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Bishop HARRY JACKSON JR., a conservative pastor who led an unsuccessful ﬁght to overturn D.C.’s same-sex marriage law in 2010 died on Monday. (Washington Blade ﬁle photo by Michael Key)
Anti-LGBTQ minister, Trump adviser who once ‘cursed’ the Blade dies Md. pastor Harry Jackson fought D.C. marriage equality law By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | email@example.com
Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., a conservative pastor who led an unsuccessful ﬁght to overturn D.C.’s same-sex marriage law in 2010 and later served as an evangelical adviser to President Donald Trump, died on Monday, Nov. 9 at the age of 66. Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., where Jackson served as senior pastor, announced his passing in a message on its website but did not disclose the cause of death. “It is with a heavy heart that we notify you that our beloved Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr. has transitioned to be with the Lord on November 9, 2020,” the message states. “Please pray for the Jackson family’s comfort and respect their right to privacy at this time.” Jackson attended a White House ceremony in late September in which President Trump ofﬁcially announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Several administration ofﬁcials, including Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus a short time after the ceremony. Jackson, a longtime Maryland resident, created a stir in D.C. in 2009 when he announced he had become a D.C. resident and took out petitions to place a referendum on the ballot to overturn a law legalizing same-sex marriage that the D.C. Council approved and then-Mayor Adrian Fenty signed. The D.C. Council and several states had approved same-sex marriage laws prior to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country. Based on information received from knowledgeable sources, the Washington Blade reported that a rented efﬁciency apartment that Jackson listed as his legal residence in order to become eligible to initiate a voter referendum was located in a condominium apartment building near the Washington Convention Center that was ineligible for being rented under the rules of the condominium association. The owner of the apartment told the condo board that Jackson was his roommate and did not have a separate lease for the apartment. But LGBT activists and others raised questions about whether Jackson actually lived in the building. Other sources told the Blade Jackson and his wife were seen arriving and leaving the couple’s house in Silver Spring, Md., during the time Jackson claimed to be living in D.C. The Blade’s stories prompted a local neighborhood activist to ﬁle a complaint with the D.C. Board of Elections challenging Jackson’s legal residence in D.C. The elections board ruled a short time later, following an investigation, that Jackson’s living arrangement met the legal requirements of D.C. residency. That enabled Jackson and other opponents of same-sex marriage to move ahead with their planned voter referendum on the marriage equality law. But supporters of the law, including LGBT activists, quickly called on the Board of Elections to reject the referendum on grounds that a separate D.C. law banned initiatives and referenda if such ballot measures would lead to discrimination banned under the city’s Human Rights Act. The activists argued that a referendum resulting in the banning of same-sex marriage would violate the human rights law’s prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The election board agreed with that argument and disqualiﬁed Jackson’s proposed ballot measure. Jackson, with the help of attorneys supportive of his proposed 0 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 • LO CA L NE WS
ballot measure, challenged the election board’s decision in court. The D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals rejected Jackson’s court ﬁlings. He then brought his case to the U.S. Supreme Court calling on the high court to issue an injunction forcing the city to delay the implementation of the same-sex marriage law while he continued his court challenge. Chief Justice John Roberts, acting on behalf of the high court, in March 2010 issued a ruling rejecting Jackson’s appeal for an injunction preventing the same-sex marriage law from taking effect. Roberts ruled that Jackson and others opposed to the same-sex marriage law could not show they could win their case on its merits. He also cited the Supreme Court’s longstanding practice of deferring to the decisions of lower courts in D.C. on “matters of exclusively local concern.” The Supreme Court’s ruling appeared to end Jackson’s involvement in local D.C. affairs. But two years later, in October 2012, he created a stir when news surfaced that he stated in a sermon at his Beltsville church that he placed a curse on the Washington Blade in part for its coverage of his attempt to overturn the D.C. same-sex marriage law. Jackson said he placed his curse on the Blade two months before the Blade’s November 2009 shutdown following a bankruptcy ﬁling by its former parent company, Window Media. “I remember one night I walked past one of those newsstands,” Jackson said in his recorded sermon, referring to one of the Blade’s sidewalk boxes used to distribute the paper. “As I was walking past it I looked at that newsstand and it had some article about same-sex marriage – all of that stuff on it,” he said. “And I laid my hands on that newsstand and I said, ‘In the name of Jesus, I curse this newspaper!” he said. Speaking in a loud voice, Jackson added, “In less than two months, the paper went bankrupt. It was part of a six-state, six newspaper chain. It went bankrupt. It went out of business. It went under!” Jackson didn’t mention in his sermon that the Blade’s staff continued to publish after the Window Media bankruptcy. Within the next several months, three staff members formed a new company that later purchased the rights to the Washington Blade’s name from the bankruptcy court. The staff never missed a week of publishing during the upheaval. The Religious News Service reported on Monday that as one of President Trump’s unofﬁcial evangelical advisers, Jackson visited the White House on numerous occasions and attended the president’s closing speech at the Republican National Convention earlier this year. “A conservative Black pastor in the charismatic tradition, Jackson was outspoken in his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage,” Religious News Service reported in its Nov. 9 report on Jackson’s death. But the report says Jackson was also an advocate for prison reform and economic development. “What I believe is that the whole left and right paradigm that politics has chosen to create for itself is fundamentally incorrect because the Bible has both what we call left and right issues,” RNS quoted Jackson as saying in a 2005 interview.
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D.C. celebrates Biden-Harris victory Thousands descended upon Black Lives Matter Plaza on Saturday after President-elect Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris ofﬁcially won the election. Motorists in Dupont Circle and throughout the city honked their horns in celebration of the election results. Washingtonians also set off ﬁreworks and held gatherings that lasted into the night. “As the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., has a special interest in who becomes our most famous neighbor, and we could not be prouder to have President-elect Biden and vice presidentelect Harris join our city,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in a statement. “They will not only bring dignity back to the White House, but a real commitment to the shared values we uphold and ﬁght for every day in our city—the values embodied by Black Lives Matter Plaza leading right up to their front door.” Biden defeated President Trump in D.C. by a 92.6-5.2 percent margin. Fears that violence would break out in the nation’s capital if Trump disputed the results did not come to pass. “The past few days and weeks, we have seen the true power of democracy—millions of Americans going to the polls and sending in their ballots in the midst of a pandemic—to make their voices heard, to make it clear that every single American, in every city and town in our nation, deserves a fair shot,” said Bowser. “And they have spoken loudly to elect Joseph R. Biden as our nation’s 46th president and Kamala Harris as our nation’s ﬁrst female vice president.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS
A man waves an American ﬂag in Black Lives Matter Plaza in D.C. on Nov. 7, 2020. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)
Biden supporters in Black Lives Matter Plaza celebrate the president-elect’s victory on Nov. 7, 2020. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)
Comings & Goings
Marus promoted at Assoc. of American Universities By PETER ROSENSTEIN
The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Comings & Goings column also invites LGBTQ+ college students to share their successes with us. If you have been elected to a student government position, gotten an exciting internship, or are graduating and beginning your career with a great job, let us know so we can share your success. Congratulations to Rob Marus on his promotion to Associate Vice President for Communications at the Association of American Universities. “I’m glad to expand my responsibilities at AAU as we advocate for scientiﬁc research and advancement in this crucial time,” Marus said.
Prior to joining AAU, Marus was Senior Advisor for Communications to Karl Racine in the Ofﬁce of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. Prior to that he was Deputy Director and Senior Communications Ofﬁcer for the Executive Ofﬁce of the Mayor, Government of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. Before that, he was with the Associated Baptist Press (now Baptist News Global), as managing editor and Washington bureau chief. He received a ﬁrstplace award in news series competition for coverage of the Roy Moore/Ten Commandments controversy in 2004, from the Baptist Communicators Association. Marus is a member of the board of directors for the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C. He is communications director and sings in the church choir. Marus is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where he earned his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, with a major in English.
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Anti-trans ads for Trump crash and burn Scare tactics in swing states fall ﬂat as Biden prevails By CHRIS JOHNSON | email@example.com
Joe Biden, upon taking ofﬁce as president, would enact legislation that would shut down Black churches and schools and compromise Black girls getting athletic scholarships to college — at least according to a misleading radio ad that ran during the election and came up short in convincing Black voters to re-elect President Trump. It was one of several anti-transgender ads aired in the ﬁnal days of the 2020 election in midwestern swing states. But the campaign tactic — hotly debated in Trumpworld — ended up not paying off: Biden eked out wins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and consequently the presidential election, throwing cold water on the idea that antitransgender attacks are effective. The radio ad — one of several on the airwaves and internet stoking anti-transgender animus and fears about the Equality Act to expand the prohibition on anti-LGBTQ discrimination under federal law — aired just before Election Day on 100.7 Milwaukee, a hip-hop station near Milwaukee, Wis. “As a Christian, I can love the sinner, but these Democrats demand we embrace the sin,” says one Black female voice in the ad, according to a partial recording obtained by the Washington Blade. “The Democrats have lost their minds,” another Black female voice responds. “Do you really want to go before the throne of grace and say, ‘I didn’t like how Trump talked, so I voted for Sodom and Gomorrah?’ because I won’t.” A male voice at the end of the ad indicates it was paid for by Black Americans to ReElect the President, a Super PAC run by Vernon Robinson, a Black conservative based in Winston-Salem, N.C. (A look at contributions to reported to Super PAC, however, reveal its major donors are wealthy white men, including Bruce Eberle of the Virginia-based Eberle Communications Group and Foster Friess, a Wyoming-based businessman and supporter of evangelical causes.) An invoice from iHeartMedia to Black Americans to Re-Elect the President found online at the Federal Communications Commission website, conﬁrms 100.7 Milwaukee charged the Super PAC a total of $11,000 on Nov. 5 to run an ad on the Equality Act that aired multiple times in the days leading to Election Day — sometimes more than once over a course of a single hour. During ﬂoor debate on the Equality Act last year, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who sponsors the legislation, refuted many of the claims made against the measure cited in the radio ad. “It doesn’t eliminate women’s colleges, fraternities or sororities or other nondiscriminatory sex segregated programs,” Cicilline said. “The Equality Act doesn’t prevent parents from having control over their children’s medical decisions or force doctors to provide treatment against their best judgment or religious beliefs, and the Equality Act doesn’t eliminate women’s sports. The Equality Act doesn’t force churches to act as public accommodations or eliminate the ability of religious institutions to accept federal money.” Milwaukee turnout in 2020 was virtually the same — and slightly worse in Black-majority wards — as in 2016, when turnout was considered poor and hurt Hillary Clinton, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But at the end of the day, despite going to Trump’s column in 2016, Wisconsin went to Biden in 2020 thanks in part to Black voters and Wisconsin’s record turnout of 3.2 million voters in a presidential election. If the goal of the anti-Equality Act ad was to ensure Trump would win in Wisconsin thanks to Black voters, that didn’t happen. Vivian Topping, a transgender advocate and director of advocacy and civic engagement for the Equality Federation, said the anti-trans ads weren’t effective because a majority of Americans believe “these attacks on transgender children only increases the bullying and harassment they experience.” “I think folks could see through the fact that this was an ad buy that was a desperate political tactic done on behalf of a group that knows that they can’t win on the issues that voters care most about like ending the coronavirus pandemic and stabilizing the economy,” Topping said. The American Principles Project, an anti-LGBTQ group chaired by Terry Schilling, ran similar Facebook ads in Michigan stoking fears about transgender kids in girls’ sports, advising voters to reject Biden and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) over their support for the Equality Act. Another TV ad by the American Principles Project in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania criticized Biden for telling a mom of a transgender kid he’d “ﬂat-out change the law” to protect LGBTQ rights, falsely accusing him of saying he supports gender reassignment surgery for children when he didn’t say that. Here again, the ads didn’t succeed in turning Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania, all of
Facebook slapped a fact check on anti-trans ads by the American Principles Project. (Screen capture via Facebook)
which went to Trump in 2016, back to his side in 2020, nor did they succeed in convincing Michigan voters to elect Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James over Peters. Lucas Acosta, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign said the failure of the ads to win states for Trump demonstrates “it’s 100 percent clear this election that APP did no favors to their anti-equality allies.” “The electorate is actually highly supportive of trans people’s rights to live freely and openly and is incredibly supportive of trans people’s rights to have equal and fair access to health care, right?” Acosta said. “And so these types of attacks what they did is they just reafﬁrmed what voters knew that Trump, and in the case of Michigan, that like John James was just completely anti-equality, which turned them off.” Acosta pointed to polls ﬁnding a majority of Americans support access to health care for transgender people and close to a majority of voters in swing states would actually be turned off by a candidate who opposes equality for LGBTQ people. “They keep looking for their next marriage equality band like it was in 2004, right?” Acosta said. “But they keep sort of swinging and missing, and that gives me glee. I am always entertained, and love to see groups like this absolutely fail because it reafﬁrms that our strategy of working to highlight these opponents of equality and what their records are and showing what these pro-equality candidates are advocating for us to do is the exact right strategy for this moment.” For the American Principles Project, social media played a role in vetting the ad. Facebook placed a notice on the ad stating the Equality Act would allow boys to compete in girls’ sports, although the notice didn’t explicitly say the ad was false. Acosta commended social media companies for ﬂagging these ads, but said he wished they were “more vigilant about what those groups who were promulgating misinformation were attempting to do by slightly altering their content in order to get around their regulations.” “I would hope that in the future that everyone, including HRC, learned exactly what type of attacks and the type of things, and the type of strategies that groups like APP are going to be doing on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, and that we reevaluate our strategies in approaching them moving forward,” Acosta said. One exception to the rule anti-trans ads didn’t pay off was the race to represent Texas’ 23rd congressional district in the U.S. House. The National Republican Congressional Committee ran ads mocking Democratic candidate Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian, for supporting access to transgender surgeries for U.S. service members. Jones ended up losing the race to Republican candidate Tony Gonzalez by nearly four points, 46.5 to 50.7 percent. Acosta pointed out Jones was running during an election year that was bad for House Democrats and the anti-trans attacks, as well as the NRCC pointing out she had a samesex partner on its website, ended up allowing her to raise money for her campaign. The American Principles Project and Black Americans to Re-Elect the President didn’t respond to multiple requests from the Washington Blade to comment for this article.
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JOIN US FOR A DIGITAL SERIES ON WHERE WE GO FROM HERE NOVEMBER 19 Meet the LGBTQ Winners NOVEMBER 26 The next administration NOVEMBER 3 LGBTQ Non-Proﬁts and their next ﬁghts DECEMBER 10 The Importance of LGBTQ Media
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Biden wins presidency; Trump refuses to concede Narrow wins in Georgia, Pennsylvania clinch victory By CHRIS JOHNSON
After days of thorough ballot counting, former Vice President Joe Biden emerged as the victor in the 2020 presidential election on Saturday, ousting President Trump from the White House as a one-term president. The Associated Press called Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, in favor of Biden on Saturday at 11:25 a.m. That gives him 284 votes in the Electoral College, more than the 270 threshold needed for him to win the presidency. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, was elected vice president, making her the both ﬁrst woman and the ﬁrst woman of color elected as part of a presidential ticket. Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement the victory by Biden and Harris “proves once again that equality is a winning issue.” “The Biden/Harris ticket is the most pro-equality ticket in history. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are not just willing to be our allies, but they are true advocates for equality,” David said. “And they’ve done it for decades.” David cited numerous aspects of Biden and Harris’s proLGBTQ record, including their early support for same-sex marriage. “From Biden’s work championing hate crimes protections in the 1980s to Harris performing some of the ﬁrst marriages for LGBTQ couples after Prop 8 was overturned, these leaders have a clear vision that centers unity over division,” David said, “A vision where LGBTQ people are protected from
discrimination and are afforded the freedoms and rights we should all have. A vision where transgender and gender nonconforming people don’t fear for their lives walking down the street. A vision where LGBTQ children are loved, embraced and protected from bullying.” The ﬁnal results remained up in the air days after Election Day on Tuesday as key states, including Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada, counted ballots in exceedingly close races. Although Trump had a narrow path to victory, that opportunity went up in smoke Friday went Biden eked ahead in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Trump has refused to back down and has promised a legal blitz to challenge the ballot counting in the battleground states. In a statement from the White House on Thursday, Trump made unfounded claims about widespread fraud and said illegal ballots were being counted. Following news of Biden’s win, Trump in a statement refused to concede and said he’d ﬁght the election results in court. “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: They don’t want the truth to be exposed,” Trump said. “The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certiﬁed as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal
Former Vice President JOE BIDEN was declared winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday.
challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.” No one on the president’s team has produced evidence of voter fraud and numerous court challenges have already been thrown out. As of Wednesday, however, Trump and his congressional allies were refusing to concede defeat to Biden and to begin the transition process. Jason Harrow, executive director of Equal Citizens and former manager of SCOTUSBlog, said in a statement Trump’s plan to attack the election results in court would amount to nothing. “The whirlwind of legal ﬁlings by the Trump campaign over the last few days all equal up to a sum total of nothing more than legal shenanigans that are distractions which will ultimately have zero impact on the outcome of this election,” Harrow said.
STEPHEN NEIL, left, is a violinist who lives in Wilton Manors, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Neil)
Fla. man responds to Trump supporters with music MAGA crowd attacking LGBTQ people in Wilton Manors By YARIEL VALDES GONZALES
WILTON MANORS, Fla. — Stephen Neil was quietly enjoying election night at home with his partner when he heard a commotion outside his Wilton Manors apartment. He quickly realized it was a caravan of cars honking their horns and waving ﬂags of support for President Trump. More of the same, he thought. Neil initially decided to ignore them, but he decided he could not sit idly by when he heard through a megaphone they began to spew hatred against the LGBTQ community. He decided to reach out to them and ﬁlm them live on Facebook. They were standing along Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors’ main artery, in front of two gay bars, Gym and The Pub. “I was worried that what they were saying was not going to be heard from my condo so I decided to go down and ﬁlm them from a closer vantage point,” Neil told the Washington Blade in an exclusive interview. “They were spewing hatred; calling us derogatory names, child molesters, and were only there to antagonize the community.” “This is why we need a change in America,” Neil said at the beginning of his Facebook broadcast as he showed the president’s supporters waving large blue ﬂags with the slogan “Trump 2020” from afar.
Neil felt he had to do more to stop this rampant attack. “I took my amp and electric violin and played ‘This Is Me’ from the soundtrack of the movie ‘The Greatest Showman,’ among other songs, and I drowned his hatred with love,” said Neil, who is a professional violinist. “I said you might hate us but we still love you. We are in this together.” Despite the tense situation, Neil, 34, was not afraid. He never thought they would physically attack him. “I realized that they were there to spread hate, but I didn’t think they were going to be violent,” said Neil. The video clearly shows several police cars parked along Wilton Drive to prevent any incident. “Once they realized that no one could hear them because of my music, they left,” said Neil. Neil said this incident is the result of the atmosphere of hatred the president has created during his presidency. “I think Trump has encouraged white supremacy and other groups whose mantra centers around hate,” he said. “These people now feel emboldened to stand up, make themselves known and spread their messages of hate.” Trump defeated Joe Biden in Florida by a 51.2-47.8
percent margin. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez and María Elvira Salazar, who are both Republicans, ousted Democratic Congresswomen Debbie Murcasel-Powell and Donna Shalala respectively. Democrat Daniella Levine Cava will succeed Giménez as Miami-Dade County’s mayor. The election night attack took place days after several masked men who were traveling in the back of a truck attacked two pedestrians on Wilton Drive with paintballs. A police report notes three or four of the individuals who attacked the pedestrians were covered in full face masks, while another one was wearing a welder’s mask. The report says they shot the pedestrians near the 2200 block of Wilton Drive at around 11:25 p.m. on Oct. 30. The victims suffered welts on their bodies from the paintballs, but police say they were otherwise unharmed. Authorities have not identiﬁed a possible motive, but they said they would take into account during their investigation the trend of more attacks against other members of the LGBTQ communities to see if there is a possible connection.
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Trump doubles LGBTQ support from 2016 Gay conservatives ﬁnd small victory in 61-28 margin for Biden By CHRIS JOHNSON | firstname.lastname@example.org
asked why Trump had a stronger showing among LGBTQ respondents. Amid celebration in the LGBTQ community over the wins of Joe Biden and Kamala “If that group, for instance, skewed older or skewed very white, then you might expect Harris in the 2020 election, gay conservatives are claiming a small victory of their own somewhat higher numbers for Trump,” Gates said. “If you think that LGBT population, with President Trump claiming a better than expected percentage of the LGBTQ vote. in some way mimics characteristics of the general population which is certainly at least Trump won 28 percent of the LGBTQ vote compared to the 61 percent won by if they’re more white, they’re more likely to vote for Trump, so I think it’s very difﬁcult to Biden, according to exit polling from Edison Research, which compiles demographic know.” information for every U.S. election, published last week in the New York Times. Gates, however, said the low support Biden won from LGBTQ voters is the “more Self-identiﬁed LGBTQ voters also represented 7 percent of the electorate — the interesting statistic,” because that’s a historic low for a Democratic candidate. highest percentage in any election since the LGBTQ vote was ﬁrst recorded in 1996. “Some people have observed that Biden didn’t speciﬁcally call out LGBT issues in Charles Moran, co-chair of the Trump Pride coalition and managing director of Log many of the debates this year,” Gates said. “I don’t know if people feel like their outreach Cabin Republicans, said the LGBTQ vote demonstrates Trump was a “candidate who is to LGBT voters was more muted this year than other candidates, Democrats have done unlike previous Republicans.” in the past. It’s hard to tell, but that 61 percent is quite a bit lower than other Democrats “Donald Trump was the ﬁrst president elected who supported gay marriage and have gotten.” had a long, deep relationship with the LGBTQ community before he got into politics,” During the election, the Republican Moran said. “We didn’t have to play the ‘how National Committee hired Grenell as its face comfortable are you with LGBTQ issues’ game of LGBTQ outreach in the aftermath of serving with him like we did with other candidates. It in the Trump administration as acting director was a given from Day 1.” of national intelligence. To be sure, Trump has built an anti-LGBTQ Last week, however, Grenell was in another record that includes a transgender military role in Nevada on behalf of the Trump ban, arguing against LGBTQ inclusion in campaign, claiming voter fraud based on civil rights in court and green lighting antiscant evidence. Grenell didn’t respond to the LGBTQ discrimination in the name of religious Washington Blade’s request to comment for freedom. In many respects, that record makes this article, nor did the Trump campaign. Trump’s claim to a higher percentage of the In addition to ﬁnding an unusual split LGBTQ vote even stranger. among LGBTQ voters in terms of candidate The 28 percent of the LGBTQ vote Trump choice, the exit poll ﬁnding seven percent secured is the highest percentage for any of the electorate identiﬁed as LGBTQ is Republican presidential nominee since noteworthy because it was a record. In 2016, George W. Bush in 2000, when polls showed when LGBTQ voters were considered to have he won 33 percent of the LGBTQ vote. It’s From left, JON MILLER of Blaze TV and BRANDON STRAKA, whose #WalkAway sought come out in full force, they represented ﬁve also signiﬁcantly higher than Trump’s share to convince the LGBTQ vote to leave the Democratic Party. (Blade photo by Michael Key) percent. of the LGBTQ vote in 2016, when LGBTQ Alphonso David, president of the Human voters backed Hillary Clinton over Trump by Rights Campaign, capitalized on the seven percent of voters identifying as LGBTQ in a a lopsided 78-14 margin. statement upon the release of the exit polls as evidence of record turnout. Biden, on the other hand, with 61 percent of the LGBTQ vote secured the lowest “Over the last three elections, the share of LGBTQ voters has continued to increase, majority of any Democratic presidential nominee since that demographic was ﬁrst solidifying our community as a key rising constituency that politicians must court,” David recored in 1992. said. “Our issues matter, our votes matter and politicians around the country have taken The national polling company Edison Research conducted the presidential election notice.” exit poll, as it has in past years, for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, But whether the seven percent of exit poll respondents who identiﬁed as LGBTQ the Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News. represents a growth in turnout or just a greater number of voters willing to tell pollsters Moran said the large number of LGBTQ people who backed Trump is the result of the they’re LGBTQ remains unknown. Republican Party having “an actual LGBTQ strategy/focus.” Gates said the seven percent ﬁgure is greater than the ﬁve percent of people “There had never been an ofﬁcial LGBTQ coalition on a Republican presidential identifying as LGBTQ in U.S. surveys, which suggests LGBTQ people were more eager campaign before,” Moran said. “There had never been a senior adviser at the RNC than the general public to go to the polls. focused on our issues: Ric Grenell. There had never been a dedicated LGBTQ outreach “I think it is evidence of the broader trend of more LGBT people being willing to effort — (the Trump Pride events we did in eight cities — with some of the best surrogates identify as such in surveys,” Gates said. “But I think it does also still indicate that it could be out there (Lara Trump, Tiffany Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, etc).” that LGBT people are actually a bit more likely to be voters than the general population Moran also attributed the relatively strong performance by Trump among LGBTQ because that number, 7 percent is still a bit higher than most other population surveys.” voters to Outspoken, the newly created media arm of Log Cabin Republicans, in Gates lamented additional demographic information wasn’t included in the exit polls. addition to expanding the national chapters network and adding tens of thousands of If that showed the exit poll skewed more toward younger voters, which are more likely new members. to identify as LGBTQ, Gates said that would explain why LGBTQ voters appeared as a As a result, Moran said he thinks Trump in reality secured support from the LGBTQ greater portion of the electorate. community “up in the low 30’s — so a third of the community.” But are the ﬁndings accurate? Just ask John Kerry, who based on exit polls in 2004 Concurrent with those efforts was the “Walk Away” campaign founded by Brandon was supposed to win in a blowout against then-President George W. Bush before losing Straka, which sought to convince minority groups traditionally associated with the badly, to ﬁnd out about the lack of quality of the data. Democrats to abandon the party ahead of the 2020 election. Straka didn’t respond to a Brian Schaffner, a political scientist at Tufts University, said the LGBTQ vote “is request to comment for this article. obviously difﬁcult to capture for most surveys because it’s such a small share of the adult The relatively strong showing by Trump among LGBTQ voters is consistent with high population, but some of these large election surveys have a sufﬁciently large sample margins of support he won among other minorities. size that allow for a reasonable sample of this group.” According to result from exit polls, Trump won the highest percentage of non-white “That said, the exit poll only has a sample size of 15,590 this year,” Schaffner said. voters for a Republican presidential candidate since 1960. Trump won 32 percent of “That means the sample size for the LGBTQ group is probably somewhere in the 1,000 Latino votes, thanks in part to a strong showing among Cuban-Americans in Florida, and range. So there is deﬁnitely a margin of error around those estimates that we need to doubled his support among Black Americans from 2016. keep in mind.” Gary Gates, a retired expert in LGBTQ data collection in surveys, came up short when 1 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 • NAT I O NA L NE WS
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Vice President-elect KAMALA HARRIS’s mother was born in India, prompting celebrations there and elsewhere.
Activists around the world celebrate Biden-Harris victory
‘Massive relief when Trump lost the election’ By MICHAEL K. LAVERS | email@example.com
Activists around the world are celebrating the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern in a statement said “the outcome of this election has far-reaching implications for LGBTIQ people globally.” ILGA World Executive Director André du Plessis was with his husband in Richmond, Va., on Nov. 7 when the Associated Press and television networks declared Biden and Harris had won the election. Du Plessis on Monday told the Blade that LGBTQ people around the world over the last four years “have been subject to increased hate that has been unleashed in copycat imitation of the poor presidential leadership in the United States” and “have experienced ﬁrst-hand what happens when society is encouraged to bully, shame, mock, harm and belittle others who are different.” “The citizens of the United States have this week voted—albeit closely—to reject this kind of leadership,” said du Plessis. “The planet is crying out for more compassionate, mature, visionary, unifying and empathetic leaders, and we now look to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to be an example.” Hila Peer, chair of the Aguda, the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, also celebrated the election of Biden and Harris. “We are celebrating with the U.S. LGBTQ+ community for one that seems to place human rights and in that LGBTQ+ rights as one of great importance,” Peer told the Blade from Tel Aviv. “I hope the winds of positive change will be obvious soon across the U.S. and from there will send ripples of progressives (sic) and true equality to the world-at-large and Israel.” Tiziana Fisichella, coordinator of Milan Pride in Italy, agreed. “We are so happy for America,” proclaimed Fisichella on Tuesday in a WhatsApp message to the Blade. “New President-elect Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be tasked with restoring social justice and democracy to the U.S.” Leandro Rodríguez, an activist in Cuba who is a vocal critic of his country’s government, on Monday told the Blade that Biden’s public support of LGBTQ rights is a sign of “hope.” Danilo Manzano, director of Diálogo Diverso, a group that is based in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, said the election results mean the U.S. will become a “more just, less discriminatory and much more equal country.” The promotion of LGBTQ rights abroad was a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy during President Obama’s second term. Biden in 2016 described LGBTQ rights as the “civil rights issue of our time” when he spoke at a U.N. LGBTI Core Group event that took place on the sidelines of that year’s U.N. General Assembly. Caleb Orozco, an activist in Belize who successfully challenged his country’s colonial-era sodomy law, on Sunday recalled meeting Biden at the event. “I got an unplanned, but welcomed hug as I was aware of his pain as a father who lost his son to cancer,” Orozco told the Blade in an email. “During the meeting he waved his pencil at me and I was left shocked because I did not realize he was speaking to me,” he further recalled. “A man with so much loss in his life can become remarkable in leadership, shaped by personal pain.” The White House in 2019 launched an initiative that encourages countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. Trump named ﬁve openly gay ambassadors, but activists with whom the Blade has spoken after the election sharply criticized the outgoing administration over myriad other issues that include the repeal of legal protections for transgender Americans and its hardline immigration policy. The U.S. in 2018 withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council. Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the independent U.N. expert on LGBTQ issues, on Monday during a telephone interview from his native Costa Rica noted to the Blade that the council gives him his mandate. Madrigal-Borloz also said he was “glad to congratulate all of you on the
election of the 46th president and I very much look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration in the furtherance of U.S. support in relation to global furtherance of LGBT issues.” “There’s a reason why explicit and unambiguous political statements are important and that is because they do have an impact all across the world,” he said when the Blade asked him about the impact the Biden-Harris administration will have on countries with anti-LGBTQ human rights records. “While that is true of any political leadership, it is especially true of the United States given that it is, of course, a global power around the world.” African Women for Sexual Health and Gender Justice (AWOSHe) Managing Director Hazel Mokgathi, who is based in Botswana, on Monday told the Blade the Biden-Harris administration has pledged to lift the so-called global gag rule, which prevents the U.S. from funding international organizations that provide abortions. Mokgathi also noted Biden in his victory speech speciﬁcally mentioned trans people. Glenroy Murray, director of strategy and impact for J-FLAG, an LGBTQ advocacy group in Jamaica, on Monday said he “was pleasantly shocked that the Biden-Harris campaign won out.” “The Jamaican in me is claiming this victory as a victory for us in the small way,” added Murray. “The USA has positioned themselves as a global leader for LGBT rights and in the last four years that status fell into doubt, particularly from the eyes of an LGBTQ person of color from the Global South.” “That was very moving for me as a transgender leader, because that on its own has ripple effects to the rest of the world leaders—and including my very own president of Botswana—to protect and acknowledge underserved communities in their own countries,” she said. Harris’s father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in India. Harris is the ﬁrst woman, ﬁrst Black person and ﬁrst American of South Asian descent elected vice president. Meera Parida is a member of India’s National Council for Transgender Persons. She is also the state secretary for the Biju Janata Dal, a socialist party that governs India’s Odisha state. “Being an Indian, I feel proud myself to see a lady of Indian origin being elected,” Parida told the Blade. Dédé Oetomo, founder of Gaya Nusantara, an Indonesian LGBTQ rights group, on Tuesday also noted Harris’ background when he discussed the election results. “The reaction among Indonesian LGBTQ folks is one of hope and excitement, given Mr. Biden’s track record in advocating for LGBTQ human rights when he was vice president,” Oetomo told the Blade from the Indonesian city of Surabaya. “There has also been excitement about a half Asian vice president-elect.” Elias Jahshan is the former editor of the Star Observer, an LGBTQ newspaper in Australia. Jahshan is also a gay man of Arab descent who now lives in London. Jahshan on Monday told the Blade he “felt massive relief when Trump lost the election.” “He is quite possibly the worst kind of leader, by Western democratic standards, for LGBTQ people—especially for the trans community and queer people of color,” he said. “He is absolutely toxic in so many ways. Good riddance that he won’t be around for another term.” Jahshan described Biden as “a step in the right direction,” especially on LGBTQ rights, but he added his position is “hardly revolutionary.” Jahshan told the Blade that he is “not holding my breath in Biden doing anything to bring about genuine equality and freedoms for Palestinians who lives in the West Bank or Gaza.” “Time after time we’ve seen both Democrat and Republican leaders use their imperialist powers to reward countries that pander to their exceptionalism, regardless whether they’re dictatorships or not,” he said. “Israel is an example of this—as are Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Palestinians are always thrown under the bus, and this includes LGBTQ Palestinians.”
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is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some scary trends, lessons in 2020 results
Biden’s historic win offset by demographic shifts, GOP Senate The Champagne ﬂowed last weekend after the AP and other media outlets declared Joe Biden and Kamala Harris winners of the 2020 race. The world celebrated with joyous marches and even ﬁreworks in some cities in scenes that recalled the Rebel Alliance destroying the Death Star in “Star Wars.” But the euphoria of that moment was quickly tempered by the realization that the “blue tsunami” many pollsters had predicted failed to materialize, as Susan Collins, Mitch McConnell, and the closeted Lindsey Graham all won re-election fairly handily over well-funded and hyped Democratic opponents. The pundits quickly engaged in a bit of revisionist history, falsely claiming they were right all along about the 2020 election being close. In fact, the ﬁnal polls of 2020 showed Biden winning Wisconsin by 12 points and Michigan by seven. It’s true that Biden won more votes than any presidential candidate in history, but it’s also true that Trump won the second largest share, and that’s after four years of outrageously incompetent and racist behavior and amid a pandemic that’s killed nearly 250,000 Americans. Although the ﬁnal Senate tally remains to be determined by two runoff races in Georgia, it’s unlikely both Democratic challengers there will prevail in January and result in a 50-50 Senate tie to be broken by Senate President Harris. Thus, we’re likely back to divided government with the odious McConnell running the Senate and already threatening to continue his practice of blocking legislation and appointees he doesn’t like, which will undoubtedly include the Equality Act, Biden’s No. 1 legislative priority. Meanwhile, in even more ominous news for Democrats, their House majority shrank as Republicans picked up an unexpected ﬁve seats. Almost no one outside of President Trump predicted the GOP would pick up House seats this year. That stunning result led to warnings from centrist Democrats that the party needs to distance itself from allegations of “socialism” and even Rep. Jim Clyburn has since said that calls to “defund the police” ended up costing Democrats some House seats. And in yet another surprise development, demographic information gleaned from exit polls revealed that Trump won 28 percent of the LGBTQ vote, double the 14 percent he won in 2016 and the highest percentage for a Republican presidential candidate since George W. Bush in 2000. Biden’s 61 percent of the LGBTQ vote is the worst performance of any Democratic nominee since that demographic was ﬁrst recorded in 1992, as the Blade reported this week. There were warning signs that Biden and Harris would underperform among LGBTQ voters, who comprised an unexpectedly high 7 percent of the electorate, according to the exit polls. Neither candidate addressed LGBTQ issues during the presidential and vice presidential debates, a missed opportunity especially for Harris who faced notorious homophobe Mike Pence but failed to draw a contrast with him over queer issues. Biden’s campaign also refused multiple requests for interviews with the Blade, a break in tradition as the Blade has a record of interviewing presidential hopefuls, including John McCain in 2008, the ﬁrst time a GOP presidential nominee granted an interview to the LGBTQ press. Taking LGBTQ voters for granted was a sloppy mistake and Trump capitalized on it as his campaign launched an LGBTQ outreach effort headed by prominent surrogates like Ric Grenell and Tiffany Trump and included marches in eight cities. Many laughed off those efforts, but they helped Trump double his support among LGBTQ voters. Make no mistake that ridding Washington of Trump and his Cabinet hell bent on destroying the federal government marks a huge win and sigh of relief for thinking people everywhere. But the results were not the resounding Trump rebuke the country needed. Instead, we’re left to cope with the fact that more than 70 million Americans — and 28 percent of LGBTQ voters — wanted four more years of this madness. A McConnell-led Senate will block our legislative priorities and progressive appointments. And with a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that looks poised to rule against same-sex couples in a discrimination case next year, the road ahead appears rocky at best, and riddled with more setbacks at worst. 2 0 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 • V I E WP O I NT
is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.
Celebrating victory with Biden and Harris
Let us do all we can to ‘build back better’ Last Sunday morning like so many Americans and people around the world I woke up able to take a deep breath of fresh air and consider a host of new possibilities. When the networks ﬁnally called the election on Saturday and told us Joe Biden was president-elect and Kamala Harris was vice presidentelect we could ﬁnally believe we are moving forward into a brighter future. We took to the streets to celebrate. Living in D.C., I headed to the White House with thousands of others. We cheered each other, touching elbows with strangers, all the while wearing our face masks. The same scene occurred in cities around the country; spontaneous, jubilant crowds celebrating Biden and Harris’s win and Trump’s loss. Many have worked for this result since he defeated Hillary in 2016. We celebrated Harris because for the ﬁrst time a woman was elected on a national ticket; the daughter of immigrants, an African American with Indian heritage. I only wish the congresswoman I worked for, Bella S. Abzug (D-NY) had lived to see this. She would be so proud. On Saturday evening the president-elect and vice president-elect spoke to the nation. They both made it abundantly clear they were speaking to everyone. Biden said “I am a proud Democrat but I will govern as an American.” He made a plea to those in both parties to stop the demonization of each other and realize we are all Americans. I applaud him for saying that but know for many it will be hard to do. I will try to follow his lead. What comes simultaneously as Biden begins to lay out his ﬁrst 100-day plans will be the dissection of the campaign by each party, and the factions within the parties. I read an interview the New York Times conducted with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) the proud Democratic Socialist who has become a leading voice for the left. It was disappointing to say the least. She discussed what she called the hostility to her and her views by the Democratic Party. She challenged moderates who said some of their losses were the fault of progressives like her. At the end of the interview when asked if she would consider a Senate run in two years she said “I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the ﬁrst six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year.” What bothers me about this is the apparent lack of understanding of how American democracy and our Congress work. What it means to ﬁght for what you believe and to do so for as many years as it takes to win. What would have happened if women gave up before they got the right to vote, or African Americans and the LGBTQ+ community didn’t stay in the ﬁght demanding full equality? We will dissect the results to determine why some Democrats lost their seats and others won theirs and why we didn’t win Florida or take the Senate. While this is happening Democrats have another chance to take over the Senate with the two run-off races in Georgia on Jan. 5. Those races will determine whether President Biden is forced to negotiate every issue with Mitch McConnell or whether Vice President Kamala Harris as president of the Senate can break a tie and give Democrats a win. While this happens, President-elect Biden will be planning his coronavirus task force and determining how he will ﬁght the pandemic, which is out of control around the world, and how to rebuild the American economy. He is right when he says unless we get the virus under control the second issue will be more difﬁcult. President Trump apparently will not cooperate with the president-elect and this will be the ﬁrst time in recent American history a losing incumbent hasn’t worked toward a smooth transition. So as we celebrate Joe and Kamala, let us as Americans do all they ask of us so we can “Build back better.”
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I was diagnosed with HIV just shy of my 30th birthday. That day, everything changed. I was apprehensive about my prognosis, my treatment plan, and my ability to live a normal life. Fortunately, medical advances have turned HIV from a certain death sentence into a manageable condition. Still, like all Americans who depend on complex medications to stay healthy, I worry about high drug prices, and this concern has only intensiﬁed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially since some of the proposed “solutions” to high drug prices would put patients’ health at risk. Just recently, the Trump administration announced that it would allow states to import prescription medications from Canada with the aim of saving money for consumers. Doing so, though, could expose millions of Americans to counterfeit drugs, while achieving little in the way of savings. I’ve seen ﬁrsthand how importation schemes can put patients at risk. Shortly after learning I was HIV-positive, I ordered my anti-retroviral drugs from an online Canadian pharmacy. For two months, I received medications via mail without ever wondering where they were sourced or whether they contained the active ingredients I needed to keep me alive. Then my doctor intervened. She told me that drugs purchased through online storefronts are often adulterated or counterfeit—in fact, the global trade in fake medicines is a $30 billion-a-year business. Unknowingly, I had been rolling the dice with my health. There are two types of counterfeit drugs. The ﬁrst contains potentially deadly substances— everything from arsenic to antifreeze. The second contains few, if any, active ingredients. Though pills in the latter category don’t contain actual poisons, they can be deadly. Anti-retroviral drugs have to be taken exactly as prescribed; missing even a few doses can allow the virus to reemerge. There is no mechanism in place to regulate the quality of drugs imported by American patients. A senior ofﬁcial at Health Canada explicitly told the U.S. surgeon general that her agency “does not assure that products being sold to U.S. citizens are safe, effective, and of high quality.” The FDA, meanwhile, plainly states that it “cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs that it has not approved.” Moreover, drugs purportedly from Canada could come from anywhere. A 2017 study by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy found that three quarters of online pharmacies claiming to sell Canadian drugs actually sourced their products from places like India, Singapore, and Hong Kong, all major suppliers of counterfeits. Back in 2005, the FDA reported that only 15 percent of imported drugs marketed as Canadian actually originated in Canada. The other 85 percent came from “27 countries around the globe,” meaning that many likely didn’t go through rigorous quality control. It’s relatively easy to get hoodwinked by online pharmacies that promise quality drugs at bargain prices. CanadaDrugs.com, for instance, started out in 2001 as a seemingly reputable online pharmacy. But soon it turned to distributors outside of Canada to secure medicines. In 2018, a U.S. court prosecuted and ﬁned the company for selling fake cancer drugs to American doctors. Counterfeiters have shown they are willing to prey on people living with all kinds of diseases, including HIV. In 2011, a British regulatory agency discovered that two fake HIV medications had inﬁltrated the market and were circulating among patients. Opening the door to drug imports would allow that kind of thing to happen here, putting us all at risk. And it’s not even certain that legalizing importation would cut costs. The FDA acknowledges that it is “unable to estimate the cost savings” from President Trump’s new plan. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote that “when importation of foreign drugs is done under a regulated scheme, it really wouldn’t save money.” Right now, Americans are anxious enough about our health. Let’s not add drug imports to our list of things to worry about.
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Husband’s tragic death leaves D.C. man to raise 4 young children alone
JOHN O’MAHONY is raising two sets of young twins alone after the passing of his husband Yaroslav Koporulin. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
Pair became ﬁrst gay couple in U.S. to father two sets of twins via surrogacy By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | email@example.com
D.C. resident John O’Mahony says he and his husband and life partner of 25 years Yaroslav Koporulin remained hopeful in January of 2019 when Koporulin was diagnosed with lung cancer on the same day their twin sons were born, making them the ﬁrst known gay couple in the U.S. to have two sets of twins through surrogacy. The couple’s two daughters, Violet and Claire, were born in May 2016, a little less than three years before the birth of their twin sons, Evan and Damian. John says he’s thankful that Yaroslav, a native of Russia and an acclaimed artist and graphic designer who became a U.S. citizen in 2016, had a chance to help raise the four kids and place his loving personality on them up until just four weeks ago, when Yaroslav died on Oct. 24 of complications associated with lung cancer at the age of 48. Yaroslav’s sudden passing has created both an emotional and ﬁnancial struggle for John, according to a close friend of the couple who posted a GoFundMe page inviting friends and supporters in the community to provide some help. “Your kindness and generosity will help John to deal with the funeral and a lot of other expenses coming his way during this unbearable time of loss and grieving for his beloved husband of almost 25 years,” said Olga Deviatkova, the friend who posted the GoFundMe page. “Please donate to John, Violet, Claire, Evan and Damian.” On Friday, Oct. 23, John, who’s 52, says his mother took Yaroslav to Georgetown University Hospital’s emergency room with a fever and difﬁculty breathing. John says he arrived at the hospital about an hour later, and doctors soon informed him and his mother that Yaroslav appeared to have pneumonia. He had been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for small cell lung cancer, which is a form of lung cancer known to spread to other parts of the body, for over a year, according to John. The harsh chemo treatment had weakened his immune system, making him susceptible to infection. Later that night, after John returned home thinking the pneumonia would be successfully treated and Yaroslav would come home in a few days, John says he received a call from one of the doctors at the hospital saying Yaroslav had developed a sepsis blood infection in addition to the pneumonia. “So they called me saying they think he might pass,” John recalls being told. “I’m like, what?” To make matters worse, John says he was informed that he could not come back that night to visit Yaroslav at the hospital’s intensive care unit where his husband was being treated due to strict COVID-19 restrictions even though Yaroslav had tested negative for COVID through two separate tests. He said he was told he would have to wait until later the next day to be able to come in for a visit. “I had to wait until 3 p.m. the next day to see him,” John says. “He went in on Friday, Oct. 23 at about 7 p.m. They called me at 7 a.m. on Saturday to say he had passed,” John says. “So that was the hardest part. There was kind of no closure with somebody that I’ve been with for 25 years or more.” John told the Blade in an interview on Nov. 9 that talking about his life with Yaroslav and the many things they did together as well as being with his kids helps to ease his struggle in coping with the loss of his husband. “Just say that I loved him very much and I’m going to miss him more than anything,” he says. “I wish he would have been around longer. But the only way my life is bearable is because I have the kids with me and part of them are him,” John says. “So I feel as though he is kind of here too.” John explains that he and Yaroslav retained the services of two fertility agencies to arrange for them to become the biological fathers of two sets of twins through in vitro fertilization. The process involved obtaining separate eggs from a female donor and fertilizing one of them from John’s sperm and the other from Yaroslav’s sperm through a laboratory in vitro fertilization process. The fertilized eggs, which became separate embryos, were then implanted into a female surrogate who was compensated for becoming pregnant and delivering the babies. According to John, although the implantation of an embryo into a surrogate often does not “take,” it did take in both cases for them resulting in the birth of their two sets of twins. Columbia Fertility Associates was especially helpful and supportive of their effort to bear their kids through surrogacy, John told the Blade. “They’ve been so good to us and so good to the gay community,” he said. A couple that ‘clicked’ together John says he and Yaroslav met in 1995 in D.C. at the Dupont Circle gay bar The Fireplace, where John was working as a bartender. Yaroslav, a resident of Moscow, was visiting the U.S. in 2 4 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 • A &E
an artists’ exchange program for just a few weeks and was in D.C. and set to visit Philadelphia and New York before returning to Moscow. John, who has a bachelor’s degree in international relations, says he was wearing a Russian sailor’s hat while serving drinks at The Fireplace when Yaroslav approached him and asked why he was wearing that hat. “And I said it’s kind of a cool hat. It’s a Russian navy hat. And he said well I’m from Russia,” John recalls. “And we just started talking. I was just getting off work and we just clicked and kept in contact for the next year,” John says. During that year John says he traveled to Moscow to visit Yaroslav a few times and Yaroslav came back to D.C. to see John a couple of times. About a year after the two met and had become a couple separated by an ocean and a continent John says he decided to “drop everything” in D.C. and move to Russia to live with Yaroslav in Yaroslav’s Moscow apartment in late 1996. A short time after his move to Moscow John says he applied for and quickly got a job at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. John says that under the tenure of then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the atmosphere for gay people at least in Moscow was generally open and supportive. He says he and Yaroslav walked holding hands through the streets of Moscow without a problem. On one of his visits to Moscow he thinks was in 1995 prior to moving there he and Yaroslav exchanged vows that the two considered to be equivalent to a marriage in Pushkinskaya Square, a park-like plaza in downtown Moscow, John told the Blade. “We used strands of grass to make two rings and put them on each other’s ﬁngers,” he said. “We kept them in a drawer for a long time. It was cool. They looked like rings.” After living together in Moscow for four years the couple decided to come back to D.C., where they moved into the Logan Circle area house owned by John, which he leased to tenants during his time in Moscow. A short time later, the two bought a ﬁve-bedroom house near 17th and U streets, N.W. that they turned into the U Street Bed and Breakfast. “We lived in the basement apartment and used the upper ﬂoors for the bed and breakfast,” John says, which the couple operated for the next 14 years. They sold the business at the time they decided they wanted to start their family and have kids, noting that the long hours it took to operate the B&B would not be conducive to raising children. John says it was not until 2013 that he and Yaroslav got legally married in D.C. Although D.C. legalized gay marriage in 2010, ﬁve years before the U.S. Supreme JOHN O’MAHONY and YAROSLAV KOPORULIN had two sets of twins — daughters Violet and Claire, and sons Evan and Damian.
4 kids help ease pain over death of D.C. man’s husband
Court handed down its decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, John says lawyers representing Yaroslav’s ongoing effort to obtain a green card and permanent U.S. residency advised him not to enter into a same-sex marriage. The anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress in the 1990s and signed by President Bill Clinton prohibited the federal government from extending any beneﬁts or policies in support of same-sex marriages. That prohibition prevented Yaroslav from obtaining U.S. residency through a same-sex marriage in the same way a heterosexual marriage automatically resulted in residency status for foreigners that marry a U.S. citizen. The lawyers said getting married might also jeopardize his efforts to obtain a green card and prevent him from staying in the U.S. without a renewed visa, John said. All that changed in 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which upheld a lower court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. John says that opened the way for him and Yaroslav to get married in D.C. under the samesex marriage law that had been approved by the D.C. Council and signed by then-Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2009 and which took effect in March 2010. The 2013 Windsor Supreme Court ruling also cleared the way for Yaroslav to obtain his longawaited green card and a short time later his full U.S. citizenship. John says that after the two gave up their bed and breakfast business, Yaroslav stepped up his longstanding line of work as an artist, with showings of his artwork in galleries across the city. He also began work as an adjunct professor teaching art at American University, which he continued until illness related to his lung cancer forced him to step back. His citizenship status came too late for Yaroslav to vote in the 2016 presidential election but he was able to do so this year, John says. “He was so happy he got to vote in his ﬁrst presidential election and he voted for Biden,” according to John. “He didn’t like Trump too much.” Added John, “He voted on Wednesday, three days before he died. And we mailed in his ballot.” With Yaroslav’s passing, a child care center called CentroNia in Columbia Heights where John and Yaroslav had enrolled their four kids has become immensely helpful in the kids’ support and educational development, John says. The center’s policy of providing a ﬁnancial subsidy
for parents who cannot afford the full tuition for enrolling their children has also been helpful. When asked how the kids are dealing with the loss of one of their fathers, who they called Papa — they call John Dad — John says the loss has been mostly something they don’t fully understand or grasp due to their young age. “Thank God they’re not 7 or 8 or 9 when maybe it sticks in you more,” he says. “But they’re only 4 and a half and almost 2. So the twin boys, the young ones, they don’t even know,” John says. “They just started to say papa. But the girls, they said papa probably 200,000 times. They just say papa died. So they get it but not really,” he says. “But I just tell it like it is,” John says. “And I say papa has died and you know that he had lung cancer and he had a booboo in his lungs. And papa is not with us anymore but he’s thinking about you and he’ll always love you.” The GoFundMe site in support of John O’Mahony and his family can be accessed here: https://gf.me/u/y6izvb A site displaying Yaroslav Koporulin’s artwork, some of which may be for sale with the proceeds used to support his family, can be accessed here: yarkoporulin.com.
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By Parker Purifoy
The DC Center, located in the Reeves Building, has a wide array of virtual events planned in the coming week. (Washington Blade ﬁle photo by Michael Key)
The DC Center is hosting a virtual Trans Support Group session today at 7 p.m. The support group is designed as a safe space for transgender people and those who may be questioning their gender identity or expression. For more details, visit the dccenter.org/events Friday Tea Time is a virtual social gathering at 2 p.m. for older LGBTQ adults via Zoom. Participants are encouraged to bring their beverage of choice while socializing with friends. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/events. Women in their Twenties and Thirties is a social discussion group for queer women in the D.C. area. They are meeting at 8 p.m. via Zoom. For the link to the meeting, email email@example.com.
Saturday, November 14
Center Women and the Rainbow History Project are collaborating to create a virtual LGBTQ women’s history tour. Presenters will be Cassandra Ake from Rainbow History Project and Ty Ginter from DC Dykaries. Registration costs $5 and all proceeds go to the two organizations. The program runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The LGBTQ People of Color Support Group will meet at 1 p.m. to provide an outlet for LGBTQ people of color to talk about anything affecting them. For the Zoom link to the meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Gay District is meeting at 8 p.m. today via Zoom. Gay District is a community-based organization focused on building understanding of gay culture and personal identity for LGBTQ+ men between the ages of 18 and 35. To ask for the Zoom URL, email email@example.com. The DC Center is hosting a Universal Pride Meeting at 1 p.m. The group seeks to support, educate, empower, and create change for people with disabilities. The discussion could include the intersections between being disabled and being LGBTQ, dating and relationships challenges, and breaking down barriers for disabled members of the LGBTQ community. The code for the Zoom meeting can be found at thedccenter.org/events. The Indian Cultural Association is distributing free fresh fruits and vegetables at the Miller Library in Ellicott City, Md., today starting at 10 a.m. All are welcome and no IDs are required to receive free produce.
Sunday, November 15
Thursday, November 19
The DC Center and Beta Kappa Chapter of the Beta Phi Omega Sorority are leading a Black Lesbian Support Group session today at 1 p.m. Attendees do not need to be members of the sorority to join. The information to join the Zoom session can be found at thedccenter.org/events. The DC Center is hosting its monthly support group for people who identify outside of the gender binary over Zoom at 7 p.m. Meetings are on the fourth Tuesday and third Mondays of each month. More information can be found at thedccenter.org/events.
Center Women and the DC Center are partnering to throw a bingo night in celebration of Tiera Craig’s birthday starting at 7 p.m. Craig is the DC Center Board of Directors treasurer. Suggested donations for the night start at $5. The DC Center is holding a Poly Group Discussion at 7 p.m. to discuss all aspects of polyamory and other consensual non-monogamous relationships. More information can be found at thedccenter.org/events
Monday, November 16
LGBT Older Adults and friends are invited to join the DC Center at 10 a.m. for a Center Aging Coffee Drop-In. For more information visit thedccenter.org and Center Aging on social media.
Tuesday, November 17
KushDC is hosting a virtual Happy Hour at 7 p.m. KhushDC is a social, educational, and advocacy community organization for South Asian LGBTQ people in the DC metro area. For more information about Happy Hour, visit thedccenter.org/events There will be a virtual Bi Roundtable Discussion at 7 p.m. today, held by The Center Bi. The discussion is intended for attendees to talk about issues related to bisexuality or talk as bisexual individuals in a private setting. Details can be found at thedccenter.org/events and on The Center Bi’s social media pages.
Wednesday, November 18
BookMen DC is holding a meeting today at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be an informal group of men who are interested in both ﬁction and nonﬁction gay literature. According to their policy, new members do not have to commit to reading every book or coming to every meeting. Visit thedccenter. org/events for more details.
2 8 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 • A &E
OUT&ABOUT Autistic Self Advocacy Network gala goes virtual The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is celebrating its annual gala this week by holding a four-day conference that goes until Sunday. Events include panels on the transition to adulthood, LGBTQ+ rights and neurodiversity, and racial justice. There is also a ﬁlm screening planned, along with Twitter chats to allow for increased participation. Several awards are slated to be given out at the gala. The Ally of the Year award will go to Michelle Bishop, voter access and engagement manager at the National Disability Rights Network. This year, Bishop worked to ensure access for voters with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic by challenging voter laws and pushing them to make voting more accessible. The awards for Service to the Self-Advocacy Movement will go to Outreach Director for Green Mountain Self-Advocates Max Barrows and a disability advocate and performing artist Teighlor McGee. More information about the events can be found at autisticadvocacy.org
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Hallmark, Lifetime, others embrace LGBTQ holiday romance Cheesy seasonal fare becomes more inclusive at last By JOHN PAUL KING
As we move ﬁrmly into November, there’s no escaping the fact that holiday season 2020 is upon us – and with the election result and news of a vaccine breakthrough, it feels like we might feel OK about celebrating this year, after all. Making that easier for us all, of course, is the annual inﬂux of holiday viewing fare that has already begun showing up on our screens, right on cue, to help us get in the mood. For LGBTQ+ audiences, that has traditionally meant having to settle for getting our ﬁx of seasonal spirit vicariously through stories about straight people – but giving us even more reason to celebrate, this time around, is a plethora of inclusive options in which, at long last, we get to see our queer romantic holiday fantasies played out without having to ﬁlter them through a heteronormative lens. Probably the most signiﬁcant of these new entries – from the standpoint of cultural politics, at least – is “The Christmas House,” which comes amid the heavy slate of holiday-themed romantic movies from the Hallmark Channel, and represents a seismic shift at the formerly conservative network by placing a loving same-sex couple at the center of its warm and fuzzy storyline. Starring out gay actor Jonathan Bennett (best known as high school heartthrob Aaron Samuels in 2004’s “Mean Girls”), it focuses on a gay couple trying to adopt their ﬁrst child, and costars Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams and Sharon Lawrence. To recognize why “The Christmas House” (which premieres Nov. 22) is as meaningful as it is, it’s necessary to look back at Christmas 2019. A lot has happened since then, but if you prod your memory, you’ll likely recall the debacle that took place when Hallmark caved to pressure from right-wing homophobic activists (particularly the misleadingly named “One Million Moms,” a front for known hate group the American Family Association) and pulled several ads for the wedding planning website Zola over the inclusion of a lesbian couple. The backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and its advocates was swift and profound, and a week later the ads were reinstated, with Hallmark vowing to work with GLAAD on a plan to move forward with more inclusive programming. It was an unequivocal victory in the “culture wars,” made even more sweet by the context of a ﬂagrantly anti-LGBTQ political administration and the false perception of legitimacy bestowed upon homophobic social attitudes that it enabled. For proof that the climate had changed – even before last week’s election – one only has to look at the words of Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming for Hallmark, whose statement when “The Christmas House” was announced late last month as part of the network’s seasonal lineup opened by saying, “Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever.” It might have the ring of carefully manufactured corporate-speak, but that sentence still represents the culmination of a decades-long struggle – and while not every member of the LGBTQ+ crowd may be excited about being represented in the kind of feel-good fare that straight couples have been enjoying together since forever, we can all still look at the fact that it’s ﬁnally happening as an important milestone worthy of celebration – though it’s worth noting that One Million Moms has another homophobic petition circulating in protest of this one, too. Hallmark isn’t the only cable titan unveiling its ﬁrst same-sex Christmas romance this year; the Lifetime Channel, similarly known for being a family-friendly seasonal juggernaut, is dropping “The Christmas Set-Up,” which stars two actors (Ben Lewis and Blake Lee) who are not only openly gay, but are an actual couple in real life. While the network last year aired “Twinkle All the Way,” which featured a same-sex kiss between two supporting characters, this time they are putting the gay love story front and center. This one follows Hugo, a New York lawyer (Lewis), whose 3 0 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 • A &E
KRISTEN STEWART and MACKENZIE DAVIS star in ‘Happiest Season.’ (Photo courtesy of Hulu)
matchmaking mom (played by Fran Drescher) decides to set him up with Patrick (Lee), his old high school friend – and secret crush. According to the synopsis, things go smoothly between the two men at ﬁrst, but they take a dramatic turn when (in true made-for-TV romance fashion) Hugo gets a promotion that comes with a relocation to London, forcing him to choose between his career and the man of his dreams. It also stars Ellen Wong (“G.L.O.W”) as Hugo’s best friend. “The Christmas Set-Up” represents Lifetime’s efforts to bolster its own reputation for diversity and inclusion, in a Christmas lineup that also features the network’s ﬁrst movie centered on an Asian-American family, “A Sugar & Spice Holiday.” In a statement made in September, when Lifetime’s holiday slate was announced, head of programming Amy Winter said, “The world we create on camera should reﬂect the world we live in.” She went on to add, “Our hope with these inclusive ﬁlms and others is that people will see themselves while enjoying universally relatable holiday romances.” “The Christmas Set-Up” won’t drop until Dec. 12, but for fans of gay romance, it should be well worth the wait. It’s laudable that these once-resistant cable networks have opened up their programming to include more diverse representation, of course; but while we have been waiting for them to get on board, we should not forget that streaming giants like Netﬂix and Hulu have already been leading the charge for quite some time. Both of them continue that tradition this season with LGBTQ-centric holiday offerings of their own. While Netﬂix doesn’t have a speciﬁcally LGBTQ-centered title coming for the holiday season, it is bringing us “Dash & Lily,” based on the popular YA romance book series by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, which includes queer characters – not to mention the nonholiday-themed Ryan Murphy adaptation of the Broadway musical, “The Prom.” Hulu, however, is putting LGBTQ love in the spotlight with “Happiest Season,” a romantic comedy from director Clea Duvall, who also cowrote with Mary Holland. Featuring two queer icons (Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis) in the leads, and yet another (Dan Levy) in prominent support, Duvall’s ﬁlm revolves around girlfriends Abby (Stewart) and Harper (Davis), and Abby’s plan to propose at the annual Christmas dinner held at Harper’s family (Davis) home. When Abby arrives for the big night, she discovers that not only is Harper’s family ignorant of their relationship, they don’t even know that Harper is gay, prompting her to question how well she knows the person she’s planning on spending the rest of her life with. That synopsis might give the impression that “Happiest Season” is more a soul-searching downer than you might want from holidaythemed romance, but ofﬁcial descriptions assure us that this latest lesbian-themed Hulu Original is “a holiday romantic comedy that hilariously captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.” And if you are enthusiastic to see the movie – which premieres Nov. 25 – you are in good company. Its star, Stewart, said in a statement: “I think I’ve wished to see a gay Christmas rom-com my whole life.” Many would say – in this case, at least – that K-Stew speaks for us all.
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Folger highlights work of two trans poets
‘To Enter the World’ aims to be accessible, fun By PATRICK FOLLIARD
Folger Shakespeare Library presents “To Enter the World,” (Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.), a virtual poetry reading spotlighting the work of transgender poets Stephanie Burt and Taylor Johnson, focusing mostly on regional and gender identity. Burt, 49, accomplished poet, transgender activist, and Harvard professor grew up in Washington reading science fiction and silently wishing to be a girl. She says, “A lot of my friends today are people who read sci-fi and don’t read a lot of poetry, so I want some of my poems to be fun for those friends too, and not just people like me who read so much poetry that we make it our job.” The reading won’t be a stodgy event. Burt plans to share selections of older and new works featuring trans figures including her usual retinue of talking animals, flowers, and superheroes all finding one another and establishing a kind of emotional and sometimes erotic solidarity. “I hope it’s accessible. I hope it’s fun. And for those Poets STEPHANIE BURT (in who know my work, I do take requests.” glasses) and TAYLOR JOHNSON Fellow poet Johnson, 29, who received the are featured in ‘To Enter the World.’ prestigious Larry Neal Writers’ Award in 2017, and whose first book, “Inheritance” — a collection of poems rife with surveillance, identity, desire, and transcendence influenced by everyday moments of Washington, D.C. living — came out just last week, is eager to share their work too. A D.C. native who now lives in New Orleans, Johnson began reading poetry seriously at 15. “The Holy Sonnets of John Donne” made a terrific impression. “Incredible, it was the erotic and devotional that struck me. After that I did poetry slams. I wasn’t so great but I kept on going. Then I continued writing and studied poetry at Oberlin College in Ohio.” Place features prominently in their work. In fact, Johnson describes D.C. as their greatest muse: “It’s where my people come from. My father’s family goes back many generations. For me, much of poetry is about observation. Walking through the city from an early age, really inspired me. Now it’s nice to learn the landscape down here in New Orleans and let it speak to me as well.” While Johnson wouldn’t classify their work as political per se, they understand how the personal can be perceived as political. And when they refer to “trans” – it’s always short for transcendent: “I don’t really believe in gender. I use the pronouns they/them as well as he/him so people can read into that whatever way they want.” Place is important to Burt too: Manhattan, Cambridge, New Haven, Minnesota, and now Belmont, Mass., where she lives with her partner, two children, and two cats. She writes about coming-of-age in D.C, trans identity, family, and the idea of the public good. Wednesday’s reading is part of Folger Shakespeare Library’s O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, now in its 52nd season. It will be moderated by Oliver Baez Bendorf, a queer, trans, Latinx writer, with a Q&A to follow. Both Johnson and Burt enjoy the question and answer format. Johnson says, “I like good questions and being in conversation with people. That’s how we build community.” And Burt adds, “Q&As are fun and interactive. I like learning about people and there’s not a lot of prep time involved.” Whether via Zoom or in person, poetry readings are really for the people who show up, says Burt. It’s about the audience. “Some of us are Zoomed out. I teach via Zoom, hangout with friends via Zoom, and play Dragons and Dungeons via Zoom. Still for those who come to the Folger reading, I’ll do my very best to give the experience that makes you glad you showed up.” There is a minimum $5 price level and a suggested ticket price of $15. More info can be found at www.folger.edu/poetry. 3 2 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • NOVEMBER 1 3 , 2 0 2 0 • A &E
‘TMI: My Life in Scandal’
By Perez Hilton c.2020, Chicago Review Press $26.99/229 pages
Perez Hilton seeks forgiveness New biography chronicles shift from gossip to fatherhood By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER
You’re allowed to change your mind. You grow, get a few experiences under your belt, and things might look a bit different. You can have a change of heart then, and pivot your life in a different direction. You can take doovers and take-backs, but carefully. And as in the new book “TMI” by Perez Hilton (with Leif Eriksson and Martin Svensson), you can ask for forgiveness, too. If you knew Mario Armando Lavandiera Jr. when he was a child, you’d be surprised at the man he is today. He says he had a good childhood but he was a “different” kid then, and was often bullied: among other indignities, his classmates called him “the Fat Kid” because he loved to eat. That last part hasn’t changed. What has is that Lavandiera is now thinner, famous, and known by a nicer name: Perez Hilton. And no, if you’re wondering, Paris Hilton “never bothered” to sue him over the lookalike name, “though she definitely could have.” This transformation didn’t happen overnight. By the time he moved to New York to attend college, Hilton knew for sure that he was gay; while there, he gained friends, a pile of debt, and a mitt full of credit cards. Down but not out, he started a series of jobs and launched a series of websites that both spanned time in New York and L.A., and that got him into trouble in one way or another. Then a photogra-friend leaked a few celeb pictures his way, Perez posted them on his website, and he was famous, literally overnight. And that was good – for a while. Hilton partied near-constantly, busted into celebrity events, became “wifey” with Gaga, clubbed with Jessica Simpson, and hung with Paris Hilton. And then he made a video for a national cause that caused him to see the hurt he’d left. Could it be that the infamous author and gossip blogger Perez Hilton has softened? Yes, mostly. There’s a whole lot less venom inside “TMI” than you might expect from Hilton, but fans won’t be entirely bereft. There’s still a little spark of gossip here, names dropped, and stories propped up and left on the roadside for embarrassment or for examination. Those are accompanied in this memoir by a glint-in-his-eye tone, and the sneakiest of snark hidden here and there, but that’s often tendered by tenderness. The surprise – or the shock, depending on your level of fandom – is that Hilton apologizes to several people he feels he hurt; and he expresses a degree of regret for having lost good, close friends because he reported gossip about them despite the friendship. It’s contrition that feels like it came from a battered schoolyard bully, only genuine. Hilton is a father now and he writes with unabashed love for his kids, from a refreshing, seemingly happier place in his life. “TMI” still includes plenty of Hiltonized Too Much Information, some snickers, and a hint of tattle-tale, but if you’ve never been much of a fan, here’s a chance to change your mind.
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At home during COVID
Whether you’re sprucing up or moving out, plan ahead By JOSEPH HUDSON
What home projects have you thought about doing since you have been living, working, eating, sleeping, and basically existing from home in March? Are kitchen and bath updates on your mind? Are we cleaning out closets and redecorating? Painting walls? Has this been a time of sprucing up the yard or porch or balcony? Or have we thought about if we need a new home? Sitting in our homes for the better part of a year has got to make us think about where we are, what we have, what we want, and what is possible. I have many clients who have reached out to me this year because they feel like they need to make a change.
Whatever your situation is, if you are waiting until spring market 2021 to put your house on the market, or buy something, know this: Contractors are overbooked. Home inspectors are slammed. Lenders are working harder than ever. If you have a project that needs to get done and you are thinking about doing it in February, then start making calls now.
Some of us are worried about making our rent or mortgage payment and we desperately want Congress to pass another relief package. But there are some of us who also have our employment situation ﬁgured out, we are able to work from home or work out a solution with our employers, and have sat in our houses all year and are maybe thinking of carving out a place to work from home or ﬁnd a bigger place with a room for an ofﬁce and maybe more outdoor space.
If you want to look for a house by next spring, you might want to call a lender today to start getting yourself best situated to buy. There are situations where calling a lender months before you want to buy is helpful because they can work with you to ﬁgure out the best plan of attack. Maybe you need to pay off a few credit cards and get your credit score up a few points. Maybe there is a loan program you would qualify for but you need to attend a class or ﬁll out special paperwork. Interest rates are low right now and supply is also low. But the demand remains high. Call a Realtor to help you ﬁgure out how to get where you want to go in 2021.
is a Realtor with The Oakley Group at Compass. Reach him at 703-587-0597 or Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Set in the vibrant and sought-after Trinidad neighborhood, residents here will find themselves at the center of DC’s very best. Walk to the eclectic H Street Corridor or Union Market to discover a varied selection of restaurants and bars, or to the dynamic NoMa neighborhood nearby. And whenever you don’t feel like venturing out, the neighborhood itself offers up plenty of enjoyable diversions—from the 1920s-style row houses nestled on picturesque streets, to the idyllic parks just beyond your front doors. A stylish home in one of DC’s most coveted locations, 785 18th Street NE is the can’t miss opportunity of the fall season. Don’t miss the chance to make it your own today!
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For More Information Contact us to learn more about all available units. 202.302.3797 | email@example.com 202.280.2060 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland. 1313 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 | 202.386.6330
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Your Dog Friendly Realtor® HAVE YOU BEEN TO BREWSKI’S BARKHAUS?! If not...now is the time to visit this newly opened dog park bar in Del Ray! Contact me for $5 off your first visit
Whether buying, selling, or renting a home, moving with your dog can be a challenge to you and your pet. Working with someone who understands and respects your specific requirements can make a huge difference in an already stressful situation. In addition to being a dog friendly real estate professional, I have been a volunteer dog obedience trainer, and worked with several pet therapy groups with my golden retrievers. I recognize that your dogs are a member of the family and should always be considered when evaluating your real estate options. Visit www.lisagroover.com/pet-friendly-real-estate for more information!
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