This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Local lesbian couple among D.C.’s athletes headed to Cologne for Gay Games. PAGE 25
Cleveland shocks: Could 2014 Gay Games competition end up in Washington after all? PAGE 8
How will Senate’s newest member, Carte Goodwin, vote on LGBT issues? PAGE 17
washingtonblade.com • vol. 41, issue 30 • july 23, 2010 • Still sharp after 40 years
LGBT voters approve of Obama’s performance: poll
But numbers slip on president’s handling of gay issues
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. email@example.com Nearly 77 percent of LGBT participants in an unscientific straw poll the Washington Blade conducted during last month’s Capital Pride street festival said they approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing as president. The president’s 76.9 percent approval rating among the LGBT respondents — most of whom said they live in D.C., Maryland or Virginia — far exceeds the 46 percent approval rating he received from American voters nationwide who participated in a Gallup Poll in June. Just over 17 percent of the 519 LGBT people who responded to the Blade straw poll said they disapprove of the president’s job performance, and about 6 percent said they had no opinion. In a separate question on the Blade straw poll, about 51 percent of LGBT respondents said they approve of the job Obama is doing in “addressing LGBT-related issues.” On the matter, about 36 percent said they disapprove and about 13 percent said they had no opinion. A third question asking respondents to grade Obama “on his handling of LGBT issues” showed a range of opinions. About 8 percent of the straw poll’s LGBT respondents gave Obama an “A” grade, whereas 37.7 percent gave him a “B,” 37.5 percent gave him a “C,” about 13 percent gave him a “D,” and about 2 percent gave him an “F The remaining .” respondents had no opinion. Continues on page 14
Photo by Pete Souza, courtesy of White House
President Obama received high marks in an unscientific straw poll of LGBT voters the Blade conducted during Capital Pride.
Has gay agenda been shelved?
Further action on LGBT bills looking less likely this Congress theateragenda
Five-time Tony Award winner returns to D.C. in October for ‘Heny VIII.’ Page 31
By CHRIS JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org The limited time remaining in the legislative calendar for this Congress is raising questions about whether lawmakers will pass any further proLGBT bills before year’s end — and whether it will be politically feasible to pass such bills next year. Congress advanced LGBTrelated legislation last year when it passed hate crimes protections. This year, a measure that would lead to repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” seems likely to reach President Obama’s desk. Continues on page 16
Cobalt’s Mark Rutstein on love, loss and coming out. Page 26
Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key
On the long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said ‘we’re still trying to figure out a way to get that done.’
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Chief condemns anti-gay police flier
Following calls by LGBT activists for a public response, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued a statement this week condemning the distribution of antigay fliers inside a police station by one or more unidentified officers. Lanier said the department’s Internal Affairs unit was investigating the matter. The fliers include a photo of two male detectives assigned to the department’s Major Crash Investigation Unit. The detectives are shown in the photo displaying gang hand signals, which resemble sign language used by the deaf. They are dressed in civilian clothes and appear to be standing in a police station office doorway. “Celebrating D.C.’s First Deaf Mute Gay Marriage,” says a title above the photo. The flier goes on to describe the two detectives as “newlyweds using sign language to express their everlasting love and commitment for each other,” and says the men are “pictured as they enter the honeymoon suite prepared for hours of naked sweaty man love.” Kristopher Baumann, chair of the labor committee of the Fraternal Order of Police, which serves as a police union, said the detectives pictured in the flier consider it highly offense. Baumann noted that someone distributed the same flier in May and department officials “took no action.” A police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the two detectives shown in the flier are straight but supportive of their gay and lesbian colleagues on the force. The source said it’s known
Gray criticized over Thorpe endorsement
D.C. City Council Chairman and mayoral candidate Vincent Gray (D-At Large) drew criticism this week for accepting the endorsement of a controversial Shaw neighborhood activist who has used antigay slurs to denounce people with whom he disagrees. Leroy Thorpe, who has used the word “faggot” to attack gay and straight rivals during his tenure as an Advisory Neighborhood Commission member, endorsed Gray during a neighborhood block party July 17. Gray attended the event. “Previously, Mr. Thorpe has said the most vile things about gay Americans and decent hardworking members of the D.C. Police force,” said Toni Williams, a supporter of Mayor Adrian Fenty, in an e-mail to local media. “Mr. Thorpe’s rants and hatred extend to Latinos, whites, and women. “Why would Chairman Vincent Gray associate himself with such a divisive figure in the Shaw Neighborhood? Gray demonstrates that he truly did not learn from the PFOX incident that plagued Adrian Fenty,” Williams said, referring to an award the mayor’s office mistakenly gave the head of the anti-gay Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, also known as PFOX. Traci Hughes, a spokesperson for the Gray campaign, addressed Thorpe’s endorsement in an e-mail to the Blade. “The fact that he is supporting Chairman Gray in no way suggests the two agree on anything more than this: Chairman Gray is the best person to put an end to cronyism and restore integrity and sound fiscal management to the mayor’s office,” Hughes said. “We are happy to have Mr. Thorpe’s unsolicited support and his vote on September 14th.” Gay activist Peter Rosenstein, a Gray campaign adviser, called Young’s criticism unfair, and said that Gray’s long record of support for LGBT rights shows he neither supports nor condones any inappropriate statements Thorpe may have made in the past. Rosenstein noted that another controversial neighborhood figure, Sinclair Skinner, distributed anti-gay posters attacking gay D.C. City Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) in 2006 at the same time Skinner endorsed and campaigned for Fenty. “When Thorpe or Skinner endorse candidates, they endorse the views of those candidates, not the other way around,” Rosenstein said. “I can assure anyone that asks that Leroy Thorpe will have zero impact on Vince Gray’s ongoing commitment to the LGBT community, my community.” LOU CHIBBARO JR. that our members strive to achieve in establishing respect and trust in the community.” Baumann said department insiders have pointed to at least two other incidents in which antigay literature was placed inside police stations in recent years by members of the force. One was a Jehovah’s Witness religious pamphlet called “Homosexuality: How Can I Avoid It?” He said authorities never determined who was responsible for placing the literature in areas of the police buildings not open to the public. LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Photo courtesy of D.C. Police
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier this week condemned anti-gay fliers that were distributed inside a local police station. that a lieutenant at the crash unit took the photo, but it could not be determined if the lieutenant created the fliers. According to the source, police officials initially appeared more concerned that the media learned about the incident than the incident itself. Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence issued a statement last week calling the fliers a slur against the LGBT and deaf communities. The group’s co-chairs, Kelly Pickard and Joe Montoni, expressed concern that Lanier had not yet issued a public statement about the incident five days after the Washington Examiner broke a story July 13 about the flier. In her June 19 statement, Lanier said the flier contained comments that were “both offensive and unacceptable.” She noted that she initially held off on issuing a statement because she “did not want to give attention or credence to such an unacceptable act.” “The Metropolitan Police Department prides itself in having a diverse police department that provides above the board police services to all residents and visitors of the District of Columbia,” she said. “I am clear to all my members that I will not stand for any type of discrimination; therefore, individual acts, such as the creation and distribution of these fliers, are reprehensible and only serve to damage the fine efforts
Brian Fricke, Brad Catoe wed in Washington
Brian Fricke, a board member of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and his longtime boyfriend, Brad Catoe, were set to marry Friday in D.C. Fricke, 28, and Catoe, 26, planned to wed in a civil ceremony at the D.C. courthouse. Catoe’s family and Fricke’s friends were expected to attend the ceremony. Fricke, a veteran of the Iraq war and a sergeant in the Marine Corps before he left the service in 2005, said service members he worked with overseas planned to attend the wedding. His family opted not to attend. Fricke, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., now works as a civilian information technology specialist for the U.S. Navy; Catoe, who hails from San Diego, Calif., is a patient care technician for the Washington Psychological Institute. The wedding marks the sevenyear anniversary of when the couple first started dating. Fricke said he and Catoe decided to wed because of the tradition of a couple affirming their love together through a public ceremony. “It falls in line with the tradition of finding somebody that you love and committing to them, and then being able to display that, or show that through your vows,” Fricke said. In his role at SLDN, Fricke has joined protests against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and served as a spokesperson on the issue. He’s also a member of the American Veterans for Equal Rights, an LGBT veteran organization. Catoe has also participated in pro-gay rallies, including a Capitol Hill protest this year urging passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The two plan to honeymoon on a cruise in the Caribbean. CHRIS JOHNSON
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Brad Catoe and Brian Fricke
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6 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Health report’s trans omission draws criticism
D.C. officials faulted for missing key ‘opportunity’
By LAURA LEE Special to the Blade The omission of transgender data from a D.C. Mayor’s Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Affairs health report drew harsh criticism and little explanation during a meeting last week. Trans activists were among those to criticize the report when the D.C. City Council’s Committee on Aging & Community Affairs held a public oversight roundtable July 14 to address the issue. Also testifying against the report were people who work on local trans health issues. “It’s sad to say that the ‘T’ is always silent,” said Brian Watson, director of programs at Transgender Health Empowerment. “There is not enough done as far as the transgender community as far as programming, as far as services, as far as data.” The report, released June 30, reviewed behavioral, sexual and mental health findings for the District’s gay, lesbian and bisexual populations but offered no such information about the transgender population. Watson said the general lack of data on trans health issues — a problem the report inadvertently highlighted — has created challenges in securing grant funding for programming to address the risks of needle sharing for hormone injections or combat transphobia in the medical community. Ruby Corado, a transgender activist with Latinos en Accion, said a stigma surrounding trans issues remains part of the medical establishment. “The No. 1 challenge we have, even to this point, is the access to care,” Corado said. During the roundtable, Corado described herself as hurt and disappointed in Christopher Dyer, director of the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs. “He has robbed us — the transgender community — of an opportunity for us to go to funders, to foundations, to different places that will allocate money and say, ‘Hey, listen, the government is saying we have needs. The government is acknowledging that we have challenges,’” she said. Dyer, in turn, said there were limitations associated with the data used to create the report. He noted that the data came from the 2005 and 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys, which failed to ask questions regarding gender identity. Created by staff from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and other agencies, the surveys are intended for national distribution and contain a standard set of questions. States are allowed to work with the CDC to add other questions. Council member Yvette Alexander, who chaired the July 14 committee meeting, at one point asked Dyer why he didn’t work with local trans activists to create the report. “I don’t know,” he said. For its lack of trans data, Alexander described the report as incomplete and inaccurate. When she pressed Dyer on what action the office would take to improve its data collection, he said it would work with the D.C. Trans Coalition and other organizations to improve transgender inclusion in the future. Rhodes Perry of the D.C. Trans Coalition recommended at the meeting that a comprehensive needs assessment be created to serve as a national model for transgender data collection. He also advocated for the improvement of existing data collection methods by including questions that will capture gender identity. “Moving forward, we kindly request a commitment on behalf of the Office of GLBT Affairs to authentically improve and include trans-specific research in all future studies,” Perry said. Sophie Druet, an intern for the D.C. Center, said such research is especially important because among the “very little information available” on trans health issues, it’s clear that “transgender populations generally endure higher levels of discrimination, affecting both their mental and physical health.” Citing data from the Washington Transgender Needs Assessment Survey, Druet said higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation exist in the trans community. That assessment, conducted between 1998 and 2000, was funded by the District’s Health Department. No comprehensive governmental study of local trans community needs has been completed since the assessment.
D.C. court rejects ballot measure on gay marriage
Judges divided on city charter issue
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. email@example.com The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled 5-4 that the city acted within the law when it refused to allow a minister to place a voter initiative on the ballot seeking to overturn the city’s same-sex marriage law. The court’s nine judges unanimously agreed July 15 with the D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics that a ballot measure to overturn the D.C. Marriage Equality Act, if approved by voters, would constitute discrimination prohibited by the city’s Human Rights Act. But four of the judges, including Chief Judge Eric Washington, dissented from the majority, saying the law banning ballot measures that would result in discrimination prohibited by the Human Rights Act is invalid because the City Council passed it in violation of the congressionally approved D.C. Home Rule Charter. Associate Judge John Fisher wrote the dissenting opinion. The majority decision, written by Associate Judge Phyllis Thompson, says the Council acted within the scope of the Home Rule Charter and a subsequent charter amendment, which it says gave the Council sufficient discretion to restrict ballot measures from taking away rights protected under the Human Rights Act. In issuing its decision, the appeals court upheld an earlier throw at turning back the clock.” Solmonese was referring to efforts by the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay group, to use its sizable financial resources to support Jackson’s campaign to overturn the D.C. Marriage Equality Act. Solmonese added, “The D.C. Council made a wise decision decades ago that no initiative should be permitted to strip away any individual’s civil rights. The court unanimously found that the proposed antimarriage initiative would have the effect of causing discrimination, and in doing so, stood up for the entire D.C. community.” Rev. Anthony Evans, president of the D.C.-based National Black Church Initiative and one of the plaintiffs who joined Jackson in seeking to overturn the same-sex marriage law through an initiative, said opponents of the law will continue their fight. “Today the court has told the 500,000 residents of the District of Columbia that we have no right to vote on their own laws,” Evans said in a July 15 statement. “This is wrong. We should have a right to vote on issues challenging the fabric of our lives here in D.C. Like I’ve said in the past, we will continue to fight — taking this all the way to the Supreme Court. We will not give up easily.” In the majority decision, Thompson said the claim by Jackson and those who joined him in challenging the city’s decision to ban a marriage ballot measure rested on the technical question of whether the City Council had the authority to pass implementing legislation to restrict voter initiatives or referenda. “Appellants’ challenge focuses on the validity of Council legislation that requires the [election] board to refuse to accept any proposed initiative that would authorize, or have the effect of authorizing, discrimination prohibited by the Human Rights Act,” Thompson said in the decision. “Specifically, appellants contend that, in establishing that requirement, the Council overstepped its authority and acted in contravention of the District of Columbia Charter. Alternatively, appellants contend that the proposed initiative would not authorize or have the effect of authorizing prohibited discrimination. “We disagree with both contentions, and we therefore affirm the Superior Court’s rulings that the Council acted lawfully in imposing the Human Rights Act safeguard and that the [election] board correctly determined that the safeguard required it to reject the proposed initiative.” D.C. City Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), who chairs the committee that guided the same-sex marriage law through the Council, called the appeals court decision a major victory for the city and the law’s supporters. “It’s significant that all of the judges agree that Bishop Jackson’s initiative would be discriminatory,” Mendelson said. Jackson could not be reached for comment.
Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key
Bishop Harry Jackson lost his case before the D.C. Court of Appeals that sought to place a voter initiative on the ballot seeking to overturn the city’s same-sex marriage law.
ruling by a D.C. Superior Court judge, who also held that the election board acted within the law in denying Bishop Harry Jackson’s petition to file papers to place the Marriage Equality Act on the ballot as a voter initiative. Jackson, pastor of a church in Beltsville, Md., recruited several D.C. same-sex marriage opponents to join him as plaintiffs in the case, Jackson v. D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics. Jackson has said he would appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if his side lost at the appeals court level. Legal experts have said it’s possible — but unlikely — that the Supreme Court would agree to take the case because it is based
on a local issue of whether the D.C. Home Rule Charter and a subsequent amendment to the charter allows ballot measures to be held that would result in discrimination. The case would not be on the issue of same-sex marriage itself or whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to accept same-sex marriage, as other pending lawsuits in state courts have asserted. “The court’s ruling today is a significant victory for justice, the rule of law and the protection of all D.C. residents against discrimination,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese on July 15. “It’s time for the National Organization for Marriage to realize equality is here to stay no matter how much money they want to
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Cleveland Gay Games organizer may be ousted
Rumors swirl over whether 2014 competition will move to D.C.
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. firstname.lastname@example.org The international LGBT sports organization that chose Cleveland over D.C. and Boston for the 2014 Gay Games has taken steps to oust the non-profit foundation it selected last fall to organize the quadrennial sports competition. The Federation of Gay Games’ decision to begin a process to revoke the license it awarded last year to the Synergy Foundation to organize and operate the 2014 Gay Games fueled speculation about whether Federation officials might seek to move the multi-million dollar athletic competition to D.C., which was deemed the runner-up city for hosting the event. Cleveland city officials and an FGG spokesperson sought to dispel the speculation this week, saying they expect the Gay Games to take place in Cleveland as planned, although they would not comment on which entity would organize the event. The Gay Games usually draws thousands of athlete participants and spectators from Europe, Latin America and all parts of the U.S. and Canada for two weeks, generating several million dollars in revenue for the host city. The Olympic-style competition includes sporting venues ranging from soccer and swimming to track and field events, among many others. Last September, the FGG stunned officials with the Metropolitan Washington Gaymes, Inc., the group that organized D.C.’s bid for the Gay Games, when it announced its selection of Cleveland as the host city for the 2014 games. The D.C. group, which had the full support of Mayor Adrian Fenty, the City Council and local business, tourist and sports groups, expected to win the bid, saying it had put together an unprecedented proposal for the games that included the use of the Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium. FGG officials said D.C., Boston and Cleveland each submitted equally impressive and acceptable bids from a logistical and organizational standpoint. They noted that they chose Cleveland because it represented a region less advanced in LGBT rights and acceptance than D.C. and Boston and that holding the Gay Games there would have a greater impact on LGBT equality. Recently, though, the LGBT sporting news blog, Out Sports, and the Clevelandbased LGBT news publication, Gay People’s Chronicle, have reported learning from inside sources that the FGG is dissatisfied with the work performance of Synergy Foundation, the Cleveland-based group it licensed last September to organize and operate the games. A July 7 letter from Traci Nichols, director of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development, which was leaked to the media, says the FGG was “exercising its right to terminate the license agreement with Synergy for the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland.” The letter says the FGG had also agreed to “pursue voluntary mediation within fourteen days to attempt to resolve the outstanding issues.” The letter does not disclose the issues. However, it says that Synergy failed to submit to the city a required project report due June 1. “In light of the notice given to Synergy by the FGG, the City hereby notifies Synergy that it is suspending any further payments to Synergy until the outstanding issues between the FGG and Synergy are resolved and Synergy continues to hold the license for the 2014 Gay Games,” Nichols says in the letter. Andrea Taylor, a spokesperson for the city, said officials would have no further comment on the matter. She noted that any additional information would have to come either from the FGG or Synergy. Spokespersons for the two groups did not immediately return calls this week seeking comment. In a statement released on its web site, Synergy said it was optimistic that the “issues” between itself and the FGG would soon be resolved and organizing for the 2014 Gay Games would proceed as scheduled. With the selection of a host city made more than four years in advance, the organizers and representatives of the host city of the next Gay Games traditionally appear at the current year’s games to promote the future event. But this tradition is expected to create an awkward situation for the FGG and Cleveland officials as the FGG grapples over whether to oust Synergy Foundation from its role as organizer of the 2014 games. Gay People’s Chronicle reports that “financial irregularities and reporting issues” appear to be among the reasons the FGG has taken steps to revoke Synergy’s license to organize and run the 2014 Gay Games. Vince Micone, president of Metropolitan Washington Gaymes, said a member of the FGG board informed him about a week ago that the Synergy Foundation’s license to operate the games was in “mediation.” According to Micone, the board member gave no further details, saying only that bidding organizations in D.C. and Boston were being notified of the matter as a “courtesy.” “Our first priority right now is to make sure the 2010 Gay Games are successful,” said Micone, who noted that a contingent of LGBT athletes from D.C. will be participating in the games set for July 31 through Aug. 7 in Cologne. “We continue to be very supportive of the FGG and the Cologne games,” he said. “We don’t know what the situation is in Cleveland. All I know is what I’m reading about this in the media.” Asked if D.C. could put together all of the components of its bid for a D.C.based Gay Games if the FGG should choose to move the event to D.C., Micone said that would be possible. “But it’s a moot point since we have not been asked,” he said. “If we were asked, we would consider it.”
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10 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Va. guv’s former in-law stumps for LGBT rights
Trans woman asks McDonnell to support bias protections
By CHRIS JOHNSON email@example.com A transgender Virginia woman is drawing media attention for her role in LGBT activism — and her familial ties to Gov. Bob McDonnell. Robyn Deane of Midlothian, Va., is gaining notoriety for calling on McDonnell, her former brother-in-law, to come out in support of LGBT non-discrimination protections in Virginia. “It’s just absurd that we have the issues that we have today,” she told the Blade. “I don’t want anybody to be discriminated [against] on any basis other than their ability to do a job, their qualifications for their job, their performance on the job.” Virginia is among the 29 states where workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation remains legal. It’s also among the 38 states where such discrimination based on gender identity remains legal. McDonnell, a Republican, has said he doesn’t support legislation that would bar discrimination against LGBT people in state and public employment. Deane, 55, was married to Ellen Gardner, the sister of Virginia’s first lady, Maureen McDonnell, for 17 years. They divorced in 1999 after Deane came out as transgender. The two have three adult children, ages 26, 22 and 19. On April 21, in a rally at Capital Square, Deane addressed her ties to the McDonnell family and recalled how her coming out process showed him “the impact that all of this coming out and being who we are can have on one’s life.” “He had a front-row, center seat because it is his family that was directly affected,” she said at the time. The Washington Post published a profile of her last week that reviewed the impact she’s having. Deane, who works as a store department supervisor for The Home Depot, said she’s received calls and more attention since the Post published its article, but her activism is “really about the cause.” “I’m just the person that happens to have been related, or knew Bob, for all these years,” she said. Stacey Johnson, a McDonnell spokesperson, said McDonnell’s relationship with Deane is “a personal matter” and that “the governor wishes Robyn the very best.” Terry Mansberger, president of the Virginia Partisans, a statewide LGBT Democratic group, said Deane’s visibility is helpful and “puts the spotlight on the issue, especially for transgender people.” “I’m not so sure how much it’s going to do to sway McDonnell, but he did campaign on a platform of being moderate, so this is a good opportunity for him to show support within his own family,” Mansberger said. Mansberger said he hasn’t spoken with Deane since she emerged in activism, but is hoping to get her involved in Virginia Partisans. But David Lampo, vice president of the Virginia Log Cabin Republicans, expressed skepticism about Deane’s motives and said her “publicity campaign is more about self promotion than moving GLBT rights forward.” “Certainly, the people we need most to change their minds on this issue will be totally put off by this campaign and perceive it as an effort to embarrass the governor,” Lampo said. “A behind-the-scenes effort would have made more sense from a strategic perspective, but now it’s too late for that.” Although she said she hasn’t spoken with McDonnell in more than a decade, Deane noted that she previously had conversations with him when she was married to his sister-in-law. “We never really agreed philosophically,” she said. “I’m a Christian, and he is, so we come at it from different angles, and he’d say that he’ll pray for me because of something I said.” Deane said McDonnell’s ties to conservative politics are well known because of his affiliation with Regent University School of Law, where he earned his law degree. Still, Deane said she considered McDonnell a good friend until her divorce and said their families often visited each other when they lived nearby in McLean, Va. “Because we’re of a similar age, and really education, it was always interesting talking,” she said. “You could have a conversation with him and you didn’t get chastised for feeling different. You could have a conversation that took on some meaningful discussion, almost where you could agree to disagree.” Deane recalled that upon coming out as transgender, her former wife didn’t take the news well and the ensuing divorce divided their families. As an activist, though, Deane said McDonnell should be a focus for LGBT activists in Virginia because of his position as governor and because he’s well regarded in conservative circles. “He has that connection to the right and because they trust him, or at least they seemingly do, he’s in a unique position to make a difference,” she said, “because he’s witnessed what happens to a family when someone comes out.”
july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 11
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12 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
UAFA gets renewed push as clock ticks
Legislation called ‘absolutely essential’ to immigration reform
By CHRIS JOHNSON email@example.com Supporters of immigration reform and LGBT rights are renewing their calls on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year that includes protections for binational same-sex couples. At a press conference July 15 on Capitol Hill, several U.S. House members emphasized the importance of passing legislation to make the nation’s immigration laws fair and enable LGBT Americans to sponsor their foreign partners for residency in the United States. The strengthened call for passing comprehensive immigration reform comes as limited time remains in the legislative calendar for this Congress, raising questions about whether lawmakers will be able to address major legislation such as immigration reform this year. Same-sex partners currently have no recourse under any portion of family law in the U.S. immigration code. The policy threatens to keep an estimated 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples from remaining together in the United States. Among those who spoke in favor of passing immigration reform inclusive of this language is Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who sponsors the Uniting American Families Act, a standalone bill that would address the situation for LGBT families. Nadler said passing immigration reform that includes protections for the LGBT community is “absolutely essential.” “In particular, bi-national LGBT couples must be granted the right to sponsor their permanent partners for immigration, just as other committed and straight married couples can,” he said. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), the sponsor of another UAFAinclusive bill known as the Reuniting Families Act, also addressed the importance of passing such legislation. Honda said “ending discrimination” against bi-national same-sex couples is “in line with American values and is good for our economy.” “We know that American workers who have family by their side
Lesbian teen settles Mississippi prom case
JACKSON, Miss. — A teenage lesbian who sued her school district over its ban of same-sex prom dates has accepted an offer to settle the case. The Associated Press reported that American Civil Liberties Union attorneys representing Constance McMillen filed notice Monday in U.S. District Court to accept a judgment offer from the Itawamba County School District to pay $35,000, plus attorney’s fees. Photo courtesy of ACLU As part of the agreement, the school district also said it Constance McMillen would follow a policy not to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity in any educational or extracurricular activities. The ACLU said the case is precedent-setting because the district is the first in Mississippi to implement a policy banning discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. “I’m so glad this is all over,” McMillen said in a statement. “I won’t ever get my prom back, but it’s worth if it changes things at my school.” The ACLU filed a lawsuit in March when the district canceled a prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School after McMillen asked to bring her girlfriend to the event and wear a tuxedo.
Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (center) and others are renewing their efforts to pass the Uniting American Families Act, which would benefit bi-national same-sex couples. are happier, healthier and more able to succeed with this essential social safety net,” he said. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a pro-immigrant lawmaker, said passing inclusive legislation is politically viable. “On a more political note, I am confident that we can pass immigration reform that includes the provisions of UAFA this year,” Gutierrez said, according to his prepared remarks. “Including UAFA makes the tent that much bigger and makes the coalition that much stronger.” Late last year, Gutierrez introduced immigration legislation that was seen as a more liberal alternative to the working bill expected for introduction in Congress. Although his legislation at the time didn’t include UAFA-like language, he recently revealed his support for including bi-national LGBT families as part of immigration reform. Other lawmakers who appeared at the July 15 event to show their support for such legislation were Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), a gay lawmaker and proponent of immigration reform, as well as Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). Erwin de Leon, a gay D.C. resident and Blade contributor, also called for UAFA-inclusive legislation at the press conference. He said passage of such a bill would help him obtain a green card to remain in the United States with his spouse, whom he married earlier this year in D.C. “Thanks to vagaries of the U.S. immigration system, I still do not have my green card, even though I consider the United States my home, have lived here legally for several years and in my heart know that I am as American as my native-born cousins,” he said. Along with lawmakers, a coalition of 37 organizations — including LGBT, immigration and faithbased groups — joined in the chorus of voices calling on Congress to act on immigration reform. Immigration Equality, one of the organizations working to pass UAFA, is a leading voice among those groups. Other LGBT groups in this coalition include the Family Equality Council, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign. Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality’s executive director, said current law is taking LGBT families “and sending them into exile.” “Together we will fight for immigration reform that protects all families,” she said. “We will organize, we will protest, we will demand that the Uniting American Families Act and the Reuniting Families Act be part of a just, humane and comprehensive immigration reform bill.” Still, challenges remain in passing UAFA-inclusive legislation. Patrick Egan, a gay political science professor at New York University, said the chances of Congress passing reform inclusive of LGBT families are “pretty low.” “It’s going to be very difficult to get the 60 votes together in the Senate to move the bill forward and they’re going to be reluctant to put anything in there that jeopardizes its passage,” Egan said. Capitol Hill observers expect the Senate to debate and vote on comprehensive immigration reform legislation before a bill is taken up in
Gay rights group gets U.N. accreditation
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Economic & Social Council voted Monday to accredit the U.S.-based International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission after strong lobbying by the Obama administration. Obama, in a statement issued by the White House, welcomed the vote as an “important step forward for human rights.” With the group’s inclusion, he said “the United Nations is closer to the ideals on which it was founded, and to values of inclusion and equality to which the United States is deeply committed.” The group will now be able to attend U.N. meetings, submit statements and collaborate with both government and U.N. agencies on human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, commission officials said. According to the Associated Press, the 54-member council, known as ECOSOC, approved the U.S.-based group’s application for consultative status by a vote of 23-13 with 13 abstentions. Many of those voting “no” — including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Russia and China — cited procedural reasons. But the U.S. government and 14 members of Congress who supported the organization’s application said they believe it had not been approved previously because the group promotes gay rights. The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, which has offices in South Africa, Argentina and the Philippines, has been trying since 2007 to get consultative status with ECOSOC, which serves as the main U.N. forum for discussing international economic and social issues. the U.S. House. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), chair of the Senate Judiciary immigration subcommittee, is expected to introduce the legislation in the Senate. While the Senate bill has yet to be introduced, framework for the legislation made public earlier this year shows support for passing a bill inclusive of LGBT families. In a brief interview with the Blade on Capitol Hill late last month, Schumer noted the UAFA language was in the framework for immigration reform legislation. Asked whether the provision would be in the bill upon introduction, Schumer replied, “I believe so.”
july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 13
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14 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Obama earns ‘B’ on handling of LGBT issues: poll
Continued from page 1 The Blade straw poll follows a year in which the president has faced sharp criticism from some LGBT activists who say he hasn’t been forceful enough in pushing for LGBT-related bills in Congress, including legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” At the time of his election in November 2008, most LGBT activists agreed that Obama was about to become the nation’s most LGBT-supportive president. As a candidate, Obama said he supported civil unions rather than same-sex marriage, but expressed strong support on virtually all other LGBT issues. Among other things, he called for repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act, a measure passed by Congress in 1996 that federally defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The act bars married same-sex couples joined in states that allow same-sex marriage from receiving any of the federal rights or benefits of marriage that wedded opposite-sex couples receive. The president has continued to speak in favor of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and DOMA, has appointed a record number of high-level openly LGBT officials throughout the federal government, and has hosted LGBT events at the White House. His LGBT supporters say the criticism is unfair. They note that the Obama administration has taken extensive action on the LGBT front and should not be held responsible for inaction by Congress, which has stalled in the approval of most LGBT-related bills. That the Blade straw poll shows the president with an overall 76.9 percent approval rating among LGBT respondents suggests large numbers of LGBT people continue to have confidence in Obama while having concerns about his handling of at least some LGBT-related issues. “I think the overall view is that we still like him,” said Peter Rosenstein, a gay Democratic activist. “But I think it shows there’s a feeling it would be very nice if he spoke out on our issues in the same forceful way he did about health care to the Congress,” Rosenstein said. “There’s a frustration that he is not speaking out forcefully enough on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and on [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act] and our community wants to see more action.” Andrew Tobias, who’s gay and serves as treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, said he understands the frustration of some of the Blade poll respondents who are disappointed that more LGBT-related advances have not materialized. “But we also need to recognize that in less than two years, with so much else on his plate, Obama’s made a terrific start, and a nightand-day difference over where we were or where we would have been with [Republican presidential candidate John] McCain.” Tobias said the Blade poll results show an overwhelming majority gave the president a favorable rating and a passing grade. “If you had asked people to rate the Republicans, virtually 100 percent would have flunked them outright,” he said. But Clarke Cooper, executive director of the gay partisan group Log Cabin Republicans, said the Blade poll indicates that LGBT voters are questioning the president’s actions on LGBT issues, especially the administration’s decision to oppose in court a Log Cabin lawsuit seeking to overturn the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law. “It is presumptuous of President Obama and the DNC to assume LGBT voters will march in blind lock-step support of the president,” Cooper said. Organizers of the Capital Pride festival, the D.C. area’s annual LGBT Pride event, estimated about 200,000 people turned out for the event, which was held June 13 along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol. The Blade staff invited festival attendees to participate in the straw poll as they walked past the Blade’s booth. Participation included filling out a one-page, confidential questionnaire and placing the completed questionnaire in a closed ballot box. Of the 559 respondents, about 59 percent identified as gay, about 26 percent as lesbian, about 5 percent as bisexual, about 1 percent as transgender, and about 3 percent as queer. The remaining 6 percent identified as straight. The Blade isolated the respondents identifying as straight from its calculation of the results so that a more accurate presentation of the straw poll’s LGBT sample could be obtained. A separate calculation of the poll’s 36 straight respondents, showed that about 72 percent approved of the job the president is doing, while about 22 percent disapproved and about 5 percent had no opinion. On the question of how the president was doing on LGBTrelated issues, about 34 percent of the straight respondents expressed approval, while some 25 percent expressed disapproval and 40 percent had no opinion.
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?
Response Percent Approve Disapprove No opinion 76.5% 17.6% 5.9% answered question skipped question Response Count 426 98 33 557 2
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing in addressing LGBT-related issues?
Response Percent Approve Disapprove No opinion 50.1% 35.7% 14.6% answered question skipped question Response Count 278 198 81 555 4
Among all straw poll respondents, about 82 percent identified themselves as white, about 10 percent as black, 5 percent as Latino, about 3 percent as Asian/Pacific Islander, and another 3 percent as other. Similar to nationwide public opinion polls such as the Gallup Poll, black respondents to the Blade poll gave a higher approval rating to the president than white respondents. On the Blade poll’s question on whether respondents approve or disapprove of how Obama is doing as president, nearly 91 percent of the black LGBT respondents said they approve compared to less than 2 percent who said they disapprove. The remaining 7 percent of black LGBT respondents had no opinion. On the same question, more than 77 percent of white LGBT respondents said they approve of the job the president is doing compared to about 18 percent who said they disapproved, while about 4 percent had no opinion. The difference between black and white respondents narrowed on the question of how the president is doing on LGBT-related issues. About 60 percent of black respondents said they approved
of the president’s handling of LGBT issues, while about 19 percent said they disapproved and some 21 percent had no opinion on the question. Among white respondents, nearly 50 percent said they approved of President Obama’s handling of LGBT-related issues and about 35 percent said they disapproved, while about 15 percent said they had no opinion. Gallup Poll results from a June survey shows 46 percent of American voters approve of Obama’s job performance. A Rasmussen Poll also conducted in July shows that just 27 percent of the respondents “strongly approve” of the overall job the president is doing compared to 43 percent who “strongly disapprove.” High unemployment rates and the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster were among the issues that the Gallup and Rasmussen polls indicated were factors in respondents saying they disapprove of the job the president is doing. Dan Pinello, who’s gay and a political science professor at the City University of New York, said the overall support the Blade straw poll found for Obama’s job performance is consistent with national exit polls of LGBT voters conducted by the news media for
presidential elections. He noted that the exit polls have consistently shown that LGBT voters support the Democratic presidential candidate at about 75 percent. Pinello said he was unsurprised over the Blade poll finding that the Obama approval rating drops to about 50 percent on the question of how the president is handling LGBT-related issues. He noted that since the sample consists of self-identified LGBT people at a Pride event in Washington, the respondents most likely are “skewed” toward more politically aware people. “But in the minds of many in our community, Barack Obama has not lived up to his campaign promises,” Pinello said. “Plus, Barack Obama has had an ambitious political agenda, much of which he’s accomplished. He got the health reform bill through Congress. He got the stimulus package passed. He got financial reform passed. Lots of major, consequential, historic legislation has passed in the last year and a half. And I think a lot of gay people, especially in the nation’s capital who are very attuned to these issues, are looking at that and saying, ‘Why not us?’”
july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 15
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16 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Prospects for gay bills fading as recess approaches
Continued from page 1 Still, some LGBT activists and voters are frustrated that Congress has taken no action to advance the Employment NonDiscrimination Act. Supporters of the legislation have said several times a vote was imminent, but no such action has yet been taken. Other pending measures include the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act, which would allow LGBT federal workers to receive spousal benefits for their same-sex partners, as well as the Uniting American Families Act and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Further complicating the situation is the specter of reduced Democratic majorities in the next Congress — or even a Republican takeover — and whether measures unaddressed this year would be viable in 2011. Despite the limited time remaining this year, some LGBT rights supporters are hopeful that Congress will move forward with additional legislation. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a gay lawmaker and House sponsor of ENDA, expressed optimism about the bill passing the House this year. “That’s going to be next thing we’ll turn our attention to,” Frank said. “We have the speaker’s support and we’re still trying to figure out a way to get that done.” The scheduling for a House vote on ENDA remains an issue. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier told the Blade that a House vote on ENDA wouldn’t occur until Congress finishes legislative action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, said ENDA remains “a top priority for the speaker,” but a vote on the bill before work on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is complete “jeopardizes both initiatives.” pro-LGBT items his organization has pressed for in the time remaining in this year’s legislative calendar. “We’re certainly interested in seeing the House take a vote on ENDA,” Cole said. “We’ve been advocating for that for a long time, and as recess comes, we’ll be doing a lot of work to make sure our members are getting in touch with members of Congress to push for a vote on it.” But if the House manages to pass ENDA this year, getting the legislation through the Senate remains a significant challenge. Sources have said 60 votes are lacking in the Senate to overcome a filibuster on the legislation. Also, because the Senate allows non-germane amendments, opponents of the bill could attach additional measures in an attempt to block its passage. Still, Frank said he believes passage of ENDA in the Senate remains a possibility. “If you ask them if they think they can pass it, they’ll say ‘no,’ so the important thing to do is for us [in the House] to try [to] pass it and send it over there, so they can’t just avoid it,” Frank said. Activists also foresee a possibility of passing the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act before year’s end. Cole said the legislation, as well as the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, which would eliminate the tax penalty paid on employer-provided health insurance for domestic partners, could be made part of upcoming omnibus authorization or appropriations bills. “We’re following what the plans appear to be on the Hill to see how we might be able to get those pieces of legislation [advanced] as part of them,” Cole said. Frank also acknowledged the possibility of passing the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act and said that legislation is “in serious conversation.” Still, Frank noted the bill comes with a price tag — estimated at one time by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to be $56 million a year — and that concerns associated with raising the federal deficit may cause problems in passing the bill. Frank said finding a way to offset the legislation’s cost remains an issue for the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act and “we have to find a way to pay for that.” Whatever progress this Congress makes on passing pro-LGBT bills, recent polls are casting doubts on whether enough Democratic lawmakers will retain their seats next Congress to pass such bills. Several recent polls have shown considerable opposition toward Democrats and the Obama administration as persistent unemployment and concerns about government spending linger across the country. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gained media attention and inspired consternation among Democratic House members when, during an appearance earlier this month on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said Republicans could regain control of the House. “I think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall,” Gibbs said. “But I think there’s no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control. There’s no doubt about that.” Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, is projecting that Republicans will win seven seats in the Senate and 32 seats in House after the election. Because of this potential shift, Sabato said passage of more proLGBT bills next Congress is unlikely if it doesn’t happen this year. “If these pieces of legislation don’t pass now, when both houses have swollen Democratic majorities, they certainly aren’t going to pass in the next Congress, when Democrats will have narrow majorities, or even be in the minority,” Sabato said. Sabato said the loss of a halfdozen Democratic seats in the Senate could be enough to “kill these bills” entirely in the next Congress because proponents wouldn’t be able to find 60 votes to thwart a filibuster. But Frank said the possibility of passing more pro-LGBT legislation in a future Congress is unknown because the fallout of the November elections is yet to be seen. “I don’t think there’s any question there will be Republican gains in both chambers,” he said. “But what kind of gains? How much? Three senators? Eight senators? Fifteen representatives? Thirty-five representatives?” Frank also said some members of Congress that would lose in the upcoming election wouldn’t “be supportive of ENDA anyway.” Additionally, he said Congress could more easily take up other pro-LGBT bills in the future after items like hate crimes and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are off the table. “To some extent, the more you have to work on, the harder it is to do any one of them,” he said. Cole said although no one knows what the future holds for support for pro-LGBT legislation after year’s end, he noted several supportive incumbents are in danger of losing their seats. “The thing to keep in mind, though, is cobbling together a proLGBT majority for any piece of legislation has never been a slam dunk,” Cole said. “It’s not necessarily about party affiliation — it’s about people who have taken stances toward equality measures.”
Photo by Pete Souza, courtesy of White House
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said Republicans could regain control of the House in November. “Until then, we should encourage the Senate to develop a course for ENDA to ensure that when the House passes the legislation, the Senate can move quickly to send the legislation to the president’s desk,” Hammill said. Frank said efforts toward repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” displaced ENDA in the batting order for Congress because the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill came to lawmakers before a vote could happen on ENDA. “If the defense authorization hadn’t come up earlier, we might have been able to do ENDA first,” he said. Frank noted that he thinks the votes exist in the House to pass a trans-inclusive ENDA, but he wouldn’t give a timetable for when the legislation would move forward in Congress because he didn’t want to tip off opponents of the bill. Michael Cole, a Human Rights Campaign spokesperson, said a House vote on ENDA is among the
Anti-gay marriage group targets Maryland, D.C.
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. email@example.com The National Organization for Marriage, the leading group opposing same-sex marriage in the U.S., has set its sights on Maryland and D.C., where it plans to pour in money and resources to overturn D.C.’s same-sex marriage law and prevent Maryland from passing one. The group was scheduled to hold a rally Wednesday night in Annapolis at the state capital building to demand that lawmakers reject a gay marriage bill that has been introduced in the Maryland Legislature. NOM has scheduled an Aug. 15 rally in D.C. calling for a ballot measure to overturn the city’s same-sex marriage law, but it has yet to announce the event’s time or location. The Annapolis and D.C. rallies are part of the group’s Summer for Marriage Tour 2010, which includes a series of 20 rallies “encouraging supporters to stand up for marriage,” according to an announcement on the NOM website. Staff and volunteers for the group are traveling by bus to the rallies, which began in Maine on July 14. “We’re excited to get on the road and meet people face-to-face, sharing with them the importance of marriage and how critical the future of marriage is to our country,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s executive director. “We need Americans to rally behind marriage as the union of one man and one woman and tell the courts and state legislatures that marriage matters.” Bishop Harry Jackson, the Maryland minister who is leading the fight against D.C.’s same-sex marriage law, was scheduled to join Brown as one of the speakers at the Annapolis rally, which came after Blade deadline. Other speakers were to include members of the legislature who are expected to lead the fight against a Maryland gay marriage bill. Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of the statewide LGBT group Equality Maryland, said the group was to hold a series of its own events Wednesday throughout the state. But she said the group was not planning a counter protest at the state capital in Annapolis. “We are asking our people not to engage them,” she said of the NOM rally participants. “It’s not in our best interest for us to be there. It’s just a [public relations] event for them.” Instead, Meneses-Sheets said Equality Maryland had organized teams of volunteers to distribute postcards in Baltimore and several counties throughout the state, including Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, in support of the state gay marriage bill. Those accepting the postcards were to be asked to mail them to their state representatives in a show of “growing support” for the marriage bill, she said. Also scheduled for Wednesday night was a Pride in Faith meeting in Baltimore, where members of the clergy supportive of same-sex marriage were to discuss ways to advance the same-sex marriage bill in the legislature. NOM’s 20-city tour was scheduled to end with the Washington, D.C. rally. Local groups have yet to announce plans on how they might respond to the D.C. rally. The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled 5-4 last week against a lawsuit filed by Jacking seeking to force the city to hold a voter initiative calling for overturning the D.C. Marriage Equality Act, which legalized samesex marriage in the District.
july 23, 2010 • dcagenda.com 17
Goodwin said to be ‘open’ on LGBT issues
But new W.Va. senator an unknown to advocates
By CHRIS JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org Many supporters of LGBT rights are expressing confidence that the temporary replacement for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) will be supportive of pro-LGBT legislation in the Senate even though his views on such issues are unknown. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) announced last week that Carte Goodwin, his former general counsel, would fill the Senate seat vacated by Byrd upon his death earlier this month. At a press conference at the statehouse in Charleston, W.Va., Goodwin reportedly said he has “no agenda” in the Senate other than “working to fight hard every day for West Virginia families,” according to the Hill newspaper. Goodwin, who didn’t respond to the Blade’s request for comment, is seen as a temporary becomes the youngest member of the Senate. He was sworn in this week. Stephen Skinner, board president for Fairness West Virginia, said he had no information on Goodwin’s background on LGBT issues, but he thinks the senator would be open to discussion. “I think he’s certainly someone who would be open to engaging in discussions on LGBT issues,” Skinner said. “But that, of course, doesn’t mean that we know any of his public stances.” Michael Mitchell, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, said Goodwin appears to be a “very smart and energetic choice” to represent West Virginia. “I just hope that he remembers that he will be a senator for all West Virginians — including LGBT West Virginians — as well as remember that he can be a leader, and should be a leader, for those West Virginians who aren’t necessarily there yet on LGBT issues,” Mitchell said. Many political observers are expecting Manchin to pursue a run for the U.S. Senate in November and that Goodwin’s past work with the governor means he would be aligned with Manchin in terms of ideology. Skinner said believing Goodwin’s positions on LGBT issues to be similar to Manchin’s is “absolutely” a safe assumption. As far as Manchin’s views on LGBT issues, Skinner said the governor has been “thoughtful” about LGBT issues and twice came out publicly against a state constitutional amendment in West Virginia banning same-sex marriage. “However, he did that in the context of saying that our state [Defense of Marriage Act] was sufficient,” Skinner said. “So although the end result was certainly something that we wanted from him, he’s clearly not in favor of marriage equality.” Skinner said Manchin has “indicated at least privately” that he would support a state law prohibiting job bias against LGBT people in the workforce. “The important thing about Sen. Goodwin and Gov. Manchin is that I know that they will have an open door and will be fully engaged with the folks that believe in equality in West Virginia,” Skinner said. A lingering question for Goodwin is how he would vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal when the issue comes before the full Senate. A provision for repeal is in the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization pending before Congress, and opponents have vowed to strip out the language from the legislation. Byrd was a “yes” vote in Senate Armed Services Committee in May on an amendment that would lead to repeal of the law. The late senator’s support was noteworthy because it came on the condition of adding 60 days between the time for when the president and defense leaders would certify that the U.S. military is ready to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the time for when repeal would go into effect. Skinner said he’s expecting Goodwin to follow through on Byrd’s commitment to repealing the ban on open service. Story continues at washingtonblade.com.
Photo courtesy of W. Va. governor’s office
Carte Goodwin was named to succeed West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this month. Goodwin’s stances on LGBT issues are largely unknown, but activists are hopeful he’ll be ‘open to engaging in discussions.’ replacement for Byrd because the West Virginia Legislature is considering a change to state law to allow for a vote to fill the Senate seat this fall. At 36 years old, Goodwin
18 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Vol. 41, Issue 30
Address: 1810 14th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009 Phone: 202-747-2077 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.washingtonblade.com Publisher: Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc.
A gay perspective on D.C. gun rights
We need the ability to defend ourselves from hate crimes
By JESSICA LEE I spent most of my young life opposed to gun rights, as many urban folks do. I grew up in a dangerous city in the 1970s and guns were scary things that got pointed at you when a bad guy asked, “Can I ride your bike?” But my view has changed since I have encountered many gays and lesbians who have or carry arms for self-defense against hate crimes or for home defense. Some lesbians, in particular, view their arms as critical to home defense, especially if they live alone. I imagine that many straight single women have a similar view. Since I started writing this column many of my lesbian friends have come out to me as Second Amendment fans and confessed that they own guns: rifles, shotguns and hand guns that are not quite legal. Interesting! The difference between my friends who own guns and the criminals who commit crimes with guns is that my friends are using guns for defense and would never instigate a crime; rather, they are protecting themselves from one. The Supreme Court has ruled that individuals have a right to bear arms. But even if you disagree with that it is hard to make a case that gun restrictions reduce crime. The District has had one of the most restrictive laws against gun ownership in the nation, yet that did not prevent it from being, in the 1990s, the “Murder Capital” or cause the NBA Washington team to be renamed from the Bullets to the Wizards, as there were so many bullets flying around the District in a bad way. Nor did the District’s gun laws prevent the tragedy of a 14-yearold shooting 10 people and killing four this past March through the open door of a minivan. So if, with such strict gun laws, horrible crimes like that still happen, I am left to conclude that gun laws do not work: they do not prevent crime but only prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves. And gays often need the most protection. That is why Tom Palmer, one of the plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case of Heller v. D.C., sued the District regarding its ban on handguns. Palmer, who is gay, was close to being a victim of a hate crime until be pulled out his gun and defended himself, perhaps saving his life. I had the opportunity to interview Palmer and our exchange follows. Washington Blade: What made you decide to get involved in gun rights? Tom Palmer: I have long been a believer in the idea that if you aren’t harming the rights of others, you should be left alone. My own experience showed that a firearm evens up the odds when brute force is on the side of brutal people. I’m alive today because my mother gave me a firearm to carry and I had it when I needed it. No one got killed, which is just the way I prefer it. Had I not had it that night in 1982, we would have been beaten or stabbed to death. Blade: How did you get involved in the Heller case? Palmer: It was an interesting coincidence. I had told various people about how having a firearm saved my life and the story was passed along. A gay friend who’s also a gun owner asked me one day if I might be interested in a legal case to defend second amendment rights. I said yes and the name he gave me led me to someone else and then to a colleague, Robert Levy [of the Cato Institute], who had helped to organize the case and who financed it 100 percent, despite not being a gun owner himself. Blade: Eleanor Holmes Norton and the D.C. Council chose to turn down an opportunity for D.C. to have voting rights because of the Ensign amendment to the bill, which significantly restricted the District’s ability to regulate guns. What do you think about that choice? Palmer: It just tells us what really matters to them. They just don’t care one whit about the constitutional rights of residents of the District. Holmes Norton and the DC Council should be held accountable for their irrational decision to abandon the voting rights bill so that they could maintain the District’s ineffective gun laws. Holmes Norton, who we send to Congress for the primary purpose of getting D.C. residents a vote, cares more about gun restrictions than our right to vote or defend ourselves. Let’s remember that the next time that we vote.
Jessica Lee is a new board member of GOProud and regular contributor to the Blade. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Get to know a queer crip
As ADA turns 20, some of us are still not part of the community
By KATHI WOLFE This month, Disability Pride Month, people with disabilities, queer and straight, will celebrate a milestone. July 26 is the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Twenty years ago, holding on to my white cane in my office in Cleveland where I worked then, I wept with joy when the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed. When the first President George Bush declared that it was time for the “walls of exclusion” to come tumbling down, I, along with millions of people with disabilities, LGBTQ and hetero, went over the moon. The ADA protects people with disabilities ranging from blindness to diabetes from disability-based discrimination in employment, government services and public accommodations. When it became law, people like me had civil rights for the first time. Earlier in my life, a woman working at a public library told me that, “a blind person like you shouldn’t be out alone.” My experience was far from unique. Knowing that we had the ADA was like catnip to us. If we encountered discrimination, we could now seek legal redress. One in five Americans (51.2 million) has a disability and from three to five million people are LGBTQ and have disabilities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. I am one of many who are disabled in the queer community. We are of all races, classes, ages, genders and occupations. Reclaiming the pejorative terms “queer” and “cripple,” increasing numbers of us proudly call ourselves “queer crips.” Y our presence isn’t well known et or always welcomed in the LGBTQ community. Many places (from bars to shops) and events (such as conferences) in the queer community aren’t accessible to folks with disabilities. My friend, Hugh Gallagher, used a wheelchair. Gallagher, the author of “FDR’s Splendid Deception,” worked on Capitol Hill. “I can only get into one gay bar [in Washington, D.C.],” he told me in 2004, the year he died. In 2008, I was honored to be chosen to participate in a Lambda Literary Foundation retreat. I had a fabulous time attending poetry workshops and hanging out with other queer writers. But I couldn’t wholeheartedly benefit from the gathering, because some aspects of the event (such as getting to the dining area) weren’t accessible to people with disabilities. Then there’s the perception that queer crips can’t have or don’t like sex. Wrong. We can and we do.Years ago, at a lesbian bar a woman turned to me and exclaimed, “I love Helen Keller! What are you doing in a place like this?” What she meant was that blind people are inspirational — but they never look for sex or romance. Most LGBTQ people don’t know that disability and gay rights activists were among those who worked together to get the ADA passed. Often, able-bodied people think of people with disabilities as being disconnected from their lives, history or culture. But this is a false assumption. Though little known, there are parallels between being queer and crip. The ADA covers many in the LGBTQ community, including, but not limited to, people with HIV/AIDS, cancer survivors and recovering alcoholics. Disabled people, like LGBTQ people, are often misunderstood by their families. For years, laws and societal pressures prohibited people with disabilities from marrying and having children. If you’re queer and crip, you run up against people who will want to “heal” you. Don Dew, a gay man who has epilepsy, is executive director of ReachOut USA, an organization that focuses on the intersection of disability and LGBT concerns. “Often, when disabled people come out of the closet, they’re kept out of the community that they’ve come out to,” he said in a phone interview. It’s almost as if “people stay away out of fear of catching a disability from you,” Dew said. As we enter the next decade of life with the ADA, I invite you to get to know us queer crips and to celebrate our history. That’s what must happen if we are to become a full part of the LGBTQ community.
Kathi Wolfe is a writer, poet and regular contributor to the Blade. She can be reached through this publication.
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july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 19
D.C. earthquake a message from God?
Perhaps a sign of approval for shaking things up
By PETER ROSENSTEIN I woke up early last Friday and felt the biggest earthquake in D.C. since they’ve kept records here. At 5:10 a.m. I was at my computer checking e-mails when the desk and chair began to shake. I looked out the window to see if a truck was going by but the street was quiet. So I went on Facebook and, sure enough, a friend, Bob Witeck, also up at that ungodly hour, was reporting an earthquake. Then Joel Lawson posted the website to check it out. It was a 3.6 quake whose epicenter was in Germantown. I always knew that Germantown was going to be famous one day. But I began to think about the timing of this quake and that maybe God was saying something about how we in the LGBT community were shaking up the world. The newspapers that
It was a 3.6 quake whose epicenter was in Germantown.
morning had the story of gay marriage becoming legal in Argentina and the Court of Appeals denying Rev. Jackson and his homophobic cohorts the right to hold an initiative on marriage equality in the District of Columbia. Some may see the quake as God’s wrath. I see it as her approval since it was mild, just kind of a wake-up call and no damage or injury involved at all. This has been an exciting couple of weeks for the LGBT community. A federal judge in Massachusetts, appointed by Richard Nixon, ruled Article 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional. The Log Cabin case against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” moved forward, the judge in the Prop 8 case asked some encouraging questions, and Elena Kagan got closer to confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice. Then the charges against Capt. Jim Pietrangelo
and Lt. Dan Choi resulting from their chaining themselves to the White House gate were dropped. But all was not positive. On July 6 in the Petworth section of D.C., a young man was called faggot and beaten. The police classified this as a hate crime but not one word has been heard from the mayor about it. It appears movement on repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the Senate will take more time and ENDA is nowhere near being passed. So as usual we move two steps forward and one step back in our march to full civil and human rights. For those who waited breathlessly — why I can’t imagine — for Kathy Griffin’s D-list show filmed here when she held her sorry rally against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and lobbied Congress on the issue, it became clear that it wasn’t worth the wait.
Apparently the show, which I gratefully missed, was as boring as the events themselves. You could hear her disrespect a member of Congress, showcase her ignorance on how things in Washington get done, and see HRC fall all over themselves to make something out of nothing. But then again, no one is perfect. Then I read the debates in the gay and lesbian blogs over what role GetEqual has and how they are or aren’t doing anything positive. Why can’t we as a community accept that all avenues of creating awareness and moving our march toward full civil and human rights are needed? I may be thankful that Barack Obama is our president and that we control both houses of the Congress, but at the same time I am for saying out loud that neither side of Pennsylvania Avenue has been stellar in moving our rights forward. If Democrats lose the Congress in the midterm elections, either the House or the Senate or both, we will most likely be in even a worse position so let’s keep that in mind as we go on the attack.
A real highlight of my week came on Sunday at Foundry Methodist Church where Senior Minister Dean Snyder continues to stand up and speak out for the LGBT community and is now asking his congregation to support marrying us in their church. I had the chance to hear Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopal bishop, speak on courage and the future in a sermon titled, “Dancing in the Temple.” He gave me renewed hope that we will eventually win our battles. His sermon reminded me that life is never easy but then we shouldn’t expect it to be. I enjoyed when Robinson spoke of his enemies in the church and how he still loves them. He said, “We will all meet one day in heaven and I know that they will be much more surprised about that than I.”
Peter Rosenstein is a D.C.-based LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.
washingtonblade.com • vol. 41, issue 30 • july 23, 2010 • Page 20
Rent vs. Buy… the age-old question
by DAVID BEDIZ, REALTOR It used to be a foregone conclusion that buying was the obvious choice in the age-old rent-vs.buy debate. Your mortgage interest is tax deductible, your payments are lower than a rental, and the value of your investment always increases over time, right? In the current real estate market, even in DC, that conclusion has been shaken up a bit and the question is not so easy to answer. Let’s analyze the factors involved in making the home ownership decision more closely. First of all, what can your rental dollar buy you in terms of a home in downtown DC? A typical onebedroom apartment costs about $1,800 in Dupont Circle, more or less. With today’s amazingly low interest rates around 4.5% (near record lows set just last month), that $1,800 buys you about $350,000, which happens to be the average cost of a one-bedroom here. So, factor in the mortgage interest tax deduction on the loan (which equates to a deduction of almost $17,000 in your first year alone, or a tax credit of almost $5,000 for most taxpayers) and it’s a done deal! You should definitely buy. But we’re forgetting something… for that price, you’d be buying a condo rather than a house, right? Condo fees range from $150-$500 per month for most one-bedrooms in the area. Don’t ness barely slowed down after the real estate meltdown, despite flagging property values. Buyers, well aware of the cost and risks associated with purchasing, happily went to settlement for their first homes. Some of our clients have even sold and bought again since fall of 2008, perhaps losing a little money in the long term, but absolutely unwilling to even consider going back to a rental. Are these buyers crazy? Or are they just really good at wasting hard-earned cash? For most of these buyers, the answer is not that they’re crazy. It’s that the feeling of home ownership and the independence and opportunities it offers is well worth the risks and cost. True, we may not be in a market where it’s significantly cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent, but there is an intangible, and perhaps priceless, value in knowing that if the washer ever breaks down, I can control how quickly it gets repaired. If I get sick of the wall dividing my kitchen and dining room, I can tear it down and put in a breakfast bar. How many landlords would say “sure, go to town” if you suggested that to them? And we may not be partying like it’s 2005 now in terms of ever increasing property values, but in time values will increase. Perhaps in two years, perhaps in ten, but ultimately real estate will prove to be a good investment as it always has been over time. Further, we must remember the other huge benefit to home ownership: your fixed-rate mortgage payment amount will never go up, and rents generally increase every year. While your total monthly payment, even after tax benefits, may be higher than your rent now, they may be lower in two or three years, and seem dirt cheap after ten. So, if you are asking yourself the age-old rent-vs.-buy question, ask yourself how much that feeling of pride and freedom is worth to you, and then invest wisely in a property you can see yourself owning for many years to come. If you are buying a starter home or condo, buy one you could rent out when you want to move out, if property values haven’t increased enough to pay for a sale. Or buy a place a little bigger and a little more expensive than what you feel absolutely comfortable with now, so that you can grow into it over time and save yourself the costs of an extra transaction. Either way, be prudent in your investment so you can buy with confidence, knowing you can weather a storm and bear the costs of an unforeseen need to move or sell, and knowing that those costs are worth it over your current rental payment. David Bediz is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker in the heart of Dupont Circle. He can be reached at 202 352 8456 or through www.dwightanddavid.com.
Image by David Bediz forget property taxes too, which would cost about $200 per month. Add those in, and the tax-deduction benefit is pretty much gone. Then there’s the cost of maintenance, repairs, and the possibility your investment may actually lose value too. And what if you had to move or sell suddenly… taxes and real estate agent commission is expensive! DC sales taxes are 1.1% for both buyers and sellers under $400,000, and 1.45% above. Brokerage commission is usually around 6%. So to break even on an investment you make, the property has to sell for almost 9% more than you bought it for. It seems like buying in this market makes no sense, right? At first glance that may seem to be the case. Why, then, do so many people choose to buy rather than rent these days? Our busi-
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22 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
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24 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
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Mark Rutstein answers 20 questions. Queery, PAGE 26
washingtonblade.com • vol. 41, issue 30 • july 23, 2010 • Page 25
Going for the gay gold
Large contingent of local athletes heading to Germany for Games
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO The Gay Games medals that lesbian attorney Andrea Reister keeps in her office at Covington & Burling on Pennsylvania Avenue — three golds and a silver for cycling — have had a somewhat unexpected effect. Natural conversation starters, Reister says they’ve been a way to come out to clients without making a proclamation. “People who know me very well know it’s just part of my persona,” she says. “They’ve become a very positive aspect of who I am. And it’s an easy way to get it out there without making it a big deal. They’re something everybody can relate to.” Reister, 52, is gearing up for her third Gay Games. She competed in Sydney in 2002 and in Chicago in 2006 but is switching gears for this eighth installment of the Games, which kicks off next weekend in Cologne, Germany. She and her partner of nine years, Marty Ashley, will compete together in golf. “I’d done pretty well in cycling so I thought maybe it was time to try a different sport,” Reister says. “And Marty has always competed in golf and I wanted to be able to spend time training and competing with her.” Ashley, who has a Gay Games silver medal of her own in golf, was bitten by the competition bug after attending the 1998 Games in Amsterdam as a spectator. She then competed in Sydney and Chicago and says training for this year’s Games has been fun. Ashley, a software manager, also works at Covington & Burling. The two train at 5:30 a.m. twice a week at Hains Point in D.C. before their workdays begin. Ashley says the Games provide an unrivaled experience. “The appeal is first of all, all these queers together in one city,” she says. “Normally we’re the 10 percent but during the Gay Games it reverses and we’re the 90 percent and that’s really fun. … It’s just a very supportive and vibrant community.” Modeled loosely after the Olympics, the Gay Games started in San Francisco in 1982. Athletes from all over the world compete. Most are LGBT but heterosexuals can enter too. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in about 30 sports and athletes of all skill levels are welcome to compete. The D.C. area, represented by Team D.C., a local umbrella organization of LGBT sports leagues, which has about 2,500 players on about 30 teams, will again have a strong representation with about 100 attending. That’s down sharply from the roughly 300 who attended the 2006 Chicago Games, a fact Team D.C. board member Kevin Majoros attributes to the distance and cost of flying to Germany. Majoros, a Blade sports columnist who’ll turn 50 during the Games (which last through Aug. 8), will compete in swimming and in two jumping competitions. The Baltimore resident and Gay Games silver medalist says the Chicago Games were amazing. “Y have 12,000 gay athletes all ou marching around for 10 days,” he says. “It was the first time in my life I felt like we were all supposed to be the way we are. Not that I don’t feel normal right now, but I felt even more normal. It’s kind of hard to put into words. I felt part of something bigger than myself
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Andrea Reister (left) and Marty Ashley practice for the Gay Games Monday evening at Hains Point in Washington. Both have won medals in past Gay Games events, and are hoping to add to their trophy case in Germany next week. and I knew I wasn’t alone.” Washington resident Scott Thompson, 47, competes in tennis and the triathlon. He first attended the 1990 Games in Vancouver and has attended several times since. He won a bronze medal at the 2006 Out Games in Montreal, a break-off event that emerged during a squabble among Gay Games organizers. “The great thing about it is you have a lot of people coming together who are focused on sports,” Thompson says. “You can go to a circuit party, but let’s face it, that’s mostly about partying and sex. And that’s fine, but here’s a healthier group who are really involved in sports. All that kind of stuff just pales to the good-natured fun you have at the Gay Games. It’s always such a positive experience.” Team D.C. president Brent Minor is having shoulder surgery and can’t go this year but says the Games provide a good mix of fun and competition. Because anyone can enter and most of the participants are gay, it’s infinitely easier to participate in the Gay Games than the Olympics. Many sports have events broken down into age and/or skill levels, making it easier to qualify for a medal. But that doesn’t mean the Games are a field day. Competition can be fierce — in swimming especially — and several world records have been broken at the Games. Minor says Team D.C. athletes always come home with a bounty of medals representing the District and its region well. “Our swim teams always garner a great deal of medals,” he says. “If some of them put all their medals on, they’d sink to the bottom of the pool. We also have body builders who do quite well. We have a volleyball team who won bronze last year in their division. It really demonstrates that we have an active gay and lesbian sports community here.” This will be the first Gay Games for 38-year-old lesbian Claudia Gebert, who’s running in both the 10k and 5k races. It will give the Germany native a chance to visit her hometown of Nesskirch, which will require a threehour train ride from Cologne. She learned of the Games after she joined D.C. Front Runners, a local LGBT running outfit. She came here last year as a biomedical researcher. “I have to go back anyway to get a Visa stamp and I’ll see my family too,” she says. “It should be fun.”
26 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
QUEERY: 20 Questions for Mark Rutstein
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO In October 2008, Mark Rutstein, like many, was feeling the sting of a sluggish real estate market. He’d had a golden run since 2002 with Coldwell Banker and Hounshell Real Estate but ‘08 found his business “crashing down,” as he puts it. He wasn’t the only one hurting — Cobalt, one of the staples of 17th Street nightlife, had also seen a downturn. Rutstein knew owner Eric Little because he’d bartended at JR.’s, which Little also owns, when he moved to the District in 1999. Rutstein saw Little at Cobalt one night and they soon made plans for Rutstein to ride out the real estate storm by managing Cobalt and its downstairs restaurant Level One. The partnership has been so successful — Rutstein says sales are up 300 percent from 18 months ago — that Rutstein has stayed on. He started out in the restaurant business and, although he had said “never again” to the grueling 75-hour work weeks, he’s enjoying himself now. And he still has a foot in the door at Hounshell working mostly with previous clients. His long-term plan? “Time will tell,” he says. The 36-year-old Miami native has been in the D.C. area since the early ‘80s and has been dating Stephen Rutgers since January. He lives in Dupont Circle and enjoys traveling, dining and working out when he has down time. How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? Ten years and my mom or my fiancé. My mom because I didn’t want to disappoint her and my fiancé because I took so long to figure out I was gay. Who’s your gay hero? There are so many. The activists who brought us this far today such as Dr. Frank Kameny and Harvey Milk. What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? Present: Cobalt; past: Nation. Describe your dream gay wedding. On the beach on an island surrounded by my friends. What non-gay issue are you most passionate about? There are so many, but finding a cure for cancer which took my mother from me this year. What historical outcome would you change? “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? Meeting Hillary Clinton because she is totally pop. On what do you insist? Honesty and compassion. What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? “Tonight at Cobalt …” If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Nightmare on 17th Street?” LOL, I don’t know, it’s been an eventful life. Maybe it would be a lot of these: #!!@#!@@#!@*&#@$ If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? Nothing now, but I once wished I was “cured.” I now know I was made to be this way. What do you believe in beyond the physical world? I’m not sure exactly but I DO know that a world without spirituality would be an ugly place. What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Get the younger generation more involved. What would you walk across hot coals for? Love, family and friends. What gay stereotype annoys you most? That lesbians drive Subarus. It’s not true because my friend Karen has a Honda. What’s your favorite gay movie? “Latter Days” What’s the most overrated social custom? Meeting someone and saying that it’s nice to meet them. You don’t really know how nice it is yet. What trophy or prize do you most covet? Real estate sales awards, e.g. top sales group multiple years. What do you wish you’d known at 18? That I’d lose my parents so early. I would have called them more and spent more time with them both. Why Washington? There are lots of opportunities and it’s gay friendly.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 27
28 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Friday, July 23
HIRSHHORN AFTER HOURS is tonight at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Ave. at Seventh Street, S.W., from 8 p.m. to midnight. Come out for an outrageous night of campy drag and electrifying dance music hosted by drag performer Summer Camp. There will be live performances by Karl Marks, Brandon Joseph Neukam, and Sunrize Highway. DJs Matt Bailer (MIXTAPE, Peach Pit) and Bil Todd (RAW) will be spinning an eclectic mix of electro, alt-pop, disco, and house, with visual projections by Richard Sawka and Erik Loften. Catch the World Premiere of the latest, outrageous digital short from CRACK, featuring Summer Camp, Chris Farris, and Karl Jones and directed by Greg Price with original music by Bluebrain. Tickets are $18 and must be purchased in advance by going to hirshhorn.si.edu/afterhours. In celebration of the landmark exhibition “BEAT MEMORIES: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALLEN GINSBERG” on view at the National Gallery of Art through Sept. 16, Busboys and Poets, 5th & K Sts., and Split This Rock present “HOWL” in the City at 8 and 10 p.m. Renowned poet Anne Waldman, friend of Allen Ginsberg, will present three performances of his legendary poem Howl. Inspired by the spontaneous nature of the Beats, Matthew Hemerlein leads a string quartet in a musical improvisation to accompany the poem. Waldman will also perform her original poems and will be preceded by local poets Chris August, Kenneth Carroll, and Venus Thrash. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com. Visit washingtonblade.com for more on this event. The Faux-Real Theatre Company presents QUEER IN THE USA tonight at the Goethe Institut, 812 7th St., N.w., at 11 p.m. as part of the Capital Fringe Festival. A teenage boy’s obsession with Bruce Springsteen leads him to New York City. Lovers, rockers, and gypsies challenge him to embrace his queerness. Does he have what it takes to rock it out like The Boss? Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave. N.W., or by phone at 866-811-4111. WET GIRLS tonight at Club Liv, 2001 11th St., N.W., from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Get drenched with everything from pop to not, featuring DJs K La Rock (You Ain’t Slick) and Junebullet (She.Rex/You Ain’t Slick). $5 cover and must be 18 or older to enter. Celebrate SHABBAT SERVICES, 8:3010 p.m. at the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. Services are followed by an Oneg social. BALTIMORE BELTWAY DIVAS SHOW at Ziegfeld’s, 1824 Half St., S.W., with Tatiyanna Voché, ChiChi Rae Colby, Phoenix Bloomingdale, JoAnna Blue, Sparkle Alexandria, and the comedy of Shawna Alexander with non-stop club dancing. $5 cover from 9 to 10:30 p.m. and $10 after 10:30 p.m. and always includes $1 off your first drink. The first ever MSS APEX AND MISS APEX NEWCOMER hosted by Kristina Kelly and Tony “I Thank You” Nelson is tonight at Apex at 10 p.m. Special guest entertainers include Destiny B. Childs, Serria Spaulding, Big Daddy, Isis Deverreoux, and Arione Decardea. There is a $10 cover and you must be 18 to enter, 21 to drink.
Photo courtesy of National Gallery
Busboys and Poets presents ‘HOWL’ in celebration of the exhibition of Allen Ginsburg’s photographs at the National Gallery of Art. be matched by the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and goes directly to building a foster home for abandoned youth in Cloetesville, South Africa. THE DC WOMEN’S DINNER will be at Cafe Luna, 1633 P St., N.W., at 7 p.m. RSVP by sending an e-mail to email@example.com DC FRONT RUNNERS FUN WALK/RUN at Rock Creek Park is today from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The walk goes from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and the run goes from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Monday, July 26
The Capital Area Rainbowlers Association presents the LGBT SUMMER BOWLING SOCIAL at AMF Annandale Lanes, 4245 Markham St., Annandale, Va., from 8 to 10 p.m. Bowling is just $1.99 per person per game plus the $4.46 shoe rental fee. There will be some free pizza and fun door prizes/raffles. You do not need to field a team. Just attend and bowl anywhere. RSVP to Les at firstname.lastname@example.org SAGE METRO DC MONTHLY MEETING at the DC Center, 1318 U St., N.W., from 6:308 p.m. SAGE Metro DC provides support and advocacy for the aging LGBT population.
Saturday, July 24
ADAMS MORGAN GIVES BACK is an all day event. Buy a Citizen Effect wristband for $10 at citizeneffect.org to receive free and discounted drinks, food, and more in the Adams Morgan neighborhood at participating businesses. All money raised will
Sunday, July 25
2ND ANNUAL BET MISHPACHAH KUGEL BAKEOFF at 5 p.m. at DC JCC, 1529 16th St. N.W. Bake and bring your favorite Kugel. Participants will vote on the best, and that recipe will be used to make the Kugels served at the Break the Fast.
Tuesday, July 27
Adventuring presents ARLINGTON EVENING BIKE RIDE at 6:30 p.m. This ride continues the summer-long series of Arlington Evening Bike Rides. New riders and those who may be a little out of practice are welcome. The ride will go through Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood on a 17-mile loop using bike trails and quiet residential streets. Arrive by 6:25 p.m. at the Clarendon Metro station elevator entrance, Wilson Boulevard and Highland St., and the ride starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. Bring helmet, water and $2 for Adventuring.
Walk, run or sashay in new 5k Rehoboth race
By JULIETTE M. EBNER CAMP Rehoboth and the Seashore Striders will hold the inaugural “Sundance 5k: Run, Walk or Sashay!” on Sunday, Aug. 29 in Rehoboth Beach, Del., to kick off “Sundance Week,” CAMP Rehoboth’s annual Labor Day weekend benefit. “We thought that we would add something that would help to expand Sundance,” said Chris Beagle, a member of CAMP Rehoboth’s board of directors. “A large number of people said they would like to see outdoor events.” The scenic course is considered an “outand-back” course, meaning it starts and finishes at the same point, in front of the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center on Baltimore Avenue in downtown Rehoboth Beach. Runners will continue through town, crossing Lake Gerar, and head north toward Cape Henlopen State Park. Just prior to the park entrance, runners will turn around and follow the same route back into town. The top overall finishers will be awarded prizes as well as the top three finishers in nine age groups ranging from 9 and under to 70 and older. There will also be a one-mile “FUN” walk where creativity and costumes are encouraged and prizes will be awarded in several categories. T-shirts will be provided to the first 300 registrants. What started as a rained-out pool party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald in 1988, the annual Sundance benefit takes place the Saturday and Sunday nights of Labor Day weekend at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. “It started as a small group that got together to celebrate the end of the summer and friendship and it has evolved into a fundraiser for CAMP Rehoboth,” said Beagle. Saturday, Sept. 4 is the Sundance Auction, both silent and live, from 7 to 10 p.m.; it will include food and an open bar. Sunday, Sept. 5 is the Sundance. The party begins at 8 p.m. with dancing until 2 a.m. There will also be an open bar all night. Sundance benefits the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center; a percentage of the race proceeds will also go to the Center. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, CAMP Rehoboth is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to creating a more positive environment in Rehoboth Beach and its surrounding com-
Wednesday, July 28
DC CENTER SUMMER LGBT INTERN MIXER at the DC Center, 1318 U St., N.W., from 7-9 p.m. Are you an intern in D.C. this summer? Know any interns that are LGBT or allies of the LGBT community? Please help spread the word about the first LGBT Intern Summer Mixer at the DC Center. Mautner Project presents MIND-BODY WELLNESS FOR WOMEN WHO PARTNER WITH WOMEN: CURRENT ISSUES with Leslie Calman, Elizabeth Ide, and D Magrini at Equality Maryland, 1201 Sharp St., Baltimore, at 6:30 p.m. This is part of the Speakers Series.
Photo courtesy of Beagle
CHRIS BEAGLE, of CAMP Rehoboth, is helping to organize a new 5k race at the beach next month. munities. Its mission is to promote cooperation and understanding among all people, while working to build safe, inclusive communities with “room for all.” For more information about Sundance weekend and CAMP Rehoboth in general, check out camprehoboth.com. Pre-registration for the 5k race, held at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 29, is $20 through Aug. 22. After that, general registration is $25. For more information on the race and to register, visit seashorestriders.com.
Thursday, July 29
Atlas Performing Arts Center presents SUMMER FILM SERIES: GAY 101 showing “Where the Boys Are” starring Dolores Hart and George Hamilton at the Paul Sprenger Theatre, 1333 H St., N.E., at 8 p.m. Buy tickets at atlasarts.org or at the box office one hour prior to the movie.
july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 29
Legendary costume designer on his career in theater
5-time Tony winner Long returns to D.C. in October for ‘Henry VIII’
By PATRICK FOLLIARD Legendary gay costume designer William Ivey Long has never tried to disguise his sexuality — neither among friends nor professional contacts. “Imagine that? I’m comfortable with who I am,” Long reports playfully. “It’s been my experience that so long as you do your job and pay your bills most people will accept you.” Indeed the man does his job. Throughout his fabulously successful costume design career, Long has won five Tony Awards (and every other prize that Broadway and off-Broadway offer). His amazing body of work includes hit shows like “Grey Gardens,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray.” The recent production of “9 to 5” marks his 58th Broadway show. Long is busy at work designing for an upcoming Broadway production of “A Leap of Faith,” a musical adaption of the same-titled 1992 Steve Martin screen comedy about a fraudulent preacher. “My studio [a loft in Lower Manhattan] is currently overflowing with photos of choir gowns and sheriff uniforms,” reports Long. “It’s when a designer thinks that they are most familiar with a certain look or period that they really need to take a closer look. Sorting through archival material is a huge part of what I do. Research and costume construction are everything.” A native North Carolinian, Long grew up surrounded by theater. Both of his parents were theater educators. As a kid, Long designed his first costume – an Edwardian collar for his dog. At just eight, he appeared in a local historical production titled “The Lost Colony.” Long graduated from William and Mary College with a degree in history, and then went on to study set design at the Yale School of Drama (where housemates included Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver). Studying design under the exalted Ming Cho Lee was a period that Long remembers as “a magical time.” to artists and bohemians, and began stalking famous couturier Charles James. Eventually, James agreed to an apprenticeship that lasted an intense three years. When his sartorial mentor died in 1978, Long returned to the theater, designing costumes for productions helmed by directors he’d first met as classmates at Yale. “I’d dress the phonebook for the right director or choreographer,” adds Long. “Who is in charge really makes a difference in terms of inspiration and the overall experience. I’d count [Broadway’s] Jerry Zaks and Susan Stroman among my favorites.” Long designed the chic black dress and mink so crucial to Valerie Harper’s portrayal of Tallulah Bankhead in “Looped” that played at Arena Stage last summer. More recently, he designed costumes for the national tour of “Dream Girls.” Sadly, the D.C. run was recently canceled due to poor advance ticket sales. Local audiences will have the opportunity to see Long’s artistry up close once again in October when he costumes Folger Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s “Henry VIII.”
Photo courtesy of Long
WILLIAM IVEY LONG has won five Tony Awards. Over the years, his way of designing costumes has changed. “The scope has definitely broadened,” explains Long, 62. “As I’ve become more successful, I’ve been able to hire assistants. Also, I’ve become a destination for interns and summer job seekers. But that’s really the only way our business is passed down. It’s a guild, really, and that requires hands on learning for the next generation. And whether or not they adhere to my methods isn’t important, but it’s crucial for them to have this kind of experience.” After graduating from Yale, Long felt rather at sea and woefully unprepared for a career in theater, so he set out to find his next mentor. Long moved to Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel, that storied home
30 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Gay couples and the urge to merge
When should you consider combining finances?
By DAVID M. TAUBE
Since the momentous March 3 inception of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia, the urge to merge has surged. As of June 24, the D.C. Superior Court’s Marriage Bureau had recorded 2,966 “spouse-to-spouse” marriage license applications, closing in on the 3,096 “husband-andwife” requests for all of 2009. In your rush to hire a wedding planner, register at your favorite high-end retailer, and select your exotic honeymoon destination, have you thought about what marriage means to your finances? In the excitement of a merger, some newlyweds may jump at the chance to combine their finances. But wait, there are a few things to consider before registering your names on joint accounts. Although most advisers would recommend that same-sex couples have a joint account to pay for ongo-
There are a few things to consider before registering your names on joint accounts.
ing, joint household expenses, it’s a different story for investment money. Maintaining joint accounts builds shared decision-making, awareness of financial matters, and perhaps most importantly, trust. However, tax, legal, and practical matters offer cautions for a household account and red flags for investments. Taxes. Whether you are married, civil unionized, domestic partnershipped, or simply co-habitating, the fact remains that, for taxes, the federal government does not recognize your relationship. As a married couple living in the District, you would have to file your city income taxes jointly, but would file separate federal tax returns. There are potential federal gift taxes if one same-sex spouse or partner contributes more than the other to a joint account. Under current federal law, the portion of cash or gifts of property worth more than $13,000 per year given by a same-sex spouse or partner to the other spouse or partner is considered a taxable gift. No limit exists for federally recognized marriages, as spouses can freely transfer money or property to one another without tax consequences. Same-sex spouses or partners should keep a record of how much each contributes to a joint account. To avoid having to file a gift tax return, neither half of a couple should contribute more than the $13,000 gift limit over the amount the other half provided. Federal estate taxes may also influence your decision to keep assets separate. Unless you can document the contributions by each same-sex spouse or partner, the IRS will include the entire value of property owned as “joint tenants” in the gross estate of the first to die. Asset protection. There may be compelling legal reasons that influ-
ence your decision to keep assets separate. Depending in which state you reside, co-owned assets may be subject to the claims of your same-sex spouses’ or partners’ creditors. One spouse or partner may have assets he or she wishes to protect from the other who is engaged in a high-risk business or occupation. A spouse or partner may have significant inherited family assets that need to be protected for heirs from potential loss in a future break up or divorce. In the District and states with same-sex marriage, you can own certain assets as “tenants in the entirety,” which provides married couples joint ownership with right of survivorship, without joint liability. Practical matters. Each spouse or partner may have different goals for the money and approaches to how it would be invested. While one may be planning for imminent retirement and dialing back the risk level, another may be thinking about returning to school for a new career. This may take on greater importance if there is a large age difference. With the younger half’s longterm goals further into the future,
the portfolio may have a significantly different (i.e., higher) risk profile. Couples should discuss financial expectations and goals they would like to achieve, including respective and combined goals such as home ownership and retirement. Merging spending and saving habits should also lead to a talk about your money history – credit rating and score, any troubles with credit in the past, including bankruptcy. Newlyweds and other couples will also need to figure out who will actually pay the bills and file the tax returns. Ideally, you should address how your assets and finances will be handled in a pre- (or post-) nuptial or domestic partnership agreement. (This article is for informational purposes only and is not financial, legal, or tax advice. Please consult with your adviser before making any decisions.)
David M. Taube, CFA, is CEO & Chief Investment Officer of Kalorama Wealth Strategies, LLC, a fee-only investment advisory and financial planning firm in the District. Reach him at 202-550-7262 or email@example.com.
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july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 31
Sesame Street meets South Park
Avenue Q brings irreverence to Shakespeare Theatre
By DAVID J. HOFFMAN Puppets have full-on puppet sex. Racism and pornography and unemployment are also addressed head-on. Hilarity and irreverence ensue. But somewhere Kermie is having a panic attack at the arrival of “Avenue Q,” set on a street with a string of tenements in a low-rent, outer-outer borough of New York City. It is sufficiently reminiscent of Sesame Street, on public TV since 1969 and beloved by Generation Y for its politically correct multi-cultural neighborhood and ethnically diverse families, to merit the following statement in the playbill: “Avenue Q has not been authorized or approved in any manner by the Jim Henson Company or Sesame Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.” Even so, the show is basically
Avenue Q: The Musical
Shakespeare Theatre Company Lansburgh Theatre 450 7th St., N.W. Through Aug. 15 $76 - $86 202-547-1122 HarmanCenter.org an homage to the creators of Sesame Street. It plays at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre until Aug. 15, and is a first-rate, road-show version of the original, innovative, foul-language Broadway musical that in 2004 won the Best Musical Tony Award, snatching it from the hands of “Wicked.” As for “Q” standing for “Queer,” get over it. It’s really just not that big a deal. However, Bert and Ernie (whoops, I mean Rod and Nicky in this show) are gay, or at least ready to come out, but only after first swearing they’re not, as they sing the duet “If You Were Gay,” while insisting, a la Seinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” And hey, no one else in the cast, including Trekkie Monster, a pornobsessed Muppettish furball fac-
Photo courtesy of Avenue Q
AVENUE Q puts a foul-mouthed and gay-inclusive spin on ‘Sesame Street.’ simile of the Cookie Monster, cares one way or the other. Remember, most of these characters are puppets, designed by the ingenious Rick Lyon, who created the role of Trekkie Monster (“Me want porn!”) in the original Broadway production but who is also a puppeteer and designer with more than 25 years experience in theater, film and TV, including “Sesame Street.” He and his company, The Lyon Puppets, build all the puppets, which cost up to $10,000 each and are so-called single-rod, double-rod and livehands puppets depending on how the head and arms are animated by the actor serving as puppeteer who also generally supplies the voice. The folks remain in full view of the audience and make no attempt to conceal themselves or their lip movements. The puppets interact with each other and three human characters.
The Trekkie Monster is now “acted” by Michael Liscio, Jr., who also plays Nicky, but does an especially bravura job bringing out the reclusive porn-lover’s gruff charm. As for Nicky, he is a sweet but messy and jobless character living with Rod, a closeted Republican investment banker (acted by Brent Michael DiRoma, making his touring debut on “Avenue Q”). As for the show’s gay subtext, Rod likes nothing more than sitting home leafing through his favorite book, “Broadway Musicals of the 1940s.” One night a sleepless Rod thinks he hears Nicky say, “I love you, Rod,” in his sleep and is jubilant that his secret crush on the slacker is requited. However, it turns out that it’s actually Rod who is dreaming all this, and Rod later angrily denies that he is gay, insisting that he has a girlfriend named Alberta who lives in Vancouver, but no one has ever seen his “beard” and he sometimes mixes up her name. Other story lines are woven into “Avenue Q,” including parables about coming-of-age and finding “purpose” in life.
32 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
THE GUIDE TO ARTS & CULTURE
HOT HITS AND HIDDEN JEWELS
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: YOUNG LIONS (FUSION ROCK/JAZZ) Friday, July 23 National Gallery of Art nga.gov For the tenth consecutive year, top local and regional artists will perform a mix of eclectic jazz, from swing to progressive to Latin, in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, rain or shine. Visitors can relax indoors or out while listening to live jazz amplified on a state-of-the-art sound system. CAPITAL FRINGE X CARRIE POTTER AT THE NEW MOON PROM Through July 24 Capital Fringe The Studio Theatre 866-811-4111 shows.capfringe.org ìTeen witch Carrie Potter battles bitchy classmates and the seductive power of Jesus Christ (ìHe Who Really Shouldn't Be Namedî) in this satirical send-up ìeverything geeky,î featuring Lucrezia Blowzia! From the producers of DIAMOND DEAD!'' NOISES OFF July 24-August 22 The Keegan Theatre Church Street Theater 703-892-0202 keegantheatre.com Called the funniest farce ever written, NOISES OFF presents a manic menagerie as a cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called NOTHING'S ON. Doors slamming, on- and backstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play. ARLINGTON ARTISTS ALLIANCE: LA FEMME Through August 27 Arlington Artists Alliance Arlington County Board Offices arlingtonartistsalliance.org Part the statewide observance called 'Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts, the exhibit features the feminine in American culture. Juror Kathrin Halpern, an art historian and fine arts consultant who has worked for the Hirshhorn Museum and The Smithsonian Art Collectors Program, noted that the accepted works 'show a broad range of emotions, from jubilant, to dark and pensive.'
The Guide to Arts & Culture is supplied by CulturalCapital.com, a program of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington; CARRIE POTTER AT THE NEW MOON PROM: Supplied by The Fringe Festival; NOISES OFF: Supplied by The Keegan Theatre; LA FEMME: ìHelenî by Dana Saxrud, Supplied by Arlington Artists Alliance.
saturday, july 24
NOISES OFF. The Keegan Theatre at Church Street Theater. 703-892-0202. keegantheatre.com.
PINHOLE CAMERA WORKSHOP. Brentwood Arts Exchange. 301-277-2863. pgparks.com.
sunday, july 25
BEACH BOYS. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 703-255-1868. wolftrap.org. BROADWAY HIP HOP DANCE WORKSHOP WITH NAMAAD JACKSON. Joy of Motion Dance Center - Bethesda. 301986-0016. clients.mindbodyonline.com.
monday, july 26
SPECTRUM: MEMORIES OF NATURAL FORMS & LIGHT. PAINTINGS BY ELLEN BAER. Brentwood Arts Exchange. 301277-2863. pgparks.com.
tuesday, july 27
STELLA MORGAN. THE KEEGAN THEATRE AT CHURCH STREET THEATER. 703-892-0202. keegantheatre.com.
monday, july 26
CROWDED HOUSE. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP. wolftrap.org.
wednesday, july 28
TAKE YOU HOME. Gallery plan b. 202-234-2711. galleryplanb com.
tuesday, july 27
STEVE MILLER BAND. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP wolftrap.org. .
sunday, july 25
NEW JERUSALEM. Theater J at Washington DC Jewish Community Center. 800-494-8497. washingtondcjcc.org. STEED TAYLOR: PORTRAIT OF A ROAD TATTOO. Gallery plan b. 202-234-2711. galleryplanb.com.
wednesday, july 28
BACHMAN & TURNER. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP wolftrap.org. .
thursday, july 29
ARETHA FRANKLIN. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP wolftrap.org. .
tuesday, july 27
PATRICIA PHILLIPS BOWDEN, SAME/ DIFFERENT. Montpelier Arts Center. 301-377-7800. pgparks.com.
PASSING STRANGE. The Studio Theatre. 202-332-3300. studiotheatre.org. SKETCHING IN THE ATRIUM. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-639-1700. corcoran.org. DESIGN FOR THE OTHER 90%. National Geographic. 202-857-7588. events.nationalgeographic.com. BEAT MEMORIES: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALLEN GINSBERG. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. DA VINCI - THE GENIUS. National Geographic. 202-857-7588. events.nationalgeographic.com. ART BY THE YARD: WOMEN DESIGN MID-CENTURY BRITAIN. The Textile Museum. 202 667 0441. textilemuseum.org. CHUCK CLOSE PRINTS: PROCESS AND COLLABORATION. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-397-7328. corcoran.org. RARE: PORTRAITS OF AMERICA'S ENDANGERED SPECIES. National Geographic. events.nationalgeographic.com. SHEAR MADNESS. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 202-467-4600. kennedy-center.org.
wednesday, july 28
PARTY AT THE PLAZA. Arlington Cultural Affairs. 703-2-ROSSLYN. rosslynva.org.
through,sunday, july 25
AFRICAN DIASPORA FILM FESTIVAL. National Geographic. 202-857-7700. events.nationalgeographic.com.
july 24-july 25
NEXT REFLEX DANCE COLLECTIVE. Dance Place. 202-269-1600. danceplace.org.
july 28-july 29
CHINESE ACROBATS OF HEBEI. Prince George's Publick Playhouse for the Performing Arts. 301-277-1710. pgparks.com.
ONE NIGHT ONLY
friday, july 23
GAGA 4 GAGA WORKSHOP. Joy of Motion Dance Center - Atlas. 202-3996763. clients.mindbodyonline.com. NSO: A RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN CELEBRATION. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP wolftrap.org. .
saturday, july 24
LANHAM ARTS INFUSION. Prince George's Arts Council at Lanham Sports Park. 301-227-1402. princegeorg sartscouncil.org. COMMUNITY ART PROJECT. Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. 202-639-1700. corcoran.org.
saturday, july 24
EDDIE FROM OHIO. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. 877-WOLFTRAP. wolftrap.org. KYP MALONE. National Gallery of Art at Busboys & Poets. busboysandpoets.com. MASTERING TRIVIA GAMESóA DAY OF CHALLENGE, CAMARADERIE, AND FUN. Smithsonian Resident Associate Program at Smithsonian S. Dillon Ripley Center. 202-6333030. residentassociates.org.
sunday, july 25
LECTURE: IN CHURCH, IN HOME: THE INTERSECTION OF CHURCH INTERIORS WITH DOMESTIC SPACES IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY DUTCH PAINTING. National Gallery of Art. nga.gov.
july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 33
34 washingtonblade.com • july 23, 2010
Fitness and exercise: myths vs. facts
If you’re in pain at the gym, then you’re doing it wrong
By KEVIN M. NORRIS There are more exercise myths than there are exercises and as a personal trainer I have heard my share. There’s the classic case of seeing someone in the gym who looks fit. There is a natural tendency to emulate that individual and adopt some of his or her routine without knowing whether the exercises or techniques are safe and effective. There is a misleading assumption that because someone looks good, they must be doing something right. This assumption can often be far from the truth and even dangerous. program that targets all areas of the abdominals and remember to allow one day in between for rest and recovery. Abdominals, like all muscles, need a minimum of 48 hours rest and should not be worked every day.
Myth #5: More Sweat Equals More Fat Loss
Most of the weight you lose through sweat is water weight and is not an accurate measure of permanent fat loss. Save weighing yourself for the morning before you exercise for a more accurate measure and remember to stay hydrated throughout the day, not just during exercise. Eight 8 oz. glasses of water should be your minimum.
Myth #3: Weight Lifting and Women
One of the most misleading misconceptions is that if women weight train, they will gain big muscles. Women have trace amounts of testosterone, necessary for muscle building, so they simply cannot pack on pounds of muscle overnight without supplementation and aggressive training. Building muscle will not happen overnight.
well-rounded eating strategy, not through excessive supplementation. The body is always better off eating well and receiving all it needs through food. Granted there are some vitamins, minerals and nutrients that may prove challenging to take in through food and some supplementation may be necessary, but you should not become a walking pill box.
Myth #8: Stretching is Not Necessary
Stretching is a crucial component of a well-rounded exercise program. Exercise can often shorten muscles, which can make them more prone to injury. The more you exercise the more stretching should be part of your routine. It is always best to stretch muscles when they are warmest, generally at the end of an exercise routine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by iStockphoto.com/Georgijevic
Myth #6: Lose Weight Before Weight Training
Muscles are far more metabolic active and burn more calories as compared to fat, which more or less just sits there and is not metabolically active. Therefore it is essential to include weight training in any weight loss program. Muscles are also denser than fat and will give you a leaner more defined and less-flabby physique.
The person sweating the most at the gym isn’t necessarily the most fit. between working hard and pushing yourself too hard.
Myth #4: Spot Reduction Myth #2: Lower Abs
There is no such thing. The abdominals are comprised of several muscles that run the entire length of the abdominal wall vertically, horizontally and diagonally. It is impossible to isolate the “lower” portion of the abs over the upper. It’s simply not a different muscle group. Create a We all have “problem areas” that we want to focus on and rid that area of fat and flabbiness. However, spot reduction is impossible. It is unattainable to burn off fat in a selected area. Fat is burned off from the entire body at the same rate. Nonetheless, the area that holds the most fat will lose the most fat in the end.
Myth #1: No Pain No Gain
Exercise should never hurt and if you are in pain during or following an exercise routine, you have pushed yourself too hard. Although it is important to push yourself, there is a fine line
Myth #7: Supplementation is a Must
The best way to receive all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the human body needs is through a knowledgeable and
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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. www.SP-Law.com EMPLOYMENT LAW ATTORNEY - Wrongful Discharge, Sexual Harrassment, Contract Review, Whitleblowers. The Law Office of Carl Roller (202) 531-2777, www.carlroller.com ADOPTION & REPRODUCTIVE LAW Jennifer Fairfax handles adoption, donor, carrier & parenting matters for LGBT families. Experienced. Affordable. Maryland & D.C. 301-221-9651. JFairfax@jenniferfairfax.com. www.jenniferfairfax.com Lippman, Semsker & Salb. A full-service law firm serving the GLBT community. Protecting You. Protecting Your Family. Since 1972. (301) 656-6905 or www.LSSLawyers.com.
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july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 37
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 www.maidtoclean.com FERNANDO’S CLEANING: Residential & Commercial Cleaning, Reasonable Rates, Free Estimates, Routine, 1-Time, Move-In/Move-Out. (202) 234-7050, 202-486-6183.
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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, www.BranchesTreeExperts.com
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WHEN QUALITY COUNTS Male/TV/TS, 202487-3660, www.tops69.com 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 FLORIDA BOY muscle body extra large endowment. Scott (202) 491-5022 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. 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 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.
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july 23, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 39
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