Washingtonblade.com, Volume 52, Issue 11, March 12, 2021

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Hopeful signs as city begins to shake off pandemic slumber, PAGES 22-35

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Former Obama appointee named acting U.S. Attorney for D.C.

A career Justice Department official who served as U.S. Attorney for D.C. under President Barack Obama and who has expressed support for prosecuting anti-LGBTQ hate crimes has been named D.C.’s Acting U.S. Attorney while President Joe Biden decides on a permanent appointee for the position. The Justice Department announced last week that Channing D. Phillips would ‘I’m confident that Channing Phillips … will do an serve as Acting U.S. Attorney excellent job as Acting U.S. Attorney,’ said Del. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON. (Blade file photo) for D.C.as of March 3 while the White House and soon-to-beconfirmed Attorney General Merrick Garland decide who to nominate for the permanent position. Unlike other cities and states, the U.S. Attorney for D.C. serves as the lead prosecutor for people charged with local as well as federal crimes. Under D.C.’s limited home rule government, the city does not have a locally elected prosecutor authorized to prosecute most criminal offenses. Local LGBTQ activists consider the U.S. Attorney for D.C. to be an important figure in the prosecution of hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people. The Washington Post reported that a Justice Department spokesperson didn’t make it clear whether Phillips is in contention for the permanent nomination, which must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Phillips declined comment, referring the media to the Justice Department for further information.

D.C. Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) added to the mystery over whether Phillips will be selected as the permanent nominee when she issued a statement on Monday praising Phillips but did not disclose whether she recommended him to be Biden’s permanent nominee for the position. Norton noted that Biden, like Presidents Clinton and Obama, has granted her senatorial courtesy for making recommendations for federal nominations to D.C. positions, including the position of U.S. Attorney. Under the senatorial courtesy system, a president asks a U.S. senator of the president’s same political party to recommend nominees for high-level federal appointments in their respective states, which the president often agrees to. “I’m confident that Channing Phillips, whom I recommended to President Obama for U.S. Attorney for D.C. and who has served with distinction in an acting capacity before, will do an excellent job as Acting U.S. Attorney until the Senate confirms President Biden’s nomination for U.S. Attorney,” Norton said. “I’m pleased to have Channing Phillips back leading the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” she said. “Norton has recommended a U.S. Attorney for D.C. to President Biden,” Norton’s statement says. But the statement doesn’t say who she recommended. Gay D.C. attorney Dale Sanders, who has had a criminal law practice in D.C. and Virginia for many years, called Phillips an “institutionalist, apolitical, universally respected, honorable” prosecutor – “the perfect choice to steady the helm in the Trump debris at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C.” Sanders was referring to concerns raised by critics that the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office became politicized under the Trump administration during criminal investigations of some of Trump’s friends. Two of Trump’s appointees for D.C. U.S. Attorney – Jessie K. Liu and Timothy J. Shea – expressed strong support for prosecuting anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. Both were abruptly dismissed by Trump Attorney General William Barr for reasons unrelated to their positions on prosecuting anti- LGBTQ hate crimes. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

LGBTQ advocates urge D.C. Council to boost funding for housing, job programs

Officials with five local LGBTQ organizations and one LGBTQ-supportive organization testified on March 1 before the D.C. Council Committee on Human Services in support of increased city funding for programs that provide assistance to LGBTQ people in need. The LGBTQ representatives focused on programs providing support for LGBTQ youth and adults facing homelessness and in need of support for finding employment. Those who testified included Sultan Shakir, executive director of the LGBTQ youth services and advocacy group SMYAL; Japer Bowles, vice president of legislative affairs for D.C.’s Capital Stonewall Democrats and coordinator of the D.C. LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition; Ruby Corado, executive director of the LGBTQ community services center Casa Ruby; Alexis Blackmon, Casa Ruby’s director of government and public affairs; Tamika Spellman, policy and advocacy associate for the LGBTQ supportive sex worker advocacy group HIPS; and Ryan Bos, executive director of D.C.’s Capital Pride Alliance. The Council hearing, which lasted more than 12 hours, was billed as a performance and oversight session focusing on three city agencies that operate housing and social service-related programs – the D.C. Housing Authority, the Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the Department of Human Services. The LGBTQ advocates’ testimony came less than a month after the LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition submitted a detailed proposal to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and all 13 D.C. Council members calling for $3.8 million in city funding for LGBTQ programs for fiscal year 2022. Out of that total, the proposal calls for separate allocations of $750,000 and $500,000 to the Department of Human Services for housing and workforce programs for transgender and gender nonconforming adults. The proposals call on DHS to award grants to LGBTQ organizations, including transgender organizations, to operate the programs. In her testimony before the Council committee on March 1, Corado criticized DHS for not selecting a transgender-run organization to operate a transgender employment program created last year targeting homeless trans people for assistance. Corado said DHS has not disclosed how the money for that program has been spent. A spokesperson for DHS couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Corado and other LGBTQ advocates have argued that LGBTQ organizations have the cultural competency to provide services to LGBTQ people, especially trans and gender nonconforming people of color, that non-LGBTQ service organizations may not have. Blackmon, Corado’s colleague at Casa Ruby, testified at the hearing that current cityfunded or city-operated housing programs do not appear to be addressing the needs of LGBTQ homeless people. She called for the creation of an adult LGBTQ and gender 0 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • LO CA L NE WS

nonconforming city shelter. “We have seen people who are dying of hypothermia and preventable causes who are choosing to live on the streets because our local D.C. shelters are not safe spaces for transgender or gender nonconforming individuals,” Blackmon told the committee. “This is something we deal with on a constant basis,” she said. Among other things, the LGBTQ witnesses told the committee that existing city funding for programs helping LGBTQ youth sometimes lead to the youth no longer being eligible for the programs when they “age out” after the age of 24. The witnesses called for raising the age limit for such programs. Shakir of SMYAL told the committee in his testimony that RUBY CORADO was among local advocates who testified for the funding boost. (Blade file photo) SMYAL has had a “collaborative relationship” with DHS, which is providing funding for three transitional housing facilities that SMYAL operates for LGBTQ youth. But Shakir said despite what he described as DHS’s “incredibly responsive and collaborative” staff, SMYAL has faced delays in the allocation of funds appropriated by the D.C. Council. “The issue is the system that exists just takes the longest for things to be rolled out, even when funding has been approved,” he said in his testimony. D.C. Council member Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), who serves as chair of the Committee on Human Services, and Council member Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2), a member of the committee, said they would look into the concerns raised by the LGBTQ witnesses. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

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Bachelor’s Mill gay bar owner ‘BB’ Gatch dies at 81 ‘Dedicated her life to the gay community without any limitations’ By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | lchibbaro@washblade.com

Beatrice ‘BB’ Gatch, the owner of the Capitol Hill gay bar Bachelor’s Mill for more than 30 years who became a beloved figure in the LGBTQ community for her welcoming demeanor and her longtime support for LGBTQ causes, died “peacefully in her sleep” on Feb. 5 at her D.C. home at the age of 81, according to her granddaughter Pascale ‘Bee’ Francis. Longtime Bachelor’s Mill customers have said Gatch, who first opened Bachelor’s Mill in 1978 at 500 8th St., S.E., BEATRICE ‘BB’ GATCH died Feb. 5 at 81. created a welcoming atmosphere for all segments of the LGBTQ community, including the Black LGBTQ community. For most of its years in business, the Bachelor’s Mill had a majority Black gay clientele. “BB did things beyond just being the owner of a business,” said longtime D.C. gay activist and Ward 8 community leader Phil Pannell. “The Bachelor’s Mill was always available for benefits for any number of causes. You could always depend on the Bachelor’s Mill to be there,” Pannell said. “The Mill became more than just a bar, but a community hub,” Francis told the Washington Blade. “In addition to the weekly shows, fundraisers, and community events, the bar offered a welcoming spot for those who found themselves unwelcome even at other gay bars,” said Francis.

“In the early days of AIDS, it became one of the clubs where people had benefits to raise money for funerals,” Francis recalled. Francis said Gatch was born in Munich, Germany on Oct. 18, 1939. Francis said that at the age of 10, Gatch moved to Paris with her grandmother where she lived through her adolescence and early adult years. “Upon meeting her fiancé, a Navy officer, she moved to Washington, D.C. in 1967,” according to Francis. “A few years later, BB’s mom, Louisette, who was a known singer throughout Europe and also owned a gay bar in Frankfort, Germany, moved to the states,” Francis recounted. With knowledge gained from her mother’s experiences, Gatch in 1974 opened a Capitol Hill bar called Club Madame at the 500 8th St., S.E. location, according to Francis. “Club Madame originated as a cabaret style nightspot offering shows catering toward the lesbian community,” Francis said. “In 1978, the club reinvented itself as the Bachelor’s Mill and changed direction of the club where all LGBTQ could safely come,” Francis said. Around 1988, Gatch moved the Bachelor’s Mill from its original location to a new location on the same street several blocks to the south at 1104 8th St., S.E. near the Washington Navy Yard. Francis said Gatch remained the owner of Bachelor’s Mill until 2006, when she retired and sold the club after owning it and its predecessor bar Club Madame for 32 years. “BB was very much the conscience of the community,” Francis told the Blade. “BB dedicated her life to the gay community without any limitations or reservations…BB had an amazing heart to all.” Gatch is survived by her daughter, Pascale Francis and her granddaughter with the same name who’s known as Pascale ‘Bee’ Francis. The family is planning a private memorial service for Gatch in the spring.

Bill would create commission on LGBTQ service members, veterans Investigating past and ‘ongoing inequity’ By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | lchibbaro@washblade.com

Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) on March 4 introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that calls for creating a federal commission to investigate “the historic and ongoing impacts of discriminatory military policies and practices on LGBTQ servicemembers and veterans.” The bill, H.R. 1596, the Commission to Study the Stigmatization, Criminalization, and Ongoing Exclusion and Inequity for LGBTQ Servicemembers and Veterans Act of 2021, authorizes the commission to conduct a fact-finding investigation into the past and current treatment of LGBTQ servicemembers and veterans, according to a statement released by Brown. The investigation would include obtaining testimony from servicemembers, veterans, families, advocacy organizations, government agencies, and others, the statement says. Takano is one of nine gay or lesbian members of the U.S. House. He currently serves as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. Brown, a longtime LGBTQ community ally, is a member of that committee as well as the House Committee on Armed Services. The statement released March 4 by Brown’s office says U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will introduce a companion version of the bill in the Senate in the coming weeks. “For many generations, LGBTQ Americans have stepped up to serve our country in uniform, even when discriminatory policies prevented them from serving openly and when facing higher rates of harassment for just being who they are,” Takano said in the statement. “Many served in our military while hiding their identity, while others were discharged simply because they were LGBTQ,” Takano said. “Our nation must reckon with the effects of discriminatory military policies and undo the damage that has been done,” said Takano in the statement. “Establishing this commission would help Americans understand the effects of anti-LGBTQ military policies, provide a path forward to rectify the injustices, and help create a welcoming culture for LGBTQ servicemembers and veterans in the military and at VA [U.S. Veterans Affairs Department],” he said. “For far too long, LGBTQ+ servicemembers experienced discrimination, harassment, lost opportunities, and violence because of their identity,” said Brown, a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve who was deployed to Iraq in 2004 while a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. “Military policy and practice were wrong then and contributed to this unacceptable environment, a fact that our country must acknowledge in order to move forward,” Brown said. “By acknowledging and providing redress for past discrimination, we can better foster inclusivity within the ranks, improve unit cohesion and readiness,” he said. The statement released by Brown’s office says approximately 114,000 service members were discharged on grounds of their sexual orientation between World War II and 2011. 0 8 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • LO CA L NE WS

‘LGBTQ Americans have stepped up to serve our country in uniform, even when discriminatory policies prevented them from serving openly,’ said Rep. MARK TAKANO. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

According to the statement, an estimated 870,000 LGBTQ veterans have been impacted by “hostility, harassment, assaultive behavior, and law enforcement targeting” as a result of discriminatory military policies. “To this day, many LGBTQ veterans who were discharged on discriminatory grounds are unable to access their VA benefits and those still serving face inconsistent protections that make them vulnerable to harassment and put their careers at risk,” the statement says. The statement says the commission would also be authorized to make recommendations to Congress for “a path forward that various government agencies, service providers, and the military should follow to ensure equity for LGBTQ+ Americans who wish to serve.” The Human Rights Campaign, the Minority Veterans of America, and the Modern Military Association of America announced their support for the bill. The Modern Military Association of America was formed through the merger of the American Military Partner Association, which represented LGBTQ military families, and OutServe-Service Members Legal Defense Network, which represented LGBTQ service members since the early 1990s. Jennifer Dane, the MMAA’s executive director, said the organization continues to receive reports from active-duty LGBTQ service members and LGBTQ veterans about instances of discrimination and harassment. She said more reports of problems in recent years have been associated with transgender service members following the Trump administration’s reinstatement of the military ban on trans service members, which President Biden overturned last month during his first week in office. “Discrimination, harassment and violence have plagued the LGBTQ military community for decades and a formal commission to study and understand the detrimental impacts of harmful policies and behaviors is long overdue,” Dane said.


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LGBTQ student group at Catholic Univ. continues to fight for recognition After 12 years, organization still working for administration support By THOMAS CURRY

University sophomore and president of College Marina Massaroni, a senior architecture major at Republicans. “Thanks to Senator Marsden, we have yet the Catholic University of America, recalled instantly another chance to advance the cause of a culture of making friends during her first meeting with CUAllies, free speech on campus.” the organization of which she is now vice president. While the resolution passed, this same proposal has “I remember the first week I went to a meeting, reached the desk of the president’s office repeatedly people immediately reached out to me and asked in the past. In 2009, the university refused to recognize to hang out,” said Massaroni, “That’s when I realized the group after it formed. [CUAllies] was not just a club, because friendships were In February 2012, SGA voted 20-3 for recognition of formed right off the bat.” CUAllies. University administration again rejected the Today, however, she and other students within the proposal. organization nervously await a response from University In March 2016, SGA voted unanimously in favor of President John Garvey as to whether their proposal for the student organization. Once again, they were denied recognition from the university will come to fruition. recognition. CUAllies, Catholic University’s LGBTQ+ student Other efforts have been made to seek recognition, organization whose goal is to foster a community too. In the spring 2017 semester, students and of respect and understanding for queer students fellow student organizations tweeted the hashtag through educating students about queer identity and An LGBTQ student group at Catholic University is hoping to win official recognition from President JOHN GARVEY. (Photo courtesy CUA) #recognizeallies in support of their recognition. In the creating a safe, welcoming space for all students, has fall 2020 semester, CUAllies created a petition that attempted to win official recognition from the university received more than 1,000 signatures. administration since its founding. Students have gone as far as citing local laws, such as the Human Rights Amendment Act That was in 2009. Nearly 12 years later, in 2021, CUAllies continues to propose of 2014, which repealed the Armstrong Amendment of 1989 that provided “exemption recognition that would ensure equality and safety of LGBTQ+ students. allowing religiously-affiliated educational institutions to discriminate on the basis of CUAllies’ efforts, however, have been met with continual rejection from university sexual orientation.” Additionally, with the recent passage of the Equality Act in the House administrators spearheaded by President Garvey, who assumed the presidency only of Representatives, students have been especially pertinent in finding legal reasoning to months after CUAllies was formed. allow for the recognition of CUAllies. The most recent proposal passed through SGA last week, but that only seems to be the According to D’Antonio and Massaroni, CUAllies has upheld its bylaws with every beginning of an uphill battle for the unrecognized organization. meeting they have had since their founding, which promotes adherence to the Catholic Since its formation, CUAllies has made clear its intent to create a comfortable identity and what the university has requested of their organization. environment for queer students and anybody else interested, similar to how other Despite being an unofficial organization, D’Antonio and Massaroni have done their organizations on campus function with their respective communities. best to ensure that they act in accordance with their own bylaws with virtually no university Emily D’Antonio, a senior psychology major and the president of CUAllies, says that this oversight. is why many students have joined the organization and come back. “If [CUAllies] is unofficial, we can change our bylaws at any time to include things that “We have people come and go and we aren’t strict on having everybody come to every [Catholic University] would not promote,” said Massaroni, “We are putting ourselves in a meeting, we are simply here to make friends,” said D’Antonio. position acting as if we are official despite having the liberty to do what we want.” D’Antonio and Massaroni have been appreciative of support from their peers, both D’Antonio echoed that sentiment, noting that in doing so CUAllies has put trust in the inside and outside of the queer community, but have also tried to extend their outreach proper channels to ensure that the Office of Campus Activities and Student Affairs ensure to students and professors who challenge the foundations of their organization. their organization follows the same parameters that any other student organization would. “We want to be clear to students who do not understand, we are not a dating service “But saying you’re concerned that we are going to [go against university policy] shows for any queer students, we are here to provide friendship and support, and to do so within that you have concern with the system that is in place in the Office of Campus Activities,” Catholic Social Teaching,” said D’Antonio, “We encourage everybody to come to our said D’Antonio. meetings to see what we are about.” SGA senators voting at the town hall agreed to this, noting how official recognition would In the same way, they challenge other students to hear their testimonies of homophobic actually challenge the organization to cling even tighter to university policy, negating or hurtful experiences that go against being a supportive member of the university the concerns that CUAllies might defy Catholic teaching in the future. Additionally, SGA community. senators noted how the organization’s current bylaws do not conflict with any church “[Recently] hearing what some of my queer peers are going through on a daily, teaching, and therefore, wouldn’t need reform in the event that the university decides to weekly, or monthly basis, I couldn’t live through that,” said Massaroni, “I’m lucky I have recognize them. not experienced hearing ‘you’re immoral’ or ‘you’re going to hell,’ because that is soul“There is nothing in the text of these bylaws which contradicts the official stances of crushing.” the church,” said Ally Kilgore, a senior philosophy pre-law major and SGA senator. “In the CUAllies has remained transparent in its search for equality, and continued to do so at bylaws, CUAllies have not made any statements on matters of faith and morals in regard the Student Government Association (SGA) town hall hosted last week. to gay marriage or any other issues since those are the prerogative of the Church and the By a vote of 20-4, Catholic University of America’s Student Government Association magisterium.” voted in support of a resolution to request the official recognition of CUAllies after three D’Antonio and Massaroni put forth their proposal to President Garvey approximately hours of public comment and senatorial debate. four weeks ago and have awaited a response since, although some students assume his About 200 students attended the meeting, 30 of whom spoke in the public comment decision will not be different from previous years. session to voice their support or opposition to Resolution 016, the legislation sponsored Upon request for comment, the Office of the President said last week that Garvey is by student Sen. Sophia Marsden and written with assistance from D’Antonio and interested in hearing from students who are petitioning for the recognition of CUAllies, Massaroni. but has not yet had the chance. As referenced by the resolution, some of the other largest Catholic institutions in While both D’Antonio and Massaroni are optimistic that Garvey is interested in talking the country have university-recognized LGBTQ+ organizations, such as Benedictine to petitioners, they simultaneously acknowledge the potential of his continued rejection. University, University of Notre Dame, and Georgetown University, among others. Similarly, “If he does accept the proposal, I will be excited, but it is difficult to even be cautiously the resolution echoed sentiments from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the optimistic knowing what we have been told [by other students],” said Massaroni. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to support LGBTQ+ students on campus. CUAllies believes recognition by the university would mean more equality for the The resolution received a mix of support and opposition from students in attendance. Catholic University community, a true acceptance of free speech, and the promotion of “In the past, [CUAllies] has posted material that conflicts with the church,” said Alec Catholic Social Teaching. Regardless, they do not plan on going anywhere. McGuire, a senior theology and philosophy double major “The most recent post features “Regardless of what the answer will be, CUAllies will always be here to fight for our two male symbols that are interlocked. This is in direct contradiction to the Church.” students, our staff, our faculty and our professors, because that is what we do,” said “It is hard to think of a group that has been subjected to unreasonable barriers of D’Antonio, “It is not over, by any definition of the word.” speech more often and intensive than CUAllies,” said Blayne Clegg-Swann, a Catholic 1 0 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • LO CA L NE WS

Major athletic leagues absent in fight against anti-trans sports bills Several states advance measures targeting student athletes By CHRIS JOHNSON | cjohnson@washblade.com

As state legislatures advance measures seeking to bar transgender kids from participating in school sports, key voices in athletics competition who had previously spoken out against antiLGBTQ measures — notably the NCAA — are now absent from the fight against them, as supporters of transgender rights tell the Washington Blade they’re seeking a more robust response. Major sports leagues at the professional level and collegiate level — including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League — in 2016 spoke out against North Carolina’s House Bill 2 and even threatened to cancel events in the state over the anti-transgender law. The voices of those sports leagues, however, are absent or muted in efforts to thwart anti-transgender sports bills as state legislatures advance them now with impunity. Athletic organizations would be powerful voices in thwarting the anti-trans sports bills, including in Mississippi and North Carolina, where legislation won final approval in the state legislatures and are headed to the governors of those states. Gail Dent, an NCAA spokesperson, essentially had a hands-off approach to the antitransgender bills in response to a Washington Blade inquiry on the NCAA’s position on the legislation and what it’s doing to help in the fight against the legislation. “The NCAA continues to closely monitor state bills that impact transgender studentathlete participation,” Dent said. “The NCAA believes in fair and respectful studentathlete participation at all levels of sport. The Association’s transgender student-athlete participation policy and other diversity policies are designed to facilitate and support inclusion. The NCAA believes diversity and inclusion improve the learning environment and it encourages its member colleges and universities to support the well-being of all student-athletes.” That’s a step back from where the NCAA was just last year in response to Idaho’s then newly enacted law barring transgender girls from school sports. At the time, the association explicitly condemned the law as “harmful to transgender student-athletes and conflicts with the NCAA’s core values of inclusivity, respect and the equitable treatment of all individuals.” But at the same time, amid a campaign spearheaded by lesbian athletes Billie Jean King and Megan Rapinoe urging the NCAA to nix holding the 2021 Men’s Basketball Championship in the state over the law, the NCAA announced no changes to its programming. The NCAA as of now still intends to hold the first and second rounds of the championship at Boise State University next week. Transgender rights advocates, speaking on condition of anonymity to the Blade for greater candor, said they’ve been pushing hard behind the scenes for the NCAA to be more outspoken on the anti-transgender sports bill, and hope the association will have a more robust response in the near future. NCAA, however, isn’t alone in its reticence. The NFL and NBA didn’t respond to repeated requests from the Blade to comment on the anti-transgender sports bills in state legislatures. The reluctance to speak out may be a reflection of polls. A Politico/Morning Consult poll on Wednesday found broad support to ban transgender kids from athletics. Overall, 53 percent of registered voters support banning transgender athletes, as well as a 59 percent majority of men and a plurality of 46 percent of women. Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, said although the NCAA hasn’t spoken out against the latest wave of antitransgender sports bills, its statement against the Idaho law has been helpful in efforts against the latest round of measures. “The NCAA opposed the bill that passed in Idaho last year; they issued a statement with their opposition to that bill,” Oakley said. “And that is something that certainly we have been making sure that all of these legislators who are considering this legislation are aware of.” Five years ago, the situation was different. Massive opposition emerged over North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which barred transgender people from bathrooms in governmentowned buildings consistent with their gender identity, including opposition from sports leagues, professional associations, celebrities, businesses and a firestorm of media scrutiny. The outcry echoed similar outrage over proposed religious freedom measures in Arizona in 2013 and Indiana in 2015 seen to allow businesses to refuse to service to

people for being LGBTQ. In addition to speaking out against the law, sports leagues put their money where their mouth is. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver informed North Carolina “it would be problematic for us to move forward with our All-Star Game if there is not a change in the law.” When no changes were made, the competition was pulled out of Charlotte. The NCAA stripped North Carolina of seven upcoming tournaments and championships, including early round games of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association also cancelled events in the state. The collective outcry over House Bill 2 helped lead to the defeat of Gov. Pat McCrory in the 2016 election and eventual mitigation law seen to permit transgender people to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. In 2021, however, bills signaling transgender youth should be excluded from sports athletics are on the verge of being signed into law in South Dakota by Gov. Kristi Noem, who has 2024 presidential aspirations, and in Mississippi by Gov. Tate Reeves. Oakley pointed out a key difference between between North Carolina’s House Bill 2 and legislation pending before state legislatures and governors is the newer measures “are not signed into law yet.” “While it’s unfortunate, it is true that we have been much more able to generate public outcry — or that public outcry is easier to come by — after the bills have already been signed into law,” Oakley said. “Both North Carolina and Indiana are examples of that, right? So, HB 2 had passed first before the backlash began, and that backlash took weeks to mount and to really get to the point of what we think of now as being the sort of universal rejection of HB 2. That was not instantaneous.” Defenders of efforts to combat the anti-transgender legislation say they have plenty of ammunition. Last week, the LGBTQ group Freedom for All Americans unveiled a joint statement signed by more than 55 major companies, including Facebook, Pfizer, and Dell, against the latest wave of anti-LGBTQ state legislation, including bills targeting transgender youth. Oakley added other organizations have issued statements contributing to the fight against state bills, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, teachers and school counselors associations. “It’s really great when we can have a group of professionals who are experts in the issues, who are willing to speak out against these bills in the beginning, but for some of these really big bills that are really big threats, it does take time to generate enough pressure that the legislators have to reconsider their choices,” Oakley said. Other states have advanced or considered similar measures, including Alabama. More than 60 bills have been filed in 30 states to directly target transgender people, including 20 bills specifically aimed at transgender kids in sports. The Utah House last month approved an anti-transgender sports bill, but the measure stalled out in Senate committee. Even the U.S. Senate has contributed to the measures against transgender youth in sports. Prior to Senate approval of President Biden’s coronavirus relief package, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) proposed an amendment that would have defunded schools and universities that allow biological boys in women’s athletics. The measure was defeated in a 49-50 vote requiring 60 votes for passage, but won support from senators on both sides of the aisle, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). To be sure, not all the measures targeting LGBTQ people in state legislatures are related to sports. The Alabama Senate has passed legislation now pending before the House that would criminalize transition-related care with a punishment of up to 10 years in prison for doctors. The South Dakota Legislature has sent legislation to the governor’s desk mirroring the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act critics say amounts to a religious refusal for LGBTQ people to the governor’s desk. The Montana Senate has passed bills inhibiting the ability of transgender people to change their gender marker on birth certificates and a religious freedom bill, which are now pending before the House. Joanna Hoffman, a spokesperson for the LGBTQ group Athlete Ally, made a plea for state legislatures to abandon efforts to restrict transgender kids’ access to sports when asked by the Blade about any efforts to reach out to sport organizations to condemn the proposals. “Transgender girls and women never have been a threat to girls and women’s sports,” Hoffmam said. “In fact, in states where transgender athletes are able to compete, participation is stronger for all girls. Every person deserves to have their life changed for the better through sports, and we need voices in power to join us in speaking out for sports to truly be safe, welcoming and inclusive for all.” Athlete Ally announced Wednesday that at least 545 National Collegiate Athletic Association student athletes sent a letter to the NCAA Board of Governors calling for the NCAA to uphold its nondiscrimination policy and publicly refuse to host championships in states with bans against trans athletes. 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Biden admin signals anti-LGBTQ discrimination in credit is illegal

and cisgender counterparts, which makes access to credit “all the more critical.” Under the The Biden administration signaled on Tuesday anti-LGBTQ discrimination among new regulation, a loan officer at a bank or an agent taking a credit card application over lenders of credit is illegal, marking the latest policy move to bring the U.S. government into the phone is prohibited from denying people credit for being LGBTQ as opposed to their compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. financial qualifications. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the prohibition on sex In 2016, the CFPB previously signaled during the Obama administration in response discrimination under the Equal Protection Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B to an inquiry from SAGE the Equal Protection Credit Opportunity Act affords protections prohibits lenders from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity to LGBTQ people. The new proposed regulation, however, offers more formality to that with a proposed regulation, which will become final after publication in the Federal Register interpretation of the law. and a comment period. Karen Loewy, senior counsel and seniors strategist “In issuing this interpretive rule, we’re making at Lambda Legal, also hailed the regulation as a it clear that lenders cannot discriminate based on follow up to the initial announcement, saying “this sexual orientation or gender identity,” CFPB Acting explicit interpretive rule renews and formalizes that Director David Uejio said in a statement. “The CFPB commitment.” will ensure that consumers are protected against such “We know that credit discrimination is a huge barrier discrimination and provided equal opportunities in to financial security for LGBTQ people, depriving credit.” people of financing for homes, cars, school, or small CFPB’s proposed rule is consistent with the businesses,” Loewy said in a statement. “Studies show reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s decision last that same-sex couples routinely have been denied year in Bostock v. Clayton, which found anti-LGBTQ opportunities and faced less favorable terms than discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus different-sex couples in seeking mortgages. LGBTQ illegal under the ban on sex discrimination under Title people regularly report being denied lines of credit VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ruling has broad because of their sexual orientation or gender identity applications to all laws against discrimination on the or expression.” basis of sex, including federal bans on discrimination in According to the proposed rule, at least 20 states housing, credit, education, and jury service. and D.C. have prohibited discrimination on the basis of Michael Adams, CEO of the LGBTQ elder group President JOE BIDEN’s administration has signaled anti-LGBTQ discrimination in credit is illegal. (Screen capture via CSPAN) sexual orientation and gender identity in certain or all SAGE, said in a statement the announcement from credit transactions. As such, financial institutions subject CFPB “lifts a burden for LGBT older people who, for to such laws were required to comply with those requirements prior to the issuance of the much of their lives, have felt compelled to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender Bostock opinion. identity when seeking access to credit.” CFPB’s announcement is consistent with the executive order President Biden signed on his “SAGE applauds the announcement by Acting Director Uejio and the Biden administration, first day in office ordering U.S. agencies across the board to implement the Bostock decision. confirming the vital legal protections LGBT elders – and all LGBT people – deserve regarding Last month, the Department of Housing & Urban Development announced it would begin something as essential as access to credit,” Adams said. accepting complaints of anti-LGBTQ discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. According to SAGE, LGBTQ older people – particularly transgender and LGBTQ elders CHRIS JOHNSON who are people of color – face disproportionately higher poverty rates than their straight

White House open to third-gender option on federal IDs

White House officials were open Monday to include a third-gender option on federal government IDs, but stopped short of embracing a request to make that happen via executive order. Jennifer Klein, executive director of the newly created White House Gender Policy Council, said during a White House news briefing she was willing to look at a third-gender option for non-binary people White House Press Secretary JEN PSAKI (Screen capture via CSPAN) when asked about a potential executive order. “I haven’t looked yet to see whether that requires an executive order,” Klein said. “I would note that we are very inclusive in our definition of gender, and we intend to address all sorts of discrimination and fight for equal rights for people, whether that’s LGBTQ+ people, women, girls, men, so that’s certainly something that we’ll look, but I honestly don’t know whether that requires an executive order.” President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned on providing a thirdgender option on government IDs, such as U.S. passports. Both included the proposed change in the comprehensive plans for LGBTQ rights as 2020 presidential candidates. The American Civil Liberties Union has since launched a public campaign to encourage the Biden administration to implement the change with an executive order that would direct U.S. agencies to make the change across the board. As reported by The 19th, the White House has engaged in talks with the ACLU about the proposed executive order. When the Washington Blade pointed out during the briefing the ACLU had started the campaign, Klein turned to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who said, “Sounds like we’ll just have to look into it a little more to see what’s required, but it’s a good question.” Arli Christian, campaign strategist for the ACLU, said via email to the Washington 1 4 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • NAT I O NA L NE WS

Blade she takes the White House openness to the executive order as a good sign. “A warm welcome and thank you to the Gender Policy Council for upholding the White House’s commitment to fighting gender-based discrimination, including discrimination against transgender, intersex and non-binary people,” Christian said. “Reforming the use of gender markers on IDs and records across the federal government is key to that work, and an executive order is the best way to ensure consistency across all the federal agencies. So far, over 70,000 people have signed onto the ACLU’s petition calling for the White House to issue this order. We look forward to continuing our conversations with the White House on this issue.” At least 19 states, including Arkansas, California, Colorado and Washington State, as well as D.C. allow individuals to select a third-gender option on state-issued IDs, such as driver’s licenses. A White House official told the Blade after the briefing Biden will work in a general sense to help non-binary people obtain a third-gender option on their IDs, but stopped short of saying an executive order would happen. “President Biden will champion full equality and civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people to ensure that every American is treated with respect and dignity regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” the official said. “President Biden remains committed to advancing state and federal efforts that allow transgender and non-binary Americans to update their identification documents to accurately reflect their gender identity, especially as transgender and non-binary people continue to face harassment or are denied access to services because their identification documents don’t affirm their identity.” Klein also addressed during the White House briefing a question from another reporter, who asked whether the Gender Policy Council would work to address antitransgender bills in state legislatures, including the measure barring transgender kids from sports Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to sign in Mississippi. “We have the tools that we have, which are federal laws, and the bully pulpit and fighting for our policy and values, and we will be working really closely across the White House, and the Domestic Policy Council in particular on — and the National Security Council, by the way on a series of equity issues,” Klein said. CHRIS JOHNSON

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Atlanta billboard demands end to violence against Black trans people

ATLANTA — An Atlanta advocacy group has created a billboard campaign that demands an end to violence against Black transgender people. The I Am Human Foundation campaign debuted in January, and features billboards with the slogan “Black trans lives matter” against the backdrop of the trans Pride flag. The billboards also contain the hashtag “stop the violence.” Alex Santiago, executive director of the I Am Human Foundation, on Feb. 21 told the Blade the idea behind the campaign emerged last summer after he attended marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. “There was a lot of conversation back in the summer with the Black Lives Matter (protests) and there was even a divide in the LGBTQ community where they were saying, okay, well are we included in that because, you know, when it comes to cisgender Black people, they don’t include us,” said Santiago, who is also the co-chair of FLUX Atlanta, an AIDS Healthcare Foundation project that serves trans and gender non-conforming people. “A lot of them don’t feel like we even fit with them, so with the Black Lives Matter campaign there were huge debates about that.” Santiago said he brought posters in support of Black trans people to the Black Lives Matter protests he attended. Santiago said participants’ reaction to them “was amazing,” but he added some LGBTQ people did question why he decided to participate. “At first I was like, well I don’t understand why you aren’t supporting it because before anybody knows that you’re gay, before they know you’re trans, they know you’re Black because they can see you, but then I had to think about it,” said Santiago. “But you know what? Maybe we’re not included in that.” Santiago told the Blade there is “very little trans support” in Atlanta, so he thought about ways to make the city’s trans community more visible. “I was like, okay, I got to bring awareness to Atlanta that we’re here and that we matter,” said Santiago. He met with the owner of a local PR agency who is a cisgender woman to discuss the campaign. Santiago said she “was like, oh my God, I think this amazing” and agreed to offer the I Am Human Foundation four billboards for the price of one. One of the billboards is located adjacent to the University Avenue exit of the Downtown Connector, which is one of Atlanta’s main expressways. The other three are located on

An I Am Human Foundation billboard along Atlanta’s Downtown Connector expressway on Feb. 22. (Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Ponce de Leon Avenue near the Ponce City Market and on Moreland Avenue near the Starlight Drive-In Theatre. The campaign was only scheduled to run for four weeks, but Santiago said the PR agency has allowed the billboards to remain in place as long as nobody else wants to buy the space. “I’ve gotten great, great, great response,” he said. The Human Rights Campaign notes at least nine trans or gender non-conforming people have been reported killed so far this year. Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, a Black trans woman, was shot to death in Atlanta on Jan. 17. Other trans or gender non-conforming people have been murdered in Illinois, Puerto Rico, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Pennsylvania. Santiago said he didn’t know about Bankz’ murder until he read about it on HRC’s website. “I didn’t know anything about it,” he said. “It’s like, how do I not know in my own city that this happened.” Santiago told the Blade his organization is working on a second billboard campaign that will demand an end to the murders of Black trans women. Santiago said he plans to place a billboard near Atlanta City Hall “because I just feel like … nobody cares.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS

White House warns state legislatures that passing anti-trans bills is illegal White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, reiterating “trans rights are human rights,” warned state legislatures last week that passing bills targeting transgender youth is against the law. “The president believes that trans rights are human rights, and that no one should be discriminated on the basis of sex, not only is this the law of the land, it’s his own deeply held view,” Psaki said. Psaki, responding to a question from the Blade, addressed the issue as many state legislatures are advancing bills that would restrict transgender youth’s access to sports and transition-related care. One such bill against transgender kids in sports in Mississippi has headed to the desk of Gov. Tate Reeves, who’s expected to sign it. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County determined anti-transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus illegal in the workforce under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Although the ruling didn’t purport to address sports, the logic behind the decision has broad applications to all laws against sex discrimination, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Laws seeking to target transgender youth would seem to flout the Bostock decision as well as the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Psaki also invoked the executive order Biden signed on his first day in office seeking to implement the Bostock decision, making it clear it applies to students in the context of bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports. Also during the briefing, Psaki addressed the Equality Act, legislation to expand the 1 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • NAT I O NA L NE WS

ban on discrimination against LGBTQ people under federal law. The House passed the legislation but it faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Asked by the Blade whether Biden will reach out to lawmakers on the Equality Act, Psaki predicted that would be the case. “It certainly is a piece of legislation, the president supports as you all know, and he discusses a range of his priorities with members of Congress — the House and the Senate — and I’m certain when given the opportunity he will advocate for the passing of it,” Psaki said. Washington Blade: The House has sent the LGBTQ Equality Act to the Senate, where it will be one of several bills that faces an uncertain future. Will the president reach out to lawmakers on the Equality Act? Jen Psaki: It certainly is a piece of legislation the president supports, as you all know, and he discusses a range of his priorities with members of Congress — the House and the Senate — and I’m certain when given the opportunity he will advocate for the passing of it. Blade: And I know you’ve been asked about the legislative filibuster this briefing already but I would like you to address it as it pertains to this specific bill. Isn’t there a reasonable expectation that the president strongly supports this bill that he would want to welcome — the end of filibuster to see it get to his desk? Psaki: The president’s position hasn’t changed. He looks forward to advocating for the passage of legislation that he supports and working with Democrats and Republicans together. CHRIS JOHNSON

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Joe Manchin: the elephant in the room Working with him will bring more victories like the stimulus bill

Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) sounded eminently reasonable, unless you are on the far left or far right, on two Sunday shows recently, “Meet the Press” and with Jake Tapper on CNN. Chuck Todd pressed him on whether he would be willing to get rid of the filibuster and while he didn’t answer he did say he wouldn’t rule out using reconciliation, as was used for the stimulus bill, on other bills. We must accept Manchin is the elephant in the room and will be until after the 2022 midterm elections. While some on the left keep repeating how awful he is, in most cases I agree, we need him if we are to move forward any of Joe Biden’s legislative proposals. Over the four years of Trump’s presidency, Manchin voted with him 50% of the time. Manchin is a Democrat in a state that Trump won by more than 42%. So he must be handled with kid gloves. The most important vote he gives Democrats each Congress is for their leader. His vote for Democratic Majority Leader gave Democrats control of committees and the agenda for the next two years. I am often as frustrated with Manchin as any progressive Democrat but reality is ADVERTISING PROOF he just voted for what many consider one of the most liberal pieces of legislation PROOF #1 ISSUE DATE: 04.01.16 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: in years, the stimulus package. According to the Washington Post the $1.9 trillion REVISIONS bill will provide a “more generous child tax credit plan, parents would receive REDESIGN TEXT REVISIONS $3,000 a year for every child ages 6 to 17 and $3,600 a year for every child under IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS ADVERTISER SIGNATURE NO REVISIONS 6. … These tax changes, along with another round of cash payments, will boost incomes of the bottom 20 percent of Americans by 33 percent, according to Steve Wamhoff, a tax expert at the liberal Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. That’s more than double what the March 2020 Cares Act did for the poorest Americans.” That is a huge win for liberals. State and local governments will receive billions they can use without restrictions for so many of their needs. D.C. will get about $2 billion including the $750 ! million it lost in the first Republican stimulus bill when it wasn’t treated as a state. can help s lt u Those with the lowest incomes will be targeted to receive stimulus checks. There d a GBTQ+ L r o is money for vaccine distribution and more for small business. There is money f m a progr E to retrofit schools and enable districts to move more quickly to get them open. E R F is Th Unemployment insurance with an add-on amount from the federal government has been extended until September. Joe Manchin voted for all this. When asked about the minimum wage on the Sunday talk shows, Manchin said he is open to raising the minimum wage and will support an independent bill to do that. He suggested he would support a minimum wage of $11 and then index it to inflation. That is his starting position so I think he will be open to • Nine coaching sessions for you and the person with memory loss. ADVERTISING PROOFthe $15 minimum wage with indexing. President Biden will get more. I support ISSUE• DATE: 21-02-19 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS the minimum wage raised for the first time since 2009. Complete the virtual program from the comfort of your home. President Biden and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will need to work REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted forfive publication if revision interviews. is not submitted within 24 • Compensation for completing phone closely with Manchin over the next two years. They will need to hear his input hours of the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication. Brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any into any major legislation and where possible, when not destroying the intent of material to which users can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement SIONS the legislation, work to accommodate his changes. They will also need to give or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety Contact us GO REVISIONS right, false advertising, unfair competition, defamation, invasion of privacytoday or rights of celebrity, violation of antiManchin the time he wants to work with his Republican friends trying to convince discrimination law or regulation, or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff ADVERTISER SIGNATURE NS pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with blade) harmless from any and all liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal them tobut go They will need to work through the committee structure on the washington blade newspaper. This includes is not along. limited to Call 1-888-655-6646, email ageIDEA@uw.edu or visit ageIDEA.org. fees and expenses that may be incurred by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s placement, payment and insertion schedule. breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties. legislation. I believe if this happens we just might be surprised to see Manchin supporting most of the major ideas the Biden/Harris administration will put forth. I also predict the final bills will not make progressives like AOC and Sanders @age_pride happy. Yet this is the way the founders of our nation set up the government. It is a @agingwithpride government requiring compromise to move forward and that is what we will have to do for the next two years. If we do there will be many more victories for the people and the Biden/Harris administration like the one we just saw in the Senate.

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is a transgender man and young professional in the D.C. area. He was featured on National Geographic’s ‘Gender Revolution’ documentary in 2017 as a student at Yale University. Isaac is also on the board of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia, @isaacamend.

Leave nonbinary people alone Defamation proliferating in the media

Lately, there has been a wave of online commentators who mock nonbinary people. Bloggers, TikTokers, and other posters make fun of an entire population of well-meaning people who lie somewhere “in the middle” of the gender spectrum. On TikTok, @feelinmiz2.0 does a mocking dance in a fake doctor’s suit, stating “Notice how the Pr0n0uns in your bio do not alter your genitals.” In July 2020, Elon Musk tweeted “pronouns suck.” In September 2020, Canadian commentator Debra Soh wrote an article titled “How the Nonbinary Trend Hurts Those with Real Gender Dysphoria.” In the North Coast Journal of Politics and Art, a modest publication in Humboldt County, Calif., writer Jennifer Cahill names her essay “Why I Will Not be Using Your Preferred Pronouns,” and proceeds to denounce [they/them]. Defamation of nonbinary people is everywhere in the media. Nonbinary people, born either biologically male or female, don’t feel like they are female, but they also don’t feel male. Some nonbinary people feel more “masculine” than others, while other nonbinary people feel more “feminine.” Other nonbinary people feel like there is no spectrum at all, and that there are infinite genders, just as there are infinite ways to be a person. Nonbinary people generally face many more obstacles than individuals who choose to fall on the binary, as either male or female. For instance, they can be in a constant battle against society to “pass” — or appear as either gender. Choosing clothes and a style of presentation that is androgynous or mixed, they can be misgendered all the time. Nonbinary people can also struggle with what gender marker to use on passports or driver’s licenses. Additionally, individuals who do not pass as either male or female have a harder time finding employment. Research from the U.S. Census Bureau found that the unemployment rate among transgender workers is two to three times higher than the U.S workforce. Now that “nonbinary” has come into the public consciousness, and entered the public discourse, many cisgender people feel threatened, or scared, of nonbinary. Even in my personal life, I run into close friends who laugh at the first mention of nonbinary. It seems to be a typical reaction: chuckle at how silly the idea feels. Sometimes, these people are progressives, and they have liberal views. But they still don’t understand nonbinary. The general public seems to understand binary transgender people a lot better — people who fall as either male (transman) or female (transwoman). This is because our way of presenting falls in line with theirs. The moment our way of presenting falls out of line, and the moment we question the cisgender world view, the public starts to laugh. There is some pretty simple logic behind accepting nonbinary people as valid: • If you were color blind, and could only see black and white, you would not state that people who saw colors did not exist. • If you were a straight man, and only liked women, you would not question that gay men existed. PROOF #1 • If you were dyslexic, and had a difficult time reading words, you would not REVISIONS question that other people had an easier time reading words. REDESIGN


• If you grew up cisgender, and there were people — thousands of IMAGE/LOGO them — whoREVISIONS NO REVISIONS said they did not feel like either gender, why would you decide to suddenly mock them? What bearing does it have on your life?

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By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contr blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to schedule.

• If you have laughed at nonbinary people, do us a favor and be quiet. I have three words for you: Leave. Them. Alone. Laugh at other things, like how there was a fly on Mike Pence’s head during a national debate, or how chihuahuas are hilarious creatures when they’re angry. Just don’t laugh at us. V I E WP O I NT • M A R C H 1 2 , 2 0 2 1 • WA S H I N GTO N B L A D E.CO M • 1 9


is international news editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at mlavers@washblade.com.

Celebrating a year of freedom ¡Viva la libertad!




@MISSPIXIES DC 1626 14th st NW DC

202-232-8171 M I S S P I X I E S . C O M

2 0 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • V I E WP O I NT

WILTON MANORS, Fla. — Yariel Valdés González began his new life in freedom in this country a year ago last week. Yariel, who asked for asylum in the U.S. because of the persecution he suffered in Cuba as a journalist, spent nearly a year in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody until his release from the River Correctional Center, a privately-run detention center in Louisiana’s rural Concordia Parish, on March 4, 2020. The details of that day remain vivid: The torrential downpour that drenched us as we ran to my car in the detention center’s parking lot, the Lady Gaga songs I played on my iPhone as we drove away, my left arm that I fractured a few hours earlier and dancing at Oz on Bourbon Street once we arrived in New Orleans. Yariel over the last year has proven that immigrants really make our country great. He lives here in Wilton Manors and works at a local restaurant. Yariel contributes to the Washington and Los Angeles Blades, and is becoming an active member of the Wilton Manors community. Our country is far better off when people like Yariel have the opportunity to live their best lives in freedom and commit themselves to making it better for us all. One of the ways Yariel has chosen to make a positive contribution to his new country is to document his experiences in ICE custody. The Blades in the coming weeks will begin to publish what I have dubbed his “detention diaries” that detail the inhumane treatment he suffered at the hands of an agency in serious need of oversight and reform. One of them details how he spent upwards of 12 hours shackled and handcuffed as ICE transported him from the privately run Imperial Regional Detention Facility in California’s Imperial Valley to another privately run facility, the Tallahatchie County Correctional Center in Tutwiler, Miss., as though he was a dangerous criminal. Yariel in another diary entry details the desperation he felt during the five months he needlessly spent in ICE custody after the ruling that granted him asylum was appealed. He also discusses the xenophobia and racism that he and other detainees experienced from guards at the Bossier Parish Medium Security Facility in Plain Dealing, La. I arrived in South Florida on Tuesday, three days after I was on assignment in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where asylum seekers who had been forced to pursue their cases in Mexico under the previous White House’s odious Migrant Protection Protocols program were finally able to enter the U.S. It will undoubtedly take time for the Biden administration to undue the policies that subjected Yariel and countless other asylum seekers to needless harm and abuse, but thank goodness this process has begun. Elections really do matter. It is also crucially important to hold the previous administration — and especially those within it who crafted and implemented these harmful policies that have done irrevocable damage to our country’s reputation around the world — accountable. ICE, the agency that mistreated Yariel and countless others while in their custody, must also be held to account. We remain committed to doing our part to support immigrants and asylum seekers through our work as journalists. It is also my fervent hope that Yariel’s decision to write about his experiences in ICE custody will spur some much-needed change. In the meantime, this is a time to celebrate my dear friend and everything he has accomplished since his release a year ago. Yariel continues to prove that immigrants make our country great, and I am proud to stand by his side.

¡Viva la libertad!




Gen Z TV characters embrace fluidity, eschew labels

Network, streaming series offer avalanche of queer content from ‘Pose’ to ‘Riverdale’ and beyond By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO | joeyd@washblade.com

Although queer representation is down slightly on scripted TV shows this year with 70 (9.1 percent) of all 773 series regular characters out as some form of LGBTQ+, representation has been so vast in recent years, there’s still more queer TV content than any one person could possibly consume. Last year’s record was 10.2 percent according to January’s GLAAD annual report. Here’s what’s returning and upcoming. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a thorough start. Original dramedy “GENERA+ION” debuted this week on HBO Max with three episodes. Look for two more on March 25 and another on April 1. Eight more will drop later in the year. It’s being billed as a “dark yet playful half-hour series following a diverse group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love, and the nature of family in their conservative community.” It explores sexuality and gender fluidity. Of its 15 writers, 11 are LGBTQ. Prisha (Shalini Bathina) came out last year on Apple TV+’s dramedy “Little Voice.” The current fourth season of ABC’s “The Good Doctor” has introduced Dr. Asher Wolke (Noah Galvin), who’s gay. Not much storyline prominence thus far, though. Mondays at 10 p.m. “Search Party” on HBO Max is in its fourth season (a fifth has been announced) and features Elliott Goss (John Early), a gay narcissist. CBS’s “S.W.A.T.” is in its fourth season and features Chris Alonso (Lina Esco), who’s bi and has explored polyamory. It’s on Wednesday nights at 10. Josie Totah plays Lexi, a sharp-tongued trans cheerleader on the new “Saved by the Bell” reboot on Peacock. Premiering last November, it’s already been renewed for a second season. Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” a period drama, debuted in December and has already been renewed for a second season. Gay content has been minor thus far. Fans were expecting more when a brief gay sex scene was teased in a trailer but didn’t show up until the fifth episode and featured a minor character at that. The CW’s “Riverdale” (based on the Archie comics) was renewed last month for a sixth season. Season five is airing now. Despite many LGBTQ characters throughout its run, the show has been accused of queerbaiting by showing same-sex kisses in teasers that turned out to be larks or minor anomalies in the actual storylines. Fans have also balked at the limited attention same-sex couples on the show, such as Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) and Moose (Cody Kearsley) or Cheryl (Madelaine Peetsch) and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) (aka “Choni”) have received. Season two of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” on NBC is in the midst of its second season. It moves to Sunday nights at 9 when it returns March 28. Alex Newell (“Glee”) plays Mo, Zoey’s genderfluid neighbor, a DJ. The CW’s “Walker,” a reboot of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” debuted in January and has already been renewed for a second season. Keegan Allen plays Liam, the lead character’s gay brother. It airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. The CW’s “Legacies,” a spin-off of “The Originals” that tells of the adventures of Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell), airs Thursday nights at 9. It’s in the midst of its third season and has been renewed for a fourth. Character Josie Saltzman (Kaylee Bryant) is a bi witch. NBC’s neverending warhorse “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” continues on Thursday nights at 9 in its 22nd season (it’s been renewed for two more). It was revealed that Kat Azar Tamin (Jamie Gray Hyder) is bi in last season’s finale. It was a big deal for the franchise, which hadn’t featured a gay

From left: CHASE SUI WONDERS, JUSTICE SMITH and ULY SCHLESINGER in ‘GENERA+ION.’ (Photo courtesy WarnerMedia)

OLLY ALEXANDER in ‘It’s a Sin.’

(Photo courtesy WarnerMedia)

character in its regular cast (FBI psychiatrist George Huang) since season 12. “Elite” continues on Netflix featuring the relationship of Omar (Omar Ayuso) and Ander (Aron Piper). This grisly Spanish teen drama has been renewed for fourth and fifth seasons. A Rolling Stone critic said the show “attempts to go places on the sexuality spectrum where few have dared to tread before.” No date or title yet for season 10 of “American Horror Story” but look for it sometime this year on FX. Kathy Bates, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Sarah Paulson and more are back. Macaulay Culkin will also be in the cast. The show has been renewed through a 13th season. The gay-helmed series (Ryan Murphy) always features LGBTQ characters. Past seasons “Murder House,” “Asylum” and “Hotel” are fan favorites. Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie,” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as friends whose husbands leave them for each other, was slated to resume shooting its farewell seventh season, postponed by COVID, in June. It’s Netflix’s oldest still-running series. No premiere date has been announced. HBO’s “Euphoria” season two is in limbo. Cast and crew were ready to start shooting last spring when COVID hit. It’s slated to start shooting in Los Angeles on April 5. No premiere date has been announced. The show has been widely praised for its varied, nuanced portrayal of Gen Z queer life with eschewing of traditional LGBTQ identities and way more fluidity on the sexual orientation and gender identity spectrums. Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer, who’s trans) is a trans girl who becomes friends with lead character Rue Bennett (Zendaya). Look for the eighth season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” later this year. The police procedural comedy has drawn fans for its queer characters such as Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) and Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher). Anissa (Nafessa Williams) made history on “Black Lightning” as the first queer superhero of color on TV. Look for its fourth and final season this year.

2 2 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1

“Dear White People” wraps this year featuring Lionel Higgins (DeRon Horton), a black queer man struggling with his identity. It’s adapted from gay director Justin Simien’s film of the same name. Filming began last month for season 11 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” with 24 episodes slated to air into next year. A spin-off featuring Daryl and Carol is slated to air in 2023. The show drew fan ire when it axed off two queer characters (Tara and Jesus) in season nine in 2019. Character Felix Carlucci (Nico Tortorella), head of security at the Campus Colony, was kicked out of his house for coming out. “Pose” returns May 2 with the first two episodes of its abbreviated third season. There will be just seven total. This will be the final season for the groundbreaking show that follows the ballroom scene/queer nightlife in the early 1980s. It’s another fan hit from the Ryan Murphy omniverse. The finale is June 6. “Star Trek: Discovery’s” fourth season is slated for release on Paramount+ sometime this year. Filming started last November and is set to end in June. Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) became the first openly gay characters in a “Star Trek” franchise series in 2017. Adira (Blu del Barrio) and Gray (Ian Alexander, who is trans in “real life”) were introduced as the first trans and non-binary characters in the show’s third season. It’s set a decade before the action of the original series. Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” returns with its fourth season on April 28. It’s also been renewed for a fifth season. Lesbian actress (and D.C. native) Samira Wiley is in the cast again as is Alexis Bledel, who plays lesbian character Emily Malek, an Emmy winner for her work on the show. Season five of Showtime’s “Billions” was suspended midseason last year with five episodes left to air (production — you guessed it — was halted by COVID). Although a sixth season has been ordered, no air dates for the rest of season five has been announced. Asia Kate Dillon, non-binary in “real life” and on the show, stars as Taylor Mason. “The Conners” is airing its third season now on ABC Wednesday nights at 9. Darlene’s (out actress Sara Gilbert) 13-year-old son Mark (Ames McNamara) is non-binary and likes boys. It evolved out of the “Roseanne” reboot. Fox’s “Call Me Kat” debuted in January and features out actor Leslie Jordan as Phil, a newly single gay man and head baker at Kat’s cafe, and out singer/actor Cheyenne Jackson playing straight as Max, Kat’s friend and former college love interest. The season wraps March 18. No word yet on a second season. It airs Thursday nights at 9. Reviews and ratings have been mixed. The five-part Brit miniseries “It’s a Sin” finished its run in February on the U.K.’s Channel 4. Olly Alexander (Years & Years) stars as Ritchie Tozer, one of a group of gay men who move to London in 1981. The series follows them through a decade. Creator Russell T. Davies is the auteur behind the original British “Queer as Folk.” It’s streaming in the U.S. on HBO Max. Reviews have been stellar. Sarah Paulson plays the titular role on Netflix’s “Ratched” and Cynthia Nixon co-stars as Gwendolyn, her love interest. It’s a prequel to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” the classic 1975 film. No date yet on when season two will be released. Amir Bageria plays “Sid” Pakam, a closeted gay IndianAmerican and high school senior on last fall’s teen Netflix drama “Grand Army.” It hasn’t been officially cancelled but no word yet on a second season either. Also from last fall is the HBO drama “We Are Who We Are,” co-created and directed by Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me By Your Name”), a coming-of-age story set on a U.S. army base.


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‘Grace and Frankie,’ ‘Pose’ bowing out after acclaimed runs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22

Several of the teen characters are figuring out their sexuality and gender identity as the show unfolds. Chloe Sevigny and Alice Braga play same-sex moms to 14-year-old Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer). “Call Me” alums Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer make cameos. No word yet on a second season. No LGBT characters yet on “Emily in Paris,” the Netflix dramedy, but it’s from the “Sex and the City” creative team and has been renewed for a second season. “The Real Housewives of Orange County” finished its 15th season in January. Braunwyn Windham-Burke, who joined in the 14th season in 2019, came out as a lesbian in December. Look for season 16 this fall. Punky’s (Soleil Moon Frye) BFF Cherie (Cherie Johnson) is a lesbian on Peacock’s “Punky Brewster” revival. Its 10-episode debut season is available now. The fourth and final season of Netflix’s “Atypical” will premiere sometime this year. It features lesbian duo Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Izzie (Fivel Stewart). Peter (Brendan Scannell) is the gay best friend to Tiff (Zoe Levin) on “Bonding.” Its second season dropped in January. Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” wraps this year and has featured a pan warlock romance and a trans character. Its fourth season dropped Dec. 31. David Berry plays Lord John Grey who’s secretly gay and has been called “one of the most complex and interesting” characters in the historical Starz “Outlander” books and show. A sixth season is expected. Netflix’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor” introduces Dani (Victoria Pedretti) and her girlfriend Jamie (Amelia Eve) against a gothic/thriller backdrop. No word yet on another season. “Queer Eye” only had one season six episode in the can last year when COVID hit. Production has not resumed but the show will eventually return. On Netflix’s “The Politician,” Ben Platt stars as Payton Hobart, a presidential hopeful who finishes high school (season one) and is now a student at NYU (season two). Rahne Jones plays Skye Leighton, his black, gender-nonconforming former running mate now helping with his campaign. Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Judith Light and even Bette Midler are in the cast. Another Ryan Murphy production. No word yet on a third season. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 13 airs its 10th episode (of a likely 14) March 12 at 8 p.m. on VH1. That means the finale is about a month away. “All Stars” season six is expected this summer at its new home on Paramount+. A second season of the U.K. edition is airing now on BBC iPlayer. Netflix British dramedy “Sex Education” will be back for a third season sometime this year. No date yet. Teen Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) lives with his sex therapist mom (Gillian Anderson) and gay best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa). Anwar (Chaneil Kular) is another out student in the cast. Netflix has said it’s one of its most popular shows. Netflix’s “Special” is also in limbo it appears. In December, 2019 it was renewed for a second season but no updates since. It follows a gay man named Ryan Hayes (Ryan O’Connell; the series creator and star who based it on his memoir) with mild cerebral palsy who decides to go after the kind of life he wants. It has strong reviews and ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. “Tiny Pretty Things” debuted in December on Netflix and features two primary gay characters. Brennan Clost plays Shane, an openly gay ballet dancer having sex with his roommate, Oren (Barton). A second season is likely but hasn’t been confirmed. Several characters on the Netflix hit “The Umbrella Academy” are queer and it’s treated as mostly tangential. Klaus (Robert Sheehan), an addict who can commune with the dead, is pan, for one. The fantasy show is a comic book adaptation about a dysfunctional family who each possess superpowers. A third season is underway. Canadian sitcom “Letterkenny” just released its ninth

season in December and 10th and 11th seasons are planned. It streams on Hulu and tells of residents of a small farming town. Several are LGBT but it’s never treated as a big deal. A second season of Hulu’s “Love, Victor” will premiere in June. Michael Cimino plays the title role, a hispanic gay teen. It’s a TV adaptation/spinoff of the hit 2018 gay teen dramedy “Love, Simon.” The second season of Netflix’s “Bonding” dropped in January. Brendan Scannell plays Pete, gay bestie to main character Tiff Chester (Zoe Levin), a dominatrix. The 2017 “Dynasty” reboot is proving surprisingly resilient. It was renewed for a fifth season last month on The CW. Production on the fourth season resumed last October and will start airing May 7. Steven, the gay son played by James Mackay, will be back. He was written out of the third season. Hulu’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” from Aussie comedian Josh Thomas, features Matilda, a teen with highfunctioning autism, exploring her fluid sexuality and her gay brother’s relationship failures. Its second season drops April 8. The CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow” returns for its sixth season on May 2. White Canary (Caity Lotz) is bi. She’s one of the heroines in the Arrow-verse based on characters from DC Comics. The CW’s “Batwoman” season two is airing now (regrouping with the absence of Ruby Rose in the title role) and a third season has been ordered. Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie)/Batwoman is now the central protagonist with Kate Kane/Batwoman presumed dead. The new Batwoman is also a lesbian. “Wynonna Earp” returned to finish its fourth and final season this month on Syfy/Netflix. Lesbian side couple WayHaught have become fan favorites. “Good Trouble,” with multiple queer characters, is in the midst of its third season. It’s on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Freeform and is a spin-off of “The Fosters.” A “Gossip Girl” reboot on HBO Max promises “lots of queer content.” No date yet. “This is Us” is in the middle of its fifth season. It airs Tuesday nights at 9 on NBC and features Tess Pearson (Eris Baker), who came out in season three. “Good Girls” returned for its fourth season this month. It airs on NBC Mondays nights at 10 and features Isaiah Stannard as Ben Marks, a trans son of one of the main characters. NBC’s “New Amsterdam” is airing its third season now and two more have been ordered. Dr. Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine) is gay. It’s on Tuesday nights at 9. Martin Scorsese interviews lesbian Fran Lebowitz on the seven-part Netflix documentary “Pretend It’s a City.” Max Baker (Sara Waisglass) is a lesbian teen on Netflix’s dramedy “Ginny & Georgia,” which has been generating buzz since its maiden season released on Feb. 24. Jesse James Keitel plays Jerrie Kennedy, a transfeminine/ nonbinary sex worker on ABC’s crime/thriller “Big Sky.” It’s on hiatus but will return. Brian Michael Smith made history as the first out black trans man in a regular series role on network TV as Paul Strickland on Fox’s Ryan Murphy-created procedural drama “9-1-1- Lone Star,” a spin-off of “9-1-1.” Its second season is airing now on Monday nights at 9. There are also gay characters on both shows. Safiya Masry (Indira Varma), a warden on ABC’s legal drama “For Life” is a lesbian. It’s in its second season now airing Wednesday nights at 10. ABC’s new sitcom “Call Your Mother,” which debuted in January, features Lane (Austin Crute), Jackie’s (Racel Sennott) gay best friend and roommate. It’s on Wednesday nights at 9:30. Son Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and daughter Debbie (Emma Kenney) are gay on Showtime’s longrunning dramedy “Shameless.” Its 11th season continues through April 11.

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FIVEL STEWART (left) and BRIGETTE LUNDY-PAINE in ‘Atypical.’ (Photo by Beth Dubber, courtesy Netflix)

ASIA KATE DILLON as Taylor, who’s non-binary, on ‘Billions.’ (Photo courtesy Showtime)

“Superstore” ends its sixth and final season on March 25. Mateo (Nico Santos) is gay on the NBC sitcom. It’s on Thursday nights at 8. Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr.) is a gay officer on ABC’s “The Rookie,” currently in its third season. It’s on Sunday nights at 10. Longrunning Brit soap “Hollyoaks” is teeming with LGBT characters presented multi-dimensionally. Gay character John Paul McQueen (James Sutton) has been on and off the front burner for a decade. Also worth checking out are “Emmerdale” and “EastEnders,” whose current Ben/Callum love story is a fan favorite.

Also of note:

“Tina,” a documentary on the life of rock icon Tina Turner, debuts on Sunday, March 28 at 8 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max. It promises “a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes … photos and new interviews.” Aretha Franklin is the focus of the third season of National Geographic’s docudrama series “Genius.” Cynthia Erivo stars as the late soul legend. Its eight-episode arc debuts March 21. Other shows with LGBT characters whose networks have said are returning but for which no date has been announced: “Betty” (HBO); “Feel Good” (Netflix); “Gentleman Jack” (BBC One/HBO); “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” renewed in December for four more seasons, a sitcom record (FX); “Killing Eve” (BBC America); “The L Word: Generation Q” (Showtime); “Sex Education” (Netflix); “Twenties” (BET); “Supergirl” (The CW); “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix); “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX); “Motherland: Fort Salem” (Freeform); “Hightown” (Starz); “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max); “Dead to Me,” whose upcoming third season will be its last (Netflix); and “Insecure” (HBO, for a fifth and final season). Recently ended shows with LGBT characters include: “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix), “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC), “One Day at a Time” (POP), “The Magicians” (Syfy), “Schitt’s Creek” (CBC/POP TV), “Vida” (Starz), “Work in Progress” (Showtime/Hulu), “Council of Dads” (NBC), “Someone Has to Die” (Netflix), “Trinkets” (Netflix), “Teenage Bounty Hunters” (Netflix), “Tales of the City” (Netflix), “Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts” (animated, Netflix) and “What/If” (Netflix). Want a succinct overview of the history of LGBT people on TV? Check out “Visible: Out on Television,” last year’s fiveepisode survey on Apple TV+ from Ryan White.

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Virtual theater continues with hopes for return to live audiences in fall Strong online productions abound for spring By PATRICK FOLLIARD

Starting March 26, “Cock” is streaming at Studio Theatre. This production of British Throughout a year of closure, area theaters have given it their all to remain viable, playwright Mike Bartlett’s sericomedy centering on John, a gay man struggling with and along the way many have improved their online product considerably. Here’s a attraction, ambivalence, and commitment is directed by Studio’s artistic director David smattering of what looks good for spring. Muse and was filmed in Studio’s Stage 4 space. Through March 26, audiences can stream Signature Theatre’s “Simply Sondheim.” Out actor Randy Harrison (a talented Broadway veteran best known for playing Justin Directed and choreographed by Signature’s out associate artistic director Matthew Taylor on five seasons of Showtime’s “Queer Gardiner, the resoundingly praised production as Folk”) is John, Kathryn Tkel plays the features 12 super-talented singers (including woman, and Scott Parkinson reprises the role Norm Lewis, Emily Skinner, and Bobby Smith) of John’s partner, a part he played in Studio’s performing more than 30 songs from the 2014 production of “Cock,” also directed by composer’s canon. Muse. Studotheatre.org In late April, Signature presents Mark During the pandemic, Woolly Mammoth Sonnenblick’s musical “Midnight at the Theatre Company’s artistic director Maria Never Get.” Set in 1965 downtown New York, Manuela Goyanes has proved very successful it’s the romance of a gay couple making music in presenting engaging and innovative during complicated times. Sigtheatre.org streaming content (“This Is Who I Am,” “Hi, Nearly a year after Alexandra Petri’s “Inherit Are You single?”) and collaborating with other the Windbag” was closed due to COVID, important regional theaters. Mosaic Theater is currently offering the new Through March 24, Woolly presents “RESET,” play as a virtual multi-part series. The scathing a free digital collection using interactive work brings together political polar opposites constellations to reveal video performances Gorge Vidal (Paul Morello) and William F. and excerpts from historically overlooked Buckley (John Lescault) at their snobbish and works by insufficiently celebrated luminaries. vituperative best. The pieces are brought to life by a stunning In Petri’s satirical battle of wits, Vidal (the cast including Woolly company members brilliant essayist who identified as bisexual Shannon Dorsey and Dawn Ursula, as well as but was gay in practice) and arch-conservative long-time and new Woolly collaborators: E. Buckley are reunited in a hellscape, the Richard Faye Butler, Felicia Curry, Paige Hernandez, Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., and more. Woolymammoth.net where they debated again. Added to the mix At Arena Stage, artistic director Molly are a supporting cast of conjured “demons” Smith’s vibrant online offering “Molly’s Salon” including mid-20th writers and chat show is moving along swimmingly with half-hourregulars James Baldwin, Truman Capote, and long weekly conversations featuring Smith the execrable Ayn Rand. Mosaictheater.com and high profile and emerging theater folk Ford’s Theatre is presenting a series of sharing thoughts about current projects and virtual play readings. Next up is Donja R. Love’s ambitions for the future. “Fireflies” (March 24 – 28). Set in the Jim Crow And in June, Arena premieres “Indigenous South, Love’s new work tells the story of Olivia Earth Voices,” a film exploring people’s (Billie Krishawn), the inspiring speechwriter relationship to the planet. Featuring six and force behind her charismatic husband stories from locations throughout Canada Charles (Gary-Kayi Fletcher) and his freedom and the United States, the new work focuses movement. When four little girls are bombed on subsistence, family traditions, land rights, in a church, the couple’s relationship is thrown myths and legends. All the actors, directors, into jeopardy. Reginald Douglas directs. playwrights, and interviewees involved Fords.org identify as Indigenous. This spring at Theater Alliance, out While Smith won’t be directing this time producing artistic director Raymond O. around, her wife Suzanne Blue Star Boy is Caldwell is directing “City in Transition: The serving as cultural consultant to the film. Quadrant Series,” a quartet of world premiere Arenastage.org plays penned by Khadijah Z., Ali-Coleman, Looking forward - past spring and even Avery Collins, and Shalom Omo-Osagie. The RANDY HARRISON stars in ‘Cock’ at Studio Theatre. (Photo courtesy Studio) summer, Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre playwrights are asked to delve deep into D.C.’s recently announced that it hopes to bring different communities, “unearthing histories, back live theater in the fall of 2021 with exploring their current situations, and national tours of musicals “Pretty Woman,” followed by “Tootsie.” Fingers crossed. projecting their futures.” The plays are filmed with the hope bringing live performances France-merrickpac.com to venues around the city at some point. Theateralliance.com 2 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1




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For film fans, slim pickings for spring Apartheid-era story ‘Moffie’ offers grim look at love and war By JOHN PAUL KING

Spring is always a light season for movies. The big awards contenders from the previous year are still in the spotlight and the big blockbusters are being held back until summer, so it’s a time when we tend to get the smaller, under-the-radar films that might otherwise get lost in the shadow of higher profile competitors. Even in the best of circumstances, it’s typically a mixed bag. In 2021, of course, things are even grimmer than usual. The easing of the pandemic is tantalizingly within sight, but not close enough to allow for widespread re-opening of movie theaters – and that means many of the films originally scheduled for release over the next few months have been pushed back, some indefinitely. What that means for LGBTQ film fans is that while we can still look forward to seeing Marvel’s first big screen gay superhero kiss in “Eternals,” we’ll just have to wait until the fall for it; but when it comes to movies like the screen adaptation of the British drag queen musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” there’s no way of knowing when they might finally come our way. The good news is that there are still some promising titles in the lineup over the next few months, as we hunker down on our couches for what should be the homestretch of our long sojourn through COVID. Netflix, as always, has us covered in its films as well as its original series. Debuting March 12 is “Yes Day,” an inclusive, good-for-all-ages comedy based on a beloved children’s picture book from 2009. Expanding on a simple premise, the Justin Malen-penned screen adaptation centers on a family in which two strict parents (Jennifer Garner and Édgar Ramírez) agree to spend a whole day saying “yes” to everything their kids ask to do. Directed by Miguel Arteta (“Like a Boss”), it’s a predictably madcap, free-wheeling romp that promises a lot of laughs and a healthy dose of heart, as well as the presence of out lesbian comedian Fortune Feimster in a featured role. On what might be close to the opposite end of the spectrum is “Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker,” a documentary from director Chris McKim and World of Wonder Productions. Described by the Hollywood Reporter as “a stirring requiem of rage and resistance,” it’s a portrait of David Wojnarowicz, the iconic New York artist, writer, photographer, and activist who turned his work into a weapon against an indifferent establishment during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s before passing from the disease himself in 1992. Exploring his extensive body of work to illuminate the activism at its core, it also uses rediscovered voice recordings and personal recollections from friends like Fran Lebowitz, Gracie Mansion, and Peter Hujar to present an emotionally resonant look at a fiercely political and unapologetically queer artist. It’s going into limited theatrical release March 19 followed by a VOD drop on Kino Now and home video. Another documentary of interest is “Yes I Am - The Ric Weiland Story,” which chronicles a queer pioneer and philanthropist who achieved wealth and influence working with Microsoft during its early success. Out and proud since the 70’s, Weiland was a champion of gay rights who donated millions to the cause, making an impact that is still profound today; GLAAD has a yearly award named in his honor. “Finding Kim” director Aaron Bear’s moving film portrait documents the hidden side of this queer hero, revealing a man whose struggles with self-doubt and depression compounded under the weight of the AIDS epidemic, and reminding us that “no matter how much success one finds, everybody needs help… geniuses included.” Technically, this one isn’t getting an official spring release, but it’s screening as part of the AmDocs Festival, which is available to stream nationally March 26-April 4. From the international front comes “Moffie,” a South African war drama from filmmaker Oliver Hermanus, releasing in select theaters and on digital and VOD platforms April 9. Based on an acclaimed memoir by André-Carl van der Merwe, it’s the Apartheid-era story of a gay teenage boy who is conscripted into the South African army during the nation’s

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(Photo courtesy IFC)

1981 border clash with Angola. Subjected to daily abuse and humiliation as part of his training, he finds an unexpected bright spot in an attraction he shares with another recruit; but under the oppressive homophobia of their military environment, being seen by your mates as a “moffie” (Afrikaans for weak and effeminate) can be just as deadly as bullets from the enemy. Two dreamily attractive leads (Kai Luke Brummer and Ryan de Villiers) are bound to be a strong draw for many audiences, and they provide some beautifully tender moments amid the tension in this richly photographed, deeply cinematic romance; but be warned – this one is a far cry from the kind of positive, uplifting queer representation currently in vogue with American audiences. Hearkening back to a darker era in LGBTQ cinema, it offers a bleak portrait of a time and place that held little hope of an open and happy gay life, along with a whole slate of other grim observations about the madness of war and the toxic effects of living under a cruel and restrictive authoritarian regime. That might hit too close to home for a lot of viewers, but for those with the stomach for it there’s a lot to appreciate in this one, which has already accumulated a number of honors on the festival circuit, including nominations for Venice’s Queer Lion Prize and the Best Picture Award at the London Film Festival. If the last few choices seemed a little heavy, our final highlight will surely be more to taste. Though technically not really a “queer” movie, Disney’s upcoming “Cruella” is sure to have an undeniable queer appeal. Disney villains always hold a special place in the community’s heart, especially Cruella de Vil – the ruthlessly fur-obsessed fashionista who became so popular terrorizing the title characters in “101 Dalmatians” that she’s become more of an icon than any of the puppies she tried to turn into a coat. Already memorably portrayed in the flesh by fan favorite diva Glenn Close (who actually co-produced this one), the new Disney crime comedy puts Oscar-winner Emma Stone in that familiar twotone fright wig and backs her up with heavy-hitters like Emma Thompson and Mark Strong. Directed by Craig Gillespie, it frankly looks like a lot more fun than any of Disney’s other recent attempts to mine its animated catalogue for live-action reboots, and it is scheduled for release on May 28. In addition to these, there are a few other LGBTQ-relevant titles currently in limbo, recently acquired at festivals like Sundance by distributors but with release dates still TBA. These include the aforementioned “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” as well as Danish filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s ambitious animated memoir “Flee,” the sure-to-bepopular documentary “Mayor Pete,” and Marion Hill’s bisexual polyamorous romance “Ma Belle, My Beauty.” While we shouldn’t necessarily expect these in the next few weeks, they could feasibly drop any time. You can be sure the Blade will keep you posted..

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Spring reads, from gothic to poetry Something for everyone’s beach bag By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

When you’re cooped up for a while – by weather or whatever – it’s understandably easy to get bored and restless, which is why you need to look forward to having these great books this spring. MARCH “Raising Tomorrow’s Champions,” tells the stories of more than 100 female sports stars who changed the rules and challenged gender norms for the right to play sports like girls – and what today’s girls and rising stars in all fields can learn from their journeys. Joanna Lohman shares the stories of the women who changed the rules of professional sports, overcame injury and defeat to achieve their goals and paved the way for tomorrow’s champions to emerge, according to a release. Lohman is a D.C. native, a nine-year veteran of the US Women’s National Team, a Sports Envoy for the U.S. Department of State and the only player in the history of the Washington Spirit to have her jersey retired. Her new book, “Raising Tomorrow’s Champions,” features interviews from over 100 current and former female soccer stars, their parents and coaches and shows us what it takes on - and off - the field to raise and be a champion. The book was released in early March. APRIL Fans of the late Eric Jerome Dickey know that his novels take you on a wild ride and his final one, “The Son of Mr. Suleman” ( April 20, Dutton) is no different. It’s a love story that springs from divergent cultures tainted by racism, and the story of a man who must learn just how much of his father runs in his veins. Coming out at the end of March and just in time for National Poetry Month, “Live Oak, With Moss” by Walt Whitman, art by Brian Selznick (March 23, Abrams), is a rerelease of poetry written by Whitman, reflecting on middle age and same-sex love. If you’ve never read Whitman, here’s a great place to start. MAY Sometimes, you want to dig into something solid, something real, and “Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993” by Sarah Schulman (May 18, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is it. This is the history of six short years and the activism that doggedly, and with great focus, fought hard to make AIDS treatment available to anyone who needed it. But, of course, the book isn’t just about the activists; it’s also about the people who they fought for. Powerful, yes. Also inspirational. If you’re in the mood for a dark, gothic (and scary!) romance, look for “Yes, Daddy” by Jonathan Parks-Ramage (May 18, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). It’s a novel about a man who schemes to meet what he thinks is Mr. Wealthy and Right but he learns when he’s finally invited to Mr. Right’s mansion that something is very, very wrong. You can take a book like this on vacation but don’t take it to bed with you.

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‘With Teeth’ tells the story of two mothers, one of whom works at home and cares for a wild child, that causes her to have serious questions about motherhood.

What would you do if you suddenly had a family? That’s the basis of “The Guncle” by Steven Rowley, (May 25, Putnam) a novel about a former Hollywood star who, of course, loves his young niece and nephew. He loves them even more when he sees them for short periods of time, but when dual family tragedies happen, he has to step up to the plate. It’s a sweet, funny book, perfect for taking along on your trip home. JUNE If you absolutely love the cover and the title of “With Teeth” by Kristen Arnett (June 1, Riverhead Books), then you’ll adore the fiendish plot: two mothers, one of whom works at home and cares for a wild child, and that causes her to have serious questions about motherhood and all its trappings. When the child goes feral, something’s got to give – but not you. You won’t want to give this book up. For Old Hollywood fans, “Elizabeth and Monty” by Charles Casillo (May 25, Kensington) is the book you’ll want for the beach this year. It’s the true story of the friendship between two of Tinseltown’s most beloved stars and how his death left her with a legacy to keep. And finally, before the spring season escapes you, look for “The Queer Bible,” edited by Jack Guinness (June 15, Dey Street Books). No, it’s not a Bible in the churchy sense; instead, the book is written by gay icons and heroes, paying homage to their heroes. It’s a fascinating book, powerful, and it’s a perfect read for Pride Month.

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Free registration for The Petal Porch Parade runs from Feb. 15 to March 15 and is part of the mostly virtual festivities for this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival. Participants who register and decorate their porch’s windows, yard and/or sidewalk will be added to the official Petal Porch Parade map and receive a free lawn sign to include in their display while supplies last. The Petal Porch Parade takes place from March 20 until April 11. Neighborhoods featuring more registered Petal Porches have a better chance for the Petal Procession to pass through on the weekend of April 1011. To register and for more information, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. “Genderosity” from Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C., is a “glam rock spectacle celebrating self expression.” Songs include “Dancing Queen,” “Vogue,” “Born This Way,” “Changes,” “Home,” and “My Strongest Suit.” The Genderosity video will be available from March 13 at 7 p.m. until March 28 at 11:59 p.m. Tickets are $25; visit gmcw.org/ genderosity for details and tickets. DC Gaymers hosts “Codenames,” a virtual interactive word game Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. This event is free, open to the public and is part of the Gaymers ongoing activities every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Keep monitoring their Facebook page for more information on this and future events. A virtual Transmasculine and Nonbinary Art Night hosted by the D.C.-area Transmasculine Society is Friday, March 19 at 7 p.m. Transmasculine and nonbinary folks as well as their friends, spouses and allies of any gender are welcome to join this virtual crafting circle. This free event is a chance to chat while working on new or ongoing craft projects, from coloring to more involved creations. Visit dcats.org for more information. The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off with a livestream event Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m. This annual event runs March 20 to April 11 and is co-presented by the Japan Foundation and co-hosted by Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and ABC 7’s Michelle Marsh. The virtual opening ceremony features 2.5-Dimensional Musical performances of Naruto, “My Hero Academia” and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical; TAIKOPROJECT; tap artist Kazunori Kumagai and the Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org for information and to reserve access to this free event. Stacey Abrams, founder of the voting rights organization Fair Fight, and Fair Fight Action’s CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo are guests of the Woman’s National Democratic Club Tuesday, March 23 at noon. This free virtual event features a discussion with Abrams and Groh-Wargo about their efforts to produce meaningful change in Georgia and on lessons moving forward. For updates and information, visit democraticwoman.org. That Way Madness Lies hosted by P&P Live! is a virtual discussion of 15 of Shakespeare’s most notable works as reimagined by YA authors for a new generation. This free panel takes place Wednesday, March 24 at 7 p.m. and features nonbinary queer authors AnnaMarie McLemore, an award-winning Latinx author, and Mark Oshiro, a 2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist, as well as YA authors Lily Anderson, Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley. For tickets and information, visit the events page at politics-prose.com. The Cherry Blossom Festival’s Pink Tie Party, sponsored by Events DC and Amazon, is Friday, March 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100-$135 and include three-course carryout dinners from a choice of popular D.C., Maryland and Virginia restaurants. Partygoers are to wear their finest pink apparel while mingling and dining virtually with partygoers from around the world. Sake experts will be on hand to present the nuances and culture of Japan’s national drink. Tickets and information are available through nationalcherryblossomfestival.org and Eventbrite. DC Queer Flix presents “Southwest of Salem” Friday, March 26 at 7 p.m. This film screening is part of the monthly discussion of LGBTQ cinema with the Mayor’s Office on LGBTQ Affairs and is shown in recognition of Women’s History Month. It is an awardwinning documentary about the wrongful conviction of four Latina lesbians in Texas. Attendees will watch the film together and discuss it on Twitter using hashtags. For more information, visit lgbtq.dc.gov or the event pages on Facebook and Eventbrite. 3 2 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1


BookMen D.C. meets virtually Wednesday, April 7 and every first and third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Most members of this gay literature group live near D.C. but visitors to the area are welcome to join in the discussion. More information is available at bookmendc. blogspot.com and thedccenter.org. Smut Slam D.C. presents an online openmic event Friday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. via Facebook. Femme-cee Diva Darling hosts a sexy night of virtual storytelling as open-mic participants share true stories of consensual erotic adventures gone wrong. The evening’s theme is “Womp Womp” and online audiences will hear real tales of epic fails during this queerfriendly, kink-friendly, body-positive event. For A scene from 2019’s Pink Tie Party. more information, visit dc.smutslam.com. Depeche Mode 20th Anniversary Dance Party is live on Twitch Saturday, April 17 at 9 p.m. This free public event is hosted by FYM Productions and streamed live from the Black Cat D.C. main stage. Visit FYM Productions on Facebook and Twitch for details. The 5th Annual National Cannabis Festival, hosted by the World Music Festival, is Saturday, April 17 from 12-8 p.m. This free virtual event is a day of music, food, culture and activism. Visit the event’s Facebook page for more details as they become available. QT Fusion Dance D.C. hosts free, with donations suggested, LGBTQ partner dance social events featuring Bachata, blues, fusion and other partnered dance instruction and social mixers. Since the onset of the pandemic, these events have moved to the group’s Facebook and Twitch accounts. Visit twitch.tv/qtfusiondance, their Facebook page or email qtfusiondance@gmail.com for more information on upcoming events. P&P Live! presents “Madame Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” a discussion with the book’s author Susan Page Monday, April 19 at 6 p.m. online. More information on this free event is available at politics-prose.com. The GLSEN Day of Silence is Friday, April 23. This annual event is a national LGBTQ student and ally demonstration to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ people in schools. Every April, students go through the school day without speaking and end the day with Breaking the Silence rallies and events to share their experiences. The goal is to bring attention to the problem so schools and communities can discuss methods for inclusion. Visit glsen.org for information and ideas for participating during a pandemic. The National Cryptologic Museum presents Queens of Code and Technology Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. This free virtual event features historical stories of women working for the National Security Agency from the 1960s to the ‘80s. For more information, visit queensofcode.com.


DC Black Pride has been cancelled as an in-person event for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. But the Center for Black Equity has announced an ongoing campaign called “12 Months of Black Pride” that will consist of monthly virtual or hybrid events running until February 2022. For more information on planned community conversations, panels, parties and more, visit dcblackpride.org. The theme is “Back in the day” for Smut Slam DC: Old School on Friday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. via Facebook. This online open-mic event is a chance for participants to sign up and share true stories of consensual encounters from the days before a hanky was a cheap pandemic precaution. Join host Diva Darling for a socially distanced queerfriendly, kink-friendly and body-positive trip down memory lane. Visit dc.smutslam.com for details. The DC-area Transmasculine Society hosts Transmasculine and Nonbinary Chat, Chill and Game on Monday, May 24 at 5 p.m. This free event takes place on the fourth Fridays of the month and is primarily for transmasculine and nonbinary folks, but friends, spouses and allies of any gender are welcome. For more information, visit dcats.org.

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D.C.’s culinary scene shakes its pandemic slumber COVID-safe events planned along with slew of restaurant re-openings By EVAN CAPLAN

As the city emerges from its winter and its pandemic slumber, the culinary scene is also awakening. The spring is shaping up to be a dynamic, exciting season for restaurants and bars. Even if in-person dining is not as easy this year as in the past, there is nothing stopping D.C. from celebrating one of its most storied events, the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Peak bloom is expected for the window of March 30 to April 3, perfectly timed for the Passover and Easter holidays. The (virtual) opening ceremony will be held on March 20, featuring live performances from Japan and D.C. The festival this year will have “an innovative format that honors the tradition of the Festival, while prioritizing the health and safety of participants amidst the coronavirus pandemic,” notes the National Cherry Blossom Festival website. More than 100 food and drink specials have been set up to align with the festival. To name a few participating places that have announced specials: Annabelle, Blue Duck Tavern, Immigrant Food, Karma Modern Indian, Napoli Salumeria, Sababa, and Slate Wine Bar. A couple standouts include a Sakura flower pastry from famed New York City import Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, as well as vegan cherry blossom cupcakes from Sticky Fingers. Penn Quarter’s Dirty Habit will not only have cherry blossom drinks specials, but the cocktails can be enjoyed on its outdoor patio dotted with cherry blossom trees. Shilling Canning Company in Navy Yard, where beverage More than 100 food and drink specials have been set up to align with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. (Blade photo by Michael Key) director Jacob Weinstein is gay, is offering a “Ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb” cocktail, a take on an Old Fashioned with floral bitters. own “dog treat bar” and a dog wash station. To really get into the spirit, the National Cherry Blossom Festival has launched Those looking to elevate their outdoor game should look to Hi-Lawn, the Festival Flavor Pass. The program gives participants the opportunity to taste located on the roof of Union Market. It’s one of D.C.’s largest rooftops, and welland sip on specials and discounts across the city. The Flavor Pass booklet lists positioned for COVID-safe socializing. The space is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day included restaurants and their offerings, the story behind each location, and how event March 13-14 to kick off the season. to redeem it in person or through takeaway. The program runs March 20-Apr 11. Knead Hospitality, the team behind Mi Vida and Succotash, has an ambitious Similarly, a new subscription program called Summerlong Supper Club expansion strategy for a number of new concepts over the next few months. began this month to give Washingtonians the chance to give back while dining Some of their upcoming openings include upscale American diner Gatsby on meals from some of DC’s most acclaimed restaurants: Albi, Anju, Cane, by Nationals Park, Mexican restaurant Mi Casa in Dupont Circle, and another Centrolina, Rose’s Luxury, and Sushi Taro. Subscribers receive six weeks of the outpost of Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. The group is also planning an expansive food opportunity to dine on exclusive three-course prix fixe tasting menus. hall in the Dupont area, to encompass Mexican, Southern, and pizza options. Lesbian-owned Pizzeria Paradiso is celebrating Women’s History Month with Navy Yard’s Sandlot Southeast, launched in 2019, is reopening on March 18. specials across all of its locations. Each week, owner Ruth Gresser is partnering Uber Eats is partnering with this outdoor food space “to showcase and celebrate with leading women in the local beverage industry to craft pizza and drink local Black-owned restaurants and chefs,” according to the website. Running pairings. The partner bars include Republic Restoratives, Lost Rhino, Denizens, Thursdays-Sundays until the end of the year, Sandlot Southeast is partnering and Right Proper. with Uber Eats to feature Black-owned restaurants, chefs, caterers, and food Meanwhile, Oyamel’s annual Tequila & Mezcal Festival is running through truck operators in D.C., and their dishes will be available on the Uber Eats app. March 14, with its fanfare of a limited-time food menu, events, and of course, “Sandlot Southeast will provide an incubator platform for Black chefs to build an fanciful tequila and agave-based drinks. audience in Capitol Riverfront,” says Michael Stevens, president of the Capitol Beyond seasonal specials, the city will also see a number of new restaurant Riverfront BID. openings – and re-openings. For example, restaurateur-brothers Eric and Ian Finally, look to Buzzard Point, Southwest’s rapidly expanding neighborhood Hilton closed a handful of their acclaimed bars and restaurants last fall. However, hugging the new Audi Field, for plenty of openings in 2021. One of the first the duo recently announced that pizzeria Echo Park and bars American Ice new spots will be a waterside seafood house called The Point, slated to serve a Company, Brixton, and the Gibson are set to reopen soon. large menu of fresh seafood cooked over a huge wood-fired grill. It comes from For bar goers who don’t want to leave Fido at home, Bark Social just opened in the same group that runs the large Tony and Joe’s in Georgetown’s waterfront. Bethesda. This spacious indoor/outdoor beer garden and coffeeshop combines Another yet-unnamed restaurant will open next to The Point later this year. cocktails with a private and monitored off-leash dog park. The pups get their

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The Smithsonian National Zoo has reopened following coronavirus closures. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

A slow return to normal for area museums National Gallery remains closed, but others have reopened FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Smithsonian Museums remain closed and the National Gallery of Art recently announced it would not open in time to commemorate its 80th anniversary. But the good news is that with COVID restrictions slowly lifting, some area museums are looking at reopening events while others have already opened their doors Below is a smattering of area museums that have reopened. Be sure to check with each museum directly before making plans. • The National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. UdvarHazy Center in Chantilly reopened on July 24. • The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Renwick Gallery, The National Museum of American History and the National Museum of the American Indian reopened back in September. • The National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden reopened last month. • Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens reopened last week. • The National Museum of Women in the Arts has also reopened. • The International Spy Museum reopened in January. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens reopened last week.

A legendary home. Spectacular gardens. Immersive virtual experiences. And you’re invited.

Hours: Tues – Sun 10am – 5pm HillwoodMuseum.org 4155 Linnean Ave. NW, Washington DC Free parking

Photo: Erik Kvalsvik

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Insertion date: MARCH 12, 2021 Size: 4.75” x 11.5" 4C MAG

Spring is Beautiful

Spring means time to think about curb appeal Landscaping, repairing fences and walkways, and more By VALERIE M. BLAKE

Valerie M. Blake

is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.

3 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • B US I NE S S

If this week was any indication, it seems that spring is finally on the way. With it comes people wanting to sell their homes who need landscape art for some curb appeal or to spruce up their yards. Although I am not selling my house, I had a taste of landscape art this week. At 9 a.m. on Monday, there was a knock at the door (or I assume there was, because I couldn’t hear it over the sound of barking dogs). It was D.C. Water asking me to move my car so they could make some repairs to the sidewalk that had been torn up when the neighborhood water pipes were replaced. I parked on the street about three houses down and went back to working, delighted that I would be getting a new sidewalk, but at the end of the day, I looked outside and found that I was being held hostage by wet cement. I couldn’t leave my house, get to my car, or receive any mail, so my plans for three days had to be adjusted, all for a little (and free) curb appeal. There is a plethora of retaining walls in the District. Whether they are made of brick, stone, or concrete block, some maintenance (or even replacement) is often warranted. Likewise, the decorative brick and basketweave on turn of the century homes is stunning but may need attention. I have found people with ornamental masonry skills to be in short supply, so it’s best to get on someone’s schedule soon if you need this type of work done. In addition, I get frequent requests from clients for an ironworker to repair loose railings, failing steps, and wrought iron gates or fences. In fact, it will soon be time for me to install an iron railing that will mimic the Art Deco design of my garage gate for my 20 front steps. (Silly me. Who would have thought that in buying a one-story home, I would have to climb 20 stairs to get to the front door?) I think I’ll throw in some tree trimming on my landscape art list this year. There’s nothing so disappointing as having a large piece of nature’s art fall on your roof. Weeding is critical at the moment too, since I still have dead English Ivy covering my bushes and parts of my lawn. During the first spring weeding in my yard five years ago, I uncovered a lovely, brick pathway among some rose bushes in my back yard. Who knows what I could find next? Maybe Jimmy Hoffa. I know nothing about flowers, but I love the color they add to a yard. Keeping up with their care, however, can be a daunting task, especially for those of us who are allergic. That’s where I bring in the big guns – the landscape architects – to design a plan and teach me how to keep the flowers from dying. Having a gazebo or even an intimate seating area can add architectural interest to your yard. Me, I have a plastic shed and no, I didn’t put it there. It came with the house. Thankfully, I also have a lovely patio covered by a grape arbor. (Lucille Ball could have stomped grapes here.) Decks can be works of art, too. In the past, when you took a drive in the country you would often pass a roadside statue store. You could buy a pair of concrete lions (I had two guarding the end of my pool in Florida ca. 1990), a bird feeder, a gargoyle, or a miniVirgin Mary or other religious icon. Nowadays, you can buy statuary online at Wayfair, Amazon, through the Frontline catalogue, and in person at your favorite big box home store. And for those of you who live in apartments, condos, and cooperatives, fear not! You can still have flowers and plants in your home and, with Board approval, a planter or a gnome on your balcony. If not, you can always find lots of Bob Ross art techniques on YouTube, paint your own landscape, and hang it over the fireplace.

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BULLETIN BOARD SALARIED LIVE-IN HOUSEKEEPER Fully furnished apt. & salary for livein housekeeper for large Arlington home. ctbtrust@gmail.com


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


Finance Duties: Develop EU finance grant applications. Supervise accountant service companies to ensure EU/US compliance with employment/HR policies. Advise on multi-currency EU tax incentive structures. Liaise with EU banks/payroll service for EU productions. Facilitate financial audit requests. Qualifications: 10-year experience minimum in international project finance, accounting, grant proposal submissions; Minimum Associate’s Degree in Applied Foreign Languages. Knowledge of EU grant proposal processes/experience in drafting/submitting proposals with EU agencies (Creative Europe/EFAD). Knowledge of Smart Accounting, ADP, Shotgun, MS Access. Fluent in English and French, Italian and Spanish working knowledge preferred. Respond to: giaver.productions. llc@gmail.com Place your HOUSING SHARE AD online at washingtonblade.com and the ad is FREE* in print & online *25 words or less prints free, anything more is $1 each add’l word.






Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy


is looking for dedicated individuals to work as Direct Support Professionals assisting intellectually disabled adults with behavioral & health complexities in our residential location in the District of Columbia & Maryland. Job Requirements Ability to lift up to 75 lbs. Completion of required trainings prior to hire, Completion of Trained Medication Certifications (TME) and/or CMT (Certified Medication Technician) within 6 months of hire, Cleared DOH background Check prior to hire, Valid Driver’s License, Valid CPR & FIrst Aid, NEgative COVID-19 test results prior to start of work (taken within 3 days prior to date of hire). COVID-19 vaccination within 45 days of hire. Contact the Human Resources Department @ 202-832-8787 for further information.


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

Free Estimates, paving/asphalt, concrete, brick, flagstone, chimneys, driveways, patios, walkways, walls and foundations. Drainage systems, repairs & maintenance. http:// capitolhillmasonry.com Call Frank 202-931-8889.

PROFESSIONAL MOVING & STORAGE. Let Our Movers Do The Heavy Lifting. Mention the ‘Blade’ for 5% off of our regular rates. Call today 202.734.3080. www.aroundtownmovers.com






KASPER’S LIVERY SERVICE Since 1987. Gay & Veteran Owner/Operator. 2016 Luxury BMW 750Li Sedan. Proper DC License & Livery Insured. PROOF #2 www.KasperLivery.com. Phone 202-554-2471. REVISIONS


DMV PAVING & MASONRY for all your paver & brick needs. Driveways, patios & walkways, walls, foundations, landscaping, aprons, drainage systems. 30 Years Exp. Insured, Affordable. Free Consultations. www.dmvpavingandmasonry. com. Call 202-340-1185. PLACE YOUR CLASSIFIEDS ONLINE


3 8 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • MARCH 12, 2 0 2 1 • C LA S S I F I E D S

Larry Cohen, LICSW

33 years serving the LGBT community

202-244-0903 socialanxietyhelp.com

See website for NPR story on my work


Swedish, Massage or Deep Tissue. Appts 202-486-6183, Low Rates, 24/7, In-Calls.

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

Results-Oriented • Affordable







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





Email: Classifieds@ washblade.com

Discover the Barrie Difference! 12 Months to Grade 12

Admission Open House

Saturday, April 24 | 10 - 11:30 am Learn more about our Montessori program for age 12 months to Grade 5 and our Project-Based Learning program for grades 6-12

For more information go to barrie.org/admission admission@barrie.org • 301.576.2800 13500 Layhill Road • Silver Spring, MD • Bus Transportation & Extended Day Available

Ages 4-14



June 14 to August 13

Learn more at a Camp Open House Sundays • 1 to 2 pm

Mar 21 | Apr 18 | May 16 Email us at camp@barrie.org for Zoom link.

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