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DECEMBER 22, 2017 VOLUME 48 ISSUE 51 • AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE • WASHINGTONBLADE.

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University of Baltimore graduates protest DeVos


Students turn backs on
Education Secretary during
commencement
By BRANDON SODERBERG

BALTIMORE — About 30 people


gathered outside of the Modell Lyric
Opera House on Monday in protest of U.S.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who
was set to give the commencement speech
to University of Baltimore’s fall graduating
class—and a couple hours later inside, 40
or so UB graduates stood with their backs
to DeVos in protest during her speech.
Organized by FORCE: Upsetting Rape
Culture and the Maryland chapter of
the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education
Network (GLSEN) and attended by a
number of University of Baltimore students
and faculty, the rally in front of the Lyric
highlighted DeVos’ connection to the
Trump administration (“White Supremacy Protesters outside the Lyric where Betsy DeVos spoke earlier this week.
controls who is believed” one banner PHOTO BY BRANDON SODERBERG

read), her aggressive pro-charter school


position, and her roll back of Title IX, the law GLSEN. “We know that many of the actions very short tenure she has made it easier photos of solemn students staring the other
against gender-based discrimination that that Betsy DeVos have set forth, the ones for banks to profiteer off of students, way. DeVos’ speech, which leaned heavily
was expanded under President Obama that she’s already done and the one that she has threatened the very hard-won on deceptive rhetoric about “choice” when
to require schools to combat sexual she intends to do will harm students who protections students have against sexual promoting private charter schools along with a
harassment and sexual assault on campus. are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or assault that President Obama pushed smattering of loosely inspirational graduation
“It seems strange to invite someone queer. I think back to the guidance that through, and she has attacked the very speech platitudes, was besides the point and a
whose goal is to defund and destroy she rescinded earlier this year and that just notion of public education itself.” burst of claps, boos, and disinterested chatter
public education to a public university,” goes to show that she is not here to protect Anticipation over what would happen rose up as DeVos walked off the stage.
said Ian Power, an assistant professor trans students and that is our mission.” when DeVos spoke was palpable during “I would have never had the opportunity to
of integrated arts at UB (Power was also As parents and faculty began entering the ceremony before she took to the pursue higher education without there being
behind a recent “Demand Mayor Pugh the Lyric for the ceremony, word got podium. Earlier this year, DeVos spoke at an option to go to a public school. I wouldn’t
and BOPA restore the Martin Luther King to those outside at the rally that some historically black college Bethune-Cooke have been able to afford it,” said Emily
Jr. Day Parade” petition). “I’m in favor of faculty sitting on the stage for the University, where graduates booed her Wenker, a UB graduate who stood with her
Title IX and even though charter schools graduation wore large buttons that read, and turned their backs. back to DeVos. “Today I graduated summa
for some students offer better resources, “Support and Defend Public Schools” and When Schmoke mentioned DeVos’ cum laude after working my way through
all that does is provide the ones left many students had written anti-DeVos name, there was some scant “boo”-ing, school for seven years. Betsy DeVos does not
behind with fewer resources. This is the and anti-Trump messages on the top of which increased during his generous represent me as a student. I stood up because
Republican tactic of defunding something their caps. There was concern that UB introduction of her. I earned this day, and it was disrespectful to
public and then saying ‘It doesn’t work so would prevent faculty from wearing the “It’s quite an honor to have a person us, as graduates, to be misrepresented.”
we had to shut it down.’” buttons on stage, and leading up to the whose powerful recommendations have Rachael Edwards chose not to attend
FORCE’s Saida Agostini stressed DeVos’ event some UB professors expressed had such an impact not only on education the ceremony at all.
commentary recasting concern about concern that joining the protest might but the quality of life of many of us here,” “Today was my undergraduate
sexual assault on the accused by focusing on result in retribution from the university. Schmoke said. “She has been involved in graduation,” Edwards said. “I have been
false accusations, which are incredibly low, Back in September, the announcement the education reform movements and waiting for this moment for years. The
according to every legitimate study out there. that DeVos would give the commencement clearly involved in the debate about the reason why I did not attend graduation
“Betsy DeVos has had a pretty speech resulted in significant protest from ways in which education is going in our today is because I believe it devalues
intensely anti-survivor position in her UB students, a wildly popular Medium country from top to bottom.” University of Baltimore’s mission
administration, particularly with critical post from UB student Rachael Edwards, As DeVos began her speech, two to ensure students are protected.
Title IX protections by heightening and a statement by the UB Student women stood in the front row just feet ‘Protected’ meaning down to the speakers
the burden of proof for survivors on Government Association that they were away from DeVos with their backs facing we invite into safe spaces. The Trump
campus,” Agostini said. “So we’re really not informed of DeVos’ booking until far her. One held up her graduation cap, administration, which includes Secretary
concerned about that as well as her too late and that it was essentially pushed which had “Not My Commencement of Education Betsy DeVos, unleashed
other actions that continue to destabilize through by UB President and former Speaker” written on it. Soon, another a handful of policies that undermine
survivors, people of color, those who Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. joined the two and then slowly more marginalized communities. I refused
are differently-abled, queer folks. When “Your graduation day speaker is students stood up with their back to to go because I do not believe in giving
we talk about increasing the burden of supposed to represent the best ideals of DeVos staring straight ahead, some with platforms to anyone that represents
proof for survivors, what we’re really the school and the highest aspirations their fists up. Slowly, it grew to about 40 an administration that is hell bent on
talking about is who is worthy of belief in of the students and Betsy DeVos is quite University of Baltimore graduates turning destroying vulnerable communities.”
campuses and our communities.” simply the most anti-public education their back on DeVos in protest, including BRANDON SODERBERG is managing
“Our mission is all about making sure secretary of education our country has the parents of some of the students. editor of the Baltimore Beat, a sister
that all students have a safe place to learn ever had,” Democratic candidate for “In a fast-paced modern world, it is healthy publication of the Blade. Additional reporting
including those students who are LGBT,” governor Ben Jealous said at an anti-DeVos to develop an interior life, to be silent, to pray,” by Jaisal Noor of the Real News Network.
said Jabari Lyles, executive director of rally at UB back in September. “In her DeVos declared, as cameras flashed, taking
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Comings & Goings


Latest book by Fay Jacobs wins award

By PETER ROSENSTEIN

Dentist gets 16 years


The Comings and Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of
our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their
business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your
successes with us at comingsandgoings@washblade.com.

Congratulations to Daniel Hicks who is a contributor


to an important new book, “Gay Mental Healthcare in prison for
sexually assaulting
Providers and Patients in the Military.” His editor wrote,
“On behalf of Springer Science + Business Media, I would
like to thank you for your contribution to our pool of
clinical medicinal knowledge.  This book would not be
possible without you.”  Hicks said other local individuals
included in the book are: Dr. Martin Chin, Dr. Steve Tulin
(a neuropsychologist at Howard) and Dr. Cam Ritchie
who headed the D.C. Department of Mental Health after
DANIEL HICKS
PHOTO COURTESY OF HICKS
male patients
she retired from the military. Victims under anesthesia at time of abuse
Hicks is currently Associate Professor, Department of
Psychiatry Clinical Educator Track and Medical Director, By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization Program at Georgetown lchibbaro@washblade.com
University Hospital in D.C. Previously he worked as a  
staff psychiatrist at Whitman-Walker and spent years at A D.C. Superior Court Judge on Dec. 15 sentenced former District dentist Bilal Ahmed
Walter Reed Army Medical Center HIV Program, providing JIMMY ROCK to 16 and a half years in prison for sexually assaulting five male former patients and one
psychiatric evaluation and treatment of HIV-infected PHOTO COURTESY OF ROCK male former employee at his dental office on the 2300 block of M St., N.W., between
military beneficiaries and their families; education and 2010 and 2014.
support services to inpatients, outpatients and staff. The sentence also calls for Ahmed, 45, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his
Hicks received his bachelor’s with distinction from life upon his release from prison, at which time he will also be placed on three years of
Purdue University, his doctorate from Indiana University supervised probation.
School of Medicine and did his residency, at Indiana The sentencing came six months after Ahmed, whose dental licenses in D.C. and
University School of Medicine. Maryland were suspended, pleaded guilty to five felony charges and three misdemeanor
Congratulations also to Jimmy R. Rock who is now charges related to the sexual assaults against the patients and employee.
Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the Public Advocacy In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed
FAY JACOBS
Division of the D.C. Attorney General’s office. The Division PHOTO COURTESY OF
to drop several additional charges against Ahmed handed down by a Superior Court
has two sections: Housing and Community Justice (which JACOBS Grand Jury in a multi-count indictment in October 2016.
handles housing and public nuisance enforcement along The Washington Post reported that four of the former patients and one former
with wage theft cases) and the Public Integrity Section, employee testified at the Dec. 15 sentencing hearing that Ahmed’s actions caused them
which handles antitrust, nonprofit and charity enforcement, false claims act cases to suffer lasting emotional distress. At least one of the victims testified he is suffering
and environmental work.  He is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown from posttraumatic stress disorder due to the sexual assault, the Post reported.
University Law Center. “The offenses against the dental patient victims…followed a typical pattern in which
Prior to this appointment he was Deputy Director, Office of Consumer Protection, Ahmed would take patients into the procedure room, close the door, administer nitrous
where he helped to establish the stand-alone Office of Consumer Protection; oxide through a face mask, and then sexually assault the victims while they were
managing local and multi-state consumer protection investigations and litigation and sedated,” a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
overseeing a staff of five line attorneys and three investigators. He has also worked in A charging document filed in court says Ahmed asked four of the five patients whom
the private sector for Troutman Sanders LLP and Sidley & Austin, LLP, Washington, D.C. he admitted to sexually assaulting “intrusive and inappropriate questions” about their
He clerked in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Gainesville, for personal life, including their sexual orientation, shortly before administering the nitrous
the Honorable Maurice Paul. He received the Charles Resichel writing award (2013); oxide anesthesia.
and the Distinguished Service Award for trial of affirmative litigation (2013). “I feel the shame,” the Post quoted Ahmed as telling Judge Zoe Bush minutes before
Rock earned his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in Organizational the sentencing. “To err is human, to forgive divine.”
Communication from the University of Tulsa, and his master’s of Theological Studies In a statement released shortly after the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu said
from Emory University. He earned his Juris Doctor from Emory School of Law. He lives Ahmed violated the trust of his patients in the worst possible way.
with his husband Tom in D.C. where they spoil their rescue dog Kensi. “Bilal Ahmed used his dental practice and his position of authority to sexually abuse
Congratulations also to Fay Jacobs whose new book “Fried & Convicted – Rehoboth vulnerable victims, some of whom were his own patients and staff,” Liu said. “His victims
Beach Uncorked” has been named one of the top three LGBT Books of the Year for included people who came to him for treatment and employment, caught off guard
2017 by the International Rainbow Awards. This annual contest included more than by his outrageous conduct,” she said. “Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his
400 books from all over the world, juried by 137 judges, and included submissions criminal breach of trust.”
from mainstream, independent, and self-publishers. Jacobs is published by Bywater The Post reported that Ronald Weiner, a forensic mental health expert who examined
Books. This is Jacobs’ fifth collection of essays from the publications Letters from Ahmed after his arrest, testified at the sentencing hearing that Ahmed disclosed that he
CAMP Rehoboth and Delaware Beach Life. Upon being notified of the award Jacobs was sexually assaulted as a child. Weiner said he believes Ahmed “would not reoffend
said, “I’m stunned and thrilled to be recognized like this from the Rainbow Awards, after therapy,” the Post reported.
especially considering the global reach and number and caliber of entries.”   Court records show that Ahmed is married and has five children. At the time of his
In “Fried & Convicted,” the author returns with more biting observations and laugh plea agreement in May prosecutors agreed to allow Ahmed to be released into home
out loud dispatches from her life as a magazine scribe and sit-down comic. She takes on detention at his Fall Church, Va., residence until the time of his sentencing. The terms of
the absurdities of contemporary life from her boardwalk bench in Rehoboth Beach, Del.  the release allowed him to leave home for daily prayer at a mosque in Falls Church or at
the Islamic Center on Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest Washington.
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Council withdraws street-naming bill honoring gay Democrat 


Capitol Hill ANC raises “But the bottom line is I’d like for us to
allegation of gay male find a way to honor Richard and his many,
escort service use many contributions,” Allen said.  “And so
basically today’s action kind of pulled it
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. off the agenda for a vote today so we can
lchibbaro@washblade.com  spend more time working on it.”
The bill’s author, Council member
D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), introduced
on Tuesday temporarily withdrew from the measure on May 2. Nine of Bonds’
consideration of a bill that calls for Council colleagues, including Allen and
the ceremonial naming of a street on Mendelson, signed on as co-sponsors. All
Capitol Hill for the late Richard Rausch, a of the witnesses that testified at a Sept.
prominent gay Democratic Party activist 20 public hearing on the bill expressed
and advocate for LGBT rights. support for the measure.
Mendelson withdrew the Richard In its letter of opposition, ANC 6B
Rausch Way Designation Act of 2017 members said they would prefer that the
from a scheduled vote by the Council’s Council adopt a procedure for vetting
Committee of the Whole after Advisory RICHARD RAUSCH was an LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist who died in 2007. ceremonial street namings, including the
Neighborhood Commission 6B voted to Rausch proposal, similar to the procedure
oppose the bill at a Dec. 12 meeting in PHOTO COURTESY DAVID MEADOWS
now used for vetting ceremonial namings
which one of its members cited a book of city alleys. According to the letter, that
written by the former owner of a gay have been an escort service client was time that his operation was strictly a dating procedure involves obtaining petition
male escort service that claimed Rausch brought up at the ANC meeting, saying service and did not involve prostitution. signatures from nearby residents and input
was a client of the service in the 1980s. such an issue was irrelevant to Rausch’s In the ANC’s audio recording of the Dec. 12 from residents and the ANC before an alley
Rausch died in 2007 of complications career of more than 40 years as a human meeting, Samolyk and other commissioners naming proposal is formally proposed.
associated with pneumonia at the age of 71. rights advocate, Democratic Party activist, said they did not want to dwell on the escort “In addition, the Commission noted that,
While in the hospital two days before and champion for LGBT equality. service angle alleged in the book, saying on a practical level, adding another sign on
his passing friends said Rausch was When told that ANC commissioners they should base their opposition to the a block already filled with other signage
making phone calls to generate support stated at their Dec. 12 meeting in which street naming bill based on what they called could lead to more confusion,” the letter
for the election campaign of former they voted to oppose the Rausch bill a flawed procedure by the Council and says. “While ANC 6B welcomes Council
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, a gesture that that the escort service matter was not a city that failed to notify the ANC about the recognition of Mr. Rausch, as was done in
friends and political associates called a deciding factor in their decision to oppose existence of the bill in time for it to submit a 2005 with Mayor Williams’ proclamation
testament to Rausch’s dedication to the the bill, Fowlkes said, “So why bring it up? If response prior to the public hearing. of Nov. 11, 2005 as ‘Richard Rausch Day,’
causes he believed in. it’s not a deciding factor, why mention it?” At least two ANC members, who we do not believe that the proposed bill
In a letter to Mendelson informing him According to an audio recording of couldn’t be identified from the dialogue for symbolically renaming the 200 block
that it voted 10-0 to oppose the street the ANC’s Dec. 12 meeting, which the on the audio recording, said they also of 2nd Street, S.E. is appropriate at the
naming bill, the ANC made no mention Washington Blade obtained, ANC 6B opposed the bill because they did not present,” the letter concludes.
of the escort service matter. It said its member Jennifer Samolyk raised the issue believe Rausch was a significant enough Fowlkes said he takes strong exception
opposition was based on procedural of a reference to Rausch in a 2015 book by public figure to merit a street to be to claims by some ANC members that
grounds, noting that neither the Council gay former escort service operator Henry W. named after him. Rausch isn’t a significant enough figure
nor the city agency in charge of street Vinson called “Confessions of a D.C. Madam: “I looked him up and I read a Post bio,” to merit a ceremonial street naming for
namings notified the ANC or residents of The Politics of Sex, Lies, and Blackmail.” said a male commissioner whose name him. He described as “absurd” the claim
the street about the pending bill until six “I did some research into Mr. Rausch,” couldn’t immediately be identified. “It by the ANC in its letter that adding the
months after it was introduced and after Samolyk told her fellow commissioners. didn’t rise to me to the level, even without ceremonial sign “Richard Rausch Way” to
a public hearing was held in September. “And I’ve also talked with some neighbors. the Madam thing, it wasn’t clear this was 2nd Street, S.E. would create confusion in
“ANC 6B recognizes the significant And Mr. Rausch was a client of the D.C. somebody that influential,” he said. the neighborhood.
contributions by Mr. Rausch, at both the Madam,” she said. “And at the height of Council member Charles Allen “There are dozens of these signs all over
local and national levels, in advancing the scandal she lived with him at that 2nd (D-Ward 6) told the Washington Blade the city,” he said. “And no one complains. No
Democratic Party principles and Street address.” that Mendelson withdrew the bill at his one’s confused. And it’s bizarre. It’s unfair,”
advocating for important causes,” the When contacted by the Blade on request following his learning of the he said in referring to the ANC’s opposition.
Dec. 18 letter states. “However, it is the Tuesday Samolyk acknowledged she opposition by the ANC and residents of “And hopefully they will correct
view of the Commission that there was may have misunderstood an excerpt of 2nd Street, S.E. where the ceremonial themselves because of the typographical
a lack of community support for the Bill the book she read online to incorrectly name of Rausch would be placed should error and they will be able to vote on this
due to insufficient notice to the ANC and assume that the “D.C. Madam” referred the bill be approved by the full Council. again,” Fowlkes said. “It will be interesting.
thus to the neighbors on the 200 block of to in the book was a woman. Allen noted that the failure to notify the If they come up with the same conclusion
2nd Street, S.E. prior to a hearing on the In his book, Vinson says he described ANC and residents of the neighborhood the second time, then we have to look a
bill,” the letter says. himself as the D.C. Madam in his role as about the bill was due to a typographical little deeper at the motive.”
Earl Fowlkes, president of the Gertrude owner and operator of the city’s largest error on the bill that incorrectly identified “Essentially what we’re doing is hitting
Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest male escort service. He states in the book the street to be designated as Richard the pause button a little bit,” Allen told
local LGBT political group, and chair of the that he became friends with Rausch and Rausch Way as the 200 block of 2nd the Blade. “So basically we’re just waiting
Democratic National Committee’s LGBT asked Rausch if he could stay at Rausch’s Street, S.W. He said that up until the time to bring it back to the Committee of the
Caucus, said he is sympathetic to the apartment after D.C. police raided his the mistake was discovered the official Whole,” he said. “It gives us time to have
ANC’s concern about a procedural breach house in the city’s Chevy Chase section in notifications went to the wrong place. a conversation. And in my best case
that prevented it from learning about the 1989, where he operated the service, and “So I asked if the chairman would pull it scenario to work with the ANC and ask
Rausch bill earlier in the process. sealed the house as evidence in a case off the agenda today so we could spend a can objections be overcome and what
But Fowlkes said he was concerned police said involved illegal prostitution. little more time working on this,” Allen told are the ways we can make sure we honor
that the book alleging that Rauch may Vinson told the Washington Post at the the Blade in a Dec. 19 phone interview. Richard Rausch.”
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1 0 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 NATIONAL NEWS

Amazon search for HQ2 linked to LGBT rights?


Some activists urge diverse population.”
Some have interpreted that to mean
corporate giant to shun the company wants the new host city and
states with anti-LGBT laws state to be supportive of LGBT people
who would be expected to be part of
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. Amazon’s workforce.
lchibbaro@washblade.com  The Seattle Times, which closely
covers Amazon-related developments
In a little-noticed development, in the company’s Seattle headquarters,
Amazon’s surprise announcement in reported that the company has disclosed
September that it plans to open a second some factors it would also look for in a
headquarters has prompted growing new location include a close proximity to
speculation on whether the corporate an international airport, a tech talent pool
giant will consider a state or city’s laws on in the workforce, and a relatively low cost
LGBT issues as a factor in choosing the of living in the city or state.
location of the new headquarters. Sara Warbelow, HRC’s legal director,
Based on the size and scope of its said HRC is closely monitoring the impact
current corporate headquarters in companies like Amazon have on efforts by
Seattle, observers familiar with the tech LGBT rights groups to push for supportive
company say the new headquarters will laws and policies in states and cities.
likely result in a workforce of 50,000 and A rendering of Baltimore’s Port Covington neighborhood, one of many contenders for the new “One of the things we have asked
a $5 billion boost to the local economy of Amazon HQ2. corporations to do is weigh in with
IMAGE COURTESY PLANK INDUSTRIES
the city and state Amazon chooses. governors and state legislators explaining
LGBT rights groups, including the to them why it’s bad for business to target
Human Rights Campaign, have noted headquarters, which is being referred to as announced they have placed bids for the LGBTQ people in negative ways and to not
that Amazon is among the most LGBT “HQ2.” But she said that as someone who new Amazon headquarters include D.C., adopt common sense nondiscrimination
supportive corporations in the nation. It represented Houston in the recent past Virginia, Baltimore, Miami and Pittsburgh. policies for LGBTQ people,” Warbelow said.
received a perfect 100 percent score on she doesn’t want to see the city penalized. An Amazon spokesperson did not Warbelow was cautious in her
HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. Jeff Graham, executive director of the respond to a request from the Washington response when asked whether HRC has
In October, HRC named Amazon CEO statewide LGBT advocacy group Georgia Blade to confirm whether its criteria specifically called on Amazon to adopt a
Jeff Bezos the winner of its National Equality, said he was hopeful that Amazon for selecting a city and state for its new state’s record on LGBT rights as criteria
Equality Award for his and his company’s and other corporations considering headquarters include supportive laws or condition for selecting a location for its
LGBT supportive policies, including his moving to Atlanta would look past efforts and policies for the LGBT community. new headquarters.
personal financial support for efforts to by some in the state legislature to pass an Amazon observers have pointed “We do a lot of education to a
bring about marriage equality. Bezos anti-LGBT “religious liberties” bill. to the request for proposals that variety of corporations using our tools,
appeared as one of the lead speakers at Georgia’s Republican governor, Nathan Amazon released when it announced including the Corporate Equality Index,
HRC’s annual national dinner in D.C. at Deal, vetoed a so-called religious freedom it was looking for a location for its the Municipal Equality Index and State
the time he accepted the HRC award. restoration act, or RFRA bill, in 2016 new headquarters. Among the criteria Equality Index,” she said. “We are
Given Amazon’s strong support for and has urged the state legislature not mentioned in the RFP was a reference to constantly providing information to
LGBT rights, many in the LGBT and the to jeopardize Georgia’s effort to attract a “cultural community fit” for its workers corporations about the rights of LGBTQ
business community have speculated Amazon by trying to pass a similar bill along with the “presence and support of a people and impacts on us.”
that the company would at least consider again next year.
a state and city’s record on LGBT issues LGBT rights advocates say the RFRA laws
as a possible condition for selecting the give businesses and some individuals a
state and city for its new headquarters. right to refuse to sell products or provide
In some cities, such as Atlanta and
Houston, which are considered to be
services to LGBT people on grounds of
their personal religious beliefs.  
Dems retake Va. House thanks to a single vote
among the top contenders for the new “While Amazon has not been explicit
Amazon headquarters, LGBT activists about the impact that legislation such Republicans this week lost control of the Virginia House of Delegates after a
have expressed concern that their as RFRA would have on any specific bid, Democrat won a recount by a single vote.
respective states’ poor record on LGBT most observers agree that this is likely to Election officials said Shelly Simonds beat state Del. David Yancey (R-Newport
rights could jeopardize their chances of be a factor in the determination of where News) by an 11,608-11,607 vote margin.
landing the Amazon headquarters, even their new headquarters will be located,” The Washington Post reported that Yancey was ahead of Simonds by 10 votes
though the two cities have strong records Graham said. going into the recount that took place on Tuesday.
of support for LGBT equality. “It also should be noted that while “I knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride and the counts were going to
“The reality is many of the big cities in the state lacks LGBT protections, the change and votes were going to shift around, but I had faith in the system and
America, particularly in Texas – Houston, city of Atlanta has had an inclusive final outcome,” Simonds told the Post.
San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, El Paso – are nondiscrimination ordinance on the Republicans have controlled the House of Delegates since 2000.
islands in a big toxic red state,” said lesbian books for nearly 20 years,” Graham said. Simonds’ victory creates a rare tie between Democrats and Republicans in
activist and former Houston Mayor Annise “Finally, it’s important to point out that the chamber. Officials certified the results of her race more than a month after
Parker, who was named earlier this month some 700 companies throughout Georgia Democrats picked up more than a dozen seats in the House of Delegates.
as CEO of the Victory Fund. have signed the Georgia Prospers pledge,” Democrats Ralph Northam and Justin Fairfax will be sworn in as governor and
“And it’s painful to have the cities where said Graham. lieutenant governor respectively on Jan. 13. Attorney General Mark Herring won
many of our LGBTQ community live and He said the pledge explicitly states re-election after defeating Republican John Adams.
work and where many of our officials are that a prosperous business environment “Christmas came early today for Virginia Democrats,” proclaimed Democratic
elected be penalized because of state is dependent upon communities that Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker in a statement. “Today’s results should
actions that are discriminatory,” Parker are open and welcoming to a diverse strike fear into the heart of every Republican on the ballot next year.”
told the Washington Blade on Tuesday. population, including members of the MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Parker said she doesn’t know the LGBT community.
status of Houston’s bid for Amazon’s new Other cities and states that have
W A SH I N GTO NB LAD E.C OM D E CE MBE R 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 • 1 1

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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

1 2 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 NATIONAL NEWS

Report of banned words at CDC alarms LGBT health experts


Agency disputes story, cites a 2013 National Institute for Health
insists ‘transgender,’ report that found an estimated 22
percent of transgender women have HIV.
‘diversity’ not barred The reported ban on the use of the
word “diversity” is also concerning, Bruner
By CHRIS JOHNSON said, because it would mark a reversal
cjohnson@washblade.com from the Obama administration when
“there was kind of a growing realization
A recent report in the Washington Post of the federal government to put a lot
that the Centers for Disease Control is more effort and a lot more research into
barred from using certain words like health inequities that affect particular
“fetus,” “diversity” and “transgender” in communities...like the LGBT community.”
budget documents alarmed LGBT and Carl Schmid, deputy director of the
HIV/AIDS health experts, although the AIDS Institute, said a major concern for
agency disputes the characterization of HIV/AIDS policy advocates is the reported
the story. ban on use of “evidence-based” and
In an article published last week, the “science-based” in budget documents.
Post quoted an anonymous analyst who “Everything that we do is evidence-
took part in a meeting in Atlanta on based,” Schmid said. “We treat people
Thursday as saying CDC was forbidden for HIV, we test people for HIV. How
to use seven words in documents for the frequently and the messages for sex-
fiscal year 2018 budget request. Those ed are all evidence-based. Why do we ‘Everything that we do is evidence-based,’ said CARL SCHMID, deputy director of the AIDS
words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” start treatment early? Why do we get Institute.
“diversity,”  “transgender,” “fetus,” people tested? It’s all evidence-based. PHOTO COURTESY OF SCHMID

“evidence-based” and “science-based.” And condoms. Everything that we do is


The reported ban on those words scientific- and evidence-based.” be banned, but the CDC has guidance in the most in need of treatment.
ignited a firestorm among LGBT advocates Asked what programs in particular place not to use them. “It comes back to the whole sex ed
in particular of the reported ban on the would be imperiled if CDC was unable to “I don’t think these words are banned,” controversy and the whole abstinence
word “transgender.” The prohibition on use the reportedly banned words, Bruner Schmid said. “I think people are saying only until marriage,” Schmid said. “That
the words “diversity,” “evidence-based” said, “at this point we don’t know that could be a mischaracterization. I seems to be an area where the debate
and “science-based” also caused concern enough,” but cited programs that focus think it was guidance and suggestions, over science-based and evidence has
because of the implications of those on HIV and transgender women as well and I think people took it too far, but I been up in the air, debated. It’s not that
words for the LGBT community. as programs studying health inequities think it’s good that the story got out there we debate it, but the politicos debate it.”
In the view of many LGBT advocates, the among LGBT people. and there’s a reason why people are Schmid also said “part of the issue”
report reinforced the widely held belief “Just as a general matter, when you acting this way because there has been might be social conservatives Trump
the Trump administration is seeking to have the administration telling one of some editing of documents.” appointed to administer HHS. Among
eliminate any mention of LGBT people its chief scientific agencies don’t use An analysis by the AIDS Institute them is Roger Severino, a former Heritage
from public life, which includes efforts this the words ‘evidence-based’ or ‘science- found a distinct difference in word Foundation scholar who once criticized
year to eliminate LGBT questions from based,’ that would really be of great usage in budget documents in FY-17, transgender healthcare, but is now in
federal surveys. HHS ended up reinstating concern,” Bruner added. the final budget request for the Obama charge of defending it as director of the
a sexual orientation question to a federal But CDC is disputing the account of administration, and FY-18, an early Office of Civil Rights.
health survey for older Americans, but banned words at the agency in budget budget request of the Trump years. The White House referred a request for
kept out the gender identity question. documents or in any other capacity. The word “transgender” came up 10 comment to the Department of Health &
Daniel Bruner, senior director of policy Brenda Fitzgerald, director for the times in Obama-era documents, but only Human Services, which didn’t respond.
for the D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Centers for Disease Control, said in a once in the Trump era. Additionally, the The Office of Management & Budget,
Clinic, expressed uncertainty about the statement “there are no banned, prohibited word “diversity” came up seven times in which prepares budget documents, didn’t
report on the basis the administration is or forbidden words at the CDC — period.” Obama documents, but only two times in respond to a request to comment on
sending mixed messages, but said “we’re “I want to emphasize to anyone who Trump documents. The phrase “evidence- whether there was any administration-
very concerned.” may believe otherwise that we continue based” came up 119 times in the Obama wide guidance on banned words.
“The CDC is critical for HIV prevention to encourage open dialogue about all documents, but only 23 times in the Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of the LGBT media
and treatment issues and one of the of the important public health work Trump documents. watchdog GLAAD, said in a statement
most heavily affected or really devastated we do,”  Fitzgerald said. “CDC  has a “Nothing has impacted the programs,” OMB should follow suit and deny the
communities by HIV is transgender longstanding history of making public Schmid said. “They’re still doing report to make clear banned words aren’t
women, and there’s growing concern health and budget decisions that are transgender prevention programs. That part of an administration-wide policy.
about how to address prevention needs based on the best available science and has not changed.” “The Office of Management & Budget
in particular of transgender women and data that benefits all Americans — and What’s the reasoning for the guidance owes this country full transparency about
the realization that there needs to be a we will continue to do so.” against certain words in budget their alleged promotion of dangerous
lot more research and a lot more funding Fitzgerald added “confusion” arose documents? Schmid cited speculation censorship that harkens back to the days
going into that community,” Bruner said. from a staff-level discussion at a routine they were edited out to appease a that HIV and AIDS research and funding
“For the CDC to be told when you’re meeting about how to present CDC’s Republican-controlled Congress. were restricted with deadly effects,”
submitting budget documents, don’t talk budget, which she said “was never Schmid said he was cautious about Ellis said. “We cannot and will not allow
about transgender people, or even use intended as overall guidance for how we that reasoning because he doesn’t hateful ideology, bigotry and personal
the term is potentially horrifying.” describe and conduct CDC’s work.” understand why Republicans would bias determine the health can wellness of
Bruner pointed to the CDC’s own Based on conversations he had with object to “evidence-based” and “science- the transgender community – which has
estimates on the impact of HIV on Trump administration officials, Schmid based” terminology or resist HIV funding been serially targeted for erasure under
transgender women. The U.S. agency said he thinks the seven words might not for transgender people because they’re the Trump administration.”
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1 4 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 NATIONAL NEWS

“A court of appeals stay would only stay the preliminary injunction granted in that
circuit,” Davidson said. “It would therefore take grants of stay motions by the D.C.,
Fourth, and Ninth Circuits to stay all of the current preliminary injunctions against the
trans military ban.”
Regardless of the decision of the appellate courts on a stay, the losing party can appeal
to the U.S. Supreme Court. If a stay is denied, for example, the Justice Department can
seek relief from the Supreme Court. If a stay is granted, transgender rights advocate
can seek a reversal.
A Supreme Court stay in one case would “only indirectly” stay the orders in the other
cases, Davidson said, but would nonetheless likely result in a global stay.
“Judges hearing stay motions in those cases would likely grant a stay in them if the
Supreme Court stayed an injunction in another case because, if they didn’t, the Supreme
Court likely would issue a stay in their cases as well, if brought up to them,” Davidson said.
PRESIDENT TRUMP’s Justice Department proposes several ways the Fourth Circuit could stay a Davidson added, “That did not happen in all the marriage cases, however, so it’s not
ruling in favor of trans military enlistments.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY LEE WHITMAN
a sure thing.”
CHRIS JOHNSON

Trump not done fighting


trans military enlistments
No fewer than three courts have ruled against President Trump’s transgender
Senate rejects anti-LGBT nominee
military ban, but the Trump administration isn’t done fighting potential transgender to Export-Import Bank
enlistments, which are set to take place Jan. 1 as the result of the rulings.
Last week, the U.S. Justice Department filed a request before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Amid objections from LGBT groups, the
Court of Appeals seeking a stay on a ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis U.S. Senate rejected on Tuesday a Trump
against the transgender ban. The request is limited to the order requiring the U.S. nominee to the U.S. Export-Import Bank
military to allow qualified transgender people to enlist starting Jan. 1. with a history of anti-LGBT views.
“Absent further relief from this court...the military will be forced to implement The Senate Committee on Banking,
a significant change to its accession standards before it decides how to resolve this Housing & Urban Affairs rejected
issue,” the request says. “As military leadership has explained, this timetable will place the nomination of Scott Garrett  on
extraordinary burdens on our armed forces and may harm military readiness.” a bipartisan vote of 10-13. In June,
The Garbis ruling, as well as the two other court decisions against the transgender Trump nominated Garrett as
ban, made Jan. 1 the target date for transgender accessions. That was the date Defense president of the Export-Import Bank,
Secretary James Mattis selected in a June 30 memo before Trump announced in July via which provides finance assistance to
Twitter he would ban transgender people from the military and followed that up with a help foreign entities buy U.S. exports.
directive in August. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Tim
The Justice Department proposes several ways the Fourth Circuit could stay Garbis’ Scott (R-S.C.) joined Democrats in
ruling. The first option is staying the ruling as it pertains to constraining Mattis’ own voting “no.” SCOTT GARRETT was rejected as
ability to extend the delay on transgender military service. Also proposed is scaling During his career as a U.S. House president of the Export-Import Bank.
back the nationwide scope of the injunction, which could mean staying transgender member representing New Jersey PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE VIA WIKIMEDIA
accessions except the one transgender plaintiff who was a potential enlistee and found between 2003 and 2017, Garrett
to have standing in the case. supported anti-LGBT measures. The
Finally, the Justice Department suggests staying accessions in their entirety on the lawmaker was a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, a federal
basis the Garbis order “rests on legal errors concerning jurisdiction, the equities, and “religious freedom” bill seen to enable discrimination against LGBT people.
the merits.” A champion of the Federal Marriage Amendment, Garrett also spoke out in
“Without a stay, the military will, at the risk of harming its readiness posture, have 2004 on the House floor in favor of the measure, which would have banned
to rush to provide the requisite training to the tens of thousands of service members same-sex marriage across the country.
across the country responsible for implementing accession standards,” the brief says. “I rise today in full support of this body’s effort to preserve the sacred
Notably, the request doesn’t seek a stay on parts of the Garbis order that barred the institution of marriage,” Garrett said. “Children are best served when they are
U.S. military from kicking out openly transgender people currently in service or refusing raised and influenced by a mom and a dad, and marriage must continue to be
payments for gender reassignment surgeries. The request, however, adds the U.S. the institution to best raise children and not simply for the desires of adults.”
government “may seek a stay of these aspects of the injunction at a later date after a But Garrett stood out from other Republicans in terms of anti-LGBT views. In
final policy determination.” 2015, Politico reported he’d refuse to contribute money to the National Republican
The Justice Department had already appealed the Garbis decision to the Fourth Congressional Committee because it actively recruited gay candidates and supported
Circuit after the judge ruled against Trump’s ban as result of the litigation, which was gays in primaries. Just two years earlier, Richard Tisei, who’s gay, won the Republican
filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The stay request would halt the portion of nomination to run for the seat representing Massachusetts’ 6th congressional district.
the order pertaining to enlistments as the litigation moves forward. In 2016, Garrett’s anti-LGBT views were a major issue in his campaign to retain
The Trump administration is also seeking a stay on transgender accessions from the his seat representing New Jersey’s 5th congressional district. The Republican
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. in response to an order from U.S. District Judge ended up losing to Democrat Joshua Gottheimer, who now occupies the seat.
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. The court has ordered the National Center for Lesbian Rights and But the basis for Garrett’s rejection in the Senate seems less about his anti-
GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders, which filed the lawsuit, to respond by the end of Friday. LGBT views and more about his position on the Export-Import Bank.
Another judge in Washington State, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, also ruled As a U.S. House member, Garrett voted to shut down the bank. The institution
against the transgender ban. The Justice Department has yet to take action in response has many GOP critics, who say it promotes cronyism, distorts markets and
to this decision. unfairly helps large corporations and foreign entities.
A fourth lawsuit challenging the transgender ban filed by Equality California is pending Had Garrett been confirmed as chair of the Export-Import Bank, he would
before a district court in that state. The court held oral arguments earlier this week, but have succeeded Obama administration appointee Fred Hochberg, who’s gay
has yet to render a decision. and one of the most senior LGBT appointees in the Obama administration. 
Jon Davidson, former legal director for Lambda Legal, said the Fourth Circuit only CHRIS JOHNSON
has authority to stay the trial court order within its jurisdiction, so even if a stay were
granted, transgender accessions would begin as a result of other court orders.
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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

1 6 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 I N T E RN A T I O N A L N E W S

The Bermuda House of Representatives earlier this month approved the Domestic
Partnership Bill, which would allow same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships
as opposed to get married. The measure passed in the Bermuda Senate on Dec. 13 by
an 8-3 margin.
Tourism accounts for nearly a third of Bermuda’s gross domestic product.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority on its website says 643,000 people visited Bermuda
in 2016. Statistics also indicate that 86 percent of visitors who arrived by cruise ship and
75 percent of visitors who arrived by air were from the U.S.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority — which on its website says it “promotes Bermuda
globally as a world-class destination for leisure and group travel and tourism investment”
— in a letter it sent to senators urged them to oppose the bill. The Bermuda Tourism
Authority noted, among other things, North Carolina’s economy lost $3.76 billion after
then-Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016 signed House Bill 2 that banned transgender people from
using public bathrooms consistent with their gender identity and banned municipalities
from enacting LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination measures.
“We are convinced it will result in lost tourism business for Bermuda,” said the
Bermuda Tourism Authority in its letter.
Advocates in Bermuda and around the world have urged Gov. John Rankin to refuse
to sign the bill. A spokesperson for the British Foreign Office has said the issue is “a
matter” for the Bermuda government.
More than 60 percent of Bermuda voters in 2016 rejected marriage and civil unions
More than 70 members of Congress have urged Vice President MIKE PENCE to raise Egypt’s
anti-LGBT crackdown when he travels to the country. for gays and lesbians in a non-binding referendum. Same-sex couples have nevertheless
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY been able to marry in the territory since Charles-Etta Simmons, a judge on the Bermuda
Supreme Court, ruled in favor of the issue.
Bermuda would become the first government in the world outside the U.S. to rescind
marriage rights for same-sex couples if Rankin signs the bill.
Pence urged to raise anti-LGBT Gay and lesbian couples had already legally married in California when voters in
2008 approved Proposition 8, which banned them from doing so. They were once again
crackdown in Egypt able to legally marry in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 ruled Prop 8
supporters did not have legal standing to appeal previous rulings against them.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Dozens of members of Congress on Monday urged Vice President Mike Pence to raise
Egypt’s anti-LGBT crackdown when he visits the country.
“In recent years, independent civil society groups have been the target of a concerted
government effort to silence their voices and limit their ability to operate,” notes a
letter that U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Kyrsten Sinema
(D-Ariz.) and 71 others signed. “Minority groups, including religious minorities and the
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have been the targets of Philippines president backs same-sex marriage
discrimination and violence. Independent media organizations have been shuttered
and dozens of journalists, bloggers and citizens have been jailed for their speech.” The president of the
Authorities in September arrested at least seven people who waived a rainbow flag Philippines on Sunday said he
during a Cairo concert that featured Mashrou’ Leila, a Lebanese rock band with an supports marriage rights for
openly gay lead singer who publicly advocates for LGBT rights. same-sex couples.
Advocacy groups have said dozens of LGBT Egyptians have been arrested in recent The Philippine Star
months, with authorities forcing many of them to undergo so-called anal tests to newspaper reported Rodrigo
determine whether they engaged in same-sex sexual activity. Egyptian lawmakers in Duterte told members of the
October introduced a bill that would criminalize the country’s LGBT community. LGBT community in Davao City
The lawmakers in their letter specifically ask Pence to tell Egyptian officials that the on the island of Mindanao that
“arrest, harassment and incitement against LGBT individuals inside Egypt must cease he wants same-sex marriage in
immediately, the individuals in detention must be realized and the government should the Philippines, but “we’ll have
oppose any laws that seek to criminalize the speech or activities of the LGBT community.” to change the law.”
They also urge Pence to raise the persecution of journalists, efforts to crackdown on “We can change the law,”
non-governmental organizations and other human rights issues. Duterte reportedly said.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert and House Minority Leader Nancy “If that is the trend of the Philippine President RODRIGO DUTERTE
Pelosi (D-Calif.) are among those who urged the Egyptian government to end its modern times, if that will add PHOTO PUBLIC DOMAIN BY
crackdown. The White House has not publicly commented on it. to your happiness, I am for it,” RYAN LIM OF MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU

Pence was scheduled to travel to Egypt and Israel this week. His office on Monday he added.
announced he has postponed the trip until January because of the final vote on the tax bill. The Philippine Star reported
MICHAEL K. LAVERS Duterte also said he would name LGBT Filipinos to his Cabinet.
“I don’t have any problem with that,” said Duterte, according to the Philippine
Star. “Now find me the brightest here in the Philippines. Give me a bright person.
Bermuda authorities defend tourism industry He might be gay, he might be lesbian. I’d like to nominate or appoint somebody
upon the nomination.”
The CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority on Tuesday defended the island territory’s Duterte, who is the former mayor of Davao City, has been president of the
tourism industry amid growing outrage over a bill that would rescind marriage rights for Philippines since June 2016.
same-sex couples. The State Department last summer criticized Duterte for using an anti-gay slur
“Bermuda has a well-earned reputation as a warm, friendly and welcoming to insult then-U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. Human rights
destination,” said Kevin Dallas in a statement the Bermuda Tourism Authority sent to advocates have sharply criticized Duterte over his ongoing crackdown against
the Washington Blade. “Out here we believe in the transformative power of travel and drugs and his alleged ties to “death squads” when he was the mayor of Davao City.
the cultural exchanges it inspires between visitors to a destination and the people who MICHAEL K. LAVERS
live there. We hope all travelers to Bermuda, including LGBT visitors, will continue to
believe in and experience this important exchange.”
W A SH I N GTO NB LAD E.C OM D E CE MBE R 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 • 1 7

Sunday , December 24, 2017 • 4pm-5pm


CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE
This year Christmas Eve falls on Sunday. In addition to our weekly service at 11am, we’ll also gather again at
4pm to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Join us for this beautiful hour of worship featuring
special elements for children, a reading of the Christmas story, the music of organ and choir, and a Christmas
Eve meditation by Pastor Julie. We’ll conclude the service with the lighting of congregational candles.

1 3 2 8 1 6 T H S T N W, W A S H I N G T O N , D C 2 0 0 3 6 | + 2 0 2 3 8 7 2 2 0 6
www.firstbaptistdc.org
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

18 • DE C E M B E R 22, 201 7 H E A LT H N E W S

LGB teens more suicidal: study


NEW YORK — LGB teens are more likely to plan or commit suicide according to
research published this week in the journal JAMA, CNN and other outlets report. 
Looking at answers in the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey in the U.S.,
researchers found that 40 percent of high school students who are considered
sexual minorities were seriously considering suicide, CNN reports. 
Transgender teens were not included in the U.S. government’s survey, but
research has shown that transgender youth may face a similarly high, if not
higher, suicide risk.
The survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
looked at a nationally representative sample of 15,624 students across the
country in that were in grades 9-12 (typically 14-18 years old).
Of the sexual minorities in the study, 34.9 percent were planning suicide
and 24.9 percent had attempted suicide in the previous year. Compared with
heterosexual teens, those numbers are exceptionally high: Of the straight teens
in the study, 14.8 percent had seriously considered suicide, 11.9 percent had
been planning suicide, and 6.3 percent had made an attempt in the past year,
CNN reports. 
The children who were bisexual faced the greatest suicide risk; 46 percent had
considered suicide in the past year. Bisexual girls were the most vulnerable, with
nearly 48 percent saying they had considered taking their own lives, CNN reports. 
Girls who identify as lesbian also had higher rates. More than 40 percent said
they seriously considered suicide in the past year; in comparison, 19.6 percent
of girls who considered themselves heterosexual said they had seriously
considered suicide in the past year. Of boys who identify as gay, 25.5 percent
had, CNN reports. 
Past research has noted the higher suicide risks for these groups, but much
of that work comes from either regional surveys or young people surveyed who
did not comprise a general sample, CNN reports. 
This research is one of the first nationally available estimates representing the
general population, and it documents how LGB teens’ experience with suicide is
PFLAG promotes the equality and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, different from that of other youth.
Research has shown that LGB students have fewer suicide rates when their
and transgendered persons, their families and friends through: schools have gay/straight alliances, CNN reports. 
• Support to cope with an adverse society.
• Education to enlighten an ill-informed public.
• Advocacy to end discrimination and secure equal civil rights.
Gays less likely to report good sleep: study
Trained facilitators lead the Arlington Support Group and confidentiality is maintained. For ATLANTA — Gay people are more likely to experience trouble sleeping, new
further information about the Arlington Support Group, contact us at arl.pflag@gmail.com. research finds according to the Daily Mail. 
Gay men are significantly more likely to have trouble falling asleep, require
Our groups meet on the second Sunday of each month, from 3 – 4:30pm at the Unitarian medication to overcome insomnia or wake feeling unrested compared to
Universalist Church in Arlington, at George Mason Drive & Route 50. straight or bisexual males, a study published in the journal Sleep Health finds. 
Lesbians are more at risk of struggling to fall or stay asleep, needing anti-
A.L.Y. is a group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning Youth and Allies in
insomnia drugs to help them nod off and feeling they need more shut eye in the
grades 7-12. Our goal is to give LGBTQ youth a safe place to gather. Trained facilitators lead the morning, the research adds.
youth group. Confidentiality maintained. For more info, contact: aly.pflagdc@gmail.com. Previous findings reveal gay or bisexual people are more likely to smoke and
Our Washington DC Chapter of PFLAG may be reached at 202-638-3852. suff er severe psychological stress, both of which disturb sleep, the Daily Mail reports.
Over a year, up to 40 percent of U.S. citizens report suffering from
insomnia.  Long term lack of sleep has been linked to poor heart health,
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depression and an increased risk of early death.

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ISSUE DATE: 171222 SALES REPRESENTATIVE:

REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of
Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics in Atlanta analyzed
46,909 men and 56,080 women who took part in the National Health Interview
NS adviC
proof. Proof will be considered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of
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L L a B o r at i o N Survey between 2013-2015, the Daily Mail reports. The study’s participants were
omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is
GN responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users asked how many hour sleeps they get on average in a 24-hour period. 
EVISIONS can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or
any rgihts of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any This was then compared to the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations
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ADVERTISER SIGNATURE of seven to nine hours for adults aged between 18-64 years old, and seven to
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or staying asleep, had used insomnia medication or woken feeling unrested at
least four times in the past week. Their sexual orientation was also noted, the
Daily Mail reports. 
FamiLY | eState PLaNNiNG | emPLoYmeNt | immiGratioN Results reveal gay men are significantly more likely to have trouble falling
ComPLeX LitiGatioN | CiviL riGHtS | LGBt | adoPtioN | BuSiNeSS asleep, require medication to overcome insomnia or wake feeling unrested

Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, P.A.


compared to straight or bisexual males, the Daily Mail reports. Lesbians are
more likely to struggle to fall or stay asleep, need anti-insomnia drugs to help
at tor N e YS at L aw • d C | m d | va them nod off and feel poorly rested in the morning.
Bisexual women are more at-risk of having difficulty falling and staying asleep
3 0 1 . 8 9 1 . 2 2 0 0 • S P - L aw. C o m compared to straight females, the Daily Mail reports.
6 9 3 0 C a r r o L L av e , S u i t e 6 1 0 • ta k o m a Pa r k m d
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

F I T NES S DE C E M B E R 22, 2017 • 19

Training on the go part two


Get a little creative and you’ll
enhance your travel experience
3511 Falls Road/Hampden
We all love to travel. It’s You will love this cute rowhouse in one of
exhilarating to see the sights, to the city’s hottest neighborhoods. Hampden
eat great food, to learn about is happenin’! Two bedrooms, one bath with
new cultures and meet people modern kitchen and bath, central air, off-
street parking, and a great room overlooking
from around the world. But when
the back deck and large yard.
we travel, we seem to lose all
semblance of discipline, self-control
Located across the street from Roosevelt
DAVID MAGIDA is founder of Elevate Interval Fit-
and routine. Park, you’re just around the corner from
ness, a member of the Reebok Spartan Race Pro While we normally put a huge “The Avenue,” with its funky mix of shops
Team and author of “The Essentials of Obstacle emphasis on exercise and nutrition,
Racing: A Beginner’s Guide.” You can catch a class and restaurants. There’s no better location
with him at Elevate on 14th Street or at its new once we go abroad we feel like we for Honfest or the Mayor’s Christmas Parade.
location in the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Va. have carte blanche to eat whatever
we want and neglect our training. Positioned well below the price of newly
This is not the first time I’ve written about this issue, not because it’s a crisis but renovated Hampden homes, you’ll love the
because there are so many solutions to allow you to damage control your time affordable entry price into this great area!
away from your routine. Finding innovative ways to burn calories and limit your Come see! Only $194,000!
food intake will allow you to travel guilt free. Below are a few more ways you can
stay fit and establish routine on the road.
Plan exercise before or after your flight: This seems easy enough, but I
generally hop on about four flights per month and never fly without jumping
into a workout or taking a run before or after I land. It is one of the mandatory
elements of my traveling routine. I feel better on a plane when getting some
exercise in because I feel less like a caged butterfly and don’t have a ton of pent-
up energy. It also allows you to fly guilt free and not worry about whether or not
you will get your training session in that day. You’ll probably sleep better on the
flight as well. And of course, stretch before and after your flight as well.
If you opt to exercise after you land there are a number of additional benefits
including:
Resetting your clock: When you change time zones on a flight, it can leave
you jet lagged and exhausted. This can lead to more time sleeping over the next
few days, less sightseeing and less exercise. The secret to avoid jet lag? Skip the
nap and immediately exercise. It takes a bit of mental toughness to commit to
the workout after a cross-country or international flight, but I’ve found it’s like
hitting the reset button. I regularly fly red-eyes from the west coast and land in
Christmas Eve Services
the D.C. area between 6-9 a.m.
The common advice is to avoid sleeping until at least 9 p.m. to reset your
body clock. But the workout provides an additional reset. You start feeling better
9:00 AM Gospel Worship
within the first 10 minutes of your workout. The post workout shower is icing on
Gospel choir, hymns, and inspiring worship experience
the cake, re-establishing your routine and enabling you to conquer your day and
stay up much longer than you intended. You can then go to bed at a normal hour
and wake up on schedule with your current time zone. 11:15 AM Traditional Worship
Bring your running shoes: You could never convince me there’s a better way
to get to know a new city than to run it. You learn the roads around your hotel
Chancel choir, hymns, and featuring the Monumental Brass Quintet
quickly, get an opportunity to scope out some good tourist spots and even get a
preview of what restaurants you may want to eat at that night. It allows you to
get photos of a bunch of iconic tourist attractions quickly, all while getting your 6:00 PM Children’s Pageant
workout in. The beauty of running is you can do it anywhere. All you need is
clothes and shoes. And set off on your run with a goal: An amount of time you’ll
Designed for families and children: every child will have the
run for, a number of sights you’ll see or simply to run to the highest point in the opportunity to play a special part in the pageant.
city. It can be exciting to experience somewhere new that way.
Plan an outdoor adventure: It doesn’t need to feel like a workout for it to
be exercise. Plan some days, or at least partial days, into your trip that are non-
sedentary. Go for a hike, take a walking tour, rent bikes for the day or even book
8:00 PM Lessons, Carols, & Candlelight
an adventure like rock climbing, rafting or something else exciting. Again, you’ll Traditional celebration featuring beautiful music,
hit two birds with one stone, and you’ll have a memorable experience. These
scriptural readings, and a Christmas Eve homily
days are often the most rewarding experiences on a trip and they allow you to
really appreciate your sedentary time as well.
There are literally countless ways to continue to stay fit when traveling. All
you have to do is be disciplined and creative. Being active doesn’t have to be 1500 16th Street NW ~ foundryumc.org
difficult. Find ways to make exercise fun and you’ll be able to travel efficiently A Reconciling Congregation
and guilt free. We welcome everyone!
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

2 0 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 IN S IDE L G B T W ASH I N G T O N


VOLUME 48 ISSUE 51
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Happy holidays
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Donald Trump may not like this head- MARIAH COOPER
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are Jewish, Christian, Muslim or atheist MICHAEL KEY
mkey@washblade.com
saying “Happy holidays” seems the ap- CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
propriate and courteous thing to do. PETER ROSENSTEIN, MARK LEE,
I recognize even in this tumultuous LATEEFAH WILLIAMS, KATE CLINTON,
world my life is blessed in so many ways. KATHI WOLFE, RICHARD J. ROSENDALL,
HELEN PARSHALL, ERNESTO VALLE,
I have a roof over my head, food to eat, NICOLÁS LEVY, BUNMI JOHNSON
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day. Most of us live a life of what would be In these trying times, devote some effort to making life better for someone else this holiday
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season.
considered white privilege. We recognize PHOTO BY BIGSTOCK; COURTESY OF SYNTHETICMESSIAH SR. ACCT. EXECUTIVE
that and maybe because of it try harder BRIAN PITTS
during the year to make a difference for bpitts@washblade.com ext. 8089
ACCT. EXECUTIVE
others. Lawyers do pro-bono work and JOE HICKLING
submit amicus briefs to the Supreme of peace and joy let’s strengthen the spirit trying to make it easier for more people jhickling@washblade.com ext. 8094
Court to protect the rights of the LGBTQ of giving and sharing just a little more. Let to vote they work to make it harder. In- CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING/ADMINISTRATION
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the war crimes they have committed. To- a gift this season; reach out to a military lion children. They keep trying to destroy appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily
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gether we marched for science, for equal- family with someone serving who won’t healthcare for millions more covered by Washington Blade is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot ac-
cept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial
ity, for the environment, for immigration be home for the holidays this year with the Affordable Care Act whittling away at material is accepted by the Washington Blade, but the paper cannot take
and continue to support the ‘resistance.’ warm thoughts and a big thank you; or it even though they couldn’t pass legisla- responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject
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This year, because the world is in such just invite friends and family to enjoy a tion to repeal it. They brag about passing from authorized distribution points, to any individual within a 50-mile ra-
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from war-torn countries and being turned little way we will be countering the ef- actions both large and small as we wish of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the
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to take responsibility for each other. That those less fortunate. They seem to get only by working together will we survive
previous constant, especially true in this joy from passing legislation and institut- these difficult times and leave no one be-
season, which led us to do everything we ing policies that will hurt the working hind. From my house to yours in unity may
could to make life better for each other. poor, minorities, immigrants, women, we find ways to enjoy this holiday season
So to reclaim what should be a season and the LGBTQ community. Instead of and spread a little peace and joy. ©2017 BROWN NAFF PITTS OMNIMEDIA, INC.
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

V I E W PO I N T D E CE MBE R 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 • 2 1

4 ways LGBTQ people can stop Trump


sexual identity is far too controversial. The angry. This administration’s policies on most of their work. This year alone, the
Get educated, angry and Department of Health and Human Services LGBTQ rights are not what the country Human Rights Campaign tracked more
then be the change you seek scrubbed questions about it from surveys wants. In 2016, 63 percent of Americans than 100 anti-LGBTQ bills in 29 states.
and the Census bureau is trying to eliminate said homosexuality should be accepted Most will not become law but chances are
By TRISTAN FITZPATRICK us from the count. In this environment, it’s by society. Fifty-one percent of Americans that some of them will.
easy to feel marginalized and ignored. The favor allowing transgender people to use How can you stop that? By getting in-
During his campaign, President Trump question we need to answer is what can public restrooms. It is clear today a major- volved and paying attention to state and
sounded like an atypical Republican on LG- LGBTQ people do to challenge this admin- ity of Americans favor LGBTQ rights. The local politics. Find out who is running
BTQ rights. He said Caitlyn Jenner was free istration’s discriminatory policies? actions of the Trump administration are for lower-profile seats, like alderman, or
to use whatever bathroom she wanted to One is to research LGBTQ history. Know responding to a minority of Americans. school board because these officials hold
in Trump Tower. He was the first Repub- our past, because without it we are pow- Have pride in that fact. Be angry about it. real power over our communities. They’re
lican nominee to mention “LGBTQ” at a erless to confront the future. Read books Register your discontent with your con- often the ones you can count on to run the
Republican National Convention. Heck, he about LGBTQ history; watch documenta- gresspersons, with your local officials, city library and the fire department; you
even grabbed a rainbow flag during a cam- ries; learn about inspiring figures from write letters, make phone calls, join LG- might have more interactions with state
paign rally and traipsed around with it. our community. LGBTQ people stood up BTQ groups, take to the street. and local officials than with federal ones.
But since taking office his administra- to tyranny before. During the AIDS crisis, The third thing we need to do is be If you don’t like your representation, con-
tion’s policies on the subject are deeply when there was no leadership from the there for our friends and our community. sider running for office and replacing them,
troubling. In nine months, President federal government groups like ACT UP LGBTQ people are almost three times like Danica Roem. Her former state repre-
Trump wiped away several Obama-era stepped up to the plate. They were on more likely to experience a mental health sentative in Virginia wrote a discriminatory
rules protecting LGBTQ people. Regula- the front lines caring for the dying, chang- condition compared with the non-LGBTQ bathroom bill. Instead of waiting for some-
tions protecting transgender students ing drug approval processes at the FDA, population. Sexual minorities are also at one to challenge him, Danica did it herself
and guaranteeing federal employment and saving untold millions of lives. These a higher risk for substance abuse issues.  and in a hard-fought campaign won his
protections are gone. He tried banning weren’t politicians or officials. They were We have to look out for one another. seat. She took matters into her own hands,
transgender people from serving in the ordinary people, fighting for something The last, but certainly not least, thing said enough is enough, and became the
military, and is supporting a Colorado they believed in and changing the course we need to do is be the change that we change she wanted to see. Each of us has
baker accused of discriminating against a of the epidemic. Knowing our history can seek. The world of state and local politics that ability, too. So why not get started im-
gay couple. give us comfort and we can be inspired by may not be as glamorous as presidential mediately, before it’s too late?
Just eliminating rules is not enough for it to act today. politics but these laboratories of democ-
this administration – simply mentioning The second thing we need to do is get racy are where anti-LGBTQ politicians do TRISTAN FITZPATRICK is a D.C.- based writer. 

O U R B USI NES S MATTERS

Crazy year puts chunks of coal in political stockings


A look back on a tumultuous business owners – including gay entre- idents. One way to mitigate those costs, There was continued growth in lo-
time for LGBT business local preneurs – welcomed regulatory rollback. however, is to encourage new market- cal hospitality establishments, primarily
Six months later, both political parties rate housing that keeps pace with popu- among bars during the past decade. The
and national remained disliked and disdained by most lation growth – as proven in D.C. significance of the nighttime economy to
voters, as affinity and affiliation hit record Locally significant was that “always-tax- the city’s financial vitality and cultural vi-
lows. Hillary Clinton offered an indirect in- and-spend-more” special interest groups brancy prompted a current proposal to
struction regarding LGBT transition from failed to postpone or halt tax cuts for District establish a D.C. Office of Nightlife.
renegade to acceptance and assimilation businesses and residents. Even that only re- A stupefying effort by Dupont Circle
– a lesson also gleaned from the fate of for- duced the local business tax rate from third- NIMBYs to deny a neighborhood Safeway
mer North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. worst nationwide to still among the highest. beer and wine sales was unsuccessful. Da-
Late this year, Republican and Demo- In a small measure of temporary relief cha Beer Garden’s application for a new
cratic extremist politics produced a re- for local enterprise, D.C. Council Chair venue on 14th Street was approved, but
MARK LEE is a long-time entrepreneur cord-setting 61 percent of Americans de- Phil Mendelson instructed colleagues to with a surprising restriction on number of
and community business advocate. Follow
on Twitter: @MarkLeeDC. Reach him at siring a third political party. The fight for postpone any new business burdens or patrons while rejecting opponent regula-
OurBusinessMatters@gmail.com. chair of the Democratic National Commit- mandates until 2019. District employers tory objections. The gay co-owners have
tee only reinforced opinion. were still reeling from approval last De- not indicated whether the occupancy limit
“I am at my wit’s end trying to do D.C. legislators moved the city’s primary cember of a paid leave mandate to be will scuttle plans to construct a $3 million
business in this city. Every time we turn date while failing to reform an election sys- financed by business tax rather than em- mostly-indoor venue on the now-vacant
around there is another fee, tax, or ‘pro- tem barring nearly one-in-five registered ployee withholding as in the handful of site, but last week they filed to increase
gressive’ move. … [T]here has to be a real voters from participating. This became states with such a law. the allowable number of guests. The D.C.
understanding and not just lip service more embarrassing when the D.C. Council Although Mayor Bowser did not veto Council quickly approved allowing dogs on
from our elected officials about the chal- moved toward adopting a campaign pub- the paid leave bill but allowed it to be- bar and restaurant patios following public
lenges that small, locally owned business- lic finance scheme utilizing tax monies. come law without signing it, her concerns outcry over sudden agency prohibition.
es face. … I’ve had it.” As evidence began to mount that a did prompt fiscally astute Council mem- Among the most read-and-discussed
Those were the words from a respect- “too-high too-fast” $15 minimum wage bers to propose multiple revisions to the publication content were columns on “No
ed lesbian retail business owner in D.C. in yields net negative results for those most funding and administration of the law. Justice No Pride” attacks on the annual
my inbox a year ago this week. in need, momentum vaporized in the re- District employers have taken comfort Pride celebration over business support
It foretold the perspective of small gion and nationwide. in the currently continuing re-evaluation the organizer of the first event in 1975
business owners across the country. District politicians came to realize there for next-decade implementation. Bowser, called a sign of progress.
While most LGBT voter tummies were still is little they can do to affect the local cost meanwhile, appears headed toward an Watch for more anti-business craziness
tied up in knots over Donald Trump’s win, of living and changing composition of res- easy, perhaps uncontested, re-election. in the coming year!
2 2 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 W A SH I N G T O N BLA D E . CO M
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT • WASHINGTONBLADE.COM • VOLUME 48 • ISSUE 51 • DECEMBER 22, 2017 • PAGE 23

This year’s holiday-themed albums are a mixed bag. Kaskade has one of the best; many others will have limited appeal beyond the various acts’ core fan base.

Christmas musical magic? 


Stefani, Fantasia tackle classics and originals on new albums

By CHRIS GERARD

Every holiday season, shoppers are The Chicago-based EDM titan Kaskade of a typical holiday album. Two 2. GWEN STEFANI ‘YOU MAKE IT FEEL
inundated with a seemingly endless might seen an odd choice to create a particular standouts are classic ballads: LIKE CHRISTMAS’
choice of festive new musical offerings to Christmas album, but he delivered a “Silent Night” features a sweet vocal Gwen Stefani produced energetic ska/
add to the family’s traditional repertoire. surefire winner, easily the must-own performance by Ilsey, and “Holy Night” rock during her earlier days with No Doubt
This year is no exception with multiple holiday album of the 2017 season. is Christmas cool, a seamless blend of and then managed the transition to Top 40
new releases that cater to just about “Kaskade Christmas” is made for adding the traditional and modern. This album dance/pop solo star. For her first holiday
every style imaginable. We’ve examined to that holiday party mix, elegant, festive was obviously a labor of love for Kaskade album, “You Make it Feel Like Christmas,”
10 of the most prominent new holiday and uber-cool. Kaskade’s electronic and he’s created the essential holiday Stefani takes on the role that she’s always
offerings and ranked them in descending rhythms are stripped-down and painted soundtrack for those classier and elegant managed to fill no matter what style
order as most to least essential new with Christmasy touches throughout and gatherings where you want holiday, but she’s singing: entertainer. “You Make it
additions to your holiday music library.  the vocalists he brings in keep with the not anything close to the crap that blares Feel Like Christmas” is a glossy frivolity,
chilly minimalism that is a nice contrast over department store speakers. 
NO. 1. KASKADE ‘KASKADE CHRISTMAS’ to the often over-the-top boisterousness
CONTINUES ON PAGE 32
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

2 4 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 O U T &A BO U T

The Machado touch


Queer author draws
raves for debut short
story collection
By KATHI WOLFE

All fiction writers need imagination.


Carmen Maria Machado’s is so vivid, she
sometimes passes it on to her characters.
“Sometimes I sat on the porch and
gave imaginary interviews to NPR
personalities,” says the narrator of “The
Resident,” a short story in Machado’s
debut collection “Her Body and Other
Parties.” “”When I write, I feel like I’m
being hypnotized,’ I told Terry Gross. ‘It
was at that moment I knew everything
was going to change,’ I told Ira Glass.’”
For most writers, such daydreams
remain mere fantasies. Few authors
become literary superstars or suddenly
find themselves under the spotlight
on NPR. Yet this is what happened to
Machado, a 31-year-old queer writer.
PHOTO COURTESY TOM STORM PHOTOGRAPHY
Her short story collection “Her Body
and Other Parties” (Graywolf Press),
released in October, has received the Author CARMEN MARIA MACHADO says her love of reading and the storytelling tradition of her family deeply inform her work.
attention usually bestowed on the work
of literary giants such as Toni Morrison
or Michael Cunningham. “Parties” was a from Austria. They met as immigrants in what happened to her poems. One day, Machado went to college to study
finalist for the National Book Award, the New York. Her mother’s family is white. my mom, who was confused by it, said, journalism, but quickly realized that
Kirkus Prize and the National Book Critics “Storytelling, especially on the Cuban side ‘There’s a letter for you from Israel.’” wasn’t what she wanted to do, so she
Circle’s John Leonard Prize. It won the of the family, is important,” Machado, an Bitton-Jackson told Machado that she switched to literature and photography.
Bard Fiction Prize. It’s her first full-length Allentown, Pa., native who now lives with her didn’t get her poems back, but that she’d “I wanted to get loose with my
work though she has had many of her wife Val in Philadelphia, says. “My grandfather kept on writing. sentences,” Machado says. “I didn’t have
stories published in various outlets. has dementia, but we can still recite stories “She asked me about myself,” she says. the blood thirst, the nose for news, to be
“Parties” is unlike any previous short back to him and he remembers.” “It felt magical that a real person — a a reporter.”
story collection. Women’s bodies, She incorporates that oral storytelling writer — wrote back to me.” After graduating, Machado moved to
queerness and feminism pulsate through tradition in her work. Her love of reading When she was young in the 1990s, Berkeley, Calif., working random jobs
the tales in “Parties” from “Inventory” to and writing, as one might imagine, has Machado didn’t understand that she during the recession and enduring a
“Difficult at Parties.” Yet the book isn’t deep roots. was queer. bad break-up, which she says made her
didactic or the least bit doctrinaire. Like As a child, Machado read voraciously. “I had crushes on girls, but I didn’t miserable. But she didn’t stop writing. A
the horror movie “Get Out,” the stories She went to the library and devoured think of it in that way. I didn’t have any creative writing teacher, whom she calls
pop with horror and comedy. books like candy, reading at breakneck framework,” she says. “I didn’t know “a lovely human being,” encouraged her
Women have joyous sex, even as speed, she says. anyone who was out and queer until I to keep writing stories.
people die worldwide from a virus spread “All kids write stories. I wrote them and went to college.” Her stint at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
by physical contact. A sexual assault typed them out. I always loved the idea of Machado graduated from American from 2010-2012, where she earned a
survivor hears the inner thoughts of being a writer.” University in 2008 with a degree in visual master’s degree, changed everything
characters in porn. A novella “Especially Machado sent her stories to publishers media. During her years in Washington, professionally for her.
Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order: and authors. Her letters yielded no she read the Blade as she was coming out. “Suddenly, I was getting paid to be in
SVU,” is a piercing, but hilarious send up publishing offers, but, “my wife who “I thought, ‘Oh this is who I am,’” she grad school and write,” she says. “I didn’t
of “Law & Order: SVU” and its fascination works in publishing says that some says. “My parents were pretty chill, have to worry about finding jobs. I had
with sexually traumatized women. delighted interns at the publishing though they were a bit confused because good health insurance. I could go to
“The collection is that hallowed thing: houses must have loved my letters.” I was lesbian/bi. They didn’t quite therapy and figure out my aesthetic.”
an example of almost preposterous To her surprise and delight, Machado understand why I would date a guy, but And, of course, her success with “Her
talent,” the Los Angeles Times said of heard back from Livia Bitton-Jackson, they were great about it.” Body” has helped fuel ongoing efforts.
“Her Body and Other Parties,” “that a Holocaust survivor and author of the Attitudes about being queer were “House in Indiana,” a memoir about same-
also encapsulates something vital but memoir “I Have Lived a Thousand Years: different for some of Machado’s sex domestic violence is due in 2019.
previously diffuse about the moment.” Growing Up in the Holocaust.” extended family. “Same-sex violence isn’t talked about,”
Storytelling, Machado says during a “In the book, Bitton-Jackson talked “Some of them were very religious,” Machado says. “I wanted to talk about it.”
Blade phone interview, is part of her about how the poems she wrote were she says, “but I didn’t have to deal with
family tradition. Her paternal grandfather left behind when she was taken by the a lot of that kind of nonsense. I feel KATHI WOLFE, a writer and a poet, is a regular
came to the U.S. from Cuba; his wife was Nazis,” she says. “I wrote to her and asked extremely lucky.” contributor to the Blade.
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

FI L M DE C E M B E R 22, 2017 • 25

Fun fluff
‘Greatest Showman,’
‘Last Jedi’ entertain
despite deficiencies
By BRIAN T. CARNEY

The big holiday Hollywood releases


are finally here and if they’re not quite
the diamonds you were hoping for, at
least they’re far better than a lump of
cinematic coal.
“The Greatest Showman” is loosely
based on the career of impresario
Phineas Taylor Barnum. Director Michael PHOTO COURTESY 20TH CENTURY FOX
Gracey and his talented cast and crew
put on a show that would make Barnum HUGH JACKMAN brings charm, presence to his
proud. The vivid cinematography by rule as Phineas Taylor Barnum in ‘The Greatest
Showman.’
Seamus McGarvey and the exquisite
costumes by Ellen Mirojnick capture the
magic of Barnum’s circus and give the “Star Wars: the Last Jedi,” the second
picture an attractive period feel. movie of the third “Star Wars” trilogy,
The script by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon suffers from a bad case of middle movie
is effective and moves things along syndrome. There are some great moments,
effortlessly. The acting is appropriately but it’s really just filling the space between
vigorous and energetic. Hugh Jackman Episode VII and Episode IX.
is at his most charming as Barnum and Writer/director Rian Johnson is at his
Michelle Williams turns in a lively portrait best in intimate character-driven scenes
of his supportive wife Charity. where he brings a surprising and delightful
With great flair, Zac Efron returns to his amount of charm and wit to the larger-than-
showbiz roots as Barnum’s junior partner life space opera. With glorious support from
Phillip Carlyle whose romance with John Williams’ amazing score and its well-


trapeze artist Anne Wheeler (the terrific known leitmotifs, Johnson creates deep
Zendaya) gives the story much of its emotional bonds between the characters
I like staying in shape, listening to
emotional heft. The incredible Zendaya that ground the epic saga in mythic family Adele, and shopping in Friendship
proves she’s a true triple threat. dynamics. Johnson and editor Bob Duscay Heights with my mom and sisters.
As Barnum’s bearded lady Lettie Lutz, frequently use crisp cuts between scenes
Keala Settle nearly steals the show from to effectively show the Force in action and
her formidable castmates. Her powerful to draw interesting connections between
voice, slick dance moves and rousing characters and themes.
performance make her the fierce heart Unfortunately, Johnson’s complicated
of the movie. storyline bogs down the action. There’s I’m a
The real star of the movie, however,
is the stunning choreography by Ashley
a lot of plot; the screenplay should have
been streamlined and the two-and-a-half- transgender woman
Willen. She seamlessly blends the style
of the classic Broadway and Hollywood
hour movie would benefit from a much
shorter run time. The lead characters
and I’m part of DC.
musicals with contemporary dance go running off in different directions
moves in a way that is continually fresh and it’s often hard to keep of where the
and surprising. To pick just one number, characters are and why they’re there.
the amazing airborne ballet “Rewrite the The acting is strong. In what was sadly Please treat me the way any ADVERTISING
Stars” for Zendaya and Efron, turns the her last performance, Carrie
PROOF # Fisher is ISSUE DATEwoman would want SALES to be treated:
REPRESENTATIVE
trapeze into a powerful visual metaphor both commanding and deeply vulnerable with courtesy and respect.
REVIEW AD FOR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of
for their relationship. as General Leia Organa. Daisy Ridley (Rey) Discrimination
proof. basedfinal
Proof will be considered onand gender identityforand
will be submitted publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours of
REVISIONS the date of proof. Revisions will not be accepted after 12:01 pm wednesday, the week of publication.Brown naff pitts
Unfortunately, her dazzling and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) REDESIGN
turn in richly expression is illegal in the District of Columbia.
omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is
responsible for any legal liability arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users

choreography unwittingly highlights the layered performances, as TEXT do returning


can link through the advertisement. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or
REVISIONS If you
any rgihts think
of thirdyou’ve been the
parties, including, but target of to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any
not limited
IMAGE/LOGO REVISIONS copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, music, image, or other proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair
weakest part of the movie, the terrible actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker),
NO REVISIONS or
discrimination,
competition,
any other
defamation,
right of
visit
any
www.ohr.dc.gov
invasion
person
of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation,
or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the ADVERTISER SIGNATURE
songs with music by John Debney and Oscar Isaac (Poe) and John Boyega (Finn). or call (202)
washington 727-4559.
blade) and to hold brown naff pitts omnimedia llc (dba the washington blade) harmless from any and all By signing this proof you are agreeing to your cont
liability, loss, damages, claims, or causes of action, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred washington blade newspaper. This includes but is n
by brown naff pitts omnimedia llc, arising out of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations
The droids and Chewbacca are, of
payment and insertion schedule.
Joseph Trapanese and lyrics by Benj and warranties.

Pasek and Justin Paul. Somehow, Willen course, back. They are joined by new
creates emotional spectacles that move creatures, the shimmering crystal foxes
the story forward in fascinating ways and the cute but pointless porgs (now
OFFICE OF

GLBT
AFFAIRS

despite the inane, repetitive lyrics and available in stores everywhere). The
the indistinguishable melodies she has human actors are joined two fierce female
to work with. Where Willen gives each of warriors: Laura Dern (Vice Admiral Holdo)
the leads a distinctive movement style and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), as well as
and creates exciting ensemble numbers, Benecio Del Toro as a cynical codebreaker. Show your support! Spread word of the #TransRespect
campaign by photographing this ad and sharing on Twitter.
the songs themselves blur into a muddy
overproduced mess. � CONTINUES AT WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

2 6 • DECE MB ER 2 2, 2017 A RT S & CU LT U RE

This Week in the Arts provided by CultureCapital.com


DANCE Thru Jan 5. Magnetic Fields: Expanding
American Abstraction, 1960s to Today.
Kwanzaa Celebration with Mevlin Thru Jan 21. nmwa.org.
Deal African Heritage Drummers Smithsonian Anacostia Museum.
and Dancers. Dec 27. Smithsonian Gateways/Portales. Thru Jan 7.
Anacostia Museum. anacostia.si.edu. anacostia.si.edu.
Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical National Portrait Gallery,
Holiday Step Show. Thru Dec 30. Step Smithsonian. The Face of Battle:
Afrika! at Atlas. stepafrika.org. Americans at War, 9/11 to Now. Thru
Jan 28. Marlene Dietrich: Dressed
MUSIC for the Image. Thru Apr 15. One Life:
Sylvia Plath. Thru May 20. Antebellum
Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming. Thru Portraits by Mathew Brady. Thru Jun
Dec 23. Folger Consort. Folger Theatre. 3. The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying
folger.edu. American Workers. Thru Sep 3.
Christmas with Choral Arts. Thru National Portrait Gallery - Recent
Dec 24. Choral Arts Society. Kennedy Acquisitions. Thru Nov 4. Portraits of
Les Misérables Center. choralarts.org. the World: Switzerland. Thru Nov 12.
Thru Jan 7. National Theatre. Encore Chorale. Dec 22. Beltway Celebrating Fifty Years. Thru Jan 6.
thenationaldc.org. Brass Quintet. Dec 24. All-Star Lincoln’s Contemporaries. Thru May
Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boublil and Claude- Christmas Day Jazz Jam. Dec 25. 19. npg.si.edu.
Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables. Gaiteros de Sanguashington. Dec 26. Woodrow Wilson House. The Ghost
With its glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by Run Come See. Dec 27. Millennium Fleet of Mallows Bay. Thru Feb 28.
the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking new production has left both Stage. Kennedy Center. woodrowwilsonhouse.org.
audiences and critics awestruck. kennedy-center.org.
GALLERIES
A Candlelight Christmas
Thru Dec 22. The Washington Chorus at The Kennedy Center.
MUSEUMS District Architecture Center. The
thewashingtonchorus.org. Folger Shakespeare Library. Painting AIA|DC 2017 Awards Show. Thru Jan 26.
Featuring brass, organ, sing-alongs, and the magnificent Candlelight Processional, Shakespeare. Thru Feb 11. folger.edu. aiadac.com.
A Candlelight Christmas includes your favorite songs such as The Dream Isaiah National Archives. Remembering Glen Echo Park. Holiday Art Show and
Saw, Hallelujah Chorus and more Christmas favorites to fall in love with. Vietnam. Thru Jan 6. Sale. Thru Jan 7. glenechopark.org.
archivesfoundation.org. Goethe. Exhibition: German Jazz
Draw the Circle Dumbarton Oaks. Highlights from the (Deutscher Jazz). Thru Jan 26.
Thru Dec 24. Mosaic Theater Company at Atlas. Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection. goethe.de.
mosaictheater.org. Thru Jan 1. Ancient Textiles. Thru Hill Center. Karin Edgett: Truth. Thru
Gender transition can be a test for any household—but when Mashuq Mushtaq Mar 31. Women in Art. Thru Mar 31. Dec 30. Michael Ford: HOMEPLACE.
Deen comes out to his conservative Muslim family, traditional values and Western Ancient Bronzes in the Dumbarton Thru Dec 30. Joanathan Bessaci:
ideals collide in a hilarious and moving immigration journey unlike any other. Oaks Collections. Thru Mar 31. Maps. Thru Dec 30. Scott Warren:
Collecting in Paris and London, 1912– World Views. Thru Dec 30. Judith Peck:
Wolf Kahn: Density and Transparency in Monotypes 1919. Thru Mar 31. doaks.org. Gathering Shards. Thru Dec 30. Rachael
Thru Jan 6. gallery Neptune & Brown. Kreeger Museum. Reinstallation of Bohlander: Art of Empowerment. Thru
galleryneptunebrown.com. the Permanent Collection. Thru Dec 31. Dec 30. hillcenterdc.org.
Kahn’s monotypes make use of the contrast between transparent ink washes kreegermuseum.org. JCCNV. Charitable Art | Omanoot
and dark ink drawing, reflecting an instinctive understanding of line and an Library of Congress. Drawing Justice: L’Tzedakah. Thru Jan 25. jccnv.org.
ever-evolving mastery of color and light. The Art of Courtroom Illustration. Korean Cultural Center DC. Two
Thru Jan 31. Echoes of the Great War: Reflections: Korean and American
PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL THEATRE
American Experiences of World War I. Artists Confront Humanity and Nature.
Thru Jan 1. loc.gov. Thru Jan 24. koreaculturedc.org.
National Gallery of Art. In the Library: Montpelier Arts Center. Portraits of
Jost Amman and Sixteenth-Century US. Thru Dec 31. Chloe Irla: Year One.
THEATRE Studio Theatre. studiotheatre.org.
The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Thru Dec
Woodcut Illustration. Thru Jan 4. Bosch
to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish
Thru Dec 31. Sushama Parikh. Thru Dec
31. arts.pgparks.com.
Crazy For You. Thru Jan 14. Signature 31. Theater J. theaterj.org. Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Publick Playhouse. Michael Moses.
Theatre. sigtheatre.org. The Second City Presents Nothing to van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Thru Jan Thru Jan 19. arts.pgparks.com.
The Second City’s Twist Your Lose (But Our Chains). Thru Dec 31. 7. Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Reston Community Center. Far
Dickens. Thru Dec 31. An American in Woolly Mammoth. Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry. East Echoes: Broad Brushstrokes
Paris. Thru Jan 7. The Illusionists. Dec woollymammoth.net. Thru Jan 21. Edvard Munch: Color and Loving Details. Thru Jan 4.
27-Jan 7. Kennedy Center. The Real Americans. Thru Dec 22. in Context. Thru Jan 28. Posing for restoncommunitycenter.com.
kennedy-center.org. Mosaic Theater Company. Atlas. the Camera: Gifts from Robert B. The Art League. Petite December. Thru
A Christmas Carol. Thru Dec 31. mosaictheater.org. Menschel. Thru Jan 28. In the Tower: Jan 7. Darryl Halbrooks: Natura Morta.
Ford’s Theatre. fords.org. Chinese Menu: Home for the Anne Truitt. Thru Apr 1. Jackson Thru Jan 8. theartleague.org.
An Irish Carol. Thru Dec 31. Keegan Holidays. Dec 23. DC Arts Center Pollock’s ‘Mural’. Thru Oct 28. nga.gov. Waverly Street Gallery. Holiday Art
Theatre. keegantheatre.com. (DCAC). dcartscenter.org. National Geographic. Wild: Michael Show! Thru Jan 6.
A Christmas Carol. Thru Dec 24. Gary Vider. Dec 28. Millennium Stage. Nichols. Thru Jan 12. Tomb of Christ. waverlystreetgallery.com.
Annie. Thru Dec 31. Olney Theatre. kennedy-center.org. Thru Aug 15. nglive.org. Zenith Sculpture Space. Black Artists
olneytheatre.org. National Museum of Women in the of Today: Reinventing Tomorrow! Thru
Curve of Departure. Thru Jan 7. Arts. Inside the Dinner Party Studio. Jan 6. zenithgallery.com.
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

O UT&A B O UT DE C E M B E R 22, 2017 • 27 Apply for Discounts on Your Utility Bills


Christmas and
Discounts are Subject to Income Eligibility Requirements

- Apply for Discounted Rates on -


Kwanzaa events Telephone Electric
LGBT-affirming D.C. Lifeline Program (Economy II) Residential Aid Discount (RAD) Program
from 3-5 p.m. Annual discount on one
churches, centers Potential savings are
Foundry United Methodist Church
land line service per between $300-$475
welcome worshipers (1500 16th St., N.W.) holds a children’s
household. annually.
Christmas Eve service today from 6-7
By MARIAH COOPER p.m. followed by a Candlelight Christmas
mcooper@washblade.com Eve Service from 8-9 p.m. For more
information, visit foundryumc.org. Natural Gas Water
Christmas Eve Metropolitan Community Church of Residential Essential Service (RES) Program Customer Assistance Program (CAP)
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Rock Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) has a Potential savings up to Potential discount
Creek Park (Rock Creek Church Rd. and Christmas Eve service from 7-8 p.m. For $276 during the winter could be over $450
Webster St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve more details, visit mccdc.com. heating season. annually.
service today from 5-8 p.m. For details, Saint John’s Episcopal Church (1525 H
visit stpaulsrockcreek.org. St., N.W.) has Christmas Eve services from
St. Thomas’ Parish and St. Margaret’s 4:30-11 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. there will be
Episcopal Church (1830 Connecticut
Ave., N.W.) celebrate the Festive Holy
Eucharist tonight from 11 p.m.-midnight.
carols and anthems followed by a pageant
and the Choral Holy Eucharist at 5 p.m. At
7 p.m. there will be carols and anthems
For more info call 311 or visit doee.dc.gov/udp
Rev. Alex Dyer will give the sermon. The with the Festival Eucharist starting at 7:30 To apply for the telephone Lifeline Service (Economy II), call 800-253-0846.
service will feature special music. For p.m. The last service of the night kicks off
more details, visit stmargaretsdc.org. with carols and anthems at 10:30 p.m. These programs are for DC residents only.
Dumbarton United Methodist and then Festival Eucharist at 11 p.m. For
Church (3133 Dumbarton St., N.W.) more details, visit stjohns-dc.org.
has a Christmas Eve worship service
at 6:30 p.m. There will be a children’s Christmas Day
Christmas pageant, special Christmas Washington National Cathedral
music, blessing of children, carols and (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) holds its
candlelight. For more information, visit Christmas Day Holy Eucharist at 11:15
dumbartonumc.org. a.m. featuring scripture, season choral
National City Christian Church (5 performance, instrumental music and
Thomas Circle, N.W.) holds a candlelight hymns. Passes are not required. At 1:30
community worship service with prelude p.m. there will be a Christmas Day organ
music at 7 p.m. For more information, recital featuring organists Rev. Benjamin
visit nationalcitycc.org. Pearce and George Fergus. There is a
Seekers Church (276 Carroll St., N.W.) $10 recommended donation. For more
celebrates Christmas Eve with a dinner information, visit cathedral.org.
from 6-7 p.m. followed by a service St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church
of lessons and carols from 7:30-8:30 (1830 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has a
p.m. The service will feature homilist Christmas Day service with the Holy
David Llyod. For more details, visit Eucharist from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. For more
seekerschurch.org. details, visit stmargaretsdc.org.
The Christ Church on Capitol Hill
(620 G St., S.E.) has events and services Kwanzaa
throughout the day and night. At 4:30 Smithsonian’s Anacostia
p.m., the church hosts its “Come as Community Museum hosts a Kwanzaa
you are” family service which features celebration at Fort Stanton Recreation
an informal pick-up pageant, carols, Center (1812 Erie St., S.E.) on Thursday,
children’s message and communion. Dec. 27 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Melvin
A formal family service follows at 6:30 Deal African Heritage Drummers and
p.m. with a Christmas pageant, homily, dancers will perform. Admission is free
carols, communion and music from the but registration is required. For more
St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble. At 10 information, visit anacostia.si.edu.
p.m. there will be a choral prelude with Kuumba Kids hosts its 48th annual
the St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble. They Kwanzaa Children Party at Panorama OPEN CHRISTMAS
will be joined by the Christ Church choir. Room (1600 Morris Rd., S.E.) on Friday, Christmas Eve Seatings - 2:30 pm, 5 pm , 7:30 pm
Christmas Day Seatings - 2 pm, 4:30 pm , 7pm
The Festival Eucharist follows at 10:30 Dec. 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There will
p.m. with a candlelit sanctuary, sermon, be African dance and drumming classes,
communion, carols and music from the storytelling, face painting, arts and crafts,
CALL FOR RESERVATIONS TODAY!
St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble. The final candle-lighting ceremony, a Karamu
event is the festive reception at 11:30 feast and a performance featuring the
M-TH 11:30AM-10PM • F-SAT 11:30AM-11PM
p.m. Attendees are asked to bring food Kuumba Kids, RBG and Imani Steppers.
SUN. BRUNCH 11AM-3PM / DINNER 3-10PM
and drink to share. For more information, Admission is free. Every child will receive
visit washingtonparish.org. a Kwanzaa gift bag with goodies and a
Unity Fellowship Church (474 Ridge T-shirt. For more details, visit facebook. 322 MASS. AVE. NE • 202.543.7656
St., N.W.) has a Christmas Eve service com/kuumbakids. CAFEBERLIN-DC.COM
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

2 8 • DECE MB ER 2 2, 2017 Q U E E RY : 2 0 Q U E ST I O N S F O R MA RT Y BRO W N

MARTY BROWN

How long have you been out and who  


was the hardest person to tell? If science discovered a way to change
I’ve been out since 1994. My mom was sexual orientation, what would you do?
the hardest to tell. Although she didn’t Work to educate people that it is
take it well at first, she’s supportive now. unnecessary and harmful to change
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY sexual orientation.
Who’s your LGBT hero?  
Ellen DeGeneres. She’s handled being What do you believe in beyond the
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO the first lesbian celebrity with such style physical world? 
joeyd@washblade.com and grace and managed to stay positive Love
and upbeat. Very admirable.  
Music is an integral part of the holiday season for many and the Choral Arts What’s your advice for LGBT
Society of Washington is in the midst of its annual holiday concert series. What’s Washington’s best nightspot, movement leaders?
“As a musician, there’s always such great music to sing and play this time past or present?  It’s about every oppressed minority,
of year,” says Marty Brown, an alto who joined the chorus last year. “I like the Absolutely no idea. I’ve never been not just LGBT folks. Let’s work together
chance to be a bit reflective as we head into the coldest part of the winter.” a nightspot type of person, much to raise everyone up.
“Christmas with Choral Arts: Songs of the Season” is Sunday, Dec. 24 at preferring quiet dinners with friends.  
1 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15-79. Details at   What would you walk
kennedy-center.org or choralarts.org. Describe your dream wedding. across hot coals for?
One of Brown’s favorite pieces in the program is “Fourteen Angels” by Casual, on the beach, barefoot, with My family (including my pets and my
Jeffrey Van in memory of a child who died in infancy. She especially enjoys the friends and family around. family of choice).
acoustic guitar accompaniment by Michael Bard.    
“It’s really more of a duet between the choir and the guitar,” the 52-year-old What non-LGBT issue are you most What LGBT stereotype
Wilmington, N.C., native says. “It’s lush and soulful.” passionate about? annoys you most?
Brown, who also sings in the smaller Choral Arts Chamber Singers The emotional health of children All stereotypes are annoying because
choir (about 30 people vs. about 175 in the full choir), says there’s a good — encouraging both boys and girls they limit how self-expressed we can
representation of LGBT singers in the choir. to embrace the full range of human be. The most annoying one is that
“I must say the group has embraced my LGBT-ness wholeheartedly,” she emotion and to pursue whatever they’re LGBT people are somehow a threat to
says. “Even allowing me to wear the same uniform as the men since dresses passionate about, regardless of whether children, that we’re pedophiles.
are not my thing.” or not it’s a “girl’s” or “boy’s” activity.  
The choir performs mostly classical repertoire although they also do pop What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
and gospel on various occasions. Brown also plays piano and enjoys playing What historical outcome “Elena Undone”
for fun in the evenings at home. would you change?  
The alto works by day as an IT consultant. She and wife Laura Wisotzkey and son The 2016 presidential election. What’s the most overrated social
Jack live in Kensington, Md., in Garrett Park Estates near the Strathmore. Brown I believe the damage the Trump custom?
enjoys swimming, singing, piano and cooking for her family in her free time.  administration is doing will take us Clothing restrictions based on gender.
decades to recover from, if we even can.  
  What trophy or prize do you most
What’s been the most memorable pop covet?
culture moment of your lifetime? I have the respect and love of my
When the Supreme Court overturned family and friends and coworkers and
the Defense of Marriage Act. I remember couldn’t ask for more than that.
walking out of my office building, getting  
a text with the news of the decision and What do you wish you’d known at 18?
just bursting into happy tears. That I should just relax because
  my life was going to be awesome and
On what do you insist? amazing and I had time to learn how to
Treating everyone with respect and dignity. live my truth.
   
What was your last Why Washington?
Facebook post or Tweet? It’s a great city with so much to offer
A share of an article I wanted my wife on so many levels, especially culturally. I
to read entitled “Why Your Grumpy love the multi-cultural melting pot that is
Teenager Doesn’t Want to Talk to You.” D.C. and the perspectives of folks who’ve
  lived all over the world. My worldview is
If your life were a book, so much richer for having lived in D.C. the
202.747.2077 what would the title be?
“She Loved Big”
last 20-plus years.
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

BO OK S DE C E M B E R 22, 2017 • 29 琀栀攀

Time to ‘Tell’
Witt memoir is compelling
account of ‘Don’t Ask’ years
一䄀䬀䔀䐀 夀伀䜀䄀
䴀漀渀搀愀礀猀Ⰰ 眀攀搀渀攀猀搀愀礀猀 ☀ 䘀爀椀搀愀礀猀
㘀㨀㌀  倀䴀

TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER has been reading


since she was 3 years old. She lives in Wisconsin
with two dogs and 12,000 books. Reach her at
琀甀攀猀搀愀 礀猀
㄀⼀㈀ 瀀爀椀挀攀 氀漀挀欀攀爀猀 ☀ 爀漀漀洀猀
bookwormsez@yahoo.com.
㠀 愀洀 ⴀ 洀椀搀渀椀最栀琀
No doubt about it: you know the score.
You’ve known it since the beginning
because you were told, clearly and
unequivocally. There’s no grey area, no
猀愀 琀甀爀搀愀 礀猀
最爀愀戀 愀 ␀㔀 漀昀昀 挀愀爀搀 愀琀 吀刀䄀䐀䔀
questions to ask. You know what’s up but,
as in the new book “Tell” by Major Margaret
Witt (with Tim Connor), the outcome may
be out of your hands anyhow. 昀愀挀攀戀漀漀欀⸀挀漀洀⼀琀栀攀挀爀攀眀挀氀甀戀 ㄀㌀㈀㄀ ㄀㐀琀栀 猀琀 一圀
For those who love her, Margie Witt has
always been known as an active, take- PHOTO COURTESY FOREEDGE
charge, caring person. A tomboy growing
up, she befriended the friendless, got
along with everyone and was a super- just a friend with a sympathetic ear.
responsible leader. So it was a natural fit And in the ensuing “’very, very ugly’”
when, in 1987, Witt decided to join the Air divorce, in which a soon-to-be-ex-
Force, even though she was gay. husband seized upon two women
But, of course, nobody was supposed spending the night together, DADT was
to know that. As an elite member of the no longer possible.
military, Witt fully understood that just That, of course, is not the end of what
being gay meant a military discharge. By you’ll learn inside “Tell.” There’s much
order, nobody could ask her about that, more to the story, sometimes too much.
though; she, in turn, could not discuss In an oddly appealing third-person
her sexuality. voice, author Witt (with Tim Connor)
Still, because secrets are never totally starts her tale with a deployment and
secret, Witt was ever-cautious. Fearing moves quickly to a charmingly nostalgic
rejection, she hadn’t come out to her biography that ultimately loses some of
parents or her siblings yet; on the other its charm in an overload of details. There
hand, close pals knew that Witt was a are a lot of peripheral people in this tale,
lesbian, as did a fellow reservist who’d the presence of which sometimes feels
defied “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in order to more shout-out and less necessity.
put his suspicions to rest. Stick around: the details have a shift of
Even Witt’s girlfriend was mum, but there focus about mid-way here, once you get
was trouble on that front: Tiffany desperately past the set-up and into the book’s raison
wanted a baby and was pressing, but Witt d’être. Things move faster in the re-telling of
was uninterested in parenthood. the legal aftermath of Witt’s exposure, the
With a pregnancy deadline-or-else fight for gay rights in the military, and Witt’s
ultimatum looming, Witt took solace not own (mostly)-happily-ever-after. That’s what
only in her job as a pediatric physical makes this slice-of-life history tale one that’s
therapist in Spokane, Wash.,, but also with highly readable and deeply personal.
her friends in the Air Force Reserve and That’s what makes “Tell” a score.
her work as a flight nurse. She kept busy,
was sent overseas to the Middle East and
received commendations for saving a life ‘TELL: LOVE, DEFIANCE, AND THE MILITARY
there. Her knowledge was admired and, TRIAL AT THE TIPPING POINT FOR GAY
as her relationship crumbled, her natural RIGHTS’
By Major Margaret Witt with Tim Connor,
sense of humor helped her stay level but foreword by Colonel Margarethe
she needed a confidante. Witt turned Cammermeyer
to a married-but-“struggling” female ForeEdge
$27.95
colleague who soon became more than 258 pages
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

3 0 • DE CE MB ER 2 2, 2017 CA LE N D A R/ O U T &A BO U T

E-mail calendar items to calendars@washblade.


com two weeks prior to your event. Space is lim-
ited so priority is given to LGBT-specific events
or those with LGBT participants. Recurring
events must be re-submitted each time.
By MARIAH COOPER

TODAY and more. There will be a shows at 10:30


a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $41.91 and
Washington Performing Arts include an all-you-can-eat buffet. The first
Gospel Choir presents “Go Tell It on the mimosa or bloody Mary is free. For more
Mountain,” a Christmas concert, at the details, visit facebook.com/nelliesdc.
Washington National Cathedral (3101
Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. MONDAY, DEC. 25
The Washington National Cathedral
Band will accompany the choir for a Gaylord National Resort and Convention
performance filled with scripture and Center (201 Waterfront St., National
song. Admission is free. For more details, Harbor, Md.) hosts Rudolph’s Holly Jolly
visit washingtonperformingarts.org. Breakfast today from 8 a.m.-11 a.m.
Miracle on 7th Street (1839 7th St., Families can enjoy a breakfast buffet, play
N.W.), a pop-up Christmas bar, runs reindeer games and participate in a sing-
through Dec. 31. The bar has been a-long. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
transformed into a winter wonderland Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster
complete with a toy train that runs and Clarice will make appearances. Adult
PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGG; COURTESY FORD’S around the room and a gingerbread tickets (for guests 12 and older) are
house in the back. There is also a vintage $39.99. Child tickets, for guests 4-11 years
1890s red sleigh and a 12-foot Christmas old, are $26.99. For more information,
Last call for ‘Christmas Carol’ tree. There is also a “Chinese and a Movie” visit gaylordnationaltickets.com.
room which represents Jewish families
Ford’s Theatre (511 10th St., N.W.) presents the last performance of “A Christmas who eat Chinese takeout on Christmas TUESDAY, DEC. 26
Carol” on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. day. The room includes takeout menus,
The classic Dickens’ tale is reimagined in the music-fused adaptation by Michael red lanterns, menorahs and dreidels. For Genderqueer D.C. holds a discussion
Baron. Craig Wallace stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. Other cast members include more information, visit popupbardc.com. group at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St.,
Jonathan Atkinson, Michael Bunce, Rick Hammerly, James Konicek, Eben K. Logan, Amy N.W.) at 7 p.m. tonight. The group is for
McWilliams, among others. SATURDAY, DEC. 23 anyone who identifies outside of the
Tickets range from $50-105. For more details, visit fords.org. gender binary as bigender, agender,
The Arlington Chorale presents a genderfluid or any label outside of
“Messiah” sing-along at the Kennedy cisgender. For more information, visit
Center (2700 F St., N.W.) today at 6 p.m. thedccenter.org.
Conductor Nancia D’Alimonte will lead
the 200-member chorus, guest soloists, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 27
members of the Opera House Orchestra
and the audience. Admission is free Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts
but tickets are required. Tickets will be Women Crush, a happy hour for LBT and
distributed starting at 4:30 p.m. in the other female-identifying people, today
Hall of Nations on the day of the show. from 6-10 p.m. The happy hour will be
For more information, visit kennedy- holiday-themed. For more details, visit
center.org. tradebardc.com.
Capital Life Church and the AMVET
Post 22 sing Christmas carols for THURSDAY, DEC. 28
veteran residents of the Washington
D.C. VA Medical Center (50 Irving ZooLights is at the Smithsonian’s
St., N.W.) today from 1:30-3:30 p.m. National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave.,
Interested participants are asked to N.W.) today from 5-9 p.m. The event
RSVP on Facebook. For more details, visit includes the Smithsonian’s National
facebook.com/clcoutreach. Zoo Choo-Choo, a tour of the zoo on a
Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) trackless train around the Great Cats
hosts Jox, an underwear party, tonight exhibit. Guests can also enjoy Snow-less
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY VALDYSLAV REKHOVSKYY
from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ David Merrill will Tubing and the Speedwell Foundation
play music all night. Clothes check is Conservation Carousel. There will also
available. For more information, visit be live performances, food and drink.
Invazion drag show at Black Cat Dec. 30 greenlanterndc.com. Admission is free. The event runs through
Jan. 1. For more details, visit nationalzoo.
Black Cat (1881 14th St.. N.W.) hosts Invazion, a drag show and dance party, on SUNDAY, DEC. 24 si.edu/events/zoolights.
Saturday, Dec. 30 from 9 p.m.-midnight. The Lambda Bridge Club meets
Desiree Dik, Sextia N’Eight and Jasmine Tea will perform. Pussy Noir (pictured Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center
above) will also give a guest performance. DJ Teara Newhole Gsus spins tracks for the a Christmas Eve drag brunch today from (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No
night. There will be drink specials and prizes. Show starts at 10 p.m. and an encore 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Shi-Queeta-Lee and her reservations required and new comers
performance kicks off at 11 p.m. Cover is $5. drag divas will impersonate Diana Ross, welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-
For more information, visit blackcatdc.com. Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner 407-6540.
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

T H E A TER D E CE MBE R 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 • 3 1

Finding home

PHOTO BY TERESA WOOD

From left are SEBASTIAN ARBOLEDA, JUSTIN WEAKS and ORA JONES in ‘Curve of Departure’ at
Studio Theatre.

‘Curve’ actor Weaks relishes After his father’s unexpected death, Felix youth Weaks played Jonelle who presented I’d be a better artist for it.”
travels with Jackson from Los Angeles to as female but identified as heterosexual. He collected a Helen Hayes Award for
play’s heavy themes Sante Fe for the funeral. Money is tight “She was whatever she felt that his efforts.
By PATRICK FOLLIARD so the couple shares a hotel room with particular day. Hers is a complicated Weaks is one of the young African-
Felix’s mother Linda (Ora Jones) and his gender identity.” American openly gay actors working in
In the superbly acted “Curve of paternal grandfather Rudy (Peter Van Weaks began working shortly after D.C. — others include Jon Hudson Odom,
Departure” now at Studio Theatre, out Wagner) who is grappling with dementia graduating with a theater degree from Freddie Bennett and Desmond Bing.
actor Justin Weaks plays 20-something and incontinence. Biracial Felix, his black Greensboro College in his native North “Being gay isn’t something I run away
Felix. He and his partner Jackson (played mother, and Jewish grandfather are a Carolina in 2012. His first professional gig was from. There’s power in being at the
by Sebastian Arboleda) are in love but diverse group united by familial love and with Olney Theatre Center’s National Players intersection of black and queer. I have a
facing challenges. The actors’ portrayal of their dislike for Felix’s dad. Jackson, the which required nine months on the road. responsibility to embrace myself. Being
the young couple sparks with chemistry latest addition to the group, is Latino. In 2015 he become better acquainted gay isn’t always on the front burner of my
and the feel of authenticity. “The play deals with heavy themes. with Washington while playing the title consciousness, but it definitely informs my
“It’s easy to play Sebastian’s boyfriend. Death and loss,” Weaks says. “There are role in Theater Alliance’s “Dontrell, Who work.”
He and I clicked when we first met and intense emotional moments but the play Kissed the Sea,” a play about a teenager Growing up, he says he didn’t think
have become close friend,” says Weaks, is also lighthearted. The people are good who must convince his father that he’s he’d be an actor. He was concerned
27. “We’re often mistaken for boyfriends people trying to do the right thing in less doing the right thing. about being able to find sustainable
when we’re out chillin’.” than ideal circumstances. But there’s a “Being here for that show opened work. But that changed when he saw
Might life be imitating here? lot of hope in the play, and that’s what we my eyes to what D.C. has to offer for other successful actors.
“I’m single,” Weaks says. need more of, especially at this time.” union and nonunion actors alike, and its “There’s something about seeing people
Written by Rachel Bonds, the new Has Weaks ever played a gay character tightknit community of actors.” like yourself living and thriving,” he says.
work is about family, funerals and an before Felix? But it was Theatre Alliance’s “Word “There’s a power in seeing that, especially
uncertain future. “I must have,” he says. “I know I’ve Becomes Flesh” (an ensemble piece featuring in the time we’re living in which makes it
“It’s an honest look at the family today,” played characters that I feel are gay but a series of letters from a father to his unborn all the more important to be visible.”
Weaks says. “The play breaks open what may not be written explicitly as such. I son) that sold Weaks on Washington,
family means: It’s not about the same skin draw those conclusions when I explore a prompting him to make it his home. ‘CURVE OF DEPARTURE’
Through Jan. 14
color or the same blood. We create families, character’s backstory.” “The production changed me a lot in Studio Theatre
and it’s important to see that on stage.” In Mosaic Theatre Company’s “Charm” terms of stories I wanted to tell,” he says. 1501 14th St., N.W.
$52-90
The story unfolds in a New Mexico hotel about a transgender woman who gives “I pushed myself and was pushed a great 202-332-3300
room over the course of a couple days. deportment lessons to underserved LGBT deal as an actor. It was scary but I knew Studiotheatre.org
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM

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Sia, Hanson, Alabama deliver mixed results


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 songs are good enough. On “Everyday
is “Christmas,” alas, they just aren’t.
all smiles and cheer, with an engaging It’s a bit like tinsel that’s supposed to
old-school vibe and sparkling vocals. make your tree all shiny and festive but
The songs are mostly standards: “Silent instead turns it cheap and tacky. “Puppies
Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “Santa Baby” (well, are Forever” (yeah, really) is about as
duh), and “the modern standard, Wham’s odious a throwaway as you’ll find, “Ho
“Last Christmas.” Naturally, there’s a duet Ho Ho” tries to be festive but Sia’s overly
with her hunky beau Blake Shelton, the mannered vocals never convey anything
upbeat and jubilant “You Make it Feel Like other than an affinity for autotune. The
Christmas.” Stefani delivers a knockout of ballad “Underneath the Mistletoe” is nice
a Christmas album, fun and classy, elegant enough, but by and large “Everyday is
and bursting with holiday cheer. If you add Christmas” falls flat. 
one Christmas album to your library this
year, you could do far worse than “You 9. HANSON ‘FINALLY IT’S CHRISTMAS’
Make it Feel Like Christmas.”  Two decades ago, back when they
were still a teen-pop sensation, Hanson
3. LESLIE ODOM, JR. ‘SIMPLY CHRISTMAS’ released the now-standard holiday
Tony Award-winning star of “Hamilton,” collection “Snowed In.” Now in their
Leslie Odom, Jr. delivers the sweetly 30s, the trio delivers the long-awaiting
soulful “Simply Christmas.” Odom is follow-up, “Finally It’s Christmas” and it’s
obviously going for a classic vibe and not quite so quite. It’s overproduced,
he achieves this down to the black and forced and never transcends its rather
white album photo that could have been bland formula. Not much personality or
lifted straight from an earlier generation. sincerity to be found. The song selections
Odom’s supple voice shines as he runs are uninspired as well: Did the world
through mostly familiar classics, with a really need another version of the already
Hanson’s new Christmas album ‘Finally It’s Christmas’ lacks the fun and verve of its 1997
few lesser-known gems thrown in for predecessor ‘Snowed In.’ migraine-inducing “Wonderful Christmas
variety. Odom’s take on “The Christmas PHOTO COURTESY S-CURVE RECORDS
Time”? Sir Paul still has yet to atone for
Song,” a carol that’s been performed and unleashing that atrocity upon the world
recorded countless times, is particularly and Hanson renders it, if anything,
reverent and sublime. “Simply Christmas” Christmas, Baby” is the song on which her 7. ALABAMA ‘AMERICAN CHRISTMAS’ even more annoying. Their attempt at a
is heavy on the ballads, so if you’re going sparkling personality shines through the Country legends Alabama released their Christmas-rock “Til New Years Night” is
for upbeat holiday party music this might brightest. Yeah, we get another dose of classic “Christmas,” a 1985 collection that limp and the obligatory cover of Mariah
not be the best choice, but for a romantic “The Christmas Song,” “Silent Night” and has become a standard, thanks in part to Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” has all
evening in front of the fireplace it couldn’t “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” the smash “Christmas in Dixie.” For their the personality of watered-down eggnog
be more perfect.  and Fantasia’s renditions are pretty if latest, “American Christmas,” Alabama (without rum). Unless you’re a Hanson
unmemorable. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” adds four originals to a mix of standards aficionado (and apparently they do exist),
4. CHEAP TRICK ‘CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS’ is performed as a duet with Cee-Lo that also includes a new version of “Finally It’s Christmas” can safely stay
Legendary power-rockers Cheap Trick Green, and while Fantasia nails the pert “Christmas in Dixie.” A mix of religious and in its shrinkwrap. “Snowed In” is by far
are the latest rockers to put their stamp attitude in her vocal, the song itself never secular tunes, “American Christmas” is an the better of the two, with the younger
on the holidays and they turn in a solid quite gets beyond its usual creepiness. earnest collection that doesn’t really grab version of the trio actually managing
effort on “Christmas Christmas.” The “Christmas After Midnight” feels like it you, but is perfectly fine for background to instill some enthusiasm and holiday
songs are mostly lesser-known tracks, could have been more impactful, but it’s music or as part of a mix to play on spirit, unlike this leaden collection. 
although they do tackle a couple ballads: not awful by any means. Fantasia fans will Christmas morning. Perhaps, inevitably
“Silent Night” doesn’t quite work, but their love it; appeal beyond that is limited.  though, there is one maudlin ballad: “First 10. ‘THE STAR (ORIGINAL MOTION
bluesy take on “Please Come Home for Christmas Without Daddy.” It’s poignant, PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)’
Christmas” is a delight. The rockers are 6. LINDSEY STIRLING ‘WARMER IN but for those of us who quickly flip through Sony Pictures’ critically panned
best, though, especially “Run Rudolph THE WINTER’ “Blue Christmas” and prefer holiday music animated Christmas film “The Star” has
Run,” “Merry Christmas Darlings”  and Violinist Lindsey Stirling offers up her not drenched in sadness, it’s not likely to an accompanying soundtrack that is,
the epic “Merry Xmas Everybody.” Cheap dazzling musical skills on “Warmer in the be at the top of our holiday playlist. The well, as bad as the firm purportedly is
Trick’s “Christmas Christmas” will likely Winter,” a mostly light-hearted collection album as a whole is solid if predictable, (and I make no claims to having seen it,
never be considered a classic holiday heavy on the fun. An early highlight is a which perhaps is the point. With Alabama but the reviews are pretty harsh). Most
album, but it’s certainly a worthy effort by cleverly arranged take on “You’re a Mean you know what you’re gonna get and that of the tracks are performed by gospel or
a venerable band still going strong.  One, Mr. Grinch” featuring popular teen ain’t necessarily a bad thing.  contemporary Christian artists and it’s
vocalist Sabrina Carpenter. There are also a mixed bag. Casting Crowns perhaps
5. FANTASIA ‘CHRISTMAS AFTER moments of breathtaking beauty, such as 8. SIA ‘EVERYDAY IS CHRISTMAS’ owns the gem of the collection with the
MIDNIGHT’ Stirling’s angelic instrumental renditions It must have seemed like a sure beautiful “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and
“American Idol” favorite Fantasia of “Carol of the Bells” and “What Child is thing: pop phenom Sia, one of the top country singer Jake Owen does a nice
goes for the elegant romantic side of This” (although technically the song was purveyors of pop gold these days both job on “What Child is This?” Zara Larsson
the holiday with a sophisticated set of “Greensleeves” before the lyrics were as a songwriter and performer, teaming doesn’t quite have the gravitas to pull off a
classics and lesser-known tunes that’s written much later, so if it’s instrumental up with uber-producer and songwriter convincing “Mary, Did You Know?” (check
pleasant enough, but doesn’t really live it shouldn’t really be titled “What Child is Greg Kurstin on a collection of newly out Cee-Lo Green’s definitive version
up to its full potential given the dynamic This” ....  Eh, whatever. It’s beautiful). The written Christmas songs with a modern from a few years back instead). The big
power of Fantasia’s voice. It’s a little too shrillness of Stirling’s violin does kinda pop sheen. A holiday album of all new opening ballad and title song, “The Star”
smooth and over-produced. Still, it’s far grate after a while, so this album might originals is a bit unusual these days, as by Mariah Carey, is insipid and dreary.
from a disaster and there are moments be better suited for a shuffle mix rather people are largely traditionalists when There are a few tracks worth downloaded
of pure joy. Fantasia’s jazzy saunter on than listening all the way through.  it comes to Christmas and like to hear from your favorite online retailer, but the
“The Snow is Falling” is great, and “Merry their standards. It can work, though, if the album as a whole is spotty. 
W A SH I N GTO NB LAD E.C OM D E CE MBE R 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 • 3 3

CU O
RV F

RE
E “ONE OF THE YEAR’S

AY E S
PL HU ND
MOST BEAUTIFUL
TU
A O
ON L B

G
HE
R

IN
PERFORMANCES.”
KE C
MI RA
PA
D
BY BY
—THE WASHINGTON POST

W
NO
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DI NE

Family, a funeral, and an uncertain future—a gently


A

comic play about the ties we use to bind ourselves to others.

202.332.3300 | STUDIOTHEATRE.ORG

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The fourth Wise Man: a fractured Christmas story


Mary and Joseph and but little baby Jesus was coming fast so “Nah, you guys go on ahead. Cash me
their $1,400 refundable she sent Joseph down to JC Penney for outside, how bow dah?” said Roy who was
some swaddling clothes. As soon has her actually plotting against the baby, so he
child tax credit contractions were three minutes apart, could continue being king.
she pinged Joseph on his cell phone. In Bethlehem, the wise guys presented
By VALERIE M. BLAKE He came rushing back by Uber, upon their gifts to Baby Jesus.
which Mary gave birth on that cold, starry “I offer you this photo of gold,” said
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Ha- night in a shed that lacked central heating be- Balthazar. “You can visit the real stuff at
nukah, Kwanzaa, or my personal favorite, cause all the Airbnbs in Bethlehem were full. Fort Knox. Just call Steven Mnuchin so
Date Nut Bread Day (it’s today!), traditions Meanwhile in the suburbs, some men you can use his plane.”
abound during the holiday season. were tending to their sheep (didn’t I tell “I offer you frankincense,” said Mel-
Most traditions involve the gathering you it was a cold night?) when they spot- chior. The baby sneezed.
of family and friends at someone’s home ted a bright light in the sky. Lo and be- “I offer you myrrh,” said Gaspar. Mary
and the consumption of mass quantities hold, it was an angel riding a unicorn and rolled her eyes at Joseph and whispered,
of food and, often, drink – sort of like a carrying a Bell and Howell Tac Light Lan- Once upon a time Mary and her husband, “WTF is myrrh?”
Joseph, were directed to return to their
football game with religious overtones. tern (As Seen On TV). ancestral home to register for the Tax Cut “I’ve got this, guys,” said Fred. “I offer
As a child, my Nana and I used to play The shepherds looked at each other and Jobs Act. Baby Jesus a tuition-free, science-based
a game of Who Can Tell the Biggest Lie quizzically, but the angel said, “Fear not, college education so he can study ways
PHOTO BY BIGSTOCK; COURTESY OF GINO SANTA MARIA
and it’s in the spirit of that game and in for I have news of the birth of your Savior to combat climate change, save the world
remembrance of my late Nana (and not in Bethlehem – a child who will be king. and bring us peace on Earth.”
to offend anyone) that I tell you the story And I’ve brought bacon.” entist and I say it’s a star,” said Gaspar “You win,” said Joseph, “but we’d bet-
of The Fourth Wise Man as it was loosely Then more angels came and chatted proudly. “Let’s check it out,” suggested ter hit the road. I hear King Roy Moore is
told to me many years ago. for a while and the shepherds, being good Fred, the Fourth Wise Man, “but first, let’s coming for our children.”
Once upon a time Mary and her husband, hosts, broke out a flacon of Prosecco to stop at Neiman’s to pick up a baby gift.” So, they fled to Nazareth in the suburbs
Joseph, were directed to return to their an- share with everyone before leaving for So, they did. of Galilee, where Baby Jesus grew to be
cestral home to register for the Tax Cut and Bethlehem. There they found the baby ly- Well, as luck would have it, en route to Beth- a man who wore gender-neutral clothing,
Jobs Act. Mary was pregnant and the idea ing in a manger and immediately tweeted lehem, they ran into King Roy Moore who was celebrated diversity, ministered to the
of getting their $1,400 refundable child tax out the news to their friends and posted a sitting astride his camel and blocking their poor and the sick, and preached love and
credit from Marco Rubio was enticing. selfie with Mary and Joseph on Facebook. path. “Hey, Roy,” said Fred. “Is that a pistol in tolerance for all.
The couple booked a flight to Bethle- In another land far, far away, wise men your pocket or are you glad to see me?” Way to go, Jesus!
hem out of Hartsfield-Jackson Interna- who were gathered at a meeting of the “Bless your heart, Fred,” replied Roy.
tional Airport in Atlanta, but as luck would United Nations Security Council received “I see you’re wearing your gay apparel. VALERIE M. BLAKE is a licensed Associate Broker
have it, they were stranded there for two the tweet on their iPhones. Suddenly, Have you heard about the baby born in in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and Director of Ed-
days due to power outages and lost their something bright shone the sky. Bethlehem?” “Yes, answered Fred, “We’re ucation & Mentorship at Real Living|At Home. Call
or text her at 202-246-8602, email her at Valerie@
hotel reservations. “It’s a bird,” cried Balthasar. “No, it’s a on our way to meet him now as soon as DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at
Mary was exhausted after the flight, plane,” exclaimed Melchior. “I’m a sci- we stop for brunch. Care to join us?” TheRealst8ofAffairs.

Happy Holidays
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