Washingtonblade.com, Issue 50, Volume 31, August 2, 2019

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AUGUST 02, 2019 • VOLUM E 50 • I S S UE 31 • WA S HI N GTONB LAD E.CO M

The Washington Blade’s

50th Birthday Gala Celebrating five decades of LGBTQ journalism

Friday, Oct. 18 Cocktails at 6 p.m. Dinner & Program at 7 p.m. 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.

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

VIDA Fitness

Whitman-Walker Health

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PO Box 53352 Washington DC 20009 PHONE

President Trump’s racist attacks continue and treacherous gay Republicans remain silent. PAGE 24


Looking back:



50 years of the Blade


Fire lit by ‘Paris is Burning’


Comings & Goings


D.C. man pleads guilty to sexual

still glows in ‘Pose’ 30

assault of 3 male victims 11

QUEERY: Beverly ‘Miss Chocolate’ White

Mixed bag for Buttigieg


‘Evan’ returns to region

in second debate


Arts & Culture

Former ‘Don’t Ask’ activist is


Metaphorical blue feathers

now a Trump supporter


‘Orange’ returns for final season

Mother of trans Salvadoran


Peering out

woman who died in ICE


Tasty tennis?

custody demands answers


TransLAW fundraiser


Cannabis Culture


Turning a new leaf this fall?


PrEP use, awareness up


Bidding wars are stupid

in latest numbers



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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.


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8 years ago, Republicans reiterate opposition to gay marriage FROM STAFF REPORTS

The fight over marriage equality seems like much ado about nothing these days, but just eight short years ago, Republican presidential hopefuls signed a letter affirming their opposition. In addition to pledging their opposition, they vowed to establish a presidential commission “to investigate the harassment of traditional marriage supporters.” Among those signing on was then-Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, who is now a senator. President Obama, at the time, also opposed same-sex marriage. He later famously “evolved” and endorsed marriage equality just before winning re-election in 2012. Take a walk down memory lane. Browse the Blade’s unique 50-year archive of LGBTQ news and features at washingtonblade.com/archives.

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Comings & Goings Plea deal for man who triggered panic David Brown named legal director for TLDEF at D.C. Pride parade 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 David Brown on his appointment as Legal Director for the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. TLDEF is committed to ending discrimination based on DAVID BROWN gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, public policy, and community organizing efforts. In his role, Brown will design and spearhead TLDEF’s legal strategies with a focus on the most vulnerable in our communities. He will build, lead, and mentor an in-house legal team and represent TLDEF in a variety of activist, legal, and public spaces in service of the organization’s goals and priorities. He originally joined TLDEF as a member of its first class of law clerks in 2007 and served on TLDEF’s Board of Directors from 2009 to 2017. BRIAN HARRIS Executive Director Andy Marra said, “We are excited to welcome David as our Legal Director at this critical time in the movement for transgender equality. David has spent his career working on behalf of those most vulnerable to discrimination and often in hostile places. David brings a wealth of insight and skills to TLDEF at a time when transgender and non-binary people face an increasing barrage of attacks on multiple fronts.” Brown said, “I am honored to take on this new role with TLDEF, an organization I love and with which I have a long history. I believe legal advocacy achieves the best results when it is part of a social movement, and lawsuits have the greatest impact when they are intersectional. In my new role, I will work to bring highimpact cases that, while focusing on discrimination because of gender identity, also acknowledge that transgender and non-binary people face multiple sources of oppression because of their race, class, citizenship status, and disability. Bringing an intersectional perspective to movement lawyering allows us to represent and amplify the voices of the greatest possible range of stakeholders in the transgender community.” Prior to joining TLDEF, Brown was Director and Senior Counsel for the Lawyering Project an organization dedicated to advancing reproductive health care access and challenging state-imposed restrictions on abortion and other forms of reproductive healthcare, which he helped found in 2017. He has worked for the Center for Reproductive Rights as a senior staff attorney; Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton; and American Jewish World Service as a Program Officer for Mexico & Central America. His publications include “Making Room for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Human Rights Law: An Introduction to the Yogyakarta Principles,” Michigan Journal of International Law. Brown earned his bachelor’s in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Pomona College, Claremont, Calif., and his J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. Congratulations also to Brian Harris who had been appointed office manager of Central Properties, LLC in Washington, D.C. In that role, he will oversee and support 40 real estate agents in tandem with the president of the firm. Harris said, “I am excited about this position and feel it will use my talents.” Prior to working with Central Properties, he spent many years as director of Active Physical Therapy, LLC, in Clinton, Md. He has been an active volunteer in the community with the Human Rights Campaign and Toys for Tots.

Community service work expected to result in dropped charges By LOU CHIBBARO JR. LCHIBBARO@WASHBLADE.COM

AFTABJIT ‘DJ’ SINGH and MELISSA DUFFY were at the center of a melee in Dupont Circle during June’s Pride parade. Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro Jr.

A man charged with wielding a BB gun in Dupont Circle during the Capital Pride Parade on June 8 that triggered a panic, prompting organizers to abruptly end the parade agreed on Monday to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors that could result in his case being dismissed. Aftabjit “DJ” Singh, 38, agreed to an offer by prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of Possession of a Destructive Device and Attempted Threats to Do Bodily Harm. In exchange for doing so, prosecutors allowed him to enroll in a six-month court approved diversion program in which his sentencing is postponed to enable him to perform community service work after which he will be eligible to withdraw his guilty plea. If prosecutors determine he successfully completes the diversion program they will drop the two charges and dismiss the case, according to a statement entered into the court record on July 29. D.C. Superior Court Judge John Ramsey Johnson, who is presiding over the case, scheduled a “Deferred Sentencing Review” hearing for Jan. 31, 2020. That’s when prosecutors are expected to inform Johnson whether Singh has met the conditions of the diversion program and whether the case should be dismissed. A Superior Court judge released Singh on his own recognizance pending trial on June 10. His release came two days after his arrest by D.C. police for pulling out a BB

gun that authorities say closely resembles a real gun inside Dupont Circle around 7 p.m. on June 8 as more than 1,000 people standing in and near the circle were watching or marching in D.C.’s annual Capital Pride parade. Police and witnesses said the sight of a man brandishing a gun created a panic that prompted the crowd to run in every direction away from Dupont Circle, causing some to fall and suffer non-life threatening injuries that required hospitalization. Singh told the Washington Blade after his June 10 court arraignment that he pulled out an unloaded BB gun to protect the woman he calls his wife after an unidentified man assaulted her as she stood next to the Dupont Circle fountain. He said the unidentified man and another man who he believes were opposed to the Pride parade sprayed him and Melissa Duffy, 43, with mace after he attempted to stop the first man from punching Duffy. Sing and Duffy told the Blade they came to Dupont Circle to watch the parade as they have in past years. “We were there because we enjoy it,” Duffy said. “We know a lot of gay people.” Singh and a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office couldn’t immediately be reached to obtain details of the community service work that Singh will be required to perform. He and Duffy said they were sorry about the mass panic that ensued after bystanders saw Singh brandishing his BB gun.

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D.C. man pleads guilty to sexual assault of 3 male victims

Many unanswered questions about 2016 incidents in Capitol Hill By LOU CHIBBARO JR. LCHIBBARO@WASHBLADE.COM

Minutes before his trial was scheduled to begin on July 25, a 35-year-old D.C. man announced through his attorneys that he was pleading guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted three men in their homes on Capitol Hill in three separate incidents in 2016. According to a plea agreement filed by prosecutors with the United States Attorney’s Office in D.C. Superior Court, Bryan Webster, who is also known as Bryant Webster, pleaded guilty to two counts of First Degree Sexual Abuse While Armed and one count of Second Degree Sexual Abuse in connection with the three incidents. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped the remaining 28 counts of a 31 count indictment against Webster handed down by a Superior Court grand jury in August 2018. The original 31 counts included burglary and robbery charges alleging Webster stole property from the victims. Also included were multiple gun charges related to his alleged use of a Ruger LC9 pistol to force two of the three victims to allow him to tie their arms and legs to enable him to carry out the sexual assaults. The plea agreement, which Webster signed, calls for “an appropriate sentence” of between 32 and 39 years of incarceration, although it notes that the judge would have the final say on what the sentence should be. Superior Court Judge Ronna Beck, who presided over the case, scheduled a sentencing hearing for Sept. 19. Charging documents filed in court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office allege that Webster sexually assaulted the third victim while he was “passed out” on a sofa in his residence between Aug.13-15, 2016. The charging documents say Webster allegedly “took photos of Complaint 3’s genitalia, as well as, photos and a video of himself putting his mouth and hands on Complaint 3’s penis.” The publicly filed charging documents don’t give a reason for why the victim was “passed out,” but one of the documents says the victim “did not and could not consent to this behavior.”

The documents state that D.C. police investigators discovered the photos and video of the alleged sexual assault of the third victim after they arrested Webster at the time he committed the second alleged sexual assault and confiscated his phone, where the photos and video were found. The charging documents say police could find no evidence that Webster forced his way into the two homes where the alleged sexual assaults occurred and conclude that he entered the homes through an unlocked door. The charging documents filed by prosecutors do not disclose the address of the residence where the first of the three incidents took place sometime between Aug. 13 and 15 – the one where the victim was passed out on a sofa. However, documents filed in court by the defense say the alleged assault against the man who was passed out took place in the same residence as that of the third incident, which police and prosecutors say took place Oct. 1, 2016 in a house on the 1300 block of Independence Ave., S.E. The defense document says the first and third victims were roommates in that house. The second incident, according to police and prosecutors, took place Aug. 28 in a Capitol Hill house on the 1200 block of Massachusetts Ave., S.E, which is located less than three blocks from the Independence Avenue residence. The house, which a Blade reporter visited on the outside, resembles a small apartment building. The victim in the second incident, who is identified in court filings as A.P., reported that a man later identified as Webster appeared in the doorway to his bedroom about 6 a.m. on Aug. 28 and pointed a dark-colored handgun at him, according to a charging document filed by prosecutors. The document says the victim reported the intruder bound his hands and ankles with duct tape and “penetrated [his] anus with his penis against his will.” It says the victim reported the intruder later identified as Webster “anally raped him for approximately 25-30 minutes,” put a T-shirt in the victim’s mouth and repeatedly told him, “Shut up if you want to live.”

The document filed by prosecutors says after the assault concluded Webster allegedly took the victim into the bathroom and put him in the shower while his ankles and wrists were still bound and a pillowcase was placed over his head. “The defendant bathed [the victim] completely, concentrating on his anus, and running the cloth up and down it to ensure that it was clean,” the charging document says. It says the victim reported Webster then brought him back to the bedroom, placed him onto the bed face down with the pillowcase still over his head. The victim reported hearing Webster “rifling through his drawers” and apparently taking some of his belongings, the document says. It says Webster then allegedly told the victim he knows his name and knows where he works and ordered him not to report the incident to police and if he did “he would come back and do it again.” Police and court charging documents state that the third incident on Oct. 1 at the house on the 1300 block of Independence Ave., S.E., took place about 12:30 a.m. The victim, identified as L.K., reported the suspect later identified as Webster similarly bound his arms and legs with duct tape after pointing a hand gun at him. The victim told police he arrived home alone that night before his roommates came home. He said he unlocked the door to the house when he came home but didn’t remember if he relocked it. A short time later, while in his bedroom, he heard someone walking in the house and when he looked to see who it was Webster allegedly pulled out his gun and ordered him onto his bed. Similar to the second incident, Webster ordered him to take off his clothes and bound his arms and legs before anally raping him, the charging documents say. But in this instance, the documents say, the victim was able to slip his hands free from the tape, grabbed the gun, which Webster had put down on the bed, and struggled to subdue his attacker. During the struggle the victim reported hearing one of his roommates inside the house and yelled for help. Webster had apparently locked the bedroom door, but

the roommate broke open the door and helped the victim subdue Webster as the victim called police from his cell phone. After arriving and assessing the situation, D.C. police arrested Webster and arranged for him to be taken first to a hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the struggle with the victim and the roommate, who also received injuries from the fight, the charging documents state. Neither the police nor prosecutors’ charging documents or several court motions filed by defense attorneys David Benowitz and Shawn Sukumar explain why Webster allegedly targeted the two houses or how he allegedly managed to enter one of the two houses twice and the other once through unlocked doors. Also unexplained is why Webster had a Virginia driver’s license but was identified by police as a resident of an apartment at 3711 Alabama Ave., S.E. Prosecutors and the two defense attorneys declined to discuss the case with the Washington Blade at the courthouse after Webster pleaded guilty to the threecount plea agreement. However, Benowitz said he would discuss the case after the sentencing on Sept. 19. One law enforcement source knowledgeable about the case, speaking on condition of not being identified, said the three victims reportedly identify as being heterosexual. However, in a motion filed in court on May 31, defense attorneys Benowitz and Sukumar asked the judge to allow them to submit a defense theory “based on information and belief” that it was the victim identified as L.K. that committed the sexual assaults on Aug. 28 and the one believed to have taken place between Aug. 13 and Aug. 15. The court docket doesn’t show whether Judge Beck ruled on that motion before Webster agreed to plead guilty. In a separate motion filed in court on May 31, Benowitz and Sukumar suggested but did not say so directly that they would present evidence in an “alibi defense” at trial that Webster was at two hotels, one in Arlington and the other in Alexandria, at the time of two of the three sexual assault incidents.

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Mixed bag for Buttigieg in second debate

Microsoft to reassess PAC money for anti-LGBT lawmakers

Tough questions on race, health care, gun violence

New campaign Zero for Zeros hails action as ‘vital first step’


Mayor PETE BUTTIGIEG speaks at the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate on July 30. Photo courtesy of CNN

Pete Buttigieg has won praise for his eloquence and debate skills over the course of his 2020 presidential run, but his performance Tuesday night during the second Democratic debate included missteps and proved a mixed bag at best. The debate in Detroit, moderated by CNN, was only the second time an openly gay person has participated in a major party debate. (The first was Buttigieg’s participation in the previous 2020 Democratic debate.) Asked about racial division in America, the South Bend mayor — who has faced criticism for his handling of a recent police shooting of a black man — raised eyebrows when he replied, “As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me.” Buttigieg also immediately pivoted to his electability when a question was presented to him during the debate on climate change. “We have put out highly similar visions on climate,” Buttigieg said. “We will win on climate if and only if we win the presidency if and only if we beat Donald Trump. Nominate me, and get to see the president of the United States stand next to an American War veteran, and explain why he chose to pretend to be disabled when it was his chance to serve.” As the debate progressed, Buttigieg seemed unwilling or unable to defend himself from criticism from other Democratic contenders. For example, when Buttigieg said gun violence is because “we haven’t had a system in Washington capable of delivering what the American people have told us they want,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) replied she disagrees with him. “This isn’t just about a system, or it’s not just about words,” Klobuchar said. “This is about the NRA.” Invoking the Columbine shooting in the 1990s and the school shootings that followed, including the Parkland shooting, Buttigieg said, “Something is broken if it is even possible for the same debate around the same solutions that we all know are the right thing to do.” But Klobuchar hammered back by more simply identifying the problem as the National Rifle Association. One key moment came when Jake Tapper asked Buttigieg whether the middle class should pay higher taxes in exchange for guaranteed health care and eliminate premiums. The South Bend mayor essentially dodged the question. “So we don’t have to stand up here speculating about whether the public option will be better or a Medicare for All environment will be better than the corporate options,” Buttigieg said. “We can put it to the test. That’s the concept of my Medicare for All Who Want It proposal.” When Tapper pressed Buttigieg for a “yes or no” in clarification, Buttigieg replied, “I think you can buy into it. That’s the idea of ‘Medicare-for-All-Who-WantIt.’ Look, this is a distinction without a difference, whether you’re paying the same money in the form of taxes or premiums.”

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By LOU CHIBBARO JR. LCHIBBARO@WASHBLADE.COM Microsoft last week became the first of 49 LGBT supportive corporations identified by a new LGBT group as collectively contributing millions of dollars through their Political Action Committees to members of Congress with the “worst of the worst” anti-LGBT records, to consider halting those contributions. The new group, Zero for Zeros, identifies itself as a campaign aimed at persuading the nation’s most prominent and well-known pro-LGBT corporations to stop a seemingly contradictory practice of giving PAC money to the re-election campaigns of members of Congress who oppose and undermine the LGBT supportive policies that corporations like Microsoft say they support. Microsoft’s action was first disclosed in a July 23 internal memo leaked to outside advocacy groups. The memo was written by Fred Humphries Jr., Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs. It announces that the tech giant has temporarily suspended contributions to politicians from its employee Political Action Committee called MSPAC while it conducts a “realigning” of the PACs “giving criteria and how decisions are made in terms of the candidates we support.” The memo surfaced less than two weeks after Zero for Zeros announced a first-ofits-kind campaign to persuade pro-LGBT U.S. corporations to stop giving money to 19 U.S. senators and 10 U.S. House members who have received a zero rating on LGBT related issues in the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard for the past two sessions of Congress. In an announcement launching its campaign, Zero for Zeros said it would be targeting 49 corporations, including Microsoft, that have received a perfect 100 percent rating in HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index, which assesses corporations’ internal personnel policies for protecting the rights of LGBT employees and other LGBT-related corporate actions. “These companies have contributed a total of $5,837,331 from their corporate PACs to the worst of the worst members of Congress,” the campaign said in a recent statement. “Zero for Zeros is asking that these companies’ corporate PACs cease giving to these members of Congress,” the statement says. Similar to most corporate PACs, the

Microsoft PAC is funded mostly by Microsoft employees through a voluntary, opt-in fund contribution from an employee’s salary. Up until now, however, the employees had no control over who the PAC money is given to other than knowing the recipient supported legislation that helped advance the company’s business interests. Corporations rely on employee contributions for their PACs because federal campaign finance laws prohibit corporations themselves from contributing more than $5,000 to a PAC in an election cycle. In his internal memo, Humphries didn’t specifically mention the Microsoft PAC’s contributions to anti-LGBT lawmakers. But he said the company was creating new internal advisory councils based on Employee Resource Groups “to increase dialogue and transparency.” LGBT activist Lane Hudson, who serves as the Zero for Zeros campaign manager, hailed Microsoft’s action as “a vital first step” in reconciling its LGBT supportive corporate policies with the lawmakers to which it gives PAC money. “Microsoft was the first company that engaged with Zero for Zeros in good faith,” Hudson said in a statement. “We discussed their concerns, they heard ours and their employees weighed in,” he said. “We are thrilled that they have responded to our campaign.” Hudson added, “Their plan looks strong and may ultimately be a model for how other companies can ensure that politicians that undermine the values of a company and its employees do not receive the support of their corporate PACs.” In addition to Microsoft, among the other pro-LGBT corporations Zero for Zeros has identified as giving PAC money to anti-LGBT members of Congress are Facebook, AT&T, Amazon, American Airlines, Google, and Intel. Among the 29 lawmakers Zero for Zero identifies as the “worst of the worst” on LGBT issues and who have received a zero rating from the HRC Congressional Scorecard are Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and U.S. Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), and Steve King (R-Iowa). A full list of the 49 pro-LGBT corporations and the 19 anti-LGBT members of Congress can be found at zeroforzeros.org.

Former ‘Don’t Ask’ activist is now a Trump supporter Rob Smith decries ‘nuttiness’ of modern LGBT movement By CHRIS JOHNSON CJOHNSON@WASHBLADE.COM

ROB SMITH is among the gay conservatives who spoke at the Turning Point USA conference. Photo courtesy of Turning Point USA

Nine years ago, gay Army veteran Rob Smith chained himself to the White House fence, protesting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But last week, Smith stood before hundreds of MAGA hat-wearing Donald Trump supporters in D.C. and lamented more young people weren’t joining the conservative movement. In a speech to the Turning Point USA summit, he hammered the need to re-elect President Trump. “I don’t like the fact that I lost all my gay friends in New York City when I came out as a conservative,” Smith told the Washington Blade. “I don’t like the fact that I lost the rest of my gay friends when I came out as a Trump supporter. I don’t like it. It doesn’t make me feel good, you know, but I can’t tell these kids not to stand up for what they believe and not practice what I preach.” Smith isn’t alone. In Trump’s America, he’s among the emerging gay voices in the world of conservative political commentary, whether it be Twitter, YouTube or podcasts. Want to read the latest from these gay political commentators? Open up the conservative Washington Examiner. Among the columnists is Eddie Scarry, a gay protege of conservative media queen Ann Coulter, and Brad Polumbo, a Zillenial writer who boasts a 4.0 GPA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he joined Young Americans for Liberty.

Smith didn’t shy away from his sexual orientation on stage at the summit, where he said he was gay during his speech and referenced his husband. For the attendees, many of whom wore MAGA hats and frat attire consisting of a sport coat, khakis and top-siders, it didn’t seem to matter. When Smith was on stage, they lined up to ask questions about being a youth in the conservative movement. Topics included Big Tech’s alleged censorship of conservatives on social media, teacher hostility to conservative viewpoints and whether it’s possible to be in a relationship with someone who has opposing political views. After Smith was done, attendees continued to mob him to snap group selfies and offer words of support and solidarity. Speaking with the Washington Blade at the summit after his remarks, Smith said his sexual orientation at conservative events has “never really been a thing.” Any concerns, Smith said, are generally quickly resolved because he says people in the conservative movement “are unafraid to offend you by asking questions.” “So sometimes I do get questions,” Smith said. “They’re like, ‘I’m a conservative Christian, but I support you as a gay person, but my beliefs are differently, how do I reconcile those two things?’ And then I would just say, ‘You really lead from love, you lead from the fact that we all have the

same fundamental values, like we’re all here for the same reason, we just have a different sexual orientation, different skin colors, different religions, different whatever.’” Of course, the conservative movement isn’t exactly known for accepting LGBT people. In fact, conservative forces have long opposed LGBT equality — whether it be marriage, assurances of nondiscrimination in employment or military service — let alone offered LGBT voices a platform to speak. The welcoming attitude, Smith said, is a direct consequence of social media, which he said has enabled gay people with conservative viewpoints to become more vocal and visible. And yet, Smith also said he sees a “societal change,” which constitutes a more accepting attitude from Millennials and Gen-Z conservatives toward gay people than older conservatives. “We ascribe so many things to like, the government needs to change all of this stuff, and this needs to happen,” Smith said. “Change does not start from the top down, it starts from the bottom up.” Another gay conservative commentator is Guy Benson of Fox News Radio, where he works as a contributor and hosts a daily radio show/podcast. Neither Trump nor Democrats escape the barbs of his commentary, which, Benson told the Blade, demonstrates he’s “not a MAGA-hat wearing Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination.” Speaking with the Blade at the Turning Point USA conference after his speech, Benson said there’s a new environment in the conservative movement for gay people. “I think that it’s a changing society, and I think I recognize that younger conservatives, in particular, have very different views on some of these than older generations,” Benson said. Benson pointed to data from the Pew Research Center that found growth over time among Republicans who support same-sex marriage. (There has been growth, but still a minority of conservatives support gay nuptials. In 2019, 44 percent of Republicans said they support same-sex marriage compared to 23 percent in 2001.) “So, there has been a sea change,” Benson said. “And I think there’s a recognition that politics is sort of an addition and multiplication game. It’s a coalitional game. And it’s more about ideas, or at least I hope it’s more about ideas than identity.” Charlie Kirk, a 25-year-old rising star in the conservative movement and founder of Turning Point USA, said via email to the Blade

gay people with conservative ideology are more than welcome in the movement. “This generation of conservatives is marked by increasingly diverse and charismatic voices like Guy and Rob, who love their country and value timeless conservative ideas like small government, freedom of speech and individual responsibility,” Kirk said. “We celebrate patriots like these regardless of whether they’re gay or straight, black or white, male or female, rich or poor, tall or short. We’re so grateful for their leadership and for inspiring so many others in their own journeys in what has really become an all new conservative movement.” It should be noted Turning Point USA faces accusations of racism, despite employing black conservatives like Smith and “Blexit” leader Candace Owens, in addition to objections to churning out an army of youth in support of Trump. To be sure, large swaths of the conservative movement are still vocally opposed to LGBT rights and to promoting LGBT people to positions of visibility within the movement. Just last week, a failed U.S. Senate candidate in California announced a “Straight Pride” event to celebrate “whiteness” and “heterosexuality” as the Family Research Council President Tony Perkins hailed a new State Department commission widely seen as hostile to LGBT rights. The path for the emergence of these gay conservatives takes different forms. Benson has long been a conservative, but came out as gay in 2015 on a Fox News during an interview with Megyn Kelly. Smith went in the opposite direction, starting as an openly gay progressive who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, then becoming a conservative, then becoming a Trump supporter. But Smith’s voice as a gay conservative is especially unique because years ago he was not just a progressive, but an activist with the now defunct LGBT grassroots group GetEQUAL opposing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” These days, Smith doesn’t talk much publicly about when not even the Democratic Party was supportive enough of LGBT rights to pass muster for him. On that cold November day in 2010, he was arrested protesting outside the White House where President Barack Obama was in charge. Giving voice to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal effort as a gay Army veteran who served in Iraq and Kuwait, Smith was among 13 activists who in protest of the military’s gay ban chained themselves to the White House CONTINUES ON PAGE 14

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From gay rights activist to conservative Trump supporter CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

fence. For the act of civil disobedience, Smith and others were subsequently arrested. Joining Smith at the time was former Lt. Dan Choi, who gained notoriety for being the first activist to chain himself to the White House fence in an effort to encourage thenPresident Obama to end the discharges under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” To Smith’s immediate left was Autumn Sandeen, a San Diego-based transgender activist and Navy veteran, to his immediate right was longtime gay military activist Michael Bedwell. After Choi became the first activist to chain himself to the White House fence in 2010, Smith penned an op-ed for the Huffington Post saying more activism like Choi’s was needed. “I think what we needed was to see something like this to light a fire under each and every one of us that cares as deeply as he does about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal, and about full equality in general,” Smith wrote. “This movement needs him as much as it needs me, or Jarrod Chlapowski, or Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach, or any of the other gay veterans who share our past of silent service knowing that it reflects the present of thousands of gay soldiers currently serving.” Although times have changed, Smith said he looks back on his days as an LGBT rights activist with no regrets and said that work helped him reach where he is now. “When I look back at that now, and when I look back at standing up for LGBT soldiers, and doing all the things that I did at the White House, I look back on it fondly,” Smith said. “And I’m proud of every single thing that I did. And when I look back on that all of that stuff really did inform the change to conservatism that I’ve had over the past few years.” Smith said the experience of being with GetEQUAL helped him “see how organizations work,” which is why he’s “so critical of a lot of things that are going on in not just in the transgender ideology, [but] very critical about things that are going on in the LGBT movement in general.” “There was a moment when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal happened and marriage equality happened, there was this whole moment where people didn’t know where we were going to go, because fundamentally, the rights for the gays and lesbians have more or less been achieved,” Smith said. “And those were two really big things, right? And so I think that the embrace of a lot of the nuttiness that that’s going on in the name of the LGBT nowadays is motivated not by a genuine desire to help people, but by a desire to keep that sort of money train coming.” As an example, Smith took particular issue with the Human Rights Campaign deciding to endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016 — even before the Democratic primary with

ROB SMITH is arrested at the White House in 2010. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key

Bernie Sanders had yet to conclude. “That wasn’t about the people; it was about Chad Griffin,” Smith said. “That was about the people that were on the boards of these things, trying to put access to power. And what I hate the most, is that they use young LGBT people, and they’re using young LGBT people of color to push these leftist messages out, and they’ll put their faces all over the place, and they’ll send them out to interviews and all that stuff. And these people are still not represented on the boards, they’re still not represented in leadership positions.” But at least one of his fellow activists from that time doesn’t see it that way, especially when policies like Trump’s transgender military ban are still on the books. Robin McGehee, who served as cochair of GetEQUAL and was another of the 13 activists arrested at the White House, criticized Smith for his political transformation from an LGBT activist into a Trump supporter. “Although I deeply believe in the personal freedom of choosing your political positions and candidates, that does not mean I am not saddened by Smith’s desire to support a person and party that clearly discriminates, promotes classism, sexism, homo/transphobia and operates in a fashion that is demeaning to the liberty and justice for all that Rob helped protect and promote fighting as a solider for our country, on and off the battlefield,” McGehee said. McGehee took particular issue with Smith supporting an administration that enacted a transgender military ban, which she said is “damaging to the same soldiers he took the fence with who defended his right to serve openly as a gay man.” “His desire to support a president and an administration that would so clearly discriminate against transgender service members seems self-centered, but for that — disappointingly — he has picked the right candidate and party,” McGehee said. In terms of rhetoric, there may well be a changing environment that has enabled

gay conservatives to emerge under the Trump administration, which despite its anti-LGBT record has embraced some symbols of LGBT rights. On one hand, Trump recognized Pride month in a Tweet and a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in the more than 70 countries where it remains illegal. Per White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump was the first president to enter into the White House “approving of gay marriage.” On the other hand, Trump has presided over anti-LGBT administration in terms of policy, mostly in terms of attacks on the transgender community. Among his administration’s initiatives are a transgender military ban and disavowing protections for transgender workers under federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (But the Trump administration also has argued federal civil rights law doesn’t apply to gay people.) As part of this schizophrenia, there’s a perception the Trump administration has approached gay people and transgender people differently, which is also reflected in the conservative movement. We may be living in a post-gay world, but we’re not living in a post-trans world. Benson recognized an “addition and multiplication game” within the conservative movement to reach out to gay people, but said that isn’t the case with transgender people. “That’s a trickier piece at the moment,” Benson said. “I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand transgenderism. I think there’s a lot of people who are just wrapping their brains around same-sex marriage for the first time. And now, they feel like there’s this new frontier that is, you know, aggressive and challenging biological sex and all these sorts of things.” Despite the inclusive approach of the LGBT movement, many gay conservatives themselves see a distinction between the fight for gay rights and transgender rights. Among them is Smith, who said he sees a

distinction between the “L” and the “G” in the LGBT movement and the other letters. “There’s so much confusion about all the other letters, because they are confused about who they are, what they want, what the goals are, what constitutes this, what constitutes that,” Smith said. “They’re confused. There are a lot of people that are literally making these things up as they go along. So they’re confused. They’re confusing each other. And they’re confusing everybody else.” Smith said he faces constant accusations he’s transphobic, but denied that was the case and said instead he’s “shamelessly gender critical.” “I’m shamelessly critical of some of the roads that transgender ideology is going down to when it comes to invasive medical intervention for kids and teenagers, when it comes to silencing the voices of women, of lesbians, silencing lesbian icons like Martina Navratilova,” Smith said, “Or silencing lesbians like Julia Beck, or silencing anybody who dares to stand up against what I like to call super-radical transgender ideology.” It’s that kind of thought Smith said informs his opposition to the Equality Act, LGBT rights legislation that would enact long sought-after federal LGBT non-discrimination protections into law. (The White House has said Trump opposes the legislation based on unspecified “poison pill” amendments in the bill.) Smith said he shares that view on the Equality Act because he wants to ensure women (“not people that identify as a woman or I feel like a woman today — like I think about the actual women”) have access to sex-segregated spaces, like restrooms and lesbian bars. (Transgender advocates would call the exclusion of transgender women from these spaces discrimination.) “Now there is a form of legislation that I think conservatives and liberals and Democrats can probably come together on, that protects LGBT people and still keeps women with the rights that they have fought so hard for,” Smith said. “But you don’t, I’m not asking them to give up their rights, so that the LGBTQI or whatever can can get whatever rights that they want.” On the Equality Act, Benson said he wasn’t familiar with the legislation, but said some kind of legislation “to add some just very basic protections that exists for other groups should exist for LGBT people as well.” At the same time, Benson also said a religious exemption within such legislation would be “very important.” “I think that we should be able to coexist in a way that people are protected and not discriminated against because of who they are, and then people aren’t trampled on, if they are religious dissenters,” Benson said. “I know that that’s a tricky needle to thread, but that’s one of my goals is fostering the type of culture and the type of country where we can exist side by side.” CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

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Mother of trans Salvadoran woman who died in ICE custody demands answers

PATRICIA MEDINA DE BARRIENTOS looks at a picture on her cell phone of her child, Johana Medina León, a transgender woman who died in a Texas hospital on June 1, three days after ICE released her from their custody.

Medina de Barrientos told the Blade. “She asked for help because she was a nurse, but they refused. She was denied help. There was no medical attention.” Medina de Barrientos said Medina’s partner in El Salvador, who is also a nurse, spoke with Medina shortly before she died. “She didn’t feel well because (she said) they were not treating us well,” she said, speaking through tears as she recalled what Medina’s partner told her. “They were not giving them medications.” Medina de Barrientos said Medina’s

partner had spoken with a detainee at the Otero County Processing Center who did not know she was at the hospital. Medina de Barrientos said she wanted to get a visa that would have allowed her to travel to the U.S. to be with Medina, but she died before she was able to get it. “I wanted to be with my child,” said Medina de Barrientos. “My child needed me because she was alone.” The Salvadoran government paid to send Medina’s body back to El Salvador for burial. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Begnaud: Puerto Ricans ‘shamed’ governor into resigning

DAVID BEGNAUD, a gay CBS News reporter has received widespread praise for his coverage of Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy CBS News

Washington Blade photo by Ernesto Valle

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The mother of a transgender woman from El Salvador who died last month shortly after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released her from its custody said she was a “respectful, educated person.” “She always watched out for other people,” Patricia Medina de Barrientos told the Blade on Wednesday during an exclusive interview in the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador. “[She was] very happy, respectful, always helping other people … she had many goals, dreams.” Johana “Joa” Medina León passed away at Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, on June 1. Medina, 25, worked as a private nurse in El Salvador. Her mother, who cried at several points during the interview, said Medina left the country on Jan. 13 because she had been attacked and threatened because she was trans. “She decided to leave because she wanted to be a free person,” said Medina de Barrientos. Medina de Barrientos said Medina entered Mexico and received a humanitarian visa that allowed her to legally travel in the country. Medina made her way to Ciudad Juárez, a city that is across the Rio Grande from El Paso, and stayed at a shelter for LGBTI migrants run by Respetttrans Chihuahua, a local advocacy group. ICE in a press release it released after Medina died said she “illegally” entered the U.S. at the Paso del Norte Port of Entry between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez on

April 11. Medina de Barrientos confirmed Medina arrived in the U.S. on that day. ICE in its press release said Medina entered its custody on April 14. Medina had been detained at the Otero County Processing Center — a privately run ICE detention facility in Chaparral, N.M., outside of El Paso in which a dozen gay men and trans women earlier this year alleged they suffered mistreatment — before ICE “transported” her to the hospital on May 28 after “she complained of chest pains.” ICE in its press release said Medina on the same day requested an HIV test and tested positive. ICE noted Medina on May 18 “received a positive credible fear finding” and four days later was summoned to appear before an immigration judge. Its press release said Medina on May 28, the same day she was admitted to the hospital, “was processed for release on parole.” Medina de Barrientos said Medina described the conditions at the Otero County Processing Center as “bad.” Medina de Barrientos also told the Blade that Medina did not receive adequate medical care while detained there as her health deteriorated. Otero County Processing Center personnel reportedly denied Medina’s request for water, sugar and salt that would have allowed her to prepare her own IV. Officials also allegedly ignored her request to be deported back to El Salvador in order to receive treatment. “She became worse, worse, worse,”


A CBS News reporter whose Puerto Rico coverage has garnered widespread praise this week said people in the U.S. commonwealth “shamed” their soon-tobe-former governor to resign. “It is exceptionally rare to see an organic movement of hundreds of thousands of people oust a sitting governor without a single shot being fired,” David Begnaud told the Blade during a telephone interview from New York. “It’s unprecedented globally and they essentially shamed this man into leaving.” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on July 24 announced his resignation less than two weeks after Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published nearly 900 pages of messages he and several members of his administration sent to each other in a chat on the messaging app Telegram. The messages, among other things, contained homophobic and misogynistic comments against Ricky Martin and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. Rosselló and members of his administration also mocked victims of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, and described former New York City Council Speaker Melissa MarkViverito, who was born in San Juan, a “whore” when she criticized Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Pérez’s support of statehood for the U.S. commonwealth. Rosselló had been chair of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party. Begnaud, who publicly came out as gay in 2018, recalled his interview with Jorge Rodríguez, a prominent Puerto Rican businessman who called for Rosselló resign. Begnaud told the Blade that Rodríguez “pointed his finger in my face and said, ‘David, let me tell you why we rose up like we did.’” “It’s because those chat messages took away our dignity, they took away our dignity in terms of how the governor and his staff made fun of people, criticized people, laughed at people, from the dead, to the gay, to women,” said Rodríguez, according to Begnaud. “They literally had no one that they didn’t go after.” “The governor’s mansion (known as La Fortaleza) … has been run like a frat house and it has collapsed because of these chat messages,” Begnaud told the Blade. Begnaud has become a beloved figure in Puerto Rico because of his coverage of Maria’s aftermath and the federal and Puerto Rican government’s slow response to the hurricane that left upwards of 3,000 people dead. Begnaud is also among those who were criticized in the chat. “I thought about it for about two minutes,” said Begnaud when the Blade asked him about the criticism. “I think my initial reaction was, really?’” Begnaud added the criticism was “part of the job.” “When you are exposing either corrupt behavior or wrongdoing in some way, you are going to draw the ire of people in positions of power,” he said. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

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Cannabis Culture data compiled by The Marist Institute for Public Opinion, in partnership with National Public Radio and the PBS News Hour. Sixty-three percent of respondents said that it is a “good idea” to “legalize marijuana nationwide.” The issue received greater public support than did numerous other policy questions, including raising the national minimum wage to $15 (56 percent support), imposing a ‘wealth tax’ on those with incomes above $1 million (62 percent), and banning the sale of automatic weapons (57 percent). “As Americans learn more about the successful legalization of marijuana in state after state, their support for the policy at a national level continues to grow,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Even House Judiciary Committee members on both sides of the political aisle have concluded that it is time to end the federal prohibition of cannabis.” The results are similar to those of a nationwide Axios poll, released in June, which also reported that 63 percent of adults back legalization. Recently compiled polls by Gallup (66 percent), Pew (62 percent), and the Center for American Progress (68 percent), among others, show similar levels of national support. Rep. JERRY NADLER (D-N.Y.) last week introduced The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act to end federal marijuana criminalization. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

Nadler, Harris seek to end federal cannabis prohibition

Marijuana arrests soar in Virginia

6 in 10 Americans back legalizing cannabis: poll

RICHMOND, Va. — The number of marijuana-related arrests in 2018 climbed to nearly 29,000 — a total that is three times higher than 1999 totals, according to crime data compiled by the Virginia State Police. Marijuana-related arrests in Virginia have risen steadily in recent years, increasing an estimated 25 percent since 2016. The overwhelming majority of arrests are for possess-related offenses, and over half of those arrested are under 24 years of age. “Voter attitudes are no longer reflected in state law,” says NORML’s Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML. “Marijuana arrests in Virginia have skyrocketed to a 20year high, and in stark contrast to the year-over-year national trend downward. The Commonwealth now spends over $100 million annually enforcing marijuana prohibition, at a time when over three quarters of Virginians favor fines not crimes for simple possession and six in 10 support legalizing and regulating responsible adult-use.” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring agrees. “While other states are moving to a more sensible approach to cannabis, Virginia is still moving in the wrong direction. It makes absolutely no sense,” said Herring. “Marijuana arrests are now at their highest level in at least two decades and maybe ever, meaning that even more Virginians, especially young people and people of color, are being saddled with criminal records that can drastically affect their lives. Now is the time to put a stop to this costly, unfair, and ineffective approach, and to pursue a better, smarter, fairer course.” Under state law, first-time possession offenders face up to 30 days in jail and a criminal record. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to one year in prison. Senate legislation introduced earlier this year to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession offenses was rejected by members of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee – with all Republicans voting against the measure. House companion legislation was similarly rejected along party lines.

POUGHKEEPSIE,, N.Y. — More than six in 10 U.S. adults endorse cannabis legalization, according to nationwide polling

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Judiciary Committee and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) last week introduced comprehensive legislation (The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act) to end federal marijuana criminalization. The Act removes the marijuana plant from the federal Controlled Substances Act, requires the federal courts to expunge prior marijuana-related convictions, and provides grants to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war, among other changes. “The MORE Act is the most comprehensive marijuana reform bill ever introduced in the U.S. Congress and is backed by a broad coalition of civil rights, criminal justice, drug policy, and immigration groups,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal, who assisted Nadler’s office in drafting the bill. “It embodies the need to legalize cannabis and restore the rights of those who have suffered under the cruel and failed policy of criminalization.” Added NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri: “By passing the MORE Act, Congress can begin to remedy the pain caused by the criminalization of marijuana. This bill provides a real federal solution by fully de-scheduling of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and providing relief to those suffering under the collateral consequences of having a marijuana charge on their record by facilitating the process of expungements. The American public is overwhelmingly ready to legalize marijuana, their elected officials in Washington need to finally start representing the will of the people and advance this sensible legislation.”

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PrEP use, awareness Deadline looms up in latest numbers for LGBT ACA protections rollback LONDON — PrEP awareness and usage

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is up among gay men according to 2017 numbers just released, Reuters reports. The current study looked at national health survey data to track changes in awareness and use of PrEP from 20142017 in 20 American cities. Overall, there was “a significant increase in the percentage of gay and bisexual men at high risk for HIV who are using PrEP,” said Teresa Finlayson, lead author of the study and a researcher at the CDC in Atlanta, Reuters reports. By 2017, the percentage of at-risk men who have sex with men who were aware of PrEP had risen from 60-90 percent. And 35 percent of these men were using PrEP by 2017, up from 6 percent in 2014, Reuters reports. “Although PrEP use has increased, PrEP use remains too low, particularly among gay and bisexual African American and Latino men,” Finlayson told Reuters by email. Among black men in the study, awareness of PrEP rose from 47-86 percent, while use of the pill climbed from 4-26 percent. For Hispanic or Latino men, awareness of PrEP increased from 49-87 percent, while use rose from 4-30 percent. White men fared better, with awareness of PrEP growing from 72-95 percent and use increasing from 8-42 percent. Men who identified as straight were less aware of PrEP and less likely to use the daily pill by the end of the study than men who identified as gay or bisexual, researchers report in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. One limitation of the study is the potential that men didn’t accurately report their awareness or use of PrEP in the surveys, Reuters reports. A potential drawback of increased PrEP use is that it might lead to a decline in condom use and a rise in other sexually transmitted infections, some previous research suggests. One recent study compared rates of three sexually transmitted infections — syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia — before and after PrEP became a standard of care, Reuters reports. Compared to the pre-PrEP period, syphilis infection rates rose 25 percent in the post-PrEP period and gonorrhea rates rose 26 percent. Chlamydia rates fell 12 percent, Reuters reports.

BOSTON — The Fenway Institute of Fenway Health last weekend released a policy brief outlining the harm to LGBT people likely to result from a new health care regulation proposed by the Trump administration in July. The public has until Aug. 13, to offer comment on the proposed regulation and authors of the brief urge health care professionals and advocates to submit comment urging the Trump Administration to reconsider the proposal. On June 14, the Trump Administration released a proposed regulation that would reverse the 2016 final rule implementing the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That measure, known as the 2016 Section 1557 rule explicitly prohibits gender identity discrimination, including discrimination against intersex and non-binary people, in health care facilities and programs receiving federal funding. The rule also prohibits some forms of sexual orientation discrimination that take the form of sex stereotyping. “Initial news reports about the proposed rule characterized it as anti-transgender,” said Fenway Institute Health Policy Fellow Katherine Laurila, author of the brief, titled “New rule proposes removal of LGBT nondiscrimination provisions from Section 1557 and other health care regulations.” “But the scope of the proposed regulation extends far beyond the gender identity and sex stereotyping provisions of the 2016 nondiscrimination provisions of Rule 1557.” Included in the Trump administration proposal are provisions that would revise several other important health care regulations that explicitly prohibit both sexual orientation and gender identity. If finalized, the proposed rule would remove explicit sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination provisions from: Regulations governing the health insurance exchanges, including 34 federally facilitated exchanges and 17 state exchanges. Regulations governing Qualified Health Plans. Medicaid regulations, including language that explicitly prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in Medicaid enrollment and availability of services, and language highlighting the importance of access and cultural considerations that calls on states to care for LGBT patients and others in a culturally competent manner Regulations governing the access to services provided by the Program of AllInclusive Care for the Elderly. Anti-LGBT discrimination in health care is widespread, correlates with poorer health and well-being for LGBT people, and makes LGBT people less likely to access health care, Fenway reports.

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is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at knaff@washblade.com.


is a D.C.-based writer who contributes regularly to the Blade.


is the leader of the AFL-CIO’s professional staff, represented by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA 32035). Elected unanimously in August 2018 as the first openly gay leader of the staff union, Gabor hopes to work in partnership with AFL-CIO management to follow through on promises to eradicate racism, sexism, homophobia, discrimination, and hate not only at the AFL-CIO, but in the labor movement at large.


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

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


is the Blade’s features editor. Reach him at joeyd@washblade.com.



Our racist president

Treacherous gay conservatives are enabling Trump’s madness President Trump this week, responding in a C-SPAN interview to a question about his overt racism, says the word is overused and essentially meaningless. Thus he won’t be bothered by our cover this week, which rightly labels the sitting president a racist. As if Charlottesville hadn’t confirmed his white supremacist sympathies, Trump in the past couple of weeks has insulted a group of four sitting members of Congress, all of whom happen to be women of color, telling them to “go back” where they came from, ignoring that some of them have been here longer than his own immigrant wife. But he didn’t stop there. This week, he turned his attentions — and his overused Twitter account — to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who just happens to chair the House Committee on Oversight & Reform, which is probing various scandals of the administration. His attacks extended beyond Cummings personally to include the city of Baltimore and Cummings’s district, which Trump described as a “filthy & dangerous place … No human being would want to live there.” As someone who lives in Baltimore not far from Cummings’s district, I can assure you that many people live quite well in the 7th congressional district. Of course Baltimore has its well-documented problems but, as usual, Trump conveniently ignores facts while propagating his racist agenda. He doesn’t attack red states that voted for him like Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, which rank lowest in education, highest in poverty, most dependent on federal aid, most polluted and most dangerous, as highlighted this week by USA Today. Instead, Trump’s targets are largely limited to black and brown lawmakers, reporters and other critics who condemn his racism. Make no mistake that his embrace of racist tropes is a deliberate attempt to distract mainstream media attention from the myriad investigations and scandals plaguing his administration — and to gin up his redneck racist base for 2020. But calling out Trump’s racism isn’t taking the bait. It’s merely the right thing to do. Sensible Americans of all backgrounds

must denounce this reckless, dangerous use of the bully pulpit. It will lead to violence and already has. When Trump labels the media the “enemy of the people” and then a gunman storms the Capital Gazette one year ago, killing five journalists, he has blood on his hands. When he embraces white supremacist ideology and plays footsie with David Duke and a racist protester plows his car into a crowd, killing a counterprotester, he has blood on his hands. When he denounces four members of Congress as somehow un-American or illegitimate and they subsequently receive a torrent of death threats, the link is undeniable. Trump is using the power of the bully pulpit to incite violence against his critics. All of that leads us to this week’s Blade cover as we join the chorus of voices calling all of this what it is: racist, plain and simple. And the silence from gay conservatives is disturbing, disappointing and hypocritical. Where are the Log Cabin Republicans, who ostensibly have at least some access to the administration? Under former executive director Gregory Angelo, Log Cabin declined to endorse Trump in 2016. But his successor, Jerri Ann Henry, is silent amid Trump’s racist Tweet storms. Charles Moran, a Log Cabin spokesperson, told the Blade this week when asked about the racist Tweets: “Coupled with a roaring economy and a focus on improving the lives of the average American worker, I think it’s safe to say that gay conservatives and Log Cabin Republican members are still quite pleased with their support of President Trump and are unwavering in their support.” “Unwavering support” for a racist. There you have it. His response will not age well. And the silence of gay conservatives, including Log Cabin, Trump’s own gay appointees and media personalities like former “Don’t Ask, Don’t’ Tell” activist Rob Smith, equals complicity. Perhaps the term “racist” is overused as Trump asserts. But sometimes the shoe fits. Those who remain silent or, worse, continue to support Trump, are enabling a wannabe authoritarian whose reckless impulses will lead to more violence.

is the leader of the AFL-CIO’s professional staff, represented by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA 32035).

We’re here, we’re queer — and we’re union

Creating inclusive workplaces takes a commitment to change “You don’t look like a union guy.” It’s a phrase that ran through my mind as Pride month came to an end and I thought about the visibility of the LGBTQ community in the labor movement. Recently, I had this brief exchange on a gay dating app: Man: You don’t look like a union guy. Me: What does a union guy look like? Man: Based off of someone I went to school [with], a unionist only wears a T-shirt and looks either somber or angry. Me: LOL I guess you don’t know many of us, then. I put my phone down, my mind racing through faces and stories of colleagues who are far from this man’s myopic view of the labor movement. I started to become agitated, asking myself questions: Am I not union enough? Does he think LGBTQ people don’t belong in unions? Last year, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka noted that, “For many LGBTQ Americans, a union card is their only form of employment protection.” In the 28 U.S. states where queer and trans workers can still be fired due to their sexual orientation and gender identity, he’s 100 percent correct. The truth is, anyone can be union, and we don’t wear T-shirts every day, nor are we always somber or angry. Being union isn’t about clothing choice or facial expressions, it’s about values. Being union is knowing that - regardless of who you are and what makes you unique - at work, we’re all equal. At work, we stand arm in arm with the person next to us because we know we’re stronger together than alone. When I first started to work for the AFLCIO in 2016, I wasn’t convinced that I would fit in with the labor movement. It turns out that I, too, was biased by the “union guy” myth. Thanks to a great manager and accepting coworkers, I realized that the union

movement could have space for me, too. Last August, my fellow union members — members of the Washington Baltimore News Guild — elected me unanimously as their union leader, the first time an openly gay person has held the position. That’s not to say there haven’t been moments that have made me cringe. I never knew that campaign messaging could make someone “sound like a f***ot,” or that a woman who doesn’t wear dresses and crosses her arms has “hostile body language.” I’m struggling to accurately count how many times I’ve had hostile body language in the last week if that’s the definition. There is obviously still room for improvement, but that’s not unique to the labor movement. As AFL-CIO Vice President Tefere Gebre said earlier this year, “The scourge of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, discrimination and hate isn’t just a Donald Trump problem. It’s an American problem. And it affects our labor movement just like it affects the rest of our society. And we need to call it out and fight it.” To say that Pride is about visibility isn’t entirely accurate. Pride is about intentionally creating space where one can be comfortable feeling visible. Creating that intentional, inclusive space at work takes a commitment to change. Inclusive contracts are only the beginning. Collaboration between willing employers and employees to foster a more inclusive culture is what is truly needed. Unions have been and will continue to be a force to demand that collaboration, and I am excited about the role AFL-CIO Guild members will play in that conversation. So don’t let the “union guy” myth fool you. We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re union.

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

To impeach or not to impeach: that is the question

Let’s defeat Trump at the polls instead, then prosecute him The 24th entrant into the Democratic primary — billionaire Tom Steyer — has been pushing impeachment of President Trump for the past two years. He has spent a lot of money on TV and print ads and for all his effort he has a few million people that have signed his petition. Now he can contact them to donate to his campaign. Some may feel blindsided. Impeachment is spelled out in our Constitution. Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5 gives the House of Representatives the sole Power of Impeachment. Under Article 1, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7, the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the president of the United States is tried, the chief justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present. Truth be told many of my friends are also calling for impeachment now. They claim it’s a matter of our Democracy and that it is the duty of the House of Representatives to impeach the lying, racist, sexist, homophobic disgusting pig in the White House without further delay. But the Constitution doesn’t say it is a duty but rather lays it out as an option for the House of Representatives. Now is not the time to do it. Will it be the time in two weeks or four? Maybe, but with the information the Congress has now, however disgusting it seems, it will only lead to more political theater and potentially a chance for Trump to once again stand in the Rose Garden and say he has been exonerated. In this case it will ring true if the Senate doesn’t convict him and the chance of their convicting him with today’s make-up of the Senate is zero. Remember conviction requires two-thirds of the Senate. Clearly there are two debates on this topic going on. One is political and the other is ethical. My view is that Congress is a political body. Yes we want each individual member to act ethically but the body as a whole bends to political will, that is the way it was set up. We are a representative Democracy and today more people still say no to impeachment than yes. In our history we have only seen the House

of Representatives vote articles of impeachment on two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton and neither president was removed from office. So the question must be what does voting articles of impeachment accomplish? In the Clinton case we saw his approval numbers go up by 10 percent. Impeachment tends to harden opinions or make someone feel sorry for the person being impeached as in Clinton’s case, not really change them. In today’s world where we are so divided as a nation I cannot see one person’s opinion of the president change if Congress votes articles of impeachment. So the question being presented to Democrats in the Congress is whether it will get those who want impeachment more supportive and active in the presidential and other 2020 campaigns. Will those who say “a pox on both your houses” when asked why they don’t vote or get active be motivated to action if the House impeaches? From what I am hearing and seeing the answer is a resounding no. They will find something else they don’t like about the system or their member of Congress and still not get involved. If Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and decent Republicans are not motivated to get out and vote just by seeing what Trump is doing every day, what will impeachment do to activate them? Each day Trump is doing and saying things leading to the understanding he is an embarrassment to the nation. He attacks black and brown members of Congress on a regular basis. He has initiated policies that set back what was the forward motion for LGBTQ equality. By his policies and personal actions he has made it clear he has no respect for women. He is caging immigrants and separating children from their parents. So if all this hasn’t motivated those who are calling for impeachment to man the barricades and get out and vote one must question why the simple act of an unsuccessful impeachment process would do it. At this time my choice would be to defeat him at the polls and then try him after he leaves office. Robert Mueller made that an option in his report.

is a D.C.-based writer. He contributes regularly to the Blade.

My first Speedo

And social media’s mixed response to the pics I got my first Speedo. At 42, I finally bought one. I know what you’re probably thinking, big deal, right? That, or “Baby’s First Speedo” sounds like a really bad gay children’s book that should never be. But for me this is sort of a big deal. I’ve just really never dared to wear one. A couple of things brought this on. First, I’m off to France next month. And once there, beach bound, where I assume it will be all Speedos, all the time. And I certainly don’t want to look like a prudish American. That, and I’ve been working out really hard (for me, like really hard) since March. Seeing a trainer and a nutritionist, I figured, why not shake it a little, right? Go big, or go home, I was told. Frankly, for me, faced with that choice I usually went home. So I got my first Speedo. Then my second Speedo. A simple navy, then a solid green. Nothing flashy. And again, why not? I’m a somewhat cultured gay who follows other gays on Instagram, other gays and pages like Architectural Digest. So that makes my feed nothing but Speedo, Speedo, the cottages of Newport, Speedo, Speedo, Speedo, midcentury modern Palm Springs. The whole thing just wants me to marry rich and buy more Speedos. And I realize this is the summer. Will this trend continue in the fall and winter? Knowing gays, yes probably. What am I getting at here? I’m trying to be more body positive these days. I’m drawing some inspiration from some of my social media favorites — comedian and host of “Nailed It” Nicole Byer, singer Lizzo, and, of course, Jonathan Van Ness of “Queer Eye.” All three of these folks project a fairly healthy image of themselves. And that’s important to see. For

gay men, who often champion diversity, it’s no real shock to anyone that we aren’t treated to a great deal of diversity in body types and how we’re represented in media, and then how we represent ourselves in social media. So, drawing inspiration from Van Ness and the like, I ventured out into social media in my Speedo. I’ve been dipping my toes in the water with the Speedo look, so to speak, at the pool. So, I felt a little emboldened and I posted a snapshot, a before-and-after, of a fatter me, next to me in a Speedo on Instagram (shameless plug, BrockinDC). The response was, in a word, mixed. Most folks were pretty affirming. Cheering it on, posting little flame emojis, that sort of thing. But, on the other hand, I got fair amount of, ‘that’s not your brand.’ So much of that that anxiety took hold and I jerked the picture down the next morning. But to the whole ‘that’s not your brand’ crowd out there, I have to say, that was the whole point. You have to challenge yourself, get to know yourself better. Our great gay Oscar Wilde said that’s essentially the prime goal of life — self development. So, I guess you can buy an older dog a new Speedo. And while I ventured out of my comfort zone for just a second and in one post on social media, I heard the flak and am moving on. And I know what you might be thinking. If this is a real problem of gays using social media to promote uniform body types, why are you joining in? Well, a girl’s gotta work, right? And it’s something I want to do. So stay tuned for some Speedo pics from France. Whether you like it or not.

Consumers should act responsibly when patronizing businesses

This now ceases because of the following reasons: The Home Depot Corporation donates, through its PAC, approximately 76 percent to the reelection of Donald Trump and 32 percent of its campaign contributions to the Republican Party. This is reminiscent of the experience encountered with Chick-fil-A years ago, hence I ceased my patronage at those establishments. I sincerely want your readers to be aware of this and to act responsibly about which businesses they patronize.

Why I dumped my stock in Home Depot By CURTIS BELL I had been a substantial stock holder in The Home Depot for many years with excellent rewards as this company grew and made profits. Additionally, I was a devoted and on-going customer for many years.

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

‘Look at you, with a baby in a bar’

D.C. Council members appear to regret not being business owners when they act like they are Reese Witherspoon must have cackled. If the actor had been watching a recent D.C. Council session she would have recalled her meme-producing scene from the movie “Sweet Home Alabama.” In the big-city woman returns to her small-town film, Witherspoon’s character famously greets a child-carrying former high-school friend in a local tavern with the exhortation, “Look at you…with a baby…in a bar.” If a new bill introduced by D.C. Council member Brianne Nadeau is approved by the majority of her colleagues currently cosponsoring the proposal, all new nightclubs and bars in the District will be required to install diaper-changing stations in restrooms used by both men and women, along with other new businesses. Existing venues and shops will face the mandate as soon as modifications or improvements are made to bathroom facilities. It apparently hasn’t occurred to Nadeau that it’s likely more offspring will originate on these “diaper-changing tables” at nightlife establishments than the number of soiled baby britches will ever total. Or that venues will be forced to constantly repair and replace damaged units in order to avoid citations and fines by newly bureaucratized inspectors from yet another agency tasked with monitoring regulatory compliance. As is too often the case with such legislation, Nadeau was seeking a headline. Not having conducted any rudimentary refinement or even consulting with business owners to discover unconsidered implications, it was the embodiment of legislative laziness. Nadeau will counter, as is also customary among some of her cohorts, that the purpose of public hearings is for business operators to troop downtown and assemble beneath the dais to illuminate legislators on the unintended consequences and unnecessary burdens of proposed bills. Similar to gladiators forced to engage in veritable combat with opponents in the well of the chamber for the seeming amusement of the hierarchy seated above. It’s ridiculous, yes, but much worse is that makers of measures commonly treat their job responsibilities so cavalierly. Not

advised in advance as if intentionally a surprise, business owners and advocates are forced to monitor D.C. Council sessions to discover newly concocted regulatory schemes and legislative requirements being tossed in the air like balloons. Had Nadeau given more thought to her proposal, she might have come to understand another one-size-fits-all mandate isn’t advisable. She may have given consideration to the concept that providing the amenity should be in response to actual consumer need and by marketplace fulfillment when practical and appropriate. Or, as the Washington Post editorialized, “as lawmakers debate the bill in the coming months, they should be doing as much as possible to alleviate any structural or economic concerns the new legislation would pose for local entrepreneurs.” The publication’s editorial board further recommended, “One step council members should consider is providing rebates for installing diaper-changing stations – echoing their Private Security Camera Rebate Program, which provides businesses with up to $750 to offset camera costs.” Nadeau should also revise her proposal to exempt nightclubs and bars, as well as restaurants with modest occupancy levels and typically small-sized bathrooms unsuitable for adding a diaperchanging station. Common sense dictates that nightlife venues restricting admission to adults should not be forced to install them. Incentivizing voluntary provision when need recommends it and functional space allows it through a subsidy program or tax credit for the cost of installation and maintenance is a smarter approach. There is, however, more in question than the dirty-diaper details of Nadeau’s legislative whim. The problematic poison of the city’s yearround legislature is the ‘hammer in search of a nail’ tendency to micro-manage local entrepreneurs. D.C. Council members too often appear to regret not being business owners every time they act as if they are. August is when business operators breathe easy. The reason is simple: D.C. Council members are on a too-short twomonth legislative recess. It shouldn’t be that way.

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JOEY DIGUGLIELMO is the Blade’s features editor. Reach him at joeyd@washblade.com.

Peggy’s pronoun problem

Wall Street Journal columnist insensitive, out of touch After President Trump was elected, I became a regular Wall Street Journal reader. I’d never previously been, but I was curious how the serious right-leaning media (i.e. not Fox News) was covering the administration. One of the delights has been its reliably strong weekend opinion pages anchored by Peggy Noonan and Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. Noonan (a former Reagan speechwriter) is usually a joy — whether I agree with her or not (which is half the fun of the op-ed page in any paper), she weaves lengthy, yet tight essays backed up with historical context, sensible perspective and a friendly, conversational tone. But she took things way too far in her July 27 piece “What were Robespierre’s pronouns?” likening today’s push for more inclusive language from trans and non-binary people to the bloody French revolution of the late 1700s. She doesn’t imply the guillotine is just around the corner for pronoun enforcement or anything that extreme (she concurs it was a “revolution largely run by sociopaths”), but she likens that era’s proposed overhaul of language and time — Robespierre and company wanted to give up the Gregorian calendar, the concept of seasons and weeks, the B.C./A.D. tracking of centuries and more — to the sometimes admittedly clunky shift toward more inclusive LGBT language. Gender-specific singular pronouns are tough. I’m an editor so, of course, I’m fussy and easily flummoxed by grammatical undulations. As Noonan points out, we haven’t yet settled (and perhaps we never will) on a singular, nonbinary pronoun that doesn’t sound like Lucy and Ethel chirping in alien talk atop the Empire State Building: zie, sie, ey, ve, tey and e are new proposals to replace he/she according to a business manual she cites; it develops into zieself, hirself, eirself, verself, terself and emself to sub for himself/herself. It suggests offering your own pronoun preferences (another tricky word — is gender a preference?) during an introduction lest asking someone’s own implies you think zie’s trans or non-binary zieself. They, despite being plural, took root because it’s gender neutral but not a new word. In everyday parlance, that’s huge and its impact can’t be overstated. “We are being asked to memorize all this, to change hundreds of years of grammar and usage to accommodate the needs or demands of a group that perceives itself as beleaguered,”

Noonan writes. “It’s insane. All of it. … You wonder how the people who push all this got so much power. But then, how did Robespierre?” I’m not sure how it’s gonna play out exactly — perhaps zie, sie and ey never will take root in the language — but revisit Noonan’s column in 20-30 years and she’s gonna sound like a female Archie Bunker for 2019, holding onto outdated, bigoted views. I get the awkwardness. Ridding common English of sexist or archaic language is downright painful at times. I cringe when “forced” to sing new, genderinclusive lyrics to hymns and carols in the New Century Hymnal my church uses — “As With Gladness Men of Old” is now “As With Gladness Those of Old,” “Faith of Our Fathers” is now “Faith of the Martyrs” and so on. I realize this is easy to say as a white Gen X (gay) guy who grew up middle class in the U.S., but you can’t rewrite history. It’s a slippery slope once you start tampering with things like this. Can’t we just start afresh with gender-inclusive language among our modern-day hymnwriters? But in everyday language, what’s so tough about trying to not be an ass when talking to and about trans and non-binary people? It’s painfully obvious from Noonan’s column she’s spent very little time around trans and non-binary people herself. I have and have yet to encounter anyone who flew into Mommie Dearest mode over an innocently misstated pronoun. Some say nothing. Others will kindly correct you. What Noonan doesn’t grasp is that while it all may sound a little kooky and foreign at first — “they says” still makes my Word autocorrect see red — things will eventually settle into something that in time will work just fine. She’s old enough to remember an era when “colored,” “oriental,” “retarded” and other offensive, cringe-inducing words of yore were commonplace. The clunkiness of zie, sie and ey (not to mention LGBTQQIA+) will eventually settle into something practical and inclusive the way it always does. Language evolves. It always has. When you, Peggy Noonan, have been murdered or barred from gainful employment for daring to express your gender identity or having a sex life, then you get to have an opinion on this. Until then, go back to your ivory gender tower and shut the fuck up.

Voguer, Brooklyn ball, 1986. Jennie Livingston, courtesy of Janus Films

Fire lit by ‘Paris is Burning’ still glows in ‘Pose’

Restored print of ’90 classic opens this weekend in Washington By SCOTT STIFFLER

Take away its time capsule footage of gritty 1980s New York City, and the creative expressions and personal challenges charted in “Paris is Burning” seem, in ways both inspiring and sobering, utterly contemporary. Seven years in the making, Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary introduced New York’s African-American and Latinx Harlem ball culture to a global audience. Between origin stories (“shade came from reading”) and the definition of a House (“a gay street gang”), “Paris is Burning” follows voguers, drag queens and trans women on their quest for respect and recognition — not just in the form of towering trophies awarded in categories like “Town and

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Country” and “Executive Realness,” but also from a society, the film’s current press notes, “rampant with homophobia and transphobia, racism, AIDS and poverty.” Now, nearly 30 years later, a digitally restored version of the film is getting a national roll-out, opening here today (Friday, Aug. 2), at Landmark’s E Street Cinema (555 11th St., N.W.). Show times at landmarktheatres.com. Its June run at New York’s Film Forum was a fitting full-circle journey. Karen Cooper, director of the nonprofit indie and foreign art film mecca, booked “Paris is Burning” for its original American theatrical premiere, after screening it at an independent film market in New York. “Audience reception was tremendous,” Cooper recalls, of the 1990 run. “The first show (afternoon!), on a Wednesday, sold 89 tickets. The reviews were very strong. Vincent Canby, in the New York Times, was particularly enthusiastic and the Times had tremendous clout in those days.” This time around, audience and critical reception “have both been positive,” Cooper says. “The cultural climate has done a huge shift, in that LGBTQ people are no longer invisible. I think the film is not shocking in the way it may have been nearly 30 years ago, but neither is Fellini or Pasolini and they remain great filmmakers.” Joined by cast members Freddie Pendavis and Sol Pendavis, “Paris” director Livingston was on hand at a June 15 Film Forum screening, for a conversation moderated by artist and filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris. Two days later, Jevon Martin introduced a Film Forum screening, “in hopes that they (contemporary audiences) would tie into the fact that the LGBTQ community is still homeless now, just as it was back then.” The same community needs are present today, notes Martin, who serves as executive director of Princess Janae Place, an organization he founded in 2015 to honor its late namesake by “educating the LGBTQ community on their rights to housing and addressing the needs of the LGBTQ community, with emphasis on TGNC (transgender/gender nonconforming) people of color.” Martin, who knew many of those featured in “Paris,” served in New York City as father of the House of Khan, then father in the House of Legacy. Currently, Martin contributes to the ballroom scene as “the creator of the transman realness category.” Martin has “been a part of ballroom since the late ’90s, helping others and spectating. I walked my first butch realness category at Paris is Burning ball, at the Minisink Townhouse in Harlem, when my auntie Paris (Dupree) was alive.” Of Dupree, one of those featured in the film, Martin recalls her as “a butch queen. She was a showgirl and a straightforward

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From top: PEPPER LABEIJA after walking ‘Executive Realness.’ Jennie Livingston, courtesy Janus Films. A 1991 poster shoot for ‘Paris is Burning.’ Photo courtesy Janus Films.

person. Paris didn’t take no shit from anyone, and you didn’t mess with Paris. Everyone knew that if you did, you would get knocked.” (“That’s gay slang for ‘beat up,’” Martin says.) Dorian Corey, another from the film, “was also my auntie, a showgirl and seamstress,” Martin says, calling her “elegant, beautiful, kindhearted and stern. She wouldn’t hold her tongue either. What you saw was what you got. She never sugar-coated anything.” Corey, Martin recalls, “sewed clothes for a lot of people, and everything she wore was designed by her. Nobody messed with her, either. It just so happens that when she passed away, her apartment on 140th Street


was left to her close friend and some guys came by to get some clothes for Halloween. They found the mummified body of a man in a garment bag in the closet, with a bullet hole in his head.” That scenario may well play itself out on the small screen, as Martin says the Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy-created FX series “Pose” (set in the same era as Livingston’s “Paris”) has woven the documentary’s people and events into its own plot. “But told in a unique way,” he says. “By that, I mean the storylines of the characters are similar, but the details are changed, so as not to be the same.” Martin cites, as one example, the

character of Angel Evangelista (played by Indya Moore), whose experience on the show is reminiscent of Tracey “Africa” Norman, “a transwoman and a model. Nobody knew she was transgender. She was later found out.” Martin, who was cast as a ballroom judge in two episodes and can be seen in the background in other ballroom scenes, says, “We are still filming. So hey, you never know what other areas I might be cast in. Plus, season three has been announced.” The “Paris is Burning” effect, Martin says, “is very positive. The film is our history. These are the people that were the limelight of that era. Some are still alive today to tell their stories. Those that have passed on have left their legacy to pave the way for the new kids.” From the runway on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” to each new episode of “Pose,” Martin notes the ballroom scene “has been brought to mainstream,” showcasing “the glitz and glam of our community. Yet there is still much work to do to make sure we are all safe from discrimination and physical abuse.” One thing that still bothers Martin, as stated in comments prior to June 30’s New York Pride March, “is that Pride was built on the backs of transwomen of color, and that’s been whitewashed and erased. The existence of the Pride March has been turned into a corporate parade. Year after year, it’s being diluted from Stonewall being a riot.” Like those in “Paris is Burning,” Martin says, contemporary trans and gendernonconforming people of color “want visibility. We want people to know why we are celebrating and not lose the true meaning behind Pride.”

QUEERY Beverly ‘Miss Chocolate’ White Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

QUEERY: Beverly ‘Miss Chocolate’ White

The ‘Ask Rayceen’ comedian/emcee answers 20 queer questions By JOEY DIGUGLIELMO JOEYD@WASHBLADE.COM Beverly “Miss Chocolate” White says meeting Rayceen Pendarvis more than 40 years ago was a life-altering event. “I was just getting my feet wet in this D.C. lesbian world and saw this loud, magnificent person at a Black Pride event at Banneker Field,” the 65-year-old (“and sexy AF”) Suffolk, Va., native says. “I knew I had to know who this person was.” White started emceeing and doing comedy around age 30. She had been modeling but at one event, the emcee got sick so she stepped in. “I haven’t been able to put a mic down since,” she says. White, who has a grown daughter and two grandsons, will be honored at the next “Ask Rayceen Show” event on Wednesday, Aug. 7 for its “Team Rayceen Spotlight,” which will feature live music, burlesque, interviews and more. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the show at 7. It’s free at the HRC Equality Center (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.).

Details at askrayceen.com. The eighth season continues the first Wednesday of each month through November. White has performed stand up at the Rayceen Comedy Showcase the last few years and the 2018 edition of Rayceen’s Reading Room. In February she and Larry Miller (WUSA 9) were co-hosts of “The Black LGBTQ Experience” with Rayceen at Cleveland Park Library. She frequently stars in Rayceen’s pre-show Facebook Live broadcasts, serves as announcer and emcee and accompanies Rayceen to various events. She’ll be at Busboys and Poets on Aug. 7, the “LGBTQ AF Show” at D.C. Arts Center on Aug. 18 and in a play called “Clouded Armour” on Sept. 22. Look for her on social media for details. White is single and lives with Mr. Wheeler, her mixed Yorkie Terrier in Brookland in Northeast Washington. She enjoys thrift stores, yard sales, sipping Champagne and watching reality TV in her free time.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I think I knew I was into girls at a very early age but didn’t really come out until after my daughter was born when I was 25. Being raised around gays and drag queens no one was surprised. They just thought I was copying off my sister who had dramatically come out a year earlier. Who’s your LGBTQ hero? My Mama, I think she was the official “fag hag.” My heroes are the people who have made an impact on my life. I had 10 drag queens dress me for my senior prom. These are my heroes. It is hard for me to imagine a hero of someone I have never met. Rayceen Pendarvis and Zar will always be my heroes for giving me life at 65. What LGBTQ stereotype most annoys you? That all lesbians are butch and dykes and want to be men. I have never wanted to be a man. I love my lipstick and heels. The higher the heel, the closer to heaven. What’s your proudest professional achievement? Creating my “ONE WOMAN, MANY VOICES” after experiencing domestic and intimate partner violence. Especially speaking for others in the LGBTQ community. What terrifies you? Going back to being poor. Not being able to read.

What’s something trashy or vapid you love? Reality TV shows. What’s your greatest domestic skill? Delegating the work to others. Being the BOSS. What’s your favorite LGBTQ movie or show? “The Women” with Joan Crawford, a 1939 b/w movie. What’s your social media pet peeve? When folks ask for your opinion but get testy when you don’t agree with them. They call you mean and bitter when you clap back. What would the end of the LGBTQ movement look like to you? A world of everybody loving who they want, when they want and how they want. All churches would be inclusive. What’s the most overrated social custom? Having to get on social media to be famous. What was your religion, if any, as a child and what is it today? First Pentecostal, then Holiness and now Baptist. I love church. I could never see myself not fellowshipping and getting a word from God. What’s D.C.’s best hidden gem? The Goodwill Thrift store on South Dakota Ave., N.E. (shhhhhh)

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Counterclockwise from top: Last year’s Queer Literaokie Photo courtesy Asian-American Literature Festival; BEN LEVI ROSS as Evan in the first North American tour of ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ Photo by Matthew Murphy; and HARRIET LANE in a Civil War-era modern albumen print from a wet plate collodion negative circa 1860 from the new exhibit ‘Stories Women of the Civil War Era’ Photo from Mathew Brady Studio, courtesy National Portrait Gallery

‘Evan’ returns to region Winner of six Tony awards including Best Musical and a 2018 Grammy Award, “Dear Evan Hansen” is the winding tale of a high school student with social anxiety which Huffington Post said, “has struck a chord with a number of audiences — including the LGBTQ community.” The popular musical opens at the Kennedy Center Aug. 6 and runs until Sept. 8. Tickets start at $79. It’s a quirky yet personal story about a misfit who through an unexpected chain of events finds the chance to fit in. The show had its premiere at Arena Stage in our region in 2015. Visit kennedy-center.org for tickets and information.

‘Storied Women’ continues The National Portrait Gallery continues to run its exhibition series “Storied Women of the Civil War Era” this week. The exhibition runs until May 8, 2022 and features famous women of the era including First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and Union spy Pauline Cushman. The series includes a collection of intimate portraits of these intriguing women who both served and captivated the public during a turbulent time in the nation’s history. Senior curator Anne Shumard presents photographs, paintings and other images such as one titled “Kate Bateman,” a Matthew Brady photograph depicting an elegant actress with angry eyes. Admission is free and the gallery is

open from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Visit npg.si.edu for more information.

Lit fest has queer programming The Asian-American Literature Festival presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and OutWrite runs this weekend and blends queer programming with cultural and educational events. The events are free but tickets are required to reserve seats at some shows. The festival opens today with a Poet’s Peace Breakfast from 9-10:30 a.m. at Franklin Square Park (1332 I St., N.W.). Later at the Eaton D.C. (1201 K St., N.W.) is an opening welcome, cultural workshops, readings, “Queer Check-in” video poems,

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and literary and mindfulness lounges. On Saturday, Aug. 3 there are “Secret Histories” at the Library of Congress (100 1st St., N.E.) followed by more readings, “Queer Literaoke” and queer/trans ghost stories at the Eaton. The festival closes Sunday with children’s literature and YA panels, refugee poetry readings, a Wikipedia edit-a-thon and a reading of queer Asian-American writers. For a more information on events and presenters, visit smithsonianapa.org.

Queer Literaoke is Saturday night Queer Literaoke is part of the 2019 Asian-American Literature Festival running Aug. 2-4 and is hosted by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. This literary-karaoke event is Saturday, Aug. 3 from 9-11 p.m. at the Eaton D.C. Beverly Snow Ballroom (1201 K St., N.W.) and is an entertaining mashup where each performer reads from their work and sings a verse from a favorite song. Hosted in partnership with OutWrite queer literary festival, the evening features performances by Wo Chan, Franny Choi and more singing “Shallow,” “My Heart Will Go On,” “Hello,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and others. Works are co-curated by APAC, Kaya Press, Asian American Literary Review, Kundiman and OutWrite. Dan Lau hosts. This is a free event but tickets are needed to secure limited seats. For more information, visit smithsonianapa.org.

OutWrite 2019’s kickoff event is tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Ten Tigers Parlour (3813 Georgia Ave., N.W.). OutWrite is a nonprofit festival celebrating LGBT literature and runs through Sunday. This opening event features writers Kristen Arnett, Jericho Brown and Wo Chan with host Rebecca Kling. Event highlights include “Ask an Editor,” impromptu poetry, a genre hybrid conversation, tarot readings and more. Visit thedccenter.org for more information. The “America is...” national juried show opens at the Touchtone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6-8:30 p.m. and runs until Aug. 29. During the show artists explore, ask and answer “What is America today?” through varied exhibitions. Hors d’oeuvres and gourmet frozen desserts provided and the event is open to the public. For more information, visit touchstonegallery.com.

Saturday, Aug. 3 OutWrite 2019 continues today in the Reeves Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. This free event includes readings, panel discussions, a zine-making table, a used book sale and a variety of LGBTQ vendors to explore. More information is available at thedccenter.org. Neo-soul singer-songwriter Bilal performs tonight at City Winery (1350 Okie St. N.E.) starting at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35. Known for his wide vocal range and his work across multiple genres, Bilal has performed with Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. Visit washingtondc.eventful.com for tickets and information. The World’s Fair is in Washington at the DAR Constitution Hall (1776 D St., N.W.) today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This is a free event and audiences can experience the excitement, innovation and wonder of the 1900 World’s Fair. On display will be inventions that thrilled fairgoers from an earlier era as well as booths and activities from local embassies and cultural centers.

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Girl Scouts can earn a badge by attending the event. For more information visit washingtondc.eventful.com.

historical figures who struggled to achieve civil rights for marginalized groups. For more information, visit npg.si.edu.

Sunday, Aug. 4

Tuesday, Aug. 6

OutWrite 2019 continues today from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St., N.W.). The workshops are free and open to the public. No registration required. Workshops include culinary writing, “Drag Poetics,” query letters to agents, horror writing and more. Visit thedccenter.com for more information. Tuxedo, a retro band featuring hip-hop producer Jake One and self-titled “elegant funk” singer Mayer Hawthorne, performs tonight at the 9:30 club (815 V St., N.W.). Tickets start at $25 and audiences can expect to be entertained by danceable tunes reminiscent of the late disco era. With eight Grammy nominations between them, their combination is still original in sound and style. For more information visit 930.com. The 2019 Mister Nice Jewish Boy Pageant begins today at 2 p.m. at the U Street Music Hall (1115 U St., N.W.). Tickets start at $25. The event is put on by Nice Jewish Boys D.C. and is hosted by NYC drag queen Lady SinAGaga and Mr. Nice Jewish Boy 2018 Jeremy Sherman. Proceeds benefit Kishet and support regional teen LGBTQ and ally Shabbaton. For tickets and information, visit ticketfly.com. SIR, an interactive all-male burlesque show hosted at SAX restaurant and lounge (734 11th St., N.W.), is today starting at 11 a.m. This high-energy show is a theatrical experience featuring dancers, aerialists, pole performers, go-go boys and table service studs. SIR takes place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays, tickets required. For more information, visit saxwdc.com.

The Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) presents “An Evening with Dawes” tonight starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Dawes is a Southern California band with a smooth blues rock/ folk rock sound that has evolved and grown more electric with time. Visit thelincolndc. com for tickets and information.

Monday, Aug. 5 The National Portrait Gallery (8th and F St., N.W.) continues to feature works such as David Lenz’s “Eunice Kennedy Shriver” as part of its ongoing exhibition series “The Struggle for Justice.” The portrait series is available for viewing 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily and admission is free. This series showcases

Wednesday, Aug. 7 The Struts continue their “Young and Dangerous” tour tonight at the 9:30 club (815 V St., N.W.). Doors open at 7 p.m. This riff-heavy rock band has opened for icons such as The Rolling Stones, The Who and Guns N’ Roses. “Young & Dangerous” is their second album and continues the U.K band’s glam-rock revamp with deeper and more inventive sounds. For tickets and information visit 930.com. Bookmen DC, an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses William E. Jones’ “True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave.., N.W.). All are welcome. Boyd McDonald’s chapbook of readers’ “true homosexual experiences” was admired by Gore Vidal and William S. Burroughs as one of the first works to combine a contempt for authority with a sharp literary style. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com

Thursday, Aug. 8 Rufus Du Sol, an Australian three-piece band, performs its live electronic act tonight at The Anthem (901 Wharf St., S.W.). Tickets start at $35 and the show begins at 8 p.m. Rufus has released two platinum-certified albums, “ATLAS” and “Bloom,” and the upcoming album, Solace, explores deeper lyrics which the trio says is “about finding a sense of hope in a darker time.” Tickets and information are on theanthemdc.com.

This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com Indian Summer Showcase with Indian City. Aug 3. Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. americanindian.si.edu. Irene Jalenti at Lubber Run Amphitheater. Aug 3. Arlington Cultural Affairs at Lubber Run. arlingtonarts.org. Jazz in the Garden: Son del Caribe. Aug 2. National Gallery of Art at NGA Sculpture Garden. nga.gov. Lakota John Locklear. Aug 7. Library of Congress. loc.gov. Live from the Lawn: The Josanne Francis Septet. Aug 7. Strathmore. strathmore.org.

MUSEUMS Dear Evan Hansen Aug 6-Sep 8. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org.

Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. The New York Times calls Dear Evan Hansen “a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical.”

Abba The Concert Aug 4. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org.

ABBA the Concert continues to be the top ABBA tribute group in the world, dazzling audiences with fantastic performances of ABBA’s iconic hits including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and “Dancing Queen.”

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Aug 8. Library of Congress. loc.gov.

Written by Melissa Mathison and directed by Steven Spielberg, this film chronicles the relationship between a young boy and a benevolent alien who is stranded on Earth and trying to find his way back to his home planet. The film’s masterful blending of hopeful innocence with excitement and humor made it both a critical and popular success.

Squire Broel Thru Aug 11. AU Museum at the Katzen. american.edu.

A selection of Broel’s life-sized to monumentally-sized totemic bronze sculptures creates space for reflection and contemplation about what it means to be human, be engaged as an individual within community, and interact intentionally with the natural world. In his series of vertically oriented structures, Broel references tangible and intangible notions that resonate universally: botanical and architectural structures, environmental rhythms, physical and emotional solitude. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE KENNEDY CENTER



The Band’s Visit. Thru Aug 4. The Second City’s America; It’s Complicated! Thru Aug 11. Kennedy Center. kennedy-center.org. Legally Blonde. Aug 3-Aug 25. Keegan Theatre. keegantheatre.com. The Explorers Club. Thru Aug 4. Prologue Theatre at Studio Theatre. prologuetheatre.org. Tiger Style. Thru Aug 18. Olney Theatre. olneytheatre.org. Treasure Island. Thru Aug 18. Synetic Theater. synetictheater.org.

LOC Concerts on the Lawn: KanKouran West African Dance Company. Aug 8. Library of Congress at Library of Congress North Lawn. loc.gov.

MUSIC Sarah Mclachlan with the NSO. Aug 3. Wolf Trap. wolftrap.org. Cherish the Ladies. Aug 4. AMP. ampbystrathmore.com.

AU Museum at the Katzen. Squire Broel. Thru Aug 11. Forward Press: 21st Century Printmaking. Thru Aug 11. Being Here as ME- New Media Art Exhibition of Women Artists from Taiwan. Thru Aug 11. Crossing Boundaries & Breaking Borders: DMV Printmaking. Thru Aug 11. Maia Cruz Palileo. Thru Aug 11. Passages: Keith Morrison, 1999-2019. Thru Aug 11. Plans to Prosper You: Reflections of Black Resistance and Resilience in Montgomery County’s Potomac River Valley. Thru Aug 11. american.edu. Anacostia Neighborhood Library. Right to the City @Anacostia Neighborhood Library. Thru Apr 20. anacostia.si.edu. Anderson House. Revolutionary Reflections: French Memories of the War for America. Thru Oct 27. societyofthecincinnati.org. Dumbarton Oaks. Written in Knots: Undeciphered Accounts of Andean Life. Thru Aug 18. Beyond Knotting: Wari and Inka Tunics from the Collection. Thru Aug 18. Asian Art from the Bliss Collection. Thru Jun 1. doaks.org. Folger Shakespeare Library. Miniature Shakespeare Books from the Harner Collection. 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. Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times. Thru Aug 17. 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. 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 15. nationalgeographic.org. National Museum of Women in the Arts. More is More: Multiples. Thru Sep 15. New York Ave Sculpture Project. Thru Sep 20. nmwa.org.

Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire. Thru Jun 1. Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World. Thru Sep 30. Nation to Nation. Thru Dec 31. 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.

GALLERIES CHAW. Winners’ Circle Exhibit. Thru Aug 17. chaw.org. DC Arts Center (DCAC). Wallmountables. Thru Aug 16. Richard Siegman New Work. Thru Aug 18. dcartscenter.org. Del Ray Artisans. Fresh Meat Art Exhibit. Aug 2-Sep 1. Uncommon Alexandria Art Exhibit. Thru Sep 29. delrayartisans.org. Gallery Clarendon. Black & White Art Exhibit. Thru Aug 4. arlingtonartistsalliance.org. Glen Echo Park. Art Walk in the Park. Aug 2-Sep 6. 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. August Solo Show B.D. Richardson Gone Fishin’. Aug 7-Sep 8. 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. Over the Line. Aug 8-Oct 12. zenithgallery.com.

AND MORE... Anderson House. The Lafayette Escadrille. Aug 7. societyofthecincinnati.org. Arlington Cultural Affairs. Dark Star Park – Nancy Holt Film Screenings. Thru Aug 3. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. arlingtonarts.org. Hill Center. The Like Movie. Aug 7. Order In: Indian. Aug 6-Nov 5. Street Food: Dumplings. Aug 7-Nov 14. hillcenterdc.org. Library of Congress. Asian American Literature Festival. Aug 3. Cosmic Explosions and Cosmic Accelerators. Aug 8. loc.gov. National Archives. Lincoln’s Spies: Their Secret War to Save a Nation. Aug 8. The Great Partnership: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the Fate of the Confederacy. Aug 6. archivesfoundation.org.

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JOEY ARRIGO as Waz in ‘Volta.’ Photo by Matt Beard

Metaphorical blue feathers

Dancer/actor Joey Arrigo finds identity, self in new Cirque show By PATRICK FOLLIARD

Entering Cirque du Soleil’s temporary campus in Tysons, Va., is like passing into another world. Surrounding the enormous striped white and grey Big Top performance space are a warren of dressing rooms and training areas, lounges and out buildings where an army of ridiculously fit performers along with crew, tech, physiotherapists, food service and security people work hard to present “Volta,” an endearing story of transformation, inspired by the stunning skills and culture of street sports. Among the busy crowd is “Volta’s” lead, out dancer/aerialist/choreographer Joey Arrigo. He plays Waz, a young game show contestant in search of his authentic self. Recently, Arrigo took a break from the action to talk about his role. “Waz is hiding who he really is. He’s held back by his blue hair, a headful of blue feathers to be precise. It’s difficult to fully embrace ourselves. We all have our metaphorical blue feathers,” he says. Offstage, what are Arrigo’s blue feathers? “Where do I begin? I have so many,” says Arrigo, 27. “I was never like the other little boys. I didn’t play their games. And when puberty hit that difference intensified. My Italian Catholic father was very anti-gay and my mother was uninformed. It wasn’t easy.” But despite everything, he came out at just 14. “How was I going to hide all this?,” he says. He makes a valid point. Smart, vivacious, entertainingly campy and handsome with a remarkably athletic dancer’s body, Arrigo’s not easily overlooked. But he’s not on a star trip. “It’s not like Broadway. People aren’t coming to see the lead. As the main character I tell the story and that’s important, but is definitely a group with many artists including floor-based acrobats, aerial acrobats, a clown, comedic performers … and me.” Touring with “Volta” since its Montreal premiere in early 2017 (minus a six-month break), he performs eight-10 shows a week. It sounds a bit of a grind, but Arrigo insists otherwise. “Seriously, ‘Volta’ is always changing. We’re constantly polishing the production and striving to improve our storytelling. When the show opened in Montreal, my friends gave a perfunctory, ‘really great,’ but when they see it again, they’re like, ‘Whoa! You guys have really done your

work.’ That feels really good.” Still, the work is taxing. During his muchneeded break, Arrigo lived with a handsome bartender he’d met on tour in Seattle. “It was the closest I’ve come to settling down,” he says. “I grew a beard because I could and happily wore my freedom on my face. He was a game changer.” In May, he rejoined “Volta” in Chicago, refreshed and reinvigorated. Growing up in Canada’s Greater Toronto Area, he virtually lived in the dance studio. It’s where he excelled and where he was happy. After high school, he bobbed around Toronto auditioning for a year. Work ensued. Among a zillion other jobs, Arrigo was one of Canada’s top 20 dancers on CTV’s “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” (and served as assistant choreographer on the show for several seasons). He also toured internationally with Rasta Thomas’ company, Bad Boys of Dance. But it wasn’t until Cirque du Soleil, that he began to act as well as dance. Prior to “Volta,” Arrigo went on European tour with Cirque’s “Kooza” as “the trickster,” the performance that inspired Cirque’s artistic directors to tap him to play Waz. “I came in as a charismatic theatrical dancer. But before Cirque du Soleil, I’d been dancing from the neck down. ‘Kooza’ taught me to have physical dialogue with other actors. I was able to grow skills as an actor and to make my emotions more genuine on stage and I brought that to my dancing.” Looking forward, Ariggo wants “Want to push my character skills to the next level. “But foremost,” he says, “I’ll always be a dancer. Whether my body can do exactly what it does now or not, I want my dance to come from the right place, a place of love. When I’m 95 years old sitting in a wheelchair shimmying, I’m going to be one of the greatest dancers you’ve ever seen.”

‘Volta’ by Cirque du Soleil Through Sept. 29 Big Top at Tysons II 8025 Galleria Drive Tysons, Va. $49 and up 877-924-7783 cirquedusoleil.com/volta

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TARYN MANNING (left) and UZO ADUBA in ‘Orange is the New Black.’ Photo by JoJo Wheldin; courtesy Netflix

‘Orange’ returns for final season

Hit Netflix show changed TV forever in multiple ways By BRIAN T. CARNEY

Sometimes the hype is true. When the first 13 episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” dropped on July 11, 2013, it changed the way Americans watched television and the role of women in the broadcast industry, both onscreen and behind the cameras. Now that the seventh and final season has dropped, it’s time to look back on the tremendous impact the series has had and take a spoiler-free look at the “Beginning of the End” as episode one of the last season is titled. When the series launched, Netflix was a fledgling streaming service best known for shipping DVDs to your home in red envelopes. With the critical and popular success of “Orange,” Netflix became a major Hollywood player producing television series and eventually movies that earned nominations and trophies from such prestigious organizations as GLAAD, GALECA, the Golden Globes, the Emmys and more. The show also helped to popularize the concept of “binge watching.” Fans spent entire weekends watching every episode of the first season and the way we watched television began to change. “Orange” also broke new ground with its realistic portrayal of life in a women’s prison and its treatment of serious social issues. Over the course of the first six seasons, the show explored mass incarceration and the rise of the private prison industry; the tension between punishment and rehabilitation; staff corruption and guard brutality; prison overcrowding and funding cuts; substance abuse; violence against women; the terrible impact of solitary confinement; white privilege, white supremacy, institutionalized racism and the Black Lives Matter movement; and the #MeToo Movement. In season seven, series creator Jenji Kohan takes on a new issue: the inhumane brutality of ICE detention centers. The detention center is run by the same corporation that runs the prison, but conditions there are even worse. The detainees have even fewer rights than the prisoners and limited contact with friends and family. As one detainee realizes, “nobody knows where we are.” “Orange” also made great strides in the employment and representation of women in television. The casting of trans actress Laverne Cox as inmate Sophia Burset was a historic move that made Cox into a star and an important trans spokesperson. The casting of comedian Lea DeLaria as Carrie “Big Boo” Black was a milestone in the representation of butch lesbians, especially when she brandished a dildo on screen. Overall, the cast included a rich

spectrum of women of different races and ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities, ages, socio-economic classes and cognitive abilities. The show also explored a wide variety of life-affirming sexual and platonic relationships between women and celebrated the power of female resilience. In addition, Kohan also emphasized hiring women to write and direct many of the episodes (several of the shows in later season were directed by cast members). The writing throughout the series was first-rate. Kohan and company craftily used flashbacks to fill in character backstories (and to move the action outside of the prison walls). They also effectively used a delicious dark sense of gallows humor to help lighten the heavy material. The direction was smooth and assured, gliding effortlessly between the various characters and plotlines. Long-term fans of the show will have no trouble gliding into season seven, which picks up where season six ended. Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) has been released on parole but remains in a longdistance relationship with inmate Alex Vause (Laura Prepon). She’s living with her New Age brother Cal (the very funny Michael Chernus) and is having trouble paying for her monitoring devices while working a dead-end job. With the help of “Pennsatucky” (Taryn Manning), Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (the dazzling Uzo Aduba) tries to reconcile with her old friends Cindy “Black Cindy” Hayes (Adrienne C. Moore) and Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson (Danielle Brooks). Gloria Mendoza (Selenis Leyva) and Galina “Red” Reznikov (the magnificent Kate Mulgrew) find themselves working in a different kitchen facility. There’s also lots of turnover and turmoil with the prison staff and their families. Finally, fan favorites Diane Guerrero (as Maritza Ramos) and Laura Gómez (as Blanca Flores) return as former inmates who are detained during an ICE raid. If you didn’t watch the first six seasons (and don’t have time to binge-watch over 80 hours of previous episodes) can you start “Orange Is the New Black” midstream? The answer is a resounding yes. The large cast and overlapping plot lines an be daunting at first but it’s easy to read up on the backstory online. For fans old and new, the seventh and final season of this ground-breaking series is well worth watching. The show digs deeply into some of the most troubling issues of these turbulent times and asks difficult questions that we all must grapple with. As Suzanne asks, “Do I deserve to be here?” Or, as Gloria and Red discuss, “How do we get back to who we were before?”

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Peering out


New teen book is guide for opening closet door

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

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Photo courtesy Frances Lincoln

㠀 愀洀 ⴀ 洀椀搀渀椀最栀琀 The light beneath the door is just a sliver. It’s enticing, though, and you’re eager to see what’s on the other side, finally ready to open that door and come out. In “Yay! You’re Gay! Now What?” by Riyadh Khalaf, you’ll find some advice for doing it. For awhile, months, maybe years, you’ve been “feeling different.” You think you might be gay and that’s “OK, it’s normal, and it’s not something you need to change.” Or you may be bi or pan or non-binary, “it simply comes down to how you feel” and it may have everything or nothing to do with the anatomy you got at birth. The thing to remember is that, “You cannot change who you are.” This may cause a lot of worry, for yourself and for people you love. Recognize that anxiety before it goes wild and know how to break the cycle. Being gay, Khalaf says, is actually a “gift,” as you’ll eventually begin to see. That’s a gift you can share or not, says Khalaf, because “you can come out whenever and however you want,” it’s your call. Yes, family members might freak out at first and your friends might retreat but you’ll find advice on how to cope with that and a reminder that “almost every relationship is salvageable.” So let’s say you’re out, comfortable with it and you’re ready to find your first true love. It’s OK to go online and look but Khalaf says to be wary: you know how easy it is to pretend you’re someone you’re not when you’re on a computer, so be safe. Also be safe when you go to clubs or parties and remember that protecting your heart is important, too. Relationships can be different, your first kiss can be

amazing and your body may respond in embarrassing ways to all of the above. And on that note, remember that consent is the new hot. Here’s the first thing you’ll need to know about “Yay! You’re Gay! Now What?”: absolutely anyone can read it, including parents and allies, but it’s really geared toward gay teen boys and young men. Indeed, author Riyadh Khalaf includes pages expressly for those allies and parents, but later parts of the book are filled with valid information that may be more graphic than they’ll want. Still, that info will speak directly to the heart and the health of young men just coming out in a way that’s not stuffy or clinical, but that’s more lightheartedly factual. Khalaf is gay and he uses his own personal anecdotes as tools to teach, but he’s not pious or pushy. Instead, there’s a whole lot of care and camaraderie in these pages, and the words “you are not alone” are not just written, they leap from each page. That could make this book a lifesaver for a boy with a dawning understanding but a short support system. “Yay! You’re Gay! Now What” is serious but fun to read and may help shed some light.

‘Yay! You’re Gay! Now What? A Gay Boy’s Guide to Life’ By Riyadh Khalaf Frances Lincoln $14.99 223 pages



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JOSE ANDRES (left) and MARK EIN. Photo courtesy Smith & Co.

Tasty tennis?

Local chefs bringing A-game to this week’s Citi Open tourney By EVAN CAPLAN

Move over, Old Bay-dusted crabs — D.C. has a new food catch to net this week. Welcome to the completely refreshed Citi Open (Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, 5220 16th St., N.W.), where José Andrés and Duke’s Grocery rub elbows behind the baseline while the likes of Andy Murray and Coco Gauff whip aces in front. Founded in 1969, Citi Open was a once-sleepy tournament attended by tennis diehards. In 2019, this U.S. Open tune-up has been attracting recordbreaking crowds all week and that’s not only because of the talent swinging through this year’s tournament (more on that later). In a sweeping rejuvenation, Washington entrepreneur Mark Ein’s sports-management firm recently acquired the event, ensuring an elegance factor Roger Federer might be proud of. It continues through Sunday, Aug. 4. Ein is something of a local tennis-asentertainment visionary. As owner of the Washington Kastles, D.C.’s World Team Tennis squad, he brought the Kastles matches to a higher plane: his firm built a court on the very roof of Union Market, comingling this city’s chicest food-market destination with world-class sports. Beyond the tennis-ball action, Ein envisioned that at Citi Open, “fans experience these reimagined food and hospitality areas, the city will be buzzing about the Citi Open as the place to be in D.C. each day and night.” Sporting a keen pulse on the city’s social trends, Ein enlisted culinary powerhouses to ensure the reinvigorated tournament would shine. On top of award-winning celebrity chef José Andrés, who brings his Pepe food truck and vegetarian-forward Beefsteak dishes, Citi Open presents fans

with local favorites including Dolcezza Gelato, Ice Cream Jubilee, Compass Coffee and Duke’s Grocery, among others. Ein stated that his team’s “top priority was upgrading the fan experience. So we did two things: we went and found the best-in-class partner in Levy,” a hospitality group that manages service at the Barclays Center, Dodgers Stadium, and yes, the U.S. Open, among others. “And, in parallel,” Ein says, “I reached out to José Andrés, who is a good friend of mine. José is an iconic D.C. chef who happens to love tennis and I said, ‘Why don’t we partner on this together?’ and he was thrilled.” Levy has completely rebranded not only the overall atmosphere, but also highend hospitality. The new enclosed and air-conditioned Moët & Chandon Stadium Club is the centerpiece, directly astride the 7,500-person center court. This VIPstyle experience is certainly a far cry from stadium chili fries. Though not everyone will get a pour of champagne while taking in dropshots, the other new attraction this year is Market Square. It’s also fully enclosed and airconditioned, but free and open to all fans. It features the Andrés offerings as a showcase, as well as Duke’s Grocery and a full bar. Market Square’s more than food and beverages, though: fans keeping cool there get views of practice courts where top stars get the kinks out of their backhands. The space also holds nightly programming and entertainment. Regarding cocktails, there’s plenty of places to bemoan a close loss or celebrate a thrilling upset. Founding Spirits has landed the coveted spot as Citi Open’s official vodka and whiskey; at the shaded, breezy Founding Spirits Cocktail Lounge, mixologist perfect the “Match Point Mule.” Nearby is the Amstel Light Beer Garden & Rock Creek Grill, serving Heineken brews and snacks. Assuaging millennials, overlooking the beer garden is a Frosé Terrace. It’s set on the second level of the stadium, with views as cool as the drinks. (Not to be outdone, Vineyard Vines is now the official apparel sponsor.) As for the tennis, the players this year represent one of the most dynamic, highly talented group that the Citi Open has seen. There were three top-ten men’s tennis players: Stefanos Tsitsipas (6); Karen Khachanov (8); Daniil Medvedev (9)) and one on the women’s side, Sloane Stephens. Andy Murray made a cameo in doubles. Once a ballboy at this very tournament, and now an owner, Ein is thrilled with how his inaugural year at Citi Open has turned out. “It’s exceeded our wildest expectations. Fans are all talking about how amazing the food experience is, the new hospitality areas and just the general feeling of the event is something that people haven’t seen before that they’re in love with.”

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4357HollyHarborRoad.com Picturesque Eastern shore retreat situated on 2.26+/- acres overlooking Bringman’s Cove & Island Creek. Superb finishes and touches, chef’s kitchen with island is open to family room with cozy fireplace. First floor master suite with luxurious bath. Waterfront deck and gunite pool offer plenty of outdoor enjoyment. Rip rap, 220’+/- of waterfront, private pier with 2 boat lifts and 6’+/- MLW. $1,395,000

21371FerryLandingRoad.com This former model home has extensive outdoor lighting to accentuate beautiful landscaping on a large corner lot. Meticulously maintained home located in Tilghman-on-the-Chesapeake, one of Talbot County’s premier, waterfront communities. Enjoy a covered slate front porch, expansive deck, screened-in porch, park-like grounds with irrigation system and invisible fence. Home also features a back-up generator with wiring to essential electrical functions. All in an active lifestyle community that feature a pool, marina, marina clubhouse, and picnic area that overlooks the confluence of the Choptank River and Harris Creek. The interior is wonderfully appointed with hardwood floors, open floor plan, kitchen with island and stainless steel appliances and first floor master suite with large walk-in closet and luxurious master bath. $495,000

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5989CanterburyDrive.com Quality abounds in this completely renovated 10,000 +/- square foot property set on 3.5+/- acres along bucolic Trippe Creek. Meticulously designed and flawlessly executed, the stunning single level “Smart” home with a two-story attached guest house offers a total of 6 bedrooms, 8 full baths and 4 half baths. Revel in the beautifully proportioned and generous-sized rooms with 8’ black walnut flooring and every major room opening onto a fabulous terrace with double fireplaces, outdoor kitchen, heated in-ground pool and broad water views. Enjoy water activities with a deep-water bulkheaded boat basin with 2 new lifts and 440’ +/- of water frontage. This architect designer’s home is truly a “work of art”. $2,995,000

6787ThornetonRoad.com Attractive updated waterfront rancher situated on a beautifully landscaped 3+/- acre property along lovely and serene Edge Creek. Features include an open floor plan, hardwood floors, abundant windows and great outdoor space. Stunning great room with vaulted ceiling, kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite and a breakfast bar, family room, and master suite with water view and master bath. Relax on the screened porch overlooking the water or take a dip in the beautiful in-ground swimming pool. Charming gazebo and large patio offer plenty of space for entertaining. Private pier, 250’+/water frontage and approximately 2’ MLW. 2-car attached garage. Ideal Royal Oak location near historic St. Michaels and the Oxford Ferry. The perfect retreat! $749,900

TransLAW fundraiser

Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW) held its seventh annual fundraiser and celebration on July 29 at Trade. Washington Blade photos by Michael Key

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Turning a new leaf this fall?

Use the next few weeks to prepare your home to hit the market By DAVID BEDIZ

Believe it or not, the unofficial start to the fall real estate market is just a few weeks away. Photo courtesy of Bigstock

The unofficial start to the fall real estate market is just a few weeks away. If you are planning to enter the real estate market soon, now is the time to start. If you are looking to list your home this fall, use the next few weeks to prepare your home to hit the market. The first step is to call a proven Realtor like myself to do an in-home analysis. At our appointment, I will provide insight as to what buyers are looking for and offer suggestions for minor updates that can really help you get the biggest return on your investment. Minor updates such as neutral paint colors, updated vanities, and easy-to-install flooring can really help make your home stand out to the largest number of buyers. To avoid countless hours and trips to Home Depot, I’ll provide design recommendations and have a team of contractors and stagers that can help with any updates. This helps eliminate the stress of many home improvement projects. At our consultation, we’ll also look at recently sold properties and market data to determine a realistic sales price for your property. By tackling these updates in August, you’ll be ready to hit the market in early September when there is a new wave of buyers entering the market. Speaking of buyers, if you are looking to buy a home before the end of the year, get started now. One of the most important steps is talking to a local Realtor to review the home buying process. My Bediz Group team has several talented agents that are licensed in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and can provide you excellent insight into the local markets. Your agent should also connect you with a local and experienced lender. Working with a local lender, like Brooke

Lowry of Atlantic Coast Mortgage, is pivotal to the home-buying process. They’ll be able to review your finances and see if you qualify for any programs, such as DC Open Doors, Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC), and other programs that can help make homeownership more affordable. If your finances may need a little help, some lenders are able to provide recommendations and tricks to lower your debt and improve your credit score. This can result in a better interest rate and more purchasing power for you. By tackling this now and starting the pre-approval process with your lender, you’ll be ready to make an offer when your dream home hits the market. Regardless if you are a buyer or seller, working with the right Realtor matters. At the Bediz Group, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with a great real estate experience. We encourage you to read our reviews on Realtor.com, Yelp! and Better Business Bureau. We were also voted the Best Real Estate Group in 2015 & 2017 in Washington Blade’s Best of Gay DC and hoping to win again this year! Please head over to bestofgayDC. com to nominate Bediz Group as Best Real Estate Group! Nominations end on Aug. 4. Let’s get started today to make sure you accomplish your real estate goals this fall. Give me a call at 202-642-1616 to get started!

David Bediz is a Realtor and Principal of Bediz Group, LLC at Keller Williams Capital Properties. Bediz Group is a team of nine agents serving buyers and sellers in the D.C. metro area.


Girls and boys, come out to play. Mortgage rates are down today. Leave your landlord. Why pay rent when you can buy for what you’ve spent? 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




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571-235-4821 Khalil Alexander El-Ghoul,

Khalil@glasshousere.com glasshousere.com

Principal Broker & Owner of Glass House Real Estate


khalil@glasshousere.com 145 Church St NW #301, Vienna VA 22180 718 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 www.glasshousere.com


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

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

145 Church St., NW Vienna, VA 22180

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Bidding wars are stupid Here are tips for winning in multiple-bid scenarios By KHALIL EL-GHOUL If you are currently in the market, or have been over the last few years, it is not unlikely that you have been part of a multiple offer situation. It goes something like this: You visit a home on Friday, the listing agent sets an offer “deadline” at some point the next week, and if all goes to plan the seller will have several offers to choose from. Often times a common theme in the offers are escalation clauses. An escalation clause is when a buyer communicates to a seller that they are willing to pay a certain amount of money over the next best offer up to a predetermined maximum price. For example, on a home priced at $750,000, a buyer might offer $750,000 and escalate by $1,000 up to $800,000. Where it gets really interesting is when there are multiple escalation clauses that max each other out. So for example if another buyer offers $750,000 and escalates to $775,000, your offer now becomes $776,000. In the scenario above, the delta between the two offers is only $1,000, hardly enough to have an impact on the seller’s decision. The seller is going to select the stronger offer and it will have little to do with the $1,000 difference. If you decided to simply offer asking price, your offer would only be $1,000 less than the next best offer of $751,000. In this scenario, I would argue that escalating is in fact a bad strategy. If you don’t get the home, it probably has little to do with price. So what else can you do to be successful in multiple offer scenarios? In short: stand out and reduce or eliminate the seller’s risk by reducing or eliminating contingencies. The three most common

The most underrated and least utilized strategy for making an offer is creating a personal connection to the seller and/or listing agent. Photo courtesy of Bigstock

contingencies are the home inspection, financing, and appraisal. Below are three examples of how to write a winning offer. When possible, do a pre-inspection. If spending upwards of $500-1,000 for inspections on a home you might not get is not something you are interested in, you can opt for a pared down, less expensive option. Most “deal breakers” on a home are structural and mechanical often found where sellers don’t spend a lot of time like in the basement, attic, and exterior. A walk through with an inspector while they inspect the major components of the home saves time and money and should give you peace of mind. A financing contingency protects you in the event that your financing gets rejected. Using a local and reputable lender and getting fully approved prior to making offers should allow you to eliminate or

AUG U ST 0 2 , 2 0 1 9 • WA SHINGTONBLA D E.COM • 45

have a shorter financing contingency. Waiving an appraisal contingency is often the riskiest and scariest contingency to remove. The process is simply out of your control. However, a good agent should be able to predict with some confidence what the home should appraise for. A partial appraisal contingency is a good tool as well. In the example above where the sales price is $776,000, you might dictate that the home must appraise for at least the asking price of $750,000. The most underrated and least utilized strategy is creating a personal connection to the seller and/or listing agent. I am shocked by how often my listings will get offers from agents who fail to call and get more information. They will literally just send an offer before a deadline, often with escalation clauses, and then check in to

see it was received. Your agent should gather as much information as possible prior to making an offer. Who are the sellers and what is their motivation? Lastly but certainly not least is writing an effective letter to the sellers with a direct and specific call to action. Inviting the sellers to contact us in the event your offer falls short is my secret weapon. I can’t count how many times an agent has called me while sitting with their sellers and saying “you told us to call you...this is what it will take to get your clients the home.”

Khalil El-Ghoul

is Principal Broker and Owner of Glass House Real Estate. Reach him at 571-235-4821 or khalil@glasshousere.com.



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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.




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.


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!

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


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

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

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.

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.




46 • WAS H IN GTO N B LAD E.CO M • AU G U ST 0 2 , 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.*

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.




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

PLASTERING & STUCCO Quality work, DC licensed http://www.rbullard.com. 703-845-1565.


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.

NATIONAL HARBOR SPACIOUS 2br/2bath condo, room for rent.1400 sf with 15’ ceilings, office space and walk-in closets. Great amenities including rooftop access, pool, clubroom, gym and garage parking. Easy access to market, pharmacy and local restaurants. $1160 per month. harborhawk424@ gmail.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.

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RENT / DC CRESTWOOD NW DC, Available 1 Sept, 1000 Sq. Ft., Bright, 1 BR, basement apt. in private home, steps to Rock Creek Park, inclusive of everything. showing now $2000.00. 202-255-3717.

RENT / MD CHARMING HOME IN Artsy Mount Rainer Charming 4 BR/3 BA home, easy off and on street parking. 1 mile form Green line, fenced yard for pups, 3 full baths including 2 with jacuzzi tubs, finished basement for additional living space, room for vegetable gardening, hidden gem of a neighborhood close to bike paths, local food coop, shops, new restaurants coming in, 10 mins. from Hyattsville Bus Boy & Poets, Yes Market, vintage shops. If you don’t know Mount Rainer, you should! LGBTQ friendly neighborhood, easy drive to Capitol Hill, downtown, all things DC. Email: milosarah@ gmail.com.


Playmates and soul mates...

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.




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/


18+ MegaMates.com

SALE / WV UNIQUE WEEKEND GETAWAY. 1200 sq ft house on 5.1 acres. GREAT mountain views, adjacent to WV’s largest nudist resort. Huge wrap-around deck, open floor plan with large windows. Relax in complete privacy. No hunting allowed. 169K. Contact Geise Bennett, broker at 304.947.5630.

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

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

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