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Countdown to the games

Mark Hertzendorf, sailing, gay games, gay news, Washington Blade

Mark Hertzendorf says any serious sailer has accumulated some embarrassing stories. (Photo courtesy Hertzendorf)

This week in the continuing series on the LGBT athletes of Washington who will compete at the 2014 Cleveland/Akron Gay Games, we visit with Mark Hertzendorf of the Rainbow Spinnakers Sailing Club.

 

WASHINGTON BLADE: What is your sailing background?

HERTZENDORF: I took my first sailing class when I was a freshman in college at SUNY-Oswego on Lake Ontario. Although I sailed a bit on Lake Ontario that year, the training didn’t really take hold until years later. It was several years before I found out about Rainbow Spinnakers Sailing Club at Capital Pride. Since joining the Rainbow Spinnakers, I haven’t stopped sailing. I began sailing with them on the Potomac River from Belle Haven Marina using Flying Scots. After a number of years, I started dividing my time equally between sailing on the Potomac River and sailing in Baltimore Harbor mostly on Sonar23s — a racing boat popular in this area. More recently I’ve spent time sailing and fixing up my Catalina 25 currently located at Belle Haven Marina.

 

BLADE: Did you play any other sports growing up?

HERTZENDORF: My only other form of consistent exercise has been swimming.

 

BLADE: Will you be racing in the competitive division or the recreational division at the Gay Games?

HERTZENDORF: The Rainbow Spinnaker’s team will be racing in the recreational fleet. It’s a bit of a misnomer perhaps to refer to one of the fleets as recreational and the other as competitive. Both fleets will be competing fiercely. The terms are generally used to distinguish between fleets that will fly a spinnaker downwind, versus those that will rely on the standard jib or genoa sail. So, perhaps ironically given our name, our team will not be flying a spinnaker.

 

BLADE: Tartan Yachts is supplying the fleet to be used at the Gay Games. Will it be difficult to navigate a boat that is new to you?

HERTZENDORF: Navigating a new boat should not be difficult. I’ve sailed on many different types of boats, as have the other team members.

 

BLADE: What will your training regimen consist of leading up to the Gay Games?

HERTZENDORF: Our team members have limited racing experience since that hasn’t been the focus of Rainbow Spinnakers. Most of the team has signed up for a racing seminar at J-World in Annapolis. We haven’t settled on specific training schedule, but we intend to participate in local races throughout the season in preparation for the Games.

 

Mark Hertzendorf, sailing, gay games, gay news, Washington Blade

Mark Hertzendorf (Photo courtesy Hertzendorf)

BLADE: What is it about sailing that keeps you in the sport?

HERTZENDORF: There is nothing like being out on the water. A famous quote says, “A bad day on the water is always better than a good day on land.” There is always something new to learn and opportunities to improve your skill set. As you get older, you just get bigger boats.

 

BLADE: Any embarrassing sailing stories to share?

HERTZENDORF: Too many to count. If you don’t have any embarrassing stories to tell, you haven’t been a serious sailor. My favorite such story is the time I tried to impress my friends in Seattle with my relatively new sailing skills. The first day visiting my friends I rented a boat from the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union.  Inside of an hour I had managed to sail into a houseboat. A guy in a rowboat with his dog attempted to rescue me, but the effort ultimately required a power boat from the CWB. I swear it wasn’t my fault. Apparently the keel of the boat had not been lowered before they handed her off to me. This was a strange, old-fashioned wooden boat where the adjustment had to be made deep in the hull. This made it impossible for me to tact into the wind.

 

BLADE: Have you been to the Gay Games? What are you most looking forward to?

HERTZENDORF: This will be the first time I’ve participated in a serious race.  I am really looking forward to the opening ceremony and competing.

11
Mar
2014

Calendar: March 14-20

Hump Film Festival, calendar, gay news, Washington Blade

A still from one of the films to be screened next week as part of the Dan Savage ‘Hump’ Film Festival at Woolly Mammoth. (Still courtesy Justin Morrison and Kelly O.)

Calendar for LGBT D.C. for the week ahead.

Friday, March 14

 

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) holds a happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. tonight with all drinks half price. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is $5 after 9 p.m. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts free vodka Friday tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Free rail vodka 11 p.m.-midnight. Two DJs on two floors. Cover is $10. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit cobaltdc.com.

 

Saturday, March 15

 

The Latino Queer Bilingual Writing Group hosts its monthly workshop today at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 12:30-2:30 p.m. The focus will be on memoirs. Open to writers of any genre and levels of experience to share creative work in Spanish or English. Workshop is free and no prior experience is necessary. For details, call 202-682-2245 or email washeg@gmail.com.

Young Artists of America perform an orchestrated version of Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World” at Winston Churchill High School (11300 Gainsborough Rd., Potomac, Md.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. For details, visit youngartistsamerica.org.

Mr. D.C. Eagle 2014 hosts “Leather Invasion: 17th Street N.W.,” a St. Patrick’s Day weekend bar-crawl. The crawl begins at the Duplex Diner (2004 18th St., N.W.) at 7:30 p.m. and ends at Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) at 12:30 a.m. for the “Bears Can Dance” party, Jell-O shots and a price raffle. Money will be raised for SMYAL.

GLBT Outreach and Engagement (GLOE) hosts “Masquerade and Mischief: Purim Drag Ball” at the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center (1529 16th St., N.W.) tonight from 8:30 p.m.-midnight. There will be a drag performance by Ms. Hilda Seaview and an amateur drag/costume parade and contest with prizes. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. There is a free open bar for anyone who comes in costume. Food and desserts are included. Admission limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit betmish.org.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts “Bare: Military Appreciation St. Pattie’s Day” tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Admission is free for those with a valid Military ID. There will be beer pong and flip cup on the first floor. Jameson and Fireball shots are $3. Domestic beers are $5. Music by DJs Rosie and Keenan Orr. For more details, visit cobaltdc.com.

 

Sunday, March 16

 

Chick Chat, an ages-50-and-over lesbian singles group, celebrates Women’s “Herstory” month with a tour of the Clara Barton House (5801 Oxford Rd., Glen Echo, Md.) today at noon. For details and to RSVP email woernerc@yahoo.com.

Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Sunday Drag Brunch” today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more details, visit perrysadamsmorgan.com.

 

Monday, March 17

 

United Soldiers and Sailors of America, a non-profit organization that supports combat wounded and their families, hosts a St. Patrick’s Day event at Jake’s Boiler Room (5018 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) from 4-11 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes a complimentary green beer and St. Patrick’s Day mug. There will be $5 Smithwicks and Harp, $8 Irish car bombs and $15 corned beef and cabbage platter. All proceeds benefit United Solders and Sailors of America. For details, visit jakesdc.com.

Rainbow Theatre Project presents a reading of the Noel Coward play “Long Island Sound” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Source (1835 14th St., N.W.). It tells of an author seeking peace and quiet at a friend’s house who is interrupted by a large gathering of boisterous artists and socialites of whom he becomes the main attraction. About 20 local and student artists will present the reading. Rainbow Theatre Project is a new LGBT-specific theater company.

 

Tuesday, March 18

 

Transgender Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW) hosts its annual celebration and fundraiser tonight at Lost Society (2001 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There will be an open bar with wine and specialty cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres from 6:30-7:30 p.m. There is a suggested $10 donation at the door but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information, visit translawdc.org.

“Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano,” a filmed concert special of John’s “Million Dollar Piano” show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, plays at AMC Mazza Gallerie (5300 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. as part of a special two-night event. There will be another showing on March 26.

 

Wednesday, March 19

 

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses “The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered” edited by Tom Cardamone at the American Foreign Service Association (2101 E St., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For details, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com.

The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner needed. For more information, call 301-345-1571.

 

Thursday, March 20

Freestyle Fitness presents “Go Live and Rewind,” a fitness dance party that benefits Capital Pride 2014, is at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-11 p.m. Enjoy music from DJ miGGL from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today from pop, hip-hop, Latin and more while getting a workout. For more details, visit facebook.com/freestylefitnessmoves.

Congressional Chorus presents “New York, New York: An American Cabaret” at Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. through March 23. A cast of 85 singers and dancers perform musical selection from notable people in the music industry from New York City including Stephen Sondheim, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. Tickets are $45. For details, visit atlasarts.org.

Dan Savage, gay author and co-founder of the “It Gets Better Project” brings his “Hump!” Film Festival to Woolly Mammoth Theatre (641 D St., N.W.) tonight with showings at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. These 15 short films discuss sexual situations and include straight, gay, lesbian and transgender stories. Tickets are $20. Screenings go through March 22. For more information, visit humptour.strangertickets.com.

Whole Foods (1440 P St., N.W.) hosts “Drag Bingo on P Street” featuring the Imperial Court of Washington tonight from 7-9 p.m.  There will be prizes and snacks. All proceeds benefit Whole Planet Foundation. For more details, visit wholefoods.com/events.

LGBT personnel assigned to the Pentagon meet at Freddie’s Beach Bar (555 23rd St., Arlington) today from 5-7 p.m. for happy hour. This monthly event (the third Thursday of each month) is open to military, Department of Defense civilians and military contractors who work in and around the Pentagon.

The band cut/copy plays Echo Stage (2135 Queens Chapel Road, N.E.) tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35. Visit echostage.com for details.

13
Mar
2014

SPECIAL REPORT In their own words: elders facing poverty, ageism

Mary Paradise, Sage, ageism, gay news, Washington Blade

‘They never say ‘you’re too old.’ They say, ‘we want someone who graduated more recently,’ said D.C. resident Mary Paradise of her prolonged job search. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part look at how poverty affects elder members of the LGBT community and part of a yearlong Blade focus on poverty. To share your ideas or personal story, visit us on Facebook or email knaff@washblade.com. Click here to read previous installments.

 

Today — and every day for the next 16 years — 10,000 baby boomers, members of the generation born between 1946 and 1964, will turn 65, according to the Pew Research Center. About 1.5 million gay, lesbian and bisexual elders in the United States are gay. By 2030, that number is expected to increase to nearly 3 million, according to a report by Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), the Movement Advancement Project and Center for American Progress.

One in six Americans over 65 lives in poverty, according to the Congressional Research Service.

“For LGBT older adults, a lifetime of employment discrimination, among other factors, contribute to disproportionately high poverty rates,” the SAGE website states.

LGBT elders living in or near poverty aren’t just statistics. The Blade interviewed several LGBT elders, aged 50 and older, from St. Louis to Chicago to New York City to Washington, D.C. Here are their stories:

A little peanut butter, maybe some pizza or Ramen noodles is a typical meal for Robyn Sullivan, a 57-year-old transgender woman living in New York City, who struggles to pull together $25 a week for food. In the past, she’s lived in homeless shelters. Now, she lives in a cockroach infested third floor walk-up with four gender non-conforming struggling artists.

“This is the hardest place in the country to live if you don’t make tons of money,” said Sullivan, who suffers from clinical depression and arthritis. “They wanted me to work one day a week for eight hours at a construction site with my limitations to qualify for $190 of food stamps. Working there would be too dangerous.”

Her plight is common among transgender people, Sullivan said. “Dealing with transphobia is nothing I can win at.”

In the 1990s, Sullivan was a skilled software project manager. “I used to make six figures,” she said. “When I was living as a white male professional, I was getting privilege far beyond what any human being deserves. Then I needed to transition and there was the downturn in Silicon Valley.”

After a couple of years, her savings were gone.

“As you go along into poverty, there are things that make people avoid you,” said Sullivan, who now works part-time as a receptionist for SAGE. “I wasn’t hired for a job around the corner from here. They said I wasn’t trustworthy because I lived in a homeless shelter,” she said.

Sullivan encounters not only transphobia but ageism. “When you’re past 50, no company with a retirement plan will hire you,” Sullivan said.

Even with all that she endures, Sullivan says she doesn’t harbor regrets. “When I came out as a trans woman, I felt like I was the woman I was,” she said. “I chose to stop living a lie.  Knowing what I know now, I doubt I would have done anything differently.”

It’s not always been as good for him as it is now, 70-year-old Roger Beyers of Chicago told the Blade. But “nobody ever said, life’s going to be a bed of roses,” he said.

Beyers, who retired at 66 after working for 40 years for Jewel, a Chicago area grocer, is HIV positive.

“My income is less than $12,000 per year,” he said. “My housing is subsidized by Chicago House. Before I was admitted to Chicago House, I was on the verge of homelessness. I’m on Medicare and Medicaid.”

Medicaid pays for his HIV medication, Beyers said. “If I had to pay for it, it would cost $18,000. I couldn’t afford it,” he said. “If it were to collapse, I’d be in a fragile position.”

Though he struggles with issues of economic insecurity, he feels that he’s overcoming some of them, Beyers said. He recently started a part-time internship with the Center on Halsted in Chicago.

“My financial situation has dramatically changed,” Beyers said. “There’s a world of difference between living on Social Security and having money left over at the end of the month.”

For one day a week at the Center, he assists with an HIV counseling hotline. “I love it,” Beyers said. “I can say to an HIV-positive person: ‘I’ve been there, done that and survived it all.’”

He finds strength and joy from his boyfriend Eduardo. “A shout-out for my boyfriend! I may end up marrying this man,” he said.

Mary Paradise, 62, a Capital Pride board member and Washington, D.C. resident, has been looking for work for more than a year. She worked as a nurse for 42 years. Paradise, while working as a health marketing consultant, was laid off due to downsizing. Throughout her job search, she’s often encountered ageism, Paradise said.

“They never say ‘you’re too old.’ They say, ‘we want someone who graduated more recently’ or ‘you’re over qualified,’” she said. “I say to them, ‘you must want someone who’s younger.’”

It gets discouraging, Paradise said. She’s used up her savings and in three months her unemployment benefits will run out, unless Congress extends the benefits. “It gets scary,” Paradise said, “it’s a humbling experience. I’ve worked all my life. For Congress to think I’m lazy is insulting.”

But Paradise is optimistic. She volunteers at her church. “My faith is such that I believe I will be taken care of if I just keep moving forward,” she said. “I have friends who are wonderfully supportive. I have some job leads. Something will come my way that’s a perfect fit.”

Barbara Woodruff, ageism, gay news, Washington Blade

Barbara Woodruff, 64, of St. Louis says she gets by on her $633 Social Security check each month.

Like many baby boomers, Barbara Woodruff, 64, of St. Louis thought that she had plenty of money put away for retirement. But like far too many people, especially lesbians, she found herself with no savings when she reached retirement age, Woodruff said. She gets by on her monthly $633 Social Security check. Fortunately, Woodruff says, she has Medicare and Medicaid.

“Thank God, that paid for my medication when my thyroid went haywire,” she said. “I’m fortunate. I pay $202 in rent for a nice one-bedroom apartment. It’s HUD-subsidized through the Cardinal Ritter Senior Services housing program.”

Woodruff’s partner of 20 years died in a boating accident in 1988. “When she passed, I lost the house. It was in her name. We didn’t think about those things then,” she said.

Over the years, Woodruff has done everything from working in a nursing recruitment office to running, with a business partner, an event designing business to clerking at a convenience store. “You do what you have to do to put food on the table,” she said.

For several years, Woodruff stopped working to take care of her now deceased mother.  “Her Social Security was very little. But I’d do it again,” she said.

Because of her low income, Woodruff doesn’t go out to eat much. “The LGBT community is very supportive here. There’s a great lesbian hangout. I like to see my friends there. I can’t afford to go there now,” she said. “I eat less meat and a lot more fresh fruit and veggies for my health — meat’s expensive.”

Without the social safety net of health insurance and her housing subsidy, she doesn’t know if she’d be alive, Woodruff said.

“I wouldn’t do myself in,” she said. “My friends would make sure I’d have a place to live. I’d be grateful to have a room in their house. But it wouldn’t be my home.”

27
Mar
2014

Calendar: March 28-April 3

Cher Lloyd, gay news, Washington Blade

Singer Cher Lloyd, who played the Capital Pride mainstage last summer, visits Rams Head Live in Baltimore next week. (Photo courtesy Rams Head Live)

Calendar for the week ahead in LGBT D.C. events:

 

Friday, March 28

The Latino History Project hosts its third annual “Mujeres en el Movimiento,” an event for lesbian Latinas to meet and connect, at MOVA Lounge (2204 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The theme is “Celebrating Women of Color, Courage and Commitment.” There will be drinks, Latino music and a historical digital photo exhibit. There is a $5 suggested donation. For more details, visit latinoglbthistory.org.

Chef Art Smith hosts a private dinner as part of “Taste of Pride” at his restaurant Art and Soul (415 New Jersey Ave., N.W.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. Smith, who has appeared on numerous television specials including “ABC’s Lady Gaga Thanksgiving Special,” will prepare a three-course dinner with red wine. There will also be a meet and greet with him. Tickets are $60. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit capitalpride.org/taste.

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) holds a happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. tonight with all drinks half price. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is $5 after 9 p.m. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

Women in Their 20s, a social discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and all women interested in women, meets today at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 8-9:30 p.m. All welcome to join. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

 

Saturday, March 29

Washington Independent Review of Books hosts “Books Alive!,” a literary book conference for writers, agents and book lovers, at the Bethesda Marriott (5151 Pooks Hill Rd., Bethesda, Md.) today from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Speakers include best-selling author Jonathan Alter, cookbook author Joan Nathan and former Washington Post restaurant critic Phyllis Richman. There will also be pitch session for aspiring authors to meet with top literary agents. Tickets are $220 and include morning coffee and a box lunch. For more information, visit washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com.

“Bring It On: The Musical,” a musical adaptation of the hit blockbuster movie “Bring It On” comes to Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, Md.) for two performances today at 3 and 8 p.m. The musical was on Broadway and written by Tony Award-winning writer of “Avenue Q,” Jeff Whitty. Tickets range from $31-81. For more details, visit strathmore.org.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts DJ Chord, who will be playing pop music, tonight. Doors open at 10 p.m. Cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. Drinks are $3 before 11 p.m. The drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over.

Sunday, March 30

 

Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Sunday Drag Brunch” today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more details, visit perrysadamsmorgan.com.

Adventuring, an LGBT outdoors group, holds a walking tour of the Battle of Spotsylvania this morning at 9 a.m. The tour covers seven miles of trails including the Bloody Angle, where two armies were locked in combat for nearly 24 hours. Bring a picnic lunch, bug spray and $10 for transportation and trip fees. They will carpool at 9 a.m. from the King Street Metro Station (1900 King St., Alexandria, Va.). For more information, visit adventuring.org.

 

Monday, March 31

 

University of Maryland’s Jewish LGBT group hosts Rabbi Steve Greenberg, an openly gay rabbi, at Theodore R. McKeldin Library at University of Maryland (Theodore R Mckeldin Library Campus Dr., College Park, Md.) in the special events room on the sixth floor tonight from 7-10 p.m. He will speak on “wrestling with God” as an openly gay Jew in the Orthodox world. For more details, visit marylandhillel.org.

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Us Helping Us  (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) holds a support group for gay black men to discuss topics that affect them, share perspectives and have meaningful conversations. For details, visit uhupil.org.

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts poker night tonight at 8 p.m. Win prizes. Free to play. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

 

Tuesday, April 1

 

Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts its weekly ”FUK!T Packing Party” from 7-9 p.m. tonight. For more details, visit thedccenter.org or greenlanterndc.com.

The National Education Association (1537 M St., N.W.) screens “Always Be My Son,” a short documentary about a family struggling with a family member’s sexuality, tonight from 7-9 p.m. For more information, thedccenter.org.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) provides free and confidential HIV testing drop-in hours today from 3-5 p.m. For more information, visit smyal.org.

 

Wednesday, April 2

 

The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner needed. For more information, call 301-345-1571.

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses “The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire,” an exploration of the relationship between gay men and opera, at Tenleytown Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For details, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com.

 

Thursday, April 3

British pop singer Cher Lloyd performs at Rams Head Live (20 Market Pl., Baltimore) tonight at 8 p.m. Lloyd is a former “The X Factor U.K.” contestant and received fame in the United States with her hit single “Want U Back.” Lloyd has previously performed at Capital Pride. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 the day of show. For more details, visit ramsheadlive.com.

Broadway star Linda Eder performs at Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va.) tonight at 8 p.m. Eder played Lucy in the Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde.” She also has 14 solo albums and one duets album. Tickets range from $44-48. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit wolftrap.org.

Rude Boi Entertainment hosts “Tempted 2 Touch,” a ladies dance party, at the Fab Lounge (2022 Florida Ave., N.W.) Doors open at 10 p.m. Drink specials $5 and vodka shots $3 all night. No cover charge. Admission limited to guests 21 and over. For more details, visit rudeboientertainment.wordpress.com.

27
Mar
2014

Team D.C. Sportsfest

Team D.C., the umbrella organization for D.C.-area LGBT sports teams and leagues, held its annual Sportsfest at Room & Board on Thursday. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key) Sportsfest 

11
Apr
2014

Calendar: April 18-24

Eric Himan, calendar, gay news, Washington Blade

Eric Himan is at Bear Happy Hour Friday evening. (Photo by Evan Taylor)

Calendar of LGBT D.C.-area events for the week ahead:

Friday, April 18

Out singer-songwriter Eric Himan performs songs from his latest album “Gracefully” at two upcoming shows. First at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) for Bear Happy tonight. Doors open at 10 p.m. Cover is $5 from 10-11 p.m. and $10 after 11 p.m. for guests 21 and over. Guests 18-20 there is a $10 cover all night. Drinks are $3 from 10-11 p.m. Himan will also be the opening act for Ani DiFranco at Rams Head Live (20 Market Pl., Baltimore) on April 26 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $40. For more details, visit towndc.com and ramsheadlive.com.

The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance (AGLA) presents “2014 Miss Gay Arlington” at Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant (555 23rd St. South, Arlington, Va.) tonight at 8 p.m. Contestants compete in categories including talent and evening gown. Cover is $10. For more details, visit agla.org.

Ziegfelds/Secrets (1824 Half St., S.W.) hosts its Easter celebration “Bears ‘n Bunnies” tonight from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Doors open with no cover from 8-10 p.m. There will be a free buffet, draft beer specials and shot drink specials. For more information, visit secretsdc.com.

Saturday, April 19

Team D.C. hosts “Casino Night” at Buffalo Billiards (1330 19th St., N.W.) tonight from 8-11:45 p.m. Play poker, blackjack and craps with dealers from local LGBT sports teams. No cover charge. Receive $100 in chips for $10 or $250 in chips for $20. Chips can be redeemed at the end for raffle entries for prizes. Proceeds go to participating LGBT sports teams. For more details, visit teamdc.org.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, led by gay choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess, debuts “Dancing the Dream,” an exploration between dance and modern American identity, at the National Portrait Gallery (8th and F Streets N.W.) today at 1 and 2:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more details, visit npg.si.edu.

DJ Hector Fonseca plays at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight. Doors open at 10 p.m. Cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. Drinks are $3 before 11 p.m. The drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit towndc.com.

Special Agent Galactica brings her cabaret performance with guitarist Peter Fields to Jay’s On Read (225 W Read St., Baltimore) tonight at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free and limited to guests 21 and over. For more details, visit pinkhairedone.com.

Green Lantern (1335 Green Lantern Ct., N.W.) hosts “Bears Can Dance: Bunny Ears Easter Edition” at 9 p.m. tonight. There is no cover charge. Free bunny ears will be given to the first 50 guests to arrive. For more details, visit greenlanterndc.com.

Sunday, April 20

JR.’s Bar (1519 17th St., N.W.) holds an Easter bonnet contest tonight at 7 p.m. Grand prize is $250. There will be $3 Coors Lights and $3 Skyy vodka. For more details.

The Mansion on O Street (2020 O St., N.W.) holds an Easter brunch and tour today from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Brunch includes omelets, waffles, chocolate-covered bacon and more. The brunch includes a self-guided tour of the 100-room mansion. There will also be prizes for best Easter bonnet and decorated egg. Admission is $75 per person. Kids ages 5-11 are half price and kids under 5 are free.

Monday, April 21

The 30th annual Helen Hayes Awards is at the National Building Museum (401 F St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The awards honor the best in Washington theater. Tickets start at $150 and include a buffet. For more information, visit theatrewashinton.org.

Tuesday, April 22

Genderqueer D.C. holds a discussion group at The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) at 7 p.m. tonight. The group is for anyone who identifies outside of the gender binary. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Wednesday, April 23

Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No reservations required and new comers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540.

GALA Theatre (3333 14th St., N.W.) presents a pre-show performance of “Living Out” at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $20 for VIP admission and $50 for three VIP admissions. VIP admissions include a complimentary drink. All proceeds benefit Casa Ruby, a multicultural resource center that provides a drop-in center for LGBT individuals to discuss their sexual identity in a safe space. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Thursday, April 24

Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets hosts its annual “Spring Fling: Silent Auction and Buffet Dinner” at the Washington Hilton Hotel (1919 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. There will also be a live jazz band. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit dupontcircle.biz.

Taste of Pride holds an oil and vinegar tasting at Sapore Oil and Vinegar (660 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.) today from 7-10 p.m. Learn about different oils and vinegars and different pairings for them such as bread and jam. Tickets are $30. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit capitalpride.org/taste.

17
Apr
2014

2013 in photography

2013 was a banner year for the LGBT community. Here are the top Washington Blade photos of the year. (Washington Blade photos by Blake Bergen, Tyler Grigsby, Michael Key, Kevin Majoros, Damien Salas, Lee Whitman and Jon Wooten) buyphoto 

03
Jan
2014

Ladies on the move

Maryland Stingers, sports, gay news, Washington Blade

The Maryland Stingers. (Photo courtesy the team)

Despite a lot of changes in rugby in this part of the country, the Maryland Stingers, a local women’s team, is gearing up for a busy spring.

The Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union (MARFU) was an association of youth, high school, collegiate and adult men’s and women’s rugby teams in the Mid-Atlantic United States.

In August of 2013, MARFU ceased to exist because of some reshuffling being done by USA Rugby. With approximately 6,800 players from about 180 clubs, MARFU represented the largest territorial rugby union in the United States.

MARFU was split in two and renamed the Mid-Atlantic Conference (NCR4) which now consists of two geographic unions — Capital Geographic Union and East Penn Geographic Union. The teams completed their fall 2013 season under the new designations and are still waiting on the competitive matrix schedule for the spring season.

The Stingers, a women’s Division 2-South club team, are launching their practice schedule in February in anticipation of matrix play beginning in March. The Stingers, who have a presence at Capital Pride every year, are a diverse group of lady rugby players with varying levels of skill and age.

“Because of the transient nature of the D.C. area, recruiting new players is an ongoing process,” says Taryn Michelitch of the Stingers. “In addition to former rugby players, we get a lot of crossover from lacrosse and soccer. Beginners are also always welcome.”

The Stingers’ schedule consists of spring and fall seasons played under the rugby fifteens rules and a summer season played under the rugby sevens rules.

Practices for the spring and fall seasons are held under the lights at Duvall Field in College Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Practices for the summer season are held at the Tacoma Education Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m.

Dues for the team are tiered with first-year members paying a lower amount. All players must join USA Rugby to compete.

For those who have never played Rugby, the Stingers offer skills practices at the beginning of each season.

“We start the seasons out with ‘rookie practices’ consisting of non-contact skills,” Michelitch says. “An experienced player will spend concentrated time with the rookies going over skills and rules.”

In addition to league play, the Stingers compete in rugby tournaments throughout the year. In the past they’ve competed at Ruggerfest in Manassas, Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington and Cape Fear in Wilmington, N.C.

Despite their busy schedule, the lady Stingers find time to give back to the community.  Periodically during the year, they can be found doing clean-up on Duvall Field.

They have also volunteered their time in the United States Quad Rugby Association. The University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute is home to Maryland Mayhem, a collision (wheelchair rugby) team.

Look for the Stingers to start bi-weekly practices in February for the spring season.

“Our roster of players usually ranges from 20 to 30 players,” Michelitch says. “We have a core group of women who play consistently from year to year which is why the team has remained active since the early 1980s.”

14
Jan
2014

Pride Reveal party set for next week

Pride Reveal, Capital Pride Alliance, gay news, Washington Blade

Last year’s Pride Reveal event at the W Hotel drew a large crowd to the P.O.V. Lounge. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Capitol Pride and Pride Partners reveal the 2014 Pride theme and marquee events at “Pride Reveal 2014” at the W Hotel in the P.O.V Lounge (515 15th St., N.W.) Thursday from 7-10 p.m.

Enjoy giveaways, food, drinks, prizes and entertainment while learning about the plans for this year’s Pride.

Tickets are $25. For details and to purchase tickets, visit capitolpride.org.

16
Jan
2014

Pride Reveal

The Capital Pride Alliance held the 2014 Pride Reveal event at the P.O.V. Lounge of the W Hotel on Thursday evening to announce the theme for Pride 2014: “Build Our Bright Future.” (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key) buyphoto 

24
Jan
2014