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AUGUST

28

2015

VOLUME 46

ISSUE 35

Anti-gay assaults come as GLLU,
GLOV scale back
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
lchibbaro@washblade.com 
Two gay men were attacked and beaten in separate
Metro stations in April in unrelated incidents, a gay
man survived a throat slashing attack as he was walking
home from the gay nightclub Town last month, and a
man identified by police privately as being gay was
shot to death in June three blocks from the Frederick
Douglas house and museum in Anacostia.
None of these incidents have been listed by D.C.
police as anti-LGBT hate crimes. But the three assaults
and murder took place at a time when city officials are
searching for ways to address a surging rise in violent

Gays from Syria, Iraq tell
U.N. of ISIS atrocities
By MICHAEL K. LAVERS
mlavers@washblade.com
UNITED NATIONS — The first-ever U.N.
Security Council meeting on an LGBTspecific issue that took place on Monday
focused on the Islamic State’s ongoing
persecution of LGBT Syrians and Iraqis.
The U.S. and Chile co-sponsored
the closed-door, informal briefing that
highlighted the Sunni militant group’s
continued persecution of LGBT Syrians

AMERICA’S GAY NEWS SOURCE

crime, including homicides, in all parts of the District.
And while it couldn’t immediately be determined
whether LGBT residents are being victimized by crime
in greater numbers than other city residents, some
activists have expressed concern that the 2015 crime
wave has come at a time when two important LGBT
organizations have reduced their activities and services.
Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, known as
GLOV, a local group that has monitored anti-LGBT
hate crimes and assisted LGBT crime victims for more
than 10 years, has largely ceased operating in recent
months after its two top volunteer leaders resigned.
One moved away from the D.C. area and the other
had to withdraw due to increased responsibilities at
his regular job, according to David Mariner, executive
director of the D.C. LGBT Community Center.
CONTINUES ON PAGE 12

and Iraqis who live under its control.
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan
Eliasson, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Samantha Power, Chile Ambassador
to the U.N. Cristian Barros-Melet and
International Gay and Lesbian Human
Rights Commission Executive Director
Jessica Stern spoke during the closeddoor briefing. Representatives from 11
of the 15 countries that sit on the council
also participated.
Diplomats from the African countries
of Chad and Angola did not attend the
CONTINUES ON PAGE 14

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

D.C. Police Chief CATHY LANIER has redeployed officers
normally assigned to the Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY STROTHER GAINES

‘For my compatriots who do not conform to gender and sexual norms, the eleventh
hour has already passed,’ said SUBHI NAHAS, a gay Syrian refugee.

WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS

WHAT SCANDAL?

FIGHTING BACK

A NEW PHAZE

Clinton’s LGBT backers
say e-mail flap is much
ado about nothing.

D.C. protesters join
nat’l movement decrying
anti-trans violence.

Queer music festival is
back, but severs ties to
lesbian bar where it began.

PAGE 8

PAGE 10

PAGE 23

0 2 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

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0 4 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

LO CA L N E W S

Woman gets 24 years in Donovan Hotel murder
Lawyer placed Craigslist
ad seeking to meet
a man for sex
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
lchibbaro@washblade.com
A D.C. woman who pled guilty in May
to second-degree murder while armed
for fatally stabbing attorney David
Messerschmitt at the Donovan Hotel on
Feb. 9 was sentenced last week to 24
years in prison.
Jamyra Gallmon, 21, confessed to police
that she targeted Messerschmitt, 30, for a
robbery by pretending to be a man while
answering an ad he placed on Craigslist
seeking to meet another man for sex.
Police and prosecutors said she stabbed
Messerschmitt at least seven times in the
chest, groin area, arm, and back when he
attempted to fight back after she entered
his unlocked hotel room and started to
rob him of his possessions.
Her confession came after homicide
detectives linked her to the murder by
tracing an email exchange between her
and Messerschmitt that included a photo
she sent to him of a male torso to trick
him into inviting who he thought was a
man to his room at the hotel.
In addition to sentencing her to 24
years of incarceration, D.C. Superior Court
Judge Michael Ryan sentenced Gallmon
to five years of supervised probation at
the time of her release from prison.

JAMYRA GALLMON, 21, on Aug. 21, was sentenced to 24 years in prison after admitting to
stabbing David Messerschmitt on Feb. 9.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MVP PROTECTIVE SERVICES

At the same hearing on Friday, Ryan
sentenced Dominique Johnson, 19, who
prosecutors identified in court papers as
Gallmon’s roommate and girlfriend, to six
months in jail for her role as an accomplice
to the couple’s plans to rob Messerschmitt.
Johnson pled guilty in May to a charge of
conspiracy to commit robbery.
Police and prosecutors said that
while Johnson assisted Gallmon with
plans to rob Messerschmitt she was not
responsible for his murder.
Ryan handed down his sentences for the
two women following a hearing in which
Messerschmitt’s wife, Kim Vuong, surprised
courtroom observers by requesting to
deliver remarks about how the murder has

impacted her and her family to the judge in
a private bench conference.
Ryan agreed to the request, opening
the way for Vuong to approach the
judge’s bench and speak to him privately.
Also joining the bench conference were
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Fulton,
the lead prosecutor in the case; the
attorneys representing Gallmon and
Johnson, and an attorney representing
the Messerschmitt family.
After speaking for about five minutes,
Vuong walked back to her seat, ending
the bench conference. Messerschmitt’s
brother, Patrick Messerschmitt, spoke
next in open court on behalf of his family.
“David was such a wonderful person,

so gentle, so sweet,” he said. “David’s
precious life was taken so tragically and
so brutally.”
The statutory maximum sentence for
second-degree murder while armed
under D.C. law is 40 years in prison.
Although judges have the authority to
issue such a sentence they usually go
along with a sentencing range agreed to
between the defense and prosecutors
when a defendant pleads guilty.
“I write to urge you to give the maximum
sentence of 25 years in prison to my
husband’s murderer, Jamyra Gallmon,”
Vuong wrote in her letter to Ryan. “It is an
extremely difficult thing to have to explain
to you how Ms. Gallmon’s vicious and cruel
actions that resulted in my husband’s death
have affected me,” she said.
Through their lawyers, Gallmon and
Johnson told the judge they each decided
to waive their right to address the court
before the sentence was handed down.
Their attorneys told the court the
two were deeply remorseful over their
respective actions and sorry for the
anguish their actions have caused
Messerschmitt’s wife and family.
In
a
seven-page
sentencing
memorandum submitted to Ryan earlier
in the week, Assistant U.S. Attorney
Fulton called for a sentence of 25 years.
“Defendant’s conduct warrants this
lengthy incarceration because of the
amount of planning she used to take
advantage of the decedent in this case,”
Fulton said in the memorandum.

Probation for 7 in Rehoboth lewdness crackdown 
Remaining arrestees
scheduled for trial
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
lchibbaro@washblade.com
Seven of the 12 men arrested in July on
public lewdness-related charges in a gay
male cruising area near Rehoboth Beach
have accepted an offer by prosecutors to
enter a program for first time offenders
that’s expected to lead to the dismissal of
the charges against them.
According to information released by
the Delaware Department of Justice, at
the request of state prosecutors, the
seven men were sentenced in court
to “probation before judgment” after
agreeing to plead guilty and pay a fine.
Under this arrangement, which is
sometimes referred to as a diversion program,
a judge defers further action in the case until
the period of probation is completed.

If the defendant successfully completes
probation, the charge is dismissed and the
criminal record can usually be expunged,
said Delaware attorney John Brady, who
represented two of the men who accepted
the “probation before judgment” offer.
“My clients are relieved to get this matter
resolved in a timely manner,” Brady said.
One or more undercover park rangers
arrested the 12 men in July at the Wolfe
Neck parking area near the Junction &
Breakwater Trail, a six-mile long trail
along the southwestern side of Cape
Henlopen State Park. The trail connects
the towns of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.
In a statement released on July 28,
the Delaware Department of Natural
Resources and Environmental Control
said the men were charged with various
misdemeanor
violations,
including
offensive touching, criminal solicitation,
lewdness, indecent exposure and
loitering to engage in or solicit sex.
The age of the men arrested in the

sting operation ranges from 49 to 82, with
most in their 60s and 70s.
Wayne Kline, chief of police for the
parks and natural resources agency, said
the arrests by undercover rangers came in
response to a “serious and longstanding
problem with lewd and indecent public
behavior” at the Wolfe Neck area.
“Such behavior will not be tolerated in a
public area within a Delaware State Park,”
he said in a statement.
Information provided to the Washington
Blade by Delaware Department of Justice
spokesperson Carl Kanefsky shows that
of the remaining five men arrested in
the undercover operation, three were
scheduled to stand trial in October or
November and one was scheduled for
arraignment on Aug. 31.
The fifth was scheduled for arraignment
and trial on Tuesday. The outcome of that
case couldn’t immediately be determined.
Steve Elkins, executive director of
CAMP Rehoboth, an LGBT community

center and advocacy organization, said
that at his request Kline agreed not to
publicly release the names of the arrested
men at the time the parks department
announced the arrests had been made.
But much to his dismay, Elkins said,
Kline told him a short time later that his
department had to release the men’s
names when formal requests were made
by several news media outlets.
He said Kline noted that all arrest
records are part of the public record
under Delaware law.
Elkins said he doesn’t condone illegal
acts in public parks but believes releasing
the names of men arrested on public
sex related charges could ruin their lives
under certain circumstances.
“I feel that if you are convicted, that’s
when your name can be released,” he
said, noting that the men had yet to have
their day in court at the time the names
were published in some media outlets.
The Blade did not report the names.

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0 6 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

Obama to attend DNC LGBT gala
NEW YORK — The Democratic
National
Committee
has
announced
that
President
Obama will attend its LGBT gala
next month.
Amy Dacey, CEO of the DNC,
in an email to supporters noted
that Abby Wambach of the U.S.
women’s soccer team and gay
actor George Takei are also
scheduled to attend the Sept. 27
event.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime
PRESIDENT OBAMA will attend the DNC’s
LGBT gala next month along with Abby
opportunity,”
wrote
Dacey.
Wambach.
“With this summer’s incredible
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY
Supreme Court ruling that made
marriage equality the law of the
land, this year’s LGBT gala will be
especially celebratory.”
The gala will take place two days after Pope Francis is scheduled to leave New
York for Philadelphia.
The U.N. General Assembly is expected to open its 2015 session on Sept. 15.
Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa was unanimously elected president of
the body last year.

Rentboy.com CEO, employees arrested
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Federal authorities on Aug. 25 arrested seven employees
of a male escort website on charges related to the promotion of prostitution.
Rentboy.com CEO Jeffrey Hurant and the six other men were taken into
custody. WNBC reported that agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security and members of the New York Police Department raided the website’s
lower Manhattan office.
The indictment alleges that Hurant and the six other defendants violated the
federal Travel Act through the promotion of prostitution. Federal authorities
on Aug. 25 also seized more than $1.4 million from six bank accounts and
proceeded to shut down Rentboy.com.
A press release from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
indicates Rentboy.com made more than $10 million between 2010-2015.
“Rentboy.com attempted to present a veneer of legality, when in fact
this Internet brothel made millions of dollars from the promotion of illegal
prostitution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie.
A federal judge on Aug. 25 released Hurant and his co-defendants on bail.
A spokesperson for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
declined to comment in response to the Washington Blade’s question about
whether federal authorities in the course of their investigation obtained records
of clients who met escorts through Rentboy.com.

NOM releases Maine donor names
AUGUSTA, Maine — The National Organization for Marriage on Aug. 24
released the names of donors who contributed to its 2009 campaign that
overturned Maine’s same-sex marriage law.
The Portland Press Herald reported seven people donated $2 million to the
campaign against the gay nuptials law. These include Richard Kurtz of Cape
Elizabeth and the Knights of Columbus, which contributed $140,000 to the effort.
The release of the names caps off a four-year battle the National Organization
for Marriage waged against Maine election officials over the release of the names.
The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices in 2014
fined the National Organization for Marriage more than $50,000 over its failure
to register as a ballot question committee or file campaign-related reports. The
Portland Press Herald reported the anti-gay organization has paid the fine and
“filed as a ballot question committee, under protest.”
Maine voters in a 2012 referendum approved marriage rights for same-sex
couples in the state.

NATIONAL NEWS

HRC co-founder’s trial
delayed as victim disappears
Youth flees after accepting
monetary settlement
from Bean in sex case
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
lchibbaro@washblade.com 
An Oregon judge earlier this month agreed
to postpone the trial of prominent gay rights
advocate and real estate developer Terry
Bean after the teenager that authorities say
Bean had sex with in 2013 when the youth
was 15 has gone into hiding.
The alleged victim, who is now 17 and
who stated through his lawyer that he
wants the charges against Bean dismissed,
fled from his home in San Diego in late July
with assistance from his mother and has
eluded efforts by police and prosecutors
to find him, according to Lane County,
Ore., prosecutor Scott Healy.
Bean, 66, and his former boyfriend,
Kiah Lawson, 25, were indicted last
November on two counts of third-degree
sodomy, a felony, and one count of thirddegree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, in
connection to allegations that they had
sex with the 15-year-old at a hotel in
Eugene in September 2013.
Both men have pleaded not guilty. The
Portland Oregonian has reported that
Lawson’s lawyer disclosed to the media
that Lawson and Bean met the 15-yearold through Grindr. The mobile phone
app enables gay and bisexual men to
meet to arrange for sexual encounters.
In early July, attorneys representing
Bean and the now 17-year-old youth
informed the court that they had reached
a civil agreement under Oregon law
that allows them to petition the court to
dismiss the criminal case against Bean.
The law gives the judge presiding over the
case the authority to accept or reject such
a settlement request.
Although the terms of the agreement
were presented to Lane County Circuit
Court Judge Charles Zennache in a closed
hearing and records of the agreement were
sealed, most court observers believe the
agreement includes a significant monetary
payment from Bean to the 17-year-old.
But on July 16, Zennache denied the
compromise proposal, prompting the
17-year-old and his mother to go into
hiding. Knowing that they couldn’t benefit
from the settlement agreement if the trial
was held, the Oregonian and other media
outlets reported that the 17-year-old
and his mother made it clear to friends
that their intent was to prevent the trial
from happening and force the case
against Bean to be dropped. Prosecutors
could not obtain a conviction without
the testimony by the alleged victim, who

TERRY BEAN, 66, was indicted on two counts
of third-degree sodomy and one count of
third-degree sexual abuse.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

would be the lead witness against Bean.
In a court filing asking the judge to
postpone Bean’s trial, which initially had
been scheduled to begin on Aug. 11,
prosecutor Healy said the 17-year-old
and his mother stopped using their cell
phones and credit cards in an effort to
avoid being found.
A new trial date has been set for Sept.
1, but court observers say the outcome of
the case remains in doubt as long as the
17-year-old continues to hide and eludes
efforts by prosecutors to serve him with a
subpoena to appear in court for the trial.
“A squad of detectives has searched
unsuccessfully for the boy and his mother
in Cottage Grove, Roseburg and Springfield,
once missing the boy by a few hours,” the
Oregonian reported Healy as saying.
Bean’s attorney, Derek Ashton, has
asked the court to dismiss the case
against Bean with prejudice, which would
prevent Bean from being prosecuted
again if the immediate charges against
him are dismissed due to the absence of
the star witness.
Bean has denied having sex with
the then 15-year-old, saying the initial
allegations of the sexual encounter were
part of a scheme by Lawson to extort
money from him following an acrimonious
breakup of their relationship.
Bean’s lawyers have suggested that
the 15-year-old initially appeared to be
collaborating with Lawson to ensnare
Bean in a months-long scheme to
intimidate him into paying them money.
Developments surrounding the charges
pending against Bean have prompted
him to curtail his once active role as a
Democratic Party fundraiser and prominent
gay rights leader. He helped raise more
than $500,000 for President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 and has traveled
with Obama on Air Force One.
Bean announced shortly after his
indictment in November that he would
step down as a member of the board of
the Human Rights Campaign, which he
helped to found in the 1980s, while his
legal problems were pending.

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0 8 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

Clinton’s LGBT backers unfazed by email controversy
‘Hillary will be a strong
general election candidate’
By CHRIS JOHNSON
cjohnson@washblade.com
Democratic presidential front-runner
Hillary Clinton has found herself in the
familiar crosshairs of Republicans and the
media amid controversy about her use of
personal email as secretary of state and
classified information reportedly found
on her server, but her supporters —
LGBT or otherwise — seem unfazed and
dismiss the controversy.
Richard Socarides, a New York-based
LGBT advocate, said the candidate “has
my enthusiastic support” despite the
ongoing controversy.
“This in spite of unprecedented attacks
from Republicans in Congress, false
reports in the media, and a barrage of
negativity from her and our Republican
opponents,” Socarides said. “I am
confident she will weather the storm and
any others that may come her way and
that she will not only be an effective leader
for LGBT Americans but for all Americans.”
The story intensified when  Clinton
turned over to the FBI her personal
server after a top intelligence official
discovered top secret information in two
emails that traveled across the server.
She also relinquished a thumb drive
that contains thousands of emails she
previously turned over to the to the State
Department. Clinton’s campaign has
insisted she’s not the target of a probe.
According to media reports, the Clinton
server was wholly unencrypted for the first
three months of her tenure as secretary
of state, which may have left sensitive
information during that period open to
hacking by foreign intelligence services.
Steve Elmendorf, a gay D.C.-based
Democratic lobbyist, said he has “no fear”
about Clinton’s potential electability as
result of the email controversy.
“She continues to beat every Republican
she’s running against,” Elmendorf said.
“Her favorables are better than any
Republican in the race. Her favorables
are better than any Democrat in the race.
I think this a long campaign … There will
be good moments and bad moments.”
Elmendorf added he has “no doubt”
Clinton is completely free of any wrongdoing
despite increased scrutiny by the media and
the Justice Department investigation.
“I think this story’s completely
manufactured by the news media,”
Elemendorf said. “I think it’s ridiculous.”
The sense among her LGBT supporters
is the controversy over her use of email
is being manufactured to produce drama
in the Democratic primary and damage
Hillary Clinton’s reputation. After all, the

HILLARY CLINTON is being criticized over her use of personal email as secretary of state.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

law that would have prohibited her use
of personal email without sending a copy
to a work account wasn’t signed into law
by President Obama until 2014 (although
officials during Clinton’s tenure urged
State Department employees to avoid
using personal email).
Hilary Rosen, a D.C.-based lesbian
Democratic activist, dismissed the email
controversy as insignificant compared to
the choice of Republican candidates.
“I am confident that Hillary Clinton will
be a strong general election candidate,”
Rosen said, “Elections are about choices.
Every one of those GOP candidates has
significant flaws — most important of
which is that they would set back LGBT
progress. I think everyone needs to stop
all this handwringing.”
Clinton herself has dismissed the
significance of the controversy, saying
she used personal email as secretary of
state out of convenience, although she
now acknowledges the decision was
anything but convenient.
But the controversy has resulted in
testy exchanges with the media. During
a news conference this week in Las
Vegas, Clinton shrugged when Fox News’
Ed Henry asked whether she wiped her
server, making an ad-homimem joke of
“like with a cloth or something?” instead
of answering the question.
According to Politico, a reporter
asked Clinton as she was exiting the
news conference whether questions
indicate the issue will continue to dog
her campaign. Her reply consisted of her
turning around and again shrugging with
her hands in the air. “Nobody talked to
me about it — other than you guys,” she’s
quoted as saying.
Elizabeth Birch, a lesbian D.C.
Democratic activist and former head
of the Human Rights Campaign, said

the email controversy is “an annoying
distraction” that will eventually fade away
and predicted Clinton will win election to
the White House, but raised questions
about Clinton’s handling of the issue.
“If I was her general counsel, I would
not have approved this,” Birch said. “I
mean, she was secretary of state in a very
challenging era and, you know, it seems
to me it never should have happened.”
Birch added Clinton’s handlers “have
not done a good job” of explaining how
information was handled during her time
as secretary of state, saying sensitive
information was handled on a secure
server completely outside of the system
from the one being analyzed now.
“I think she’s completely clear of any
wrong-doing, but I wish we didn’t have to deal
with perception issues, and this is something
that time and time again all candidates
need to learn these lessons,” Birch said. “It’s
not always about the black letter of the law;
it’s about perception, and this feeds into a
narrative that we did not need.”
The controversy may be fodder for
discussion at the upcoming double session
of the Democratic National Committee in
Minneapolis. The Democratic presidential
candidates are set to appear at the event
and talk with members of the Democratic
National Committee.
Babs Siperstein, who’s transgender and
a New Jersey member of the Democratic
National Committee, said she doesn’t
think the controversy will damage
Clinton’s electability, but intends to find
out more at the meeting.
“Based on what I’ve read and followed,
I think we can anticipate that the actual
facts will persist, certainly with the majority
of Americans and certainly over the
Republican noise machine,” Siperstein said.
Ahead of the meeting, one Democratic
bundler, who spoke on condition of

anonymity, said the email controversy isn’t
a source of concern among party donors.
“Nobody is calling to say, ‘Oh my God.
Now what do we do?’” the bundler said.
“I think people probably have a sense
that if it really got bad for Hillary, Biden
would jump in. He’s a huge hero to the
community, as Hillary is. They both are.
Some might go with Bernie Sanders,
who’s great, or would see how the others
are doing in terms of viability and support
one of them. But no, I’ve detected no
great angst about the email thing.”
The Clinton campaign didn’t respond
to the Washington Blade’s request
for  comment on the extent to which
the controversy is affecting her backing
among LGBT supporters.
According to a recent CNN/ORC poll,
Clinton’s favorability has dropped since
the email flap began, but she still remains
ahead of any Republican presidential
candidate — a possible sign Americans
don’t care about the controversy.
About 56 percent of registered voters
say she did something wrong by using
personal email as secretary of state, up
from 51 percent in March. Within the pool
of Democratic voters, the share saying
she committed no wrong-doing dipped
from 71 percent in March to 63 percent
now. Only 37 percent of independents
say she’s clear of wrong-doing.
The poll also found her highest negative
ratings since March 2001. Among all
adults, the polls finds 44 percent have a
favorable view of her compared to the 53
percent who view her unfavorably. Still,
a majority of women — 52 percent —
continue to view her favorably.
Despite her drop in favorability, Clinton
tops Republican front-runner Donald
Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
by six points each among registered
voters, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by
nine points and former Hewlett Packard
CEO Carly Fiorina by 10 points.
Rebecca Juro, a New Jersey-based
transgender activist, said the email
controversy is being used by Clinton’s
opponents for political gain, not because the
candidate broke any law, and the real focus
should be on her positions on progressive
issues. Juro supports Democratic candidate
Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.).
“There are many valid reasons for
progressives not to trust or support Hillary
Clinton for president, not the least of which
are her obvious avoidance of serious
discussion of LGBT rights other than
marriage, her snubbing of an invitation to
speak at Netroots Nation as she attends
many events for wealthy donors, her
centrist voting record, her extremely
parsed, non-committal and carefully
calculated public statements on LGBT
issues as well as her well-known ties to Wall
Street and corporate America,” Juro said.

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1 0 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

Pentagon to end trans ban in May: report
The Pentagon is poised to end its ban on openly transgender service members
on May 27.
USA Today reported it obtained a document that it says “lays out the road map
for ending the policy and highlights some of the potential issues.”
The proposed policy would allow trans service members to take a leave of
absence if they are undergoing hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery.
The document, which USA Today reported was sent to top Pentagon personnel on
Aug. 19, indicates the new regulations would also require officials to determine
whether trans service members who are receiving the aforementioned
treatments are eligible for deployment to war zones.
The report comes less than two months after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter
announced the Pentagon had begun to make final plans to lift the ban on openly
trans service members.
Carter during his July 13 announcement launched a working group to examine
the issue over the next six months.
Brad Carson, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness,
during this interim period will also have the authority to discharge service
members because of their gender identity.
“The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service
members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders
from our core missions,” said Carter when he announced the working group. “At
a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important
qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing
to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules
that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors,
airmen, and Marines — real, patriotic Americans — who I know are being hurt
by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of
service and individual merit.”
Carter first expressed his openness to allow trans service members to serve in
February during a town hall in Afghanistan.
A report the University of California, Los Angeles, released last year indicates
there are an estimated 15,000 trans service members in the U.S. military. Australia,
Canada, Israel, New Zealand and the U.K. are among the more than dozen
countries in which people can serve openly, regardless of their gender identity.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual service members have been able to serve openly
in the U.S. military since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” took effect in 2011.

Protesters decry anti-trans violence
Nearly 200 people gathered in a D.C. park on Tuesday to protest violence against
transgender women of color, part of a series of actions held throughout the country
designed to highlight anti-trans violence.
GetEQUAL, Black Lives Matter DMV and Black Youth Project 100 organized the event
that took place in Franklin Square in Northwest Washington.
Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, was among
those who attended the protest. GetEQUAL Co-Director Angela Peoples, D.C. Center
for the LGBT Community Executive Director David Mariner, Equality Maryland Interim
Executive Director Keith Thirion and Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana
Beyer also took part.
Protesters held signs reading, among other things, “black trans lives matter” and the names
and likenesses of trans women of color who have been killed in the U.S. in recent years.
“Trans lives are under attack,” said Fresco of Black Youth Project 100 into a megaphone
at the beginning of the protest. “What do we do? Stand up! Fight back!”
Protesters also read aloud the names of Deoni Jones, a trans woman who was stabbed
to death at a bus stop near her Northeast Washington home in 2012, and other trans
women of color who have been killed. Organizers simultaneously released balloons in
their memory.
Some of those who had gathered in Franklin Square later gathered in the intersection
of 14th and K streets, N.W., to protest anti-trans violence.
“We’re here today as a catalyst and a starting point and a starting platform to lift up
the struggles and the stories of black trans women, of black trans folks, gender nonconforming folks who identify as femme,” said Fresco at the beginning of the protest
inside Franklin Square. “In order for all of us to be liberated, we have to lift up and fight
for the liberation of the most marginalized folks in our community.”
Earline Budd, a long-time trans advocate in D.C., also spoke at the protest.
“The violence against our community has been enormous,” she said. “It has to stop.”

A protest in D.C. was part of a national series of actions against anti-trans violence.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Aaron Goggans of Black Lives Matter DMV, a local affiliate of the national Black Lives
Matter movement that gained prominence last summer after a white police officer shot
Michael Brown to death in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., urged black men to do
more to support trans women of color.
“Black cis men need to show up,” said Goggans as he spoke during the protest. “We
need to stand for our sisters. We need to stand for women who have been pushing this
movement.”
“I’m here because I love black trans women,” he added. “I want to support my sisters
in the movement.”
More than a dozen trans women of color have been reported killed so far in 2015,
including three whose deaths became known during a 24-hour period on Aug. 17.
Lamia Beard was shot to death in January in the Park Place neighborhood of Norfolk,
Va. Baltimore police earlier this month arrested a Hagerstown man in connection with
the 2014 murder of Mia Henderson.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Christie: Businesses ‘should not discriminate’
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last weekend said businesses “should not be allowed
to discriminate.”
“We have a system of laws in this country, and those laws need to be followed,” said
the Republican presidential candidate on Aug. 22 during an appearance at the Iowa
State Fair, according to a transcript of his remarks the Human Rights Campaign posted
to its website. “And the fact is, religious organizations should be protected from having
to do anything that violates their religious beliefs as a religious organization. That
should be protected.”
“But other businesses who want to do business, they should have to be able to do
business under the laws of our country,” added Christie. “When I take an oath of office
as governor, my oath of office is to enforce the laws of the state of New Jersey. Not the
laws I like or the laws that I agree with, but all the laws.”
“And if we don’t want to have a country of men and women but a country of laws,
where everyone is treated equally, that’s what we need to do. Religious organizations
absolutely should be protected, everyone should freely practice their religion the way
they see fit, but businesses should not be allowed to discriminate, no.”
Christie did not specifically mention anti-LGBT discrimination during his remarks, but
he made them against the backdrop of the ongoing debate over religious freedom in
the wake of June’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that extended marriage rights to same-sex
couples across the country.
The Republican governor resisted efforts to allow gays and lesbians to marry in New Jersey.
Christie in 2013 signed a law banning so-called conversion therapy to minors in his
state that a federal appeals court later upheld. The Republican governor earlier this
month once again vetoed a bill that would have allowed transgender people in his state
to legally change the gender on their birth certificates without surgery.
Christie later joked about his decision to veto the measure during an interview with
conservative radio host Michael Medved.
The New Jersey governor is among the more than a dozen Republicans who are
running for president in 2016. Polls indicate Christie continues to lag far behind
frontrunner Donald Trump.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS

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NEWS

LGBT residents impacted by D.C. crime surge
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

GLOV is a project of the LGBT Center,
located in the city’s Reeves Center municipal
building at 14th and U streets, N.W.
“GLOV is going through a transition,”
Mariner told the Blade. “So some of our
core folks are no longer a part of GLOV,
and we’re really looking at rebuilding
GLOV and figuring out what makes
the best sense for D.C. and the LGBT
community with regard to the work that

GLOV has been doing.”
Mariner said the LGBT Center is
inviting members of the community to
attend a meeting at the Center on Sept.
24 to discuss plans for restoring GLOV
to its past role as a proactive group that
closely monitors anti-LGBT crime and the
actions by D.C. police to address LGBTrelated crime.
At the same time, activists have
also expressed concern that the D.C.
Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian

VESTER LEE FLANAGAN shot himself to death after killing two former co-workers on
Wednesday.

Va. shooter was gay: report
A man suspected of shooting to death a Virginia reporter and her cameraman
during a live television broadcast on Wednesday said in a letter he faxed to ABC
News that he was gay.
The network reported that Vester Lee Flanagan, II, faxed a 23-page letter at
8:26 a.m., nearly two hours after Alison Parker and Adam Ward were shot to
death while interviewing Vicki Gardner of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional
Chamber of Commerce at a local strip mall for WDBJ in Roanoke.
WDBJ reported that Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams, was fired
in 2013 after working for the television station for less than a year. ABC News
reported that Flanagan wrote in his letter that he suffered racial discrimination,
sexual harassment and bullying while working WDBJ. Flanagan also claimed that
black men and white women attacked him for what ABC News described as
“being a gay, black man.”
“Yes, it will sound like I am angry,” wrote Flanagan, according to ABC News. “I
am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I
want to feel is peace.”
Flanagan also wrote the June shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal
Church in Charleston, S.C., that left nine people dead “sent me over the top.”
Flanagan posted several messages to his Facebook and Twitter pages after the
shooting, including a video of the moment when Parker and Ward were shot to
death. The former reporter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at Inova
Fairfax Hospital a couple of hours after police tried to pull him over on Interstate
66 in Fauquier County.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Liaison Unit – similar to police units
associated with the Latino, Asian-Pacific
Islander, and deaf and hard of hearing
communities – has curtailed its outreach
and other activities.
The reduced activities began about a
year ago when D.C. Police Chief Cathy
Lanier, faced with a shortage of patrol
officers due to a “bubble” in the number
of officers retiring, put in place a policy
of redeploying officers assigned to the
special liaison units to street patrol duties
during part of their daily or weekly duties.
Sources familiar with the GLLU have
said that the five GLLU officers assigned
to the unit’s headquarters in Dupont
Circle spend about 60 percent of their
time on non-LGBT related duties.
Police
spokesperson
Gwendolyn
Crump has said the GLLU officers remain
available to answer LGBT community
related calls even when they are working
on non-LGBT related street patrol duties.
Crump and other police officials have
said that the unit remains an active part
of the department’s effort to provide
police services to the LGBT community.
Earlier this year, Lanier named
Sgt. Jessica Hawkins as the new
supervisor of the GLLU, making her
the first transgender police official to
head the unit. While activists hailed
Hawkins’ appointment as an important
development for LGBT equality, sources
familiar with the department point out
that she, too, has been diverted from
performing full-time duties at the GLLU.
In recent months, Hawkins was assigned
to teach at the police academy, taking her
away from overseeing the unit and taking
calls on the unit’s duty phone during
times when she’s teaching classes.
The June 25 murder of gay D.C. resident
Stephon Marquis Perkins, 21, came at a
time when the city’s murder rate was rising
at a pace far greater than one year ago.
Police said Perkins was found unconscious
on the street at the intersection of 16th and
Galen streets, S.E. at 3:15 a.m. suffering
from a gunshot wound.
A police report says Perkins had been
shot in the head and was found “laying
on the ground in a pool of blood around
his head.”
Police spokesperson Crump would
neither confirm nor deny that Perkins
was gay.
“We cannot confirm details of the
decedent,” she told the Blade in an email.
“This is an ongoing investigation and a
motive has not been established. “There
have been no arrests at this time,” she
said. “The shooting occurred where the
victim was located.”
A source familiar with a coalition of
local LGBT organizations that meets
monthly with police officials called the

Violence Prevention and Response Team,
or VPART, said at least one high-level
police official told VPART members that
Perkins was gay.
“They said his mother and his boyfriend
went the hospital to see him,” the source
said. According to the source, Deputy Police
Chief Diane Groomes was among the police
officials who said Perkins was gay.
A police statement announcing the
murder said Perkins was taken to a local
hospital where he succumbed to his
injury and was pronounced dead.
Police are offering a reward of up to
$25,000 to anyone providing information
leading to the arrest and conviction of
the person or persons responsible for
Perkins’ murder. Anyone with information
about the case is being asked to contact
police at 202-727-9099.
The VPART group meets monthly at the
office of Sheila Alexander-Reid, director
of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs.
Reid told the Blade she didn’t recall any
of the police officials attending a recent
VPART meeting mentioning anything
about the Perkins murder.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was
scheduled to announce on Thursday
morning plans for her “fall public safety
agenda,” including legislative proposals.
D.C. Council members David Grosso
(I-At-Large) and Kenyan McDuffie
(D-Ward 5), who serves as chair of the
Council’s Judiciary Committee, have also
said they are considering introducing
legislation to address public safety and
crime-related matters.
“The
LGBTQ
community
is
disproportionately affected by crime in
the District of Columbia and everywhere
else,” Grosso told the Blade on Tuesday.
“And so it’s important and is a priority
of mine at the Council to make sure we
are constantly asking MPD what they’re
doing to actually make sure that there are
sufficient resources applied to address
all these crimes,” he said.
Among other things, Grosso has said
he is considering introducing legislation
to decriminalize prostitution in the
District based, among other things, on
a recent Amnesty International report
calling for worldwide decriminalization of
sex work.
Sasanka Jinadasa, Capacity Building
Resource Manager for the D.C. group
HIPS, which provides services for sex
workers, said a D.C. police crackdown
on prostitution taking place now has had
an a negative impact on all sex workers,
including transgender women involved in
that work.
She said HIPS has found that the
negative effects of criminalization has
made trans female sex workers more
susceptible to violence.

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I N T E RN A T I O N A L N E W S

ISIS focus of Security Council’s first LGBT meeting
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

briefing. Representatives from China,
Russia, Nigeria and Malaysia who were in
attendance did not speak.
A gay Iraqi man who used the
pseudonym “Adnan” to protect his identity
spoke to the council via telephone. Subhi
Nahas, a gay man from the Syrian city of
Idleb who received refugee status from the
U.N. High Commission on Refugees and
now lives in San Francisco, spoke during
the briefing on behalf of the Organization
for Refuge, Asylum and Migration.
Nahas fled to Lebanon in 2012
after Jabhat al-Nusra, a militant group
affiliated with al-Qaida, took control of
his hometown. He later moved to Turkey
where he remained until U.S. authorities
allowed him to resettle in this country.
“I have witnessed with my own eyes
the annihilation of civility and humanity
as I knew them,” Nahas told members
of the council. “For millions of Syrians
both in and outside the country, time is
running out. For my compatriots who
do not conform to gender and sexual
norms, the eleventh hour has already
passed. They need your help now.”
The Islamic State last year began
posting to its website and social media
pages images the Sunni militant group
claims showed the public executions of
men accused of engaging in sodomy.
These pictures show, among other
things, blindfolded men with their hands
tied behind their backs falling from
buildings. Reports also indicate those
living in Islamic State-controlled areas
that have been found guilty of sodomy
have also been stoned to death, executed
by firing squads and even beheaded.
“We are all horrified by ISIL’s videos
of men being thrown to their death,”
said Power in prepared remarks she
read during the council meeting. “At its
essence — it is the denial of a person’s
most basic right because of who they
are. It is ISIL deciding that, because of a
person’s sexual orientation or gender
identity, they do not deserve to live.”
Stern told reporters after the briefing
that the Islamic State has executed at
least 30 men accused of sodomy.
“It is the obligation of the international
community to take action,” she said.
Nahas said members of the Sunni
militant group sometimes force people
to attend the executions of those found
guilty of engaging in same-sex sexual acts.
He told the Blade that a gay Syrian friend
witnessed part of one of these events.
“He did not witness the whole thing
because he could not stand it,” said
Nahas. “They were taking the guy up the
building, and he ran away. He did not
witness the full execution. He witnessed

part of the execution. He was thinking of
himself and not the guy.”
Nahas told the Blade that LGBT people in
his hometown with whom he has spoken
since he fled say the situation under the
Islamic State’s control is “very, very bad.”
Nahas said they are afraid to go outside
and speak with anyone. He told the Blade that
members of the Sunni militant group target
those who are wearing jeans; don’t have a
“normal” haircut or properly trim their beards.
“You will be abused, you may be killed,”
said Nahas.
Many LGBT Syrians and Iraqis have fled
to Lebanon, Turkey and other countries
to escape the Islamic State.
Lebanese advocates with whom the
Blade spoke earlier this year said they have
heard reports of Sunni militants burning
alive men they suspect are gay. One activist
said members of the Islamic State hanged a
trans Syrian woman by her breasts.
The International Gay and Lesbian
Human Rights Commission earlier this
year launched a campaign that urges
the U.S., Canada, France, Norway, the
Netherlands, Sweden and the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees to accept
more refugees who are escaping the
Sunni militant group.
Stern during the briefing reiterated the
aforementioned call.
She called upon all U.N. agencies that
work in Iraq and Syria to implement
LGBT-specific
programs,
increased
funding for initiatives designed to assist
LGBT Iraqis and Syrians and their allies.
Stern also urged the Iraqi government
to respect freedom of expression and to
“remove barriers” that she said prevent
LGBT people from accessing services and
the country’s judicial system.
“Given the stream of constant forms of
attack by ISIS on LGBTI Iraqis and Syrians,
we think it’s of the greatest importance
that the international community be
informed about the issue, be seized
with the issue and take action,” she told
reporters after the briefing.
Nahas told the Blade that he would
support military intervention in order to
stop the Islamic State and to end the civil
war that has raged in Syria for more than
four years. He nevertheless said the U.S.,
Turkey and other allies should take part
in what he described as a “unified effort”
against the Sunni extremist group.
Scott Long, a former Human Rights
Watch staffer, on Sunday sharply
criticized the briefing in a blog post.
“At best the meeting will be useless,” he
wrote. “It’ll lead to that indolent repletion
where people feel they’ve acted when
they’ve actually done nothing. At worst,
it’s going to cause more killing.”
Stern did not specifically mention Long
when the Blade asked her to respond to

his criticisms of the briefing.
“Attention by the Security Council not
only helps send a message from the U.N.
and its members, but it also fills a gap in the
discourse about human rights violations,”
said Stern. “That discourse is where LGBTI
people are often the most vulnerable.”
Power took a similar position when
she spoke with the Blade and a handful
of other media outlets during a postbriefing conference call.
“Do we want to live in a world where ISIL’s

crimes against every other group are the
subject of outrage and horror, but somehow
the international community stays silent and
is never even forced to confront what ISIL
is doing against anyone suspected of being
LGBT,” she said in response to the Blade’s
question about Long’s criticisms of the
briefing. “Without putting these issues on the
agenda of heads of state, you’re in a world
where people live in indolently...free of even
having to confront what is going on really not
that far away.”

SHIRA BANKI, a 16-year-old girl who
was stabbed during a Jerusalem Pride
march, succumbed to her injuries on
Aug. 2.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JERUSALEM OPEN HOUSE

Suspect in Jerusalem attack
charged with murder
Israeli prosecutors on Monday formally indicated an ultra-Orthodox Jewish
man in connection with last month’s attack on a Jerusalem Pride march that left
a teenager dead and five others injured.
The Times of Israel reported the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office charged
Yishai Schlissel with premeditated murder for allegedly stabbing Shira Banki to
death with a butcher’s knife during the July 30 incident. The newspaper also
noted that local prosecutors charged the ultra-Orthodox Jewish man with five
counts of attempted murder and other charges.
The attack sparked outrage across Israel and around the world, with Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro
among those who condemned it.
An Israeli court convicted Schlissel of attempted murder and aggravated
assault in connection with the stabbing of three people during a 2005 Pride
march in Jerusalem. He was released from prison less than a month before the
July 30 attack after serving a 10-year sentence.
A psychiatrist told a Jerusalem court earlier this month that Schlissel is
competent to stand trial.
Schlissel made a brief statement on Monday during his arraignment.
“The Pride parade must be canceled to elevate Shira Banki’s soul,” he told
the court, according to the Times of Israel. “If you care for her well-being, you
must cease this blasphemy against God. The parades bring harsh decrees upon
Israel.”
Tom Canning of Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, a local LGBT
advocacy group that organized the Pride parade, told the Washington Blade that
he welcomes the indictments.
“Where authorities failed in protecting LGBT Jerusalemites at Jerusalem Pride,
we expect that authorities not fail in bringing Yishai Schlissel to justice,” said
Canning. “In a sound mind, Schlissel came to our event with the intention of
killing LGBT people and succeeded and we expect that he receive the most
severe punishment possible for this hate crime.”
MICHAEL K. LAVERS

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

16 • A U G U S T 28, 2015

BA LT I MO RE N E W S

City renames intersection to honor Hippo owner
Referring to Chuck Bowers, the owner of the Club Hippo, as “a major catalyst
for the LGBT community,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake along with
Council member Eric Costello announced that the name of the intersection of
Eager Street and Charles Street where the club is located will be called “Chuck
Bowers Way.” They handed Bowers a replica of the street sign at a private party
held at the Hippo on Aug. 22 in front of 260 invited guests.
The Hippo is scheduled to close later this year after 42 years as a focal point of
LGBT social life in Baltimore. The building will be converted to a CVS drugstore,
prompting Rawlings-Blake to quip, “I suppose I’ll have to celebrate my birthdays
and play bingo in aisle three.”
The party preceded the sold-out “Last Dance Disco Party” later that evening,
which is one of a series of events leading up to the club’s closing.

PFLAG chapter to receive award
The Columbia-Howard County chapter of PFLAG has been selected as one of
the two 2015 Chapter Award winners in the category of Support. PFLAG National
is honoring the chapter for its work in coordinating the Gender Conference East
event in November 2014 in Baltimore.
“Gender Conference East demonstrates the powerful work that PFLAG
Columbia-Howard County does to support transgender and gender-expansive
children, their parents, their families, and the professionals who work with them,”
PFLAG National said in a statement. “In partnership with Gender Spectrum and
the Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project, Gender Conference East was a
multiple day conference that included a Professional Symposium and a Family &
Youth Day. The event was so successful that planning is already well under way
for the next conference in November 2015.”
The award will be presented on Oct. 18 as part of the PFLAG National
Convention’s awards luncheon.
“Our chapter is so excited about winning this award for the area of support
around our work in putting on Gender Conference East,” Susan Garner, chapter
president, told the Blade.

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The Fairness for All Marylanders Act (FAMA) was passed in the Maryland
General Assembly in 2014. The law, which bars discrimination based on gender
identity in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit, went into
effect last Oct. 1.
In partnership with Equality Maryland, FreeState Legal Project, a Baltimorebased non-profit that provides legal assistance to low income LGBT individuals,
developed a legal guide (freestatelegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/FAMAToolKit-Brochure.pdf) for those transgender individuals and advocates who
believe their rights are being denied.

Head of AIRS to depart
F.T. Burden, the head of AIDS Interfaith Residential Services (AIRS) and Empire
Homes of Maryland (EHM) is leaving Sept. 4 after 15 years to take over the
leadership of Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland.
“During Mr. Burden’s tenure with the organizations, AIRS and its subsidiaries
have grown significantly,” the group said in a statement. “Under his leadership,
Mr. Burden raised the awareness and credibility of AIRS and EHM, establishing
solid relationships with government officials, foundation heads and civic
leaders.”
Under Burden, AIRS undertook a number of new initiatives and programs,
including City Steps, a consortium of supportive transitional and permanent
housing programs for homeless and unstably housed youth ages 18-24.
The group’s board appointed Anthony Butler to serve as interim head of AIRS,
and a search committee has been formed to find a permanent replacement.
STEVE CHARING

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

H E A L TH NEW S

A U G U S T 28, 2015 • 17

Study: Most gay male teens not getting tested
CHICAGO — Young men who have sex with men have the highest risk for
HIV infection, but only one in five has ever been tested for HIV, a much lower
rate than testing for non-adolescents, reports a new national Northwestern
Medicine study conducted in partnership with the Center for Innovative Public
Health Research.
The greatest barriers to these teenage males getting tested are not knowing
where to go to get an HIV test, worries about being recognized at a testing site
and, to a lesser degree, thinking they are invincible and won’t get infected,
researchers announced in a press release. The study was scheduled for
publication this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Between June and November 2014, the study enrolled a national sample of
302 gay, bisexual and queer males ages 14-18 into a text messaging-based HIV
prevention program (Guy2Guy). Questions about their HIV-testing behaviors
were included in the study. The researchers found only 20 percent of the teenage
boys had ever been tested for HIV, a rate that is much lower than what other
studies have found with adult gay and bisexual men. A 2008 national Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored study of men who have sex with
men found 75 percent of men ages 18 to 19 reported they had been tested for
HIV, for example.
The findings suggest testing can be increased by providing young men with an
easy way to find nearby testing sites via text messaging or online programs and
by opening testing sites in high schools.

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Illinois bans ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy
WASHINGTON — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed into law legislation
that would ban “ex-gay” conversion therapy for LGBT minors, making his state
the fourth in the country in addition to D.C. to prohibit the widely discredited
practice.
The governor’s office quietly announced Rauner, a Republican, penned his
name on Thursday to the legislation, House Bill 217, as part of a group of 17 bills.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) in the Illinois House, will
bar licensed medical professionals from changing a minor’s sexual orientation
and gender identity through conversion therapy, a practice discredited by major
medical and psychological groups. The legislation takes effect Jan. 1.
Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, said the new law means LGBT
people in Illinois “are protected from dangerous and coercive efforts to change
who they truly are.”
Illinois is the fourth state to enact a prohibition of “ex-gay” therapy in addition
to D.C. Other bans exist in California, New Jersey and Oregon. Bisexual Gov. Kate
Brown signed into law her state’s ban on conversion therapy in May.
Rauner isn’t the first Republican governor to sign a conversion therapy into
law. That distinction belongs to Republican presidential candidate and New
Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who approved such a measure in 2013.

CHRIS JOHNSON

University of Miss. launches LGBT clinic
OXFORD, Miss. — The University of Mississippi Medical Center Department
of Psychiatry and Human Behavior this summer launched an LGBT clinic faculty
members there say will help fill a gap in mental health services for the state’s
LGBT residents, hottoddy.com, a Southern news agency, reports. 
The LGBT Clinic at the Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center is the first of
its kind in the state, a project of the school’s new Division of Gender, Sexuality
and Health. Kim Gratz, a professor and researcher there, is overseeing a new
LGBT health program as well as a women’s health program, hottoddy.com
reports. 
“There is a perception that some physicians are homophobic and that makes
the patient reluctant to come out,” said Dr. Scott Rodgers, chair of the University
of Mississippi Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior.
“Staying hidden is an unhealthy way of living your life.”
The LGBT Clinic offers psychiatric care as well as psychotherapy to a population
making up 2-5 percent of the state’s inhabitants, by Rodgers’ estimate.
“We want them to know they can come to a place that is accepting and where
they can get competent care,” Gratz told hottoddy.com. 








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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

1 8 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

IN S IDE L G B T W ASH I N G T O N

VOLUME

46

ISSUE

35

ADDRESS

PO Box 53352
Washington DC 20009
PHONE

Time to tackle crime spree
Mayor, police chief should
call citywide meeting

PETER ROSENSTEIN is a D.C.-based LGBT rights
and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly
for the Blade.

It is frightening to see an innocent
young man bludgeoned on the metro and
another killed by a stray bullet in Shaw.
It is frightening to see a child and her
mother killed in Southeast and for people
to see loved ones murdered and feel they
can’t walk safely on their street or be safe
in their homes fearing children with guns.
It’s time for the mayor and police chief
to call a citywide meeting to solicit ideas
and solutions. Bring people together
and get buy-in from the community for
change. Black, white, straight, LGBT, Latino, Asian from every Ward in the city —
we need to come together before we lose
more generations to violence and before
we all feel unsafe on our streets.
Many factors are contributing to this
new spate of violence. Too many guns on
the street and in homes; too many drugs
on the streets; new designer drugs being sold; high rates of poverty and a life
where you can’t see a better future because of lack of opportunity and lack of
community or parental support. We know
without a good education your opportunities in life are limited but we also know
that even for many with a great education
racism still limits opportunity.
As a gay man I have been discriminated
against but in reality only when I have announced I am gay. I will fight every day
to make sure the LGBT community is accepted everywhere and for new legislation banning discrimination, but the difference is my African-American friends
can’t hide and, dammit, they must be able
to live in a nation where they are safe and

have an equal opportunity to live up to
their God-given potential.
We are not going back to being the
murder capital. In 1991, there were 479
murders in the District. In 2014, there
were 105. This year as of Aug. 21, there
were 98, a 36 percent increase over last
year. Still, since 1995 overall violent crime
in the District has gone down by 54.2 percent and property crime by 49.8 percent.
We know one murder is one too many.
Chief Lanier recently invited police chiefs
from major cities across the nation to
D.C. to figure out what is going on and
what can be done about it, but we have
yet to see real results from that meeting
or hear what will be done. I am not blaming Chief Lanier, who has led the MPD
during the time we have seen the biggest
decrease in crime. It will take communities themselves to make a dent in this
murder spree; we all have to do something to make real change.
I recently watched a video of Hillary
Clinton’s meeting with representatives of
the Black Lives Matter movement. What
she told them is right. You could fill Yankee Stadium many times over with people
who say they aren’t racist and agree we

need to do more. But that won’t solve the
issue.
Changing hearts and minds takes
generations. In the current climate
where we are losing a generation of
young black men, we don’t have the
time to wait generations for change.
We need to make change today. Years
after we passed voting rights legislation
people are trying to turn back the clock
so vigilance is also crucial so we don’t
move backwards.
Clearly neither the leaders of the Black
Lives Matter movement nor any politician
trying to respond to them have all the answers. We know as a society we need to
work together to come up with solutions.
We need to make change in D.C. today. It may be a new law or policy; a
change in policing structure; closing
down drug operations; or adding more
police and increasing salaries to attract
more recruits to the MPD. This is not
the 1990s but we need to find solutions
before it gets worse. We can make a
real difference if we work together to
solve the underlying issues that produce crime and devastate families and
communities.

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CO MM UNI K A TE

A U G U ST 2 8 , 2 0 1 5 • 1 9

Ready for this effing summer to end
Endless bad news has me
swearing like a sailor

KATE CLINTON is a humorist who has
entertained LGBT audiences for 30 years. Her
monthly column appears exclusively in the
Blade. Reach her via kateclinton.com.

This year’s Labor Day, the unofficial end
of summer, is Sept. 7. I never thought I
would say this, but if I had school-age children I would have said it mid-July — I am
so ready to have this summer of 2015 end.
Of course the end of June was a joyous
victory for federal marriage equality, and
we partied like we were the Secret Service. But our joy that day was tempered
by the violence in Charleston, S.C.
Summer has been endless.
July was a brutal, steamy march in the
ongoing war on women. ISIS, divinely

inspired by its own “theology of rape,”
continued enslaving and raping women.
A high school senior, and would-be divinity student, was tried for allegedly raping
a freshman girl to boost his scores in the
school’s so-called ‘Senior Salute.’ Antichoice terrorists started another video assault in the unrelenting campaign to shut
down Planned Parenthood. Bill Cosby.
August was spent binge-watching the

larger. As does his red hat.
Then a woman, a fair and balanced Fox
debate moderator, calls him out for calling women pigs and fat slobs. He replies
by insulting women who bleed from he’s
not sure where. She’s fired! Or sent on an
unplanned two-week vacation. Trump is
pig-slob triumphant.
Trump has made himself the anger
translator for the downtrodden whom he

I have not sworn like this since Bush,
the Most Recent, stole the election.
Armageddon. The cliffhanger in each
week’s episode was, “Is this the week The
Donald will finally blow up and go away?”
One week, Trump insults immigrants
in language profane and inhumane. That
ought to do it! No. His crowds love him.
Almost as much as he loves himself. And
he wants a wall at the border.
Next week, he insults the heroism
of John McCain and veterans. Oh no he
didn’t! He’s toast! No. The crowds grow

trod down. And he has made the rabid
Republican Teahaddist also-rans look like
moderate choirboys and choirgirl.
He has made me start swearing like a
sailor again. And I mean no insult to sailors, especially any women trying to become Navy Seals.
I have not sworn like this since Bush,
the Most Recent, stole the election. Or
since he invaded Iraq and started the cascading Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS shit-storm,

which should have put him in fucking jail
by now.
See what I mean? If I’m swearing
like this in print, you can imagine what
hashtag hell it’s like in person.
Both my dear partner and I are trying to
ramp down the language. But it is hard to
give up the word ‘fuck.’ That one-syllable
word with the opening fricative F sound,
the middle ‘uhn’ sound and the voiceless
plosive K sound at the end is so satisfying.
Fucking is so satisfying. We don’t want to
be pills against women’s sexual arousal.
Most of August we have tried alternatives. There are none. No single syllable
words anyway. And certainly not the ‘effing’ or ‘fecking’ variants.
We are trying to use our words. Instead
of saying ‘fuck’ we have been substituting
‘white privilege.’ When Trump does something outrageous, every day, instead of a
neck-vein popping, “What the fuck?” we
say, “What the white privilege?”
During September, instead of saying
‘shit,’ we are going to practice substituting
‘class struggle.’ Instead of “Shit happens,”
we’ll say, “Class struggle happens.”
Fall can’t happen soon enough.

V I E W PO I N T

Julian Bond: ‘A warrior’ who helped conquer hate
Civil rights icon devoted life
to social justice

KATHI WOLFE is a writer, poet and regular
contributor to the Blade. She can be reached
through this publication.

Many of us wouldn’t want to meet the
renowned leaders who we most respect
because we suspect we’d be disappointed no matter how iconic they are.
Yet, anyone who believes in justice,
appreciates humor, and relishes poetry,
would have loved to have a taken a selfie
with Julian Bond, the civil rights leader,
former NAACP chairman, marriage equality supporter, TV commentator and poet,
who died at 75 on Aug. 15 from vascular
disease complications.
Bond is remembered by political and
civil rights leaders and friends, queer

and straight, for his tireless commitment
to social justice from his leadership as a
20-year-old co-founder of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to
his climate-change activism to his support for marriage equality.
Bond was a student of Martin Luther
King, Jr. at Morehouse College. After
dropping out to work with SNCC, Bond
received his bachelor’s from Morehouse
in 1971. In 1965, Bond at 25 was elected
to the Georgia State Legislature where
he served for 20 years. In 1966, the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled against white legislators who said he shouldn’t be seated.
During the 1968 Democratic National
Convention, Bond, at age 28, was nominated for vice president. Though Bond
was too young to be vice president, his
nomination was a powerful statement of
protest.
Bond was NAACP chair from 1998 to
2010. He taught at the University of Virginia and American University. He’s featured
in the new documentary “Rosenwald” on
Julius Rosenwald, a philanthropist, who
funded schools for African Americans in
the Jim Crow South.
“Julian Bond was a hero and, I’m privileged to say, a friend,” President Obama

said of Bond in a statement. “Justice and
equality was the mission that spanned his
life — from his leadership of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to
his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Project. ”
“Julian Bond was one of a kind,” tweeted Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who defeated
Bond in a close 1986 congressional race.
“We worked together in the Civil Rights
Movement and he became one of my
closest and dearest friends.”
Lots of us in phases of our lives join
flash mob protests for social change,
campaign for our fave presidential candidate, engage in politics or work with
low-paying, socially engaged non-profits.
After these stints end, many of us move
on to other things. Equal rights advocacy
wasn’t a mere phase for Bond. For more
than half a century, narrating the awardwinning PBS documentary “Eyes on the
Prize” to teaching at the University of Virginia and American University, he worked
for social justice.
Some people who we admire lack
charisma or a sense of humor. This
wasn’t the case with Bond, who in 1977
was the first black political leader to
appear on “Saturday Night Live.” Cos-

mopolitan magazine said he was one
of the 10 sexiest men in the country. In
his youth, his friend Charlayne HunterGault recalled in the New Yorker, Bond
wrote this poem at a party, “See that
girl/Shake that thing./We can’t all be/
Martin Luther King.”
“Julian was more ensconced in the
movement for human rights throughout his lifetime than any of us,” Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington,
D.C.’s delegate to Congress, said of
Bond to NPR.
Bond passionately believed in justice
for everyone – including LGBT people.
“God seems to have made room in his
plan for same-sex marriage,” he wrote
in a 2011 letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun. “He will no doubt do the same
for same-sex marriage.”
“As chairman emeritus of the NAACP, I
know a little something about fighting for
what’s right and just,” Bond said in a 2011
Marylanders for Marriage Equality video.
HRC President Chad Griffin said of
Bond in a statement, “Future generations
will look back on his life ... and see a warrior for good who helped conquer hate in
the name of love.”
Julian Bond, RIP.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

2 0 • A UGUS T 2 8 , 2015

VIEWPOINT

Above the keyboard warriors’ din
Artists and activists overcome
the background noise

RICHARD J. ROSENDALL is a writer and activist.
Reach him at rrosendall@starpower.net.

Hyenas would be better conversationalists, I sometimes think as I scan political arguments on social media. This is not unlike a
Republican presidential debate, where a Bad
Lip Reading parody is just as enlightening as
the original.
When former President Jimmy Carter
spoke candidly and with good humor last
week about his cancer, millions were inspired
by his serenity, humility and grace. But the
next day, Republican presidential candidate
Ted Cruz attacked him. When I said on Facebook that I recently read Carter’s 2006 book
“Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” and found it
fair and reasonable, I was met with scorn by

someone who had not read it.
This reckless speed is all too common
in public forums. So let us look at a few examples of activists and artists rising above
the din of the keyboard warriors to propose
useful reforms or tell their stories in ways that
help us see differently.
After weeks of squabbles by various people
over direct-action tactics in the Black Lives Matter movement, policy solutions were issued by
activists DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett and Samuel Sinyangwe. The
effort, called Campaign Zero, is described as
a “comprehensive platform to create systems
and structures to end police violence.” Their
detailed plans (see joincampaignzero.org) are
informed proposals by practical public policy
advocates, notwithstanding sniping and trivializing like that of a self-described anarchist I
encountered on Twitter.
The #CampaignZero planning team writes,
“Police in England, Germany, Australia, Japan,
and even cities like Newark, N.J., and Richmond, Calif., demonstrate that public safety
can be ensured without killing civilians. By implementing the right policy changes, we can
end police killings and other forms of police
violence in the United States.”
Dr. Dre, a producer of the movie “Straight
Outta Compton,” made clever use of social

media for viral marketing with a meme generator (straightouttasomewhere.com) created by his Beats by Dre audio brand. The film
powerfully portrays the emergence of hiphop group N.W.A. and its protest music out
of a violent late-1980s urban milieu. From exploitive music execs to police who act like an
occupying army, it feels all too contemporary.
The movie, however, has drawn criticism
for the rappers’ disrespect toward women
and the glaring double standard by which
male promiscuity is taken for granted while
sexually active women are stigmatized. Dr.
Dre, responding to criticism that the film
omits his violence toward women, apologized for that violence. Blue Telusma at The
Grio responded that words are not enough,
and suggested he contribute to domestic violence charities.
By using the film’s high profile to confront
a troubling legacy, the critics did not shut
down a conversation but expanded it. The
songs retain their impact because they capture something real. When “Fuck tha Police”
stirs us, it is not just about a movie but about
current injustice. What to do about misogyny
and police violence is a question for us, not
just for Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.
Finally, Amy Wallace reports for Wired on a
battle over white supremacy, misogyny, and

homophobia in the science fiction world, and
how they were resisted at the Hugo Awards
in Spokane, Wash., last weekend. Fans registered in historic numbers and voted “No
Award” in categories where a group dedicated to white male dominance had exploited
arcane rules to control the list of nominees.
A leader of that group once called fantasy author N. K. Jemisin, who is black, an “educated
but ignorant half-savage” on his blog. The
fans pushing back against this oddly earthbound myopia echo those of the 1950s documented by the One Archives in Los Angeles
who were early LGBT activists.
Each of us decides whom to follow, whom
to block and how and when to respond. It
is up to us to tell the signal from the noise.
Rather than censoring and sanitizing divergent voices, we need a multiplicity of them,
along with restless people searching for connections to forge new art and new politics.
Glib put-downs on social media are about
ritual display, not advancing understanding.
The discerning and dedicated few make the
breakthroughs that lead to beneficial change,
like an old statesman focused on eradicating
guinea worm disease across the world despite his own terminal illness.
Copyright © 2015 by Richard J. Rosendall.
All rights reserved.

VIEWPOINT

Enough is enough — Sanders stands for real reform
Say no to Wall Street’s influence
when casting your vote
By JEFFREY HOPS
Let’s start with the basics: Over the past decade, full LGBT civil rights has become a core
platform plank of the Democratic Party, and
all the current candidates for the Democratic
nomination for president are supportive of
LGBT issues, even those candidates that may
have been resistant to LGBT rights in the past.
While Bernie Sanders may have been ahead
of his time to advocate for gay rights as early
as 1971, we are truly blessed that in 2015, all
our Democratic presidential candidates take
our side and understand our issues.
This is true not only of LGBT issues, but of
almost all the issues that concern Democratic
voters. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin
O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Vice President
Biden all support a living wage for workers,
expanded opportunities for employment,
comprehensive educational assistance, truly
progressive taxation; meaningful campaign
finance reform; humane immigration policy;
action to fight global warming; women’s economic and reproductive rights; racial justice;

and substantial reform of our criminal justice
system. Meanwhile, the Republican Party offers nothing but a smorgasbord of homophobia, racism, sexism, xenophobia, warmongering, reality-denial, bluster and pandering to the
worst prejudices of the plutocracy.
The recent sharp stock market sell-off,
based on global economic instability and continued weak growth, have reminded us that
in many respects, the “Great Recession” is not
over, and that the reforms that should have
been implemented to prevent its recurrence
have fallen short. Since 2009, the power of
Wall Street has repeatedly intervened to block
legislation, regulation and prosecution. Investment bankers, CEOs, hedge fund managers
have taken the economic productivity gains
of the last three decades for themselves, while
the standard of living for lower-income Americans has actually decreased. During the Great
Recession, the banks were bailed out, but not
people.
The hundreds of thousands of people who
have become involved in Bernie Sanders’
presidential campaign and gone to his rallies
are responding to the reality that American
democracy has become corrupted by the vast
tidal waves of Wall Street and corporate cash.
Banks, oil companies, corporate lobbyists, law

firms, venture capitalists and defense contractors have the ears (and other parts) of our
elected officials. But children in poverty, the
mother who works three jobs, the college student with $100,000 of debt do not. Sen. Sanders’ supporters instinctively understand that
presidential candidates that have received
millions of dollars in corporate contributions
are not going to bite the hands that feed them.
Sanders’ supporters are saying, “Enough is
enough.”
The Bernie Sanders campaign is not about
Bernie himself; it is about demonstrating to
the country that candidates that truly speak
for the people can run and win, and about
building a movement of federal, state and
local candidates not beholden to corporate
sponsorship. We want to show that left-wing
candidates can win without the blessing of the
establishment media who, for the most part,
dismiss low-cash campaigns as quixotic and
unworthy of attention. The Sanders campaign
wants to show that free social media and good
old-fashioned people power can overcome
the dynamics that, according to a recent wellknown Princeton study, have already turned
our democracy into an oligarchy.
Establishment Washington, naturally, is
skeptical of the Sanders campaign, believ-

ing, as it always has, in “incremental change,”
“working within the system” and in “not letting
the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
As a result, Democratic as well as Republican elected officials continually make concessions to a small cadre of the ultra-wealthy and
corporate donors who have set the parameters of acceptable debate. Many Democrats
continue to support job-killing trade deals and
the fossil fuel economy long past the time
when their deleterious effects have been conclusively demonstrated. “Pragmatism” has
co-opted both our passion and our compassion. And as a result, we edge ever closer to
a future where the middle class of the United
States has been eviscerated, where a few oligarchs own everything and the rest us are left
to homelessness, squalor, disease, starvation
and environmental catastrophe. In so many
countries around the world, this is already the
reality. This is the vision to which the American
oligarchy aspires.
It is time for all of us to stand up and say,
with Sen. Sanders, “Enough is Enough!”
JEFFREY HOPS, a resident of Columbia Heights,
is an  attorney. He has  previously served on
the  board of the Gertrude Stein Democratic
Club and as a congressional staffer.

W A SH I N GTO NB LAD E.C OM

A U G U ST 2 8 , 2 0 1 5 • 2 1

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This psychotherapy group offers a safe place to
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Coming Out of Marriage
Societal and Internalized Homophobia
Stages of Coming Out
Unique Issues in Parenting
Negative Effects from Family of Origin Issues
Finding Intimate Relationships

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W A SH I N G T O N BLA D E . CO M

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON
VISIT US AT CFA.GMU.EDU

An Evening With
Bernadette Peters

RIOULT Dance NY

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 AT 8 P.M.
We are delighted to present an unforgettable evening of show
tunes and showstoppers by Broadway superstar and two-time
Tony winner (Song and Dance, Annie Get Your Gun) Bernadette
Peters. “The first lady of musical theater.” (The New York
Times) “Bernadette Peters is one of the glories of the modern
American musical theater.” (The Washington Post) Don’t miss out!
$100, $85, $60
This performance is part of the ARTS by George! benefit.

TICKETS

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9 AT 8 P.M.
Over more than two decades this exquisite ensemble has
established a sterling reputation for blending breathtakingly
beautiful movement with luminous symphonic works by Bach,
Ravel, Stravinsky, and Mozart, creating contemporary dance
that is truly sublime. They enchanted our audience three
seasons ago, and we are very pleased to have them return, this
time with an all-Bach program that includes such awe-inspiring
works as Views of the Fleeting World, City, Polymorphous, and
Celestial Tides.
$48, $41, $29

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Aquila Theatre
Romeo and Juliet

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11 AT 7 P.M
William Shakespeare’s immortal tale of the star-crossed lovers
falling victim to family hatred is brought to our stage by the
acclaimed British-American troupe. Filled with romance, hope,
and tragedy – and Shakespeare’s delicate prose – Romeo and
Juliet has saddened but also pleased the hearts of theater lovers
for centuries. “Beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing, and
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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

VOLUME

46

ISSUE

35

AUGUST

28

2015

PAGE

23

PhazeFest last year was held at
Phase 1 in Southeast Washington.
The event has two new locations
this year.

WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY DAMIEN SALAS

Queer music event
severs ties with lesbian
bar that birthed it
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO
joeyd@washblade.com
It was never a given that PhazeFest
would return for a ninth installment.
The annual queer music festival, the
brainchild of Angela Lombardi, was
seemingly inextricably linked to its

namesake — Phase 1, the famed lesbian
Capitol Hill nightclub that has been a
staple of local queer nightlife since it
opened in 1970. For nine years, Lombardi
managed the bar but things soured in
recent years with her relationship with
Phase 1 owner Allen Carroll. It reopened
in late March after closing abruptly in
January for renovations. 
PhaseFest, as it was initially known,
started in 2006 and though always a
small event, made a name for itself with
acts like Hunter Valentine, Kaki King,
MEN, Clinical Trials, Sick of Sarah and

more. It typically draws between 500600 attendees, some from out of town.
In 2012 about 1,000 attended over the
course of what was then a three-day
event. Many acts return year after year.
Though PhazeFest was typically always
the last weekend of September, it’s slated
for Labor Day weekend this year. 
Lombardi has always championed
the event as a platform and safe space
for queer rockers. Though she now
spends most of her time in Chico, Calif.,
where she works with her brother at the
Maltese, a straight bar that also hosts gay

events, she comes back to Washington
monthly for lesbian parties she runs
under the name Tang (formerly Scandal).
When she was here in June for a series of
Pride-related parties, she says it became
obvious PhazeFest, as she spells it now,
should continue.
“Several people asked me about it and I
could tell it was really an event that meant
a lot to a lot of people so I kind of thought
if it was possible, then why not do it,”
she says. “It’s a cool thing, it puts queer
CONTINUES ON PAGE 33

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

2 4 • A UGUS T 2 8 , 2015

Q U E E RY : 2 0 Q U E ST I O N S F O R MA RT H A E RT MA N

MARTHA ERTMAN
How long have you been out and who
was the hardest person to tell?
Since my first year of college in 1982 and
my mom was the hardest, by far.
PHOTO BY SHITAL C. SHAH

By JOEY DiGULIELMO
joeyd@washblade.com
Martha Ertman is big on legal contracts. She spent much of the last two
decades writing scholarly articles about all sorts of issues related to her day job
as a law professor at the University of Maryland Carey Law School and decided
to turn her contract finessing into a book she hopes others will learn from. 
“Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of
Families” was released in May and explores issues such as reproductive
technology, adoption, living together, marriage and more.
“I wanted to share these lessons, which are largely empowering, about how
people can use contracts to ensure that the people they think of as family are
treated as such by the law,” the 50-something, Boston native says. “I had a
baby with a gay man — using contracts — and then folded in the woman who
became my wife as a third parent, again using contracts. As my students say,
I’m evangelical about contracts and want to share the good news of how they
can support love relationships.” 
She calls the book — available on Amazon and at Politics & Prose for varying
prices — a “mix of memoir and law written in a lively, often irreverent tone to
get some lessons about law to people outside of universities.”
Ertman came to Washington in the summer of 2006 to take a teaching job
and in the hope of finding love, which she did. She and her partner, Karen
Lash, and son (to whom she gave a pseudonym in her book to protect his
identity), live in American University Park. Ertman enjoys stained glass, yoga
and gardening in her free time.

Who’s your LGBT hero?
Oscar Wilde — stylish, funny, brilliant,
great writer and loyal friend
What’s Washington’s best
nightspot, past or present? 
El Chucho, 11th Avenue, N.W. 
Describe your dream wedding.
The one I got, in 2009: minimal planning
drama; 100 friends & family; huppah
made by our guests; our son and
baby daddy resplendent in matching
seersucker suits and checkered Vans.
What non-LGBT issue are
you most passionate about?
Anything about Hillary Clinton; women’s
colleges
 
What historical outcome
would you change?
I’d have the Founding Fathers abolish
slavery in the Constitution.
What’s been the most memorable pop
culture moment of your lifetime?
Ellen DeGeneres coming out on her TV
show in 1997.
On what do you insist?
Cloth napkins at the dinner table and
minimal eating noises.
 
What was your last
Facebook post or Tweet?
“Ever fume about a boss or colleague
who refuses to value the “office
housekeeping” that keeps the ship
afloat? Check out this Harvard Business
Review argument for new terminology
— “tending” — that shows how everyone
can benefit from properly valuing that
work.”

202.747.2077

If your life were a book,
what would the title be?
“Love’s Promises,” the book I just wrote
tells the story about gay friends having

a baby together and includes stories
about other people in families that I call
“Plan B” — created through reproductive
technologies, adoption and living
together.
 
If science discovered a way
to change sexual orientation,
what would you do?
Mourn, then organize against its use.
 
What do you believe in beyond
the physical world? 
The Unitarian version of God, a smart,
friendly entity without a gender.
 
What’s your advice for LGBT
movement leaders?
Continue to collaborate with activists for
racial and economic and youth justice:
we are one of the only groups that is
everywhere.
What would you walk
across hot coals for?
 
What LGBT stereotype
annoys you most?

My son.

Dumpy lesbians.
 
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“The Kids are Alright”
What’s the most overrated
social custom?
Small talk — I’m forever getting in
trouble for asking intrusive questions.
 
What trophy or prize do
you most covet?
Family Equality Council naming my
book “Love’s Promises” their 2015
Family Week book club pick — plus
Curve magazine named it a “queer girl”
summer reading pick.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That if I could bear to wait, everything
would turn out fine.
Why Washington?
Lively, young and best city ever for
transplants.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

T HE ATE R

A U G U S T 28, 2015 • 25

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER MUELLER

LAWRENCE REDMOND (Grahame Chandler) and the cast of ‘The Fix’ at Signature Theatre.

Political musical mostly
works despite weak libretto
By PATRICK FOLLIARD
“The Fix,” a musical about the underbelly
of American politics, got its start across the
pond. Originally titled “Cal: A Musical Tale of
Relative Insanity,” this story of a profligate
scion whose Machiavellian family pushes
him into the political limelight, premiered
in London in 1997.
A year later, a renamed and reworked
version staged by out director Eric
Schaeffer opened stateside at Signature
Theatre in the company’s garage space.
Now it’s back at Signature (in far grander
digs), further tweaked and again helmed
by Schaeffer.
The action begins kicks off with Sen.
Reed Chandler (Bobby Smith) croaking
in flagrante delicto underneath a hooker.
Eager to maintain power, his ambitious
widow Violet (Christine Sherrill) and
advisor brother Grahame (Lawrence
Redmond), whose own political career
was waylaid by polio (don’t tell FDR
that), conspire to make something of the
Senator’s prodigal son Cal (Mark Evans),
a ne’er do well who’d gladly spend his
future smoking weed in his bedroom in
the family home.
After an intensive overhaul that
includes a stint in the armed services,
wardrobe changes, instruction from a
chain-smoking voice coach (Tracy Lynn
Olivera), and marriage to a dim debutante
(Jessica Lauren Ball), Cal is pushed into the
political arena with an eye on eventually
reaching the White House. But drugs,
women, dirty politics, mob connections
and a modicum of integrity get in the way.
Despite what may sound like a juicy
storyline, “The Fix” suffers from a severely
thin libretto penned by John Dempsey.
And while Signature’s website warns
about the show’s adult language, sexual
content, drug use and smoking, it would
do better to prepare audiences for

cheap jokes that rarely land. Ideally a fix
for “The Fix” would entail contacting the
late master librettist Arthur Laurents via
medium for a rewrite.
Still, Signature’s stalwart talents led by
director Schaeffer deliver an entertaining
evening
with
Matthew
Gardiner’s
vigorous choreography, Jon Kalbfleisch’s
reliably stellar music direction, a vocally
top notch 19-person cast and a strong
design team including ubiquitous set
designer Misha Kachman, who’s created
a slick White House façade festooned
with video screens alternately displaying
incriminating photos, teleprompter copy
and news updates.
At times evocative of “Evita” and
“Chicago,” Dempsey (lyrics) and Dana P.
Rowe’s (music) mostly pop-rock score
with references to gospel, jazz and a little
vaudeville, is impressively performed.
Like the first act, the second features
some unsatisfying exposition. But there
are highlights: “Child’s Play,” a poignant
moment of self-discovery, showcases
Evans’ gorgeous voice and ability to act a
song. Similarly, Violet’s “Spin” performed
powerfully by Sherrill in underwear and a
wig cap, shows cracks in her character’s
villainy.
As Cal, square-jawed Evans embodies
the prototype young up and comer.
Sherrill and Redmond make great heavies,
and Dan Manning is appropriately shady
as family friend Anthony Gliardi — in
short a mafia don. Rachel Zampelli gives a
nuanced turn as Tina McCoy, an unsavory
club singer who introduces Cal to heroin
only to later complain that he values the
drug over her.
The show’s timely ending is new. And
without spilling the beans, it closes on
an intriguing upbeat note that wasn’t
there before.
‘THE FIX’
Through Sept. 20
Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington
Tickets start at $40
703-820-9771
Signature-theatre.org

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26 • AUG U S T 28, 2015

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY

Shakespeare Co. offers annual freebie
The Shakespeare Theatre Company celebrates the 25th anniversary of its
Free for All series with performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Sidney
Herman Hall (610 F St., N.W.) from Sept. 1-13.
Directed by Ethan McSweeny, the play stars Adam Green, Sara Topham, Dion
Johnston and Tom Alan Robbins, among others. The Free for All series has been
presenting Shakespeare productions to the public for free since 1991. Tickets
are distributed through an online ticket lottery system the day before an evening
performance and two days before a matinee performance. A limited number of
tickets can also be picked up at Sidney Harman Hall starting two hours before
performance time.
For more details, visit shakespearetheatre.org.

Brother Help Thyself returns to King’s Dominion
Brother Help Thyself holds its annual Pride Day at King’s Dominion on
Saturday, Sept. 5 from 10:30 a.m.-midnight.
The water park will be open to Brother Help Thyself guests only from 10:30
a.m.-noon. There will also be a dance party at the Event Pavilion from 8 p.m.midnight with music from DJ Rometti. Tickets are $37 in advance and at the door.
For more details, visit brotherhelpthyself.net.

Two fashion show fundraisers will
raise money for their organizations this
weekend.
Covenant Baptist Church of Christ
(3845 S Capitol St., S.W.) holds its Fashion
Show Fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 4
p.m. There will be fashion, food, vendors
and door prizes. The fundraiser benefits
college-bound youth and seminarians
from Covenant Baptist, a strongly LGBTaffirming congregation. Tickets are $40
in advance or $45 at the door. Tickets are
available by contacting info@covenantdc.
org or 202-562-5576.
A Social Organization for Men Who Love
Men will hold Fallback, its first fashion
show, at the 29th Street Community
Center (300 East 29th St. Baltimore) in
the school gym from 6-8 p.m. The fashion
show will be presented by Baltimore
youth and benefits the organization’s
second annual Baltimore International
Black Film Festival. Baltimore youth will
model the fashions, designed for ages 1630. Tickets are $20.
For more information, visit sogaa.org.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

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LILY TOMLIN with director PAUL WEITZ on the set of ‘Grandma.’

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Director Weitz found solid
collaborator with Lily Tomlin
By BRIAN T. CARNEY
Writer and director Paul Weitz has
already had an amazingly diverse career
on both stage and screen.
The acclaimed Second Stage theater
company in New York has produced four of
his plays, including “Lonely I’m Not,” which
starred Topher Grace, and “Trust,” which
starred Zach Braff and Bobby Cannavale.
On screen, often in collaboration with his
brother Chris, he’s worked on “American
Pie,” “Antz,” “About A Boy” (which was
nominated for an Academy Award for Best
Screenplay), and “Admission.”
Now he’s written “Grandma,” a powerful
new comedy about three generations of
strong-willed women, and he’s directed
the legendary Lily Tomlin in a performance
that’s drawing raves. It opens Friday, Aug.
28 at in the D.C. area at Landmark E Street
and Bethesda Row Cinema
Tomlin plays Elle Reid, a well-respected
lesbian feminist poet who’s still deep in
mourning after the death of her long-time
partner, Violet. Her world gets shaken up
when she gets an unexpected visit from
her granddaughter Sage.
Weitz, who’s straight, remembers
clearly how the movie got underway.
“It just started out,” he says, “with an
idea about a granddaughter showing up at
her grandmother’s house wanting money

because she has scheduled an abortion for
the end of the day. The grandmother’s broke
and the granddaughter wants to leave. They
get stuck together, but in the end it’s not so
much about getting the money, but the two
of them helping each other in some way. It’s
about how you grow through pain.”
Writing the movie was also something
of a personal quest for Weitz after the
failure of his movie “Admission.”
“I wanted to examine why some of
the movies I liked didn’t connect with
audiences,” he says. “I felt like maybe
there was a lot of wasted effort on my
part. I was trying to tell too many stories
at the same time. That makes sense
because I know everything about these
characters but the audience knows
nothing. So in this case I wanted to do
something very simple in the hope that it
would be more resonant.”
Once Weitz finished the script, he took
Tomlin to lunch to discuss the project.
“I wrote it for her with her voice in
mind but I didn’t tell her about it because
I thought she might be ambivalent about
it.” Luckily, she liked the script, and the two
started working on revisions together.
“She helped me so much with the
script,” Weitz says.
For example, Tomlin helped him deepen
the relationship between Elle and her
late partner Violet. In early drafts, Weitz
says, “the relationship was described in
very idyllic glowing terms at all times. Lily
said, ‘Listen, this is very fake. In a real
relationship they would have fought, they

would have periods where they were on
the outs.’ So then I seeded in moments
where you learn that while Elle had a
temper, Vi had an even scarier one.”
To further build the relationship
between Elle and Vi, Weitz also “cast”
his friend, children’s author Jacqueline
Woodson, as Tomlin’s late lover. When
a morose Elle is looking through
photographs before Sage arrives, those
are pictures of Woodson.
Once Tomlin (and Woodson) were on
board, the rest of the cast quickly fell in place.
“This is the 10th film I’ve directed and
I have a rolodex of numbers,” Weitz
says. “So I just called them up and they
liked the script. For a lot of actors it was
something slightly different than what
they had done before and they all loved
the idea of working with Lily.”
Looking back over his diverse career,
Weitz realizes he’s always been interested
in the idea of mentorship. In “Grandma,”
Weitz says he was struck by “this idea of
an 18-year-old person who has forgotten
any little tidbit of women’s history she has
known and how much she has to gain by
somebody teaching her to stand up for
herself and stop calling herself up a slut.
That seemed rich to me.”
Beyond that, the filmmaker says, “I’m
interested in how we go into our own
deficiencies as people and learn how to
behave the right way. I just want to learn
things. I want to grow as a person when
I’m doing this stuff because everything
else is out of my hands.”

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

2 8 • A UGUS T 2 8 , 2015

A RT S & CU LT U RE

HOT HITS & HIDDEN JEWELS
From CultureCapital.com
YOUR LINK TO THE ARTS IN METRO DC

THEATRE
The Fix. Thru Sep 20. Signature Theatre.
703-820-9771. signature-theatre.org.
Hay Fever. Sep 2-Sep 27. Olney Theatre.
301-924-3400. olneytheatre.org.
Shear Madness. Thru Dec 31. Kennedy
Center. 800-444-1324.
shearmadness.com.
The Importance of Being Earnest. Thru
Sep 13. SCENA Theatre. Atlas.
202-399-7993. scenatheater.org.

DANCE

Dogfight
Thru Sep 19. Keegan Theatre.
202-265-3767. keegantheatre.com.

Set in 1963, on the eve of the Vietnam War and the Kennedy assassination,
Dogfight is a musical about the power of compassion and empathy, which
follows the unlikely friendship that develops in a most unlikely context.

Kristin Chenoweth
Aug 28. Wolf Trap.
877-965-3872. wolftrap.org.

With a voice that “slices through the stratosphere like a supersonic jet,”
(The New York Times) this Tony- and Emmy-winning star takes center stage,
performing theatre and pop standards, as well as songs off her 2014 album,
Coming Home.

Summer Comedies: Coming In
Aug 31. Goethe-Institut.
202-289-1200. goethe.de.

Tom Herzner, THE hair stylist for men in Berlin, is forced to work incognito at
a hair salon-cum-barber-shop somewhere in an edgy Berlin neighborhood
run by the sassy, gut-honest Heidi, with whom he falls in love. But there’s one
problem: Tom is gay.

Super Natural
Thru Sep 13. National Museum of Women in the Arts.
202-783-5000. nmwa.org.

Super Natural focuses on historical and contemporary women artists’
unrestrained absorption with nature. Rather than merely document beauty,
artists in the exhibition engage with the natural world as a space for
exploration and invention.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KEEGAN THEATRE

Buy
Discount Tickets
ticketPLAce.org

Savion Glover. Thru Aug 29.
Howard Theatre. 202-803-2899.
thehowardtheatre.com.
Free Art on 8th: Culture Shock, DC.
Aug 28. Dance Place at Monroe Street
Market. 202-269-1600. danceplace.org.
Step Xplosion! Sep 3. Step Afrika! Pepco
Edison Place Gallery. 202.399.7993.
stepafrika.org.

MUSIC
Jazz in the Garden: Afro Bop Alliance
(Afro-Cuban jazz). Aug 28. National
Gallery of Art. NGA Sculpture Garden.
202-737-4215. nga.gov.
Scarface & Backyard Band. Aug 28.
Sunday R&B Brunch featuring Antone
“Chooky” Caldwell. Aug 30. Toby
Palmer & Chosen Generation. Aug
30. Howard Theatre. 202-803-2899.
thehowardtheatre.com.
Ryan Shupe & the Rubber band. Aug
29. Fringe Benefits Band. Aug 30.
Workhouse Arts Center. 703-584-2900.
workhousearts.org.
Chris Vadala Quartet. Sep 3. Reston
Community Center. RCC at Lake Anne.
703-476-4500.
restoncommunitycenter.com.
Lenny Kravitz. Sep 1. Orquesta Buena
Vista Social Club with The Pedrito
Martinez Group. Aug 29. Frank Sinatra,
Jr. Sep 2. Wolf Trap. 703-255-1900.
wolftrap.org.

MUSEUMS
National Gallery of Art. The Memory
of Time. Thru Sep 13. Pleasure and
Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael (1566–
1638). Thru Oct 4. Gustave Caillebotte:
The Painter’s Eye. Thru Oct 4. Recent
Acquisitions of Italian Renaissance Prints.
Thru Oct 18. 202-737-4215. nga.gov.
National Archives. Spirited Republic:
Alcohol in American History. Thru Jan 10.
202-357-5000. archivesfoundation.org.
Museum of Women in the Arts.
Organic Matters. Thru Sep 13. Vanessa
Bell’s Hogarth Press Designs. Thru Nov
13. 202-783-5000. nmwa.org.
Prince George’s African American
Museum and Cultural Center. Patented
Ingenuity: The Art of African American
Inventors. Thru Sep 12. 301-809-0440.
pgaamcc.org.
Smithsonian Anacostia Community

Museum. How the Civil War Changed
Washington. Thru Nov 15. Hand of
Freedom: The Life and Legacy of the
Plummer Family. Thru Dec 27.
202-633-4820. anacostia.si.edu.
National Geographic. Monster Fish.
Thru Oct 11. Indiana Jones. Thru Jan 3.
202-857-7000. nglive.org.

GALLERIES
DCCAH. AFP16 Visual Arts Exhibition.
Thru Sep 30. 202-724-5613.
dcarts.dc.gov.
Arlington Cultural Affairs. Gallery
3700. Nauck Community Portrait
Exhibition. Thru Sep 6. arlingtonarts.org.
The Art League Gallery. Taking Shape.
Thru Sep 7. Scapes. Thru Sep 7.
703-683-1780. theartleague.org.
Target Gallery. Leigh Merrill: Cloud
Seeding. Thru Aug 30. 703-838-4565.
torpedofactory.org.
Schlesinger Concert Hall. Oil Paintings
by Stanley Agbontaen. Thru Aug 30.
703-845-6156. schlesingercenter.com.
WPA. Lobby Project: Tang. Thru Aug 28.
202-234-7103. wpadc.org.
Zenith Gallery. Stars & Stripes: Zenith
Salutes the Flag! at Zenith Gallery. Thru
Oct 3. 202-783-2963. zenithgallery.com.
Gallery Neptune & Brown. Summer
Splash on 14th Street. Thru Sep 5.
202-986-1200. neptunefineart.com.
Goethe-Institut. Justine Otto: hyder flares.
Thru Sep 4. 202-289-1200. goethe.de.
DCAC. 1460 Wallmountables. Thru Aug
30. 202-462-7833. dcartscenter.org.
Flashpoint Gallery: CulturalDC.
Anthony Cervino: Ejecta. Thru Sep 12.
202-315-1305. culturaldc.org.
Gallery Underground. Hidden in
Plain Sight Show. Thru Aug 28. August
Members Show. Thru Aug 28. 571-4830652. arlingtonartistsalliance.org.
Publick Playhouse. Lynda Payton. Thru
Oct 13. 301-277-1710. arts.pgparks.com.
University of the District of Columbia.
DC Jazz Fest: Exhibition: Bringing Bossa
Nova to the United States. Thru Dec 30.
dcjazzfest.org.

AND MORE...
WVTF: Witches Vanish. Thru Sep 20.
Venus Theatre Company. 202-236-4078.
venustheatre.org.
WVTF: Night Falls on the Blue
Planet. Sep 3-Sep 27. Theater Alliance.
Anacostia Playhouse. 202-241-2539.
theateralliance.com.
WVTF: Bones in Whispers. Thru Sep
6. How We Died of Disease-Related
Illness. Thru Sep 6. Longacre Lea. Callan
Theatre. 202-460-2188. longacrelea.org.
WVTF: The Oregon Trail. Sep 3-Sep 20.
Flying V Theatre. The Writer’s Center.
301-654-8664. flyingvtheatre.com.
Author Talk: Latinos in the
Washington Metro Area. Aug 30.
Smithsonian Anacostia Community
Museum. 202-633-4820.
anacostia.si.edu.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

A D V I CE

Expanding your
horizons beyond the
superficial takes effort

MICHAEL RADKOWSKY, Psy.D. is a licensed
psychologist who works with gay individuals
and couples in D.C. He can be found online
at personalgrowthzone.com. All identifying
information has been changed for reasons
of confidentiality. Have a question? Send it to
Michael@personalgrowthzone.com.

DEAR MICHAEL,
I’m a 26 year-old gay man, working in
D.C., good at my job, acceptable looks,
have some friends, date occasionally, but
I’m not happy. I don’t really like being gay.
I haven’t told any of my friends about
my feelings because I know they are
really un-PC, right? There’s the “It Gets
Better” campaign, gay marriage, gays
in the military, the total uncoolness of
homophobia, etc. Being gay is supposed
to be terrific, but I don’t think it is. It
makes my life difficult.
My family is pretty conservative
Southern Baptist and while I am out to
them, they make it clear that they are
disappointed in me and disapprove of
my being gay. Most of my friends are
superficial. They put a lot of energy into
the gym, clothes, and hooking up, and
also act really bitchy, like they’re on a
reality show trying to get laughs. I’d like
to hang with gay guys who have more
serious interests but can’t find them.
I’m tired of the gay dating scene being
so hookup-oriented and I’m sick of the
stereotypes. People act surprise I like to
play basketball and have no interest in
“Project Runway.”
I don’t know how to be really happy
about being gay when there is so much
baggage attached. Am I the only guy
struggling with this?
MICHAEL REPLIES:
No, you’re absolutely not the only guy
struggling to make peace with being gay.
Yes, being gay often does make life
harder. We live in a predominantly
heterosexual world with a lot of

A U G U S T 28, 2015 • 29

heterosexism and homonegativity. So
most everyone who isn’t straight has to
figure out how to feel OK with themselves.
Some of your concerns may be easy to
remedy, so let’s start with those.
If you don’t like the guys you hang out
with, why are you spending time with them?
True, there are a lot of superficial
horndogs out there, but there are also
guys who are thoughtful and interested
in more than casual hookups.
How do you think you might be able to
meet them?
Dating/hookup sites can sometimes
lead to good friendships and serious
relationships, but what about looking for
real-life connections through pursuing
your interests? You may meet likeminded men by doing what is enjoyable
and meaningful to you.
As far as your family goes: It is
heartbreaking, and unfortunately not
an uncommon experience, that they
are putting limits on who you must be
in order to be loved by them. It seems
to me they want to shame or guilt you
into recanting being gay. As if sexual
orientation is a choice.
I’m not suggesting you should be angry
at your family. I’m raising these points
to help you consider how your family’s
judgment has likely infected your own
sense of self-worth.
Given your family’s background, it may
be a big leap for them to adjust to your
being gay. The best you can do is to be
loving toward them, hope they will open
their minds over time and make efforts to
educate them.
Of course, for you to have a chance at
ultimately influencing your family, you
need to do everything you can to feel good
about being a gay man. Start challenging
your negative feelings by finding positive
role models. There are many in our
history. Inspire yourself by reading about
the long struggle for gay equality. Find
yourself a gay-positive therapist to work
with. Join a gay men’s support group to
broaden your network and bolster your
sense of who you can be.
Finally, as far as gay stereotyping goes,
I agree with you, it’s tedious and insulting.
Right now your work is to pull yourself
together and feel good about who you
are. When you’re more solid, you’ll
recognize that other people’s ignorance
has nothing to do with you and need
not interfere with your living a full and
satisfying life.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

3 0 • A UGUS T 2 8 , 2015

CA LE N D A R

E-mail calendar items to calendars@washblade.
com two weeks prior to your event. Space is limited so priority is given to LGBT-specific events
or those with LGBT participants. Recurring
events must be re-submitted each time.

TODAY
Breakfast Club hosts an LGBT ‘80s
Remix Dance Party at 18th and U Duplex
Diner (2004 18th St., N.W.) at 9 p.m. as
part of its Cruel Summer party series.
Christopher Robert Leary will guest DJ the
party. There will also be drink specials.
For more information, visit facebook.
com/duplexdiner.
The V D.C. hosts Reel Affirmations
opening film festival party with Glitther:
Glitz and Glamour Edition at Zeba Bar
(3423 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 9
p.m.-3 a.m. There will be a costume
contest for the best film actor/director/
writer costume. DJ Deedub Tezrah will
play music for the night. There will be
drink specials from 9-11 p.m. including
$3 PBRs, $5 Fireall shots and half-priced
pizza. There is no cover charge. For more
details, visit facebook.com/thevdcevents.
Women in Their 20s, a social discussion
group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender
and all women interested in women,
meets today at the D.C. Center (2000 14th
St., N.W.) from 8-9:30 p.m. All welcome to
join. For details, visit thedccenter.org.
A LGB support group meets today
from 10-11:30 a.m. at 16220 S. Frederick
Rd., Gaithersburg, Md. for individuals
in Montgomery County. The group
will discuss coming out of marriage,
homophobia, parenting issues, finding
intimate relationships, LGB resources
in the suburbs and more. For more
information, visit thedccenter.org.
Reel Affirmations kicks off its film
festival tonight at Gala Hispanic Theatre
(3333 14th St., N.W.) tonight with a
screening of “While You Weren’t Looking” at
7 p.m. and “Those People” at 9 p.m. “While
You Weren’t Looking” tells the story of
three queer relationships in South Africa.
“Those People” examines a love triangle
between a painter, his best friend and an
older pianist. Tickets for opening night VIP
are $25 and include entry to the film, a
catered reception and one complimentary
cocktail. General admission tickets for
opening night are $10. For more details,
visit reelaffirmations.org.

SATURDAY, AUG. 29
White Magic Day Party, a ladies dance
party, is at Stonefish Lounge (1708 L St.,
N.W.) today from 5-11 p.m. There will
be two bars and a food menu. DJ Mim
and DJ A Dot Net will spin tracks for the
night. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15
at the door. Tables are $75 and cabanas
are $100. For more information, visit
whitemagic.eventbee.com.
CTRL hosts Strut, a gay dance party, at
Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OUT IN AFRICA

PETRONELLA TSHUMA and THISHIWE ZIQUBU in ‘While You Weren’t Looking,’ one of the Reel Affirmations movies being screened this weekend.

DJ Jeff Prior, DJ Adam Koussari-Amin and
DJ Devon Trotter will play a mix of music
including ‘90s and vogue house. Cover is
$12. The drag show begins at 10:30 p.m.
For more details, visit towndc.com.
The Manor D.C. (1327 Connecticut Ave.,
N.W.) holds a weekly drag brunch from
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Ba’Naka Devereaux will
host the brunch. For more information
and to make a reservation, visit
dragshowbrunch.com.

SUNDAY, AUG. 30
Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts
its weekly Sunday Drag Brunch today
from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95
for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more
details, visit perrysadamsmorgan.com.
Nellies Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.)
hosts a drag brunch today with one
show at 10:30 a.m. and another at 12:30
p.m. Brunch buffet is $26 and the first
mimosa or Bloody Mary is free. For more
information and to purchase tickets, visit
nelliesdragbrunch.eventbrite.com.

MONDAY, AUG. 31
The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W..)
hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning
from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT
community. Older LGBT adults can
come and enjoy complimentary coffee
and conversation with other community
members. For more information, visit
thedccenter.org.
Us Helping Us (3636 Georgia Ave.,
N.W.) holds a support group for gay black

men to discuss topics that affect them,
share perspectives and have meaningful
conversations. For details, visit uhupil.org.
Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.)
hosts Poker Face tonight at 8 p.m. Play
Texas Hold Em Poker for free. There
will be prizes. For more details, visit
nelliessportsbar.com.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 1
SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts a
rap group, a support group for LGBT
youth, today from 5-6:30 p.m. For more
information, visit smyal.org.
Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.)
hosts its weekly FUK!T Packing Party from
7-9 p.m. tonight. For more details, visit
thedccenter.org or greenlanterndc.com.
Bachelor’s Mill has half-price drinks
all night long from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. tonight.
They also have pool, video gaming
systems and cards. Admission is free. For
more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 2
The Ask Rayceen Show is at Liv
Nightclub (2001 11th St., N.W.) tonight
at 6 p.m. There will be a live music
performance by C. Paige. OASIS Dance
will also perform. DJ Suspence will play
music for the night. Rayceen Pendarvis
will host the show. Admission is free.
For more details, visit facebook.com/
askrayceen.
The Tom Davoren Social Bridge
Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the
Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social

bridge. No partner needed. For more
information, call 301-345-1571.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 3
Gourmet Symphony and Capital City
Symphony present a benefit for Taste
Your Music, a charity that helps feed
D.C.’s residents, at the Hamilton Live (600
14th St., N.W.) at 7:30 p.m. There will be
a four-course menu by Chef Anthony
Lombardo from the Hamilton and Chef
Andrew Markert from Beuchert’s Saloon.
VIP reception is at 6:30 p.m. General
admission begins at 7:30 p.m. with
cocktails and dinner is at 8 p.m. There will
also be a live orchestra. Tickets start at $99.
For more details, visit gourmetsymphony.
org/tymbenefitconcert.
SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts Women’s
Leadership Institute, a group for LBT
women and their straight allies ages 13-21
to discuss female sexuality, relationships
and women’s rights today from 5-7 p.m.
For more information, visit smyal.org.
Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.)
holds a happy hour today from 5-7:30
p.m. All drinks are half price. There will
be pool, video gaming systems and cards.
Admission is $5 after 9 p.m. DJ Bling, DJ
Freaky and DJ Tim-Nice will play music
for the night. For more information, visit
bachelorsmill.com.
Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.)
hosts its weekly Beat the Clock Happy
Hour tonight from 5-8 p.m. Drink specials
start at $2 and increase by a dollar
each hour. For more information, visit
nelliessportsbar.com.

536 eidson Creek

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

S P O RTS

A U G U S T 28, 2015 • 31

Gorgeous View and 95+/- acres
Almost a 100 acres of pasture land.
This property would work great
for a vineyard, apple orchard or
a cattle farm. Spectacular views
of the Alleghenies. Great springs
supply water to 2 waterers. Land
can be divided into 2 parcels, one with an early Virginian log house
which would be pleasant to live in while building your home. Property
is within 5 miles of Staunton, surrounded by working cattle and horse
farms. $675,000.
Jean T. Hoffman, Associate Broker, RE/MAX Advantage

2017 W. Main St. Waynesboro, VA 22980 • 540-949-4174 (office) • 540-886-1985 (home)
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON WETSKINS

Members of the Washington Wetskins welcome and mentor new players.

Water polo team
encourages newcomers
By KEVIN MAJOROS
This week in the continuing Washington
Blade series on the rookies and veterans
that play on the LGBT sports teams in
Washington, we take a look at the sport
of water polo.
The Washington Wetskins returned
from the 2015 Stockholm EuroGames
a few weeks ago after finishing in fifth
place in the competitive division. Their
women’s team, the WCAPS also competed
this month in the Midwest Open Water
Polo Tournament in Chicago where they
captured second place.
Marni Von Wilpert’s first three months
as a Wetskin weren’t a normal start for a
rookie player. She started with the team
in September 2014, played in her first
tournament in October and was on the
board of directors by the end of the year.
Growing up in San Diego, Von Wilpert
swam and played water polo on her high
school team and at UC Berkeley, she
played water polo on the club teams. Her
work in civil rights took her to Mississippi
where she found herself without a team.
“I really wanted to get back into water
polo, but masters’ swimming was the
only thing available, so I joined the swim
team,” Von Wilpert says. “My teammates
knew my passion, so on my last day of
practice before moving to D.C., they
brought out some water polo balls and
we played a makeshift game.”
After arriving in D.C., she looked up
the local teams and chose the Wetskins
because she liked that they were LGBTbased and seemed to be the most
inclusive. Von Wilpert, who is straight and
works as an attorney on workers’ rights
cases, emailed the coach and began
playing immediately.
Even though she had the water polo

1808 PaRKeRSBURG TPKe

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Restored 1820’s federal home is
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background, she found herself looking to
the veterans in her first few months on
the team.
“In theory, I hadn’t played in 10 years and
the rules had changed. I was really nervous
and was thinking that they wouldn’t want
Jean T. Hoffman, Associate Broker, RE/MAX Advantage
me in there during matches,” Von Wilpert
2017 W. Main St. Waynesboro, VA 22980 • 540-949-4174 (office) • 540-886-1985 (home)
says. “The veteran players on the team
step up on a consistent basis to coach and
help players like me.”
Von Wilpert has played in several
®
tournaments since re-starting her water
Associate Broker, GRI
polo career with the Wetskins, including
an overnight trip to University of Virginia
for a women’s tournament.
“I love this, especially the camaraderie
“She sold me my first house, you
between the teams in D.C., Virginia and
see, and then sold me another.
Maryland and the fact that the Wetskins are
so inclusive and welcome players that are new
to the sport,” she says. “What kept me coming
And that, my child, is the
back last year was the encouragement I
received from the other players.”
simple tale of How I Met
Some 16 years ago, Mark Osele, who
Your Mother.”
is gay, was new to the sport. He had
always heard that if you weren’t good at
competitive swimming, then you would
Dupont Circle Office • 202.243.7700 (o)
202.246.8602 (c) • Valerie@DCHomeQuest.com
never make it in water polo. A friend
www.DCHomeQuest.com
convinced him otherwise and he suited up.
His sports background from Pittsburgh
ADVERTISING
included high school track and field and
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playing sports around
the neighborhood.
After arriving in D.C. 26 years ago, Osele
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Patent
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from all over the world including Paris,
Sydney, Seattle, Stockholm, Reykjavik and
Toronto. He has his “big tournaments”
earmarked through 2018.
“There are teams that are more
competitive than the Wetskins, but we have
more fun,” Osele says. “That’s the ideal. Even
when we lose, we are just happy to be with
each other and to play with each other.”

Prime Time reALTOr

Valerie M. Blake

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3 2 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

P H O T O S BY MI CH A E L KE Y & A N T W A N J . T H O MP SO N

The Washington Blade hosted a party for its annual Sports Issue at Bar Code on Aug. 20. Guest editor Hudson Taylor spoke to the crowd.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

A R T S & EN TE RTA I NMENT

A U G U ST 2 8 , 2 0 1 5 • 3 3

Phase 1 owner
says community
has final say
on bar’s future

ANGELA LOMBARDI is now based in California but returns to Washington monthly for various lesbian events. She says D.C. ‘made me this crazy
queer I am today. That doesn’t go away.’
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23

music out in the spotlight and I think it’s
important to support queer artists on
every level.”
Some of the fallout may prove
fortuitous. With her Phase 1 connections
fractured, Lombardi began exploring
other venue possibilities. The Black Cat
was an early given. Lombardi originally
thought she’d have the Friday night event
at Comet Ping Pong where she hosts
her monthly parties but she learned just
two weeks ago that the 9:30 Club had an
opening for Sept. 4 and jumped on it. 
“These are two of the best venues for
live music in the whole city,” Lombardi
says. “I guess it was kind of meant to be.”
That’s a boon for the Friday night
lineup. Rachel Bauchman, lead singer of
indie band Frankie & Betty, says she and
her bandmates are “absolutely ecstatic”
to play the famed venue.
“Playing the 9:30 Club is a dream for
any musician,” the lesbian pop/rocker
says. “This will be our fourth time playing
PhazeFest and what Angela has done
with this is just absolutely wonderful. It’s
so inclusive and amazing. … We’re really
freaking out. To play the same stage as so
many great acts like Sleater-Kinney and
so many musical legends is really great.”

But will it still feel like the PhazeFest of
old in a new space? Lombardi says she’s
not worried.
“I think people will enjoy it no matter
what,” Lombardi says. “We’re able to
offer all the amenities of being in the
best venues in the city now with dressing
rooms, pro sound checks, incredible
PA systems. This is a level we’ve never
been able to produce at before. I hope
people will come out and support it.
It’s something we feel is worth taking a
chance on.”
She says changing the spelling from
PhaseFest to PhazeFest was a subtle way
to both give the event a spark of new
life but also retain its history. Since she
created the event, she says she has the
right to continue it. 
“This was always my thing,” she says. “I
saw it as a quick and easy way to keep it
going. … I’m not interested in ruffling any
feathers.”
Carroll says it was “a shock” when he
learned last week she was continuing the
event at another location. 
“I don’t mind her doing it, but I don’t
know why she used our name,” he says.
“That was our thing.”
Carroll says he does not plan to pursue
legal action and will not try to stop her.
“I probably could if I wanted to, but

I’m not going to say anything. Everyone
knows it’s still on 8th Street. They know
where it came from.”
Lombardi is looking forward to other
changes as well. A dance party with
DJ Deedub will start as soon as the
performers are finished both nights.
Space limitations at Phase 1 prevented
that in previous years. Friday night is all
ages at the 9:30 Club and Saturday night
is 18 and up. Attendees had to be 21 and
up to attend at Phase 1. 
“We’re trying to make it super
accessible,” she says. “There really will be
something for everyone.”
PHAZEFEST: D.C.’S QUEER MUSIC FESTIVAL
Friday, Sept. 4
With Kiyomi Valentine, Marcus Webb, Franky
& Betty, the D.C. Kings and the #YASQUEEN
Queer Dance Party with DJ Deedub
8 p.m.
9:30 Club
815 V St., N.W.
$15
Saturday, Sept. 5
With Sick of Sarah, Michelle Raymond Band,
Be Steadwell, Copmany Calls and the D.C.
Gurly Show; and the Fannypack! Queer Dance
Party
8 p.m.
Black Cat
1811 14th St., N.W.
$15
ticketfly.com
930.com
blackcatdc.com
phasefest.com

Phase 1 owner Allen Carroll says
business at Phase 1 has been “a little
slow” since he reopened the lesbian club
in March. 
Open Thursdays through Saturdays
only, Carroll says it will ultimately be up to
the community to decide if it wants Phase
1 to continue.
“I don’t really know if the girls still want
their own club,” he says. “I don’t want to
close, but the girls have got to support
it. I’ve always been there for the women.
I don’t fully get it. We’ve been there
through good times and bad times.”
Carroll says five of his previous staffers
returned when he reopened. He also says
property tax increases have not been an
issue as some have speculated. 
“I pay my taxes, you can look it up,” he
says. “People have said we can’t afford to
be on this street anymore. I said, ‘Hell, I’ve
been here 45 years, I ain’t going anywhere.’
I’ll be 74 in November, so I don’t care,” he
says. “I mean I would love to see them
keep their own bar. Some girl just on
Friday night told me, they say, ‘We hear
all this stuff on,’ on what is it, Facebook?
And they say, ‘Allen, you’re the only one,
we need to get it out there that you have
supported us since 1970.’ I try my best. … I
feel hurt about it, but that’s life.”
He says there’s “no animosity” toward
Lombardi.
“We never had words or anything,” he
says. “But we haven’t talked. She’s doing
her own thing now.”
Lombardi says she wishes Phase 1 well.
“I’m not mad about anything,” she
says. “Whatever Allen felt he needed to
do, good for him. I hope it stays open for
another 40 years. … I know the struggle.
I fought for a long time to try to make it
all work so all I can say is good luck to
whomever is doing my job now.”
Carroll says Phase 1 is “my baby.” 
“I’ve seen so many girls’ clubs open and
close, open and close, they always come
back to the Phase,” he says. “I hope the
girls want to keep it. It really comes down
to them. There’s only so much I can do.”

3 4 • A UGUST 2 8 , 2015

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202-387-6180

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WA SH I N GTO NB LADE.C OM

A U G U ST 2 8 , 2 0 1 5 • 3 5

REALESTATE

Five tips for end-of-summer move
A strategy and furniture
floor plan will help
By JONATHAN NEAL
Where has the time gone? Summer is
almost over, but there are still many people scheduling last-minute moves before
the fall is in full swing. Even though moving can be an exciting time, it can also be
overwhelming. At Metropolitan Moving
& Storage LLC we know all about guiding
clients through these stressful moves, especially during this busy season – we just
completed 21 moves last Saturday alone.
Here are five professional tips to ensure a
smooth move:
• Packing strategies are important.
Pack your least essential items first and
the most essential items last. Fill a box
with moving day essentials like paper
plates, medicine, paper towels, toiletries,
all documents related to settlement and
closing of homes, checkbooks and a list
that includes your movers’ contact information, in case of emergency.
• Have a plan for your furniture. Draw
up a floor plan for where items will all
go in the new home, so that the movers know exactly where all the furniture
should be placed. This will save you time
and money, and help you to avoid injury

or item damage when the heavy-lifters
are gone. Also, label your boxes on each
side, so that when they are stacked your
movers know exactly where to unload
your items.
• Donate items to charity. There are
many local charities where you can donate items that you no longer need before your move. We often work with A
Wider Circle located in Silver Spring, Md.
that helps those in the community with
basic needs. One of their biggest requests
is for gently used furniture. Everyone
wins in this case and you won’t have to
pay to have unnecessary items boxed or
brought to your new home.
• Schedule elevator access. If you are
moving into or out of a condominium or
apartment building with elevator access,
you may need to reserve use of the elevator
for a block of time on moving day. Typically,
buildings have a 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot and
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. slot open, for such uses.
Check with your condominium or apartment building to see if there are any blackout days where moves are not allowed.
• Clean out your fridge. Unplug, defrost
and dry out your refrigerators and freezers at least 24 hours before the move day,
that way you won’t have to worry about
it among the shuffle. Additionally, avoid
packing liquids as they can expand, explode and ruin other items you’ve packed.

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Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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for the LGBTQ Community
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These simple steps can make a huge
difference in moving to a new home. And,
with good planning and the support of
a skilled and professional moving team,
you can easily make sure your move is a
stress-free experience.

JONATHAN NEAL is president of Metropolitan
Moving and Storage LLC, headquartered in
Laurel, Md. To learn more about the company, visit dcmetropolitanmoving.com or follow
them @MetroMovingDC.

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W A SH I NGTO N B LA DE.C OM

A U G U ST 2 8 , 2 0 1 5 • 3 7

HEATING / COOLING

LIMOUSINES / DRIVERS
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EMPLOYMENT
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NEEDED! The Crew Club, a gay men’s
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Please call Richard at (202) 319-1333.
from 9-5pm, to schedule an interview.

LEGAL SERVICES
FULL SERVICE LAW FIRM
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employment. (301) 891-2200. Silber,
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ADOPTION & ASSISTED
REPRODUCTIVE Law Attorney Jennifer
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3 8 • a ugust 2 8 , 2015

REAL ESTATE AGENTS

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W AS H I N GTO N BL A D E . CO M

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A U G U ST 2 8 , 2 0 1 5 • 3 9

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