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Equalitys Business Backing
How corporate America became the LGBT communitys most powerful ally
Brendan Eich
by Justin Snow
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RENDAN EICH WAS CEO OF
Mozilla for just over one week
before public pressure became
too much.
Eich, who invented JavaScript and
helped found the company behind the
Firefox Web browser, had made a politi-
cal contribution in 2008 to the campaign
supporting Californias same-sex mar-
riage ban. The $1,000 donation support-
ing Proposition 8 was rst reported by
the Los Angeles Times in 2012 four
years after it was made and while
the revelation caused a dustup on Twit-
ter, it was just as soon forgotten. That
all changed when the Mozilla board of
directors announced on March 24 that
Eich had been named CEO, making a man
opposed to same-sex marriage essentially
the most public face of the company.
Facing organized protests, rampant
criticism on social media and threats of
boycotts by Firefox developers, Mozilla
responded with a statement on March 25
afrming its deep commitment to hon-
oring diversity in sexual orientation and
beliefs within our staff and community,
across all the projects activities. On
March 26, Eich responded as well, writ-
ing of his commitment to ensuring that
Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that
includes and supports everyone, regard-
less of sexual orientation, gender iden-
tity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status,
or religion. Mozzilas executive chair-
woman, Mitchell Baker, also weighed
in, stating that the companys commit-
ment to inclusiveness for the LGBT com-
munity and all underrepresented groups
would not change under Eich.
However, despite repeated assuranc-
es, the public relations nightmare for
the company continued. In interviews
Eich refused to repudiate his donation
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from six years earlier, nor spell out
his current views on same-sex mar-
riage, further fueling the suspicions of
the LGBT community. Several Mozilla
employees spoke out publicly on Twit-
ter, urging Eich to step down, as did
many LGBT-rights activists. When
accessing the online dating website
OkCupid from a Firefox Web browser,
users were prompted to use a different
Web browser, with a statement reading,
among other things, Those who seek to
deny love and instead enforce misery,
shame, and frustration are our enemies,
and we wish them nothing but failure.
On April 3, 11 days after Eich was
named Mozillas chief executive, Baker
announced Eich had chosen to step down.
Baker apologized on behalf to the compa-
ny for not doing better, but also noted the
ne balance that must be struck between
a companys ideals and an employees
personal beliefs. We know why people
are hurt and angry, and they are right: its
because we havent stayed true to our-
selves, Baker wrote. Equality is neces-
sary for meaningful speech. And you need
free speech to ght for equality. Figuring
out how to stand for both at the same time
can be hard.
Although Eichs rapid fall as CEO
of Mozilla was blasted by some as the
epitome of liberal intolerance and anti-
Christian persecution, it also illustrated
what has become ever more clear: While
the debate over LGBT equality may con-
tinue to take place among the general
electorate, that debate has reached its
conclusion among corporate America.
To be anti-gay increasingly means to be
anti-business.
According to Deena Fidas, director
of the Workplace Equality Program for
the Human Rights Campaign Founda-
tion, the game-changing moment came
when New York lawmakers approved
marriage-equality legislation in 2011.
That was really the rst time there
was a breakthrough of this being a rela-
tive fringe area of corporate support,
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News
Now online at MetroWeekly.com
Poliglot: Forcing the Spring blowback
News: New leadership at GLOV
5 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
Equalitys Business Backing
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to take action on issues of equality is just
as much pragmatic.
As theyve learned, there are a lot
of very practical implications for busi-
nesses when we have uneven laws. There
were very material challenges they were
having to reconcile with differing state
and federal tax systems, Fidas says. So
while theres certainly a more social jus-
tice and equality case to be made, there
were also these very real administrative
costs that were going toward renovating
these uneven laws and how they impact
the implementation of things like domes-
tic partner benets.
But perhaps the greatest example of
how powerful an alliance the LGBT com-
munity has forged with corporate Amer-
ica came this past February when law-
makers in Arizona approved anti-LGBT
legislation that would have effectively
made it legal for businesses to turn away
customers due to their religious beliefs.
With the bill, known as the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act, awaiting the
signature of Republican Gov. Jan Brewer,
businesses unleashed an unprecedented
wave of opposition. American Airlines,
AT&T, Apple, Delta Airlines, Intel, Mar-
riott, PetSmart, Starwood Hotels and
Resorts, Southwest Airlines, Verizon
and Yelp were just a few who said the
bill would be bad for business. CEOs of
the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, the Greater Phoenix Chamber
of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Leader-
ship and the Southern Arizona Leader-
ship Council also voiced their opposition,
and the NFL indicated it could move the
2015 Super Bowl out of the state if the bill
were signed. Brewer ultimately vetoed
the legislation.
Brewer isnt the rst member of a
party with deep ties to the business com-
munity to nd herself siding with equal-
ity following pressure from the nations
most protable companies. Hedge fund
billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is
gay, has invested millions of dollars into
forging GOP support for issues such as
LGBT workplace protections and mar-
riage equality. More than 120 leading
U.S. employers have joined HRCs Busi-
ness Coalition for Workplace Fairness
supporting passage of the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). With
workplace discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation still legal in 29 states,
and on the basis of gender identity legal
in 33 states, ENDA would codify such
protections into federal law.
By framing these issues in the lan-
Fidas tells Metro Weekly, noting that
during the ght against Proposition 8
in 2008 only a handful of businesses
weighed in. However, thanks to a collab-
orate effort by a number of LGBT-rights
organizations, about 40 businesses from
Wall Street to upstate New York publicly
voiced their support for the states same-
sex marriage bill.
The tidal shift is apparent with adop-
tion of nondiscrimination policies as
well. In 2002, when HRC launched its
Corporate Equality Index, which has
come to serve as the national benchmark
tool on corporate LGBT policies, only
13 businesses achieved a perfect score.
In 2014 that number stands at 304 busi-
nesses. Among Fortune 500 companies,
91 percent have nondiscrimination poli-
cies that include sexual orientation and
61 percent include gender identity. Sixty-
seven percent offer equivalent medical
benets between spouses and partners
and 28 percent offer transgender-inclu-
sive health care benets, including surgi-
cal procedures.
While the adoption of such inclusive
policies has been on the rise, major cor-
porations have also now begun to take
their views on LGBT-rights out of the
boardroom and into the public square.
A month before the U.S. Supreme Court
heard oral arguments in the challenge
to the Defense of Marriage Acts fed-
eral denition of marriage as between
a man and a woman, in March 2013,
nearly 300 businesses and city govern-
ments, including major businesses such
as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter,
Starbucks, Morgan Stanley, Google and
cities from Baltimore to Los Angeles,
led a brief with the Supreme Court
calling for DOMA be struck down as
unconstitutional. The brief argued in part
that DOMA hurts workplace efciency
and employee morale, and thus forces
employers to participate in the injury of
their own workforce morale.
Our principles are not platitudes.
Our mission statements are not simply
plaques in the lobby, the brief stated.
Statements of principle are our agenda
for success: born of experience, tested in
laboratory, factory, and ofce, attuned to
competition. Our principles reect, in the
truest sense, our business judgment. By
force of law, DOMA rescinds that judg-
ment and directs that we renounce these
principles or, worse yet, betray them.
Fidas says that while many of these
businesses have expressed a desire to be
on the right side of history, their decision
guage of business, I think you saw a
wave of more vocal cross partisan sup-
port for ENDA and marriage equality
because certainly no one is accusing the
greater business community of having
some sort of secret political liberal agen-
da. Often its the opposite, says Fidas.
But the fact that seemingly conservative
companies were rallying around the pas-
sage of greater equality for LGBT people
under the law, I think that that denitely
appeals to a variety of constituents.
Indeed, ENDA passed the Senate in
November with the support of 10 Repub-
licans the most Senate Republican
votes ever cast for a piece of gay-rights
legislation, let alone one with protections
for transgender Americans.
The business case is certainly one of
the prongs of our method of attack, says
Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of
Log Cabin Republicans, in describing the
lobbying of congressional Republicans on
ENDA. According to Angelo, knowledge
of which corporations in certain districts
have pro-LGBT policies has proven an
effective talking point. Not only are
[these corporations] ahead on this issue,
but the preponderance of these Repub-
licans constituents have certainly felt
no pushback because of the corporations
that have these policies.
Of course, there remain outliers.
Last May, for the 14th consecutive year,
ExxonMobil shareholders voted over-
whelmingly to reject a resolution that
would have protected LGBT people
from workplace discrimination. And
the extent to which the business com-
munity can inuence policy is limit-
ed. Although corporations helped kill
Arizonas anti-LGBT bill, a similar bill
became law in Mississippi where busi-
nesses were less inclined to weigh in
due to their limited footprint in the
state. But such anti-LGBT views nd
themselves increasingly marginalized
in the business world, where employers
have found such policies provide them
with more of a competitive advantage
than disadvantage when it comes to
attracting talented workers.
My interactions with business lead-
ers have shown me that corporations
want to attract the broadest pool of talent
possible, says Angelo. When there are
exclusionary policies explicitly stated in
state laws or constitutions, or the absence
of inclusionary policies as part of com-
pany policy, they nd less of a chance to
attract talented workers who also happen
to be LGBT. l
MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
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LGBTNews
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consistently said the aim of the rallies is
to change hearts and minds and create an
impetus for legislative action by highlight-
ing the stories of same-sex couples dis-
advantaged by Virginias ban. Notably, in
February a federal judge declared the ban
unconstitutional. The U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is due to
hear arguments in that case in May.
Arlington County Clerk Paul Fergu-
son, a Witness for Love participant for
the past three years, praised the Arling-
ton demonstrators for their dedication
and resilience, as many have returned
year after year, vowing to do so until the
ban is lifted. Even though Ferguson was
forced to reject the same-sex marriage-
license applications Friday, he has re-
peatedly told same-sex couples he will
keep their applications in a le that can
be reopened once he can legally process
them. At Fridays rally, Ferguson posed
for pictures with two couples who ap-
plied for licenses Michael Bagwell and
Clark Chesser of Fairfax, and Kathleen
Light and Ann Rahn of Arlington and
their rejected applications.
I just want to commend everybody
whos worked so hard on this issue, Fer-
guson told the crowd. Theres every rea-
son to be angry about the discrimination
you face, but you have put your energy
into changing what is a discriminatory
policy.
State Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington
Co.), a candidate for Congress who rep-
resents the area around the county court-
house and who attended the rally, told
Metro Weekly that he knows legislators
whose opinions around marriage equali-
ty are changing, but added that it remains
an uphill ght to pass the necessary mea-
sures that would return the Marshall-
Newman Amendment to the ballot.
Under Virginia law, the earliest the
amendment could be repealed would be
2016, and only if the General Assembly, in
both 2015 and 2016, were to approve the
by John Riley
A
GROUP OF ABOUT 30 PEO-
ple, including faith leaders of
various denominations, gath-
ered outside the Arlington
County Courthouse on Friday afternoon,
April 25, to protest Virginias same-sex-
marriage ban and to urge legislators to
take the steps needed to put that ban on
the ballot in hopes of repealing it.
Every year since Virginia voters ap-
proved the constitutional ban, the Mar-
shall-Newman Amendment, in 2006,
a group of dedicated individuals has
trekked to local courthouses throughout
the state to demonstrate their support for
marriage equality.
Many of Fridays participants are af-
liated with the group People of Faith for
Equality in Virginia (POFEV), which has
taken the lead in organizing such demon-
strations, dubbed Witnesses for Love.
Participants also came from Parents,
Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays
(PFLAG), the statewide LGBT-rights
organization Equality Virginia, Virginia
Pride, and the Alliance for Progressive
Values, among others.
This years demonstrations were
scheduled to occur in up to 23 locations
throughout the commonwealth on Val-
entines Day, but many were canceled
due to weather. Fridays rally in Arling-
ton was one such Witness for Love,
where interfaith religious leaders and
local residents come together to sing, of-
fer prayers, make speeches about equal-
ity and stand in solidarity. This year, as
in previous years, same-sex couples have
attended the demonstrations and applied
for marriage licenses as a symbolic ges-
ture, knowing the applications will be de-
nied by the county clerk.
Since the rst of the 2014 demonstra-
tions, starting on Valentines Day, the Rev.
Robin Gorsline, president of POFEV, has
change, which would then still have to
appear as a referendum on the ballot dur-
ing the 2016 presidential election.
I think the faster route will be the
Supreme Court, Hope said. Not only
would this route help Virginia, it would
help the entire country, and thats how I
hope this issue is resolved.
Gorsline said the turnout at POFEVs
rallies, whether they are held in Arling-
ton, in Lynchburg, as another was on
April 16, or in Hanover County, where
one is scheduled for May 1, demonstrates
there are people of faith who hold pro-
LGBT values.
Gorsline said that right-wing
groups, such as the Family Founda-
tion, a socially conservative think tank
that has a strong influence over poli-
cies promoted by the Virginia General
Assembly, often claim that advancing
LGBT equality threatens their religious
liberty. He countered that argument by
pointing out it is the more liberal reli-
gious denominations that are being dis-
criminated against for their beliefs.
Its a very clear thing for me, and for
us, that, at the moment, our religious lib-
erty is being denied, Gorsline said. As a
pastor of a congregation that approves of
marrying same-gender couples, encour-
ages it, for good reasons, for the stability
of families and all of that, Im not allowed
to do for them what I do for straight cou-
ples. The law should allow religions to
make their own decisions.
Even if same-sex marriage is made le-
gal in the commonwealth, Gorsline noted,
any denomination has the right to deny a
religious marriage to a couple same-sex
or not that does not meet its particular
requirements.
Gorsline added that POFEV has plans
to continue ghting for equality mea-
sures for LGBT people even if the courts
eventually rule the ban unconstitutional.
For instance, Gorsline said, a change in
marriage law in the commonwealth will
likely make it easier for same-sex couples
to raise children, but will not completely
change Virginias adoption laws, which
allow single LGBT people to adopt or
become foster parents, but not same-sex
couples.
Although a change in the marriage
law would not automatically change laws
on adoption and foster care, I think the
current laws would be harder to main-
tain, which is why theyre trying anything
they can to hold on, to stop the marriage
thing, said Gorsline. It will be a ght,
but well win. l
MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
Witness for Love
Arrives in Arlington
Interfaith demonstration in support of marriage equality
continues the ongoing challenge to Virginias ban
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BRAZILIAN GLBT GROUP, including others
interested in Brazilian culture, meets. For location/
time, email braziliangaygroup@yahoo.com.
DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC) practice session at
Marie Reed Aquatic Center, 2200 Champlain St.
NW. 8-9:30 a.m. swimdcac.org.
DC FRONT RUNNERS running/walking/social
club welcomes all levels for exercise in a fun and
supportive environment, socializing afterward.
Meet 9:30 a.m., 23rd & P Streets NW, for a walk; or
10 a.m. for fun run. dcfrontrunners.org.
DIGNITY NORTHERN VIRGINIA sponsors Mass
for LGBT community, family and friends. 6:30 p.m.,
Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, 3606 Seminary
Road, Alexandria. All welcome. dignitynova.org.
DC SENTINELS basketball team meets at Turkey
Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Ave. NE,
2-4 p.m. For players of all levels, gay or straight.
teamdcbasketball.org.
GAY LANGUAGE CLUB discusses critical
languages and foreign languages. 7 p.m. Nellies,
900 U St. NW. RVSP preferred. brendandarcy@
gmail.com.
IDENTITY offers free and condential HIV testing
in Takoma Park, 7676 New Hampshire Ave., Suite
411. Walk-ins 12-3 p.m. For appointments other
hours, call 301-422-2398.
SUNDAY, MAY 4
ADVENTURING outdoors group hikes moderate 5
miles to Hoover Camp, Shenandoah National Park.
Bring beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, about
$25/fees, money for dinner. Carpool 9 a.m., East
Falls Church Metro, Kiss & Ride lot. Pete, 703-525-
7680. adventuring.org.
ADVENTURING outdoors group bikes moderate 30
miles. Bring beverages, snacks, helmet, $2 fee. Ride
begins 11 a.m., Arlington. For location: Keith, 703-
859-0268. adventuring.org.
WEEKLY EVENTS
DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC) practice session at
Takoma Aquatic Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW.
9-10:30 a.m. swimdcac.org.
BETHEL CHURCH-DC progressive and radically
inclusive church holds services at 11:30 a.m. 2217
Minnesota Ave. SE. 202-248-1895, betheldc.org.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF
CHRIST welcomes all to 10:30 a.m. service, 945 G
St. NW. rstuccdc.org or 202-628-4317.
HOPE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST welcomes
GLBT community for worship. 10:30 a.m., 6130 Old
Telegraph Road, Alexandria. hopeucc.org.
Join LINCOLN CONGREGATIONAL TEMPLE
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST for an inclusive,
loving and progressive faith community every
Sunday. 11 a.m. 1701 11th Street NW, near R in
Shaw/Logan neighborhood. lincolntemple.org.
GAY DISTRICT holds facilitated discussion for
GBTQ men, 18-35, rst and third Fridays. 8:30 p.m.
The DC Center, 1318 U St. NW. 202-682-2245,
gaydistrict.org.
HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker Health,
Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. 202-745-7000, whitman-walker.org.
PROJECT STRIPES hosts LGBT-afrming social
group for ages 11-24. 4-6 p.m. 1419 Columbia Road
NW. Tamara, 202-319-0422, layc-dc.org.
SMYALS REC NIGHT provides a social
atmosphere for GLBT and questioning youth,
featuring dance parties, vogue nights, movies and
games. catherine.chu@smyal.org.
SATURDAY, MAY 3
GAY DAY AT THE ZOO runs 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
gaydayatthezoo.com.
CHRYSALIS arts and culture group tours World
Embassy Open House. Free. Meet 9:30 a.m. Dupont
Circle Metro, north elevator entrance, street level.
Craig, 202-462-0535, craighowell1@verizon.net.

ADVENTURING outdoors group bikes 40-mile
roundtrip to Herndon via W&OD trail. Bring water,
helmet, lunch (or buy). Ride begins 10 a.m. from South
Four Mile Run Drive and South Shirlington Road,
Arlington. Jerry, 703-920-6871. adventuring.org.
BURGUNDY CRESCENT gay volunteer
organization helps Food & Friends, Casey
Trees, and Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation
at Falls Church PetSmart. To participate:
burgundycrescent.org.
WEEKLY EVENTS
ANDROMEDA TRANSCULTURAL HEALTH
offers free HIV testing, 9-5 p.m., and HIV
services (by appointment). 202-291-4707 or
andromedatransculturalhealth.org.
BET MISHPACHAH, founded by members of the
LGBT community, holds Saturday morning Shabbat
services, 10 a.m., followed by kiddush luncheon.
Services in DCJCC Community Room, 1529 16th St.
NW. betmish.org.
THURSDAY, MAY 1
WEEKLY EVENTS
EMPODRATE holds GBQ Youth meeting, 5-6:30
p.m., and offers free HIV testing for youths, 9 a.m.-
7:30 p.m. 3055 Mount Pleasant St. NW. 202-507-
4800, empoderate@lcdp.org.
DC LAMBDA SQUARES gay and lesbian square-
dancing group features mainstream through
advanced square dancing at the National City
Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW, 7-9:30 p.m.
Casual dress. 301-257-0517, dclambdasquares.org.
The DULLES TRIANGLES Northern Virginia social
group meets for happy hour at Sheraton in Reston,
11810 Sunrise Valley Drive, second-oor bar, 7-9
p.m. All welcome. dullestriangles.com.
HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker Health. The
Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max Robinson Center, 2301
MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call 202-745-
7000. Visit whitman-walker.org.
IDENTITY offers free and condential HIV testing
in Gaithersburg, 414 East Diamond Ave., and in
Takoma Park, 7676 New Hampshire Ave., Suite 411.
Walk-ins 2-6 p.m. For appointments other hours,
call Gaithersburg, 301-300-9978, or Takoma Park,
301-422-2398.
WOMENS LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE for young
LBTQ women, 13-21, interested in leadership
development. 5-6:30 p.m. SMYAL Youth Center, 410
7th St. SE. 202-567-3163, catherine.chu@smyal.org.
US HELPING US hosts a Narcotics Anonymous
Meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m., 3636 Georgia Ave. NW.
The group is independent of UHU. 202-446-1100.
FRIDAY, MAY 2
WEEKLY EVENTS
METROHEALTH CENTER offers free, rapid HIV
testing. Appointment needed. 1012 14th St. NW,
Suite 700. 202-638-0750.
BET MISHPACHAH, founded by members of the
GLBT community, holds Friday night Shabbat
services followed by oneg social hour. 8-9:30 p.m.
Services in DCJCC Community Room, 1529 16th St.
NW. betmish.org.
Metro Weeklys Community Calendar highlights important events in
the D.C.-area LGBT community, from alternative social events to
volunteer opportunities. Event information should be sent by email to
calendar@MetroWeekly.com. Deadline for inclusion is noon
of the Friday before Thursdays publication. Questions about
the calendar may be directed to the Metro Weekly ofce at
202-638-6830 or the calendar email address.
LGBTCommunityCalendar
marketplace
15 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
marketplace
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METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH OF
NORTHERN VIRGINIA services at 11 a.m., led by
Rev. Onetta Brooks. Childrens Sunday School, 11
a.m. 10383 Democracy Lane, Fairfax. 703-691-0930,
mccnova.com.
NATIONAL CITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH, inclusive
church with GLBT fellowship, offers gospel worship,
8:30 a.m., and traditional worship, 11 a.m. 5 Thomas
Circle NW. 202-232-0323, nationalcitycc.org.
ST. STEPHEN AND THE INCARNATION, an
interracial, multi-ethnic Christian Community
offers services in English, 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and
in Spanish at 5:15 p.m. 1525 Newton St. NW. 202-
232-0900, saintstephensdc.org.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF
SILVER SPRING invites LGBTQ families and
individuals of all creeds and cultures to join the
church. Services 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. 10309 New
Hampshire Ave. uucss.org.
MONDAY, MAY 5
WEEKLY EVENTS
EMPODRATE offers free HIV testing for youths. 9
a.m.-5 p.m. 3055 Mount Pleasant St. NW. 202-507-
4800, empoderate@lcdp.org.
DC SCANDALS RUGBY holds practice, 6:30-
8:30 p.m. Garrison Elementary, 1200 S St. NW.
dcscandals.wordpress.com.
NOVASALUD offers free HIV testing. 5-7 p.m. 2049
N. 15th St., Suite 200, Arlington. Appointments:
703-789-4467.
The DC Center hosts COFFEE DROP-IN FOR THE
SENIOR LGBT COMMUNITY. 10 a.m.-noon. 2000
14th St. NW. 202-682-2245, thedccenter.org.
Michael Brazell teaches BEARS DO YOGA, a
program of The DC Center. 6:30 p.m., Green
Lantern, 1335 Green Court NW. No cost, newcomers
welcome. 202-682-2245, thedccenter.org.
GETEQUAL meets 6:30-8 p.m. at Quaker House,
2111 Florida Ave. NW. getequal.wdc@gmail.com.
KARING WITH INDIVIDUALITY (K.I.) SERVICES,
3333 Duke St., Alexandria, offers free rapid HIV
testing and counseling, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 703-823-4401.
US HELPING US hosts a black gay mens evening
afnity group. 3636 Georgia Ave. NW.
202-446-1100.
WASHINGTON WETSKINS Water Polo Team
practices 7-9 p.m. Takoma Aquatic Center, 300
Van Buren St. NW. Newcomers with at least basic
swimming ability always welcome. Tom, 703-299-
0504, secretary@wetskins.org, wetskins.org.
HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker Health. D.C.:
Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th St.
NW, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. At the Max Robinson Center,
2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For an
appointment call 202-745-7000. Visit whitman-
walker.org.
TUESDAY, MAY 6
WEEKLY EVENTS
A COMPANY OF STRANGERS, a theater chorus,
meets 7:30-9:30 p.m. A GLBTA and SATB looking
for actors, singers, crew. Open Hearth Foundation,
1502 Massachusetts Ave. SE. Charles, 240-764-
5748. ecumenicon.org.
ASIANS AND FRIENDS weekly dinner in Dupont/
Logan Circle area, 6:30 p.m. afwash@aol.com,
afwashington.net.
THE GAY MENS HEALTH COLLABORATIVE
offers free HIV/STI screening every 2nd and 4th
Tuesday. 5-6:30 p.m. Rainbow Tuesday LGBT
Clinic, Alexandria Health Department, 4480 King
St. 703-321-2511, james.leslie@inova.org.
Whitman-Walker Healths GAY MENS HEALTH
AND WELLNESS/STD CLINIC opens at 6 p.m.,
1701 14th St. NW. Patients are seen on walk-in basis.
No-cost screening for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and
chlamydia. Hepatitis and herpes testing available
for fee. whitman-walker.org.
THE HIV WORKING GROUP of THE DC CENTER
hosts Packing Party, where volunteers assemble
safe-sex kits of condoms and lube. 7 p.m., Green
Lantern, 1335 Green Court NW. thedccenter.org.
IDENTITY offers free and condential HIV testing
in Gaithersburg, 414 East Diamond Ave., and in
Takoma Park, 7676 New Hampshire Ave., Suite 411.
Walk-ins 2-6 p.m. For appointments other hours,
call Gaithersburg at 301-300-9978 or Takoma Park
at 301-422-2398.
KARING WITH INDIVIDUALITY (K.I.) SERVICES,
at 3333 Duke St., Alexandria, offers free rapid HIV
testing and counseling, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 703-823-4401.
SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-5 p.m., by
appointment and walk-in, for youth 21 and younger.
Youth Center, 410 7th St. SE. 202-567-3155,
testing@smyal.org.
SUPPORT GROUP FOR LGBTQ YOUTH ages 13-21
meets at SMYAL, 410 7th St. SE, 5-6:30 p.m. Cathy
Chu, 202-567-3163, catherine.chu@smyal.org.
METROHEALTH CENTER offers free, rapid HIV
testing. Appointment needed. 1012 14th St. NW,
Suite 700. 202-638-0750.
US HELPING US hosts a support group for black
gay men 40 and older. 7-9 p.m., 3636 Georgia Ave.
NW. 202-446-1100.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7
BOOKMEN DC, an informal mens gay-literature
group, discusses Shelagh Delaneys A Taste of
Honey. 7:30 p.m. Tenleytown Library, 4450
Wisconsin Ave. NW. All welcome. bookmendc.
blogspot.com
THE TOM DAVOREN SOCIAL BRIDGE CLUB
meets for Social Bridge. No reservation or partner
needed. All welcome. 7:30 p.m. Dignity Center, 721
8th St. SE. 301-345-1571.
17 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
WEEKLY EVENTS
EMPODRATE holds Latina Trans Youth meeting,
5-6:30 p.m., and offers free HIV testing for youths, 9
a.m.-5 p.m. 3055 Mount Pleasant St. NW. 202-507-
4800, empoderate@lcdp.org.
DC SCANDALS RUGBY holds practice, 6:30-
8:30 p.m. Garrison Elementary, 1200 S St. NW.
dcscandals.wordpress.com.
NOVASALUD offers free HIV testing. 11 a.m.-
2 p.m. 2049 N. 15th St., Suite 200, Arlington.
Appointments: 703-789-4467.
METROHEALTH CENTER offers free, rapid HIV
testing. No appointment needed. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 1012
14th St. NW, Suite 700. 202-638-0750.
ANDROMEDA TRANSCULTURAL HEALTH
offers free HIV testing, 9-5 p.m., and HIV
services (by appointment). 202-291-4707,
andromedatransculturalhealth.org.
AD LIB, a group for freestyle conversation, meets
about 7:45 p.m., covered-patio area of Cosi, 1647
20th St. NW. All welcome. Jamie, 703-892-8567.
DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC) practice session at
Marie Reed Aquatic Center, 2200 Champlain St.
NW. 8-9:30 p.m. swimdcac.org.
HISTORIC CHRIST CHURCH offers Wednesday
worship 7:15 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. All welcome.
118 N. Washington St., Alexandria. 703-549-1450,
historicchristchurch.org.
IDENTITY offers free and condential HIV testing
in Gaithersburg, 414 East Diamond Ave. Walk-
ins 2-7 p.m. For appointments other hours, call
Gaithersburg at 301-300-9978.
HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker Health. D.C.:
Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-6 p.m. At the Max Robinson Center, 2301
MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 202-745-7000,
whitman-walker.org.
PRIME TIMERS OF DC, social club for mature gay
men, hosts weekly happy hour/dinner. 6:30 p.m.,
Windows Bar above Dupont Italian Kitchen, 1637
17th St. NW. Carl, 703-573-8316.
THURSDAY, MAY 8
BURGUNDY CRESCENT gay volunteer
organization helps at Food & Friends. To
participate: burgundycrescent.org.
POINT FOUNDATION holds Cornerstone Event
fundraiser. 6:30-8 p.m. Room & Board, 1840 14th St.
NW. $75, $25 for students. pointfoundation.org. l
18 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
FOR MORE
CALENDAR LISTINGS
PLEASE VISIT
WWW.METROWEEKLY.COM
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marketplace
20 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
marketplace
21 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
22 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
MAY 1, 2014
VOLUME 21 / ISSUE 1
PUBLISHER
Randy Shulman
EDITORIAL
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Randy Shulman
ART DIRECTOR
Todd Franson
MANAGING EDITOR
Will OBryan
POLITICAL EDITOR
Justin Snow
STAFF WRITER
John Riley
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Rhuaridh Marr, Doug Rule
SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER
Ward Morrison
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Christopher Cunetto, Julian Vankim
CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS
Scott G. Brooks, Christopher Cunetto
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Daniel Burnett, Christian Gerard,
Brandon Harrison, Chris Heller, Troy Petenbrink,
Richard Rosendall, Kate Wingeld
EDITOR EMERITUS
Sean Bugg
WEBMASTER
David Uy
MULTIMEDIA
Aram Vartian
ADMINISTRATIVE / PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Julian Vankim
ADVERTISING & SALES
DIRECTOR OF SALES
Randy Shulman
NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE
Rivendell Media Co.
212-242-6863
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
Dennis Havrilla
PATRON SAINT
Paul Myatt
METRO WEEKLY
1425 K St. NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20005
202-638-6830
MetroWeekly.com
All material appearing in Metro Weekly is protected by federal copyright law and may not be
reproduced in whole or part without the permission of the publishers. Metro Weekly assumes no
responsibility for unsolicited materials submitted for publication. All such submissions are subject
to editing and will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Metro Weekly is supported by many ne advertisers, but we cannot accept responsibility for claims
made by advertisers, nor can we accept responsibility for materials provided by advertisers or
their agents. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles or
advertising in Metro Weekly is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation of
such person or organization.
2014 Jansi LLC.
23
IM NOT THE
man I used to be.
If you look at
a picture of me
from 20 years ago,
youll recognize
me even though
that 27-year-old
is a much differ-
ent person than
todays middle-aged gay man. You can
see me in my eyes and maybe a bit in
my smile. But the long hair is long gone,
replaced by a short cut and more fore-
head. The same goes for the skin that
over two decades of tanning, peeling,
aking, stretching and shrinking has
replaced itself with an entirely new set
of cells.
I live inside a different package
these days.
And even inside that package the
part of me that thinks its me isnt actu-
ally the same person from 20 years
ago. Ive changed my mind about many
things in that time and sometimes
changed it back. I know more now than
I did then, partly because of blunt expe-
rience, partly because I put the effort
into doing so. Nothing stays the same
for 20 years of life, which is why life
stays interesting.
Naturally, the same goes for the
magazine youre either holding in your
hand or scrolling on your screen. Twen-
ty years ago when Metro Weekly rst
came off the press it was a lot like me at
the time: a little slapdash, bursting with
energy and a bit naive. I mean all those
things in a good way it was slapdash
because we had an idea for a magazine
and simply decided to plow ahead. It
was a moment when naivete paid off
because the young rush in where expe-
rience fears to tread.
We went by our nickname MW
in those days, one of the many ways
in which the magazine then is differ-
ent than the magazine today. It was
smaller then, designed for easy pick
up in the days when our distribution
was limited to bars, restaurants and a
couple of retail stores. It was black and
white with spot color spot color
being a difcult concept to explain to
a generation that grew up with home
printers that output high-res rainbows
in seconds at.
The magazine now goes by its given
name and at a glance is a barely recog-
nizable adult compared to its newsprint
youth. Metro Weekly lives in a different
package these days.
And what lives in that package today
is different from what popped into exis-
tence 20 years ago. As youll see when
you page (or scroll!) through this issue,
our scope has changed and our ambi-
tion has grown. But you can recognize
us between the lines and behind the
design of those rst few years the
hunger for interesting stories, the com-
mitment to excellent writing, the will-
ingness to try new things and push the
boundaries of what a gay publication
could be.
You can see us in there, if youre
looking. Because Randy Shulman and
I have been there since the beginning,
people often assume that what they see
is only us, but thats not true. What you
see in Metro Weekly is the ongoing sum
of the reporters and editors and critics
and photographers and artists who for
20 years have given their talents to the
magazine.
A magazine is more than a stack of
stapled paper or a hosted Web domain.
A magazine is an attitude toward and
a passion for a particular realm for
Metro Weekly that attitude and passion
always has been for our lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender community.
Thats what I see when I look back on
the amazing journey weve taken from
the spring of 1994 to today.
The package may have changed and
the approach may have matured, but
Ill always recognize the passion on the
page.
Sean Bugg is the editor emeritus of
Metro Weekly. He currently serves as
the executive director of the Next Gen-
eration Leadership Foundation. He can
be reached at seanbugg@gmail.com. l
An Amazing Journey
Metro Weekly has changed over 20 years, but the
magazines attitude has always stayed the same
LGBTOpinion
by Sean Bugg
METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
24 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
R
I
C
H
A
R
D

V
O
N

Z
I
M
M
E
R
25 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
20
years of
Formerly Metro Arts &Entertainment Weekly, then MW. But never Michaels HomoWeekly. That was someone else.
I dont have clear, detailed memories of it, apart from recall-
ing that pages were laid out in PageMaker on a monochrome
IBM computer (oppy disks!), printed out on a cheap black
and white laser printer, and then pasted onto templates
through the aid of a hot-glue gun. The pages were then
bound into a loose-leaf three-ring binder the book, as it
came to be known which was then raced to the printer by
car and handed off, relay style, to the camera department.
From there, I always said, Its in Gods hands. God, in this
case, being the printing press, which would not break down
and create a distribution delay. God forbid.
I remember franticness. Followed by relief. Followed by
exhilaration. Followed by a lot of celebratory alcohol. Fol-
lowed by a hangover. Rinse and repeat.
In the ensuing years the changes came. Many changes
to the name, to the logo, to the format, to the way we
submitted our les to the printer, to the staff and through
them all weve remained consistent to our mission to cre-
ate a magazine and a website that speaks to the LGBT
community, locally and beyond, in a literate, interesting and,
whenever possible, unique way. A magazine that covers
things that are more than just LGBT-oriented, because as
LGBT people, we are interested in things beyond our own
microcosm.
The ght for equality has begat same-sex marriage, the
end of Dont Ask, Dont Tell, and a rise in our awareness
and a fuller understanding of our transgender brothers and
sisters. These two decades have seen monumental advances
in combating HIV/AIDS, though weve lost so many in that
time and still have such a long way to go. And the view, from
1994 to 2014, has changed so dramatically that we routinely
browse the world outside our all-too-often conning bor-
ders thanks to this little always-connected thing they call
The Interwebs. These changes have been reected in our
pages, often through the words of the people who were
working hard to implement them.
Quality has always been our hallmark at Metro Weekly. I
have worked and continue to work with an abundance
of talented writers, photographers and illustrators more
than any editor/publisher has a right to. Sifting through 20
years of Metro Weekly more than 1,000 issues only rein-
forced that notion. Its an honor, really, and very humbling.
Some of our writers and artists have moved on to other
venues Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, New
York Magazine, The Daily Beast, BuzzFeed. But just as many
have stayed here for years Todd Franson, Will OBryan,
David Uy, Sean Bugg, Kate Wingeld and Doug Rule have
worked with the magazine for more than a decade. Then
there are the relative newcomers Justin Snow, John Riley,
Rhuaridh Marr, Brandon Harrison, Chris Gerard, Richard J.
Rosendall, Troy Petenbrink, Zack Rosen who have carved
out their niches within the magazine, whether it be politics
or pets, music or cars, technology or travel, offering voices,
both in print and online, that are distinct and unique and
complementary to one another.
In Julian Vankim, we unearthed a magnicent photog-
rapher who brings an alternative sensibility (and a bit of
relief pitching) to Todd Franson, whose own extraordinary
ways with portraiture have dened this magazines look for
much of its existence. Were lucky to work with incredible
illustrators, each of whom bring their own spark of life to
the magazine, from the elegant, thoughtful illustrations
of Christopher Cunetto (who also doubles as one of our
Scene photographers) to Scott G. Brooks, whose elaborate
detail-work frequently leaves ones jaw ajar for hours if not
days. And, of course, theres Ward Morrison. Everybody
knows Ward. Everybodys been photographed by Ward.
Everybodys been hugged by Ward. And everybody is all the
better for it.
There are plenty who operate behind the scenes to
ensure things run smoothly, notably David Uy, who arrived
in 2002 and brought us onto the Web with a dazzling air.
David is overseeing the launch of our newly redesigned
website (coming soon!), which all staffers younger than me
(everyone, come to think of it) say is far more appealing
than our current outmoded look. But what do I know about
It seems just like yesterday.
Running around frantically in my tiny apartment at the corner
of 17th and T Streets, scrambling to get the very rst issue of
Metro Arts & Entertainment Weekly written and to the printer.
26 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
technology? I still type texts with my forenger while chewing
my tongue out the side of my mouth. Wed never get into your
hands were it not for the weekly efforts of Dennis Havrilla and
Richard Goldsmith. And thanks to the talented Aram Vartian,
weve been able to toss the occasional video into the mix with
the same kind of quality and care we bring to our print and
online endeavors.
Its these people who work extra hard, often through week-
ends, to ensure that Metro Weekly isnt just one of the best,
most interesting LGBT magazines youll ever read, but that
MetroWeekly.com is a place youll gladly visit daily (which,
Im pleased to say, you do). We engage the world of social
media with a page on Facebook and a perch on Twitter, as well
as an email we call The Daily Blast, and which, like everything
here, is constantly evolving. (Sign up at metroweekly.com/
join.)
Indeed, the combined efforts of these people and those
who came before them have been the reason for the maga-
zines success all these years. The magazine you are holding
today is a tribute to everyone who has ever been part of it. And
I am grateful to every single one of them for their efforts, for
their talent, for their devotion to this publication.
Think of this issue as a kickoff to a year of recollections and
tributes, as well continue to look back at our history through-
out the year. For me personally, editing this particular issue
unleashed a torrent of fond memories and evoked strong, deep
emotions. Maybe Ill share a story every so often on our Face-
book page (facebook.com/metroweekly) or tweet a rarely seen
snapshot from the past (twitter.com/metroweekly), as there is
plenty to still be seen and celebrated. Too much, almost. But
we cant stay steeped in the past. We have a magazine to put
out for the present. Once this week is done, were on to next
week.
Expect changes in the coming months. Weve already intro-
duced Pets, Home and Car sections. We added Technology,
Health and Games to our arts and leisure roster, and are about
to debut Food. (Fun aside: Out On the Town has appeared in
every single issue since the very rst.) Well keep growing,
keep evolving, keep trying on new things and revisiting former
ideas in a new way. We are grateful for your readership, grate-
ful for our advertisers whose support allows us to do our job
to the height of our ability (which is why you should support
our advertisers), and we will never take your readership for
granted. We will always strive to earn it, week in, week out.
Producing Metro Weekly has now occupied a full third of
my own life. It is, for me, a legacy an unexpected one as
I never really set out in life to be a magazine publisher. Yet
now I cant think of anything else Id rather be doing. And I
cant think of any magazine Id rather be publishing more than
Metro Weekly.
It may seem just like yesterday, but around here it already
feels like tomorrow.
RANDY SHULMAN
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
27 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
28 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
29 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
20 GREAT COVERS
F
ROM NEWSPRINT TO GLOSSY, THROUGH AN EVOLU-
tion of sizes and logos, Metro Weeklys covers have always
been our way of putting our best face forward. Sometimes the
cover shot is not our own, but whenever possible it is. This
collection of 20 great covers, one example from each year, includes
nothing but our own photography, including Annie Adjchavanichs
Carol Channing (who declined to remove her sunglasses because she
didnt have her eyelashes on) and Michael Wichitas stunning wrap-
around of the DC Cowboys, shot on a dewy weekend morning in Rock
Creek Park. Sometimes we go conceptual and try to work in a rainbow,
as Todd Franson did with 2003s Play Ball, and other times we go
documentary-style to capture an events spirit, as we did at the AIDS
Ride in 1997. We commission original art for the cover, too, as Scott
G. Brookss politically playful GOProud cover from 2011 wonderfully
illustrates. And on several occasions where Photoshop might have made
easy work of a particular concept, Metro Weekly has found the real deal
is just that much richer. Thats why art director Todd Fransons 2009
Reel Afrmations concoction is downright mouthwatering. Sometimes
theres simply no virtual substitute for popcorn and Jujubes. l
20
years of
1994
Stonewall 25
design: Richard Von Zimmer
1995
Carol Channing
photo: Annie Adjchavanich
1996
Eartha Kitt
illustration: Paul Myatt
1997
James Millner - AIDS Ride
photo: Randy Shulman
30 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
1998
Dixie Carter
photo: Todd Franson
1999
DJ Mandrill
photo: Todd Franson
2001
Peter Oiler
photo: Michael Wichita
2000
DC Cowboys
photo: Michael Wichita
31 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
20
years of
2002
The Hot Issue
photo: Michael Wichita 2003
Play Ball
photo: Todd Franson
2004
Play Time
photo: Todd Franson
2005
Meth Match
typographic design: Tony Frye
32 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
2006
Last Call on O Street
photo: Todd Franson
2007
Lypsinka
photo: Todd Franson
2010
Terrence McNally
photo: Todd Franson
2011
Go Proud
illustration: Scott G. Brooks
33 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
20
years of
2009
Reel Affrmations 19
photo: Todd Franson
2008
Craig Seymour
typographic design: Tony Frye
2013
Video Game Issue
photo: Julian Vankim
2012
Aaron Lee Smith
photo: Julian Vankim
34 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
man for four years. He came and visited me in my room every
weekend for four years. And my life became a series of weekends
for which I prepared.
MW: Didnt you love him?
MR. CRISP: I was sorry for him. Because in knowing him, I knew
the whole world. He was the rst person who gave me a glimpse
of what it is like to be a human being.
MW: What would you say to those who would abolish homosexuality?
MR. CRISP: You cant abolish homosexuality. And if you make it
unacceptable, it will go underground. And then it will be murky
and dismal and frightening. I dont think legislation makes any
difference. When the law was changed in England and consent-
ing adults were allowed to carry on, a woman said to me, It has
made a lot of difference to you. And I said, It made no differ-
ence to me. Nobody ever pointed at me and said, Look at him,
hes illegal. They pointed at me and said, Look at him, hes
effeminate. That remains forever. You are marked down. You
are worthless. You are alone.
The Next Level
June 22, 1995
Interview by Sean Bugg. Photography by Randy Shulman
MW: Youve gotten involved with the controversy about possible
closing of bathhouses and sex clubs in New York. Have you found
thats one of the reasons people are upset with the stances youve
taken?
SIGNORILE: The bathhouse thing has been completely distorted
and blown out of proportion. We are in the middle of a health
emergency. If what Im proposing is an inconvenience, Im
sorry. Im sorry for a lot of things but thats how it is. Its an
inconvenience, its not the end of the world. Its not a quarantine.
Nobody said you cant have sex in your house and do whatever
you want. Were trying to stem transmission that occurs in an
2
Michelangelo Signorile
Queen of Queens
December 22, 1994
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by
Annie Adjchavanich. Illustration by Paul Myatt
METRO WEEKLY: What are your thoughts about AIDS, which has
affected the gay community so profoundly.
MR. CRISP: It has and I dont know why. When I was young,
syphilis was all the rage. And none of us took any notice of it.
We went on as wed always gone on, and we didnt catch it. Now
people who have caught AIDS are regarded as martyrs. Theres
no candelight vigil for people who have died of heart attacks.
MW: Are you saying were making too much fuss about AIDS?
MR. CRISP: We are making AIDS a sacred cause.
MW: Have you ever had a great love?
MR. CRISP: No, I dont really understand what love is. I knew one
1
Quentin Crisp
35 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
20
years of
20 GREAT INTERVIEWS
FROM THE PAGES OF METRO WEEKLY
E
VERYONE HAS A STORY. SINCE THE BEGINNING, METRO WEEKLY HAS
shared those stories. More often than not, theyre in the sources own words. Weve
just been there to ask the questions, to prod for a little more here or there. The results
have been astonishing, particularly with the many who have given us the time to talk
at length and feature them as a cover story. These long-format Q and A interviews have come
to characterize the magazine as strongly as any single element could.
Aside from being purely entertaining, the breadth of these interviews takes us on a trip
from a time when AIDS had a stranglehold on the community, to when gay was just evolving
into LGBT, to a change in tone toward earnest optimism, like George Takeis accurate take
on the future.
With more than 700 interviews to choose from, as rich as they are, its impossible to choose
the 20 greatest. But a taste from 20 great interviews? Thats easy.
36 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
20
years of
establishment where theres multi-partner unsafe sex. Yes,
unsafe sex may be happening in the home, too. But where is
most transmission happening? Where is it happening exponen-
tially? We dont know that. And some evidence has shown that
the closing of the bathhouses had an effect on bringing transmis-
sions down. Nobody wants to close them; we just want to make
them safe.
MW: Beyond making them a place thats safe, do you see sex clubs
as a viable educational tool?
SIGNORILE: Absolutely. When theyre safe. They can create a
community norm that extended outside of the clubs in how
people behave at home. There was a norm set up, and that norm
was you dont have anal sex without a condom. If somebody did
it you were, like, Hey, are you crazy or something? That broke
down completely.
MW: You spend a lot of time in the book discussing the uses of
computer technology such as on-line services in the coming out
process.
SIGNORILE: I think [computer technology] is going to be seen as a
revolution in the gay community. In terms of political organiz-
ing, its a great tool. I get e-mail from everyone in the gay com-
munity whos organizing anything and wants action right away,
a blitz of someones ofce right away with e-mail. In terms of the
closet, its making it so much easier for people to access informa-
tion about homosexuality. Its providing a place where people
can make their rst steps. Ive interviewed so many people who
think they wouldnt have been out at all if not for the Internet,
especially people living in small towns and out in rural America.
I think its going to bring millions of people out of the closet over
the next twenty years.
Ian for All Seasons
January 25, 1996
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: You came out in 1988. Talk a little about your life as an openly
gay actor and what led to your nally coming out.
3
Ian McKellen
MCKELLEN: What led me to it was having lived for 49 years as a
gay man and realizing that I always had been out except to the
media and to my family. Everybody else in my life knew. And I
didnt realize until I came out what a weight that being in the
closet had been. I wish Id come out twenty years earlier.
MW: Do you ever look back with regret?
MCKELLEN: I dont look back with regret, I just regret it. You won-
der how different your life would have been. But I dont regret
the results of my life, particularly with regard to my career,
because what Im doing now gives me enormous pleasure. And
perhaps if Id been openly gay, I wouldnt have needed to act as
much as I did I wouldnt have needed to so obviously draw
attention to things that I was happy about in myself in order to
deect attention away from things that I wanted to keep a secret.
Thats a dreadful way of carrying on, but I think its one of the
motives that made me an actor.
MW: Has there been a great love in your life?
MCKELLEN: Yes, there has. But Im not going to talk about him,
because hes not here to talk about me. If we were here together
that would be a different matter. But I hope its not the only
love. At the moment I live by myself, and Im increasingly aware
of what Im missing through not living with somebody else.
Whether that situation will ever change, I dont know.
2 Lives to Live
December 4, 1997
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: Is your vagina fully functional?
XAVIER: Yes. I cant have kids, of course. But I do have sexual
response and Im pleased with what I got. It could have been
better, but the surgeon I went to at the time...was doing this one
very basic straightforward technique, and since he had the low-
est rate of post-op complications, he was the guy that I went to.
MW: How could it have been better, if you dont mind my asking?
XAVIER: I dont have a clitoris, and I think I would have liked to
have had one. I havent gone back for a labia plasty.
MW: Can you have a sexual encounter with a man?
4
Jessica Xavier
37 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
38 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
20
years of
XAVIER: Im a little shallow in that regard. It would probably be
painful. So I havent yet.
MW: Do you still experience orgasms?
XAVIER: Yes. Most transsexual women have vaginal orgasms.
Its hard to dislike any orgasm, but I kind of like my orgasms
now better.
MW: Is there anything you miss about being a man in society?
XAVIER: I miss some of the physical strength that I used to have
as a man: its much harder for me to lift heavy objects now. Oh,
and one other thing: I miss being able to pee standing up.
The Importance of Dixie
September 3, 1998
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: Do you have any thoughts on gay rights?
DIXIE: I think that gay rights should exist.
MW: Let me be more specic. What about the possibility of gay
marriage?
DIXIE: Thats hard for me, because Im very old fashioned, very
old-timey. So that idea is hard for me. On the other hand, maybe
the most loving marriage that Ive ever seen is a gay marriage. It
has not been codied as such by the church, but it is a marriage.
And has ben for years and years and years. But to answer your
question, I have to work through what marriage means and
the rst thing my mind goes to is that marriage is for the pro-
creation of the race. Its a sacrament to unite people so that they
can begin a family and have children. But Hal Holbrook and I got
married at an age past when we can expect to have children. So
here I am in a very happy marriage that I think is ne. So if I feel
that way about my marriage to Hal, why would I have a problem
with a gay marriage? Still, its hard for me. Im very traditional.
MW: Another issue thats been raised recently in a big way is known
as reparative therapy, where gay people are saying theyve been
cured through various ministries led by the right wing.
DIXIE: I think the word cure is insulting, isnt it? Tell me, are
these people who are cured, are they ever going to be happy?
MW: Its hard to say.
DIXIE: Well, down the line it will be discovered whether or not
they will be happy. I hate to use this corny expression but every-
body has got to nd out who they are and what their needs are.
And putting yourself in a straight jacket for appearances sake
is not going to get it. But as Ive said, Im old-fashioned. Im still
trying to work through [the idea of] women preachers. I am a
person for whom change is difcult. I dont agree with the way
that children are brought up now for the most part. I cant bear
to see them in those little tennis shoes they put on children.
Please. And those vile colors. I just want to see little babies in
white. I want to see them in pastels. I dont want to see them in
red and black I feel like such an anachronistic person, but I am
slowly coming around my children are slowly getting me close
to where I should be. Maybe by the turn of the century, Ill be up
with everybody else.
5
Dixie Carter
The Visible Man
March 4, 1999
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: You often hear criticism that todays black movement doesnt
have leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
BANKS: Its an invalid criticism. A lot of what people refer to as
black leadership is not really black leadership. Its a white
choice of leadership for blacks. I could pick up a newspaper
today and be exposed to black leaders I know nothing about
people whom, if the white folks didnt put it in the paper or
the TV screen, I wouldnt know anything about. Whites dont
rally around the same people millions of whites dont see Bill
Clinton as their president.
MW: Thats because whites as a whole never had a perceived
movement. Not like blacks. Not like gays.
BANKS: The whites had a movement thats why there was a
civil war. Look, you could walk out of here and down the street,
and despite the fact that this is basically a black neighborhood,
who is going to pay you much mind? Theyre certainly not going
to make any decisions about who you are as a person or your
value as an individual. But if I were to go in certain areas of this
city and just walk, Id get an awful lot of attention. Blacks are
marked, period before you ever open your mouth. And usually
that mark is a negative mark.
Now, Im not down on whites. Im not racist. But I suspect
there are very few white folks who see a black person and say,
Oh, this is my lucky day, there goes a black person! The black
person really has to keep his or her own thing together, keep his
own counsel.
MW: I understand what youre saying, but having lived so many
years, you must admit, things are better now than when you were
a young man.
BANKS: It is better in general terms. But if you are that person
for whom it is not better, but worse, the fact that its better in
general doesnt help you. Like the guy tied to the back of a pickup
truck and dragged for three miles to his death down in Texas.
MW: Do you at all feel proud of where our society has come in the
71 years you have been alive?
BANKS: As a black gay person, I dont relate to what the gay estab-
lishment is doing, has done or has accomplished. I dont feel that
closely aligned to it. I dont think it includes me. What blacks
have accomplished and are doing affects me because it cuts to
the heart and soul of who I am. If I were not gay, Id still be black.
But I dont feel a part of the gay establishment. Because I think of
it as largely exclusive, not inclusive.
Examining the Mautner Project
September 21, 2000
Interview by Sean Bugg.
MW: Ive been a professional homo for quite a while. Do you feel like
we construct our own little world and get caught by surprise when
those things come up?
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Lawrence R. Banks
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DEBOLD: It makes you feel very safe. Its funny, even in our little
neighborhood, I was walking down the road just getting some
exercise. A car came by me and this group of guys yelled out,
Fat dyke bitch! It was such a shock. But then I was like, Well,
they got all three right. At 40 miles an hour, theyre good. So
you never know.
One thing thats very hard and complicates lesbian health is
HMOs. I had this one doctor who was insisting on giving me a
pregnancy test. I said, Im not pregnant. Theres no chance Im
pregnant. And she said, Well, we are going to do this anyway.
I said, Look, I have never had sex with a man. This is not neces-
sary. And she goes, Youre 42 years old and youve never had
sex with a man? I dont believe that. She said it in this huge loud
voice that went out into the waiting room. I was sure that every-
one knew. And then, after this whole thing, I thought it was
resolved. When the bill came, there was a pregnancy test on it.
MW: And that was a woman doctor?
DEBOLD: Yes, that was a woman doctor.
MW: This could be my own blindness, but I dont see as many
prominent lesbian physicians as I see prominent gay physicians.
Theres sort of a gay doctors club and I dont see the lesbian
equivalent of that.
DEBOLD: There are not enough lesbian doctors. Not enough out
lesbian doctors. Because, you know, its a risk for the doctor, too.
Its funny, but sometimes a gay doctor can have so much inter-
nalized homophobia, they actually are not helping the client
with what they are going through.
Its hard to be a woman in med school. Its hard to be a
woman and even get into med school. And thats one thing we
are trying to do get people in med school and train them in the
barriers to lesbians getting health care. Its a lot easier to get to
people young enough before they are set in their ways.
MW: Its likely that younger doctors might be more comfortable
discussing sexual history on their new patients. I know thats been
a big sticking point just getting doctors to ask.
DEBOLD: Exactly. Sexual questions. And also the way doctors ask
questions. They still say, Are you sexually active? No, I just
lie there. Sexual activity is a big ranger. And to a lot of doctors
its Yes or no. Then, Do you use birth control? And then they
move on. Ive never had a doctor ask me about anal sex or oral
sex or multiple partners. Things they need to know, big time.
Time Well Spent
January 25, 2001
Interview by Sean Bugg. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: When BHT started and through the earlier years, it was
primarily a leather organization, though. The leather community
was under a lot of re during the early part of the AIDS epidemic,
from some people who perceived the leather community as an
instigator of the disease. Did BHT suffer from those types of
perception problems?
STANSBURY: All along, there ahs been a misconception what the
leather community has been about. Were very much like every-
body else, we just have a particular like of leather. Some of us
8
Larry Stansbury
because we ride motorcycles, and for some people its more of
a dress statement. But a lot of people just dont understand that.
The Spartan Motorcycle Club is thirty-three years old. The
Academy Awards [of Washington] is thirty-eight years old.
Those are two of the longest surviving organizations in this city
a leather group and a drag group. Even though some people
see the leather community as one of those branch communi-
ties, the strength of the gay community has started and continues
with the leather community. Youll nd some of the most dedi-
cated people youll ever meet.
MW: Would you say the perception of the leather community has
changed at all over the past ten years or so?
STANSBURY: I think visibility is helping a lot. We dont make
apologies because we wear leather or Levis. A lot of people wear
Levis now and guess where it started? And a lot of that started
with the D.C. Eagle. So many people have misconceptions about
the Eagle. Oh, thats a leather bar, Im afraid to go in there.
It has its own mystique, a well-deserved one. It caters to the
leather/Levi community, but everybodys been welcome there.
MW: One of the reasons I asked about the change in perception is
because Mid-Atlantic Leather weekend seems to have grown a lot
over the past few years. It seems to draw even more of a non-
leather crowd, which is interesting because different scenes tend
to keep to themselves.
STANSBURY: I think it offers opportunities for people to explore
other venues. It would be wrong to assume that every person in
leather is into heavy S&M. Some are, but not everybody is.
Words of Caushun
May 23, 2002
Interview by Will Doig
MW: A lot of openly gay celebrities insist that their sexuality is just
a small part of who they are and that their professional lives are
separate, but you totally blend your sexuality and your career. In
fact, a lot of your lyrics really aunt the fact that youre gay.
CAUSHUN: You know, people choose to think, Oh, hes gay and
hes exploiting his sexuality. But sexuality is such a big part of
every rappers lifestyle. Ninety-nine percent of the rappers out
there have songs that talk about their sexual experiences. So if
thats the way the game is played, if other rappers can exploit
their heterosexuality, why cant I exploit my sexuality?
MW: So you think your sexual references are only more apparent
because theyre about men rather than women?
CAUSHUN: Exactly. Jay-Z is singing about girls, girls, girls. Well,
Im in that same situation with guys, so thats what Im going to
rap about. If I pretend to be a thug when thats not what I am,
I would be succumbing to the pressures of the world, forcing
myself back into the closet. Thats not the road I wanted to take.
Youve got to be who you are.
MW: Do you think there are a lot of rappers and hip-hop artists who
are gay but still in the closet?
CAUSHUN: Of course. I know rappers who havent come out.
MW: Gay has become much more accepted even hip in televi-
sion and Hollywood, yet it remains fairly taboo in the music indus-
try. Why is that?
CAUSHUN: Because so few people in the industry have stood up
and said, Whats so wrong with being gay? And the only people
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who do are RuPaul and Elton John and other over-the-top types,
the ones who feed into the stereotypes of a typical gay man, a
camp man, or a typical drag queen. The fact that theyre so out
there makes it easier to digest for the heterosexual community.
The Reluctant Hedonist
September 25, 2003
Interview by Randy Shulman
MW: Do you consider yourself to have an addictive personality?
WAINWRIGHT: I consider myself to be a hedonist.
MW: That said, do you think its easier for gay men to fall into and
court an addictive lifestyle?
WAINWRIGHT: This is what I think. The kind of historical hedonis-
tic bacchanalian orgy-esque legend of the gay lifestyle is ancient
and will always exist. Its sacred and is a good thing for a time.
Some people think they can do it forever. But I think, unfortu-
nately, a lot of these kinds of attitudes and things existed before
chemistry really took off. And also AIDS, a problem which hasnt
been solved yet. And I just nd that its a real conundrum at this
point because we all love to have our wild times but we dont
live in the same sort of world anymore. And you can ask anyone
who was coming of age in the sixties and the seventies and the
eighties how many lives have been lost already and how many
casualties there are. And I just feel that sometimes in the gay
world theres just a total denial of that.
MW: Yet you entered into it as well.
WAINWRIGHT: I totally entered it.
MW: Was there a particular low point that you recall during this
period?
WAINWRIGHT: There were many, many low points. Many high
moments, many low moments. I think the song on Want One
that deals with this whole subject is Go or Go Ahead. That was
a real low point. I just remember being in my car and pulling
over and crying. It was very much about sitting down and facing
the exterminating angel.
MW: You claim to have been addicted to sex during this period. Is
there a point where you started to view sex in a different way?
WAINWRIGHT: I think sex is a serious powerful force that cannot
be put under any heading of good or bad or this or that. Its to
be reckoned with. Ive done a lot of sexual exploring a lot. Im
like a sexual Captain Nemo. But it really hasnt given me any-
thing emotional in the end. In the end, Ive felt quite bankrupt.
Im happy about what happened, but Im really looking for love.
MW: But you have to cross a line, I think, to get to a point where
youre ready to look for love.
WAINWRIGHT: I think you do. I also think some people dont. Its
really up to the individual. There is this idea that if youre gay
you have to go through this really ferocious sexual period, you
know? And maybe not everyone should. Maybe some people
cant and some people can. I dont know. Im happy it exists, but
there should be an alternative to that as well.
In all honesty, I think sex is stupid sometimes. Its a fun thing
and its a necessary thing, but its really the lowest form of energy
on the planet, the lowest form of expression. It just has noth-
10
Rufus Wainwright
ing to do with love. I think the two of them can meet at certain
points Ive had great sex and Ive been in love but comparing
all of that to the emotions that I have towards a friend or a mem-
ber of my family or a work of art, its really quite low.
Politically Speaking
July 29, 2004
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: George W. Bush.
MIXNER: Hes a dangerous, dangerous man. The most dangerous
president I have ever seen in all my years. He makes Nixon look
like a liberal. If someone said to me, what do you think is the
most dangerous thing about George W. Bush, well, I mean, its
hard to pick. But I always come up with a few choice bits. The
obvious one is the tribe that Im part of and what hes doing to
us. Our civil liberties are at stake, our separation of church and
state is at stake, our Supreme Court is at stake. The ability of
the president to go to war at choice is at stake. And pretty much
the foreign policy of our country and disregard for the Geneva
Accord is at stake. Our obligations to international treaties are at
stake. I cant remember when all of this has been at stake in an
election. Planned Parenthood. Family clinics in Africa who cant
get money to distribute condoms for AIDS. Its genocidal. This
man has no regard for centuries of knowledge and tradition and
the journeys of people who have stood for human rights and dig-
nity. He has just completely thrown all of that aside. He is one of
the most rigid ideologues Ive ever seen occupy the presidency.
MW: How do you feel about outing as a political tactic?
MIXNER: Let me just say, having worked in a number of state
legislatures and campaigns, theres nothing more infuriating
than coming up to a closeted person whos working against you.
When youre working eighteen hours a day, seven days a week
and suddenly you nd out that the guy whos sending out the
negative press release is a member of your tribe. Its like blacks
for George Wallace Im like Huh?
Now, having said that, and understanding how infuriating
it has been in my life to come across those people, its so very
important that, given our journey especially with AIDS that
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we dont become them. If our ideas rest and fall on extortion
and blackmail, then what are our ideas worth? I hope we would
create an attractiveness that would be irresistible to any closeted
gay person, that theyd want to join us eventually. Im terried
that Im gonna wake up some morning and some kid on the Hill
is going to have killed himself. And then how are we going to
feel about outing? Were playing with peoples lives. Were mak-
ing their decisions for their life journeys. Its not a small deal. I
almost killed myself when I was blackmailed. I know the terror
I felt, I know the fear. I really hope that in this time where we
have great ideas of human rights and liberty and justice and
equality to take to the American people, and also to maybe rede-
ne for them what love is, that our ideas and our chances on
victory do not rest on such anger.
The world is lled with hypocrites. That is just a fact of life.
Now the question is, do we give them a forum? Is that our battle?
To out people? Or is our battle equality, justice and liberty?
Where do we put our energy? Do we jerk off and feel good that
got rid of our anger by outing these people? Or do we focus on
the battle?
MW: Youve known Bill Clinton for thirty-ve years. What are your
thoughts about his presidency and the gay community?
MIXNER: Bill Clinton will go down in history as one of the greatest
presidents for this community, ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever. For
the scope and the breadth of the changes he made in the agencies
and the State Department. It was against the law for us to openly
serve in the State Department before he came in. People seem
to forget that. Against the law. We could not work in the State
Department. He made historical changes across the board. But
he was far from perfect DOMA, Dont Ask, Dont Tell.
MW: Have you read the book?
MIXNER: No. Nine hundred pages of his life, are you kidding? I
dont think so. I wont read nine-hundred pages of my life.
MW: DOMA is not addressed in it.
MIXNER: If I was him, I wouldnt want to mention it either.
Police Story
March 17, 2005
Interview by Sean Bugg. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: Whats different between being a police ofcer and being a
police ofcer in the GLLU?
PARSON: The rst thing I want to do is turn that question around
and tell you whats not different. Were police ofcers just like
any other police ofcers in D.C., with full jurisdiction and full
investigative authority and arrest powers. We specialize in deal-
ing with the GLBT community. Other police ofcers may be
assigned to the sex offense branch, the check and fraud unit, or
school resource ofcers they each have a specialty and when
issues come up in that particular subject area, they are called
upon to assist. Thats what we do in GLLU. We specialize in
dealing with a community that has been traditionally under-
served, disrespected and discriminated against. There are many
ways that we serve that community, and probably the most
12
Brett Parson
important is that we do not just focus exclusively on community
relations. We do general policing.
MW: When was the rst time you came out after you joined the
police?
PARSON: I have no idea because it was not a conscious effort on
my part. When I chose to leave professional ice hockey to go into
law enforcement, my partner and I decided it was going to be a
non-issue. I was not going to change pronouns. I wasnt going to
be ambiguous about what our relationship was. And it was never
an issue, from day one at the academy. So I really cant pinpoint
a day it just didnt happen.
Lets face it, Im not exactly a wallower and if there was
anybody who had a problem with it, chances are they probably
werent going to stand up to me and say, Oh, youre going to
fuckin hell. It just wasnt going to happen. Could somebody
else who had a different personality have gotten away with it the
way I did? Maybe yes, maybe no. I dont know.
MW: How was your coming out [to your family]?
PARSON: I probably had one of the better experiences. I didnt
choose to come out to my parents until I had a life partner.
And my [then-partner] and I had been together for about 6
months or so when both of us decided we wanted our families
to know what was going on, so we both went to tell our parents
on Thanksgiving. I had no anxiety about it. I knew my parents
would not have a problem with it. It was just going to be a matter
of delivering it.
My mom and dad were waiting for me because we were
getting ready to go out for the traditional Thanksgiving Jewish
meal of Chinese food, and I said, Sit down, I want to tell you
something. I never do that. What, what, what? Were hungry,
my dad said. I said, Ive got something I want to talk about.
Can we talk about it in the restaurant? No, I dont want to talk
about it in the restaurant.
So we talked about my work in professional hockey at the
time and how I was away from home and there are parts of me
you never see. My father nally said, What are you trying to
say? I said, Well, theres somebody in my life. And his name is
Mike. And my father said, And we needed to stay away from
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even when I was super gay, the moment I looked butch, thats
where it all stopped. But once I was becoming this gorgeous per-
son, there was no turning back. I cannot be butch anymore. I am
who I am. And thats how I got involved as an activist.
MW: When you look at the Human Rights Act as now amended,
whats the best thing you expect to happen?
CORADO: For many years in this city, transgender people have had
really bad experiences, beginning with the violence that weve
suffered. D.C. is one of the ve worst cities for transgender peo-
ple in the whole country. And being out there every day trying
to survive and then trying to integrate into a society that doesnt
have clear protections for transgender and gender queer people,
having this [law] is like a big gift because sometimes in order to
ght a war you need to have ammunition.
It feels like we have a tool to educate people, a tool to educate
ourselves about what our rights are. Its very frustrating for a
community activist that every day we encounter the needs of
transgender and gender queer people, and sometimes there are
very few things that were able to do. If we have a kid who is
transgender or gender queer who doesnt have a job, a place to
live or medical care sometimes we just dont have many things
that we can give them. So this legislation making it clear that it is
not okay to discriminate, we have something we can begin to use
as a tool in educating people.
MW: You mentioned the difculties the transgender community has
faced in D.C. over the past few years, particularly violence. Why do
transgender people face such problems?
CORADO: Unfortunately, in big cities like D.C., we have transgen-
der people who are so out and so proud, that some people feel
that its not okay, that we are not supposed to be happy. And,
unfortunately, it translates into violence. In the last decade there
have been a lot of transgender people killed, not to even men-
tion the transgender people who have been beaten up. Theres
not a month that goes by that you dont hear about somebody
getting beaten up in Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Capitol
Hill, you name it. They arent getting beat up for being straight-
acting. Theyre getting beat up for being too feminine, for being
too butch.
Cybill Rights
March 22, 2007
Interview by Randy Shulman
MW: You have been quoted as saying that you had wondered about
lesbianism at various times during your life. I wanted to be open
to the possibility of having a woman as a lover. I am not actively
pursuing it but it is not over yet, is how the quote reads.
SHEPHERD: Its not over till its over.
MW: Well, if the opportunity arose, do you honestly think you
would be open to it?
SHEPHERD: Yes, I do. I dont know how you describe me then. I
think there are some things I could say that are not politically
correct, but I have to say that it denitely would be a possibility,
depending on the person.
MW: There are a lot of people who would just shut that side of them-
selves off, who would just try to avoid it. For you to be even frank
about the possibility of it is extraordinary.
SHEPHERD: Well, you know, I marched on Washington in a
14
Cybill Shepherd
the Chinese restaurant for that? Come on, lets go. No issue
whatsoever. Didnt miss a beat. We talked about it throughout
dinner, and they called the neighbors over from another table:
Hey, our sons gay, isnt this great? Want an egg roll?
Trans-American
March 30, 2006
Interview by Sean Bugg. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: What led you to get involved with the coalition to change
D.C.s Human Rights Act?
CORADO: In the 90s, my friends and I would go to a party or a
club on Saturday and wed have so much fun. It would be 4 a.m.
and we wanted to still be in drag and living in the moment we
were having. And then people on the street would start calling
us names. Thats really how it all started. I realized that there
were many of us who were very feminine what we call gen-
der queer now and we had some special needs.
Also, for myself, I realized that with all of the changes I was
going through, I was feeling fabulous. I was really living the life
I wanted to live and feeling great and so proud of myself and on
top of the world. And then I get on the bus and get called fag-
got. And thats when I realized that the person I was becoming
really had fewer opportunities, had many more barriers than
when I looked not so feminine. I actually lost my job.
I was nding that things were a lot tougher. This beautiful,
wonderful, amazing person that I was becoming was not sup-
posed to be out in public. And because I was bringing it out in
public, people were very cruel. I would apply for jobs and theyd
look at me funny from the moment I walked in the door. Really,
when I was living as a gay person I had some benets, because
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major gay and lesbian march. The Human Rights Campaign
sponsored me, and when I got there I said, I want to be in that
rst row and carry the banner and they said, Im sorry, unless
youre gay or lesbian, were not going to let you carry it. Because
the people whove worked so hard, they deserve to carry it. I
took issue with that. I said, I dont know why youd have to be
gay and lesbian to lead the march and carry the banner. It is an
equal investment for anyone, regardless of what their orienta-
tion is or whatever you want to call it. I said, Would Martin
Luther King not have let me march with him because my skin
was white? I dont see any difference in the issue. Its about
bigotry and hatred.
MW: Did you end up carrying the banner?
SHEPHERD: I did.
MW: Why has gay rights, in particular, been such an important
topic to you?
SHEPHERD: I think of myself as being born as a political being, and
there was a moment in my life [where it came together for me]. It
was in 1968, when Martin Luther King was killed assassinated
about three and a half miles from where I was in high school.
Ill never forget it. They announced it over the intercom that
school was closing early and we were all to go home. I remember
going out and looking towards downtown [Memphis], stricken,
feeling responsible, feeling the heaviness of that hatred, of racial
hatred, and feeling terrible that I hadnt done anything to sup-
port the right way, meaning the fair way. And since Id been born
and raised in the segregated South, I remember colored-only
and white-only bathrooms. And during the Mid-South Fair,
the blacks went on a different day from the whites. The only
black people I knew growing up were domesticated servants.
Being around that hatred, I had internalized on some deep,
emotional level an empathy knowing it was wrong, but never
talking, hearing racist comments all the time in my home and
everywhere, but not standing up. Then when I got into the ninth
grade, I began to be more enlightened. I had close friends and we
all agreed on it. It was wrong, it was a horrible racial inequality
in this country and it needed to be addressed.
So, to answer your question, as you open yourself up to civil
rights, it really doesnt matter what your excuse is for handing
human beings something that says Youre less than me, you
dont get the equal rights should you choose to have a partner-
ship with someone. You dont get the economic benets or the
tax benets of marriage. Once you start going towards what I
call the right thinking, you cant draw the line. You have to go
all the way. You cant discriminate.
MW: It would help if more high-prole celebrities such as yourself
put themselves front and center for the cause. There are so many
out there who are gay but still in the closet. Why do you think its so
difcult for actors or actresses to feel comfortable enough to be out?
SHEPHERD: Well, even I lost a very lucrative contract to speak to
a womens organization in Texas the day after it was announced
that I was doing The L Word. So people are discriminated
against and are losing jobs. So, of course, theres fear. I had a lot
of fear. I dont know what I was afraid of. I had a lot of fear when
the episodes rst came on, a huge amount of fear that Id never
really felt before. I think that everybody has his own prejudice
inside, and often we have to start to enlighten ourselves about
our own prejudices. And were fed these lies and the hatred in
so many ways that you have to confront your own prejudices.
I dont think that any person alive is free from prejudice. Well
never be free from prejudice. Its part of being human. What was
my fear? Was my fear that people would think I was a lesbian?
And then would they think less of me? Was my fear that I am a
lesbian? Was my fear that I would get cooties? I dont know. I
just had a lot of fear. And also playing into that was the fact was
that being sexual in a part for a woman my age in this business
is very rare. Were usually stuck with playing the crazy mothers.
And were lucky to get those parts.
Radically Relevant
November 27, 2008
Interview by Will OBryan. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: What was your childhood like in Brooklyn?
SIMMONS: It was hell. I had a horrible childhood. I was suicidal
at 13. If I seem to laugh a lot now, its because I think about then.
I was introduced to homosexuality at an early age I was 5
or 6. My cousin, maybe a year or two older, his family had gotten
evicted so he was staying with us. He and I were sleeping in the
same bed. One night, he says to me, Do you want to do what
the grownups do? I had no idea what the he was talking about.
MW: Did he mean pay taxes?
SIMMONS: Right! [Laughs.] He showed me. He took me in his
arms and he kissed me. It was just wonderful.
I believe, frankly, that being gay as opposed to being homo-
sexual, really feeling I am gay is much more of an innate,
kind of spiritual thing. In my case, it was going to be there
already, but that triggered it at such an early age. I never thought
I was doing anything wrong. It felt good. What was I doing?
Holding a guy, embracing, and basically playing house.
In the second grade, I played serious house with a guy named
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Larry. We put my sisters doll under my shirt and pretended I
was pregnant. We had no idea what we were doing. We were
just acting out, a fantasy. I felt perfectly comfortable. He was
really cute.
What happened was puberty. In fth grade, he started chas-
ing the girls. And so did the other guys. I realized that I didnt
want to. I couldnt gure out why we couldnt go back and have
fun with each other the way we did before.
Then the name calling started: faggot.
Because I was studious, I guess an attractive kid, the girls
would chase me and that would terrify me. I didnt know
quite how to react to what was happening around me. Pulling
away from the girls, you become stigmatized. I was the sissy.
I studied a lot, and that paid off in that I did quite well in
school. When I reached junior high school, they changed the
ruling and said that basically a kid could go to any junior high
school. My mother immediately signed me up to go way out
Sheepshead Bay. There was a good chance that the white kids
would not really be happy to see me coming. They were waiting
for you. If you got off at the stop in the Italian neighborhood,
there was a lot of ak. If you got off at the stop in the Jewish
neighborhood the school was right in the middle you had
a better chance. In high school, I do remember one time some
white guys calling out nigger.
MW: So, out of the homophobic frying pan and into the racist re?
SIMMONS: Right. Needless to say, the sexual thing went into this
deep, deep closet that didnt come out again until I went away
to college. I went away to college by Gods grace, because Lord
knows I wasnt supposed to. So many times in my life, things
have just happened that its like something divine going on.
Waters World
December 3, 2009
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: What do you look for in a man?
WATERS: You mean a boyfriend man?
MW: Yes.
WATERS: My favorite is a blue-collar closet queen because they
dont want to be in my movies. They dont want to meet famous
people. They dont want to go on tour with me. They want to
come over to my house and hang out. Ive never had a famous
boyfriend. Anybody that would want to walk the red carpet with
me would be a bad boyfriend. I dont go to work with them. Why
should they want to go to work with me? People have to be able
to make me laugh. I like people that have had some backstory.
I dont want somebody like me especially, they dont have to be
intellectual at all. I know enough smart people. Who wants to
talk about books in bed?
MW: Do you have a boyfriend at the moment?
WATERS: No, but I have a couple friends I see that I always see.
MW: Have you ever had a long-term boyfriend?
WATERS: Yeah, three.
MW: Whats the longest?
WATERS: Five years. But I never lived with em. I could never live
with anybody that would allow me to dominate them enough
so that they could live in this house, the way it looks, totally my
taste. I wouldnt want to be my boyfriend.
MW: Clearly they wanted to be your boyfriend.
WATERS: That isnt a boyfriend, thats a groupie.
MW: So no marriage for John Waters?
WATERS: Oh, God, no. I have a great life as a single man. You kid-
ding? At Elton Johns party, I got seated
next to Yoko Ono. Joan Kennedy, at
another party. I have a great life as a
single man. I live in four cities. I am very
happy to be a single man. I dont need
somebody else to make me feel better.
MW: In Metro Weekly we do a feature
where we ask a series of questions to our
Nightlife Coverboys. I want to ask you
three questions from that list, the obvious
one being whats on you nightstand?
WATERS: I have two nightstands because
I have a bed with a table on each side
of it. So Ill tell you each side. On the
left side is three books, The Story of
Chicken Little, Slovenly Peter and Balti-
more Are. I also collect fake food so
theres a bowl of fake grits. There is a
can opener Patty Hearst gave me that
is a horses ass. There is a picture of the
Queen from Snow White.
On the right side table theres more
fake food a bowl of cereal that really
looks real, a little piece of bacon, a
pickle, ve books Impossible Princess
by Kevin Killian, Monkey Painting by Thierry Lenain, All Around
Atlantis by Deborah Eisenberg, and Hotel Theory by Wayne
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Kostenbaum a box of Kleenex, brass knuckles, an eight-ball
that tells your fortune its broken and a rubber knife.
MW: Do you keep anything in the drawers of the nightstands?
WATERS: Yeah. But Im not telling you whats in there. Ive told
you enough, havent I?
MW: Where is the most unusual place that John Waters has ever
had sex?
WATERS: That I wouldnt tell you. Because heres the thing
people that tell a journalist that have no friends.
June 10, 2010
Interview by Sean Bugg
MW: A lot of us agonize over how we come out to our families. How
did you actually do it?
WRIGHT: I nally realized I had to tell my father because he called
me at one point in Nashville and said, Chel, were not close like
we used to be. Have I done something wrong? That just ripped
my heart out. When you hide you start to live separate lives. You
dont share your life the way that you want to, because you have
a secret.
When he got to my hotel room he always likes to come
hang out with me as Im getting ready for a show I said,
Pippy, I need to talk to you. He said, Whats wrong? Youre
sick? You have cancer? I said, I dont have cancer, but I need to
tell you something Ive needed to tell you my whole life but Im
scared and Ive always been afraid you wont want to be my dad
anymore. And I said, Im gay.
So we had a two- or three-hour conversation about it. It ran
the gamut of emotion. He kept saying, Why didnt you tell me?
Im disappointed that you didnt know Id love you no matter
what. And I said, Dad, dont you remember the gay jokes? You
know, the jokes at the dinner table? He buried his face in his
hands and he just sobbed and said, Im sorry, I didnt know.
Thats a hard conversation to have with a man who was
raised to believe that gays are sinful and wrong and condemned
to hell. In that very instant, when the kid that he knew and loved
and respected and admired and adored, told him thats who I
was, everything about that word changed for him.
MW: Has that impacted your fathers life back home?
WRIGHT: Of course. You know, Ive got a community of gay sup-
port. Its one thing for my family to support me, but when they
go back into their world of small town and mid-America its
tough.
Heres one of the most disturbing things that happened. My
sister and I are very, very close, and she lives in a town of 400.
She said that her preacher came to her house last Friday and
said, Jenny, I need to tell you that on Sunday Im going to be
preaching a sermon on homosexuality. She said, Really? Okay,
well, dont look at me when you do it. When that preacher got
up in front of the congregation which, by the way, my nieces
and nephews were sitting in the pews he got a dry-erase board
up and drew some graphs and stick gures and lines and arrows,
and equated gays with murderers.
17
Chely Wright
MW: Wow.
WRIGHT: Thats what were dealing with. Jen said it was all she
could do to not break down and cry. Her 12-year-old son Max
just kept looking up at her and saying, Momma? I can take
people disparaging me and nasty phone calls coming into radio
stations when Im on the air, but to know that a preacher is up
there telling my nieces and nephews that their Aunt Chely is
the same as a murderer really, really upsets me. Thats a prob-
lem for me.
Whos Afraid of Edward Albee?
March 10, 2011
Interview by Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: Youve seen quite a bit of history in particular, a lot of gay
history. Youve seen enormous changes in your lifetime. Can you
reect a bit on how you feel about some of those changes with
regard to the LGBT movement?
ALBEE: Well, you know, its very, very nice that gay people are
not being lynched the way blacks were back in the really terrible
days. But gays are still subject to the same prejudices and the
same ill-treatment and the same second-class citizenship that a
lot of other minorities blacks, Jews, Muslims are subject to.
One thing does trouble me. I dont think that gay people are
any different from anybody else, because I dont think where
you put your dick denes anything about your nature. Where
you put your dick merely denes where you put your dick,
right? I dont understand at the same time why so many gays
want to be exactly like so many of these awful breeders these
awful hetero types who really behave appallingly. Why do all
gay people wish to vanish into this society? Is it self-protection?
I dont know. I just dont want us to be forced to think that we
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must imitate other people and behave the way they do in order
to become invisible.
I had a 35-year relationship. Were we married? Yeah, I guess
we were. We certainly felt that we were. We certainly treated
each other like we were married to each other. Did we ever feel
the need to get a marriage license? No, of course not. We knew
we were married to each other. All this legality that people
seem so involved with nowadays, it troubles me just a little bit.
I understand all the problems to come with wills and families
denying access to the loved one and all of that, but come on, do
we really want to be exactly like straight people?
MW: But those are very real situations, real problems for some
people.
ALBEE: Yeah, and those problems should be solved, of course.
There should be nothing legally standing in the way of two
people to be married if they wish to be, of course.
MW: Going back to something you said a moment ago, I think being
gay is more than just where you put your dick. I think being gay is
actually an emotional attachment to the person of the same sex.
ALBEE: What is the difference between emotional attachment of a
guy to a guy and emotional attachment of a guy to a gal? Whats
the difference?
MW: Are you saying theres no difference? I suppose, from a basic,
human standpoint, theres no difference. Our opponents would cite
the differences from a reproductive standpoint you know, Its
not the way God intended it to be, its unnatural.
ALBEE: I would like to meet God someday so that I can ask him
whether he really feels that way about homosexuals. I cant
imagine a God who would be that prejudiced.
MW: Well, what if you did meet God? And what if God said to you,
Actually, homosexuality is unnatural. It was a mistake and I
didnt mean for it to happen. What would you then say to God?
ALBEE: I would say, Grow up.
Field Goals
August 9, 2012
Interview by Sean Bugg. Photography by Todd Franson
MW: When did you rst have an inkling that you were gay?
DAVIS: I was in a gym-class locker room not football, but a high
school gym-class locker room. I was pretty late in understand-
ing that. I just remember going home, watching straight porn
for hours trying to focus on the woman and make myself believe
that what happened was just what guys do as a comparison
thing: Oh, Im just comparing my body to this guy. I think that
that does happen amongst adolescent boys, but I knew at that
moment it was different. Like, when I saw this guy, I wanted to
hold his hand, kiss him, touch him. It wasnt just that I wanted
to have a ex off. So that was the rst moment that I knew there
was something different.
MW: So you go to college, youre playing ball. How did you construct
a closet?
DAVIS: I started to emulate everything that I saw straight guys
do that I thought I should do. Having a girlfriend, wearing over-
sized pants and oversized T-shirts. Making sure that if I went to
19
Wade Davis
a club I took a girl home with me whether we did anything or
not, which most times we didnt. I looked the part of a straight
guy, a football player who didnt do anything that was gay. And
I was always a shit-talker. I was born to talk shit, so that came
easy for me.
MW: Whenever we talk about why gay men have not come out in
professional sports, we end up talking about locker rooms. What is
it about the locker room that keeps people in the closet?
DAVIS: I think its a couple of things that intersect. For me, in the
football locker room I never was worried about being attracted
to any of my teammates, because that was a place that was sacred
to me. That was a place where I was with my family, like with
my brothers. But one of the biggest issues is that straight guys are
just worried that another man is going to objectify them. Straight
guys are used to never being objectied unless they ask for it,
unless they take off their shirt around women. But the idea of
having another man, who may be more physically imposing than
you, be attracted to you, is a space where men can be objectied
in a way that makes them feel weak, so it challenges their ideas
of masculinity. I think thats part of it.
For gay men, its the worry that their teammates will assume
that because Im gay Im automatically attracted to you, which
is so far from the truth. Ive spoken to many of my other gay
friends, and when youre in the locker room the last thing youre
thinking about is your teammates in a sexual way. I mean, it
never crossed my mind. No. Because thats the space where
youre actually happy, youre feeling safe and you dont want to
make anyone else feel unsafe.
MW: During your course of time in the NFL, did you ever come out
to anybody?
DAVIS: No-ho-ho-ho. [Laughs.] No, there was never a question
in my mind. Never a thought. There was not one football player
that I would have considered telling.
MW: You said that youre a natural-born shit-talker. Did you ever
nd yourself talking shit about gays and lesbians to cover yourself?
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DAVIS: One of the things Im least proud of is that I was a
bully in high school. I wanted to make my friends think
that I couldnt be gay if I made fun of other gay people.
We used to do this thing at lunchtime, we called it hold-
ing court. We would sit on top of the tables right at the
door and as soon as someone walked in we would start
making fun of them for whatever reason. And that was
part of my posturing, that was part of me proving my
masculinity, proving I was the big dog.
MW: Youve spent a good part of your career in a sport
where African-American men are expected and respected.
In general, an African-American male face is kind of the
face of a lot of pro sports. Now youre a black man in the
gay community, and that community is perceived as a very
white face. How is it a different experience for you, as a
black man?
DAVIS: Its saddening that the norm is for you to be black
and an athlete. Its not the norm for you to be black and
anything else; maybe youre black and a rapper, black
and a musician.
Im lucky that, because of being an ex-athlete, Im
privileged to be able to exist in the gay white world. Im
accepted. People want to be my friend, people want to
date me. Ive been told more times than I can count that,
Normally I dont date black men but I would date you.
And people actually think that thats an okay comment,
that Im going to just say, Oh, thanks!
But I have a lot of black gay friends who dont feel
like they t into the gay community. And I understand
my privilege there, so I try as much as I can to have
thoughtful conversations about it. Oftentimes, if you
are white and gay, you dont understand that you have
a built-in community, that the black gay community
is very disjointed because of the amount of shame and
stigma that black men face. I denitely feel an obligation
to stay connected to the gay black community, but I also
want to build a bridge between both communities, so
that black gay men feel that they can interact with the
white gay community and vice versa. You know, like the
old saying goes, all your black friends have lots of white
friends, and all your white friends have one black friend.
And its kind of true. Its so sad.
MW: Much of the LGBT community likes to think of itself
as more progressive on race issues than the rest of the
country. Do you think the LGBT community actually is
a little bit better on race, or is that something we just tell
ourselves to feel better?
DAVIS: People wont like this, but I think its something
we tell ourselves to make ourselves look better. Gay
people have been oppressed for a while were hated
and were ghting against it. But as soon as we have a
little bit of power we oppress someone else in our own
community because were just not conscious of the fact
that were doing it. Its like someone saying, Im not
racist, Im colorblind. When you dont see color, you
cant see racism.
The Takei Time
January 24, 2013. Interview by Randy Shulman
MW: You and Brad have been together for how long now?
TAKEI: Twenty-ve years now.
MW: Do you still wake up in the morning and look at Brad and feel the love
that you felt 25 years ago?
TAKEI: Yes. I love to hear his breathing and sometimes his snoring right
next to me. Brad travels with me wherever I go, even when its some
business thing. Hell roam around the city while Im in meetings. Our
lives are intertwined.
MW: Its nice to nd that kind of lasting love.
TAKEI: It is. And you know, in many ways, because were gay and theres
this public sense that gays arent stable, we feel that were blessed in that
we can be as happy as we are together. I dont mean it in the all lovey-
dovey things, but its a normal kind of thing between two people. You
have your differences and you have your arguments, but thats all part of
it. And at night, when youre going to bed, you see that all that arguing
is really petty and silly. We really love each other and thats what really
counts.
MW: How old is Brad, may I ask?
TAKEI: Brad is 57. Im 75.
MW: So nearly a 20-year difference between you. Has that ever been an
issue?
TAKEI: Well, it is a concern on the part of both of us because we have
DOMA to contend with. We had very good friends, a couple a gay
couple in Washington, D.C. Theyd been together for almost 20 years.
Mark went out of town on business and when he came back and opened
the apartment door, he found his partner on the oor. He had had a
heart attack and had passed. His partners brother lived in Boston
they were estranged for a long, long time. He happened to be a lawyer
and he came down and took everything. And that is a big concern with
us. The laws are against us.
Thats what the Boston case thats before the Supreme Court is all
about. It was a lesbian couple, and one passed and because their union
they were married in Massachusetts but because their union is
not federally recognized because we have DOMA, the surviving spouse
would have had to pay over half of the deceaseds estate tax, which
would not have happened if they were straight. I mean, its a cruel situ-
ation. And me being older than Brad, Im very concerned about that. We
built our lives together. Our estate is ours, and I want it to go to Brad
without that kind of taxation, like any married couple who have been
together for 25 years.
There are hundreds of laws that make life difcult and sometimes
cruel for LGBT couples because of DOMA. And we are optimistic that
we can live to the point where we will see DOMA gone forever and I
think thats going to be very soon. In fact, next year is going to be a good
year, I think, for the LGBT community because that issue is before the
Supreme Court. We also have Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court.
Two courts have already ruled it unconstitutional and I am almost con-
dent that its going to be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
But the Boston case is the important one because it challenges DOMA.
So I think its an amazing thing thats happening in our lifetime. And
2013 is going to be eminently fullling for our community. I think the
Supreme Court is going to come through for us. Im an optimist.
Visit us online at MetroWeekly.com. Sign up for our email list, The Daily
Blast, at metroweekly.com/join. l
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58 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
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20 VENUES FROM OUR MAP
THAT WE MISS
S
INCE ITS EARLIEST DAYS, METRO WEEKLY SET
aside two pages for a map and listings toward the maga-
zines back. Long before the ubiquitous Google Maps,
ensconced on our cell phones, told us in 400 feet, turn
left, the magazines map was a crucial part of its makeup, help-
ing both locals and tourists locate not only gay bars, but gay-
friendly restaurants and retail establishments.
There were a number of years when the map was what might
be called reader-hostile an indecipherable yet decidedly
artistic clamor. It was later supplanted by a far more direct, read-
er-friendly topography, only to be replaced in more recent years
by a simple list of venues with QR Codes alongside their names.
When one sifts through years of the map, its astonishing to
see just how many gay nightspots we have lost, some for reasons
beyond their control (curse you Nationals Park we enjoyed our
nights at La Cage!), others because their time had simply come
(farewell, Tracks). But even more astonishing are those places
that have persevered and are still going strong JR.s, Annies,
Ziegfelds/Secrets, the DC Eagle (temporarily on hiatus), Phase
1, the Green Lantern, the Fireplace, to name a few. These are the
places we frequented in 1994. Twenty years later, we still do,
along with relative newcomers like Town, Nellies, PW.s, Num-
ber Nine and Freddies Beach Bar.
What follows is a selection of 20 places that, for whatever
reason, closed their doors. Over the years, they played host to
our lives. Now, they play host to our fondest memories. We miss
them all.
1409 Playbill Cafe
Badlands/Apex
Chaos
Delta Elite
Escandalo
Follies
Frat House/Omega
Hung Jury
La Cage
Lambda Rising
Lizard Lounge
Mr. Ps
Nation
Nob Hill
Sheridans
The Circle
The Edge/Wet
Titan
Tracks
Trumpets
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20
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62 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
To Serve, With Love: Behind the Scenes at Food & Friends
November 23, 1995
By Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
AT THE OTHER END OF THE ROOM, FAR FROM WHERE
Smith packs up the days shipment, stands a makeshift assem-
bly line staffed by three of F&Fs countless volunteers. One
spoons a foil-bottomed container full of the casserole, another
positions a form-tting lid into place, a third clamps the lid on
with a sealing machine and stacks the tightly sealed containers
onto a large tray. Chef Paul Fuzi walks by and notices that the
tray is nearly full. He replaces it with an empty tray and carts the
full one over to Smith.
There are no assigned duties here, no room for egos. Every-
one does whatever is needed. And usually everything and any-
thing is needed.
By mornings end Smith, along with Fuzi and a small legion
of volunteers, will have prepared enough provisions to serve
the organizations 440 clients homebound men, women,
children, and families with HIV/AIDS three nourishing, well-
balanced meals.
Ride of a Lifetime: On the road with the rst AIDSRide
June 27, 1996
By Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
KEVIN MISCHKA, WHO HAD ORGANIZED A CONTINGENT
of HIV-Positive riders known as the Positive Peddlers, pointed
to the mud on his Tanqueray jersey. I had a little accident, he
said, sheepishly. But at least it was a glamorous accident I
went right over my handlebars into the mud!
According to most riders, the rst 48 miles were a breeze.
By day two of the ride, most of the riders were in agony from the
rural route hills.
This is the toughest bike ride I have ever done, said Food &
1
2
Friendss Brent Minor, whose two older brothers travelled from
North Carolina to ride with him. Minor said he only walked
his bike up two hills.
They were not hills, darling, they were elevator shafts! But
you know, I am loving every minute of it. I need to go out and
buy a new crotch, of course, because mine is completely worn
out now.
Camp Camping It Up: The joys of gay summer camp
July 16, 1998
By Randy Shulman
OH, YOO HOO! I YELL TO THE INSTRUCTOR, AN AUS-
tralian named Emma, down below. I DONT WANT TO GO
THROUGH WITH THIS AFTER ALL! YOU CAN LET ME
DOWN NOW!
Emma, dear, sweet Emma, Emma of the safety line, Emma
who has the power to release me, to bring me gliding gently,
safely back to the comfort of the soft, brown dirt of Earth, says
quite plainly, No.
I decide to wait Emma out. If I dont move, Emma will have
to let me down. A crowd has gathered. Their shouts drift
skyward and probe my fuzzy, fear-addled brain. There are no
taunts, no cries of faggot or sissy boy. Theres nothing but a
verbal wellspring of encouragement and support.
COME ON, RANDY! YOU CAN DO IT RANDY! RAN-
DY! RAN-DY! RAN-DY!
I never realized just how irritating and motivating the
sound of ones name being chanted in unison was.
How did I get here? How could I a man whos never
climbed anything taller than a stepladder get into this posi-
tion? For the answer to that, you have to travel back a few days
to Sunday, August 24, to a small propeller plane bound for a gay
and lesbian summer camp in Maine called, ingeniously enough,
Camp Camp.
3
20 GREAT FEATURES FROM THE PAGES OF
METRO WEEKLY
A
T ANY GIVEN TIME IN OUR HISTORY, METRO WEEKLY
has never relied upon an army of writers or photographers to get
things done. Its always been up to a relative few to tell the stories
of our times. Still, we have managed to get around.
These features, differing from out straightforward Q and A interviews in
that we craft the narrative, often include multiple perspectives and sometimes
provide an opportunity to tell a story while standing right in the middle of it.
They might be hard news, they might be human interest, they might be rst
person. Its our hope that each serves to help illuminate the human condition.
20
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63 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
Into the Mouse Trap:
Disneys most fabulous day of the year
June 27, 2002
By Will Doig. Photography by Michael Wichita
THE DAILY PARADE IS LIKE DISNEY UNCUT. ITS WALT
in his purest form. Its when Disney World gets to stand up,
throw out its hip and say, Look how fabulous we are! Under-
standably, the parades pretty big with the gays.
Off to the side, an elderly straight couple looks on in that blank
way that old people do, their eyes rendered opaque by glasses
with triple-thick lenses. I decide to ll them in on what all the red
shirts are about. I guess its obvious, but its easy to assume that
people from that generation might need a little nudge.
What am I, stupid? the woman responds to my innocuous
query of whether she knew it was Gay Day. Theyre all wearing
them, she says.
Indeed, shes right. They are all wearing them. Her husband
is pretending he doesnt know Im there, or maybe he genuinely
doesnt. I press on with my attempt to open her mind.
What do you think about all this? I ask vaguely.
Well, its their problem. Theyll have to deal with it, she says.
I want more information how will they have to deal with
it? Are we talking about Hell now? Eternal damnation? Or are
we simply touching on the discrimination and persecution that
theyll have to face because of people like herself? Im about to
ask her when she whispers, Are you one of them? Like, liter-
4
ally whispers, as if its 1954 and Ive just been caught cruising J.
Edgar at a black tie State Department function.
I tell her I am indeed one of them, and she repeats that its my
problem and that eventually Ill have to deal with it. Im sensing
that Im not going to get any more specics out of her, so I thank
her for her time and return to the parade.
By ten past three, the parade begins to round the corner.
Someone tells me that its ofcial name is the Share a Dream
Come True parade. Disney songs blare from every nook, includ-
ing the Mickey Mouse song once again, this time a deep house
remix. The parade boils down to a procession of oats, each with
a different Disney character under a glass covering, the kind of
coverings a waiter might remove with a voila! from a serving of
Baked Alaska. Mickey comes rst, and a recording of his voice
plays different sound bites while the Mickey in the bubble acts
like hes speaking them. He points and nods at the crowd. Every-
one loves it. The crowd goes nuts.
Buzz Cut: With Nations Friday night party closed, will
Feds focus on Velvet?
September 26, 2002
By Will Doig
BUZZ HAS ALSO ACCUSED THE D.C. POLICE DEPART-
ment of harassing and intimidating patrons. Huie, who also
serves as the clubs night manager, claims to have been whipped
around to a wall by ve police ofcers while exiting the club
through a side door, and then detained for 25 minutes. She
believes the ofcers intention was to intimidate passersby who
were walking toward the club. Narcotics Inspector Hilton Bur-
ton of the D.C.P.D. denies the accusations.
We dont harass anyone. When we go in to do a drug opera-
tion its pretty clandestine up to the point where we lock some-
one up. When we lock them up, we take them out of the club.
Theres no harassing. We enforce the law.
Ed Bailey doesnt believe such harassment has occurred on
Saturday nights, saying his customers are a vocal group and that
if something had happened, we would have heard about it.
With Buzz gone, Velvet moves up a rung as one of Washing-
tons biggest weekly parties. Although it shared the same venue
as Buzz, the link between the two events ends there. But people
who dont make Nation their home on weekends are apt to miss
this little byte of information and see the whole thing as one
package deal, worries Bailey.
It depends on the sophistication of someones knowledge
about the industry, he says. I dont know how the government
and all of its agencies look at Nation nightclub, but its probably
unlikely that theyre able to look at it and see that Friday nights
and Saturday nights are separate.
Still, Velvet thus far has not been directly affected. The par-
tys DJ lineup is booked through the rest of the year, and Bailey
has no plans to change that.
You have to go on, and we have every intention of doing so,
he says.
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years of
AIDS Walks Last Stand?
October 3, 2002
By Sean Bugg. Photoillustration by Michael Wichita
AS AIDS CHANGED, AIDS WALK CHANGED.
Since 1997, Whitman-Walker has seen at least some drop
in attendance and money raised in each years AIDS Walk. But
even with that general trend, the rst two years of the new
decade have been particularly rough. Where in 1999 AIDS Walk
raised about $1.5 million for the Clinics AIDS programs, AIDS
Walk 2000 dropped by almost half, to just over $850,000. That
was nearly halved again in 2001, with the event pulling in less
than $500,000.
And these trends arent conned to AIDS Walk Washington,
says Whitman-Walkers Executive Director Cornelius Baker,
who points to AIDS Walks in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle
that have watched their returns drop. However, while Seattle
experienced yet another difcult year, the New York and Los
Angeles Walks rebounded in 2002.
The question is will we be like Seattle or New York, Baker says.
Whether the AIDS Walk rebounds or not for 2002 is, per-
haps, of more vital importance than at any other point in the
events 16-year history if AIDS Walk doesnt meet its fundrais-
ing goal of $850,000, Baker says, the Clinic will face severe bud-
get reductions. That means possible cuts in programs, waiting
lists for services, and staff layoffs. In the days leading up to the
Walk, its too early to tell if the Clinic will meet that goal.
6
Play Time: The toys of leather
January 15, 2004
By Randy Shulman. Photography by Todd Franson
SOMETIMES WHERE IT ALL COMES TOGETHER IS IN
THE wonderful world of electricity.
And within that wonderful world lies a handy, albeit pricey,
item known as The Violet Wand, a hand-held generator that
comes complete with multiple glass and metal attachments
which, depending on how much power is juiced through them,
produce anywhere from a tingling sensation to a full-blown
shock to the system.
The Violet Wand is a very low voltage type toy, says [Patti]
Brown. Its something that came about at the turn of the last
century that was used by doctors to cure everything from head-
aches to kidney disease to female troubles. These little low doses
of electric shock were thought to be the new medical break-
through at the time.
Of course, the wand didnt cure anything. But it might have
aroused more than a few highly charged prurient interests.
The stimulation it provides can be very erotic, says Brown.
And it can get extremely intense depending on what youre
doing with it.
The Violet Wand is used for a sharp, stinging pain, says
[Melissa] Fishman, who specializes in electric play. You can
use anything metal, taking it anywhere from just making a wet
spot to actually branding someone.
Where Do We Fit?: Social conservatives on gay Americans
and the new order
December 9, 2004
By Will OBryan. Photoillustration by Todd Franson
I WOULD DESCRIBE THAT END AS GAINING ACCESS TO
the institution of marriage, to have homosexuality received as
normative, [Brian] Fahling says. I think they tried to advance
far too swiftly, and they attempted to gain in the courts what
they could never accomplish in the legislative arena. And I think
that built resentment. There may be a slower, more methodical
approach, to allow time to ll in the gaps, to have hearts and
minds changed over the longer goal.
Im not convinced theyll ultimately be successful, Fahling
concludes, saying that for gay Americans to be fully integrated
into American society, theyll have to trump the nature of man.
In other words, its an ultimate winner-take-all battle between
civil rights and procreation. I dont regard the long-term pros-
pects of the homosexual movement are very cheery for them.
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Hostile Territory: The Fight for Gay Equality in Virginia
February 3, 2005
By Sean Bugg. Photography by Todd Franson
ITS NOT JUST THE SIZE OF THE CROWD IN THE ROOM
that speaks to the concern and the urgency about whats hap-
pening in Virginia. You can see the concern in their faces as well,
along with an eagerness to do something to make these things
right. But how optimistic can you be in a state thats seriously
considering making the license plate a daily slap in the face?
These are very large odds were up against, says Jay Fisette,
chair of the Arlington County Board of Supervisors and a board
member of Equality Virginia. Fisette is one of the few gay elected
ofcials in the state, along with Alexandrias gay representative
in the House of Delegates, Adam Ebbin.
Fisette exhorts the crowd to make sure their voices are heard
by coming out and telling their personal stories so legislators will
understand the real impact of the legislation they are considering.
To be gay or lesbian in 2005 is to be political. Youve been
made political.
The Last Inning: A Whole New Ballgame in Southeast DC
April 14, 2005
By Sean Bugg. Photography by Todd Franson
THE PROPOSED LOCATION OF THE NEW BASEBALL STA-
dium a prize piece of the multi-million dollar deal that brought
the national pastime to the nations capital lands squarely atop
a block of businesses along O Street in Southeast that cater to the
gay community.
Ziegfelds. Secrets. Glorious Health and Amusement. The
Follies. Club Baths. Heat. All lie just beyond the proposed right
eld. Just outside of the stadiums environs would be longtime
nightlife stalwarts Edge/Wet and Nation locations that many
believe will eventually succumb to the ancillary development the
stadium will engender.
Im not happy at all with anything happening here, says
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10
Bob Siegel. Hes sitting in his ofce at Glorious Health, security
monitors behind him keeping tabs on the late afternoon street
trafc. Siegel owns all the buildings along this stretch of O Street,
with the exception of the Club Baths, and is a landlord for the
other businesses.
I want to continue to be here with what I have here, he
says. I dont want to go anywhere.
Marching On: As the door to MMM participation closes for
the black LGBT community, another door to increased
activism may be opening
October 20, 2005
By Will OBryan. Photography by Ward Morrison
ON SATURDAY MORNING, OCT. 15, FOLLOWING THE SUC-
cessful opening reception for the Unity Weekend at Us Helping
Us the night before, [H. Alexander] Robinson walked grimly
about Freedom Plaza, looking like a man whose hopes had been
dashed. Youve heard the news, havent you? he asked.
The news was not good. [Donna] Payne and [Keith] Boykin
reported to the MMM event early that day, only to learn that
Boykin would not be speaking. Payne said that [Rev. Willie]
Wilson cited an ambiguous procedure for the reason Boykin was
pulled from the lineup. [Wilson] smiled and said, You will not
be speaking today, Payne told those gathered back at Freedom
Plaza. Im so angry.
As the marquee at National Theater touted Les Misrables
across the street, the small Freedom Plaza crowd of about 200
soldiered on.
You see we still have challenges, but you see how weve
lifted the community up for the past nine months, [Carlene]
Cheatam told the group. The fact that I am black, that I am les-
bian, is all good. Im brave enough to believe they cant make
it without us.
Forever Annies: The steakhouse that
transformed 17th Street
March 2, 2006
By Will OBryan. Photography by Todd Franson
SOME SAY ITS A LANDMARK. SOME SAY ITS AN
institution. Some call it a part of Washingtons gay identity.
Whatever Annies Paramount Steakhouse is, theres one thing it
aint pretentious. Between the menu and the staff, this anchor
on 17th Street exudes comfort. And its been doing it for more
than 50 years.
Annie Kaylor, 78, personies the attitude of her namesake
restaurant. Sitting in a booth by the bar, shes brought some
prepared notes to help her nd the words to describe Annies
handwritten on her personalized Ziggy stationery from home.
It makes you want to hug her or call her Momma. Plenty do.
Dining out at Annies is denitely a homey atmosphere,
she reads. Sidney, her husband of 40 years sits across the aisle
at the bar. Her sister, Sophie, is there, too. Theyve all worked at
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years of
Annies at one time or another.
No one is treated better than anyone else. We are all accept-
ed. Its a fun environment. To say the least, the food is great and
basic. Its a fun experience in that there are no strangers where
you go to Annies, she says. Our customers know we care about
them. This means the world to us. The love is there. The love
comes from the man who built this restaurant, by the name of
George Katinas.
Silver Celebration: Twenty-Five Years of Singing and
Outreach from the Gay Mens Chorus of Washington
June 22, 2006
By Will OBryan. Photography by Todd Franson
ON JUNE 18, 1981, RONALD REAGAN WAS PRESIDENT.
Lady Diana Spencer was a little more than a month away from
marrying Prince Charles. Pope John Paul II had been shot a
month prior. And the San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus per-
formed at the Kennedy Center.
For me, it was an incredibly big deal, says Steve Herman,
a non-singing, support member of the GMCW since the begin-
ning earning him the title Grande Dame. By the time all this
happened, I was 39 years old. Id been out most of my life. I was
very comfortable with my life, my relationships, my family. At
the same time, our lives were really in the bars, kind of behind
the scenes. It was inner circle things. Then, all of a sudden, you
hear that a group with Gay in its title was going to be at the Ken-
nedy Center for all to see and hear. For people like me, this was
an incredibly major thing to happen. I remember a lot of proud
people on the stage, and a lot of proud people in the audience.
Several hundred gay men were up there singing. For me, it was
a major turning point.
An ominous coincidence in the GMCWs June 1981 founding
was the initial discovery that same month of ve gay Los Ange-
les men with a rare form of pneumonia found only in people
with weakened immune systems. As Herman talks about the
Gay Mens Chorus of Washington offering a new kind of pride,
nobody could have known just how valuable that would be as
13
this new illness began ravaging the gay community. Scores of
members would soon die of AIDS-related illnesses.
The rst year, it didnt really hit. Then it started to become
far more in our consciousness, says Herman. We began to have
members and friends, partners of members coming down
with AIDS. At that point, the chorus wanted to do something for
the community, so we sang at AIDS services. I consider us fam-
ily, he continues. We really, really support each other.
State of Play: LGBT advocacy is evolving despite setbacks
and challenges
October 7, 2010
By Chris Geidner. Illustration by Scott G. Brooks
EVEN ROBIN MCGEHEE, CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR
of Get Equal the organization that burst onto the scene with
a dramatic challenge to [Joe] Solmonese when Dan Choi and
James Pietrangelo II chained themselves to the White House
fence on March 18 acknowledged that when it comes to put-
ting forth the strategy that will lead to success, I dont know
that answer.
But and where she and Solmonese might differ she adds,
All that we know is that by playing by the traditional rules, its
not working.
From the advent of GOProud, which board Chairman Chris
Barron says is not interested in the group hug from the gay left,
to Chad Grifns decision to recruit top-tier lawyers to le a fed-
eral lawsuit aimed at striking down Proposition 8 in California
when none of the established legal groups would do it, the tradi-
tional rules and traditional roles are being challenged.
The impact and longevity of those challenges remain open
questions. But for all the questions about the pursuit of LGBT
equality, there are many voices, often leading many people in
sometimes differing directions.
For groups like the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which
works to elect qualied LGBT candidates, this has impacted the
organizations work.
My job is to work with the candidates and the ofcials, Vic-
tory Fund President Chuck Wolfe says. Anything I can do that
helps them win, thats what we do. And, in some cases, thats
advising candidates on how to traverse some of these questions
when organizations might disagree with each other on posi-
tions.
Domestic Disturbance: Before DOMA, there was another
debate over marriage within the gay and lesbian community
May 4, 2011
By Chris Geidner. Photoillustration by Todd Franson
ELIZABETH BIRCH, THEN THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
the Human Rights Campaign, describes 1996 as a very uncertain
time. This is what we understood, she says. Hawaii was bub-
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years of
bling along even the legal organizations were very nervous
about Hawaii in the beginning. At the time, it was one of the
most potent, difcult issues. Even Democrats had tremendous
issues with it privately even our best friends.
Including President Bill Clinton, whose political advisers
pushed him to sign the bill, according to Richard Socarides,
Clintons liaison to the gay and lesbian community at the time.
Fifteen years later, I think we can be fairly candid about
why that happened, Socarides says. And the only reason it
happened is because the people who believed that vetoing the
bill would have jeopardized the presidents election won the
political argument. Thats the only reason the bill got signed.
But for Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson, who was
a lawyer at Lambda Legal at the time and was co-counsel on the
Hawaii case, DOMA is a complicated story.
If I had had to pick which would you rather have, a win in
Hawaii or subsequent state or blocking DOMA, I would have
chosen the win. Because, without the wins rst, we werent
going anywhere, he says. If necessary, we would overturn
DOMA on the strength of the wins, and thats exactly whats
now happening.
Over and Out: Servicemembers wake to a world with one
less piece of ofcial discrimination
September 21, 2011
By Chris Geidner and John Riley. Photography by Todd
Franson and Ward Morrison
ON THE SCREENS BEHIND THE BAR APPEARED A PIC-
ture of the American ag with a clock counting down the
hours, minutes and seconds until the repeal of the militarys
policy banning lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers from
serving openly.
After a brief announcement by Alex Nicholson and Jarrod
16
Chlapowski of Servicemembers United, the countdown began.
As the seconds ticked down to midnight, the crowd was on its
feet, chanting.
5 4 3 2 1!
Then the crowd shouted with joy. On the video screen, the
words ashed over and over: DADT IS HISTORY.
The DJ started up the music and the beat of Lady Gagas
Edge of Glory lled the club.
Sarah Smiles: AU student president
comes out as transgender
May 10, 2012
By Will OBryan. Photography by Todd Franson
INSTEAD, IN THESE DAYS AFTER COMING OUT, [SARAH]
McBride is learning to live fully. And she knows that her posi-
tion with regard to race, familial support, socio-economics and
all the rest grants her far more privilege than so many other
transgender people. She is emphatic in that recognition, taking
nothing for granted. Nor does she take her life as Tim for grant-
ed, saying that despite her struggle with identity, she is proud of
all her pre-coming-out accomplishments. Still, no one can fault
McBride for enjoying the simple indulgence of nding her foot-
ing, navigating her new life even throwing a sort of birthday
for herself last Saturday, May 5.
Saturday was the rst day of presenting as myself full time,
says McBride, adding that the party included friends from both
D.C. and Delaware. It was a celebration that helped to prepare
her for moving about the AU campus Monday as herself, where
she felt a thousand eyes looking at her. Shes also faced down
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years of
two women she passed on the street near her home who seemed
to laugh at her.
Its disappointing, but lots of people have to deal with more
than people laughing at them.
The Choice: While Romneys secured some LGBT support,
most seem well aware of what Obama has delivered
November 1, 2012
By Justin Snow
SURE, THERE ARE PLENTY OF ISSUES FACING LESBIANS,
gay men and bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans that
ought to be discussed, [the Washington Posts Jonathan] Cape-
hart wrote. But after years of gays being used in bigoted ways
as wedges in American politics by Democrats and Republicans,
the silence is a blessed relief.
Although Capehart argued that no discussion of LGBT issues
symbolizes a broader shift in the views of voters toward key
issues like marriage equality, not everyone agrees.
Its disappointing, Dustin Lance Black, the gay activist and
screenwriter of Milk, said of the failure to mention LGBT issues
after the rst debate last month.
Im always disheartened because I feel like whenever we
talk about gay and lesbian equality we have an opportunity to get
the truth out and that is what changes minds, Black told Metro
Weekly during the Human Rights Campaigns national dinner.
The more people learn about gay and lesbian equality, the more
people end up taking our side. And once theyve come to the side
of equality they almost never leave.
From Wyoming to Washington: Fords builds a month of
programming around The Laramie Project
September 26, 2013
By Will OBryan
I SAID, WE HAVE THIS GALLERY SPACE DOWNSTAIRS
and wed really like to do something great with that, [Paul]
Tetreault recalls telling Judy Shepard. And she said, Well, you
know, we have these letters. After Matthews beating and mur-
der, we got over 10,000 letters and cards. Theyre in the base-
ment of our home in Casper and no ones ever seen them. You
can have access to those. That meeting, in this room, is where
that exhibit was born. We sent a team of four people to Casper,
Wyo., shortly after that.
Heading that team was Tracey Avant, Fords curator of exhi-
bitions, who found herself in a somewhat surreal setting, stand-
ing in a storage room off the Shepards nished basement, facing
several boxes of correspondence and other materials related to
Matthew Shepards death and the response it generated a very
sizable response.
They had these tubs, bins stacked up with the materials,
Avant explains of her expedition to Casper. We knew going in
there would be about 10 of these bins lled with letters. Some-
one had gone through them when they got donations and things
like that, but they werent organized in any particular way.
18
19
The most surprising nd, Avant says, wasnt in anything they
discovered, but what they did not.
The biggest thing I took away from this experience is that
when these things happen, you realize that more people are
compassionate and caring and understanding than not, she says.
In the course of these 10,000 letters, they probably received
less than a handful of hate mail, which to me was shocking. I
wouldve assumed that there wouldve been a lot more.
The Decline and Fall of the Ex-Gay Movement: How a
multimillion-dollar industry that seeks to cure gay people
was brought to its knees
October 17, 2013
By Justin Snow. Photoillustration by Todd Franson
WITH A POLICY THAT DID NOT PERMIT DATING, THE
group proved a perfect haven for someone trying to avoid deal-
ing with their sexuality. Basically [they believed] God would tell
you who you were going to marry. Youd pray about it and go talk
to your counselor and pastor about it and theyd advise if it was
Gods will and the guy would propose to the girl and theyd get
married, [Tracey] St. Pierre says.
St. Pierre would be a member of the ministry for the next 12
years and celibate for nearly 15 years.
During that time I would pray, fast and beg God to change
me and to change my desires. I think I was in self-deception for
a lot of that time because during that time I didnt really allow
myself to have feelings for women, but when I look back I can
see all these crushes that I had on all the different women, St.
Pierre continues. And, somehow, God never told me I was going
to marry a guy.
St. Pierres story is not unique. It mirrors the stories of thou-
sands of people who, often as adolescents, underwent various
forms of reparative or conversion therapy to rid themselves
of their homosexuality. Many were told they were to blame and
had let sin into their lives. Others were told one of their parents
hadnt loved them enough, or had loved them too much, or that
they were the victims of child abuse. For St. Pierre, it was her
religious beliefs that pushed her to try to pray away the gay.
For others, shame and societal condemnation pushed them into
therapy. Often such measures werent a choice, but something
thrust upon them by parents. l
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73 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
20
years of
Where do you see Metro Weekly five years from now?
As Metro Weekly celebrates its 25th Anniversary, we imagine
continuing with two distinct experiences: print and online. As
printing technology will likely be about the same, youll still see
our glossy issues around the metro area. How we design the
layout may be vastly different. (Think holograms.) If 20 years
has shown anything, its that we dont stay still for too long, even
if you can expect the same great content. As for online, well,
that might be anyones guess. Maybe youll be reading Metro
Weeklys latest on your Google Glass, or streaming Metro Weekly
video through your implanted cerebral iChip. Its bound to be a
breathtaking ride.
What was your favorite Halloween costume
over the years?
Many amazing Halloween costumes have appeared on our
pages, but the most memorable appeared as a full page in 2003.
The costume a hilarious, tasteless tribute to the mauling of Roy
Horn (of Siegfried and Roy) by one of his beloved white tigers
(because its always a good idea to put your head in the mouth
of a tiger). The fetching costume featured ample blood splatter
and a decapitated Roy head. We didnt learn till many years later
that the person adorning said costume was JR.s manager Dave
Peruzza, who a decade later dressed up for our own Halloween
cover as a blood-drenched Carrie.
Why did you decide to have a Patron Saint
for every issue?
The very rst Patron Saint Divine appeared in the masthead
of the Aug. 25, 1994, edition, which featured Priscilla, Queen of
the Desert on the cover. The Patron Saint is sometimes a way
for Metro Weekly to honor someone who has passed, whether a
soul associated with the magazine, mentioned in an interview,
or well known in the larger LGBT community. Other times, the
Patron Saint is a chance to express our more playful disposition
by employing a ctional character who has some bearing on a
particular weeks content. Simply put, we have a Patron Saint
because its another way for us to express ourselves and honor
others.
What was MWs very first feature or interview?
Ironically, it was a straight woman Annie Adjchavanich, a
photographer whose show, Biological Men, at the Hemphill
Gallery in Georgetown, celebrated the illusion of drag in big,
boldly dramatic, black-and-white prints. Dressed in male drag
and clutching the rump of a faux Marilyn Monroe, Annie was
photographed by Richard von Zimmer. In the fall of 1994, Annie
joined Metro Weekly as its principal photographer.
1
What inspired you to start your own magazine?
Lets put it as simply as possible. Randy Shulman was a lm
and theater critic working in D.C. He started contributing
(under a pseudonym) to Michaels Arts & Entertainment Weekly,
eventually becoming its editor (under yet another pseudonym).
When Michaels abruptly closed shy of its own one-year
anniversary, Randy turned to the suddenly unemployed staff
and declared, Lets put out our own magazine! And this time
lets make it worth reading! Three weeks later, on May 5, 1994,
Metro Weekly made its debut.
Do you model your style after other print magazines?
Its no secret among staffers that Randy is obsessed with
The New Yorker (though Metro Weeklys in-depth Q and A
interviews owe more to the DNA of The Playboy Interview,
because gay men really do read Playboy for the interviews). Case
in point: At least once a year, Randy bellows to the staff, Were
going to move our calendars to the front of the magazine because
thats how The New Yorker does it! And at least once a year the
staff collectively retorts, No.
What has been the best cover celebrity get youve
ever had, and how did it come to be?
This is a tough one because its not just the gets, but the demands
Randy puts on beleaguered publicists: It has to be a one-hour
interview or no dice. (Normally, with a celebrity youre lucky
to get 20 minutes.) Sometimes it takes months to set up a basic
interview. For that reason, we choose Kathy Grifn, who took a
whopping four months to land. That said, weve been working
on Barbra for 20 years. Were still holding out hope.
Would you ever create an art book of all the original
covers youve photographed or drawn?
Maybe not all, but most of our portraits, taken over the years by
Todd Franson, Michael Wichita, Julian P. Vankim and Annie
Adjchavanich, as well as cover illustrations by Christopher
Cunetto, Scott G. Brooks, Linas Garsys, Stewart Haggas, Kendra
Kuliga and Paul Myatt may one day appear in one of those
massive tomes that puts a strain on your coffee table.
If Metro Weekly had an official mascot, what
would it be?
How about a brightly colored tropical bird with a proud rainbow
beak? We can call him Metro Beakly! Then again, wed rather
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20 QUESTIONS FOR METRO WEEKLY
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74 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
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years of
not get sued by the folks at Froot Loops.
If you could go back and re-do a cover, which cover
would it be?
Admittedly, weve had our share of duds over the years, but there
is one legendary cover affectionately known among staff as Pee
Cups. Wed really like a do-over on that one, please.
Whatever happened to Hearsay, and just who was
Hearsay anyway?
Depending on who you believe, MARK ATLAS SHRUGGED LEE, ED
MY KIND OF TOWN BAILEY or ERIC LACTATING IS NOT ABNORMAL
FOR A MAN IN MY CONDITION HIRSHFELD, Hearsay either decided
that Nightlife was dead and took a vow of silence after joining
the Holy Order of Monksh, works as a bartender at the citys
newest nightspot, NUMBER 3.14159, or helps rid Eric daily of his
excess Vitamin-D enriched milk. The identity of Hearsay has
never been uncovered, but BRETT YEAH, ITS A BIG NIGHTSTICK
PARSON swears GLLLUP is hot on the cold case.
How many people have worked for Metro Weekly?
How big is the staff?
Thats a tricky number. At the moment, Metro Weekly has eight
full-time staff. We have about as many more involved in some
way, whether writing content, illustrating, photographing or
otherwise contributing. Over the years, we calculate more than
135 people have worked with us.
Whats the worst mistake that ever ended up in the
magazine?
Art director Mike Heffner wrote a dummy caption as a
placeholder for a news photo Mike and Jeff at some event
we cant remember and forgot to replace it prior to going to
print. Okay, there probably have been worse errors, but were
not admitting to them. Next question.
Will you eventually just be online only?

While Metro Weekly can only increase its online presence
moving forward, that in no way means we plan to relinquish
print to history. We love print! We love our pads and our
smartphones and all the rest, but there is a special place in Metro
Weeklys heart for print, for being fully accessible at no cost, for
greeting you on the streets where you live and in the venues
you frequent. We do, of course, hope youll recycle those issues
youre not reserving for your personal collection.
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How long does it take to make an issue?
Thats a very complex question. Some pieces that appear in the
magazine or online are the result of weeks of labor. Other items
come together in an instant. Sufce to say, wed always like more
time. Anyone got a Tardis for rent?
Is the photographer guy I see out always so upbeat?
As far as we can tell, absolutely. Ward Morrison is the living
embodiment of joy riding a unicorn across a rainbow. Unless its
one of those weeks hes doing The Cleanse. Then you may want
to steer clear.
What was your most elaborate photo shoot ever?
The Peeps Issue, which appeared April 20, 2000. Working
with the entire staff, photography director Michael Wichita set
up a veritable Peeps sweatshop in an empty ofce space at 1012
14th St. NW, and constructed elaborate costumes and scenarios,
which he then photographed for what was one of Metro Weeklys
most memorable issues of that era.
Why dont you have subscriptions?
Because we have better things to do with our tongues than lick
stamps.
How do you pick the events you send a
photographer to?
There are many considerations when it comes to assigning an
event to a photographer. If its a bar other nightlife venue, we
would look to special events or the last time a venue may have
appeared in the magazine. Do we expect a big crowd? Thats very
important, as a photographer coming back from an event with 20
people is not going to give us enough photos to ll a page. Some
annual events are obvious, like the Human Rights Campaigns
National Dinner or AIDS Walk. We love to take pictures of the
community and would likely cover more events if we had more
resources. But, at the end of the day, its always a question of
whats happening, which photographers are available, and how
much space we expect to have in the magazine.

Whats on your nightstand?
A lamp, an alarm clock, eyedrops, a half-eaten gummy bear, a
half-empty coffee cup, a stapler, pink fuzzy handcuffs, an extra
pair of nylons, exactly 14 cents in loose change, The New Yorker,
Car & Driver, a copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and, of
course, the latest Metro Weekly. l
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20
years of
PUBLISHERS
Sean Bugg
Randy Shulman
N. Marcus Slyman
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF
Sean Bugg
Randy Shulman
ART DIRECTORS
Todd Franson
Tony Frye
Mike Heffner
Dan Olds
Nancy Saiz
Daryl Wakeley
Richard von Zimmer
MANAGING EDITOR
Will OBryan
POLITICAL EDITORS
Chris Geidner
Justin Snow
ASSISTANT EDITORS
Dan Avery
Todd Franson
STAFF WRITERS
Chord Bezerra
Will Doig
Yusef Naja
Jonathan Padget
John Riley
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Edward Cowen
Rhuaridh Marr
Doug Rule
Daniel Smith
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Tim Alevizos
Kris Bengston
David Bianco
Daniel Burnett
Christina Campbell
Dale Carpenter
Alan Chasan
Richard Cytowic, M.D.
David DiZsadin
Kara Fox
David Garver
Chris Gerard
A MASTHEAD FOR THE AGES:
20 YEARS OF METRO WEEKLY STAFF AND CONTRIBUTORS
Stephen Gorman
Alexandra Greeley
Brandon Harrison
Chris Heller
Mark Hayes
Bill Keart
Kim Krisberg
Nancy Legato
David Lena Lett
Jon-Carl Lewis
Simon LeVay
Patsy Lynch
Alex MacLennan
Derek MacNally
Jeff Mace
Paula Martinac
Billy Masters
Carrie Megginson
Bonnie Morris
Jolene Munch
Dan Odenwald
Troy Petenbrink
Michael Petrelis
Tim Plant
Nathan Postell
Bob Roehr
Zack Rosen
Richard Rosendall
Ben Ryland
Mark J. Schroeder
Craig Seymour
Lisa Stewart
Tim Swoape
Jeff Travers
Greg Varner
Daniel Villarreal
Mike Walker
Kate Wingeld
Hastings Wyman
EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
Paul Bonilla
Aaron Downing
Stuart Haggas
Steven Woodward
PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTORS
Todd Franson
Michael Wichita
SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Jeff Code
Ward Morrison
Julian Vankim
CONTRIBUTING
PHOTOGRAPHERS
Annie Adjchavanich
Thomas Castagnola
Dylan Comstock
Michael Cornelison
Christopher Cunetto
Michael Dumlao
Jackie Hubshman
Jai Kapadia
Kendra Kuliga
Henry Linser
Clint Steib
CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS
Paul Berge 90
Scott G. Brooks
Christopher Cunetto
Nan Fredman
Linas Garsys
Stuart Haggas
Ride Hamilton
Kendra Kuliga
Paul Myatt
SALES DIRECTORS
Lynne Brown
Rose Jasienski
Scott Shumaker
N. Marcus Slyman
SALES
Bruce Ashcraft
Michael Barton
George Block
Dylan Comstock
Heather Currie
Nicholas DiBlasio
Dean Gray
John-Paul Grifn
Jim Nides
Wayne Roberts
Robert St. Genis
Tom Ross
Charles Sheeler
Roy Tacy
Bradley Taylor
AD DESIGN
Rick Skippon
Aram Vartian
MULTIMEDIA
Aram Vartian
WEBMASTER
David Uy
DISTRIBUTION MANAGERS
Dennis Havrilla
Erin Keyes
Gary Teter
David Uy
DISTRIBUTION
Richard Goldsmith
Greg Kinosz
George Morgan
Wayne Roberts
Greg Ruth
Walter Strobel
Brian Wimpee
INTERNS
Kelsey Brannan
Christian Cintron
Joe Corcoran
Danielle Dawkins
Clare Shepherd
Brian Vetock
THE FIRST 20 PATRON SAINTS
08/24/94 TO 01/26/95
Divine
John Curry
Oscar Wilde
Jean Cocteau
Colette
Alexander the Great
M.F. Agha
Derek Jarman
Fanny Brice
Alistair Crowley
Harvey Milk
Walt Whitman
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Jadzia Dax
Saint Nick
Noel Coward
Guy Lombardo
Michelangelo
Alexander Hamilton
Romaine Brooks l
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MAY 1 - 8, 2014
SPOTLIGHT
AN OPENING OF THE FIELD:
ESS, ROBERT DUNCAN
An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan &
Their Circle is a visual arts and poetry exhibition set
against the backdrop of the love story between two
San Francisco Beat Generation artists: Jess Collins,
known simply as Jess, and Robert Duncan, who
formed their bond in the early 1950s. Jesss collages
Compiled by Doug Rule
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OHare was instructed that vampires dont touch each other.
I was like, Oh my God, fuck that! This one does, says OHare,
who played Russell Edgington, the evil vampire king of Mississippi for two
seasons. I was playing the most ancient and most colorful vampire. And I
was like, Im not going to be bound by these rules. So OHare kept his arm
around the actor who played his characters rst boyfriend. He was probably
beyond sexuality in some ways, OHare says. As such an ancient person, he had a dif-
ferent conception of what sexuality was. But he certainly preferred to sleep with men.
OHare, whos also a key cast member on FXs popular American Horror Story, has
appeared in numerous supporting roles in lm and television over the past decade,
most notably in critically heralded LGBT-themed projects, including 2008s Milk,
2009s An Englishman in New York, last years Dallas Buyers Club and HBOs forth-
coming The Normal Heart. More often than not, OHare plays the villain, or at least
an unpopular character. He traces the work back to growing up in suburban Detroit,
and specically playing Pontius Pilate in a high school production of Jesus Christ
Superstar. Oh, this is the best part here, the 52-year-old recalls thinking. Hes the
most tortured. Hes the most interesting. Hes got the best song.
OHare, who is gay, won a Tony Award for his role in the 2003 gay-themed base-
ball play Take Me Out, and continues to work in theater, both as writer and actor. This
weekend at the Clarice Smith Center hell perform the one-man show he developed
several years ago with his writing partner Lisa Peterson. Created partly in reaction to
a sense that America is now perpetually at war, An Iliad is an intriguing contempo-
rary adaptation of the classic war poem by Homer.
It sounds so daunting when somebody hears Homer or they hear The Iliad, he
says, adding that audiences dont need to know or remember anything. We tell the
entire story, we ll them in. Its actually funnier than people would expect. The Iliad
is one of the great stories of all time. Doug Rule
An Iliad runs Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m. at the Clarice Smith
Performing Arts Centers Kay Theatre, University of Maryland, University Boulevard
and Stadium Drive, College Park. Tickets are $40. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit
claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.
and drawings were often published to accompany
Duncans poems and essays, and Duncans writings
and ideas often in turn made their way into Jesss
dense and allusive works. This exhibit looks at
their inuence on fellow Beat Generation artists
as well as their unique position as precursors of
Postmodernism, and includes works by other artists
including Edward Corbett and Lawrence Jordan and
poets Jack Spicer and Michael McClure. Now to Aug.
17. American University Museum at the Katzen Arts
Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-885-
1300 or visit American.edu/cas/museum.
4 GIRLS 4: MCGOVERN, MCARDLE,
MCKECHNIE AND PRINCE
4 Girls 4 is the name of this program presented by
Strathmore featuring four leading show-tune ladies
- Maureen The Morning After McGovern, Andrea
Original Annie McArdle, Donna McKechnie from
the original A Chorus Line, and Tony-winner Faith
Prince of the 1992 revival of Guys & Dolls. These
veteran girls team up for a mega-cabaret show.
Friday, May 2, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore,
5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are
$29 to $70. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
Vaunted Villain
Denis OHare rides to Washington on his one-man Iliad adaptation
79 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
Vaunted Villain
Denis OHare rides to Washington on his one-man Iliad adaptation
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ESPECIALLY UNEXPECTED: IMPROV FEST
The suburban Maryland professional theater troupe
Unexpected Stage launches its fth season, which
will include its rst musical production, with an
improv fest. Building on previous Monologue Fests,
Especially Unexpected: Improv Fest features three
teams of actors putting their comedic skills to the
test in a series of competitive, no-holds-barred
action. Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m. Randolph Road
Theater, 4010 Randolph Road, Silver Spring. Tickets
are $15. Call 800-838-3006 or unexpectedstage.org.
HYPOCRITES & STRIPPERS
Billed as where feminism and pole-dancing
intersect, Kim Yageds Hypocrites & Strippers is
a one-woman comedy about a feminist who cant
keep herself from dating strippers and lap dancers.
Dexter M. Ramey directs Eva DeVirgilis in the show
that asks the pertinent question: Whats the tougher
task, to tell your parents youre a lesbian or to admit
youre dating a stripper? Now to May 17. Richmond
Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave., Richmond.
Tickets are $28 to $30. Call 804-346-8113 or visit
rtriangle.org.
IGGY AZALEA
Beyonc tapped this gay-friendly Aussie rap upstart
to open on the Australian and Asian legs of her most
recent tour. Now she tours in support of her just-
released new set The New Classic, which overows
with effervescent jams and playful swagger, such as
the Gwen Stefani-esque lead single Fancy featuring
singer Charli XCX of Icona Pops I Love It fame.
Friday, May 2, at 8 p.m. Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656
Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $25. Call
301-960-9999 or visit llmoresilverspring.com.
JODOROWSKYS DUNE
Frank Pavich details the epic story of the
hallucinatory masterpiece that was not to be
specically Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowskys
1975 adaptation of Frank Herberts science-ction
classic Dune. Jodorowsky, known for the lms El
Topo and The Holy Mountain, which essentially
created the midnight movie phenomenon, cast
Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and
Salvador Dali for his adaptation, as well as hiring
Pink Floyd and artists including H.R. Giger and
Jean Moebius Giraud. Somehow, it just wasnt
enough to bring it to fruition. Opens Friday, May 2.
Landmarks E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call
202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
RACHAEL SAGE
Inspired by the new Carole King Broadway musical
Beautiful, this bisexual artist wrote the groovy,
upbeat New Destination, title track to a new EP
due this month. She stops by town on tour with her
band The Sequin. Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. Corner
Store Arts, 900 South Carolina Ave. SE. Tickets are
$20 in advance or $25 day of. Call 202-544-5807 or
visit cornerstorearts.org.
SPEAKEASYDCS AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week,
SpeakeasyDC and Teaching for Change debut After-
School Special: A Night of True Stories By & About
Educators, featuring a cast of storytellers and poets
from different schools across the DMV sharing
true tales from inside and outside the classroom.
Performers include Allyson Criner Brown, Tim
Jones, Savanna Flakes, Viky Sosa, Clint Smith, Ritija
Gupta and Chris Obermeyer, who will share
how his defense of a gay student at Wilson High
School led to the establishment of an LGBT club.
DJ EZ Street from 93.9 WKYS hosts this event
from SpeakEasyDC, which, unlike other storytelling
organizations, is focused on congenial camaraderie
not competition no judged Story Slams here.
Friday, May 9, at 8 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts
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Guitar Queen
At Artsiphere Kaki King will show yet another way
to dazzle on strings
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HAT CAN I DO WITH JUST 10 FINGERS THAT WILL WOW
people?
Years after Rolling Stone heralded her one of its New Guitar Gods
and a genre unto herself, Kaki King had been searching for new ways to dazzle as
a solo guitar performer, one with a strong percussive-guitar, indie-rock repertoire.
And then she discovered projection wrapping and the work of lighting designers
V Owen Bush and Benton-C Bainbridge, who go by the name Glowing Pictures.
Working together, the three have developed an innovative, immersive audio-
visual show. Theyre going to be projecting images onto the surface of the guitar
itself, as well as the large screen behind me, King explains. And as Im playing,
the volume of what Im doing dictates how big the images get. Then, in the fol-
lowing section, each note corresponds to a different color that spirals out onto my
guitar. It sort of gives me this paintbrush to create visuals using this instrument
that Im already very familiar with.
It really is the beginning of something, King adds about her new work with
Glowing Pictures. Meanwhile, shes also exploring work as a composer for new
music classical groups. For example, the large ensemble Alarm Will Sound just
premiered a new King commission as part of a (post)folk performance featuring
King at Carnegie Hall. That was a big, scary challenge, admits the 34-year-old.
By contrast, while theres no real precedent for it, her show with Glowing Pictures
is otherwise a natural progression of her live show. In fact, the shows title The
Neck Is A Bridge To The Body is simply a metaphor for her guitar her way of
stressing that despite the lighting and visual enhancement, Im still me, Im still
playing guitar, its still a guitar show.
The two shows next weekend at Artisphere, in conjunction with the venues
ambitious sound exhibition Fermata, will be the rst performance of the piece
outside of Kings base in Brooklyn. Later this year she plans to tour and also
release the original music shes created for it. But before that, over the summer?
King will have new domestic duties to tend to.
My wife is having a baby, she says, so I wanted to be fully prepared and
totally around for that. Doug Rule
Kaki King performs Saturday, May 10, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Artisphere,
1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Tickets are $18 in advance or $22 day of show.
Call 703-875-1100 or visit artisphere.com.
MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 day of. Call 202-399-
7993 or visit atlasarts.org or speakeasydc.com.
THE BLUE NOTE PHOTOGRAPHS OF FRANCIS WOLFF
Search for A New Sound focuses on the iconic candid photography of musicians
from the famed Blue Note Records storied 75-year history. The exhibit is
co-produced by the Goethe-Institut and German Historical Institute and is
ofcially recognized as part of the Kennedy Center Blue Note at 75 celebration.
Opening reception featuring Jason Moran is Saturday, May 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Through July 3. Goethe-Institut Washington, The German Cultural Center, 812
7th St. NW. Free. Call 202-289-1200 or visit goethe.de/washington.

FILM
BLUE RUIN
Jeremy Saulneirs thriller focuses on a mysterious outsider who returns to his
childhood home to plot an act of vengeance, a deed that spirals into a brutal
ght to protect his estranged family. A hit at Cannes, Village Voice called lead
actor Macon Blair phenomenal and the lm lip-bitingly tense, a low-budget
affair that looks like $1 million and plays like gangbusters. Opens Friday, May
2. Q&A with Saulneir and Blair, both Alexandria, Va., natives, follows screening
Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m. Angelika Mosaic, Lee Highway and Gallows Road near
8200 Strawberry Lane, Fairfax. Call 571-512-3301 or visit angelikalmcenter.com.
FADING GIGOLO
Writer/director John Turturro casts Woody Allen as an unlikely pimp in Fading
Gigolo, in which Turturro plays the title character. But Allen wouldnt appear
in just any heartfelt comedy about the endless quest for happiness through
sex and love; theres got to be beautiful women involved. Cue Sharon Stone,
Soa Vergara and Vanessa Paradis. Opens Friday, May 2. Landmarks E Street
Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com. Also
Landmarks Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 301-652-7273 or
visit landmarktheatres.com.
FOR NO GOOD REASON
Johnny Depp leads this high-spirited, lyrical and soulful look at the life and works
of one of the most important British artists of recent times, Ralph Steadman,
known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson on Fear & Loathing among other
political cartoons and social caricatures. Charlie Paul directs the documentary.
Opens Friday, May 2. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Every Friday and Saturday night, Landmarks E Street Cinema shows lms at
midnight that are more risqu or campy than the usual fare. And, no surprise,
once a month brings screenings of a certain cult classic. Each screening is
accompanied by the shadow cast Sonic Transducers, who act out the lm in
front of the screen with props and costumes. Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May
10, at midnight. Landmarks E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672
or visit landmarktheatres.com.
STAGE
CAMP DAVID
Arena Stage presents a world premiere from Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker
writer Lawrence Wright (My Trip to Al-Qaeda, the new Scientology expos Going
Clear). Camp David is Wrights dramatization about the historical meeting in 1978
among a few key world leaders, held at the shows namesake presidential retreat,
attempting to forge peace in the Middle East. The meeting resulted in really the
only treaty, the Camp David Accords, establishing peace between Israel and
Egypt, to yet stand the test of time in the modern-day Middle East. Molly Smith
directs a cast that includes Richard John Boy Thomas as President Jimmy
Carter, Ron Rifkin as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Khaled Nabawy as
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Hallie Foote as rst lady Rosalynn Carter.
Closes this Sunday, May 4. Kreeger Theater at the Mead Center for American
Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $75 to $120. Call 202-488-3300 or visit
arenastage.org.
MOTH
Studio Theatres experimental-focused 2nd Stage presents the U.S. premiere of
Moth, Australian playwright Declan Greenes story about two teen outcasts who
escape the horrors of high school through their friendship and obsessions with
anime and emo. Tom Story directs Allie Villareal and David Nate Goldman in this
show exploring the intimate, devastating betrayals of adolescence. Closes this
Sunday, May 4. Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $35. Call
202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
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THE AMISH PROJECT
The acclaimed local theater collective Factory449
presents the D.C. area premiere of Jessica Dickeys
The Amish Project, about the 2005 shooting at the
one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines,
Penn. Helen Hayes Award Winner and Factory449
member Nanna Ingvarsson takes on the task of
portraying the seven characters in this production
of the show, which was partially inspired by Moises
Kaufmans The Laramie Project. And theres even
a direct link to last falls stellar production of The
Laramie Project at Fords Theatre: Holly Twyford,
who starred in that ensemble show and now directs
Factory449s production. To May 11. Anacostia Arts
Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Tickets are $20.
Call 202-355-9449 or visit factory449.org.
THE THOUSANDTH NIGHT
MetroStage offers Carol Wolfs unconventional spin
on the Arabian Nights in repertory with another
show performed by a solitary actor, Glen Bergers
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dance at dance school, the schools director informed
me that my work, quote, made people very uncom-
fortable. This, despite the fact that immediately after the
performance, I got all kinds of love and praise from local cho-
reographers and dancers and all these people, most of whom
were straight.
Dorsey didnt let the directors discomfort dissuade him.
The San Francisco-based dancer/choreographer has gone on
to make it his mission to bring transgender and queer bod-
ies and stories into modern and contemporary dance, and in
ways that are not abstract or pretentious, [but] powerful and
moving and completely accessible to all audiences.
His nearly decade-old company Sean Dorsey Dance is now
set to make its D.C. debut with The Secret History of Love, a
full-throttle dance exploration into how earlier queer gener-
ations managed to survive and nd love despite rampant
disapproval and harassment.
We tend to really desexualize our elders, even LGBT
elders, he says, when in fact everything about making space
for love and relationships, and bathhouses you name it
those doors were open and created by our elders. Dorsey
developed the narrative piece through a two-year LGBT
Elders Oral History Project. He performs it with three of his
company dancers, as well as singer Shawna Virago, a trans-
gender woman.
Dorsey, who was assigned female at birth 41 years ago
in Vancouver, B.C., has been living as a proud transgender
man for decades. I am very blessed that I have a wonderfully
supportive family, he says. But whatever happened to that
school director who found Dorseys work so uncomfortable?
She actually withheld my graduation diploma, he says. But
Dorsey got the last laugh. You know, the school since closed,
so that might just kind of be the karma working itself out.
Doug Rule
MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
Payton. Theyre really so impeccable that rehearsal
is a joy, Tony-winning LGBT pop singer-songwriter
Levi Kreis tells Metro Weekly, adding that during
rehearsals, I literally am giggling like a child, because
I cant believe whats coming out of their faces! Now
to June 8. The Mead Center for American Theater,
1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $75 to $120. Call 202-488-
3300 or visit arenastage.org.
TENDER NAPALM
Signature Theatre presents the Washington
premiere of an edgy, new battle-of-the-sexes drama
by Philip Ridley, whom The New York Times Ben
Brantley shouted about in a review as one of the
most linguistically vivid dramatists on the planet!
Signatures associate artistic director Matthew
Gardiner directs this story about a man and a
woman, played by Elan Zar and Laura C. Harris, at
a crucial point in their relationship in the aftermath
of an extraordinary loss. To May 11. Ark Theatre at
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington.
Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org.
SLEEPING BEAUTY: A PUPPET BALLET
In 2010 Pointless Theatre won a prize from the
Capital Fringe Festival for its experimental show
Sleeping Beauty, a puppet take on the fairy-tale
classic set to Tchaikovsky and inspired by the Ballet
Russe. The company, which was just honored with
the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Emerging
Theatre Company, restages the show for a regular
run. Closes this Saturday, May 3. Flashpoint, 916 G
St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-315-1310 or
visit ashpointdc.org.
SMOKEY JOES CAF
One of the earliest and longest-running revues in
Broadway history, Smokey Joes Caf focuses on the
rock and R&B tunes written by Jerry Leiber and Mike
Stoller, from Hound Dog to Stand By Me. Randy
Johnson returns to Arena Stage after One Night with
Janis Joplin to direct a new take on the show, beefed
up with a more urban feel and more relationships
and of course the local vocal repower of Helen
Hayes Award winners E. Faye Butler and Nova Y.
Moving Tribute
Sean Dorsey Dance marks D.C. debut by
honoring LGBT elders
Dance Place presents Sean Dorsey Dance Friday, May 9, and
Saturday, May 10, at 8 p.m., at Joes Movement Emporium,
3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $22.
Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org or joesmovement.org.
83 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
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Underneath The Lintel (see separate listing). Marcus Kyd stars as Guy de
Bonheur in this comedic drama set in occupied France in 1943, about a French
actor accused of subversive behavior who tries to redeem himself. To May 18.
MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $50, or $88 for both
shows. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
The Folger Theatre welcomes New Yorks Fiasco Theater for its typically
inventive spin on Shakespeare, in this case the dizzying romantic comedy The
Two Gentlemen of Verona about mistaken identity featuring bandits and an
anthromophized bulldog. Fiascos co-artistic directors Ben Steinfeld and Jessie
Austrian direct the ensemble production in which Austrian acts alongside
Zachary Fine, Noah Brody, Paul L. Coffey, Andy Grotelueschen and Emily Young.
To May 25. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $30 to $72. Call
202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL
MetroStage offers Glen Bergers metaphysical detective story in repertory with
another show performed by a solitary actor, Carol Wolfs The Thousandth Night
(see separate listing). In the offbeat Underneath The Lintel Paul Morella stars as
The Librarian, who obsessively undertakes a worldwide search to nd the owner
of a returned library book, 113 years overdue and billed as decoding the meaning
of life in the process. To May 18. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria.
Tickets are $50, or $88 for both shows. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
Only a year after its Tony Award-winning original run on Broadway, Baltimores
Center Stage jumps a full year ahead of D.C.s Arena Stage with a new production
of Christopher Durangs Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The comedy riffs
on classic literary and theatrical themes, chiey Chekhov, as a lifetime of sibling
rivalry explodes into a weekend of comedic pyrotechnics. A co-production with
the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and directed by that companys Eric Rosen,
the new production stars Bruce Nelson, Barbara Walsh, Susan Rome and Zachary
Andrews in the four title roles. To May 25. Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St.,
Baltimore. Tickets are $19 to $62. Call 410-986-4000 or visit centerstage.org.
SARA BAREILLES
This summer Wolf Trap presents another sure-to-be
dazzling concert by abundantly talented, buoyant pop
star Sara Bareilles. Shes still out touring in support
of her latest appealing album The Blessed Unrest,
which includes the pop anthem Brave, co-written
by fellow straight LGBT ally Jack Antonoff of fun.
The song is about the happiness that comes from
coming out, or from at least being willing to stand
out. Tickets on sale Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m., for
Monday, July 14, show. The Filene Center at Wolf
Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $60.
Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
SMITHSONIAN JAZZ
MASTERWORKS ORCHESTRA
The big band orchestra in residence at the
Smithsonians National Museum of American
History performs repertoire from the storied 75-year
history of the iconic label Blue Note Records as part
of the Kennedy Centers Blue Note at 75 series
of programming, and also its daily free Millennium
Stage concert series. Tuesday, May 6, at 6 p.m.
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-
467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
SOHN
An up-and-coming EDM artist, the Austria-based
Londoner SOHN draws your attention with his
hypnotic, hallucinogenic, dramatic downtempo
sound. He tours in support of his debut album,
Tremors, released last month. Wednesday, May 7, at
8 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets
are $13 in advance or $15 day-of show. Call 202-388-
ROCK or visit rockandrollhoteldc.com.
at 8 and 10 p.m. every Monday night. Bohemian
Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-
299-0800 or visit bohemiancaverns.com.
CAPITAL CITY SYMPHONY
As part of American MusicFest Part II, this symphony,
a founding arts partner in the Atlas Performing Arts
Center, performs Samuel Barbers Adagio for Strings
and Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with soprano Mary
Gresock, as well as Brahmss Symphony No. 2. Victoria
Gau, the Capital City Symphonys artistic director and
also associate conductor of the National Philharmonic,
conducts. Sunday, May 4, at 5 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts
Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25. Call 202-399-
7993 or visit capitalcitysymphony.org or atlasarts.org.
MEGAN HILTY
The next artist to get the Barbara Cook Spotlight at
the Kennedy Center is this star from NBCs Smash,
who returns to the Kennedy Center for an intimate
affair after last seasons NSO Pops concerts. Friday,
May 2. Tickets remain for 9:30 p.m. show. Kennedy
Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $60. Call 202-833-
9800 or visit kennedy-center.org.
OZOMATLI
A more thoroughly Latin-avored Black Eyed
Peas, this Los Angeles-based band may actually
be even more fun and festive. And then there is
its advanced level of prestige: Ozomatli has been
designated an ofcial U.S. State Department cultural
ambassador, representing L.A. and a melting-pot
U.S. to the world. Alt-Latin fusion band Zakke opens.
Wednesday, May 7, at 8 p.m. The State Theatre, 220
North Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $25.
Call 703-237-0300 or visit thestatetheatre.com.
MUSIC
2014 KENNEDY CENTER SPRING GALA:
CAMELOT IN CONCERT
The classic Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot
makes its Kennedy Center debut in a one-night-
only concert, intended as a toast to the more
than 13-year tenure of outgoing Kennedy Center
president Michael Kaiser. Bryan Stokes Mitchell,
Laura Michelle Kelly, Ryan Silverman, Josh Grisetti
and Tony Sheldon lead the cast performing with the
National Symphony Orchestra conducted by James
Moore. Sunday, May 4, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center
Concert Hall. Tickets are $45 to $160. Call 202-467-
4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Marin Alsop leads the BSO and virtuoso pianist
Yem Bronfman in a performance of Beethovens
Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor, plus Shostakovichs
Symphony No. 12. Friday, May 2, at 8 p.m., and
Sunday, May 4, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff
Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore.
Also Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m. Music Center at
Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda.
Tickets are $29 to $94. Call 410-783-8000 or visit
bsomusic.org.
BOHEMIAN CAVERNS JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Every Monday night the 17-piece jazz orchestra
performs a variety of music from the big band
repertoire including pieces by Duke Ellington,
Count Basie, Billy Strayhorn and Maria Schneider,
plus originals from band members at its namesake
venue. Founded by baritone saxophonist Brad Linde
and club owner Omrao Brown, features some of
D.C.s best jazz musicians, including Linde and
trumpeter Joe Herrera, who co-direct. Performances
84 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
SUZANNE VEGA
Suzanna Vega was a leading gure of New Yorks folk
revival of the early 1980s and no matter how many
times you hear Luka or Toms Diner or Solitude
Standing or so many of her other indelible tunes
you never tire of them. She returns to the area for a
show with the great baritone folk-pop artist Ari Hest.
Thursday, May 8, at 8 p.m. Rams Head On Stage, 33
West St., Annapolis. Tickets are $45. Call 410-268-
4545 or visit ramsheadonstage.com.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERAS
THE MAGIC FLUTE
A co-production with four other American opera
companies, Harry Silverstein directs Mozarts nal
opera, with libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, both
a delightful fairy tale and a profound reection
on spiritual enlightenment. The San Francisco
Chronicle called this The Magic Flute a zesty and
imaginative new production, one featuring a colorful
kaleidoscope of sets and costumes by Japanese
American artist Jun Kaneko and starring Kathryn
Lewek and Anna Siminska as the alternating Queen
of the Night. Opens Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m. To
May 18. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are
$25 to $305. There will also be a free simulcast of the
production as part of M&Ms Opera in the Outeld
series Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m. Nationals Park, 1500
South Capitol St. NE. Call 202-467-4600 or visit
kennedy-center.org.
DANCE
AIR HEART
Mara Neimanis performs the piece she wrote for
In-Flight Theater, Air Heart, a 60-minute solo aerial
performance about Amelia Earhart. Performed
on and around a 12-foot-tall spinning metal plane
sculpture, the piece is billed as a daring and original
theatrical experiment that takes on the myth, dream
and actualization of ight and feminism. Remaining
shows Thursday, May 1, through Saturday, May 3, at 8
p.m., and Sunday, May 4, at 3 p.m. Baltimore Theatre
Project, 45 West Preston St., Baltimore. Tickets are
$22. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.org.
CITYDANCES DREAMSCAPE
Co-produced by Rasta Thomas, CityDances
Dreamscape is meant as a showcase of national dance
superstars. Philadanco, Brooklyn Mack, Complexions
Contemporary Ballet, Culture Shock, Joseph Webb,
Bring in da Noise Bring in da Funk, North Carolina
Dance Theatre and Bad Boys of Dance are all part of
the lineup. Saturday, May 10. Doors at 7 p.m. Lincoln
Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $38. Call
202-328-6000 or visit thelincolndc.com.
WAYNE MCGREGOR/RANDOM DANCE
The technologically innovative company Random
Dance, led by British choreographer Wayne
McGregor, offers its multimedia work Far, featuring
a score by Ben Frost and stunning visuals, including
a computerized pin board of 3,200 LED lights.
Thursday, May 1, through Saturday, May 3, at 8
p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets
are $22 to $60. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-
center.org.
READINGS
4TH ANNUAL LITERARY HILL BOOKFEST
Brett L. Abrams, Jonathan Eastern Market Chef
Bardzik, Louis Bayard, Garrett Peck and Frank
Pietrucha are among the LGBT artists at this local
festival featuring 40 authors and poets who live on
Capitol Hill. Sunday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
North Hall of Eastern Market, 225 7th St. SE. Free.
Visit literaryhillbookfest.org.
DEAR PRUDENCE - MOMMY DEAREST EDITION
Slates Emily Yaffe, author of the advice column Dear
Prudence joins the online magazines science and
health editor Laura Helmuth for a pre-Mothers Day
conversation all about mothers, sharing some of the
craziest and most amazing letters the columnist has
received about moms and taking questions from the
audience. Tuesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic
Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-
408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
COMEDY
TODD BARRY
Known for his bongo-playing work on HBOs Flight
of the Conchords and as Mickey Rourkes deli boss
in 2009s The Wrestler, comedian and actor Todd
Barry offers his nuanced, measured and thoroughly
original approach to standup for two shows with
Bengt Washburn. Thursday, May 8, at 8 p.m. and
9:30 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $23 day of. Call 202-
408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
WOLF TRAPS
27TH ANNUAL EVENING OF COMEDY
Murray The Unknown Comic Langston, Brett
Leake and Dave Goldstein are the stand-up
comedians who will provoke the laughs at this years
annual event in the Wolf Trap Barns, which actually
offers yuk-yuks over two evenings and three shows.
Friday, May 2, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 3, at 7
p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap
Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25. Call 703-255-1900 or
visit wolftrap.org.
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of the serious impact of technology on our lives, as seen through the eyes of more
than 40 artists, futurists and inventors in a hot-wired blend of art, science, humor
and imagination. Through August. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key
Highway, Baltimore. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.
JUN KANEKOS CERAMIC SCULPTURES
In conjunction with its production of The Magic Flute, the Washington National
Opera presents an installation of ceramic sculptures by Jun Kaneko, the set and
costume designer for WNOs new version of Mozarts nal opera. A renowned
visual artist and painter, Kaneko balances the aesthetic elements of his Japanese-
American heritage in his work, represented in this exhibition with pieces from
his dumpling series HEADS, Dangos as well as his series about a mischievous
shape-shifter Tanuki. Through May 19. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations. Call 202-
467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
LOULOUDI FLOWER/TO FLOWER
Selected works from submissions of members of the Washington Sculptors Group
comprises this show presented at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Associations
Athenaeum. LOULOUDI Flower/To Flower celebrates springs awakening ora.
Julia Bloom, Greg Braun, Alonzo Davis, Jaclyn Martin, Judith Pratt and Charles
Swan are among the artists in the show, curated by Renee Stout. Closes this
Sunday, May 4. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0035
or visit nvfaa.org.
PASSION OF THE EMPRESS: CATHERINE THE GREATS ART PATRONAGE
In the 18th century Catherine the Great reigned over a golden age of Russian
culture, founding what would become the State Hermitage Museum and
transforming St. Petersburg into one of Europes cultural centers. Hillwood
Museum presents Passion of the Empress, which presents a selection of dazzling,
nely crafted decorative art pieces in gold, silver, porcelain and enamel from
Hillwoods collection as well as other pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, the Walters Art Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, the Birmingham Museum of
Art and private collections. Through June 8. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave.
NW. Suggested donation is $12. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org.
PERUVIAN GOLD:
ANCIENT TREASURES UNEARTHED
National Geographic Museum offers a show of gold and silver artifacts on loan
from three Peruvian institutions, with the focus on a pre-Colombian headdress
called El Tocado. Skilled artisans created objects, from ceremonial masks to
jewelry, that rival anything produced by the ancient Egyptians. Through Sept. 14.
National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $11. Call 202-857-
7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.
SHAKESPEARES THE THING
As part of its yearlong celebration of what would have been William Shakespeares
450th birthday, the Folger Shakespeare Library selects from its vast collection
some great or quirky hits from the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio to a Sanskrit
translation of Hamlet to a Shakespeare board game. Through June 15. Folger
Great Hall, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
ABOVE AND BEYOND

MARYLAND HOUSE AND GARDEN PILGRIMAGE
Nearly 50 extraordinary historic properties throughout Maryland are featured on
this annual tour, now in its 77th year. Sites include the grave of a man who played
a key role in the creation of the U.S. national anthem and other landmarks in the
War of 1812. The pilgrimage has raised more than $1 million over the decades
for the preservation and restoration of architecturally signicant properties in
the state. The tour hits spots in stages by county: Baltimore County/Parkton on
Sunday, May 4, Talbot County on Saturday, May 10, Calvert County on Saturday,
May 17, and Kent County on Saturday, May 31. Tickets are $30 in advance. Call
410-821-6933 or visit mhgp.org.
THE PENIS MONOLOGUES:
PLAY READING AT ASK RAYCEEN SHOW
J.L. King, author of the Oprah Winfrey-popularized book On The Downlow, reads
from his play The Penis Monologue at Rayceen Pendarviss next Ask Rayceen Show.
The May edition of this monthly LGBT event also features a community forum
with panelists Ken Pettigrew of Wanda Alston House, HIV activist Christopher
Barnhill and transgender activist Earline Budd. An LGBT social, Rayceen, Fix Me
Up, follows. Wednesday, May 7, at 7 p.m. Liv Nightclub in Bohemian Caverns,
2001 11th St. NW. Free. Call 202-505-4548 or visit livdc.com or facebook.com/
rayceen.pendarvis. l
GALLERIES
ASCAP: ONE HUNDRED YEARS AND BEYOND
The Library of Congress offers an exhibition featuring 45 objects celebrating the
work of the leading organization advocating on behalf of musical artists. Included
in this centennial toast to the American Society of Composers, Authors and
Publishers is the original manuscript of Henry Mancinis The Pink Panther theme,
Paul Williamss lyrics for The Rainbow Connection, and the original lyrics,
including the many drafts and revisions, to the Barbra Streisand staple The Way
We Were, written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. There are also interactive,
audio and video stations, and the screening of a lm featuring artists explaining
ASCAPs work. Through July 26. Performing Arts Reading Room Gallery, the
Library of Congresss James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave.
SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit loc.gov/concerts.
ATMOSPHERE
Artists Chandi Kelley, Stephanie Kwak, Paul Shortt and Zach Storm share
their impressions through photography, video and painting of a two-week tour
last summer with the Transformer Gallery to Beijing, D.C.s sister city. Closes
this Saturday, May 3. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit
transformerdc.org.
FERMATA: A CELEBRATION OF SOUND
Billed as the venues rst exhibition dedicated entirely to sound and also the
regions largest and most expansive sound exhibition to date, Artispheres
Fermata is a months-long extravaganza featuring works by a wide variety of
artists, including composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, NASA Kepler scientist Lucianne
Walkowicz and D.C.s own Richard Chartier. The works will be displayed in
month-long stages, or movements, ending in a Coda in collaboration with the
Transformer Gallery. Opening reception is Thursday, May 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. To
Aug. 10. Terrace Gallery at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. Call
703-875-1100 or visit artisphere.com.
HUMAN, SOUL & MACHINE:
THE COMING SINGULARITY!
Baltimores American Visionary Art Museum opens its 19th original thematic
yearlong exhibition this weekend. Human, Soul & Machine is a playful examination
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So-So Spider-Man
While much is mediocre, Garfield
and Stone set every scene ablaze
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HAT, EXACTLY, WAS THE POINT OF
rebooting the Spider-Man franchise with
2012s The Amazing Spider-Man? Arriving in
theaters just ve years after the incredibly
lackluster Spider-Man 3, it was too similar, too soon and too
underwhelming to shake off the barely formed cobwebs. A
ho-hum origin story, decent villain and some exciting action
sequences were sufcient for Sony to steam ahead with the
sequel, but it still cant quite answer the questions surrounding
its existence.
Compare The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with 2004s numerically
similar Spider-Man 2, and it cant touch the Sam Raimi-helmed
blockbuster. Alfred Molinas Doctor Ock was an engaging, com-
plex and emotionally resonant counterpart to Tobey Maguires
dorky hero. Well-paced, competently written, bombastic and
emotionally gratifying, it made many year end best of lists.
This time around, I doubt Marc Webbs sequel will enjoy
similar acclaim. Here, Peter Parker (Andrew Gareld) is strug-
gling with the aftermath of the rst lm. His promise to Gwen
Stacys (Emma Stone) father to keep her out of his life is playing
on his mind, as he bounces between pushing her away and pull-
ing her into another passionate kiss. They are both caught in that
awkward moment after high school, neither sure of where their
relationship is going, or whether its worth the potential hurt
it could cause them both. Forget villains and super powers, the
main focus of this movie is very much the relationship between
Peter and Gwen.
This fact is made all the more apparent as we watch the main
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antagonist muddle through a very B-movie subplot. Jamie Foxx
is onboard this time, with the Oscar-winners talents squan-
dered playing Electro. Starting the movie as Max Dillon, a lowly
employee for Oscorp who designed pioneering technology but is
largely ignored by everyone around him, we watch as an indus-
trial accident transforms him into the formidable super-villain.
Wielding electricity, complete with a glowing blue body, he
ventures out into New York City and proceeds to cause havoc.
Its all a great setup, particularly when we see his powers
outstrip Spideys this is a villain who can absorb all of the
electricity from the city, who can travel through wires, who can
remove any technological advantage from play. He could be a
devastatingly powerful foe. What we ultimately get, however, is
a hackneyed villain who, once he becomes Electro, is stripped of
anything worth caring about. Max Dillon is a fragile, confused,
obsessive individual, lonely and mentally abused by coworkers.
His conclusion in this lm ignores any attempts at characteriza-
tion established before he became Electro, theres no emotional
payoff or references to his life as Max. Once hes the bad guy, we
should apparently stop giving a damn. On top of that, every scene
that doesnt involve either Peter, Gwen or the returning Harry
Osborne feels underwhelming or over-indulgent, with some
incredibly hammy acting for good measure. Theres even a mad
German scientist and a steroid-enhanced Russian thug thrown
into the mix, because clichs are still du jour, evidently.
Another subplot that fails to satisfy is one established in an
opening ashback. Peters parents, who left him with his uncle
and aunt (the ever-glorious Sally Field), are shown eeing from
an unknown danger, preparing for a life on the run. Their disap-
pearance, his fathers work at Oscorp, the real reason as to why
they had to run so many answers, all of which lead to a rather
average conclusion about two-thirds of the way through the lm.
Nobody cares about Peters parents, not here, not in the comics,
but the forced nature of his backstory in this lm series requires
that his fathers work be discussed and their disappearance be
addressed. Its here simply for padding, and to offer Gareld a
chance to show his acting chops as he comes to terms with his
parents actions and their place in his life.
Given all of this, is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 worth your
money? Yes, for two main reasons. Whereas Tobey Maguire
and Kirsten Dunst had an undeniable spark in the original tril-
ogy, Gareld and Stone set every scene ablaze. Their chemistry
is undeniable, their affection for one another bolstered by their
status as a couple outside of the lm. Every scene offers a wealth
of emotion and some brilliant acting. Garelds cheekily arro-
gant Peter is grounded by the upbeat, intensely smart Gwen.
Her common sense balances his act rst, think later approach.
Their turmoil over the course of the lms 142-minutes is what
sustains it, as they bounce between passionate kissing, jokey
chatter, tearful contemplation and emotional goodbyes. If you
strip away the action sequences, the antagonists, the web-sling-
ing, what youre left with is a teen romance, as two people come
to terms with life in the real world, outside the comfort and
security of high school. While I could give or take the lm as a
whole, its worth it just to watch Stone and Gareld light up the
screen in a way few on-screen couples have in recent memory.
On top of this, Dane DeHaans turn as Harry Osborne is far
more commendable than Foxxs forgettable Electro though
again this has more to do with characterization than perfor-
mance. DeHaans Osborne is desperate, battling an illness inher-
ited from his father, frantically searching for a cure. Though
there are only a few short scenes establishing his place in the
franchise and prior friendship with Peter, when the two actors
meet their camaraderie is instantly believable. Osbornes story-
line also falls victim to the main focus on Parker and Stacy, but
his arc over the lms length is ultimately more satisfying than
that of Electros.
Ultimately, Amazing Spider-Man 2 is very watchable, sticking
to the same template as many superhero lms of the past decade
or so, with our protagonist facing emotional and romantic tur-
moil, an everyman turning into our protagonist, and devious,
underhanded deeds occurring at major corporations. Its all very
standard fare. Action sequences are nicely helmed indeed,
theyre one area where seeing the lm in 3D may be worth the
price of entry. Watching Spidey zip through the streets of New
York, the sense of depth and height is pretty incredible. Outside
of the set pieces, though, its Gareld and Stone who give the
biggest reason to see Spider-Mans latest outing. Their chem-
istry binds the lms disparate pieces together, offering reason
enough to sit through its average villain and average scripting.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 cannot compare to the beautifully
realized Spider-Man 2, whose characters were better-rounded,
better-written and generally just better. If I could transplant
Garelds Spidey and Stones Stacy into the 2004 lm, itd pretty
much be a perfect effort. As such, were still left wondering why
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 exists, save to offer decent popcorn
fare ahead of the summer blockbuster rush and increased prots
for Columbia Pictures. Its less Amazing Spider-Man, more Stick
to a Tried and Tested Formula Spider-Man. For some, thatll be
more than enough.
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Hammerly (L) and Jarvis
Worth Every Penny
You cant help but find the good in
Signatures Threepenny Opera, while
Fiasco cant save Two Gentlemen
R
ick Hammerly hisses at Erin Driscoll early in Act
2 of Signature Theatres The Threepenny Opera.
Yes, the veteran local actor really and truly hisses
at his younger but equally celebrated colleague
as loudly and dramatically as any big cat feeling threatened.
Hammerly hisses at Driscoll after she nails an operatic vocal run
that he had just fumbled although the real reason he hisses is
because Driscolls character, Polly Peachum, aka Pirate Jenny,
has stolen away the man with whom Hammerlys character,
Lucy Brown, had planned to have a baby.
Did you catch that? Yes, its true, Hammerly is once again
pulling a wig down from the shelf and donning female drag
at Signature Theatre, a decade after his Helen Hayes Award-
winning turn in the title role of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Here
he all but steals the show as Lucy, arguably the most hopelessly
deluded lover of Macheath, aka Mack the Knife, played by the
charismatic Mitchell Jarvis. The notorious criminal in Bertolt
Brecht and Kurt Weills nearly 90-year-old musical farce has
got quite the harem lined up in Londons gritty underworld.
And director Matthew Gardiner has seen to it that youll love
the women in Signatures production all right. The phenomenal
Natascia Diaz as Jenny, the woman who ultimately betrays
Mack, is the rst to sing, offering a dramatic rendering of the
famous standard Mack The Knife here dubbed The Flick
Knife Song which she starts off singing a cappella, showcasing
her seemingly perfect pitch and incredible tone. Another female
standout is the Signature staple Donna Migliaccio, who bowls
us over in her typically wonderful way as Pollys domineering
mother Mrs. Peachum.
For its rst-ever production of either Bertolt or Weill,
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Signature Theatre doesnt inch for a second not just in
picking one of the most cutting critiques of capitalism and
modern society, but also in choosing possibly the most shocking
of recent adaptations. Book writer Robert David MacDonald and
lyricist Jeremy Samss 20-year-old British take on the classic
freely and naturally incorporates profanity and scandalous talk
and action into this, well, fucking tale. As but one example, in
earlier, tamer as far as it goes versions of The Threepenny
Opera, one of the most compelling numbers is known as The
World Is Mean. Here, that song is Lifes A Bitch (And Then
You Die). Its the rst of three nales, and its sung by the
Peachum family, led by the sturdy Bobby Smith as Mr. Peachum.
Yes, father, mother and daughter all agree that, essentially, life
sucks. Theyd like to do good and do better, they sing, but theres
just not enough demand for it.
The Threepenny Opera is a satire on the consumerism
and corruption that runs rampant in a society in which
everyone, even those at the top, have to take and steal and
just live selshly to get ahead. Even if your views are that
dystopian and depressing, you cant help but nd the good
in this production: its strong cast, and also its sharp design
team. Youll be awed by Misha Kachmans bright, multi-
leveled set, which is especially enhanced by video designer
Rocco DiSantis CNN-style news tickers espousing familiar
platitudes such as So what? and Not my problem in
addition to stock numbers. Costume designer Frank Labovitz
adds pizazz with his colorful wear, from Burberry plaids for
Polly to Adidas attire for Mackys cohorts.
Labovitz dresses Hammerly in a burgundy wig, too-tight
tie-dyed jeans, a black leather jacket and a Union Jack T-shirt
covering up a bulging belly. So by the time he lets out that drag
queen hiss, in other words, youll no doubt be purring with
laughter.
Over at the Folger Theatre, meanwhile, its more barking
than hissing.
Notably, no actual dog appears in the new production of Two
Gentlemen of Verona at the Folger, despite the fact that a sad-
faced canine is the central image used in the shows promotions,
including on the program cover.
Instead, the Fiasco Theater company, as so many companies
before it, gives the minor role to one of its two gentlemen leads,
Zachary Fine, letting him double as the anthropomorphized dog,
Crab. The result might be slightly less of a cheap shot than it is
as written by Shakespeare, in what is believed by many to be his
rst play after all, putting a real dog onstage is a pretty base
stab at generating easy laughs. But it certainly doesnt make you
love this problematic comedy any more, and doesnt help Fiasco
and Folgers case for reviving it.
The human dog is naturally not the only twist this production
makes in a mostly vain attempt to dress up this stale tale as
contemporary. In the program Folger even excerpts an essay
from a Shakespeare scholar who sees homoeroticism in the
same-sex friendship at the heart of the story, going on to assert
that this otherwise platonic relationship seems paramount to
any of the plays male-female romantic pairings. Yet that doesnt
make it gay, or even gay-friendly, in a contemporary way. Chalk
it up to just one more attempt to rationalize what is otherwise a
pretty irrational story.
Two Gentlemen of Verona revolves around two men, Proteus
(Noah Brody) and Valentine (Fine), who are bosom buddies until
each meets a beautiful woman who harbors love in return. But
then in a jealousy-fueled power play, Proteus decides he prefers
Valentines love Sylvia (Emily Young) to his own Julia (Jessie
Austrian), and schemes to make her his. And thus what develops
is a de facto broken love square: Julia loves Proteus, who loves
Sylvia, who loves Valentine who also loves Sylvia. Poor, poor
Julia. By plays end, Proteus has even resorted to rape as his
last-ditch ploy to make Sylvia his, and his attempt is only foiled
when Valentine catches him in the act, threatening murder if he
proceeds. Proteus relents and begs Valentines forgiveness, a plea
that Valentine accepts all too readily from someone who violated
his friendship and came thisclose to violating his beloved.
That the two couples also seem to unite and live happily ever
after from this point on is the chief problem with the play, at
least in a contemporary time when women are not powerless or
one-dimensional. Post-assault Sylvia doesnt seem to object one
bit to Proteus as Valentines best man. Even worse, Julia doesnt
so much as blink about rekindling romance with such a violent,
treasonous lover. Whatever the gentlemen want, it seems,
these wilting women give, without reservation or hesitation.
The actor-driven Fiasco Theater has been celebrated in its
home base of New York for its inventive, stripped-down way of
reimagining and re-telling Shakespeare, particularly the Bards
weaker plays including Cymbelline, a production of which
Fiasco will offer in a weeks run at Folger Theatre immediately
after Verona. The focus is on the acting, not the staging
although here, at least, you cant help but appreciate acclaimed
Washington set designer James Kronzers simple but dramatic
backdrop. Its the kind of classically minded elegant stage on
which anything would look better and engage you more than it
probably should.
As co-directors, Jessie Austrian and Ben Steinfeld managed
to cast a team of actors with great comic timing and sensibility,
who also have an abundance of good looks and charisma, such
that youre willing to suspend disbelief and escape reality, taking
an improbable journey with them far more willingly and for
much longer of time than makes sense. Because, ultimately, you
can try hard to understand or even justify The Two Gentlemen of
Verona through contemporary allusions or modern sensibilities
about love and friendship. But to inverse and twist a famous
mathematical metaphor, you just cant circle this broken square.
Its pretty much a dog of a play.
The Threepenny Opera (HHHHH) runs to June 1 with a Pride
performance Friday, May 9, at 8 p.m. at Signature Theatre,
4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $95. Call 703-
820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org. The Two Gentlemen of
Verona (HHHHH) runs to May 28 at Folger Shakespeare Theatre,
201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $40 to $72. Call 202-544-7077
or visit folger.edu. l
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Questioning Family
Opening the floor to questions
from my near and dear
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OT AGAIN IS SOMETHING I TEND TO THINK
when scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook
every morning. It took a while for the social net-
work to catch on with my family, but once it did
get its teeth sunk into my mother, sisters- in-law and the rest of
my family (save for my dad hes a stubborn man), I get to see
tons of awesome posts by them.
Repost this in 15 minutes and you will get money! or
Repost this if you have a dog and love it! are some of my moms
favorites. One sister-in-law hit one out of the park with the
hashtag #MufnTopsAreOnlyGoodForBreakfast while head-
ing out to train for a 10k. I got the bright idea after seeing that
post to ask my family if they had any questions related to health
or tness.
The rst question came from my eldest sister-in-law, the one
training for that 10k: What is a good diet or routine change-up
for individuals who are in the home stretch of weight loss? Im
trying to break a plateau.
Its a very common question, especially because plateaus
come at every stage of weight loss. Theyre a strange beast, too.
Its not so much that what youre doing stops working its just
working slower. Your body is trying desperately to hold on to
whatever reserve energy it has. Its an evolutionary system thats
served humanity wonderfully. You do not need to change what
youre doing, assuming you have the perseverance to keep at it.
Then again, it doesnt hurt to change, either. So, based on the
idea that shes training for a long endurance run, I told her to
health
by BRANDON HARRISON
illustration by CHRISTOPHER CUNETTO
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switch to interval training. It will spice up her routine and keep
things fresh and, hopefully, keep her dedicated. Run some hill
sprints or wind sprints, or go to a spin class.
Does running or weight lifting get rid of fat faster?
Another fun one, from the same sister. Shes a runner, while
Im a weight lifter. We constantly get into a debate about this.
At least, I think she was baiting me into one with this question.
I guess when you look at someone who weight lifts, they dont
exactly look lean. Most of them are big, lumbering guys who
look like they couldnt hug a telephone pole if they tried. Run-
ners, on the other hand, are lean, mean, aerodynamic machines
especially marathoners. But what if I told you those big guys
with 18-inch arms and 46-inch chests usually have less body
fat than most runners? Strange, isnt it? Weight lifting not only
burns calories, it raises the bodys resting metabolic rate. Its
constantly burning calories to repair the damage done to the
muscle. I nd weight lifting to be a better fat burner for me.
Shots red, Sis your move.
My other sister-in-law is very similar to me in terms of health
and tness. A general dislike for organized team sports, a case
of exercise-induced-asthma and gained most of her results
through diet manipulation. (Were similar in more ways than
that, but Im not writing my life story here.) She asked, What
are the best cardio options for people with asthma? Maybe
thats why I never liked running, and did best with sprinting
sports like hockey and football. I suffered from the same thing
for many years. I wasnt much help with this question, as I never
really found one that worked for me, either. But after talking
with several people and guring out a general idea of how the
asthma was triggered, it turns out swimming and long rest inter-
vals are the best bets. Swimming keeps the air moist and helps
keep the airways open, but it can be a bit of a commitment to take
the plunge while youve got that nagging thought your airways
might constrict. Long rest intervals are another option, pushing
the limit on your bodys reaction and triggering of the asthma
can slowly push you through it completely.
You know those times you ask someone for advice, and, as
they start telling you what you should do, you think to yourself,
Why did I do this to myself?
Asking my friends and family for their questions almost
turned into that. Almost. Even though my mom is convinced Im
going to be poor and dont love anything (based on the fact that I
never repost her stuff), and my sister-in-law probably thinks Im
just an angry, antagonistic, liberal health nut, I love my family
and all the crazy stuff we talk about, even health and tness. l
95 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
Nissan Lannia
Beijing Beauties
Chinese car show wows with a
peek at the very near future
of automobiles
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OMPARED WITH THE RELATIVELY TEPID
New York Auto Show, China got all the goodies.
Concepts, teases, launches the Beijing Auto Show
had it all, with acres of shining sheetmetal waiting
to lure in journalists from around the globe. Compared with
a focus on production-ready models in the Big Apple, Chinas
capital was very much looking to the future, with a wealth of
vehicles offering glimpses into design languages and poten-
tial models that should reach our streets in the coming years.
Reecting Chinas increasingly Westernized auto market, there
was a lot of love for SUVs and crossovers from European and
American manufacturers though that didnt stop BMW from
stealing the show with a jaw-dropping look at its next-gen
7-Series luxury sedan.
NISSAN LANNIA CONCEPT - Nissan arguably takes the crown for
most crowd-baiting auto. With the Lannia Concept, it debuted
a car designed in China, built in China and designed specically
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to appeal to young Chinese buyers. Talk about pandering to your
audience.
Of course, the Lannia is actually testament to how far Chinese
auto design has come in recent years. What was once a country
full of knock-off examples of American and European cars is
now one ush with original and attractive designs. The Lannia
is hard to pigeonhole, with a shape thats reminiscent of a sedan
but a rear that seems to disagree, with a little sedan, a little
hatch and a more than a little fastback. With a handsome front
and bold, sharp lines, a slightly awkward rear three-quarter sec-
tion is the concepts only weakness. Theres no info on potential
powerplants or transmissions, but Nissan promises that, though
the Lannia Concept is intended for China, whatever production
model it spawns will also nd home in international markets.
Wherever and whenever the self-described sedan theory-
breaker ends up on sale, its a bold statement for the Japanese
manufacturer to have so much (rightly placed) condence in its
Chinese design studios.
JEEP RENEGADE ZI YOU XIA - Jeeps baby SUV, the Renegade, is an
intriguing little vehicle in its own right. Based on Fiats 500L,
it offers full Jeep off-road capabilities in a diminutive package,
aimed at urban dwellers and young buyers who want Jeeps
heritage and ability in something small and affordable. Jeep is
keen to push the baby SUVs luxury potential, however, hence
the debut of its Zi You Xia concept in Beijing. Translated as
rebel, the Zi You Xia offers some premium options over the
standard Renegade.
Finished in Warm Chocolate Grey with contrasting Dark
Anodized Bronze, the concept runs on unique, 20-inch Dark
Anodized Bronze alloys and features special accent colors on the
roof, grille and mirror caps nished in Dark Charcoal. Inside,
theres a mixture of high-quality materials, with a piano-black
dash, grey A-pillars and headliner, and accent colors throughout
the cabin nished in Anodized Copper. Brown leather covers the
seats and doors, with ombre fabric inserts that are apparently
inspired by menswear suiting and tailorwear patterns.
While were still not sold on the Renegades styling, its an
undeniably premium looking vehicle in Zi You Xia form. Jeep
hasnt said whether a version of the concept will be offered to
buyers, but it makes for an interesting design study nonetheless.
AUDI TT OFFROAD CONCEPT - What happens if you take a sports
coupe, add two more doors and lift it up a little? If youre Audi,
it produces the TT Offroad Concept, a crossover-focused variant
of its excellent TT coupe. To quote Audi, It combines the sporty
genes of the TT with the strengths of a compact Audi SUV.
Its an undeniably attractive car, though TT purists will likely
hate the attempt to spin the name into its own family of prod-
ucts. Wed also question the need for the concept given the Q1
and Q3, which already barely qualify as crossovers, given their
low-slung nature. Under the hood, though, is where the Offroad
Concept may start to make sense. Powered by a 292-horsepower
turbod 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine, one might think that would
be sufcient to guarantee sprightly performance. Audi didnt,
thankfully, and has also bolted on two electric motors, a 40kW
unit at the front and an 85kW motor at the rear, to give the TT
Offroad a combined 408-horsepower and almost 480 lb-ft of
torque. Thats much more like it. Zero to 62 is handled in 5.2
seconds, while the all-wheel drive concept hits a limited 155 mph
at the top end. Gas mileage? An estimated and quite astound-
ing 123 mpg equivalent.
Yes, it may dilute the TT brand name, but if Audi was ever to
bring the TT Offroad to production it would likely nd a wealth
of buyers eager for crossover space mixed with sports car perfor-
mance and muscular-coupe looks.
LEXUS NX - Is Lexuss new NX attractive? With a bold, aggres-
sive grille and sharp creases over its body, itll undeniably draw
attention, but one wonders how much of that attention will
be positive. Lexuss polarizing family face, with its trapezoidal
grille, is used to full effect on the NX but here it seems to exem-
plify its aws. Its almost too bold.
Still, lets get stuck into the nitty-gritty of the Japanese
automakers new crossover. Power will come from either a
turbocharged, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, dubbed the NX 200t; a natu-
rally aspirated 4-cylinder model, the base NX 200; or a hybrid
system combining a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine paired with
an electric motor, which will be named the NX300h. Inside, itll
be Lexus as usual, with a mix of metallic surfaces and soft-touch
plastics and leathers. A suite of technology, including a heads-up
display, dynamic radar cruise control, Human Machine Inter-
face (yeah, we know) which utilizes a touch pad to connect
driver and car, which is a nice way of saying it controls the info-
tainment system and, emphasizing Lexuss sporting preten-
sions, a G sensor and boost sensor, the rst in any Lexus.
If youre a fan of the NXs looks, expect it to reach American
shores at the end of this year.
BMW VISION FUTURE LUXURY CONCEPT - Oh, BMW, how youve
redeemed yourself. After the awkward and confusingly niche
X4 crossover debuted in New York, we were beginning to lose
faith in the brand. Prot seemed to be outweighing design sense.
Then, those Bavarian wunderkinds unveiled their Vision Future
Luxury Concept in Beijing and reminded us why the company is
so successful in the rst place.
Awkwardly long name aside, what youre looking at here is
a strong hint at the next-generation 7-Series luxury sedan. If
the nal production model looks like these, were going to start
auctioning off our loved ones. The exterior of the Vision Future
is a sight to behold, taking strong styling cues from BMWs
Pininfarina-designed Gran Lusso Coupe, with strong edges, an
enlarged double-kidney grille and swathes of highly polished
metal. Thanks to the use of carbon in its construction, including
the seat frames which are incorporated directly into the load-
bearing structure theres an incredibly slim B-pillar. That was
necessary, as the Vision Future features wide-opening coach
doors, to allow elegant ingress and egress.
Inside, its a tech-lovers dream, with three displays offering
a wealth of information across the wraparound cockpit. Voice
control is onboard, as is a head-up display, which can detect and
highlight buildings, trafc signs and hazards in the drivers line
of sight. Theres even a separate display for front passengers,
which can access the vehicles infotainment systems, letting
passengers control media and settings without disturbing or
distracting the driver. Passengers in the rear have access to
detachable tablets, which use the cars modem to enable Internet
streaming of music and video. Those in the rear seats can also
enjoy personal comfort zones, with retractable tables and a
large console separating the two rear seats from one another.
Under the hood? BMW isnt saying, but the concept wears
the brands eDrive badge, which suggests its likely powered by
a hybrid engine. If it can deliver the performance of Mercedes-
Benzs V12 S-Class luxury sedan with the economy of a smaller
engine, the Vision Futures successor likely to be named the
7-Series could be a world-beater in the luxury market. l
97 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
Selling Success
Michael Fowler beat the odds to
become a major D.C. Realtor through
devotion to customer service and
community activism
E
VER WONDER WHAT PERCENT OF D.C.
Realtors are gay?
There are tons! exclaims D.C. real-estate agent
Michael Fowler. Of the male ones, most of them.
You could throw a rock at Cobalt on a Friday night and probably
hit three Realtors.
Still, even an extremely well-connected gay man isnt guar-
anteed success in the real estate industry. Fowler himself was
cautioned about real-estate risks years ago. You need to have
money in the bank, and this much savings, because you wont
make any money your rst three months, local Realtor power-
house Bill Hounshell told him. At the time working at the former
Georgetown hotspot Nathans, Fowler knew he didnt want to
be a restaurant manager forever. He also wasnt sold on work
home
by DOUG RULE
photography by TODD FRANSON
98 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
in international relations, despite his degree from American
University. The numbers didnt make sense, he says of how
much he could earn as an entry-level global do-gooder versus
how much he owed in student loans. And so, weaned on HGTV
and the prospect of a lucrative career in real estate, Fowler took
the plunge.
I broke the lease at my apartment at the time, put all my stuff
in a good friends garage, and couch-surfed for six weeks, he
says. Didnt even own a car. If he failed, he reasoned, he would
just move back to Houston, where he grew up.
I was literally terried, he says. [But] fear was my best
motivator to get out there and do it.
Fowler was able to make an income within the rst two
months after starting, in December 2011. By January 2013, he
was working as an independent afliate with TTR Sothebys
International Realty. And last year he was crowned Rookie of
the Year by the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors
(GCAAR), in recognition of both his realty success and his level
of community involvement, which includes his work leading
The DC Center for the LGBT Community.
Fowler, whose client base is mostly straight, attributes his
success in part to his outlook. I dont think of it as a sales posi-
tion. I think the sales happen before Im actually hired, he says.
Once Im hired I become a customer service person [working]
to make sure the client has what they actually want, regardless
of how long it takes to nd.
Fowlers drive for social and community activism not to
mention avid use of social media is one clear reason for his suc-
cess. But its also literally how he grew up. I had a pretty large
network starting from when I was 16 and old enough to drive,
says the 31-year-old, whos been out more than half his life. I
found a kind of network of older gay men who met at this coffee
shop every Thursday night. And thats where I got my bearings
in the gay world. And I believe in that kind of network helping
one another the importance of serving the community and
giving back. In addition to serving as board chair for The DC
Center, Fowler is also active in the Shaw Main Streets organiza-
tion, the local chapter of the Lupus Foundation (his mother has
lupus), the DC Association of Realtors and GCAAR, where he
works refurbishing old houses in the city as part of the organiza-
tions Community Service Committee.
Fowler lives with his boyfriend of a year and a half and a res-
cued 2-year-old miniature pinscher in a brand-new apartment
he rents in Shaws O Street Market. My partner and I are not
yet at the place where we want to get a mortgage together, he
says. Though for everyone else, he says, I think that the time to
buy is now. And also to sell.
Right now were in a strong sellers market, he says. Most
things are generating multiple offers. Interest rates are only
going to go up and right now money is cheap.
But where to look? Some of the hottest emerging neighbor-
hoods in D.C. real estate include Northwests Bloomingdale,
Northeasts Trinidad and Southeasts Anacostia.
The trends follow, to a certain degree, the gay population,
Fowler says. But I think it also happens to be that theres
nowhere to go now but east.
Michael Fowler is an agent with TTR Sothebys International
Realty. Contact him at 202-812-0272 or fowler@ttsir.com. Follow
him on Twitter @202Realtor. l
99 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
Go Fish
An expert sounds off on what
makes fish such addicting pets
G
REG SCHNEIDER IS A MANAGER AT ROCK-
villes Congressional Aquarium. Schneider has
been with the hobbyists superstore for seven
years, overseeing a menagerie that might at any
time include tarantulas, bearded dragons and ball pythons, but
always more sh and sea creatures than Troy McClure could t
in three penthouses.
Back in 2003 he was a regular person, not someone who
gladly devotes a healthy portion of his time and budget to the
dry-land devotion of Poseidons posse. The turning point, like
most, is clear in hindsight.
I moved in with a roommate about nine years ago and he
had a sh tank, says Schneider. It was seeing that rst really
nice-looking tank that made me want to do the same thing. I
looked at it and thought, Wow, this is the most beautiful, living
piece of furniture. I didnt notice an attachment to the sh early
on, but thats something you see after youve had the same one
for [a few] years.
Schneider points out an oft-overlooked fact of home aquari-
ums: The casual viewer is easily struck by the aesthetic benets,
pets
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but the one who maintains it must combine a biologists faculty
for sustaining a micro-ecosystem with Dr. Doolittles under-
standing of the mood, health and appetite of an animal with
extremely limited means of auditory expression.
Any long-term failure in tank maintenance will affect the
health of the sh, which is just the rst clue that our nned
friends are more sensitive to, and aware of, their surroundings
than popular thought likes to paint them. Meeting an aquarium
occupants basic needs creates a biological satisfaction akin to
human happiness, and as such the ability to read the source of a
pets perceived unhappiness (usually symptoms of an unstable
ecosystem) goes a long way toward keeping your hobby out of
the literal toilet.
So the successful aquarist is one who can create a successful
emotional connection with their sh, odd as that might seem to
the outsider. It is this connection, as much as how a sh tank
looks in a room, that contributes to a common condition called
Multiple Tank Syndrome.
Six months in, I had to get my own tank, Schneider shares.
I fell in love. Then, a year later, I had 14 in my basement apart-
ment. The rst sh I really got attached to was my Gar. It was my
rst big sh if you have 50 million little neon tetras you dont
get attached to any one. But that rst really big sh that lasted
ve years before I had to re-home him, that was always there to
greet me and always begging for food.
Most pet sh respond to routine and can be trained like dogs
and cats. They can learn to associate behaviors and objects like
opening the top of the tank or picking up a can of sh food with
crowding the top of the tank and wriggling around in anticipa-
tion of eating. They can follow a nger back and forth across a
tank, and many larger species can be fed by hand or tweezers,
and perform simple tricks while in pursuit of their tasty reward.
Goldsh are notorious for pitifully gaping their mouths and
xing their eyes desperately on anyone walking by the tank
that might take pity on them with a ake or two. They can even
cause a ruckus by slapping the surface of their water with their
tails and bodies if they feel particularly entitled to a meal. Clown
loaches, a type of playful bottom feeders, are also known to make
happy snapping and clicking sounds while eating that can be
heard across a quiet room.
Of course, the good sh-parent, unlike the overly permissive
one, knows when to say no.
I dont want to say sh dont have an intelligence, says
Schneider. You walk by the tank and they all zoom to the top.
The hardest part is to say no to them when [theyre begging,] but
the more you feed, the more ammonia the sh produce and the
more you have to clean their water.
The healthy ratio of feeding to water-changes is just one ele-
ment of sh keeping to research before making your own com-
mitment, but if you are equipped to take the plunge Schneider
might point you toward an oscar. The large-growing cichlids
are loved for their bright patterns and responsive antics, and a
personality that puts their Sesame Street namesake to shame.
Theyre the more common of the big cichlids, Schneider
explains. Large, but not overly aggressive. They wont beat up
on each other.
Nor, for that matter, will they ever, in a thousand years,
piddle on your rug or shred your favorite boots.
For more information about Congressional Aquarium, located
at 138 Congressional Lane in Rockville, call 301-881-6182 or visit
congressionalaquarium.com. l
101 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014 101 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
Sudley
My life had fallen apart. I awoke from a three-day binge with the idea that
I would set out to change my life. The rst step was to cure my loneliness. I
drove to the local animal shelter with no intention of picking up my new life
partner. When I entered the kennel, he was the rst dog that I saw. While
all the other dogs howled and barked aggressively against their cages,
Sudley sat in the corner of his cage, completely over it. When I was taken
outside with him, he was grateful to be in silence. He walked up to me,
placed each paw on my knees, and licked my nose. During the following
weeks, we fell in love. I quit smoking and dropped the bottle. He saved my
life and I like to think that I saved his as well. We are now best friends and
spend every waking moment together.
Christian Lezzils 2-year-old Min Pin, Dachsund, Black Lab Mix
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NIGHT
LIFE
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THURS., 05.01.14
9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm Multiple
TVs showing movies,
shows, sports Expanded
craft beer selection No
cover
ANNIES/ANNIES
UPSTAIRS
4@4 Happy Hour,
4pm-7pm $4 Small
Plates, $4 Stella Artois,
$4 House Wines, $4
Stolichnaya Cocktails, $4
Manhattans and Vodka
Martinis
FREDDIES BEACH BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm
Karaoke, 9pm
GREEN LANTERN
Shirtless Men Drink Free,
10-11pm
JR.S
$3 Rail Vodka Highballs,
$2 JR.s drafts, 8pm to
close Top Pop Night
NELLIES SPORTS BAR
Beat The Clock Happy
Hour $2 (5-6pm), $3
(6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm)
Buckets of Beer $15
Drag Bingo
NUMBER NINE
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm No Cover
ZIEGFELDS/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers
Shirtless Thursday DJ
Tim E in Secrets 9pm
Cover 21+
FRI., 05.02.14
9 1/2
Open at 5pm Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink,
5-9pm Friday Night
LISTINGS
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W
ALK INTO NUMBER NINE AND youre likely to
see Jose, a 32-year-old bartender by night who is
a high school counselor by day. Born and raised in
South Africa, he then moved to the Portuguese
island of Madeira, before nally settling in Silver Spring at the
start of high school. Even though it took some time to get used
to American jargon he recalls asking a classmate for a rubber,
meaning an eraser he has fallen in love with the United States,
saying it was probably the easiest place for him to come out as
gay. In his spare time, Jose likes going to the gym, watching
movies and traveling internationally, whether to new countries
or his previous homes, where he still has family.
Whats on your nightstand?
I actually dont have a nightstand on my side of the bed, but you should ask
what I keep in the spare drawer in the spare bedroom.
So whats in the spare drawer in the spare bedroom?
Singlets, a harness, a collar, handcuffs.
Whats your favorite movie of all time?
The whole series of Superman. All of them.
What are your three favorite TV shows of all time?
Friends, Modern Family and Seinfeld.
DC BEAR CRUE
@Town Bear Happy
Hour, 6-11pm $3 Rail,
$3 Draft, $3 Bud Bottles
Free Pizza, 7pm Hosted
by Charger Stone No
cover before 9:30pm 21+
FREDDIES BEACH BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm
Karaoke, 9pm
Videos with resident
DJ Shea Van Horn VJ
Expanded craft beer
selection No cover
ANNIES
4@4 Happy Hour, 4-7pm
$4 Small Plates, $4 Stella
Artois, $4 House Wines,
$4 Stolichnaya Cocktails,
$4 Manhattans and Vodka
Martinis Upstairs open
5-11pm
JR.S
Buy 1, Get 1,
11pm-midnight Happy
Hour: 2-for-1, 4-9pm $5
Coronas, $8 Vodka Red
Bulls, 9pm-close
NELLIES SPORTS BAR
DJ Matt Bailer Videos,
Dancing Beat The Clock
Happy Hour $2 (5-6pm),
$3 (6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm)
Buckets of Beer $15
t
bartenders
COVERBOY
EDITION
NUMBER NINE
Open 5pm Happy Hour:
2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm
No Cover
PHASE 1
DJ Styalo Dancing
$5 cover
PWS SPORTS BAR
9855 Washington Blvd. N
Laurel, Md.
301-498-4840
Drag Show in lounge
Half-price burgers and
fries
TOWN
Drag Show starts at
10:30pm Hosted by
Lena Lett and featuring
Tatianna, Shi-Queeta-
Lee, Jessica Spaulding
Deverreoux and Banaka
Doors open at 10pm For
those 21 and over, $5 from
10-11pm and $10 after
11pm For those 18-20,
$10 all night 18+
ZIEGFELDS/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers
Ladies of Illusion with
host Kristina Kelly, 9pm
Cover 21+
SAT., 05.03.14
9 1/2
Open at 5pm Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink,
Interview by John Riley // Photography by Julian Vankim
106
5-9pm $5 Absolut &
Titos, $3 Miller Lite after
9pm Expanded craft
beer selection No cover
FREDDIES BEACH BAR
Diner Brunch, 10am-3pm
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm
Karaoke and/or live
entertainment, 9pm
JR.S
$4 Coors, $5 Vodka
highballs, $7 Vodka Red
Bulls
NELLIES
Guest DJs Zing Zang
Bloody Marys, Nellie Beer,
House Rail Drinks and
Mimosas, $4, 11am-5pm
Buckets of Beer, $15
NUMBER NINE
DILF with DJ Dean
Douglas Sullivan 9:30pm
Doors 5pm Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink,
5-9pm No Cover

PHASE 1
Dancing, 9pm-close
PWS SPORTS BAR
9855 Washington Blvd. N
Laurel, Md.
301-498-4840
Karaoke in the lounge
Charity Bingo with Cash
Prizes 3rd Sat. of Every
Month
TOWN
Town & Country, Country-
Western Lessons/Dancing
with DC Rawhides
7-10:30pm, $5, 21+ We
Love the 90s with DJ
Ed Bailey, plus Banaka
and The Firm Drag
Show starts at 10:30pm
DJ Wess Hosted by
Lena Lett and featuring
Tatianna, Shi-Queeta-
Lee, Jessica Spaulding
Deverreoux and Banaka
$8 from 10-11pm and $12
after 11pm 21+
If you could have one superpower, what
would it be and why?
To be invisible. So I can hear what people really
have to say.
Pick three people, living or dead, who you would
like to spend the day with, and what
would you do?
Angelina Jolie, Michael Jackson and Cher. Wed party
all night at a dance club.
Youre stranded on a desert island with one
person. Who do you pick?
My husband.
What annoys you?
People who are mean for no good reason.
What pleases you?
People who can smile.
Whats the worst thing a friend could do to you?
Lie to me.
MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
107
ZIEGFELDS/SECRETS
All nude male dancers,
9pm Ladies of Illusion
with host Ella Fitzgerald,
9pm DJ Steve
Henderson in Secrets DJ
Spyke in Ziegfelds Doors
8pm Cover 21+
SUN., 05.04.14
9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm Multiple
TVs showing movies,
shows, sports Expanded
craft beer selection No
cover
FREDDIES BEACH BAR
Champagne Brunch
Buffet, 10am-3pm
Crazy Hour, 4-8pm
Drag Show hosted by
Destiny B. Childs featuring
performances by a rotating
cast, 9pm No cover
Karaoke follows show
JR.S
Sunday Funday Liquid
Brunch Doors open at
1pm $2 Coors Lights &
$3 Skyy (all favors), all
day and night
NELLIES
Drag Brunch, hosted by
Shi-Queeta-Lee, 11am-3pm
$20 Brunch Buffet
House Rail Drinks, Zing
Zang Bloody Marys, Nellie
Beer and Mimosas, $4,
11am-close Buckets of
Beer, $15
NUMBER NINE
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm No Cover
ZIEGFELDS/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers
Decades of Dance DJ
Tim-e in Secrets Doors
8pm Cover 21+
MON., 05.05.14
9 1/2
Open at 5pm Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink,
5-9pm Multiple TVs
showing movies, shows,
sports Expanded craft
beer selection No cover
ANNIES
4@4 Happy Hour, 4-7pm
$4 Small Plates, $4 Stella
Artois, $4 House Wines,
$4 Stolichnaya Cocktails,
$4 Manhattans and Vodka
Martinis
FREDDIES
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm
Karaoke, 9pm
JR.S
Happy Hour: 2-for-1, 4-9pm
Showtunes Songs &
Singalongs, 9pm-close
DJ Jamez $3 Drafts
NELLIES SPORTS BAR
Beat The Clock Happy
Hour $2 (5-6pm), $3
(6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm)
Buckets of Beer $15
Poker Texas Holdem, 8pm
NUMBER NINE
Open 5pm Happy Hour:
2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm
No Cover
PWS SPORTS BAR
9855 Washington Blvd. N
Laurel, Md.
301-498-4840
Buzztime Trivia
competition 75 cents off
bottles and drafts
TUES., 05.06.14
9 1/2
Open at 5pm Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink,
5-9pm Multiple TVs
showing movies, shows,
sports Expanded craft
beer selection No cover
ANNIES
Happy Hour, 4-7pm $4
Stella Artois, $4 House
Wines, $4 Stolichnaya
Cocktails, $4 Manhattans
and Vodka Martinis
FREDDIES BEACH BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm
Karaoke, 9pm
JR.S
Underground (Indie Pop/
Alt/Brit Rock), 9pm-close
DJ Wes Della Volla
2-for-1, all day and night
NELLIES SPORTS BAR
Beat The Clock Happy
Hour $2 (5-6pm), $3
(6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm)
Buckets of Beer $15
Karaoke
NUMBER NINE
Open 5pm Happy Hour:
2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm
No Cover
PWS SPORTS BAR
9855 Washington Blvd. N
Laurel, Md.
301-498-4840
75 cents off bottles and
drafts Movie Night
WED., 05.07.14
9 1/2
Open at 5pm Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink,
5-9pm Multiple TVs
showing movies, shows,
sports Expanded craft
beer selection No cover
ANNIES
Happy Hour, 4-7pm $4
Stella Artois, $4 House
Wines, $4 Stolichnaya
Cocktails, $4 Manhattans
and Vodka Martinis
Whats your idea of a romantic getaway?
Anywhere where Im away from everybody else,
and its just Michael and me.
Whats the strangest place youve ever had sex?
The laundry room at the job I had when I was in
high school.
Dene good in bed.
Responsiveness.
Can men fake it?
I dont think men can actually fake it,
but they can try to.
If you were a porn star, what would your name
be and what would you be known for?
John George, and Id be known for large loads.
Name two people you dont ever want to
picture having sex.
Any adult with a minor.
Whats your favorite late-night eats?
Pizza, all meat with extra meat. From anywhere.
Whats your favorite social app?
Facebook.
Whats the best tip you ever got?
I got $100 once for giving somebody a club soda
with lime and making it look like a cocktail because
he didnt want anybody to know he wasnt drinking.
Whats the craziest thing someone ever
ordered from you?
Somebody once wanted some of my precum on
the top of their shot glass.
When you go to a bar, what do you order?
Captain and ginger.
Miley or Britney?
Britney.
Whats your favorite cocktail to make?
A vodka soda, no lime, because limes are
expensive right now.
If you could read the mind of someone
famous, who would it be?
Albert Einstein, because Id really like to know what
one of the brightest minds in our
history was thinking.
Whats your greatest fear?
Im terried of snakes.
Would you rather go skydiving, rock climbing,
bungee jumping or hang gliding?
Skydiving, hands down. Id love to feel the
adrenaline rush of jumping out of a plane, and then
gently come down from it.
Roller coasters: wooden or steel?
Steel.
Whats your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate.
What turns you on?
Big arms and a smart mind.
What turns you off?
People who are full of themselves. Arrogance.
METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014
108
FREDDIES BEACH BAR
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm Drag
Bingo, 8pm Karaoke,
10pm
GREEN LANTERN
Happy Hour Prices,
4pm-Close
JR.S
Trivia with MC Jay
Ray, 8pm The Queen,
10-11pm $2 JRs Drafts
& $4 Vodka ($2 with
College I.D./JRs Team
Shirt)
NELLIES SPORTS BAR
Beat The Clock Happy
Hour $2 (5-6pm), $3
(6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm)
Half-Price Burger Night
Buckets of Beer $15
SmartAss Trivia, 8pm
NUMBER NINE
Open 5pm Happy Hour:
2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm
No Cover
PWS SPORTS BAR
9855 Washington Blvd. N
Laurel, Md.
301-498-4840
Free Pool 75 cents off
Bottles and Drafts
ZIEGFELDS/SECRETS
All male, nude dancers
New Meat Wednesday
DJ Don T 9pm Cover
21+ l
If you could change one thing about your body,
what would it be?
I dont think I would change anything. Maybe
smaller feet so I could buy the shoes I want to buy.
Most places dont carry my shoe size. Im a size 13.
Whats your theme song?
The theme song to Friends. Ill Be There for You,
by The Rembrandts.
You become master of the world. Whats
your rst act?
Get rid of all the mean people by putting them all
on one island together.
Cuddling: The best, or a waste of time?
The best.
What are you most grateful for?
The people that are a part of my inner circle.
What would you die for?
My husband.
Whats your motto?
Be nice. l
MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
109 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014

The popular international competition that our children will be watching has become
a hotbed of sodomy
at the initiation of the European liberals.

An excerpt from a RUSSIAN PETITION asking that Eurovision 2014 not be broadcast in Russia. Austrian entry Conchita Wurst,
a drag queen who will perform the rousing ballad Rise Like a Phoenix at the semi-nals and again at the live nals should she
make it through, has inspired similar petitions in Armenia and Belarus, which ask for her
to be disqualied or edited from ofcial broadcasts.
(Reuters)

Unfortunately, until same sex marriage is legal in the state of Tennessee,


we cannot participate in this ceremony at our venue.
MINT SPRING FARMS in Nolensville, in a letter sent to two Army veterans who had originally been told they could host their
commitment ceremony at the venue. Mint Spring Farms told Anthony Wilfert and Brian Blas that a staff member was unaware
of our policy when they agreed to host the commitment ceremony, stating that they would be violating state law by hosting the
ceremony. Tennessee law prohibits same-sex marriage, but does not ban commitment ceremonies between same-sex couples.
(WSMV Channel 4, Nashville)

Its a bully campaign, and its being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to
trample the freedom of Christians to live according to the
dictates of scripture.
BUDDY SMITH, spokesman for the American Family Association. The AFA believes that businesses in Mississippi pledging to
not discriminate against their customers are bullying Christians who helped passed a religious freedom law in the state. The
law protects business owners who discriminate against gay customers based on their religious values.
(AFA)
I want to help build a society
where anyone can conduct happy, enriched lives without facing discrimination.

AKIE ABE, rst lady of Japan, writing on her Facebook page after joining the annual gay parade in Tokyo. The rst lady has
traditionally taken a more liberal stance on social issues than her conservative husband, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. I had the
pleasure of spending fun time lled with smiles. Thank you, she continued.
(AFP)

Not meaning to stir things up BUT... Is there a non-speculative or non slippery slope reason why gays shouldnt marry?
I dont hear one.
DAN HASELTINE, lead singer of Christian band Jars of Clay, speaking on his Twitter account. Despite receiving criticism from
some followers, Haseltine didnt renege on his earlier statements, instead adding, I just dont see a negative effect to allowing
gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?
(Twitter)
110 MAY 1, 2014 METROWEEKLY.COM
111 METROWEEKLY.COM MAY 1, 2014