Washingtonblade.com, Volume 52, Issue 38, September 17, 2021

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Rufus, Randy, Billy and more highlight season’s best, PAGES 24-48

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Spruce Up Your Home This Summer We’re all excited for summer festivities, outdoor gatherings with friends and family, or simply lounging in the sun, but how do you begin to prepare your home for making the most out of summer? Here’s a checklist of helpful ideas to help you get started: 1


Clean and dry your outdoor furniture. As barbeque season approaches, it’s time to freshen up your outdoor cushions and wipe down any furniture so it’s free from pollen. Get the patio furniture looking new again and ready for hosting! Beautify your outdoor space. Add your favorite summer vegetable plants to a garden space, pull out any weeds

3 Clean out your grill. Turn on the grill at max temperature, close the hood, and allow the grill to stay on for 15 minutes. Scrub the grill to get rid of excess burnt residue. For extra stubborn grease, dip a half lemon in salt and rub it onto the areas. This will effectively scour and degrease your grill so it’s ready for a summer full of new, delicious recipes.

4 and heavy comforter for a cooler material like bamboo or linen to help beat the DMV heat.

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D.C. Pride street fair, block party planned for Oct. 17 By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | lchibbaro@washblade.com

Boo Allen amilton, the uman ights Campaign, Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes Care irst, Tito’s, eineken, and Wegman’s. D.C.’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade and street festival, The Oct. 17 events will follow by four months has announced it will hold the city’s first annual a June 1 Capital Pride Walk from Dupont Circle “Colorful Fest” LGBTQ Pride events on Oct. 17 that to Freedom Plaza in downtown D.C. in which will include a Street Fair and Block Party. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, The announcement, posted on the Capital Pride First Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, joined in an Alliance website, says the Street Fair will take place unannounced appearance. arris became the first from 1 - p.m. on 15th Street, .W. between P and U.S. vice president to participate in an LGBTQ Pride Q Streets. event. The Block Party, according to the announcement, In addition to the Pride Walk, Capital Pride Alliance will take place from 1 - p.m. at the orthwest corner organized on that same day a small-scale Pride of 15th and P streets, .W. ne t to the site of the street celebration at Freedom Plaza and a Pridemobile fair. Parade in which about 50 vehicles decorated with “The Street Fair will feature small independent Pride related signs and banners traveled through all businesses, community groups, artisans, and food four of the city’s quadrants. along 15th Street,” the Capital Pride announcement The Pride Walk, Pridemobile Parade, and the says. “The lively Block Party will include entertainment, reedom Pla a gathering marked the first in-person, an As You Are Bar pop-up, and dancing throughout the Hundreds gathered in Freedom Plaza in June for a Pride Walk, which replaced the annual large-scale Pride events due to COVID. post-COVID Pride events in D.C. following the day for guests 21 and over,” says the announcement. (Blade photo by Michael Key) decision by Capital Pride to cancel all large in-person It says part of the Block Party will take place in the events in 2020 due to the city’s COVID restrictions. parking lot of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which is In past years, prior to COVID, the Capital Pride Parade and street festival, which was held acting as a host for the event. on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol, drew over 250,000 people from the D.C. “Join us as we once again celebrate our vibrant and colorful LGBTQ+ community!” the area and the mid-Atlantic region. announcement says. Capital Price Alliance’s decision to put on the Oct. 17 events comes at a time when Facemasks will not be required during the outdoor events, the announcement adds. But LGBTQ Pride organizations in close to a dozen U.S. cities, including Annapolis, Baltimore, it says, “only individuals with proof of vaccination may enter the Colorful Fest Block Party.” and ichmond, have cancelled or postponed planned in-person Pride events for the late And according to the announcement, “Capital Pride Alliance staff, volunteers, performers, summer or fall of 2021 due to COVID concerns. and vendors are required to show proof of vaccination to participate in the event.” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted the city’s restrictions on large outdoor events in May Capital Pride Alliance ecutive Director yan Bos said the organi ation would issue a of this year, as the city’s COVID-19 cases declined significantly following a large-scale press release later this week officially announcing the Oct. 1 Colorful est events. vaccination campaign. owever, Bowser has said she and the city’s public health officials “This is the start of what we hope will become a new annual fall event,” Bos told the will be monitoring the recent uptick in COVID cases due to the Delta variant strain of the Washington Blade. coronavirus. She said additional restrictions such as a limit on large outdoor gatherings The announcement on the Capital Pride Alliance website says issan and finity could be put in place if the caseload rises. have signed on as the Colorful Fest’s lead sponsors. Other sponsors include Amazon,

D.C. premiere of film CU

D’ set for Sept. 1

A change that transformed the social fabric of America’

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | lchibbaro@washblade.com

The Washington, D.C. premiere of the award-winning documentary film “CU D,” which tells the story of how gay activists beginning in the early 1960s waged an historic but little-noticed campaign to have homose uality removed from a psychiatric list of mental illnesses, will take place Sept. 21 at the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum. The feature length documentary provides a dramatic inside view Disguised as ‘Dr. H. Anonymous’ in an oversized through archival images and tuxedo and distorted Nixon mask, Dr. John interviews of how a diverse group of Fryer sent shock waves through the American Psychiatric Association’s 1972 convention by 24 lesbian and gay activists, including describing his life as a closeted gay psychiatrist. pioneering D.C. gay activist Frank (Photo by Kay Tobin; courtesy Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library) Kameny, carried out a successful campaign to persuade the American Psychiatric Association in 19 to remove homose uality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders known as the DSM. The activists who are portrayed in the film became the first to challenge the scientific validity of the mental illness theory on grounds that it was based almost entirely on observations of patients under psychiatric treatment. The film shows how the activists, through protests at APA conferences and TV talk show interviews, told of how the DSM classification of homose uality was responsible for the persecution, discrimination, and 0 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 1 7 , 2 0 2 1 • LO CA L NE WS

stigmati ation of LGBT people since it was first published in 195 . The film’s D.C. premiere is scheduled to take place just under three weeks before “CU D” will make its U.S. broadcast debut on the PBS series Independent Lens on Oct. 11, which is ational Coming Out Day. The nationwide PBS broadcast is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. EST. “CU D” was produced, directed, and written jointly by gay filmmakers Patrick Sammon of D.C. and Bennett Singer of Los Angeles. The American Historical Association has just named the film as a recipient of its John . O’Connor Award for best historical documentary of 2021. It was selected last year as runner-up for the prestigious Library of Congress Levine/ Ken Burns Prize for Film. The Sept. 1 showing of the film at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum is being co-hosted by the Smithsonian Pride Alliance, an LGBTQ employee resource group whose members work at all the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 21 libraries, nine research centers and the ational oo. Sammon told the Blade the film’s production team chose not to initially have a traditional theatrical run because of COVID and because they want to focus on the PBS broadcast. He said in the months ahead he e pects there will be other in-person screenings in the D.C. area. “While CU D is indisputably about science, medicine, and politics, at its core this is a film about activism and the process of social change,” according to a statement released by the CU D producers. “It features a diverse group of crusaders with stubborn dedication and big personalities who came together at a crossroads in LGBTQ history.” “Their tenacity, resourcefulness, and ingenuity brought about a change that transformed not only LGBTQ people’s perceptions of themselves, but also the social fabric of America,” the statement says.

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LGBTQ Democrats briefed on D.C. ranked choice voting bill Lindsay Walton. Members of D.C.’s Capital Stonewall Democrats, the Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), the chair city’s largest local LGBTQ political group, received a of the Council’s Judiciary Committee where the bill briefing Monday night from the chief of staff for D.C. was sent, has not scheduled a hearing on the bill, even Council member Christina Henderson (I-At Large) on a though Allen is one of the bill’s co-introducers. bill she introduced in July calling for a “ranked choice” Last week, the D.C. Democratic State Committee, which voting system for D.C. elections. is the governing body of the D.C. Democratic Party and The bill, called the Voter Ownership, Integrity, Choice, of which the Capital Stonewall Democrats is an affiliated and Equity (VOICE) Amendment Act of 2021, calls member, voted to oppose the VOICE Act legislation. for D.C. to join about 50 other jurisdictions across the Some of its members said they believe a ranked choice country, including New York City and San Francisco, in voting system would be beneficial to the city’s smaller giving voters the option of ranking up to five candidates political party candidates, including Republicans and for a particular office in the order of their preference. Statehood Green Party candidates, and would place Under the ranked choice voting system, if a candidate JATARIUS FRAZIER of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Party candidates at a disadvantage. receives more than 50 percent of the “first choice” votes, on the ranked choice voting bill. Gay Democratic activist John Fanning, who was an the candidate is declared the winner. But if no candidate (Photo courtesy D.C. Government) unsuccessful candidate for the Ward 2 D.C. Council seat receives greater than 5 percent of the first-choice votes in the 2020 D.C. Democratic primary, said he favors a in a race where there are three or more candidates, the simple runoff election system over a ranked choice voting system in cases where system provides an instant runoff. multiple candidates run, and none receive at least 50 percent of the vote. “The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and voters who picked Among the ranked choice bill’s supporters is gay Democratic activist Austin that candidate will have their votes count for their next choice,” according to a Naughton, who serves as chair of the Ward 2 Democratic Committee. Naughton statement released by Henderson at the time she introduced the legislation. “This told the Washington Blade he is not an expert on the ranked choice voting process continues in rounds until there’s a majority winner,” the statement says. system but his initial research into the system leads him to believe the system T.J. Maloney, Henderson’s chief of staff, told Capital Stonewall Democrats has the potential for providing a greater electoral voice for minority communities, members during a virtual Zoom meeting that studies of the ranked choice voting including possibly the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ candidates who run for system in jurisdictions where it has been adopted show that overall voter turnout public office. has increased and, following a voter education process, voters appear to adjust Capital Stonewall Democrats President Jatarious Frazier said the group was in and support the system. the process of learning more about the ranked file voting system. o one raised Six other D.C. Council members joined Henderson in co-introducing the VOICE the issue of the group taking a position on the legislation at Monday night’s ranked choice voting bill, indicating it may already have a seven-vote majority in its meeting. favor on the 13-member Council. However, Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-AtLOU CHIBBARO JR. Large) does not support the current version of the bill, according to spokesperson

Lesbian D.C. housing director to retire Polly Donaldson, who has served as director of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development since 2015 as one of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s first high-level LGBT appointments, announced on Sept. 1 that she will leave her position at the end of this month to retire. A statement released by the mayor’s office says Donaldson has led the design and implementation of the mayor’s housing initiative that has produced more than 14,250 units of affordable housing with another 12,300 units under construction or in the planning stages. “When I came into office and committed to investing at least 1 million into the Housing Production Trust Fund every year, I knew we would need a leader with a true passion for affordable housing to get those funds out the door and into the community – and Polly was the right person for the job,”

Bowser said in the statement. “Then, two years ago, when we set a bold goal to build 36,000 new homes by 5, with at least a third of them affordable, I was confident that Polly would have a plan to make that happen,” the mayor said in her statement. “She leaves D.C. government with our city on track to meet that goal, and for that we are grateful, and we celebrate her service to our city.” At the time Donaldson began her job as the city’s housing director she was a recognized expert in affordable housing and homeless related programs. She had served since 2004 as executive director of the Transitional Housing Corporation, a nonprofit organi ation that provides services to homeless people and develops programs for transitioning them into permanent homes. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

HRC endorses McAuliffe, Ayala, Herring in Va. The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday announced endorsements for three Virginia candidates on the statewide ballot in November. The endorsements include Terry McAuliffe for governor, state Del. Hala Ayala (D-Prince William County) for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for reelection as attorney general. “All Virginians deserve leaders who will fight for their rights to achieve health and success regardless of who they are or who they love,” said HRC in their press release. “The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse incredible champions who have spent their careers delivering on that promise of equality.” McAuliffe, who was governor from 2014-2018, signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ state employees and vetoed every anti-LGBTQ bill that came across his desk during his tenure. “Every human being deserves to be treated equally, live free from fear, and thrive regardless of who they are or who they love,” McAuliffe said. “I am 0 8 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 1 7 , 2 0 2 1 • LO CA L NE WS

grateful for the support of the Human Rights Campaign, and together we will continue to ensure Virginia remains open and welcoming to all.” Herring, a vocal supporter of LGBTQ equality, in 2017 joined 18 other state attorneys general in calling on Congress to block then-President Trump’s ban on transgender service members openly serving in the military. Ayala, a state delegate since 2018, similarly co-sponsored and voted in support of numerous pro-equality bills, including the landmark Virginia Values Act, a bipartisan measure that made Virginia the first state in the South to extend nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. If elected, Ayala would become Virginia’s first female and woman of color lieutenant governor. Virginia’s statewide general election is Nov. 2. Early voting begins Friday. PHILIP VAN SLOOTEN

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Activists re ect on Black Trans Lives Matter resurgence ope for future but much work lies ahead for movement By TINASHE CHINGARANDE

The world came to a standstill last year as a video surfaced online that showed thenMinneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdering George loyd. The video went viral and sparked numerous protests against racism and police brutality in the U.S. and around the world as many felt it a potent time to relay their frustrations with and to their governments. or the LGBT community, these protests brought to light the need for human rights for transgender individuals as the murders of people like Tony McDade in lorida and ina Pop in Missouri reawakened the ame within the Black Trans Lives Matter movement. The Blade more than a year later spoke with Ale Santiago, e ecutive director of the I Am uman oundation in Atlanta, and Jasmyne Cannick, a Democratic political strategist and journalist in Los Angeles, to re ect on last year’s Black Trans Lives Matter movement, how far it has come, and what’s in store for the future. Participating in the Black Lives Matter protests was an easy decision for Santiago. e is a member of the Legendary ouse of Garcon, a ballroom house head uartered in D.C. Although the house is comprised mostly of LGBT members, Santiago still felt the need to center trans voices and e periences by visually representing them during Black Lives Matter marches. “ I decided that when I go I’m going to have signs that say Black Trans Lives Matter.’ After talking to a couple of the people in the house, they said it was a great idea. So, they got these T-shirts made that incorporated the trans colors baby blue, baby pink and white ,” says Santiago. Out of the 5 people in the Legendary ouse of Garcon, 1 5 showed up to D.C. from other states to march in solidarity with Black trans people. Santiago says that from what he was told, his was the largest group of activists representing Black trans lives at protests. “At first I thought people were going to look at us cra y, like, Why are you separating yourselves or being e clusive?’ But, we got a great response from the general population that was there that day. It was a good day,” says Santiago. Cannick, who was in Los Angeles during the protests, lent her efforts to platforming pertinent issues. She identifies as an ally and a “friend” to the LGBT community. “I’m active in the LA community and everybody knows me. So, whenever something happens, someone is hurt, someone is killed or someone needs to get the word out about something that’s going on particularly as it relates to the trans community, I’m always asked to get involved, and I do,” says Cannick. Over the past year, she reported on multiple LGBT issues including the trial of d Buck, a Democratic political fundraiser who was convicted in the deaths of two gay Black men whom he injected with methamphetamine in e change for se . The nature of many social movements is that as the intense emotion surrounding them fades, people’s fervor for change wanes as well. This is especially true with allies who are not directly linked to the cause. “ atigue and frustration at the relatively slow pace of change to a growing backlash on the right against efforts to call out systemic racism and white privilege has led to

a decline in white support for the Black Lives Matter movement since last spring, when white support for social justice was at its peak,” US ews reports about the Black Lives Matter movement. Cannick believes this is the same for the Black Trans Lives Matter movement. She says Americans allow the media to dictate how it behaves and responds to issues. Thus, when stories “fall out of our media cycles they fall out of our memories.” “I think that’s not going to change, and that’s a psychological thing, until we learn how to not let the media necessarily dictate our issues,” says Cannick. She suggests that individuals remain plugged into their communities by “doing anything to make sure they keep up with an issue” including following the “right people” on social media and setting up Google alerts for any breaking news. Santiago echoed Cannick’s sentiments. “We wait until something happens before we do something. And, I don’t want to be retroactive I want to be proactive. I want people to see me when things are going well and when they’re not going well ,” says Santiago. Upon returning to his home in Atlanta after the D.C. protests, Santiago contacted a billboard installation company and paid for a billboard labelled, “Black Trans Lives Matter” to be displayed on University Avenue near downtown Atlanta. e says that the billboards got attention and helped to spread much-needed awareness. ollowing this success, he is now in the process of installing a new billboard labelled, “Black, Trans and Visible. My life Matters.” “Unless you’re in people’s faces or something drastic happens, people forget. Unless you’re living it, people forget,” says Santiago. As time progresses, both Santiago and Cannick e pressed hope for the Black Trans Lives Matter movement. owever, this hope can only persist when crucial steps are taken to ensure Black trans individuals around the country are protected, most importantly through legislation. The ew York Times reports there are close to 1, elected LGBT officials in the U.S., with at least one in each state e cept Mississippi. “We need to have more legislation. We need more voices in power like the council Biden has right now,” says Santiago. “You know that Biden has a lot of trans people and Black trans people involved , and a part of that’s a positive step in the right direction, but we need that times 1 ,” says Santiago. e believes that political representation should e tend to local governance where ordinary Black trans individuals can be trained to assume leadership roles. Cannick’s focus is on the Black community. “ Trans women are usually murdered by Black men. If we ever e pect that to change, we need to start talking about that,” says Cannick. She’s open to having conversations that put people, including her as a cis-identifying woman, in uncomfortable and awkward spaces. She hosts a podcast titled “Str o Chaser” and recently aired an episode, “Why Are Black Men illing Trans Women,” where she discussed with three Black trans women the gender and se uality dynamics within the Black community and their perils.


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Melania Trump to speak at Log Cabin dinner ormer first lady Melania Trump is set to be a special guest at the annual “Spirit of Lincoln” dinner hosted by Log Cabin epublicans, the organi ation announced on Tuesday. The event which will take place ov. at Mar-aLago in Palm Beach, la., marking a change of tradition in holding the dinner in D.C. will likely mark an attempt for Melania Trump to develop her image as an LGBT ally and tamp down the reputation of the Trump administration as hostile to LGBT people. Charles Moran, managing director of Log Cabin epublicans, hailed Melania Trump in a statement for her work as first lady and breaking barriers for the epublican Party. “Melania Trump’s work as first lady, from helping children reach their full potential to championing a more inclusive epublican Party, has been historic,” Moran said. “ er vocal support of Log Cabin epublicans has been a signal to epublicans everywhere that it is possible to simultaneously be conservative and support e uality under the law for all Americans.” According to the Log Cabin epublicans, Melania Trump at the dinner will be awarded the 1 Spirit of Lincoln Award. Other high-profile epublicans in the past who have appeared at the annual event are Carly iorina, ewt Gingrich, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Mary Cheney. Moran, in response to an email in uiry from the Blade, said Melania Trump will not only be an award recipient, but is set to deliver remarks at the event. It won’t be the first time Melania Trump has collaborated with Log Cabin. During the election, she appeared in a video for Outspoken, the media arm for Log Cabin epublicans, saying “nothing could be further from the truth” that her husband, former President Trump, is against LGBT people. Among the anti-LGBT policies under Trump were a transgender military ban, religious freedom carveouts to enable anti-LGBT discrimination, and the U.S. Justice Department arguing against LGBT inclusion under civil rights law when the issue was before the U.S. Supreme Court. onetheless, Trump connected with a

Poll: 5


certain faction of LGBT people and his administration included high-profile LGBT appointees, such as ichard Grenell as the first openly gay person to serve in a Cabinet role, though he was never confirmed by the Senate. As first reported by the Blade, Melania Trump said in she wanted to light up the White ouse in rainbow colors similar to the display during the Obama years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for same-se marriage nationwide. owever, the vision never came to pass at a time when White ouse Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had a role in uashing any symbolic support for LGBT people during Pride month. The Log Cabin announcement comes at a time when Melania Trump is facing new scrutiny over her response to the Jan. insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and whether she erroneously believes, like her husband, he was the

winner of the election. According to a preview in Politico, former White ouse press secretary and Melania Trump aide Stephanie Grisham says in her upcoming book she te ted the former first lady on Jan. to ask: “Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?” A minute later, Melania replied with a one-word answer: “ o,” Grisham reportedly writes of her account. At that moment, Grisham writes she was at the White ouse preparing for a photo shoot of a rug she had selected, according to Politico. The Blade has placed a re uest with the office of former President Donald Trump to confirm her appearance at the dinner and comment on what went into Melania Trump’s decision to appear at the event. CHRIS JOHNSON

of Americans back deal on LGBT rights, religious liberty

ifty-seven percent of Americans support a bipartisan deal to reach a compromise on religious freedom and LGBT rights, according to new polling shared with the Washington Blade in advance of publication. With no hope in sight for the uality Act legislation to e pand the prohibition on anti-LGBT discrimination under federal law the poll suggests a compromise alternative, such as the airness for All Act, might be the way to go. The poll was sponsored by Alliance for Lasting Liberty, an organi ation that advocates for a solution along those lines. The poll finds supermajorities of Americans e pressed strong support for LGBT rights across the board, including in health care, homeless shelters and employment. Around three-fourths of Americans polled affirmatively for each on whether they were against anti-LGBT discrimination in all areas protected by civil rights laws. At the same time, the poll found a majority of the public supports religious freedom. or e ample, 55 percent of respondents said religious schools should be able to have religious codes of conduct, while 54 percent said they shouldn’t be denied ta -e empt status over views on marriage and se uality. The poll also found a majority of Americans 5 percent support a bipartisan solution to resolve the issue of religious freedom and LGBT rights. Meanwhile, percent say they’d vote for a lawmaker who supports religious freedom, compared to 5 percent who say they’d vote for a politician who supports LGBT rights

legislation. Another point of interest is a uestion on whether Congress and the courts should be the ones to resolve where the line should be drawn on LGBT rights and religious freedom. A plurality of 4 percent said they support having lawmakers address the issue as opposed to the courts, compared to the 15 percent who say they oppose it. The polling comes out on the day a virtual panel was scheduled to take place with religious leaders making the case for a compromise on religious freedom and LGBT rights. otable among the speakers is Walter im, a theologian who last year became president of the ational Association of vangelicals a group of denominations and institutions not known for their support for LGBT rights. Other speakers are ev. Marian dmonds-Allen, an e ecutive director of Parity, a YC-based national non-profit that works at the intersection of faith and LGBT concerns Shirley oogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges Universities and Justin Giboney, president of the A D Campaign, a Christian civic organi ation made up of in uential Black clergy. The poll was conducted by APCO Insight in the form of nationally representative survey of 1, Americans about their opinions on LGBT civil rights and religious freedom. The online survey was conducted from July and has a confidence interval of plus-or-minus .1 percentage points. CHRIS JOHNSON


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Calif. voters reject GOP effort to recall Newsom


The early results of the special recall election to remove Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed that a majority of the Golden State’s voters were not inclined to oust him. With 62.17 % precincts reporting, the ‘No’ vote was 65.66% versus the ‘Yes’ vote at 34.34%. Speaking to Californians in a broadcast in the hours after polls closed Newsom thanked his supporters but also cautioned that while the victory retains him in

office, “Trumpism is still a threat,” the governor said. “ o’ is not the only thing that was e pressed tonight,” ewsom said. “I want to focus on what we said ‘yes’ to as a state: We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic, we said yes to people’s right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression.” The driving force to the recall had been the underlying conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and anger over crushing job losses from business closures, shuttered schools and restrictions that kept most children out of classrooms. Rising homicides, a homelessness crisis and an unemployment fraud scandal further angered some voters particularly in Republican circles. A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll cosponsored by the Los Angeles Times released last Friday, showed that 60.1% of likely voters surveyed oppose recalling Newsom compared with 38.5% in favor of ousting the governor. The rise of the highly contagious Delta variant had also led the governor to frame the race as one of “life or death” conse uences. ewsom would point out that measures he had taken versus actions by Gov. Greg Abbott in Te as and his fellow epublican Gov.

on DeSantis in lorida, which e perienced worsening surges as Abbott and DeSantis both rejected mask and vaccine mandates. ewsom warned that if conservative talk show host Larry lder were to take the governor’s chair, California could become as bad off as Te as and lorida as lder has e pressed opposition to mandatory mask orders and vaccination mandates for state workers. Polling from the Public Policy Institute of California showed ewsom’s approval rating remaining above 50% throughout the pandemic. With weeks to go, the institute’s poll showed 60% of Californians approved of Newsom’s handling of the pandemic. In a phone interview Tuesday evening after the polls had closed and it was apparent ewsom would remain governor, Assemblymember van Low, D who represents the th California Assembly District and is the Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus re ected on the results. “I think that this shows two things a resounding victory but also a clear rebuke of the general strategy of the GOP, ” Low said. “This is an affirmation a yes on vaccines, a yes to addressing climate change, a yes on women’s rights and a yes to inclusiveness for LGBT people from the highest officeholder in the state,” he added. ick bur, the outgoing ecutive Director of uality California, said in an emailed statement: “Tonight, we have defeated the anti-LGBT , anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, anti-science and anti-worker epublican ecall. We have affirmed our California values and our support for Gavin ewsom, the most pro-e uality governor in California history, and his tireless efforts to build a California for all. LGBT Californians 1 of registered voters in the Golden State and our pro-e uality allies played a decisive role in this resounding victory.” A Democratic party insider source told the Blade, “Look, this recall turnout means Californians rejected Larry lder and Trumpism. This was also a referendum on LGBT e uality. Gavin is the most pro-LGBT politician, hell he ran and continues to run on LGBT issues, tonight voters agreed that those matter, that people matter, and that ewsom is their choice to continue to lead the state.” BRODY LEVESQUE

oem challenger opposes marriage e uality Stone, a U.S. Air Force veteran and former graduate A Republican who is challenging Virginia state Del. school professor, said his wife encouraged him to run Danica oem D-Manassas stated in a recent interview for office “and stop complaining.” e was concerned that that she “over-promised and under-delivered” on a core LGBT laws in particular were too narrowly focused and campaign pledge to reduce congestion along Route 28. not written with the interests of most Virginians in mind. Christopher Stone, the Republican nominee who Roem “A lot of people that I talk to are concerned that the will face in her reelection bid this November, told the way the laws are written you are protecting one group Blade the bottom line is Route 28 still isn’t “fi ed.” and infringing upon the constitutional freedoms of “You campaigned for it in 1 , in 19 and in 1,” another,” he said, adding that allowing for e emptions for he argued. “And you can’t say you’ve done anything other religious beliefs could be one way to make the laws more than a study.” e uitable. Roem defended her infrastructure record, saying while “But you don’t just ignore those people,” he added. a study had to be conducted, some improvements were “You accommodate both sides. I don’t like laws aimed at already completed, such as reduced traffic signals at key a single group or giving protections to one side. That is busy intersections. She said these changes have reduced how a lot of people see LGBT laws.” wait times and pollution from idling engines. Stone also discussed his opposition to marriage and oem in 1 became the first openly transgender Virginia state Del. DANICA ROEM (D-Manassas) is sworn in adoption rights for same-se couples, stating judges person elected and seated in a state legislature in the U.S. shouldn’t legislate from the bench. er four years in office have been busy ones. She U.S. on Jan 10, 2018. He pointed out the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1857 decision has either sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that in the Dred Scott case, which said slaves and their addressed discrimination, e panded Medicaid and descendants were not American citi ens, as an e ample of the harm judges “legislating helped make Virginia more inclusive. from the bench” could do. The 1 th and 14th Amendments overturned the ruling. But LGBT Victory und Vice President of Political Programs Sean Meloy said oem’s oem, a life-long Virginian, pointed out Brown v. Board of ducation and Loving v. record clearly shows “she’s fulfilling her campaign promises and striving to create a Virginia were two court cases with Virginia ties that made the state and the country a more inclusive Virginia.” step more inclusive. Stone said he’s running for office because he felt laws the General Assembly has “If you have marriage e uality, you can’t possibly tell an LGBT couple that they can’t passed in the last few years benefitted “special interests” and not Virginians as a whole. adopt children,” oem said. “What a horrible thing to tell any loving parent. We already Stone and his wife moved to Prince William County from airfa County in 1 litigated the hell out of this.” because they were planning on having children and a friend said it was a good place to For Roem, times have changed and so have the people of Virginia. raise them. They now have two children who are five and si years old, and the eldest is “If you are e clusionary like my challenger, then you are going to lose,” she said. “The in his second year in the county’s school system. people of the 1 th district aren’t putting up with this any more.” “And she loves it,” Stone said proudly, especially now that she gets to return to inPHILIP VAN SLOOTEN person classes even though she has to wear a mask.


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Blinken expresses concern over LGBTQ Afghans Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday expressed concern over the fate of LGBTQ Afghans who remain in the country after the Taliban regained control of it. Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline asked Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that focused on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan about a 10-point plan to protect LGBTQ Afghans for which the Council for Global uality and five other advocacy groups have called the Biden administration to implement. Blinken told Cicilline, a Democrat, that he had “not personally seen the report that you referred to …, but I’m going to take a look at that myself.” “Thank you for rightfully putting the spotlight on concerns Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN about the LGBTQI+ community in Afghanistan and the (Photo public domain) particular threat that they find themselves under,” said Blinken. “This is something that we are focused on.” The Taliban entered Kabul, the Afghan capital on Aug. 15 and toppled then-President

Ashraf Ghani’s government. A Taliban judge in July said the group would once again execute gay men if it were to return to power in Afghanistan. The U.S. evacuated more than 100,000 people from the country before American troops completed their withdrawal from the country on Aug. 30. It remains unclear whether any LGBTQ Afghans were among those who were able to leave during the evacuations from Kabul International Airport, but Immigration Equality last week said it spoke “directly” with 50 LGBTQ Afghans before the U.S. withdrawal ended. Canada is thus far the only country that has specifically said it would offer refuge to LGBTQ Afghans. “It’s important, in my view, that we take steps to ensure that those who would be subjected to violence or worse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity are safe,” Cicilline told Blinken during the hearing. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

OAS commission calls for Venezuela to protect LGBTQ rights The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has called for Venezuela to do more to protect LGBTQ people from violence and discrimination. The report the commission released on Sept. specifically notes si men on May 1, 2020, attacked Jorge Granado in Ciudad Guayana, a city in Bolívar state, because of his sexual orientation. The report also notes Marcy Ávila, an LGBTQ rights activist, has suffered “harassment.” Violence against transgender Venezuelans remains commonplace in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, and throughout the country. Yonatan Matheus and Wendell Oviedo, co-founders of Venezuela Diversa, a Venezuelan LGBTQ rights group, received death threats after they publicly urged authorities to investigate the murders of two trans women. Matheus and Oviedo in 2016 ed to ew York, and have asked for asylum in the U.S. Members of Venezuela’s General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence on Jan. 1 , 1, raided the offices of A ul Positivo, an IV AIDS service organi ation in Maracaibo, a city in ulia state, and arrested President Johan Le n eyes and five other staff members. Vene uelan police on eb. 15, 19, raided the offices of undaci n Mavid, another IV AIDS service organi ation in Valencia, a city in Carabobo state, and

arrested three staffers after they confiscated donated infant formula and medications for people with IV AIDS. “The IACHR reminds the state of Venezuela of its obligation to guarantee the protection of LGBTI persons; address the underlying causes of violence and discrimination against them; as well as act with due diligence to prevent, investigate, adjudicate, sanction and remedy the human rights violations against LGBTI people,” reads the report. The report also notes the lack of legal protections — including in the country’s hate crimes law — for LGBTQ Venezuelans and adds the country uses Article 565 of the Organic Code of Military Justice and other statutes “to criminalize people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation.” “For the above, the commission reminds the state of Venezuela of its duty to repeal legal provisions that criminalize, directly or indirectly, the conduct of people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” reads the report. The report notes trans Venezuelans cannot legally change their gender without medical interventions. Vene uela’s constitution also defines marriage as between a man and a woman. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Advocates urge Biden to protect LGBTQ Afghans A group of six advocacy groups last week urged the Biden administration to develop a 10-point plan to protect LGBTQ Afghans after the Taliban regained control PRESIDENT BIDEN is being pressured to help LGBTQ Afghans. of their country. The Council for Global Equality; the Human Rights Campaign; Immigration Equality; the International Refugee Assistance Project; the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration and Rainbow Railroad in a letter they sent to President Biden called for his administration to “prioritize the evacuation and resettlement of vulnerable refugee populations, including LGBTQI people, and ensure that any transitory stay in a third country is indeed temporary by expediting refugee processing.” The other suggestions are below: • Provide and effectively implement explicit “Priority 2” (P-2) access to the U.S. refugee program for the highly

vulnerable population of LGBT I individuals eeing Afghanistan. Waive the application fee for any LGBTQI Afghan applying to relocate to the United States on an expedited basis via humanitarian parole and look favorably upon those emergency requests. Initiate a new program of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghans in the United States, including those paroled into the United States on an emergency basis.” nsure that e isting lists that have been collected by various governments of at-risk Afghans, including those who wish to ee because of their se ual orientation or gender identity, are carefully safeguarded so that they do not fall into Taliban or third-country hands and are not used to target individuals or family members. Use the lists as a basis for expedited P1 or P2 refugee processing or humanitarian parole for those who seek protection abroad.” Lift or e pand the Y fiscal year refugee cap of 125,000 refugees accepted into the United States. • Provide funding to support the temporary housing, livelihoods and security of LGBTQI refugees in third countries while they are being processed for refugee resettlement in the United States or elsewhere. ecogni e GOs that have been reliable partners in identifying and recommending LGBTQI Afghans to


the State Department for protection and instruct U.S. embassies to process LGBTQI refugee applications on site when referred by these designated partners. • Recognize for the purposes of refugee relocation, humanitarian parole or any other entry into the United States any same-sex Afghan partner as a spouse. Take an e ually e pansive view of the definition of family for LGBTQI relocation given the lack of legal recognition for LGBTQI partnerships in the region. Expand LGBTQI-sensitive resettlement programs in the United States and engage with GOs and local communities to expand the U.S. capacity to absorb larger numbers of LGBTQI Afghan refugees in supportive and inclusive environments, including through new refugee sponsorship programs. Speak out forcefully against human rights abuses by the new Taliban regime and any increased targeting of vulnerable communities, including LGBTQI people, and use existing mechanisms to sanction and hold accountable perpetrators of human rights abuse. egotiate e plicit human rights monitoring access, with a particular focus on vulnerable communities including LGBTQI Afghans, when the mandate of the U. . Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is renewed by the Security Council later this month. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

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MICHAEL BEDWELL is a longtime D.C.-based LGBT rights activist.

The road to DADT repeal remember their names Maybe not in my lifetime, but we are going to win in the end’

“Maybe not in my lifetime, but we are going to win in the end.” – Air Force TSgt. Leonard Matlovich, Sept. 19, 1975. The road to repeal of the codified charade known collo uially as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” DADT , mas uerading as something different than the Pentagon policy ban dating to World War II, was long and built by many hands. While a straight-identified Congress and president were necessary to reach the destination, LGBT Americans made it happen. But “DADT Speak” can unintentionally erase the some 1 , discharged before its creation. The following focuses on some of the irst Volunteers those very few service members who chose to risk their careers by outing themselves, putting faces to the ban, without which it would still be destroying lives. In March 19 4, Leonard Matlovich was the happiest he’d ever been in his life. It had taken him until he was , and surviving thoughts of suicide-by-war and direct suicide, to finally accept and embrace that he was gay, and now he had a job that he loved: ace elations Instructor for the Air orce. e was so good in this job that he was sent around the country to train other instructors. An African-American fellow instructor said that, “ e has the classroom in the palm of his hand.” is department chief wrote, “As a ace elations Instructor there is none better. is mastery of group dynamics and group facilitation has enabled him to conduct seminar after seminar around the difficult and sensitive subject of race relations without incident. e should be promoted to Master Sergeant well ahead of his contemporaries.” And then he read an interview with rank ameny in the Air orce Times. World War II veteran rank ameny had a genius I and arvard Ph.D. in astronomy. ired by the Army Map Service AMS in 195 , his dream of being one of the first astronauts, in fact, his entire scientific career, crashed and burned when the AMS learned he was gay. LGBs were already banned in the military now, per epublican President Dwight isenhower’s ecutive Order banning “se ual perversion” among civilian federal employees, he was fired five months later, and, worse, blackballed from employment by any other federal agency or private company or university receiving federal funding. Unaffiliated with any gay group, he did what no other fired gay person had done. ight years before Stonewall, he appealed his case against the Secretary of the Army to the Supreme Court in a self-penned brief whose elo uent fury still stuns today. “The government’s regulations, policies, practices and procedures, as applied in the instant case to petitioner specifically, and as applied to homose uals generally including in the military , are a stench in the nostrils of decent people, an offense against morality, an abandonment of reason, an affront to human dignity, an improper restraint upon proper freedom and liberty, a disgrace to any civili ed society, and a violation of all that this nation stands for. These policies, practices, procedures, and regulation have gone too long un uestioned, and too long une amined by the courts.” Yale Law School professor William skridge, Jr., later called it revolutionary, “the birth of Gaylegal uality Arguments” and rank “the osa Parks and the Martin Luther ing and the Thurgood Marshall of the gay rights movement.” In a “court of last appeal” letter to newly inaugurated President John . ennedy in May 19 1, two months after the Court refused to hear his case, ameny, still on his own, also denounced “the policies, practices, and official attitudes of the military” and “less-than-fullyhonorable discharges.” That ovember he cofounded the militant Mattachine Society of Washington MSW not a chapter of original Mattachine whose four missions included challenging military homophobia 9 years before the creation of the first national group dedicated to fighting the ban, and years before its codification into DADT. MSW’s unprecedented three pickets of the White ouse in 19 5 included signs protesting the ban, and he led a picket at the Pentagon itself. “STOP Wasting Ta payers Money on unts for OMOS UALS.” “ 5, omose ual Sailors D MA D W AVY POLICY.” “ uarter Million omose ual American Servicemen Women Protest Armed Services Policies.” “15 Million U.S. omose uals Protest Treatment by Armed orces.” That year the avy alone kicked out at least 1, 5 some 1 more than all the branches kicked out in the worst year under DADT. The ban was the subject of the first same day, nationally coordinated gay rights protests in 19 . rank led another Pentagon picket then ew to ew York City to lead a protest there. e was essentially the only non-lawyer source of help for LGB service members trying to avoid being kicked out or at least be granted an onorable Discharge characteri ation. 1 8 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 1 7 , 2 0 2 1 • V I E WP O I NT

Since at least 19 4, he’d been looking for a “perfect test case” a service member with a clean record willing to out themselves and fight the ban in court. Leonard Matlovich read that in the Air orce Times and called him describing his three tours in Vietnam, Bron e Star, Purple eart, and outstanding performance ratings. After a number of meetings, Leonard agreed to carry the banner, coming out on the front page of The ew York Times and on the CBS vening ews with Walter Cronkite on Memorial Day 19 5. The response was seismic, rippling from the Times to the okomo, Indiana, Tribune and around the world. So unlike the mainstream concept of a gay male one reporter asked him if he was really gay. The effect was magnified when he appeared in uniform on the cover of Time maga ine with the bold, black caption “I Am a omose ual” putting a face on the ban for millions for the first time. Gay historian athaniel rank, author of the definitive book on the evolution of DADT, “Unfriendly ire,” said, “it began a national discussion on gay rights.” Accounts of his four-day discharge hearing filled newspapers and TV screens. When the Air orce board couldn’t see past “ omose ual” to the perfect airman, they recommended his discharge Leonard telling the crush of reporters outside: “Maybe not in my lifetime, but we are going to win in the end.” e failed to overturn the ban, but a 19 1 Pentagon mandate that, barring e tenuating circumstances such as se on base, all discharge characteri ations for gays should be onorable can be linked to his case. o one imagined how short his lifetime would be, but he filled it fighting for gay e uality. rank was the lead honorary pallbearer, walking by the horse-drawn caisson carrying his body in 19 , and today his grave in Washington’s Congressional Cemetery with its iconic gravestone is a place of pilgrimage ne t to a Veterans Administration cenotaph for rank. “ emplary” Army eserve Drill Instructor Miriam Ben-Shalom was honorably discharged in 19 after refusing to deny she was a lesbian during uestioning about her critici ing the discharge of Leonard Matlovich. In 19 , a federal judge ruled that her discharge violated the irst, ifth, and inth amendments of the Constitution the first court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional and years before the ruling against DADT in the Log Cabin epublicans challenge and ordered her reinstated. The Army simply ignored the order for seven years until a Circuit Court forced them to return her to duty. But they refused to allow her to reenlist at the end of that period of service. The Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal in ebruary 199 . Three months later, she and five other veterans founded Gay, Lesbian Bise ual Veterans of America, the first such national lobby group today American Veterans for ual ights AV . She and several other veterans were arrested at the White ouse in 199 protesting the ban’s refashioning as DADT. She was arrested there again in 1 protesting President Obama’s slow walk on repeal along with eight fellow veterans and four civilians including myself. Sgt. Perry Watkins’ 1 -year adventure in the U.S. Army began when Lyndon Johnson was president and would not end until George Bush p re sat in the Oval Office. It spanned the globe, sometimes a comedy, sometimes a tragedy. It was sometimes even a musical comedy but it was always, just as the ban itself, nonsensical here ignoring that he was gay, there trying to kick him out because he was gay. Year after year, time after time, he demanded justice and, in the end, it was his own truth that set him free the truth he had told from the very beginning, during his draft physical in 19 when he was 19 and checked the bo indicating “homose ual tendencies.” The first gay African-American soldier to make headlines, while the Army ignored a court order to reinstate Miriam, in May 19 , Watkins also became the first out gay service member returned to duty by a court. But he was kicked out again, and, eventually, the Supreme Court let a lower court ruling stand that he should be reinstated in the name of fairness. Like Leonard, for whom he was an honorary pallbearer in 19 , he chose a settlement passing himself in 199 . Petty Officer eith Meinhold, a certified Master Training Specialist teaching sonar crews on P- Orion aircraft how to hunt submarines outed himself on ABC’s World ews Tonight on May 19, 199 . ormerly recogni ed as “Aircrew Instructor of the Year,” his usually perfect performance ratings drop. Without any evidence, they claimed knowledge of his se ual orientation had “adversely affected his performance of duty and adversely affected the good order and discipline.” Though given an honorable discharge he sued and was ordered reinstated. Overall, his return was met positively, and his crew continued to win new awards. e retired four years later with full military honors, naval band music, a avy Achievement Medal, and a -foot American ag. CONTINUES AT WA S HI NGTO NB L A D E.CO M

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Biden should develop national digital vaccine passport now Those who refuse shots must be locked out of travel, jobs, schools

President Biden finally mandated vaccinations for all federal employees and Mayor Bowser has started doing the same for city employees. It is time to take every legal avenue to mandate people get vaccinated since so many don’t seem to have the will or even compassion for their children and the community to do it on their own. The president proposed ecutive Orders including asking the Department of Labor to set a rule mandating every company with over 1 employees demand they be vaccinated or tested weekly. Interesting to hear Mike Pence “blast Biden’s vaccine speech: Unlike anything I’d ever heard from an American president.’” Clearly he has only listened to epublican lies and BS. D.C. LGBT bars took the lead to re uire vaccinations for admission, now it is up to the mayor to mandate this. In the meantime every restaurant, bar, and public venue must do the same. If we are a society that really cares for each other, mandating vaccinations is a way to prove it and enforce care for the community. It’s past time to stop coddling those who refuse to get vaccinated. The president must now immediately order a national digital vaccine passport to help those vaccinated prove it in places that re uire it. The United States must join other nations of the world who already have done this. Add it to Global ntry re uirements. Mr. President, stop prevaricating and do it now. o one is re uired to have this proof but if they don’t they should be locked out of travel, jobs, schools, and entertainment venues re uiring vaccination. Airlines should announce those who aren’t vaccinated but eligible will not be allowed to y and Amtrak should do the same for rail travel. Mr. President, support the Safe Travel Act introduced by Don Beyer D-Va. , which mandates this. You shouldn’t be able to enter a baseball or football stadium without proof of vaccination. You should need proof to enter a movie theater. Theaters in ew York and D.C. now re uire proof of vaccination to buy a ticket. It’s not hard to do if the will is there. I was in ehoboth Beach for the two weeks before Labor Day and appalled at indoor bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues that didn’t re uire proof of vaccination or even masks. I heard regularly about breakthrough COVID cases in outdoor venues I went to, so clearly there were many cases of those who weren’t vaccinated. CAMP ehoboth had trouble selling tickets to its Sun est concerts and then did the right thing re uiring proof of vaccination and a mask and sales picked up as people were more comfortable going to what became very successful events. The Washington Blade recently announced it would re uire proof of vaccination to attend its Sept. 1 benefit in ehoboth to raise funds for the Steve lkins Memorial ellowship given out by the Blade oundation. I applaud the Blade for doing the responsible thing. We may never be fully rid of COVID but surely we must do everything we can to protect each other and our children even if it means mandating people to do the right thing. I write as an older American and cancer survivor who spent 1 months eating every meal alone to protect myself during the pandemic. I wore a mask to protect both myself and others with whom I came in contact. It wasn’t that difficult. It still isn’t. When Mayor Bowser reinstated the mask re uirement for all indoor settings in D.C. I put my mask back on everywhere including in the hallways and lobby of my condo building. I wore it when I went to visit a neighbor currently going through chemotherapy to protect her. Again, so simple to do. It is beyond comprehension why a parent wouldn’t want to protect their unvaccinated child. Why they would fight to keep their child from wearing a mask in school when they know how many children are now getting sick. Judges are debating whether Gov. on DeSantis’s no masks in school order in lorida is legal and whether he has the authority to mandate it around the state. Another judge stayed his order mandating cruise ships embarking from lorida having to take unvaccinated passengers. One uestions whether in the long run, as more children get sick and some die, DeSantis’s views will continue to be a winning political strategy for him. Clearly his policies aren’t based in science. In the end, when the rubber meets the road, people are into self-preservation no matter how long and hard they first rejected it.

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Congrats to Parkland survivor Cameron Kasky on coming out An advocate for LGBTQ equality and reform of gun laws

Oh to come out again. The excitement. The nervousness. The sheer terror? Announcing it over and over to that friend or to that coworker. When people ask when I came out I generally say freshman year. But more accurately it’s more of a question of when and to whom? Thinking about it all again, there’s really no scenario in which I want to relive that. After all that was 1995, not 2021. The experience has to be a bit different now, right? There are myriad differences between then and now greater social acceptance, gay marriage, what have you but one of the greatest differences is that one can sort of do it now in one fell swoop thanks to social media and sites like Twitter. That’s where gun control activist and Parkland massacre survivor Cameron Kasky chose to make his coming out announcement on Monday. You remember Cameron; he was a principal organizer of the 2018 March for Our Lives rally and somewhat a Twitter personality since then. I like him because he constantly picks on Trump loyalist and bobblehead model, lorida ep. Matt Gaet . In his coming out, Cameron noted that his “ability to proudly share who I am today only e ists due to ueer activists, specifically ueer activists of color, giving their lives for our right to exist.” Yes, of course, and he’s right to pay homage to those who have come before and to mention queer people of color who have and continue in many ways to bear the brunt of social activism. A kid like Cameron, or let’s say a man like Cameron now, coming from a comfortable Florida upbringing, could have easily dismissed or ignored any of that and just coasted into a comfortable gay existence. But he recognized his privilege. And there’s a head nod to what might be coming, that is the obvious intersectionality of gun violence and anti-LGBTQ violence, not to mention really the scores of intersections of violence in America and the plight of minority groups. And it should be said that Cameron isn’t the only Parkland survivor to come out. X González came out as bisexual closer to the March for Our Lives rally. I’m sure you remember her and her powerful speech there, pausing for several minutes in honor of each of the 17 dead and 17 injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Leave it to the queer kids to lead the charge. I actually spent a morning with Cameron and a few of his fellow students leading up to the rally. I was essentially a media escort, driving them around to different interviews with local media outlets around Washington. We didn’t bond or anything and I doubt he remembers. What I remember are teenagers dealing with fame, trauma, and suddenly, but deftly, crafting a coherent and national message. Leave it to a theater kid like Cameron to see it through. I do remember being impressed, perhaps a bit perplexed, that listening to the radio in the van between interviews a 17-year-old knew that Prince actually wrote the Bangles head-bopper ’s hit “Manic Monday.” I guess that should have been a giveaway. But we had other things on our mind that day. Cameron closed his announcement saying that “to those of you who are also struggling to find an identity that you find authentic, take your time. Look inwards and indulge in your beauty and light. You’ll find so much to love, so much to be proud of.” So what’s next for Cameron? Well, I guess that’s up to Cameron really. And if he just wants to spend his gay 20s trading in fame here and there, he’s earned the right. But I doubt that would satisfy him. So what’s ne t? I guess there’s time, and the space, for all that. Congrats on coming out, Cameron.





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Hey gurl, it’s Randy Rainbow!

Parody star on Trump, Barbra, Biden, and more as he preps concert tour By GREGG SHAPIRO

For many like-minded people, gay and straight, there was a ray of light and joy during the four years of Trump’s reign of terror. Shining brightly through the seemingly impenetrable dark storm clouds, Randy Rainbow burst forth with colorful parody songs and videos that provided endless sources of laughs. His multitude of devoted fans and followers looked forward to Rainbow’s brilliantly executed audio/visual treats, as catchy as they were thought provoking. Hard at work on the follow-up to his 2019 debut album “Hey Gurl, It’s Christmas,” as well as working on the plans for his multi-city concert tour, Randy was gracious enough to answer a few questions. He performs at the Warner Theatre on Oct. 8 and 9. Tickets start at $52 and are still available at ticketsonsale.com. BLADE: Randy, I’d like to begin by asking you to say a few words about the process of selecting a song for your parody lyrics, and if there’s ever been a song that you really wanted to use but had to abandon because it wasn’t a good fit? RANDY RAINBOW: I’m a show queen! I naturally think in show tunes. I’ve just sort of been conditioned through the years, starting at home with my mom who’s always loved the genre, to naturally find the musical theater parallel to any situation, be it in my personal life or on the world stage. That’s the easy part. A few times I have written songs and didn’t release them because the news had shifted to focus on something else. It’s rare, but it has happened.

of the new songs, but there will be plenty of my “greatest hits” in there, too. BLADE: You are an incredibly prolific artist. Did being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic cause you to be more productive or did your productivity remain the same? RAINBOW: Believe it or not, 2020 was a very busy year for me artistically. In addition to the videos, I began writing my first memoir, recording the new album, launching a new podcast - it goes on. I am so grateful. BLADE: Many folks baked sourdough bread during the shutdown. Are you one of them? RAINBOW: Hell, no! I did what everyone else in New York City does, order take-out [laughs]! BLADE: Because “45” was such an endless source of inspiration, do you find yourself missing him? RAINBOW: [Long pause] Are you for real right now? BLADE: Do you know if “45,” or anyone in his circle, was aware of your songs and videos? RAINBOW: I’ve been told by some reliable sources that there were, and continue to be, a few fans of mine on Team Trump. I have to assume Melania. BLADE: Is it difficult to parody Joe Biden because he’s such a likable and seemingly effective POTUS? RAINBOW: I don’t set out to parody (the) POTUS, specifically. Trump was just an endless source of comedy. Believe me, there are still many in Washington that offer those OMG moments.

BLADE: Are you bombarded by suggestions of RANDY RAINBOW performs in D.C. on Oct. 8 and 9. songs to parody from friends and fans, and if so, have (Photo courtesy Rainbow) you ever used any of them? RAINBOW: Yes, and it’s led to a few repeats. I BLADE: You are doing two dates in Washington, had already done a parody of the song “Tradition” D.C. Because of its deeply political roots, do you find the D.C. audiences to be different from “Fiddler on the Roof,” but then when the word “sedition” came into the zeitgeist, from other audiences? thanks to you-know-who, everyone was clamoring for a reprise. Same happened with RAINBOW: Well, they are in the thick of it, aren’t they? Let’s just say they seem to have my “Kamala” parody to the tune of “Camelot,” which I’d used a few years back for an even deeper appreciation for me and my work. Kavanaugh. BLADE: The last time we spoke was in 2019 around the time you released your debut album, “Hey Gurl, It’s Christmas.” Looking back on the experience of making that record, how would you rate it? RAINBOW: I loved it so much I’m doing it again!

BLADE: You also have an upcoming concert date in Fort Lauderdale. What does it mean to you when you perform for the hometown crowd in Broward County? RAINBOW: It’s incredibly special, as you can imagine. And, of course, my mom will be in the audience.

BLADE: I was told that you are now busy in the recording studio working on your new album. What can you tell the readers about it? RAINBOW: There are some amazing collaborations on this one. I’m dueting with guest stars like Bernadette Peters, Josh Gad, Sean Hayes, and Tituss Burgess. I’ve also written two new original songs with Marc Shaiman and Alan Menken. Can you believe?! It’s called “A Little Brains, A Little Talent” and will be released later this year through Broadway Records. Stand by!

BLADE: What did it mean to you when Barbra Streisand tweeted about your “Marjorie Taylor Greene” video? RAINBOW: Barbra has now tweeted me twice, I’ll have you know! I was even asked by her team to create a video celebrating the release of her new album. I mean. I can’t believe it! It’s BARBRA! She’s my only religion.

BLADE: How much of your upcoming tour will revolve around the songs on the new album? RAINBOW: I am actually working on that right now. I definitely want to include some

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BLADE: Have you recently heard from any other celebrities, either those who have been the subject of your videos or just as fans? RAINBOW: I get lots of support from my fancy, famous friends every time I release a video and I love them for it. I also always get a note from another of my idols, Carol Burnett. She and my mom have become pen pals!


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Rufus’s return

Musical adventurer back on the road; plays D.C. Sept. 28 By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO

After some artistic detours — in 2018, a second opera; before that, an album of songs based on Shakespearean sonnets in 2016 — Rufus Wainwright returned to his “regular” music in July 2020 with the release of his 10th studio album “Unfollow the Rules,” which was critically embraced and nominated for a Grammy. A live album of the “Unfollow” material dubbed “The Paramour Sessions” was released Sept. 10. Wainwright, 48, spoke to the Blade by phone on Sept. 1 from Nashville where he had a City Winery show that night as part of his “Unfollow the Rules Tour.” He joins Jose Gonzalez for the “Unfollow the Rules in the Local Valley Tour,” a co-headlining, 10-city mini-tour, next week. They play The Anthem on Sept. 28. Then Wainwright, who’s been publicly out since his eponymous debut album dropped in 1998, will resume his solo tour ne t month in the U. . is comments have been slightly edited. WASHINGTON BLADE: You’re back on the road. What have the audiences been like? RUFUS WAINWRIGHT: Well, they’re very e cited. There’s definitely a palpable sense of appreciation and excitement. And it’s good to be back. BLADE: Do you feel safer singing more of the new album now that it’s been out a year and people have had time to absorb it? Is that easier than trying to sing more of it when it’s just out? WAINWRIGHT: I definitely enjoy the whole kind of common knowledge thing now that exists with this album. And certainly having this other record, “The Paramour Sessions,” to promote as well, which is just another take on some of the same material. One can also go on a bit of a deeper dive. You know, this album actually did very well critically, it was nominated for a Grammy and a lot of people consider it a seminal work for me. I think it can handle that stretch. BLADE: Do the new songs dovetail fairly naturally with your older songs in a set? WAINWRIGHT: Yeah, I mean, this album is very much related to my first album. I’m not going to be doing my first album in the show, but it’s kind of a return to my California roots. You know, where I began my career over years ago. The songs are answers in a way to some of the uestions raised on the first album. I’m not singing them back to back or anything, but a lot of my fans have followed me from the beginning so we all get it. BLADE: How did “Unfollow the Rules: The Paramour Sessions” come about? WAINWRIGHT: When the album was released, we still wanted to do something special online so we made this film doing a lot of the songs with a smaller ensemble at this incredible Hollywood mansion. This was at the height of the pandemic, possibly slightly illegally in the sense that we weren’t necessarily supposed to be working. But people needed to do something, you know, to get their heads out of the chaos. This was last summer during the Black Lives Matter protests and just the heat of those fires that were about to ignite, there was a very intense atmosphere and I do feel strongly that some of that drama is possibly on the recording. At least I think there’s this sort of depth there that can only come out of something like that. BLADE: Did it seem relatively easy returning to quote-unquote pop music after writing opera? WAINWRIGHT: Yeah. One of the great gifts of me writing opera, which I will continue to do intermittently, is that it gave me a whole new appreciation of where I came from and all the freedoms I have in the pop world. I’m very grateful for my work in the songwriting universe and all the freedom that comes with it.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT says critics considered his 2020 album a ‘seminal’ project. (Photo by Tony Hauser)

BLADE: Are you co-headlining this tour with Jose Gonzalez? WAINWRIGHT: Yes. It will be nice to be out with a brilliant songwriter and singer. It’s been a while since I’ve done this sort of thing. When I began my career, it was more the norm to be part of a lineup. BLADE: Do you know him? Will you sing anything together? WAINWRIGHT: We haven’t met but I think it will be a very emotional meeting in a way, because it’s been a long time coming. BLADE: What was it like revisiting the Judy (Garland) album last summer and on her birthday no less? (Wainwright recreated Garland’s famous live Carnegie Hall album in 2007.) WAINWRIGHT: It was a thrill. How many people can claim to have sang the same songs in the same room where she recorded a lot of them and on the actual microphone that she used with Renee Zellweger (who won an Oscar for the 2019 biopic “Judy”) as a captive audience. So yeah, I just felt a lot of gratitude and felt very privileged to be able to go on that journey. So yes, in honor of Judy, but the main thread that I’m actually worshipping is the material itself whether it’s Gershwin or Berlin. They inspire me, as a songwriter myself, to keep the bar fairly high. BLADE: You’ve hinted in other interviews that you want to write a Broadway musical and perhaps a ballet. You’ve written two operas. Where does this drive come from to conquer such ambitious and disparate art forms? WAINWRIGHT: Well obviously with COVID, touring was suspended for a while, so it was a chance to try to advance the Broadway jalopy, which I’ve been trying to do for a while. There are about three or four projects that I have in the works that unfortunately I can’t talk about too much, but what I can say is that there is a wholehearted effort going on to, you know, secure my place on the Great White Way one way or another. It’s something people have been after me to do over the years because they say my music already has that sensibility. So I’m finally kind of doing my homework now. BLADE: And whether it’s Broadway or opera, what are the gatekeepers like in those arenas? Since you’re a known entity, is it easy to at least get a pitch meeting? How does it work? WAINWRIGHT: Well they’re very different. I’m happy that I went into the opera world first. My first opera has been done seven times all over the world and my second one has other productions coming, so it’s been a success. Not everybody adores my work, but it made an impact and it seems to be continuing on so that’s all you can ask for anyway. I’m happy I did it, but it’s a very, very tough battle. The standards are very, very high, which is actually a good thing. With Broadway, I think there’s a whole financial element to it where people are looking to make a fortune off of these shows, so that’s kind of new for me and something I have to be cognitive of. BLADE: You said in another interview that the classical world could be poisonous at times. How so?


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Insular classical world gave Wainwright increased resolve WAINWRIGHT: I meant it was the opposite of what I believed it was going to be. I had a very nice view of the classical world, and I’ve adored opera for most of my life. I thought I would be able to unleash my talents and it would be accepted and appreciated and I would be, you know, brought into the fold when in fact, it was the opposite. They were very, very dubious to me and very protective of their sacred cows, so it was a real rude awakening. It’s a very cliquish environment and everybody kind of knows everybody. So if somebody wanted to poison the well, they can and then it spreads to this massive disease about you and they’re able to spread it very easily. So the happy story is that it survived and thrived and I guess what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. BLADE: Whether they’re fans or not, most people would concur your songs are fairly intelligent. Are art and culture and society in general getting dumbed down a little more each year? WAINWRIGHT: I think there are some aspects that need some attending to for sure. I mean in the pop songwriting world, I’d say lyrics are really under threat. When you look at the generation that’s about to exit — people like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and the ones who have left us, like Bowie, and so forth, lyrics were really kind of the most brilliant jewel in the art form and now they’re just so throwaway. I don’t profess to be the world’s greatest lyricist or anything, but I do try very hard and I wouldn’t say the age we’re in is a golden age of the word. But maybe there are other art forms, like fashion or something perhaps, that are at their peak now, who knows? BLADE: Was it hard to maintain sobriety during lockdown last year? WAINWRIGHT: No. My wonderful husband (Jorn Weisbrodt, whom Wainwright married in 2012), he’s not about alcohol at all. He doesn’t drink because he just doesn’t need to. And I do Zoom meetings here and there. So I thank my lucky stars it wasn’t. It would have been hard to contend with alcohol as well as COVID. BLADE: How’s your daughter? What’s she excited about these days? (Wainwright’s daughter Viva is 10) WAINWRIGHT: Oh, she’s into horseback riding. She loves Tina Turner. She loves to draw. She’s actually really happy to be back in school and hanging out with her friends. BLADE: How often do you talk to your dad on average? (Wainwright is the son of Loudon Wainwright III, an acclaimed singer/songwriter.) WAINWRIGHT: We try to talk once a week. We’ve kind of made it into this calendar item and it works really well that way. Just to touch base and see how we’re doing. Other times we’ll get into more sensitive territory. I think especially since losing my mother, I’m just aware that it’s a finite amount of time these people are going to be around, so you might as well spend time with them while you can.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT says returning to pop songcraft after two operas was artistically satisfying. (Photo by Tony Hauser)

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BLADE: How closely do you follow current pop music? Is there anybody who particularly excites you? WAINWRIGHT: I do. I like Perfume Genius and Lana Del Rey. And I like The Weeknd. When those songs come on, I’m like, “Wow, that’s a real hit.” I admire that because I’ve never been able to crack that nut, nor do I think I probably ever will.

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Local theater comes back strong as in-person options abound From Shakespeare to holiday fare, something for all tastes By PATRICK FOLLIARD

dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife This time last year, theaters were scrambling to attract audiences – Persephone—as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld mostly with streaming and open-air performances. Like most seasons, and back.” The cast includes out actor Levi Kreis as Hermes, the role for results were mixed, but considering the challenges, it was a spectacular which out actor André De Shields won a Tony, and continues to play at effort overall. While the pandemic hasn’t ended, many companies are the Walter Kerr Theatre in the reopened Broadway production. reopening with in-person, indoor performances. Here’s a selection of And in December, the Kennedy Center hosts the national tours of two offerings from some area theaters that are welcoming back audiences, hit juke box musicals: “Beautiful - The Carole King Musical” (Dec. 14provided patrons come both masked and with proof of vaccination. Jan. 2); and “Ain’t Too Proud,” (Dec. 15-Jan. 16), the story of Motown’s In Columbia Heights through Oct. 3, GALA Hispanic Theatre superstar R&B group, the Temptations. Kennedy-center.org presents Federico García Lorca’s “Doña Rosita la soltera” (Doña Rosita As part of its 25th anniversary season, Keegan Theatre presents the Spinster), performed in Spanish with English surtitles. An exploration the regional premiere of Adrienne Earle Pender’s “N” (Oct. 23-Nov. of what the martyred gay playwright called “the grotesque treatment 20). The well-researched work is inspired by the success surrounding of women” in Spain, the 1935 work spans a decade of a woman’s life in Eugene O’Neill’s breakthrough 1921 play, “The Emperor Jones,” that a uickly moderni ing society prior to the first World War. The source famously starred Charles S. Gilpin, the first African-American actor to material is adapted by out playwright Nando López and the production carry a Broadway show. The hit play propelled both men to stardom; is staged by out director José Luis Arellano who won a Helen Hayes however, within five years O’ eill was world famous and Gilpin Award in 2016 for staging GALA’s production of Lorca’s “Yerma,” the forgotten. According to Keegan’s website notes, “Pender’s ‘N’ explores story of another woman. Galatheatre.org the challenging relationship between Gilpin and O’Neill and how it On the Southwest Waterfront, Arena Stage has kicked off a busy fall ultimately hinged on one word — a word that lifted one of them to the season with “Toni Stone” (through Oct. 3). Written by Lydia R. Diamon, LEVI KREIS is an out actor who heights of American theater and destroyed the other.” Keegantheatre. it’s the remarkable story of the first woman to play baseball in the egro plays Hermes in the national com Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in tour of ‘Hadestown’ soon opening at the Kennedy Center Constellation Theatre Company’s upcoming production is an a men’s league in the 1950s. Santoya Fields stars in the title role, and Opera House. alluringly titled original piece, “Mysticism & Music” (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21). Broadway’s Pam MacKinnon directs. Arenastage.org (Photo courtesy of Kreis) Longtime collaborators Tom Teasley, A.J. Guban, and Constellation’s Also, through Oct. 3, Round House Theatre presents “Quixote artistic director Allison Stockman are joined by Chao Tian in creating this Nuevo,” Octavio Solis’ contemporary take on Cervantes’ classic directed new exploration ancient spiritual literature, poetry, and folklore from all over the world. by Lisa Portes. The playwright re-imagines knight Don Quixote as a professor whose Constellationtheatre.org fantasies take center stage in a Texas border town. Herbert Siguenza makes his Round At Mosaic Theater Company, talented out director Serge Seiden stages playwright House debut as Don Quixote/the professor. Anna Ouyang Moench’s “Birds of North America” (Oct. 27-Nov. 21). Over a dozen years, Next up, it’s the regional premiere of Lauren Yee’s “The Great Leap” (Nov. 10 – Dec. 5), a the strained relationship between father and daughter birders is eased while watching socio-political fable set against basketball and Tiananmen Square. Jennifer Chang directs. birds in the backyard of their suburban Maryland home. Mosaictheater.org Roundhousetheatre.org Signature Theatre is reopening with “Rent” (Nov. 2-Jan. 2), Jonathan Larson’s iconic At Mammoth Theatre Company, it’s Mike Lew’s “Teenage Dick” (Sept. 22 – Oct. 17), rock musical based loosely on Puccini’s 1896 opera “La bohème.” Set in New York’s East a modern, darkly comic, high school-set take on Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” Despite Village in the early 1990s, the Tony and Pulitzer-winning show tells the story of struggling being bullied because of his cerebral palsy, Richard (Gregg Mozgala) is determined to be artists dealing with love, life, gentrification, and AIDS. o other musical captures the place voted senior class president, and – like his ruthless Shakespearean namesake – he will do and era better. Signature’s recently named out artistic director Matthew Gardiner directs. whatever it takes to win. Moritz von Stuelpnagle directs. Woollymammoth.net Sigtheatre.org At Olney Theatre Center (OTC) fall is “The Thanksgiving Play” (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31), Though the pop icon experience sometimes reads like Greek tragedy, this isn’t the Larissa FastHorse’s comedy about “white wokeness,” directed by Raymond O. Caldwell usual classical fare. Shakespeare Theatre Company’s is premiering “Once Upon a One who is Black, Asian, and gay. The cast includes Parker Drown, Megan Graves, David More Time” (Nov. 30-Jan. 2, 2022), a new Broadway-bound musical inspired by the music Schlumpf, and Dani Stoller. of Britney Spears (including “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger,” and “Toxic”). OTC’s largest production of the year is “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” (Nov. 5-Jan. 2, Penned by out writer Jon Hartmere, the libretto turns the happily-ever-after princess 2022). The tale is directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge and stars out actor Jade Jones as fairytale on its ear – in the best way possible. Helming the show are married couple Keone Belle and Evan Ruggiero as the Beast. and Mari Madrid, an award-winning choreographer/director team. Shakespearetheatre. And the holiday tradition continues at OTC with Paul Morello’s solo show, “A Christmas org Carol” (Nov. 26- Dec. 26). Over a swift and engaging two hours, Morello gives a faithful And beginning in early December, Studio Theatre presents “Flight” (Dec. 2-Feb. 20, retelling of Charles Dickens’ original ghost story. Olneytheatre.org 2022), an immersive installation created by Scottish innovators Vox Motus and designed by Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Naomi Jacobson reprises the title role in Theater J’s Jamie Harrison (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” magic effects and illusions designer). production of Mark St. Germain’s “Becoming Dr. Ruth” (Sept. 30 – Oct. 24), a mostly cheery Described as “an invitation to bear witness to the personal stories of two of the 300,000 bio-drama about the diminutive, famously candid sex therapist. The solo show is again displaced children who make unaccompanied journeys every year,” “Flight” is the story of directed by out director/actor Holly Twyford. TheaterJ.org. orphaned brothers who set off on an arduous journey across Europe in search of freedom Historic Ford’s Theatre is back with Deborah Brevoort’s “My Lord, What a Night” and safety. (October 1 – 24), an intriguing work based on the real-life friendship between famed There are no live actors in this production. Audience members experience the play African American contralto Marian Anderson (Felicia Curry) and Albert Einstein from individual booths wearing headphones and viewing a handcrafted diorama in which (Christopher Bloch). Fords.org the story unfolds in intimate miniature. Studiotheatre.org Synetic Theater is bringing its brand of suspenseful/sinister/sexy to Crystal City with Also, for December, Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington returns to Lincoln Theatre, “The Madness of Poe” (Oct. 11-31), a 90-mimute scary trilogy of Edgar Allen Poe works the historic center of the U Street corridor, with “The Holiday Show” (Dec. 4, 11 & 12). including a re-imagining of Synetic’s 2007 hit adaptation of “The Fall of the House of Along with the usual retinue of tap dancing elves and drag queens, the program includes Usher” plus two more classic tales from the American master of mystery and macabre. The favorite numbers from past holiday shows, and features performances from the full chorus, movement-based production is helmed by the celebrated duo, director Paata Tsikurishvili soloists, and GMCW ensembles (Potomac Fever, Rock Creek Singers, Seasons of Love and and choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili, and features a stellar nine-person cast including GenOUT Youth Chorus). Gmcw.org Ryan Sellars and out actors Alex Mills and Philip Fletcher. Synetictheater.org There’s more holiday fare at National Theatre, including “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch The hotly anticipated national tour of Anaïs Mitchell’s “Hadestown” (Oct. 13-30) soon Stole Christmas! The Musical” (Nov. 23-Dec.5). Also at National is the opens at the Kennedy Center Opera House. An enormous hit on Broadway (winner comedy musical “Tootsie,” Dec. 7-12. of eight 2019 Tony Awards), the musical “intertwines two mythic tales—that of young 3 0 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 1 7 , 2 0 2 1

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Live music returns to D.C.

club, The Anthem, illmore, and more fill up calendars for fall By TINASHE CHINGARANDE

Fall is almost here. And, with cooler weather fast approaching and more people getting vaccinated, many venues have decided to go full force with their programming. Here are a few events you should make sure to mark in your calendar.

Fillmore Jack Harlow, who recently featured on gay singer Lil Nas X’s song “Industry Baby,” will be performing at Fillmore on Saturday, Sept. 18 for his Crème de la Crème Tour. Babyface Ray and Mavi will be performing as well. This standing room only event begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $29.50. For more information, visit Fillmore’s website.

The Anthem Juanes will grace The Anthem’s stage on Tuesday, Sept. 21 for his Origen Tour. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for $55 on Ticketmaster. Other fall highlights include: Violent Femmes with Flogging Molly on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m.; Dead Can Dance on Oct. 11 at 8 p.m.; HER - Gabi Wilson on Oct. 25; and former TV anchor Katie Couric brings her book tour to the venue on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Tanzanian superstar and BET Best International Act award nominee Diamond Platnumz will perform on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are as low as $39.99 for general admission. This event is a standing room only event. More information is available on Fillmore’s website. Fillmore will also present Nigerian singer Omah Lay on Monday, Sept. 27. Tickets are $27 and doors open at 8 p.m. This is a standing room only event. Dance Gavin Dance will play at Fillmore as part of their Afterburner Tour on Wednesday, Sept. 29. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for $29.50 on Fillmore’s website.

HER performs at the Anthem 9:30 Club/Merriweather on Oct. 25. Bob Mould returns to 9:30 to perform along with Kestrels on Sept. 18; Tinashe brings her “333 Tour” on Oct. Alec Benjamin sold out his first show on Oct. 4 so a second has been added for Oct. 5; and for all the ‘90s fans, White Ford Bronco performs Oct. 15. “92Q End of Summer Jam Featuring Future”will be at the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday, Sept. 19. This event will feature prominent artists including rappers Future, City Girls, Moneybagg Yo, and 4 Dugg. Doors open at : p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are selling for as low as $99, and you can purchase them on Ticketmaster. U Street Music Hall will present Luttrell on Saturday, Sept. 25. At 10:00p.m. D.C. DJ Sabeel Cohan will also play a set at the show. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster and cost $20.

Howard Theatre Jay Electronica and Smoke DZA will perform at the Howard Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. A-King will host the event. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 9 p.m. Advance tickets cost $25 and can be purchased on the Howard Theatre’s website. Grammy Award-winning singer iLe will bring some bolero tunes to the Howard Theatre on Friday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets cost $39. Visit the Howard Theatre’s website for more information. “The Biggest ‘90s Party Ever” will be hosted on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 8:15 p.m. Join the Howard Theatre in your best ‘90s-inspired attire for a night of nostalgic vibes and ‘90s tunes. Advance tickets are 4.99 and tickets purchased the day of the event will be . For more information, visit the Howard’s website.


Featuring Pinchas Zukerman, violin/viola and Amanda Forsyth, cello

Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. A timely and interactive theatrical work

Sunday, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. Performing Romantic-era works by Bruckner, Dvorák, and Brahms

Mason Artist-in-Residence

Virginia Opera

Mason Artist-in-Residence

Live performances are back. TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Jerusalem Quartet

Sphinx Virtuosi Tracing Visions

Sunday, Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. Stretch beyond the usual notions of the classical music canon

La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers

Saturday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. A stunning condensed version of Puccini’s masterpiece

Additional tickets go on sale October 12 for performances featuring Kristin Chenoweth, Mark Morris Dance Group, and more!

TICKETS | cfa.gmu.edu or 703-993-2787 Located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University. For information on health and safety protocols, visit cfa.gmu.edu.

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Spring Affair Come see why The Washington Post calls us “one of the world’s best choruses.” We’ve got lots of exciting shows and events planned for our 2021-2022 Season and we can’t wait to share them with you. THE HOLIDAY SHOW IT’S A GAS! BRAND NEW DAY YOUTH INVASION SPRING AFFAIR UNBREAKABLE For more information, visit GMCW.org or call 202-293-1548. * Shows and events subject to change. Thea Kano, Artistic Director Justin Fyala, Executive Director


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Must-attend events in D.C. this fall

Mix of in-person and virtual exhibits, brunches, and more Last year, the pandemic forced many event planners to cancel their projects or move everything entirely online. However, this year, with the number of vaccinated people increasing and the mask mandate in place, events are slowly returning to the in-person format. Check out the list below for a good mix of both in-person and virtual events to watch out for this fall: Smithsonian Associates will be hosting “Palestinian Embroidery 101: The Tatreez Sampler Series” on Friday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. This online event teaches the art of Palestinian embroidery including the basic Palestinian cross-stitch and how to create a tatreez sampler, using Aida cloth fabric. The class will be taught by Wafa Ghnaim who began her training in embroidery with her mother at age 2. Visit the Smithsonian’s website for more information. Join Capital Pride Alliance virtually to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Monday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. This event will focus on “[supporting] the continuous fight for full inclusion for transgender and interse servicemembers.” eynote speakers include former Rep. Patrick J. Murphy, and Jennifer Dane, Air Force veteran and Executive Director of the Modern Military Association of America. Guests will get to hear e traordinary stories from service members of all branches and learn more about the fight for the codification of transgender military service and the effort to lift the ban on service for intersex individuals and folks living with HIV. For more information, visit Capital Pride Alliance’s website. The 2021 LGBTQ Intergenerational Symposium will be on Thursday, Sept. 23. This is a free two-day virtual event sponsored by the DC Department of Aging and Community Living, Capitol Hill Village, and the DC Villages and is open to LGBTQ individuals and allies of all ages. There will also be a virtual kickoff for attendees, speakers, and organizations that are involved to get to know each other. Each day will include two health and wellness sessions, one panel, and breakout session. The Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will host New Vistas in Astronomy: Imaging a Black Hole on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. This event will celebrate the 51st year of the New Vistas in Astronomy lecture series at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO). There will be speakers from across the many scientific divisions of the Center for Astrophysics arvard Smithsonian led by founding director of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Shep Doeleman. DC Front Runners will host its 40th anniversary party on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Jack Rose Dining Saloon at 3 p.m. This event will be held outside on the large roof deck. Tickets for this event are $35 and cover two drinks, passed appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. You are welcome to open a tab at the bar after your drink tickets have been used. Drink tickets for paid attendees will be available starting mid-September at the runs, and also available day of the event by contacting Josh Yankovic. More information about this event is available on DC Front Runners’ website. All Things Go and the Capital Pride Alliance are joining forces to launch “Club Pride”, a third stage and dance party at the All Things Go Music Festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. This allday event will feature special intimate artist performances, DJ sets, special guests and more throughout the day. Access to Club Pride is included with all festival tickets. Club Pride is located at Merriweather Post Pavilion’s 9:32 Stage. For more information, visit Capital Pride Alliance’s website. Capital Pride Alliance will host the first ever “Colorful Fest” that will include a block party and street fair on Sunday, Oct. 17. The Street Fair will feature small independent businesses, community groups, artisans, and food along 15th Street. The Block Party will include entertainment, an As You Are Bar pop-up, and dancing throughout the day for guests 21 and

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By TINASHE CHINGARANDE over. For more details, visit Capital SMYAL Executive Pride Alliance’s website. Director SULTAN SHAKIR addresses the crowd at Smithsonian Associates the 2018 Fall Brunch. presents “The Philosophical (Blade photo by Michael Key) Thought of Thomas Aquinas” on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. This event will be hosted online and Aquinas scholar Gregory T. Doolan will explore Aquinas’s philosophical thought. Thomas Aquinas’s work presents one of Western civilization’s most comprehensive philosophical systems. Although a theologian by profession, this man of faith dedicated much of his vast writings to discerning what the human mind can learn independently of faith. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s website. “SMYAL’s Annual Fall Brunch” will be on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis. This event includes a cocktail reception featuring a silent auction, three-course brunch, and a chance to hear from some of the LGBTQ community’s most inspiring leaders. This event will bring together LGBTQ individuals and allies, friends, and families in support of the inspirational youth SMYAL works with every day. For more information, visit SMYAL’s website. DC Area Transmasculine Society (DCATS) will host “Transmasculine and Nonbinary Social Hour on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at Red Bear Brewing Company. At this social hour, DCATS will be accepting binder donations and will also give out needles to those who are in need. All partners and friends are required to be accompanied by a transmasculine individual. The event is reservation-only, and you can RSVP online on Eventbrite. The Washington Concert Opera will stage “Maometto II” on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. This production will feature Ashraf Sewailam in the titular role, Leah Crocetto as Anna Erisso, Bruce Sledge as Paolo Erisso, and Elizabeth DeShong as Calbo in their WCO debuts. More information is available at www.concertopera.org. The Bethesda Row Arts Festival will begin on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. at Bethesda Row. This annual outdoor arts festival will showcase work from over 120 artists and artisans from around the country. More details are available at www.bethesdarowarts.org. “Reflecting Back to the Future: A 40th Anniversary Exhibition from Pyramid Atlantic Art Center” will open on Friday, Sept. 17 at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. This anniversary celebration will include an e hibition of treasured archives by many significant artists, curated by center founder Helen C. Frederick. Visit pyramidatlanticartcenter.org for more details. “Sukkah City x DC” will be on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. at the National Building Museum’s West Lawn. At this event, seven architectural firms display their artful sukkahs, which explore the theme of “welcoming the stranger.” The event is co-presented by Capital Jewish Museum, the National Building Museum and in collaboration with the EDCJCC. More details available at capitaljewishmuseum.org/event/sukkah-city-x-dc-community-day/.






NOW PLAYING Photo of Mia Ellis and Antonio Michael Woodard.

Remember This:






Michael Paese

Michael R. Klein and Joan Fabry Harman Family Foundation



BEGINS NOVEMBER 30 Tickets start at $35

ORDER TODAY! ShakespeareTheatre.org | 202.547.1122

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OCT 5 | 7:30 PM

OCT 6 + 7 | 8 PM





OCT 8 | 8 PM

OCT 16 | 8 PM






NOV 11






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NOV 27 | 8 PM




OCT 30 | 3 PM + 8 PM




OCT 24


NOV 18

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JAN 20


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JAN 26 + 27

FEB 9 + 10

1964 THE TRIBUTE FEB 11 + 12 FEB 18


Seven new restaurants to try this fall

If you like Le Diplomate, you’ll love new concept Bread Alley in Union Market offering, you guessed it, Le Dip’s famous breads.

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. scene thriving again after rough year By EVAN CAPLAN

The fall dining scene is as hot as ever. Here are some of the top tickets to look out for: RAMMYs: Sept. 19 marks the annual D.C.-area restaurant industry awards, the RAMMYs. Many of the categories this year are unique to the challenges restaurants faced in 2020. Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the awards “created timely categories that speak to all the ways the region’s uniquely met those challenges,” according to the RAMMYs. Such categories include “most innovative to-go packaging”, “outstanding COVID-safe redesign,” and “most impressive pivot to provision or market.” Jane Jane (1705 14th St. NW): Highly anticipated retro-chic cocktail bar Jane Jane quietly opened after more than two years in the making. Co-owned by gay men Drew Porterfield, his partner JP Sabatier, and friend alph Brabham, Jane Jane’s mid-century-style throwback offers classic cocktails and upgraded bar snacks. It’s located in the new Liz development on 14th Street. Thirsty Crow (3400 11th St. NW): Part sports bar, part cocktail bar, Thirsty Crow opened just last week in Columbia Heights. It sits in the subterranean level of Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning Makan, serving cocktails and bites inspired by Malaysian avors, like its sister restaurant on the ground level. Chef James Wozniuk of Makan is overseeing the menu of snacks like shrimp chips and larger plates like spicy fried chicken with sambal.

Bi tro u our i trict uare Bistro Du Jour will be gay-owned KNEAD Hospitality + Design’s third waterfront venue at the Wharf. A café in the Parisian style, it will lean heavily on croissants and cappuccinos during the day, moving to Champagne and larger savory dishes by night. The bistro will sell current partner Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery’s fresh baked goods and pastries, and will showcase traditional fare like coq au vin, French onion soup, steak frites, and foie gras for lunch and dinner. The bistro will display an extensive bubbly section, as well as a chic espresso bar and an outdoor patio. Brunch is in the works.

No Goodbyes (1770 Euclid St. NW): The Line Hotel previously played host to a suite of restaurants: A Rake’s Progress, Brothers and Sisters, and Spoke English. When these restaurants left this Adams Morgan hotel, the spaces sat mostly vacant until o Goodbyes slid into the ground oor. An all-day dining place that “taps the farmers, fishers, and small-time ranchers in DC’s own backyard,” according to its website, the menu sits squarely on a Chesapeake Bay foundation. Mid-Atlantic dishes, from fish to fowl, play large on the menu.

SUCCOTASH Prime (915 F St., NW) After a yearlong hiatus, SUCCOTASH Prime recently reopened at the end of August. SUCCOTAS Prime, also run by gay-owned AD ospitality Design, is an updated version of the restaurant, still with Chef Edward Lee at the helm. The refreshed SUCCOTASH opened as a southern steakhouse with an Asian twist, featuring smoked steaks, fried oysters, collard greens, ham, and kimchi side dish. Live music is also planned.

Bread Alley (1250 5th St NE): The intoxicating tower of carbs that greets diners when they walk into buzzy Le Diplomate is getting its very own dedicated space, aptly named Bread Alley. A tiny location in the Union Market area, the shop just launched selling only the three types of bread that arrive complimentary at the start of any Le Dip meal: thick-crusted classic baguette, multigrain boules, and cranberry-walnut boules. It will eventually also sell pastries, jams, butter, honey, and other accouterments. Bakers begin their craft at 3:30 a.m. and offer their wares starting at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. or sold out, whichever arrives earlier.

Via Roma (4531 Telfair Blvd #110, Camp Springs, Md.) Via Roma is a restaurant where you can enjoy the pies, you just can’t call it “pizza.” Just opened a few weeks ago, the restaurant serves pinsas, a pizza-like dish using dough made from a heady mi ture of wheat, soy, and rice ours, and then proofed for more than a day. The spot calls itself the first Pinsa-certified restaurant in Maryland, and aims to re ect the laid-back, Mediterranean atmosphere of aples the owner also runs an Associa ione Verace Pi a apoletana-certified restaurant in Maryland . Beyond Pinsa, it also serves Maryland crab tater tots, panini, pasta, salad, and Aperol spritzes.

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BMA exhibit traces friendship between Matisse and Etta Cone Baltimore collector helped build world’s preeminent repository of French master’s work FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Baltimore Museum of Art is the world’s most important repository of French modern master Henri Matisse’s work and this fall, a new exhibition will explore the friendship between the artist and Etta Cone, the Baltimore collector who befriended Matisse in 1906. The two maintained a close 43-year friendship, during which time Matisse traveled to Baltimore and created works with Etta and the BMA in mind. Etta and her sister Claribel ultimately collected about 700 of Matisse’s works, according to the BMA, including Blue Nude (1907), The Yellow Dress (1929-31), and Large Reclining Nude (1935). This new exhibit, “A Modern In uence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore” will trace their friendship through letters they exchanged and includes more than 160 paintings,

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sculptures, prints, drawings, and illustrated books. “For years, scholars have debated the purchases made by both Cone sisters, with much more credit given to the important acquisitions of major paintings by older sister Claribel,” the BMA said in a statement. “‘Modern In uence: enri Matisse, tta Cone, and Baltimore’ will for the first time fully recogni e tta’s achievements as a collector and acknowledge her role in building the majority of the sisters’ Matisse collection, particularly the sculpture, drawings, and prints.” “Etta Cone and Matisse shared a love of gesture and the female form, expressed not only through her collection of his major paintings, but through an early and sustained interest in his print making and drawing practices. The exhibition begins with work on paper and ends there as well,” said Leslie Co i, BMA associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs. The exhibition will feature a large selection of drawings, including masterpieces that are rarely on view due to light exposure restrictions, the BMA announced. “Etta Cone’s dedication to art, and to Matisse’s work in particular, has had a profound impact on the BMA and the focused and studied ways in which the museum continues to develop its collection. The forthcoming exhibition captures the exciting possibilities that can be achieved when artists, collectors, and public institutions join in a shared vision and commitment. We are delighted to present visitors with the incredible story of tta Cone and the significant works of art that she brought to our museum, and to have this exhibition serve as a prelude to the presentations, programs, and publications that we’ll be able to create through our soon to be opened Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies,” said Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. The Marder Center, which is scheduled to open in December, will present the breadth of the BMA’s Matisse holdings, while supporting the development of new scholarly publications that advance discussions on the trajectory of modern art, according to a statement. “A Modern In uence: enri Matisse, tta Cone, and Baltimore” opens Oct. 3 and will be on view until Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets are available through artbma. org. Prices are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $12 for groups of 7 or more, $5 for students with ID, and $5 for youth ages 7-18. BMA Members, children ages 6 and under, and student groups are admitted free. For more information, call 443-573-1701.

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2021 Fall Season The Freedom to LOVE, to QUESTION, to IMAGINE


Doña Rosita the Spinster

Thru Oct 3

Nov 5 - 14

In Spanish with English surtitles

SALVADOR | Flamenco Aparicio Dance Co. (US)

“stunning... ‘world class’ theater... should not be missed” -DC Metro Theater Arts

Nov 5 - 7

DE PASO | Sara Pérez Dance Co. (Spain) Nov 11 - 14

A series of rarely screened, groundbreaking films by young Latin American filmmakers, and a classic from Mexico’s Golden Age of cinema. Enjoy exclusive screenings, dynamic discussions, and plenty of food for thought!

Dec 1 - 5 All films in Spanish with English subtitles 202-234-7174 | galatheatre.org | 3333 14th St NW, WDC 20010 |

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THE 2021/22 SIGNATURE SEASON a thrilling return to live theater safe and strong


NOVEMBER 2, 2021 – JANUARY 2, 2022



FEBRUARY 1 – MARCH 20, 2022


MARCH 1 – APRIL 24, 2022



MAY 31 – JULY 3, 2022


AUGUST 16 – OCTOBER 9, 2022






Tickets on sale September 23


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ew films feature gay superhero, Tammy aye, and feel-good drag Cumberbatch takes on another gay role in ‘Power of the Dog’ By JOHN PAUL KING

It’s fall again, and that means it’s time to look forward to the things we love about this time of the year – and no, I’m not talking about pumpkin spice. I’m referring, of course, to the new movies headed our way, and there are quite a few this year that should be of interest to LGBTQ+ viewers. Fortunately, as usual, the Blade is here to help you plan your own must-see list for the season with the help of our handy guide below. Giddy Stratospheres (Sept.14): If you’re a movie fan who also has a taste for musical nostalgia, this gritty love letter to the indie music scene of the 2000s from writer/director Laura Jean Marsh is definitely for you. Shot entirely during lockdown in the U , it follows a pair of indie kids and best friends (Jamal Franklin and Marsh herself) as they party their nights away on a quest for the ultimate in hedonistic euphoria and excitement. If memories of donning boots, ripped tights, and eyeliner for a night at the club aren’t enough, there’s also a fabulously queer leading character and soundtrack featuring a smorgasbord of retro hits from the likes of Franz Ferdinand, The Futureheads, The Walkmen, Le Tigre, The Rapture, Art Brut, The Cribs, Black Wire, The Rocks, Theoretical Girl, Pink Grease and more. Available via VOD now. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie Sept. 1 : Delayed due to COVID but finally here is this bubbling and bu y film version of the hit West nd musical by Tom Mac ae, inspired by a 2011 television documentary, in which a gay 16-year-old named Jamie New (Max Harwood) overcomes teasing, bullying, and a complicated home life to realize his dream of becoming a drag queen – with help from a loyal best friend (Lauren Patel), a supportive mom (Sarah Lancashire), and an aging drag mentor named Loco Chanel ichard . Grant . Translated to the screen by original stage director Jonathan Butterell and adapted into a screenplay by MacRae himself, it’s won early praise by critics for its “infectious” spirit and is probably the odds-on favorite to be the feel-good queer movie of the season. With Shobna Gulati, Ralph Ineson, Samuel Bottomley, Sharon Horgan, and Charlotte Salt, it also features a cameo from Roy Haylock (better known as Bianca Del Rio, of course), who played the role of Loco Chanel onstage. VOD and streaming on Amazon Prime. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Sept. 17): Like the now-classic documentary of the same name, this much-anticipated biopic is an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, who with her husband Jim Bakker created the world’s largest religious broadcasting network before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire. Legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life, she went on to become an unlikely but beloved LGBTQ icon, vocally supporting the community and helping to reduce stigma around AIDS through the platform afforded by her celebrity. Directed by Michael Showalter, it stars Jessica Chastain as Tammy aye, with Andrew Garfield as Jim and a supporting cast including Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Sam Jaeger, Gabriel Olds, Mark Wystrach, and Vincent D’Onofrio. In Theaters. On the Fringe of Wild (Oct. 13) In this Canadian import set in the early 2000s, a sensitive and shy small town teen named Peter runs away from his homophobic father during a hunting trip designed to “make him a man.” Lost in the cold Ontario wilderness, he meets Jack – another teen on the run from his toxic family – and a romance buds between them as they hide away in a secluded cabin; when they are inevitably pulled back into the real world, they’re forced to confront their sexuality, their mental health, and the oppressive home life that threatens to drive them apart. Directed by mma Caralfamo from a bleak but hopeful screenplay by Sorelle Doucet, it features trans actor Harrison Browne as Peter and Cameron Stewart as Jack, with Mikael Melo, Andrew Bee, Audrey Nesbitt, Bernadette Medhurst, Andrea Pavlovic, and Adam Jenner in support. VOD. Eternals (Nov. 5) Marvel Studios gets a jump on the holiday blockbuster rush with the long-awaited (and long-delayed) release of this new addition to their comics-to-screen franchise, an epic and ensemble-centered action fantasy that introduces, among other characters, Brian Tyree enry’s Phastos the first openly gay superhero to be depicted in a Marvel

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‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ is the feel-good queer movie of the season. (Photo courtesy Amazon)

film. It even promises an onscreen kiss between Tyree and aa Sleiman, who portrays Phastos’ husband. We’ll take a wait-and-see attitude on whether or not it’s a blink-andyou’ll-miss-it moment. Directed by Oscar winner Chloé Zhao, it has an all-star cast that includes Gemma Chan, ichard Madden, it arrington, Salma ayak, umail anjiani, Lauren idloff, Barry eoghan, Don Lee, and Angelina Jolie. Isaac (Nov. 16): Coming from Spain is this debut feature from writer/directors Angeles Hernández and David Matamoros, adapted from a stage play by Antonio Hernández Centeno and centered on two friends named Nacho and Isaac, who had an intense relationship as teens and meet again by chance after years. acho, now financially successful and trying to have a baby with his wife Marta, proposes an arrangement with struggling entrepreneur Denis and his partner Carmen: If they will provide the “surrogate belly” for Marta’s pregnancy, he will give them the money they need to open their gourmet restaurant. The deal, of course, opens the door for a lot of resurfaced feelings that forces the two men to discover themselves at the risk of losing the apparent stability they now have. Starring Pepe Ocio and Iván Sánchez (who won the Best Actor prize for his performance as Nacho at the 2020 Malaga Film Festival), it also features Maria Ribera, rika Bleda, and acho San Jos . VOD. The Power of the Dog (Nov. 17): Squeaking in just before the holiday season is this adaptation of the 1967 Thomas Savage novel by the same name, directed by renowned filmmaker Jane Campion and starring screen heavyweights Benedict Cumberbatch and irsten Dunst. Set in 1925 Montana, it’s a character-driven drama in which a brutal but charismatic rancher Cumberbatch finds his life disrupted when his brother Jesse Plemons brings a new wife Dunst and son odi Smit-McPhee home to the ranch. At first cold and cruel, he begins to take his new step-nephew under his wing, and a relationship begins to form that opens up memories of a buried past and awakens him to the possibilities of love. On the one hand, it’s garnered predictable controversy over the casting of the straight-identifying Cumberbatch in a high-profile ueer role his second after playing Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game”) – but on the other, it’s one of the best-reviewed upcoming films on the slate so far. In addition, Campion is a cinematic master whose work here won her the Silver Lion for directing at this year’s Venice Film Festival, so it’s worth taking that into consideration before you decide to give this one a pass. In theaters.

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A scene from the third season of ‘Sex Education.’

Plenty of queer storylines headed to the small screen

New TV season offers comedy, drama, horror, and more By JOHN PAUL KING Even though the Age of Streaming has reshaped the television landscape in a way that makes the “New Fall TV Season” more or less a thing of the past, it still feels only natural to take a look at the new shows headed for our home screens each September. And since LGBTQ+ stories and characters are ever more abundant in the mix, that means there are plenty of upcoming offerings worth highlighting. In that spirit, here’s the Blade’s list of LGBTQ content included among the fresh programming making its debut over the next few months. The Premise (Sept. 16): This anthology series from FX, created and hosted by B.J. Novak, is a half-hour anthology series of character-driven episodes “about the times we live in.” Promising to “challenge our shared morality” as it “engages with the most relevant and meaningful issues of the modern era,” it blends comedy and drama as it tackles subjects like guns, identity, social justice, sex, capitalism, revenge, love, fame, social media, and butt plugs. It makes our list because one episode, written by Jia Tolentino and Novak, features a lesbian couple (Lola Kirke and Soko) whose relationship is threatened when one of them becomes obsessed with a negative online comment about her appearance. Still, the impressive list of actors appearing in the various episodes – including Lucas Hedges, Kaitlyn Dever, Jon Bernthal, Ben Platt, Tracee Ellis Ross, Daniel Dae Kim, Lola Kirke, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Soko, George Wallace, Jermaine Fowler, Ayo Edebiri, Boyd Holbrook, Eric Lange, Beau Bridges, and the late Ed Asner – makes it worth tuning in for the whole thing. Sex Education (Sept. 17): Returning to et i for its third season is this queer fan favorite from writer/creator Laurie Nunn about the misadventures of a backward English teen and his bad-girl secret crush as they run a covert sex counseling service at their strict-and-stuffy school. This season sees Otis Asa Butterfield , while his AL se therapist mother the delicious Gillian Anderson prepares for the arrival of an unexpected mid-life baby, his gay best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) officially becomes a couple with former bully Adam Conner Swindells , and a new head teacher (Jemima Kirke) tries to return the school to a pillar of excellence. Meanwhile, his lost voicemail to Maeve (Emma Mackey) still looms over their relationship. Other new cast members include Jason Isaacs, Indra Ové, and recording artist/songwriter Dua Saleh in their acting debut as a new nonbinary classmate. The Big Leap (Sept. 20): From Fox comes this Liz Heldens-created musical dramedy series based on a British reality show. A modern tale about “second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours,” it revolves around a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show featuring a modern reimagining of “Swan Lake.” Several LGBTQ characters are in the mix. The cast includes Scott oley “Scandal” , Teri Polo “Meet the Parents” franchise , Piper Perabo “Covert Affairs,” “Coyote Ugly” , newcomer Simone ecasner, Ser’Darius Blain “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” , Jon udnitsky “Catch- ” , aymond Cham Jr. “ ive Points” , Mallory Jansen (“Galavant”), Kevin Daniels (“Twelfth Night,” “Modern Family”) and Anna Grace Barlow (“The Goldbergs”). Our Kind of People (Sept. 21) Also from Fox is this large-looming new series from writer and executive producer Karin Gist “Star,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and e ecutive producer Lee Daniels “ mpire,” “The United States Vs. Billie Holiday”), inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s provocative, critically acclaimed book, “Our ind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class.” Set in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, where the rich and powerful Black elite come to play, it follows a single mom determined to reclaim her family’s name with her revolutionary new haircare line for Black women. CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM 4 8 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 1 7 , 2 0 2 1

Six books not to miss this fall

Memoirs, love stories, and ballroom await By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

Staying inside and curling up always seems like a great idea but in the fall, it almost feels urgent, doesn’t it? The great news is that there are a lot of good reads slated this fall for the LGBTQ reader. Not your normal coming-of-age tale, “A Tale of Two Omars” by Omar Sharif, Jr. is the story of the author’s youth during the Arab Spring in 2010. But that’s only the launching point for the rest of the story: Sharif, the grandson of the great actor Omar Sharif, writes of his grandfather and the rest of his scattered family, and visiting them on various continents. He also writes of danger: a job he took that wasn’t the kind of work he thought it was, and the threats he received for speaking out about his homosexuality in homophobic Egypt. It’s a thrilling book, salted with memoir and you’ll love it. (October) ‘Unprotected: A Memoir’ by Billy If you’re obsessed with the most recent Porter is out next month. incarnation of “Cinderella,” then you’ll likewise want to have “Unprotected: A Memoir” by Billy Porter on your shelf. This is a story in the author’s own words, about growing up Black and gay, raised by parents who hope to change the latter, and seizing the strength to stay use your talents and stay the course. (October) Who doesn’t want it all? In the memoir “Greedy: Notes from a Bi-Sexual Who Wants Too Much” by Jen Winston, the author humorously examines what it means to be bisexual, why coming out as bi is fraught with landmines; dating, pronouns, sex, and more. Yes, you can have it (almost) all. (October) Nightlife in Seoul is the backdrop for “Love in the Big City” by Sang Young Park, translated by Anton Hur. It’s the story of a young gay man and his best female friend, and the fun they have exploring the clubs and bars in Seoul. As with many friendships, they both change and he is left to look for the love of his life alone. Fun, sassy, and poignant, this was a big bestselling debut novel in Korea. (November) If something on the light side appeals to you, look for “The Coldest Touch” by Isabel Sterling. It’s a novel about a young woman who knows how someone will die, just by touching them. Understandably, she’d love to lose that power, until a young vampire is sent to help her, and they fall in love. Can the two thwart the danger in their town that’s coming from another, more sinister, paranormal figure? This is a book for young adults, but grown-up readers who love vampire stories will love biting into it. (December) And finally, for the reader with creativity and movement in their bones, “And the Category Is...: Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community” by Ricky Tucker is what you’ll want this fall. Go into an “underground subculture” for Black and Latinx trans and queer people, where marginalized LGBTQ individuals find acceptance, family, and help. With its roots in Harlem more than a century ago, you might not think you know much about ballroom, but you’ll be surprised... (December). Season’s readings!


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A car fit for a ueen

ew 4 , olls- oyce SUV will leave you speechless By JOE PHILLIPS

Last month, I was invited to test drive the ultimate SUV: a olls- oyce Cullinan. My partner obert and I nerdy fans of all things BritBo decided to take this swanky ride on a two-day outing to Charlottesville. After all, meandering along Virginia’s bucolic backroads was the closest we were going to get to an nglish countryside. While we were trying to summon forth our inner Mr. Darcy, we discovered uite a few fun surprises in this regal SUV along the way.

ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN $342,000 Mpg: 12 city/20 highway 0 to 60 mph: 4.5 seconds

The Cullinan has a noble pedigree, named after the largest diamond ever found a hefty 1. -pound gem that is now part of the British Crown Jewels. There are other royal connections to olls- oyce, of course. ueen li abeth who was trained as a World ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN War II mechanic and, at age 95, still drives herself sometimes has a vast car collection with many a olls. And both ate Middleton and Meghan Markle arrived at their weddings in a 195 Phantom IV, made specially for the ueen back when she was a mere princess. Yet despite its 114-year lineage, the lu ury automaker has worked hard to keep pace with modern tastes and technology. ence the Cullinan, the first-ever SUV in the olls- oyce stable. This tony horseless carriage has a 4 , base price that uickly skyrockets with natty options. My test vehicle, for e ample, was 45 , including , for a trendy detailing package. Other notable e tras: lambswool oormats, contrast seat piping, black stained ash wood trim, and an embossed “ ” monogram on the doors and headrests. You also can opt for a cooling bin large enough for two Champagne utes and a whiskey decanter. The best add-on, though, was the starlight headliner. To create the fau nighttime sky, it takes two craftspeople up to 1 hours to perforate 1,9 holes. Then fiberoptic lights are inset at various angles so that each “star” actually twinkles. And crikey! there’s even a shooting star feature. terior niceties are just as impressive, such as the anti-spin device to ensure the “ ” logo remains upright on each wheel cap at all times. Depending on customi ation, those fancy wheels can easily cost 4, each. The famous Spirit of cstasy hood ornament is available in silver, gold-plated or illuminated polycarbonate. To prevent theft, the statuette automatically disappears beneath the hood when the engine is off. But perhaps the most impressive feature is also the least obvious, at least until you slip behind the wheel and fire up this high-class colossus. That’s when the finely tuned, twin-turbo V-1 engine roars to life and effortlessly glides you down the road. Driving such a sophisticated land yacht which weighs almost three tons feels like riding on a cloud. Surprisingly, there’s little body roll when cornering and no shuddering during uick stops. Think sleek Cutty Sark versus lumbering cruise ship. There were several major storms during our time in this vehicle, causing other drivers to pull off the road or frantically try and outrun the rain. But the Cullinan stayed steady, holding the road as we battered our way through heavy winds and torrential downpours. Another nice touch: idden in each of the rear coach doors was a full-si e umbrella, which popped out at the push of a button. When we put the wet umbrellas back into their secret compartments, air vents uickly dried them out. Mary Poppins should have been so lucky. The skies cleared the final day of my test ride, so I sped around the Beltway for one last hurrah. Perhaps because a olls- oyce is more refined and understated than any in-your-face errari or Lamborghini, no one tried to race me down the road. Instead, there were lots of approving smiles and a big thumbs up or two. o, I didn’t respond with a royal wave. But I doubt anyone would have blamed me if I did. After all, driving a Cullinan makes you feel like ueen for a day. 5 6 • WA SHIN GTO N BLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 1 7 , 2 0 2 1 • B US I NE S S

A real estate language primer

A few terms to know before you buy a home By VALERIE M. BLAKE

When working with first-time buyers, I often hear them say, “I have a stupid uestion.” I automatically respond that there’s no such thing. What they think may be a stupid uestion almost invariably has been asked before by many other people in the same situation. The answer to a stupid uestion almost always makes you smarter, so what they really have may be a “smart uestion.” Before you start the home Several uestions that were recently asked of me buying process, there are a few have prompted me to take another look at what I discuss key terms to know. in my initial buyer consultations, so let’s start there. A Buyer Consultation is an initial meeting with a buyer, whether face-to-face, by telephone, or by oom or similar interactive means, where we e change information about the buyer’s needs and the services I provide and determine whether we shall work together e clusively and for how long. If we decide to go forward, we sign an Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement, which allows an agent to be the buyer’s advocate by solely representing the buyer’s interests in a real estate transaction, protecting the buyer’s confidentiality, and providing essential services reserved for a client-based relationship. In the DMV, absent such an agreement, agents must legally represent and owe allegiance to a seller they have never met of a property they have never seen. In D.C., our real estate contracts consist of paragraphs of boilerplate language vetted by a committee of agents, brokers, and attorneys, updated as needed to comply with legislative changes and regulatory re uirements. In other words, they contain a lot of “legalese.” In addition, there are a plethora of addenda that may apply to a real estate transaction. It is important, therefore, for clients to understand what they are reading before signing and, rather than simply having buyers sign an offer electronically, I believe in providing them with a sample contract package and reviewing both the documents and the process with them to e plain terms, market norms, and potential conse uences of making certain choices. The terms below seldom change in any meaningful way and learning them can be a good way to begin to understand the contract process. Time is of the Essence, which is found at the top of our purchase contract, means that deadlines are fi ed. There is no “wait just a minute more” unless both parties agree to an e tension of time in writing. An Earnest Money Deposit, generally an amount in e cess of of the offered price, accompanies or follows an offer and is held by a real estate brokerage or settlement firm until needed at closing. The terms Settlement and Closing are interchangeable and denote the signing and recording of documents transferring the property from seller to buyer. A Contingency is a condition that must be met for the contract to proceed to settlement. An e ample might involve a satisfactory home inspection or appraisal, sale of a prior home, or receipt of financing. Compare it to a situation unrelated to real estate, such as “if you wear a mask, then you may enter the grocery store and shop.” Home Inspections are typically conducted after a contract is Ratified, meaning all parties have agreed to the price and terms. They may allow for repairs to be negotiated with the sellers or for simple acceptance or rejection of the property based on the findings. Some buyers opt for a Walk-and-Talk inspection, which is conducted prior to submitting an offer. The cost is less, since buyers take their own notes and no report is issued. The offer the buyers make will be well-received by the sellers without the delay of a contingency. An Appraisal is ordered by the lender to determine the value of the property and whether that value supports the amount of the loan being made to the buyers. Don’t confuse this with an Assessment conducted by city assessors to determine value for property ta purposes. A Title Search is conducted to determine that there is nothing in the chain of ownership that would prevent the sale of the home. Title Insurance insulates the lender from issues such as fraud, forgery, liens, and other items that may not have been discovered in the initial search. The buyers may also purchase title insurance to similarly protect themselves. In closing, a word about Closing Costs, the amounts paid to lenders, attorneys, brokers, and municipal offices at settlement for e penses incurred in completing the property transfer. The earnest money you have on deposit will be credited to you for these one-time costs or for the remainder of your downpayment. As J. G. Wentworth says, “It’s your money. Use it when you need it.” 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 www. DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.

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WHOLISTIC SERVICES INC. 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 information.


Linda O. Shevlin aka Linda Owens Shevlin

Notice of Appointment, Notice to Creditors and Notice to Unknown Heirs George F. Shevlin, IV, whose address is 37610 Brigantine Court, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 199711589 was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Linda Owens Shevlin who died on 26, April 2021 with a will and will serve without court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001, on our before 3/10/2022. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before 03/10/2022 or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of thi snotice by mail withint 25 days of it’s publicaiton shall so inform the Regsiter of Wills including name, address, and relationship. Date of first publicaiton 09/10/2021 George F. Shevlin, IV, Personal Representative True Test Copy Nicole Stevens, Register of Wills

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