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Randy Shulman

MARCH 31, 2016
Volume 22 / Issue 47

Todd Franson
Rhuaridh Marr
John Riley
Doug Rule
Ward Morrison, Julian Vankim
Scott G. Brooks, Christopher Cunetto
Gordon Ashenhurst, Sean Bugg, Connor J. Hogan,
Troy Petenbrink, Kate Wingfield


Boycotting Bigotry

by John Riley


Civic Duty

by Fallon Forbush





Community Calendar
JR.’s Easter Bonnet Contest

photography by Ward Morrison

David Uy



Behind Her Badge

Interview by John Riley

Julian Vankim



Randy Shulman
Rivendell Media Co.
Dennis Havrilla

Christine Jorgensen

Progressive Playwright

Interview by Doug Rule



Fine Dance

by Doug Rule


True Romance

by Randy Shulman



Adore Delano

by Gordon Ashenhurst



Ziegfeld’s / Secrets

photography by Ward Morrison

Julian Vankim



Green Lantern

1775 I St. NW, Suite 1150
Washington, DC 20006

photography by Ward Morrison

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Last Word

© 2016 Jansi LLC.


MARCH 31, 2016





Now online at

Louisiana Governor to Rescind Anti-Gay Order
Cities and States Ban Official Travel to North Carolina

Georgia State House

Boycotting Bigotry
When the business community threatens to boycott, states think twice about
passing anti-LGBT laws
by John Riley


MIXTURE OF HARDBALL POLITICS AND ECOnomic pressure has led to a major LGBT rights victory in Georgia. After receiving condemnation and
threats of boycotts from the business community,
Gov. Nathan Deal will veto a “religious freedom” bill that sought
to discriminate against the state’s LGBT population.
Deal’s veto ends two weeks of speculation over the course
of action the two-term governor would take. The Republicancontrolled legislature passed the bill, which critics claimed
legalized discrimination against LGBT people and others who

MARCH 31, 2016


do not conform to “traditional” notions of sexuality — such as
single mothers. It was touted as a way to protect clergy and
religiously-affiliated organizations from being forced to perform marriages that violate their religious conscience. It also
gave private businesses, nonprofits and individuals the right to
refuse to provide services to LGBT people.
As the bill worked its way through the legislature, Georgia’s
business community sprang into action and began vocally opposing it. Metro Atlanta Chamber, the state’s top business group,
heavily lobbied against the bill, citing its own studies and others


MARCH 31, 2016


that said the state could lose up to $2 billion if national groups
chose to boycott Georgia, or cancel conventions or other events.
“We applaud Governor Deal for his courage in vetoing HB
757,” Metro Atlanta Chamber said in a statement. “In doing so,
the Governor confirmed that there is no place in Georgia for legislation perceived as allowing for discrimination. His thoughtful deliberation and consideration on this issue has led to an
outcome that preserves Georgia’s positive business climate,
encourages job growth and sustains our quality of life, and is
truly in the best interest of all Georgians.”
Large corporations like Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola
and Home Depot also issued statements opposing the bill.
Companies like tech giant Salesforce and the Savannah-based
373K Telecom either threatened to “reduce investments” in the
state or move their headquarters out of state. The NFL stated
that the bill might imperil Atlanta’s bid to be the host city for a
future Super Bowl.
Even the film industry, including The Walt Disney Co. and
Marvel Studios — which has benefitted from tax credits in the
state — threatened to pull out if the bill passed. Chad Griffin,
president of the Human Rights Campaign, previously called on
studios and production companies to stop filming in the Peach
State if the bill became law.
The pressure applied by corporate America to Georgian
Republicans drew comparisons to a backlash that Indiana experienced in 2015, after lawmakers passed the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA), which allowed discrimination against
the LGBT community. Similar economic threats were made
by major corporations or organizations seeking to do business in North Carolina, where the state legislature recently
passed a law overturning a pro-LGBT ordinance in the city of
Charlotte. Like Georgia, North Carolina overstepped its bounds
by preventing all localities in the state from passing their own
ordinances, even on issues unrelated to LGBT rights, and added
additional provisions legislating which public bathrooms or
changing facilities transgender people are allowed to use.
According to Jonathan Lovitz, vice president of external
affairs at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
(NGLCC), corporations and their supply chain partners can
exert a significant amount of influence over the policy decisions
that a state pursues. That’s due, in part, to the economic benefits
that their business brings to a state.
“If a bill like the ones in Georgia or North Carolina does get
passed, and these corporations physically yank their business,
and take their investment dollars and their supply chain members along with them, that has a massive trickle-down effect,”
says Lovitz. “Picture the physical footprint of a giant corporation being lifted up out of the ground and moved to the state
next door. That’s a gaping hole where opportunity and GDP
growth is lost, all in the name of state-sanctioned hatred.”
The best way for a state to ensure it reaps the benefit of
investment opportunities, or chances for economic growth,
would be to pass nondiscrimination laws that ensure all people
are protected under law.
“Corporate America repeats the same mantra that we at
NGLCC do every day, which is: Equality is good for business.
They see it in their own corporate practices, that to be free to
self-express yourself and to be out and welcome in the workplace is great for productivity,” says Lovitz. “And we also see
that in the marketplace. When they are actively working to
make strategic investments in the gay community and in the
cities and states where they live, they are making not only the

MARCH 31, 2016


country better to be an LGBT citizen, but they are making the
community better. And the LGBT community is extremely loyal
to companies like that.”
Ian Palmquist, the director of leadership programs for
Equality Federation, agrees that the decisions by corporations
or major employers in a state to speak out against anti-LGBT
legislation can have an impact on the legislative process. The
outcome in a specific state may depend on various factors, such
as the makeup of the legislature and the long-standing relationships that the business community has been able to foster with
“I think the political culture in every state is very different.
So there’s no hard and fast rule,” says Palmquist. “I think any
time you have major employers speaking out and taking a position, even if it’s short of an outright boycott, has a huge impact.
Legislators and decision-makers are deeply concerned about
jobs and the economic viability of the state. So having corporate
allies, as far as a lot of legislators are concerned when it comes
to LGBT issues, really gets their attention in a different way.”
Why was North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law successfully
passed, while Georgia’s was defeated? Palmquist believes that
it’s down to timing and the rapidity with which the North
Carolina bill was jammed through in a special session of the
“In North Carolina, the legislature really did rush this bill
through in less than 12 hours,” Palmquist says. “So our allies in
the business community weren’t given the opportunity to see a
bill and weigh in. I can’t guarantee the outcome would be different had they used a more normal process for the public debate,
but certainly we’re seeing that Gov. McCrory is really feeling
the heat now for signing this bill, and facing a lot of backlash
from businesses that he really wants to be part of our state’s
Indeed, following passage of the bill, North Carolina received
harsh criticism from LGBT groups, the White House, congressional leaders and others. But the criticism that could most have
an impact on policy is that which carries a threat to the state’s
economic well being.
Already, the National Basketball Association has issued
a statement suggesting it will reconsider holding its All-Star
Weekend in Charlotte in 2017. Similarly, the National Collegiate
Athletic Association (NCAA) issued an implied threat, saying it
would “monitor” the situation to determine whether it would
still hold its men’s basketball tournament games in Greensboro
in 2017 and Charlotte in 2018. Both organizations stressed the
importance of embracing diversity and inclusion in deciding on
a host city for the sporting events.
The response from the business community was both swift
and damning. American Airlines, which operates its secondlargest hub out of Charlotte, as well as major corporations like
Facebook, Apple, PayPal, IBM, Dow Chemical and Biogen all
issued statements or tweets expressing their distaste for the
new law.
Some states and municipalities have piled on, with San
Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) announcing last week that all cityfunded nonessential travel for employees to North Carolina will
be barred. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) followed suit, issuing executive
orders that institute similar travel bans.
But while economic interests can provide a powerful incentive for states to oppose anti-LGBT measures, equally as effective is a chorus of diverse voices who can put a human face on

the issue of LGBT rights. Palmquist cites the example of South
Dakota as one where activists successfully took the issue of
transgender rights out of the realm of theory and translated
what it would mean for real people. That’s why, after meeting
with transgender residents and transgender schoolchildren,
Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a measure that would have
restricted transgender people to using only the bathroom or

changing facility consistent with their biological sex at birth.
“You want to have as many different voices speaking out for
equal rights,” Palmquist says. “That includes the business community. But it also includes the faith community. It includes
LGBT people, and, particularly right now, trans people, telling
their stories and putting a face on the real effects that this sort
of legislation has.” l

Civic Duty

Vanessa Ford feels it’s her role as the mother of a transgender child to embrace
visibility — even at the White House
By Fallon Forbush


HILDREN HAVE BEEN ROLLING DYED, HARDboiled eggs on the South Lawn of the White House
for more than 100 years. It’s an honor that this week
Ellie Ford, Penelope Ghartey, Avery Jackson, and
their families were invited to participate in. Not because they
were lucky and scored tickets through the lottery, but because
Ellie, Penelope and Avery all share one thing in common: they
identify as transgender.
Barack Obama is the first president to provide tickets for the
Easter Egg Roll to LGBT organizations, and the first to welcome
transgender children to join in the celebration. So it was no
surprise when the Obamas continued their legacy of inclusion
for their final egg roll, by providing tickets to the three families.
Before Monday’s fun with the First Family, the families gathered on Easter Sunday in the home of Vanessa and J.R. Ford,
parents of 5-year-old Ellie and her 6-year-old brother, Ronnie.
Vanessa is all too aware of the importance of the following day,
which she feels is a civic duty for transgender youth.
“Every time we’re out and proud is a form of advocacy,” she
says. “I cannot at all speak about the experience about being a
transgender person, but I can speak about what it’s like to be the
parent of a kid who at four tells you they’re a different gender,
and listening to them and what that journey is like. And if that
means that somebody else listens to their kid, then that is a platform that we can use.”
It’s been a year since her daughter’s social transition from
Zachary to Ellie. “For me as a parent, it was shock, but it put
everything else into perspective,” she says.
The Fords allow their kids to express themselves however
they desire. When Ronnie was younger, he would play dress up
in princess dresses. He eventually grew out of it, but it became
an everyday occurrence for Ellie. On her fourth birthday, in the
middle of a party, she told her parents that she was a girl.
“I said, ‘You’re my favorite princess boy,’” her mother recalls.
“She stopped and said, ‘Mom, I’m a girl.’ From that moment she
told us, it took us a little while — it didn’t even occur that we
could have a daughter. We thought we just had a son who liked

If the free-spirited Fords had any limits, it was with their
daughter’s new name. Ellie originally wanted to be Cinderella,
her first pick of Disney princesses. Instead, they compromised
on Ellie, after a beloved plush elephant given to her when she
was a year old. “She owned it immediately,” says Ford. “It was
her name and she never looked back.”
With the transition, Ellie claimed a confidence that was lacking in her identity as Zachary. As a teacher at Maury Elementary
in Northeast D.C., Vanessa Ford knows a lot of people in the
community, and a lot of people know her family. “They watched
her progression,” she says. “She was with us everywhere and
would always hide in the corner or something.”
The first time Ellie started dressing publicly as a girl, she
jumped up and down in front of a PTA meeting. She was so
overcome with joy, she ended up throwing up everywhere. “It
was the first time she was out in public dressed in a way that
matched her,” Ford says. “It’s nice to see her blossom and be
this amazing person, whereas before she was quiet and more
withdrawn — and now she’s not that at all.”
D.C.’s public schools and the charter school that Ellie attends
have strong policies to protect transgender and gender nonconforming students, which made her transition relatively stressfree. Much like the process for changing Ellie’s name and gender
marker with the District’s Office of the State Superintendent of
Education. “All they needed was email confirmation from us.
They didn’t give us any push back. We didn’t need any legal
With accepting parents and favorable policies in place, Ellie
is oblivious to a lot of the struggles that the transgender community has experienced. Her early transition in a more accepting
society is the reason she and many other transgender children
are being studied in the University of Washington’s TransYouth
Project. It’s the first study of its kind in the country, aimed at
tracking the first generation of transgender youth.
“I think she’s going to be okay,” her mother says, beaming.
“We’re lucky to live in D.C. and have the structural supports in
place. And I’m lucky to have a husband to jump on it faster than
I did, even. That’s our story.” l

MARCH 31, 2016


Metro Weekly’s Community Calendar highlights important events in the D.C.-area
LGBT community, from alternative social events to volunteer opportunities.
Event information should be sent by email to
Deadline for inclusion is noon of the Friday before Thursday’s publication.
Questions about the calendar may be directed to the
Metro Weekly office at 202-638-6830 or
the calendar email address.

CHRYSALIS arts & culture group vis-

its the Phillips Collection near Dupont
Circle to see exhibition “Seeing
Nature: Landscape Masterworks from
the Paul G. Allen Family Collection.”
Admission $12 adults, $10 seniors.
Meet at 11 a.m. inside the lobby at
1600 21st Street NW, between Q & R
Streets. Lunch in the neighborhood
follows. Craig, 202-462-0535.

HEALTH offers free HIV testing, 9-5

The DC Center presents DANCE
YOUR STORY, a free dance and self-

expression workshop for LGBT community members and their allies. This
all-levels, trans-friendly workshop
will cover basic movements, dance,
and other forms of expression, taught
by Sean Dorsey, an award-winning
transgender choreographer. Please
wear comfortable clothing. All ages,
bodies, levels of experience and fitness welcome. 5:30-7:30 p.m. 2000
14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more
information, visit

HEALTH offers free HIV testing, 9-5

p.m., and HIV services (by appointment). Call 202-291-4707, or visit


practice session at Takoma Aquatic
Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW. 7:30-9

DC LAMBDA SQUARES gay and lesbian square-dancing group features
mainstream through advanced square
dancing at the National City Christian
Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW, 7-9:30
p.m. Casual dress. 301-257-0517,
Virginia social group meets for happy
hour at Sheraton in Reston, 11810
Sunrise Valley Drive, second-floor
bar, 7-9 p.m. All welcome.

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker
Health. At the Elizabeth Taylor
Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max Robinson
Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9
a.m.-4:30 p.m. For an appointment
call 202-745-7000. Visit


MARCH 31, 2016

IDENTITY offers free and confiden-

tial HIV testing in Gaithersburg,
414 East Diamond Ave., and in
Takoma Park, 7676 New Hampshire
Ave., Suite 411. Walk-ins 2-6 p.m.
For appointments other hours, call
Gaithersburg, 301-300-9978, or
Takoma Park, 301-422-2398.

free, rapid HIV testing. Appointment
needed. 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700.

DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC) practice session at Hains Point, 927 Ohio
Dr. SW. 6:30-8 p.m. Visit

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker
Health. At the Elizabeth Taylor
Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max Robinson
Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9
a.m.-4:30 p.m. For an appointment
call 202-745-7000. Visit

SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-5
p.m., by appointment and walk-in, for
youth 21 and younger. 202-567-3155


US HELPING US hosts a Narcotics
Anonymous Meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m.,
3636 Georgia Ave. NW. The group is
independent of UHU. 202-446-1100.


INSTITUTE for young LBTQ women,
13-21, interested in leadership development. 5-6:30 p.m. SMYAL Youth
Center, 410 7th St. SE. 202-567-3163,

men between the ages of 18-35, meets
on the first and third Fridays of each
month. 8:30-9:30 p.m. 2000 14th St.
NW, Suite 105. For more information,

free, rapid HIV testing. Appointment
needed. 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700.

affirming social group for ages 11-24.
4-6 p.m. 1419 Columbia Road NW.
Contact Tamara, 202-319-0422,

a social atmosphere for GLBT and
questioning youth, featuring dance
parties, vogue nights, movies and
games. More info, catherine.chu@
SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-6
p.m., by appointment and walk-in, for
youth 21 and younger. Youth Center,
410 7th St. SE. 202-567-3155,


The DC Center hosts a meeting of
transgender people and those who
identify outside of the gender binary.
7-9 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105.
For more information, visit

volunteer organization, volunteers
today for Food & Friends and Lost
Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation at Falls
Church PetSmart. To participate, visit


on various issues and anti-gay laws
affecting the LGBT community across
the globe, holds its monthly meeting
at The DC Center. 12-2 p.m. 2000
14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more
information, visit

HEALTH offers free HIV testing, 9-5

p.m., and HIV services (by appointment). 202-291-4707,


CENTER GLOBAL, a group focusing

p.m., and HIV services (by appointment). 202-291-4707 or

BET MISHPACHAH, founded by
members of the LGBT community,
holds Saturday morning Shabbat services, 10 a.m., followed by Kiddush
luncheon. Services in DCJCC
Community Room, 1529 16th St. NW.
others interested in Brazilian culture,
meets. For location/time, email
DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC) practice session at Hains Point, 972 Ohio
Dr., SW. 8:30-10 a.m. Visit

DC FRONT RUNNERS running/walking/social club welcomes all levels for
exercise in a fun and supportive environment, socializing afterward. Meet
9:30 a.m., 23rd & P Streets NW, for a
walk; or 10 a.m. for fun run.

DC SENTINELS basketball team

meets at Turkey Thicket Recreation
Center, 1100 Michigan Ave. NE, 2-4
p.m. For players of all levels, gay or

DIGNITYUSA sponsors Mass for

LGBT community, family and friends.
6:30 p.m., Immanuel Church-on-theHill, 3606 Seminary Road, Alexandria.
All welcome. For more info, visit

critical languages and foreign languages. 7 p.m. Nellie’s, 900 U St. NW.
RVSP preferred. brendandarcy@
IDENTITY offers free and confidential

HIV testing in Takoma Park, 7676
New Hampshire Ave., Suite 411. Walkins 12-3 p.m. For appointments other
hours, call 301-422-2398.



ADVENTURING outdoors group
hikes 10.2 strenuous miles with 2400
feet of elevation gain to Signal Knob
on Massanutten Mountain overlooking Strasburg, Va. Bring beverages,
lunch, sturdy boots, bug spray, sunscreen and about $15 for fees. No
dogs, please. Carpool at 9 a.m. from
East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride,
return by 6:30 p.m. Jerry, 703-9206871.

progressive faith community every
Sunday. 11 a.m. 1701 11th Street NW,
near R in Shaw/Logan neighborhood.



LGBT-inclusive ALL SOULS
celebrates Low Mass at 8:30 a.m.,
High Mass at 11 a.m. 2300 Cathedral
Ave. NW. 202-232-4244,

BETHEL CHURCH-DC progressive
and radically inclusive church holds
services at 11:30 a.m. 2217 Minnesota
Ave. SE. 202-248-1895,
DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC) practice session at Hains Point, 972 Ohio
Dr., SW. 9:30-11 a.m. Visit

DIGNITYUSA offers Roman Catholic
Mass for the LGBT community. 6
p.m., St. Margaret’s Church, 1820
Connecticut Ave. NW. All welcome.
Sign interpreted. For more info, visit

CHURCH OF CHRIST welcomes all
to 10:30 a.m. service, 945 G St. NW. or 202-628-4317.

WASHINGTON meets for worship,

10:30 a.m., 2111 Florida Ave. NW,
Quaker House Living Room (next to
Meeting House on Decatur Place),
2nd floor. Special welcome to lesbians
and gays. Handicapped accessible
from Phelps Place gate. Hearing

CHRIST welcomes GLBT commu-

nity for worship. 10:30 a.m., 6130
Old Telegraph Road, Alexandria.

GROUP for gay men living in the DC
metro area. This group will be meeting once a month. For information
on location and time, visit

DEVELOPMENT, God-centered new

CHRIST for an inclusive, loving and

REFORMATION invites all to Sunday

worship at 8:30 or 11 a.m. Childcare is
available at both services. Welcoming
LGBT people for 25 years. 212 East
Capitol St. NE.

services at 11 a.m., led by Rev. Onetta
Brooks. Children’s Sunday School, 11
a.m. 10383 Democracy Lane, Fairfax.


services at 9 a.m. (ASL interpreted)
and 11 a.m. Children’s Sunday School
at 11 a.m. 474 Ridge St. NW. 202-6387373,

CHURCH, inclusive church with

GLBT fellowship, offers gospel worship, 8:30 a.m., and traditional worship, 11 a.m. 5 Thomas Circle NW.

a Christ-centered, interracial, welcoming-and-affirming church, offers
service at 10 a.m. 680 I St. SW. 202554-4330,
INCARNATION, an “interracial,

multi-ethnic Christian Community”
offers services in English, 8 a.m. and
10:30 a.m., and in Spanish at 5:15 p.m.
1525 Newton St. NW. 202-232-0900,

ARLINGTON, an LGBTQ welcoming-

and-affirming congregation, offers
services at 10 a.m. Virginia Rainbow
UU Ministry. 4444 Arlington Blvd.


invites LGBTQ families and individuals of all creeds and cultures to join
the church. Services 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.
10309 New Hampshire Ave.


ing and inclusive church. GLBT
Interweave social/service group
meets monthly. Services at 11 a.m.,
Romanesque sanctuary. 1810 16th St.
NW. 202-387-3411,

age church & learning center. Sunday
Services and Workshops event. 5419
Sherier Place NW.


MARCH 31, 2016


The DC Center hosts a VOLUNTEER
NIGHT for community members
to lend a hand with various duties,
including cleaning, keeping safe-sex
kit inventory, and sorting through
book donations. Pizza provided.
6:30-8:30 p.m. 2000 14th St. NW,
Suite 105. For more information, visit


tice session at Hains Point, 927 Ohio
Dr. SW. 7-8:30 p.m. Visit


practice, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Garrison
Elementary, 1200 S St. NW.

GETEQUAL meets 6:30-8 p.m. at
Quaker House, 2111 Florida Ave. NW.
HIV Testing at WHITMANWALKER HEALTH. At the Elizabeth
Taylor Medical Center, 1701 14th
St. NW, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max
Robinson Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave.
SE, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For an appointment call 202-745-7000. Visit

(K.I.) SERVICES, 3333 Duke St.,

Alexandria, offers free “rapid” HIV
testing and counseling, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


free, rapid HIV testing. No appointment needed. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 1012 14th
St. NW, Suite 700. 202-638-0750.

NOVASALUD offers free HIV testing. 5-7 p.m. 2049 N. 15th St., Suite
200, Arlington. Appointments:

SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-5
p.m., by appointment and walk-in, for
youth 21 and younger. Youth Center,
410 7th St. SE. 202-567-3155 or
THE DC CENTER hosts Coffee DropIn for the Senior LGBT Community.
10 a.m.-noon. 2000 14th St. NW. 202682-2245,

US HELPING US hosts a black gay
men’s evening affinity group. 3636
Georgia Ave. NW. 202-446-1100.
POLO TEAM practices 7-9 p.m.

Takoma Aquatic Center, 300 Van
Buren St. NW. Newcomers with at
least basic swimming ability always
welcome. Tom, 703-299-0504,,

MARCH 31, 2016



HIV/AIDS Support Group for newly
diagnosed individuals, meets 7 p.m.
Registration required. 202-939-7671,

Us Helping Us hosts a COMMUNITY-

INFECTIONS, organized by local

Community Advisory Board members
and community leaders. The event
will feature a panel with leaders from
the D.C. Center for AIDS Research,
Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
George Washington University School
of Public Health, and other organizations. The meeting will inform the
public about the latest in HIV scientific advancements and the impact they
might have on communities impacted
by HIV. Light dinner provided. 5:30-8
p.m. 3636 Georgia Ave. NW. For more
information, visit

HEALTH offers free HIV testing,

9-5 p.m., and HIV services (by
appointment). 202-291-4707,

ASIANS AND FRIENDS weekly dinner in Dupont/Logan Circle area,
6:30 p.m.,

practice session at Takoma Aquatic
Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW.
7:30-9 p.m.

DC FRONT RUNNERS running/walking/social club serving greater D.C.’s
LGBT community and allies hosts an
evening run/walk.


testing and STI screening and treatment every Tuesday. 5-6:30 p.m.
Rainbow Tuesday LGBT Clinic,
Alexandria Health Department, 4480
King St. 703-746-4986 or text 571-2149617.

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker
Health. At the Elizabeth Taylor
Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max Robinson
Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9 a.m.4:30 p.m. For an appointment call
202-745-7000. Visit
DC CENTER hosts “Packing Party,”

where volunteers assemble safe-sex
kits of condoms and lube. 7 p.m.,
Green Lantern, 1335 Green Court NW.

IDENTITY offers free and confiden-

tial HIV testing in Gaithersburg,
414 East Diamond Ave., and in
Takoma Park, 7676 New Hampshire
Ave., Suite 411. Walk-ins 2-6 p.m.
For appointments other hours, call
Gaithersburg at 301-300-9978 or
Takoma Park at 301-422-2398.

(K.I.) SERVICES, at 3333 Duke St.,

Alexandria, offers free “rapid” HIV
testing and counseling, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


free, rapid HIV testing. Appointment
needed. 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 700.


LGBT focused meeting every
Tuesday, 7 p.m. St. George’s
Episcopal Church, 915 Oakland Ave.,
Arlington, just steps from Virginia
Square Metro. For more info. call
Dick, 703-521-1999. Handicapped
accessible. Newcomers welcome.

SMYAL offers free HIV Testing, 3-5
p.m., by appointment and walk-in, for
youth 21 and younger. Youth Center,
410 7th St. SE. 202-567-3155,
YOUTH ages 13-21 meets at SMYAL,
410 7th St. SE, 5-6:30 p.m. Cathy
Chu, 202-567-3163, catherine.chu@

US HELPING US hosts a support
group for black gay men 40 and older.
7-9 p.m., 3636 Georgia Ave. NW.
Whitman-Walker Health’s GAY

STD CLINIC opens at 6 p.m., 1701

14th St. NW. Patients are seen on
walk-in basis. No-cost screening for
HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Hepatitis and herpes testing
available for fee.

BOOKMEN DC, an informal men’s
gay-literature group, discusses “Gay
Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern
Identity,” by Robert Beachy. 7:30
p.m. Cleveland Park Library, 3310
Connecticut Ave NW. All welcome.

AD LIB, a group for freestyle conversation, meets about 6:30-6 p.m.,
Steam, 17th and R NW. All welcome.
For more information, call Fausto
Fernandez, 703-732-5174.
HEALTH offers free HIV testing, 9-5

p.m., and HIV services (by appointment). 202-291-4707,

DC AQUATICS CLUB (DCAC) practice session at Hains Point, 927 Ohio
Dr. SW. 7-8:30 p.m. Visit


practice, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Garrison
Elementary, 1200 S St. NW.


offers Wednesday worship 7:15 a.m.
and 12:05 p.m. All welcome. 118 N.
Washington St., Alexandria. 703-5491450,

HIV TESTING at Whitman-Walker
Health. At the Elizabeth Taylor
Medical Center, 1701 14th St. NW,
9 a.m.-5 p.m. At the Max Robinson
Center, 2301 MLK Jr. Ave. SE, 9 a.m.4:30 p.m. For an appointment call
202-745-7000. Visit
IDENTITY offers free and confiden-

tial HIV testing in Gaithersburg, 414
East Diamond Ave. Walk-ins 2-7 p.m.
For appointments other hours, call
Gaithersburg at 301-300-9978.

JOB CLUB, a weekly support pro-

gram for job entrants and seekers,
meets at The DC Center. 6-7:30 p.m.
2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. For more


free, rapid HIV testing. No appointment needed. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 1012 14th
St. NW, Suite 700. 202-638-0750.

NOVASALUD offers free HIV testing.
11 a.m.-2 p.m. 2049 N. 15th St., Suite
200, Arlington. Appointments:

club for mature gay men, hosts
weekly happy hour/dinner. 6:30 p.m.,
Windows Bar above Dupont Italian
Kitchen, 1637 17th St. NW. Carl,
703-573-8316. l

BRIDGE CLUB meets for Social

Bridge. 7:30 p.m. Dignity Center,
721 8th St SE (across from Marine
Barracks). No reservations and
partner needed. All welcome.


MARCH 31, 2016


JR.’s Easter
Bonnet Contest
Sunday, March 27
scan this tag
with your
for bonus scene
pics online!

Photography by
Ward Morrison






MARCH 31, 2016



HEN JESSICA HAWKINS WAS A CHILD, nity, through outreach efforts initiated by the liaison unit. It’s
she would often try on her mother’s clothing. a job Hawkins adores, though she does regret that her mother,
She would almost always get caught.
who died when she was 16, never got to see her achieve success
To try and deal with her behaviour, in her career.
Hawkins’ family pushed her into various
“My mother never got to meet Jessica,” she says. “She never
activities, enrolling her in Boy Scouts, Sunday school, Bible got to see everything I became. But I know in my heart, she’d be
camp, and even military school. Hawkins now laughs at their happy for me, as long as I was happy. I can hear her say, ‘If you’re
futile attempts to change her.
going to do it, you’re going to do it right.’ That was her motto. So
“Here they are, trying to make a young man out of me,” she if you’re going to be a transgender woman, be the best transgensays, “and the whole time, I’m like, ‘I
der woman you can be.”
want to be a girl.’”
METRO WEEKLY: Let’s start with
Shuffled between various
your childhood and early life.
relatives across three states,
JESSICA HAWKINS: I was born in
Hawkins sought to find her
Miami in 1973 and lived there
place in the world, dealing
for the first 12 years of my
with the turbulence of family
life. This is where things get
life while struggling with her
crazy for little Jessica. Ever
own identity. After finishing
since I was 5 or 6 years old,
high school and a brief stint
I always felt female. Always
working for a family-owned
wearing my mom’s clothes,
court reporting business,
always getting caught. In the
Hawkins became a volunlate 1970s, early 1980s there
teer police officer in Front
was no information, there was
Royal, Va. Eventually, she
no Internet. My mom was a
took a paid position in the
single mom — my dad lived in
Shenandoah Valley.
Georgia — so she was doing
During that time, she
the best she could. I was put
also married and settled
in Boy Scouts, church, Sunday
down with her high school
school. And summers, while
sweetheart, never thinking
I visited my grandmother, I
that she would one day tranwas sent to more church and
sition. In 2000, she joined
Bible camp. When I was 12,
the D.C. Metropolitan Police
I went to live with my grandDepartment, where she was
mother in Arlington, Virginia.
eventually being promoted to
Sgt. Jessica Hawkins risked her marriage,
sergeant. But after 14 years
MW: Did you ever express that
on the force and 23 in maryou
wanted to be a girl to your
friends and career to come out as transgender.
ried life, Hawkins experimother or your grandmother?
Now she’s reaping the rewards
enced a “midlife crisis,” one
HAWKINS: They’d put me in
that prompted her to reexBoy Scouts, and I’m like, “I
Interview by John Riley
amine her gender identity. So,
don’t want to be in Boy Scouts,
Photography by Julian Vankim
she began the process of reinI want to be in the Girl Scouts.”
troducing herself to the world as
But no, there was so much shame
a transgender woman. It was then
around being trans, or any part of
she learned that secret hadn’t been quite so well hidden.
the LGBT community back then, especially as a child.
“I came out to my family, and that’s when I realized, ‘You
But my grandmother knew. Evidently, hindsight is twentyguys knew all this time?’” Says Hawkins. “And they were like, twenty. After talking to everybody when I came out, the whole
‘Oh, we forgot.’ How do you forget that your grandson or family knew. They’d never let me know, and they’d never have
nephew was really your granddaughter, or your niece, or your let me explore, so it was always me sneaking and dressing when
I could. My grades suffered because of it, because I used to dayThe bigger challenge was coming out professionally. Hawkins dream in school. I’d think, “I want to be her.” I used to think, “I
was known as a “tough guy, a guy’s guy” at work and feared want to wear the jumper, the cute little dress.” And I’d always
repercussions from both supervisors and colleagues. Those fears have to wear the little boys’ clothes, the slacks and the light blue
were unfounded, thankfully — something she learned during her shirt.
first official roll call as a woman.
MW: What happened in high school?
“I had this crappy little old wig on. It looked awful,” Hawkins HAWKINS: Between the ages of 12 and 16, it would get so consays. “I had my makeup done, my eyebrows done, manicure and voluted. I was bounced from Arlington, back to Miami, then
a women’s tie. And I remember my officers saying, ‘You know Georgia for a little while, then back to Miami, then Georgia for 2
what, Sarge? That’s cool.’ Everybody stood and clapped for me.” years, and then back to Virginia, this time in Front Royal. I had
Now serving as the head of MPD’s LGBT Liaison Unit, Sgt. three different high schools. I finally finished my high school in
Hawkins seeks to engage the District’s LGBT community and Warren County, in Front Royal, Virginia.
train officers to respond appropriately to crimes involving LGBT
I failed a year in high school. My mother died when I was
people. She is also the “face” of the MPD to the LGBT commu- 16, and I was struggling with going through all this: my mom’s

MARCH 31, 2016


death, my transition, moving. I’m not making excuses, but it
was amazing I finished with a high school diploma. In my final
year, I just had to take two classes so I could graduate. You have
work release, where you go to school for a half-day, and then
you work. So I started working for my grandmother. She owned
a court reporting business. I was a freelance court reporter, she
started teaching me a trade. Here I am, 18, 19 years old, with my
notary, and I’m going out to court, setting up all the recording
equipment and the steno mask and everything. I did that for
quite some time. I hated it. It was so boring.
MW: How did you get to MPD from court reporting?
HAWKINS: When I was 20, the Front Royal Police Department and
Warren County Sheriff’s Office did their first-ever reserve police
officers’ class. Unlike D.C.’s
reserve police officers, they
sent me through the entire
academy. About 20 other
officers and I were picked
as either town officers or
as deputies. We all graduated on Oct. 22, 1994 and
started patrolling. You did
a whole certification ride,
field training, and a few months after that,
you were turned loose. They give you the
keys to a police car, you take your uniform,
your gun, you have your arrest powers,
you’ve got your badge, your radio — the
whole nine yards. You’re a badge-carrying
police officer, you just don’t get paid.
I did that for two years, then in 1996,
I went to the town of Strasburg full time.
It was a paid, full-time position. I did that for almost four years.
In 2000, I began my career with MPD. I worked my way up — I
was assigned to the 6th District in Anacostia until 2014. While I
was at 6th District, I was a field training officer, or Master Patrol
Officer. I trained many, many officers. I worked midnights. And
once I made sergeant, I was promoted — I was sent to the 7th
District, the other half of Anacostia. I’ve worked everywhere in
the city, so I’m happy, regardless of where I’m at.
MW: You were married at the time. How did you meet your wife?
HAWKINS: We were highschool sweethearts. Married July 17,
MW: Any children?
HAWKINS: A son and daughter. My daughter, Josie, is with my
wife. And my son, Timmy — remember I told you that between
the ages of 12 and 16, I was bounced around? Well, when I was
in Georgia, I fell in love with a girl, and Timmy was the result of
that relationship. I was very young. He’s 26 now. Josie’s 21, she
still lives in the area. We get along great, my kids and I. My exwife gets mad at me a lot, but, you know, that’s the way it goes.
MW: How did you tell your family that you were transgender?
HAWKINS: I explained to them that I was in therapy. I kept saying that, trying to get them to ask me why. They said, “Oh, that’s
good, I’m glad that you’re getting counseling.” And I would
think, “Damn it, I want you to ask me why. I’m looking for a way
here to come out.” And everyone lived all over the country, so I
couldn’t really sit down and explain this to them. Finally, I just
blurted out, “I’m transitioning.” And they said, “What?” “I’m
transitioning from male to female.” And they’re like, “Do what?”
And it turned into a big explanation.
MW: Were there any negative reactions?
HAWKINS: My grandmother said, “Oh, my God, you’re screwing

up your life. The Devil has a hold of you.” My uncle found out
from my grandmother. He would not talk to me for a year-anda-half. I did try to talk to him and explain why, and he just kept
referring to me as his nephew, and that he changed my diapers
as a kid, and that’s just not possible. Last year, we started talking and I started visiting. I actually visit him and stay with him,
hang out.
MW: And your kids, were they accepting?
HAWKINS: They had a hard time with it at the beginning. Well,
my son, he was okay, because I was never really part of his life.
He lived with his mom in Georgia. But his exact words were: “I
don’t understand why you’d want to cut your pecker off.” He
was born and raised in rural Georgia, so coming from him, that’s
pretty good. He said, “You’re still my
dad.” And I’m like, “Perfect. You don’t
have to understand. Maybe with time
you will. But you’re still my kid.”
My wife knew I was transgender
from when we were dating. I told her
I liked wearing women’s clothing, and
I liked guys, and I was bisexual. She
knew all that. I explained
that to her. But neither
one of us ever thought I
would actually transition. We always thought
it would be a fetish, a
cross-dressing thing, not
actually a transsexual. She
knew about my dressing,
and about some infidelity
that I’m not too proud of.
It’s one of those things that we just try to get through.
My daughter knew when she was 7 years old. But I didn’t
know she knew until she was 13 or 14. She kept it a secret for
MW: How did she figure it out?
HAWKINS: So this is crazy. My daughter claims she can see ghosts,
or paranormal activity. We lived in a townhouse in Woodbridge
at the time. She was five years old. But my neighbor, who went
to American University, he was part of the paranormal science
program. They both would describe, at different times, the same
exact family passing through the walls. And I was like, “Oh my
God. That is as freaky as crap. Holy crap.”
My daughter explained to my wife that she knew I did a
pedicure with red nails. I fell asleep on the couch or something,
and the little ghost girl took her down to the couch, and told
her to pull the covers back and showed her. And then the little
ghost girl took her to the basement and showed her my stash of
women’s clothing and wigs and heels and shoes. So, yeah, the
little ghost girl sold me out. My daughter knew, all this time, and
she’d never told me.
One day, when she’s 13 or 14, she tells my ex-wife: “I know
about Dad.” And my wife goes, “What do you know?” “I know
he likes to wear women’s clothing.” And she said, “Well, you’re
going to have to talk to him about that.” My ex-wife came home
and said, “Josie knows.” I said, “Really?” “She knows. She knows
everything.” And I’m like, “Everything?” And she said, “Well,
not everything. But she knows that you dress.” And I was like,
oh shit. When Josie came home, I said, “Okay, let’s talk about it.”
At first, I would still not let my kids see me, and she’d get
so mad at me because I’d hide in my room or my office if I was
dressing. And if she came home early or came home from school,

“I’ve been assaulted
because I was trans. I’ve
been threatened because
I was trans.



MARCH 31, 2016



MARCH 31, 2016


I’d come out a little bit later. She’d say to me, “I don’t get why
you feel like you have to hide from me. I already know.” And I
said, “So you’re cool with this?” And she said, “Sure, just don’t
show my friends.” So for a couple of years, we lived with me
dressing while I was in the house. And my wife or daughter
would give me a courtesy call before they came home, especially
if they had friends coming over.
When I turned 40, I had a midlife crisis. I came out to my
doctor, because I was having sex with men and I was not faithful.
I was having some [sex] addiction problems. My wife and I, we
tried to work through it.
It’s a whole other issue
— I’m in therapy for it
still, getting through
that. I’ve never forgiven
myself for all the infidelity, and I think it’s horrible what I did.
MW: Was there anyone
else you were worried
about coming out to?
HAWKINS: There was one guy I was
scared to death to come out to, because
we were such good friends. This guy
— when you think of the spectrum of
gender identity and masculinity — is
at the end of that spectrum of masculinity. Hunter, fisherman, family
man, great cop — everything. Helped
me become sergeant, helped me study. I was scared I was going
to lose his friendship. So I wrote him this long, two-page email,
explaining everything. And I sent it.
I was feeling brave, thinking, “I’m going home. He’s on my
way home. I’m just going to stop by his house.” I called him, no
answer. I texted, “Are you up?” The next morning, he sends me
a text, “Yeah, I’m up.” “Did you read your email?” “Nope.” And
I said, “Read your email.” Two minutes later, he said, “Can I call
you?” We had a 45-minute conversation. And we had dinner that
night. And he said, “I don’t know why you thought you’d lose my
friendship.” He was a little hurt. He asked, “Why didn’t you ever
tell me?” I said, “I didn’t know how you were going to react.”
When’s the perfect time for a police officer to tell their partner,
hey, I’m gay, by the way. Or I’m trans. When does that happen?
So anyway, I told him, and the rest just fell like dominoes.
MW: How did you come out to the rest of the department?
HAWKINS: Well, the funny thing is, here I am, a new sergeant.
When you get promoted, you go from one district to another. So
I emailed my commander in 7D, and said, “Hey commander, I’m
getting ready to do something.” At this point, I had already told
all of my friends and contacts to send me their personal email
address. And I had started telling them. Some of them asked me,
“Is this real?”
All the research I’d done about coming out, especially
about being transgender, is that once you come out, if you
don’t stay out, people tend to forget, or say, “Is he serious
about that?” And so Brett Parson asked me, “Well, what do
we call you?” I had already known what my name would be.
I said, “It’s going to be Jessica.” And Brett says, “Well, are
there any plans to come out? Because now that you’ve told
everyone, it’s going to spread.”
I went back to work on a Sunday, worked Sunday, Monday,
and Tuesday — we call it Super Tuesday, because everyone in the
department is working that day. There’s two different roll calls,

and at the time, probably about 80 to 90 officers in 7D. I talked
to my commander and told him what my intentions were. I told
him, “Tuesday, I want to come out and start living full-time as
Jessica.” And he said, “Anything you need, I’ve got you.”
I remember coming to roll call, and just explaining it very
quickly to everybody. Both roll calls were amazing. The young
officers were awesome. The veteran officers, it took them a minute. The older officers, they were cordial, but they’d keep their
distance. But over the year I worked there, things changed. And
by the time I left, I was on a first-name basis with everyone there,
got along with everyone — veteran or
younger officer, didn’t matter.
MW: Are there any parts of the city
where you’ve felt unsafe, whether
in your uniform or in plainclothes,
because you are transgender?
HAWKINS: The Metro. When I was
offered this position, I’d
take the Metro to work.
So I’d take the Yellow
Line, transfer to the Red
Line at Gallery Place. And
what a nightmare that is.
It’s okay coming to work
in the mornings. But at the
time, working evenings, if
I was going home at 9 or
10 o’clock at night, it was a
nightmare at Gallery Place.
I can’t lock somebody up for being disorderly to me. They can
say whatever they want. If they did it to somebody on the train
who was not on the force, I could actually arrest them for disorderly conduct or what’s known as “fighting words.” That doesn’t
apply to me when I’m in uniform. But the ridicule I got. You’re
talking about a group of teens or people in their early twenties,
and one starts, and then they all just turn on you. And they knew
just what point to push it to. I couldn’t take the ridicule anymore,
so I stopped riding Metro.
MW: In recent months, there have been a couple of anti-LGBT
incidents on the Metro. How does MPD work with Metro Transit
to solve those cases?
HAWKINS: Unfortunately, because we don’t work for the same
agency, it’s not a requirement to work together. I’m not sure
what their training or procedure is. I would like to know about
those events, because they still happen in D.C. I would encourage people in the LGBT community or people in general to
report incidents. I go to community meetings, and I hear about
incidents, and I always tell people, “You’ve got to report it.”
Even though Metro Transit has their own police department,
I can still take a hate/bias incident report for them, and forward
it to them to let them know. And a lot of times, if I have to do
a warrant for someone for disorderly while on the train, I will.
Because that’s my job, to make sure that kind of stuff doesn’t
happen. If you’re doing something to someone based on any of
our protected traits, I’m not going to tolerate it. I’ll try and make
sure you get justice somehow.
MW: As head of the LGBT Liaison Unit, what is the biggest complaint you receive from the public?
HAWKINS: Right now, the biggest complaint we get is that we’re
not visible in the community. Fortunately, this unit is very much
up and running. I just took over a year ago, so I’m not exactly
sure what used to be done. But I go to as many meetings as possible. I go to as many events as possible. We do a lot of outreach

“I had my makeup done, my
eyebrows done, manicure and
a women’s tie. And I remember
my officers saying,



MARCH 31, 2016


— I think that’s one of the biggest complaints, and it’s something
we’re working on.
MW: Is there a particular complaint you hear most from LGBT
victims of crime?
HAWKINS: It’s usually fighting words. And in order to lock someone up for fighting words, it has to be on public domain, such as
a bus or on the train. Basically, if you’re trapped, and someone’s
calling you anything that could provoke you in an attack, that’s
how fighting words are described. Some of the biggest complaints I get are hate incidents, where people get called names.
They always try to remove themselves from situations where
it could get physical. But usually it’s late at night, if they’re out
clubbing or going out, they get verbal attacks.
MW: Let’s talk about the setup of MPD and the LGBT Liaison Unit.
Each district has its own unit, correct?
HAWKINS: Each district has their affiliate officers. The building
we’re in now is the main office for the LGBT Liaison Unit core
members, myself and four other officers. In addition to that, I get
two affiliate officers from a district each month, they get to work
here for 30 days. They work alongside the core members, they go
to events, they respond to crime. Anything involving the LGBT
community, whether it’s a crime or not, even if it’s a social event,
we’ll bring the affiliates along, just so they get more acclimated
to the community.
MW: What’s been the reaction among affiliates?
HAWKINS: Lately, the ones
who’ve come through here love
it. Every one of them wants
to work here full time. They
absolutely love it. They love
the people, the community. I
like having them work here,
because I can put my name
behind them and say, “This is
going to be a good affiliate for
the LGBT community,” and I
can feel comfortable putting them out there to
represent the LGBT unit.
MW: Has the competency training become easier
to do for all officers?
HAWKINS: Yes. We just finished our 2015
professional development training last year.
Myself and a handful of other instructors, we would go to
the police academy for a couple of weeks at a time, from
Tuesday to Friday, and teach LGBT competency, as well as
hate crimes and intimate partner violence. Every police officer that’s on duty now has been through that training. All the
recruit classes get the same training: 2 hours from each unit,
based on LGBT competency. I feel comfortable saying that if
an MPD officer is out on the street, with a badge and a gun,
they’ve been through this training.
MW: What’s been your toughest day on the force? And it doesn’t
necessarily have to relate to being transgender.
HAWKINS: Unfortunately, the last couple of years, the negative
experiences of being a transgender female police officer far outweighed what I thought was a bad day before I transitioned. So,
unfortunately, it is due to my transition. And there are a lot of
these days. There are a lot of people in the city I serve who don’t
understand, who don’t want to understand. I get a lot of hate
speech toward me, homophobic or transphobic slurs against me,
I’m called names.
I used to be super confident before I transitioned. I could go
anywhere and take control of a block, no problem. I tried the

same thing my first go out as a transgender female, and that’s
when reality slapped me in the face. A young group of people,
upper teens, young twenties, at least ten or fifteen of them.
They started calling me out for being trans, being a man, just
trying to hurt me. Luckily, my partner, she shut them up. We
finished our business and left. But that shook me. It really made
me scared and nervous. From that point on, I started trying to
build my confidence back up to where it was, but I still get a lot
of transphobic comments on the street — like Anacostia, when I
go over there.
I’ve been assaulted because I was trans. I’ve been threatened
because I was trans. I get challenged a lot more as a transgender
female. I get ridiculed. People take their cell phones and film me,
laughing at me, calling me all kinds of names.
MW: Was there ever a day where you just wanted to hang it all up?
HAWKINS: Oh, absolutely. There were many of those days in
my first couple of months, or probably in that first year after
transitioning, especially after my wife decided she was not
going to stay with me. The combination of people on the street,
plus losing my wife — who I had been with since 1991, and I
loved her. And I still do. When we weren’t sleeping in the same
room anymore, when I was sleeping downstairs and she was
sleeping upstairs, I really questioned what I did. I was like,
“Oh, my God, everyone on the street hates me.” Some of the
people I knew from 6D, they still, to this day, will not accept
me as a friend or even as
a person. I’m referred
to as “it” a lot. Not by
officers. But even today,
I got a message referring
to me as “it” from my exmother-in-law.
MW: What was your best
day on the force?
show you. If you
look at my board
back there, I
was in the 5th
District, on redeployment. I was
at a kabob place
on Benning Road. The vendor making my kabob, he wrote a
note for me.
It says, “Thank you for serve and protect. We love you. It is
even hard for me to be gay Saudi Arabia Muslim. Remember you
are not just an officer. You are a woman of integrity and fierce. I
am proud of you.”
It gave me so much happiness. It really makes me feel good.
Cheering me on gives me more strength. To me, that’s telling me
you’ve got my back. You’re from a country where they will kill
you for being LGBT, and here he is, Muslim guy, still practices
his faith. He took the time out while he was making my food.
I stepped away for a minute, and when I came back, he had
given me that letter folded up. And I was like, that is awesome.
That one gave me a huge smile. l

“The little ghost girl took her to
the basement and showed her my
stash of women’s clothing and
wigs and heels and shoes.


The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liaison Unit
(LGBTLU) is located in Dupont Circle at 1369-A Connecticut
Avenue, NW. The entrance is on the Massachusetts Avenue side
of the SunTrust Bank Building. Call 202-506-0714 (202-347-8164
TTY) or visit online.

MARCH 31, 2016


Progressive Playwright
All The Way scribe Robert Schenkkan is convinced that progress in LGBT rights is inevitable
Interview by Doug Rule


transpired in his birth state of North Carolina just
before Easter, when legislators rammed through a
law banning local anti-discrimination ordinances.
“Slipping in a sidebar that also prohibits local communities
from raising the minimum wage?” the Pulitzer Prize- and Tonywinning playwright says. “What’s that have to do with protecting that poor high school girl from being exposed to a rapist in
a bathroom? I think they know in their hearts this is all bullshit.
That it’s wrong. That it’s reprehensible. And that’s why they did
it the way they did it, in the dark of night.”
As disturbed as he is by the anti-gay antics in North Carolina
and other Republican-helmed states, Schenkkan is hardly disillusioned. He’s confident such bills will be rolled back due to public opposition, or at the least ruled illegal and overturned by the
courts. Ultimately he’s convinced that progress, in LGBT rights
as with other social issues, is inevitable.
That’s an outlook colored by the 63-year-old’s extensive
focus on the Civil Rights Movement, in particular the work of
President Lyndon Baines Johnson 50 years ago. Schenkkan,
who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1992 drama The Kentucky Cycle,
most recently finished work on The Great Society, a follow-up to
All The Way, his first examination of the LBJ Administration.
All The Way won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2014, and in
a few weeks will make its Washington theater debut at Arena
Stage — starring Jack Willis, who originated the role of LBJ at
the Oregon Shakespeare Festival — as well as get the HBO film
treatment, starring Bryan Cranston, who also played the role on
Broadway. All The Way focuses on the emotional and intense 11
months between John F. Kennedy’s assassination and Johnson’s
election in 1964.
“I would like to think that the political cycle we entered then
we are just now emerging from,” he says. “Convulsively, bloodily, but that we might be finally moving forward.” Yet Schenkkan
is not naive to the ways of progress. He knows that obstacles are
as inevitable as they are unpredictable, as opponents steadily
move forward.
METRO WEEKLY: I understand you have a personal connection to
Lyndon Baines Johnson, which inspired All The Way.
ROBERT SCHENKKAN: I grew up in Austin, the heart of Hill
Country. It’s very close to Johnson City, where LBJ grew up and
where his ranch eventually was — the Western White House.
And my father knew him in a very, very small but important
way for us. My father was a pioneer in public television and
radio, and he had been hired by the University of Texas to come
down and set up the first public television and radio station
in the Southwest. And his first job was to get permission from
then-Senator Johnson, because it would have been a direct
competitor with his own media empire. So he did meet with the
Senator. And Johnson not only gave his permission but of course
he would go on to sign into law the bill that created public television and radio in this country as we know it. So growing up, he
was a good man in our house.
I remember vividly the Johnson/Goldwater campaign of ’64.

MARCH 31, 2016


It was my first really conscious presidential election. And we
were thrilled when he won. A year and a half later, troop levels
in Vietnam had gone up from 25,000 to 170,000 and I felt differently about him. Several years later, as an artist, a man trying to
make a go of it, I became increasingly aware of the programs that
were helpful to me, the legacy of his domestic agenda, the socalled Great Society, and I had yet a different feeling about him.
MW: When you put together All The Way, where you thinking you
would also write a sequel, The Great Society?
SCHENKKAN: Yes. The challenge was that there’s so much great
material here. What do you want to write about? I could easily
have written a really interesting play about his first campaign
for the House of Representatives in Texas — as sort of the young
politician discovering himself. Or I could have written a play
about his first Senate campaign, which was stolen from him in
the final moments of the election with a handful of fake votes. Or
I could have written about his second Senate campaign, the one
he stole in the last moments with a handful of fake votes. Instead
I settled on the first term of the so-called Accidental President. It
was always in my mind to finish the story of his presidency with
The Great Society.
MW: How does this fit in with today’s politics?
SCHENKKAN: It’s shockingly contemporary. That’s how it feels.
The situational politics of 1964, uber-conservative wing of the
Republican Party in the ascendancy. The Republican Party was
in extreme disarray, very fractured. And we’re seeing something
very similar to that today. Race played an enormous role in the
1964 election, and race continues to play an enormous role in
American life. In fact all of the things that we argue about today
— race, Medicare, immigration, foreign policy — all of these
things had their genesis in 1964. Obviously it’s a very fraught
time. But it feels shockingly familiar in so many ways.
MW: Certainly this year’s election cycle seems to be shaping up in
unexpected and unpredictable ways.
SCHENKKAN: Well, I certainly didn’t project that Trump would
last as long as he has, or would be the Republican candidate. I’m
surprised at that, on the one hand. On the other hand, there’s
certainly reason why that is. It’s not irrational. One can understand the forces at work and how he’s exploited them, and the
unique confluence of personalities and forces right now so that
it makes sense in a certain kind of way, but I would never have
predicted this precise outcome. Nor would I have predicted
Bernie Sanders’s popularity, necessarily.
MW: Hillary Clinton was a given.
SCHENKKAN: Hillary was a given, and I thought that Rubio — not
who I was rooting for by any means — but I thought he would be
the candidate for the Republican party.
MW: You didn’t think Jeb Bush?
SCHENKKAN: I didn’t think Jeb would last. Certainly he was the
front runner. But the more you saw, the less there was to love.
It just didn’t seem to be happening. And from a political standpoint, regardless of what one thinks of Rubio’s actual politics
and ideology, he seemed the most presentable candidate that the
Republicans could field in 2016. And the one who would be, in
my opinion, the most challenging face. Apparently not. [Laughs.]


Jack Willis as LBJ in the Arena Stage production of All the Way.

MW: How much are you following the religious freedom bills being
passed in state legislatures, from Indiana to North Carolina —
which seem to be a backlash to the progress made in LGBT rights
in recent years, most notably with marriage equality?
SCHENKKAN: There’s no question that’s a backlash. There always
is, there always is. Whenever progress gets made, there is a reaction, an attempt to push back. It’s always three steps forward,
two steps back. So one could certainly have predicted this. It’s
unfortunate — the case in North Carolina, the way in which it
happened is unconscionable. But yes, there’s going to be a lot of
pushback on all these areas. Every time we move the ball a little
further down the field — towards a more diverse, more just,
more non-racist society, we’re threatening people. We’re threatening their privilege, we’re threatening
their power, we’re threatening their
world. And they’re going to respond.
We just have to out-lobby and outmove and out-vote them.
MW: We should talk about the gay
aspects in All The Way. There’s the work
of Hoover, for one. The era has been
referred to by some as “the Lavender
SCHENKKAN: Yes, 1964 was not a good
time to be a gay man or woman in
the United States. J. Edgar Hoover,
America’s most famous closeted selfhating homosexual, is a significant figure, and we see him actually blackmail
Joseph Alsop, who had tried to keep
his homosexuality very much on the
downlow. Hoover had acquired photographic proof about an assignation in
Moscow, and used that against Alsop,
manipulating or forcing him to publish
columns critical of Dr. King. And then, of course, most famously
Walter Jenkins, who was LBJ’s Chief of Staff and private secretary, and had been with him from the very beginning, was caught
by the D.C. Vice Squad in a men’s room at a YMCA having sex.
LBJ dropped him immediately. He cut him completely out of
his circle.
I don’t think it was so much that LBJ disapproved of homosexuality or whatever, but the charge often levied then was
that homosexuals in government would be more susceptible to
blackmail and were a security concern. And he was very worried about being flanked by Goldwater on this issue. And so he
dropped one of his oldest, closest friends like a hot potato. And
Jenkins went back to Austin. LBJ did not see him again until he
left office. At which point there was a reconciliation, although I
understand that Walter Jenkins’s wife, who never believed that
Walter was gay, never really quite forgave LBJ for his treatment.
So what we see is how men and women in this time period were
forced to hide their sexuality, and the baleful consequences of
that, personally and nationally, in terms of what that meant to
people. It’s a sobering reminder of what America was like not
that long ago.
MW: You remain interested and engaged in politics. After all these
decades of slow progress and lots of history repeating itself, I wonder, how do you keep from getting disillusioned?
SCHENKKAN: Well, like everybody, I have those dark moments of
the soul. But one of the positive things about occasionally working with historic material is the awareness of the arc of time, and
how these things play out over time. And that progress, while it

might in the short-term seem impossible, in the longer frame of
history is inevitable. And there’s a lot of comfort to be had there,
with the thought that, “Yes, this situation is not tenable right
now. It’s not what I want it to be, but it can be changed.” And
of course the requirement there is that as citizens we all put our
shoulders to the wheel and actually get involved. If you leave it
to others, then you will get the government you deserve. So that’s
how I stay positive. There are so many smart, talented people out
there doing good work, some of it is nationally recognized, some
of it is small and community-oriented, but people are out there
engaged, they’re working hard.
I think this younger generation gives us a lot of hope in many
ways. They’re a more diverse generation, they’re much more
comfortable with gender orientation
and sexual preference and race than
their parents were, and certainly than
their grandparents were. There’s still
so much work to be done, but I think
there’s reason to be hopeful. Even
though things like North Carolina happened, you’ve got to man up and get in
there. The reason they were able to do
that is because they, the Republicans,
occupy both those houses and the governor’s office. You don’t want that to
happen? Then you need to get out your
vote, and you need to make sure that
they aren’t able to exercise unilateral
power like that. That’s the lesson there.
MW: It can be hard to motivate people
until something like that happens.
SCHENKKAN: Well, it can be. But I was
very heartened, for example, by the
immediate response by several major
corporations, who immediately said,
this is bullshit and we’re not going to do business with the state
of North Carolina. That’s Walt Disney. That’s the NFL. That’s
the NBA. Take away basketball from North Carolina — those
people freak out. And nobody had to go bang on their door to ask
them to do that. They responded immediately from corporate
headquarters. That’s a huge difference than what you would
have seen 10 years ago. And that’s very positive.
I think those representatives in North Carolina, I think they
know in their hearts this is bullshit. That it’s wrong. That it’s
reprehensible. And that’s why they did it the way they did it, in
the dark of night.
It’s a horrible thing, and the temptation is all too easy to
sort of throw up your hands. But if we make a little progress, it
doesn’t mean that everybody is all hearts and flowers. That’s not
the way it works. It takes a long time to turn around a nation. I
remind people that the current president of the United States
— fifty years ago, his parents would have been guilty of a Class
C felony in Georgia. They could have been sentenced to seven
years in prison. The parents of the sitting president of the United
States. That’s fifty years ago. You think about how shocking that
is. That interracial marriage would be treated like that, and how
much further we are along today. As Dr. King says, the moral arc
of the universe bends toward justice, but very slowly. l

“If we make a little
progress, it doesn’t
mean that everybody
is all hearts and
flowers. That’s not
the way it works.


MARCH 31, 2016


Arena Stage presents the D.C. premiere of Robert Schenkkan’s All
The Way now to May 8 at the Mead Center for American Theater,
1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $90. Call 202-488-3300 or visit


MARCH 31, 2016


MARCH 31 - APRIL 7, 2016

Compiled by Doug Rule

Fine Dance
Library of Congress offers Pontus Lidberg’s
new dance work, set to Irving Fine


Martha Graham Dance Company performs this Friday, April 1, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.,
in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. A pre-concert
conversation with Lidberg and the Graham Dance Company’s Janet Eilber is Friday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m., in the
Whittall Pavilion, First and Independence Avenues SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit

MARCH 31, 2016



a gay man,” Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg says, “so a
lot of my work has male relationships. I don’t
create only male-female in duet, or malemale. I do all. I feel it’s more representative
of true society.”
Casting is interchangeable in Lidberg’s
newest work, a co-commission from the
Library of Congress and the Martha Graham
Dance Company. “There’s a group and then
there’s a soloist,” he says, “In the first cast, the
soloist is a lady, and in the second cast, a man. I
didn’t make it gender specific.”
The Graham Dance Company will debut Woodland
this weekend at the Library of Congress, as part of a
program celebrating the company’s 90th anniversary
season. It also features three other Graham ballets
commissioned by the Library, most notably Graham’s
seminal Appalachian Spring, set to Aaron Copland.
Lidberg’s new, abstract piece is set to the music of
Copland’s contemporary Irving Fine, principally
Fine’s Notturno for strings and harp. “My inspiration and impetus for the new work is what I
heard in his music,” says Lidberg, from a bird
flying tree to tree, to a person walking through
the forest below. “The music is beautiful — very
intelligent and sophisticated.”
In addition to his debut with the Graham
Dance Company, the 38-year-old is in pre-production on a big film project for his company,
Pontus Lidberg Dance. Merging the worlds of
dance and film is something that Lidberg has
been fascinated with since he was a teenager,
when he would always carry around an oldschool manual camera. “That taught me to see
the world through the lens of a camera,” he says.
“And once I had a career as a choreographer, it
made sense to choreograph for the camera too.”

—Doug Rule




True Romance
Smithers finally gets his gay day on The Simpsons


it seems, but the object of his long-suffering affection, Montgomery Burns.
What’s a lovelorn animated character to do?
The answer will be, at long last, revealed — if not out-and-out confirmed — this Sunday,
April 3, on The Simpsons.
“There’s not really an Ellen-type moment,” says Rob Lazebnik, a 12-year veteran with
the show, now it its 27th season, and writer of the episode, aptly titled “The Burns Cage.”
“I don’t want to give too much away, but it is absolutely acknowledged.”
For years, Lazebnik, who has a 21-year-old gay son, had wanted to tackle the subject
of Smithers’ feelings for his employer, Mr. Burns. He also wanted to give the character
“a romance.” “I just want to show him as the great guy that he is,” says the 50-year-old
writer, who got his start on Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest, “and this is one part of his
Lazebnik pitched the Smithers storyline at the staff’s annual story retreat. “People
were really excited by the idea,” he says. “For us and the audience, for so many years,
there’s been a kind of understanding that Smithers is gay. But now we’re shifting that
in this episode to show that Homer and the other residents of Springfield just know it.
There’s an awareness of it that Mr. Burns still doesn’t have.”
In the episode, Homer uses a gay dating app to help his friend find a man. Don’t expect
the show to broach the topic of gay marriage, however, something last tackled prominently over a decade ago, when Marge’s sister Patty was outed as lesbian. “We kind of
stayed clear of the issue because Smithers is just meeting someone for the first time in
this,” says Lazebnik.
The Simpsons has never shied away from adult topics or jokes — it’s dealt with death,
sex, infidelity, and more. “It’s not a children’s show by any means,” says Lazebnik. “But
at the same time we know a lot of kids are watching. It’s always in the back of our minds
while writing.” Still, he feels the episode is one of those watershed moments for the longrunning series.
“Television can really make an impact in the world,” he says. “And when you see the
episode, you’ll see that there’s this kind of big warm hug from everybody for the idea that
Smithers is gay. I hope that, without sounding corny, it sends a great message of tolerance.” —Randy Shulman
“The Burns Cage” airs Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Fox.


MARCH 31, 2016


Virginia’s fledgling theater troupe offers
its sixth annual festival, celebrating the
music and dance of cultures around the
world, with performances from a broad
spectrum of genres: jazz to Latin, opera
to klezmer. Presented in collaboration
with the Folklore Society of Greater
Washington, the series, curated by
Lynn Veronneau and Ken Avis, kicks off
with a performance by the Ocean Celtic
Quartet on Saturday, April 2, at 7:30
p.m. Other upcoming performances
include jazz group The Seth Kibel Trio
with Lena Seikaly, on Sunday, April 3,
at 6 p.m.; and the Cristian Perez Quintet
on Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. Series
runs to April 23. Visit creativecauldron.
org for more information. ArtSpace
Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave.
in Falls Church. Tickets are $20 per
performance. Call 703-436-9948 or visit


In “Brava!,” the Capitol Pride
Symphonic Band of this local LGBT
music organization explores music
from the viewpoint of women as composers and inspiration, and in a range
of genres and styles. The concert will
include experts from Wicked, Zephyrus
by Mary Ellen Childs and Spring
Festival by Chen Yi. Saturday, April 2,
at 7 p.m. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G
St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-3472635 or visit


As part of a special David Bowie
Tribute, the American Film Institute’s
Silver Theatre presents a few of the
movies featuring the Thin White Duke.
The Man Who Fell To Earth has already
been screened, while later in April
comes Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders
from Mars. But next is a 30th anniversary screening of Jim Henson’s visionary fairy tale, the last feature film he
would direct and one that has become
a cult sensation. Though most of the
characters are played by puppets,
Bowie is Jareth the Goblin King, who
kidnaps the little brother of Jennifer
Connelly’s character, forcing her to
traverse the King’s otherworldly maze
in order to save the boy from being
turned into a goblin. Saturday, April 2,
at 9:45 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633
Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets
are $12 general admission. Call 301495-6720 or visit


Another year, another presentation at
the Kennedy Center of the latest show
from the original Wonder Woman. A
smorgasbord of blues, rock, country and
pop, featuring both standards and original tunes, “Long-Legged Woman” gets
its name from one of Carter’s own compositions. She is once again accompanied by a band including Paul Leim and
Blue Lou Marini. Saturday, April 2, at 7

p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 202-4674600 or visit


Peak bloom of the cherry trees around
the Tidal Basin has already come
and gone, but the annual festival
runs for another two weeks. Notable
events still to come: The 50th Annual
Blossom Kite Festival on Saturday,
April 2, the all-day Southwest
Waterfront Fireworks on Saturday,
April 9, and a Festival Parade, Sakura
Matsuri Japanese Street Festival and
the art-and-nightlife event Cherry
Blast, all set for Saturday, April 16.
Call 877-442-5666 or visit for more


The Grammy-winning soul singer has
been an influence to everyone from
Mary J. Blige to Alicia Keys to Christina
Aguilera — whom she’s advising this
season on NBC’s The Voice — and billed
by Rolling Stone as one of the “Greatest
Singers of All Time.” Patti LaBelle
comes to Strathmore to offer a show
of her hits, from “Lady Marmalade”
to “The Right Kind of Lover” to “New
Attitude.” Thursday, April 7, and
Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m. The Music
Center at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville
Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $65
to $150. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Dance Place co-commissioned The
Missing Generation from the transgender-led San Francisco company,
a dance-theater work that serves as a
love letter to a forgotten generation of
survivors of the early AIDS epidemic:
those who experienced the loss of
so many friends and loved ones, yet
didn’t succumb to the disease themselves. Sean Dorsey created the work
after an extensive two-year research
period focused on conducting oral history interviews with longtime survivors. Saturday, April 2, at 8 p.m., and
Sunday, April 3, at 7 p.m. Dance Place,
3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in
advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202269-1600 or visit


Signature Theatre offers this play
from Bathsheba Doran, a writer better known for his work on premium
cable, from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire
and Showtime’s Masters of Sex. The
Mystery of Love & Sex is an unexpected story of an evolving friendship
between a man and a woman, who
aren’t quite straight and aren’t quite
in love with each other — but they
consider romance anyway, for the
sake of the parents. Opens in previews
Tuesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. Pride
Night is set for April 29. Runs to May
8. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell
Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or


Richard Linklater (Boyhood) stepped
back to his college days, crafting a
dramedy about a group of college
freshmen negotiating baseball, beer
and bongs while trying to figure out
the fairer sex. Linklater considers it
a spiritual sequel to his coming of
age stoner film Dazed and Confused.
Opens Friday, April 1. Area theaters.
Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


Casting Tom Hiddleston, a Brit, as
country legend Hank Williams hasn’t
been without controversy — Williams’
grandson denounced Hiddleston
as having no “moan or soul” in his
voice, among other condemnations.
However, both he and Elizabeth
Olsen as Audrey Williams have drawn
critical praise for their performances,
even if Marc Abraham’s film has been
regarded as a little lackluster. Opens
Friday, April 1. Area theaters. Visit (RM)


Writer/director Jeff Nichols describes
Midnight Special as a “sci-fi chase
film.” The chase in question? Roy
(Michael Shannon) is racing to get
his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) to
a secret location. He’s being hunted
by a religious sect and a government
agent (Adam Driver), and is assisted
by his ex-wife (Kirsten Dunst). Why is

he in such a rush? His son has a power
that can alter the world as we know
it. Better step on the gas, then. Opens
Friday, April 1. Area theaters. Visit (RM)


Marcia Milgrom Dodge directs and
choreographs a new production of
this old-fashioned musical, set during a sweltering Texas summer in the
mid-1950s and featuring a lively score
from the creators of The Fantasticks.
The focus is on a self-proclaimed rainmaker who promises to reverse fortunes in the drought-stricken town,
to say nothing of its leading spinster,
played by Tracy Lynn Olivera. To May
14. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW.
Tickets are $28 to $69. Call 800-9822787 or visit


A new play from Motti Lerner, author
of The Admission, about a middleaged Israeli ex-patriot who returns
to Tel Aviv after nearly two decades
away. Sinai Peter directs the production, which is part of a four-month
Voices from a Changing Middle East
Festival — the provocative series that
former Theater J director Ari Roth
has revived at his new company. Paul
Morella and Michael Tolaydo star.
Now to April 17. Atlas Performing Arts
Center, 1333 H St. NE. Call 202-3997993 or


MARCH 31, 2016



Robert Schenkkan’s 2014 Tonywinning drama examines the red,
white and blue-blooded leadership
of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Now in previews. Runs to May 8.
Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center
for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW.
Tickets are $40 to $70. Call 202-4883300 or visit


Keegan Theatre has reunited the creative team behind its 2014 production
of Hair for a more contemporary rock
musical. American Idiot focuses on
three lifelong friends on a quest for
true meaning in a post-9/11 world,
as told through the sharp-edged and
exhilarating songs of Green Day.
Extended to April 16. Keegan Theatre,
1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35
to $45. Call 703-892-0202 or visit


Theater J presents an adaptation
of acclaimed Israeli author David
Grossman’s 10-year-old novel about
enduring loss and accepting death.
Derek Goldman adapted and directs
the work, featuring Nora Achrati,
Edward Christian, Leo Erickson,
Nanna Ingvarsson, John Lescault,
Erika Rose, Michael Russotto, Rafael
Untalan and Joseph Wycoff. To April
17. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman
Theater, Washington, D.C.’s Jewish
Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW.
Call 202-777-3210 or visit


Another musical by Benj Pasek and
Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen,
Dogfight), based on Roald Dahl’s
disproportionately peachy tale and
featuring a book by Timothy Allen
McDonald, gets the theater for young
audiences treatment at Adventure
Theatre MTC. Michael Baron directs
the show, a co-production with Lyric
Theatre of Oklahoma. Closes Monday,
April 4. Adventure Theatre MTC,
7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo.
Tickets are $19.50. Call 301-634-2270
or visit


Jason Loewith directs the regional
premiere of this Pulitzer Prizenominated play, a tender and provocative story of an elderly woman
who’s using technology to reinvent
her memories. Written by Jordan
Harrison, the sci-fi-lite tale stars
Kathleen Butler, Michael Glenn,
Michael WIllis and Julie-Ann Elliott.
To April 10. The Theatre Lab at Olney
Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy
Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-9243400 or visit


Director Ethan McSweeny makes his
Studio debut with Deirdre Kinahan’s
Irish tale about a family reunion
and long-simmering sibling resentment. With a cast of eight, including
Dearbhla Molloy, Emily Landham,
Peter Albrink, Caroline Bootle

MARCH 31, 2016

Pendergast, and Ciaran Byrne. Now
to April 24. Studio Theatre, 14th & P
Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit


Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning
comedy focuses on employees at an
increasingly out-of-date movie theater struggling to find their place
in the world. Starring Evan Casey,
Lara C. Harris, Thaddeus McCants
and William Vaughan. Directed by
Joe Calarco. Extended to April 24,
with Pride Night set for Friday, April
8. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell
Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or


As a stop on a multi-city tour, Arena
Stage welcomes rock musician
Benjamin Scheuer, who will sing and
play guitar as he performs his solo
musical, relating his journey from boyhood to manhood that garnered him
a Drama Desk Award. Sean Daniels
directs. To April 10. Kogod Cradle
in the Mead Center for American
Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are
$40 to $70. Call 202-488-3300 or visit


Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
presents Jennifer Haley’s modern
crime drama, exploring themes of
desire, technology and morality in
a futuristic Earth wasteland. Shana
Cooper directs a cast led by Edward
Gero, in his Woolly debut, supported
by Woolly company members Gabriela
Fernandez-Coffey and Tim Getman.
Opens in pay-what-you-can-previews
Monday, April 4, and Tuesday, April 5,
at 8 p.m. To May 1. Woolly Mammoth,
641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or


Maryland’s Port Tobacco Players
offers a community stage production of Marc Shaiman and Scott
Wittman’s musical, originally based
on John Waters’ classic film. Suzanne
Donahue directs, with choreography by Brooke L. Howells-Weiser.
Weekends to April 24. Port Tobacco
Players, 508 Charles St., La Plata, Md.
Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 301-9326819 or visit


Dominion Stage offers a production,
led by Rosemary Hartman, of Mart
Crowley’s magnificent bitchfest, first
staged in 1968. It provides a look at
how some gay men — particularly in
New York’s Village — interacted with
one another at the time. Weekends to
April 16. Gunston Theater Two, 2700
South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are
$15 to $20. Call 571-DS-SHOWS or



Live Arts Maryland presents this
orchestra in a season finale blowout
with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9,
one of the most spectacular works
ever written for orchestra and chorus.
Saturday, April 9, at 8 p.m. Maryland
Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase
St. Annapolis. Tickets are $17 to $45.
Call 410-263-1906 or visit


Jack Everly leads the BSO and a
crowded stage of singing divas in a
SuperPops program called “Broadway
Divas.” Christina Bianco, N’Kenge,
Kristen Plumley and Mandy Gonzalez
are the leading ladies who will
take turns belting out tunes from
Broadway blockbusters including Les
Miserables, Dreamgirls, My Fair Lady
and Chicago. Thursday, March 31, at 8
p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301
Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda.
Also Friday, April 1, Saturday, April
2, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 3, at
3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony
Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore.
Tickets are $33 to $110. Call 410-7838000 or visit


Months before a final farewell tour
of the Go-Go’s, lead vocalist Belinda
Carlisle offers a solo show at the
Hamilton to run through her hits,
including “Mad About You,” “Heaven
Is A Place on Earth” and “Leave A
Light On.” Friday, April 8, at 8:30
p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW.
Tickets are $58.50 to $68.50. Call 202787-1000 or visit


D.C.-based jazz and swing band that
has been a staple at hip bars around
the area, along with more august venues such as the Kennedy Center. After
performing with Natalie Cole and
Dizzy Gillespie, Chaise Lounge perform swing standards as well as original tunes, including those from their
most recent album Gin Fizz Fandango.
Wednesday, April 6, at 8 p.m. and 10
p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave.
NW. Tickets are $20, plus $10 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or


An eccentric, indie rock, eight-piece
band from Minnesota, Cloud Cult
often reminds of bigger-named artists,
from Bon Iver to Mumford & Sons to
The Polyphonic Spree. Cloud
Cult would be a bigger-known entity
had they not turned down offers from
major label records, instead opting to
stick with founder Craig Minowa’s
environmentally focused Earthology
Records. But of course that progressive, independent spirit only adds
to their appeal. 9:30 Club presents
this concert, with opening set from

BBGun. Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m.
U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW.
Tickets are $20. Call 202-588-1880 or


British composer Henry Purcell wrote
his monumental The Fairy Queen specifically to accompany Shakespeare’s
Midsummer Night’s Dream. As part
of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s
celebration of 400 years of the world’s
most famous author, the organization
presents a concert by its in-house early
music ensemble of the songs, choruses
and instrumental music from Purcell’s
piece, along with other memorable settings of Shakespeare by Purcell. Friday,
April 8, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 9, at
5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, April
10, at 2 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East
Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $25 to $40.
Call 202-544-7077 or visit


Having opened for Joan Armatrading
and Suzanne Vega, among others, the
23-year-old French-American singersongwriter makes her Washington
debut, performing in an intimate
Adams Morgan nightclub her collection of songs — in English and French
— as featured on her debut deux
visions. Sunday, April 10, at 9:30 p.m.
Bossa Bistro + Lounge, 2463 18th St
NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-6670088 or visit


The 2007 winner of the Kennedy
Center Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano
Competition returns to perform music
from her 2014 debut Anthem for a New
Day. Friday, April 1, at 7 p.m. and 9
p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery.
Tickets are $39. Call 202-467-4600 or


“Celebrating David Bowie” is the focus
of the super-group Holy Holy, which
includes musicians who have played
with The Cult, Bob Geldof and Heaven
17 — but its two most famous members, drummer Woody Woodmansey
and bassist Tony Visconti, were both
key members of Bowie’s ensemble. The
two co-wrote, with Bowie and Mick
Ronson, 1970’s The Man Who Sold The
World. But they never got to perform
that album live, and that was part of
the inspiration for forming Holy Holy,
which plays the early music of Bowie,
1969 to 1973. Of course the project
has taken on greater resonance since
Bowie’s death. Sunday, April 3, at 8
p.m. Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market
Place. Tickets are $25 in advance or
$28 day-of show. Call 410-244-0057 or


Alaskan-born country-rock star
returns in a tour supporting her latest
release, Picking Up The Pieces. New
Orleans-flavored roots music band JD
& the Straight Shot opens. Thursday,
April 7. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln
Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are
$55 to $75. Call 202-328-6000 or visit


Every February and April the Kennedy
Center showcases some of the best
young musical artists from the nation’s
leading undergraduate and graduate
conservatories, part of its Conservatory
Project and free Millennium Stage
programming. Concerts on tap this
April are: Berklee School of Music
on Tuesday, April 5; New England
Conservatory on Wednesday, April 6;
Eastman School of Music at Rochester
University on Thursday, April 7; Indiana
University Jacobs School of Music on
Friday, April 8; Manhattan School of
Music Chamber Choir on Saturday,
April 9; and the Peabody Institute on
Sunday, April 10. All performances at 6
p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
Tickets are free. Call 202-467-4600 or


Nick Olcott directs a cast of aspiring
opera stars from the University of
Maryland in a production of Marc
Blitzstein’s Regina, based on Lillian
Hellman’s The Little Foxes. Musical
force Leonard Bernstein deemed
Regina “the first great American
opera” — yet its unusual demands
on the acting skills of the singers,
and complex relationship between its
music and spoken dialogue, has kept it
from being performed by either opera
or theater companies. Friday, April
8, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 10, at
3 p.m., Thursday, APril 14, at 7:30

p.m., and Saturday, April 16, at 7:30
p.m. Kay Theatre in the Clarice at the
University of Maryland, University
Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College
Park. Tickets are $25. Call 301-405ARTS or visit


“I’ll Take You There” all right: The
legendary R&B and gospel singer
Mavis Staples, who got her start with
family group the Staple Singers and
helped soundtrack the civil rights
movement, returns to Hamilton Live,
which she helped open four years ago.
Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. The
Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets
are $39.75 to $82.50. Call 202-7871000 or visit


Yes, the actor from seminal John
Hughes films of the ’80s is now making the rounds as a jazz vocalist.
Ringwald was actually a singer first,
performing as a girl with her pianist
father’s jazz band. She tours in support of her sleepy, smooth-jazz set
Except Sometimes, which includes a
cover of The Breakfast Club theme
song by Simple Minds. Ringwald
will be accompanied by pianist Peter
Smith, bassist Trevor Ware and drummer Clayton Cameron. Friday, April
8, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810
Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda.
Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 301-5815100 or visit


New York’s Metropolitan Opera,
where among others Renee Fleming
got her start, has handpicked four
young opera singers for a showcase
at Strathmore. Soprano Amanda
Woodbury, mezzo soprano Sarah
Mesko, tenor Adam Diegel and baritone Trevor Scheunemann will be
accompanied by Brent Funderburk
for a recital of arias from Carmen, La
Boheme, Tosca and Madama Butterfly,
as well as favorites from classic musicals including South Pacific and My
Fair Lady. Friday, April 1, at 8 p.m.
The Music Center at Strathmore,
10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda.
Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 301-5815100 or visit


Haydn’s trumpeting Mass in D Minor,
better known as the Lord Nelson
Mass, gets the full symphonic treatment when Stan Engebretson leads
Strathmore’s resident symphony
along with soloists, the National
Philharmonic Chorale, and special guests the Montgomery College
Chorale. The program also includes
Maurice Durufle’s gentle and meditative Requiem. Saturday, April 2, at 8
p.m. The Music Center at Strathmore,
10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda.
Tickets are $29 to $89. Call 301-5815100 or visit


Violinist Nikolaj Znaider begins a
two-week residency with the NSO
with a performance of Brahms’s
daunting showcase Violin Concerto,
in a Cristian Macelaru-led program
including Debussy’s impressionistic
La Mer, Faure’s Pavane and the first
NSO performances of music by Pierre
Jalbert. Thursday, March 31, at 7 p.m.,
Friday, April 1, at 11:30 a.m. (a “Coffee
Concert”), and Saturday, April 2, at 8
p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-4674600 or visit


One of the most popular singer-songwriters in Iran drops by GW Lisner
on his first U.S. tour. Friday, April
8, at 8 p.m. GW Lisner, The George
Washington University, 730 21st St.
NW. Tickets are $49 to $99. Call 202994-6851 or visit


Guitarist Sean Watkins co-founded
the Grammy-winning bluegrass/folk
group Nickel Creek with his fiddleplaying sister Sarah and mandolin
player Chris Thile when he was only 12
years old. But just like his bandmates,
the 39-year-old Watkins just has too
much to say musically to keep his output confined to the group. He’ll stop
at the Barns at Wolf Trap for his justreleased fifth solo set, What To Fear,
which finds him delving a little deeper


MARCH 31, 2016


into indie-rock territory. Saturday,
April 2, at 7:30 p.m. The Barns at Wolf
Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets
are $20 to $25. Call 877-WOLFTRAP
or visit


From way out of left field — though
actually Fort Collins, Colo. — comes
this act, principally a duo of Karen and
Ryan Hover, who previously made
experimental “dream-pop” music
together in the band Candy Claws.
In developing the Sound of Ceres,
the Hovers got assistance from musicians affiliated with other indie-rock
bands Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples in
Stereo, and The Drums. The result,
documented on its Proust-inspired,
orbits-themed debut Nostalgia for
Infinity, is pretty but trippy atmospheric dream-pop that conjures the
Carpenters one minute, Goldfrapp
the next. The duo will perform live
at DC9 with assistance from collaborator Jacob Graham of The Drums.
Tuesday, April 5, at 8 p.m. DC9, 1940
9th St. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202483-5000 or


“The Collegiate Championships” is a
national intercollegiate dance competition of the high-energy style originating in Punjab and hosted by George
Washington University’s South Asian
Society. The Bhangra Blowout is now
in its 23rd year, making it the oldest collegiate competition of its kind.
Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. GW Lisner,
The George Washington University,
730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $40.
Call 202-994-6851 or visit


Set to Philip Glass, Stephen Mills’
landmark dance reinvention of
Hamlet offers a contemporary staging that redefines the limits of dance.
Performances are Thursday, March
31, through Sunday, April 3, at 7:30
p.m. Also Saturday, April 2, and
Sunday, April 3, at 1:30 p.m. Kennedy
Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets
are $32.25 to $130. Call 202-467-4600
or visit


Wolf Trap presents this quartet performing Beethoven and Schumann,
but the focus of the concert is a world
premiere commission by Pulitzer
Prize-winning composer Caroline
Shaw. Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.
The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap
Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35. Call
877-WOLFTRAP or visit


A folk/roots-rock five-piece from
New York, the Felice Brothers got
started by three brothers busking in
the New York City subway — and
the lengths the members had to go
to in order to turn heads there must
be the reason the group is known
for putting on such a captivating and
boisterous stage show. The band, now
led by two Felice brothers, vocalist/
guitarist Ian and keyboardist/vocalist James, plus fiddler/vocalist Greg
Farley, bassist/vocalist Josh Rawson
and drummer David Estabrook, tour
in support of their latest set, Favorite
Waitress. Friday, April 1, at 8 p.m.
Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park
Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $30
to $40. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


The Bluegrass Situation and All Good
present a tour in support of Ladies
& Gentleman, the latest album from
the five-piece band, which originated
nearly a decade ago in Massachusetts
among students at the Berklee College
of Music. Friday, April 1, and Saturday,
April 2. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815
V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202265-0930 or visit


MARCH 31, 2016


Three diverse poets read from their
most recent works in a celebration of
the sonnet form at Folger Shakespeare
Library. Malachi Black, Laurie Ann
Guerrero and A. Van Jordan will also
participate in a post-reading conversation moderated by poet Donna
Denize, followed by a reception and
book signing. Monday, April 11, at 7:30
p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol
St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-5447077 or visit


Stand-up sensation Maz Jobrani, a
founding member of the Axis of Evil
Comedy Tour, leads an evening of
comedy with fellow Iranian-American
comedians Amir K and Omid Singhi,
plus special guest Kiosk, a pioneering
Iranian rock band. Friday, April 1, at
8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Tickets are $25 to $110. Call 202-4674600 or visit


The images of Smithsonian photographer Carolyn Russo offer a journey
examining contemporary and historic
air traffic control towers in this exhibition at the Air and Space Museum.
Through November. National Air and
Space Museum, Independence Ave at
6th St. SW. Call 202-633-2214 or visit



National Geographic Museum offers
an exhibition exploring the fascinating history and biology of crocodiles.
Crocs provides Immersive hands-on
experiences, from listening to crocodile calls to creating 3-D animations
of these ancient predators. Now to
May 8. National Geographic Museum,
1145 17th St. NW. Call 202-857-7588
or visit


Many never publicly displayed portraits of 53 luminaries at the top in
their fields is the focus of this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, Katy Perry,
Sonia Sotomayor, Michelle Obama,
Serena Williams and Kobe Bryant are
among the works, ranging from drawings to sculpture, paintings to video
portraits, and all recent additions to
the museum’s collection. Through
July 10. National Portrait Gallery, 8th
and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300
or visit


A showcase of three 20th century
print artists — Frank W. Benson,
H. Emerson Tuttle and Stow
Wengenroth — inspired by the beauty,
power and reverence of winged animals. Through April 9. The Old Print
Gallery, 1220 31st St. NW. Call 202965-1818 or


The Hillwood Museum presents a
special exhibition on the 19th Century
Russian painter who captured the
color, romance and extravagance of
the feudal Russian elite. Konstantin
Makovsky’s A Boyar Wedding Feast
will serve as the exhibition centerpiece, with exquisite objects and
details from the painting brought to
life through groupings of 17th Century
objects drawn from Hillwood’s collection, as well as loans from other
museums including the Met and
Baltimore’s Walters museums.
Through June 12. Hillwood Estate,
4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested
donation is $12. Call 202-686-5807 or


The National Building Museum offers
an exhibition focused on large-format photographs, mostly in black and
white, by Alan Ward, a renowned
practitioner of both landscape architecture and photography. Ward has
combined his dual interests in these
works, visually deconstructing the
fundamental elements of the landscape in stunning ways. The museum
also displays some of his photography
equipment and large-format cameras.
Through Sept. 5. National Building
Museum, 401 F St. NW. Call 202-2722448 or visit


Pixie Windsor has curated a show in
the Capital Fringe building featuring
local artists who created mixed-media,
music-inspired works on canvases the
size of a record album. Glynn Romero,
Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Ellagwynn
Niles, David Amoroso, Maryanne
Pollock, Willie Doyle and Matt Herring
are among the 17 artists represented.
Capital Fringe will get 20 percent of
all art sales. Through April 10. Logan
Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave.
NE. Call 202-733-6321 or visit


The Target Gallery presents work
by the newest artists in the Torpedo
Factory Artists’ Association, accepted during the 2016 annual competitive jury process. The artists include:
Therese Carroll, Naomi Christianson,
Marcel Artes Deolazo, Hannah Elmer,
Richard Greenway, Hyun Jung Kim
and Nan Lopata. Now through April
10, ending in an Artist Reception from
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Target Gallery
in the Torpedo Factory Art Center,
105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free.
Call 703-838-4565 or visit


Alex Braden curated this group sound
art show at the Transformer Gallery in
Logan Circle, featuring over 30 original compositions by D.C.-based musicians. It’s housed within a sculptural
installation, constructed from the fragments of cassette-player boom boxes,
created by Braden, Emily Francisco
and Adam Richard Nelson Hughes.
Through April 30. Transformer, 1404
P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit


Subtitled New Library for Congress
and the Nation, this exhibition marks
the 200th anniversary of the acquisition of Jefferson’s library of books, the
foundation of the modern Library of
Congress. The Jeffersonian concept of
a universal library covering all subjects
is the basis of the library’s comprehensive collecting policies. Through
May. Second Floor of the Library of
Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building,
10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or


Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen
has organized an exhibition with several museums to display the 39 masterpieces from his family’s collection
exploring the evolution of European
and American landscape art. Spanning
five centuries, the exhibition features
works, among others, by Jan Brueghel,
Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Gustav
Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward
Hopper and David Hockney. Through
May 8. The Phillips Collection, 1600
21st St. NW. Tickets $12. Call 202-3872151 x247 or visit


Baltimore’s American Visionary Art
Museum offers its 21st annual exhibition, featuring over 25 artists offering
works in various media that champion the radiant and transformative
power of hope. It’s an original and
unabashedly idealistic exhibition,
curated by Rebecca Alban Hoffberger,
founder and director of this original
and unabashedly unusual 20-year-old
museum. Through Sept. 4. American
Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key
Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are
$15.95, or $20 for the preview party.
Call 410-244-1900 or visit


Every three years the Smithsonian’s
National Portrait Gallery presents
finalists of the Outwin Boochever
Portrait Competition, named for a
late volunteer and benefactor. The
portraits are works drawn from all
over America, mostly featuring unheralded, everyday citizens and generally
presented in innovative ways through
various media, from standard photography to three-dimensional installation. This year’s winner is a stunning,
slightly surreal painting of a young
African-American girl by Amy Sherald
of Baltimore. Among the 43 finalists,
more than a half-dozen are LGBTthemed, including: Jess T. Dugan
of St. Louis and her masculine self-

portrait; a print of two transgender
teenagers in love by Evan Baden of
Oregon; an oil painting focused on a
recently married, older gay couple by
Paul Oxborough of Minnesota; and
a flamboyant, patriotic painting by
D.C.’s Tim Doud featuring his spouse,
cultural theorist Edward Ingebretsen,
in full plume. Through Jan. 8, 2017.
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F
Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or

Vinson Fox (aka Michael Clark),
Steve Ludlum, Michael McCall, JW
Mahoney, Michael Reidy, Robin Rose,
Judith Watkins Tartt and Joe White.
Opens in a gallery talk with the featured artists on Saturday, April 2, at 5
p.m. On exhibit to May 29. American
University Museum’s Gallery 252
at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400
Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202885-1300 or visit



Kimonos and the artwork they inspire
is the focus of Strathmore’s spring
exhibition, part of the 2016 National
Cherry Blossom Festival. Traditional
garments and modern interpretations
will be on display along with details
about how artists adapt and assemble
familiar motifs. Through April 17.
The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701
Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call
301-581-5100 or visit


Named after the band featuring artist
Kevin MacDonald, the Apler Initiative
for Washington Art offers this exhibition at the American University
Museum showcasing other local visual
artists who also played in bands in the
late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Represented
in the exhibition — which includes
sound recordings, posters and videos — are Dick Bangham, Michael
Baron, Jay Burch, Kim Kane, Clark

Window to Washington: The Kiplinger
Collection at HSW is an exhibition at
Washington’s Carnegie Library that
traces the development of the nation’s
capital from a sleepy Southern town
to a modern metropolis, as documented through the works of artists.
The Historical Society of Washington,
D.C., exhibition was made possible by
a donation from the Kiplinger family.
It’s also an early step in a reorganization effort by the society, which
has struggled to revive ever since
its short-lived effort a decade ago to
run a City Museum of Washington
proved too ambitious. Open Tuesdays
through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Historical Society of Washington,
D.C., at the Carnegie Library, 801 K
St. NW. Call 202-393-1420 or visit


The Rock Creek Singers and the
GenOut Youth Chorus of the Gay
Men’s Chorus of Washington will
help celebrate the 10th anniversary
of the Rainbow Youth Alliance with
this benefit performance. A suggested donation of $20 will benefit the
peer-to-peer, adult-facilitated support
group for LGBT youth. Saturday, April
9, at 7:30 p.m. Unitarian Universalist
Congregation of Rockville, 100 Welsh
Park Dr. Rockville. Suggested donation of $20. Call 240-324-7823 or visit


Rayceen Pendarvis’ monthly LGBT
variety show moves from the nowshuttered Liv Nightclub to downtown’s Martin Luther King Jr.
Memorial Library, with a mini-ball,
live music by Durell Arther, burlesque
artist Usagi Bum Bum, plus special
guests. Pendarvis hosts, joined by
announcer Curt Mariah and guest DJ
Vjuan Allure. Wednesday, April 6.
Doors at 6 p.m. Martin Luther King Jr.
Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW. Free.
Visit l


MARCH 31, 2016



Adore Delano’s After Party is swaggering, alcohol-swigging, sexuallyswinging and absolutely irresistible


(HHHHH) is a twistedly tuneful pageant of
club bangers and danceable downers. Putting
the clichéd, comedy-based music of her peers
in the shade, the former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant weds
together funky house music with an appetite for after-hours
Perhaps fittingly, the album opens with something of a comedown. The world-weary “I.C.U” is a downbeat highlight and a
credible showcase for Adore’s adept, if not quite seamless, relish

MARCH 31, 2016


for rapping. A brooding, trip-hop inspired track that thankfully
makes no pretense of its performer being a hard-core rapper.
However, her best flows are on more carefree, pop-orientated
numbers such as “Dynamite.” Blending together crisp electronic
pulses with amusing drag queen attitude, it’s a slow-burning gem,
proving there is more to Delano than meets both the eye and ear.
The eurodance thump of “Better Than the Movies” might
follow a familiar script, but Delano sings with a soft and gristly
conviction unimaginable from any other Drag Race contestant.
Her producer comes back at her, resonance for resonance, with
a wide-eyed sheen that turns it into a blockbuster.
Not backwards in coming forwards, “Foreign Lover” f-bombs
its way into someone’s pants (“I know you want to fuck me on
the table backstage” probably sounds the same in any language
anyway). Just like the encounter being initiated, this is a threeminute head(board) banger that is fun while it lasts, but a long
way off conjuring much emotion. “Bold as Love” is a broody slice
of heavy-duty club beats, applied more thickly than Delano’s
eyeliner. Her token lyrical themes — excess and longing — come
out to play once again. If this song was not deliberately written


Party Girl

to sound like “bold ass love,” it’s a crime.
The free-for-all eponymous track is the album’s sharpest
incision, establishing a bold and brash sound that’s powered
by an androgynous groove — and presumably alcohol. Lots of
alcohol. Who needs a dress code, when “It’s my party and I’ll
fuck who I want” seems to rule out having a guest list? Drunk on
seedy, glitter-ball beats, the flirty attitude tingles through every
lyrical inch of “After Party,” as Delano saves her subtlety for the
sleek song craft. If one were to sarcastically remark that there
just aren’t enough acts who dig through ’80s pop for inspiration,
Delano’s Forever 21 attitude works its kinetic magic enough
to separate her from the crowd. Perky glitter-bomb “Take Me
There,” for instance, takes its bubbly, lip-smacking cue from
early “Borderline”-era Madonna — via the plastic sheen of Katy
Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”

However, that latter source of inspiration is the downfall of
strummy, sunny “I Really Like It.” Some of the melody sounds
suspiciously lifted directly from Katy Perry’s song, and in more
blatant fashion than some of Delano’s expletive-driven lyrics
While After Party seems initially like a big, garish make-up
box of neon surfaces, continue listening and you’ll find guts and
a softer centre. Delano’s vocal gloss hits a nerve on the tragically
wounded torch moment “I Can’t Love You”. She deserves to see
a sea of mobile phones held up at her as she sings her heart out
to this in gay bars all over the world.
The heart-rendering speed-ballad “Constellations” could
well be one of the loveliest love letters to the ‘80s dance scene
ever produced. Slotted in after the dancefloor wreckage occupying the majority of the album, Delano’s sweetly restrained aching shows no sign of losing steam, regardless of slower tempo.
Staying faithful to the album’s party-cycle concept, the closing
“4am” is the album’s biggest wake-up call, its sombre air catching a moment wherein its singer sings with soft regret. It is
doubly disorientating, lingering long after the song has ended.
High on ’80s influences, historical heartache and contemporary excess, After Party is high class pop trash. Every song generates its own uniquely scintillating, gutter-glam glitz. Shadowing
the club thumpers are ballads that dig deeper than simply being
morning-after moralizers. Indulging in despair at every turn,
it’s an album that both explores and intensely commits itself to
escape from it. At its best, After Party is swaggering, alcoholswigging, sexually-swinging and absolutely irresistible.
After Party is available now from Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
and on streaming services.


MARCH 31, 2016



THURS., 03.31.16

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • Multiple
TVs showing movies,
shows, sports • Expanded
craft beer selection •
Music videos featuring
DJ Wess
Happy Hour: $6 Call
Martini, $3 Miller
Lite, $4 Rail, $5 Call,
4-9pm • $3 Rail Drinks,
10pm-midnight, $5
Red Bull, Gatorade and
Frozen Virgin Drinks •
Locker Room Thursday
Nights • DJs Sean
Morris and MadScience
• Best Package Contest
at midnight, hosted by
Ba’Naka • $200 Cash
Prize • Doors open 10pm,
18+ • $5 Cover under 21
and free with college ID
1940 9th St. NW
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
Doors open at 5pm •
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
$2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts, $3 Domestic
Bottles, $4 Rail and Import
Bottle Beer, $6 Call • Men
in jocks and underwear
drink free, 8-10pm • No
Cover • 21+
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm


Happy Hour, 4-9pm •
Ladies Drink Free Power
Hour, 4-5pm • Shirtless
Thursday, 10-11pm • DJs




MARCH 31, 2016


Ziegfeld’s / Secrets
Saturday, March 26
scan this tag
with your
for bonus scene
pics online!


Photography by
Ward Morrison

All You Can Drink for $15,
5-8pm • $3 Rail Vodka
Highballs, $2 JR.’s drafts,
8pm-close • Throwback
Thursday featuring rock/
pop retro hits
Beat the Clock Happy Hour
— $2 (5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm),
$4 (7-8pm) • Buckets of
Beer $15 • Drag Bingo
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • No Cover
1410 14th St. NW
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
All male, nude dancers •
Shirtless Thursday • DJ •
9pm • Cover 21+

FRI., 04.01.16

9 1/2
Open at 5pm • Happy
Hour: 2 for 1 on any drink,
5-9pm • Friday Night
Videos with resident
DJ Shea Van Horn • VJ
• Expanded craft beer
selection • No Cover
All You Can Drink Happy
Hour • $15 Rail and
Domestic, $21 Call &
Imports, 6-9pm • Guys
Night Out • Free Rail
Vodka, 11pm-Midnight, $6
Belvedere Vodka Drinks all
night • DJ MadScience
upstairs • DJ Keenan Orr
downstairs • $10 cover
10pm-1am, $5 after 1am
• 21+
1940 9th St. NW
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
Doors open at 5pm •
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
$2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts, $3 Domestic

Bottles, $4 Rail and Import
Bottle Beer, $6 Call •
Fetish Friday — men in
leather covers drink free,
8-10pm • No Cover • 21+
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm
Happy Hour, 4-9pm • $5
Smirnoff, all flavors, all
night long • Otter Den DC
presents Otter Crossing,
9pm-close • $5 Cover
after 10pm
Happy Hour: 2-for-1, 4-9pm
• $2 Skyy Highballs and
$2 Drafts, 10pm-midnight
• Retro Friday • $5
Coronas, $8 Vodka Red
Bulls, 9pm-close
DJ Matt Bailer • Videos,
Dancing • Beat the Clock
Happy Hour — $2 (5-6pm),
$3 (6-7pm), $4 (7-8pm) •
Buckets of Beer $15

Open 5pm • Happy Hour:
2 for 1 on any drink, 5-9pm
• No Cover
DC Bear Crue Happy
Hour, 6-11pm • $3 Rail,
$3 Draft, $3 Bud Bottles
• Free Pizza, 7pm • No
cover before 9:30pm •
21+ • Drag Show starts at
10:30pm • Hosted by Lena
Lett and featuring Miss
Tatianna, Shi-Queeta-Lee,
Riley Knoxx and Ba’Naka
• DJ Wess upstairs, DJs
BacK2bACk downstairs •
GoGo Boys after 11pm •
Doors open at 10pm • For
those 21 and over, $10 •
For those 18-20, $15 • 18+
1410 14th St. NW
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4

All male, nude dancers,
hosted by LaTroya Nicole
• Ladies of Ziegfeld’s,
9pm • Rotating Hosts •
DJ in Secrets • VJ Tre in
Ziegfeld’s • Cover 21+
SAT., 04.02.16

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 3-9pm • $5 Absolut
& Tito’s, $3 Miller Lite
after 9pm • Expanded
craft beer selection • No
Cover • Music videos
featuring various DJs
Drag Yourself to Brunch at
Level One, 11am-2pm and
2-4pm • Featuring Kristina
Kelly and the Ladies of
Illusion • Bottomless
Mimosas and Bloody
Marys • Happy Hour:
$3 Miller Lite, $4 Rail,
$5 Call, 4-9pm • Rumba
Latina: A Latin Dance
Party, 10pm-close • Doors
open 10pm • $7 cover
before midnight, $10 cover
after • 21+


1940 9th St. NW
Happy Hour, 4-6pm •
Doors open at 8pm •
Happy Hour, 8-10pm •
$2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts, $3 Domestic
Bottles, $4 Rail and Import
Bottle Beer, $6 Call • No
Cover • 21+
Drag Queen Broadway
Brunch, 10am-3pm
• Starring Freddie’s
Broadway Babes • Crazy
Hour, 4-7pm • Freddie’s
Follies Drag Show,
8-10pm, hosted by Miss
Destiny B. Childs • No
Happy Hour, 4-9pm •
$5 Bacardi, all flavors,
all night long • Rewind:
Request Line, an ‘80s
and ‘90s Dance Party,
9pm-close • Featuring
DJ Darryl Strickland •
No Cover

MARCH 31, 2016


$4 Coors, $5 Vodka
Highballs, $7 Vodka Red
Guest DJs • Zing Zang
Bloody Marys, Nellie Beer,
House Rail Drinks and
Mimosas, $4, 11am-5pm •
Buckets of Beer, $15
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 3-9pm • No Cover
DC Rawhides host Town
& Country: Two-Step, Line
Dancing, Waltz and West
Coast Swing, $5 Cover
to stay all night • Doors
open 6:45pm, Lessons
7-8pm, Open dance
8-10:30pm • Funkytown:
‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s Dance
Party, featuring DJ Ed
Bailey, 10pm-close • DJ
Wess spins downstairs •
Robbie Turner of RuPaul’s
Drag Race performs in the
Drag Show • Meet and
Greet, 9pm • $20 Cover
for Meet and Greet •
Tickets available online


MARCH 31, 2016


at • Drag
Show starts at 10:30pm •
Hosted by Lena Lett and
featuring Miss Tatianna,
Shi-Queeta-Lee, Riley
Knoxx and Ba’Naka • For
general admission, doors
open 10pm • $12 Cover
• 21+
1410 14th St. NW
Doors open 2pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 2-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
Men of Secrets, 9pm •
Guest dancers • Ladies
of Illusion with host Ella
Fitzgerald • Doors at 9
p.m., first show at 11:30
p.m. % DJs • Doors open
8pm • Cover 21+
SUN., 04.03.16

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 3-9pm • Multiple
TVs showing movies,

shows, sports • Expanded
craft beer selection • No
$4 Stoli, Stoli flavors
and Miller Lite all day
• Homowood Karaoke,
hosted by Robert Bise,
10pm-close • 21+
1940 9th St. NW
Happy Hour, 2-6pm •
Doors open at 12pm •
$2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts, $3 Domestic
Bottles, $4 Rail and Import
Bottle Beer, $6 Call •
Buffet, 2-7pm — “Like” on
Facebook for menu options
• $2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts all day and night
• No Cover • 21+
Champagne Brunch Buffet,
10am-3pm • Crazy Hour,
4-7pm • Freddie’s Zodiac
Monthly Contest, hosted
by Regina Jozet Adams,
8pm • Karaoke, 10pm-1am

Happy Hour, 4-9pm •
Bears Can Party, 6-10pm
• Featuring DJ Jeff Eletto
• No Cover • Mama’s
Trailer Park Karaoke
downstairs, 9:30pm-close
Sunday Funday • Liquid
Brunch • Doors open at
1pm • $2 Coors Lights and
$3 Skyy (all flavors), all
day and night
Drag Brunch, hosted by
Shi-Queeta-Lee, 11am-3pm
• $20 Brunch Buffet •
House Rail Drinks, Zing
Zang Bloody Marys, Nellie
Beer and Mimosas, $4,
11am-close • Buckets of
Beer, $15
Pop Goes the World with
Wes Della Volla at 9:30pm
• Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on
any drink, 3-9pm • No

3530 Georgia Ave. NW
Diverse group of all male,
all nude dancers • Doors
open 8pm • Shows all
night until close, starting
at 8:30pm • $5 Domestic
Beer, $6 Imports •
$10 cover • For Table
Reservations, 202-4876646 •

drink, 5-9pm • Multiple
TVs showing movies,
shows, sports • Expanded
craft beer selection • No

1410 14th St. NW
Doors open 2pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 2-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4

Happy Hour: $2 Rail, $3
Miller Lite, $5 Call, 4-9pm
• Monday Night’s A Drag,
hosted by Kristina Kelly
• Doors open at 10pm •
$3 Skyy Cocktails, $8 Skyy
and Red Bull • $8 Long
Islands • No Cover, 18+

All male, nude dancers •
Decades of Dance • DJ
Tim-e in Secrets • Doors
9pm • Cover 21+

1940 9th St. NW
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •

MON., 04.04.16

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any

4@4 Happy Hour, 4-7pm •
$4 Small Plates, $4 Stella
Artois, $4 House Wines,
$4 Stolichnaya Cocktails,
$4 Manhattans and Vodka

Doors open at 5pm •
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
$1 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts • Free Pool all
day and night • Men in

DC Eagle T-Shirts get
Happy Hour, 8pm-close
• $2 Bud and Bud Light
Draughts, $3 Domestic
Bottles, $4 Rail and Import
Bottle Beer, $6 Call • No
Cover • 21+
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm
Happy Hour all night
long • Michael’s Open
Mic Night Karaoke,
Happy Hour: 2-for-1,
4-9pm • Showtunes Songs
& Singalongs, 9pm-close
• DJ James • $3 Draft
Pints, 8pm-midnight
Beat the Clock Happy Hour
— $2 (5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm),
$4 (7-8pm) • Buckets of
Beer $15 • Texas Hold’em
Poker, 8pm • Dart Boards
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • No Cover

1410 14th St. NW
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4

1940 9th St. NW
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm •
Karaoke, 8pm

TUES., 04.05.16

Happy Hour all night long,

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • Multiple
TVs showing movies,
shows, sports • Expanded
craft beer selection • No

Birdie La Cage Show,
10:30pm • Underground
(Indie Pop/Alt/Brit Rock),
9pm-close • DJ Wes
Della Volla • 2-for-1,

4@4 Happy Hour, 4-7pm •
$4 Stella Artois, $4 House
Wines, $4 Stolichnaya
Cocktails, $4 Manhattans
and Vodka Martinis

Beat the Clock Happy Hour
— $2 (5-6pm), $3 (6-7pm),
$4 (7-8pm) • Buckets of
Beer $15 • Karaoke and
Drag Bingo

DJ Honey Happy Hour:
$2 Rail, $3 Miller Lite, $5
Call, 4-9pm • SIN Service
Industry Night, 10pm-close
• $1 Rail Drinks all night
• Finale: DC Drag Wars,

Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • No Cover •
Safe Word: A Gay Spelling
Bee, 8-11pm • Prizes to
the top three spellers •
After 9pm, $3 Absolut,
Bulleit & Stella


MARCH 31, 2016


1410 14th St. NW
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
WED., 04.06.16

9 1/2
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • Multiple
TVs showing movies,
shows, sports • Expanded
craft beer selection • No
Happy Hour: $2 Rail, $3
Miller Lite, $5 Call, 4-9pm
• Wednesday Night
Karaoke, hosted by Miss
India Larelle Houston,
10pm-2am • $4 Stoli and
Stoli Flavors and Miller
Lite all night • No Cover
• 21+


MARCH 31, 2016


1940 9th St. NW
Happy Hour, 5-8pm •
Crazy Hour, 4-7pm • $6
Burgers • Drag Bingo
Night, hosted by Ms.
Regina Jozet Adams, 8pm
• Bingo prizes • Karaoke,
Happy Hour all night
long, 4pm-close • The
Gay Men’s Chorus of
Washington presents
Salsa Social, 7-10pm •
Hour-long salsa lesson
for beginners, followed by
open dance session
Buy 1, Get 1 Free, 4-9pm
• Trivia with MC Jay Ray,
8pm • The Feud: Drag
Trivia, hosted by Ba’Naka,
10-11pm, with a $200
prize • $2 JR.’s Drafts and
$4 Vodka ($2 with College
ID or JR.’s Team Shirt)

SmartAss Trivia Night,
8pm and 9pm • Prizes
include bar tabs and
tickets to shows at the
9:30 Club • $15 Buckets of
Beer for SmartAss Teams
only • Bring a new team
members and each get a
free $10 Dinner
Happy Hour: 2 for 1 on any
drink, 5-9pm • No Cover
1410 14th St. NW
Doors open 5pm • Huge
Happy Hour: Any drink
normally served in a
cocktail glass served in a
huge glass for the same
price, 5-10pm • Beer and
wine only $4
All male, nude dancers •
Shirtless Night, 10-11pm,
12-12:30am • Military
Night, no cover with
military ID • DJ Don T. in
Secrets • 9pm • Cover
21+ l



Green Lantern
Thursday, March 24
scan this tag
with your
for bonus scene
pics online!

Photography by
Ward Morrison





“Instead of bending over for big business,

the governor should’ve given Disney and all those other anti-Christian corporate bullies the heave-ho.

—Fox News pundit TODD STARNES, in an opinion column commenting on Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision to veto anti-LGBT
legislation, after pressure from the business community and threats of boycotts by companies such as Disney. The bill would have
allowed businesses and individuals to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religion.

“Discrimination is wrong, period.
The governor and the legislature should repeal this law.

—North Carolina Attorney General ROY COOPER, speaking with WNCN. Cooper’s office will not be defending N.C.’s recently
passed anti-trans law, which requires that transgender people in schools and government buildings use the bathroom that
corresponds with their birth gender. Cooper called the law “shameful” and “a national embarrassment.”

“If we’re gonna do what we did the other day,
we’re gonna have to start locking the door.”
—Alabama GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY (R.), in a recording of a phone conversation with his senior political advisor, Rebekah
Caldwell Mason. Bentley, a “family values” politician and longtime opponent of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, has been
embroiled in scandal after his affair was revealed by the former secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Bentley’s definition of traditional marriage is one man, one woman, and one mistress, apparently.

“You disgust me.
Don’t ever talk to me again.

—Actor JOEL GREY’s mother, after he came out to her as a teenager. Grey was speaking during an interview
at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.

“This is shocking waste of an opportunity and
thousands of gay men will suffer as a result.”
—MATTHEW HODSON, CEO of GMFA, a British gay men’s health charity, in an opinion piece for Gay Times. Hodson was
commenting on the English and Welsh health service’s plans not to offer PrEP to gay and bisexual men, despite conducting an 18
month study into its effectiveness and determining that it would benefit HIV services.


MARCH 31, 2016