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Enjoy a ‘staycation’ with our ideas for nearby getaways, including sailing, golfing and more. PAGE 27

local viewpoints
Michelle Rhee on inclusive schools; Clark Ray asks for your vote. PAGES 18 & 20

national news
Hawaii governor vetoes civil unions bill as gay rights groups promise to fight on. PAGE 16 • vol. 41, issue 28 • july 9, 2010 • Still sharp after 40 years

Fenty leads Gray by 6 points in Blade poll
Small sample hints at gay vote in D.C. mayor’s race
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. Participants in an unscientific straw poll conducted by the Washington Blade at the Capital Pride street festival June 13 said they would vote for D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty over his chief rival, City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, 40.7 percent to 33.8 percent. The poll shows Fenty with a 6.9 percent lead among the 145 mostly LGBT festival attendees that participated in the poll. But nearly 25 percent of the straw poll participants indicated they had yet to decide who would get their vote for mayor in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. Because the overwhelming majority of D.C. voters are registered Democrats, the primary almost always predicts the winner in the November general election. Mayoral contender Leo Alexander, a former TV news anchor who supports bringing the city’s same-sex marriage law before voters in a ballot initiative, received support from less than 1 percent of the straw poll respondents. Eight other, lesser-known mayoral candidates received no votes in the straw poll. In the hotly contested race for City Council chairman, respondents in the Blade straw poll indicated they would vote for at-large City Council member Kwame Brown over his main rival, former Ward 5 Council member Vincent Orange, 37.2 percent to 8.3 percent. Slightly more than 43 percent said they were undecided in that contest. Continues on page 4

Washington Blade file photos by Michael Key

Mayor Adrian Fenty leads his primary opponent D.C. City Council Chair Vincent Gray in an unscientific straw poll of LGBT voters the Blade conducted during Capital Pride.

Choi sees trial as ‘badge of honor’
Gay Rep. Jared Polis endorses Mayor Fenty during LGBT campaign event. Page 6

Gay Army officers face judge next week for White House arrests
By CHRIS JOHNSON A gay Army officer facing trial next week after chaining himself to the White House fence in protest of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” said his court appearance offers a fresh opportunity to call attention to the military’s gay ban. On July 14, the D.C. Superior Court will try Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo II, two gay Army officers who were arrested March 18 and April 20 after they Continues on page 14

Local gay singer Peter Fox is ready for prime time with new album. Page 34

Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key

U.S. Army Lt. Dan Choi, who was arrested after handcuffing himself to the White House fence in protest of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ will go to trial July 14.

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Park Police seek help in P Street Beach robbery
U.S. Park Police are asking for help in their investigation into a May 5 robbery in P Street Beach of a victim who might have met the robber inside a gay bar in the Dupont Circle area. A Park Police spokesperson said an investigation found that the victim and robber most likely met in one of the nearby clubs and walked together into P Street Beach about 2:30 a.m. P Street Beach is recognized as a gay male cruising area where men meet for sexual liaisons. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said the robber reportedly picked the pocket of his victim and took his wallet but did not assault the victim or use a weapon. Schlosser noted that the robber used a credit card he stole from the victim to make purchases in a number of stores in the Dupont Circle area, including the CVS drug store located on Dupont Circle. Schlosser said the suspect is described as being a Latino male sporting a thin beard. On the night of the incident, the suspect was wearing black pants, a blue T-shirt, a black striped hat and carrying a black backpack with a Nike logo and black string shoulder straps. The suspect is believed to be a regular at the gay clubs in the P Street area near Dupont Circle. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Park Police tip line at 202-610-8737. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Poll shows Brown with strong lead in Council chair race
Continued from page 1 Two lesser-known candidates in the race, Dorothy Douglas and Calvin Gurley, received 1.3 percent and 0.7 percent respectively. Orange came out against legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in the District when he ran for mayor in 2006, and denounced his mayoral rivals, including Fenty, who supported gay marriage. He said this year that he’s changed his mind on the matter and now supports the same-sex marriage bill that the Council passed and Fenty signed. In the race for at-large Council member, incumbent Phil Mendelson outscored gay challenger Clark Ray, 45.1 percent to 13.9 percent, among straw poll respondents. About 35 percent said they were undecided in the race. At-large candidate Donna Jean Alston received 2.8 percent of the straw poll vote, with candidates Kelvin Robinson and Will Ross receiving no votes. The 145 respondents in the Blade’s D.C. election straw poll comprised a far smaller number than those who participated in a separate Blade presidential approval rating poll also conducted at the Capital Pride street festival. The 145 respondents are too few to make the straw poll a statistically valid sample of the LGBT D.C. residents who attended the Capital Pride festival. But Blade editor Kevin Naff said the straw poll provides the only available glimpse so far into where LGBT voters stand in the race for mayor and City Council chair and the contest for an at-large Council seat in which an openly gay candidate is considered to have a shot at winning. No city polls conducted to date, including those by the Washington Post, have included information about the LGBT vote, which is considered influential in D.C. elections. A total of 560 people completed the Obama approval poll, which asked respondents to disclose whether they approve or disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of LGBT issues as well as all matters. The Blade is planning to release the results of that poll later this month. The greater participation in the presidential approval poll suggests that a significantly larger percentage of people attending the Capital Pride street festival were from jurisdictions outside D.C., such as the Virginia and Maryland suburbs and other mid-Atlantic states. Blade staff members invited Capital Pride attendees to participate in the poll as the attendees walked past the Blade booth at the festival. All attendees could complete the presidential approval poll, but only attendees additionally identifying themselves as D.C. residents were allowed to participate in the D.C. election poll. Among the 145 respondents in the Blade D.C. election straw poll, about 73 percent identified as being gay male, 13 percent were lesbian, about 5 percent were bisexual, 0.7 percent were transgender, 1.4 percent identified as queer, about 8 percent were straight, and 0.7 percent identified as other. By race and ethnicity, about 77 percent of respondents identified as white, 17 percent were black, about 7 percent were Latino, 1.4 percent were Asian-Pacific Islander, and 2.7 percent identified as other. In a breakdown by age, about 21 percent of respondents identified as being between 17 and 29; about 52 percent were between 30 and 49; about 24 percent were between 50 and 64; and 0.38 percent were 65 or older. Just 119 of the 145 respondents answered a question asking them to identify the ward in which they live. By ward, the breakdown was 20 from Ward 1; 36 from Ward 2; 12 from Ward 3; 10 from Ward 4; 14 from Ward 5; 23 from Ward 6; three from Ward 7; and one from Ward 8. The small representation of respondents from Wards 7 and 8 suggests that Gray might have received more support in the Blade poll had more people from those two wards participated in the poll. Other public opinion polls have shown Gray leading Fenty by a wide margin in wards 7 and 8, and gay activists living in the two wards have said they believe gays in the two wards also back Gray by a significant margin. But with some political pundits predicting voters will be nearly evenly divided citywide between Fenty and Gray as the September primary approaches, the gay vote could be a key factor in the outcome of the election. Although Gray won the endorsement last month of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political group, many believe LGBT voters are closely divided over the mayoral contest. A significant number of LGBT activists have yet to take sides in the mayoral race, a development backed up by the Blade poll showing that 24.8 percent of respondents are undecided in the race. The Blade poll finding that Ray, a gay Democratic activist and former D.C. Department of Parks & Recreation Director, is trailing Mendelson by more than 30 points could mean any of several factors are at play. Mendelson supporters have predicted LGBT voters will back Mendelson because of his strong support for LGBT rights, including his leadership in shepherding the gay marriage bill through the Council last year in his role as chair of the committee with jurisdiction over the bill. Ray’s poor showing in the Blade poll could also be due to his lack of name recognition compared to Mendelson, who has sat on the Council for nearly 12 years. Gay Democratic activist Peter Rosenstein, a campaign adviser for Ray, said the sample was too small to be an accurate predictor in the election. Rosenstein said the only aspect of the poll that could be a factor is its high number of undecided voters in the mayoral and at-large Council races. “That’s not a good sign for an incumbent like Mendelson, who has been in office for 12 years,” he said. Gay activist Bob Summersgill, a Mendelson supporter, said that while the number of participants in the Blade poll is small, its composition of mostly white gay men is a demographic for which Ray should have made a stronger showing as a gay candidate. “Phil beat Ray three to one in what should be Clark Ray’s best demographic,” Summersgill said. “And Ray even lost to undecided, two to one. I think that’s pretty significant and shows the lack of name recognition and lack of seriousness which the community is generally giving him.” Yet Summersgill and Jeffrey Richardson, president of the Stein Club, noted that the large number of respondents to the Blade poll saying they were undecided in the Council chair and at-large Council races also indicates those two races have received far less media coverage and voter attention than the widely publicized mayoral race between Fenty and Gray. “The reality is Phil Mendelson is the incumbent with higher name recognition,” Richardson said. “And even though Clark Ray was a director of the Department of Parks & Recreation, because Phil is the incumbent and has done so much legislatively and has been vocal on so many different issues, even marriage equality, people know and recognize what he has done. “So Clark Ray has a lot of ground to gain in trying to overcome the name-recognition bat-

New liquor law bill affects clubs displaced by stadium
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has introduced legislation that would raise the fee for maintaining liquor licenses for gay and straight nightclubs displaced by the Washington Nationals baseball stadium that have yet to reopen. The Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2010 would assess a special fee of 25 percent above the annual liquor license renewal cost for every six months that a nightclub or bar retains its license while the bar or club is closed and the license is held in “safe keeping” with the city. If a club or bar remains closed for two years, the special fee would increase to 50 percent of the annual renewal cost of the license every six months. The annual license renewal cost for a nightclub with a capacity of between 500 and 999 patrons is $4,550, according to a spokesperson for the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. The special “safe keeping” fee would apply to all clubs and bars, not just those displaced by the stadium. But LGBT activists have expressed concerns that the city has failed to take sufficient steps toward helping clubs displaced by the stadium find new locations. Some of the displaced clubs offered nude dancing, a status that limits their ability to relocate due to zoning restrictions against adult entertainment. Some activists have said they are considering asking the Council to add new language to the mayor’s bill that would ease restrictions on the relocation of adult clubs and ease some of the restrictions for clubs currently operating. Gay Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) chairs the committee with jurisdiction over the bill. Graham is expected to hold a public hearing on the bill within the next month or two. LOU CHIBBARO JR. tle,” Richardson said. “But in regards to where people really would be with one over the other, I’m not so certain.” The Stein Club is scheduled to hold its endorsement meeting and vote on the at-large Council and Council chair races on Monday at Town nightclub in D.C. Gay Democratic activist Lane Hudson, a volunteer in Gray’s mayoral campaign, said the Blade poll shows strong potential for Gray, even though it reveals him to be trailing Fenty among the sample of Pride festival goers. “I think the results show that there’s a wide opening for Vince Gray to win a significant majority of the LGBT vote if he can show that he is empathetic to the issues that are important to our community, such as a strong response from the mayor’s office on hate crimes, a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, and LGBT youth and schools,” Hudson said. Hudson and other Gray supporters have said Fenty’s record is weak on those issues. “It’s significant because those are people who are not necessarily the most active. If you look at the most active in our community — the Stein Club — Vince got 63 percent,” he said. Deacon Maccubbin, former owner of D.C.’s Lambda Rising bookstore and a Fenty supporter, said he wasn’t surprised at the Blade poll’s finding that a large number of respondents are undecided in the mayoral race. “But I have seen movement toward Fenty and I think he’ll do fine,” he said. “I think the gay vote is going to go the same way the city vote goes.

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Gay congressman endorses Fenty
Photo courtesy of the couple

Timothy Scofield (left) married Mitchell Gold in Iowa last month.

Mitchell Gold, Timothy Scofield wed
Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chairman of the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams home furnishings company, married his partner, Timothy Scofield, on June 19 in Des Moines, Iowa. The two have been together for three years. Polk County District Judge, Robert B. Hanson, who issued the first ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in Iowa, performed the ceremony for about 100 guests. The couple said in a statement that they chose to wed in Iowa because of the symbolism of getting married in the heartland. “Judge Hanson, I am here to tell you that I know you did not start out to be a hero when you issued your initial ruling, but for 14-year-old kids in Iowa and everywhere in America and in the world, you have said to them, you are a part of society, you are whole, you are wonderful. You can have anything and everything – especially love,” Gold said during his speech at the wedding. Gold is also the founder of a non-profit organization called Faith in America that works to combat religion-based discrimination. Scofield is the founder of the Velvet Foundation, which is working to establish a national museum of LGBT history in D.C. The couple honeymooned in Italy and will reside in Conover, N.C. and New York City. BLADE STAFF REPORTS

Gay U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) delivered a ringing endorsement of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s re-election bid June 30 at the Logan Circle gay bar MOVA, where Fenty held an LGBT community reception. With more than 150 people packed into the bar’s upper floor lounge, Polis praised Fenty for what the congressman said was a “tremendous” improvement in the city’s public schools and efficient and “great” overall city services during Fenty’s first term as mayor. Polis also praised the mayor for his support for LGBT rights and for helping bring about “gay marriage in Washington, D.C.” Fenty thanked Polis for the endorsement and told the crowd he believes his record on LGBT issues — as well as citywide issues — is strong and he hoped people attending Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key the event would consider voting for him in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty won praise The mayor then waded through the last week for the ‘tremendous’ improvecrowd, agreeing to requests by support- ment the city’s public schools have seen ers wearing Fenty campaign stickers on during his term. their shirts to pose with them for photos. “This is the actual LGBT community folks who will turn out and vote for the mayor,” said gay activist John Fanning, a Fenty supporter. “We’ve been hearing a lot from a few vocal activists who aren’t supporting the mayor … but I think this event tonight shows the rank-and-file people are with him.” Some people in the crowd said they had yet to make up their mind on who to vote for in the D.C. mayor’s race, saying they came to the event because it was billed as a “meet and greet” session rather than a campaign rally. Fenty said he plans to host more campaign events in the LGBT community. LOU CHIBBARO JR.

D.C. releases first gay health report
Although they smoke at a higher rate than the overall population, a higher percentage of D.C.’s gay, lesbian and bisexual residents rated their overall health as good or better compared to straight residents, according to a new city report. The report, prepared by Mayor Adrian Fenty’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Affairs and released last month, is said to be the first document assessing the overall health of the city’s lesbian, gay male and bisexual residents. The report’s findings were taken from data collected in 2005 and 2007 as part of an ongoing Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey coordinated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and conducted in D.C. and all 50 states. According to the D.C. report, 6,218 D.C. residents were surveyed by phone, with 90 percent identifying as straight, 4.5 percent identifying as gay or lesbian, and 2.3 percent identifying as “bisexual/other.” All findings are based on selfreporting by the respondents. The 2005 and 2007 data for transgender residents was too small to yield meaningful results, but improved data for transgender residents would be sought for future reports, said a source familiar with the report. Among the report’s findings of the city’s gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents: • 93.4 percent of gay and lesbian respondents rated their health as good, very good or excellent compared to 86.9 percent of straight and 86.3 percent of bisexual respondents; • 39.5 percent of gay and lesbian and 37.9 percent of bisexual respondents had a flu shot in the past year compared to 32.4 percent of straight respondents; • 68.6 percent of gay and lesbian respondents reported having a routine check up in the past year compared to 85.2 percent of bisexual and 73.6 percent of straight respondents; • 93.3 percent of gay and lesbian respondents reported having health care coverage as compared to 90.0 percent of bisexual and 91.1 percent of heterosexual respondents; • and 39.8 percent of gay and lesbian and 45.7 percent of bisexual respondents reported having one or more days of bad mental health in the 30 days prior to the survey compared to 31.3 percent of heterosexual respondents. A copy of the report is available online at LOU CHIBBARO JR.

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U.S. Rep. Rep. Tammy Baldwin said she was ‘disappointed’ the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions.

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Wisconsin high court upholds state’s marriage ban
MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously ruled June 30 to uphold the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. Justices determined in a 7-0 decision that the ban was consistent with state constitutional standards in 2006 when it was put to voters for a referendum. In the case of McConkey v. J.B. Van Hollen, plaintiffs argued the initiative violated a state rule limiting referendum questions to a single subject and contended same-sex marriage and civil unions were different issues. But Justice Michael Gableman wrote in the decision that both portions of the ban “carry out the same general purpose of preserving the legal status of marriage in Wisconsin as between only one man and one woman,” according to the Associated Press. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress, said in a statement she was “disappointed” with the ruling. “Regrettably, Wisconsinites, including many LGBT families, must live with a state constitution that enshrines discrimination,” she said. “While the effect of this ruling is a setback in our effort to repeal the discriminatory constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions, we will continue our quest for equality.”

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Speier: ENDA passage within 5 years
SAN FRANCISCO — A pro-LGBT lawmaker has said it may take five years for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, according to the Bay Area Reporter. The San Francisco-based LGBT newspaper reported this week that Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) suggested ENDA may not pass by the end of the year when, during a speech, she said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “is doing all she can to ensure a majority for next year so we can pass ENDA.” In an interview following her public comments before San Francisco’s Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Speier reportedly said in regard to ENDA’s prospects that passage this year ”is in question.” “There’s no question ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will be history this year,” Speier was quoted as saying. “ENDA, we will have that law for sure within the next five years.” Speier reportedly added that she was “being realistic” in her assessment.

No murder charge for man arrested in SF shooting
SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco man arrested in connection with a fatal shooting at a Gay Pride event is no longer considered a suspect in the death. The Associated Press reported that authorities said the .357 revolver found on 20-year-old Ed Perkins was not the weapon used to kill 19-year-old Stephen Powell in San Francisco’s Castro district June 26. Witnesses did not place Perkins at the scene of the shooting. Perkins initially was arrested on suspicion of murder, but now faces charges of possessing a concealed weapon and possessing a loaded weapon. Police have said they believe Powell knew his shooter.

Fire destroys Gay Pride float in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a Gay Pride float intended for a July 4 parade. KTUU-TV reported that witnesses told investigators that moments before the fire began July 2 they saw someone running from the driveway where the float was being constructed. Neighbors and the float’s builders said they fear the incident was a hate crime. Investigators said they’re still working on the matter. A report that concludes the fire was set would lead to a criminal investigation. The builders planned to improvise a float using the ashes and charred pieces of the original.

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Senate could take up ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal this month
Lugar says he won’t support efforts to derail vote
By CHRIS JOHNSON As opponents of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are pushing for the Senate to take up repeal legislation this month, one key senator says he won’t support an attempt to remove the language from a larger defense bill. U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (RInd.) told the Blade last week that he isn’t concerned about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language in the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill and wouldn’t support an effort to rid the legislation of the provision. Asked whether he would support a substitute amendment or a motion to strike, Lugar replied, “No. I would just leave it as it is.” Lugar said he would “presume” that he would vote against any filibuster of the defense bill as a whole, but expressed concern about the legislation being used as a vehicle for other costly programs unrelated to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “The defense bill, as it stands, seems to me to be a good piece of legislation, but I think the issue was the additions that were not paid for in various other ways,” Lugar said. Often regarded on Capitol Hill as a centrist Republican, Lugar voted in favor of hate crimes protections legislation after twice backing the Federal Marriage Amendment. Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said Lugar’s comments on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are “good news.” “That is consistent with what we have been hearing from his staff,” Sarvis said. “My view is that Sen. Lugar’s response is very encouraging.” Lugar’s support for allowing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language to stay in the defense bill could be a sign the provision would survive the legislative process once it reaches the Senate floor. On May 27, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to attach language leading to repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the defense bill. But while the repeal language has been attached to the defense bill, a number of obstacles remain that could prevent the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language from passing in the Senate. One such obstacle is a filibuster of the defense bill as whole. Additionally, a substitute amendment or a motion to strike could strip the legislation of repeal language.

Photo by Pete Souza, courtesy of the White House

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (center) said he isn’t concerned about the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal language in the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill and wouldn’t support an effort to rid the legislation of the provision. Mounting a filibuster of the defense bill would take 41 votes in the Senate. Such an effort would be politically challenging because pay for troops and defense programs are included in the larger bill. A substitute amendment or motion to strike with regard to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language would require 51 votes. Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (DMich.), a proponent of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, cited a filibuster and a motion to strike as potential dangers for the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language in a brief interview. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a motion to strike,” he said. “There’s even a threat of a filibuster against the bill.” Levin said a filibuster of the defense bill is possible based on a number of factors, including “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as well as a provision for funding for legal abortions on military bases. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the lead opponent of repeal in the Senate, has threatened to spearhead a filibuster and “do everything” he can to stop repeal language from reaching the president’s desk. His office didn’t respond to the Blade’s request to comment on whether he’s still pursuing a filibuster or planning a legislative maneuver to strip the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language from the bill. Another issue for the defense bill is when the legislation would come up for Senate consideration. Levin said he didn’t know when the bill would reach the floor. Still, Levin said he wants the Senate to take up the legislation this month. Asked about his predictions for when the defense bill would reach the Senate floor, Levin replied, “Hopefully, we’ll do it in July.” Sarvis also said the most “immediate challenge” advocates face with the defense authorization bill is finding time for floor discussion. Like Levin, Sarvis noted that he’s hopeful the bill will come up for discussion this month. “But the floor calendar is very crowded, so I’m not sure we’re going to get on in July,” Sarvis said. Sarvis said he’s been told the defense bill will need several days for consideration on the floor and the scheduling wouldn’t be “a matter of getting this bill on and off the floor in a day or two.” A knowledgeable Hill source said Senate consideration of the defense authorization bill could take two weeks before a final vote is cast. Other senators on Capitol Hill recognized as politically moderate lawmakers have expressed varying degrees of support regarding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language. One is Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), the lone Democrat to vote in committee against attaching repeal to the defense bill. He said he didn’t yet know whether he would support a substitute amendment or a motion to strike regarding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language. “I don’t know,” Webb said. “We’ll see what it says.” Webb noted that his May vote in committee against ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was “to delay repeal until we received this report” from the Pentagon, which is due Dec. 1. “I’ve been very involved in it,” he said. “In terms of putting together the study, I think it’s going to be a great piece of work that’s going out to between three and four hundred thousand people in the military.” Webb emphasized the importance of the having the study completed before taking action as “a measure of respect” for those in the U.S. military who would implement the repeal process. Sarvis said he’s heard reports that Webb wouldn’t support a filibuster of the defense authorization bill based on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language. Although Webb voted against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language in committee, the senator also voted to report out the legislation as a whole to the Senate floor. “He’s a member of the committee,” Sarvis said. “Historically, he’s been an advocate for the Defense Department. It would be extraordinary if he objected to Sen. Levin proceeding to a debate on the defense authorization bill.” Still, Sarvis said his understanding is that Webb would vote to strike the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language from the defense bill based on his earlier vote against the amendment in committee. Many repeal advocates also are watching Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the junior senator from the state, to see if he’ll follow suit with Webb on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when the defense bill reaches the Senate floor. Kevin Hall, a Warner spokesperson, said via e-mail the senator is watching the process for how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be repealed. “Sen. Warner supports repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in an orderly way, working with members of the uniformed services and our military leadership,” Hall said. Hall said Warner wouldn’t support a filibuster of the defense authorization bill. Regarding whether the senator would support a substitute amendment or a motion to strike the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” language, Hall said he’d “let our previous statement speak for itself.” Another moderate senator who’s reportedly opposed to filibuster is Sen. Scott Brown (RMass.). He voted against attaching repeal to the larger defense bill, but voted in favor of reporting the legislation as a whole to the floor. “Filibuster’s never — it’s not my style. I want to make sure that we have a full and fair debate on it,” Brown was quoted as saying in May in a Boston Globe article. Other senators that activists have discussed as being in question on whether they would support repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.). Their offices didn’t respond to the Blade’s request for comment.

july 9, 2010 • 11

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Legal challenge to ‘Don’t Ask’ goes to court
Two-week trial to feature discharged service members
By CHRIS JOHNSON Another avenue for ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will open up next week with the start of a trial over the constitutionality of the ban preventing openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people from serving in the U.S. armed forces. On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California will begin to hear testimony in what’s expected to be a twoweek long trial in the case of Log Cabin v. United States. Presiding over the trial will be U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips. The case challenges the constitutionality of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on the basis that it violates the due process and freedom of speech rights of openly LGBT service members. R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, said his organization is pursuing the lawsuit — initially filed in 2004 — as part of an effort to “conduct multiple operations to achieve victory” in ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as with a military campaign. “We are lobbying Republican members of Congress, have an active court case going to trial next week and are consulting with the Department of Defense,” he said. The case is reaching its trial at the same time legislation is advancing through Congress that could put an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Phillips agreed last week to hold the trial. The lawsuit is proceeding despite multiple requests to stay the case from the Obama “The thrust of their testimony is not that they individually were unfairly discharged, but that their discharges had nothing to do with their performance or nothing to do with the so-called purposes of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” he said. Among the former service members slated to testify is Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemebers United and a gay former linguist for the U.S. Army who was discharged in 2002 under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Nicholson, who’s named as one of the parties in the lawsuit, said the trial has been thus far “unusually successful” and noted that the administration’s attempts “to derail the case have so far failed.” “Because of my public role as a party to this case, my testimony will likely focus on the factors that make me eligible to bring a cause of action challenging this law, including how this law has harmed me personally,” he said. Also set to offer testimony during the trial is Mike Almy, a gay former Air Force communications officer who was discharged in 2006 and testified before the Senate on the issue. Almy said Log Cabin had asked him to be a witness during the trial, but noted that he didn’t want to comment on the specifics of the case before the trial begins. “I’m honored to help tear down this law that has ruined tens of thousands of careers and weakened our national security,” he said. “It is past time our nation catch up with the dozens of other nations that have lifted their bans on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.” Woods said other evidence that the plaintiffs will submit includes statements from President Obama saying the law weakens national security. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Freeborne will represent the Obama administration in court. Woods said he was told the administration won’t present any witnesses during the trial or any evidence other than the congressional testimony leading to the enactment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993. A spokesperson from the Justice Department deferred to the administration’s earlier filings in the case in response to a Blade inquiry about how the administration will defend “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in court. Woods said he’s “optimistic” that the plaintiffs in the case “will do well and win” the lawsuit. He noted Phillips determined that the heightened scrutiny from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Witt v. Air Force in 2008 would apply in the case. Woods said the application of this precedent will “have a major impact” on the case because the government would have to show it’s advancing an important interest with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Additionally, he said the administration would have to prove the intrusion of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on LGBT people furthers that interest and is necessary for that interest. “I don’t think the government can prove that and I think we can show that the government cannot meet that standard by the evidence we intend to put on,” he said. Despite his optimism, Woods said he couldn’t offer a timeline for how long the case would need to proceed. He noted that Phillips will need to take “a little while” to write up her ruling following the completion of the trial. “If we do win, we’re going to ask to declare this law unconstitutional and to enjoin the government from enforcing it ever again,” Woods said.

Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others in the Obama administration have expressed support for a legislative end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ But a case against the law is separately moving through the courts. administration, which is defending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in court. Representing Log Cabin during the trial is Dan Woods, an attorney for White & Case LLP. He said his plan involves presenting a variety of evidence. “It is evident from the evidence we’re going to put on that it is applied selectively, it is applied more in times of peace than in times of war,” Woods said. “It is quite clearly the case that most other countries with militaries comparable to ours allow homosexuals to serve and have no problems with lifting bans on homosexuals serving.” Woods said seven expert witnesses at the trial will offer different perspectives on the harm that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has caused. Among those who are set to testify are Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, a think-tank on gays in the military, and Nathaniel Frank, a former senior fellow at the Palm Center who’s now the senior strategist at the LGBT Movement Advancement Project. Both declined to comment for this article. Woods also said five service members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will offer testimony during the trial.

Gay GOP group calls on Steele to resign
By CHRIS JOHNSON Gay Republican groups are joining the chorus of conservatives criticizing Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele for recent comments about operations in Afghanistan. Steele drew fire from many within his own party after he expressed skepticism regarding operations in Afghanistan during a July 1 fundraiser in Connecticut. “This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said. “This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.” Steele also suggested U.S. efforts in Afghanistan wouldn’t be successful, saying “one thing you don’t do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan … because everyone who’s tried over a thousand years of history has failed.” Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of the political group GOProud, said conservatives have “lost all confidence” in Steele and called on the RNC chair to resign. LaSalvia told the Blade his disappointment with Steele is not simply the result of his Afghanistan remarks but his approach to Republican Party leadership. “I think that if you look at the totality of his tenure at the RNC, there’s been one thing after another,” LaSalvia said. “This election cycle is just too important to go through with somebody at the helm of the RNC who doesn’t have the confidence of conservatives and members of his party.” R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans and an Iraq war veteran, said Steele’s comments were “unwise and untimely.” “I would say his comments are unfortunate and disappointing,” he added. Cooper declined to comment on whether Steele should resign from his position as RNC chair, but said “many people are unhappy with comments, so that’s pretty universal.” In a statement last week issued by the RNC, Steele clarified his statements, saying “there is no question that America must win the war on terror” and “winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task.” “During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama made clear his belief that we should not fight in Iraq, but instead concentrate on Afghanistan,” Steele said in a statement. “Now, as president, he has indeed shifted his focus to this region. That means this is his strategy.” The RNC couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the criticism from GOProud and Log Cabin.

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14 • july 9, 2010


Trial for White House protest arrests set for next week
Continued from page 1 handcuffed themselves to the White House gates. Choi and Pietrangelo face a non-jury trial for the misdemeanor charge of two counts of failure to obey a lawful order stemming from their protest actions. If convicted, they could face a $1,000 fine, but jail time is unlikely. In an interview with the Blade, Choi said he hopes the trial will draw attention to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the fact that openly LGBT service members continue to face discharge under the law. “With regard to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the military, obviously, we’ve made it very clear that people are still going to get discharged — and that’s the bottom line for anybody who is involved in the fight,” Choi said. Congress took action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on May 27 when the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee independently attached language to each chamber’s version of major defense budget legislation that would repeal the law. But Choi said many “who are not in the know” erroneously believe the ban on open service ended as a result of the May votes, and that his trial can help educate people about the situation and “continue to build pressure.” Besides highlighting the military’s gay ban, Choi said he hopes his trial will call attention to what he called a kind of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” within the LGBT community that prevents people from taking action. “To me, they’re one and the same,” he said. “The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the military enforces shame and hiding and an inability to even discuss certain topics or bring up certain methods of how we’re going to be full and equal dignified people — and the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in our movement is enforced by people upon themselves, upon ourselves.” Choi said his activities and words may come across as “selfaggrandizement or arrogance,” but he believes he’s working toward a greater good, calling his actions “a matter of service” and “a matter of speaking out for other people.” He said he isn’t concerned about the criminal penalties he faces if found guilty and that his lawyers informed him he most likely wouldn’t face any jail time. “To be able to stand up and get punished and to continue to sacrifice in a visible way is a badge of honor on behalf of those people who have not yet been able to do the bare minimum of their steps toward gaining dignity — and that is coming out,” he said. If activists get their way, the upcoming trial could feature a star witness, although it’s highly unlikely he would appear in court. Lawyers with GetEqual, an activist group responsible for organizing protests keyed to certain LGBT issues, served President Obama a subpoena last week at the White House. They contend that Choi and Pietrangelo were following orders from their commander-in-chief, who has repeatedly said LGBT people should keep the pressure on him to follow through with his campaign promises for LGBT rights. One such example of Obama asking LGBT people to keep the pressure on him came last year during a keynote speech at the Human Rights Campaign national dinner. “And that’s why it’s so important that you continue to speak out, that you continue to set an example, that you continue to pressure leaders — including me — and to make the case all across America,” Obama said at the time. A White House spokesperson declined to comment on Obama’s receipt of the subpoena or whether the president would appear at the trial. Choi said protests outside the White House were “truly in keeping with what the president [said] needed to happen.” “Obviously, it wasn’t a direct order,” Choi said. “But it was an indirect order. I was in uniform at the HRC dinner. I was serving on active duty many times when he said those things.” Choi said service members like he and Pietrangelo have an “instinct to make sure you do everything you can” when the president or a military commander “even hints that this is the direction that needs to happen.” While acknowledging Obama’s appearance during the trial would be highly unlikely, Choi said Obama has already been subpoenaed under the “penalty of morality” to live up to the promises he’s made — particularly regarding the LGBT community. “He has to be able to stand up and be accountable to all of the things that he did — or didn’t — do as a commander particularly,” Choi said. Robin McGehee, co-founder of GetEQUAL, the organization that helped organize Choi and Pietrangelo’s protest at the White House, said GetEQUAL plans to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Choi and Pietrangelo during their trial next week. “We take our obligation of protecting the activists that work with us very seriously,” she said. “We have been in constant communication with their defense team and offered our support, but ultimately they are in control of the case’s legal strategy and we certainly respect and support their expertise.” McGehee said the trial will not only draw attention to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but “serve as a beacon of hope for many in our community that we can be in charge of our own equality.” “We don’t have to sit idly by and let someone else decide for us,” she said. “Dan and Jim have exemplified what it means to stand up and find your own voice.” Choi noted he hasn’t received help from national LGBT groups regarding his actions. “I’ve been in contact, of course, with GetEQUAL and the leaders of the grassroots groups, but the national groups — that are lobby groups now — I have not [heard from] and [have had] no offers of help or support,” Choi said. Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, said his organization isn’t involved with the case. He noted, however, that Choi’s trial would help bring attention to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “This case helps continue the pressure on the White House by spotlighting the fact that many are still looking to the president for active, not passive, leadership on this issue,” Nicholson said. Among the national legal groups that Choi cited as offering no support is the American Civil Liberties Union. Choi said he received a response from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, but that it “was on a personal platform and not representing the group.” “I am certainly waiting for those very smart people and adept people in those national groups to come around and show their support. I would love to see them at the trial,” Choi said. The ACLU didn’t immediately respond to the Blade’s request for comment on the matter. Choi’s trial will occur close to the one-year anniversary of when discharge proceedings against him for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” began. On June 30, 2009, a panel of New York National Guard officers recommended Choi be expelled from the U.S. military for publicly saying he’s gay. Although his discharge proceedings have started, Choi said he remains in service and last week returned from drill duty. He noted that his fellow service members have supported his efforts and talk about topics ranging from same-sex marriage to transgender people to gay sex. “[One] soldier asked me am I a top or a bottom,” Choi said. “And you know? That is when you know you made it as far as unit cohesion goes because people can joke [about] these things. I said, ‘Well, I don’t believe in those titles. In fact, I believe in full equality.’”

Trans woman wins lawsuit against Ga. Assembly
Ruling signifies ‘times are changing,’ attorney says
By DYANA BAGBY Special from Georgia Voice Vandy Beth Glenn was eating breakfast Tuesday when she got a call from Dru Levasseur, a Lambda Legal transgender rights attorney. “Dru called me and told me we had won,” Glenn said. “I felt excitement and relief.” Glenn’s excitement and relief came after learning a federal judge ruled late July 2 that the Georgia General Assembly illegally discriminated against her when she was fired from her job as a legislative editor after announcing her plans to transition from male to female. Lambda Legal is representing Glenn. After learning the news, Glenn said she broke down in tears. “This is the happiest I’ve been in a very, very long time. It’s been two years this month since we filed the suit and I was fired more than two and a half years ago. It’s been a very long road,” Glenn said. She said she’s been temping and doing freelance editing to make ends meet. In March, she got a job with the U.S. Census. “The Census is my first full-time job since I got fired,” she said. And while her story of unemployment may be similar to many people now unemployed due to the downturn in the economy, there is a major difference. “I lost my job due to injustice,” she said. “Justice may be sure, but is often not swift.” Glenn said she was not surprised by the decision. “I always thought the facts supported our side,” she said. Lambda Legal’s lawsuit claimed that Glenn’s termination “violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection guarantee because it treated her differently due to her nonconformity with sex stereotypes and her medical condition.” The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, originally named as defendants General Assembly Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby, former state House Speaker Glenn Richardson, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, former state Senate President Pro Tempore and now Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Johnson, and Robyn J. Underwood, the General Assembly’s legislative fiscal officer. Richardson, Cagle, Johnson and Underwood were dismissed from the suit by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Story with only Brumby remaining as a defendant. Atlanta attorney Richard Sheinis, representing Brumby, did not return a call seeking comment. His cocounsel, Nichole Hair, said, “We have no comment.” When asked if they planned to appeal, Hair responded again with “no comment.” They work for the law firm of Hall, Booth, Smith & Slover. Levasseur praised the decision for its message to government entities that they cannot fire a person simply for being transgender. “[This] decision by the court proved that the Georgia General Assembly isn’t above the Constitution,” he said in a statement. “The evidence was clear — Vandy Beth was fired because her boss didn’t like who she is, and that kind of treatment is unfair and illegal.” Vandy Beth Glenn was hired as a legislative editor in 2005 when she was living as a male, Glenn Morris. In 2006, she informed her supervisor, Beverly Ying, of her intention to transition to female. Glenn presented Ying with photographs of her as a woman and also gave Ying educational materials about an employee transitioning in the workplace. Ying saw no problem with this news and gave the information to Brumby. But when Glenn came to work dressed as a woman on Halloween in 2006 — when two other employees were dressed in costume — Brumby ordered her to go home because her attire was not appropriate. He then fired Glenn on Oct. 16, 2007, after learning she planned to transition. Brumby stated during court depositions that the thought of someone with male sexual organs in women’s clothing was “unsettling” to him.

july 9, 2010 • 15


Obama policy chief briefs LGBT media
Barnes warns ‘the queue is full’ for this year’s legislative agenda
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. Melody Barnes, President Obama’s top domestic policy adviser, said the president and his senior advisers decided early to arrange for “many” high-level White House officials to address LGBT issues rather than appoint a single LGBT liaison to handle those issues. In what may have been the first briefing for LGBT press by a White House domestic policy chief, Barnes called the divvying up of LGBT-related issues to the senior staff a “maturation” of both the LGBT civil rights movement and the U.S. presidency. “I can tell you that it was [White House Chief of Staff] Rahm Emanuel who urged the president to take action on hospital visitation” for LGBT partners, said Barnes. She said Emanuel pushed for the president’s decision last month to take executive action to require hospitals that receive federal funds to allow same-sex partner visitation and decision-making rights similar to that of married spouses. President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to designate a White House staff member to serve as the administration’s official liaison to the LGBT community, although the staff person had other, non-LGBT related duties. President George W. Bush, who succeeded Clinton, did not designate a White House LGBT liaison. Barnes fielded questions from reporters and editors from LGBT media outlets during a briefing July 1 held in a conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. In most instances, she reiterated positions expressed in the past by the president or his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, on issues ranging from efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill passed by Congress. “[W]ithin the last week or so you and many people have had the opportunity to hear the president talk about the issues that he believes are critical, specifically with regard to the LGBT community,” she said. “And we believe that we have, in the last 18 months, the year and a half that we’ve been in the administration, taken more steps and made more progress with regard to the LGBT community than past administrations have.” Barnes said the president has repeatedly made it clear that he wants Congress to pass several LGBT-related bills, including ENDA, which would ban most private-sector employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act, which would provide full spousal benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers. She said the president also remains strongly committed to seeing Congress repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars the federal government from recognizing and providing federal benefits for married same-sex couples; and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which bars gays, lesbians and bisexuals from serving openly in the armed forces. But in response to questions from reporters, Barnes said the president accepts the fact that leaders in Congress — not the White House — would decide when or if those pending bills are taken up this year. “The queue is full,” she said in reference to statements by House and Senate Democratic leaders that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal measure may be the only one of the bills brought to a vote this year due to a full legislative agenda. “We’re pushing hard.” On the issue of whether the Obama administration should have defended the Defense of Marriage Act or the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law against pending lawsuits challenging them on constitutional grounds, Barnes said the president and his Department of Justice believe they are obligated to defend existing laws, even if they don’t support them. “Right now it’s the law of the

Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has reportedly pushed President Obama to take action on LGBT issues, including hospital visitation rights. land,” she said of DOMA. “At the same time, that’s why the president has called for the repeal of DOMA, has been working towards the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and has been very clear about saying ‘I believe that in both instances, these laws are discriminatory.’”

16 • july 9, 2010


Hawaii governor vetoes civil unions bill
Activists denounce move as a ‘disgrace,’ plan lawsuit
By CHRIS JOHNSON The governor of Hawaii on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have instituted civil unions in the Aloha State as LGBT groups announced plans to continue the fight for relationship recognition. At a press conference announcing her decision, Gov. Linda Lingle (R) equated civil unions to same-sex marriage and said the issue inspired such strong emotions that it should be left for the people to decide. “It was the depth of emotion felt by those on both sides of the issue that revealed to me how fundamental the institution of marriage is [to] our community,” she said. Lingle had until Tuesday to sign the civil unions bill, veto it or take no action to allow the bill to become law. During the press conference, the governor said Hawaii’s residents should decide the issue of civil unions through the referendum process. “This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office, or by members of the majority party behind closed doors in a legislative caucus, but by all the people of Hawaii behind the curtain of the voting booth,” she said. In 1998, Hawaii voters approved an amendment to their state constitution allowing the legislature to prohibit same-sex marriage in Hawaii. The Hawaii Legislature subsequently passed a statute banning same-sex marriage, but left the door open for civil unions. In a statement, Alan Spector, legislative affairs co-chair for Equality Hawaii, said Lingle’s veto marked a “sad day for the thousands of Hawaii families who remain second-class citizens.” “We fail to see how the governor’s actions are in the best interest of Hawaii’s future and are nothing more than political maneuvering at the expense of people’s lives,” Spector said. “We’re disappointed and outraged that same-sex families will not be treated equally under Hawaii law, but vow to come back and fight this fight another day.” Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, also expressed disappointment in a statement that followed Lingle’s decision to veto the civil unions bill. “Gov. Lingle’s veto of legislation that would protect and strengthen Hawaii’s families is beyond a disappointment — it is a disgrace,”

Photo courtesy of Lingle’s office

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have enacted civil unions in the state. Carey said. “Hawaii’s lawmakers passed this bill because it was about fundamental fairness.” Carey said the governor’s action “flies in the face of both common sense and common humanity” and urged the legislature to override her veto. But House Speaker Calvin Say reportedly said last week the State House would not hold a special session to override Lingle’s vetoes. R. Clarke Cooper, executive director for the Log Cabin Republicans, said his organization’s affiliates in Hawaii worked hard to influence the Republican governor to at least allow the bill to become law without her signature. “Since this spring, Log Cabin Republicans on the Hawaiian Islands as well as the mainland United States have made it clear to Gov. Lingle and other Hawaiian lawmakers that we supported the civil union legislation,” he said. Cooper said individual members of Log Cabin lobbied lawmakers and Lingle to support the civil unions legislation. Activists in Hawaii are pursuing several options that could institute civil unions in Hawaii despite Lingle’s veto. In a statement, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii announced they were filing a lawsuit in state court to fight for civil unions in the state. Laurie Temple, staff attorney for the ACLU, said she’s “disappointed” Lingle didn’t follow through with signing the civil unions bill or allowing the legislation to become law. “Luckily for the people of Hawaii, however, our constitution prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation,” she said. “If the governor won’t honor her oath to uphold the constitution, the courts will.” Jennifer Pizer, national marriage project director for Lambda Legal, told the Blade her organization had litigation prepared in the spring when the civil unions legislation appeared to have stalled in the Hawaii Legislature. “We were hoping that it would not be necessary,” she said. “Now that it is, we will be switching into litigation mode.” Pizer said Lambda would file the lawsuit, although she didn’t know the exact timing of the case. She noted that Lambda has plaintiff couples lined up for the lawsuit, but declined to offer more information about them. “I can’t give you the details of who the clients are or exactly what the lawsuit looks like,” she said. “That will be public when we file it, but we have been working on it for quite some time.” Pizer said that guessing how long the litigation process would take is “very difficult to say” and would depend on how the state decides to defend the case. “We’re curious to know exactly what the path will be and how long it will take, but it’s impossible to tell until we see how the state decides to answer,” she said. Other groups — including Equality Hawaii and the Human Rights Campaign — are making plans to elect new lawmakers and a governor who would support enacting civil unions in the state. Don Bentz, treasurer for Equality Hawaii, said his group is awaiting the election in the fall to determine the best path for civil unions legislation. “We have a gubernatorial race and a number of allies in the House and the Senate are both up for re-election,” Bentz said. “So depending upon who gets reelected or does not get re-elected, that would kind of determine whether we want to reintroduce [the bill] or wait for a lawsuit to work its way through the courts.” One candidate for governor is already capitalizing on Lingle’s veto in the race to succeed her as governor. In a statement, Democratic candidate Neil Abercrombie said Lingle mistakenly characterized the civil unions legislation as a bill that would enact same-sex marriage. “The state legislature has already defined marriage as between a man and a woman,” Abercrombie said. “Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha.” Abercrombie said ensuring Hawaii residents receive equal treatment will be up to the next governor and legislature. “Protecting people’s civil rights cannot be compromised,” Abercrombie said. “I am committed to that most essential of constitutional imperatives.” Lingle predicted the issue of civil unions would come to the ballot soon. “I would be surprised if this does not go on the next available ballot,” she said. “I would encourage lawmakers to do it — whether it’s those who are in office or those who are not.” Bentz said the idea of bringing the issue of civil unions to the ballot has been under discussion for some time, but isn’t something LGBT rights advocates want to see happen. “When you go to the ballot, the opposition throws out all these lies and misinformation that basically cause people to vote against it,” he said. Bentz said a voter-initiated ballot initiative isn’t available in Hawaii and that the matter could only come to the ballot following a constitutional convention or direction from the legislature.

july 9, 2010 • 17

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18 • july 9, 2010


Vol. 41, Issue 28

Working toward more inclusive schools
Changing mindsets and methods that have blocked diversity
By MICHELLE RHEE Recently I met a gay couple with a child who would soon be entering school. They wanted to find a public school where they would be welcomed, recognized and respected as any other family, and they did not feel this level of comfort in their neighborhood school. They searched and eventually found a school in our system that could support them, but because it was not in their neighborhood, they came to me to request discretionary admission. We discussed their situation and they were pleased to enroll their child in a school that inspired their confidence. But for me, their story laid bare a significant challenge we would have to overcome as a school system.

‘ ’
Every school and its employees have to understand what our role is when it comes to LGBTQ issues, and we have to be competent in fulfilling that role.
They had to do an extensive search before they came to me with their request, including multiple phone calls and school visits. Yet of our 125 schools, this couple had only found one they felt showed the expertise, resources and degree of inclusion to support them. This was totally unacceptable. DCPS has made some very impressive gains in student achievement over the past three years, and I am proud of the work that made it happen. But despite our strides we are far from where we need to be, and this includes our capacity to serve LGBTQ students and families. It’s not feasible to give discretionary transfers to all gay couples just so they can send their kids to school, and no parent should have to search far and wide for a school that will serve their family well. Every school and its employees have to understand what our role is when it comes to LGBTQ issues, and we have to be competent in fulfilling that role. Mayor Fenty and I are focused on creating this dynamic in every school, but the sea-change that is necessary will not happen overnight. It

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will require trainings for our staff, which we have begun. It will take patience from everyone as we work to get this right in every school and it will take your willingness to invest in helping people to understand your needs and how we can best serve you. We continue to need the ongoing and open conversations that have begun, and I’m grateful for everyone from the LGBTQ community who is working with us. You are helping an entire system to change course from the methods, responses and mindsets that have blocked diversity and inclusion for decades. We know there are still large and small ways we can do a better job at this, and I always want to hear from you regarding your experience with us and suggestions we can use to improve.
Michelle Rhee is chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. Reach her at

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Sr. Acct. Executive BRIAN PITTS Acct. Executive JERYL PARADE Marketing Sales Executive DION JORDAN Classified Advertising PHILLIP G. ROCKSTROH Advertising Intern MALCOLM SCOTT For distribution, contact Lynne Brown at 202-747-2077, ext. 8075 Accounting services provided by Martin & Wall, P.C. C.P.A. Distributed by MediaPoint, LLC All material in the Washington Blade is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Washington Blade. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Although the Washington Blade is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Washington Blade, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. A single copy of the Washington Blade is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within a 50-mile radius of Washington, D.C. Multiple copies are available from the Washington Blade office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 52-week mailed subscription for $175 per year. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Phil Rockstroh at Postmaster: Send address changes to the Washington Blade, PO BOX 73647 Washington, DC 20056. The Washington Blade is published weekly, on Friday, by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. Individual Subscriptions are $175 per year for 52 issues (only $3.37 per issue mailed to you USPS). Rates for businesses/institutions are $350 per year. Periodical postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. Editorial positions of the Washington Blade are expressed in editorials and in editors’ notes as determined by the paper’s editors. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Washington Blade or its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words; commentaries should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Send submissions by e-mail to

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Why I support Fenty for re-election
Test scores are up, crime is down
By LARRY RAY I have lived in the District of Columbia for more than 30 years and I have never seen more progress than what we have made during the past 11 years under the administrations of Mayor Anthony Williams and Mayor Adrian Fenty. The D.C. population is rising. School test scores are rising. City services have improved. Crime is down. Mayor Fenty can proudly take responsibility for this progress.

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Most of us D.C. voters do not want to go back.  We want to continue to move forward as we have for the past 11 years. Mayor Fenty deserves to be re-elected so he can complete his vision for the District.
national school list. We taxpayers pay more than $14,500 per student. D.C. ranks fourth right behind New York, New Jersey and Alaska in the amount we spend per student. We deserve to see improvements. Now, school buildings have improved and scores are slightly up, a progressive contract has

Some oppose Mayor Fenty. Usually their opposition revolves around emotional issues, such as the baseball ticket scandal or charges that Fenty is arrogant. That’s not a solid basis for opposing his re-election. For several decades, I saw no progress in our schools, which always rated at the bottom of any

been signed and court-ordered benchmarks for special education are being met, thanks to Mayor Fenty’s appointee, Chancellor Michelle Rhee. It may be true that Chancellor Rhee needs to improve her people skills, but most of us voters are more interested in results. D.C. at one time was “the murder capital of the nation.” Now, most crimes are down with thanks to Mayor Fenty’s appointee, Chief Cathy Lanier. Chief Lanier has proceeded wisely, especially with her promotions of Patrick Burke and Diane Groomes — both having served in my police district-3D. In summary, most of us D.C. voters do not want to go back. We want to continue to move forward as we have for the past 11 years. Mayor Fenty deserves to be reelected so he can complete his vision for the District.
Larry Ray is a D.C. resident and has served as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Police Commissioner and Taxicab Commissioner. He also served as president of the Columbia Heights Civic Association.

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Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key

Mayor Fenty has presided over an era of progress for the city.

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july 9, 2010 • 19


Is the culture war over in America?
Far-right groups are shrill, out of touch
By JESSICA LEE The culture war has been an unfortunate sideshow in national politics and has been gravely harmful to the LGBT community. The lowlight of the culture war was the 2004 national election, when many state Republican parties put gay marriage plebiscites on the ballot in order to increase turnout from the religious right. I have a constitutional issue with ballot initiatives that vote upon the rights of others. The Constitution clearly protects the rights of every individual against the tyranny of the majority. Yet the strategy worked, and the anti-gay movement won as all 11 states that put a constitutional ban on gay marriage on the ballot voted yes and approved them. Those were dark days for gays who support conservative principles, but the tide is changing for the better. A recent positive flashpoint was when Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, and one of the most prominent conservatives, joined the GOProud advisory board (I am a board member of GOProud). The anti-gay Family Research Council launched an attack on Grover and GOProud that borders on the insane. Here is an excerpt from their web post: “This is a group that opposes the death tax and ObamaCare — not because they aren’t sound economic policies — but because they ‘discriminate’ against ‘gay families.’ “And the platform doesn’t end there. One of the group’s top 10 ‘principles’ is to create ‘enterprise zones’ for homosexuals, despite the fact that the average income for gays and lesbians is higher than most everyone else. At least two other of its ‘principles’ call for the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act. Among their other priorities: allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military and defeating any attempt to protect oneman, one-woman marriage.”

As the conservative movement becomes more inclusive and less focused on social issues, one can hope that the days of identity politics are over.
sanity making a return on the right.” Grover also sums it up well in the US News & World piece that profiled him: “The center-right is a ‘leave us alone’ coalition. If you look at why people are in the room, why people vote, why people get involved in politics, everybody in the center-right is there because on the issue that moves their vote, they want to be left alone. “Taxpayers: ‘Leave my money alone.’ Gun owners: ‘Leave my guns alone.’ Home-schoolers: ‘Leave my kids alone.’ All the various communities of faith—evangelical Protestants, conservative Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Mormons—the thing that matters to them is to be able to practice their faith and raise their kids. So the religious right, in terms of votes cast, it’s a defensive.” In addition, the huge challenges that the nation faces—

So the FRC represents a very unfortunate part of the conservative movement, but they are increasingly marginalized. The blog ran an insightful piece on the controversy. I had the opportunity to speak with Pam Spaulding and her comments were thus: “The libertarian wing in both parties are just plain fatigued of listening to the pious, often hypocritical bleating from the religious right, and those in the GOP are apparently ready to give them the public heave ho. That’s where GOProud comes in. It has stirred up a hornet’s nest among the fundies; look at the Family Research Council’s head explosion over Grover Norquist being named to GOProud’s advisory board. Even worse, Norquist blew off FRC’s criticism. This has been long overdue, and it’s good to see

wars on two fronts, a severe recession and current and looming crippling deficits—have captured the focus of most conservatives. In this environment, those who target social issues seem out of touch with reality and out of date. As the conservative movement becomes more inclusive and less focused on social issues, one can hope that the days of identity politics — that force many gays into feeling they have no choice but to vote Democratic — are over. We are getting there, but we still have some road ahead.
Jessica Lee is a new board member of GOProud and regular contributor to the Blade. Reach her at

20 • july 9, 2010


Why I’m running for City Council
We must address bullying, hate crimes and rebuild GLLU

I have lived and worked in the District of Columbia for 20 years — first at The American University, in the Clinton-Gore administration, and as chief of staff to Tipper Gore in the Gore 2000 campaign. I have experience in D.C. government, most recently as director of Parks and Recreation. I am a candidate for Council at-Large because I believe our politicians need to stop bickering and start solving the city’s problems. We deserve better crime prevention, more transparent education reform, better job training and LGBT issues cannot be an afterthought. As any family would, my partner Aubrey and I discussed the impact this decision would have on our personal life. We talked about the positive impact I thought my campaign could have on the city and its people. Together, we decided this was my opportunity to make a difference. With his support and with the

‘ ’
Rev. Willie Wilson … has apologized for some of his past remarks and has invited me, an openly gay man, to speak from his pulpit.
encouragement of many other valuable voices in our city, I realized that the people deserve new ideas, a vibrant and transparent government and fresh leadership. The fact is that my opponent and I both believe in full equality for all D.C. residents. And as part of a same-sex family, I thank him for supporting marriage equality. However, as a gay man I also know another “seat at the table” will make a real difference. I will represent the needs of all of D.C.’s residents, but I also understand first hand what it means to be a part of the LGBT community. And as part of an interracial couple, I know that my experiences and those of my partner Aubrey, an African-American, differ greatly. I’ve seen up close the racism and bigotry that too often is still a part of our community. We must address the long ignored problem of school bullying and the resulting tragic teen suicides and we need to increase HIV/AIDS education with support from organizations like SMYAL and Metro TeenAIDS. Rebuild the D.C. police department’s Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit and attack the problem of hate crimes with the intensity such violence demands. My efforts will be grounded in knowledge I gained as a reserve police officer in D.C.’s police department, walking a beat and serving with the Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit. When I speak out about hate crimes, walk in vigils, talk to survivors, it isn’t because an aide read in the newspaper about someone else’s struggle. It’s with an urgency that can only come from living as a gay man. I am running not just as the gay candidate who will be an advocate for the LGBT community, but as a public servant in D.C. with a track record of effectiveness and independence. The effectiveness was evident in my endorsement from Rev. Willie Wilson who said that during very difficult times. He has managed large numbers of employees and as chair of the Council successfully managed what we in local parlance often refer to as our 12 little mayors. Vince Gray has long believed that we need to unite our city. He understands and isn’t afraid to look at people as they are. He has looked into the eyes of despair of some of our residents and knows that we have to serve them and give them renewed hope, while at the same time balance a declining budget with the wants and desires of all District residents. He isn’t afraid to confront the racism, sexism and homophobia that exist in our city as he tries to rid us of these prejudices through education. I recently met with Gray and asked why I should endorse him and what I could say to convince others. He spoke of his commitment to put an end to the bickering between the Council and the executive and as mayor he will recognize the legitimate role each plays. He talked about his commitment to education reform and his role getting it passed by the Council, not an easy task. He said that he believed that Michelle Rhee could still be a positive force as chancellor but that she would have to work with him as mayor and his approach to people, teachers and the community, which is different from the current mayor. He committed to sitting down with her to discuss the future but correctly felt it would be presumptive to have such a meeting before he won the primary. He laid out a broader vision of education than the current mayor. He is proud of passing legislation for early childhood education and discussed his vision for education from birth through college. He is committed to educating parents to prepare them to help their children in school. He committed to fighting adult illiteracy and talked about his work to enhance the University of the District of Columbia and his support of the new Community College. Gray spoke of his longtime

because of our friendship and working together he is now a strong supporter of full civil rights for the LGBT community. He has apologized for some of his past remarks and has invited me, an openly gay man, to speak from his pulpit. It is a platform I will use everywhere to change hearts and minds. It is an example of what it means to have “a seat at the table” and to use the public voice of a City Councilmember for the good of our community. When I insist that we make our neighborhoods stronger, better places to live, it’s after two years as director of D.C.’s Department of Parks and Recreation. I brokered public-private partnerships, created the city’s first dog parks, expanded summer camps, built new parks and recreation centers and renovated old ones. That progress must continue. When I demand true oversight of city contracts, I will do so as the only Council member to have managed a city agency. Unlike my opponent I have a hands-on understanding of city budgets, personnel and agency processes. When I insist on workforcedevelopment programs that give every resident a fair chance to learn new skills and hold a

decent job, it’s based on experience working in neighborhood services for two different mayors. It’s with the understanding that uniting a city in which unemployment is at 3 percent in one ward and nearly 30 in another requires more than hollow words of assurances and “nitpicking” policy. We can and must do better. When I demand Congress repeal the shameful “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, get out of D.C.’s budget and legislative process and secure statehood and voting rights, it’s with experience in the Clinton-Gore administration, under Secretary Mike Espy, working in the Office of Congressional Relations. I am running because I know I can make government work for us. Together we can and will find the ways to make our lives better. I promise honest, independent leadership. I ask for your help, and for your vote.

Clark Ray is an at-large candidate for D.C. City Council. Reach him via


Vince Gray is best choice for mayor
Council chair has a compassionate vision of the future
By PETER ROSENSTEIN Today I announce my support for Vincent Gray for mayor. Gray is the right person to lead us for the next four years and I urge others to join me in campaigning and voting for him on Sept. 14. Gray is a highly intelligent, compassionate, thinking human being. He has never looked for the limelight but has steadily and consistently left a positive mark on the District of Columbia. Vince Gray has worked in both government and the non-profit sector. He successfully built Covenant House, working with homeless kids showing both his ability to run and build an organization and the compassion to build one for youth in need. He managed the Department of Human Services and did so successfully advocacy and support of the LGBT community. His profile in courage, as a Catholic from east of the river, led the Council to pass marriage equality. He spoke out on hate crimes when the current mayor was silent. Gray spoke of what he sees as a crisis of HIV/AIDS and the ability a mayor has to involve the community in solutions, which he is committed to do. He voiced his concern about Dr. Shannon Hader leaving the city’s AIDS office and committed to making it a priority to conduct a national search for a new director. He discussed his views on economic development and budget management and how he allowed the budget negotiations to be televised as a sign of his commitment to transparent government. He understands the process isn’t pretty but that the public is entitled to participate in the process. Gray talked about meeting the needs of so many people and interest groups and how they must be balanced. He is confident as mayor he will be able to prepare and present a budget balanced without gimmicks. He is open to ideas and suggestions from individuals and communities, but his gut tells him we need to make sure that the least of us is taken care of and is confident that the people of the District want that to happen. He will work to make D.C. truly business friendly and knows better schools and lower crime rates will attract new residents. Vince Gray is a quiet leader. He is a man with a compassionate vision of the future and a man of the people. Gray is a D.C. native, a civil rights activist and a community organizer with a proven ability to bring people together. He is the right man for this time in the city’s history.
Peter Rosenstein is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

july 9, 2010 • 21

washingtonblade • vol. 41, issue 28 • july 9, 2010 • Page 22

Alive and Kicking!
Real Estate Market is officially off Life Support
By Ron Whitesell, Realtor Century 21 Redwood Realty When the mortgage market imploded in August 2007 with the burst of the subprime bubble, the US Government began taking steps that would eventually offer multiple tax credits and mortgage purchase plans designed to “keep a pulse” in the Real Estate markets. The initial tax credit, which debuted in 2008 was actually more of a $7500 interest free loan as recipients were required to repay the credit in $500 increments in successive years. This version was replaced the following year with a more effective $8000 credit that did not need to be repaid. While these tax credits garnered a lot of media attention, a likely more effective government program was taking place behind the scenes with the Federal Reserve’s purchase of $1.25 Trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities. This action kept mortgage rates in the 4%- 5% range during a time period when the markets had extremely low demand for anything mortgage related. While it is too early to declare both of these programs complete successes, it is refreshing to know that two full month’s have passed since the Fed ceased it’s purchases of mortgage backed securities and mortgage rates have remained low (in fact they’re now below 5% again thanks partially to the Greece crisis). Furthermore, though data has shown a sharp drop in sales from May 2010 (the tax credit expired in April 2010), we are seeing some healthy “organic” activity in the metro DC Real Estate market. All of this activity somehow impacts the value of your home. With today’s complicated market, your best approach to home selling in a reasonable amount of time is to call a local Real Estate expert. Consumer Confidence Hints At Higher Home Prices And Higher Mortgage Rates, Too By Ron Whitesell, Realtor Century 21 Redwood Realty The Consumer Confidence Index is rising, a potentially double-edged sword for Americans, in general. According to The Conference Board, economic confidence is as high as it’s been since August 2007 — 4 months before the start of the recession. Americans are optimistic again. Confidence matters to the economy because as confidence increases, in theory, consumer spending follows. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy. It’s why Wall Street is responsive to confidence data. When consumer confidence is rising, households start to make Photo courtesy of Ron Whitesell big-ticket purchases they may have otherwise put off indefinitely. Maybe it’s replacing old appliances, trading in an old automobile, or splurging on a vacation. Rising confidence can also spur Real Estate sales. When confidence is rising, a growing family that chose to “make do” in their 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom starter home may opt to move-up to a 4-bedroom, 3-bath instead at a slightly higher monthly carrying cost. And there are families in every city in every state Arlington S. making those same decisions. As a result, the housing market gets a boost — especially in the mid-to-upper price ranges. Values rise on higher demand for homes. The downside is that growing confidence tends to push conforming and FHA mortgage rates up. This is because an expanding economy draws investment dollars away from bonds and into stocks — including mortgage bonds. The reduced demand for mortgage-backed bonds leads bond prices to fall and mortgage rates to rise. Sometimes by a little, sometimes by lot. So, if you’re buying or selling a home, rising confidence in the economy may be a signal to act sooner rather than later. Pair this with record low interest rates and that ‘should’ push you off that fence and into your new home. Ron Whitesell is a Realtor servicing the DC and Arlington market and can be reached at Century 21 Redwood Realty is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opprtunity. $139,500


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arts & entertainment
Shirley Hayden answers 20 questions. Queery, PAGE 28 • vol. 41, issue 28 • july 9, 2010 • Page 27

Your next vacation is a Metro stop away
Visit the city’s many parks, markets and sports venues
By STEVE KILAR Special to Washington Blade Time and money are short. Here are some ideas to use both effectively when you have a bit of each this summer. Washington offers plenty for people who cannot get away to Rehoboth. Start at the Smithsonian Metro station. Pretend you’re a tourist and walk toward the Jefferson Memorial. Take a Tidal Basin paddle-boat break, if you like. But hang a left before the memorial, walk beneath an underpass and behold more than 300 acres of recreation. Hains Point, also known as East Potomac Park, is a manmade island that offers golf, tennis, a public pool and mini-golf all within the District’s limits. Although the mini-golf course is no frills, a game can be followed with a pitcher of brew at the Potomac Grille, inside the club house. There are tables outside that look out onto the practice green and a driving range. If you would actually like to play golf, instead of just putt-putting, take a lesson from Capital City Golf School. For $99, you can enroll in the “Get Golf Ready in 5 Days” group class, six hours of instruction that will teach you the basics of driving, putting and course etiquette. The price includes the use of clubs and range balls. No equipment investment needed. If golf does not suit you, the East Potomac Tennis Center offers individual lessons year-round on its indoor and outdoor courts. When you finish enriching the athlete within, head back toward Southwest and stop off at the Maine Avenue Fish Market for a bite. Vendors at the Wharf, as it is also known, have been selling fresh seafood in nearly the same place for more than 200 years. The storefronts are actually floating barges and a live blue crab on ice can quickly tip toe over the edge and drop into tidal waters. Crabs can be bought by the bushel and sellers will season and steam them on site, while you wait. If you would rather not go home with bulk seafood, some stores also sell lunches you can eat on location, overlooking the river. While you’re near the waterfront, walk south by the docks until you reach Cantina Marina, a watering hole for sailors who have weighed anchor alongside D.C.’s famous boathouse colony. The restaurant’s colorful upper-deck boasts views of the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and marinas crowded with yachts. If the Cantina’s margaritas make you want to raise a jib, then take a sailing lesson next door at the National Maritime Heritage Foundation. Beginner lessons for adults, which can be completed in two consecutive weekends, cost $350. Prefer your ship to have a motor? Then take a cruise on the Spirit of Mount Vernon, a twohour river tour that ends at George Washington’s homestead. You’ll have three and a half hours to enjoy the estate before you cruise back to Pier 4, about three blocks from the Waterfront Metro stop. Round-trip cruises run Tuesday through Sunday until Aug. 22. They leave Washington at 8 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. The cost is approximately $45 per adult. Spokes and spandex are also welcome at George Washington’s home. The Mount Vernon Bike Trail allows for comfortable car-free pedaling almost all of the way from Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon. The only portion of the trail where bikers share the road with motorized vehicles is passing through charming Old Town Alexandria. The bike path is 36 miles round trip but bike time can be shortened by starting at either the Braddock Road or King Street Metro stations. If the outdoors don’t agree with you, check out the house that cereal built, the Hillwood Estate. Marjorie Merriweather Post, of Grape-Nuts fame (and fortune), amassed an impressive collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century decorative arts that are now on display in her Washington home, east of Van Ness. The house is surrounded by manicured gardens and ornate statuary. When you’ve finished examining Hillwood’s Fabergé eggs, stop into the nearby Acacia Bistro, sip wine and learn from the knowledgeable staff about each bottle you enjoy. If you have a day and want to get out of town, try these options: kayak or tube down the Potomac or Shenandoah Rivers from Harpers Ferry, W. Va.; hike or mountain bike in Lost River State Park, W. Va.; taste local flavors at one or more of Virginia’s vineyards near Monticello; or visit the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

More Staycation …
Overnight getaways that aren't far away, Page 31 Finding a Mediterranean vibe close to home, Page 32
Photos by Steve Kilar; cover image by

For a change of pace, visit the D.C. waterfront for crabs or a paddle boat ride (top and bottom images) or check out the Hillwood Estate (second from bottom).

28 • july 9, 2010

QUEERY: 20 Questions for Shirley Hayden
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO The coming out process took unexpected turns for lesbian author Shirley Hayden. The 50-year-old Lexington, Ky., native told her mother at age 9 she was gay, a proclamation that was met with near indifference. Hayden, who had little social context for being gay in the South, eventually married a man as a young woman and had twin sons. But she quickly realized the straight married life wasn’t for her. “I just didn’t like it,” she says. “There was something inside of me that it just didn’t work. And it’s not that I hate men. I love men and have many wonderful men in my life. I just didn’t like being married to one.” Eventually the same adage she brought to her writing career — “I don’t believe in fear,” she says — enabled her to roll with the punches in other areas. She’d never had a conversation with her young sons about being a lesbian but realized they knew what was going on by the time they were in kindergarten. Caught unexpected by show and tell one day because the teacher changed the day, they shared with the class that their mother was gay. She chuckles at the memory now but says it brought unsettling aspects with it. A cousin who was in their class used an anti-gay slur in reference to Hayden to her sons. “It’s amazing,” she says. “This baby could barely spell his name and he knows words like that? What kind of hatred are we teaching?” Hayden, as always, found refuge in her writing. Inspired by two teachers when she How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I have never had a problem telling anyone that I am a lesbian. I have been out since age 9. Funny story; I would come home from spending the summers at my grandmother’s every year and tell mama that I was gay. She would respond, “That’s nice, go out and play with your brothers and sisters.” Who’s your gay hero? Audre Lorde, Terri Jewell, May Sarton, Sapphire, and Alice Walker, Grace Paley, Adrienne Rich are my “sheroes.”
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

What do you believe in beyond the physical world? I always say that, “when hell freezes over, I will skate.” I believe in a lot of things beyond this world but I believe heaven is right here on earth and I believe also in the continuance of it beyond this world. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? I have no issues with LGBTQ leaders, however my advice would be to follow. To get behind the movement and push/motivate/inspire/teach/train new leadership to be the forefront. What would you walk across hot coals for? I would not walk across hot coals for anything. But I might be encouraged to dance along the edges if I had the opportunity to meet my future mate and life partner. What gay stereotype annoys you most? My response will probably inspire debate, discussion, formalization of a nation think tank, new ad-hoc committees and I am sure a few pies thrown in my face, but the stereotype that most annoys me is the women, who bleed like all women, but who believe they are somehow “boys” like my brothers. They are not and I do not care what in the hell they wear in support of trying to be boys or men. Walking like a duck don’t make you a duck. What’s your favorite gay movie? People who know me know that one of the areas in which I need to improve is media, particularly movies and even watching TV. Up until about a year ago I did not own a TV and now I am sometimes viewed as the sistah from another planet because movies now in my purview are 10 to 20 years old now. But in answer to the question, I do not think I have a favorite gay movie. The jury is still out on that one. What’s the most overrated social custom? This is a hot button topic for me. I think the most overrated social custom is returning text messages every time one of my friends texts me to say they are going to the bathroom. I just do not care and do not want to know about it. What trophy or prize do you most covet? I long to win literary awards such as the Pulitzer, but I will settle for more honorable mentions in a new sub-culture where people do not appear to read as much anymore. What do you wish you’d known at 18? I wish I had known at 18 that the Internet was coming. I would not have saved so many paper files and newspapers. Why Washington? Because I grew up in a farming community and there was no bus and town was where you went on Sunday for church. I have lived in many places, but I live in D.C. because I love, love, love being surrounded by so many diverse people and cultural events. There is always something to do in the District.

was in seventh grade, she had a small poetry collection published at age 12. She’s since written 11 more books in various genres and is conducting a series of writer’s workshops for LGBT authors every Saturday through the end of the month at lesbian-owned Sisterspace & Books (3717 Georgia Ave., N.W.; Her current project is a screenplay called “The Women of Nelson,” which is set in a Civil War-era Army camp in Kentucky ( Hayden works as a consultant and grant writer when she’s not doing her own writing. She enjoys spending time in libraries, volunteering, walking, running, Sudoku and sunbathing in her spare time. She also enjoys hearing her now-27year-old sons’ perspectives on politics and the world. She’s single and lives in D.C.’s Ft. Lincoln neighborhood in Northeast.

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? My favorite D.C. hotspot is actually Sisterspace & Books but we need to work on their Wi-fi connectivity. I love meeting writers in the D.C. public libraries to write as well. What’s your dream gay wedding? I want to marry in the District. I so want to get married as soon as possible, but my challenge is I cannot marry by myself. My ideal dream wedding would be somewhere on water, but how many watersheds do we have in D.C.? I see myself married, happy, barefoot, but never pregnant. What non-gay issue are you most passionate about? I would respond racism, but it is certainly a gay issue as well. And so are sexism, volunteerism and mentoring. Well maybe the role of women in the church. Oh wait, I guess that intersection could be homophobia. OK, so my answer will be historical: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” What historical outcome would you change? Well Barrack Obama is in the White House, but I think I would continue to change the notion of being “the first anything based upon race, gender or creed or orientation, you know the infamous clause we still use. What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Most memorable would be the Jackson 5 and oddly, the death of Michael. On what do you insist? I insist on being un-bossed and unbought. Shirley Chisholm, a woman who ran for president back in 1972 — she’s the one who coined that term. Always lived by that philosophy. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? My last Facebook post was in celebration of my newest book, “Coming Out Loud.” If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Adam Can’t Take This Rib Back” If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? I would pray that I never encountered this science because I like being a lesbian woman; however I would like to tinker with the machinery long enough to eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia.

july 9, 2010 • 29


Follow these rules of gym etiquette
Leave the cell phone at home, but remember the deodorant
By KEVIN M. NORRIS For many of us, going to the gym is an escape and some wish to be left alone to go about their workout. While this is your choice, please remember there are rules of etiquette that should be followed in order for everyone to enjoy a stress-free and friendly environment. Proper gym etiquette is akin to playing nice in the playground. Keep with these basic guidelines and you will always remain in the good graces of your fellow gym goers. Fall out of line and you will likely get some angry stares and member frustration. Most gyms post their specific rules of etiquette. Just in case, here are some important regulations to remember in any gym. Share and share alike. Do a few sets; sip your Starbucks coffee, read the paper, repeat. Are Take your sweat with you and pay attention to your body odor. If people are walking away from you. there is a reason. There is nothing worse than rank body odor. Toweling off the equipment is also necessary. No one likes to sit in someone else’s perspiration and someone could slip off the seat and fall on the floor. Many clubs now have disinfecting wipes for members to use located throughout the gym. Also, remember to use deodorant, but forget about the cheap overbearing French cologne. Grunting like a wild animal should be reserved for the jungle or perhaps your bedroom. Instead, breathe – it is far more calming, effective and less of a distraction to others. Also, holding your breath can be dangerous because it puts strain on your heart. While a gym is not a church, dropping weights is down right rude. If you have to drop a weight, the weight is too heavy and it is not a sign of your masculinity or advanced abilities. Your form will be sacrificed and may provoke serious injury. Lower the weight or use a spotter. Avoid giving advice to others unless asked. Even if you know better, most people are not receptive to complete strangers trying to teach them something. Keep cell phones, beepers and blow horns out of the gym. The more conscientious gyms have strict policies banning the use of cell phones on the gym floor, especially now with the onslaught of camera phones. No one wants their butt on the Internet. If a gym is clueless and allows cell phones, use them sparingly and in as private an area as possible. Spotting is more of an art than you may think. You are always better asking someone you know or a person on the fitness staff to assist you. Asking someone who may not know what they are doing can be dangerous for both of you. Socializing is an important part in the gym community, for some but not all and it’s not a hinting license. Many people just want to be left alone to focus and escape within their own workout. Be aware of those who wish to keep to themselves. Not everyone goes to the gym to socialize and their choice to focus on themselves does not make them anti-social. The water fountain is not the place to spit or throw away your gum. Also, when filling up your water bottle at the water fountain, be cognizant if there is someone behind you wanting a quick drink. Re-rack your weights. All gyms require you to put your weights back in the proper place and many actually label the space where they belong. It’s not rocket science and finding a matching dumbbell should not be a treasure hunt. If I have missed some important rules of gym etiquette, such as walking in front of someone’s mirror space, wearing head-totoe spandex or singing Karaoke, please e-mail them to me. Pay attention to your surroundings and others in the gym with mutual respect and you will ensure a pleasant and stressfree atmosphere.

Photo by

Following a few common-sense rules will ensure a pleasant workout for everyone. you serious? Allow someone to “work-in” with you on a piece of equipment. The general exception is if you are already sharing with one other person. Also, remember not to treat a piece of gym equipment as a park bench.

Kevin M. Norris is a health and fitness columnist for DC Agenda and owner of Mind Your Own Body, LLC. Personal Training. Reach him at

30 • july 9, 2010

Friday, July 9
WOMEN IN THEIR TWENTIES will meet tonight at 8 p.m. at the DC Center, 1318 U St., N.W. Women in their 20s is a social discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other interested women in Washington, D.C. For more information visit QUEER PULP FOR THE GIRLS AND BOIS at Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St., N.W., is tonight at 9. No cover charge, 21 and over to enter. Panorama Productions presents KAYA JONES at Ultrabar, 911 F St., N.W., tonight. Doors open at 9 p.m. Formally of the Pussycat Dolls, Jones will be performing all the hits. 18 and over to enter. LADY GAGA VS. MADONNA VS. M.I.A. A Dance Night with DJ lil’e at 9:30 club, 815 V St., N.W., tonight. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at Apex, 1415 22nd St., N.W., presents SIREN: AN ADOLPHSON/RIGGINS SUMMER PRODUCTION featuring DJ Majr and DJ Aaron Riggins in the main hall tonight. The video bar will be showing music videos featuring Kylie Minogue all night long. $8 cover. 18 to enter, 21 to drink. Bil Todd, Shea Van Horn and Jason Godfrey will be spinning. This month’s class will feature special Slurpee shots, drink specials, and early birds will get the chance to find their pocket match and see the bartender for an extra-special, pocketsized treat. There’s no cover. The DC KINGS present SUMMER STUDS AT PHASE 1, 525 8th St., S.E., at 10 p.m. There will also be a King Idol show. To participate in King Idol, contact to confirm your spot and show up with your CD by 8:30 p.m. Visit for more information.

Monday, July 12
The GLB YOUTH SUPPORT GROUP will meet at the GW Center Clinic, 1922 F St., N.W., Suite 103, at 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 13
Photo by Mimsi Janis

The world premiere of the musical ‘SINGING EGGS AND SPERMLESS BABIES’ happens Saturday at the Capital Fringe Festival, featuring (left-right) Candace Gingrich-Jones, Eric Jones and Rebecca Gingrich-Jones. For more on the Fringe Festival, see page 37. tour along the ridge of the falls scheduled for 12:15 p.m. that day. Look for the NOVA GL Professionals logo at the site. Directions to the park (and other park info) can be found on the National Park Service’s Great Falls website: Adventuring will have its third of five hikes in their “Welcome!” series, Welcome to the US CAPITOL GARDENS HIKE. For this outing, they will meet at Jaleo, 480 7th St., N.W., at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and leave for the walk around the U.S. Capitol Gardens around 1 p.m. This urban hike is 2.9 miles long, with negligible elevation gain. A bottle of water will be helpful if the weather is particularly warm. There is a $2 trip fee. Visit for more information and to sign up for this hike. MIXTAPE DC at EFN Lounge, 1318 9th St., N.W., from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. MIXTAPE is a dance party for queer guys and gals and their pals that features DJs Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer playing an eclectic mix of electro, alt-pop, indie rock, house, disco, new wave, and anything else you can dance to. $5 cover for 21 and over. The Purple Albatross Theatre Company presents the world premiere of the musical “SINGING EGGS AND SPERMLESS BABIES” at this year’s Capital Fringe Festival at 10:15 p.m. The musical follows a lesbian couple willing to go to any lengths to have a baby — and the suicidal fertility doctor, dancing ova, and queer cruise guests who try to help. Performances are at Fort Fringe – The Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar, 607 New York Ave., N.W. Tickets are $15 and available at or at the door. UNDER THE BIG TOP featuring KRISTINA KELLY AND THE GIRLS OF GLAMOUR at Apex, 1415 22nd St., N.W., at 11 p.m. DJ Gigi will be in the main hall starting at midnight and DJ Michael Brandon will be in the east wing dance lounge. $10 cover. 18 to enter, 21 to drink.

Saturday, July 10
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AQUATICS CLUB is hosting the 19th annual MARYLAND SWIM FOR LIFE in Chestertown, Md. Swim for Life begins and ends at Rolph’s Wharf on the Chester River. Athletes have the choice of swimming 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 miles and must raise a minimum of $100 to participate. Check-in starts 7 a.m. The swim start at 9 a.m. and the awards ceremony will be at 12:30 p.m. Swim for Life is an open water swim competition and fundraising event to benefit area HIV/AIDS non-profit organizations, as well as local watershed organizations that advocate for clean, local waters. Visit for more information and to register. THIRD ANNUAL B.Y.O.E. (BRING YOUR OWN EVERYTHING) FAMILY PICNIC cohosted by NOVA GL Professionals, Burgundy Crescent Volunteers, DC Ice Breakers, and DC Lesbian Singles at Great Falls National Park in McLean, Va. There’s something for everyone — trails, museums, and indoor and outdoor activity areas. There is even a ranger-guided

MASTERS AND SLAVES TOGETHER (MAsT) meeting will be held at the DC Center, 1318 U St., N.W., at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will include a discussion about “SlaveCraft,” a book by Guy Baldwin and will be facilitated by Master Shawn. There is an optional munch at 6 p.m. at a nearby restaurant. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, July 14
Wolf Trap presents THE B-52S with special guest Supercluster at the Filene Center, 1645 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va., at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the lawn and $40 for in-house. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Thursday, July 15
“FOREVER PLAID: THE HEAVENLY MUSICAL HIT” will be performed at the Olney Theatre Center, 2001 OlneySandy Spring Rd., Olney, Md., at 7:30 p.m. Sparky, Smudge, Jinx, and Frankie are the “flipside” of the 1950s rock ‘n’ roll revolution. While en route to picking up plaid tuxedos for their first real gig, a freak accident ended their promising careers too soon. Join Olney as Forever Plaid is miraculously revived to perform the show that never was, including the hit songs “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Sixteen Tons,” and “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.” Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Sunday, July 11
THE POCKET GAYS are back and ready for class with “OH THANK HEAVEN! SUNDAY SCHOOL.” This month’s class is inspired by 7-Eleven and will be on the rooftop of Local 16, 1602 U St., N.W. DJs

july 9, 2010 • 31


Overnight getaways don’t have to be far away
Annapolis, Middleburg, Lost River offer easy escapes
By LAURA E. LEE Special to Washington Blade Escape the chaos of the city without the luggage rules, TSA hassles or outrageous airfares. In the time it takes to get to the airport, you can get away to one of several charming locations in the D.C. metro area. While the city is most popular for a day trip, options abound for overnight accommodations in Annapolis, Md. “To do Annapolis justice, you really want to stay overnight,” said Graham Gardner, innkeeper of the Two-O-One Bed & Breakfast. In a town where on-street parking can be a nightmare, the biggest benefits of staying overnight are off-street parking and close proximity to all the attractions. “Even the farthest restaurant is only a 15-minute walk,” Gardner said. The Two-O-One’s expansive backyard has a greenhouse, a koi pond and seating for guests to enjoy a relaxing afternoon with Camilla, the spunky resident dog. An hour before breakfast, help yourself to coffee in the butler’s pantry. Gardner finds that guests enjoy the opportunity to meet and mingle over a cup of joe. The elegantly appointed rooms range from $180 to $250 per night. Just around the corner from the Two-O-One is the 1908 William Page Inn, run by partners Robert Zuchelli and Jon O’Connor, where rooms are available for $165 to $225 per night. Zuchelli, an Annapolis native and the longest full-time innkeeper in the city, is not an official concierge, but offers, in his words, “concierge-style services” including restaurant reservations, boat bookings and tour recommendations. While Zuchelli is busy preparing breakfast and booking plans, you can rely on O’Connor to provide insight on local activities. “He will sit outside and drink wine with you and tell you everything you need to know,” said Zuchelli. If you prefer the countryside, drive just an hour from Washington to experience the scenic beauty of Middleburg, Va. On your way, stop off for some antique shopping in the little village of Aldie or wine-tasting at any of the many local vineyards. Downtown Middleburg features stores of all sorts, several taverns and an old-fashioned ice cream shop. “There is something for everybody here,” said local resident Candi Kobetz. History buffs will be drawn to the Red Fox Inn, an establishment rich with tradition in the heart of downtown. Started as a tavern in 1748, the Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Famous guests, including George Washington, Elizabeth Taylor and the Kennedy family have visited the Inn over its remarkable history. The dark wood and low ceiling beams of the Inn’s dining room add to the charm of this truly historic tavern. The Inn’s 14 guest rooms are available 365 days a year and room rates vary from $170 to $245 per night. Venturing away from downtown Middleburg feels like a tale from a children’s book. Cross the babbling brook and pass the cobblestone walls as you drive into the woods. Continue along the gravel road and emerge to the manicured grounds of the Goodstone Inn and Estate. If you are looking for luxury and serenity, the 265-acre estate features six different properties including country cottages and a

Photo courtesy of Goodstone

Rooms at the GOODSTONE INN AND ESTATE range from $250 to $620 per night. carriage house that originally housed the pride of this region: horses. The Goodstone’s definitively British vibe is punctuated by a daily afternoon tea. Want something less formal? Relax by the ivy-cloaked pool that overlooks expansive fields dotted with wildflowers and bales of hay. Summer rates at the Goodstone range from $250 to $620 per night. If you don’t mind a slightly longer drive, venture two hours west to the Guest House at Lost River in West Virginia. Set just outside the George Washington National Forest, the Guest House provides a tranquil retreat for $145 to $225 per night. Andrew Huddleston and his husband, Chris Baker, have visited the Guest House every year for the last 10 years. Huddleston describes the property as “a nice hybrid between a bed & breakfast and a hotel.” The Guest House offers a spacious property where “you don’t have to compete to find a quiet place,” said Huddleston. Outdoor enthusiasts can go hiking, canoeing, cave exploring or horseback riding. Follow your day of adventure with a massage from the on-site masseuse. Huddleston and Baker return to the rustic and cozy location because it provides a convenient opportunity to get away from the hustle of daily life. “We’re definitely urban people but it’s nice to get away from that sometimes,” Huddleston said.

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32 • july 9, 2010


Mediterranean vibe close to home
Try sailing in Annapolis or wine and hummus in Capitol Hill
By ANDRES MORINIGO Special to Washington Blade If you’re anything like me, the oppressive heat we’ve had in D.C. this summer has caused you to sweat like a wild animal the instant you set foot outside the confines of your air conditioned apartments. Sure there are rooftop parties and barbecues to attend, but who wants to be constantly wringing out the pools of sweat and reminiscing about the fond memories of “Snowmageddon”? If you’re looking to escape the heat or relax without spending buckets of dough, there’s a plethora of great options to explore within the greater D.C. area. After all, let’s not forget we’re still in a recession, and a trip to Europe in the summer can leave you eating beans and rice until Christmas. One of my favorite summer activities is river tubing. Just a short hour’s drive from D.C., you can find BTI’s whitewater rafting and river tubing adventure in Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. ( For just under $30, you can rent a tube and get a day pass for unlimited river tubing down the Potomac River. If you happen to have your own tube, just $15 will get you an unlimited shuttle bus pass with lifejacket for an entire day. My recommendation: scour the aisles of Walmart or Target for a sturdy tube. Another great summer activity that gets you out into the water and away from the urban heat is sailing. Who needs the French Riviera when we have Annapolis, Md., at our disposal? While prices are significantly steeper than river tubing, it can be a great bargain if you’re popular enough to enlist a group of friends to join you. Typically, a boat rental (and in this case, size DOES matter) can cost anywhere from $160-$400 for a half a day, and $250-$800 for a full day. The more expensive of those is a 37-foot sailboat, which, if you’re waking up in the morning and feeling like P. Diddy, would make for an unforgettable all-day yacht party. For an extra $200, you can enlist a captain and instructor so you and your party boat can sail responsibly and fist pump all the way into the sunset. For more information on boat rentals, visit South River Boat Rentals at If you’re not feeling all that adventurous, there are plenty of great restaurants to explore within D.C. One of the best is Cava, a Greek Mezze restaurant owned by two young Greek friends that used to wait tables in Bethesda, Md. Cava first opened its doors in Rockville, Md. in 2006 and quickly became a hit, spreading mostly by word of mouth and customer reviews. The Rockville location is teeming with young professionals and wino house moms that are adamant about enjoying half-price wine on Tuesdays and downing small plates of spicy hummus and lamb souvlaki. Those of us that enjoy a cocktail or 10 can set up shop at the full service martini bar that reminds me of some rustic, underground restaurant that seems more suitable for the alleyways of Athens than suburban Washington. The soft lighting and dark, wooden furniture create a very simple yet intimate setting that leaves me half expecting an elderly Greek grand-

Photo by Andres Morinigo

Things tend to get crowded at CAVA, so plan to make a night of it. mother to emerge from the kitchen while waving a leg of lamb at me and forcing Ouzo and feta cheese down my throat. It’s fantastic. Moreover, it’s easy to feed off the ambiance at Cava, where the great drink specials and free pita dip leads to endless conversations with attractive, young and middle aged patrons from all over. Cava has just opened its second location in Capitol Hill. This location is slightly larger, but features a very similar menu. Long-time Cava server, Kyle Swanson, explains just how extraordinary Cava is. “The fact that the owners are two young Greek professionals and have been in the restaurant industry for so long creates a really laid back, Mediterranean feel to the place,” he says, as he leans over and pours more Pinot Grigio into my eager glass. The relatively new Capitol Hill location offers more space and a quieter atmosphere. Still, things tend to get crowded at Cava, so plan to make a night of it and strike up a conversation with the surprisingly attractive bartenders. For more information on Cava, visit

july 9, 2010 • 33

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34 • july 9, 2010


Local gay favorite on the brink of stardom?
Peter Fox’s new album shows singer is ready for prime time
By DAVID J. HOFFMAN “Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum,” croons the fabulous and fantastic Peter Fox. Fox today stands on the brink of stardom, if there’s any justice in the music industry. Of course justice in the music industry is an oxymoron. As a singer in the jazz and adult contemporary spotlight now, with the issue of his first and self-titled CD, Fox is certainly ready for prime time. But meanwhile the business model of the once robust recording industry has fractured into splinters of its former self, as CD sales have nosedived. So how does someone like Fox, having spent nine seasons with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington (GMCW), and who also recently wrapped up a three-year run with the closeharmony pop acapella group Potomac Fever, market himself? Fox is sidestepping much of the A longtime GMCW audience favorite, Fox has picked a plum opportunity with the songs on his new album, recently launched at a special concert at the Kennedy Center Roof Terrace restaurant. He is as easy to like as he is easy on the eyes — and his charm is rooted in the easy listening of his sound and his lyrical first tenor voice so sweet with feeling as well as perfect pitch and phrasing. The songs are each special to him, as explained in the album liner notes at his website,, including “When You Meet an Angel,” a number first performed with the GMCW at the Lincoln Theatre. The angel theme will be familiar to his fans, who recall vividly his bare-chested starring role recently as heartthrob “Teen Angel” in the Chorus’s production of “Grease.” Speaking of the song, Peter admits that he had just broken up with someone who was sitting in the third row on opening night, but he recalls also that the song “later came to mean more” to him, “as a few dear family members and friends passed on to their next chapter.” Another song, “Nightfall,” is a deeply layered ode to living a life without a lover but with the “extraordinary love I have shared with friends.” He declares finally in the song, “I am contented to be my own family, a family of one!” Peter says, “it took me some tome to really grasp the various levels of message in this song, but I now so appreciate and deeply understand that one’s life can be so rich and full without any typical idea of the modern primary relationship.” Indeed, he says, “the song speaks to gratitude, the simple joy of just accepting what is.” But one song alone stands out for its utter perfection of lyric and melody, “I Can Hold You,” written by David Friedman, the composer, record producer and Hollywood film score composer for Disney animated features like “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas” and “Beauty and the Beast,” for which Friedman was also music supervisor for the Broadway stage version. Friedman is the author of many astonishing songs of inspiration, hope and love — collected in several CDs such as “Listen To My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman” (2002) and 63 of his best-known songs are also in his “Songbook.” Fox has taken one of them, “I Can Hold You,” he calls it “one of the most tender songs” on the album, a song he first recorded in 2005 but is now completely remixed and remastered — because “the song speaks to hope.” “I am most struck by the way the singer offering to hold another who has been battered by life may really be wishing to be held in the same way,” he admits. Fox, who grew up in New Jersey and had a boyfriend “discreetly” in high school, earned his BS in business administration from Penn State University, and came out to his family in his early 20’s. He spent seven years in Pittsburgh as a paramedic and then spent two years on the road as a long-haul trucker saying of that time,”I basically spent two years by myself.” He moved to D.C. in 1997 to work in the health care field and “do music.” “Music is a conduit to what’s right,” he says. “Let’s get people connected to the joy of their own stories through song.” His album is available now for $10.99 from

Photo courtesy of Fox

Peter Fox has spent nine seasons with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. major record label model for now, and approaching concert and event producers to do it himself. “I went the independent route because music is in my soul and the independent route with the available tools and reach of the Internet is now actually a feasible way to reach a fairly major audience, allowing me to do what I’m meant to be doing,” he says.


(Owners Welcome Too.)
Drink Specials & FREE Giveaways

Larry’s Lounge
2009 Most Pet Friendly Establishment in DC Corner of 18th & T St, NW Every Wednesday 4-8pm

july 9, 2010 • 35


Lauper soars, while Scissor Sisters stumble
2 new albums deliver wildly different results
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO & ROB BOEGER Madonna is to Cyndi Lauper what Britney Spears is to Christina Aguilera. With more than a decade to get to know the latter two, comparisons of Madge and Britney seem more laughable as time goes on while Lauper and Aguilera seem to share some cosmic sisterhood — they both have fabulous voices (Lauper’s is underrated, Aguilera’s overrated) and have tackled unexpected genres with aplomb. I couldn’t help but ponder the comparisons when copies of new albums from both landed on my desk at the same time a couple weeks ago. Aguilera’s (“Bionic”) is an unfocused, over-produced mess but Lauper’s new project “Memphis Blues,” while ultimately a curiosity piece, has real merit. Lauper, the most gay-supportive of any mainstream pop star, enjoys dabbling in specialty projects, which in the last decade or more have outnumbered her more mainstream albums. “Blues,” which enjoyed an unexpectedly high Billboard chart debut at 26, finds her working with several of the most respected players in the field (pianist Allen Toussaint, guitarist B.B. King and prodigy Jonny Lang chief among them) on a covers album that gives her plenty of space to sink her teeth into the most tried-and-true blues formulas of all time. Hypnotically languid chord progressions, executed with tinkling pianos, swampy B-3 organs and ringing electric guitars, are the foundations of most of the tracks. There’s nary a dud in the batch but standouts abound such as the down-and-out Lang duet “How Blue Can You Get,” the sax-ridden showstopper “Don’t Cry No More” and a tougher, almost rockified “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” which is given heft by gritty soul vocals from Ann Peebles (of “I Can’t Stand the Rain” fame). Coming on the heels of 2008’s dance record “Bring Ya to the Brink,” it’s great to see Lauper, whose career has meandered at times with eons between releases, back in a regular routine of inspiration. She uses her voice, often kittenish and playful here, to great effect. The record is much like her 2003 standards set “At Last”: it’s conceptually great and has some lovely moments, but ultimately is a bit too gimmicky to be considered a masterpiece.

“Night Works” is the second version of Scissor Sisters’ third album. A previous version, on which they had worked for 18 months, was scrapped due to the band being unhappy with the finished product. This new version was inspired by frontman Jake Shears’ clubbing in Berlin. The album was co-produced by Stuart Price of Zoot Woman, who has also worked with Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Gwen Stefani and Frankmusik. This is the first time that Scissor Sisters have worked with another producer. “Fire With Fire” finds them returning to their Elton John influences of their first album, though with a pop treatment. “Invisible Light,” with its New Order-styled production, is pop perfection. It also has Sir Ian

Photo courtesy of Downtown Records

SCISSOR SISTERS’ new album ‘Night Works’ was reportedly inspired by Jake Shears’ clubbing in Berlin. McKellen with a spoken word interlude at the song’s end sounding reminiscent in style to that on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Unfortunately, that’s where anything remotely original ends. The rest of this album sounds tired and clichéd. Whether it was intentional that they tried to sound retro or they were trying to be cute, the result lacks originality. The one positive highlight of “Night Works” is Ana Matronic. She needs to try a solo effort, as it seems Scissor Sisters has run out of new ideas.

36 • july 9, 2010

THE B-52S Wednesday, July 14 The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts 877-WOLFTRAP A dance party not to miss, this zany retro-pop group performs ‘Love Shack,’ ‘Rock Lobster,’ ‘Roam,’ and other hit songs, along with songs from their latest release, Funplex. SUMMER STOCK ADULT DANCE CAMP July 12-July 16 JOMDC Friendship Heights 202-362-3042 In the spirit of Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, experience this weeklong intensive where students dance, learn, and sweat, while working to put on a show like a true Broadway gypsy. Participants will learn two pieces inspired by the work of notable choreographers and perform two weekend shows. STEED TAYLOR: PORTRAIT OF A ROAD TATTOO Through July 25 Gallery plan b 202-234-2711 This exhibition documents acclaimed artist Steed Taylor’s recent works of tattooing roads in various communities. The basic elements of the projects are a cause/theme, prayers/wishes, a blessing/presentation and the physical painting of the road. CAPITAL FRINGE FESTIVAL Through July 25 Various Locations throughout Downtown DC 866-811-4111 The beloved Capital Fringe Festival returns for its fifth year of offbeat theatre, music and art brought to you by the greater creative conscious of Washington, DC. The Fringe begins on July 8 and runs through July 25 with more shows and performances than you can shake a stick at.
The Guide to Arts & Culture is supplied by, a program of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. THE B-52S: Supplied by Wolf Trap; SUMMER STOCK CAMP: Douglas Yeuell. Supplied by Joy of Motion Dance Center; ROAD TATTOO: “Messenger” by Steed Taylor. Riverside Park in New York City. 425’ x 25’ / 2006; FRINGE: Chameleon. Supplied by Capital Fringe Festival.

wednesday, july 14
PASSING STRANGE. The Studio Theatre. 202-332-3300.

Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP .

tuesday, july 13
FRANCES ELKINS' AVANT-GARDE INTERIORS. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-639-1700. JULIO IGLESIAS. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP.

saturday, july 10
COMMON BOND EXHIBITION. Strathmore. FINE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE EXHIBITION. Strathmore. PLAQUES AND TANGLES. Reyes + Davis Independent Exhibitions. 202-255-5050.

wednesday, july 14
PERSISTENCE OF VISION: THE ILLUSION OF MOTION IN THE AGE OF MUYBRIDGE. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-639-1700.

sunday, july 11
LYPSINKA AND JAMES LECESNE STARRING IN LEGENDS! The Studio Theatre. 202-332-3300. REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY: COMPLETELY HOLLYWOOD (ABRIDGED). The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing . Arts. 202-467-4600. A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE. The Keegan Theatre at Church Street Theater. 703-892-0202.

thursday, july 15
FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP.

AMERICAN FALLS: PHIL SOLOMON. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-397-7328. HELIOS: EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE IN A TIME OF CHANGE. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202397-7328. LA FEMME. Arlington Artists Alliance at Arlington County Board Offices. HISTORY ON FOOT: ELIZABETH KECKLY. Ford's Theatre. 202-347-4833. PLAY BALL. Arlington Artists Alliance at Arlington YMCA. DISCOVERING THE CIVIL WAR - BEGINNINGS. National Archives. DESIGN FOR THE OTHER 90%. National Geographic. 202-857-7588. BEAT MEMORIES: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALLEN GINSBERG. National Gallery of Art. ART BY THE YARD: WOMEN DESIGN MID-CENTURY BRITAIN. The Textile Museum. 202-667-0441. CHUCK CLOSE PRINTS: PROCESS AND COLLABORATION. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-397-7328. DA VINCI - THE GENIUS. National Geographic. 202-857-7588.

saturday, july 10
HIP HOP THEATER FESTIVAL. Dance Place. 202-269-1600.

sunday, july 11
MAMMA MIA! The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 703-255-1868. BABES IN ARMS - IN CONCERT. The American Century Theater at Gunston Theatre Two. 703-998-4555.

tuesday, july 13

saturday, july 10
ADULT WORKSHOP: PULP TO PAPER. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-639-1700. CONTEMPORARY MODERN WORKSHOP WITH KEIRA HART-MENDOZZA OF UPROOTED DANCE. Joy of Motion Dance Center-Friendship Heights. 202-362-3042. DIGITAL CAMERA BASICS. Smithsonian Resident Associate Program at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. 202-633-3030. PERSONAL ESSAY IN A DAY. The Writer’s Center. 301-654-8664. POLAROID TRANSFERS WORKSHOP. Brentwood Arts Exchange. 301-277-2863.

friday, july 9

saturday, july 10
2ND ANNUAL ICE CREAM SOCIAL. Workhouse Arts Center. 2ND SATURDAY ART WALK. Workhouse Arts Center. PLAY IT FORWARD: THE DOMINO EFFECT. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-639-1700.

sunday, july 11
DANCE IS FOR EVERYONE WORKSHOP WITH MICHELLE AVA. Joy of Motion Dance Center - Bethesda. 301-986-0016.

monday, july 12
CHRIS ISAAK WITH SPECIAL GUEST: MARC BROUSSARD. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing

sunday, july 11

july 9, 2010 • 37


Fringe Festival is bigger than ever
137 shows feature plenty of LGBTrelated content
By PATRICK FOLLIARD The Capital Fringe Festival is back and with 137 shows it’s bigger than ever. Like always, the festival is featuring a wide-ranging selection of offbeat art, theater, music by scores of artists (some well- known, others not so much). Below is a small sampling of varied theatrical Fringe offerings of special interest to LGBT audiences. Rebecca Gingrich-Jones has written a musical. “It didn’t start out that way but as I was writing the egg characters they suddenly started singing so I had to go with it,” she explains. “I teamed up with a friend who wrote the music and continued to work on the book and lyrics. The result is “Singing Eggs and Spermless Babies.” The musical, says GingrichJones (who is currently pursuing an master’s in playwriting at Catholic University), is without a doubt a comedy, bordering on farce. It’s the story of a lesbian couple who are trying — in oh, so many ways — to have a baby, but can’t. In their quest for mommyhood, the women inadvertently find themselves on a gay and lesbian cruise where they meet a suicidal fertility doctor, drag kings, a gay fundamentalist Christian and the actual eggs with which they’re trying to conceive. In addition to scribe duties, Gingrich-Jones, 29, is co-producer and responsible for marketing. Her wife, queer activist Candace Gingrich-Jones (Newt’s younger stepsister), is featured in the show as “Erin,” a lesbian considering switching teams. When casting the title charac-

Capital Fringe Festival
Through July 25 ter for “Horrible Child,” gay director Jose Carasquillo almost immediately thought of Daniel Eichner. “He’s a fearless actor, able to lose himself in a part,” Carasquillo explains. “I didn’t want just anyone putting on a bunny suit and hopping on stage.” In this Fringe production penned by Lawrence Krauser, Eichner plays “Horrible,” a gay bunny rabbit, whose humanoid parents (played by Lee Ordeman and talented lesbian actress Delia Taylor) find their furry offspring so repellent that they hire an exterminator (Greg Twomey) to destroy him. Unexpectedly, the exterminator and Horrible fall in love at first. “Thematically, the play is about parents coming to terms with children who grow up to be different than what they had expected, and the anxiety associated with that,” explains Carasquillo, who splits his time between Puerto Rico and D.C. “The language is inventive and acrobatic. It’s a wonderfully deranged and experimental play. I’ve wanted to do it for some time.” “The Miss Teen Jesus Pageant” is the musical story of two gay fathers who stage a beauty contest to raise funds to send their daughter to Bible college. For their score, gay playwright Patrick di Battista and his writing partner and best friend Anne Laffoon have cleverly selected six different traditional Christian hymns, mostly from the 1800s. “The songs have been rearranged [by composer Ben Camp], but the lyrics remain the same,” explains di Battista. “We use ‘Blessed Assurance,’ a hymn written in 1872 by blind composer Fanny Crosby, into a gay love song. Lyrics like ‘my savior in me,’ and ‘oh what a foretaste of

Photo courtesy of Eichner

Actor Daniel Eichner takes some tips from a real rabbit (Monster) for the upcoming Capital Fringe Production of ‘HORRIBLE CHILD’ in which Eichner plays a gay bunny. ‘HORRIBLE CHILD’ is staged by gay director Jose Carrasquillo. Eichner is straight glory divine sound pretty good to us. If someone finds it offensive that’s OK by us.” By “us,” di Battista refers to Laffoon and the actors and crew who make up LaGoDi, a nonprofessional theatrical group whose core members initially got to know each other while two-stepping at Remington’s on Capitol Hill. “We’re not trained in acting or singing. We think of ourselves as a tribe really,” explains di Battista. “Ours isn’t a polished one-man show. We have a cast of 10 accompanied by a small choir of five. Our productions feature lots of eye candy and rampant cross dressing.” Written and performed by Manuel Simons, “Queer in the USA” is the tale of Johnny, a New Jersey teen obsessed with Bruce Springsteen. To Johnny, Springsteen is the ultimate man: masculine, successful, talented and compassionate. Johnny longs to be a rock star like his idol, but every time this sexually confused wannabe rocker opens his mouth to sing, out pours a lovely, almost operatic soprano that sounds more like Barbra Streisand. Teased by his peers about his perceived sexuality and gender identity, Johnny runs away to New York City where through a series of chance encounters with a gay rocker, a gypsy woman, and others (all played by Simons) he is set on a path toward self-discovery and acceptance. Simons’ show is heavily autobiographical: “Growing up in Philadelphia, I was on the receiving end of a lot of taunting and bullying in school. The boys considered me a girl and refused to allow me be a part of their teams,” recalls Simons, who now lives in New York. “My character Johnny seeks solace through music; I found my identity and learned to embrace myself through theater. Like him, the arts have been my sanctuary and salvation.” Suzanne Knapik’s Fringe entry “Mother-In-Law: The Musical” is also drawn from real life. About three months after Obama was sworn into office, her partner’s mother moaned that our then freshly minted president was exclusively responsible for the country’s tanking economy. More than mildly disgusted with her mother-in-law’s absurd assessment, Knapik decided to vent her frustration by writing a musical. “My show is basically a true story about my relationship with my partner and her mother,” explains Knapik. “It’s made up of five scenes spread out over Thanksgiving Day. Typically the three of us spend holidays and some vacation time together, and differences come up. Song titles include: ‘God Bless America Only,’ ‘Obama is a Muslim,’ and ‘Mother-In-Law Blues.’” Will the mother-in-law be at opening night? “Oh no,” Knapik replies matter-of-factly, “She won’t be seeing the show. It’s been very tricky keeping it from her — she’s quite spry and alert. My partner will be there. I’m hoping she’ll like it.”

38 • july 9, 2010


‘Mamma Mia,’ here we go again!
Gay actor bids farewell after six years on the road
By DAVID J. HOFFMAN On any given day, there are at least seven performances of “Mamma Mia!” being staged somewhere around the world — and it’s still running in London and New York City. In Las Vegas, it ran for six years, closing finally in 2009, the longest West End/Broadway musical in Las Vegas history. It was also a 2008 film, which quickly became the highest-grossing film musical of all time, breaking the 30-year-old record set by “Grease.” All told today, more than 40 million people around the world have fallen in love with it. Staged as of 2008 in 11 languages, it is currently the most performed show on Earth. Yes, “Mamma Mia,” here we go again! The current U.S. touring company, now in its ninth year, comes to a glorious finale in this iteration ending this Sunday, giving its triumphant farewell at Wolf Trap, the outdoor National Park performing arts center just outside the Beltway in Vienna, Va. It will be a bittersweet moment backstage on Sunday for veteran (six years on the road with “Mamma Mia!”) gay cast member Kevin Thomas Garcia, who just turned 30. Garcia is a so-called “swing” for the show, understudy for 10 of the roles and able on short notice to fill in for any of them as needed — “just not the dads,” he says, since he’s still too young to sub for any of them. Twenty-six cast members and just four “swings,” so Garcia says he never knows just when he will be called upon to swing into stage action, filling in: “I’ve done everything in the course of six years with this show — I guess I’ve actually performed in the show about a thousand times now, but who’s counting?” “Every imaginable situation has happened” to bring him on stage suddenly swinging into gear to fit that role: “I’ve gone on at intermission, and almost in the middle of a song — I never have time to get bored!” Garcia came out at 18 and moved to New York City, where he spent about six months attending a small conservatory there, but it was “not a good fit” for him, so he audi-

‘Mamma Mia’
July 7-11 Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts 1645 Wolf Trap Rd. Vienna, Va. Tickets $40 - $80 or 1-877-WOLFTRAP tioned - successfully - as understudy for the national touring cast of “Grease” in 2000 and has been on tour constantly since then. In 2004, he was hired to join the national tour of “Mamma Mia!” The next stop for Garcia is New York again, where he plans to open a photography studio, with a special focus on publicity and production work for actors and models. So what’s the appeal of “Mamma Mia?” Partly, says Garcia, it’s because of when it opened in New York, just two weeks after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, “and everyone knew the play was not ‘Hamlet,’ but one reviewer wrote that it was just like ‘a giant cupcake’ had landed on Broadway, and it was two and a half hours of magic on a Greek island.” “And it’s ABBA,” he declares,

Photo courtesy of Garcia

Gay actor Kevin Thomas Garcia has spent six years on the road with the touring production of ‘MAMMA MIA!’ referring to the legendary Swedish pop/dance sensation of the 1970s, a fictional narrative stringing together the group’s hits including the title song and of course “Dancing Queen” and many others. “Their songs have such resonance with all of us in all of our lives,” he says, but in addition with “those fabulous songs and costumers it’s every theater queen’s dream musical.” Is there a story? Sure, and it’s a sun-kissed one set on a Greek island where 20-year-old Sophie prepares to marry her fiancé, Sky. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle, as she sings in the prologue song “I Have a Dream.” But the problem is, she doesn’t know who he is. Then she discovers the diary of her single mother Donna, who runs a villa rumored to be built on the legendary fountain of the goddess Aphrodite. In the diary she learns she may have three possible dads, and without telling her mother she invites them to the wedding, believing that by spending time with each of them she can figure out which is her real father.

july 9, 2010 • 39

40 • july 9, 2010

washington, dc
1639 R St., NW Washington, DC 20009 202-462-6569 In Dupont Circle area; popular with men but check schedule for other events.

3734 10th St. NE Washington, DC 20017 202-546-5979 Longtime bar popular with AfricanAmerican men in Brookland neighborhood; hosts regular ladies night. Check web site for special events.

1435 P St., NW Washington, DC 20005 202-797-9730 Trendy Logan Circle bar and lounge popular with men features regular happy hour and other specials. Formerly known as Halo, MOVA relaunched in early 2010 as a environmentally friendly bar with an emphasis on community service.

1409 14th St., NW Washington, DC 20005 202-265-3055 Logan Circle area restaurant and bar (Dupont Circle Metro) popular with the theater crowd and featuring open-mike nights, karaoke and other special events.

1637 17th St., NW Washington, DC 20009 202-328-0100 In Dupont Circle area, above Dupont Italian Kitchen.

900 U St., NW Washington, DC 20001 202-332-6355 Sports bar featuring poker events, drag bingo, trivia contests and other specials. Popular bar with massive outdoor deck and plenty of TVs for watching sports.

2004 18th St., NW Washington, DC 20009 202-265-9599 Popular restaurant and bar in the Adams Morgan area; happy hour specials and many other special events. See web site for updated schedule.

ACADEMY OF WASHINGTON Longtime organizers of drag events in the city; most events held at Ziegfeld’s. See web site for full list of upcoming events.

2122 P St., NW Washington, DC 20036 202-223-4917 Dupont Circle area bar and club popular with men featuring dancing, drag and other special events.

1609 17th St., NW Washington, DC 20009 202-232-0395 In Dupont Circle area; popular longtime restaurant and steakhouse with recently renovated Upstairs Lounge.

1318 9th St., NW Washington, DC 20001 202-341-8281 • 202-642-4537 • Funky, edgy neighborhood lounge in Logan Circle with special events galore. Popular with men and women; features dancing, videos. Check web site for event schedule.

Washington Blade photo by Michael Key

525 8th St., SE Washington, DC 20003 The Phase opened in 1970 and remains a popular lesbian bar and club. Features regular special events, including Jell-O wrestling, ’80s theme nights and more. Check web site for details.

1415 22nd St., NW Washington, DC 20037 202-296-0505 In Dupont Circle area; popular with men, but check schedule regularly for other events.

1722 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201 Multi-level after-hours dance club attracts a mixed crowd but remains gay-friendly.

870 Park Ave. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-539-4993 In business for more than 50 years, Leon’s is the oldest gay bar in Baltimore and among the oldest in the country. Friendly bar with jukebox gets especially busy on Sunday nights. Tyson Place is a restaurant bar located behind Leon’s with a separate entrance.

1805 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20009 202-797-1122 In Dupont Circle area; popular with men but hosts regular women’s events.

2002 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21218 410-82-EAGLE Longtime Levi/leather bar not far from Mount Vernon offers friendly bar, billiards, outdoor patio, videos and a full store for your leather needs. Mostly men, but welcoming to women.

1104 8th St., SE Washington, DC 20003 202-544-1931 Longtime bar popular with AfricanAmerican men in Capitol Hill area.

2427 18th St., NW Washington DC 20009 Alternative party for queer people featuring disco house, electro, indie pop, dance and industrial every Friday night.

2161 P St., NW Washington, DC 20037 202-293-1293 In Dupont Circle area; neighborhood bar popular with men.

4330 E. Lombard St. Baltimore, MD 21224 410-534-0014 Friendly neighborhood lesbian bar gets especially popular when the Ravens play. Features billiards, music and more.

500 8th St., SE Washington, DC 20003 202-543-5906 Popular Capitol Hill area restaurant and bar (Eastern Market Metro) for both men and women. Features Cuban, Mexican and Puerto Rican cuisine.

639 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Washington, DC 20003 202-543-3113 Popular country/Western nightclub in Capitol Hill neighborhood with more than 6,000 square feet of space for dancing and billiards. One half block west of Eastern Market Metro.

1 W. Biddle St. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-837-3906 Mount Vernon-area downstairs bar attracts men and women; friendly service.

1335 Green Court, NW Washington, DC 20005 Friendly bar for men hosts regular happy hours and special events, including karaoke and shirtless drink special nights. Check web site for details. McPherson Square Metro.

3607 Fleet St. Baltimore, MD 21224 410-563-2617 Neighborhood bar in Highlandtown area is popular with men and women and offers billiards.

205 W. Read St. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-225-3100 Another of Baltimore’s friendly neighborhood bars in Mount Vernon featuring billiards, jukebox and welcoming service.

815 V St., NW Washington, DC 20001 Created by musicians Bob Mould and Richard Morel, Blowoff is an occasional dance event popular with men. Events are held in clubs around the country; D.C.’s Blowoff parties are held at the 9:30 club in the popular U Street corridor.

2009 8th St., NW Washington, DC 20001 202-234-TOWN Dance club and bar popular with men and women, features regular drag performances. U Street Metro.

1001 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-752-7133 Part of the Grand Central complex, Sappho’s attracts a lesbian crowd and offers comfy couches, outdoor patio and more in its second floor location.

1519 17th St., NW Washington, DC 20036 202-328-0090 Longtime friendly Dupont Circle area bar popular with men; videos, regular special events.

1735 Maryland Ave. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-539-6965 Longtime bar and restaurant popular with African-American clientele.

1639 R St., NW Washington, DC 20009 202-462-6569 In Dupont Circle area; part of complex of LGBT businesses at this address, including Level One restaurant on street level and 30 Degrees bar.

911 F St., NW Washington, DC 20004 Large dance club with gay-friendly events and vibe located downtown near Metro Center.

1001 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-752-7133 Large entertainment complex featuring friendly pub, lesbian bar Sappho’s upstairs and a dance club on the first floor.

2214 Rhode Island Ave., NE Washington, DC 20018 202-832-3888 Every night is ladies night at Lace; features regular special events for women in Brookland neighborhood. Check web site for details on happy hour specials.

northern va
555 23rd St. South Arlington, VA 22202 703-685-0555 Freddie Lutz’s Virginia establishment includes a restaurant and friendly bar, regular specials and is popular with men and women. Crystal City Metro.

1321 14th St., NW Washington, DC 20005 202-319-1333 Men’s 24-hour gym in Logan Circle area, featuring steam rooms, lounges, private dressing rooms and more.

WHERE THE GIRLS GO Queer women's events in the D.C. area. Check web site for latest info.

1 W. Eager St. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-547-0069 Large club popular with men and women featuring billiards, top DJs/dancing, karaoke, videos and more. Opened in 1972, Hippo’s motto is “where everyone is welcome.”

1836 18th St., NW Washington, DC 20009 202-483-1483 Dupont Circle area bar and restaurant popular with both men and women.

1824 Half St., SW Washington, DC 20024 202-863-0670 Featuring all-nude male dancers Wednesdays-Sundays, drag performances, large dance floor and many regular special events, contests and more. Large parking lot available; located in Buzzard’s Point warehouse district.

639 New York Ave., NW Washington, DC 20001 202-347-6025 The popular Levi/leather bar’s origins date to the 1960s. Features billiards, regular tournaments and other special events. Located near the convention center, two blocks north of Gallery Place Metro.

laurel, md
9855 N. Washington Blvd. Laurel, MD 20723 301-498-8202 Restaurant and bar is popular with gay and lesbian sports fans and is known for its superb burgers.

Different locations Alternative dance party for queer men and women featuring electro, alt-pop, indie rock, house, disco and New Wave. Check web site for 2010 schedule of events.

225 W. Read St. Baltimore, MD 21201 410-225-0188 Piano bar attracts a mostly male crowd, though welcoming to women and straight patrons.

july 9, 2010 • 41

Come and see what you’ve been missing 24/7
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Late Night Steams • Afternoon Workouts Goodlooking Guys • Hot Showers • Videos Big Steamroom • Sauna Gym & Cardio • Lounges Friendly Staff • Very Clean Facilities Private Rooms & Lockers
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42 • july 9, 2010

july 9, 2010 • 43

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Professional Massage Therapist offering best deep tissue massage available. Stretching, Swedish & Sports massage. Dupont, Special 1st time rates. Marcio (202) 271-9440. MID DAY / AFTERNOON SPECIAL Only $49/hour for mid day & afternoon professional massage. Regular rates are only $55/hour & $85 per 90 minutes. Excellent techniques & top quality massage. DUPONT/ADAMS MORGAN. Ron 202-641-1078 INDULGE YOURSELF WITH RELAXING, deep tissue massage. Feel the stress leave your body. CMT with 15 years experience. Located in Logan/Dupont Circle. Visa, MC. David (202) 213-9646 Lic#MT410 N. ARLINGTON CMT - Enjoy your massage in a private, in-home studio. Great location. Clean, quiet, discreet. - 301-704-1158 GREAT TOUCH! Full sensual body massage by Latin Male. Swedish, deep tissue. Relieve stress! Parking available. In/out. 703-401-9093. ITALIAN JOCK Give full body massage. Masculine, muscular, VGL masseur, offers, full-body, Swedish, sports, deep tissue massage on a table, including stretching, shower available. See my photos on Located downtown, parking available. Brian 312-961-7724.

KASPER'S LIVERY SERVICE Gay owned Luxury Sedan Service with special rates for Airport Transfers, Rehoboth Beach, and Charles Town Casino, 24hrs 202-554-2471, 800-455-2471

HEALING THAI MASSAGE for Men & Women at Qi Spa-3106 M St, NW Please call (202) 333-6345 for waxing, massage, skincare...

John Henry Movers Since 1990, the area's favorite gay owned crew. Expert packing, pianos. Experienced, equipped & punctual as hell. Cheapskates love us! 703-597-5561 GULLIVER'S MOVERS - Swift & gentle relocation's. Packing, pianos, antiques. Local & long distance 202-483-9579

BEAUTIFUL VACATION RENTAL HOME in the mountains of Western North Carolina. 3 BR, 3 bath home on a waterfall. Seclusion & privacy, clothing optional.

TOO NEAT GUYS INC. Residential & commercial cleaning in DC & Northern VA. Over 12 years experience, gay owned, licensed, bonded & insured (703) 622-5983. POWER CLEANERS, LLC. Experienced, dependable service seven days a week. Gay owned and operated. Call Matt for free estimates at 202-352-0739 or visit A CLEANING SERVICE invites you to relax while our team of experienced, dependable & friendly professionals provides top-quality cleaning service to your home or office. Excellent refs, satisfaction guaranteed. Licensed, bonded & insured. Reasonable rates. Call today for a free estimate. (703) 892-8648. FERNANDO’S CLEANING: Residential & Commercial Cleaning, Reasonable Rates, Free Estimates, Routine, 1-Time, Move-In/Move-Out. (202) 234-7050, 202-486-6183. MAID TO CLEAN. Rated #1 in Metro DC. Gay owned. Serving DC/VA/MD. DC (202) 297-2967, VA (703) 299-0101. MD (301) 672-4331. Visit

BEST TOUCH in ADAMS MORGAN. Deep tissue, therapeutic sensual combo, all kinds of pressure, 8 yrs experience. Call VLAD 646-463-2804. Get results! Massage treatment to deal with tight areas, imbalances, & stress release. Licensed Massage therapist, comfortable, private studio, heart of DC. Packages available & 1st time discounts. FREE herbal body oil for your first appt. Call Sam 202-2130401 or check my website at One of best massage in Georgetown. It simply works. call 301-801-6072 more information, RELAX, REGENERATE, REJUVENATE The 3 Rs to Health. Experienced Certified Massage Therapist helps you with the 3 Rs: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Reiki, Energetics. Call Bruce (202) 491-8306. MT 0697. LGBTQ Affirming Therapy at Dupont Metro. Individuals, couples, families, adolescents. Over 15 years serving the community. Mike Giordano, LICSW. 202/460-6384,, COUNSELING FOR GAY MEN. Individual/couple counseling with volunteer peer counselor. Gay Men's Counseling Community. 202-265-6495. No fees, donation requested. INDIVIDUAL THERAPY FOR the gay & lesbian community. Relationships, grief, anxiety, transitions, careers. Jonathan Kirkendal (202) 550-3589.

FULL SERVICE LAW FIRM Representing the GLBT community for over 25 years. Family adoptions, estate planning, real estate, immigration, employment. (301) 891-2200. Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, P.A. & Kirstin Gulling, Of Counsel. EMPLOYMENT LAW ATTORNEY - Wrongful Discharge, Sexual Harrassment, Contract Review, Whitleblowers. The Law Office of Carl Roller (202) 531-2777, ADOPTION & REPRODUCTIVE LAW Jennifer Fairfax handles adoption, donor, carrier & parenting matters for LGBT families. Experienced. Affordable. Maryland & D.C. 301-221-9651. Lippman, Semsker & Salb. A full-service law firm serving the GLBT community. Protecting You. Protecting Your Family. Since 1972. (301) 656-6905 or

Apartment Cleaning Service. Specializes in daily, weekly and monthly; DC and Northern VA apartment cleaning.

Branches Tree Experts has certified arborists with experience in Spraying, Fertilizing, Tree Pruning, Root Pruning, Construction Damage, Storm Damage, Stump Grinding, Tree Protection Plans, Planting and Consulting. 301-589-6181, Expert Tree Care Service Since 1988,

FAST CASH!!! Wanted Cars & Trucks. Don’t throw your money away, call me! I will buy your vehicle. Call Marty Salins, at Auto Plaza, in Rockville, (301) 340-1390.

44 • july 9, 2010

CROWN MOULDINGS & CHAIR RAILS - All facets of interior trim, specializing in crown moulding, chair rails & custom moulding fabrication. Call Matt 571-238-8366. TIRED OF THAT DAMN DOOR? Specializing in older doors, repairing, modifying, weatherstrip, thresholds, deadbolts and doorknobs. Call Matt 571-238-8366.

HISTORIC MOUNT RAINIER Handy-Dandy House Needs Work - $169,995 Great Opportunity,but be ready to work hard! Several other wonderful Mount Rainier houses in great condition from $199,995 - $329,000 LARRY PERRIN, Realtor (R) 301.983.0601

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Walk to Metro in Alexandria! 1, 2 and 3 BR luxury condo units for sale starting at $379,000. All have an enclosed balcony, garage parking & storage. Each unit is different & may include: wood floors, granite counters, upgraded appliances, etc. Walk to 2 Metros, Whole Foods, movies, restaurants & shops. Enjoy 2 gyms, pool, tennis, 24-hr security and more. For individual unit information, visit or Brenda Stone, Keller Williams, 703-739-4663 BEAUTIFUL RENOVATION IN COLUMBIA HEIGHTS WALKING DISTANCE TO TIVOLI, 4BRs/3.5BA SPACIOUS ROW HOUSE w/hrdwd flrs, FP eat in kitchen, ss app., granite countertops, crown , molding, separate LR/DR, finished bsmnt In law suite, mstr bdrm w/mstr bth, main flr half bth, deck, new windows, new HVAC unit, new roof, and 2 parking spaces in back. Lisa Sexton 301-512-4280

Walk to Metro in Alexandria! 2 BR, 2 BA luxury condos wood, encl balcony, parking, storage, etc. Walk to 2 Metros, movies, restaurants and shops. Enjoy 2 gyms, pool, tennis, 24-hr security and more. Offered for $2400/mo. or Brenda Stone, Keller Williams, 703-739-4663.

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PLACE YOUR FREE GLANCES ONLINE ON OUR WEBSITE. REGISTER AND CONNECT! Silver Spring rendezvous 6/17, You, Moshe, Cptn America t-shirt; me, Will, grey dress clothes. Talked B'more & Columbia Heights abt 10 PM. WASHINGTON DC FURNISHED HOUSING APARTMENTS & LODGING. 1 to 3 blocks to US Capitol grounds, Supreme Court, LOC. (202) 544-4419. Veteran owned small business Gay Pride Sat evening, Cobalt. Your name is Will, 36, a waiter in the boondocks of Virginia. My name is Pat. Enjoyed meeting you. Would like to see you again.

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Silver Spring $479,000 Charming home renovated from top to bottom, finished to the nines & with all the bells and whistles. Call Tom 301.996.9634

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MALE MASSAGE by 31 yo, 5’ 9”, 170 lbs, Hot Latino with a special touch. Offering full body release in a private atmosphere. In/out. Parking Available, hotels welcome, Silver Spring/DC area, 24/7. 240-462-8669 DAVID EROTIC MASSAGE by certified therapist. Deep tissue also available. On table. Handsome man with class. Thank you for your repeat business. Days & evenings. Easy parking or metro. Call 202-421-8900. BLONDE GI 6’0”, 165LBS Good looking, athletic, well-endowed. Sensual Massage & More. Eli (703) 599-2668.

BOYISH CUTE LATINO 19 yo very smooth slender bottom. ALSO: MICHELANGELO BODY + Ivy League brain, 6'2 195# 46ch 34w, toned tanned smooth. In/outcalls. (571) 255-0584 BEAR HUNTING Strong sensual paws for your willing body. Tom (202) 289-7367. MASSAGE SILVER SPRING Spanish/Irish, 160 lbs, 5'10" great shape, beach tan, strong soothing hands. Full-body erotic experience, masculine energy. Stress release. Comfortable studio, private home. $70/hr. Days/evenings, metro. BRUNO (301) 580-2716. Erotic Swedish Massage - healthy clean cut guy, 6'1", 160lbs, Dupont Circle, massage table, noon to 1:00 a.m., indulge your body. Bill 202-728-0238

WHEN QUALITY COUNTS Male/TV/TS, 202487-3660, SENSUOUS BOD 2 BOD Friendly, creative, erotic massage…Your willing body, for a toe curling experience! Chad (202) 329-7097 THAI-AMERICAN – NUDE BODY MASSAGE, 27 yrs., 5'8", 150 lbs., friendly, handsome, smooth, nice body. In (Alexandria VA)/out 10AM - 10PM Call Robert (703) 655-2130

ENASARIS 5 11" 155lbs 30yo 9X6 Versatile Top 202.271.0440

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GREAT MASSEUR in DC. 24/7 to make appts. 6.0 tall 180 lbs. mix latin. Call me at (202) 413-5952 CESAR FREE OXYGEN/AROMA THERAPY helps Liberate your Libido! Hi I’m Erik, nationally certified, Irish/Italian US Navy Swimmer/Gymnast, offering exceptional deep tissue/sensual bodywork for total stress relief. Private studio. (shower, Metro 2.5 blocks, parking) Call 202-544-7905. In calls only. M2M SENSUAL MASSAGE, by Latino, 45, inshape, shaved head. OUT CALLS ONLY! 202-276-9272


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ALL-AMERICAN BOY 24y/o, 5'9, 138lbs, 29w. Very cute & clean-cut, w/a smooth lean build. Affectionate & versatile, loves older guys. 202-365-9065 EROTIC SENSUAL MASSAGE 30 yo, 5'5", 170 lbs, 8.5", clean, versatile top. Call Robert anytime, 703-587-2261.

Stressed Out? Relax your body, mind and spirit with strong,skilled & caring hands. Give it a try! No calls after 10 PM! Call Manuel at 202-251-1652, "SATISFACTION GUARANTEED"

46 • july 9, 2010

PW’s now has BUZZTIME ELECTRONIC TRIVIA and BUZZTIME Texas Holdem. Interactive electronic trivia, players can compete against other players or teams and be ranked against other players nationwide.

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july 9, 2010 • 47