Washingtonblade.com, Volume 52, Issue 42, October 15, 2021

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aper Bowles named director of D.C.

ayor s

ongtime activist to succeed Sheila le ander eid


D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has named longtime LGBTQ community activist Japer Bowles as the new director of the ayor s ffice of esbian, ay, Bise ual, ransgender and uestioning ffairs, according (Photo courtesy of Japer Bowles) to an announcement released by the mayor s office on ct. . Bowles will replace Sheila le ander eid, another longtime LGBTQ community advocate who served as director of the ayor s B ffairs ffice under Bowser from until July of this year. le ander eid stepped down from her D.C. government ob to become senior vice president of a os ngeles based tech startup company called BiasSync, which provides wor place bias and diversity training to private sector companies across the country, including in the D.C. area. The statement announcing Bowles’ appointment as


director of the ayor s B ffairs ffice says Bowles recently led a coalition of more than local B businesses and nonprofit organi ations as well as elected officials to develop, priorities and strategi e investments and programs supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.” The announcement says Bowles previously served as legislative manager at Stateside ssociates, an rlington, a., based company where he led a team that analy ed, monitored and reported the political actions of state legislatures and e ecutive leaders on over , legislative and regulatory matters for corporations, trade associations and the military. Bowles has most recently served as a grassroots organi er for S , the D.C. based B youth advocacy and services organi ation. e has also served for two terms as an elected D.C. dvisory eighborhood Commissioner in Adams Morgan. ntil this wee , Bowles has also served as vice president for legislative affairs for the Capital Stonewall Democrats, D.C.s largest local B political group. e said he would be



stepping down from that position. mong the duties of the ayor s B ffairs ffice has been to lead the office s staff in providing B related diversity or competency training for D.C. government employees at all city agencies. he office website says other activities include connecting B residents with city services they may need, advocating on behalf of programs and policies that benefit the lives of B residents, providing grants to community based organi ations that serve the B community and B homeless youth, and to host events that enrich, promote and bring together the B community in D.C. ne of the events that the office organi es is the upcoming annual th Street igh eel ace scheduled for ct. . The event has attracted several thousand spectators to view a race among drag ueens in celebration of alloween. It was cancelled last year due to the C ID pandemic. Bowles appointment does not re uire confirmation by the D.C. Council.

emaining defendants in Dee Dee Dodds murder case accept plea bargain

rans woman murdered in ortheast D.C. in


Two of the four D.C. men who were charged with first degree murder while armed for the uly , , shooting death of transgender woman Deeniquia Dee Dee Dodds on a Northeast Washington DEENIQUIA ‘DEE DEE’ DODDS (Photo via Facebook street pleaded guilty on Sept. to a charge of voluntary manslaughter as part of a plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors. four page letter providing details of the plea bargain offer made by prosecutors with the ffice of the .S. ttorney for the District of Columbia, which was filed in D.C. Superior Court, states that the agreement accepted by defendants olonta ittle, , and onte . ohnson, , includes the decision to drop the murder charge in e change for a guilty plea to a single count of voluntary manslaughter. It says that in e change for the guilty plea prosecutors will also drop additional charges originally brought against ittle and ohnson, including robbery while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and unlawful possession of a firearm. he agreement also includes a promise by prosecutors to as Superior Court udge ilton C. ee, who is presiding over the case, to issue a sentence of eight years in prison for both men. The letter spelling out the details of the plea deal makes it clear that it will be up to ee to decide whether to accept the eight year ail term proposed by prosecutors, and there is no guarantee that Lee will not hand down a sentence with a longer prison term. It states that under the D.C. criminal code, a conviction on a voluntary manslaughter charge carries a ma imum penalty of years in prison. ttorneys and observers of the D.C. courts have said judges usually agree to a recommended sentence by prosecutors in cases involving a plea bargain agreement. he letter describing the terms of the plea agreement in the Johnson and Little cases does not say whether prosecutors will as ee to deduct from the proposed eight year ail sentence the time that the two men have already spent in ail since the time of their arrest. But in most criminal cases,

judges agree to provide full credit for time served in jail prior to a conviction and sentencing. ohnson has been held without bond for ust over five years since his September arrest. ittle has been held without bond for four years and eight months since his arrest in ebruary . he plea bargain deal came two and a half years after a D.C. Superior Court ury became deadloc ed and could not reach a verdict on the first degree murder charges brought against ohnson and ittle following a month long trial, prompting ee to declare a mistrial on arch , . he two other men charged in Dodd s murder, Shareem all, , and his brother, Cyheme all, , accepted a separate plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors shortly before the start of the trial in which they pled guilty to second degree murder. Both testified at the trial as government witnesses. In dramatic testimony, Cyheme all told the ury that it was ohnson who fatally shot Dodds in the nec at point blac range after she grabbed the barrel of his handgun as ohnson and all attempted to rob her on Division venue, .E., near where she lived. all testified that the plan among the four men to rob Dodds did not include the intent to ill her. In his testimony, all said that in the early morning hours of uly , , he and the other three men made plans to commit armed robberies for cash in areas of D.C. where trans women, most of whom were se wor ers, congregated. e testified that the four men got into a car driven by ittle and searched the streets for victims that they didn t e pect to offer resistance. D.C. police and the .S. ttorney s ffice initially designated the murder charges against Johnson and Little as a hate crime based on findings by homicide detectives that the men were targeting trans women for armed robberies. owever, during ohnson and ittle s trial, ee dismissed the hate crime designation on grounds that there was insufficient evidence by prosecutors to support a hate crime designation. t the re uest of prosecutors, ee scheduled a second trial for Johnson and Little following the deadlocked jury in the first trial. But court records show that for reasons not disclosed in the public court doc et, the start of the second trial was postponed several times. The most recent postponement was due to restrictions placed on the court related to the C ID pandemic.

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s of ugust, of this year, the court records show, the second murder trial for Johnson and Little was scheduled to begin on eb. , . But the records show that as of Sept. of this year the defense attorneys and prosecutors reached an agreement over the plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors. It was on that day, the court records show, that the two men officially agreed to plead guilty to the lower charge of voluntary manslaughter and waived their right to a trial. he following day, on ct. , ee accepted the guilty pleas and scheduled the sentencing for Dec. . eanwhile, Cyheme all and Shareem all have remained in the D.C. jail since the time of their respective arrests. Court records show they were scheduled to be sentenced by ee on Dec. , days after the sentencing for ohnson and Little. It couldn t immediately be determined from the court records whether prosecutors allowed the all brothers to also plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and have dropped the second degree murder charge to which the two men pled guilty bac in as part of an earlier plea bargain deal. At the time Johnson and Little’s trial ended with the deadloc ed ury in arch , B activists e pressed alarm that the ury s action appeared to be a repeat occurrence of several previous D.C. cases in which male attackers charged with assaulting and murdering trans women of color were not convicted for those crimes. his is a very dangerous move on the part of the .S. ttorney s ffice, said uby Corado, founder and former e ecutive director of Casa uby, the D.C. B community services center, in referring to the plea deal. We need to be strengthening laws to ensure that the horrible epidemic of violence against B people that we currently face ends, and not giving criminals a slap on the hand for committing murders against us, Corado told the Washington Blade. his sends a message that our lives don t matter that much to those who already see us as easy targets; we are now becoming disposable people in the eyes of the law.” D.C. trans rights advocate le is Blac mon, Casa uby s interim e ecutive director, called the plea bargain deal offered to ittle and ohnson very disturbing. CONTINUED AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

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AU student charged with attacking gay Asian man, parents expelled atric

rebat no longer affiliated with university


An American University graduate student who was arrested by D.C. police on Aug. 7 on charges that he assaulted a gay Asian man and the man’s parents while shouting homophobic and anti sian slurs is no longer affiliated with the university and will not be allowed on campus,” according to a report by WTOP News. In an Oct. 9 broadcast that it updated this week, WTOP said Patrick Trebat, 38, who had been taking a night class at the university’s Kogod School of Business, was banned from returning to the campus. Charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court show that rebat was charged by D.C. police with one count of felony assault, two counts of simple assault and one count of destruction of property for allegedly assaulting and injuring Sean Lai, 30, an out gay man of Chinese ancestry, and his parents on the 3700 block of Fulton Street, N.W., on Aug. 7. The charging documents say Trebat allegedly began to follow Lai and his parents as they were walking along the street in the city’s Observatory Circle neighborhood near the ational Cathedral. ccording to a statement by a police official from the police district whose officers made the arrest, rebat punched and ic ed the three victims as he stated, “Get out of my country.” The police statement says the family was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. A separate police report says Trebat shouted the word “faggots” at the family and shouted, “You are not Americans!” Based on these allegations, prosecutors classified the assault charges as an anti sian bias related crime, but they did not add an anti gay classification to the charges. Court records show that Trebat was released two days after his arrest while awaiting trial under the court’s High Intensity Supervision Program, which, among other things, imposed a curfew requiring him to return home by 10 p.m. An Oct. 8 story in The Eagle, the American University student newspaper, says it learned that rebat s attorney filed a motion in court, which the Washington Blade also discovered from court records, asking a judge to extend the curfew deadline from 10 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. so that Trebat could attend at night class at American University. he motion, which prosecutors with the .S. ttorney s ffice did not oppose and the

udge approved, identified American University (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key) Trebat in the public court records as an AU graduate student. According to the Eagle, representatives of the university’s Asian American and LGBTQ student groups critici ed university officials for not alerting students that an AU student charged with an anti-Asian hate crime while hurling homophobic slurs had access to the campus and could pose a danger to students. atric rebant is not affiliated with merican niversity and is not allowed on campus, AU told the Blade on Wednesday in a statement. “While we cannot discuss details of an individual matter, when a student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime, the university s student conduct code provides for an administrative adjudication process. The safety of our students and our community is our priority.” The Eagle reports that the code of conduct states that the dean of students or their designee can administratively adjudicate a case when a student has been accused of a non-academic offense “where the student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime” for certain misconduct. The code of conduct applies in a situation in which a student is arrested for an off-campus allegation. Court records show Trebat is scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 15 for a felony status hearing before Superior Court Judge Judith Pipe. Neither Trebat nor his attorney, Brandi Harden, could immediately be reached for comment.

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Baltimore shelter for homeless


youth vandali ed

(Photo by Bigstock)

Suspect charged, police say incident not hate crime


Baltimore police on Oct. 2 arrested a 26-year-old Baltimore man on the same day police say he broke into and burglarized Baltimore’s newly launched LGBTQ youth homeless shelter operated by the nonprofit group Safe aven, according to a police report obtained by the Washington Blade The police incident report says police charged Elijah Shaba Da uan ewis, a Baltimore City resident, with burglary and brea ing and entering after apprehending him on the scene. The report says he was carrying a large plastic bag filled with items he allegedly stole from egacy ouse, the new B youth shelter on Edmondson venue in North Baltimore. Safe aven rogram Director a ae yler told Baltimore s WMAR 2 TV News that Lewis had attempted to break into the facility once before and he made some derogatory comments around sexuality and gender.” But the police report says there was no bias motivation involved in the incident. Tyler also told the TV news station that Lewis appeared to have made a threat that things will happen if the youth facility did not move out of its current location. Iya Dammons, Safe aven s e ecutive director, told the Blade on onday that ewis damaged several s by attempting to pull them off wall mounts in several of the rooms where residents of the facility will be staying when it opens in an apparent attempt to steal them. But when asked if she thin s the incident should be listed as a hate crime, Dammons said she believes ewis action was motivated by hate. is words said that, she said in recalling something

ewis said during his earlier attempt to enter the facility that was captured on security cameras with an audio recording function. e was indicating he did not thin people li e women who were biologically men should be able to have a shelter space, Dammons said. A Baltimore police spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a re uest by the Blade for an e planation of why police didn’t list the break-in and burglary as a hate crime. he police report says the manager of the building, whose name is blac ed out in the report, told police the building was unoccupied at the time of the brea in. he report says the building s owner told police the value of the items stolen by ewis and recovered by police was about , . he report says the owner told police the damage caused by the brea in, which involved mostly damage to a rear door and door frame, would also come to about , . he report provides a detailed list of more than two do en small and medium size items that Lewis allegedly stole and placed in the plastic bag including a silverware set, a cookware set and multiple other household items. The police report says all the stolen items were returned to Safe aven. he o und e appeal, which as of early this wee had raised , of its goal of raising , , also suggests that the break-in incident was a hate crime. n Saturday, ct. , , Baltimore Safe aven s outh omeless Development rogram D , a residential facility which is comprised of seven one bedroom apartments that will serve as phase two of our transitional housing plan, was bro en into, a statement on the o und e page says. During this act of violence against the community in

our safe space, several things were destroyed, including our cameras and security system, bac door to the facility, s and dining furniture, the statement says. dditionally, several items were stolen such as itchenware, bathroom items such as towels and d cor, it says. We are as ing for your help recovering from this egregious act of violence against our community, in a place that should be deemed safe, the statement continues. B youth are some of the most marginali ed and displaced persons, and our program see s to provide support, vital resources and transitional housing to these persons. owever, it s these acts of violence against our community that renders us stagnant, the statement says. When as ed by the Blade whether the Baltimore City State s ttorney s ffice, which is prosecuting the case against defendant ewis, is considering charging ewis with a hate crime, a spo esperson said the office does not comment on pending cases still under investigation. owever, the online doc et report from the Baltimore City District Court shows that the state s attorney s office upgraded the charges against ewis from the charges filed by Baltimore police. The current charges now pending against him are malicious destruction of property with a value greater than , , theft at a value of , to under , burglary fourth degree storehouse and burglary fourth degree theft.





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Capital ride street fair, bloc party moved to nion rgani ers say new location offers more space

ar et


Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes D.C.’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade and festival, has announced that it has changed the location of its first annual Colorful est events from its initial location at th and Streets, .W., to the city s nion ar et comple of food and artisan venders at lorida venue and th Street, .E. he announcement says the Colorful est s events, including a bloc party and fair, set to ta e place Sunday, ct. , will be held at nion ar et s Doc at th St., .E. he Doc website describes the facility as a , s uare foot warehouse event space with an additional s uare foot outdoor covered doc terrace with private entrances.

(Washington Blade photo by Drew Brown)



Capital ride E ecutive Director yan Bos told the Washington Blade the Colorful est will ta e place outdoors in an area ad acent to the Doc building with some indoor activities. his change will allow more space for participants and greater access to amenities, the Capital ride statement announcing the new location says. he Bloc arty and air will feature small independent businesses, community groups, artisans and food, with entertainment throughout the day, including a pop up from the highly anticipated s ou re Bar, the Capital ride announcement says. he announcement says rammy ward winning D racy oung will return to D.C. to headline the Colorful est s tea dance event. It says one of Capital ride s partners in Colorful est is the ueer and rans sian merican and acific Islander Committee, which will showcase D.C. s vibrant and diverse sian merican and acific Islander community and culture. eatures will include a Chinese Dragon ion dance, traditional orean drumming, bhangra dancers, hai fol dancers and performances by South orean drag superstar a ani Sutra, the announcement says. Capital ride has said some of the events, including the bloc party, will re uire proof of C ID vaccination for admission. Bos noted that the nion ar et Doc comple is located ne t to a large par ing lot with free par ing. nion ar et is located about a half mile from the o a allaudet niversity etro Station. Information about additional performances and updates on other events along with a list of participating e hibitors, vendors, and organi ations can be accessed on the Colorful est website, www.Capital ride.org Colorful est.

group endorses lenn oung in

epublican a. gubernatorial candidate welcomed


n anti B group on ct. endorsed lenn oung in. his fall, irginia voters are faced with a star contrast between the two candidates vying for governor, said amily esearch Council ction resident ony er ins in a press release that oung in s campaign released. s a former governor of irginia, erry c uliffe has assembled a lengthy trac record of e treme, far left positions. c uliffe has been endorsed by ov. alph ortham, who made comments in support of infanticide, and c uliffe supported legislation allowing abortion at the moment a baby is born. When he was recently as ed to name an abortion restriction he supports, c uliffe said he supports any ind of abortion at any stage of a baby s development. erry c uliffe s agenda is one of the greatest threats to religious freedom that irginia has ever seen, added er ins. c uliffe s positions would dramatically undermine religious freedom and could result in small business owners and faith based organi ations being punished for living out deeply held religious beliefs. nd when it comes to educational choice, c uliffe supports e treme measures stripping parents of their right to protect their children. e recently stated during a public debate, I don t thin parents should be telling schools what they should teach. er ins added oung in, a epublican, on the other hand will empower parents to have an even greater say in their child s education. hat s why we re urging irginians to vote for lenn oung in for governor, said er ins. lenn s faith is a driving force in what he does and he understands the values that are important to irginians. e will stand up to the e treme policies of the eft. oung in on ct. spo e at the amily esearch Council s ray, ote, Stand Summit that too place at a church in eesburg. oung in s campaign also announced the irginia Society for uman ife C and Concerned Women for merica CE enny ance have endorsed his campaign. erry c uliffe doesn t support a single restriction on abortion, has a trac record of trampling on religious liberties, and has said that parents don t have a say in their children s education, said oung in in his campaign s website. irginians understand that c uliffe s positions are too e treme and too dangerous for their state. oung in earlier this year said he does not support allowing transgender children to play on sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity. he former co CE of the Carlyle roup, a private e uity company, has also e pressed support for anner Cross, an elementary school gym teacher in eesburg who was suspended in une after

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C ction support

(Photo courtesy of Twitter)

he spo e against the irginia Department of Education guidelines that are designed to protect trans and non binary students. he uman ights Campaign in named the Carlyle roup as a Best lace to Wor for B E uality in its annual Corporate E uality Inde . oung in s campaign has noted og Cabin epublicans is among the other groups that have endorsed him. c uliffe, the former chair of the Democratic ational Committee who was irginia s governor from , vetoed religious freedom bills and championed B rights. c uliffe last month during a debate with oung in spar ed criticism among activists when he said local school boards should be ma ing their own decisions about the implementation of the Department of Education s guidelines for trans and non binary students. et s eep irginia open and welcoming to all, tweeted c uliffe on ct. .

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Colorado first state to re uire coverage of transition related care White ouse By CHRIS JOHNSON

d health insurance changes

to include mental wellness e ams and e panded coverage for prescription drug Colorado has become the first state in the country to include transition related care classes, according to S. hese changes, per S, will ta e effect beginning on an. for transgender people as part of the re uirements for essential health care in the state, , . the Biden administration announced on uesday. C S dministrator Chi uita Broo s aSure said in a s part of the change, the Centers for edicare and statement that health care should be accessible, affordable edicaid Services approved the state s re uest to provide and delivered e uitably to all, regardless of your se ual gender affirming care in the individual and small group orientation. he uote notably left out gender identity. health insurance mar ets as part of Colorado s Essential o truly brea down barriers to care, we must e pand ealth Benefit benchmar . access to the full scope of health care, including gender .S. ealth and uman Services Secretary avier Becerra affirming surgery and other treatments, for people who rely said in a statement the change is consistent with the Biden on coverage through edicare, edicaid and C I and the administration s goal of eliminating barriers faced by trans ar etplaces, Broo s aSure said. Colorado s e pansion people in access in health care, including transition related of their essential health benefits to include gender affirming coverage. surgery and other treatments is a model for other states to ealth care should be in reach for everyone by follow and we invite other states to follow suit. guaranteeing transgender individuals can access ccording to the Washington ost, the Biden administration recommended care, we re one step closer to ma ing this a (Bigstock photo) signed off on the change before officials made the reality, Becerra said in a statement. I am proud to stand with announcement uesday in Denver at an event with ov. ared Colorado to remove barriers that have historically made it olis, the first openly gay man elected governor in the .S. difficult for transgender people to access health coverage and medical care. atie eith, a lawyer and co founder of ut Enroll, is uoted in the ost as saying ccording to S, the Colorado plan will re uire insurers to cover a wider range of despite the change significant issues remains for trans people in health care. services for trans people in addition to benefits that already covered, such as eye and here s been significant progress, but we ve seen e clusions by some health plans it lid modifications, face tightening, facial bone remodeling for facial femini ation, breast got worse under the rump administration and that s why it s important to see states chest construction and reductions and laser hair removal. li e Colorado stepping up to fill those gaps, eith is uoted as saying. In addition to these changes, Colorado is also adding E Bs in the benchmar plan

undreds march for transgender rights in

e t ational rans isibility


arch to ta e place in . .

D , la. undreds of out transgender people and allies from across lorida and from as far away as Southern California gathered in rlando on ct. to rally and to march, demanding ustice, e uality and acceptance. Chanting, rans Solidarity, and ey ey, o, o, ransphobia as ot to o participants in the rd annual ational rans isibility arch stepped off for their first march to be held outside D.C. his was also the first in person parade since last year s march was held mostly virtually, on account of the C ID pandemic. here are so many of us who feel e cluded from our cities and our communities, said riel Savage of iverside, Calif. isibility and support is crucial, declared Savage, , in one of the stirring speeches to the crowd at a rally on the shores of rlando s a e Eola, ust prior to the march. We are here today at the ational rans isibility arch because we are real and we have had enough It ust goes to showcase the collective love that we, as trans people, have for each other, and that even in a world that e cludes us and loc s doors on us, we eep marching and we eep brea ing those doors down every day, Savage later told the the Washington Blade. She s the policy director at ruEvolution, a iverside based nonprofit focused on racial ustice and providing health services and emergency housing for B people. he Inland Empire has a lot of wor to do, she said, calling it not necessarily the most accepting environment. his was her first visit to rlando. I don t thin I ve ever seen this many trans people in one place before, Savage said. It feels very beautiful to be in a place where I m not scared and I ust feel e cited and happy and at peace. lynn, who is and from rlando, held a sign decorated in the blue, white and pin colors of the trans ag that said, I m so proud to be me. e marched with his mother, ichelle, and her cousin ochelle, who is lesbian. lynn said he d nown he was a trans boy since si th grade but only recently came out to his mom. f course, I was confused, at first, said ichelle, of rlando. But since then, I have educated myself and I ve oined parent groups and I support


him fully. lorida s ban on trans student athletes and similar laws in eight other states are worrisome for lynn s family, his mother said. It does worry me as a mom, because I want to protect my ids. But I also want him to be who he is. I thin it s really important as parents to support our children. arch organi ers say they chose both this location, and the wee end of rlando ride, to show unity with the larger B community. rlando has a spirit of heart and love, and we wanted it to be here to celebrate with them, said FLYNN, left, was accompanied by his mother, MICHELLE and her cousin, e ecutive director, CE and ROCHELLE, at the National Trans Visibility March in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Dawn Ennis) founder arissa iller. ollowing the march, members of the trans community and allies formed a special contingent in the annual B ride arade through downtown rlando, holding aloft a huge trans ride ag. e t year, the march moves to os ngeles, according to Come ut With ride s communications director, ou uber elody aia onet, who first brought the idea for combining the rlando events to her board of directors. She s been out years and said she s e cited to see how ride has evolved in her adopted hometown of rlando. What I really love is that we re ind of moving away from the binary, onet said. When you wal around this place, not ust the ational rans isibility arch area, but all around a e Eola ar , where we re having Come ut With ride, you ll see people of basically every stripe under the rainbow, you now So, I thin that is that is a great thing to see.


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Cuban president meets with LGBTQ activists Gathering took place months after anti-government protests By MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Oct. 8 met with more than a dozen LGBTQ activists. remenda ota, the Washington Blade s media partner in Cuba, reported the meeting took place at Havana’s Palace of the Revolution. Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, a gay man living with HIV who writes under the pen name Paquito el de Cuba, and Malú Cano, coordinator of ranscuba, a transgender organi ation that is affiliated with the ational Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), are among those who participated. “I see it as a political will to advance the recognition of the rights of LGBTIQ+ people, an outstanding debt that the revolution has always had with us,” Cano told Tremenda Nota. he Cuban government tweeted pictures of of the meeting. odr gue in a blog post notes CE ESE Director ariela Castro, the daughter of former resident a l Castro, was sitting next to Díaz-Canel. Former President Fidel Castro, who was Mariela Castro’s uncle, in the years after the 1959 revolution that brought him to power sent gay men and others to work camps known by the Spanish acronym UMAP. The Cuban government until 1993 forcibly quarantined people with AIDS in state-run sanitaria.

Mariela Castro and Díaz-Canel both publicly support marriage rights for same-sex couples. Friday’s meeting took place less than a month after Cuba s ustice inistry released a draft of a proposed new family code that Cuban President MIGUEL DÍAZ-CANEL would allow gays and lesbians to tie the (Photo public domain) knot. Yoan de la Cruz, a gay man from San Antonio de los Baños in Artemisa province who live streamed the first of a series of anti government protests that too place across Cuba on July 11, and hundreds of others who participated in the demonstrations remain in custody. ymedio, an independent website founded by oani S nche , a prominent critic of the Cuban government, earlier this wee reported the country s attorney general is see ing an year prison sentence for De a Cru . ymedio also notes Cuban authorities continue to hold De La Cruz “somewhat incommunicado” in a prison east of Havana.

Trans South Korean soldier reinstated in posthumous ruling

Byun ui su country s first active duty servicemember to have se reassignment surgery By BRODY LEVESQUE

epublic of orea rmy Staff Sgt. Byun ui su was a tan driver who simply wanted to continue to serve her country in the military. But she also wanted to serve as her authentic self, a 23-year-old trans female and that is where the problem arose. She was stationed in Gyeonggi Province, north of Seoul and in January of 2020, after she had made a trip to hailand in for gender reassignment surgery and notified her superiors that she wanted to transfer to the ROK Army female corps, the ROK Army summarily discharged her for being transgender. She took the Army to court with the assistance of the Center for Military Human Rights orea, a civic group, who had filed a petition alleging Byun s forced military discharge was a discrimination against trans people. The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) in December of 2020 concluded the ROK Army’s decision in January to discharge her as opposed to allowing her to continue to serve in the military as a female soldier had no legal grounds. In a highly emotional press conference after the ROK Army had announced its decision to discharge her from active duty, Byun broke down in tears as she described the decision to undergo surgery after suffering from gender dysphoria, which medical e perts define as distress from the internal con ict between physical gender and gender identity. I will continue to fight until the day I can remain to serve in the army, she said. I ll challenge the decision until the end, to the Supreme Court, she told reporters. The case had brought widespread media attention both in South Korea and overseas because she was the first nown trans rmy active duty soldier to have se reassignment surgery. Yonhap News Agency had reported that the rmy s discharge decision was based on the fact that the staff sergeant’s loss of male genitalia placed her in the Level 3 physical disability under the ROK military law and rendered her unable to serve as a result. he ma ority of the C commission disagreed with the rmy s findings and concluded the discharge was unlawful “because there is no legal basis for applying physical

disability ratings to transgender people.” he commission also found that the rmy s finding of her case as a physical disability was incorrect and contravened human rights law, since she underwent the sex reassignment surgery not because of an accident but because of her gender identity. This past week in a bittersweet moment, the Daejeon District Court said that as her trans gender was already legally recognized, the ROK Army should have used standards applied to women to determine her fitness to serve. uling in Byun s favor, the court noted When based on standards of women, there are no mental or physical disability grounds for dismissal.” The court then ordered the ROK Army to reinstate her. Sadly there was no celebratory acknowledgement because on March 3, 2021, she took her own life and was discovered deceased by emergency officials at her home in the city of Cheongju, south of the South Korean capital city of Seoul. “Byun’s death resonated even more with the public because the military and this society refused to acknowledge the change,” Rainbow Action Against Sexual-Minority Discrimination of Korea, an umbrella association of group of 40 sexual minority groups, said in a statement upon learning the news of her death. In a statement released after the Daejeon District Court’s ruling, the Center for Military Human Rights Korea said that the case took far too long to reach such a “natural and common-sense result.” “I believe this ruling is meaningful as it is the start of the discussion that could pave the way for all transgenders and sexual minorities in South Korea to serve in the military like other citizens,” an activist with Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea, who uses the name sori to campaign, told Reuters. The ROK Army said in a statement that it respected the court’s decision, but has yet to decide whether to appeal, and it would conduct a comprehensive review before deciding a course of action Reuters noted.

Turkish court acquits 19 charged over Pride march participation Defendants faced up to three years in prison By MICHAEL K. LAVERS

A Turkish court on Oct. 8 acquitted 19 people who faced charges over their participation in a ride march. Police in Ankara, the Turkish capital, on May 10, 2019, arrested 18 students and one academic who participated in a Pride march at Middle East Technical University. The 19 (Social media photo by Bigstock) defendants—who were charged with “participating in an unlawful assembly” and “failing to disperse despite being warned”—faced up to three years in prison. “We would like to point out that from the very beginning, there should have been no trial at all, and now, with this precedent, we will continue to raise the LGBTI+ struggle,” said Özgür Gür, a member of ÜniKuir, a Turkish LGBTQ rights group, in a press release that ILGA-

Europe issued. Gür is one of the activists who was acquitted. “We thank everyone for their support,” said Gür. Stefan Simanowitz of Amnesty International in a tweet described the acquittal as “a victory for justice.” The U.S. and other countries in recent years have criticized Turkish authorities over their crackdown of LGBTQ advocacy efforts in the country. ILGA-Europe in its press release notes Ankara authorities in 2017 “banned all LGBTI+ activities under a state of emergency,” but they lifted it in February 2019. Police in Istanbul in une used tear gas and physical force against participants of a ride march that local authorities had banned.


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LGBTQ Venezuelans in Colombia lack health care, jobs AIDS Healthcare Foundation operates clinics throughout country By MICHAEL K. LAVERS

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Edgar García and his partner, Dannys Torres, on Oct. 3, 2018, used a canoe to cross the Arauca River that marks the VenezuelaColombia border. García was a member of the board of directors of Alianza Lambda de ene uela, a ene uelan B rights group, before he ed ene uela. Torres worked as a hairdresser in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. The couple now lives in Rafael Uribe Uribe, a working-class neighborhood in Bogotá, the Colombian capital. Torres continues to work as a hairdresser. García most recently worked for a telecommunications company. “We are settled here in Bogotá,” García told the Washington Blade on Sept. 21 during an interview with him and Torres that took place at a shopping mall near their home. “You have your life here.” García and Torres are two of the more than 5.4 million Venezuelans who the Coordination Platform for Migrants and Refugees from Venezuela say have left their country as of November 2020 because of its ongoing economic and political crises. Statistics from the Colombian government indicate there are currently more than 1.7 million Venezuelans in the country. More than 50 percent of them live in Bogotá and the departments of Norte de Santander, Atlántico and Antioquia. Colombian President Iván Duque in February announced the country would legally recognize Venezuelan migrants who are registered with the DANNYS TORRES and his partner, EDGAR GARCÍA, at a shopping mall in Bogotá, Colombia, government. on Sept. 21, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers) Sources in Colombia with whom the Blade has spoken say there are li ely many more ene uelan migrants in the country than official statistics indicate. Venezuelan migrants who are LGBTQ and/or living with HIV remain “I work here,” she said. “I am relatively well off.” disproportionately vulnerable to discrimination and violence and often lack access to Andy, a trans man from Venezuela’s Maracay state, left Venezuela four years ago with health care and formal employment. his partner and their daughter. Andy, like Vanesa, entered Colombia via a “trocha” near A report the Red de Movilidad Humana LGBTI+—a network of advocacy groups in Maicao. Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala and Mexico— “I migrated because the situation was becoming worse and worse each day,” Andy published with the support of the . . efugee gency notes se traffic ing and even told the Blade on Sept. as he attended a wor shop that Caribe firmativo, an B death are among the myriad threats that LGBTQ migrants from Venezuela face once they group in northern Colombia, organized at a Barranquilla hotel. enter Colombia. The report indicates they also face discrimination in shelters because of Caribe firmativo has opened three Casas firmativos in Barran uilla, aicao and their sexual orientation and gender identity, sexual violence and a lack of access to the Medellín that provide access to health care and other services to Venezuelan migrants Colombian judicial system. who are B and or living with I IDS. Caribe firmativo also operates several “Casas de Paz” throughout northern Colombia that support the implementation of an LGBTQ-inclusive peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that came into force in 2016. Andy said his work in Venezuela allowed him to learn how “to sell whatever product,” but he told the Blade he struggled to find a ob once he arrived in Colombia. Vanesa, a 25-year-old transgender woman from the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo, Andy told the Blade that he, his partner and their daughter now have stable housing came to Colombia eight years ago “in search of a better quality of life.” in Barranquilla. Andy said he also has received a job offer in Medellín, the country’s She told the Blade on Sept. 14 during an interview at Fundación de Atención second-largest city that is the capital of Antioquia department. Inclusiva, Social y Humana (FUVADIS)—an organization in Barranquilla, a city in Atlántico Jesús Gómez is a 33-year-old gay man from Venezuela’s Trujillo state in the Venezuelan department that is near the mouth of the Magdalena River in northern Colombia, that Andes that are close to the country’s border with Colombia. serves Venezuelan migrants—she entered Colombia near Maicao, a city in La Guajira He previously worked with Venezuela Diversa, a Venezuelan LGBTQ advocacy group, department via an informal border crossing known as a “trocha.” Vanesa said she was and accepted a position with the municipality of Chacao that is part of Caracas. Gómez, nearly kidnapped. whose mother was born in Colombia, also joined a student protest movement against “The people who were standing on the sides (of the “trocha”) who ask you for money the government. were supposedly security,” she said. “There was no security. They left me there because me ed to Colombia and is pursuing his asylum case with the help of C . I was trans. They said a lot of ugly things. They assaulted me, including one (man) who “I feel bad emotionally, but I am well-off compared to other people,” he told the was not going to let me go. They wanted me to kidnap me or have me there to do Blade on Sept. 16 during an interview at a hotel in Cúcuta, a city in Norte de Santander whatever they wanted to me.” department that is a few miles from the country’s border with Venezuela. “I am working Vanesa said a woman helped her escape. to help other people who are in the same situation.” “The experience was horrible,” she said. Gómez in December is scheduled to graduate from nursing school. He also works Vanesa traveled to Cartagena, a popular tourist destination that is less than two hours with Fundación Censurados, a Cúcuta-based HIV/AIDS service organization that works southwest of Barranquilla, and began to work at her friend’s hair salon. Vanesa told the with Venezuelan migrants, and has supported other organizations in the area that serve Blade that her friend’s mother “never liked me because ... she is a Christian.” them. Vanesa now lives in Barranquilla and supports herself through video chats. Vanesa

Trans woman left Venezuela ‘in search of a better quality of life’

also competes in local beauty pageants and is able to send money to her mother in Venezuela.



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Antiretroviral drugs at AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s clinic in Bogotá, Colombia, that the Brazilian Ministry of Health has donated. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 FUVADIS Executive Director Luis Meneses, like Gómez, was an LGBTQ activist in Venezuela. Meneses, who is from Venezuela’s Zulia state, in 2010 unsuccessfully ran for ene uela s ational ssembly. eneses in ebruary ed to Colombia because of the political persecution he said he suffered. Discrimination and pre udice against me began when I came out to defend B I rights, eneses told the Blade on Sept. during an interview at his office. eneses in ugust launched DIS, which receives support from groups that includes C and the International rgani ation for igration. DIS provides health care, antiretroviral drugs and a host of other services to ene uelan migrants with I IDS and other populations that include se wor ers. anessa and nearly other DIS clients are B . We cannot wor for the migrant population by only giving them humanitarian assistance, said eneses. It s also about guaranteeing access to their rights.

ene uelans with I lac of medications

IDS die because of

he ew or based id for IDS International estimates more than , ene uelans with I have left the country in recent years. ctivists and health care service providers in ene uela with whom the Blade has spo en in recent years have said people with I IDS in the country have died because of a lac of antiretroviral drugs. he ene uelan government has also targeted I IDS service organi ations. embers of ene uela s eneral Directorate of ilitary Counterintelligence in anuary raided the offices of ul ositivo, an I IDS service organi ation and arrested resident ohan e n eyes and five other staff members. ene uelan police on eb. , , raided the offices of undaci n avid, another I IDS service organi ation in alencia, a city in Carabobo state, and arrested three staffers after they confiscated donated infant formula and medications for people with I IDS Deyvi alvis s ue , a doctor who is the manager of prevention and testing for IDS ealthcare oundation Colombia on Sept. during an interview at s C cuta clinic showed the Blade pictures of ene uelans with I IDS in Colombia who had cases of aposi s sarcoma. he conditions are of e treme vulnerability, said alvis. ndr s Cardona, director of undaci n ncla, a edell n based group that wor s with migrants and other vulnerable groups in, during a Sept. interview with the Blade in his office echoed alvis. Cardona added stigma specifically against ene uelans with I IDS is one of the myriad issues he and his colleagues confront. he issue of the elimination of I also implies not only an issue of communication and prevention, but also an issue of effective attention, said Cardona. We have our conservative culture, an idea that the ene uelans who are coming are going to give us I . his is totally discriminatory, he added. Cardona, li e those inside ene uela with whom the Blade has spo en, said there are no services in the country for people with I IDS. here are many ene uelan migrants with I who enter Colombia, because they are going to die if they don t, he said.

olicy is to reach out to everyone

operates other facilities in Bogot and in the cities of Bucaramanga, opal, alledupar and ohacha. he organi ation, along with the Colombian ed Cross and the government of Santander department, in arch began to distribute condoms, food and water and offer rapid I tests to ene uelan migrants who travel through ramo de Berl n, a high plateau in the Colombian ndes through which a highway between C cuta and Bucaramanga passes.

, among other things, offers migrants rapid I and syphilis tests and counseling for people who test positive. also provides lab tests, formula for children of mothers with I and health care with an interdisciplinary health care team.” Colombia Country rogram anager iliana ndrade orero and Colombia Data anager Sandra vila ira on Sept. noted to the Blade during an interview at s Bogot clinic that upwards of , migrants currently receive care from the organi ation. hey also pointed out that , of them are ta ing antiretroviral drugs the Bra ilian government donates. alvis noted to the Blade that many of s patients also have access to mental health care and social wor ers. s policy is to reach out to everyone, he said.

andemic has made migrants even more vulnerable

alvis, undaci n Censurados Director uan Carlos rchila and other Colombian I IDS service providers with whom the Blade spo e say the pandemic has made ene uelan migrants with I IDS in the country even more vulnerable. oc downs prevented se wor ers and others who wor in the informal economy from earning money. pico y g nero rule implemented by Bogot ayor Claudia pe that allowed women to leave their homes on even days and men to leave their homes on odd days spar ed criticism among trans activists. rchila, who is a nurse, on Sept. told the Blade during an interview at a C cuta hotel the pandemic has also left Censurados in a precarious situation. We endured practically two years with the doors closed, with e penses increasing, he said. he need of people who come to us for the issue of I remains, and yet we are all trying to cope with the situation. ndrade noted s Bogot was closed for several months at the beginning of the pandemic because of the city s strict loc down. he pandemic also forced DIS to close its offices in arch , but eneses told the Blade the organi ation was able to see a handful of patients at a time. e said basic humanitarian assistance that included hygiene its and food were among the things that DIS was able to provide its patients during the pandemic. nderstanding how the situation for the B I community, people with I , the migrant population and the refugee population is, we could not allow our services to shut down, eneses told the Blade.


Put Vaccines On Your Back-to-School List Vaccines are the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. All DC students must have their immunizations up-to-date before the next school year begins.

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is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

y first vacation since the pandemic began

ravelers to Europe feel safer than in .S.

When this column is published I will be on my first vacation since the pandemic began. I will have taken my first ight since arch , , when I returned from a long wee end in Carmel, Calif. t the time there were a few, very few, people in the airport wearing a mas and we were not yet fully aware of what was to come. ver the ne t months I was to eat every meal alone and along with everyone else start the search for toilet paper, paper towels, ysol spray, and hand saniti er to say nothing about looking for masks. Now 19 months later life is beginning to return to normal for me. I have my booster shot, my u shot and was ready for my first (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers) ight. I boarded an er ingus ight to Barcelona. It was easier than I imagined. Dulles to Dublin to Barcelona. o re uirement to have a C ID test, though I did get one before I left, but had to have proof of vaccination to enter Spain. In Barcelona, I spent a great couple of days with a friend who shared his beautiful irbnb. n Saturday, we met other friends in Sitges. Spain seemed very safe and everyone was wearing masks indoors and on public transportation. Sunday at noon we ta ied to the port to board the Celebrity E for our day transatlantic cruise. ll passengers were given a rapid test at the doc before being allowed to board. That was a little nerve racking as I have heard of false positives which would have meant being denied boarding. ll went well and we are now on board and I am ensconced in my beautiful stateroom. I am headed to find some food. It is my intention to blog during the cruise. We will make a number of stops including licante, Seville and the Canary Islands before finally crossing the tlantic and arriving in Fort Lauderdale. number of friends have as ed how I could feel safe from C ID on a ship where I will be in contact with potentially , people I don t now. he cruise is only half full. y response is in some ways I am more confident of my safety on this ship then when I was last in ehoboth Beach. n the ship everyone I will come in contact with has been fully vaccinated and tested negative before being allowed to board, that includes all crew and all passengers. he crew will be wearing masks at all times and passengers are encouraged to do so except when eating and drin ing or in small groups of people they are traveling with. In ehoboth, I was in contact with people whose vaccination status I didn t now there were no mas mandates indoors at any restaurant or bar and Beebe ospital, the local hospital, had cancelled all elective surgeries because of an in u of C ID patients. So yes, I am as confident as I can be of my safety on the ship and with the health precautions Celebrity has taken. + Largest LGBT owned title company We also now while the Europeans were slower than mericans initially to get vaccinated they have now surpassed us. t the beginning of September, Spain announced percent + Billions of dollars in transactions closed annually of their population had been fully vaccinated and those numbers have only gone up in + 6 in house attorneys A D V E R T the I S Ipast N Gmonth. P R O Oany F friends have traveled to Europe in the past month and all said they + Residential and SALES commercial transactions felt very safe again in some cases safer than at home. hey abided by any mas mandates ISSUE DATE: 210917 REPRESENTATIVE: BRIAN PITTS bpitts@washblade.com where re uired and have all been vaccinated, some with booster shots. + In home and in office refinance settlements REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Proof will It is my belief that COVID is here to stay. We will be needing annual booster shots like we be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. Revisions + Licensed DC, DE,theMD, NJ, VA naff & pittsWV will not be accepted aftin er 12:01 pm wednesday, week of publication.Brown omnimedia llc (dba the washington need the u shot each year. I have heard they are loo ing at a way to combine both shots in blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that the future. erc has announced a new pill that can cut hospitali ations by percent and it its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as ONS infringement or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination appears it is something li e ami u, which you need to ta e within a couple of days of feeling O REVISIONS law or regulation, or any other right of any person or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all liability, ADVERTISER SIGNATURE S the federal government and state governments are ramping up mandates loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred by brown naff pitts By signing this proof you are agreeing to symptoms. your contract obligationsBoth with the washington omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties. blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, payment and insertion for vaccinations for all their employees and private corporations li e nited irlines, Disney schedule. and others are following suit. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are doing the same and the results are encouraging as instead of facing losing their jobs vaccine holdouts are now getting vaccinated. Sometimes it does ta e more than persuasion to get people to act even if doing so is in their own, their families, and the community s best interest. It is time to get bac to normal or what many are calling the new normal. y cruise begins.

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is a former city commissioner for the city of Rehoboth Beach.

Proposed zoning code changes will harm Rehoboth

Public hearing to take place on Oct. 15. As a former city commissioner for nine of the past 15 years, I have seen a lot of changes in the laws and decisions governing the city of Rehoboth Beach. Like most things in life, some have been good and some have been not so good. The ones that have been good for the city plan for the future. The ones that have been bad for the city try to hold on to the past. The city of Rehoboth Beach has been a magnet for tourists for a long time and that has not changed, nor can it be changed. rying to sti e our business community will not decrease the numbers that come to our city but will only frustrate our residents and visitors by putting into place ordinances that will promote the construction of buildings that lack functional architectural creativity. Worse, discouraging business innovation will drive businesses to Route 1, resulting in vacant storefronts along our commercial streets that will ultimately increase costs to residents in terms of higher taxes, provision of basic services, and increased utility fees. On Oct. 15, a public hearing will be held regarding patchwork changes to the zoning code. The proposed changes have been put forth as clarifications . They are NOT clarifications but changes that will change the downtown commercial districts (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key) for generations to come. And not in a good way. This may seem like an over-reaction but truly it is not. Not to over-simplify, but the basic zoning code that applies to commercial buildings allows for construction of a building from lot line to lot line with a maximum height of feet. he proposed changes clarifications would count interior courtyards and elevator shafts. These changes do not change the bulk of a building but could very well disincentivize desired architectural enhancements, such as balconies and courtyards. In this day and age of COVID, open space should be promoted not penali ed. Why would we sti e architects with ideas for buildings that embrace creative use of a parcel of land? The effect of the proposed changes on the new hotel projects that are currently being designed warrants involvement by everyone who wants to make sure that Rehoboth Avenue does not end up showcasing buildings with zero architectural interest. It is important to remember that the one square mile of the city of Rehoboth Beach is not a suburban community, nor is it a retirement community. It is a city that hosts tens of thousands of visitors eight to nine months a year with a vibrant restaurant scene, beach and boardwalk, farmers market, recreational dock, and hopefully one day a performing arts center. What can you do? Send an email by Oct. 15 to awomack@cityofrehoboth.com, asking the mayor and city commissioners to pause making these patchwork changes to the city code, changes that will have negative unintended consequences for years to come. Ask them to do what was programmed in the budget over a year ago— to hire a zoning expert to look holistically at the city ordinances and make practical, coordinated changes that incentivize development that sustains the aesthetics and prosperity of our town. V I E WP O I NT • O CTO B E R 1 5 , 2 0 2 1 • WA S H I N GTO N B L A D E.CO M • 2 1

Dave Chappelle can kiss my Black ass

Comedian targets trans people in new et i special BY ALVIN MCEWEN

There is no other way to say this. Dave Chappelle is an ignorant son of a bitch whose embrace of stereotypes about LGBTQ people do more to hurt both the LGBTQ and Black community than any words or actions of the anti B right. irst, a little bac ground “Comedian Dave Chappelle’s new et i special, he Closer, is his last for the service as he concludes a multiproject deal spanning several years and while he tries to pass it off as an DAVE CHAPPELLE appearing on “Netflix e amination of racism and B issues, Is a Joke” in 2019. (Screenshot via YouTube) it comes across more as a hypocritical ustification of a career spent ma ing vulnerable people feel like shit. To cap off his numerous comedy specials, Chappelle pledged not to make jokes about the LGBTQ community any longer, offered to negotiate terms for rapper DaBaby, and announced he is a transgender e clusionary radical feminist (TERF) before launching into a derogatory diatribe about transgender women’s genitals.” That’s not all. Chappelle proceeded to attack all LGBTQ people: Throughout the special, he repeatedly circles back to pitting racism against antiLGBTQ animus. After pointing out that DaBaby had killed another man and still continued to perform and escaped punishment, but got “cancelled” after making incredibly derogatory comments about gay people, Chappelle made the comparison direct. “Do you see where I’m going with this?” he quipped. “In our country, you can shoot and ill a n r, but you better not hurt a gay person s feelings Then he proceeded with more junk. “Gender is a fact,” he continued. “Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact. Now, I am not saying that to say trans women aren’t women, I am just saying that those pussies that they got … you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s not pussy, but it’s Beyond Pussy or Impossible Pussy. It tastes like pussy, but that’s not quite what it is, is it? hat s not blood, that s beet uice. In the end, he proclaims that he s done ma ing o es about B , people,” saying “it is over.” “I am not telling another joke about you,” he said, “until we are both sure that we are laughing together. “All I ask from your community, with all humility, will you please stop punching down on my community?” I could say a lot of things about this man’s ignorance, but I want to focus on one thing because it infuriated me the most. This comment: “All I ask from your community, with all humility, will you please stop punching down on my community?” That is the epitome of all of the bullshit LGBTQ people of color have had to deal with from Blac heterose ual people the entitlement mentality. That’s the belief that whenever there is talk about issues of the Black community, problems of the Black community, or the survival of the Black community, it’s all about Blac heterose uals. od forbid you point to out that heterose uality is not prere uisite of being Blac . o matter how many times it is proven to some heterose ual Blac people that B s of color e ist, that we have families and children, and should be ac nowledge as full members of the Blac community, they will cling to their fantasies of to ic Blac masculinity and overse ed Blac femininity with as much passion as a demented rump voter still holding on to the lie that he was cheated out of victory in the 2020 election. And there is no room in these fantasies for LGBTQ people of color. or phony ideas of blac ness to survive in the minds of some Blac heterose uals, people li e me have to be mentally placed in a bo where we are pulled out when they want someone to make fun of or even worse, assure themselves of how “tolerant” they are because they have chosen not to knock us upside the head or scream passages of the Bible at us which they themselves do not adhere to.



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Committing to reducing energy use all year Reduce Energy Use DC helps lower carbon footprint BY DONNA COOPER

Climate change, extreme weather and powerful storms continue to have an undeniable impact on our world. At Pepco, we believe climate change is real and are taking steps to lead by example and contribute to altering these trends in the District of Columbia. We want future generations to benefit from a smarter, stronger, cleaner and more resilient energy infrastructure and a healthier environment, equitably and inclusively. Reduce Energy Use DC supports these efforts and our fight against climate change in the District. We are currently observing National Energy Awareness Month this October, which was marked in the District of Columbia by a Council Resolution and a Mayoral Proclamation recognizing DC Energy Efficiency Day on Oct. 6, as well as the Mayoral Proclamation of DC Weatherization Day on Oct. 30. The mayor and the Council are encouraging important actions aimed at guiding and assisting all District residents to improve their energy efficiency at home and at work, while reducing their energy costs and improving the environment. These actions support the District’s leading energy reduction and climate goals and have broad support from stakeholders such as Pepco, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)—the founding partners for Reduce Energy Use DC. The Reduce Energy Use DC initiative was introduced in 2020—the second hottest year on record—and encourages everyone in the District to increase their understanding of climate change and involvement in reducing carbon emissions by changing their everyday energy habits. The highest levels of energy usage typically occur in summer and winter, related to cooling and heating, making this National Energy Awareness

Month a good time to examine our summer energy use behaviors, while also taking steps to prepare for a more energy-efficient winter. Reduce Energy Use DC provides support to individuals and businesses in the District interested in saving more than money by lowering their carbon footprint. Additionally, Pepco was a Platinum Sponsor of Open Streets DC this year and attended the event with the Reduce Energy Use DC founding partners to encourage residents to learn more about Reduce Energy Use DC. Open Streets DC inspires people to think differently about their community and Reduce Energy Use DC encourages everyone in the District to take this approach and think differently about their impact and how small changes in our everyday habits can make a difference in our fight against climate change. Reaching the District’s clean energy and climate goals requires a comprehensive combination of actions, but one of the best ways to begin creating a greener future is to use less energy now. There are several options that our customers, residents and businesses in the District have to begin saving energy today with reward and rebate offerings from Pepco as well as programs offered by the DCSEU and the District, such as Solar for All. Pepco has filed a suite of programs for consideration by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia to complement the programs offered by the DCSEU and the DOEE to further assist our customers in reducing their energy usage. Every contribution to saving energy, no matter how small, will have a meaningful impact. Visit reduceenergyusedc.com today to learn more and join the more than 5,000 District residents who have already taken the pledge and committed to reducing their energy use. DONNA COOPER is region president for Pepco.

October is Energy Awareness Month

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Camp classic

ommie Dearest turns

Digital re issue offers fans new insights, ohn Waters commentary By GREGG SHAPIRO

In a eople maga ine interview, scar winning actress aye Dunaway admitted to regretting her over the top portrayal of oan Crawford in the movie ommie Dearest aramount , newly reissued on Blu ray and digital as part of the aramount resents series. f the movie, based on the e ually memoir by Crawford s adopted daughter Christina, Dunaway said, I should have nown better, but sometimes you re vulnerable and you don t reali e what you re getting into. It s unfortunate they felt they had to ma e that ind of movie. But you can t be ashamed of the wor you ve done. hat ind of movie pretty much tan ed Dunaway s career after that. owever, it also titillated and delighted countless fans upon its release and in the years since. multitude of lines have become iconic in the B vernacular and classic scenes have become sources of endless entertainment. So, how good or bad is it rom the minute the gloved hand of actress oan Crawford Dunaway turns off her alarm at a.m. and saunters into the bathroom to begin her morning routine, we now we re in for something out of the ordinary. Dressed to ill, she heads to the studio, reading scripts and autographing photos in the bac of a limo, Crawford was nothing if not devoted to her craft and fans. She was also devoted to cleanliness, an obsession that would become one of the contributing factors in her descent. In one iconic scene, she berates a house eeper, I m not mad at you, I m mad at the dirt. first rate performer in all aspects, Crawford s annual Christmas gift giving e travagan a at an orphanage stirs up her desire for motherhood. nable to conceive, the twice divorced actress discovers she is not a candidate for adoption, despite believing she can be a mother and a father, providing both a wonderful and advantaged life. er lawyer boyfriend reg Steve orrest pulls some strings and Crawford becomes mother to baby Christina.


It doesn t ta e long , a few years before the crac s start to show, beginning with a birthday party for Christina ara obel, in a than less role , complete with a carousel, an organ grinder and mon ey, and a new baby brother named Christopher. Signs of tension are present in oan s interactions with Christina, including her bristling at her daughter s tone of voice. When oan catches Christina mimic ing her while seated at her mother s vanity, she ips out, butchering her hair. Christina isn t the only ob ect of oan s aggression. reg wal s out on oan after a disagreement, and she deals with it by cutting him out of every photo they too together. Studio head ayer oward Da Silva sends her pac ing, utili ing the creative differences e cuse. his leads to the famous rose garden frea out of ina, bring me




the a fame . Shortly after winning the scar for ildred ierce, oan discovers a wire hanger in Christina s closet leading to the notorious o wire hangers, ever beating scene. ot even teenage Christina Diana Scarwid , away at boarding school is safe from oan s wrath. fter Christina is caught getting intimate with a boy, oan removes her from the school. Bac at home, where a ournalist is busy writing a story about oan, Christina and her mother have a heated argument, resulting in the classic slap se uence and the delivery of the I m not one of your fans lines.

FAYE DUNAWAY, left, a oan ra or an RUTANYA ALDA a aro nn on t e et o o ie eare t oto o rte


aving almost illed Christina, oan sends her off to convent school. fter graduating, Christina returns home to discover that not only has her mother remarried to soft drin ing l Steele arry o but she has put her home up for sale with plans to relocate to ew or . eedless to say, the mother daughter relationship never improves, which e plains Christina s barbed wire memoir. erhaps Dunaway, who wor ed with uneven director ran erry he Swimmer, Diary of ad ousewife, and lay It s It ays, and the bombs ello gain and onsignor in the past, should have nown better. egardless, ommie Dearest went from shoc ing biopic to camp classic at light speed, and for that, we are forever grateful. lus, with alloween ust around the corner, ommie Dearest is a fab reminder of what a great and terrifying costume oan Crawford can be. In a interview with the Blade, actress utanya lda, who played long suffering maid Carol nn in the film, tal ed about her surprise at first seeing the film. When the audience laughed, I was li e, h my gosh, I was ind of ta en abac because I new producer ran ablans and director ran erry s intention was to ma e this really serious drama and of course it turned into this ind of camp happening right from the get go, lda said. Even aramount was caught off guard and they didn t now how to promote it because it became such an audience e perience right away. I was actually uite pleased because the audience really got into it. It was ust ama ing to me. lda added that Dunaway should have embraced the campy results of the final film. he audience of ommie Dearest is a great audience and I thin they are disappointed that aye has never embraced the film, lda said. If I were aye Dunaway, I would have said, oo , I was great in the part, I did great things. , maybe I had an over the top performance, but it wor ed, didn t it She s really deprived herself of a great audience of people who love the movie and it s a detriment to her. oo at all the oy she missed. Blu-ray special features include commentary by drag legend Hedda Lettuce and filmmaker John Waters, “Filmmaker Focus” with Frank Perry biographer Justin Bozung, short features including “The Revival of Joan,” “Life With Joan,” and “Joan Lives On,” as well as a photo gallery and the original theatrical trailer. Rating: B-

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Friday, October 15

Friday Tea Time and social hour for older B adults will be at p.m. on oom. eel free to bring your beverage of choice. or the oom lin or more information, contact ustin ustin thedccenter.org .

Saturday, October 16 The D.C. Center’s LGBTQ People of Color Support Group will be at p.m. on oom. his peer support group is an outlet for B people of color to come together and tal about anything affecting them in a space the strives to be safe and udgement free. Email supportdes thedccenter.org for more information.

Sunday, October 17 The D.C. Center’s Black Lesbian Support Group will be at p.m. on oom. hai is a peer led support group devoted to the oys and challenges of being a Blac esbian. or more information, email supportdes thedccenter.org.

Monday, October 18 Genderqueer DC will be at p.m. on oom. his support group is for people who identify outside of the gender binary. Whether you re bigender, agender, gender uid or ust now that you re not percent cis this is your group or more information, visit www.gender ueerdc.org. The Center Aging Coffee Drop-in will be at a.m. at the D.C. Center. B older adults and friends are invited for friendly conversations and current issues that you might be dealing with. or more information visit Center ging s aceboo or witter.

Tuesday, October 19 The Bi Roundtable Discussion will be at p.m. on oom. his event is an opportunity for people to gather in order to discuss issues related to bise uality or as bi individuals in a private setting. isit aceboo or eetup for more information.

Wednesday, October 20 BookMen DC will be at p.m. on oom. Boo en DC is an informal group of men who are interested in fiction and non fiction gay literature. isit Boo en DC s website for more information. The D.C. Center’s Job Club will be hosted via oom at p.m. his event is a wee ly ob support program to help ob entrants and see ers, including the long term unemployed, improve self confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective ob searches and networ ing allowing participants to move away from being merely applicants toward being candidates. or more details, please contact centercareers thedccenter.org.

Thursday, October 21 The D.C. Center’s Poly Group Discussion will be at p.m. on oom. his group is designed to be a forum for people at all different stages to discuss polyamory and other consensual non monogamous relationships. Contact supportdes thedccenter. org for more information.

OUT ABOUT Capital Pride to host ‘All Things Go Music Festival’ he Capital ride lliance in partnership with Bud ight Selt er will be hosting ll hings o usic estival on Saturday, ct. at the erriweather ost avilion ittle atu ent wy., Columbia, d. . rtist aim will headline the festival. ther featured acts include St. incent, Charlie C and auv, among others. here will also be a third stage and dance party Club ride that will showcase performances by D s att Bailer, arrah losscet, Wess, em and Wi . estival passes are available at https:// allthingsgofestival.com.

Equality Virginia to host trans empowerment summit E uality irginia will be hosting the th annual ransgender Information and Empowerment Summit from Wednesday, ct. through Saturday, ct. from p.m. virtually. IES is a free conference that serves the needs and interests of transgender, non binary, and gender nonconforming irginians of all ages as well as their friends, family members, partners and allies. egistration is available on E uality irginia s website.

SMYAL to hold openhouse at new space S will be hosting an open house on Saturday, ct. at p.m. at th St., S.E. S and the iwanis Club of Washington, D.C. will give guests a tour of its newly renovated space as well as give more information about how to help sustain critical services for B youth in the near future. he center will provide ueer and trans youth with affirming and accessible mental health care through tal therapy, group sessions, sound healing and other e pressive therapies.

(Photo by Bigstock)

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‘Hadestown’ comes to the Kennedy Center Levi Kreis discusses return to live theater By PATRICK FOLLIARD

Early in September at New York’s Walter Kerr Theatre, out singer/actor Levi Kreis was in the audience for the long-awaited Broadway reopening of “Hadestown,” Anaïs Mitchell’s rousing musical reimagining of the Orpheus myth in which the legendary Greek hero descends into the underworld to rescue his lover Eurydice. After almost 18 months of pandemic-induced closure, the Tony Award-winning folk opera was back and the house was full. In a recent phone interview, Kreis describes the evening as love filled and electrif in and emotional after such a difficult time ow reis is onsta e in the national tour of “Hadestown,” currently launching at the Kennedy Center. As Hermes, the shape-shifting god of oratory, Kreis is both narrator and chaperone to the story’s young lovers. A Tennessee native, Kreis, 39, has triumphantly survived turbulent times including a harrowingly prolonged coming out experience that included six years of conversion therapy, education disruptions and music contract losses e officiall came out through his acclaimed album “One of the Ones” (2006), which features a collection of piano vocals about past boyfriends. And four years later, he splendidly won a Tony Award for originating the role of rock and roll wild man Jerry Lee Lewis in the rockabilly musical “Million Dollar Quartet.” Throughout much of the pandemic, Kreis leaned into his own music and found ways to reconnect with his largely gay fan base. But he’s happy to now be touring, noting that all the “Hadestown” cast have been hungering to perform before a real live audience. When not on the road, he’s based in New York City with his husband, classical-crossover recording artist Jason Antone. WASHINGTON BLADE: Hermes is the same role for which André De Shields—the brilliant African American actor, also gay, and some decades your elder won a Tony and has resumed playing on Broadway, right? LEVI KREIS: That’s right. It’s really a testament to the creative team. Rather than laying us over what Broadway created. They’re creating a tour that’s uniquely different; still true to the beaut of the stor but with a different avor BLADE: What attracted you to the part? KREIS: First, I fell in love with the show. My own musical sensibilities understand the origins of where this music comes from. It’s very bluesy and gospel. Southern and rootsy. And that’s everything I’ve created in my career as a

singer/songwriter. BLADE: With your life experience, do you feel called to mentor? KREIS: The biggest effort I’ve given to this narrative is being a pioneer of the out-music movement starting in 2005 which was a moment when gay artists were not signed to major labels. I want through eight major labels— when they found out I was gay things always went south. It’s been amazing to be a voice in LGBTQ media when no one was speaking about these things. It’s popular now, but back when it mattered it was a lot harder to start my career as an openly gay artist and speak about these issues rather than keep quiet, cash in, and only then come out. BLADE: Where did that nerve come from? KREIS: Less about nerve and more about being beaten down. How many things have to happen before you give up and decide to be honest? BLADE: For many theatergoers, “Hadestown” will be their return to live theater. Other than it being visionary and remarkably entertaining, why would you recommend it? KREIS: We need encouragement right now. But we also need art that facilitates a lot of important conversation about what’s happening in the world. This has both elements. “Hadestown” is not a piece of art that you easily forget. You’re going to walk out of the theater with a story that sticks with you. You’ll realized that your own voice matters. There’s a part in the show, Orpheus’ song, when the gods encourage him to get the balance of the world back again by telling him that his voice matters. BLADE: Is it timely? KREIS: Art is here to change the world. And this piece of art hits the nail right on the head. I’m a purist when it comes to art and song. There’s a reason why we do it. people are listening now in a way they haven’t listened before. To miss that is to miss the role of society, I think. BLADE: And going forward? KREIS: It’s going to be interesting. We could double down on super commercialized theater or we may decide to really go the other direction and reclaim innovation. That remains to be seen.

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LEVI KREIS is an out actor who plays Hermes in the national tour of ‘Hadestown’ soon opening at the Kennedy Center. (Photo courtesy of Levi Kreis)

Hadestown | Through Oct. 31

The Kennedy Center | $45.00 – $175.00 | Kennedy-center.org For Covid-19 safety regulations go to Kennedy-center.org/visit/covid-safety/

Nov 5 - 14

SALVADOR Flamenco Aparicio Dance Co. (US)

Nov 5 - 7 “powerful... brilliantly staged and performed” -DC Metro Theater Arts


Sara Pérez Dance Co. (Spain) One of the most awarded Spanish artists, presented in collaboration with Fundación Conservatorio Casa Patas of Madrid

Nov 11 - 14 202-234-7174 | galatheatre.org 3333 14th St NW, WDC 20010 |


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oo details fi ht to repeal

linton era polic was horrific for


When Senior Airman Brandi Grijalva was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, she talked with a chaplain’s assistant about some problems she had at home. The chaplain’s assistant said what she told him would be confidential ut when she revealed that she was a lesbian, the chaplain’s assistant no longer kept her conversation with him confidential ri alva after bein investigated was discharged. Craig Haack was a corporal in the Marines serving in Okinawa, Japan. Haack, who had made it through boot camp felt confident ntil investi ators bar ed into his barrac s oo in for evidence of homose ual conduct the ransac ed ever thin from his computers to his platform shoes aac was too stunned to respond when as ed if he was a In 1996, Lt. Col. Steve Loomis’ house was burned down by an Army private. The Army discharged the private who torched Loomis’ house. You’d think the Army would have supported Loomis. But you’d be wrong. The army dischar ed oomis for conduct unbecomin an officer because a fire marshal found a homemade se tape in the ashes. hese are ust a few of the enra in poi nant at times absurd platform shoes all too true stories told in ission Possible he tor of epealin on t s on t ell b i on sburn s a rule don t review self published boo s ut ission Possible is the stunnin e ception that proves that rules, on occasion, are made to be broken. on t s on t ell was the official polic on a lesbian and bise ual people servin in the militar ormer President ill linton announced the polic on ul t too effect on eb 2 4 e ual orientation was covered b ender identit was covered b separate epartment of efense regulations. on ress voted to repeal in ecember 2 the ouse on ec 2 and the enate on ec 2 n ec 22 2 ormer President arac Obama signed the repeal into law. banned a lesbian and bise ual people who were out from servin in the militar nder it was not permitted to as if servicemembers were

on t s


LGB. But, LGB servicemembers couldn’t be out. They couldn t tal about their partners carr photos of their irlfriends or bo friends or list their same se partner as their emergency contract. t too nearl a ear for the repeal of on t s on t ell to o into effect n ept 2 2 bama ecretar of efense obert ates and dm i e ullen chairman of the oint hiefs of taff certified to on ress that implementin repeal of the polic would have no effect on militar readiness militar effectiveness unit cohesion or recruitin and retention sburn writes efore out people weren t permitted to serve in the militar on t s on t ell was intended to be a compromise—a policy that would be less onerous on LGB people, but that would pass muster with people who believed that gay servicemembers would destroy military readiness, morale and unit cohesion. Like many in the queer community, I knew that was a horror show from the et o ver the ears that was in effect an estimated 4 servicemembers were dischar ed because of their se ual orientation accordin to the eterans Administration. ut had no idea how horrific on t s on t ell was until read ission Possible n ission Possible sburn who with ichelle enec e co founded the ervicemembers e al efense etwor pulls off a nearl impossible hat trick. n a clear vivid often spellbindin narrative sburn tells the comple histor of the repeal effort as well as the stories of servicemembers who were pelted with a slurs assaulted and murdered under ats off to now nown as the odern ilitar ssociation of merica for its heroic wor to repeal ther or ani ations wor ed on the repeal effort but did the lion s share of the wor ou wouldn t thin a 4 pa er about repealin a policy would keep you up all night reading. But, ission Possible will eep ou wide awa e ou won t need the espresso.

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on t ell

‘Mission Possible: The Story of Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ By C. Dixon Osburn

c.2021 | self-published $35 hardcover | $25 paperback Kindle $12.99 | 450 pages

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Jane Jane brings throwback joy to busy 14th Street Cocktail bar characterized by warm Southern hospitality By EVAN CAPLAN

There is no standing at Jane Jane, the new classic cocktail bar in the heart of 14th Street. Its 850 square feet is for sitting and savoring, drinking in the relaxed retro vibe and the thoughtful craft cocktails. At the foot of the mixed-use Liz development where Whitman-Walker is the major tenant, Jane Jane’s creative use of a shoebox-sized space brings throwback joy to a busy thoroughfare. In the pre-COVID days of 2019, Whitman-Walker approached the Jane Jane owners, hospitality veterans ean aul Sabatier, alph Brabham and Drew orterfield, all gay men, to make good use of the vacant parcel, and ensure it would be run by LGBTQ entrepreneurs. “It required some gymnastics because of the layout,” says Brabham, “but we came up with this cozy classic cocktail concept.”

(Photo courtesy of Deney Lam)

The hangout spot is an effort by the trio to “celebrate hospitality. We want everyone who walks into the space to feel like friends of ours we are having over for drinks or a bite. Its a cocktail party in our home,” he says. They felt connected to the idea of a tiny bar—a space where they would want to have a drink. Named for Brabham’s mother, Jane Jane is as alluring and lively as it is intimate, each detail in the experience characterized by warm Southern hospitality—right from the bowl of spiced nuts that swiftly appear at each table at the beginning of service. Sabatier, who has held stints at D.C. institutions like Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Maydan, and Compass Rose, oversees the bar and cocktail program, organized by

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spirit. or their part, Brabham and orterfield, romantic partners, also act as co owners of Beau hai and B Coo shop orterfield is also the current Curator and Director of Long View Gallery in Shaw.) Sabatier has presented classic cocktails with a few noteworthy nods to current zeitgeist, as imagined by his lengthy experience behind the bar. The booklet-like menu includes a broad selection of familiar favorites li e a egroni, anhattan, martini, but also features Sabatier’s handpicked favorite classics like the Boulevardier (a whiskey egroni , ast Word gin married to herbaceous green chartreuse and ir ail rum, honey and cava). Drinks fall in the $13-$16 range; a “Golden Hour” runs daily until 7 p.m. featuring beer and wine specials and a punch of the day. Sabatier s creative uices ow on the first page through coc tails li e the vividly named Tears at an Orgy, with brandy, orange and maraschino, as well as the bestselling, highly Instagrammable Crop op, a gin coc tail with a red wine oater and a name that matches the look of the bi-color drink. “It’s fun, delicious, and speaks to the space,” says Sabatier. He notes that their vodka of choice comes from Civic, a local, women- and LGBTQ-owned distillery. Sabatier, a classically trained chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate, also oversees the small selection of bar bites (the space has no kitchen, part of the required “gymnastics” to make it functional.) Beyond the complimentary vessel of rosemary ec ed mi ed nuts, other bar snac s run from pickled vegetables to a Southern-style Pimento cheese dip and an onion dip creamy enough to make your grandmother blush. The “Jane’s Caviar” dish is a spread of trout roe and cr me fraiche and comes with a towering mound of shatteringly crisp chips. A weekend brunch is in the works, which will serve goodies from local bakeries. The retro-style interior recalls both California and the South, with only 32 seats inside and a 14-seat patio. Cozy booths done up in a hunter green as warm and inviting as a cool aunt are slung below walnut-wood walls and bar. Bright patterned tiles run the length of the oor the bac wall has playful coc tail wallpaper. charming needlepoint by the restrooms kindly requests of guests, “please don’t do coke in the bathroom.” The owners note that while Jane Jane is not explicitly a gay bar, its location in a traditionally gay-welcoming institution means that it has LGBTQ in its bones. “Supporting LGBTQ people, businesses, and causes has been in Jane Jane’s ownership’s DNA at every establishment at which they have been involved,” they say, having supported local LGBTQ+ organizations like Casa Ruby, Victory Fund, SMYAL and the Human Rights Campaign, among others. orterfield says that they were surprised that, given the locale, people assumed Jane Jane was a gay bar. “It’s not a gay or straight bar, just a fantastic cocktail bar that welcomes anyone to hang out with us,” he says. evertheless, the owners have ta en into consideration the significance of being in the Liz development, as both gay men and as part of the hospitality industry. “It highlights the lack of representation as gay owners in this bar and restaurant world,” says orterfield. hey note the lac of women, B and BI C representation. It s very special to us that we opened in this space, says orterfield, so we want to show that we have opened a place that is all about inclusivity.”


| ft bakers | deli prep

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One lean, mean green machine New Ford Mustang Mach-E is electrifying By JOE PHILLIPS

ere s a shoc er Electric vehicles have been around for over years. By the time of the first ershey bar in 1900, EVs had hit their own sweet spot—surging to almost 30 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. But when Henry Ford began to produce cars on his moving assembly line in 1913, the popularity of the gas-powered Model T soon short-circuited EV sales. Cue to a century later, when the debut of the all-electric Nissan Leaf in 2010 sent a jolt through the auto industry. Yet it would take another decade to get drivers charged up about anything other than gas-powered rides. Today, it’s hard to keep track of all the EVs out there, along with other green machines like hybrids. While the current microchip shortage has slowed or stopped production on many cars for now, I was lucky enough to drive the all-new, all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. The experience was, well, truly electrifying.

FORD MUSTANG MACH-E $47,000 Range: up to 305 miles 0 to 60 mph: 4.2 seconds

(Photo courtesy of Ford)

When the ord ustang ach E was first announced, many auto aficionados were left scratching their heads. After all, a Mustang is one of the most iconic muscle cars ever created, and the Mach-E designation sounds suspiciously li e the ach branding used on ashy high performance Stangs. Yet this new Mustang is a crossover SUV—and an electric one to boot. While the initial designs were captivating, plenty of skeptics remained. Luckily, they needn’t have worried. I was mesmerized the moment the Mach-E arrived, eager to run my hand along its sinewy side panels and strapping rear end. To keep the design as aerodynamic as possible, there are no traditional door handles. Instead, you use the key fob, your smartphone or a push button on the window frame to pop open the door. On the inside, there’s a small latch in the armrest versus the typical door handle. Such design elements are not only aesthetically pleasing, they also save space and reduce weight. ther novelties his is the first ord vehicle to use recycled animal-free fabrics, as well as a vegan steering wheel that’s as durable as leather. On the space-age dashboard, the premium Bang & Olufsen speakers are concealed beneath fabric covers that mimic the look of pricey home-theater speakers. And the unique design of the quiet cabin allows for a subwoofer that is 50 percent lighter than usual, yet still retains a deep rich clarity. As for

the gigantic 15.5-inch vertical touchscreen in the center of the dash, it resembles a sort of funky oversized iPad from “The Orville.” Along with large climate controls for easier viewing, the touchscreen has interactive maps to locate the nearest charging stations. Those maps came in handy during two weekend trips, as did the heavily bolstered seats that helped prevent driver fatigue but also were easy on the tush. In total, there are five ach E trim levels, each with differing configurations for power and range the distance you can travel on a full charge). While even the base-model Mach-E is fast and lively, it’s the high-test GT version that strikes like a thunder bolt. Rocketing from 0 to 60 seconds in just 3.8 seconds, the Mach-E GT is quicker than a Toyota Supra super coupe. And thanks to lower-than-expected ground clearance and a superb suspension, the Mach-E is just as agile. Those grippy regenerative brakes help, of course, allowing you to speed up or slow down using only the accelerator pedal. It’s worth noting there are other EVs in the Ford stable, including the electric F-150 Lightning full-size pickup, the E-Transit commercial van and various green machines on the way. By 2030, Ford is aiming for 40 percent of its global sales to be EVs. That’s a great goal for a company that once helped pull the plug on the “electric horseless carriage” but today is leading the charge with its own cutting-edge EVs.

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Discover Montifalco Vineyard Join us Fridays-Mondays Noon-5pm during October, Virginia Wine Month! Information and Weekend Reservations @

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‘Coming Out’ party at Dupont Underground

Drag queens and kings perform for an enthusiastic crowd (Washington Blade photos by MICHAEL KEY)

The Washington Blade held a National Coming Out Day party at Dupont Underground on Oct. 8. Drag performers at the event included Shi-Queeta Lee, Citrine, Druex Sidora, Molasses, Sasha Adams and Cake.

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elpful tips for homebuyers in seller’s market

2021 has been a great year for home sales By JEFF HAMMERBERG

JEFF HAMMERBERG (he/him/his) is the Founding CEO of Hammerberg & Associates, Inc. Reach him at 303-378-5526, jeffhammerberg@ gmail.com or www.GayRealEstate.com

Without question, 2021 was a great year for home sales. Sellers across the country, in many cases, found themselves listing their homes and quickly having not just one, but multiple offers, many of which were at asking price or above. With limited inventory and high demand, it has been an ideal year to sell—and conversely, often a difficult year to buy. Buyers who are interested in a particular home, or even in a specific neighborhood, often find themselves facing stiff competition to have offers accepted. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that many buyers haven’t had successful and rewarding home buying experiences—just that doing so often means making an extra effort and taking helpful steps to make an offer the most competitive that it can be. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few helpful tips for buyers in a seller’s market:

Plan ahead with mortgage pre-approval:

While there are certainly a wide variety of strategies that real estate agents and financial advisors may recommend, and while those strategies might vary depending upon the buyer and the circumstances of a particular market, one thing almost all experts agree on is that obtaining a mortgage preapproval is a smart decision. A mortgage preapproval is an ideal way to reassure sellers that a reputable lender has verified your credit and approved your buying power up to a certain limit. If you re caught in a bidding war with another potential buyer, having preapproval establishing that you are ready, willing, and able to buy just might give you the advantage you need in a competitive market.

Be willing to loo under budget so you can bid higher:

In this highly competitive mar et, many home buyers find themselves in a situation where they are in a bidding war with another or even several other buyers. In that situation, you may find yourself having to ma e an offer at, or even in many cases, above,

(Bigstock photo)

the asking price. This means that you may want to adjust your budget—and bidding— accordingly. Choosing to make an offer on a home that has an asking price that is already at the top of your budget may mean that you simply don’t have much wiggle room when it comes to making an offer over that price. Choosing a home slightly under the top of your budget means you ll have more e ibility to ma e a bid that is more competitive and likely to be accepted.

Consider offering non-price-oriented incentives:

Without question, making a highly competitive offer is going to be the key to increasing your chances of having that offer accepted. It s important to remember that there is more to an offer than ust price, however. Buyers may want to consider increasing the appeal of an offer by supplementing it with other incentives beyond just the dollar amount itself. Examples of such incentives might include things like foregoing the seller-paid home warranty that is often offered as part of the process, offering a shorter closing period, not making the purchase contingent upon the sale of a currently-owned home, or other such incentives. Doing so may give you the edge you need to have your offer selected over other competitive bids.

Retain the right real estate agent:

(Bigstock photo)

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ften, for B buyers, especially in a competitive mar et, this piece of the pu le is particularly important. In many, although certainly not all, cases B buyers are drawn to specific areas of a city or community where other B individuals live. That means that in a market where inventory is already limited and going quickly, there can be even fewer homes available upon which to bid. When that is the case, you will need a real estate agent who knows the community that you’re interested in, and who can quickly help you identify and ta e action toward ma ing offers on homes that fit your needs. aving the right agent can make all the difference between a smooth and successful homebuying experience, and a stressful one.

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




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90 anniversary th

A Legacy of Innovation Since 1932

Upcoming Admission Events Join us to learn more about our Montessori and Project-Based Learning programs, meet our teachers, and tour our beautiful 45-acre campus.

RSVP: barrie.org/admission

Open House

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• 10:30 - 11:45 am

Information Session & Campus Tour

Thursday, November 11 • 9:15 - 10:30 am 12 Months to Grade 12

Grades 4-12

Masks & social distancing required at all times.


13500 Layhill Road • Silver Spring, MD \ Bus Transportation & Extended Day Available \ admission@barrie.org \ 301.576.2800

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