible to resist the lure of the powerful archetypal story and the splendid score. The opening number is still stunning. As all of the animals of the Pride Land gather to celebrate the birth of Simba, off-screen singers sing the lovely New Age hymn, “The Circle of Life.” The animation is dazzling, filled with vibrant colors and lifelike details. The effect is magical. Then the characters start speaking and the magic crumbles. Close-up, the animation does not work so well. The faces are flat and expressionless and the lipsynching looks terrible. RuPaul would send them all packing. For anyone who needs a reminder, “The Lion King” debuted in 1994 and quickly became an acclaimed and beloved classic. The basic plot draws on rich timeless stories retold in the spirit of Shakespearean histories and tragedies (specifically “Hamlet” and “King Henry IV”). King Mufasa (voiced again by James Earl ADVERTISING PROOF Jones) is wise and noble and a playful yet stern father to his son and presumptive heir Simba (voiced by JD McCrary as a cub and Donald Glover as a lion). Mufasa’s brother Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is evil and jealous. He kills Mufasa but convinces the credulous Simba that ADVERTISER SIGNATURE By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the washington blade newspaper. This includes but isresponsible not limited to placement, for his father’s death. he is payment and insertion schedule. Simba runs away and meets up with Timon (a meerkat voiced by Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (a warthog voiced by Seth Rogen), two happy queer outcasts living a carefree existence on the edges of the Pride Land. Meanwhile, Scar takes over the kingdom and rules with the help of a vicious herd of ravenous hyenas. Simba’s fiancé Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Beyoncé) tracks down the missing prince who returns to Pride Rock and restores


Test Drive the All-New


ISSUE DATE: 181026



REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties.

order to the kingdom. The story ends with a reprise of “The Circle of Life” and the birth of Simba and Nala’s first cub. The new film is directed by Jon Favreau (who helmed the CGI remake of “The Jungle Book”) from an awkward new script by Jeff Nathanson. Favreau’s work is strongest when the characters are silent. The shots of Mufasa surveying his kingdom against a variety of African backdrops, backed by the magnificent Hans Zimmer score, are splendid; young Simba’s dangerous trek across the desert is somehow both visually stimulating and emotionally devastating. The musical numbers, however, are a mess. Given the current state of computergenerated animation, the animals don’t sing and dance very well. In “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” for example, Favreau and company do everything they can to hide the mouths of Simba, Nala and Zazu (voiced by John Oliver). A lot of the action is shown from behind or in silhouette; this drains much of the life from the number. Interestingly, one of the more successful numbers in the movie is the brief excerpt from “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Timon’s a better lip-syncher than his colleagues and his jaunty walk through the jungle with his friends looks good and feels right. The new screenplay sticks very closely to the outline of the cartoon, but Nathanson makes some rather odd changes to the dialogue. He unfortunately removes a lot of humor from the story; Rafiki and the hyenas become much more somber, less interesting characters. When Simba and Nala first encounter the hyenas, they are told that hyenas and lions have always been at war. The rather Orwellian language is unsettling, especially since the script was completed after the 2016 election.

3 6 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

Time with Tan

SHOULDN’T THE FINAL MEMORIES OF A LOVED ONE BE AMONG THE FINEST? There are times when nothing short of the best will do. A There are times when nothing short of the best will do. A memorial memorial service is one of them. It is a final expression, service is one of them. It is a final expression, the culmination of a lifetime the culmination a lifetime orchestrated a singular orchestrated intoof a singular event. What leaves a lastinginto impression? event. What leaves lasting A ceremony that is asaunique as theimpression? individual. We’llA helpceremony you plan that ahead and every detail of yourWe’ll own remarkable send-off. is as unique as design the individual. help you plan ahead and design every detail of your own remarkable send-off.

‘Queer Eye’ star shares breezy memoir

There are times when nothing short of the best will do. A memorial service is one of them. It is a final expression, the culmination of a lifetime orchestrated into a singular event. What leaves a lasting impression? A ceremony that is as unique as the individual. We’ll help you plan Pussycat, Pussycat, ahead and design every detail of your own remarkable send-off.

where did you go? To Adams Morgan to buy a condo.

Photo courtesy St. Martin’s Press

Casual button-down or elegant suit? Jeans or khakis? Shoes or sandals? Whatever the event, your closet’s got you covered, packed with every outfit you’ll ever need. But what’s your style, what makes you confident? How do you know what to wear for the occasion? Read “Naturally Tan” by “Queer Eye’s” Tan France and see what fits. As a young boy growing up in South Yorkshire, England, Tan France was no shrinking violet: he was “weirdly worldly wise” and “definitely the cockiest one of the family.” He also knew what he wanted and didn’t rest until he got it and even then, he knew that he liked boys better than girls. That determination didn’t make his childhood breezy, though. France was Pakistani in a predominantly white area and he grew up with the hum of racism in the background. He was bullied but still, he says, he “managed to make things work.” It helped that his grandfather owned a denim factory and taught France to sew. It was there that he learned the importance of fashion, but that wasn’t yet a career. From age 16-27, France held more than 30 jobs, most of which he abandoned with little-to-no notice. He came to realize that he wanted to be an entrepreneur and everything coalesced after a vacation in Salt Lake City after falling in love with a cowboy. By then, France had spotted an opportunity with modest swimwear and his brand firecrackered to success literally overnight. Unprepared, France and his new man worked around the clock to accommodate customers and grow the business. Eventually, the stress became too much and France stepped back.

He was not really looking for anything new when, on vacation, he received a call from someone who told him about an opportunity with Netflix and “Queer Eye,” a job he never dreamed of and was convinced that he’d never land. He wanted it, and he didn’t. He needed prodding, until he “begrudgingly” auditioned. At its outset, “Naturally Tan” feels like just another gay memoir: stating that he always knew he was gay, author Tan France seems a bit stiff, as though his story needs to stretch and twist before it starts to stride. Once it takes that next step, though, it’s got you. Like virtually all other gay memoirs, France goes on to tell a story of a childhood of dawning, of bullying and of learning more about himself, but the uniqueness lies in the cultural differences in which he was raised. He writes of being a Muslim Pakistani in a white world and how this fit with his gayness and his passion for fashion. Between this and advice he doles out with impunity, France does snark well, which he freely admits. That’s entertaining, especially since he appears to be rather nice about it. In the end, this is a fun book from a star’seye view, and with useful tips for any reader, gay or not. Pick up a copy of “Naturally Tan” and see if it doesn’t suit you. PROOF #

‘Naturally Tan: A Memoir’ By Tan France St. Martin’s Press $27.99 288 pages

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

Finest European Furniture & Lighting www.frenchfurniture.com www.tosatousa.com


Showroom: 510 Mill Street Vienna VA 22180




REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication. Brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of antidiscrimination law or regulation, or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties.


By signing this proof you are agreeing to your co the washington blade newspaper. This include placement, payment and insertion schedule.



M-TH 11:30AM-10PM • F-SAT 11:30AM-11PM SUN. BRUNCH 11AM-3PM / DINNER 3-10PM

322 MASS. AVE. NE • 202.543.7656



ISSUE DATE: 190111


REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users

Various entrees at The Meatball Shop. Photo by Liz Clayman

Ballsy venture

D.C. version of The Meatball Shop brighter, less cheeky than New York originals By EVAN CAPLAN Tongue in cheek? Try ball in mouth. The Meatball Shop (1720 14th St., N.W.), in all its suggestive glory, landed on the busy 14th Street corridor late last year with a nod, a wink and heaping handfuls of ballshaped opportunities for dinner. And puns. “We wanted to find someplace that would speak to the culture and vibe of The Meatball Shop,” says CEO Adam Rosenbaum. “We saw a rowhouse in the high-energy neighborhood of 14th Street that felt New York brownstone style, and knew this was it.” Childhood friends Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman, both culinary school graduates, founded The Meatball Shop after food careers spanning the globe. And a passion for meatballs. They launched their mini-chain (there are now eight locations) in the Lower East Side of New York City in 2010 to hours-long lines, a late-night lounge vibe and plenty of fanfare. “The Meatball Shop was one of the first restaurants to focus on a single food item that’s not fast-casual,” Rosenbaum says. Even though it’s a table-service spot, it focuses on one specialty: its balls. Tucked into a long narrow space with exposed-brick walls, D.C.’s version is The Meatball Shop, matured. Risqué-red walls

found in New York shops are now white and the light has gone from moody to bright (“the better for today’s Instagram users,” Rosenbaum says). While deftly mincing meat, The Meatball Shop does not mince words when it comes to what’s on the plate. The starter menu, for one, offers mozzarella, risotto, Buffalo and crab cake balls. The shop’s mains come in all flavors, shapes and sizes: classic (the traditional pork-beef-breadcrumb mix), pork, chicken, salmon, lobster and veggie/vegan; the menu then offers six suggested-but-notmandatory sauces with which to pair. For $10-17, diners can choose to have the balls served as sliders, in a sandwich, naked (i.e. with sauce and focaccia), or in an on-trend bowl over a side. The shop also offers Baller Plates, which are dishes priced in the mid-$20 range. The Classic is an homage to an Italian grandmother’s kitchen, with meatballs served over mashed potatoes and bacon in a red sauce; The Spicy is more elegant, with pork meatballs in creamy Parm sauce over broccoli and rigatoni. When The Meatball Shop launched, the founders served innuendo with every dish. As The Meatball Shop grows up, “we’ve moved away from this tactic — it’s a different time, both politically and socially,” Rosenbaum says. “We also we don’t want to alienate any staff, though our job listings still say that ‘you have to be OK with a ball joke,’” he says. And though Rosenbaum isn’t gay, “the LGBT community has been part of The Meatball Shop since day one,” he says. “The Meatball Shop is a family, and we hire intentionally for diversity. Our atmosphere is all about inclusivity.” The restaurant’s ethos makes sense given locations in neighborhoods with

large gay populations, like New York City’s Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and West Village, and D.C.’s 14th spot. “We tell our team to let their freak flag fly,” Rosenbaum says. He wants customers to see themselves reflected in the staff and environment. In June, during Pride month, The Meatball Shop sponsored a float in New York and ran a contest among its bartenders to create a charity Pride drink. A Hell’s Kitchen bartender prevailed with the “RuPaul-oma” that spiked a traditional Paloma with tequila and mezcal. Before it opened in D.C., the shop catered a gay wedding for a couple that frequented the restaurant on trips to New York. Rosenbaum dished on designs for D.C.’s location bolder than his spicy heritage pork meatballs. “We know we’re not Michelin-starred, nor with hot new chef. We just want to enjoy work and represent the people we work with.” In D.C., that means obvious partnerships: Jose Andres lent his spice to Spanish-style pork meatballs. Ice Cream (ball) sandwiches are sourced from Moorenko’s, based in Maryland. “Since we make the best meatballs, we thought we’d try to make the best crab balls too,” Rosenbaum says. Chefs now serve these nickel-sized specialties spiked with Old Bay and covered in crushed potato chips. In tamped-down style yet just enough sauciness, The Meatball Shop will never attain Millennial-magnet status of Barcelona, nor the determined refinement of Le Diplomate. Clearly attentive to consumer preference shifts, the restaurant may just attain its “unpretentious yet elevated” target for a formerly homely food. To wit, the it takes care to offer dishes free of gluten or of any meat or animal products. The shop crafts its veggie meatballs with express care, and it shows; the blend of lentils, vegetables and proprietary spice mixture that the D.C. location manager would not divulge is a true standout. The meatball shop represents a place “with a fun environment and food sourced properly. We look to celebrate individuality, but at the end, have a great party,” Rosenbaum says.

3 8 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

Jody Watley

Celebrating 30 Years of Real Love

Sat July 20 8PM Jody Watley, Grammy Award winning R&B, Dance & Pop music icon, celebrates 30 years since her smash hit song “Real Love” from her double platinum second album. First introduced on national television as a featured dancer on Soul Train, Watley became an international star as an original member of Shalamar. As a solo artist, Watley achieved even greater success with her multi-platinum debut album which won her a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In 1989, “Real Love” and its groundbreaking video further established Watley as a style-forging pioneer in music, video, dance and fashion. For all her success as one of the top female and dance music artists of all time, Watley received Billboardʼs Lifetime Achievement Award and is still performing today for her many fans around the world.

7719 Wisconsin Ave Bethesda, MD 20814 www.bethesdabluesjazz.com 240-330-4500

POTOMAC YARDS — END-UNIT WITH BACKYARD! 2,700+ SF OF LUXURIOUS SPACE! Expansive 5BR/4.5BA townhouse with fabulous sought-after fenced yard! Three exceptionally finished levels feature architectural details, pristine hardwood floors, high ceilings, and loads of natural light throughout! Open main level, kitchen with quartz counters, extra large island with bar seating, and stainless steel appliances! Four bedrooms on upper levels include bright master suite with luxurious suite above PROOFbath. #1 Private 5th bedroom ISSUE DATE: 190719 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: detached 2-car garage, quiet street REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of the date with ample guest parking! of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts omnimedia REVISIONS llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users can link through REDESIGN the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or any rgihts of third 721 Diamond Dr, Alexandria, VA 22301 TEXT REVISIONS parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair competition, IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS Offered for $1,175,000 defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) and NO REVISIONS to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties. RE/MAX West End LISA DUBOIS

710 W Broad St

Falls Church, VA 22046 703.596.5303


JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 39




By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the washington blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, payment and insertion schedule.

lisa@chrissyandlisa.com 703.350.9595 Top 1% DC Metro Area + Nationwide • RE/MAX Hall of Fame • Associate Brokers, CRS, ABR • Licensed in VA + DC

As a gearhead who still fawns over Matchbox cars and Gran Turismo video games, it’s the cars with muscle that really get my motor running. Of course, toys are one thing but reality is even better. FORD MUSTANG BULLITT $48,000 MPG: 15/24 Zero-60 mph: 4 seconds For muscle car mavens, it doesn’t get much better than a Ford Mustang Bullitt. Introduced last year in time for the 50th anniversary of the action movie “Bullitt,” this is the third tribute model since Steve McQueen’s legendary car chase through the streets of San Francisco. This limited-edition version — available for only two years or so — comes in select colors, including the iconic dark green on the original. Some of the same barebones styling is here, which means no Mustang badging on the wide black grille (though you’ll find a shiny Bullitt badge on both the trunk lid and steering wheel). And while the V8 in the 1968 sportster churned out an impressive 320 horsepower, today’s fastback, based on the high-test Mustang GT, boasts a whopping 480 horsepower. A simple tap to the accelerator lets you fly down the road. Premium Brembo brakes give you plenty of control. Adding to the fun is the six-speed manual transmission with a nifty shifter knob that looks like a white billiard ball. The deep, guttural exhaust growl courses through your veins and becomes louder and more menacing each time you downshift. Despite the macho appearance and performance, there’s plenty of pampering: heated/ventilated seats, smartphone integration, voice-control infotainment system and more. There’s also a blind-spot monitor and cross-traffic alert to help keep things safe. Most of all, this retro pony car neatly combines today’s tech gear with old-school cool. From top: FORD MUSTANG BULLITT, FORD F-150 RAPTOR, and JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK

Cars with muscle Ford Mustang Bullitt is limited edition Steve McQueen tribute By JOE PHILLIPS

FORD F-150 RAPTOR $54,000 MPG: 15 city/18 highway Zero-60 mph: 5.1 seconds With the surging popularity of crossovers and other haulers, today’s muscle cars aren’t just two-door coupes anymore. Ford took its popular F-150 pickup truck — the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the past 37 years — and gave it the heart and soul of a hard-charging Mustang. Power comes from a 450-hp twin turbo V6, which easily propels this 5,600-pound beast around corners and twisty roads. The Raptor’s overall look is imposing, with harshly chiseled corners and a towering presence. At 250 inches in length, the

mammoth SuperCrew Cab model is almost two-and-a-half times longer than a Smart Fortwo. And the 8,000-pound towing capacity is impressive. Yet beneath the Hulk-like demeanor lies a refined ride, with handling that’s light and nimble. The electronically adaptive suspension helps. So do the massive 34-inch tires, which also come in (yowza!) 35 or 37 inches. Despite the high ground clearance, the aluminum running boards allow you to easily get in and out of the truck. As in the Mustang, you’ll find Recaro racing seats (this time with Raptor stitching) and a throaty exhaust note. There’s also smartphone integration, 360-degree camera and 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo. Plenty of safety features are included, along with tons of interior storage and a power-sliding rear window. With so many amenities, the Raptor almost feels like a luxury car. But make no mistake, this is one tough Tonka toy on steroids. JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK $89,000 MPG: 11 city/17 highway Zero-60 mph: 3.5 seconds Over at Jeep, known more for its offroaders and family haulers, the automaker is also flexing its muscles. The result is the amazing Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a premium crossover where all hell breaks loose. Literally. Powered by the 707-hp supercharged Hellcat V8 — a phenomenal engine used in the Dodge Challenger and Charger — this track-worthy contender is faster than an Aston Martin Vantage or Porsche 911 Carrera. Mash the accelerator into the floorboard, and suddenly you can imagine what supersonic flight must feel like. Luckily, as you hurtle down the road like a screaming banshee, the superb braking can bring you back to reality. You can also select from various drive modes (Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow) depending on the weather or your mood. And there’s plenty of cargo space and stowage compartments. The cabin is loaded, featuring an Audi-like steering wheel and gauges, along with carbon fiber trim, panoramic sunroof and 8.4inch touchscreen infotainment system. A spectacular Harman Kardon stereo with 19 speakers is also available. Of course, such power and panache come at a price, which is why the Trackhawk is the most expensive Jeep ever. Toss in all the options, and suddenly you’re shelling out more than $100,000. Still, that’s less than most exotic cars. And who knows, you may be able to save in other ways. After all, who needs all those Red Bolts when the Trackhawk can jolt you awake.

4 0 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9









JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 41

Rob Lacaze 28380 St. Michaels Rd . Easton, MD 21601 410-770-3600

Cell: 410-310-7835 • lacazerob@gmail.com

#1 Long & Foster/Christie’s Real Estate Agent on Maryland’s Eastern Shore Please call Rob if you are thinking about buying property on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

OAKLANDS This stunning 4-5 bedroom waterfront home offers open living area , including a gourmet kitchen with top of the line appliances. Breathtaking water-views from almost every room allow you to feel like you’re always on vacation. Beautiful waterside pool and private pier on a lovely site located in Oaklands, one of Easton’s most sought after communities. $1,495,000 Call Rob Lacaze 410-310-7835

PATRICKS PLAINS, OXFORD Spectacular Coastal waterfront home with finished lower level and walk-out to the spacious waterfront and terrace. Open floor plan is perfect for entertaining. Magnificent master suite with spa-like en-suite. $1,795,000 Call Rob Lacaze 410-310-7835

NORMANDIE One of Talbot County’s finest waterfront estate properties. Magnificent French Manor home with architectural significance on 61 acre peninsula with over 3200 ft of shoreline. $4,995,000 Call Rob Lacaze 410-310-7835

OXFORD, MD Perfect waterfront get-a-way! Classic Colonial home with deep water dock. Quiet beautiful town setting. $799,000 Call Rob Lacaze 410-310-7835

4 2 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

Rob Lacaze 28380 St. Michaels Rd . Easton, MD 21601 410-770-3600

Cell: 410-310-7835 • lacazerob@gmail.com

#1 Long & Foster/Christie’s Real Estate Agent on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

If you are looking to buy on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore, please call Rob Lacaze at 410-310-7835.

MARYLAND’S EASTERN SHORE ST. MICHAELS Beautiful 3BR, 3BA, Waterfront townhouse with breathtaking views across the Miles River. Walk out directly out your door to your private owned boat slip. $645,000.00 Call Rob Lacaze 410-310-7835

TRED AVON RIVER This remarkable Alan Meyer designed home offers breathtaking views of the Tred Avon River. You will marvel at the glorious sunrises and magnificent sunsets from the sprawling deck and beautiful pool. Pier with 7” water depth, cabana bath & protected shoreline. $2,195,000. Call Rob Lacaze 410-310-7835

OXFORD, MD. Beautiful waterfront home set on 2 waterfront lots 2 docks one with boat lift. 2 fireplaces, Master suite with waterside balcony. Jet ski dock excluded. $995,000. Call Rob Lacaze 410-310-7835


Waterviews and access from this large 4 bedroom in town colonial with additional 2 bedroom guest house. $524,000 Call Janet Freeh 410-924-0658

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA DE.COM • 43


sweat it. Switch to a smart thermostat now. Small changes make a big difference for your wallet and the planet. Upgrading to a smart thermostat is a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to chill out this summer. Visit maketheswitchdc.com for rebates and to find a retailer near you.

Learn more at maketheswitchdc.com

4 4 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9

Floods, fireworks and first-time buyers

All the recent rain is concerning for homeowners but it’s worth the risk to own a property. Photo by Tong Patong; Courtesy of Bigstock

A properly insured homeowner can still make a profit after buying and selling By JOSEPH HUDSON If you have been watching the news lately, or even looking out of your window you can see the elements that are affecting our region, such as flash floods occurring because three inches of rain fell in an hour. That can put even the sturdiest roof, window seal or foundation to the test. Many of us saw the videos of people standing on the roof of their cars recently during a torrential downpour. Imagine a

tiny drain in someone’s back porch area trying to keep up with that. Not to mention all the branches that fall, leaves that gather around drains, which in turn stop up the drain and start flooding back yards, stairwells, anywhere that water can pool and back up. Over the course of the July 4th holiday I also heard about people setting off amateur fireworks with little or no supervision. What if one of those explodes unexpectedly and damages property nearby or even worse, a person? Why would you want to risk homeownership with all of these variables surrounding a property? Well, interest rates are really low right now. Homeowners are required to have insurance, condo insurance, and condo associations have insurance too. People living in flood prone areas may be able

JU LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA D E.COM • 45

to buy flood insurance. It’s true, stuff happens. And when you own the stuff you are the one that has to take care of it. But that’s why lenders require homeowners to have homeowner’s insurance. So that an owner is not left without recourse to remedy the things that can go wrong. A lender even requires a condo association to have their own insurance policy so that when windows leak or a roof starts leaking, they can call on their insurance company to help pay to repair the damages. Additionally, the money sellers earn from wisely investing in real estate pays you back for most of the headaches involved. I am seeing sellers who bought property in the mid 2000s walk with over $200,000 or $300,000 in profits after selling their home in 2019. Does your apartment building cut you a check like that when you move out? Even if you own for only a few years

you could make $10K-$50K in profits depending on the neighborhood and what other properties are selling for. A colleague of mine recently sold her property at a little bit of a loss. But she’s looking at it positively and said, “at least I didn’t pay rent for several years.” Even $1,800 a month in rent times 12 months times 3 years adds up to almost $65,000. Even with the occasional headaches involved at times, a properly insured homeowner can still make a profit after buying and selling, which makes up for it all in the end.

Joseph Hudson is a Realtor with The Oakley Group at Compass. Reach him at 703-587-0597 or Joseph.hudson@compass.com.



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

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.




MASSAGE ROSSLYN - MASSAGE low key spot near Rosslyn, Sun-Tues, Spa in DC, Thurs-Sat. Call or text Gary 301-704-1158, mymassagebygary.com.



ADOPTION, DONOR, SURROGACY legal services. Jennifer represents LGBTQ clients in DC, MD & VA interested in adoption or ART matters. 240-863- 2441, JFairfax@jenniferfairfax.com.

Notice of Appointment, Notice to Creditors and Notice to Unknown Heirs Anthony Joseph Purcell, Jr., whose address is 450 Randolph Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011 was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Daniel Espejel who died on May 20, 2019 with a Will and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this preceding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., Building A, 515 5th Street, N.W., 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 12, 2020. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register off Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 12, 2020, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

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

Date of first publication: July 12, 2019. Anthony J. Purcell, Jr., Personal Representative Nicole Stevens, Acting Register of Wills.

BULLETIN BOARD CHICK CHAT, a free lesbian, age 55+ singles group, will meet on Sunday, July 21, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. at a bistro in Beltsville, Md. Please e-mail RickPepper@ protonmail.com for details and to RSVP.

COUNSELING COUNSELING FOR LGBTQ People. Individual/ couple counseling with a volunteer peer counselor. GMCC, servicing since 1973. 202-580-8661. gaymenscounseling.org. No fees, donation requested.

EMPLOYMENT WHOLISTIC SERVICES, INC. Seeking Full Time Direct Support Professionals to assist intellectually disabled adults with behavioral health complexities in group homes & day services throughout D.C. Requirements: Valid Driver’s License, able to lift 50-75 lbs., complete training program, become Med Certified within 6 months of hire, pass security background check. (Associates degree preferred) For more information please contact Human Resources @ 301-392-2500.



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. TELL ‘EM YOU saw their ad in the Blade classifieds!

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

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

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Results-Oriented • Affordable

Larry Cohen, LICSW

30 years serving the LGBT community

202-244-0903 socialanxietyhelp.com

See website for NPR story on my work




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



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.




4 6 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • J U LY 1 9 , 2 0 1 9



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

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.

ELECTRICANS COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS, INC. quality work by professionals at reasonable rates, residential / commercial. Serving the DMV for over 20 years, no job too small. 301-530-1925.

HOME IMPROVEMENT BRITISH REMODELING HANDYMAN Local licensed company with over 25 years of experience. Specializing in bathrooms, kitchens & all interior/exterior repairs. Drywall, paint, electric & wallpaper. Trevor 703-303-8699.

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.


Bathroom Sinks, Tubs, Vanities, Kitchen Sinks, Disposals, Boilers & Furnaces, Hot Water Heaters, Drain Service. Licensed, Bonded & Insured. DC Plumbers License #707. 202-251-1479.


MOVERS AROUND TOWN MOVERS. Professional Moving & Storage. Let Our Movers Do The Heavy Lifting. Mention the ‘Blade’ for 5% off of our regular rates. Call today 202.734.3080. www. aroundtownmovers.com.

SHARE / VA ISO SINGLE MALE non-smoking 22-50 to share two bedroom two bathroom fully furnished 1500 s/f apt with balcony one block from Crystal City metro. Pool, gym, garage parking. Close to National Airport and Pentagon. Must be neat and clean, be employed, and have excellent credit and personal references. $1,700 per month. Available Aug. 1. Respond to pjsumm@aol.com.

SALE / KEY WEST KEY WEST CONDO VA approved!! Spacious 1BR/1 BA condo in desirable Meadows neighborhood. Featuring updated kitchen w/granite. Beautifully maintained hdwds, high ceilings & custom closets. 2nd floor unit offers privacy; outdoor living with 2 porches & tropical gardens. 4 unit property & low condo fee $158. Walk or ride to nearby Marina, Bayview Park & Duval Street. https://www.zillow. com/homedetails/1402Olivia-St-APT-3-Key-WestFL-33040/54143260_zpid/

WOMEN FOR WOMEN CHICK CHAT, a free lesbian, age 55+ singles group, will meet on Sunday, July 21, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. at a bistro in Beltsville, Md. Please e-mail RickPepper@ protonmail.com for details and to RSVP.

BODYWORK THE MAGIC TOUCH: Swedish, Massage or Deep Tissue. Appts 202-486-6183, Low Rates, 24/7, In-Calls.

Playmates and soul mates...



18+ MegaMates.com

AHF Wellness Centers 1647 Benning Rd NE, Ste 300 (202) 350-5000

4302 Saint Barnabas Rd, Ste D (301) 432-1071