2 washingtonblade.com • february 25, 2011
Gray creates new
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was scheduled to an-nounce on Wednesday that he has created a newMayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS “to help end the HIVepidemic in the District o Columbia, according to astatement released by the mayor’s ofce.“The commission will ocus on treatment, the needso people living with HIV and expanded prevention tostop new inections,” the statement says.“The objectives include the best way to achieve‘Treatment on Demand,’ examining emerging trendsand needs, developing evidence-based policies, im-proving access to critical support services (mentalhealth, substance use, housing), recommending orga-nization changes and improved citywide coordination,[and] maximizing research opportunities,” accordingto the statement.It adds that the new commission would also adviseGray on the best ways the city can adopt PresidentObama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy or D.C.’s AIDSprograms.The initial statement announcing the creation o thecommission did not include a list o the names o thecommission’s members. Visit washingtonblade.com oran update.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Pannell runs forWard 8 school board seat
Veteran gay and Ward 8 community activist Phil Pan-nell has emerged as one o nine candidates competingor a vacant seat on the D.C. State Board o Educationor Ward 8 in the city’s April 26 special election.Pannell, a recognized expert on issues and prob-lems related to city neighborhoods east o the Anacos-tia River, said he is running on a platorm to addresssuch issues as school truancy, improved reading skillsand ways to curtail an “epidemic” o youth violence inschools.He said anti-LGBT bullying and harassment atschools is also an issue he plans to address i electedto the school board.Races to fll vacancies or the Ward 8 and Ward 4seats on the Board o Education have received ar lessmedia coverage than the competition or an at-largeCity Council seat vacated by Democrat Kwame Brown,who won election in November as Council Chair. TheCouncil race will also be decided in the April 26 spe-cial election.Ten candidates are competing or the Council seat.The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largestLGBT political group, is scheduled to hold a candi-dates orum and vote on an endorsement in the Coun-cil race at a meeting on March 14, to be held at Townnightclub.The club voted at its monthly meeting Tuesday nightto hold a separate orum or school board candidateson March 28, at which time the club will vote on en-dorsements in those two contests.Pannell, a longtime member o the club, is expect-ed to be among the rontrunners or a Stein Club en-dorsement at the March 28 meeting. He is the onlyout gay running in any o the three races in the April26 election.The other candidates competing with Pannell or theWard 8 school board seat are Eugene Dewitt Kinlow,Anthony Muhammad, Tijwanna Phillips, Larry PretlowII, R. Joyce Schott, Cardell Shelton, Trayon White Sr.,and Sandra Williams.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Longtime lesbian activist
Carlene Cheatam leaving D.C.
Veteran lesbian activist Carlene Cheatam, whohelped orm the D.C. Coalition o Black Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender Men and Women in 1978,will be honored at a March 19 arewell party ollowingher announcement that she will be moving to New Jer-sey later that month.Cheatam said she is joining her partner, who residesin New Jersey, shortly ater Cheatam retires rom herjob with the D.C. government, where she has workedat various city agencies as an administrator or morethan 30 years.The Rainbow History Project, which has designatedCheatam as an LGBT community pioneer, describesher as a highly acclaimed community organizer whohas “actively expanded opportunities or Washington,D.C.’s gay and lesbian community, particularly or Ari-can Americans.”The arewell tribute to Cheatam is scheduled or8 p.m. March 19 at the Dupont Circle gay bar FabLounge at 2022 Florida Ave., N.W.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Gay youth gang linked toassaults, robberies in Chinatown
A gang or “crew” o gay male teenagers based inthe city’s Trinidad neighborhood has been linked tothets, fghts with other gangs, and some robberiesover the past year or more, according to D.C. DeputyPolice Chie Diane Groomes.Groomes and Ron Mouten, co-ounder o the D.C.group Peaceoholics, which works to discourage youthparticipation in gangs and acts o violence, said thegay gang calls itsel the “Check It” crew. Mouten saidCheck It has as many as 100 active members.“Most o them act in an eeminate way, but they aretough, very tough,” said Mouten. He said the CheckIt crew got into a violent altercation with a rival crewlast month outside the Potomac Gardens public hous-ing complex on Capitol Hill, which is located about fveblocks rom the headquarters and drop-in center o theSexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL),which oers programs or LGBT youth.Groomes said a number o Check It members havebeen arrested or thets and fghts in the Chinatown-Gallery Place area near the Verizon Center.Gay and community activist Phil Pannell, who is run-ning or a seat on the city’s school board rom Ward 8,said he would push or stepped up action by the city toaddress the youth gang problem in the city i electedto the board.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Gay man accused of hatecrime pleads guilty
A gay man charged with assaulting a panhandlerand threatening him with a chain during an altercationoutside the 17th Street, N.W. gay bar JR.’s in Januarypleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to two o three charges fledagainst him as part o a plea bargain agreement.D.C. police initially charged Kevin “Jaden” Perry,35, with assault, possession o a prohibited weapon (achain), and threats to do bodily harm at the time o hisarrest on Jan. 23. Police designated the incident as agay-related hate crime.The ollowing day, the United States Attorney’s o-fce dropped the hate crimes designation at the timeo Perry’s appearance in court or an arraignment. Apolice report said ofcers listed the incident as “biasedrelated” because the panhandler and an unidentifedwitness said Perry repeatedly called the panhandlera “aggot” at the time he allegedly assaulted him bypunching him in the back. The police report says thepanhandler was not injured in the incident.Perry disputed those allegations, telling the Bladeollowing his arraignment in D.C. Superior Court thatthe panhandler started the incident by calling Perry a“aggot” and lunging at Perry with his fsts raised aterPerry reused his request or money. Perry said he re-peated the word aggot in the orm o a question, say-ing he raised his own fsts and waved a chain he car-ries to attach his wallet to his pants at the panhandlerin sel-deense.According to the police report, the witness quotedPerry as saying to the panhandler, “I will kill you. You’rea aggot…I’m a real aggot, bitch. You don’t want touck with a real aggot, bitch. I will ucking kill you.”Perry disputed that account, saying no one was onthe street to witness the incident except the panhan-dler and two riends o Perry’s, who let JR.’s with Perryminutes beore the altercation started. The two riendsbacked up Perry’s version o what happened.According to court records, Perry pleaded guilty tocharges o threats to do bodily harm and simple as-sault in exchange or the government dropping thecharge o possession o a prohibited weapon.Perry was scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23,ater the Blade’s print deadline. Visit washingtonblade.com or updated news.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Transgender woman founddead in Baltimore
A transgender woman was ound dead Saturday ina vacant building in Northwest Baltimore, according toa report in the Baltimore Sun. An autopsy revealed thatAnthony Trent, known as Tyra, died o asphyxiation.Trent, 25, had been reported missing two weeksearlier. Homicide detectives are investigating.A amily member told the Sun that Trent was a vi-brant person who loved animals and worked with peo-ple with disabilities.Trent had been arrested dozens o times between2003-2008 on charges o loitering and prostitution buthad not been arrested since 2008.
this week announced creation o a newcommission ‘to help end the HIV epidemic in the District oColumbia.’
Washington Blade fle photo by Michael Key