Washington Blade, Volume 53, Issue 43, October 28, 2022

Page 1

Leave no one behind

Wes Moore promises inclusive administration if elected Maryland governor, PAGE 07

(Photo courtesy Wes Moore
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Moore expresses strong support for LGBTQ rights in Md. guv race

Democratic candidate backs full access for trans students in public schools

Since he launched his campaign for governor of Mary land earlier this year Democratic candidate Wes Moore has posted a page on his campaign website describing in detail his strong support for LGBTQ rights.

In a phone interview with the Washington Blade on Oct. 17, Moore said his Republican opponent, Dan Cox, has ar gued that those who support the rights of transgender stu dents in the state’s public schools are advancing an agen da of “indoctrination” for school kids, a claim that Moore strongly disputes.

Cox, who was endorsed by Donald Trump after support ing the false claim that Trump won the 2020 presidential election, has been an opponent of LGBTQ rights, especially transgender rights. He currently serves as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from Frederick and Carroll Counties.

“He has been very clear that he believes, when talking about our trans youth or trans children, that there should be extra restrictions put against them for being who they are,” Moore told the Blade. “So, my opponent and I, there cannot be a more stark difference in the way that we view the world, in the way that we view support for the LGBTQ+ communi ty, oore said.

“I care deeply about the LGBTQ+ community,” he said. nd we re always going to fight to ensure that aryland is a state that is open and welcome to all, regardless of who you are, regardless of who you love.”

Moore began his career in the military, serving as a cap tain and paratrooper with the .S. rmy s nd irborne Di vision leading soldiers in combat in Afghanistan, according to his campaign biography. Upon returning home to Mary land Moore started a Baltimore-based small business and wrote a best-selling book called, “The Other Wes Moore,” before oining the nonprofit obin ood foundation, where he later became CEO.

Moore captured the Democratic nomination in July after emerging as the winner in a hotly contested primary, fin ishing ahead of four prominent political figures aryland comptroller Peter Franchot, former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez, former Education Secretary John King, and former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.

A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released on Oct. 1 showed Moore was leading Cox in a sample of 810 Maryland registered voters by a margin of 60 percent to 28 percent, with 9 percent saying they were undecided.

Moore told the Blade that among his priorities, if elected governor, will be to strictly enforce the Inclusive Schools Act, a law passed earlier this year by the Maryland General As sembly that bans discrimination in the state’s public schools based, among other areas, on sexual orientation and gen der identity.

He said he would also call on the General Assembly to pass the Trans Health Equity Act, a bill that died in commit tee earlier this year. The bill calls for providing Medicaid coverage for gender affirming treatment defined as any medically necessary treatment prescribed by a licensed health care provider for the treatment of a condition related to someone’s gender identity.

“And I think the thing that people will see is that this is not just a new thing to me,” Moore said. “We have a track record on working on these issues, whether it is the work I did on the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ whether it is the work I did when I was running one of the largest poverty fighting organizations in the country, and supporting organizations that were supporting LGBTQ plus homeless youth,” he said.

A transcript of the Blade interview with Wes Moore fol lows

Washington Blade: Thank you, Mr. Moore, for doing this interview. Do you have any opening remarks before we get into some questions?

Wes Moore: Well one, thank you for making this time to do this. The only opening remarks I would have is, we’re ex cited about running this race because we have a leave no one behind agenda. And the leave no one behind agenda that we brought out really started in my days in the military, where we were taught that in our first days of military train ing there was a mantra that they asked us to live by. And it was leave no one behind. And that will be the new mission of the State of Maryland.

And when I say that I mean everybody. I care deeply about the LGBTQ+ community. And we’re always going to fight to ensure that aryland is a state that is open and wel come to all, regardless of who you are, regardless of who you love.

And I think the thing that people will see is that this is not just a new thing to me. We have a track record on working on these issues, whether it is the work I did on the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ whether it is the work I did when I was running one of the largest poverty fighting organi a tions in the country, and supporting organizations that were supporting LGBTQ+ homeless youth.

So, what you are going to see in our administration is re ally the continuation of the kind of work that we have been doing for years. And a commitment to making sure we’re leaving no one behind in the process.

Blade: Your campaign website includes a full page in which you express strong support for the LGBTQ communi ty and equal rights for LGBTQ people. Has your Republican opponent, Dan Cox, or any of his supporters criticized you or attacked you for that?

Moore: Of course. The thing that I continue to focus on is that level of bigotry, it has no place in our campaign. It will have no place in our administration. You know, my oppo nent has been very clear about who he is. My opponent has been very clear in that he considers the push that we have to make sure that all voices are supported and heard, espe cially and including our LGBTQ+ youth, is quote unquote indoctrination.

He has been very clear that he believes, when talking about our trans youth or trans children, that there should be extra restrictions put against them for them being who they are. So, my opponent and I, there cannot be a more stark difference in the way that we view the world, in the way that we view support for the LGBTQ+ community.

But the reason that I know that our campaign has the mo mentum that it does is not because we are asking people to be afraid of the alternative. But it is asking people to believe in what we can actually get done together.

Blade: What message do you have for any LGBTQ voters in Maryland, some of whom are Republicans and support the current governor, who are undecided about whether to vote for you because they think you might be too liberal?

Moore: The message that I would send people is that we’re building a future for all Marylanders. And we’re go ing all around the state. In fact, later on today we’re on our way to Washington County, to rederic County to places that are pretty conservative areas. And people are saying, why are you going there if there are not a lot of Democrats out there? My answer is simple: It’s because there’s a lot of Marylanders. And I’m planning on being their governor too.

You know, when I was in the Army and leading soldiers in combat, one question I never wanted to ask my soldiers is, what’s your political party? It didn’t matter. We had one goal

and one job and one mission.

When we were fighting for both the repeal of Don t s , Don’t Tell” or most recently for the for the PACT Act, which was supporting people who were exposed to these toxic burning bits and making sure that they are getting support, never once was the conversation that we’re focusing on about Democrats that need support or focusing on Demo crats that were having their civil rights violated by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that was in place.

We wanted to support everybody. nd so, the message I would have to Republicans who might support Governor ogan and who are now trying to figure out what they want to do because they’re also very clear that Governor Hogan is not supporting my opponent. Governor Hogan has called him unfit. e has called him unstable. e has said he is not only not going to support him for governor, but he has also said I won t even give him a tour of the governor s office.

So, Governor Hogan has been very clear about his dis pleasure with my opponent. But the thing that I would say also to epublicans who are trying to figure out what they want to do in this election is, I humbly ask them for their sup port. And I humbly ask them to look at our policy page. And I think they will see in our policy page that we are focused on building a Maryland for everyone and not just some and not for a political party.

Blade: What are your thoughts on Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin and the controversial policy proposals he has made for transgender students in the Virginia public school system? His proposed school guidelines call for repealing the existing transgender school policy put in place by for mer Gov. Ralph Northam that allowed transgender students to use the name of their choosing and to use school facilities such as bathrooms that match their gender identity. This has become what many are saying is a wedge issue in Virgin ia. Do you have any thoughts on how this might play out in Maryland?

Moore: I have an 11-year-old daughter and an eightyear-old son. And the only thing that I ever want for my kids is for them to be heard and for them to be seen. And the thing is that’s what I want for every kid. That’s what I want for all children in the State of Maryland. And the danger of so many of these policies is, you know, if we’re asking our chil dren to live lives of honor and lives of integrity but then we are also putting together policies that are restricting them from being able to live their own truth, then I have an issue with that.

WES MOORE promises an inclusive administration if elected Maryland governor. (Photo courtesy Moore campaign)



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Once hostile Va. church to honor gay Episcopal bishop

One of the na tion’s oldest Epis copal congrega tions located in Falls Church, Va., has announced it will host on Oct. 29 a “long over due” dialogue with Bishop Gene obinson, the first openly B bishop or dained and consecrated by both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. he church hosting the event, called he alls Church, says in a statement it has invited Robinson to its congregation as an act of rec onciliation years after it oined numerous other churches in disaffiliating from the official Episcopal Church in protest over Robinson’s ordination as a bishop.

In a milestone visit of faith, ustice, and rec onciliation, the venerated three century old Episcopal congregation will open its doors, its arms, and its hearts to he Bishop ene obin son – and further heal the unprecedented rup ture that began in 2003 when Robinson was elected bishop, the statement by the church says.

It says the ct. event scheduled to begin at a.m., called ove, despite Conversation with Bishop Gene Robinson,” is free and open to the public.

he statement says the public is also invited to attend two services the church will hold the following day on ct. at a.m. and a.m. in which Bishop Robison will preach. he alls Church congregation is located at East airfa Street, alls Church, a.  LOU CHIBBARO JR.

he Center for Blac E uity CBE has received a , grant supporting the center s mission to raise awareness about mon eypo in Blac and atin B communities. he grant will also fund the center s continuing fight against mon eypo misinformation and lac of access to vaccines and resourc es within these communities.

he grant, which is a part of a partnership with ilead harmaceuticals, re uires the CBE to demonstrate that it has the history and capacity to create and implement a community wide initiative focusing on mon eypo education and boosting vaccination rates in the Blac and atin B communities.

he CBE is a coalition of international B community members, ride organi ations, and community based organi ations that have conducted phil anthropic and advocacy wor in the B community for more than years.

rant funds will be used in efforts to connect Blac and atin B per sons with local community based organi ations that will provide accurate and up to date information on mon eypo , direct people to vaccination sites, and improve these communities access to mon eypo education and vaccines.

he official ic off of the CBE s mon eypo initiative started with a nation wide community leader tal .

We brought together all of the Blac ride leaders from around the coun try to tal about mon eypo in their communities, what ind of resources they have, what has been the health department response and what do they need to do their wor better, CBE deputy director enya utton said.

he CBE will continue to host regular tal s with community leaders to sup port the center s goal of connecting the needs and voices of the Blac and atin B communities on a nationwide level.

It s going to get an idea of what it sounds li e or what e periences are from community leaders on the ground level, utton said.

Since mon eypo was officially labeled a public health emergency in the .S., the B community has been vocal about the misinformation sur rounding the disease as well as limited resources for B communities of color. any have compared the public health response to mon eypo to the early response to the I IDS epidemic in the s.

In the beginning, the information seemed to focus on white gay men, ut ton said. nd even though they eep saying the number of mon eypo cases are decreasing, the numbers are increasing in the Blac and atin communi ties.”

he CBE has an interactive map on its website where you can input your ip code and find permanent and pop up vaccination sites near you. ou can also sign up for the CBE s biwee ly newsletter with up to date mon eypo informa tion online.

he annual Wal to End I was held at the ateway DC avilion in Southeast on Saturday, ct. .

his was the first full in person wal in two years. During the C ID pandemic, the wal was conducted virtually or with limited social gatherings. In years before the pandemic, the Wal to End I , formerly nown as the IDS Wal , began at reedom la a and participants wal ed or ran along ennsylvania venue, .W. his year, the march and run wound around the historic St. Eli abeth s ospital campus and what will become the future site of the Whit man Wal er ealth comple . articipants were treated to sunny weather and temperatures in the s.

BC s Chuc Bell and ueen of the Capital uffy Stephyns served as the emcees. Spea ers included D.C. ayor uriel Bowser aseema Shafi and yan B. oran of Whitman Wal er and shley Innes and nthony utierre of il ead Sciences. he warm up was led by Chase c esey of Sweat DC. here were performanc es by drag ueen Shi ueeta ee and the ay en s Chorus of Washington. ore than , was raised for Whit man Wal er ealth.

he D.C. lcoholic Beverage Control Board on ct. suspended the li uor license for arry s ounge, a popular neighborhood gay bar at th St., .W., on grounds that it failed to sub mit its license renewal application by a Sept. deadline.

In a two page Cease and Desist rder the BC Board states that arry s ounge did not re spond to one or more attempts by the city s lcoholic Beverage egulation dministration B to notify arry s ounge prior to the Sept. deadline that it had not renewed its li uor license. he ct. order prohibits arry s ounge from selling or allowing the consumption of alco holic beverages on its premises until it pays the re uired fee to renew its license and pays a daily fine of in late fees imposed by the Board. he order does not re uire the bar to close as long as it doesn’t serve alcohol.

spo esperson for B said arry s ounge had not ta en steps to renew its license as of onday, ct. . he spo esperson, ared owell, said that similar to all other li uor serving establishments in the city, if arry s ounge does not renew its license by ov. the license will be revo ed.

ttempts by the Blade to reach arry s ounge and its owner, ob obinson, for comment were unsuccessful. call to the bar s listed phone number reached a recorded message saying the voice mailbo was full and a message could not be left. n email sent to the email address listed for arry s ounge in B s records was not answered as of ct. . wo of arry s ounge s regular customers told the Blade they observed a sign posted outside the bar saying it was closed for construction or renovation.

In a little noticed development, the I S announced on its website on ug. that it had revo ed the ta e empt status three months earlier on ay , for the Cherry und, the D.C. based B nonprofit organi ation.

or the past years, the Cherry und has raised large sums of mon ey for I IDS and B organi ations through its annual wee end circuit party events usually held in pril.

In an announcement posted on its website, the I S included the Cherry und in a list of organi ations for which it said their c ta e empt status was automatically revo ed on grounds that they failed to submit a re uired annual I S finance statement for three consecutive years.

he I S included this statement as part of its announcement ust because an organi ation appears on this list, it does not mean the or gani ation is currently revo ed, as they may have been reinstated.

n I S spo esperson told the Washington Blade that as of two wee s ago, the Cherry und s ta e empt status had not been reinstated.

llen Se ton, the Cherry und president, or another Cherry und spo esperson have not responded to a Washington Blade re uest for comment.

Wal to End I held at ateway DC avilion
Center for Blac E uity wins , grant to combat mon eypo
i uor license suspended for arry s ounge
I S revo es ta e empt status for Cherry und
D.C. Mayor MURIEL BOWSER marched at the front of the Walk to End HIV on Saturday. (Blade photo by Michael Key) Bishop GENE ROBINSON (Blade fle photo by Michael Key)

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Leslie Jordan dies in Hollywood car crash

Beloved out actor and comedian Leslie Jordan died in a single-car crash Monday morning in Hollywood af ter suffering an unspecified medical emergency, a os Angeles Police Department source said.

The 67-year-old saw a resurgence of fame with his viral and hilarious videos on social media during the lengthy coronavirus pandemic. Jordan was best known for his roles as onnie arr in earts fire , Beverly eslie in Will and race , , and several characters in the merican orror Story franchise present .

Jordan, an accomplished stage actor and playwright, was also a devoted advocate for LGBTQ rights. Early in during AIDS crisis, Jordan, a Los Angeles resident, be came involved in IDS ro ect os ngeles as a buddy and as a food delivery person for ro ect ngel ood, a non profit founded during the I IDS pandemic, which to this day prepares and delivers healthful meals to feed people impacted by serious illness.

In statement to the Blade after learning of Jordan’s death, Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub said: “Leslie was more than just a supporter of Project Angel ood, he was family. When eslie first moved to in the

s he wanted to help people with IDS so he volun teered as a driver for Project Angel Food. Leslie present ed Project Angel Food with the West Hollywood Cham ber of Commerce s Creative Business ward in , and was such a joy to be around. Our hearts ache.”

Two years ago in a lengthy interview with Page Six,

ordan revealed he once hated himself for being gay. he star and social media phenom told age Si that homophobia and self-loathing were planted deep in side him growing up in a church going family in s Tennessee.

“If you’re born homosexual, it’s not a choice,” said ordan, who has released a boo of essays called ow Y’All Doing?”

“I think for myself when you know something in your heart and you’re [told] that’s just wrong … I talk to a lot of my gay friends and I say it’s a wonder we’re even alive!”

In a 2018 interview with the Blade, Jordan spoke about his career It feels ama ing. I ve always been the funny guy that came in with a inger. hat was my ob from the day I got here in , with , that my mother pinned into my underpants on a Greyhound bus.”

I got off at the corner of ine Street and De ongpre and I reali ed that was my ob years I did that. Will race which he guest starred in won an Emmy for it. And I thought, ‘you know what? It’s time.’ Just the way it’s unfolded has been amazing.”

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter dies

Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who served un der President Barack Obama during the implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” and who cleared the way for transgender military service, died this week.

Carter passed away Monday evening from a “sudden cardiac event” his wife, Stephanie, and his children, Ava and Will, announced in a statement. “It is with deep and profound sadness that the family of former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter shares that Secretary Carter passed away Monday evening in Boston after a sudden cardiac event at the age of .

Carter, in a statement made on Sept. 20, 2016, marking the fifth anniversary of the repeal of the Don t s , Don t Tell” law that barred gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military, noted:

I am proud to report that five years after the implemen tation of the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ our military, drawn from a cross-section of America, is stronger than ever and continues to exemplify the very best that our great nation has to offer,” Carter said. “The American peo ple can take pride in how the Department of Defense and the men and women of the United States military have implemented this change with the dignity, respect, and e cellence e pected of the finest fighting force the world has ever known.”

He added: “As the memory of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ fades further into the past, and we move forward togeth er to face new challenges,” he said. “We recognize that openness to diversity and reaching out in a spirit of re newed inclusiveness will strengthen our military and en hance our nation’s security.”

In the final years of bama s second term, Carter worked to lift the ban on trans people serving openly in the U.S. military. That decision was one of the last remain ing barriers to LGBTQ participation in the U.S. armed forc es.

In July 2017, after President Donald Trump tweeted he was banning trans people from serving openly in the U.S. military, Carter reacted noting that trans people already

serve capably and honorably.

“To choose service members on grounds other than military ualifications is social policy and has no place in our military,” Carter said.

Upon hearing the news of his death, Obama in a state ment praised Carter saying his advice and role made the military “stronger, smarter, more humane and more effec tive.” Then Obama added; “Ash’s greatest legacy, howev er, may be the generations of younger leaders he taught, mentored, and inspired to protect our nation and wield power wisely.

Carter’s predecessor, Robert Gates said Carter’s “in sights and perspectives will be difficult to replace and his humor and regard for the troops deeply missed.”

The White House on Tuesday released a statement from President Joe Biden who summed up his view of Carter up with the word ‘integrity.’

“Integrity. When I think of Ash Carter, I think of a man of extraordinary integrity. Honest. Principled. Guided by a strong, steady moral compass and a vision of using his life for public purpose. Ash Carter was born a patriot. A physicist and national security leader across decades, he served with immense distinction at every level of civilian leadership at the Department of Defense, including as our nation s th secretary of defense. I was vice president at the time, and resident bama and I relied on sh s fierce intellect and wise counsel to ensure our military’s readi ness, technological edge, and obligation to the women and men of the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. Ash was a leader on all the major national security issues of our times — from nuclear deterrence to prolifer ation prevention to missile defense to emerging technol ogy challenges to the fight against l aida and ISIS. e opened every field of military service to women and pro tected the rights of transgender service members.

is public contributions were amplified by his many years at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he inspired and mentored the next generation of national security leaders. As president, I continued to rely

on his expertise through his presence on my Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

“Above all, Ash understood the sacred obligation we have to our servicemembers, veterans, and their families. He was relentless in his pursuit of technology solutions for our warfighters, rapidly accelerating delivery of mine re sistant vehicles to our troops to protect them from impro vised e plosive devices in Ira and fghanistan. is wor saved countless lives and limbs. On many weekends Ash and his beloved wife Stephanie would quietly visit wound ed warriors at Walter Reed. He did so out of the spotlight, demonstrating the personal integrity and sense of duty that distinguished him throughout his life.

“Jill and I grieve with the entire Carter family, including Stephanie, Will and Ava, and countless friends and col leagues across the world who are mourning this sudden loss of a great merican. sh Carter was a great merican of the utmost integrity.”

Carter led the Belfer Center for Science and Interna tional Affairs at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Gov ernment in Cambridge, Mass., and is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and his children, Ava and Will.

Comedian LESLIE JORDAN attends the 2016 Night Out at the Nationals. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key) ASH CARTER speaks at DOD Pride in 2016. ( a hi to Blade fle photo by Michael Key)
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Russian court upholds Brittney Griner’s sentence

A Russian appellate court on Tuesday upheld the 9-year sentence in a penal colony that WNBA star Brit tney Griner received after her conviction for smug gling drugs into the country.

Officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in Feb ruary detained Griner — a Phoenix Mercury center and two-time Olympic gold medalist who is a lesbian and married to her wife, Cherelle Griner — after customs inspectors allegedly found hashish oil in her luggage. The State Department has determined that Russia “ wrongfully detained” her.

A court on Aug. 4 convicted Brittney Griner of smug gling drugs into the country and sentenced her to nine years in a penal colony. She appealed the sentence. Cherelle Griner last month met with President Joe Biden at the White House.

American officials have publicly acknowledged their willingness to release Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S., as part of a deal to secure the release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, another American citizen

who is serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia af ter his conviction for spying.

dergo another sham judicial proceeding today,” said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday in a statement. “ President Biden has been very clear that Brittney should be released immediately.”

“ In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris administration has continued to engage with Russia through every available channel and make every effort to bring home Brittney as well as to support and advocate for other Americans detained in Russia, including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan,” added Sullivan. “The president has demonstrated that he is willing to go to extraordinary lengths and make tough decisions to bring Americans home, as his administration has done successfully from countries around the world. The administration remains in regular touch with rep resentatives of the families, and we continue to ad mire their courage in the face of these unimaginable circumstances.”

“ We are aware of the news out of Russia that Brit tney Griner will continue to be wrongfully detained under intolerable circumstances after having to un

It is unclear whether Brittney Griner’s lawyers will appeal Tuesday’s ruling.

Rishi Sunak named new British prime minister

Following the resignation of Liz Truss, her 44 days in of fice the shortest tenure of any British prime minister in his tory last Thursday, the Conservative Party met Monday and named Rishi Sunak as the new Tory party leader.

Sunak’s rise to head of the party came after after the only other candidate, Penny Mordaunt, dropped out of the race. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had hinted at a potential challenge to return but abruptly announced Sun day that he was not in the running to get his old job back.

The 42-year-old Sunak is one of the wealthiest people in Britain and his wealth exceeds the fortune of the Brit ish monarchy itself. The Washington Post noted that the former banker, and his wife, Indian tech heiress Akshata Murty, have an estimated fortune of about 730 million pounds ($827 million), according to the Sunday Times Rich List. On the 2022 list, the monarch was estimated to have about 370 million pounds ($419 million) by comparison.

Leading British LGBTQ daily publication PinkNewsUK notes that for Britain’s LGBTQ community there are divi sions over Sunak’s taking over. Jayne Ozanne, the former government LGBTQ advisor and anti-conversion therapy campaigner, was among those to congratulate Sunak Pink NewsUK reported.

Ozanne told PinkNews: “In congratulating Mr. Sunak

on his appointment as prime minister, I would urge him to prioritize the needs of those who are feeling the most vulnerable and scared at this time of extreme uncertainty. This includes members of the LGBT+ community, many of whom live in constant fear given the toxic nature of the de bate over trans rights, e emplified by soaring hate crime statistics.”

“He has an opportunity to address these concerns di rectly by giving a clear commitment to a full ban on ‘con version therapy’ and abolishing the barbaric Rwanda asy lum policy. Moreover, I hope he will look to reset the clock in relation to the Tory party’s disastrous relationship with the LGBT+ community over the past few years.”

Others in the British LGBTQ community were less enthu siastic the news site reported.

Longtime human rights and LGBTQ rights activist Peter Tatchell told PinkNewsUK, “Rishi offered nothing to the LGBT+ community during his leadership campaign. I am not hopeful about any progress on banning conversion therapy or reform of the Gender Recognition Act under his premiership.”

Tatchell called for an immediate election, adding: “Rishi has no mandate for anything. He was not elected by the British people. He was selected by a tiny group of just over

“There has to be a general election to ensure that our prime minister and his policies have a public mandate. Changing prime minister and government policies twice without an election is not democratic.”

Zieselman named adviser to special U.S. envoy for LGBTQ rights

The State Department has named a prominent in tersex activist as an advisor to the special U.S. en voy for the promotion of LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad.

Kimberly Zieselman on Oct. 16 announced on her Twitter page that she will work with Jessica Stern.

Zieselman is the former executive director of in terACT: Advocates for IntersexYouth and author of “XOXY: A Memoir.”

“As an intersex woman, it’s not only an incredible honor to serve this administration and work with Special Envoy Stern, but my appointment isalso a milestone for the intersex community which has been historically marginalized, if not entirely erased across the globe,” Zieselman told the Washington

Blade this week in a statement.

President Joe Biden in 2021 signed a memo that committed the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ and inter sex rights abroad as part of his administration’s over all foreign policy. The State Department earlier this year began to issue passports with an “X” gender marker.

“The Department of State is committed to pro moting and protecting the human rights of all indi viduals, including intersex persons, who often face discrimination, harmful medical practices, violence, and social stigma solely based on their sex charac teristics,” a State Department spokesperson told the Blade in response to Zieselman’s appointment.

100 Tory MPs.
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key) (Graphic courtesy Los Angeles Blade) KIMBERLY ZIESELMAN (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Zieselman)
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is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

Bon voyage: Off to Rome and a transatlantic cruise

LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual observance of the history, plight, and civil rights movements of LGBTQ+ and Gender Expansive people. Conceptualized in the 1990s, it was created to build awareness and highlight the contributions and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. Even though some would say we’ve come a long way in terms of progress and inclusion, Black and Brown communities are usually left out of the homage and the celebration specifi cally, the many con tributions of Black and Brown LGBTQ+ alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Here in Washington, D.C., there are two HBCUs, Howard a private university, founded in 1867, and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) a public university, founded in 1851. Two Black institutions with important historical and contemporary fi gures that have shaped not ust D.C., but the nation in its entirety.

Howard University is known for its merit, honor, and prestige. But, how rare is it that most students, alumni, and community members know about the LGBTQ+/ Gender-Expansive people who helped make the “Mecca” what it is in terms of social justice and culture. A few notables are: Zora Neale Hurston, cultural architect, ethnographer, writer and spiritualist who founded the “The Hilltop” student newspaper in 1924. Alain Locke, cultural theorist, art critic, and father of the Harlem Renaissance. Chi ughes, founder of the ambda Student lliance, the fi rst openly LGBTQ+ student organization at any HBCU, founded in 1979, just 43 years ago.

UDC, a public urban land grant HBCU founded by Myrtilla Miner, a white woman abolitionist for Black girls at a time when it was illegal for Black people to be educated or even vote, also has a unique history of social justice and LGBTQ+ prominent faculty/alumni. From CLR James, one of the most important black Marxists of the 20th century, to the Kiamsha Sit-in of 1990. UDC has also been at the forefront of organizing and revolution. And like most HBCUs, we have our own reputable history and iconic leaders like 1982 UDC Alumnus, Essex Hemphill. A poet, writer, and artist who was a fi erce defender of Blac gay men and ma or contributor to the D.C. ueer enaisance era. his history is largely signifi cant with B history month and every month, specifi cally as it connects to the plight of marginali ed communities. We can t ust be satisfi ed with having an awareness or ride month when people are dying, and suffering. We must be committed to learning the history, building, and supporting our community, especially as violence continues to disproportionately ravage Black and Brown LGBTQ+ people all across the United States and world.

HBCUs are particularly important in this political climate and the lack of support of LGBTQ+/Gender expansive students is also concerning given that fewer than have B student organi atons and only fi ve have B esource Cen ters. These revelations aren’t by happenstance, but by design. The same systems that have disenfranchised Black and Brown people, are the same systems that harm Black and Brown queer people. Because of this, the UDC Center for Diversity, Inclusion, Multicultural Affairs (CDIMA) teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program for #HBCUOutLoudDay on Oct. 19, 2022 to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and strengthen diversity milestones, and initiate LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion work on campus.

he CDI is the fi rst center of its ind at an BC , and serves to mobili e histori cally marginalized students to build power on campus and community. You can support LGBTQ+ students at UDC, by donating to the Kiburi Pride Scholarship in honor Essex Hemphill at: udc.edu/cdima/kiburi-scholarship/ and you can learn about how we’re leading social change at HBCUs by following us at udc_cdima on instagram. As LGBTQ History Month concludes, I challenge you to educate yourself and donate to grassroots, youth-led and/or working class supported programs/initiatives, because celebration alone won’t save us, but improving material conditions to support our plight, and future will.

My trip begins. I left for Rome on Oct. 26 to join friends on a long-planned vacation. For a number of years, except during the height of the pandemic, I have taken a transatlantic cruise. It is one of what are called repositioning cruises, when cruise companies move their ships either from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, or the other way. I like going in the fall from Europe back to the U.S. when we can turn our watches back an hour at a time every few days during the cruise so I arrive in the United States without jet lag.

This year, after two days in Rome, where I will walk the city and eat some great food, I will board the Celebrity APEX on the morning of Oct. 29 for 14 days arriving in Ft. Lauderdale the morning of Nov. 12. As I will be traveling over Election Day I have already mailed in my ballot and have reminded all my friends across the country who will be joining me to do the same.

Because we are still dealing with C ID, Celebrity re uires you to have a verifi ed (watched over), negative COVID test within 48 hours of boarding. This is less than required last year when they also tested everyone again at the port before boarding. Proof of vaccination is required to board.

Once onboard I have been invited to a sail-away party in the Iconic suite, the best of the ship. It’s hosted by my friends, travel agents extraordinaire, Scott Moster and Dustin Ruffatto of My Lux Cruise. While this is not a gay cruise, I already know of nearly 40 members of the community and other friends who will be traveling with me. We will be taking a bus from Rome to the port of Civitavecchia and Scott and Dustin have worked with Celebrity to book a couple of personalized excursions for our group during our fi ve ports of call.

I love the sea days of the cruise and there will be nine of those. ur fi ve stops include alencia and alaga in Spain, then ibraltar, the ores, and fi nally assau in the Bahamas the day before we arrive in Ft. Lauderdale. I look forward to seeing new sights, revisiting some I have been to, and generally enjoying the time off the ship with good friends.

On sea days my day begins with a 7 a.m. knock on my cabin door; room service delivering coffee, juice and a bagel. With the balcony door open and fresh air streaming in, I will write for two hours. This will include my blog pieces, my regular Blade columns, and giving a fi nal touch up to my boo yes, it is written, and I have arranged to turn it over to an editor when I am back in D.C. Then it’s an hour in the gym to assuage my guilt over that morning bagel and all the rest I will be eating and drinking during these 16 days away. The APEX has a great gym, which includes everything including Pelotons.

or the fi rst time I will be staying in the etreat, the lu ury part of the ship. I too advantage of the Celebrity sale, which did away with the single supplement for many cruises for those like myself who book a cabin on their own. So that will be a new experience for me and you can read about it in my blog. The retreat has its own pool, sundeck, bar, restaurant, and concierge. I am also looking forward to seeing some of the crew and entertainers who were on my cruise last year and fi nding out how they are doing. I know one of the entertainers, Andrew Derbyshire, who I interviewed and wrote about last year, will be back entertaining and we already agreed to do lunch. It is my assumption, though I don’t know the numbers yet, the ship will be much fuller this year. Last year we had only 1,250 passengers out of a possible 3,000 and 1,150 crew members. Those numbers ensured incredible service. Will let you all know how this year goes.

I would like to thank the Blade for again publishing my trip blog. I anticipate writing about fi ve or si pieces while onboard and you will be able to fi nd them at washingtonblade.com.

So, while I hope you will follow the blog, more important is you VOTE so when I am back in the USA Democrats will still be in control of Congress.

TRINICE MCNALLY is founding director of the UDC Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs.
Let’s hope Democrats are still in control when I get back
Honoring LGBTQ history at HBCUs D.C. is home to two pioneering educational institutions


is a former North Dupont Circle ANC commissioner. He is an attorney specializing in mediation, arbitration, and executive coaching.

It is Sunday morning and hundreds oc to auriol la a, at the southeast corner of th and , .W., for freshly ba ed nachos and a fried fish taco brunch topped off with fro en swirled strawberry margaritas. Some assert that it s a gay place others say it s a ispanic ven ue while others say it s a destination for Blac customers.

auriol owners aul Sanche and Chef uis eyes claim that s the beauty of auriol. It is everyone s place. Its website declares, appy our, ll Day, ll ight and Everyday he aceboo page is followed by more than , customers. It is a e e restaurant also serving atin merican food. nd there s always a celebration there anniversaries, weddings, graduations, and birthdays.

Established in , auriol la a has been a staple of orth Dupont Circle for decades. It began as a cute little bouti ue restaurant at the corner of th and streets. It was beloved by all the neighbors.

ne wonders how this tiny restaurant became the behemoth that it is today. ne neigh bor calls it a gymnasium. It is a three oor structure with a rooftop, me anine, terrace, bar and shaped outdoor area totaling seats. he answer to how this was allowed to be built is embedded in the history. It is a story of being careful what the neighbors wish for. or decades, the cleverly named th and i uor Store occupied this spot. wner ar old ran an effective, efficient business, but the par ing lot became an attractive nuisance for miscreants. eighbors decried the open air drug mar et. uided by the then th Street eighborhood and Business association, a little par was created by such neighbors as ttor ney udith and longtime resident ary aber along with the then community police officer obert Contee now D.C. olice Chief . hat helped. Street furniture such as newspaper bo es and trash cans were removed. he drug dealing and loitering continued along with catcalls to female passersby. eighbors cried out that anything would be better than this. long came beloved auriol la a with big plans. he neighbors were delighted, although they did not really understand the full scale of the plans. hey simply wanted to get rid of the nuisance par ing lot arena.

oday, many neighbors wished they had paid more attention. his glass building is com pletely out of sync with the historic neighboring townhouses and cute businesses. Some say that the noise from tour busses and crowds is e cessive. o ma e matters worse, there is the noise from the performers the popping wheelers, the lowmaster muf ers, the bac end noise, the cold air inta es. What an ongoing disturbance for the neighbors. either police nor city officials seem to be helping. he th and intersection controlled only by stop signs becomes chaotic during happy hours and Sunday brunch times. Scores of impatient drivers hon their way through this intersection. any nearby neighbors are thin ing the city should install a stoplight.

Some claim that auriol la a is one of ayor uriel Bowser s favorite restaurants. auriol la a does still y the Bowser political banner at the top of their establishment. Some wonder whether orth Dupont Circle is still a gayborhood, but maybe that uestion is out of date. ccording to the Census Bureau and allup, percent of D.C. s population identifies as B and a lot of them live in orth Dupont Circle. auriol la a does a lot of charity wor including assistance to the I community, cancer organi ations, and the ational Children s ospital. any patrons from across the street at the gay owned arry s ounge fre uent auriol la a. So at dinner time, one will find scores of happy customers on the sidewal outside of auri ol la a willing to wait a bit for the opportunity to engage with this e e food. few comments from auriol la a enthusiasts s a nearby resident, I have dined at least wee ly at auriol la a, en oying both locations e ually, for over years, said David, who lives two bloc s away. I have found the prices reasonable, the food consistently good, and management and the wait staff invariably wel coming, polite, helpful, and dedicated to pleasing customers. hree bloc s away eighbor Bob I love that place, a nice, big patio for warm weather and plenty of space inside in cooler weather, said Bob, who lives three bloc s away. aul s vision for the new auriol la a was a perfect addition for the space and Dupont, said artin, another neighbor. he old li uor store had closed and had become a hang out for a rough crowd. ast forward years and auriol la a remains a core Dupont business. he partnership of Sanche eyes also owns the sister restaurant of popular Cleveland ar Cactus Cantina and are almost ready to open lfresco ap and rill at th and California venue, .W.

auriol la a still ourishing in North Dupont Circle ecalling history behind rise of popular e e behemoth

Celebrating Ina Garten’s 13th cookbook with her biggest fan Trent Pheifer has made all 1,272 of her recipes and counting

Ina Garten’s gay appeal is undeniable. From her fabulous home and gardens, to her creative cocktail recipes, to her many gay friends and over-the-top brunch parties, who wouldn’t want to count Ina as a friend?

He may not be on the brunch invitation list yet, but we can all live a bit vicariously through Trent Pheifer, 37, a home cook who chronicled his quest to cook all 1,272 of Garten’s recipes on Instagram storeboughtisfine , catching her eye and ultimately cooking with her on a Zoom event earlier this year.

To celebrate the release of Garten’s 13th cookbook this week, “Go-To Dinners,” the Blade sat down with Pheifer to talk all things Ina.

“She pulled me in, in a way that wasn’t about cooking,” Pheifer said. “She was always having a good time, it was approachable.”

heifer said that when he first started coo ing he tried Julia Child, but ran into problems with her lengthy recipe for Beef Bourguignon.

“A lot of those recipes weren’t working out for me because I didn’t have the skills,” he said. “I had made a few of Ina’s recipes and everything was easy to read and gave me confidence in the itch en and the results were delicious.”

heifer loved the film ulie and ulia, about a Julia Child fan who cooked all of the iconic chef’s recipes, and thought he would cook his way through Ina’s many recipes.

It took him nearly six and a half years, but he did it and in March of this year, he reached the end, culminating in a memorable Zoom event with Ina herself in which heifer coo ed the final recipe, her Boston Cream Pie, a notoriously tricky dish.

What did he learn during all that time in the kitchen as an amateur cook?

“It’s about diving in — you just have to do it,” he says. “So many people think they aren’t good cooks because they’ve never cooked or they’ve tried something too complicated. … Don’t overdo it when getting started and slowly build.”

Pheifer noted that he was eating mostly prepared foods from Trader Joe’s when he started and now can make anything in Ina’s vast repertoire. But learning to cook isn’t all about impressing dinner guests with fancy dishes. Pheifer, who’s gay and works as a fundraiser for the Advertising Council in New York City, said the bigger lesson was discovering his self confidence.

I ve always struggled with self confidence not being good enough or smart enough and I thin in the last seven years of this pro ect my confidence has s yroc eted, he said. “Having worked hard at something and being recognized, having fun with people, I found confidence in being myself and that has spilled over into my ob and life. I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”

Pheifer also shared his thoughts on Ina’s appeal to gay men, noting that about half of his Instagram followers are men, most of whom he assumes are gay.

“A lot of gay men are attracted to strong women,” he said. “A lot of gay boys grew up with ‘Barefoot Contessa’ and a lot of her friends are gay and it’s a place you knew you were welcome. She never waved the ride ag, but I new I would be welcomed into her home.”

Aside from baking cookies with his mother and grandmother as a child, Pheifer didn’t grow up with an interest in the kitchen, though he noted the family sat down to dinner

most nights together. By college he wasn’t cooking at all.

“When I was approaching 30 I realized I didn’t know how to cook for myself and it’s expensive to go out to dinner every day,” he said. Julia Child inspired him at first, until that run in with the Beef Bourguignon. After discovering Ina’s recipes were more approachable, he only encountered one bad experience while cooking his way through her books: vegetable lasagna.

The recipe calls for roasting three trays of vegetables and making a sauce — not an easy feat in a small New York City kitchen. “There were too many elements at the same time,” he says.

Undeterred by the laborious lasagna recipe, Pheifer soldiered on for nearly seven years, sometimes wondering if all his efforts and Instagram posts would be noticed. He says he didn’t start the project hoping to get media attention, but there were thoughts that maybe all of this could lead somewhere.

“At some point you get years into the project and wonder, will anyone notice,” he said. “Ina is so beloved that she inspired this fan base of people who love her and I think I got lucky that no one else was doing it already.” He added that he didn’t do any outreach and the subsequent media attention was organic and came via word of mouth.

One highlight of Pheifer’s culinary journey came unexpectedly while on a vacation in Paris, which happens to be Ina Garten’s favorite city where she and husband Jeffrey own an apartment. He was on a foodie trip with friends and snagged a coveted table at Verjus, known for its tasting menu, when he spotted Ina and Jeffrey at a table in the intimate dining room. When they finished, heifer summoned the courage to ap proach his culinary idol.

“It was kismet,” he says, “the color ran from my face. I approached after they finished and my friend knocked over their bottle of wine as I was shaking their hands.”

He introduced himself as the man behind @ storeboughtisfine and Ina immediately recog nized him and they posed for a photo.

“I couldn’t think of a more magical way to meet her,” he said, “this was such an intimate experience and in the city she loves the most. Ina is obsessed with Paris so it was a magical moment.”

With Ina’s new book out Oct. 25, Pheifer says he will continue his quest to cook all of the recipes. He plans to tackle two or three each week.

And if Pheifer could pick the theme for Ina’s 14th cookbook, he says it would be “Store Bought is Fine.” Ina has said her next book will be a memoir and Pheifer hopes she will write about what drives her to create.

Although Pheifer turns to Ina for French, Italian, and American dishes, he said he collects all sorts of cookbooks and his favorite this year is “Korean American” by New York Times writer Eric Kim.

As for Pheifer’s favorite Ina recipe to make, he says it’s her rigatoni with sausage and fennel from “Cooking with Jeffrey.” Least favorite: pear and parsnip gratin. His go-to Ina dinner: Shrimp and Linguini Fra Diavolo with Outrageous Garlic Bread. Go-to dessert: Mocha Iced Box Cake. And his favorite Ina cookbook is “Barefoot Contessa At Home.”

Ina Garten’s latest, “Go-To Dinners” is out Oct. 25 from Clarkson Potter and includes breakfast-for-dinner options, make-ahead ideas, and simply assembled dishes.

TRENT PHEIFER cooking with CASSANDRA SCHULTZ of Cassandra’s Kitchen. (Photo courtesy of Pheifer) TRENT PHEIFER making Ina Garten’s Easy Tomato Soup. (Photo courtesy of Pheifer)

Alaska Thunderfuck invites anti-LGBTQ members



Alaska Thunderfuck has invited anti-LGBTQ and anti-drag members of Congress to her show in D.C. this Saturday at the Howard Theatre.

“The world and the community of drag is a place where we welcome people, and I think for people to see that firsthand, it s transformative, hunderfuc told the Washington Blade during a recent telephone interview.

hunderfuc s show will ta e place at the oward heatre on Saturday at p.m. She will be performing songs from her latest album, ed ilth. mong the list of songs she will performing is one of las a s favorites, s e, which is ironically one of her least popular songs on Spotify and other streaming platforms. owever, that doesn t discourage Thunderfuck, as she prepares to give every song on tour a new purpose.

The show has less of a concert style and more of a story-telling energy, according to Thunderfuck. Instead of standing around and changing costumes a few times, hunderfuc s show will be a sci fi storytelling e perience.

Thunderfuck will prepare for her Howard Theatre show the way she prepares for every other show she ll get herself a smoothie — a near-addiction she wouldn t dream of ic ing before a big show — and a healthy serving of Chipotle to keep her energy up. She doesn t have much time for anything else right now, with her life in full rehearsal mode.

Thunderfuck said her show has been in the work for years.

She had to put it on hold with COVID-19 cases surging in due to the omicron variant, but she wouldn t have it any other way.

I m really glad it s happening now, it s turned into a really cool thing, said hunderfuc . It s ind of unli e any thing I ve done before.

While touring around the country, her stop in D.C. is more important than the others.

.S. ep. i e ohnson a. has introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds for drag ueen story time, which o ews has categori ed as radical gender theory. When as ed about how she felt about this measure, hunderfuc said it s ridiculous, not ing the is supporting these proposals in order to get the cheap votes.

a ing politics more about control than freedom is shifting the way marginali ed com munities are fighting bac . hunderfuc is nevertheless ta ing the high road, which is why she has invited members of Congress to attend her show.

The Proud Boys and other groups have also targeted drag queens.

Violence broke out at a “drag ueen story time event in Eugene, re., on Oct. 23 when a group of B rights supporters clashed with members of the roud Boys and neo a is. epublican lorida ov. on DeSantis, who signed his state s Don t Say ay law earlier this year, in uly filed a complaint against a iami restaurant that hosted a drag brunch with children.

roud Boys members in harassed D anda artini and photographed her car during a drag ueen story hour at a library in ensington, d. hunderfuc ac nowledged drag ueens are under fire across the country, but the stressed she won t waiver in the face of danger.

hey can try to disrupt me, but they won t, said hunderfuc . hunderfuc also said she doesn t let the reviews get her down or get to

her head, even though she is one of the drag world s biggest stars.

I m always li e reviews don t matter, she said. I don t care what reviewers have to say I ust care about the wor .

er shows get raving reviews already, with BroadwayWorld calling her an undeniable and une uivocal star of Drag he usical.

hunderfuc s words of wisdom to anyone considering a career in drag are if it s some thing you want to try or something you re into, by all means, go for it. hunderfuc herself doesn t have an outlet for future drag superstars yet, but she s always dreamed of opening her own summer camp li e e perience for adults who are interested in drag.

here s so much that you can t really learn from a ou ube video or from watching drag race, there s so much that s li e tactile and so much nowledge that can be passed on so I ve always loved the idea of that.

ntil hunderfuc opens her own drag summer camp, you ll have to catch her show stop ping performance of her album at the Howard Theatre or follow along with the rest of her tour on her website, https://alaskathunderfuck.com/tour/

even ALASKA THUNDERFUCK has invited anti-LGBTQ members of Congress to her show at the Howard Theatre in D.C. on Saturday. (Photo by Albert Sanchez) ALASKA THUNDERFUCK (Photo by Magnus Hastings)
of Congress
queen to perform at the Howard Theatre on Saturday


Friday, October 28

The Center Aging Monthly Lunch and Yoga will be at 12 p.m. at the DC Center for the LGBT Center. Lunch will be held in the climate-controlled atrium at the Reeves Center. To RSVP for this event, visit the DC Center’s website

The Trans Support Group will be at p.m. on oom. his group is intended to provide an emotionally and physically safe space for transgender people and those who may be uestioning their gender identity or expression to come together in community and learn from one another. For more information, email supportdesk@thedccenter.org

Saturday, October 29

Virtual Yoga Class with Charles M. will be at 12 p.m. online. This is a free weekly class focusing on yoga, breathwork, and meditation. Guests are encouraged to RSVP on the DC Center’s website, providing their name, email address, and ip code, along with any uestions they may have. he lin to the class will be sent out at 6 p.m. the day before the event.

Facilitator training will be at p.m. on oom. his meeting is for group leaders and facilitators that oper ate support groups within the DC Center, as well as those interested in becoming a facilitator. All are encouraged to come to learn, share challenges and solutions. For more information, email justin@thedccenter.org

Sunday, October 30

GoGay DC will be hosting “LGBTQ+ Coffee + Conversation” at 12 p.m. at As You Are. This event is for those looking to make more friends in the LGBTQ+ community and trying to meet some new faces after two years of the pandemic. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite

Monday, October 31

Center Aging Monday Coffee and Conversation will be at a.m. on oom. B older adults and friends are invited to en oy friendly conversations and to discuss any issues you might be dealing with. or more information, visit the Center Aging’s Facebook or Twitter

Not Another Drag Show will be at 8 p.m. at Dupont Italian Kitchen. Logan Stone will be hosting, there will also be a rotating cast of local DMV performers. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite

Tuesday, November 01

Center Aging: Women’s Social and Discussion Group will be at p.m. on oom. his group is a place where older LGBTQ women can meet and socialize with one another. For more information, email adamheller@thedccenter.org

Wednesday, November 02

Job Club will be at p.m. on oom. his 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 appli cants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email centercareers@thedccenter.org or visit www. thedccenter.org/careers

BookMen DC will be at p.m. in person at the DC Center. Boo en DC is an informal group of men who are interested in fiction and non fiction gay literature. or more information visit Boo en s website

Thursday, November 03

The DC Center’s Food Pantry Program will be held all day at the DC Center. To be fairer with who is receiving boxes, the program is moving to a lottery system. People will be informed on Wednesday at 5 p.m. if they are pic ed to receive a produce bo . o proof of residency or income is re uired. or more informa tion, email supportdesk@thedccenter.org or call .

API Queer Support Group will be at p.m. on oom. his support group is for the sian and acific Is lander ueer community and is sponsored by I S sian acific Islander ueer Society DC and sian ueers nited for ction. or more information, email supportdesk@thedccenter.org


Freddie’s Beach Bar to host Halloween party

Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant will be hosting a Halloween party on onday, ct. at p.m.

Guests are encouraged to bring friends and meet new people from all over the world. Guests will gather in the back outside patio if the weather is nice or near the stage if not. Go Gay DC leader TJ Flavell will be there to greet you. Name tags will be provided. There’s no cover charge.

For more details, visit Eventbrite

Metrobar DC to host ‘Booze and Brews’ Halloween Brunch

Boo e and Brews alloween Brunch will be on Saturday, ct. at p.m. at metrobar DC.

Guests are encouraged to come enjoy sounds from DJ Lalee and tasting tables from Catoctin and epublic estoratives from p.m. and drin specials featuring Catoctin or Republic Restoratives spirits all evening long.

This event is free to attend with an optional $15 Bash + SMYAL Fundraiser Ticket to help support LGBTQ youth across the district. Ticket holders will be honored with a coc tail.

For more details, visit Eventbrite

Cake Pop to host ‘HallowQueen Drag Brunch’

allow ueen Drag Brunch will be on Sunday, ct. at a.m. at he all C . ew host Ca e op will be hosting this ultimate alloween themed event. Flavored mimosas and Bloody Marys will cost $24 and the brunch buffet costs and will include rench toast casserole, buttermil panca es, tater tots hash, among many other menu items.

Tickets for this event start at $25 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Baltimore Playhouse to hold ‘Haux-lloween’ party

aste. ouch. eel au lloween will be on Saturday, ct. at p.m. at Baltimore layhouse rivate Social Club.

uests are encouraged to come and en oy top tier burles ue and specialty performances, kink edutainment, interactive games, and plenty of surprises to thrill one’s senses.

There will also be a costume ball with three categories. Each category is limited to eight participants. The categories are: lien Superstar ost uni ue, intergalactic frea

Fetish Faerie: Whimsy, kinky, faerie hauxs

Best Couples Costume: Period.

After the costume ball, there will be an “Adult Play Date After Party” for mingling and a night of no inhibitions where guests can enjoy spontaneous performances, play with their lover s or be a voyeur while the music plays.

Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased on Eventbrite


ire y alloween Special Event will be on Saturday, ct. at p.m. at ire y. his event will feature performances by drag ueens Sirene, and adia. here will also be two competitions

• “Holy” a ghoulie drag performance with a cash prize of $100 and a bookings prize of $100.

• A costume contest where the 1st place winner wins a one-night stay at otel Madei a d place i di e o t o at i e y a d d place

i b ch o t o at i e y

This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite


‘My Body No Choice’ a powerful work at Arena Stage

Shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Arena Stage’s artistic director Molly Smith set to work creating a theater piece that could provide a forum for women to share reactions to a decision that sets them back 50 years.

The result is “My Body No Choice,” a collection of riveting ble female writers expressly for female actors. Impeccably

forming Ruhl’s “An Uplifting High School Graduation Speech” smith’s “Gravitas” (performed by Felicia P. Fields) describes a woman whose life has always been about carrying weight and babies. After years of setting aside her artistic interests, during the pandemic.

this decision. And no law should.”

Penned by Lee Cataluna, Fatima Dyfan, Lisa Loomer, Dael Orlandersmith, Sarah Ruhl, Mary Hall Surface, V (formerly explore women’s bodily autonomy including the ability to ary tale, but that they describe current political reality makes the experience that much more compelling, and in instances chilling.

cle of casually arranged, mismatched armchairs surrounding a homey carpet; it’s the perfect storytelling setting — all that’s

In Surface’s “Chance” (performed by Shanara Gabrielle), a successful playwright loses her unborn baby. Deidre Staples performs Dyfan’s “A Rest Stop,” a girl’s recollection of coming of age sexually. Joy Jones performs “The Circumstances of her; and Cataluna’s “Things My Mother Told Me” (performed by Toni Rae Salmi) takes a look at the relationship of an adult daughter and her dying mother who’s ready to go.


Dani Stoller performs V’s “Battered Baby,” the story of a

ter the stellar cast took its modest bow, director the actors onstage and addressed

ence. She explained that for too long women have been afraid to tell their stories, particularly about abortion, adding that gay rights really progressed only when the guy next door said “Hey, I’m Bob and I’m gay.” Sharing normalizes.

successful interstate odyssey in search of an abortion. Her

‘My Body No Choice’

Through Nov. 6 | Arena Stage

riences – each recollection imbued with varying degrees of pain, humor, anger, and the occasional glimmer of hope.

strictions and your punishments... No law can help me make

1101 Sixth St., S.W. | $18 | Arenastage.org

SHANARA GABRIELLE performing ‘Chance’ by Mary Hall Surface in ‘My Body No Choice.’ ( hoto by argot chulman)


Mason Artist-in-Residence NRITYAGRAM DANCE ENSEMBLE Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m.

A mesmerizing performance that brings Hindu epics to life

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND Pass It On: 60th Anniversary Musical Celebration Sunday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.

The iconic and exuberant “Big Easy” sound Virginia Opera

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s beloved


Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Passion-filled works by Chopin, Schubert,


fit for all ages KEYBOARD
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It’s hard to believe that “American Horror Story” is now more than a decade old – yet at the same time, it feels like it’s been on the air forever.

Arguably the signature accomplishment of gay entertainment mogul Ryan Murphy, who’s been behind some of the most acclaimed, controversial, and campy programming of our contemporary era, it’s a show that has met all three of those descriptors – often at the same time – while bringing a legion of die-hard fans back for more each season. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish, but Murphy’s “AHS” juggernaut has managed to keep itself going for 11 years thanks to its anthology format.

It has also, from its inception, been one of the queerest shows on television.

This might be stating the obvious, considering that Murphy typically includes multiple queer storylines in each season and employs a host of out queer actors, not to mention maintaining an unabashedly queer sensibility in the show’s aesthetic and bringing in the occasional iconic diva. We only bring it up here because for its latest installment, which premiered with two episodes on FX last week, just in time for Halloween, “American Horror Story” has gone “gayer” than ever.

Titled simply “NYC,” it’s set against the backdrop of 1981 New York and focuses squarely on the city’s thriving gay community. As anyone with even a basic knowledge of queer cultural history already knows, it’s a heady time and place for a gay man to be – but it’s also a time and place on the cusp of soon-to-descend devastation.

For most of the show’s characters, however, AIDS is not even a blip on the horizon, at least not yet. Instead, they’re facing a different kind of plague: a wave of grisly murders, targeting gay men, has left a growing pile of dismembered bodies in its wake, and to make matters worse, the NYPD seem uninterested in doing anything about it – or rather, most of them do. Patrick (Russell Tovey), a closeted police detective, has been cautiously pressing his superiors to take the situation more seriously, but it hasn’t been enough to nudge them into action; it also hasn’t been enough for his lover, Gino (Joe Mantello), an out-and-proud journalist who has made the mysterious killings into his paper’s No. 1 cause, and for whom Patrick’s refusal to share information about the case for fear of being “outed” has become a sore spot in their relationship.

The stalemate may be about to give way, though. When a young man named Adam (Charlie Carver) shows up at the station to report his roommate’s disappearance after a night of cruising in the Ramble, Patrick breaks his silence at home and tells Gino about the incident, encouraging him to pursue the story and giving him a lead to follow, and embarking on a clandestine investigation of his own li ewise, dam, resolving to find his missing friend after having his concerns dismissed by the police, traces a scrap of a clue to Theo (Isaac Powell), a rising-star photographer, and his art dealer boyfriend Sam (Zachary Quinto), whose dark secrets may or may not be connected with the murders. Meanwhile, somewhere in the “gayborhood,” a killer still lurks, and the body count continues to climb.

If you’re thinking that the story – written by Murphy and frequent creative collaborator Brad Falchuk – is an allegory in which the hunt for a fictional serial iller a favorite S trope is used as a metaphor for the AIDS crisis, you’re probably not wrong. That doesn’t mean that AIDS doesn’t exist in this “AHS” version of the

early ‘80s; a side story featuring epidemiologist Dr. Hannah Wells (Billie Lourd), glimpsed only briefly so far, has broached the subject of the disease, and it seems likely to become a big part of whatever endgame the show’s creators have in mind.

That endgame is anyone’s guess. “AHS” has a reputation for throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks; almost every season has left the gate with a provocative premise and an intriguing bundle of ideas – and while some have thrillingly lived up to their potential and others have devolved into a self-indulgent mess (though viewers’ assessment of which is which may vary wildly, depending on which viewer you ask), even the best of them have usually allowed at least one or two threads to trail off and disappear. “NYC,” at this early stage, could go either way or land somewhere in between.

Admittedly, it shows a great deal of promise. Obviously thrilled to explore a seminal moment in queer history, the series seems to delight in the sights, the sounds, and the happenings of early-‘80s Manhattan. There are scenes in the historic baths, complete with a singing diva (Patti LuPone, of course) to entertain the boys in between hook-ups; an artist-turned-impresario (Gideon Glick) throws a massive party in an abandoned pier-side warehouse, where everybody who’s anybody (or ever wants to be) gathers for a drug-and-disco-fueled night of art, fashion, and hedonistic fun; a Quentin Crisp-ish queer elder (Denis O’Hare) holds court in a dimly lit dive, and macho men engage in aggressive frottage at the leather-and-levi bar a few streets over. It’s the kind of vivid and nostalgic period recreation that Murphy’s productions have become famous for – detailed, colorful, immersive, and just glossy enough to make it feel like a fondly remembered dream – and it’s one of the pleasures of watching the show.

At the same time, there’s something unsettling about watching this Tarantino-esque distortion of a history that strikes such a deep chord in the queer imagination. With a main storyline that seems akin to a true-crime rewrite of “The Normal Heart” and a gallery of background characters that are clearly reimagined versions of real life figures li e obert applethorpe, David Wo narowic , Klaus Nomi, Victor Hugo and more, Murphy and Falchuk’s audacious (some might say sensationalistic) approach to melding LGBTQ heritage into a pop-culture horror narrative might hit a little too close to home for audiences who see this particular real life chapter as horrific enough without fictional embellishment.

Still, as “AHS” has proven many times before, it’s not afraid to disturb its fans – and that doesn’t just mean with gore and shock value, though there’s always plenty of that. Its horrors are rooted in our social zeitgeist, in our traumatic memories and in the vast uncertainty of our life in the here and now.

“NYC” – coming as it does at a time when anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and homophobic ideologies make the hard-won advancement of our community feel all too precarious – is no different. Thus far, no overtly supernatural elements have emerged so far (though that may change), but by invoking specters that continue to haunt us, hovering in the shadows around our safe spaces until they can leap out and catch us off guard, it’s a ghost story, nonetheless.

It even has the potential to be a good one, if Murphy and company can continue to reach the bar they’ve set for themselves with the first two episodes. udging from the S trac record, they have a roughly even chance.

‘American Horror Story’ goes full gay in ‘NYC’ Anthology features leather daddies, divas, baths, and gruesome murders in 1981
RUSSELL TOVEY stars in the new season of AHF. (Photo courtesy FX)

A dangerous love triangle. A fortune-teller’s mysterious prophecy. What will be revealed at The Masked Ball?

SEASON OF VERDI VERDI’S Un Ballo in Maschera

Our Season of Verdi continues with the master composer's deeply emotional audience into the masked ball of the

INDIRA MAHAJAN , soprano Amelia “Incandescent... unforgettable” (Opera News)


Two Performances Only!

ALEKSEY BOGDANOV, baritone Renato

“Pitch-perfect” (The Washington Post)

DARYL FREEDMAN , mezzo-soprano

“Striking, sumptuous” performances (Opera News)

| Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 pm



It was so not cool.

And yet, you owned it because it was your error, there was no denying it, and you can’t go back in time and undo it. It wasn t cool, but it happened. hen again, was it real ly such a misstep, or was there something good inside the something bad you did s in the new novel, ista es Were ade by eryl Wilsner, will it all turn out right in the end?

he bar wasn t one she usually fre uented, but it was as far from the dorm as Cassie lein could possibly get. It was Family Weekend at college, she’d graduate soon, and the whole family thing was ridiculous. o, the bar was a better place to be and she was preparing to get drun , until she started watching the older woman who was watching her.

She bought the woman a drin and one thing led to an other, which led to the bac seat of the woman s car, the e change of first names, and a semi public one night stand that Cassie was sure she d never forget.

Erin Bennett had hoped being at amily Wee end might heal the broken bond she had with her daughter, Parker. She new ar er was still angry that Erin had filed for di vorce from ar er s father, and Erin wished she could e plain things but she wasn t e actly sure herself why the di vorce was important. She was mulling this over when ar er arrived at brea fast with one of her closest friends in tow a friend that Erin had never officially met, but that she new

very well.

Intimately, in fact.

It was the woman she d had se with the night before.

Clearly, this was aw ward and ar er could never find out what had happened. While the obvious thing to do was to put the bra es on, that was impossible especially after ar er wouldn t ta e no for an answer when she invited Cassie to her mother s house for Christmas brea . Being in the same home together was hard enough, but being in the same room, and in pa amas ow could anyone resist that

here are really two basic ways to perceive ista es Were ade. It s either an overly long, mostly bare bones sto ry that contains some e plicit bedroom scenes. r it s soft erotica with a tissue thin story between steamy trysts.

Could it be better Well, that, too, will depend on what you want in a novel.

uthor eryl Wilsner s bedroom itchen, bac seat, liv ing room scenes are hotter than a ba ed potato straight from the oven. hey re steam your glasses hot and there are enough of them to sei e your interest and handcuff it to a bedpost if that is, indeed, your interest. Come to this novel for a romance y tale, though, and you could be bored because, while girl meets girl is all over this boo , it s frus tratingly slow getting to it.

nd so, now what you want before you pic up is ta es Were ade. If erotica is your thing, stay for the heat. If you want a good story, though, it ll leave you cold.

Boo about lesbian affair is steamy erotica with thin story ista es Were ade delivers heat but the romance falls at
‘Mistakes Were Made’
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Best of LGBTQ DC Awards Party Community organizations and individuals honored at Blade’s annual event

The Washington Blade announced the winners of its 21st annual Best of LGBTQ DC Awards at a party at Eaton DC on Thursday, Oct. 20. Cake Pop! served as the emcee with performances by Molasses, Vagenesis and Desiree Dik. See a full list of winners on washingtonblade.com. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

High Heel Race

Rayceen Pendarvis honored at 35th annual run

The 35th annual High Heel Race was held on 17th Street’s Frank Kameny Way on Tuesday. Best of LGBTQ DC Most Committed Activist Rayceen Pendarvis was hon ored at the stage with a proclamation from the D.C. City Council. Mayor Muriel Bowser marched in the parade before the race.
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A positive perspective on 2022 housing market

Without question, 2021 and early 2022 witnessed a booming housing market, where homes were sold almost as soon as they were listed – and often for even more than the as ing price. s has continued, however, interest rates have risen, in ation is an ongoing concern, and many who recall the 2008 housing crisis may currently be worried that the cooling real estate market is heading in that direction again.

Whether you re a potential buyer or whether you find yourself on the ip side of the coin and hoping to sell, you may find yourself feeling a little worried as what was once a red-hot housing market starts to cool off slightly. These are understandable concerns, but many experts believe they are largely unfounded.

Many who know and understand the housing market and the various economic forces and factors that affect it believe that 2022 is in fact a far more favorable situation for both buyers and sellers than the state of the housing market in 2008. Here are a few reasons why that may be the case:


Although many circumstances contributed to the 2008 housing crisis, questionable lending practices within the financial industry were certainly a significant in uence. In 2010, however, the Dodd-Frank Act was formally enacted to increase regulatory oversight of lending practices nationwide. This, in conjunction with other contributing factors, has led financial industries to be stricter about their lending practices. s a result, fewer homeowners have found themselves underwater on their mortgages, and there are far fewer foreclosures or short-sale situations of the kind that were seen in 2008.


In , there was a si eable oversupply of homes as a result of all of the foreclosures. s a result, the mar et fro e. oday, by contrast, there is significant demand and a more moderate supply. As a result, the housing market is far more stable, and the odds of a real estate panic similar to that in are significantly lower.


he C ID pandemic certainly changed many aspects of life, and many worried that it might have a significant long term negative effect on the housing mar et. he good news, though, is that despite many homeowners being unable to work because of the pandemic, loan defaults were kept to a minimum as a result of helpful mortgage forbearance programs. Those programs allowed buyers to pause payments until they could return to work, and as a result, delinquencies were lower.


Since the end of 2021, mortgage interest rates have jumped by more than 2 percentage points, climbing above 6% as of September 2022. Of course, this means that mortgage payments have risen – but it’s important to keep those increases in perspective. When compared to rates historically over the last several decades, when rates reached as high as 18 percent at one point, today’s housing market is still healthy, and interest rates are fairly low.

The good news for potential buyers is that the current state of the market means more options and less competition. No longer will most buyers have to stress over bidding wars that ultimately result in paying more sometimes significantly more than the list price for a home. Instead, many buyers will be able to ta e their time loo ing for homes that truly fit their needs, and potentially have the opportunity to obtain those homes at a reasonable price. For sellers, the market is healthy, potential buyers remain plentiful, and interest rates are still fairly favorable when considered from a historical perspective.

At www.GayRealEstate.com, we’re dedicated to our mission of connecting LGBTQ buyers and sellers across the country with talented, friendly, and experienced LGBTQ-friendly real estate agents who know and love the communities they serve. Finding the right agent makes all the difference between a smooth and successful real estate process and a stressful one. At www.GayRealEstate.com, we believe you deserve the very best. We would love to help you get connected with the right agent today. If you re ready to get started, get in touch today.


is founding CEO of Hammerberg & Associates, Inc. Reach him at 303-378-5526 or jeffhammerberg@gmail.com.

If you’re looking for a home, don’t worry because this market is not like 2008.
Don’t panic, this year is nothing like 2008
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