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B’More Queer Fest presents Del Shores

Del Shores, Sordid Lives, gay news, Washington Blade

Del Shores will be in Baltimore next month. (Photo courtesy Shores)

The third event of B’More QFest will be a Del Shores double bill on April 6 that is called a Southern Tragic Double Bill: Del Shores’ “Sordid Lives” and “Southern Baptist Sissies”.

Guests will have the opportunity to meet Del Shores, writer/director of “Sordid Lives” and Emerson Collins, the producer/star of “Southern Baptist Sissies” and Bravo’s “The People’s Couch.” There will be a church potluck style meet and greet for $50.

If you come as your favorite “Sordid Lives” character you can win prizes like all access passes, tickets to other events and festival films. If you are just interested in the films the price is $15.

The event takes place between 2-8 p.m. at Chase Brexton Health Services, 1111 North Charles St. For tickets, visit


GLCCB to host town hall on PrEP

PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, HIV, gay news, Washington Blade

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medical protocol that is designed to treat people who have not been exposed to specific diseases, but are at high risk of contracting them.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) will host a town hall panel and discussion on April 28 on the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)— an HIV prevention method in which people who do not have HIV take a daily pill to reduce their risk of becoming infected.

“The use and effects of PrEP still remain a mystery to many in our community,” GLCCB board member Chris Adkins said in a statement. “This month’s town hall is designed to allow for an open dialogue between community members and health care professionals to educate, clarify, and demystify the use of this often misunderstood HIV prevention method.”

The town hall will be held in the Mason Lord Room of the Waxter Center from 7-9 p.m. and will feature guest speakers Deb Dun of Chase Brexton Health Services; Brian M. Palmer of Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Dr. Renata Arrington-Sanders of Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Dr. Patrick Ryscavage of University of Maryland Medical Center.

The panel will address the risks and benefits of the medication, accessing health insurance and co-pay assistance programs needed to cover the costs, and ways to access medication in Baltimore. Additionally, HIV testing will be offered and local physicians will be available to answer any related questions.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medical protocol that is designed to treat people who have not been exposed to specific diseases, but are at high risk of contracting them.


GLCCB town hall tackles PrEP

Truvada, Gilead, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo courtesy of Gilead)

On April 28, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) hosted a town hall at the Waxter Center with 30 people in attendance to discuss the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, to prevent HIV infection. PrEP is medicine taken daily by HIV-negative people who are at high risk of exposure to HIV, to prevent becoming infected with HIV.

Tenofovir-emtricitabine, or Truvada, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Gilead, is currently the only medication approved for use as PrEP. Truvada is also widely used as part of HIV treatment. At this time, daily pills are the only form of PrEP.

The panelists included Brian M. Palmer, D.O., M.P.H., of Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Dr. Patrick Ryscavage, of University of Maryland Medical Center; Dr. Renata Arrington-Sanders, of Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Deb Dunn of Chase Brexton Health Services.


Murdered transgender woman was ‘fun-loving, caring person’

police, Northeast Baltimore, transgender, gay news, Washington Blade, Candy

Police tape remains near a Northeast Baltimore field where a transgender woman was found dead on June 3. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

BALTIMORE — Police continue to investigate the murder of a transgender woman whose body was found last week in Northeast Baltimore.

Lt. Eric Kowalczyk of the Baltimore Police Department told members of its LGBT Advisory Council during a June 5 meeting at Chase Brexton Health Services that detectives currently have few leads into their investigation of the murder of Kandy Hall who was found in a field near a post office on the 1400 block of Fillmore Street in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood early on June 3.

Crime scene tape remained on a nearby fence several days after Hall’s body was discovered.

“This is a case that will not be solved without community help,” said Kowalczyk.

Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans, Center for Black Equity-Baltimore Executive Director Carlton Smith, Rev. Meredith Moise and Free State Legal Project Executive Director Aaron Merki are among those who attended the meeting.

Hall’s friend, Derrick Smith, told the Washington Blade that Hall, 40, was a hairdresser from Annapolis. He said they had known each other for more than three decades.

“I was there with her at the beginning of the process before she transitioned and everything,” said Smith. “I knew her as her little boy self and I knew her as Kandy.”

Smith told the Blade he hadn’t spoken with Hall in more than two years.

He said he found out about her death on Facebook.

“She was a very fun-loving, caring person,” said Smith. “She just enjoyed life. She lived life to the fullest because I guess her mindset was tomorrow’s not promised to anybody so I’m not going to wait until tomorrow to do this if I can do it today.”

Court records indicate Hall was charged with prostitution four times in Anne Arundel County between 2001-2003. The Baltimore Police Department arrested her twice on prostitution-related charges in 2010.

Court records also note Hall was charged with robbery, theft, trespassing, possession of marijuana, driving with an expired license and other minor offenses in Anne Arundel, Howard and Wicomico Counties since 1991.

Police have yet to publicly disclose a possible motive behind Hall’s murder, but Smith scoffed at suggestions prostitution may have contributed to her death.

“I get tired whenever a transgender person is murdered, [people] automatically connect it to prostitution,” he told the Blade. “She could have just been walking across the field and there could have been a random hate crime.”

Some of the more than two dozen people who attended the LGBT Advisory Council’s meeting at Chase Brexton also expressed concern about anti-trans violence they say continues to take place in Baltimore. WJZ reported the person who shot Kelly Young to death in East Baltimore in April 2013 remains at large.

“Because we do not know the motive behind Kandy’s death, the LGBT communities of Baltimore remain apprehensive and on guard,” said Evans as WJZ reported.

Anyone with information about Hall’s death is urged to call Metro Crime Stoppers at (866) 7-LOCKUP.


New doc examines marriage fight, black church

The New Black, gay news, Washington Blade

‘The New Black’ is a documentary by Yoruba Richen that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with gay rights issues.

Equality Maryland is sponsoring the screening of “The New Black,” which will take place on July 30 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Chase Brexton Building Community Meeting Room, 1111 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

“The New Black” is a documentary by Yoruba Richen that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with gay rights issues in light of the marriage equality movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black church and reveals the Christian right-wing strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.

Following the film, panelists will continue the discussion about LGBT issues in black communities. Among the panelists will be Vanessa Bowling, a member of Equality Maryland’s staff who was involved in the Maryland Black Family Alliance as far back as 2008. Another will be Mark McLaurin, who helped found MBFA and was integral to the work during Question 6.

“We’re excited to screen ‘The New Black’ and continue the momentum working on LGBT issues in black communities across the state,” Keith Thirion, director of advocacy and programs for Equality Maryland, told the Blade. “While Maryland’s LGBT community has gained equal marriage rights and anti-discrimination protections, much work remains to ensure everyone can live their full lives free from discrimination. This event is an important opportunity to reflect on the successes of the Question 6 campaign, and discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The screening is free of charge.


Chase Brexton CEO to address LGBT group

Chase Brexton, gay news, Washington Blade, Baltimore Pride

Chase Brexton Health Services marching at Baltimore Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Maryland Corporate Council, in partnership with Chase Brexton Health Services, will host a Network & Nosh event on Jan. 17. Chase Brexton CEO Richard Larison will speak on LGBT health issues.

The event, which is free to members and their guests, takes place from 6-8 p.m. at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

Complimentary light hors d’oeuvres and beer and wine provided by Sasha’s will be served. Music will be provided by Mark Meadows. Registration is required; visit to register or become a member.


Ravens win, Ayanbadejo speaks out

Brendon Ayanbadejo, Baltimore Ravens, gay news, Washington Blade

Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is an ally and vocal LGBT advocate. (Photo by Thibous via Wikimedia Commons)

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo continues to use the attention surrounding his team’s Super Bowl victory to highlight his support of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

He reiterated his support during an interview with gay CNN anchor Don Lemon on Feb. 5.

“It’s time that we treat everybody fairly and not only are we trying to dictate who people should love, we’re also trying to dictate who people should be,” Ayanbadejo said. “If a woman wants to wear men’s clothes or if a man wants to wear women’s clothes or you feel like you’re a woman on the inside and you’re really a man, who cares? Let’s just treat everybody equally. Let’s move on. Let’s evolve as a culture, as a people.”

Ayanbadejo described the passage of Maryland’s same-sex marriage referendum last November to Lemon as “trendsetting and trailblazing.”

“I’m so proud just to be a Baltimore Raven and to be in the state of Maryland,” he said. “We’re a state that’s really making a difference.”

The Washington Blade won a bet with San Francisco newspaper Bay Area Reporter as a result of the game’s outcome. According to terms of the bet, BAR will send the Blade staff a lunch of Dungeness crabs and a check for $1,000 to a local charity. The Blade designated Baltimore’s Chase Brexton Health Services to receive the money.