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washblade.com – vol. 41, issue 34 – August 20, 2010

washblade.com – vol. 41, issue 34 – August 20, 2010

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Aug 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Gay Iraqi, shot helpingU.S., seeks freshstart in D.C. area
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMOjdiguglielmo@washblade.com
Firas Abdulmajeed wants tomake one thing clear up front: He’snot looking for a handout, just a job.The 33-year-old gay Iraqirefugee, who fled to Alexandria,Va. a month ago with his 68-year-old mother after living sixyears in the United ArabEmirates, has faced an uphillbattle most of his life. His homecountry was ravaged by war formost of his formative years; helived under the violent regime ofSaddam Hussein; and he suf-fered within a virulently anti-gaysociety that told him his same-sex desires were demonic.Things have calmed forAbdulmajeed since he arrived inthe U.S., but huge obstaclesremain. While fluent in English andpossessing the proper papers towork here, he suffered a life-changing gunshot wound in hisnative Iraq on July 21, 2003, thateventually required a below-the-knee amputation of his left leg.The loss had an incalculablynegative effect on Abdulmajeed’slife. He sometimes wishes thewound had been fatal.He has a bachelor’s degree incomputer science that he earnedfrom Al Mansour University in hishometown of Baghdad, butAbdulmajeed says he’d be happytaking any job that doesn’t require
creatingnew traditions
Fox 5’s
Roby Chavez
Chris Roe
to wed thisweekend in stylish, romantic ceremony.
Sexual assault oftransgender womanis latest bias crimein Dupont Circle.
EFN Lounge closesabruptly, followingresignation of itslongtime manager.
the lgbtq community news source
washingtonblade.com • vol. 41, issue 34 • august 20, 2010 • Still sharp after 40 years
Says hate crimes ‘beingtaken more seriously’
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.comEditor’s note:
This is the first ofa two-part series featuring exclu-sive interviews with the two leadingDemocratic candidates for mayor.Next week, an interview with CityCouncil Chairman Vincent Gray.D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty saidhis administration has a strongrecord of support on a wide rangeof LGBT issues, including mar-riage equality, but acknowledgedhe has not done “as good a job asI should have” in speaking out inpublic forums on issues of con-cern to that community.In an exclusive interviewTuesday with the WashingtonBlade, Fenty promised to be farmore visible in his approach tothe LGBT community as well asother constituency groups.“I’ve got to do a much better jobbeing more visible in my secondterm, and I will,” he said. “I’ve got toget out in people’s doorsteps, atcommunity events. You name it. I didnot do as good of a job as I shouldhave in my first term as mayor ingetting out to the community.”But on the substance of hisadministration’s policies and
Anti-gay marriage rally featuring Harry Jacksonmeets counter protest near Capitol.
Page 6
Karen Diehl
says goodbye to summer at Bare’sWhite Party at Cobalt this weekend.
Page 31
Firas Abdulmajeed
, 33, a gayIraqi refugee, has been in the U.S.for a month. A computer scienceexpert, Abdulmajeed lost a leg tothe Shiites while working as atranslator for the U.S. Army inBaghdad. He’s now trying to findwork in the Washington area.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Casualties of war
D.C. Mayor
Adrian Fenty
pledged to be more visible in the LGBT community if elected to a second term.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Continues on page 14Continues on page 12
to watch video of the Blade’sinterview with Mayor Fenty.
Mayor promises greater visibility in LGBT community
An interview with Adrian Fenty
2 washingtonblade.com • august 20, 2010
august 20, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 3

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