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02 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

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02 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 03

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04 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

LOCAL NEWS

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Largest U.S. AIDS conference convenes in D.C.

Activists, service providers join policymakers in panels, workshops

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. lchibbaro@washblade.com

More than 1,000 people involved in efforts to fight the AIDS epidemic, including leaders of community-based organizations and government officials, are convening in Washington from Sept. 10-13 for the 19th Annual United States Conference on AIDS. A wide range of events associated with the conference, including exhibits, panel sessions and workshops, are scheduled to take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Washington and the nearby Walter Washington Convention Center. The conference is organized by the D.C.-based National Minority AIDS Council, or NMAC. “USCA is the largest AIDS-related gathering in the U.S., bringing together thousands of workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, and people living with HIV/AIDS to policymakers,” according to a statement released by the chair of the conference’s D.C. Host Committee, Leo Rennie. Rennie said that among other things, the objectives of the annual conference are “to build national support networks, exchange the latest information, and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS.” U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci are among a number of congressional and federal government officials scheduled to address various conference sessions. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was scheduled to welcome conference participants at an opening reception sponsored by the Host Committee at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Walter Washington Convention Center. Dr. Laura Cheever, administrator of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau, was to lead a panel on the future of the Ryan White Care Act. Three former directors of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy – Sandy Thurman, Dr. Grant Colfax, and Jeff Crowley – are scheduled to present a “behind the scenes” perspective on federal AIDS policy-making and “what it’s going to take to end the HIV epidemic.” A conference session on the future of HIV prevention in the U.S., including efforts to curtail HIV transmission among men who have sex with men, is to be

HIV transmission among men who have sex with men, is to be U.S. House Minority Leader

U.S. House Minority Leader NANCY PELOSI (D-Calif.) is scheduled to address the U.S. Conference on AIDS.

WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

led by Dr. Eugene McCray, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. Speakers at other sessions include Timothy Ray Brown, known as the “Berlin Patient” who says HIV has been effectively eliminated from his body through effective drug treatment; Dr. Jeremy Sugarman, an internationally known expert on biomedical ethics; and Peter Staley, a longtime AIDS and gay rights advocate involved with ACT UP New York and later one of the founders of the Treatment Action Group (TAG). “USAC asked Peter to talk about the history of HIV activism to ensure we never forget our past,” a write-up accompanying the conference’s online agenda says. “More importantly, we’ve asked him to put activism into context that is relevant today. What happened to the urgency of our movement and how can we get it back?” Michael Kharfen, Senior Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration at the D.C. Department of Health, was scheduled to speak on a panel on how the Obama administration’s National HIV/ AIDS Strategy is impacting D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Shawn Jain, director of communication, and Justin Goforth, director of community relations, for D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Health, were scheduled to speak on panels addressing local community- based HIV/AIDS programs. Carl Schmid,

deputy director of the AIDS Institute,

a national HIV advocacy group, was

scheduled to speak on a panel about how Ryan White Care Act programs continue

to be needed for HIV/AIDS treatment and

prevention programs in cities throughout the nation. According to the conference website, the

registration fee for attending conference sessions is $815 for the general public and $560 for federal government employees. The site says people 25 years old or less are eligible for a 50 percent discount on the registration fee. For more information on the conference, visit 2015usca.org.

For more information on the conference, visit 2015usca.org. The Swell in Rehoboth is popular with local

The Swell in Rehoboth is popular with local lesbian and gay residents.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

Fire damages Rehoboth gay bar

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — The Swell Tiki Bar and Grill, located on Rehoboth Avenue Extended, suffered fire, smoke and water damage following a fire in the early morning hours of Sept. 4, just before the start of the Labor Day weekend, traditionally one of the busiest of the year in Rehoboth Beach. Located at the entrance of Rehoboth Beach, near where Route One intersects Rehoboth Avenue, the Swell, on the site where Big Sissies used to be, had gained a following among the lesbian crowd but served as well as the Tuesday evening gathering place for many local gay men. The fire, which was confined to the roof, attic and ceiling of the newest LGBT establishment in Rehoboth Beach, was caused by an electrical problem and occurred after it closed its doors for the evening. There were no injuries. According to Helen Fausnaught, owner of the establishment, the State Fire Marshal felt that past track lighting under the insulation and connecting old and new wiring in the past had caused the blaze. The building was constructed in 1978 and the part of the building where The Swell is located has had several incarnations, including operating as two establishments with separate air and heating units and entrances. Although initial estimates were that damage was about $75,000, Fausnaught indicated that because they were preparing for a busy weekend and stored their food in the attic, that number may be low. Fausnaught is hopeful she can get the establishment, which opened on May 11, to reopen within about a month. Fausnaught and others felt that after a slow start the business was becoming more popular and losing a holiday weekend and beyond would be a big blow to its growth.

PETER SCHOTT

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 05

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06 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

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06 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 NATIONAL NEWS WASHINGTONBLADE.COM ‘I’m a traditionalist,’ CAITLYN JENNER told Ellen

‘I’m a traditionalist,’ CAITLYN JENNER told Ellen DeGeneres in a discussion about marriage rights.

PHOTO COURTESY OF NBC MEDIA VILLAGE

Jenner: Marriage views have ‘changed’

LOS ANGELES — Caitlyn Jenner this week during an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” said she once opposed marriage rights for same-sex couples. “I’m a traditionalist,” said Jenner during the interview that aired on Sept. 8 during the talk show’s season premiere. “I kind of like tradition, and it’s always been a man and a woman.” Jenner told DeGeneres that her position on the issue has evolved. “Like a lot of people on this issue, I have really changed my thinking here to, ‘I don’t ever want to stand in front of anybody’s happiness,’” said Jenner. “If that word — marriage — is really, really that important to you, I can go with it.” DeGeneres during an interview with “The Howard Stern Show” on Sirius XM said Jenner “still has a judgment about gay marriage.” “We want the same thing as everybody,” said DeGeneres. Jenner in April came out as trans during an interview with Diane Sawyer that aired on ABC. The former Olympian, who is a Republican, this summer appeared in “I Am Cait,” a reality show on E! that documents her life as a trans woman. The program’s season finale will air on the network on Sunday.

Arkansas city again approves LGBT ordinance

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Voters in the Arkansas city of Fayetteville on Sept. 8 approved a proposed ordinance that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the local anti-discrimination ordinance. KFSM reported the Uniform Civil Rights Protection Ordinance 5781 passed by a 53-47 percent margin. The Fayetteville City Council last August approved a similar ordinance by a 6-2 vote margin. Voters less than four months later repealed it. Michelle Duggar of “19 Kids and Counting,” a now-cancelled reality show that aired on TLC, recorded a robo call that urged Fayetteville voters to vote against the ordinance.

The Human Rights Campaign, which contributed more than $166,000 in support of the 2014 campaign, faced criticism for not supporting the pro-Ordinance 5781 effort.

“I am really impressed to see our community come together after the divisive 119

fight and pass ordinance 5781,” said Kyle Smith, chair of For Fayetteville, a group that backed the ordinance, in a statement.

New Orleans hosts Southern Decadence

NEW ORLEANS — More than 100,000 people turned out for Southern Decadence that takes place every Labor Day weekend in New Orleans. Roughly 100 events took place across the Crescent City to mark the 44th annual event that began in 1972. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of the French Quarter on Sept. 6 for the annual Southern Decadence parade. The Associated Press reported the parade included the flag that was flying at the U.S. Supreme Court when the justices announced their ruling in the Obergefell case that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples in Louisiana and across the country. Several of the marchers mocked Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). One man carried a sign in support of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that noted his support of LGBT-specific issues. LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana, Louisiana Equality Foundation and PFLAG New Orleans Scholarship Fund were named beneficiaries of this year’s event. Rip Naquin, an organizer of this year’s Southern Decadence who was also grand marshal, told the Associated Press that the event raised roughly $30,000 for the three organizations. This year’s Southern Decadence took place less than a week after the 10th anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded up to 80 percent of the city after levees failed.

Kerry: U.S. ‘working towards’ AIDS-free generation

Secretary of State John Kerry last week during a diplomatic reception at the State Department reiterated the Obama administration’s call for an “AIDS free generation.” “That’s our dream,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been working towards. And unlike some dreams people grow up with or take on in the course of public life, which really just get dashed against the bureaucratic resistance or the indifference of people in various places, this is one where we have really been able to make a difference.” U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx, who oversees the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and gay U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster were among the officials and diplomats who attended the reception that took place in the Treaty Room. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was also in attendance. The reception took place just before the U.S. Conference on AIDS will convene in D.C. on Sept. 10. Kerry during his remarks noted PEPFAR is now providing antiretroviral treatment to 7.7 million men, women and children. He did not specifically mention the epidemic’s continued impact on men who have

sex with men, transgender people and other LGBT-specific populations that remain particularly vulnerable to the epidemic. Kerry during his remarks noted that women and girls account for nearly 60 percent of the people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. “We absolutely can achieve this dream of an AIDS-free generation,” said Kerry. “We can and we will defeat this horrible disease.” “I can remember when talking about HIV/AIDS was talking about a death sentence,” he added. “And all of you remember that too. And I remember a lot of friends of mine who kept talking to me about how many funerals they were going to. How different life was in this country.” PEPFAR money funds a number of initiatives around the world that seek to combat the epidemic among LGBT-specific populations. These include the dissemination of information on HIV testing, condom use and other safer-sex practices to men who have sex with men in Central America through the Pan-American Social Marketing Organization.

A second PEPFAR-funded program that uses social media to disseminate HIV-

prevention information reached an estimated 92 percent of gay and bisexual Ghanaian men in 2012. The Center for Integrated Training and Research, an HIV/AIDS service organization based in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, also receives PEPFAR funding. Uganda receives nearly $300 million each year through PEPFAR to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African country. The U.S. last year did not renew a program with the Ugandan Ministry of Health that helps fund Kampala’s response to the virus in response to the Anti-Homosexuality Act that President Yoweri Museveni signed into law. MICHAEL K. LAVERS

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 07

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM SEPTEMBER 11 , 2015 • 07

08 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

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Will Kim Davis inspire Congress to act?

Pending bill may allow clerk to continue discrimination

By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com

Two seemingly unrelated events took place this week that may have overlapping consequences: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was released from jail after being found in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and Congress gaveled back into session after its August recess. The high-profile nature of the Davis case, which has attracted nationwide attention, raises questions about

whether legislative action will follow that would make actions the Kentucky clerk’s permissible under the law. At a rally for Davis on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called for further action to protect those who oppose same-sex marriage — although he didn’t specify legislation as the next step. “All of us need to ask: Who’s next? Your pastor? The head of a school? Who’s next?” Huckabee said. “My question as we leave today: Will you be ready to take the stand even at expense to yourself to stand firm for your convictions for the Constitution and for your faith, and will not waiver, nor fall?” Davis had fewer words during the rally, standing with her arms raised and joining hands with Huckabee and her attorney Mat Staver as she thanked supporters. “I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied and you are a strong people,” she said. Same-sex couples began marrying in Rowan County by way of deputy clerks after Davis was taken into custody by U.S. marshals. Although Davis’ lawyers say the couples’ marriage licenses are void, state law and U.S. District Judge David Bunning

— who found Davis in contempt of court

— say the licenses are valid because they

were issued by a deputy. One possible way Congress could show solidarity with Davis is by passing religious freedom legislation known as the First Amendment Defense Act. On its face, the bill — introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) — would prohibit the federal government from taking action against opponents of same-sex marriage, who are defined broadly in the bill to include non-profit and for-profit organizations. Critics say the measure would enable

anti-LGBT discrimination, such as by allowing employers to deny Family & Medical Leave Act care to same-sex couples or by permitting a federal

Act care to same-sex couples or by permitting a federal Former Gov. MIKE HUCKABEE (R-Ark.) and,

Former Gov. MIKE HUCKABEE (R-Ark.) and, third from left, clerk KIM DAVIS after her release from prison this week.

employee to refuse to file tax and Social Security forms for them. In the aftermath of the Davis situation, Lee’s office is pushing back on the notion the First Amendment Defense Act would enable the clerk to continue withholding marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Conn Carroll, a Lee spokesperson, told the Washington Blade the legislation wouldn’t impact Davis’s situation. “If FADA were law it would not impact Kim Davis in any way,” Carroll said. “This bill would not protect her.” It’s understandable why Lee, who has made passage of the First Amendment Defense Act a personal goal, might say the legislation would have no impact on Davis. After all, a Rasmussen poll conducted while Davis was in jail found just 26 percent of likely voters think an elected official should be able to a ignore a federal court ruling for religious reasons.

The poll also found 66 percent of voters think the official should comply with the law as the federal court has interpreted it. But LGBT advocates aren’t so sure Davis’s attorneys wouldn’t at least try to make the case the clerk could continue discriminating against same-sex couples

if the First Amendment Defense Act

became law. Stephen Peters, a spokesperson for

the Human Rights Campaign, said the broad language in the measure may enable Davis to claim an exemption to discriminate. “While Sen. Lee may now argue that his sloppily drafted bill would not apply to Kim Davis if it were law, there is no doubt her anti-LGBT lawyers at the Liberty Counsel would use it to bring

a claim in federal court,” Peters said.

“The plain language of the bill says that

PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

the federal government can’t take ‘any discriminatory action’ based on marriage beliefs and defines ‘discriminatory action’ to be anything that would ‘otherwise discriminate against such person,’ which could be construed incredibly broadly. The federal government should respect everyone’s marriage and not open the door to discrimination against LGBT couples and their families.” Ian Thompson, legislative representative for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the assertion the First Amendment Defense Act wouldn’t apply to Davis is only partially correct. “That is true only in so far as FADA is limited to the federal government,” Thompson said. “At the same time, similar Kim Davis-like examples could play out across the federal government if FADA were ever to become law. FADA would permit federal employees to refuse to (among many other areas) process tax returns, visa applications or Social Security checks for all married same-sex couples.” Asked to respond to claims the First Amendment Defense Act would impact Davis, Carroll replied, “Her lawyers argued a lot of untrue things. I find it odd that supposed LGBT activists are so willing to lend her arguments credence.” Regardless of whether or not the legislation would directly affect Davis, the Republican-controlled Congress may see fit to move forward with the measure. Neither House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would rule out the possibility of votes on the legislation following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality nationwide. Carroll said Lee has pushed the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on

the First Amendment Defense Act “before Kim Davis and he is still pushing for that same hearing.” Other observers said movement on the legislation at this time in Congress would either be unlikely or unwise given the potentially volatile nature of discussion on the bill. Thompson pointed to the media frenzy that erupted in Indiana after Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a religious freedom bill as a reason for Congress to shelve the bill. “I think this situation has shown that a majority of the American public believes strongly that government officials like Kim Davis are not free to impose their religious beliefs onto those they have a duty to serve, denying individuals their constitutional rights in the process,” Thompson said. “The so-called ‘First Amendment Defense Act’ would open the door to unprecedented, taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples. Republican leadership smartly acted to shelve this bill prior to the August recess. To resurrect it now would demonstrate a complete tone-deafness to what unfolded earlier this year in Indiana.” In a piece for Slate, Mark Joseph Stern writes the nature of Davis’s discrimination against same-sex couples may actually serve to derail religious freedom legislation. “In that sense, Davis has done the gay rights movement a huge favor,” Stern writes. “Previously, religious exemption advocates could use weeping, wholesome bakers as mascots for their cause, deflecting questions about animus and bigotry. But Davis lays bare the prejudiced, discriminatory beliefs that fuel the ‘religious liberty’ fire. She is the monster conservatives created. And they will not be able to disown her as easily as they would like.” If Congress doesn’t act, it’s possible religious freedom measures may move at the state level. The majority of religious freedom bills introduced in state legislatures this year failed to become law, but two of the measures that made it to the finish line were crafted directly to help clerks like Davis. In Utah, the state passed legislation that would enable a clerk to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but the “opt out” requires clerks not to facilitate any marriages and someone must be present in their offices to perform the duty. In North Carolina, the state legislature passed over Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto a bill that would enable officials to decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, although invoking the “opt out” would prohibit a clerk from facilitating any marriage for a six-month period. Unlike in Utah, the North Carolina measure was opposed by LGBT advocates.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 09

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10 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

NATIONAL NEWS

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Anticipation grows ahead of pope’s U.S. visit

Vatican has yet to respond to meeting request from LGBT Catholics

By MICHAEL K. LAVERS mlavers@washblade.com

Anticipation over Pope Francis’ trip to the United States later this month continues to grow among LGBT Catholic groups, despite the Vatican’s opposition to homosexuality and marriage rights for same-sex couples. Frank DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based group that ministers to LGBT Catholics, told the Washington Blade that members of his group are “very excited” by Francis’ visit. “Nobody is dreading this papal visit as they did other ones where they just knew it was going to be bad,” said DeBernardo. “Nobody’s dreading it that way. People are optimistic that Francis is going to say some good things.” Francis is scheduled to travel from Cuba to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Sept. 22. The Argentine-born pontiff is scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House, address Congress, canonize Junipero Serra during a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Northeast D.C. and meet with U.S. bishops in the nation’s capital. Francis is also expected to visit St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington before traveling to New York on Sept. 24. Francis on Sept. 25 is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly, attend an interfaith religious service at the 9/11 Memorial Museum and hold Mass at Madison Square Garden. The pontiff on Sept. 26 is expected to travel to Philadelphia, which is hosting the World Meeting of Families. Francis is scheduled to meet with organizers of the triennial event, hold two Masses, visit Independence Hall and a local jail before returning to Rome on Sept. 27. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA, a group for LGBT Catholics, noted to the Blade that Francis’

trip to the U.S. will take place roughly three months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry throughout the country. “It’s an incredibly interesting time for the pope to be coming to the U.S.,” said Duddy-Burke, referring to implementation of the Obergefell decision. “The country is still figuring out how to react to national

to

same-sex marriage

address LGBT family issues in some way while he’s here.”

he

will

have

family issues in some way while he’s here.” he will have POPE FRANCIS is scheduled to

POPE FRANCIS is scheduled to arrive in D.C. on Sept. 22.

PHOTO BY JEON HAN; COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA

Duddy-Burke in July wrote a letter in which she, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis and more than two-dozen other groups urged Francis to meet with LGBT Catholics while in the U.S. The Cuban Foundation for LGBTI Rights, an independent advocacy group on the Communist island, has also asked the pontiff to highlight LGBT-specific issues while in the country. “Many LGBT people and family members have experienced a resurgence of hope for full acceptance in our church as a result of your words and reports of personal meetings with LGBT people,” reads Duddy-Burke’s letter onto which the Latino GLBT History Project and other groups signed. “We see your visit to the U.S. as an opportunity for you to hear from us how central our faith is to our lives, and to work together towards creating a church where all families know that we are truly loved and welcomed.” The Vatican has yet to respond to the request. “We are still waiting to hear about a response,” Duddy-Burke told the Blade. DeBernardo conceded the excitement surrounding Francis’ visit to the U.S. is “tempered a bit by a wish that he” would speak with LGBT Catholics and their families at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. “You have to encounter people where they really are,” DeBernardo told the Blade.

LGBT Catholics welcome moderate tone

New Ways Ministry and other LGBT Catholic groups have welcomed the Vatican’s more moderate tone toward homosexuality and marriage rights for same-sex couples since he became pope in 2013. The Argentine-born pontiff in the

summer of 2013 told reporters that gay men and lesbians should not be judged or marginalized. Francis later told an Italian Jesuit magazine the church has grown “obsessed” with nuptials for gays and lesbians, abortion and contraception. Francis — the former archbishop of Buenos Aires who was then known as Jorge Bergoglio — during his pontificate has met with several LGBT people. These include a transgender man from Spain who told him in a letter that some of his fellow parishioners rejected him after undergoing sex-reassignment surgery. New Ways Ministry members in February received VIP seats at a general audience with Francis in St. Peter’s Square that coincided with Ash Wednesday. Simón Cazal, executive director of Somosgay, a Paraguayan LGBT advocacy group, in July was among the representatives of 1,600 civil society organizations who met with the pontiff during his trip to the South American country. The Vatican has nevertheless maintained its opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples. Francis in January during his trip to the Philippines repeatedly suggested that same-sex marriage threatens the family, arguing “ideological colonization” seeks to “destroy” it. Catholic bishops next month will vote to ratify a document that, among other things, states there is “no basis whatsoever to assimilate or establish analogies, even remote, between homosexual unions and God’s plan for marriage and the family.” The Vatican earlier this month said that trans people are unable to become godparents. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia in August announced that New Ways Ministry could no longer hold a workshop at a local church that had been scheduled to take place on Sept. 26.

A Methodist congregation has agreed to host the event. “His ministry and his leadership is having a real impact on LGBT people and families,” Duddy-Burke told the Blade, referring to Francis. “He’s going to have to say once and for all that the church teaching that gay people are damaged or inclined to evil is wrong and needs to be reconsidered. It all comes down to that.” LGBT Federation of Argentina President Esteban Paulón, who is a vocal critic of Francis, on Tuesday described the pontiff’s trip to the U.S. and Cuba as “one of the most important geopolitical moments of the year.” The advocate nevertheless told the Blade in an email that he does not think Francis will champion LGBT-specific issues while in the two countries. “There will neither be substantive advances, nor the possibility that the pope will include the issue in his agenda,” said Paulón. Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, a gay Cuban blogger and advocate, was equally pessimistic. He noted in an op-ed that he wrote for Toque, a Dutch website, that Francis in 2010 described efforts to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Argentina as “the destructive affront to God’s plan.” Rodríguez, like Paulón, concluded it is unlikely that the pontiff will meet with LGBT rights advocates while in Cuba. “Since the beginning of his pontificate, Bergoglio has attracted attention for his innovative and progressive postures around diverse social and political issues of concern,” wrote Rodríguez. “But full recognition of sexual diversity and all types of families in a way that we as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people should have the same rights as heterosexual people still seems far away.”

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 11

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HHS seeks to bar anti-trans bias in health care

Trans advocates hail planned changes as major breakthrough

By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com

The Obama administration made official on Thursday that it interprets the gender non-discrimination provisions in the Affordable Care Act to prohibit bias against transgender people in health care. In a 198-page proposed rule, the Department of Health & Human Services broadly seeks to advance health equity and reduce disparities in health care. Among the proposed changes spelled out in Section 1557 of the health care reform law is a prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity. Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement the proposed rule seeks to protect individuals “who have often been subject to discrimination in our health care system.” “This is another example of this

health care system.” “This is another example of this MARA KEISLING said the proposed HHS rule

MARA KEISLING said the proposed HHS rule has ‘the potential to be life-saving for transgender people.’

WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY

administration’s commitment to giving every American access to the health care they deserve,” she said. LGBT advocates hailed the proposed

change as a major breakthrough for transgender health and said it would require plans to cover medications, gender reassignment surgeries and other treatments for transgender people if these plans cover similar services to non-transgender people with other medical conditions. Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said the proposed rule has “the potential to be life-saving for transgender people.” “These rules will help finally make the promise of the Affordable Care Act real for transgender people — that they can find affordable health insurance that covers the essential care they need and doesn’t exclude care simply because of who they are,” Keisling said. According to NCTE, the rule would apply to health insurance plans sold on state or federal health care exchanges, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and any health care provider accepting federal funds, such as hospitals and doctors’ offices that accept Medicare or Medicaid. Some private health insurance plans outside the Marketplaces may not be covered.

Julie Gonen, policy director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, called the proposed rule a “major step” in ensuring transgender people have access to care. “The protections outlined in the proposed regulations would ensure that transgender people — including youth — who are routinely denied this care despite decades of clinical experience and medical literature demonstrating its medical necessity can get the healthcare they need to live full, authentic, and healthy lives,” Gonen said. HHS also announced in the proposed change it supports a prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation. Although the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has interpreted gender protections in civil rights law to bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, some courts have taken a different view. The proposal requests comment on how a final rule can incorporate the most protections against discrimination that would be supported by the courts on an ongoing basis.

CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Court finds trans Mexican immigrant eligible for relief in U.S.

Decision creates precedent for those facing persecution

By CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson@washblade.com

A federal appeals court on Thursday

ruled a transgender woman who fled Mexico to escape life-long persecution

is eligible for relief under laws granting refuge for people who experience torture, establishing a precedent that could aid those fleeing violence based on gender identity in their home countries.

A three-judge panel on the U.S. Ninth

Circuit Court of Appeals determined Edin Avendano-Hernandez, an undocumented immigrant placed in holding in the process for removal back to Mexico, can obtain relief under Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture. U.S. Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, an Obama appointee, wrote the 20-page decision on behalf of the court. “The unique identities and vulnerabilities of transgender individuals must be considered in evaluating a transgender applicant’s asylum, withholding of removal, or CAT claim,” the decision says. After allegedly enduring harassment, rape and death threats growing up in rural Mexico for her lack of gender conformity, Avenando-Hernandez sought refuge in 2000 by unlawfully entering the United

States and living in Fresno, Calif., where she began taking female hormones and living as a woman. Struggling with alcohol abuse, Avendano-Hernandez was twice convicted of driving under the influence. In 2006, her second offense, which resulted in a collision that injured another person, led to a felony conviction, jail time and removal to Mexico. Back in Mexico, harassment and violence against Avendano-Hernandez continued. One evening, a group of four uniformed officers “beat her, forced her to perform oral sex and raped her,” according to the court decision. That experience prompted her to flee Mexico almost immediately. Attempting to cross the border with a group of migrants a few days later, Avendano-Hernandez’s troubles continued when they encountered Mexican military officers. “Though the leaders of the migrant group had asked Avendano-Hernandez to dress differently to avoid attracting attention at the border, she was still visibly transgender, as she wore her hair in a ponytail and had been taking female hormones for several years,” the decision says. “Calling her a ‘faggot,’ the officers separated Avendano-Hernandez from the rest of her group. One of the officers forced her to perform oral sex on him,

while the rest of the group watched and laughed. The officer then told her to ‘get out of his sight.’” After these trials, she returned to the United States and Fresno in 2008, but was arrested for violating the terms of her probation for the 2006 the felony charge. She was placed in holding and removal proceedings began. An immigration judge denied her application on the basis of withholding from removal and relief under Conventions Against Torture — a decision that was upheld by the Board of Immigrations Appeals. Although the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision to deny withholding from removal, the three-judge panel instructed the agency to grant relief under the Convention Against Torture. The Ninth Circuit determined the immigration judge and BIA was correct in determining Avendano-Hernandez is ineligible for withholding from removal. Her attorney contended her felony wasn’t serious, but it resulted in injury to another person. However, the appeals court determined the harassment and violence she endured constitutes torture, granting her relief under this portion of her claim. “We reject the government’s attempts to characterize these police and military officers as merely rogue or corrupt officials,” the decision says. “The record makes clear that both groups of officers

encountered, and then assaulted, Avendano-Hernandez while on the job and in uniform. Avendano-Hernandez was not required to show acquiescence by a higher level member of the Mexican government because ‘an applicant for CAT relief need not show that the entire foreign government would consent to or acquiesce in [her] torture.’ It is enough for her to show that she was subject to torture at the hands of local officials.” Although the immigration judge denied Avendano-Hernandez relief because of new laws in Mexico against discrimination based on sexual orientation, such the legalization of same-sex marriage, the Ninth Circuit determined these developments don’t affect transgender people, who reportedly experience high rates of harassment and violence in the country. According to Immigration Equality, the immigration judge handling Avendano-Hernandez’s case wrongly referred to her as a gay man instead of a transgender woman. Representing Avendano-Hernandez in her case were the Santa Ana, Calif.-based Public Law Center and the D.C.-based law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Transgender advocates hailed the decision for establishing precedent in the Ninth Circuit that would benefit individuals seeking refuge in the United States after they face discrimination overseas on the basis of gender identity.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 13

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

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China TV addresses LGBT rights in ‘watershed’ program

State-run outlet reportedly delayed broadcast

By PW MARCHANT

EDITOR’S NOTE: PW Marchant is a freelance reporter in China writing for the Blade.

In any authoritarian country, controlling the flow of information is always key to the survival of the regime. And in a month in which the news agenda in China should have been dominated by the twin disasters that were the deadly Tianjin industrial explosion and the stock market crash, its state media did everything possible to stymie any negative coverage of the events. Yet, amid all this, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) transmitted a half-hour discussion on LGBT rights in China — a topic, which even in quieter months would not have been shown on television since any discussion related to human rights is banned in the country. In a way then, the Aug. 23 edition of ‘Dialogue’ — a regular 30-minute single- topic current affairs show — on CCTV could be regarded as something of a watershed moment in Chinese broadcasting. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it’s worth pointing out that few could actually watch or would have bothered to watch that program here in China. For a start, ‘Dialogue’ is shown on the English-language channel CCTV News, which is unavailable through an aerial in domestic Chinese homes. Formerly known as CCTV English, it’s aimed at an international audience and is part of the Chinese government’s plan to promote its own viewpoint to counter those offered by the Western media. Here in China, it’s usually available only to those sitting in an international hotel room or are privy to an expensive cable subscription that also includes CNN and the BBC. And given the low level of trust in state media by Chinese viewers, even those who have access are unlikely to ever want to watch any of its output online — all unblocked behind the Great Firewall of China, of course. The silver lining here is that this lack of domestic audience does allow the channel to occasionally push the boundaries of censorship. In the case of ‘Dialogue’, one well-informed insider tells us the host, Yang Rui, “is always keen to push the boundaries as far as he can for the sake of his own credibility.” The transmission of the program, however, was initially cancelled then postponed by a few weeks. Billed as a discussion on “Attitudes towards LGBT rights,” this particular edition of ‘Dialogue’ had originally been recorded a month

of ‘Dialogue’ had originally been recorded a month XIAOGANG WEI appears on ‘Dialogue,’ a current affairs

XIAOGANG WEI appears on ‘Dialogue,’ a current affairs program that airs on the state-run China Central Television.

PHOTO COURTESY OF XIAOGANG WEI

earlier and, according to the guests on the show, its original transmission date was pulled from the schedules with a few days’ notice in late July, with producers citing ‘objection and unease’ from higher up in an internal email. Another source close to the program also revealed to the Washington Blade that the program host had initially lobbied hard for the topic in light of the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage, and later objected strongly to management for their decision before finally allowing the show to air in late August. Given the on-going drama behind the scene, international viewers might find the show itself to be rather tame, with human rights being fleetingly discussed at the start before the focus switched to love and respect for the LGBT community. But one of the guests, Xiaogang Wei, founder and director at Queen Comrades — which is China’s only non-profit LGBT webcast — told the Blade how the discussion progressed wasn’t hugely important overall. “It wasn’t a perfect show but it’s better than talking about coming out or how to be gay in Chinese society — the usual ways to talk about our community on Chinese television.” “It was great to use human rights language, to talk about what rights LGBTs want, discrimination…all very important content,” said Wei, who was also fascinated by the tussle to get the show to air. Fellow panelist and activist Adam Robbins, community editor at City Weekend Beijing magazine, was surprised to see human rights being mentioned at the start of the show. “Yang Rui asked the question about homosexuality being a human right in

China at the start in order to cover his own back. He’d probably had to fight to get his show on air because his bosses would’ve shot him down for talking about human rights.” But Robbins also thinks the way the host used love and respect was the most indirect way to tackle human rights without explicitly mentioning it. “Yes, the discussion veered off topic but Yang probably saw this as his way to tackle Chinese family life head on by comparing LGBT rights to what Chinese families experience everyday.” “He did that through everyday emotions such as love — which is a basic right of each individual. And often, people do change their views on certain issues once you speak to their hearts rather than talking about this or that kind of rights,” Robbins concluded. With the show now done, has a precedent been set for future discussions of similar topics on the domestic Chinese channels, with potential audiences of hundreds of millions? A former employee of CCTV News with intimate knowledge on the workings of editorials and decision-making and who prefers to remain anonymous is adamant about the future. “No. The department that controls the media (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television or SAPPRFT) would never allow a discussion on human rights — in any form.” Chinese journalist and current affairs commentator Xu Qinduo agrees and finds no reason why anyone would push for more of these programs to air in China. “Television reaches almost every household in China. There’s nothing to gain and potentially a lot to lose.”

“One reason is that culturally, Chinese society remains very conservative. The majority of people view the purpose of marriage as, partly at least, producing a child to carry on the family line. In this sense, gay marriage is even more of a remote concept in China.” Robbins disagrees, however, and is hopeful about China for the next generation, “They probably let the show out due to self-interests as maybe there are leaders high up in the Communist Party who are in the closet.” “This edition of ‘Dialogue’ could now give cover to do more shows on CCTV English which could then give more cover for similar shows on the Chinese channels. Perhaps even editorials will come out in favor of LGBT rights.” Wei strikes an even more optimistic note. “At least people can now use this show as a reference and say CCTV talked about LGBT rights and marriage equality so they can’t be accused of never talking about the subject anymore.” Qinduo though sees the potential for the Internet to further such discussions. “No doubt Chinese society is becoming more tolerant toward the gay community. Young people in urban China in particular are increasingly accepting of friends who are gay. So, you see much more of presence of the gay community in social and other forms of Internet-based media than on newspapers and TV.” For now, that may indeed be true. But with scores of human rights activists and lawyers being rounded up, journalists having to toe the line and restrictions on the internet being policed more heavily than ever, it could be an interesting battle ahead for public discussions of LGBT rights — be it on the Internet or on television.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 15

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM 16 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 BALTIMORE NEWS New president aims to address center’s problems
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BALTIMORE NEWS

New president aims to address center’s problems

Jabari Lyles, the new president of the board of directors for the Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB), understands he has a challenge to right the center’s ship and restore confidence in the 38-year-old non- profit. “My No. 1 priority is identifying appropriate, reliable and stable leadership at all levels,” Lyles, who is a teacher and works with GLSEN Baltimore, said in an interview. “Effective leadership will add value and credibility to our organization, has been sorely needed, and will begin the process of mending the GLCCB’s

needed, and will begin the process of mending the GLCCB’s ‘It’s time for us to reboot,’

‘It’s time for us to reboot,’ said JABARI LYLES.

PHOTO BY BOB FORD

relationship with the community.” Lyles became the fourth board president in the past 10 months, and combined with the fact there have been four executive directors in the past 16 months, there has been a growing concern regarding the GLCCB’s stability. “We need to be much better at setting our leaders up for success so they are best poised to lead,” Lyles said. “I feel the first step is stepping back and clarifying and perhaps recalibrating our mission and purpose. It’s time for us to reboot.” Lyles acknowledges that there is a perception that the GLCCB historically becomes less visible following the completion of the annual Pride events, which are run by the center. He notes that the organization provides myriad services and programs that are not widely known. “We are hoping to expand our programs and outreach strategies to better support the community’s needs and to keep the community better informed,” he said. Addressing the financial problems that have plagued the center for years, Lyles says that a “multifaceted approach” is needed to repair the damage created by the “missteps of many people.” Among the remedies Lyles believes is needed is stronger financial oversight and recordkeeping so that more scrutiny is directed toward how much money is spent and why as well as who is appropriating the funds. As the first African-American to hold this office in decades, Lyles said that he alone cannot improve race relations within the LGBT community. Yet he intends to lead the GLCCB in a direction “that visibly recognizes and works against racism in all its forms, intentionally works to uplift those who are most marginalized, encourages and eventually leads conversations about oppression, intersectionality and authentically serving communities of color.”

GLSEN 2015 Youth Summit on tap

The 2015 LGBTQ Youth Summit, sponsored by GLSEN Baltimore, will take place on Sept. 19 at the Student Union Building at Towson University. The day- long event for LGBTQ high school students ages 13-19 and allies throughout Maryland and the surrounding areas will feature numerous activities, educational workshops, an opportunity to meet and network with peers and community resources, free dinner and a dance to end the night. Workshops include: Bisexuality, Coming Out, Racism in the LGBTQ Community, Gender Theory, Trans Perspectives, Starting and Maintaining a GSA, Know your Legal Rights, Voguing, Yoga in Your Toolbox and Craft Making, among others. “Our annual youth summit is easily our most anticipated and well-attended event of the year,” said Jabari Lyles, co-chair and education manager of GLSEN Baltimore. “Since we are simply more connected with more schools statewide, we expect one of the largest turnouts ever for this year’s summit.” This year GLSEN added a special workshop track for teachers, according to Lyles, which includes helpful, reflective conversation about being a supportive educator and features a mini-safe space training. There is no charge for the event but reservations need to be made online. STEVE CHARING

a mini-safe space training. There is no charge for the event but reservations need to be

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HEALTH NEWS

PrEP failsafe in study of 657 Calif. residents

NEW YORK — The largest private health insurer in San Francisco announced last week that not one of its 657 clients on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) contracted HIV over a two-year period, the New York Times reports. A study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases found that Bay Area residents on PrEP, almost all of whom were gay men, did use condoms less frequently and contracted other venereal diseases as a result, although none got HIV, the article said. “This is very reassuring data,” said Dr. Jonathan E. Volk, an epidemiologist for the insurer, Kaiser Permanente of San Francisco, and the study’s lead author. “It tells us that PrEP works even in a high-risk population.” Observational studies like this one are not considered as scientifically rigorous as randomized clinical trials in which some participants receive a placebo. But Volk and his colleagues followed a large number of men engaged in very risky behavior from mid-2012, when the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a two-drug combination called Truvada for prevention of HIV infection, through February of this year. That amounts to 388 “person years” of observation, the Times reports. The newest study “fills in a critical gap by showing that PrEP can prevent infections in a real-world public health program,” said Mitchell J. Warren, the executive director of AVAC, an organization lobbying for AIDS prevention. About a third of all San Franciscans with private health insurance use Kaiser Permanente, which has its own hospitals, doctors and pharmacies and tracks all of its patients in one electronic records system, the Times reports. About a third of all San Franciscans on PrEP receive the drug through Kaiser, and its doctors urge all their clients who are at risk to ask if PrEP is right for them, Volk said, according to the Times article. All but four of the 657 participants in the Kaiser study were gay men, and 84 percent of them reported multiple sexual partners. After starting PrEP, half of them became infected with syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia within a year, the New York Times article said. After the participants had six months of PrEP use, Volk’s team surveyed 143 about their sexual behavior. More than 40 percent said that their use of condoms had decreased. The vast majority, 74 percent, said that their number of sexual partners had remained the same.

Ill. professor wins grant to study bi women

the same. Ill. professor wins grant to study bi women CHICAGO — The National Institutes of

CHICAGO — The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $371,538 grant to Wendy Bostwick, associate professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies, Public Health and Health Education programs at Northern Illinois University, to study the health effects of microaggressions on bisexual women, the Windy City Times reports. Microaggressions are, according to the press release announcing the study, “brief, commonplace exchanges, often unintentional, that can be demeaning or degrading to someone’s identity.” “Bisexual women experience a different kind of discrimination — a more subtle form that accumulates over time,” Bostwick was quoted as having said by the Times. “It’s not one off-handed comment, it’s constantly hearing those messages not just from strangers, but from family, friends, partners, the media and society at large. These comments might include remarks that assume a woman is confused about her identity, statements that she should just ‘make up her mind’ or comments that assume all bisexual women are hypersexual or promiscuous.” The study will take place over 28 days and will include 125 women from the Chicago area, with a specific focus on women of color. Participants will fill out a survey each day of the study with questions ranging from the microaggressions they experienced that day to substance use, moods and other queries.

with questions ranging from the microaggressions they experienced that day to substance use, moods and other

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20 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

VIEWPOINT

Privilege by Gaslight

Our would-be masters divide and conquer

by Gaslight Our would-be masters divide and conquer RICHARD J. ROSENDALL is a writer and activist.

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

If you didn’t know better, recent news might have you thinking that anyone with a Hispanic accent is an alien; that activists protesting police violence are cop killers; and that a government official’s religious freedom entitles her to impose her be- liefs on an entire county. Enough of these brazen falsehoods could drive a person crazy. This is called “gaslighting” after Charles Boyer’s efforts in the 1944 movie “Gaslight” to make In- grid Bergman think she is losing her mind so he can get her out of the way and steal her aunt’s jewels. When Univision news anchor Jorge Ra- mos challenged Donald Trump’s promise to deport 11 million undocumented work- ers, he was treated like an undocument- ed worker himself. Trump has slandered

Mexicans and used one murder to support

a media narrative about criminal hordes

flooding America that is entirely at odds with the facts. Undocumented immigrants

in fact have a lower crime rate. Trump sub-

sequently described Ramos as “raving like

a madman.” This is like describing women

who assert themselves as hysterical. When Trump contemptuously ordered Ramos removed, the other reporters should have walked out. If tough questions are off-lim- its, we have a celebrity media availability, not a press conference. These crude tactics appeal to the

Trumpen Proletariat (a term coined by conservative writer Jonah Goldberg): the sort of people who vehemently opposed Obamacare but now favor single payer just because Trump is for it. Goodbye, coherent politics. Hello, fearless leader defended by a mob. On the marriage equality front, we learned last week that County Clerk Kim Davis in Rowan County, Kentucky, jailed for contempt after citing God’s author- ity in refusing to issue marriage licenses, has divorced three times. While married to her first husband she conceived twins by her third, which were adopted by her second. You could get whiplash keeping track of her adulteries, but somehow gay couples are the ones destroying the family. Encouragingly, groups seeking to cash in on her alleged martyrdom have encountered a roadblock, as GoFundMe

EDITORIAL CARTOON

have encountered a roadblock, as GoFundMe EDITORIAL CARTOON prohibits campaigns for anyone “facing formal charges or

prohibits campaigns for anyone “facing formal charges or claims of serious vio- lations of the law.” And Jesus never said, “Blessed are the grifters.” Next we turn to public safety. James Madison warned in 1787, “The means of de- fense against foreign danger, have been al- ways the instruments of tyranny at home.” Radley Balko observes in “Rise of the War- rior Cop” that today’s police “are driving tanks and armored personnel carriers on American streets, breaking into homes and killing dogs over pot. They’re subject- ing homes and businesses to commando raids for white-collar and even regulatory offenses.” Thus the problem goes beyond police killings of unarmed black men. Police are held immune from punish- ment for actions that would land ordinary citizens in prison. The offending officers may be a minority, but police culture con- dones and covers up the abuse. Dismiss- ing legitimate reform proposals by crying “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter” amounts to telling the abused to shut up and take it, or denying that disparate treat- ment occurs, or condoning it. Killings of po- lice officers are actually lower than in previ- ous decades. A spike in murders in a few cities does not constitute a national crime wave, much less excuse brutality and law- lessness by public safety officers. Paramilitary policing and over-policing undermine community trust, harming po- lice effectiveness. Change will not occur without public pressure, whether the vic- tims are white families terrorized in mid- night drug raids or black motorists dying in police custody after missing a lane- change signal. If we take the bait when Fox News and Ted Cruz blame Black Lives Matter activists for an officer’s murder without evidence, opponents of account- ability will divide and conquer, infringing both our safety and our freedom. Allowing ourselves to be gaslighted un- dermines everything from the evaluation of candidates to the functions of a county clerk to the safety of the public. We are at our best when we refuse to be stam- peded into defending the privileged or scorning journalistic scrutiny or devaluing civil liberties. Treating members of a particular class or profession as a rule unto themselves undermines social cohesion and respect for the law. Those who stand up to them remind us that preserving our freedoms requires self-respecting resistance to of- ficial misconduct.

Copyright © 2015 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 21

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22 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

INSIDE LGBT WASHINGTON

The next step in D.C. crime fight

Mayor should call citywide meeting to address spree

fight Mayor should call citywide meeting to address spree PETER ROSENSTEIN is a D.C.-based LGBT rights

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

In response to the spike in homicides in the

District of Columbia, At-Large Council member Anita Bonds brought together a diverse group of city leaders to begin a discussion on what the community thinks would be appropriate solutions to deal with this crime spree and to focus on strategies to accomplish them.

I submitted a number of questions to

Bonds’ office including: Does she think this meeting should have been a citywide meet- ing called by the mayor? Will she urge the mayor to hold such a meeting? What does she think of the mayor’s response to the crime spree? And does she still have full con-

fidence in Chief Cathy Lanier? I received no

response to those questions. Though there was little advance notice of the meeting according to Bonds’ office there were more than 130 ANC commissioners and civic leaders from every ward in attendance. Also there were members of the mayor’s cabinet and representatives from the MPPD and the attorney general’s office. Participat- ing were DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Kevin Dona- hue, Assistant Chief of Police Diane Groomes, Department of Employment Services Director Deborah Carroll, DC Housing Authority Direc- tor Adrian Todman, Commander Robin Hoey, Assistant Attorney General for Public Safety Michael Aniton, and Court Services and Of- fender Supervision Agency Associate Director Cedric Hendricks. Bonds opened the meeting saying, “We all have an important role to play in our city’s safety. By working together with elected of- ficials, civic leaders, residents, and business owners and employees, we will have a unified community approach to combat the rise in community violence.” D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Council member Elissa Silver- man also made remarks. Attendees were asked to break into smaller discussion groups in which ANC commission- ers and community leaders shared their ideas with other government officials on a variety

of topics including: Building Positive Youth Behavior; Safe Housing and Community; Job Training, Placement and Mentoring; Law Enforcement Strategies in Neighborhoods; Legislative Initiatives; and Healthy Productive Lifestyles (mental health, substance abuse treatment, nutrition). After the small group meetings each group presented their recom- mendations. Following the meeting, Bonds said she would be compiling a report on all the recommendations that came out of the meet- ing. The question we need to ask is: What will happen with that report? Bonds deserves our gratitude for calling this meeting. She has spent many years working on issues of importance to people in D.C. and has turned into an activist Council member. This meeting is a good beginning to getting community input on what they believe needs to be done to fight this crime spree. But one question to which there is no answer yet is why it was left to one Council member to call such a meeting. While I applaud the mayor for her efforts and proposed new initiatives, the time has come for the mayor, attorney general and Council chair to cooperate and invest city funds and the planning needed to hold a city- wide town hall to create more synergy in re- sponse to the escalation of crime in the District. We have had such citywide meetings at the

Convention Center in the past and thousands have come together to share their thoughts and set an agenda to work on a broad spec-

trum of issues. The time is right to host such

a meeting focusing on setting the community

agenda to respond to the current crime spree. The broad range of issues brought up at the Bonds meeting, and others not mentioned there, deserve exploration and surely there are more than 130 people with ideas who can contribute to the discussion. While we can look at statistics and know the huge spike in homicides is focused in certain parts of the District, the answers on how to deal with the root issues of this crime spree must come from every part of the District. We have a collective responsibility to make the lives of ev- ery person who lives here better. When some- one commits a heinous crime against some-

one else in our community they are committing

it against all of us. When one family mourns the

loss of a son, daughter, mother, father, or lover we all mourn with them. After all, though the District is made up of eight wards and countless communities, we are one family and must take responsibility for making life better for each and every individual. We should look to the African proverb “It Takes a Village” and accept for us in the District of Columbia that village is 630,000

strong and encompasses every community and all eight wards.

VIEWPOINT

Celebrating the multi-dimensional life of Oliver Sacks

Gay author and neurologist wrote about his patients

Sacks Gay author and neurologist wrote about his patients KATHI WOLFE , a writer and poet,

KATHI WOLFE, a writer and poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade. She was a 1998-1999 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow.

“At worst, one is in motion; and at best/ Reaching no absolute, in which to rest,/ One is always nearer by not keeping still,” the late gay poet Thom Gunn wrote in “On the Move.” No one was more “on the move” than Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and acclaimed author who died at 82 on Aug. 30 from can- cer. Sacks, whose passions ranged from the mysteries of the brain to piano playing to motorcycle rides with the Hells Angels to sa- voring gefilte fish, revealed that he was gay

in his 2015 memoir “On the Move.” Gunn and Sacks were good friends. For his autobiography, Sacks used the title of his friend’s poem. I never knew or met Sacks. Yet, I’d bet that Gunn’s words resonate not only for Sacks’ loved ones and colleagues but for his many readers. It’s hard to think of anyone who was in more motion or kept less still than Sacks. Sacks was renowned not only for seeing his patients as human beings rather than as mere collections of symptoms, but for his elegant, compelling writing of their stories in numerous books from “Awakenings” to “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.” He spoke of these often spellbinding case studies as “neurological novels.” Sacks’ tales of his patients, modeled on the case histo- ries and explorations of 19th doctors and naturalists, were Chekhovian in their drama. The story of Dr. P, who thinks his wife’s head is a hat because his brain keeps him from knowing what he’s seeing, is a page-turner. The case study of Dr. P, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” was made into a one-act chamber opera of the same name. “Awakenings” is a riveting account of how Sacks in 1969 gave the drug L-dopa — then

a new drug in the treatment of Parkinson’s

disease — to patients who’d been catatonic for decades from an atypical form of en-

cephalitis, known as “sleeping sickness.” The book vividly describes how the patients re- acted when they emerged after years of be- ing shut out from the world. “Awakenings,” which brought Sacks fame, was made into

a 1990 movie starring Robin Williams and

Robert De Niro. Sacks, who was born in London in 1933, grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household

where his parents were both doctors. “I was encouraged from the start to interrogate, to investigate,” he wrote in “Uncle Tungsten,” his memoir about how he became interest- ed in science as a child. His bar mitzvah was the end of his “formal Jewish practice,” Sacks wrote in “Sabbath,” an opinion piece he penned for the “New York Times” just a few weeks before his death. “I did not embrace the ritual duties

and I gradually became

more indifferent to the beliefs and habits of my parents,” he wrote, “though there was no particular point of rupture until I was 18.” Then, Sacks told his father that he “liked boys.” “‘I haven’t done anything,’ I said, ‘it’s just a

of a Jewish adult

feeling – but don’t tell Ma, she won’t be able to take it,’” he wrote. But his father ignored his instructions and told his mother. After that, Sacks wrote, his mother, “shrieked at me: ‘You are an abomi- nation. I wish you had never been born.’” When Sacks was a child during World War II, he was evacuated from London. He was sent to a boarding school where the headmaster badly beat him. His interest in medicine was partly prompted when one of his brothers developed schizophrenia. In his 20s, Sacks flew to America to escape the oppressive treatment of LGBT people in

the U.K. “I had a peculiar feeling of freedom.

I was no longer in London, no longer in Eu-

rope, this was the New World and – within

limits – I could do what I wanted,” Sacks

wrote in “On the Move” about his stay at the

Y in San Francisco.

After several difficult experiences of unre- quited love and 35 years of celibacy, Sacks met the love of his life Billy Hayes in 2008. “We have a tranquil, many-dimensional

sharing of lives – a great and unexpected gift

in old age, after a lifetime of keeping at a dis-

tance,” Sacks wrote. Thank you, Dr. Sacks, for your multi-di- mensioned life and writing. R.I.P.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 23

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM SEPTEMBER 11 , 2015 • 23

24 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 25 Margaret goes ‘psyCHO’ Stand-up legend and LGBT ally

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 25
SEPTEMBER
11,
2015
25

Margaret goes ‘psyCHO’

• SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 25 Margaret goes ‘psyCHO’ Stand-up legend and LGBT ally to play

Stand-up legend and LGBT ally to play D.C. Oct. 9

By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com

Margaret Cho is her usual busy self. She’s prepping a new album of music, her second, for a late 2015 release. She earned laughs for her critique of Miley Cyrus at the VMAs while guesting on a newly retooled “Fashion Police” on E! and opened up in a Billboard interview last week that she was sexually abused and raped repeatedly while growing up in San Francisco. She teased the new album by playing one of her songs called “I Want to Kill My Rapist.” Cho, a long-time LGBT ally and activist, has offered a block of 100 tickets for the Oct. 9 D.C. date of her “psyCHO Tour” to Brother Help Thyself, which she says she is “thrilled” to do. A “Marry Me Margaret” contest is underway in which couples can enter a contest in each city. Cho will marry one set of winners at each stop on her tour. In March, she previewed the tour with a performance at the Gramercy Theatre in New York that will premiere on Showtime on Sept. 25, just before the tour kicks off in Michigan on Oct. 1. We caught up with her by phone from her Los Angeles home.

WASHINGTON BLADE: How did the marriage contest come about? Is it only open to LGBT couples? MARGARET CHO: I urge LGBT couples to come and be part of this. It’s something I was able to do at City Hall in 2006 when it was legal in San Francisco. I got deputized by Gavin Newsom to do it. It’s a great honor and now I’m able to do it everywhere.

BLADE: The contest rules say the entries may not be “profane, offensive, pornographic, defamatory or inappropriate as determined by sponsor.” Hello? In a Margaret Cho contest? CHO: (laughs) I wanted the entries to be brief. If you had all those things, it could get really wordy and long, so I just want people to present a very brief entry about why they think I should marry them and then I’ll pick one couple from each city. I’m

really excited about doing it. It’s a great way to celebrate the marriage equality decision by the Supreme Court so that’s a wonderful thing.

BLADE: Where were you when the decision came? How did you feel? CHO: I was in San Francisco and it was the very beginning of gay Pride weekend and I had done an event that Thursday

night. Then on Friday, I was going to leave and right before I was going I saw that and I was so moved. It’s just so moving and really rewarding to see that you can affect change. It takes a long time to make

it happen. I’ve been working on marriage

equality since 2004, so it’s been a while but it’s a real testament to everybody who got involved and spoke up and made it

happen.

BLADE: Is the tour going to be pretty much the show you taped in New York or was that something different? CHO: There will be some things the same and some things different. The

show is really about current events too and that shifts over time so it winds up being somewhat different each time it’s performed. That’s just part of the kind of work I do. It’s always very live and so there’s

a lot of option for turnover.

BLADE: Will you be singing on the tour as well? CHO: A little bit, yes. Maybe one or two songs.

BLADE: How did the taping go back in

March?

CHO: It was great, really phenomenal.

I love performing there and I always love

doing these specials too. It’s been a while.

I hadn’t done one for a couple of years,

so it was really great to get back to it. I have a whole bunch of them now and it’s something I want to keep doing.

BLADE: Tell me about this painting made from your blood. What’s that about? CHO: I have a friend who was on death row, Damien Echols and through the efforts of myself and many others, he was

CONTINUES ON PAGE 50

MARGARET CHO says she’s ‘thrilled’ a portion of the proceeds from her D.C. show will go to Brother Help Thyself.

PHOTO BY AUSTIN YOUNG

QUEERY

James Fondle/Lee Winnike

26 SEPTEMBER
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SEPTEMBER

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2015 •
2015
QUEERY James Fondle/Lee Winnike 26 SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM PHOTO COURTESY OF WINNIKE The local

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF WINNIKE
PHOTO COURTESY OF WINNIKE

The local ‘boylesque’ performer answers 20 gay questions

By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO joeyd@washblade.com

What does Lee Winnike do? It depends on which day you ask. By day he studies social work at Gallaudet University. He’s also a “boylesque” performer and is co-producing the upcoming show “Basic Instinct” on Oct. 17 at Phase 1 with Pussy Noir to “highlight boylesque, draglesque and other gender expressions through entertainment.” He also organizes an LGBT American Sign Language class at the DC Center. And he’s a sex educator at Lotus Blooms, an adult boutique in Alexandria, Va. The 26-year-old Covington, Ky., native went to college in Dayton, Ohio, then came to Washington four years ago because, as he puts it, “compared to Dayton, Ohio, there’s so many more queers here.” He’s single and lives in Trinidad near the Gallaudet campus. Winnike enjoys Netflix, eating and lying in bed in his free time. Follow him as James Fondle on Facebook for details of upcoming performances.

202.747.2077202.747.2077
202.747.2077202.747.2077

Queery

James Fondle/Lee Winnike

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? I’ve been out as queer for six years and out as transgender for three years. The hardest people to tell were my grandma and grandpa. I had some wild anxiety dreams before telling them, but they ended up being supportive in their own way.

Who’s your LGBT hero? Marsha P. Johnson

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? Overeasy, Makers Lab Events and my friend is organizing a Gndrf*ck party I’m excited to check out.

Describe your dream wedding. Outdoor on a beautiful spring day, full of campy 1950s decorations and props, and of course all of my favorite people dressed to the nines.

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? I think LGBTQ issues tie into all the issues we face today because of the diversity within the LGBTQ community.

What historical outcome would you change? You know in movies when people go back in time, eat a potato chip, and then it alters existence forever? Yeah, I am not sure if I want to touch that one.

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? I will never forget when t.A.T.u. kissed on stage because I was watching with my mom. Painfully awkward conversations ensued.

On what do you insist? Please, for the love of the Goddess, tell me if I have spinach in my teeth.

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? “If you missed my Hedwig act, I’m doing

it again tonight at the pinch! Tickets often sell out so get yours in advance if interested”

If your life were a book, what would the title be? “Where did my keys go?”

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do? I wouldn’t change a thing.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world? I don’t have many firm beliefs, but I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if Beyoncé had supernatural powers.

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders? Listen to the young change makers from all movements; protect femmes of color.

What would you walk across hot coals for?

My friends

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? That we all fit easily into one category. I have identified with each of the LGBTQ letters at one point in my life.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie? I have to go with the classic, “Paris is Burning”

What’s the most overrated social custom?

The eight-hour work day.

What trophy or prize do you most covet? For the next two years it is any scholarship I can find.

What do you wish you’d known at 18? You are not as alone as you think you are.

Why Washington? I love my community here.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 27

THE FIX fall season WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN Now through September 20 Pride Night:
THE FIX
fall season
WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN
Now through September 20
Pride Night: September 11
#SigFix
Cake Off
Only one will be standing
when the timer dings.
September 29 – November 22
Pride Nights: October 16 and
November 6
#SigCakeOff
girlstar
How far is too far to be a star?
October 13 – November 15
Pride Night: November 13
#SigGirlstar
WEST SIDE
STORY
The greatest musical
of all time
December 8 – January 24
Pride Night: January 8
#SigWestSide

DANCE

28 • SEPTEMBER
28
SEPTEMBER

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2015 •
2015
DANCE 28 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM Invitation to dance STEP AFRIKA! performs at VelocityDC’s

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Invitation to dance

11, 2015 • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM Invitation to dance STEP AFRIKA! performs at VelocityDC’s Dance Festival in

STEP AFRIKA! performs at VelocityDC’s Dance Festival in October.

Regional troupes explore culture, collaboration in fall offerings

By MARIAH COOPER

The fall brings an abundance of dance performances from classical ballet and contemporary dance to cultural dances from India and Latin America. Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater hosts a free Latin America dance party on Sept. 13 at the Catwalk Café at the Mead Center for American Theater (1101 6th St., S.W.) following the 7:30 p.m. performance of the play “Destiny of Desire.” Dance instructors will teach the Cha Cha Chá, Rueda de Casino, Afro-Cuban Rumba and more. There will also be cocktails. The dance party is free with a ticket purchase to “Dance of Desire.” For more information, visit arenastage.org. VelocityDC holds its seventh annual Dance Festival at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F St., N.W.) on Oct. 15 at 8 p.m., Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 17 at 2 and 8 p.m. Performers include Step Afrika!, the Washington Ballet’s Studio Company,

Shannon Dunne Dance, Malayaworks Dance Theater, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble and more. Tickets are $18. For more details, visit velocitydc.org Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh holds its 12th annual Fall Festival of Indian Arts at Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St., N.E.) this fall. On Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m., C. V. Chandrasekhar gives a dance performance in the Paul Sprenger Theatre. On Oct. 31at 7:30 p.m., Rama Vaidyanathan gives a classical Indian dance performance. On Nov. 1 at 4 p.m., Mallika Sarabhai also performs. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $20 for students. For more information, visit dakshina.org. Dissonance Dance Theatre presents Dance Noir, dance performances accompanied with dark and dramatic classical music scores, at the Joy of Motion Dance Center (5207 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) on Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $15-18 online and are $25 at the door. For more details, visit ddtdc.org. Dance Place (3225 8th St., N.E.) presents an evening of Cuban dance with dance company D.C. Casineros and Ernesto “Gato” Gatell in tribute to Cuban

PHOTO BY EDWARD C. JONES; COURTESY OF BUCKLESWEET MEDIA

guitarist Ernesto Tamayo on Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. After the dance performance, Gatell and his band will perform Son, Mambo and Guaracha music for the whole audience to dance along with Yudisleidy Valdez Mena and member of the D.C. Casineros dance company. On Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., Dance Place presents “2 Decades” by Bowen McCauley Dance. The performance will include excerpts from “Lucy’s Playlist” and “Bach Chaconne in D Minor.” The National Chamber Ensemble will also play music as accompaniment to the performances. General admission advanced tickets for the Dance Place performances are are $25. Advanced tickets for Dance Place Members, seniors and artists tickets are $20. Tickets for college students and children under 17 years old are $15. Tickets at the door are $30. For more details, visit danceplace.org. The Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) holds many dance performances this fall. Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company presents “Fluency in Four” on Sept. 19-20. The company will perform Burgess’s works “Picasso Dances,” “Mandala,” “Confluence” and his latest

work “We Choose to Go to the Moon,” a collaboration with NASA. Tickets range from $28-45. Sivam Inc. presents “Utsav: Celebrating India’s Maestros of Music and Dance” on Oct. 2-4. The dance performances are on Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. with Bharatanatyam Ballet performing a dance, poetry, music and theater version of the novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel Cervantes. On Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Odissi dancer Madhavi Mudgal and her dancers perform classical Indian dance. Tickets range from $40-50. On Oct. 28-30 Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence and Jason Moran and the Bandwagon perform “Jason+” a mix of dance and jazz. Performances include “Why You Follow,” an Afro-Cuba dance, “One Shot,” a dance interpretation of Charles “Tennie” Harris’s life and more. Tickets range from $29-59. Tony Award-Winning choreographer Twyla Tharp celebrates five decades of her work on Nov. 11-14. Dancers will perform her choreographed works that span Broadway musicals, Hollywood films, television and modern and ballet dance companies.Tickets range from $34-65. For more details, visit kennedy-center.org.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 29

2015-2016

STUDIOTHEATRE.ORG

MAIN

FIVE-PLAY

START

SERIES

AT $220

SUBSCRIPTIONS

MAIN FIVE-PLAY START SERIES AT $220 SUBSCRIPTIONS BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY BY STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS
MAIN FIVE-PLAY START SERIES AT $220 SUBSCRIPTIONS BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY BY STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY

BY STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS DIRECTED BY BRIAN MACDEVITT

JAN 13 - FEB 28, 2016

A boisterous and unflinching dark comedy about

the thorny nature of belonging, family relation-

ships, and what it means to a call a place home. Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

to a call a place home. Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. HEDDA GABLER BY HENRIK

HEDDA GABLER

BY HENRIK IBSEN IN A NEW VERSION BY MARK O’ROWE DIRECTED BY MATT TORNEY

MAY 11 - JUN 19, 2016

Mark O’Rowe’s stunning contemporary

adaptation is a mesmerizing study of power, control, and self-deception, offering a nuanced portrait of one

of

the most fascinating figures

in

modern drama.

A
A

SPECIAL REMOUNT

figures in modern drama. A SPECIAL REMOUNT BAD JEWS BY JOSHUA HARMON DIRECTED BY SERGE SEIDEN

BAD JEWS

BY JOSHUA HARMON DIRECTED BY SERGE SEIDEN

DEC 3, 2015 - JAN 3, 2016

Joshua Harmon’s savage comedy about family, faith, and legacy follows three cousins and their verbal battle royale over a family heirloom. The best-selling play in Studio’s history returns for a holiday run.

play in Studio’s history returns for a holiday run. CHIMERICA BY LUCY KIRKWOOD DIRECTED BY DAVID

CHIMERICA

BY LUCY KIRKWOOD DIRECTED BY DAVID MUSE US PREMIERE

NOW PLAYING

An epic thriller that tracks two decades of US-China relations as it considers political change, personal responsibility, and lives forever changed by the crosswinds of politics and history

forever changed by the crosswinds of politics and history Sarah Marshall THE APPLE FAMILY CYCLE BY
Sarah Marshall
Sarah Marshall
by the crosswinds of politics and history Sarah Marshall THE APPLE FAMILY CYCLE BY RICHARD NELSON

THE APPLE FAMILY CYCLE

BY RICHARD NELSON DIRECTED BY SERGE SEIDEN

OCT 28 - DEC 13, 2015

Over meals and through conversation, the Apples grapple with the changes the years have wrought, both for themselves and for America in the final two plays of Nelson’s cycle.

and for America in the final two plays of Nelson’s cycle. MOMENT BY DEIRDRE KINAHAN DIRECTED
and for America in the final two plays of Nelson’s cycle. MOMENT BY DEIRDRE KINAHAN DIRECTED

MOMENT

BY DEIRDRE KINAHAN DIRECTED BY ETHAN MCSWEENY

MAR 16 - APR 24, 2016

A long-absent son, an ailing mother, and the long-simmering resentments of two sisters collide in this intimate and explosive family drama.

sisters collide in this intimate and explosive family drama. CONSTELLATIONS BY NICK PAYNE DIRECTED BY DAVID
CONSTELLATIONS BY NICK PAYNE DIRECTED BY DAVID MUSE FEB 10-MAR 6 2016
CONSTELLATIONS
BY NICK PAYNE
DIRECTED BY
DAVID MUSE
FEB 10-MAR 6
2016

Theoretical physicist meets beekeeper, but the story branches off from there. An intimate and imaginative romance that plays out the infinite possibilities of a single relationship.

ANIMAL BY CLARE LIZZIMORE DIRECTED BY GAYE TAYLOR UPCHURCH WORLD PREMIERE SEP 30-OCT 25 2015
ANIMAL
BY CLARE LIZZIMORE
DIRECTED BY
GAYE TAYLOR UPCHURCH
WORLD PREMIERE
SEP 30-OCT 25
2015
Kate Eastwood Norris

A

darkly comic play about the underside of domesticity, the complexity

of

the brain in chaos, and the thin line between sinking and survival.

the underside of domesticity, the complexity of the brain in chaos, and the thin line between
the underside of domesticity, the complexity of the brain in chaos, and the thin line between

CONCERTS

30 • SEPTEMBER
30
SEPTEMBER

11,

2015 •
2015
CONCERTS 30 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM Diva trifecta Kelly, Madonna and Diana kick off

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Diva trifecta

Kelly, Madonna and Diana kick off fall D.C. concert blitz

By CHRIS GERARD

The fall concert season gets rolling with

a three big-time pop stars spanning three

generations all performing within days of each other in September. Vocal powerhouse Kelly Clarkson has back-to-back nights at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Va.) on Sept. 12-13 at 7 p.m. (wolftrap.org) Pop icon Madonna returns to

the Verizon Center (601 F St., N.W.) on Sept. 12

at 8 p.m. in support of her “Rebel Heart” album

(livenation.com or ticketmaster.com). Then if that isn’t enough diva power, the legendary Diana Ross will be at the Strathmore (10701

Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, Md.) on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. (strathmore.org) after a Sept. 13 show at Pier Six Pavilion (piersixpavilion.com) in Baltimore. That’s just the start of what is shaping up to be an exciting concert season in D.C. this fall. Perhaps the biggest event is the Landmark Music Festival at West Potomac Park (West Basin Drive, S.W.), a

a two-day event starting Saturday, Sept.

26 at noon and featuring an impressive lineup including Drake, alt-J, The Strokes, CHVRCHES, Chromeo, Ben Howard, Band of Horses, fun. frontman Nate Ruess and the War on Drugs. The full line-up and more information is at landmarkfestiva.org. In addition to Madonna, the Verizon Center has some real heavy hitters. British pop sensation Ed Sheeran will play two nights, Sept. 22-23 at 7:30 p.m. R&B giant R. Kelly headlines on Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. Musical legend Stevie Wonder performs on Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., and will play his landmark album “Songs of the Key of Life” in its entirety. A fantastic rock double- bill goes down on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., as recent Hall of Fame inductees Joan Jett and the Blackhearts open for the Who. One of the hottest artists in the country, pop/R&B sensation the Weeknd, takes the

the country, pop/R&B sensation the Weeknd , takes the MADONNA brings her ‘Rebel Heart Tour’ to

MADONNA brings her ‘Rebel Heart Tour’ to D.C. this weekend.

stage on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The 9:30 Club (815 V St. N.W.) as usual has a host of top-notch talent slated for fall. The reunited ‘90s shoegaze band Ride will play on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. Gay-fronted band Years & Years play there Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. Pop vocalist Tove Lo performs on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m., and the always-outrageous Peaches

The highlight of

the season is the return of alternative-rock legends Garbage, who will perform on Oct. 28-29 at 7 p.m. to celebrate 20th anniversary

of their debut album, which they will play in its entirety. Details at 9:30.com. Summer may be winding down, but there are still some big shows upcoming at Merriweather Post Pavilion (10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md.). Death Cab for Cutie will take the stage on Sept.

13 at 7:30 p.m

with “Sound & Color,” Alabama Shakes will perform on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m., and Of Monsters and Men play Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. Details at merriweathermusic.com. If country music under the stars is your idea of a perfect evening in September, there are a couple big opportunities you shouldn’t miss at Jiffy Lube Live (7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va.). Jason

Fresh off a no. 1 album

returns on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m

PHOTO BY PASCAL MANNAERTS; COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA

Aldean will hit the stage on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. while Brad Paisley will be there Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. Details at jiffylubelive.com. If your thing is dancing, then Echostage (2135 Queens Chapel Rd, N.E.) is the place to be. Their fall line-up is highlighted by British electronic duo Disclosure supporting their new album “Caracal” with shows on Oct. 21 (doors at 8 p.m.) and Oct. 22 (opening at 9 p.m.) Dutch electro/hip-hop star Stromae will perform on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. EDM hero Armin van Buuren will have the place jumping on Sept. 24, with doors opening at 9 p.m. World-renowned DJ Kaskade will do the same when he spins on Oct. 16. at 9 p.m. Details at echostage.com. The Birchmere, (3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.), has an impressive line- up of talent on its calendar, highlighted by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell performing together on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and the talented singer-songwriter Patty Griffin on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. The renowned lesbian folk/rock duo Indigo Girls perform on Nov. 2 at 7:30. Details at birchmere.com. The Howard Theatre (620 T St., N.W.) hosts a CD party for the amazing Lizz

Wright on Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. Electronic pioneers the Orb appear on Sept. 13 at

8 p.m. Lalah Hathaway will be there for

two nights on Sept. 26 and 28 at 8 p.m. For more information and additional listings, go to thehowardtheatre.com. At the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University, (730 21st St., N.W), Lucinda Williams will perform on Oct. 7

at 8 p.m., while Mavis Staples and Joan Osborne bring their “Solid Soul” tour on Oct. 31. at 8 p.m. (lisner.gwu.edu) The Fillmore in Silver Spring (8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) serves up pop heartthrob Nick Jonas on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Details at fillmoresilverspring.com. Classical outfit Seraphic Fire perform Handel’s “Coronation Anthems” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (2430 K St., N.W.) on Nov. 10. They’ll return in 2016 for two more concerts there. Details at seraphicfire.org. Loretta Lynn plays Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) on Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Other notable shows at the Lincoln include FFS, an outstanding mashup of Sparks and Franz Ferdinand, on Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m., Kacey Musgraves for two nights on Oct. 16-17 at 6:30 p.m., and Marina and the Diamonds on Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Details at thelincolndc.com. In addition to Kelly Clarkson, Wolf Trap will host Broadway favorite Megan Hilty on Oct. 9 at 7 and 9:30 p.m., iconic lesbian vocalist Joan Armatrading for two nights on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Madeleine Peyroux on Nov. 17 at

8 p.m, Suzanne Vega with Duncan Sheik

on Nov. 18-19 at 8 p.m., and Rickie Lee

EagleBank

Jones on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m

Arena (formerly the Patriot Center) will host openly gay latin/pop superstar Ricky Martin on Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. and Marc Anthony on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. Details at eaglebankarena.com. And three gay Strathmore dates to put on your calendar for December — Dave Koz returns there on Dec. 4, the gay- helmed Philadelphia Orchestra will perform on Dec. 7 and Michael Feinstein is there Dec. 11. Details at strathmore.org.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 31

PLUS SAM BUSH 10/15 OCT 9 FOLK DANCES OF INDIA 10/17 MEGAN HILTY OLD DOMINION
PLUS
SAM BUSH 10/15
OCT 9
FOLK DANCES OF INDIA 10/17
MEGAN HILTY
OLD DOMINION 10/22
2 SHOWS!
2 SHOWS!
JONATHAN BISS, PIANO 10/23
CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE BARNS
WILLIE NILE 10/29
OCT 14
CATHERINE RUSSELL 10/30
BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE
JOAN ARMATRADING 10/31 + 11/1
MOUNTAIN HEART 11/8
PAUL THORN 11/10
CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO 11/11
OCT 16
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX
DEBBY BOONE 11/12
SETH GLIER
KUOK-WAI LIO, PIANO
ZOLTÁN FEJÉRVÁRI, PIANO 11/13
CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE BARNS
SONNY LANDRETH 11/21
NOV 5
SISTER SPARROW
& THE DIRTY BIRDS
JOHN EATON 11/27
WILD ADRIATIC
OVER THE RHINE 12/4
CALMUS 12/6
CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE BARNS
NOV 18 + 19
AND MANY MORE!
ON
SUZANNE VEGA
DUNCAN SHEIK
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NOV 20
RICKIE LEE JONES

GALLERIES

32 • SEPTEMBER
32
SEPTEMBER

11,

2015 •
2015
GALLERIES 32 • SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM ‘Layers’ of artistic expression Touchstone multi-medium

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

‘Layers’ of artistic expression

Touchstone multi-medium exhibit among fall highlights

By MARIAH COOPER

The District receives a breath of fresh air on the art scene with numerous gallery exhibitions opening for fall viewing. Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) presents three exhibits through Sept. 27. “Layers” is featured in Gallery A with photography, paintings, sculptures, hand-pulled prints, collages and drawings focused on layers of color on display. In Gallery B, “Metropolis” by McCain McMurray, a series of art inspired by cityscapes, is presented. “Quarter Sections” by Janet Wheeler, artwork based on oppositions, repetitions and variations and more, is located in Gallery C. The opening reception for these exhibits is on Sept. 11 from 6-8:30 p.m. There will be an encore reception on Sept. 26 from 2-4 p.m. and an artist talk at 3 p.m. For more information, visit touchstonegallery.com. Bethesda Gallery B (7700 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md.) presents a group exhibition of the eight finalists from the Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards through Sept. 26. Finalists include Selin Balci, Lynn Cazabon, Catherine Day, Jason Hughes, Tim Makepeace, Sebastian Martorana, Jonathan Monaghan and Nara Park. First place prize is for $10,000. The opening reception is Sept. 11 from 6-9 p.m. For more details, visit Bethesda.org/ Bethesda/gallery-b-exhibitions. Adah Rose Gallery (3766 Howard Ave., Kensington, Md.) presents “Scott Hazard:

Memory Gardens” from Sept.11-Oct. 31. Hazard’s sculptures are created from torn pieces of paper that are spaced apart and aligned in wood to create a landscape garden of words. This is Hazard’s first gallery show with Adah Rose Gallery. For more details, visit adahrosegallery.com. The National Portrait Gallery (8th and F streets, N.W.) presents “Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner Photographs 1859-1872” from Sept. 18-March 13. Gardner’s photographs captured the Civil War, post-Civil War, portraits of American Indians and a rare portrait of Abraham Lincoln. For more information, visit npg.si.edu. Studio Gallery (2108 R St., N.W.) presents “Seeing Through the Mind’s Eye” by Deborah Addison Coburn through Sept. 26. The exhibit is a combination of oil and watercolor portraits created with shapes and lines for a geometric take on

created with shapes and lines for a geometric take on ‘Belly Button Room Divider Prototype,’ a

‘Belly Button Room Divider Prototype,’ a 1957 ceramic-and-metal rod work. It’s on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

PHOTO BY BRENT BROLIN; COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS

faces. An artists’ reception will also be on Sept. 19 at 3 p.m. For more information, visit studiogallerydc.com. Hillwood Museum (4155 Linnean Ave., N.W.) presents “Ingenue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion from the Collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post” with summer fashions showing through Sept. 27 and fall and winter styles on display starting Oct. 1. The

collection spans Post’s wardrobe from the 20th century and includes flapper dresses from the 1920s and gowns from the 1950s. General admission tickets are $15, senior tickets are $12, student tickets are $10 and children 6-18 years old are $5. Members and children under 6 years old are free. For more information, visit hillwoodmuseum.org. Transformer (1404 P St., N.W.) presents

“The Temporary Art Repair Shop” by Tobias Sternberg from Oct. 3-30. Sternberg will transform the space into a repair shop and sculptor’s studio. The public is invited to drop off their broken or ugly objects and Sternberg will turn these objects into works of art. If Sternberg chooses to use the object, it will be on display until closing day. The opening reception for the exhibit is Oct. 3 from 6-8 p.m. For more details, visit transformerdc.org. The Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., N.W.) presents “Gauguin to Picasso:

Masterworks from Switzerland” from Oct. 10-Jan 10. The exhibit pays tribute to Rudolf Staechelin and Karl Im Obersteg both from the city of Basel. They supported Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and School of Paris artists. From their collections, more than 60 paintings from 22 artists will be on display from the mid- 19th and 20th centuries. Adult tickets are $12; student and senior tickets are $10. Members and children under 18 years old are free. For more information, visit phillipscollection.org. Freer and Sackler Galleries (1050 Independence Ave., S.W.) present “Sōtatsu: Making Waves” from Oct. 24-Jan. 31. The exhibit showcases more than 70 works from 17th century Japanese artist Tawaraya Sōtatsu. Works displayed include “Waves at Matsushima,” “Dragons and Clouds” as well as fans, paintings, hanging scrolls and more. Admission is free. For more details, visit asia.si.edu/exhibitions. The National Museum of Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave., N.W.) presents “Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today” from Oct. 30-Feb. 28 featuring multi-media work by Eva Zeisel, Vivianna Torun Bulow- Hube, Rut Bryk, Vivian Beer and many others. Details at nmwa.org. The National Gallery of Art (6th and Constitution Ave., N.W.) has multiple exhibits coming on display this fall. “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter” by Johannes Vermeer, lent from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, is on display from Sept. 19-Dec. 1. “The Serial Impulse at Gemini” will be on display from Oct. 4-Feb. 7. The exhibit showcases 17 artists’ works produced at the Los Angeles print workshop Gemini G.E.L. “Celebrating Photography at the National Gallery of Art: Recent Gifts” will be on display from Nov. 1-March 27. These photographs were all donated to the National Gallery of Art. Admission is free for all exhibits. For more information, visit nga.gov.

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • 33

CELEBRATING THE SHOPS, SCHOOLS, RESTAURANTS, CLUBS, PARKS, ARTS AND FOLKS OF THE 17TH STREET CORRIDOR
CELEBRATING THE SHOPS, SCHOOLS, RESTAURANTS, CLUBS, PARKS, ARTS AND FOLKS OF THE 17TH STREET CORRIDOR
9.12.15
The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN

SPONSORED IN PART BY:

CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN
CORRIDOR 9.12.15 The 17th Street Festival Is Produced By Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets SPONSORED IN

MUSIC

34 SEPTEMBER
34
SEPTEMBER

11,

2015 •
2015
MUSIC 34 SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM Triumphant returns? DURAN DURAN returns Sept. 18 with its

WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

Triumphant returns?

11, 2015 • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM Triumphant returns? DURAN DURAN returns Sept. 18 with its 14th studio album.

DURAN DURAN returns Sept. 18 with its 14th studio album.

PHOTO BY STEPHANIE PISTEL

Janet, Adele, Beiber and others prep fall releases

By CHRIS GERARD

Leading the pack for highly anticipated new releases this fall is British songstress Adele, who will reportedly release “25” in November. She’s been working with hitmakers Danger Mouse, Max Martin, Tobias Jesso Jr. and Ryan Tedder, so the heavy guns are out to make sure it’s a worthy follow-up to the mega-smash “21.” The other big pop releases this fall are due from Justin Bieber, whose as-yet-untitled album is expected sometime in November, and dance/pop icon Janet Jackson, who will release “Unbreakable,” her first new album in more than seven years, on Oct. 2. In addition to these, there are plenty of other new releases on the horizon that should appeal to just about any taste. Animal Collective is issuing a new live album recorded in D.C. earlier this summer, “Live at 9:30,” which is available for digital download or in a limited edition vinyl set. On Sept. 11, piano-rocker Ben Folds is back with “So There” and acclaimed blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. returns with “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim,” along with new offerings by ‘90s folk-pop staple Jewel and pop vocalist Leona Lewis. Norwegian legends a-ha also returns five years after announcing their retirement with a comeback album, “Cast in Steel.” Grammy-

winning UK singer/songwriter Jess Glynn is out with her solo debut album “I Cry When I Laugh” also on the 11th. Sept. 18 is a big release date, with British pop legends Duran Duran back with their 14th studio album, “Paper Gods.” The album is produced by Mark Ronson and Nile Rodgers, and includes the first single “Pressure Off,” featuring a guest appearance by Janelle Monáe. Lana Del Rey returns with her eagerly anticipated third album “Honeymoon,” and Mac Miller is back with “Good A.M.” Also due on the 18th is the latest by new wave revivalists Metric, “Pagans in Vega,” and the latest solo album by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, “Rattle That Lock.” Speaking of legendary guitarists, Keith Richards will hit on the same date with his third solo effort, “Crosseyed Heart.” Sept. 25 is perhaps the biggest day of the fall for big new releases. The British electronic dance duo Disclosure will follow-up its acclaimed debut “Settle” with “Caracal,” and once again they feature talented guest vocalists — this time Sam Smith is joined by Lorde, the Weeknd and Miguel. The Scottish synth-pop group Chvrches release their second album “Every Open Eye.” The outrageous electro-punk pioneer Peaches is back with “Rub.” New Order returns with “Music Complete,” their first new studio album in a decade. New albums by Kurt Vile, the Dears, Darkstar, Los Lobos, Silversun Pickups, the Game, the Dead Weather and Widespread Panic

are also expected Sept. 25. EDM superstar Avicii will follow-up his smash 2013 release “Time” with “Stories,” due Oct. 2. Pop vocalist Matt Nathanson also returns on Oct. 2 with “Show Me Your Fangs.” ‘90s rockers Collective Soul hits the same day with “See What You Started by Continuing,” along with British post- punk revivalists Editors, “In Dream” and songwriter John Grant’s latest “Grey Tickles, Black Pressure,” the follow-up to 2013’s acclaimed “Pale Green Ghosts.” Girls Names, Children of Bodom, Autre Ne Veut, Eagles of Death Metal and Wavves also have new releases due on the 2nd. Legendary songstress Tori Amos will release the cast recording to the musical she co-wrote with Samuel Adamson, “The Light Princess,” on Oct. 9. Progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria will release their latest on the same date, “The Color Before the Sun.” Also due that day are new offerings by Toby Keith, Selena Gomez, a live album by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and the latest by electronic indie-pop group City and Colour, “If I Should Go Before You.” Later in the fall we can expect new albums by Carrie Underwood, “Storyteller,” indie-folk heroine Joanna Newsom, Vanessa Carlton, Rod Stewart, the return of ‘90s R&B combo SWV, the first album by New Zealand rockers the Chills in two decades, Puscifer, and Seal. Also expected are big-name titles from Bloc Party, Christina Aguilera, Crystal Castles, Panic! At The Disco, Deftones, PJ Harvey,

Don Henley, Rihanna, Drake, Santigold, Frank Ocean, Gwen Stefani, Incubus, Haim, Tim McGraw, Grimes, Demi Lovato, Gorillaz, Jennifer Nettles, Kanye West (possibly 2016), M.I.A., Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, T-Pain, T.I., Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, TLC, Kings of Leon, GZA, James Blake, Metronomy, and Cee Lo Green, none of which have official release dates yet. Autumn is a great time for archival releases, and this year is no exception. Save up your funds for a couple big ticket items coming in September. On the 25th, British supergroup Queen will issue an 18- LP set of all their albums on deluxe colored vinyl called “The Studio Collection,” but be prepared to pay about $450. The same day, David Bowie will unleash the first of a series of lavish box sets: “Five Years (1969 to 1973),” which will included remastered versions of all of his album releases during that period as well as a two-disc set of rarities and b-sides. Velvet Underground will release a massive 45th anniversary edition of “Loaded” on Oct. 30. A deluxe two-disc 20th anniversary edition of Alanis Morissette’s iconic “Jagged Little Pill” is set for release on Oct. 30 (yes, it’s been 20 years!). It will include a remastered version of the original album plus a selection of unreleased tracks selected personally by Morissette from her archives. Garbage will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut with a deluxe three- LP edition complete with a bonus disc containing b-sides.

1 Our Heroes 2015 Exhibit on history of AIDS in D.C. on display One of
1

1

Our Heroes 2015

Exhibit on history of AIDS in D.C. on display

One of the most important collections related to the history of HIV/AIDS in Washington, D.C., will be on display at the U.S. Conference on AIDS, being held from Sept. 9-13. The complete collection of the “Our Heroes” exhibit includes 230 black and white portrait photographs of individuals, places, events and organizations that have made an impact in the war against AIDS in Washington, D.C., over the past 32 years. The installation of the exhibit will be held on Friday, Sept. 11 from 5-7 p.m. at the U.S. Conference on AIDS at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. A gallery opening will be held at the DC Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105) on Friday, Sept. 25 from 6-8 p.m. and will remain on display from Oct. 1-31.

These portrait photographs and stories will help archive the history of AIDS and its impact on Washington. These stories will also share with the world our journey and heroism in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This collection was displayed at the Wilson Building in 2006 and has grown by an additional 50 entries. It was displayed at the MLK Library from December 2013 until Jan. 5, 2014. After that time, the complete collection was given to the MLK Library. (Local advocates collaborating with the D.C. Department of Health compiled the list of Heroes that follows. The Washington Blade is publishing this compendium of Heroes honorees but is not responsible for its contents and did not write the text.)

responsible for its contents and did not write the text.) 2004 Cornelius Baker PHOTO BY GARY

2004

Cornelius Baker

PHOTO BY GARY JONES
PHOTO BY GARY JONES

Cornelius Baker has been one the AIDS community’s most successful organization builders and an effective advocate on behalf of people with AIDS. He served as Executive Director of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) beginning in 1996; he served previously as Whitman- Walker Clinic’s executive director. Baker has also served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services panel on clinical practices in HIV treatment, the U.S. Public Health Service/Infectious Disease Society of America’s Working Group on the Prevention of Opportunistic Infections, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS. Baker has also served as aide to Washington, D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz; as a member of the transition team of President George Bush; as Confidential Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the National AIDS Program Office (NAPO) under the Bush administration;

and as the first Director of Public Policy for NAPWA. Baker is former president and fundraising chairman of Brother, Help Thyself, the gay community charitable giving campaign of Washington and Baltimore.

Michael Boteler

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

The following words are from Michael Boteler:

“I saw someone in the early years in need; I did whatever I could to make them feel loved and cared for. “Even before I found out that I had AIDS, I was not feeling well for quite a while and I went to the doctors, he drew blood, had me come back in a week and said to me “You have GRID (AIDS) you better get yourself together. You will probably be dead in about three weeks,” and then he turned around and left the room never to come back. I was devastated by this information, immediately I felt like all of those other expressions on those lonely, fearful faces that I had seen of so many times before. I gathered so much strength from still continuing in the early years with Activism, sitting with those just finding out, helping around the house, taking them to the doctors

or hospitals, and sometimes not bringing them back home with me because they just didn’t have chance. I remember the fear, the

isolation, the discrimination, the blame shifting and the hatred that others had for us. “My journey through life has been one that I would never ever wish to give back. AIDS has been

a blessing in my life. I have been a

caregiver to those with HIV/AIDS in both the hospital and hospice setting. I have helped to arrange funerals for those who have died of AIDS, I have held the hands of their children, consoled their parents who did not know about them being sick and I have also been at memorial services of people who were so very popular and when they passed no one showed up but a handful of people. In my work today I am a coordinator for Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, as an openly HIV- positive man who is also in recovery. I am the HIV Spiritual Retreat Coordinator and Support Group Facilitator for the Ministry with a caseload of approximately 525 participants; we also do a Burial Assistance Program for those who pass with HIV/AIDS to

help the family give the deceased

a burial with dignity. The retreats

are held 7 times per year and I also continue in my recovery process sharing very often about my status and how important it is to get tested and remain safe. My life is so very full and I am so grateful for the disease of AIDS.” Peace and Blessings, Michael J. Boteler

Bishop K. Rainey Cheeks

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

The following is from Bishop Kwabena Rainey Cheeks:

“May 1975 was the opening of the Clubhouse, a membership dance club here in Washington, D.C. It was quite unique every Friday and Saturday night between 800 to 1,200 people came each night to dance the night away. I was one of the managers of the club; in the early ‘80s we noticed we many of our members

and friends becoming ill — it was the beginning of what we know

to be the AIDS pandemic. I was

ordained as a minister in 1982; little did I know this would be the start of my ministry. We did not understand what this was; we just knew something was happening that was affecting our community. By 1984 it was devastating how many of our friends were sick and

dying from this strange disease. “At first, we did not know what

to think or what to do about this

because it was hitting every one no

one was being left out as much as

it was being pushed as a gay white disease. We knew better because

it was right in the midst of our

community. In the beginning

I found myself working with

people, trying to find ways to help

from raising money to help other organizations, to pay someone’s rent, buying medication. Everyone involved in the early days did whatever it took. At the Club House we had many entertainers to perform, the Weather Girls, Nona Hendrix, and Sylvester were

just a few. After I got them to the club, I would tell them I wanted to use the limousine to go and pick someone up that may be ill

to see the show as a way to uplift

their spirits. They were more than willing to do this and they would

spend a little time to meet them in the dressing room. In those days we would come together to help each other out by cooking dinner, cleaning the home, or just sitting with each other as needed. In one month I hosted over 17 funerals because most churches would not host them or gave little help. Thank God it’s different today. “In 1984, I started a support

group for HIV-positive people.

I knew Prem Deben was also

working as an herbalist and therapist; we then formed a Holistic health support group. In 1985, we officially incorporated Us Helping Us, People Into Living (UHU) as a holistic organization to find ways to improve one’s health. It was a body, mind, and spirit connection that we knew we had to make. There were

support groups for men and women. The training was two 12-week sessions to study the use of herbs, vitamins, diet and nutrition and how to make an inner connection

to find ways to strengthen our lives.

We chose the name Us Helping

Us, People Into Living because we truly believed we could live with

2 HIV/AIDS and one day we would be focusing on other health issues. AIDS Resources

2

2

HIV/AIDS and one day we would be focusing on other health issues.

AIDS Resources and Education Consortium (DC CARE) was

metropolitan area. Since 1988, Food & Friends has provided food

my personal interests for all the subsequent years. I found

In the beginning we worked totally out of pocket. In 1993, I left UHU to open Inner Light Ministries

created on June 19, 1991, in response to Title II of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS

and companionship to our clients, their loved ones and caregivers. The mission of Food & Friends

myself standing on the sidelines, watching my closest friends die one after another until one day

and Dr. Ron Simmons became the

Resources Emergency Act. Its first

is to foster a community caring

I

counted 38 friends in one year

Executive Director. Today, UHU is

task

was to provide opportunities

for men, women, and children

who were now gone. I knew I had

one Washington, D.C.’s largest HIV/

for

member organizations and

living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and

to do something and thus began

AIDS service organizations. None

the

community to exchange ideas

other life-challenging illnesses

my long journey along the road

of us knew we would be still dealing

and

strategies for delivering HIV/

by preparing and delivering

to HIV prevention and care. In the

with the same issues today.”

AIDS services. This action was driven by the Consortium’s belief

specialized meals and groceries in conjunction with nutrition

District I quickly became alarmed at the reality of this disease

Alex Compagnet

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

Alex E. Compagnet, MA, was born in Chile on May 20, 1949. He came to the United States in 1976 after having spending two years in a concentration camp under the rule of a fascist dictatorship. He learned to speak and write English while studying for an education degree at the National College of Education in Chicago. In 1987, after two years working as a counselor in D.C. General Hospital, he founded SALUD Inc., the first AIDS prevention and education non-profit organization that aimed to serve Latinos in the Washington Metropolitan area. He was also active in helping the first local Latino Gay support organization ENLACE. By 1994, SALUD Inc. had been serving thousands within the Latino community, regardless of HIV status, in the areas of housing, medical services, personal counseling, and HIV/AIDS prevention. It was at this time, at the age of 45, that Alex suffered a severe stroke that initially led to his withdrawal from SALUD. Yet, within two years, he fully recovered. He now lives in Kensington, Maryland with his two daughters Taina and Marcela. He teaches at Montgomery County Community College and is in the process of developing his own business. He also remains a board member of La Clinica del Pubelo, never having failed with his commitment to the Latino community. Alex Compagnet says, “I can’t just see people dying and suffering and not do anything about it. In the future, I want my children to see me as a person who fought against AIDS, one of the worst pandemics of our time. It is not in me to just watch from the outside, but to do my part and help the only I know how, which means to never stop.”

DC CARE Consortium

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

The

DC

Comprehensive

that through community discourse

a diverse and changing HIV/AIDS populace can learn from each other and develop methods for working collaboratively. The Consortium, a non-profit

organization, provides services to more than 65 HIV/AIDS agencies

that are its members. With the

support and leadership of the CARE Consortium, these agencies

are able to give quality services

to people living with HIV/AIDS. These services include: clinical

trials – education and recruitment;

direct financial assistance (eviction prevention); supply

water filters; and transportation support. Since its inception,

DC CARE has made numerous

accomplishments, including being the first concerted effort in

Washington, D.C. to involve HIV/ AIDS service agencies working to

target federal funds for programs

to

serve communities of color.

DC

CARE is also developing

a

media campaign targeting

under-served populations that supports its outreach efforts to increase participation in testing, treatment, prevention, and safer sex. The Consortium conducts

an annual Toy Drive that gives

toys to children either living with

HIV/AIDS or who are members of families challenged with HIV/ AIDS. In October 199, DC CARE sponsoredtheGospelAgainstAIDS

Concert. More than 800 people attended, with representatives from the U.S. Congress, the White House, HIV/AIDS Pharmaceutical Corporations and

the Entertainment Industry. Mr.

Al Roker of NBC’s “Today” show

served as Master of Ceremonies

for the concert.

Food & Friends

PHOTO BY GARY JONES
PHOTO BY GARY JONES

For people living with HIV/ AIDS, cancer and other life- challenging illnesses, the battle is far from over. Food & Friends makes sure no one has to face it on an empty stomach. Along with nutrition counseling, Food & Friends prepares packages and delivers meals and groceries to more than 1,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the Washington, D.C.

counseling.

Letitia Gomez

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

“My awareness of the devastation of HIV/AIDS on our community goes back to 1980 when I worked as a medical social worker at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston. The staff was suddenly confronted with patients who had Kaposi’s sarcoma, happened to be gay white men, and were dying. It wasn’t until I came to Washington, D.C., that I was confronted with the death of long

time friends with HIV/AIDS. Most

were warriors against HIV/AIDS

and worked tirelessly to make Latino and African Americans visible in the battle. These losses still hurt today, as does the ignorance and denial that abounds in our community and will mean more unnecessary loss. Unless we continue to tell our stories and remain visible and vocal, THE BATTLE CONTINUES.” Letitia Gomez has worked to support many efforts to combat HIV/AIDS locally and nationally since 1987. She and many other gay and lesbian Latino activists of ENLACE, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Latino Gay and Lesbian organization worked with SALUD, Inc. in the late 1980s to bring attention to the epidemic’s effects on the Latino community. Letitia was one of the founding board members of the D.C. Woman’s Council on AIDS, and LLEGO, the national LATINO/A Lesbian and Gay Organization. Currently she serves on the board of Whitman-Walker Health and the board of AIDS Action Foundation.

Jim Harvey

PHOTO BY GARY JONES
PHOTO BY GARY JONES

“2006 marked my 20 th year of working in the HIV/AIDS field. My background is in Public Health, but something happened to me in the mid 1980s that changed the direction of my career and

disproportionately affecting my own people at alarming rates while too few people in the African- American community stepped up to the challenge of fighting back.

I found a few determined friends

and colleagues who felt like I did

and together we went to the D.C. Council and pressed them for resources that would support our bringing the fight against HIV/ AIDS to the African American community. Our efforts lead to the birth of Washington, D.C.’s first two African American-lead organizations that to this day are often remembered fondly as the reason so many of us are still in the struggle. I’m glad I have company in this fight.”

Pat Hawkins

PHOTO BY GARY JONES
PHOTO BY GARY JONES

I believe that for most of us, joining the fight against AIDS became the defining experience of our lives. I know that it was for me. There was a “pre-AIDS” world, and a “post-AIDS” world – and they were totally, dramatically, and forever separate. In the “pre-AIDS” world, sexual freedom was a gift and a given, and death was distant and rare occurrence coming mostly to those who had “run the course” and had the time to face their own mortality. In the “post-AIDS” world, sex was fraught with guilt and conflict, and death came to young people in the prime of their lives

– to our “best and brightest” –

leaving so many empty spaces, so many uncompleted tasks, so many unanswered questions, so much promise unfulfilled. Dying became an everyday experience, fear a constant companion. During one two-week period in 1992, I went to 10 funerals or memorial services. That was not uncommon, as we buried our clients, our colleagues,

our close friends, and there seemed to be no end to the overwhelming grief and loss. And I remember the pervasive fear – fear of this unknown and unpredictable virus; fear of being “outed” by this disease and the hate and discrimination that followed (a fear shared by PWAs and gay providers alike); fear of dying a sudden death from PCP, or

a long and agonizing decline from

CMV, which could leave people

blind, paralyzed, and/or demented before it claimed their lives.

was

fear of dying alone; and it

was this fear that galvanized first the gay community, and then others, to come together, to volunteer, to organize, to develop new programs, to design new strategies, and to become empowered activists like Hank Carde. It was this widespread activism that finally led us to more effective treatments, and it is those treatments that now keep so many more people alive, and that

have brought us all the hope we all share today…a hope that one day, we will, once again, live in a world without AIDS. We are not there yet…but gay and straight, black and white, men and women, we are on the march, and we will let nothing stand in our way. As for those of us who survived those early days of darkness and despair, we have been forever changed. I know that we will always see life more vividly, hold friends more closely, and keep memories more precious, for we have truly walked with heroes, and I believe they walk with us still.

Charles Hicks

But

most

of

all,

there

PHOTO BY GARY JONES
PHOTO BY GARY JONES

Charles “Chuck” Hicks is a man actively involved in his community. He is a graduate of Syracuse University were he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He is employed at the Martin Luther King branch of the Washington, D.C. Public Library. He is president of the Local Union 1808, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents librarians and technicians. He has recently stepped down as city- wide president of AFSCME DC 20, which represents over 3,000 D.C. government employees.

Chuck is considered one of the pioneers of the HIV/AIDS movement for African-Americans in Washington, D.C. He began the first black HIV/AIDS community- based volunteer organization. His major effort is with Bread-for- the-Soul – an organization that organizes special projects of toys and food baskets for parents and/ or children living with HIV/AIDS for the holidays. Chuck is also a trustee of The Greater New Hope Baptist Church and chair of its historical committee. Charles is founder of the Washington, D.C. Black History celebration committee and he has chaired the Mayor’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Board. Over the years, Chuck has worked with various HIV/AIDS committees and

organizations.

3 The Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER The Metropolitan
3

3

The Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

The Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C. (MCC-DC) began its ministry in 1971 and to this day serves as a Christian church with a special ministry to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and other spiritually disenfranchised peoples. As an evangelical, biblically based, Christ-centered congregation, MCC-DC has sought to fulfill God’s will by faithfully serving the people of the D.C. Metropolitan area. On May 24, 1985 MCC-DC lost its first member to HIV/AIDS. That member, James Vincent McCann, had served as a deacon at MCC- DC, and was very involved in the music ministry of the church. On June 24, 1986 the James Vincent McCann Memorial Fund was established to provide pastoral care ministry to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and to help meet their basic human needs, (i.e. food, shelter, transportation, insurance premiums, utilities, etc.). Since then, MCC-DC has given over one hundred thousand dollars to people outside the congregation in an effort to fulfill the ministry of Jesus Christ by easing the suffering of others in the midst of this pandemic.

Jacquelyn Pace

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

Ms. Jacquelyn H. Pace is truly a role model for her commitment to the AIDS program. Ms. Pace, affectionately known as Jackie Pace, became involved in the AIDS program after her best friend lost her daughter due to the complications of AIDS. It was Jackie’s fervent belief in her own purpose that allowed her to provide love, hope, and encouragement to her best friend and is what motivates her to do the same for so many others affected by HIV/AIDS. Ms. Pace is a HIV/AIDS certified peer counselor/educator. She has also received training at the US Conference of Mayors and Whitman-Walker Clinic in the Fundamentals of HIV Prevention Counseling and Comprehensive AIDS Training Initiative (CATI) at Howard University. Ms. Pace is the Faith-Based

Coordinator at Damien Ministries where she oversees all activities pertaining to the metropolitan area churches. She is responsible for coordinating the activities of the D.C. Faith-Based AIDS Organizing Initiative. Ms. Pace is credited with implementing the AIDS Ministry at her church, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Washington, DC. She planned and organized healing and prayer services, AIDS Awareness Days, Thanksgiving Dinners and Christmas Gifts for the Needy, as well as solicited donations and participated in the AIDS Walk and Walk for life. Ms. Pace currently serves as Treasurer for the Far NE/SE Ecumenical Outreach Ministry, a spin off from the Balm-In-Gilead, an organization instituted by Pernessa Seele of New York. Balm-In-Gilead is responsible for instituting the well-known “Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.” She has been a Team Leader with Samaritan Ministries Spiritual Retreats since June 1998. She held the position of Chairperson of the DC Catholic AIDS Network from 2000 to 2003. In this capacity she facilitated meetings and workshops for Catholic parishes on HIV/AIDS education. She also served on the National Conference Planning Committee for the National Catholic AIDS Network. She participated in the Eucharistic Congress facilitating workshops to encourage other parishes to establish HIV/AIDS ministries. Jackie continues to deliver immeasurable results as a devoted advocate for HIV/AIDS programs and initiatives.

Kevin Robinson

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

KevinisanativeWashingtonian. He tested HIV-positive in 1999; in 2000, he lost use of his left arm and hand. When you talk to him, you too will find that he refuses to let his status keep him down. Currently he is on meds with a viral load of 700 and a T-cell count of 465. He has high self-esteem and cannot be discouraged. There’s no stopping this D.C. Hero!

Cheryl Spector

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

When I decided to stop spending

all of my time at the ‘faze me’ and at ‘the other side’ for the drag shows, and become an activist. I didn’t do it for the recognition,

but I have to admit – it is nice to be acknowledged. When my brother Dr. Stan Spector committed suicide in New York City on Oct.14, 1985 due to having AIDS, President Reagan and his band of homophobic conservatives wouldn’t do anything. He couldn’t bear to put our family through what he believed would be a tragic, long, and drawn out death; something inside of me started to burn. I started quietly questioning why a 34-year-old doctor with a stunning future had to die. Where was the government? Where was the medical community? Where was the support for him? No, he shouldn’t be quarantined on an island. After I had time to grieve, I decided I was going to try to make change. On Jan. 10, 1987, at the request of my friend Judy Greenspan,

I went to the gay and lesbian

community center in Baltimore to attend a regional meeting for the 1987 March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights. The rest is history. The energy, the anger, the electricity and the power of grassroots organizing had me. From the point on I’ve been involved, I decided my brother’s death would never be in vain; I think I’ve made him proud. Whether it was the march in 1987 or 1993, OUT DC, ACT- UP, Queer Nation, the Lesbian Avengers, my contributions to the Lesbian Services Board of the Whitman-Walker Clinic or my contributions to the Rainbow History Project or my work with the transgender community, taking pictures or video, I did what I could because I think it is the right thing to do.

SPECTRUM–Clifton Allen Robinson and Dwight Clarke

PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER
PHOTO BY KEVIN YANCEY KENNER

In 1983, I attended a funeral

a week for friends who passed

from AIDS-related illnesses. As president of the DC Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, I asked our members to provide the community with HIV/AIDS prevention information because

no one was reaching out to people of color, particularly men who had sex with other men. Lawrence Washington, George Bellinger, David Naylor, Thomas Gleaton and myself went out several nights

a week to the bars in an attempt

to reach people with literature information and condoms, but

the

deaths became more frequent.

For the past 20 years, Sutson

I lost more and more friends and acquaintances. In 1984, we held the first national AIDS in the Black Community Conference at the Washington Convention Center. People flew in from all over the country for a one-day conference. That’s when I found out no one had any more information about

behavior modification than we did. The following year, the city awarded the DC Coalition first contract ever issued for HIV prevention outreach to people of color. As National Treasurer, I became the project coordinator

has been a driving force in the Best of Washington social club.

A

founding member of one of the

most enduring organizations for black gays in Washington, Sutson has served the club in just about every capacity imaginable, and currently acts as its chairman emeritus. He and some friends started the Best of Washington simply to have something to do. Sutson and his friends began organizing Sunday night tea dances, which allowed black gay men and lesbians to socialize and connect with each other. The group also hosted “All-Night

of

SPECTRUM. I wanted to call

Struts” at various venues on

it

SPECTRUM because of the

Saturday evenings that would regularly attract hundreds of people.

skin rainbow of people of color. Dwight Clarke came to work for

us

with little health education,

Sutson has also worked extensively with HIV/AIDS

but

a keen a sense of how to reach

people. He knew there had been

populations. After retiring from his first career, as a personnel specialist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, where he worked for 25 years, he decided he wasn’t ready to settle down just yet, and began working at the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry.

2005

little outreach to people of color,

but he was willing to try to reach

them. Many of his interventions have become national HIV/AIDS

prevention tools and models. The sad part is that Dwight Clarke, George Bellinger and I are some of the few people still in the prevention field, or, for that matter, alive to see that we could make a difference in 2004.

Otis “Buddy” Sutson

Marion Barry, Jr.

PHOTO BY GARY JONES
PHOTO BY GARY JONES