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OCTOBER

09

2015

VOLUME 46

ISSUE 41

Grassi says Francis will make


big changes in small steps
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
lchibbaro@washblade.com
Yayo Grassi, a native of Argentina, has known and
admired Pope Francis since the future ponti was his high
school teacher at a Catholic school in a city about 200
miles north of Buenos Aires.
Grassi, 67, told the Washington Blade in an interview
at his home in D.C.s Petworth neighborhood on Tuesday
that he never imagined his friendship with the Pope would
become the subject of international headlines.
He has been besieged with requests for media interviews

AMERICAS GAY NEWS SOURCE

since news surfaced that he and his boyfriend of 19 years


met with Francis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington on
Sept. 23 during the Popes visit to the United States.
According to Grassi, who owns a D.C.-based catering
business, he initially struggled over whether to talk to the
media about what he considered a private matter. But he
said he decided to go public about his Washington visit
with the Pope after news surfaced the previous week that
Francis met with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky
who a judge sent to jail for refusing on religious grounds
to approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
One of the things that upset me extremely and
profoundly was that people who were so much in love
with this Pope immediately turned against him after
CONTINUES ON PAGE 16

Democratic leaders
present LGBT vision
in speeches to HRC
By CHRIS JOHNSON
cjohnson@washblade.com

HILLARY CLINTON and Vice President JOSEPH BIDEN gave competing


speeches to HRC on Saturday.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTOS BY MICHAEL KEY

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary


Clinton and Vice President Joseph Biden laid
out their visions for the work ahead on LGBT
rights in separate speeches to Human Rights
Campaign supporters on Saturday.
First up was Clinton, who declined an
invitation to headline HRCs annual National
Dinner to appear on Saturday Night Live. She
spoke instead at a morning event organized
by HRC to about 800 supporters and sta of

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

YAYO GRASSI, a friend of the Pope, says Francis


wrote to him, saying, In my pastoral work there
is no place for homophobia.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

the advocacy group.


She laid out a multi-faceted vision
for advancing LGBT rights that includes
transgender visibility, passage of federal nondiscrimination protections and addressing
disparities in health care.
You know the obstacles that remain better
than I do, but I want you to know that I get it,
I see the injustices and the dangers that you
and your families still face, and Im running
for president to end them once and for all,
Clinton said.
In a high-prole 30-minute speech, Clinton
made the remarks at the Mayower Hotel in
D.C. before an estimated 800 supporters of HRC.
The crowd, predominately male and dressed in
CONTINUES ON PAGE 18

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

0 4 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

LO CA L N E W S

Attorney General Mark


Herring, right, on Oct. 6,
2014, presided over the
ceremony during which
Carol Schall, rst from
left, and Mary Townley
renewed their vows.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OFFICE OF
THE VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL

Va. marks one year of marriage equality


Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Tuesday said the commonwealth
has issued 2,670 marriage licenses to same-sex couples over the last year.
Herring made the announcement a year to the day after gays and lesbians
won the right to marry in Virginia.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6, 2014, announced it would not hear a
case that challenged the commonwealths constitutional amendment banning
nuptials for same-sex couples. The decision not to accept the lawsuit also
prompted Virginia to recognize same-sex marriages that had been legally
performed in other jurisdictions.
That day, the constitutional right of Virginians to marry whomever they love
was secured and loving couples and families across the commonwealth were
able to unite under the law for the very rst time, said Herring in a statement.
It armed that Virginia is open and welcoming to all and that discrimination
would not be tolerated, and no longer sanctioned by the commonwealth. Those
are true Virginia values.
Herring also said Virginia over the last year has issued 70 birth certicates to
same-sex couples.
That day was certainly groundbreaking, but the historic nature could not
compare to the faces of people who could nally marry the one they loved, the
mothers and fathers who would nally be named on their babys birth certicate,
and the fact that love and our constitution prevailed, said Herring.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS

A board position,
new scholarship and
career change
By PETER ROSENSTEIN
Welcome to the rst Comings &
Goings column, where we will share the
professional achievements and milestones
of our LGBT readers with the community.
Have you started a new job or business?
Landed a new client? Looking to hire a new
employee or add a member to your board?
We are interested in all of that and more.
Send your tips and story ideas to us
at comingsandgoings@washblade.com.
Please let us know what you or your
friends are doing and when exciting things
happen in your career and in your life.

KEVIN KELLER

scholarship of its kind in the Oce of


Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio State. In
making the donation, Keller said, I was
fortunate to have numerous opportunities
and the support of my family and
others within The Ohio State University
community throughout my academic
career. This is my way of expressing my
appreciation to the University and giving
back to our LBGTQ students is my passion
and area of interest.

Md. birth certicate law takes effect


A Maryland law that makes it easier for transgender and intersex people to
legally change the gender on their birth certicates without surgery took eect
on Oct. 1.
Free State Legal Project, a Baltimore-based organization that oers legal
services to LGBT Marylanders, in a press release said Ken Jiretsu, a trans man,
was the rst person to request a new birth certicate under the statute.
It is such a relief to know that my birth certicate is nally changed and will accurately
match all of my other documents, said Jiretsu. I will no longer have to explain why my
drivers license has a dierent gender marker than my birth certicate.
The law allows trans and intersex Marylanders to receive a new and not
amended birth certicate. It also allows those who wish to receive a new birth
certicate to simply le paperwork with the Maryland Division of Vital Records,
as opposed to obtaining a court order that declares their gender has changed.
Free State Legal Project said it expects Maryland judges will also rule the law
applies to trans and intersex people in the state who were born somewhere else.
Nearly every transgender or intersex person in Maryland can benet from
this new law, whether they were born in Maryland or somewhere else, and
regardless of whether they have previously updated their birth certicate or
if they have not begun the process of updating any identity documents, said
Patrick Paschell, the groups executive director.
Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, a trans advocacy
group, also welcomed the new law.
I applaud Maryland for improving its documentation procedures for trans
and intersex persons, and look forward to working with the legislature this year
to make the law consonant with the gender identity law and evolving civil rights
standards, Beyer told the Blade.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS

PAUL HAZEN

It has been an exciting month for Paul


Hazen, executive director of the U.S.
Overseas
Cooperative
Development
Council. First he was elected to the board
of the National Cooperative Bank. Then on
Sept. 29 he spoke at the United Nations at
the Sustainable Development Summit. His
remarks focused on the need for legal and
regulatory reform and increased nancing
for the solidarity economy, including
cooperatives. The event was chaired by
French President Francois Hollande and
leaders from Ecuador, Morocco, Costa
Rica, Senegal and a variety of U.N. agencies
described the impact of cooperatives
around the world.
Many in our community understand
how hard it was to come out and be true to
themselves during their college years. One
respected D.C. resident has found a great
way to help future generations accomplish
their goals. It was announced by Ohio
State University that, Kevin Keller, CEO
of the Certied Financial Planner Board
of Standards, Inc., has endowed the Kevin
R. Keller Scholarship Fund for LGBTQ
students from rural Ohio. It is the rst

BRETT ZONGKER

Brett Zongker has had a busy and


impressive career as a journalist. He
was with the Associated Press for more
than 11 years. At the AP, Brett reported
mainly on art, culture and education
and his work has been published by the
New York Times, MSNBC and USA Today.
He has now joined George Washington
University as senior associate director of
media relations. According to Candace
Smith, assistant vice president of media
relations at GWU, Zongker will be a
spokesperson for the university and will
also work on media relations and strategy
and other related projects. In addition to
his new position, Zongker will continue
to teach classes at American University,
where he has served as an adjunct
professor since 2012.

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

0 6 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

KIESHA JENKINS, 22, was


beaten and shot twice in
the back.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

Trans woman killed in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia police say a group of men attacked a
transgender woman before killing her.
Capt. James Clark of the Philadelphia Police Department told the Philadelphia
Inquirer that Kiesha Jenkins, 22, of North Philadelphia was dropped o at the
intersection of 13th and Wingohocking Streets around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 6.
He told the newspaper that several men surrounded Jenkins and beat her.
Clark said one of the men shot her twice in the back.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Jenkins died at a nearby hospital.
Nellie Fitzpatrick, who is Mayor Michael Nutters LGBT liaison, described
Jenkins death as a tremendous and tragic loss for our entire city. Social media
users have also been using the hashtags #KieshaJenkins and #SayHerName to
pay tribute to the murdered trans woman.
Twenty transgender people have been reported killed in the United States so
far this year. These include Lamia Beard, who was shot to death in Norfolk, Va.,
in January.
Police have yet to make any arrests in Jenkins death.

White House Press Secretary JOSH EARNEST

D.C. to join LGBT student program

By CHRIS JOHNSON
cjohnson@washblade.com

WASHINGTON D.C. is among the school districts across the country that will
adopt a pilot program designed to improve the safety of LGBT students.
The Los Angeles Unied School District and the Los Angeles LGBT Center in
October 2013 launched the OUT for Safe Schools initiative that trains sta on
how to make what a press release described as schools safer for lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) students.
The press release said more than 30,000 teachers and sta within the Los
Angeles Unied School District have undergone the training and wear rainbow
badges that proudly identify themselves as LGBTQ allies and protectors of
students who are LGBTQ. The program will now expand to the nations capital
along with Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Duval
County in Florida.
Safe school climates and supportive adults are key to keeping LGBTQ youth in
schools and out of the juvenile justice system, said Georey Winder, co-executive
director of the GSA Network, which is also involved in the program. Trans
and queer youth who feel valued, important, and supported by out teachers,
administrators, and sta are more likely to feel personally connected to school,
invested in their own education and, ultimately, to reach out for help if they may
need it.

Despite support expressed by Hillary


Clinton and Vice President Joseph Biden
over the weekend, the White House said
Tuesday President Obama isnt ready to
endorse the Equality Act, although he backs
the idea of federal non-discrimination
protections for LGBT people.
White House Press Secretary Josh
Earnest said the Equality Act, which would
amend existing areas of civil rights law to
include gender, sexual orientation and
gender identity, is still under review by
the administration.
Earnest made the remarks during
a routine news brieng when the
Washington Blade asked if hes ready to
announce President Obama endorses
the Equality Act after positive comments
from Clinton, the leading Democratic
presidential candidate, and Biden, whos
considering a presidential bid.
Im not prepared to say that yet,
Earnest said. This is a piece of legislation
that the White House does continue to
review. Theres signicant consequences
to this bill going into eect. It has an
impact on housing law and a variety of
other policies in the federal government,
so its something thats still being carefully
reviewed by the administration.
But Earnest said even without explicit
support for the bill, Obama believes
we must ensure all Americans are
treated equally under federal law and

Former HX Magazine publisher dies


NEW YORK The former publisher of HX Magazine died Oct. 4 after suering
an apparent heart attack.
The EDGE Media Network reported that Gary Lacinski, 53, came to the
publication in the early 1990s. He remained with HX Magazine until it became
part of Next Magazine in 2009.
Robin Byrd, an adult media personality who lives in New York and on Fire
Island, described Lacinski as a generous, funny smart human being. DJ Corey
Craig and Matthew Bank, founder of HX Magazine, are among those who also
paid tribute to Lacinski.
Lacinski is survived by his husband, Chris Pagoota.

WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

White House still


pondering Equality Act
Earnest says bill
remains under review

is still behind the idea of enshrining


comprehensive
non-discrimination
protections for LGBT people.
The president believes the passage of
comprehensive legislation that protects
LGBT Americans from discrimination
would mark an important step toward
that outcome, Earnest added. So, we
would applaud the eorts of members
of Congress to try to advance that goal,
but when it comes to this specic piece
of legislation, its something that is still
under review by the administration.
Asked if the vice president was out of
stepwith the administration when he said
Congress will pass the Equality Act during
his speech at the 19th annual Human Rights
Campaign dinner on Saturday, Earnest
downplayed the notion of a splitbetween
Biden and Obama on the issue.
I think the vice president was certainly
expressing a set of values and views that
are consistent with the policies of the
administration, but as it relates to the
administrations review of this particular
piece of legislation, thats still ongoing,
Earnest said.
Earnest talked about the broad
impact of the Equality Act when asked
why the review is still ongoing and why
the White House hasnt yet endorsed it.
Its just simply that this particular
piece of legislation the way that its
written would have a signicant impact
across a broad set of policies, and so the
administration wants to take a careful
look to make sure that we understand the
broad impact that this particular piece of
legislation would have, Earnest said. But
this is a review thats ongoing and well
keep you posted.

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

0 8 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

Democratic underdog seeks LGBT help in 2016 bid


Lessig hoping for spot
on CNN debate stage
By CHRIS JOHNSON
cjohnson@washblade.com
Ahead of the rst Democratic presidential
debate on Tuesday, Harvard law professor
Lawrence Lessig is seeking help from the
LGBT community to get on stage.
The singular issue of his campaign, which
is a long shot that has gained some attention
in political media, is reform through
passage of the Citizens Equality Act. The
measure would enact major changes in the
governmental, campaign nance and voting
systems in the United States in an eort to
make them more equally representative
and responsive to the people.
The basic corruption thats evolved
inside of our government makes
it impossible for it to address any
signicant issue in a sizable way, Lessig
said. So, if corruption is the disease, my
view is equality is the cure. By that I mean
a robust recognition of the equality of
citizens in a representative democracy.
Lessig, whose immediate goal is to boost
his poll numbers to qualify to make his case
on stage at the debates, made his pitch to
the LGBT community in an interview on
Tuesday with the Washington Blade at the
Mayower Hotel in D.C.
A campaign that celebrates and rallies
around the importance of equality,
Lessig predicted, would have a positive
eect for those who are pushing in a
particular area of equality rights, such as
LGBT people.
Obviously, the community has earned
an extraordinary victory over the course
of the last 20 years, Lessig said. Its the
most successful equality movement in the
history of equality movements in just the
sense of the speed with which attitudes
were reversed and the law brought about
to recognize the importance of granting
equal status as a constitutional matter.
And now, the ght is going to be as a
statutory matter, to secure the same kind
of equality protections that other groups
such as women and people discriminated
on the basis of race have.
The Citizens Equality Act has three
major components that seek citizenfunded elections, the equal right to vote
and equal representation in Congress.
Its this last component, which would
end political gerrymandering and create
multi-member districts, that Lessig
acknowledges may have a direct impact
on advancing LGBT rights.
Under the current system, members of
the U.S. House are elected on a winnertake-all system, which means legislators
only reect the biggest or strongest
group that voted for them while leaving

LAWRENCE LESSIG is seeking LGBT help in his presidential bid.


WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

others behind. This system and lack


of accountability, Lessig contends,
results in partisan gridlock and a lack of
representation for minority groups.
This kind of gridlock was felt by
the LGBT community last year. The
Senate passed the Employment NonDiscrimination Act on a bipartisan basis,
but the Republican-controlled House
never took up the legislation even though
supporters of ENDA said it would pass if
votes were present on the House oor.
No bill became law even though a supermajority of Americans support a federal
prohibition on LGBT discrimination.
The Citizens Equality Act seeks to
incorporate the Ranked Choice Voting
Act, which would change the system so
that instead of voting for one candidate,
voters would rank their choice for multimember districts to ensure all voices and
elected leaders are more accountable to
the people.
If you got a substantial portion
of the public behind, if you have ve
representatives in the district and youve
got ranked choice voting, you need 20
percent to be able to get the place that
youre condent youre going to be able
to win one of those representatives,
Lessig said. The impact of communities
in directing policy in that context is
obviously much greater and youve got
an opportunity for a greater diversity of
Republicans and Democrats.
Lessig also predicted the Citizens
Equality Act would increase LGBT
representation in Congress, which
is considered underrepresented. An
estimated 3 percent of the population
identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual,
but only 6 of the 435 House members
identies as LGB slightly more than

1 percent of the U.S. House. No openly


transgender person has ever been
elected to Congress.
I think it would dilute the eect of
targeted bigotry here, Lessig said.
You have as many districts where
targeted bigotry is enough to guarantee
somebody cant get in. So it dilutes the
eect of bigotry while its reinforcing the
proportionality.
The singular mandate of his presidency
to pass the Citizens Equality Act, Lessig
maintains, would enable him to push
the legislation through Congress unlike a
dierent candidate whos made multiple
campaign pledges upon his election
to the White House. Once the bill has
become law under his administration,
Lessig said he would resign and turn over
the presidency to his vice president, who
would then serve as a typical president.
Even though hes running a campaign
with a singular focus, Lessig said hes in
favor of LGBT rights as much as he could
possibly be. Muck like Hillary Clinton or
Vice President Joseph Biden, Lessig said
he absolutely supports the Equality
Act, openly transgender service in the
U.S. military and cutting o federal funds
for adoption agencies that discriminate
against LGBT parents.
Asked what should be done about the
rash of anti-trans violence in this country
that has left 20transgender people dead
this year alone, Lessig said, I think it
makes sense to have the hate crime law
focus on transgender as a category of
hate that could trigger higher penalties.
Lessig said the issue of transgender
rights hitsclose to home because he has a
transgender person in his family: His wifes
cousin is married to a transgender man.
This is something thats very present in

our life as they raise their own family and


have to live in a world which doesnt quite
understand them, Lessig said. I think
we should be as aggressively supportive
of achieving social recognition of the
equality of all humans regardless of these
characteristics.
Lessig said his wifes female cousin was
in a same-sex relationship with a woman
before he knew her family, but was around
for this family decision to transition.
He was not yet a he when it began,
Lessig said. They were two women. And
then he went through the process of
surgeries and it got complicated because
then they decided they wanted to have a
child and he was going to carry the child
though this process. That all probably
happened 10 years ago.
Lessig said he has been a long-time
supporter of the LGBT community. One
instance he recalled took place in 1989 when
he was graduating from Yale Law School.
Lessig said he participated in activism
organized by a gay man in his graduating
class in which individuals wore pink triangles
in solidarity with LGBT people.
I was cornered by one of my friends
quote-unquote who told me I was ruining
my career by wearing a pink triangle like
it would destroy my chances in the law,
Lessig said. You imagine going from a
time when a liberal, sane person would
advise me of that to the place we are right
now and what is that? Thirtyyears? Thats
extraordinary progress. I think its going
to be as unrecognizable in 30 years as this
world would have been unrecognizable
30 years ago.
Because
his
campaign
ocially
launched just a month ago, Lessig said
he hasnt talked to any groups LGBT or
otherwise about his candidacy when
asked if hes spoken to LGBT groups like
the Human Rights Campaign.
Were basically three weeks old as a
campaign, so were ghting to be allowed
on the stage for the debates, Lessig
said. But the assumption is that if I got
on stage at the debate and establish
a credible campaign, we can sta up
to the place where we can reach out
and develop policies that reinforce the
conception of what this transformation
would make possible.
The Blade calledHRC on Wednesday to
request a comment on whether it would be
open to supporting Lessig in his candidacy.
It remains to be seen whether Lessig
will qualify for the Democratic presidential
debate in Las Vegas nextTuesday. Under
Democratic Party rules, for candidates to
appear on stage they must earn at least 1
percent in three national polls in the six
weeks before the debate, which Lessig
has decried as unfair. The latest CNN
could announce who would be on stage
is Friday, Lessig said.

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

1 0 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

A D V E RT O RI A L

Nissan Supports
Equality on Every
Road You Travel
Proud partner of the 2015
Gay Softball World Series

#SameTeam for Equality


This summer, Nissan hit a home run
with its partnership with the North
American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance
(NAGAAA) and its 39th Annual Gay Softball
World Series event in Columbus, Ohio.
The event made GSWS history with
more than 185 softball teams competing
from 43 cities across the United States and
Canada. The multi-division tournament
was more than just a ball game. The
9-day event also featured opening and
closing ceremonies, community events,
celebrity performances and more.
Nissan has the most diverse consumer
base of any automotive manufacturer
and is eager to champion grassroots
LGBT events that give consumers a
chance to interact with both our vehicles
and our LGBT and ally employees,
said Rick Ash, Senior Manager, Nissan
Marketing. Its an honor for Nissan to
bring more visibility to all of the LGBT
athletes who competed.
Since 2013, Nissan has scored a perfect

100 in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)


Corporate Equality Index for its LGBTinclusive policies and commitment to the
community. The company was among the
fastest risers in the history of the index.
Nissans commitment to the LGBT
community starts with its own employees.
The company strives to ensure internal
policies and benefit packages are
inclusive of everyone. And Nissans Gay
Straight Alliance at Nissan (GSAN) is
the driving force behind the companys
LGBT outreach efforts, focusing on its
hometown of Nashville as well as on
other regional LGBT events.
DiversityInc
Magazine
also
named Nissan to its 2015 Top 25
Noteworthy Companies list for the
second year in a row. The company is
an active member of the Nashville LGBT
Chamber of Commerce and a sponsor
of the annual National Lesbian and
Gay Journalists Association convention.
Nissans Diversity Officewith the help of
GSANhas sponsored several workshops
for area business leaders where they can
share diversity best practices for creating
an inclusive environment for employees
and supporting the LGBT community in
Middle Tennessee.

Congratulations to the DC Union for a 3rd


Place finish in the B Division of the GSWS 2015!

Nissan has the most diverse consumer base


of any automotive manufacturer and is eager
to champion grassroots LGBT events that give
consumers a chance to interact with both our
vehicles and our LGBT and ally employees, said
Rick Ash, Senior Manager, Nissan Marketing. Its
an honor for Nissan to bring more visibility to all
of the LGBT athletes who competed.

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

T:9.75

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 1 1

COME OUT AND PLAY.


Nissan proudly sponsors the 2015 Gay Softball World Series.

T:11.5

NissanUSA.com

Always wear your seat belt, and please dont drink and drive. 2015 Nissan North America, Inc.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

1 2 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

Gay inmate says Va. jail slow to prosecute prison rape


Former D.C. resident
victim of sexual assault
in Harrisonburg jail
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
lchibbaro@washblade.com
Gay former D.C. resident Ronnie
Runion, 28, who landed in the Rockingham
County-Harrisonburg, Va., Jail in April for
a series of probation violation charges,
says he continues to have nightmares
in his cell following the situation that
happened to him on Aug. 13.
In a letter to a friend and former
roommate in D.C., which Runion wrote on
Aug. 14, he reports that a fellow inmate
came to his cell and oered him items from
the jail commissary in exchange for sex.
He is much bigger than me, Runion
wrote. I kindly said no. He then backed
me against the wall and threatened me,
saying he would kill me if I didnt consent.
He then overpowered me and raped me.
Added Runion, I dont want to go into
very much detail. Its very hard to talk about.
But Runion said he wanted to talk
about what has happened since the Aug.
13 incident in two phone conversations
with a Washington Blade reporter.
He said he reported the incident to
jail guards after another inmate sensed
something was wrong and asked the guards
to come to Runions cell. He said the guards
arranged for him to be taken to a nearby
hospital, where an examination showing
rectal bleeding among other injuries
conrmed that a sexual assault occurred.
The trauma surrounding the assault
itself was heightened, he said, when
a nurse informed him he needed to
undergo a 28-day regimen of anti-viral
medication to ensure that he doesnt
contract HIV. The suspect identied as
the alleged perpetrator in the case is HIV
positive, Runion said he was told.
Runion said he has tested negative and
must undergo HIV tests periodically over
the next year before he can be certain the
powerful anti-viral medication worked.
With that as a backdrop, Runion said
the stress he experienced over the
assault was once again heighted when
he learned that the inmate implicated
in the case was returned to the general
prison population after a short period of
isolation and that authorities had yet to
prosecute him on a sexual assault charge.
Runion said he has made it clear to jail
authorities that he wants to press charges
against the alleged rapist.
Although jail ocials have assured him
that the alleged perpetrator is assigned to
a separate location in the jail on another
oor, Runion said he continues to fear for
his safety.
The guy said he would kill me if I

snitched, Runion said. Its very upsetting.


Ive seen a counsel twice. They investigated.
It seems like they are covering it up. It was
suggested by the lieutenant here that I
was to blame for this.
When asked to elaborate on why a
jail lieutenant suggested he might be to
blame, Runion said, He didnt plain out
say that I was to blame but he beat around
the bush because of rule violations and
my sexual preference and several things.
He said, when it comes down to it my
safety was not a priority here. So they can
say all they want but Im really upset that
this guy is not charged yet.
Rockingham County Sheri Bryan
Hutcheson, who is in charge of the jail,
told the Blade that the incident reported
by Runion remains under investigation.
I can conrm that our Criminal
Investigations Division currently has an
open criminal investigation into the incident
you mentioned, Hutcheson said, referring
to a Blade inquiry about the incident. Once
that investigation is complete, we will
present all ndings to the Commonwealth
Attorney for a full review, he said. That is
all that I can say at this time.
Christopher Bean, the Rockingham
County Deputy Commonwealth Attorney,
told the Blade that his oce had yet to
be contacted about Runions sexual
assault report. If and when contacted
by jail authorities his oce would take
immediate steps to prosecute the case
if the evidence supports a sexual assault
charge, Bean said.
Runions friends say he has struggled
over a substance abuse problem and
bipolar disorder which they say have
been linked to several bouts with the
criminal justice system in Virginia over the
past 10 years. He currently faces a charge
of grand larceny for allegedly failing to
return a rental car.
One of the friends, who asked not to be
identied, said budget cuts in the Virginia
state prison system prevented Runion from
being placed in a mental health facility, as
ordered by a judge, rather than in jail in
connection with a separate case last year.
Alexandra Ringe, a spokesperson for
the ACLUs National Prison Project in D.C.,
said ACLU attorneys have encountered
similar cases where prison authorities
take longer than appears to be justied
in responding to cases where inmates are
subjected to abuse, including rape.
Unfortunately, as youre starting to see,
any kind of turning the wheels of justice
are slow on the outside and even slower
and even harder and often just amount to
nothing on the inside, she said in referring
to prisons across the country.
Recently implemented rules for the
Prison Rape Elimination Act, which
Congress passed in 2003, require local,
state and federal prison ocials to

follow strict guidelines in responding to


incidents of prison rape.
An ocial with the U.S. Justice
Department division that oversees
enforcement of the law, known as
PREA, couldnt immediately be reached
to determine whether a delay in the
prosecution of the case reported by
Runion could be a PREA violation.
Its been over a month, Runion told
the Blade in discussing the time since he
reported the assault. I think they think

Im going to forget about it, but Im not. I


think about this every night, he said.
It bothers me. I wake up in the middle
of the night sometimes and I feel like
Im being restrained. Thats what I told
the counselor and he said its normal
for someone who experienced a sexual
assault, said Runion.
I said no, its not normal. I dont usually
feel like that, he said. My nerves are very
jumpy. And everybody is treating it as if
nothing has happened.

Pennsylvania State Rep. BRIAN SIMS is taking on incumbent Rep. Chaka Fattah.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Sims announces bid for Congress


A gay Pennsylvania lawmaker who has led eorts in the state to pass a nondiscrimination bill on Tuesday announced his bid to run for a U.S. House seat.
Brian Sims, who represents Philadelphia in the State House, declared his bid
for Pennsylvanias 2nd congressional district. The seat is currently occupied by
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), who was indicted in July as a result of alleged roles in
a racketeering conspiracy.
Ive spent my life taking on big challenges in order to do whats right, Sims
said. Whether tackling gender and pay equity as a civil rights attorney, or
standing up for justice reform in Harrisburg, Ive never backed down from the
big ghts. And I never will.
Sims has the distinction of being the rst openly gay person elected to the
Pennsylvania Legislature, but hes not the rst out person to serve in that body.
That distinction belongs to former state Rep. Mike Fleck, a Republican who came
as gay after Sims was elected, but before he was seated.
A civil rights advocate and attorney, Sims is credited with leading on issues
ranging from gender and pay inequity to environmental protection. He cosponsors legislation in the House called the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which
would update the states non-discrimination law to include sexual orientation
and gender identity.
We need a progressive congressman who will stand up for opportunity and
justice for everyone, not just those at the top, Sims said. In Congress, Ill ght
to invest in our kids and our classrooms, create real economic fairness and
opportunity, and stand up to the NRA to get the guns o our streets.
Among those praising Sims upon his declaration he would pursue a U.S.
House seat was Andrea Sanders, a local activist in Philadelphia.
Brian is a ferocious advocate for the people of this community, Sanders said.
When it comes to ghting for the people he represents, there is no one more
dedicated or tenacious than Brian. Hell make a great Congressman.
CHRIS JOHNSON

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

1 4 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

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

Berry: LGBT advocates watchdog for governments


Envoy has visited
more than 20 countries
since April
By MICHAEL K. LAVERS
mlavers@washblade.com
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras Special
U.S. Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI
Persons Randy Berry told the Washington
Blade during an Oct. 2 interview in the
Honduran capital that advocates have
a responsibility to hold their respective
governments responsible.
Its the role of activists everywhere to be
a watchdog on the government, even when
the relationship is a good one, he said.
Berry spoke with the Blade during the
rst day of an LGBT rights conference that
drew more than 300 people from across
the Western Hemisphere to Tegucigalpa.
The career Foreign Service ocer
during the gatherings opening plenary
highlighted the White Houses eorts in
support of LGBT rights around the world
that has become a cornerstone of the
administrations foreign policy.
Berry noted that President Obama and
Secretary of State John Kerry speaking
publicly about LGBT-specic issues has
been enormously helpful. The career
Foreign Service ocer also told the Blade
that U.S. ambassadors have also shown
leadership in supporting them.
Im able to speak to those issues with
some authority, said Berry. Its obvious
that I have the backing of the most senior
leadership in the administration to back
that up.
Berry during his remarks at the
conference also made several references
to the late gay activist Harvey Milk, who
was a member of the San Francisco Board
of Supervisors when former Supervisor
Dan White killed him and then-Mayor
George Moscone inside San Francisco
City Hall in 1978.
Im deeply mindful as an openly gay
man serving in a senior capacity with the
United States government that if it were
not for his contributions I would certainly
not be sitting here, said Berry. Those
issues of equality and opportunities
wouldnt have existed for me.
Berry during his interview with the
Blade repeatedly applauded Latin
American advocates for the leadership
on LGBT-specic issues thats coming
out of the region.
He specically praised the LGBT
Federation of Argentina for its
pragmatism and the way it is able to
work with other advocates in the South
American country and President Cristina
Fernndez de Kirchners administration.
Berry also applauded the Uruguayan
governments remarkable leadership

in advancing LGBT issues, which includes


co-sponsoring a resolution against antiLGBT violence and discrimination the
U.N. Human Rights Council approved in
September 2014.
We tend to look at Sweden and
Norway and the Nordics more broadly
as the countries generally that are on the
right side of this, Berry told the Blade.
[Theres] this similar movement thats
been underway for years in Latin America.
Berry also noted Chiles LGBT-inclusive
hate crimes and anti-discrimination law
named in honor of Daniel Zamudio, a gay
man killed by a group of self-described
neo-Nazis, that then-President Sebastin
Piera signed in 2012.
Berry compared Zamudio to Matthew
Shepard, the gay college student who
Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson
robbed and beat to death outside
Laramie, Wyo., in October 1998.
President Obama in 2011 signed
a federal hate crimes law that bares
Shepards name.
Its a sad reality there will be other
young men and women losing their lives
because of their identity, Berry told the
Blade. Thats an unbelievable tragedy
any way we look at it and doing what we
can to prevent that is so important.
The conference co-sponsored by the
Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the U.S.
Agency for International Development and
other advocacy groups and foundations
took place against the backdrop of antiLGBT violence and discrimination that
remains rampant in Honduras.
Ever
Guilln
of
the
Kukulkn
Association, a Honduran advocacy group,
pointed out during a separate conference
that took place at a Tegucigalpa hotel on
Oct. 1 that more than 150 LGBT people
have been killed in the country in recent
years. Two other LGBT rights advocates
from the Central American nation turned
their backs on Honduran Vice Minister
of Human Rights and Justice Karla Cueva
and Francisco Martnez of the Honduran
Secretary of External Aairs as they
spoke at the opening of the Victory Fundsponsored gathering.
Berry was sitting next to Cueva on the
stage during the silent protest.
There has to be an honest and open
conversation about the diculties that lie
ahead, Berry told the Blade.
Berry noted that he and the Obama
administration have a superb relationship
with American LGBT advocacy groups.
Berry nevertheless said their job is also to
make sure were doing our job.
Thats all about the accountability of
government service, he said.
Honduras is the 20th country to which
Berry has traveled since he assumed
his post within the State Departments
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and

Labor in April.
The career Foreign Service ocer who
previously served in Amsterdam, New
Zealand, Nepal, Bangladesh and a number

of other countries is the rst person to


hold the post of special U.S. envoy to
promote global LGBT rights since Kerry
announced its creation earlier this year.

More than 300 LGBT rights advocates from nearly two dozen countries gathered in
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, from Oct. 2-3 for an LGBT rights conference.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Hundreds attend LGBT rights


conference in Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras More than 300 people from across the Western
Hemisphere gathered in the Honduran capital from Oct. 2-3 for a conference
designed to bolster further LGBT political engagement in the region.
Randy Berry, the special U.S. envoy to promote global LGBT rights, spoke
at the gathering that took place at a Tegucigalpa hotel alongside gay Peruvian
Congressman Carlos Bruce, transgender Venezuelan National Assembly candidate
Tamara Adrin, Costa Rican Deputy Minister of the Interior Carmen Muoz,
Honduran Vice Minister of Human Rights and Justice Karla Cueva, Gonzalo Cid
Vega of the Chilean Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, gay Long Beach (Calif.)
Mayor Robert Garcia and others. Kenita Placide of United and Strong, an LGBT
advocacy group in St. Lucia, also attended the conference alongside Marcela
Romero of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans People and ve
Cuban advocates who are aliated with the National Center for Sexual Education,
a group headed by Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Ral Castro.
Maximiliano Ferraro, a gay lawmaker in Buenos Aires, on his Twitter page
described the conference as two days of hard work and exchanges, for more
equality and rights.
Diane Rodrguez, a trans woman running for the Ecuadorian Congress, and
Erin Greene, an LGBT rights advocate from the Bahamas, were among those who
met with Berry during the conference. LGBT Federation of Argentina President
Esteban Pauln and Deivis Ventura, a Dominican advocate who is a candidate
for the Santo Domingo Municipal Council, also spoke with the U.S. envoy.
The Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute co-organized the conference alongside
Hivos International, a Dutch group that promotes LGBT and other human
rights issues, and Caribe Armativo, a Colombian advocacy organization. The
Association of Youth in Movement, which advocates on behalf of LGBT Hondurans
and other marginalized groups, also sponsored the gathering alongside the
U.S. Agency for International Development, the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS
and other foundations, non-governmental organizations and businesses from
throughout the region.
Honduran advocates on Oct. 1 held a separate conference in Tegucigalpa that
focused on their countrys LGBT rights movement.
The two conferences took place against the backdrop of anti-LGBT violence
and discrimination that remains rampant in the Central American country.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS

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MANDARIN ORIENTAL
1330 MARYLAND AVE, SW
WASHINGTON, DC
metro accessible from
the Smithsonian &
LEnfant Plaza stations
valet parking available

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

1 6 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

Gay friend says Pope opposes homophobia


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

learning about his reported meeting with


Davis, said Grassi.
And I was telling my friends how can
you forget everything this guy did? How
can we forget these things for something
that this woman said that we dont even
know is true or not?
Grassi was referring to a statement
released by the Vatican saying the Pope
didnt personally invite Davis to meet with
him in Washington, that she was part of a
larger group of people the Pope greeted
briey at a reception at the Vatican
Embassy, and that Daviss participation
in the meeting was not intended to be an
endorsement of various actions she has
taken related to same-sex marriage.
In a development that surprised some
Vatican observers, the same Vatican
statement disclosed that the only real
audience granted by the Pope at the
Vatican Embassy during his Washington trip
was with one of his former students and
his family, the Washington Post reported.
Grassi told the Blade on Tuesday that
a New York Times reporter identied him
as the former student and quickly called
him for comment.
I said you can understand that this
comes completely out of the sky, Grassi
recounted. I said, Can you give me 10 to
15 minutes to think about it? And he said
absolutely. Well call you after 15 minutes.
During that brief time Grassi said he
quickly came to the conclusion that the
Pope was being unfairly blamed for
helping to support Kim Davis and the
marriage equality opponents that had
rallied around her.
So I thought it is my friend who is
being attacked, he said. The least I can
do is defend him with the facts that I
know. I dont have to lie. All I have to do is
tell exactly what happened.
Among the things he told the Times
and other media outlets, including the
Blade, is that this was the second time he
and his boyfriend had met with Francis
since Francis was elected Pope in 2013.
Grassi told the Blade that when he
informed the newly installed Pope that
he and his boyfriend would be in Italy to
attend a wedding for a friend that year
Francis immediately invited them to
greet him at a group ceremony in Saint
Peters Square.
In front of hundreds of people I
remember Francis walking toward me
with his arms open and he said, You
made it. You make me so happy,
Grasso recalls. And so we hugged and I
introduced him to my boyfriend and we
exchanged some words.
Grassi told the Blade he rst renewed
his friendship with then-Cardinal Jorge
Mario Bergoglio, the future Pope, in

POPE FRANCIS created a stir after meeting Kim Davis but it turned out he spent more time
with an old gay friend who lives in D.C.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

2008 when he visited Buenos Aires and


met with Bergoglio, who held the title of
Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Francis responded to an email
message Grassi sent to the Pope this past
June asking if the two could meet to catch
up on things during the Popes visit to
Washington only if the ponti had the
time to do so.
And he
replied
back
almost
immediately I think the same day or
the following day saying oh, absolutely,
I want to see you, Grassi said.
He said Francis told him in his email
reply that Grassi should write back
in early September when the Popes
Washington schedule would be known
and nal arrangements could be made
for their meeting. But Grassi said that
when he saw media reports this summer
of how busy the Pope would be in
Washington he wrote back saying he
would fully understand it if Francis would
be too busy to meet with him.
Then, to his astonishment, about three
weeks before he was scheduled to arrive in
Washington Francis called Grassi by phone.
It was my cell phone and I thought it
was a joke, Grassi said. I was absolutely
surprised that this person called me
Obdulio, the nickname that his high
school teacher Bergoglio gave him nearly
50 years earlier.
So I said whos calling? And he said well
who else calls you Obdulio? said Grassi,
who added, Then I knew this is the real
thingAnd we had a 10- or 15-minute
conversation. We talked about politics.
We talked about President Obama. We
talked about Cuba.
Before the call ended Francis insisted
he would have the time to meet with
Grassi in Washington, according to
Grassi. When Grassi mentioned that he
would rather the Pope meet with four of
his friends, some of whom were having
health problems, so the Pope could bless
them, Francis said, Bring them with you.
One of the friends captured the visit on
video with her phone, which dozens of
news media outlets have shown, including
a scene where the Pope hugs Grassi and

kisses Grassis boyfriend on both cheeks


while displaying a broad smile.
To me it was a meeting with a friend
of mine, Grassi said. It was a meeting
between two friendswho love each other
and I admire him deeply. That would have
been the end of the story and I wouldnt
have you here sitting in my kitchen if it
wasnt that this lady Kim Davis came out with
this information saying she got a private
audience with him, he told the Blade.
Like others who have defended
Francis, Grassi said he believes Francis
was fooled into agreeing to include
Davis among the group that he greeted
during the Vatican Embassy visit.
Concerning reports that the Pope has
been a longtime opponent of same-sex
marriage and opposed a same-sex marriage
law passed by Argentinas Congress in 2010,
Grassi said he and then Cardinal Bergoglio
discussed the gay marriage issue in an
email exchange at that time.
In 2010 when the Congress in
Argentina was debating the marriage
equality law I read in the news that
he had said quite strong and negative
things about gay marriage, Grassi said.
I was extremely surprised when I saw
that, he said. So I red an email to him
explaining to him how much I owed him,
what an important person he was in my
life, how much he developed my most
progressive thoughts in my life and that
I was disappointed to hear that he was
saying these negative things about gay
people and about gay marriage.
Added Grassi, It was a pretty long
letter. And I mentioned my boyfriend by
name and told him at that time we were
14 years together.
Bergoglio, less than three years
before becoming Pope, responded with
a beautiful reply a very loving reply,
Grassi said.
He started by apologizing because he
had hurt me, because I was hurt, said
Grassi. And immediately after that he
said I have never said any of those things
that the press is publishing about me,
Grassi recalls.
He said as a matter of fact he never

expressed himself about this question.


And he ended up by saying something
that to me is so important, said Grassi.
He said believe me, in my pastoral work
there is no place for homophobia.
Some gay activists in Argentina
would likely take exception to Franciss
comments to Grassi in that 2010 email.
At the time Francis was elected Pope,
a prominent Argentinean gay leader
told the Blade that media outlets
had obtained a copy of a letter that
then Cardinal Bergoglio wrote to four
Argentine monasteries at the time the
national Congress was debating the gay
marriage law.
According to media reports, Bergoglio
stated in his letter that the proposed law
was the work of the devil, it would spark
Gods war, and was a machination of
the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse
and deceive the children of God.
Grassi moved to the United States
in 1978 at a time when a military-run
dictatorship was ruling Argentina and
persecuting LGBT people. He said he
admires gay activists in Argentina and
the U.S.
He said one of the reasons he chose to
stay in the U.S. rather than live in Europe,
where he initially thought he would end
up, was the 1978 encounter he had with
then-D.C. mayoral candidate Marion
Barry at the Dupont Circle gay bar Mr. Ps.
I was there with some friends and
suddenly this tall black guy comes in with
a lady and does a speech to the people
there on P Street, Grassi recalls. So I
asked one of my friends, whos that? And
he said he is running for mayor and his
name is Marion Barry and thats his wife.
And I remember it was to me the most
revealing to think that that there was
this country where somebody who was
running for mayor would try to get the
support of gay people and would actually
walk into a gay bar with his wife and ask
people for their support and say if you
support me I will protect you and I will ght
to do positive things for you, Grassi said.
With that as a backdrop, Grassi said he
understands where gay activists are coming
from concerning the Pope. But he cautions
them about the resistance he says Francis
is facing as he deals with a 2,000-year-old
institution. He said he believes Francis is
making a genuine eort to change the
church for the better for LGBT people and
other oppressed peoples.
What I can say is we have to recognize
the small steps that Pope Francis has
taken and that considering the place
where he comes from are actually giant
steps, Grassi said. Its not that the man
does not want to do it. He has a timing
for things. He has a way of saying things
that are so extraordinary and making
them with small steps.

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1 8 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

Clinton, Biden lay out LGBT vision in speeches


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 01

suits, was energetic and applauded Clinton


throughout her speech.
Months after the Supreme Court
decision in favor of same-sex marriage
in June, Clinton recalled, it felt like all of
America was dancing in the streets at the
time of the ruling. She thanked marriage
plainti Jim Obergefell, who was present
in the audience, as well as Defense of
Marriage Act plainti Edie Windsor.
In terms of legislation, the most concrete
pledge Clinton articulated was passage
of the Equality Act, which she already
endorsed upon its introduction in July. The
legislation would add sexual orientation
and gender identity to the prohibited
categories of discrimination under the Civil
Rights Act and Fair Housing Act.
Its a great, noble piece of legislation
that deserves to become the law of the
land, Clinton said. As president, I will
ght for it. I hope many of you will be
with me when I sign it into law.
Making an example of recent news of a
drug company raising the price of Daraprim
from $13.50 to $750, Clinton also pledged
to keep drug companies in line to ensure
the medications are widely available.
Dont Ask, Dont Tell is repealed, but
Clinton said shed take further action on
behalf of LGBT service members. Among
the initiatives she proposed is ensuring
the discharge paperwork for service
members expelled solely for being gay is
designated as an honorable discharge.
For the rst time, Clinton also clearly
articulated support for lifting the ban on
transgender service, calling the current
policy an outdated rule. Defense Secretary
Ashton Carter has announced a review
of current policy. In May, the Pentagon
is expected to lift the regulation to allow
transgender people to serve openly.
Theyre just keeping this core part
of their identities under wraps because
they are so committed to defending our
nation, Clinton said. They shouldnt
have to do that. Thats why I support
the policy review that Secretary Carter
recently announced at the Pentagon. Its
why I hope the United States joins many
other countries that let transgender
people serve openly.
But
Clinton
went
further
on
transgender rights, calling for attention
to the rash of anti-trans violence
throughout the country that has left at
least 19 transgender people dead just
this year.
We need to say with one voice that
transgender people are valued, they are
loved, they are us, Clinton said.
For same-sex parents, Clinton said an
end to discrimination in adoption is on
her agenda, saying shell push to cut o
federal funding for child welfare agencies
that discriminate against LGBT people.

HRC presented Apple CEO TIM COOK with


a visibility award for coming out as gay last
year.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

The candidate also said protecting LGBT


rights overseas is important, taking note
of the Zimbabwe presidents recent
remarks before the United Nations that
the country has no gays.
Im guessing that the LGBT activists
in prison in Zimbabwe would disagree
with him if ever given a chance to have a
platform, Clinton said.
The Democratic candidate delivered
the speech amid a perception by some
LGBT critics that she came too late to
embrace LGBT rights or has only done
so for political reasons. After all, she only
went public with her support for samesex marriage in 2013.
At one point, Clinton made passing
reference to her evolution on LGBT
rights, telling the audience, Youve
helped change a lot of minds, including
mine, and I am really grateful for that.
Clinton also dismissed the notion that
her position in support of LGBT rights
was the result of political calculation.
I know that youve had your share
of politicians speaking out, courting
your support at election time and then
disappear as if your lives, your rights are
just a political bargaining chip, Clinton
said. Well those who know me know
thats not me. Ive been ghting alongside
you and others for equal rights and Im
just getting warmed up.
Following Clintons speech, Biden took
the stage that evening at the HRC dinner,
where a change in tone could be heard as
the focus of LGBT advocacy shifts away
from marriage.
The dinner on Saturday night was the
rst to take place since the Supreme
Courts ruling months ago that struck
down all state bans on same-sex
marriage, leaving in the wake of the
decision other agenda items such as
non-discrimination
protections
and
transgender visibility.

Biden, who delivered the keynote


address, touted the signicance of the
court ruling on marriage, but also turned
toward other issues relevant to the LGBT
community.
The great arc of justice is the journey
of this nation, and it continues to move
in the right direction, Biden said. Were
moving closer and closer to the animating
spirit of America because of all of you,
not me, because of all of you.
Although hes previously articulated
support for comprehensive legislation
prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination,
Biden took the opportunity of his speech
to explicitly endorse the Equality Act,
which would amend the Civil Rights
Act and the Fair Housing Act to include
sexual orientation and gender identity.
I strongly support the Equality Act,
and it will pass, it will pass, Biden
said. It may not pass this Congress.
It will pass because its simple and its
straightforward.
Bidens support for the Equality Act
makes him the rst ocial in the Obama
administration to explicitly endorse
the bill. The White House has yet to say
formally that President Obama backs the
legislation. (See related story on page 6.)
Biden in 2012 dubbed transgender
rights the civil rights issue of our time,
an assertion he repeated at the dinner
as he commended Defense Secretary
Ashton Carter for starting a review
expected to lead in May to an end of the
ban on openly transgender service.
It took the secretary of defense about
10 minutes, Biden said. In July 2015 no
longer is there any question, transgender
people are able to serve in the United
States military.
All Americans who are able to serve
physically should be able to serve, Biden
added.
Addressing LGBT human rights issues

overseas, Biden said, There is no cultural


justication for prosecuting, persecuting,
putting in jail the LGBT community in any
country anywhere in the world.
The vice president, whois considering
a presidential bid, early in his remarks
started to say, A number of you have
spoken to me over the years, when
an audience member interrupted him,
shouting, You should run!
Biden tried to tamp it down, saying.
No. You didnt say that, then returned
to his remarks.
HRCPresident Chad Grin pointed to
various marginalized groups in the LGBT
community left behind after the marriage
ruling during his introduction to Biden.
For that transgender woman in
Baltimore seeing her friends murdered in
the streets, for that lesbian couple raising
two kids in Mississippi and for that teen
living with HIV on the streets of this very
city, our nations capital, they cant wait,
Grin said. We cant wait. And with
your continued support and leadership,
I promise you wont wait.
Previous dinners have featured
plaintis in marriage lawsuits, such as
those behind the Defense of Marriage
Act and Prop 8 lawsuits. The lead plainti
in the marriage case, Jim Obergefell, was
a speaker this year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was
presented by HRCwith a visibility award
for coming out as gay last year, indicated
in his acceptance speech that gay visibility
is just as important as trans visibility.
People near need to hear being gay is
not a limitation, Cook said. People need
to hear that being gay doesnt restrict
your options in life. People need to hear
that you can be gay or transgender and
be whatever else you want to in life: a
CEO, or a senator, an Olympic athlete,
an award-winning actor or actress, an
amazing husband, wife, father, mother.

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

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 1 9

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BA LT I MO RE N E W S

Keith Thirion, acting director of Equality Maryland, is departing the organization


to take a position at a D.C.-based non-prot. Thirion joined Equality Marylands
sta in January 2014 as director of advocacy and programs before assuming the
role of acting director in June 2015 when the previous director, Carrie Evans, was
laid o as a result of the organizations nancial diculties.
Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein, chair of the Equality Maryland Foundation Board,
said in the statement, Keith Thirion has worked tirelessly, eectively, and
passionately on behalf of the LGBT community in Maryland during his time
with Equality Maryland. In conducting training sessions for police ocers and
educators on LGBT issues, Keith has had an enormous impact on public servants
who interact with the LGBT community. Keith has worked eectively with other
social justice organizations in Maryland, and with the General Assembly and the
Maryland Attorney Generals Oce, to advance equality for Marylands LGBT
community.
The organizations work is incredibly important, as members of our
community continue to face discrimination, violence and harassment in daily
life, said Thirion. There will continue to be a need for advocacy and education
until every Marylander including our most vulnerable youth, transgender people
and communities of color, are free to live their full lives.
Thirions last day will be Oct. 14. The boards will launch a search for a new
director for the organization. The job description is available at equalitymaryland.
org/director-search.

Former mayor speaks at LGBT book launch

301.468.3458

More than 50 people who have had a role in shaping Baltimores LGBT history
attended a book launch and celebration for the recently published book LGBT
Baltimore. Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke was the principal speaker at
the event held on Sept. 28 at the University of Baltimore Student Center.
Schmoke, a three-term mayor beginning in 1987, is currently the president
of UB. He was a key ally in attaining non-discrimination legislation in the city
despite robust opposition from several members of the Council. Schmoke
recalled how he issued an important executive order for benets for gay and
lesbian city employees after discussing the measure with local clergy leaders
and framed the issue in terms of fairness.
CBe Subcontractors for a new construction apartment building
I tried to advance civil rights in the LGBT community, Schmoke said. Please
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help me in addressing transgender issues in our community.
East Capitol Street near the Capitol Heights Metro Station.
Author Louise Parker Kelley described LGBT Baltimore as a tantalizing
glimpse of what our community accomplished. The book, published by Arcadia,
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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

22 OC T OB E R 09, 2015

H E A LT H N E W S

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LOS ANGELES Danny Pintauro, the former child star of Whos the Boss
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told US Weekly this week he contracted the virus through oral sex.
Believe it or not, with this guy I was actually safe, the 39-year-old said in an
interview with his husband, Will Tabares. We did use condoms, Pintauro said. I
got it another way, which was through oral sex. When you put all of these nasty
things together, like a compromised immune system, having been up for a long
time, drugs, rough sex, all of that combined with lesions in your mouth, bodily
uids, its that easy.
Pintauros comments, including those he made on an appearance on The
View, have drawn concern in some sectors. In a Hungton Post op-ed, radio
host Ken Schneck writes that Pintauro has muddied HIV issues in his messaging.
Pintauro is on a Beacon of Light Tour to spread awareness about HIV and
the dangers of crystal meth use and is participating in HIV Equal Campaign, an
eort to eliminate HIV stigma.

Minister concedes ex-gay therapy shortcomings

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NEW YORK A prominent Southern Baptist theologian this week spoke out
against psychological counseling aimed at turning gay people straight, saying
homosexuality cannot be turned o like a switch, ABC News reports. Instead, he
said, the sin of being attracted to a person of the same sex can be changed by
turning to the Bibles teachings.
The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary, said so-called conversion or reparative therapy doesnt carry the
redemptive power of prayer, ABC reports.
In the case of many people struggling with this particular sin, we do not
believe that some kind of supercial answer whereby they can turn a switch
from being attracted to persons of the same sex to being attracted to persons of
the opposite sex, ABC News quoted Mohler as having told reporters at the start
of a three-day conference on homosexuality and how to oer pastoral care to
gays, hosted by the Louisville seminary.
By Gods grace, that might happen over time as a sign of Gods work within
the life of that individual. But ... for many, many people struggling with these
patterns of sin, it will be a lifelong battle, Mohler said.
Ahead of the Homosexuality: Compassion, Care and Counsel for Struggling
People conference, Mohler also said he was unwavering in the belief that
marriage is only between a man and a woman. He said he believes homosexuals
can change by accepting biblical teachings, ABC News reports.
Several dozen gay-rights advocates denounced the conference by holding a
protest next to the seminary. Their protest included a prayer for love, inclusion
and respect. Some demonstrators held up signs that said: Love Needs No Cure,
the ABC report noted.

Sweeping new guidelines for HIV drugs issued


NEW YORK The World Health Organization last week issued new guidelines
that recommend that millions more people should be on HIV drugs than are
currently, the New York Times reports. The recommendation could have
signicant impact on halting the epidemic but would cost billions of dollars.
Those with HIV should be put on three antiretroviral therapy drugs immediately
upon being diagnosed, the agency said, and everyone at risk of being infected
should be oered protective doses of similar drugs, the Times reports.
Immediate treatment has become the standard of care in America and much
of the developed world, but the agencys new HIV treatment and prevention
guidelines increase by nine million the number of infected people who should
get it worldwide, the Times reports.
The health agency did not estimate how many at-risk people would benet
from its new prevention guidelines, but Unaids, the United Nations AIDS ghting
agency, made a back-of-the-envelope calculation that 10 million could be
helped, including many women and girls in Africa not previously covered, the
Times article notes.

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Two faces of Pope Francis


Miracles can happen but
change comes slowly to church

KATHI WOLFE, a writer and a poet, is a regular


contributor to the Blade.

Alas, most starry-eyed lovefests dont


last. Pope Francis, 78, with the star quality of Madonna, wowed everyone from
Speaker of the House John A. Boehner
to President Barack Obama to the thousands of people who waited for hours to
see him last month on his rst visit to the
United States. Yet due to recent events,
aection for his papacy has dimmed for
many of us who are LGBT and our allies.
First, the pope secretly met with Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis whos refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Then, the Vatican red Monsignor
Krzysztof Charamsa, a Polish priest who
came out as gay the day before a threeweek worldwide meeting of bishops be-

gan in Rome on Oct. 4.


Dont get me wrong: Im no Pope Francis hater. Im not Catholic. But, Id bet that
many of us, believers or non-believers,
would nd it hard not to respect or love a
pope who lives in a guest house, eats with
street people, advocates for migrants and
was a club bouncer (in his youth) in Argentina. From having lunch with homeless people in Washington, D.C. to visiting
prisoners in Philadelphia, Francis showed
his empathy and identication with people living on the margins.
We can nd no social or moral justication whatsoever for lack of housing,
the pope said. We know that Jesus wanted to show solidarity with every person.
That guy really does what Jesus did,
my brother, whos worked in soup kitchens, told me, He hangs out with poor
people.
Two years ago, Francis (pleasantly)
surprised the LGBT community when he
said, If someone is gay and searches for
the Lord and has good will, who am I to
judge?
Francis charisma, compassion and
commitment to economic social justice
have made many of us forget that he and
the Vatican consider queer sex (though
not homosexuality) sinful and oppose
same-sex marriage. The ouster of Monsi-

E DIT OR IA L C A R T OON

gnor Charamsa and the meeting with Kim


Davis have brought this reality into stark
focus.
In the aftermath of Francis meeting
with Davis, the Vatican has said that this
shouldnt be taken to mean that the pope
knew the nuances of Daviss situation or
endorses her views on same-sex marriage. But even if he didnt know the details of Davis situation, its hard to believe
that the pope didnt sympathize with her
perspective.
The Vatican red Charamsa, who had
been on the Vaticans Congregation on
the Doctrine of the Faith, on the eve of
the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of
the Synod of the Bishops on the Family. This meeting at the Vatican of some
300 bishops and other delegates at the
Vatican is now discussing divorce, the
churchs position on LGBT people and
other issues. Charamsa revealed that hes
in a same-sex relationship in an interview
with the Italian newspaper Corriere della
Sera. The Vatican said that he was let go
because the interview, which took place
just before the Synod, was grave and irresponsible.
On the opening day of the Synod, Francis clearly opposed same-sex marriage.
This is Gods dream for his beloved creation: to see it fullled in the loving union
between a man and a woman, rejoicing in
their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self, he said.
Despite the homophobia of this position, the pope seems to have friendships
with LGBT people. During his time in the
U.S., he had a warm meeting in D.C. with
a gay man and his partner of 19 years.
Yet, it seems unlikely that the Catholic
Churchs position on LGBT people will
change any time soon. The Synod is fatally awed, Mary E. Hunt, a lesbian,
feminist theologian and co-director of
Womens Alliance for Theology Ethics and
Ritual, told the Blade. No women can
vote. There are 17 heterosexually married couples and 17 individuals who are
auditors. They can listen, participate in
the discussion at points, but not vote.
Any expectation that a meeting with
this group will produce anything meaningful is misplaced, Hunt said. It would
be better to convene regional gatherings
to discuss matters ... and then gradually
and with deep respect move toward new
consensus, she added.
Miracles can happen. Lets hope that a
new consensus will be reached.

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

V I E W PO I NT

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 2 5

A Tale of Two Pilgrimages


Francis and Farrakhan go to
Washington

RICHARD J. ROSENDALL is a writer and activist.


Reach him at rrosendall@starpower.net.

Autumn is a lovely time to visit the nations


capital. Here I look at contrasting visits by two
prominent faith leaders.
10.10.15 Justice or Else Gathering. Minister
Louis Farrakhan has long been a gure of controversy. Of the Nation of Islam (NOI), which
he leads, the Southern Poverty Law Center
(SPLC) writes, Its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist,
anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders
have earned the NOI a prominent position in
the ranks of organized hate.
Farrakhans old provocations, however, are
absent from the promotion for his Oct. 10
gathering on the National Mall to mark the

20th anniversary of the Million Man March.


The 1995 event was a peaceful call to unity and
self-improvement whose proposed actions included harnessing black economic power and
registering voters.
The 20th anniversary event invites men and
women regardless of race or creed to demand
racial justice from the federal government.
The proposed action this time is withdrawal
of black money from what it calls the commercialism and exploitation of the Christmas
season. It also calls for an end to fratricidal violence within the black community.
The events website (justiceorelse.com) includes the directive No Guns - No Alcohol - No
Drugs. Its text and videos carry a constructive message. Granted, when I hear Justice
or else, I immediately ask, Or else what?
The threat, however, involves economic action, not competition with gun-toting white
supremacist groups like the Oath Keepers. My
dierences with NOI aside, its 10.10.15 gathering promises to be another peaceful public
engagement. Unless you demand docility (in
which case you should wake up), I see nothing
to fault.
Pope Francis and gays. Turning from Islam
to Catholicism, the bumpy aftermath of the
Popes American visit appears to have resolved
itself into a clearer message of welcome to

LGBT people, though without any hint of doctrinal change. During his visit, Francis toned
down the culture-war rhetoric. One positive
gesture was having openly gay Mo Rocca do
a scriptural reading during the Mass at Madison Square Garden. Less so was the sole gay
speaker at the World Meeting of Families
in Philadelphia, Ron Belgau, who embraces
celibacy in acceptance of the Catholic Church
teaching that gay lovemaking is a sin. Belgau
can suit himself, but demanding lifelong denial
of intimacy is a prescription for misery.
On his ight back to Rome, Francis defended conscientious objection, which some
interpreted as endorsing the refusal by Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis to issue marriage licenses that went against her faith. Mat
Staver, the Liberty Counsel attorney for Davis,
then claimed that Davis had met the Pope in
Washington. The Vatican conrmed this, but
said she was but one of several dozen people
who were given a blessing and a rosary. The
only real papal audience in Washington was
with the Popes gay former student Yayo
Grassi and his family, which included his 19year partner Iwan Bagus. A video shows Francis warmly embracing both men and kissing
them on their cheeks.
The papal nuncio who invited Davis, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan, appears to be in

hot water for marring the visit with a politically


charged invitation that was inated in importance by Staver.
No sooner had the ap over Davis begun
to quiet down when Monsignor Krzystof
Charamsa, an ocial with the Vaticans doctrinal oce, came out as gay and criticized
the Roman Churchs homophobia on the eve
of its Synod on the Family. Charamsa was
quickly red. This was a reminder that expressions of pastoral care erase neither the
churchs love of control nor its condemnation
of gay folk. Indeed, notorious homophobe
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council
was invited last November to a Roman gathering called the International Interreligious
Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man
and Woman. The notion of complementarity derives from Plato, except that Plato was
gay-inclusive.
Francis, at the U.S. Capitol, asked people
to pray for him, and urged those who could
not pray to send him their best wishes. In that
spirit, and despite our disagreements and my
continued skepticism, I send him and Minister
Farrakhan my sincere hope that their eorts
will advance justice. Prayers avail nothing without action.
Copyright 2015 by Richard J. Rosendall.
All rights reserved.

I N S I DE LGB T W A S HING TON

Banner day for Human Rights Campaign


Group raises $1 million, buoyed
by Clinton, Biden appearances

PETER ROSENSTEIN is a longtime Democratic


Party and LGBT rights activist. He is a regular
contributor to the Blade.

The Human Rights Campaign hosted Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton at breakfast and Vice President
Joseph Biden at dinner on Oct. 3. It was a great
day for the LGBT family.
HRC is the nations leading LGBT civil rights
organization and has been at the forefront of
the ght for the rights of the LGBT community.
It has at times been attacked for its lack of diversity and sometimes seems to have had a
hard time moving on from the days when it
was known as HRCF and nicknamed the Human Rights Champagne Fund. But the reality is
running a major organization like HRC takes a

lot of money and rich people with money in our


society are still too often only white and male.
The organization has been making strides
to become more diverse and we need HRC to
be strong and successful. As marriage equality
has become a reality, HRC is leading the ght
for a comprehensive civil rights bill and has
undertaken a southern strategy and a global
strategy to help members of the LGBT community here and around the world.
In the morning it was Hillarys turn to speak
to the board and active members of HRC. Introducing her to hundreds who crowded into
the ballroom of the Mayower Hotel in D.C.
Chad Grin, HRCs president, reminded everyone he has known Clinton from his days in
Arkansas and shared some slides of him as a
teenager with Hillary. He quipped Hillary was
actually the rst HRC he worked for.
Hillary spoke passionately of her wideranging commitment to LGBT rights and to all
human rights. She reiterated the statement
she made in Geneva on Human Rights Day
in 2011 gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights. She talked about
needing to stay vigilant to protect the rights
the LGBT community has won as we move
forward to guarantee all our rights.
While we in the LGBT community strive to be

more inclusive it was rewarding to hear Hillary


speak of the need for inclusiveness in government, the military and society. Anyone who has
followed Clintons career from her days at the
Childrens Defense Fund knows she has spent
her life ghting for all peoples rights, including
African Americans, women and LGBT people.
One of her loudest applause lines came when
she said about her ght for civil rights, I am just
getting warmed up. She spoke in support of
transgender individuals, to allow them to serve
openly in the military, and to protect them from
violence and our judicial system. She spoke of
the need to remember we do this work not
only for ourselves but for our children and our
grandchildren, reminding all her grandchild just
turned one. She spoke of our need to be vigilant and not to slide backwards and to protect
the gains we have made including those made
through executive orders signed by President
Obama. She committed to working with HRC to
pass new comprehensive civil rights legislation.
It was the most heartfelt speech on LGBT rights
she has ever made.
Then Saturday evening it was Bidens turn
to speak. Biden has been a longtime passionate supporter of LGBT rights. He spoke of the
administrations ongoing eorts to ensure
members of the LGBT community were serv-

ing in every area of government. He mentioned Eric Fanning, who was in the audience,
had just been nominated as the rst openly
gay Secretary of the Army. Biden reminded
us it was he in 2012 who supported marriage
equality before the president seemed ready
to do it and got an ovation from the audience.
His two funniest lines were when he began after that people started to say to him at which
point someone in the audience yelled run Joe
run and Biden replied, No that wasnt it. And
when he talked about there still being homophobes and said, Most of them seem to be
running for president.
He said the LGBT community would get full
civil and human rights sooner than we think
and most people dont realize we dont already
have them. Biden spoke out for transgender
rights and allowing trans people to serve in
the military and for banning conversion therapy for minors. He committed his continuing
support for the work ahead and was given a
thunderous ovation.
It was another successful day for HRC. Tim
Cook, Apple CEO, received an award at the
dinner and Carly Rae Jepsen entertained. It
was announced the sponsors of the dinner
collectively donated more than $1 million for
the evening.

2 6 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

OCTOBER

09,

2015

27

All your rainbow resources

Books, fertility specialists,


welcoming schools and more
available to LGBT parents
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO
joeyd@washblade.com
Raising a rainbow family or thinking of
starting one? Theres no lack of resources,
both in the Washington area and all over.
Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: the
Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights
by Jerome Pohlen was released by Chicago
Review Press last week. Its for ages 9 and up
and was timed to coincide with this months
Gay History Month. It features 21 activities
and is a good primer for any age with a
great time line that goes all the way back to
570 BC (death of the Greek poet Sappho)
to the present day. Along the way are easyto-digest entries on da Vinci, Walt Whitman,
Oscar Wilde all the way through to Harvey
Milk, Larry Kramer, Matthew Shepard and
the Supreme Court ruling this year. Its 192
pages and retails in trade paperback for
$17.95. Details at ipgbook.com.
Any Washington-area family, LGBT or
straight, will nd it worthwhile to check out
dcschoolhub.com, a local site dedicated
to helping parents nd the right childcare,
preschool or private school in the D.C.
metro area. The site has a search engine,
weekly blogs, a parent forum, chat rooms
and a section where parents can search
for current and anticipated spots by age
or grade. Founder Trevor Waddington
is looking for local LGBT parents to blog
about their experiences for the site. Hes
interested in hearing about experiences
nding child care and school activities and
how rainbow families have been received
in various schools and programs. He can
be reached at dcschoolhub@gmail.com.
Interested in pursuing fertility/in vitro
fertility (IVF) treatments but dont know
where to start? You may want to check out
the services of Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, a
pioneer in the eld who works with same-

Dr. JEFFREY STEINBERG works with same-sex couples to help them start families.
PHOTO COURTESY OF STEINBERG

sex couples through his four locations


which are in Los Angeles, New York,
Guadalajara and India. Find out more at
fertility-docs.com.
After 15 years of all-night gay dance
parties, Sean ODonnell and his partner
Todd decided in August, 2012 to start
a family. They walked into a Pittsburgh
adoption agency and said, Wed like a child
please. Thus began a long adventure of
parenting classes, background checks and
enough paperwork to reforest the whole
of the Amazon River basin, as ODonnell
describes it in his new book Which One
of You Is My Mother?, a humorous
memoir that has been called brilliant and
touching by other gay authors. Find out
more at seansbiggayblog.com or look for
Sean Michael ODonnell on Amazon.
Another good resource is Gay Parent,
which bills itself as the longest-running,
nationally distributed publication to LGBT
parenting. It was launched online in Sept.,
1998 and started a print edition a month
later. Published bi-monthly and distributed
mainly free at LGBT community centers
and bookstores, its focus is to support
and empower LGBT parents and LGBTs
wishing to become rst-time parents. Print
editions are mainly available in New York,
New Jersey and Connecticut. D.C.-based

singer/songwriter Stewart Lewis, also a gay


dad, is a columnist for the publication and
is also the author of four novels. Its current
issue features a story on Christa and Holly
Ortego of Louisiana and their twins Miah
and Collin. Details at gayparentmag.com.
Rainbow Families D.C. is a must for
any local LGBT families. The group has an
active schedule and is a great go-to stop
for all kinds of resources. In November,
theyll make their annual visit to Cox
Farms Fall Festival in Centreville, Va., for
hay rides, pumpkins, farm animals, a corn
maze, live music, hot cider, kettle corn
and more. Keep up with all their events at
rainbowfamiliesdc.org.
COLAGE is another great resource. This
Seattle-based organization unites people
with (LGBT) parents into a network of peers
and supports them as they nurture and
empower each other to be skilled, selfcondent and just leaders in our collective
community. Each summer, the group has
a huge family week for youth in grades
three through 12 in Provincetown, Mass.
More information is at colage.org.
Several local LGBT-welcoming schools
offer open houses this fall. Among them are:
Beauvoir School (3500 Woodley
Rd., N.W.) with open houses on Thursday,
Oct. 22 at 9:15 a.m.; Sunday, Nov. 8 at 1

p.m.; and Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 9:15 a.m. Full


details at beauvoirschoo.org.
Bridges Public Charter School (1250
Taylor St., N.W.) is a free public school
open to all D.C. residents. Non-residents
can apply and attend for a fee. A lottery
is held and a waiting list is maintained.
Details at bridgespcs.org.
Burgundy Farm Country Day School
in Alexandria, Va., has its annual fall fair
on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Open houses are scheduled for Friday,
Oct. 9 from 9-11 a.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 11
from 9-11 a.m.;Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2-4
p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 10 from 2-4 p.m.
Details at burgundyfarm.org.
Capitol Hill Day School (210 South
Carolina Ave., S.E.) has various open
houses. Details at chds.org.
The Lowell School (1640 Kalmia
Rd., N.W.) has tours for pre-primary and
kindergarten on selected Fridays; tours
for rst through eighth grades are held
on selected Wednesdays from October
through January. The schools fall bazaar
is Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Contact the school for more information.
Washington International School
has two locations. Its Primary campus is
at 1690 36th St., N.W. and the Tregaron
Campus is at 3100 Macomb St., N.W. To
schedule a tour, visit wis.edu and go to
schedule a tour under the admissions
bar. Fill out the elds that apply to your
prospective students age and submit.
The school will contact you when the next
applicable tour is to be held.
Want to treat your tweens and teens to
a family-friendly night out at the theater?
Girlstar by Anton Dudley and Brian
Feinstein stars Signature favorite Donna
Migliaccio in a show about legendary
record producer Daniella Espere who
discovers the next international sensation
in her long-lost niece Tina. With its pop
score, the musical invites audiences to
follow one girls breathtaking journey and
ask, How far is too far to go to become a
star? It runs Oct. 13-Nov. 15. Details at
sigtheatre.org.

2 8 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

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How far is too far to be a star?


30

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OCTOBER

09,

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Sister JEANNINE GRAMICK, co-founder of the Maryland-based New Ways Ministry, speaks to
MICHAEL TOMAE from Owning Our Faith, left, and STEPHEN SEUFERT of Keystone Catholics at the
John C. Anderson Apartments in Philadelphia on Sept. 26. Gramick is among those who attended a
meeting of LGBT Catholics in Rome that took place over the weekend.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS

Seeking pastoral care for


LGBT Catholics, families
Rainbow groups meet in
Rome to address needs
By MICHAEL K. LAVERS
mlavers@washblade.com

An inclusive community of life-long learners


in which each individual is valued and respected

More than a dozen organizations that


advocate on behalf of LGBT Catholics met
in Rome over the past weekend.
The Maryland-based New Ways Ministry,
DignityUSA and 11 other groups that are
part of the Global Network of Rainbow
Catholics took part in the coalitions
inaugural meeting from Oct. 1-4. The
European Forum of LGBT Christian
Groups, the Christian Association of Gays
and Lesbians of Catalonia in Spain, LGBT
Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council in
the U.K., the Dette Resources Foundation
in Zambia and Pastoral de la Diversidad
Sexual in Chile are among the other
organizations that attended the gathering.
New Ways Ministry Executive Director
Frank DeBernardo told the Washington
Blade on Monday during a telephone
interview from Rome the meeting caps off
efforts to launch the Global Network of
Rainbow Catholics that began two years
ago. He said these groups felt it was time
for an international organization since
there are so many of us.
Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder
of New Ways Ministry, and former Irish
President Mary McAleese, who has a gay
son, are among those who spoke at a
conference in Rome on Oct. 3 that focused
on pastoral care for LGBT Catholics and
their families.
A pastoral approach is better than an
ideological one for promoting peaceful
and fruitful relationships with LGBT people
in the everyday life of Roman Catholic
communities, reads a description of the

conference. Beginning from the common


humanity LGBT people share with all
people and leaving ideology aside for a
while can yield important discoveries for
both the LGBT people and the church.
The gatherings coincided the beginning
of a three-week meeting of Catholic bishops
in Rome during which they will vote on a
document that specically addresses the
family. Leaked drafts of the document indicate
it will reiterate the churchs opposition to
unions between gays and lesbians.
Krzysztof Charamsa, a Polish monsignor
who had worked in the Vaticans
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
since 2003, came out as gay on the eve of the
meeting and revealed he has a boyfriend.
The Holy See on Oct. 3 removed
Charamsa from his post. The Associated
Press reported the Polish monsignor is
no longer able to work at the Vatican or
pontical universities in Rome where he
had taught theology.
Notwithstanding the respect due to
the events and personal situations, and
reections on the issue, the decision to make
such a pointed statement on the eve of the
opening of the synod appears very serious
and irresponsible, said Rev. Federico
Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, in a
statement. It aims to subject the Synod
assembly to undue media pressure.
Charamsas decision to come out
coincided with the revelation that Pope
Francis met privately with Yayo Grassi, an
Argentine man he taught in the 1960s, and
his partner at the Apostolic Nunciature in
Northwest D.C. on Sept. 23. The Vatican
continues to downplay the meeting
between the pontiff and Kim Davis, a
Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue
marriage licenses to same-sex couples
because of her religious beliefs, that took
place in Washington the following day.

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BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR LEARNING


SERvING GRADES PRE-K TO 4Th

OCTOBER

09,

2015

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

VIEWPOINT

Importance of paid
leave for trans patients
Bridges PCS is an expanding elementary school, growing to serve grades Pre-K-5th
by 2017-2018. To apply for the 2016-2017 school year complete the on-line application
process at WWW.MYSCHOOLDC.ORG or by phone call 202-888-6336.

Before & after care


Small classroom sizes and well trained staff
Hands-on and project-based learning
Free and open to all DC residents
Tuition paid by non-residents

Implementing D.C.s
progressive policies
a challenge
By JOANNA CIFREDO

This past May I anxiously boarded a


ight to San Francisco to undergo genital
reconstruction surgery. Upon landing,
I was greeted by my mother who ew in
Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
from Florida. In her hands she carried
Voted One of the Best Preschools in DC, Washington City Paper
the bedazzled binder I mailed her weeks
Readers Poll, 2015, 2014 & 2013!
earlier with all the information she would
need in the coming days; the binder cover
read Operacin de Joanna.
FOR THE 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR BRIDGES PCS
I spent 15 days in intense recovery, of
which my mother could only be there for
WILL BE IN OUR NEW LOCATION: 100 GALLATIN ST NE, WDC 20011
ve. The remaining time a girlfriend of
mine thoughtfully tended to my needs.
Upon returning home I was blessed to be
cared for by my roommate.
For transgender people who pursue a
medical transition that includes surgeries
sometimes multiple surgeries planning
to take care of yourself and cover your
nancial responsibilities while unable to
work takes some serious creativity. The
month prior to my California voyage a
blessing in disguise came in the form of
a layoff: I was given the opportunity to
collect unemployment while recovering
through this life changing moment. This
enabled me to fully focus on healing and
not how I was going to pay rent.
Unfortunately, my situation is not
reective of most trans people. Many
within the trans community do not have
the privilege to take weeks off work
A D V E R T I to
SIN
G P R from
O O F a medical procedure
recover
and, due to the pervasiveness of family
ISSUE DATE: 10.09.15
SALES REPRESENTATIVE: JERYL PARADE (jparade@washblade.com)
rejection, our familial constructs are often
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payment and insertion schedule.
LGBTQ policies in the country. The
and warranties.
interpretation of Mayor Grays 2014
Bulletin on Nondiscrimination in Health
Call 703.329.6968 to RSVP for an upcoming open house or
Insurance on the Basis of Gender
Identity or Expression has, to date, been
to schedule a personal tour of our 25-acre Alexandria campus.
the most progressive trans-inclusive
healthcare policy in the nation. However,
implementing that policy is a battle many
are still ghting.
In the midst of this struggle by trans
Burgundy Farm Country Day School 703.329.6968 www.burgundyfarm.org
health activists, local legislation was

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The love and support


I received when I needed it
most and the time
I had to focus on getting
back on my feet is not
an experience that
should be reserved
for the privileged few.
proposed just this week that may have
signicant impacts on members of the
transgender community. The Universal
Paid Leave Act of 2015 would ensure that
anyone living or working in D.C. could take
up to 16 weeks of paid leave when caring
for the health of themselves or their loved
ones, or when welcoming a new child. The
bill denes family broadly but well likely
still need to push for it to include chosen
family, the people our community often
turns to rst for care.
With this groundbreaking policy, D.C.
would join the ranks of every industrialized
nation and lead the way as the only U.S. city
to provide paid family and medical leave. The
implications for the transgender community
extend beyond benets for those who
undergo medical procedures. Paid family
leave is a reproductive rights issue too.
Trans people and same-gender couples are
all too often overlooked when it comes to
building our families, whether through birth,
surrogacy, adoption, or foster placement.
D.C.s paid leave program supports us by
providing gender equal parenting leave for
all. Reproductive equity is essential to any
paid leave program.
On May 27, I woke up to my mothers
warm hand on my forehead. In the coming
days she tended to me as if I was a newborn
experiencing life for the rst time: She
helped me walk, use the bathroom, and,
yes, even changed my diaper. The love
and support I received when I needed it
most and the time I had to focus on getting
back on my feet is not an experience that
should be reserved for the privileged few.
It should be a basic human right for all.
JOANNA CIFREDO is a writer and health equity
advocate. Reach her via joannacifredo.com.

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

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 3 3

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3 4 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

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

ARTS

AND

ENTERTAINMENT

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

VOLUME

46

ISSUE

41

OCTOBER

09

2015

PAGE

35

CAMP Rehoboth serves the local LGBT


community in and around the popular beach
resort.

WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Community center founded


by gay couple that met
at White House
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
lchibbaro@washblade.com
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. As it celebrates
its 25th anniversary this weekend, CAMP
Rehoboth, the LGBT community center
and community services group here, is
continuing its role as a well-known and
highly regarded operation in Delaware
and in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Before Steve Elkins and Murray
Archibald, who have been a couple for
37 years, moved to Rehoboth Beach
in October 1990 and founded CAMP

Rehoboth less than one year later they


had been vacationing there since the
summer of 1981.
Like the large number of other LGBT
people who began to ock to the Delaware
beach resort town in the 1970s the two
noticed that at least some longtime,
year-round residents had become
uncomfortable as Rehoboth became
increasingly known as a gay destination.
According to Archibald, he and Elkins
along with some of their friends sensed
the need for an LGBT support and
advocacy group in the town around 1989
or 1990. Thats when the Rehoboth Beach
Homeowners Association produced and
circulated a bumper sticker that said,
Keep Rehoboth A Family Town.
Everyone knew that message was

aimed at the towns LGBT visitors and


growing number of LGBT residents,
implying if not saying so openly, that they
were not welcome, Archibald and Elkins
told the Washington Blade.
And I always said we wanted it to be a
family town as well but families come in all
sizes, shapes and orientations, Elkins said.
Following a series of meetings in
late 1990, Elkins and Archibald in 1991
launched CAMP Rehoboth, the towns
rst LGBT advocacy and civic organization
whose name was an acronym for Create
a More Positive Rehoboth.
We thought everybody was focusing on
the negative and we said, Lets create a more
positive Rehoboth, said Elkins in reecting
on the groups and the towns evolution in
gay-straight relations since that time.

Archibald said in addition to concerns


over the hostile message from the
bumper sticker, the atmosphere for gay
men in the late 80s and early 90s was
still being shaped by the AIDS epidemic,
and he and Elkins thought an LGBT
organization would provide support
services on that front.
We were just coming out of that period
where so many people were dying and
were still dying, said Archibald. We were
ghting some resistance in town against so
many gay people coming to town, he said.
And you knew we needed something.
In its rst two years, the then allvolunteer group operated in a small
rented space on Baltimore Avenue in
CONTINUES ON PAGE 49

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

3 6 O CTO B ER 0 9 , 2015

Q U E E RY : 2 0 Q U E ST I O N S F O R KI D D O SH E A

KIDD OSHEA
How long have you been out and who
was the hardest person to tell?
I came out when I was 18. The hardest
people to tell were my parents. They
were extremely accepting. Then in 2012,
I came out publicly on the radio to my
audience in Milwaukee. They too were
extremely accepting and showed me
how successful you can be when youre
being who you truly are.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

By JOEY DiGULIELMO
joeyd@washblade.com
Kidd OShea always thought hed end up on the West Coast, but when
the opportunity to go into TV full-time presented itself he made the leap
from Milwaukee, where he lived and worked for 19 years in radio and TV
primarily the former as he hosted a morning radio show to Washington.
I couldnt be happier than I am on the East Coast, the 35-year-old
Milwaukee native says.
OShea arrived in Washington in mid-August to start his new jobs as social
media anchor for Good Morning Washington at WJLA-TV ABC 7 and as host
of Lets Talk Live News Channel 8.
OShea lives in Adams Morgan and enjoys a good libation in his free time.
Is drinking cocktails a hobby, he asks. He likes to spend Friday nights, on
the couch with a bottle of wine and [reality show] Shark Tank.

202.747.2077

Whos your LGBT hero?


All the people who have fought and
continue to ght for equality in our
community. Im forever grateful for your
amazing contributions.
Whats Washingtons best
nightspot, past or present?
I get up for work at 3:30 a.m., so nightspot
is more like happy hour for me and I choose
Annies.

Describe your dream wedding.


Cancelled

What non-LGBT issue are you most


passionate about?
Ive spent last decade working with Feeding
America and fully support their eorts to end
hunger in our communities.

What historical outcome


would you change?
Any event in our history that has led to the
meaningless death of humans.

Whats been the most memorable pop


culture moment of your lifetime?
Oprah leaving the air. I still miss her.

On what do you insist?


Treat others how you want to be treated.

What was your last


Facebook post or Tweet?
Facebook: Must See: Dog Driving Car.
Twitter: @THEGaryBusey make me proud!
#DWTS @ABCNetwork @ABC7News

If your life were a book,


what would the title be?
Dreams Really Do Come True. When I
was growing up, all I wanted to do was be on
radio and TV. Prior to coming to D.C., I hosted
my own morning radio show in Milwaukee
and today I get to play on TV every day. I cant
believe I get to do this for work.
If science discovered a way
to change sexual orientation,
what would you do?
I wouldnt change a thing. Im proud to be
a gay man.
What do you believe in
beyond the physical world?

Karma

Whats your advice for LGBT


movement leaders?
To continue teach LGBT youth the
importance of safe sex.
What would you walk
across hot coals for?
A martini.
What LGBT stereotype
annoys you most?
That we all know how to decorate. You
should see my apartment.

Whats your favorite LGBT movie?


A Single Man

Whats the most overrated


social custom?
The constant need to be connected.

What trophy or prize


do you most covet?
Men of Radio Top 100 by Regis & Kelly
What do you wish youd known at 18?
That youll never wish you were 18
again, so have fun but dont lose sleep over
anything. Life truly does get better.

Why Washington?
I love this town.

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

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 3 7

Hosted By:
BaNaka
with special Performances by:
Frankie & Betty
Destiny B. Childs
Summer Camp
Avery Austin

presented by

The Washington Blade

WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

38 OC T OB E R 09, 2015

THEATER

PHOTO BY NICHOLAS GRINER; COURTESY OF OLNEY THEATRE CENTER

HOLLY TWYFORD as Molly, left, and EMILY TOWNLEY as her sister, Linda, in Bad Dog.

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Like many addicts, Bad Dogs protagonist


Molly Drexler (played by out actor Holly
Twford) can be charming and manipulative.
And she likes to do things her way. So when
she falls o the wagon with a thud after
10 years of sobriety, its not surprising she
resists all urges to go to rehab.
I know how to get sober, she insists.
Whether thats still true remains to be seen.
While Mollys relapse wasnt minor (it
involved driving her Prius through the wall
of her living room and a stint at the hospital
for a broken arm and facial cuts), she makes
like it was nothing. Yet despite her eorts to
minimize the situation, Mollys immediate
and extended family swoop down on the
Los Angeles home she shares with her wife
Abby (Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan), oering
support ranging from hugs to money to
varying degrees of criticism. When Molly
drove her car through that wall, she certainly
opened her life to everyone with an opinion.
Bad Dog is Olney Theatres contribution
to the citywide Womens Voices Theater
Festival, and a Rolling Worldwide Premier
that rst played at Orlando Shakespeare
Theatre in the spring. Its author is out
writer Jennifer Hoppe-House, one of the
writers of Showtimes Nurse Jackie and
Damages, and the Netix series Grace
and Frankie. And like much of HoppeHouses TV writing, Bad Dog is a blend
of comedy and drama.
Staged by Jeremy B. Cohen, the play
unfolds over three days in the fall of 2014.
Its a gathering of concerned relatives
who, though well meaning, might have
done better to stay home and sort out
their own issues.
Since she was a girl, Molly has been a
source of trouble for her middle-class Jewish
family. And now as a 40-ish, underemployed
TV writer, shes upsetting the family again.
After a decade clean shes slipped. No one
is quite sure why. Maybe its because her

beloved dog Love Child was just killed by the


neighbors Rottweiler, or was it the Ativan
she popped for sleeplessness that set her on
a destructive bender? Molly strikes it up to
relapse just being a part of ongoing recovery.
Whatever the reason, her supportive and
serene wife wants it xed fast.
Soon on the scene are Mollys sisters
Becky (Amy McWilliams), a cash-strapped
mother of two whose dream is to own her
own home; and Linda (Emily Townley), an
exacting print journalist who is also gay.
Its Linda who both knows Molly the best
and resents her the most, and Linda who
ultimately takes Molly and the play to its
darkest corners.
Also on hand are Lois (Naomi Jacobson),
Mollys tightly wound mother, and
Walter (Leo Erickson), Mollys ostensibly
agreeable but self-centered father
who wants to help but has his limits.
Rounding out the crowd is Sondra (Gladys
Rodriguez), Walters casually racist and
not terribly bright second wife of 30 years
who believes a good moisturizer and a
strong joint are the key to contentment.
Its a dysfunctional group, and not
surprisingly when gathered under the
same roof Tony Ciseks open concept
design worthy of an HGTV reveal things
go horribly awry.
Some parts of the play feel a little
improbable.
Barring
an
intensive
care situation or a formally organized
intervention, it seems unlikely the farung family would quickly rush to L.A.
Also, it seems odd that this gathering
marks Lois and Sondras rst meeting.
In three decades youd think they might
have crossed paths.
But despite the plotline improbabilities,
the family dynamics ring true. The humor,
the frustration, ghts and resentments
are familiar and the cast is excellent.
BAD DOG
Through Oct. 25
Olney Theatre Center
2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road
Olney, MD
$42-65
301-924-3400
Olneytheatre.org

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

FI L M

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 3 9

Freeheld nds lesbians


ghting cancer and court
By BRIAN T. CARNEY
Freeheld is a moving lm that reminds us
both how far we have come and how hard
we still have to ght to protect our rights.
Freeheld, which opens Friday, Oct. 9
at Landmark E Street Cinema, is about the
real-life struggle of Laurel Hester (Julianne
Moore), a decorated but deeply closeted
New Jersey police detective, to assign
her pension benets to her domestic
partner Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) after
she is diagnosed with terminal Stage IV
lung cancer. After the Freeholders (the
elected county commissioners for Ocean
County) turn down her request, Hester
and Andree decide to ght the decision as
ercely as they are ghting the disease.
They are aided by an unlikely duo:
Hesters straight and straight-laced police
partner Dane Wells (Michael Shannon) and
gay rights activist Steven Goldstein (Steve
Carell), the passionate founder of Garden
State Equality. In the end, after a lot of

protests, speeches and political wrangling,


the Freeholders decide to allow registered
domestic partners to be recognized as
pension beneciaries. Hester was present
in the courtroom for the nal vote, but
died the following month.
Peter Sollett (Nick and Noras Innite
Playlist and Raising Victor Vargas)
directs with a condent and steady hand.
He smoothly blends the movies many
moods, matching Hester and Andrees
romantic love story with their wrenching
medical melodrama, as well as the
fascinating dramas of the police squad
room, the behind-closed-door battles
of the Freeholders and the Goldsteins
brassy activism. Cinematographer Maryse
Alberti makes the Jersey shore shine,
capturing dreamy sunlit beach scenes,
gritty drug busts, boardrooms and
hospital rooms, and ordinary domestic
life with remarkable air and style.
Based on the 2007 Academy Awardwinning short documentary by Cynthia
Wade, the script by openly gay lmmaker
Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) is solid,
ecient and respectful. He eortlessly
condenses the arc of their relationship

PHOTO BY PHIL CARUSO; COURTESY OF LIONS GATE

JULIANNE MOORE and ELLEN PAGE in Freeheld, a satisfying and capably made lesbian-themed
drama based on a true story.

and court battle (Hester and Andree met in


1999 and Hester died in 2006) into a tight
screenplay that honors a heroic struggle
without becoming weepy or preachy.
Moments of deep emotion are leavened
with moments of laughter and scenes of
political machinations and the shifting
moods are beautifully captured in the
surprisingly subtle score by Hans Zimmer.
But, the heart of Freeheld is in
the ne performances by a generous
ensemble cast. Julianne Moore is
luminous as the reluctant activist. Her
bravery in catching crooks is matched
by her bravery in ghting cancer and her
passion for justice (for herself and others)
is visceral. She embraces the many quirky

facets of Hesters character: her pride in


being a decorated detective, her instinct
to control and protect Andree, the deep
fear that keeps her in the closet, and the
insistence that she is ghting for equality
and not marriage. Moores outstanding
acting (and shaved head) may mean
another Oscar nomination.
Ellen Page turns in a strong quiet
performance as Hesters younger lover
who gets swept up in personal and political
passions beyond her control. Her work
is limited by the somewhat underwritten
character, but she brings a moving raw
passion to the role. Page, who also was a
producer of the movie, says working on the
lm inuenced her decision to come out.

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON


VISIT US AT CFA.GMU.EDU

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

TICKETS

Turtle Island Quartet

with special guest Cyrus Chestnut

Jelly, Rags, & Monk


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10 AT 8 P.M.
Ragtime meets the string quartet for a lively journey through the
history of ragtime music in a genre-crossing concert revealing the
sweet, soulful connections between the two. Grammy Awardwinning Turtle Island Quartet collaborates with acclaimed
jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut to explore ragtime music from its
beginnings with the music of Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin
to the modern genius of Thelonious Monk.
$48, $41, $29

888-945-2468 OR CFA.GMU.EDU

ff = Family Friendly performances that are most suitable for families with younger children

Aquila Theatre
Romeo and Juliet

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11 AT 7 P.M


William Shakespeares immortal tale of the star-crossed lovers
falling victim to family hatred is brought to our stage by the
acclaimed British-American troupe. Filled with romance, hope,
and tragedy and Shakespeares delicate prose Romeo and
Juliet has saddened but also pleased the hearts of theater lovers
for centuries. Beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing, and
crystalline in effect. (New Yorker)
$44, $37, $26

Located on the Fairfax campus, six miles west of Beltway


exit 54 at the intersection of Braddock Road and Rt. 123.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

40 OCT OB E R 09, 2015

O U T & A BO U T

October 24-25, 2015


Washington Convention Center

AMPLE
S H OP.SIP.S
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PHILLIPS

Join
Giada De Laurentiis
and

Michael Symon

Phillips exhibit explores black male identity


The Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., N.W.) presents Question Bridge: Black
Males, a documentary art installation thats on display as of this week.
The exhibit has one participant ask a question directly to the camera and
another participant later answers the question directly to the camera. Questions
range from race, sexuality and more. The exhibit will also include a Join the
Conversation segment where guests will be asked questions and they can write
and share their responses in the gallery. There is some LGBT content in the
exhibit. Adult tickets are $12, student tickets are $10, senior tickets are $10 and
members and visitors under 18 are free. It runs through January 3.
For more details, visit phillipscollection.org.

VIP Meet and Greets

WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Remembering Mame

Grand Tasting

The Academy of Washington presents


Love, Love, Love: A Celebration of Life
for Carl Rizzi and Mame Dennis at Town
(2009 8th St., N.W.) on Saturday, Oct. 10
at 5 p.m.
Rizzi, whose drag performance name
was Mame Dennis, helped form the
Academy Awards of Washington in
1973. He was chosen president for life
and served as president from 1973 until
his death in February. During the 1980s
AIDS epidemic, Rizzi organized numerous
fundraiser eorts from the Academy for
organization such as Whitman Walker.
Doorsopenat4:30p.m.Formoreinformation,
visit theacademyofwashingtoninc.com.

BBQ Bash
Book Signings
Chef Demos
Beer, Wine & Spirits Garden
Culinary Classes
PHOTO COURTESY OF ISBIN

Shopping
and More!

Tickets on sale at
MetroCookingDC.com

By MARIAH COOPER

Sharon Isbin times four


Out classical guitarist Sharon Isbin has four performances in the region this
weekend.
She will perform Rodrigos Concierto de Aranjuez on a program of classics
from France and Spain with the National Symphony Orchestra onThursday, Oct.
8 at 7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 9 at 11:30 a.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. at the
Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) in the concert hall.
Tickets are $15-89 for the 90-minute show. Ludovic Morlot will conduct. Isbin
is standing in for Milos Karadaglic who was scheduled to perform the work but
strained a muscle in his hand. Details at kennedy-center.org.
Isbin will also perform on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. in the music room at
the Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., N.W.). This show is sold out. Details at
phillipscollection.org.

Alston House
benet is Oct. 15
The Wanda Alston House hosts its
second annual fall reception at Orrick
Herrington and Sutclie (1152 15th St.,
N.W.) on Thursday, Oct. 15 from 6-9 p.m.
Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams
will attend. Hors doeuvres and cocktails
will be served. Event tickets are $50, Host
Committee tickets are $200 and Co-Chair
tickets are $500. Wanda Alston House is
a program in the District that provides
housing and other living services to
homeless LGBT youth.
For
more
details,
visit
wandaalstonfoundation.org.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

M USI C

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 4 1

High-prole guests cant


salvage mediocre Caracal
By CHRIS GERARD
The talented young British brothers
Howard and Guy Lawrence (21 and 24
respectively) earned instant acclaim for their
2013 debut album Settle, an invigorating
electro-pop marvel featuring a number of
terric guest appearances and some of the
best dance pop in recent memory.
Guy Lawrence told PrideSource in 2014
that he and his brother, although straight,
were inspired by house and garage music
in the gay clubs they visited in their native
UK. Those exhilarating sounds informed
their stellar debut, which was hailed by
critics and was widely recognized as one
of 2013s best albums. They play D.C.s
EchoStage Oct. 21-22.
Numerous tracks from Settle became
club favorites, including in prominent gay
venues, and they were even rumored to be
working with Madonna on her last album
(which never came to fruition). Anticipation
for the sequel to Settle has been sky-high.
Unfortunately, their eagerly anticipated
follow-up album Caracal, released Sept.
25, falls well short of the lofty standards set
by their debut.
Trouble begins right away with the
opening track Nocturnal, feature
phenom the Weeknd on vocals. Its bland
and repetitive mid-tempo electro-R&B
with very little in the way of a memorable
melodic hook. Disclosure puts Nocturnal
in the prominent opening slot, but the
song itself is no more than average at
best. It sounds like a Ne-Yo throwaway
and drags on for nearly seven tedious
minutes. Not a good omen.
Speaking of omens, the big reunion
with Sam Smith, the openly gay British
superstar who exploded on the
international pop scene with his feature
on Disclosures Latch from Settle, is

PHOTO COURTESY OF PMR/ISLAND

Despite an impressive guest roster, Disclosure ounders on sophomore album.

entitled Omen. Unfortunately it lacks


the immediacy and excitement of Latch
and seems little more than an excuse
for the team to get back together. The
melody is forgettable and the track slinks
away forgotten as soon as the last beats
stutter out.
Holding On, featuring esteemed
jazz and R&B vocalist Gregory Porter, is
surprisingly limp and dated. Its beats and
production tricks would have sounded
fresh perhaps in 1997. Hourglass, with
the talented New York-based R&B duo
Lion Babe on vocals, has a nice groove
and some terric vocals. Lion Babe adds
some elegance and charm, but again the
song is betrayed by insipid electronic

rhythms that dont have much punch.


The big guest appearance is New Zealand
pop star Lorde, who adds her breathy
vocals to the track Magnets. Its stripped
down electro-pop similar to what Lorde
oered up on her debut album. Its one of
the better moments on Caracal, which
isnt saying a whole lot. Its clear the Howard
brothers were intent on emulating Lordes
sound and while they do an adequate job,
its also faintly pointless. The track might
have been good enough to make the cut
on Lordes debut album maybe but it
certainly would not have been a standout.
As a high-powered collaboration between
two exciting and inuential new artists, it
underwhelms.

Miguel is the other high-prole guest


appearance, and his vocals on Good
Intentions are ne, but the song itself is
yet another thats just average. Disclosure
brings in some of the most exciting pop
artists around and does basically nothing
with them. These songs could be sung
by anybody and would have the same
(minimal) impact. Theyre not horrible;
just a huge letdown after Settle.
Artistic exploration is ne. The
downside is that sometimes it reveals
artistic limitations. While their debut
was exciting and bold, Caracal feels
uncertain and cautious. But theyre
young. Hopefully more exciting things are
yet to come from this promising duo.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

4 2 O CTO B ER 0 9 , 2015

A RT S & CU LT U RE

HOT HITS & HIDDEN JEWELS


From CultureCapital.com
YOUR LINK TO THE ARTS IN METRO D.C.

Dance Theatre of Harlem


Oct 9-10. Washington Performing Arts at Sidney Harman Hall.
202-785-9727. washingtonperformingarts.org.
The historic ensemble returns with a programfeaturing the D.C. premiere
of Coming Together, withchoreography by European choreographer Nacho
Duatoand music by American composer Frederic Rzewski.

Megan Hilty
Oct 9. Wolf Trap.
877-965-3872. wolftrap.org.

The acclaimed vocalist and actress from Wicked, 9 to 5: The Musical, Gentlemen
Prefer Blondes, and NBCs hit musical drama Smash, performs theatrical
favorites and songs o her debut album, It Happens All the Time.

Patti Smith
Oct 9. GW Lisner Auditorium.
202-994-6800. lisner.gwu.edu.

In M Train, Smith visits eighteen places that have special meaning for her, from
the Greenwich Village caf where she begins her days to the Michigan home
she shared with her late husband and on to the memorials and grave sites of
artists that have empowered and inspired her.

Bad Dog
Thru Oct 25. Olney Theatre.
301-924-3400. olneytheatre.org.

After ten years sober, Molly Drexler falls o the wagon and drives her Prius
through her living room wall. With a hole in the house as big as the hole in their
hearts, Mollys family descends on the house for an intervention that doesnt
play out the way anyone thought it would.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON PERFORMING ARTS

Get Out More!

THEATRE
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Thru Oct 25. Shear Madness. Ongoing.
Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
kennedy-center.org.
Shocked & Amazed: NY Variety AllStars. Oct 10. AMP. 301-581-5100.
ampbystrathmore.com.
Cake O. Thru Nov 22. Girlstar. Oct 13Nov 15. Signature Theatre.
703-820-9771. signature-theatre.org.
Queens Girl in the World. Thru Oct 11.
Theater J. 202-518-9400. theaterj.org.
Chimerica. Thru Oct 18. Animal. Thru
Oct 25. Studio Theatre. 202-332-3300.
studiotheatre.org.
Stay Awake. Thru Oct 12. Atlas.
202-399-7993. atlasarts.org.
Aquila Theatre: Romeo and Juliet. Oct
11. GMU Center for the Arts.
888-945-2468. cfa.gmu.edu.
600 Highway Men: Employee of the
Year. Oct 9-Oct 10. Intimate Apparel.
Oct 9-Oct 17. Clarice Smith.
301-405-2787.
claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.
The Guard. Thru Oct 18. Fords Theatre.
800-982-2787. fords.org.

Jason+: Jeremy Denk and Jason Moran.


Oct 9. Jeremy Denk, piano. Oct 11.
WPA. Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
washingtonperformingarts.org.
Turtle Island Quartet. Oct 10. GMU
Center for the Arts. 888-945-2468.
cfa.gmu.edu.
Emerson String Quartet. Oct 10.
Smithsonian Associates. Museum
of Natural History. 202-633-3030.
smithsonianassociates.org.
Rhythm Caf: Tribute to the Sounds of
Santana. Oct 10. Smithsonian Anacostia.
202-633-4820. anacostia.si.edu.
White Ford Bronco. Oct 9. Daley. Oct
10. Panteon Rococo. Oct 11. Dread
Mar-I. Oct 13. Mac DeMarco. Oct
14. Howard Theatre. 202-803-2899.
thehowardtheatre.com.
Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet.
Oct 10. BlackRock. 240-912-1058.
blackrockcenter.org.

MUSEUMS

Velocity Dance Festival. Oct 15-17.


WPA. Sidney Harman Hall. 202-785-9727.
washingtonperformingarts.org.
Rioult. Oct 9. GMU Center for the Arts.
888-945-2468. cfa.gmu.edu.
DC Casineros & Ernesto Gato Gatell y
su Banda. Oct 10-11. Dance Place.
202-269-1600. danceplace.org.
Nyam chiem & Octavias Brood: Riding
the Ox Home. Oct 15-Oct 16. Clarice
Smith. 301-405-2787.
claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.

National Gallery of Art. Vermeers


Woman in Blue Reading a Letter from
the Rijksmuseum. Thru Dec 1. The Serial
Impulse at Gemini G.E.L.. Thru Feb 7.
202-737-4215. nga.gov.
National Archives. Spirited
Republic. Thru Jan 10. 202-357-5000.
archivesfoundation.org.
Museum of Women in the Arts.
Vanessa Bells Hogarth Press Designs.
Thru Nov 13. 202-783-5000. nmwa.org.
Smithsonian Anacostia. How the Civil
War Changed Washington. Thru Nov 15.
202-633-4820. anacostia.si.edu.
National Geographic. Indiana Jones.
Thru Jan 3. 202-857-7000. nglive.org.
Sandy Spring Museum. Two for
One. Thru Oct 25. 301-774-0022.
sandyspringmuseum.org.

MUSIC

GALLERIES

Jackie Evancho. Oct 10. Under the


Streetlamp. Oct 14. Ronn McFarlane &
Mindy Rosenfeld. Oct 15. Lisa Fischer
and Grand Baton. Oct 11. Strathmore.
301-581-5100. strathmore.org.
Herms String Quartet. Oct 11.
National Gallery of Art. 202-737-4215.
nga.gov.
Not So Silent Cinemas VAMPYR. Oct
9. Arlington Cultural Aairs. Rosslyn
Spectrum Theatre. 703-228-1850.
arlingtonarts.org.
Naughty Professor. Oct 9. Strathmore
Jazz Quartet. Oct 15. AMP.
301-581-5100. ampbystrathmore.com.
A Red Note Evening. Oct 10. GW Lisner
Auditorium. 202-994-6800.
lisner.gwu.edu.
Chanson Medieval. Oct 9-11. Folger
Consort. Folger Theatre. 202-544-7077.
folger.edu.
NSO: Ludovic Morlot, conductor: Miloa
Karadaglic, classical guitar. Thru Oct
10. Organ Recital: William Neil. Oct 14.
Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
kennedy-center.org.

Strathmore. Women Chefs: Artists in


the Kitchen. Thru Nov 8. 301-581-5100.
strathmore.org.
Gallery Neptune & Brown. Picasso to
Kentridge. Thru Oct 18. 202-986-1200.
neptuneneart.com.
WPA at 1200 First St. NE. Lobby Project:
David Bellard. Thru Nov 27. wpadc.org.
The Art League Gallery. Sheila
Harrington. Thru Nov 1. 703-683-1780.
theartleague.org.
Zenith Sculpture Space. Figuratively
Speaking. Thru Jan 9. zenithgallery.com.
Target Gallery. Angel Soldier Dance
Sublime. Thru Oct 18. 703-838-4565.
torpedofactory.org.
Arts Club of Washington. October 2015
Art Exhibition. Thru Oct 31.
202-331-7282. artsclubofwashington.org.
Robert Brown Gallery. Flattening
the Form. Thru Oct 17. 202-338-0353.
robertbrowngallery.com.
Fisher Art Gallery. J.T. Kirkland and John
James Anderson. Thru Oct 25.
703-534-5726. schlesingercenter.com.

DANCE

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

M US I C

OC T OB E R 09, 2015 43

Unbreakable is Janet Jacksons 11th studio album.

Unbreakable worth the wait,


delivering diverse sounds
from soul to country
By KEVIN NAFF
kna@washblade.com
I woke up in Heaven in the morning/
With the biggest smile upon my face.
Those are the opening lines to Janet
Jacksons infectious song Night from the
irresistible new album Unbreakable out
today from her own label, Rhythm Nation
Records. But those lyrics also describe the
feeling this morning for many Janet fans,
who awoke knowing that her rst album of
new material in seven years was waiting.
And make no mistake: This album is for
the diehard fans who stuck by her through
the Super Bowl asco, her beloved
brother Michaels death, breakups,
blacklisting and more challenges that
befell Janet over the past decade. The
opening song Unbreakable is a soulful
tribute to her fans. She sings, The world
cant break down the connection/Cause
our love is divine/and its unbreakable.
So it turns out the albums title is not
Janet bragging that shes unbreakable;
rather, its a heartfelt fan appreciation.
The album feels like a natural companion
to her introspective masterpiece Velvet
Rope. The arrangements are diverse,
from a spare piano accompanying Janets
whisper smooth voice on After the Fall to
the house-infused Night to the rollicking
dance smash BURNITUP! featuring
Missy Elliott and her memorable rap
(kitty kat, meow, meow, meow, meow,
meow) to a country-inuenced ballad
Lessons Learned. Its a more reective
and mature Janet, singing mostly about
love but also loss, on the poignant Broken
Hearts Heal, a tribute to Michael who
died in 2009. Life feels so empty/I miss
you much, she sings, while reminiscing
about dancing and doing chores with her
big brother. Its a tearjerker.
On Shoulda Known Better she reects
on 1989s iconic Rhythm Nation 1814 in
which she eschewed pop confections for
socially conscious themes. Revisiting that
era, she sings, I had this great epiphany/
And rhythm nation was the dream/I guess
next time Ill know better. Shes coming
to terms with growing older and realizing

that 20-somethings dont have it all gured


out after all. She wanted to rally a nation
of like-minded individuals to overcome
social ills like racism, bigotry and poverty.
Twenty-ve years later, those problems
persist. But Janet still wants to ght,
singing Part of the revolution/We wont
accept excuses/We tolerate no abuses.
Though she realizes now that change
comes slower than she once thought.
She wisely closes the album on an upbeat
note, the giddy Gon B Alright, which is
clearly inuenced by The Jackson 5. After so
many years ghting to make it on her own
and outdo her brothers, its refreshing to
hear Janet embrace her familys legacy and
give a shout-out to them.
The only aw in this stellar and musically
diverse collection is that it runs a bit long
and a couple of tracks could be axed without
sacricing the ow and overall vibe. Take
Me Away, for example, has Janet imploring
her lover to Take me away from here/To
somewhere the air is clear. Its schmaltzy
and out of step with the rest of the writing
on the album. But thats a small quibble.
Thankfully, Janet has moved beyond the
graphic and sometimes unfortunate lyrics
from previous albums 2006s 20 Y.O.
and 2008s Discipline, in which she sang
about her spot and rst-day period.
She is joyfully reunited (at last!) with Jimmy
Jam and Terry Lewis, aided occasionally
by Dem Jointz and the album feels like it
was years in the making and well worth
the wait. The fact that Janet is not in the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ought to be a
national scandal. Shes proven yet again
that she can sing, dance, write, inspire
and sell out arenas on an extensive world
tour all at age 49. Artists from Beyonce
to Britney, Pink to Usher, FKA Twigs to
Tinashe have cited Janet as a primary
inuence. (Beyonce even dressed as Janet
for Halloween last year.) Shes sold an
estimated 160 million records, won every
award imaginable and survived the racist
backlash to her Super Bowl performance
to reemerge as a relevant and powerful
voice more than 30 years into her career.
Unbreakable is a contradiction at
once sophisticated and silly; danceable
and melancholy; arming and haunting.
But Janet makes it work and delivers her
best album since 1997s Velvet Rope.
As Missy Elliott reminds us in her rap,
Miss Jackson, she wear the crown.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

44 OC T OB E R 09, 2015

SP O RT I N I N D . C.

PHOTO COURTESY WIKIMEDIA

Ukrainian tennis champ SERGIY STAKHOVSKY drew ire for anti-gay comments he made this
summer at Wimbledon.

Members rally against


anti-gay remarks
By KEVIN MAJOROS

When Athlete Ally was founded in late


2011, one of its missions was to open
a dialogue in the sports community
to address the rampant homophobia,
transphobia and gender inequalities that
are pervasive in sports culture.
One of its members rst marks on
the sports community came from the
creation of Athlete Ally ambassadors
which consists of a stable of straight and
LGBT athletes standing in unity to support
the LGBT sports movement.
The
ambassadors
range
from
professional,
Olympic,
collegiate
and
A d v e R t i s e i n A m e R i c A s P R e m i e R L G B t P u B L i c At i o n s t o d Ay !
amateur athletes and represent a
multitude of sports. They have become
the watchdogs of the sports community.
In July at Wimbledon, Ukrainian tennis
player Sergiy Stakhovsky came under re
Spending in Americas LGBT
from the Womens Tennis Association for
media is at a record high
anti-gay comments he reportedly made
of $381.4 million, up 18.2%
from 2012. Circulation and
during an interview.
readership of LGBT media are
According to the Womens Tennis
also up a healthy 15.1%*
Association (WTA), Stakhovsky is quoted
Now thats just SUPER!
by Ukrainian sports website XSport.ua as
saying: On the WTA tour, almost every
other player is a lesbian. Can you imagine
half of them. So I for sure wont send
my daughter to play tennis.
During the interview, he also stated
that he is certain there are no closeted
gay men in the top 100. After he arrived
A D V E R T I in
S INew
N G York
P R for
O Othe
F U.S. Open last month,
ISSUE DATE
SALES REPRESENTATIVE
he was confronted by multiple media
outlets in regards to his comments.
REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of
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If there are 100 guys, or 128 guys, I
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of
publication.Brown
naff
pitts
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omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is
mean, if somebodys dierent, he falls
responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users
GN
can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or
EVISIONS
any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any
out, doesnt he? said Stakhovsky, 29 and
copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair
/LOGO REVISIONS
competition, defamation, invasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation,
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towels are naked, yeah, you denitely
would see something dierent, no?
One of the things that were disturbing
about Stakhovskys comments is that
he serves on the Association of Tennis
*2013 Gay Press Report
Professionals Player Council.
None of us were happy with what
he said, Council President Eric Butorac
said during the U.S. Open. After a lot of
BAy AREA REPoRTER I BAy WINdoWS I BETWEEN ThE LINES I dALLAS VoICE I GA VoICE
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the council. We didnt release a statement,

Stronger than ever

but I think in the future we would.


Four of the tennis ambassadors
from Athlete Ally stepped forward
with comments of their own about
Stakhovskys remarks.
Former mens tour star and Athlete Ally,
James Blake, said, As a former ATP player
and father of two amazing daughters, I
would be thrilled if they followed in the
footsteps of inspirational greats like Martina
Navratilova and Billie Jean King. Stakhovskys
comments are out of line, out of touch,
and stand in opposition to the values that
tennis taught me.And Stakhovsky is kidding
himself if he believes there are no gay tennis
players in the (mens) top 100. I hope that
if any players inside or outside the top 100
decide to come out, they will be welcomed
and supported.
In an interview last month with USA
Today Sports, former world No. 1 and
Athlete Ally Andy Roddick dismissed the
comments, saying Stakhovsky did not
speakfor the tour as a whole.
Im not going to let one players
comments dene my sport as a whole. I
think thats a little nave, Roddicksaid. Im
certainly not going to let someone express
their views and let it delete the history
of our sport and what were proud of.
We accept and celebrate our champions
regardless of who they are as people.
Rennae Stubbs, a former doubles
standout, current ESPN commentator and
Athlete Ally, said Stakhovskys comments
didnt deserve a wide audience.
Weve had a lot more women come
out, so we have an environment of
respect, Stubbs told USA Today Sports
in a phone interview. The ATP hasnt had
that. It would take aJason Collins, a brave
person to come out and be who they are
comfortably. I would guarantee you that
85 percent of the guys in that locker room
would treat that person with total respect.
As someone who was out for half of their
career, there was never a time in the locker
room where I thought about the person
who was next to me, Stubbs said. Its an
ignorant statement. Its completely incorrect
to say half of the womens tour is gay.
Thats completely wrong. To me, its crazy
that hes still on the ATP council. Those are
inammatory and outrageous comments.
CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

A D V I CE

Gay newlyweds tired


of getting hit on

MICHAEL RADKOWSKY, Psy.D. is a licensed


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

MICHAEL,
My husband and I have been married
for three years. Yet were frequently hit on
by strangers, acquaintances, casual and
close friends.
We both wear wedding rings. Even when
politely told no, some guys are persistent and
way too touchy. Last week a fellow volunteer
at a gay organization were involved in made
a blatantly sexual overture to both of us while

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 4 5

we were chatting after a meeting. This is not


the rst time this sort of thing has occurred.
My husband travels frequently for work and
every time he is out of town, a friend of mine
suggests we hook up. Ive told him repeatedly
to cut it out; his response is that hes joking and
that I shouldnt take him seriously when hes
drunk. But then of course it happens again
and again. Weve both gotten similar proposals
from other friends (including couples), some
of whom poke fun at our being monogamous.
After all the ghting for marriage equality,
I think its nuts that a lot of the gay men I
interact with dont actually seem to respect
marriage, my marriage included. Lately Im
getting more and more pissed o and want
to tell these people to grow up and develop
some sexual boundaries.
But I also want to have friends and be part
of the community, and I denitely dont want
to be so angry. Whats wrong with gay men?
MICHAEL REPLIES:
It would be terric if more gay men
were respectful of other gay mens sexual
boundaries. I hear complaints frequently from
gay clients about unwanted advances and
even outright harassment.

Theres a sort of Wild West, anything goes


atmosphere around sex in the gay community:
Some men are monogamous, some are on
Scru 24/7, many are somewhere in between.
With no one standard, there will be guys who
tell themselves that they can be as forward
or even pushy as they like.
We have a long history of being sexual
outlaws. Lacking much experience with visible,
societally approved committed relationships,
were still guring out who and how to be.
In just a few generations, weve gone from
hoping to nd another horny guy somewhere
for a furtive encounter to New York Times
wedding announcements and legal marriage.
Thats a big jump.
So it makes sense that some guys would
view you as fair game for sex simply because
youre gay. And since a lot of gay men dont have
monogamous relationships, some guys may
think or hope that rules around monogamy
dont apply when theyre interested in you, or
in any coupled guys.
To top it o, married men are often
especially appealing to those who like breaking
boundaries and forbidden fruit.
What can you do?
Youre not going to change the gay male
world singlehandedly, but you can certainly
speak up when others disrespect your
marriage. While its a pain to be an activist,

thats your best hope for changing the way


things are and how youre treated. Thats
how we accomplished marriage equality:
by refusing to accept the straight worlds
dismissal of our relationships.
While I get that the two of you dont want to
spend all your time giving hell to people who
come on to you, you will have to do so at times
if you are to get some of these folks to cut it
out. In addition, reconsider where and with
whom you spend time. I dont know where
you typically hang out, but if there is a lot of
hooking up going on and a sexual vibe in the
air, expecting not to be hit on is a lost cause.
Likewise your friends who keep
propositioning you despite your telling them
to knock it o. How many times do you
want to say no before giving up on these
characters?
Keep in mind that despite your experiences,
there are plenty of gay men in this world who
do take no for an answer and who are happy
to respect other peoples boundaries. Going
forward, one of your tasks is to put some
eort into nding and befriending them.
Finally, heres a bit of good news: It sounds
like you two are doing well at living according
to your own vision of whats right for you,
despite not getting much support. Doing so
is not an easy task, so congratulations on
staying strong.

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

4 6 O CTO B ER 0 9 , 2015

CA LE N D A R

E-mail calendar items to calendars@washblade.


com two weeks prior to your event. Space is limited so priority is given to LGBT-specic events
or those with LGBT participants. Recurring
events must be re-submitted each time.

MONDAY, OCT. 12
The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W..)
hosts coee drop-in hours this morning
from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT
community. Older LGBT adults can
come and enjoy complimentary coee
and conversation with other community
members. For more information, visit
thedccenter.org.
Us Helping Us (3636 Georgia Ave.,
N.W.) holds a support group for gay black
men to discuss topics that aect them,
share perspectives and have meaningful
conversations. For details, visit uhupil.org.

TODAY
Not So Silent Cinema presents a
screening of Vampyr with a live score
at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (1611
North Kent St., Arlington, Va.) tonight
at 8 p.m. Openly gay 20th century actor
Baron Nicolas Niki De Gunsberg stars
in the lm. Karl Theodor Dryer directed
the 1932 lm. It tells the story of a man
who rents a room and witnesses strange
events. Admission is free but tickets are
available. For more information, visit
arlingtonarts.org.
Ricky Martin brings his One World
Tour to EagleBank Arena (4400 University
Dr., Fairfax, Va.) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets
range from $40.50-$126. For more details,
visit eaglebankarena.com.
Margaret Cho performs her psyCHO
Tour at Warner Theatre (513 13th
St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. Cho will be
selling 100 tickets to help benet Brother
Help Thyself at $87.50 each. The ticket
includes admittance to the event and
the opportunity to meet Cho and pose
for a photo. For more information, visit
brotherhelpthyself.net.
Women in Their 20s, a social
discussion group for LBT and all women
interested in women, meets today at
the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.)
from 8-9:30 p.m. All welcome to join. For
details, visit thedccenter.org.
An LGB support group meets today
from 10-11:30 a.m. at 16220 S. Frederick
Rd., Gaithersburg, Md., for individuals
in Montgomery County. The group
will discuss coming out of marriage,
homophobia, parenting issues, nding
intimate relationships, LGB resources
in the suburbs and more. For more
information, visit thedccenter.org.
The National LGBTQ Task Force and the
League of United Latin American Citizens
have an event this evening from 5-7 p.m.
to honor Hispanic Heritage Month and
LGBT History Month. It will be held at
the Task Forces headquarters at 1325
Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 600.
Guests will celebrate recent victories
and discuss the work that lies ahead to
secure full equality for all. To register,
visit thetaskforce.org.

SATURDAY, OCT. 10
Blues singer Mud Morganeld
performs at Publick Playhouse (5445
Landover Rd., Cheverly, Md.) tonight at 8
p.m. Morganeld, son of Muddy Waters,
performs both classic and original blues
songs. General admission tickets are $30.
Student and senior tickets are $25. For
more details, visit arts.pgparks.com.
Mixtape, a gay dance party, is at Town
(2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight from 11 p.m.-

TUESDAY, OCT. 13
SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts a
rap group, a support group for LGBT
youth, today from 5-6:30 p.m. For more
information, visit smyal.org.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14
The Lambda Bridge Club meets
tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center
(721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No
reservations required and new comers
welcome. If you need a partner, call 202841-0279.
Metro D.C. PFLAG hosts a Queeroke
Night, an LGBT karaoke night, at Dupont
Italian Kitchen (1637 17th St., N.W.)
tonight from 9 p.m.-midnight. For more
details, visit facebook.com/metrodcpag.

THURSDAY, OCT. 15
PHOTO COURTESY OF POINTLESS THEATRE

Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana: the Carmen Miranda Story runs Oct. 15-Nov. 14 at Logan
Fringe Arts Space.

3 a.m. DJ Matt Bailer and DJ Shea Van


Horn will spin. Cover is $10. Admission is
limited to guests 21 and over. For more
information, visit towndc.com
The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) has
free and condential HIV testing today
from 4-7 p.m. Learn more about the HIV
Prevention Working Group, receive HIV
test results in 20 minutes and take free
items such as safe sex kits and condoms.
For more details, visit thedccenter.org.
Taste of D.C. is on 675 Pennsylvania
Ave. today and Sunday from noon-7 p.m.
Food from more than 50 of restaurants
in the District will be available to sample.
There will also be more than 50 beers
and more than 50 wines to taste test.
Entertainment will be provided on
multiple stages throughout the street.
Entry is $20. For more information, visit
facebook.com/taste.of.dc.

SUNDAY, OCT. 11
Gay Day at the National Mall presents
Gay Day at the Smithsonians Natural
History Museum (Constitution Ave.,
at 10th St. N.W.) today from 11 a.m.-5

p.m. in celebration of National Coming


Out Day. The event is free. For more
details, search Gay Day at the National
Mall on Facebook.
Story District and Capital Pride present
Out and About, a collection of true
stories about coming out from local
LGBT storytellers, at Malmaison (3401
K St., N.W.) at 7:30 p.m. Storytellers
include Mike Boyd, Alex Brewer, Cristina
Calvillo-Rivera and more. There will also
be an open mic story telling segment at
the conclusion of the show. The event
is in honor of National Coming Out Day.
Tickets are $25. For more information,
visit facebook.com/storydistrict.
Perrys (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts
its weekly sunday drag brunch today
from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95
for an all-you-can-eat buet. For more
details, visit perrysadamsmorgan.com.
Nellies Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.)
hosts a drag brunch today with one
show at 10:30 a.m. and another at 12:30
p.m. Brunch buet is $26 and the rst
mimosa or Bloody Mary is free. For more
information and to purchase tickets, visit
nelliesdragbrunch.eventbrite.com.

Pointless Theatre presents Gimme a


Band, Gimme a Banana: The Carmen
Miranda Story at Logan Fringe Arts
Space (1358 Florida Ave., N.E.) in the
Trinidad Theatre tonight at 8 p.m.
through Nov. 14. The play tells the story
of Brazilian performer Carmen Miranda.
Tickets for tonights performance are
$20. Tickets for other performance times
range from $20-$25. For more details,
visit capitalfringe.org.
SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts
Womens Leadership Institute, a group
for LBT women and their straight allies
ages 13-21 to discuss female sexuality,
relationships and womens rights today
from 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit
smyal.org.
Bachelors Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.)
holds a happy hour today from 5-7:30
p.m. All drinks are half price. There will
be pool, video gaming systems and cards.
Admission is $5 after 9 p.m. DJ Bling, DJ
Freaky and DJ Tim-Nice will play music
for the night. For more information, visit
bachelorsmill.com.
Nellies Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.)
hosts its weekly Beat the Clock Happy
Hour tonight from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Drink
specials start at $2 and increase by a
dollar each hour. For more information,
visit nelliessportsbar.com.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

BO OK S

OC T OB E R 09, 2015 47

ELVELD PHOTO BY MARIA FERNANDA; SEGAL PHOTO BY PETER LIEN

KERRY ELEVELD says LGBT progress in recent years has been so important, she had to chronicle
it. MARK SEGAL says colleagues urged him to share his rst-hand experiences of early gay history.

LGBT writers chronicle


progress in two new books
By MARIAH COOPER
LGBT rights have been fought for in
many dierent ways over recent decades
from grassroots eorts to riots, but two
LGBT journalists have made the pen their
weapon of choice.
Mark Segal and Kerry Eleveld have
both released their own books this
month chronicling dierent parts of gay
rights history. Segals And Then I Danced:
Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality and
Elevelds Dont Tell Me to Wait: How the
Fight for Gay Rights Changed America
and Transformed Obamas Presidency
can both be found on Amazon.
Segal, founder and publisher of the
Philadelphia Gay News, says many
people had asked him to write a book
for years. They thought he had a story
to tell and should share it. Segals story,
a rsthand account of the Stonewall
riots, was that he was a teenager inside
the Stonewall bar.
And Then I Danced chronicles what
Segal saw during the riots as well as
his other activist eorts for gay rights.
Encounters with celebrities such as Elton
John and Patti LaBelle are also included.
Segal says he thinks the most important
thing for an LGBT journalist chronicling the
gay rights movement is to present correct
information. He feels a lot of misconception
about the Stonewall riots is due to
misinformation. This led to his decision to
write about the riots from his perspective.
Make sure to get the facts correct,
Segal says. I was the only journalist
there. I tried to write the night as I saw it.
Eleveld, who has written for Advocate,
Hungton Post and the Atlantic, believes
that the amount of progress that had

been made for same-sex marriage


under the Obama administration was
so paramount that she had to chronicle
it. She put special emphasis on the
grassroots eorts that were involved in
the movement.
I was convinced that I had witnessed
something extraordinary, Eleveld says.
In terms of how much progress was
made on LGBT issues in such a short
amount of time and the possibility that
average citizens could really reach and
aect the highest levels of government
including the White House and the
president himself.
Dont Tell Me to Wait, which Eleveld
began writing a proposal for in 2012,
covers same-sex marriage and the reppeal
of Dont Ask Dont Tell. Eleveld says she
recognizes that there were multiple factors
that helped gay rights move forward but
that the grassroots activism was the special
sauce that helped things along and led to
the repeal of Dont Ask Dont Tell.
She says that once she moved away
from D.C. in 2013, she was able to fully
sit back and analyze the movement.
Collectively, Eleveld spent about a year
and a half writing and researching her
book. She spent her time interviewing
people she already knew and was familiar
with as well as those she had never met in
order to complete the project.
Eleveld hopes that progressive
readers and progressive Americans
take time to read her book. She thinks
that no matter what other cause someone
is ghting for, they can learn from the
grassroots activism that was used during
the Obama Administration to move gay
rights further along.
Whether they are interested in labor
or immigration or reproductive freedom
or black lives matter, I hope that they can
read this book and glean lessons from it,
Eleveld says.

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4 8 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

P H O T O S BY D A MI E N SA LA S

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League held its Jocktoberfest fundraiser at Town Danceboutique on Oct. 1. Special guests included Acting Under Secretary of the
Army Eric Fanning, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), former NFL wide receiver Dont Stallworth, and actress Melissa Fitzgerald.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

A R T S & EN TE RTA I NMENT

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 4 9

CAMP Rehoboth celebrates 25 years


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35

downtown Rehoboth located two blocks


from the boardwalk and beach. The
edgling group had a budget of about
$40,000 from money that it managed to
raise among early supporters.
It currently has a budget of just under
$1 million, with anticipated revenue of
$1.1 million for 2015. It has a sta of
ve full-time paid employees, including
Elkins, who serves as executive director.
The groups website proudly says there
are three full-time, unpaid volunteer sta
members, including Archibald, who play a
key role in its operations.
Since 1993, Archibald has served as
president of the CAMP Rehoboth Board of
Directors. He also serves as producer of
the groups annual Sundance fundraising
benet and as creative director for the
CAMP Rehoboth Community Center and
for Letters from CAMP Rehoboth.
Letters, as many call it, serves as the
groups newsletter-magazine that comes
out twice monthly during the summer
season and once a month during the o
season. The publication is lled with ads
from dozens of local businesses, turning
it into an important source of revenue
supporting CAMP Rehoboths multitude
of programs and activities.
The ad revenue from Letters; a separate
stream of revenue from more than
800 paid members/supporters, which
generates about $240,000 annually; and
money raised by fundraising events such
as Sundance helped the group purchase
a complex of several small and larger
buildings at the site where it rst rented
space in 1990.
The successful revenue generating
eorts also helped to fund construction
of the CAMP Rehoboth Community
Center, which now occupies the largest
building on the site and the attractively
designed courtyard that lies between
two larger buildings. The building across
the courtyard from the main CAMP
Rehoboth building and community center
is occupied by a home furnishing and
interior design gallery and shop, which
rents the space from CAMP Rehoboth,
generating further revenue.
Similarly, a small nancial services rm
and the lesbian-owned Loris Caf, which
occupy small annex buildings located in
the rear of the courtyard, also rent their
space from CAMP Rehoboth.
Adding yet another stream of revenue
is the community centers big room,
which can serve as a catering hall or
auditorium with a seating capacity of
about 90, and several smaller meeting
rooms, all of which are available for rent.
Archibald said the big room is regularly
rented to same-sex couples for their
wedding receptions.

STEVE ELKINS and MURRAY ARCHIBALD founded CAMP Rehoboth in 1990.


WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

Among CAMP Rehoboths largest


programs is CAMPsafe, which for close
to 20 years has provided HIV prevention
related services, including HIV testing and
counseling. Archibald said that although
it has catered mostly to gay and bisexual
men in the Rehoboth area and eastern
Sussex County everyone is welcome to
come in for its services.
In recent years the program has
expanded under a $120,000 contract from
the state health department to include
testing for other sexually transmitted
infections (STIs).
We do it for gonorrhea, chlamydia and
we have just been selected for doing the rst
rapid test for syphilis in the state of Delaware,
Elkins said. That will start in January.
The CAMPsafe program along with
a general mental health counseling
program is directed by Salvatore Seeley, a
licensed clinical social worker with a Ph.D.
in sexual health counseling, Elkins said.
Under Seeleys direction, the counseling
program usually involves up to six
counseling sessions for any individual
client after which Seeley refers them to a
clinical therapist if needed.
Seeleys reputation as a trusted
counselor in a wide range of areas,
including sexual health and couple
counseling, has spread throughout the
Sussex County area and even straight
couples sometimes drop in, said Elkins.
Occasionally its a straight couple
a husband or wife where one spouse
comes out and he counsels them on
that, Elkins said. It runs the full gamut.
Another program is the CAMP Rehoboth
Chorus, which has close to 90 members
and performs at venues in Rehoboth and
surrounding areas, including nursing
homes and community events.
Elkins serves as head of a longstanding
CAMP Rehoboth program that provides
LGBT-related sensitivity training for
Rehoboth police ocers and state park
police ocers assigned to the Rehoboth

area. Among other things, Elkins said


the trainings have resulted in improved
relations with police.
Some of the other programs, all of which
are listed on the site camprehoboth.com,
include a womens gold league; gallery
and performance space for artists;
advocacy for and education of local
residents, visitors and businesses on
LGBT issues; grief counseling; public WiFi
access; an annual womens conference
and womens weekend; and promotion
of non-prot local LGBT and general
community events.
Archibald noted that as CAMP
Rehoboths visibility increased over
the past 25 years, some in the LGBT
community called for it to become more
activist and aggressive in its advocacy
work similar to the model of the 1980s-era
AIDS direct action group ACT UP. He said
he and Elkins and the original corps of
supporters chose not go in that direction,
instead choosing a more conciliatory path.
To this day, the groups mission
statement published in each issue
of Letters says, among other things,
We seek to promote cooperation and
understanding among all people, as we
work to build safe, inclusive communities
with room for all.
Elkins said he believes that approach
has succeeded, helping to make Rehoboth
Beach a welcoming place for LGBT people
that continues to attract LGBT tourists
and new residents to the town.
The thing Ive always said is once we
actually started talking to one another we
all realized that we had the same desire
and thats to have a safe and inclusive
community, Elkins said. And once we
started talking about what we had in
common we nd we have a lot more in
common than we have dierence.
Elkins and Archibalds journey that
eventually led them to the founding of
CAMP Rehoboth began in Washington,
D.C., when the two met on Sept. 18, 1978,

and soon fell in love, as Elkins tells it.


Elkins had been working as a White
House administrator during the Carter
administration and Archibald, an artist
and painter, was helping a friend in
Washington deliver a painting to Elkins
oce in the Old Executive Oce Building,
which is part of the White House grounds.
She called and Steve cleared us all in,
Archibald recalls. And she said we have
to go get another one and he said well
Murrays going to stay here and Im going
to give him a tour of the White House.It
was all part of the compound, and he
walked me right into the Oval Oce that
day, said Archibald.
And that was it. From that time on it
was the two of us, he said.
When Carter left the White House
after losing his re-election bid in 1980 to
Ronald Reagan, Elkins, whose job was a
political appointment, took a new job as
sales manager at a computer company
in New York City, where he and Archibald
moved. After losing that job in the 1990s
when his company went bankrupt,
Elkins and Archibald decided to move
permanently to Rehoboth Beach, where
Elkins became general manager for the
Strand nightclub.
In 1993, two years after he and
Archibald founded CAMP Rehoboth
and served on its board as volunteers,
the board asked Elkins to become the
groups rst paid executive director, and
he accepted. That set in motion a 25-year
journey for him and Archibald that has
placed them largely at the center of CAMP
Rehoboths whirlwind of activities today.
Kristen Minor, now 33, was 13 when she
rst began grappling with the realization
that she might be a lesbian and ventured
into CAMP Rehoboth 20 years ago and
was greeted by Archibald, she writes in a
column in the current issue of Letters. She
tells of how she rst met Archibald and
Elkins at the church she and her family
attended in Rehoboth and how CAMP
Rehoboth became a refuge for her at a
time when she navigated the terrors of
middle and high school and was able to
meet a handful of other LGBT teenagers.
The inuence of a community
organization is sometime hard to
measure, she wrote. I dont know how
to measure that CAMP saved my life and
the lives of many of my friends; it was
our real life It Gets Better campaign far
before such a thing ever existed.
SILVER GALA
Friday, Oct. 9, 7-11 p.m.
Nassau Valley Vineyards
Tickets start at $100
camprehoboth.com
SILVER BLOCK PARTY
Sunday, Oct. 11, 12-4 p.m.
Baltimore Avenue, 2nd block
Suggested donation $10

5 0 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

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

Congratulations to CAMP on your 25th Anniversary


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21
Long & Foster Real Estate 37156 Rehoboth Ave. Extd Rehoboth Beach DE 19971 office 302-227-2541

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WA SH I N GTO NB LADE.C OM

O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 5 1

REALESTATE

Advice for buyers in this sellers market


Hide your love for a
property until after closing
By TED SMITH
As we enter the last month of the fall
real estate season, its still a sellers market out there. So in this column I have
some words of advice for buyers and a
word of caution for sellers.
Last month, I wrote about how to compete in a bidding war, starting with making an oer price at the listing price and
including an escalation clause. As you
can see from the chart here, properties
in Washington overall are selling at pretty
much 100 percent of listing price. I have
included data from 10 mid-city zip codes
to show the minor variationsboth
above and below that 100% ratiooften within the same zip code at dierent
time in the year. For example, in zip code
2005 (Logan/Thomas Circles), properties
were selling for more than listing price
(101% average) in March through June,
but in August were selling for slightly less
(97.3%) than listing price.
Usually those slight variations above
the average are caused by competitive
bidding situations, where the sold price of
the property gets bid up above listing price
through multiple oers on a property. But
what if there are no competitive oers?
What if the seller just wants more money?
In my last three bidding transactions

2015 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. Data Provided by MRIS as of Sept. 3, 2015.

representing buyers, we have oered


full price along with an escalation clause
in the event of multiple oers. However,
in all three transactions, there were no
other oers; yet the seller still came back
with a counter-oer above their listing
price. Why? Probably because they had
set their original listing price too low,
hoping to start a bidding war between
multiple oers. So they werent really
expecting to sell their properties at the
original listing price. In two of these transactions, my buyers just walked away. But
in the most recent transaction, the buyers accepted the sellers counter-oer
(at 102% of original listing price) because
they wanted the property, and because
recent sold properties in the immediate
neighborhood had sold for 105% of listing price. Additionally, we were still able

to negotiate certain favorable terms to


the buyers to oset the additional price.
So whats my advice for buyers beyond
caveat emptor (buyer, beware)?
Try not to fall in love with the property, or at least hide your desire so that
the seller cant take advantage of your
emotional connection. If you really want
the property, be ready to spend more
than listing price but set a realistic limit
beyond which you are unwilling to go.
Put additional contingencies and terms
in your contract oer that you can use to
negotiate with the seller if they counter
with a higher price.
And whats my word of caution to sellers?
Be careful of trying to incite a bidding
war by setting an original listing price lower than what you really want. It may backre if you dont receive multiple oers.

And by setting the price at a level you are


willing to accept, you dont risk alienating
your ultimate buyer. After all, youre going to be dealing with them for at least 4-6
weeks after the sale contract is ratied.
And to both buyers and seller: Make
sure you are dealing with an experienced
Realtor you like and trust. They can help
you navigate some of these pitfalls.

TED SMITH is a licensed Realtor with Real


Living | at Home specializing in mid-city D.C.
Reach him at TedSmithSellsDC@rlathome.com
or via Facebook.com/MidCityDCLife, Youtube.
com/TedSmithSellsDC or @TedSmithSellsDC.
You can also join him on monthly tours of
mid-city neighborhood open houses, as well
as monthly seminars geared toward rst-time
homebuyers. Sign up at meetup.com/DCMidCity1stTimeHomeBuyers/.

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5 2 O CTO B E R 0 9 , 2015

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

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LEGAL NOTICES
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
PROBATE DIVISION
2015 ADM 1154
Estate of Leonard P. Hirsch Deceased
NOTICE OF STANDARD PROBATE
Notice is herby given that a petition has been filed in this Court by Nancy E.
Gray for standard probate, including the appointment of one or more personal
representatives. Unless a responsive pleading in the form of a complaint or an
objection in accordance with Superior Court Probate Division Rule 407 is filed
in this court within 30 days from the date of first publication of this notice, the
Court may take the action hereinafter set forth.
Order any interested person to show cause why the provision s of the lost
or destroyed will dated May 19, 2015 should not be admitted to probate as
expressed int he petition.
Date of first publication: 10/9/15
Linda S. Perlman, Attorney
6930 Carroll Ave, #610
Takoma Park MD 20912
(301) 891-2200
Anne Meister, Register of Wills, Clerk of the Probate Division.
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O CT O BE R 0 9 , 2 0 1 5 5 5

2013 winner
american graphic design award
for publication design
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2014 winner
american graphic design award
for publication design
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A D V E RT I S I N G
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ISSUE DATE: 04.18.14

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