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In reversal, Kameny heir says no ashes for public memorial

Timothy Clark, gay news, gay politics dc

Timothy Clark, who earlier said he would release half of Frank Kameny’s ashes to be interred at Congressional Cemetery, changed his mind and now plans to inter the ashes at an undisclosed location. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Timothy Clark, the man D.C. gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny named in his will as heir to his estate, has released a statement through his lawyers saying he has decided to inter Kameny’s ashes at an undisclosed location.

The statement released Feb. 20 by the D.C. law firm Ackerman Brown represents a dramatic change from Clark’s earlier statements, including comments in an interview with the Blade in 2012, that he would release half of the ashes for burial at a memorial site in the city’s historic Congressional Cemetery. He reiterated his intent to inter ashes in D.C. in another Blade interview in July 2013.

“We reached an agreement on that so I’m going to keep the burial plot,” Clark said at that time. “I just have to decide on when I want to have something,” he said in referring to a burial ceremony at Congressional Cemetery.

Clark, 37, Kameny’s housemate and longtime friend, had said in the months following Kameny’s death on Oct. 11, 2011, that he planned to keep some but not all of the ashes for his personal reflection and possible interment elsewhere. Kameny died in his Washington home of natural causes at the age of 86.

“The decision regarding interment of Frank Kameny’s ashes rests solely with Timothy Clark, the Personal Representative of the Estate of Franklin E. Kameny,” the Ackerman Brown statement says.

“Mr. Clark has decided to inter the ashes at an undisclosed location. Mr. Clark asks the community to respect his wishes and his privacy,” the statement says.

Clark’s announcement through his attorneys comes more than two years after the local LGBT charitable group Helping Our Brothers and Sisters (HOBS) purchased a burial plot for Kameny’s ashes at Congressional Cemetery.

HOBS and some of Kameny’s gay activist friends and supporters who worked with the group to choose the location of the cemetery site said it would become a monument to Kameny’s legacy and a place where people could go to pay their respects to a nationally known figure considered a hero to the LGBT rights cause.

The site they selected is located just behind the gravesite of the late gay rights leader and U.S. Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, who, with Kameny’s assistance in 1975, became the first active duty military service member to come out of the closet and challenge the military’s ban on gay service members. Matlovich died in 1987.

A planned ceremony and burial of Kameny’s ashes scheduled for March 2012 was abruptly cancelled at the request of the estate, according to Patrick Crowley, who worked as senior manager of Congressional Cemetery at that time. Lawyers for the Kameny estate wanted HOBS to transfer ownership of the cemetery plot to the estate, Crowley said.

Although HOBS agreed to the transfer, a dispute arose over the terms of an agreement proposed by lawyers for both parties, and negotiations dragged on for nearly two years.

Last July, both sides said a tentative agreement had been reached, raising hopes among Kameny’s friends and admirers that a burial ceremony and the official opening of a Kameny memorial site at Congressional Cemetery would soon take place.

“The estate has always been, and remains willing to work with gay community representatives who knew Frank Kameny in organizing a burial service and appropriate gravesite at which members of the community could pay tribute to Kameny,” said attorney Christopher Brown of Ackerman Brown at that time.

However, no announcement of an agreement emerged since that time. When Ackerman Brown released its statement last week saying Clark decided to inter the ashes at an undisclosed location, neither Ackerman Brown nor HOBS would disclose where things stood with the cemetery plot.

“The estate has no further comment,” said Glen Ackerman, principal partner of Ackerman Brown, in a Feb. 23 email to the Blade.

Matthew Cook, an attorney with the national law firm Fried Frank, which is representing HOBS, sent the Blade a separate statement from HOBS that made no mention of whether ownership of the cemetery plot had been transferred to the estate or whether HOBS would seek to set up another memorial site for Kameny at Congressional Cemetery.

“Dr. Kameny was a true gay rights pioneer and local legend,” the HOBS statement says. “HOBS was proud to work with and for Dr. Kameny during the last years of his life. Of course, as the executor of the Kameny Estate, it is Mr. Clark’s decision where to inter Dr. Kameny’s ashes.”

Veteran D.C. gay activist Paul Kuntzler, who worked with Kameny on gay rights activities beginning in 1962, and San Francisco gay activist Michael Bedwell, a friend of Kameny’s, each told the Blade that the LGBT community should now take immediate steps to arrange for another memorial site for Kameny at Congressional Cemetery, even though the ashes won’t be interred there.

The four local activists and Kameny friends who initiated plans to inter Kameny’s ashes at Congressional Cemetery in early 2012 – Marvin Carter, CEO of HOBS and LGBT rights advocates Charles Francis, Bob Witeck and Rick Rosendall – have declined to comment on Clark’s decision to inter the ashes at another location.

They also declined to comment on what, if anything, they may do to set up a Kameny memorial site at the cemetery now that the ashes are out of the picture.

“Frank Kameny’s monumental legacy may be best remembered by laws he helped overturn, the hateful policies he defeated and the causes of equal rights he unselfishly advanced for the LGBT community,” said Witeck in an email statement on Sunday.

The relationship between the four men and the Kameny estate became strained in 2012 shortly after they announced plans for a Congressional Cemetery memorial site and burial when Clark stated through his attorneys that Clark was never given the courtesy of being consulted about those plans.

Carter, however, has said Clark was informed about the plans and invited to participate in the planned ceremony.

The relationship between the four men and the estate became further strained when the estate filed individual lawsuits against each of them, charging that they took without permission items from Kameny’s house that belonged to the estate shortly after Kameny’s death. The men disputed the allegations, saying Clark along with Clark’s lawyer at the time, Michele Zavos, gave them permission to enter the house and take an inventory of Kameny’s papers and other possessions to arrange for their safe keeping.

The lawsuits, which were filed by Ackerman Brown on Clark’s behalf, were later dropped after undisclosed settlements were reached in three of the cases. The court dismissed the case against Rosendall on grounds that no cause was shown to justify the complaint, according to Rosendall’s attorney, Mindy Daniels.

Upon learning of Clark’s decision to inter the ashes in an undisclosed location, Bedwell expressed concern that Clark, who among other things, inherited Kameny’s house that the estate sold in 2012 for $725,000, was not doing his part to promote Kameny’s legacy.

“Frank’s trust and affection made Mr. Clark a wealthy man,” Bedwell said. “His sacrifices helped make him, like all LGBTs, a freer man,” Bedwell said.

“Now that Mr. Clark has disappeared with Frank’s ashes along with any hopes of his repaying Frank’s extraordinary generous friendship by sharing them for a memorial, I trust that others will create one without them,” he said.

Clark didn’t respond to a phone message from the Blade this week.

In a 2012 interview with the Blade, Clark described himself as a private person who shunned the spotlight, saying he intentionally remained in the background during the 19 years he lived in Kameny’s house.

Frank Kameny, gay news, gay politics dc

(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Also remaining unclear this week is what will become of a headstone and separate grave marker that HOBS and the activists working with the group installed at the cemetery site before the dispute with the estate surfaced.

Francis, the founder of the Kameny Papers Project, which arranged several years before Kameny’s death to have Kameny’s voluminous collection of letters and gay rights documents donated to the Library of Congress, obtained the headstone from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Francis and others working on the memorial site said the military headstone would recognize Kameny’s role as a World War II combat veteran. The stone is identical to gravestones used for soldiers and veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and is issued free of charge to all deceased military veterans.

HOBS purchased a separate footstone inscribed with the slogan Kameny coined in the 1960s, “Gay is Good.” Carter said HOBS paid for the footstone along with the cemetery plot through funds donated by members of the LGBT community.

HOBS had both stones installed at the gravesite in March 2012 in anticipation that plans for burial of the ashes would move forward as planned.

Cemetery officials later removed the headstone and the “Gay is Good” marker and placed them in storage, saying it was inappropriate for them to remain in place while the ownership of the gravesite was in dispute.

Bedwell, who has played a role in managing the Matlovich gravesite, said he owns a separate plot next to the Matlovich site that he offered to donate for the Kameny burial shortly after Kameny died. HOBS instead chose to buy a plot a short distance away. Now, Bedwell said he is open to donating the plot he owns for a new Kameny memorial site at the cemetery.

“Neither [Clark’s] permission or Frank’s ashes are required for anyone to create a memorial to Frank anywhere,” Bedwell said in a comment to the Blade in October. “Millions more visit Lincoln’s Memorial in Washington every year than his actual gravesite in Springfield, Ill.,” he said.

“I’m confident many would be eager to contribute to the purchase of another marker bearing Frank’s name,” Bedwell said, in the event that the Veterans Administration stone or the “Gay is Good” stone won’t be released by the estate.

Ackerman, while repeating his firm’s written statement that the Kameny estate would have no further comment on Clark’s decision to inter the ashes in a private location, said the estate would welcome inquiries “by anyone” interested in establishing a public memorial for Kameny.

“All they have to do is call us,” he said.


Pride Run

The 2014 Pride Run was held in Congressional Cemetery on Friday. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key) Pride Run 


Step back in time

Octagon House, gay news, Washington Blade, step back in time

The Octagon House was the former residence of President James Madison during the War of 1812. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. boasts a burgeoning music, arts and nightlife scene for all generations to step back in time. But the city is also known for its rich history, spanning nearly three centuries. This summer, visit some of the District’s most colorful and time-tested landmarks.

Start at the Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St., S.E.) along the Anacostia River, open every day from dawn to dusk for tourists. There’s also a popular dog-walking club but there’s a waiting list to join. Call ahead and schedule a visit to the 30-acre cemetery, established in 1807 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2011. When you get there, scout out the tombstones of J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI long rumored to be gay, and Leonard Matlovich, the first gay soldier to publicly out himself in protest of the military’s ban on gay members. For more information, visit

If you live in the area, chances are you’ve already visited Arlington Cemetery. But this time, make sure you take a tour of the Arlington House (321 Sherman Dr., Fort Myer, Va.), the former residence of Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Schedule some time to tour the house, built by slaves between 1802 and 1818, as well as the flower garden and the slave quarters on the plantation grounds. For more information, visit

If one Civil War-themed outing isn’t enough, head to Ford’s Theatre (511 10th St., N.W.), the site of former President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination shortly after the conclusion of the war. Book tickets in advance for “One Destiny,” a 35-minute reconstruction of the sequences of events the night Lincoln was shot, showing at various times this summer. Walk across the street to the Petersen House, which showcases Lincoln’s deathbed. For details about show times and museum hours, visit

For a step even further back in time, visit the Octagon House (1799 New York Ave., N.W.) the temporary residence of President James Madison and his wife during the War of 1812 where they sought refuge after the White House was burned to the ground by British soldiers. The home, designed by the original architect of the U.S. Capitol, now serves as the home of the American Institute of Architects. To schedule a private or group tour, visit

Christ Church (620 G St., S.E.), built in the late 1700s, is where presidents including James Madison and Thomas Jefferson and renowned American composer John Philip Sousa spent their Sunday mornings. And you can too: the District’s first Episcopal church hosts Sunday services at 9 and 11 a.m. To learn more about one of the oldest places of worship in the city, visit

The recently renovated Howard Theatre (620 T St. N.W.) has been a Mecca for D.C. black theatergoers for decades. Recently, the performance hall has hosted renowned celebrities including Wanda Sykes and Chaka Khan. The venue has been a community mainstay through the ages, featuring jazz age performers like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington and Motown legends like Stevie Wonder and the Supremes. Originally built in 1910, the theatre has a jam-packed list of shows and events to choose from, including R&B singer Carl Thomas and weekly Sunday soul food brunch featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir. For information about events and ticket prices, visit

Stop by the Heuric House (1307 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.), a Victorian-style house and museum built in the late 1890s by German immigrant Christian Heuric, who ran his own brewing company. Tours of the building are offered Thursdays through Saturday. The house and museum also hosts History and Hops featuring beer from local brewery Devil’s Backbone, Thursday (July 17) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Guests must be at least 21 years old. Tickets are $30. Sign up at

While we’re on the subject of beer, don’t forget to grab a drink at local historic bars, including the Round Robin and Scotch Bar (1401 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.), where civil rights activist Martin Luther King scripted his “I Have a Dream Speech,” and Off The Record (800 16th St., N.W.), the stomping grounds for famous politicians and journalists, located just one block away from the White House. For a slightly younger crowd, visit The Tombs (1226 36th St., N.W.), popular among Georgetown University students since its construction in the 1960s. The dark interior features pictures from the World War I era. The bar is located in the basement of Restaurant 1789, a classier spot with a more expensive menu.

People looking to escape the Beltway for an afternoon should visit former President George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate in Mount Vernon, Va., a 500-acre expanse along the Potomac River. To sign up for a small tour, which also stops in Old Town Alexandria, visit

Tourists who can’t settle on just one historic site should sign up for a walking ghost tour, a historic, theatrical and slightly scary guided trip through D.C. To sign up for a 90-minute Capitol Hill tour, visit For a tour along Georgetown’s historic cobblestone sidewalks, sign up for a walking tour, starting at the Old Stone House (3051 M St. N.W.) and concluding at the famed steps featured in “The Exorcist” at


Furry friends

dog walkers, gay news, Washington Blade

(Washington Blade photo by Damien Salas)

The District was recently rated the nation’s most walkable city, which should come as no surprise for D.C.’s dog walkers. Are you looking for a new place to take your pet?

Frequent dog walkers might already be familiar with the members-only dog walking program at Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St., S.E.). Dogs are encouraged to traverse the 35-acre expanse without leashes. Members of the Congressional Cemetery dog walking community also participate in springtime “yappy hours” and volunteer opportunities. For more information about the program, visit

Established in 2008, the Shaw Dog Park (11th between Q and R streets, N.W.) has become a favorite among local pet owners largely because of its 15,000-square foot fenced-in space which allows dogs to run freely while their owners socialize. Unlike the cemetery, use of this dog park is free and has separate areas for large and small dogs. For updates on the park, follow @ShawDogPark on Twitter or visit

The dog park at 17th and S streets is a smaller, more intimate experience for dogs. Take your pet to this astroturf-clad park, nestled between Dupont and Logan circles. Or head out of town with your dog to Shirlington Park (2601 South Arlington Mill Dr., Va.), a long and narrow park adjacent to a stream where dogs frequently go for dips.

The city offers far more than dog walks for pet owners looking to splurge on their furry friends. This summer, don’t miss out on these great, gay, pet-friendly destinations across the capital.

If you’re looking to take in the sun with your dog, the rooftop at City Market at O (P Street between 7th and 9th streets, N.W.), which boasts a dog park and grooming stations, is the place to go. While dogs are enjoying luxury treatment, pet owners can indulge at the establishment’s fully equipped gym, yoga and spin studio and spa. For more information, visit

If your dog is hungry after letting loose at the dog park, pick up some socially conscious dog food at Big Bad Woof (117 Carroll St., N.W. and 5501 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, Md.) a lesbian-owned pet store selling D.C.’s largest selections of eco-friendly and organic pet supplies for dogs, cats, birds and small mammals.

“We wanted to provide an upscale place to get good food for your companion animals and supplements to help support their health,” says co-owner Pennye Jones-Napier. “We’re focused on providing people, no matter what their sexual orientation is, with access to good food for their animals.”

Big Bad Woof’s two locations also host pet adoption events, and on Tuesdays, 5 percent of purchases are donated to a buyer’s school or charity of their choice. Learn more at

Doggy Style (1825 18th St. N.W.) offers the best of both worlds with an eco-friendly spa and a selection of pet products for dogs and cats. If you’re really looking to treat your pet, order a custom-made doggy birthday cake. Doggy Style’s biggest perk is that they deliver purchased items to your home. To see more of Doggy Style’s myriad offerings and to read about the pet groomers, visit

Headed out of town to a hotel that isn’t pet friendly? Founded in 2006 by pet care expert and self-described gay entrepreneur Gus Elfving, Pet Peeps offers dog walking, pet visits and even overnight care at your home.

“We have a diverse client base that includes many in the LGBTQ community and other communities,” Elfving says, adding that his business often works to form partnerships with other gay-owned businesses. “Initially, there was probably a decided slant in this direction but we we have grown and cater to all of D.C.”

To learn more about rates and read customer testimonials, visit

There’s a seemingly never-ending supply of places to pamper your pet in this city. But don’t miss Paws of Enchantment (3415 Perry St., Mount Rainier, Md.), which calls itself the original holistic pet spa in the D.C. area. The salon’s experts, who have been in the pet grooming industry for nearly 30 years, offer essential oil spa treatments as well as therapeutic mud baths and energetic crystal healing sessions. For more information, visit

Don’t forget to take your pet with you to dog-friendly establishments across the city, including popular LGBT destination Larry’s Lounge, which welcomes dogs on its outdoor patio.

And keep in mind Kimpton’s Hotel Helix (1430 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.), which welcomes all pets for no extra fee. If you aren’t bringing your dog but are still looking for a pet-friendly hotel, this is the place for you.

“Can’t bring Rover with you? Not to worry — you can still enjoy the company of an animal friend. Through our Guppy Love program, we bring you a complimentary goldfish to keep in your room during your stay,” says Jaclyn Randolph, Kimpton’s local public relations manager.

Visit for more details about the establishment’s pet friendly accommodations.

Next time your pet is sick, make sure you take him or her to D.C. MetroVet, a gay-owned veterinarian’s office serving the D.C. metropolitan area. Pet services include annual exams and vaccinations, consultations on behavioral problems and sick exams. For more information about pricing and to schedule an appointment, visit


Design announced for LGBT Veterans Memorial in D.C.

Congressional Cemetery, Veterans Memorial, gay news, Washington Blade

A rendering of the planned LGBT memorial at Congressional Cemetery. (Image courtesy Congressional Cemetery)

The board of directors of the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veterans Memorial Project has announced the selection of the design for the monument, which is planned to be placed in D.C.’s Historic Congressional Cemetery.

An announcement released by Congressional Cemetery says the design consists of three black granite panels standing 11 feet high, five feet wide and one foot thick.

Two of the official emblems of the nation’s six military branches will be placed on each of the three pillars – with the Navy and Marines on one and the Army and Air Force and the Coast Guard and Merchant Marines on the other two, according to the announcement.

“The monument is simple yet stately and will stand proudly on its site just as those it represents served this country with pride,” a statement from the LGBT Veterans Memorial Project says.

“The pillars will be placed in a triangle allowing space for visitors to walk inside where there is a flag pole and inscriptions explaining the Memorial’s meaning and the history behind it,” the statement says.

Nancy Russell, chair of the four-member National LGBT Memorial Project’s board, said the board is hopeful that the project’s ongoing fundraising effort will generate the projected $500,000 needed to build and install the monument in time for a Memorial Day dedication ceremony in 2015.

However, she said the installation may be moved to 2016 if sufficient funds aren’t raised in time.

“Most of the funding for the project will come from LGBT veterans who want to have their service memorialized by purchasing a paver with their name and service information engraved on it to be placed on the memorial grounds,” the statement by project says.

Russell said additional funds are expected to be raised through the purchase of space for the interment of cremated ashes of eligible veterans and their partners or spouses within the memorial grounds if there is a demand for such interment.

According to Russell, the project’s board sought proposals for the design of the monument through a design competition but board members chose not to select the five or six proposals submitted through the competition. Instead, she said board member Marty Gunter proposed that the board itself – whose members are all military veterans with many years of military service behind them – come up with a concept for the design and hire an architect to put it on paper.

She said Gunter presented the board with the concept of the black granite pillars as he saw it and fellow board members enthusiastically approved it and presented it to a San Antonio-based architect.

“He did a beautiful job,” she said of the architect’s final design.

Paul Williams, president of Congressional Cemetery, which is privately owned by Christ Church of Capitol Hill, said the non-profit LGBTVM has already purchased a site for the memorial. He said the site is located near the gravesite of U.S. Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, who came out as gay on the cover of Time magazine in 1975 to become the first active duty service member to challenge the military’s ban on gays.

Matlovich, who died in 1988, was buried in a section of the cemetery that Williams says has since become the burial site for other LGBT people, including gay military veterans, and has been referred to as the cemetery’s “gay corner.”

Williams said in the cemetery’s statement announcing the design approval for the National LGBT Veterans Memorial that the gay section is thought to be the only LGBT cemetery section in the world.

“We fully support the LGTVM project, and look forward to adding this important national memorial to our historic grounds,” he said in the statement.

Russell called on LGBT veterans and their straight allies and supporters to make a donation to the project through its website at or by mailing a contribution to NLGBTVM, P.O. Box 780514, San Antonio, Texas 78278-0514.


LGBT veterans honored at Congressional Cemetery

Veteran's Day, Leonard Matlovitch, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay and lesbian military service members participated in a Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony on Monday. (Photo by Patsy Lynch)

A contingent of active-duty and retired gay and lesbian military service members and their supporters participated in a Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony on Monday in D.C.’s Congressional Cemetery to honor LGBT service members, including those who lost their lives while serving their country.

The event took place at the gravesite of Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, who in 1975 became the first active duty service member to challenge the military’s ban on gays. The Air Force provided a formal military burial for Matlovich in Congressional Cemetery at the time of his death in 1988 as LGBT activists recognized his role as a champion in the cause of lifting the ban on gays in the military.

Lt. Col. Todd Burton, a member of the Army National Guard who organized the Veterans Day tribute, said the Matlovich gravesite was selected because Matlovich intended the site to be used as a tribute to all LGBT service members. Burton organized the event on behalf of Outserve/Service Members Legal Defense Network, a national group representing LGBT service members.

“It’s a privilege to gather here with fellow service members to honor one of our own,” Burton said. “What an honor to be able to do this together.”

About 20 participants gathered around the gravesite as Burton told of Matlovich’s role as a leading force in the movement to end the military’s ban on gays. Although Matlovich didn’t live to see that happen, Burton said he became an inspiration for succeeding generations of LGBT service members.

Burton noted that the ashes of D.C. gay rights leader Frank Kameny, who counseled Matlovich during Matlovich’s challenge of the military’s gay ban, would soon be buried at a site in the cemetery close to the Matlovich gravesite. Kameny, a World War II combat veteran, died in 2011.

As Burton completed his tribute, Sr. Master Sgt. Kevin Murphy of the Air Force and Sr. U.S. Navy Chief Dwayne Beebe-Franqui — both wearing military uniforms — placed a wreath behind the Matlovich gravesite’s internationally recognized headstone.

Matlovich anonymously arranged for the headstone’s placement at the cemetery prior to his death. He told friends and associates that he wanted it to be used to honor all LGBT service members.

The stone is made of the same black granite used in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall located on the National Mall. Matlovich arranged for pink triangles to be embedded into the headstone in reference to the symbol used to identify gay men in Nazi concentration camps and which later became an international symbol for gay rights.

As a veteran who served in combat during the Vietnam War, Matlovich also had inscribed in the headstone a statement now widely known in the LGBT rights movement: “They gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

Matlovich’s name was placed in a separate footstone at the gravesite shortly after his death.

“I’m honored to stand here right now,” said Beebe-Franqui shortly after placing the wreath at the gravesite.

“I survived the entire ordeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” he said, noting that’s he’s been in the Navy 21 years. “I never thought it was going to go away and when it finally did it was just an amazing day for everyone. And that’s why for all those years of having to hide, I decided to not hide anymore and stand and be a leader in the Navy and to support LGBT troops.”

Beebe-Franqui, who was accompanied at the ceremony by his husband, Jonathan Beebe-Franqui, said the two live together on a Navy base in Nashville, Tenn., where he’s currently stationed.

During the ceremony, Burton called on the gathering to observe a moment of silence to honor four gay male service members and one lesbian service member who died in action while serving in the military. The five are Lloyd Darling, who was killed in Vietnam in 1968; Alan Rogers, killed in Iraq in 2008; Andy Wilfahrt, killed in Afghanistan in 2011; Donna Johnson, killed in Afghanistan in 2012; and Reid Nishizuka, killed in Afghanistan in 2013.


Design competition for LGBT veterans memorial

Congressional Cemetery, gay news, Washington Blade

An organization is planning to install a National LGBT Veterans Memorial in D.C.’s historic Congressional Cemetery. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

An organization planning to install a National LGBT Veterans Memorial in D.C.’s historic Congressional Cemetery is inviting artists to enter a competition for the design of a monument “to honor LGBT veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces” that will be part of the memorial.

Nancy Russell, a retired Army Lt. Colonel and chair of the board of the National LGBT Veterans Memorial Project, said the group has a contract with Congressional Cemetery for a site for the monument with the option to obtain more space if needed.

“The time has come for those of us who were forced to serve in silence to honor our fellow veterans with a dignified and impressive memorial in our national capital,” Russell said. “The National LGBT Veterans Memorial will be a fitting testament to those who have served our nation with honor.”

A statement released by the organization says a deadline for submission of designs has been set for Oct. 15, 2013. Information about how to enter the contest and how supporters can make a contribution to help pay for the monument can be obtained at or by emailing an inquiry to

“The concept behind this project is to create a memorial garden where military veterans can inter all or part of their remains/ashes amid a community of other proud veterans,” a statement on the group’s website says. “It is to be a place of honor where friends and family members may go to remember and pay homage to their loved one.”


An end to Kameny burial stalemate?

Frank Kameny, gay news, Washington Blade

Frank Kameny died in October 2011 but his ashes remain in limbo due to a dispute between his estate and a local non-profit. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

An attorney representing the estate of nationally acclaimed gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny said on Wednesday that a “tentative agreement” has been reached to end a dispute that has prevented Kameny’s ashes from being interred at D.C.’s Congressional Cemetery nearly two years after his death.

Christopher Brown, an attorney with the gay-owned law firm Ackerman Brown, said the tentative agreement was reached on July 9 with Helping Our Brothers and Sisters (HOBS), a local LGBT charitable group that bought a plot for the burial of Kameny’s ashes at Congressional Cemetery after soliciting donations from the community to pay for it following Kameny’s death on Oct. 11, 2011.

Brown’s comment came one day after Ackerman Brown’s client, Timothy Clark, Kameny’s longtime friend and heir to his estate, told the Blade that he understood that an agreement between the two parties over the cemetery plot had been reached.

“We reached an agreement on that so I’m going to keep the burial plot,” Clark said in a telephone interview.

“I just have to decide on when I want to have something,” he said in referring to a burial ceremony at the cemetery. “I just don’t know. But I’m open to any suggestions that anybody wants to have because that was Frank’s life. The gay community was Frank’s life. That’s what he fought for.”

HOBS and a group of Kameny’s friends and colleagues in the LGBT rights movement initially scheduled an interment ceremony for Kameny at the cemetery for March 3, 2012. But they abruptly cancelled it after the estate reportedly told the cemetery it would not release Kameny’s ashes until it obtained legal ownership of the burial plot from HOBS.

For more than a year, HOBS and Ackerman Brown have declined to publicly disclose specific details of the nature of the dispute between the two parties over the burial plot other than to say they were negotiating an agreement to enable HOBS to transfer ownership of the plot to the estate.

“[W]e would point out that HOBS has never stood in the way of or delayed the burial of Dr. Kameny’s ashes,” said HOBS President Marvin Carter in an email to the Blade earlier this month. “HOBS has made numerous proposals and overtures to the Kameny estate to have Dr. Kameny’s remains buried at Congressional Cemetery.”

Brown told the Blade in an email on Wednesday that the estate, which is in possession of Kameny’s ashes, also is interested in moving ahead with the burial.

“The estate has always been, and remains willing to work with gay community representatives who knew Frank Kameny in organizing a burial service and appropriate gravesite at which members of the community could pay tribute to Kameny,” Brown said in his email.

In response to a request from the Blade last month, HOBS on Wednesday released information about the money it raised and spent both for Kameny’s personal needs in the last years of his life and for expenses related to Kameny’s funeral and planned burial.

HOBS’s IRS 990 finance reports filed with the IRS for 2010 and 2011 – the most recent such reports publicly available for HOBS – don’t include specific information about money raised for Kameny-related projects.

But the reports show that HOBS’s income increased dramatically in 2010 and 2011 during a period when the non-profit, tax-exempt group and its supporters appealed to the LGBT community for Kameny-related donations — initially to help Kameny pay household expenses and property taxes and later for Kameny’s funeral and burial.

The 990 reports, which all tax-exempt organizations are required to file, show that HOBS’s income was $2,125 in 2008, the first year for which such figures are reported, and $6,544 in 2009. The reports show that in 2010, HOBS’s income rose to $61,480 and in 2011 its income increased to $115,440.

In an op-ed column published in the Blade just before the Thanksgiving holiday in November 2011, Carter discussed efforts by HOBS and other groups and individuals to arrange two separate memorial services for Kameny, one of which was held at the Carnegie Library building in downtown D.C.

“Thus far, with the generosity of many friends, we have covered expenses for Kameny’s viewing at Carnegie Library and his essential funeral costs, too,” which Carter later explained involved paying for Kameny’s cremation and the rental of a casket and the service of a funeral hearse for the viewing ceremony.

“In addition, we have now paid the deposit on a fitting, public gravesite for Kameny at the historic Congressional Cemetery,” he said in the op-ed. “For all who wish to help raise the remaining $4,000 anticipated; you may make your tax-deductible contribution online…or simply mail a check to HOBS…”

The Blade and other local publications also published stories on HOBS’s Kameny-related fundraising activities for the funeral and burial and efforts by HOBS to help Kameny prior to his death.

One effort organized by local gay activist Ben Carver in 2010 was billed as the “Buy Frank a Drink” campaign, which Carver promoted on a Facebook page.

HOBS’s 990 report for 2012, which would include that year’s income, has yet to be released by the charitable watchdog group, which obtains 990 reports for nearly all U.S. non-profit groups each year from the IRS. HOBS’s 990 report for 2010 was filed in November 2011, and its 2011 report was filed in November 2012. This suggests that its 2012 990 report will likely be filed in November of this year.

The 2011 report shows that HOBS during that year spent $66,413 on “direct support to qualified individuals,” $20,222 on “mentoring programs,” and $11,605 on “educational programs.”

Those three programs, which came to a total of $98,240, accounted for the bulk of HOBS’s expenditures for that year. The 2011 report shows that all other expenses were under $4,000 and were for administrative and overhead expenses such as supplies ($3,727), board meetings ($1,007), Internet ($1,555), meals and entertainment ($505), and telephone ($1,494). More detail on those reported expenses wasn’t available.

Carter discussed HOBS’s mission in an email he sent the Blade on July 24, which also provided information about money HOBS raised and spent on Kameny-related projects.

Frank Kameny, Marvin Carter, Dan Choi, Washington Blade, gay news, HOBS, Helping Our Brothers and Sisters

The late Frank Kameny (left) standing next to Marvin Carter at a HOBS benefit dinner in 2010. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

HOBS “is an all-volunteer micro-charity that helps marginalized LGBT individuals in our community to meet short-term and often life-sustaining needs,” Carter said. “We focus on helping those who often do not fit the criteria for help from other organizations or agencies – filling gaps in human distress here in Washington, D.C.  A sizable portion of our work involves discrimination cases too, many involving torture and asylum,” said Carter, referring to cases noted on the group’s website in which HOBS assists LGBT foreign nationals seeking U.S. political asylum to escape persecution in their home country.

“Before his passing, HOBS assisted Dr. Kameny frequently with some of his essential needs, including transportation for doctor’s appointments, the use of a mobile phone, groceries and meals, urgent bathroom plumbing repairs, repair of his eyewear, and the payment of past property tax bills to prevent his home foreclosure – spending in total thousands of dollars in the years before his death,” Carter said.

Carter provided these figures and related information in connection with the contributions HOBS received and expenditures it incurred for Kameny-related projects in 2010 and 2011:

  • Contributions earmarked by donors for Kameny’s burial expenses totaled about $800.
  • Other donors “make clear that their donations may be used for HOBS’ general mission,” were silent about how to use the donations.
  • During this period, “approximately $15,000 was raised in connection with our general fundraising efforts.”
  • HOBS incurred expenses totaling approximately $8,500 related to the purchase of a cemetery plot for Kameny at Congressional Cemetery, cremation expenses and “other expenses of the funeral home (including rental of a casket and hearse for transporting Dr. Kameny’s ashes to the memorial service…and a gravesite marker reading ‘Gay is Good.’”
  • There was no surplus of funds from contributions for Kameny’s burial and memorial service efforts. HOBS used money from its general operating account to cover the Kameny funeral and burial expenses not covered by earmarked donations.
  • HOBS did not solicit funds for payment of Kameny’s property taxes in 2011. It did raise money for and contributed to Kameny’s property tax payments in 2010.

Kameny’s ashes still not buried 2 years after death

Frank Kameny, gay news, Washington Blade

Activist Frank Kameny died on Oct. 11, 2011. His remains have not yet been buried. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A memorial site recognizing the legacy of the late D.C. gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny was scheduled to be unveiled Friday, Oct. 11, in Chicago on the second anniversary of his death while plans for the burial of his ashes in Washington remain stalled.

New information behind that unusual turn of events emerged this week from one of the parties in a dispute over ownership of the planned interment site for Kameny’s ashes in D.C.’s historic Congressional Cemetery.

Marvin Carter, executive director of the local LGBT charitable group Helping Our Brothers and Sisters (HOBS), said his attorney told him an agreement reached about two months ago in which HOBS would transfer ownership of the cemetery plot to the Kameny estate was awaiting the signature of Timothy Clark, Kameny’s friend, housemate and principal heir to the estate.

“The last update I got was we are all in agreement but Ackerman Brown cannot find Clark to sign the paperwork,” Carter told the Blade.

Carter was referring to the D.C. law firm Ackerman Brown, which has represented Clark in legal matters pertaining to the estate since shortly after Kameny died in his home of natural causes on National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, 2011. In his will, Kameny left his house and all other possessions except his voluminous gay rights papers to Clark. He bequeathed his papers to the Library of Congress. Kameny’s house sold last year for $725,000.

Glen Ackerman, managing partner of Ackerman Brown, emailed a statement to the Blade this week disputing Carter’s assertion that Clark can’t be found.

“Ackerman Brown is in regular contact with Timothy Clark, the personal representative of the Estate of Frank E. Kameny and all negotiations on behalf of our client have been in good faith,” the statement said. “The decision regarding interment of Frank Kameny’s ashes rests solely with Mr. Clark and he is discharging his duties with full knowledge of the past negotiations. Neither Marvin Carter nor his attorney have ever discussed the placement of a monument in lieu of the cemetery plot with Ackerman Brown.”

Ackerman noted that the status of the negotiations between Ackerman Brown and HOBS over the ownership transfer of the cemetery plot had not changed since July. At that time, Ackerman’s law partner, Christopher Brown, said a “tentative agreement” had been reached to end the dispute that has prevented Kameny’s ashes from being interred for nearly two years.

“The tentative agreement was reached on July 9 and the estate is awaiting further input from HOBS’ counsel that is necessary to finalize the transaction,” Brown said in a July 24 statement to the Blade.

“The estate has always been, and remains willing to work with gay community representatives who knew Frank Kameny in organizing a burial service and appropriate gravesite at which members of the community could pay tribute to Kameny,” Brown said in his July statement.

Earlier this year, Carter said HOBS dropped a previous condition that called for the Kameny estate to pay HOBS for the cemetery plot that HOBS purchased with money donated by members of the LGBT community.

“We are not asking for a dime from the estate,” Carter told the Blade in an Oct. 4 interview. “The delay is not on our end.”

Carter said that once the tentative agreement was reached the two parties asked Congressional Cemetery President Paul Williams to draft the documents needed to finalize the ownership transfer of the cemetery plot.

When contacted by the Blade last week, Williams said he could not provide details but suggested the long-awaited resolution to the dispute was in the hands of Clark and his attorneys.

“We have put forth a proposal to the estate and we’re waiting to hear back,” he said. “That’s about all I can say. We’re just waiting to hear back.”

Timothy Clark, gay news, gay politics dc

Timothy Clark (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Clark said in August, one day prior to Brown’s statement to the Blade, that he understood an agreement had been reached over the cemetery plot. He said he was thinking about when to arrange for a burial ceremony and that he would welcome suggestions from Kameny’s friends and fellow activists about the details for such a ceremony.

Clark didn’t respond to a phone message from the Blade this week.

HOBS and a group of Kameny’s friends and colleagues in the LGBT rights movement initially scheduled an interment ceremony for Kameny at Congressional Cemetery for March 3, 2012. At the time, Charles Francis, a Kameny friend who helped Kameny organize his papers to facilitate their donation to the Library of Congress, arranged for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a military headstone for the gravesite that recognized Kameny’s service in the Army in World War II.

With money raised by HOBS, Francis and Kameny’s friends and fellow activists Rick Rosendall and Bob Witeck also arranged for the purchase of a separate headstone for the gravesite bearing the inscription “Gay is Good.” Kameny, who coined that slogan in the 1960s to advance the cause of gay rights, said it was something for which he wanted to be remembered as much if not more than any of his other accomplishments.

But just as both stones were placed at the gravesite, Witeck announced that the burial of Kameny’s ashes had been cancelled after the estate told the cemetery it would not release Kameny’s ashes until it obtained legal ownership of the burial plot from HOBS. Cemetery officials later removed the headstone and “Gay is Good” marker and placed them in storage, saying it was inappropriate for them to remain in place while the ownership of the gravesite was in dispute.

Michael Bedwell, a longtime friend and gay activist colleague of Kameny’s who helped select the gravesite, said the removal of the two stones displaced an important and historic site where people could go to reflect on Kameny’s accomplishments, which he said improved the lives of LGBT people.

“It is a disgrace that people don’t have a place to pay homage to him two years after his passing,” Bedwell said. “I feel those stones should be returned to the site even if the ashes are not interred there at this time.”

Tension between the Kameny estate and Carter, Francis, Witeck and Rosendall increased in the months following the cancellation of the burial when the estate sued the four men on grounds that they removed without permission items from Kameny’s house shortly after his death. The four said they removed the items for safekeeping at a time of confusion following Kameny’s death when Clark, who was living in the house at the time, gave them permission to enter the house to sort through Kameny’s belongings. They said they planned to return the items, some of which were papers slated to go to the Library of Congress.

Rosendall said this week that the men were accompanied by local attorney Michele Zavos when they entered Kameny’s house shortly after his death. Zavos had worked for Kameny and prepared his will, Rosendall said.

Zavos on Wednesday confirmed that she was present during that visit. She said Clark gave them permission to enter the house and that he understood that Rosendall and the other men wanted to look through Kameny’s papers and other historic items to take steps to preserve them.

According to Zavos, it was during that visit that Rosendall, Francis and Witeck found the original signed copy of Kameny’s will and turned it over to Zavos, who read and explained its provision to Clark.

“Tim was completely aware of what we were doing,” she said.

Rosendall added that he was especially troubled when Clark told the Blade in an interview in March 2012 that someone placed an anonymous letter in the mail slot at Kameny’s house where Clark was living that used a racial slur and denounced him for being the beneficiary in Kameny’s will.

“And that’s just horrible for anybody to say,” Clark said in the 2012 interview. “It said, ‘The nigger got everything.’”

When the Blade asked to see the letter, Clark claimed it was so upsetting to him that he discarded it in the trash before realizing it may have been better to keep it and have others help him discover the person who wrote it.

Rosendall, however, said Clark’s disclosure of the letter at a time when the Kameny estate was making public statements accusing him, Carter, Witeck and Francis of improperly taking items from the house could have raised suspicions that they may have been responsible for the anonymous hate letter.

“I was not under any impression that he had made an explicit accusation,” Rosendall said this week. “The whole point was he throws that out there as red meat and there is an implication that somebody else that he was talking about was to blame for it.”

The Blade requested a response from Ackerman to Rosendall’s statements about the hate letter. The Blade further asked Ackerman if anyone besides Clark saw the letter and could corroborate its existence. Ackerman emailed the following statement: “The questions you ask regarding the letter are not relevant to this firm’s representation of the Estate of Franklin E. Kameny and any comment on this topic would be inappropriate.”


Calendar: Oct. 25

Lazlo Pearlman, gay news, Washington Blade

British FTM transgender performer Lazlo Pearlman is Raven’s Night’s Master of Ceremonies at the Birchmere Saturday night. (Photo by Diaz Wichmann; courtesy Raven’s Night)

Friday, Oct. 25

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 (1318 U St., N.W.) at 8 p.m. Come meet other queer women in a fun and friendly setting. All welcome to join. For details, visit

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts Bear Happy Hour tonight from 6-11 p.m. There is no cover charge and admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit

Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts “JOCK” tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. with DJ Jake Marx. Dress code is sports gear or just a jock. Dress code strictly enforced. There is an open bar from 9-10 p.m. Cover is $10. For details, visit

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts “Kickoff” featuring DJ Matt Bailer tonight from 10 p.m.-closing. For more information, visit

Saturday, Oct. 26

The Birchmere (3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria Va.) hosts “Raven’s Night” tonight from 5:30-10 p.m. Enjoy a three-part event that includes “All Hallow’s Eve Exposition,” a carnival and sideshow with a mystical theme, “Salon Lunaire Concert” dinner and drinks accompanied by live music entertainment and “Villians” a cabaret belly dance show that pays homage to villains and villainesses. Lazlo Pearlman hosts the evening. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include all three events. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

The Arlington Artists Alliance hosts its third annual studio tour today and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The studios are located throughout Arlington County, the Crystal City Studios Underground and in private homes. Meet the artists and tour their studios while learning about their art, materials and process. For more details, visit

The Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts “GAY/BASH,” a monthly dance party, tonight featuring rock and pop music. There will be performances by Rumor Millz, Dax Exclamationpont and Heidi Glüm featuring special guest Summer Camp. DJs Joshua and Dean spin tracks. Doors open at 10 p.m. Performances are at midnight and 1:30 a.m. Cover is $5. For details, visit

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington D.C. (474 Ridge St., N.W.) hosts its monthly “Spanish Speaker Outreach Ministry” at 6:30 p.m. today. The theme is “Remembering Our Heroes and Family Members’ Contributions to Social Justice.” Come celebrate loved ones who have passed away and remember their struggles. Everyone is welcome to bring a picture or offering to place on the altar in their loved one’s memory. LGBT Latinos(as) and their friends are welcome. After enjoy an array of Latin-American appetizers and snacks. For more information, visit

Historic Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St., S.E.) hosts “Ghosts and Goblets, Congressional Cemetery’s Fourth Annual Halloween Soirée” tonight from 8 p.m.- 1 a.m. Enjoy drinks, dancing, a heated tent and ghost tours. General admission tickets are $60 and include four drink tickets, a guided twilight tour of the cemetery, entry to the heated tent and live entertainment. VIP tickets are $80 and include a one-year membership to Historic Congressional Cemetry. Costumes are strongly encouraged. For more details and to purchase tickets visit

Sunday, Oct. 27

Equality Maryland celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Historic Lord Baltimore Hotel (20 W Baltimore St., Baltimore) today from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. will be honored for his contribution to LGBT equality in Maryland. The VIP cocktail reception and silent auction will be from 11 a.m.-noon. Brunch is from noon- 2 p.m. Entertainment includes Maryland LGBT performers. Tickets are $100. For details, visit

The OWN network presents “Bridegroom,” a documentary about a gay couple torn apart by tragedy, tonight at 10 p.m. It tells the emotional story of Tom Bridegroom’s accidental death and the repercussions having a relationship outside the legal protection of marriage had on his partner Shane Bitney Crone. Check local listings for channel.

The Washington Concert Opera presents an Italian-themed brunch in honor of composer Gisueppe Verdi’s 200th birthday at the Josephine Butler Parks Center (2437 15th St., N.W.) today at 11 a.m. Enjoy Italian food and drink, a silent auction, an exhibition of Italian artwork and a live performance of Verdi’s opera arias directed by Maestro Antony Walker. Tickets range from $60-$200. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit

Imagination Stage begins six-week fall classes in drama, musical theater and dance for ages 1-18. For details on the variety of classes offered and tuition prices visit

The Foundry Gallery (1314 18th St., N.W.) holds a “Dialogue with Artist” with artist Linda Button today from 4-5 p.m. followed by a reception from 5-7 p.m. The dialogue closes out Button’s solo show “Becoming,” that explored the meaning of mannequins in her paintings, at Foundry Gallery. For more information, visit

Monday, Oct. 28

The Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) hosts happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. today. All drinks are half price. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. For more details, visit

Tuesday, Oct 29

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

JR.’s Bar and Grill (1519 17th St., N.W.)  hosts the 27th annual 17th Street High Heel Race, a costumed drag race, from 7-10 p.m. tonight. Parade starts at 7 p.m and race starts at 9 p.m. The race begins at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) and ends at JR.’s. Mayor Vincent Gray is the grand marshal along with Birdie LaCage and Ba’Naka. For more details, visit

Cobalt hosts a High Heel Race after party tonight (corner of 17th and R streets, N.W.). DJ Keenan Orr will spin throwback R&B and hip-hop on the first floor. DJ Madscience will spin current pop and dance on the second floor with DJ Sean Morris spinning house on the third floor. It begins immediately after the race and runs until 2 a.m. For ages 18 and up. Cover is $5. Visit for details.

Wednesday, Oct. 30

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

SMYAL (410 7th St, S.E.) holds “Fall Brunch Pizza Party and Info Session” today from 5-6:30 p.m. Come eat pizza and sign up to be a guest at SMYAL’s Fall Brunch. Learn what the brunch is all about and what to expect. For more details, visit

The Human Rights Campaign hosts its second annual “Chefs for Equality” at the Ritz Carlton (1150 22nd St., N.W.) today from 6:30-9:30 p.m. D.C., Maryland and Virginia’s top chefs and mixologists serve up food and drink for a night dedicated to equality. Tickets are $150. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit

Thursday, Oct. 31

British singer-songwriter Jessie Ware performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring (8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) tonight at 8 p.m. Special guest Mikky Ekko also performs. Tickets are $30.50. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more details, visit

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts “Haunt” tonight from 9 p.m.- 2 a.m. There is a Halloween costume contest at midnight. First place winner gets a $750 prize, second place winner gets a $150 prize and third place winner gets a $100 prize. DJs MadScience and Sean Morris spin tunes for the night. Cover is $5 after 10 p.m. Guests must be 18 and over. For more information, visit

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts its “2nd Annual MIXTAPE Halloween Party” tonight from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Come in costume. Cover is $10. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over.

First Baptist Church of Washington (1328 16th Street, N.W.) hosts a special Halloween-themed organ recital tonight from 7-8 p.m. featuring local organists Charles Miller, Sam Carabetta, Kevin Biggins, Paul Dolinsky, Irvin Peterson, Scott Matthias, Ted Gustin and Lon Schreiber, organist and choir master at the church. They will perform works on the church’s brand new Austin pipe organ. Attendees are asked to dress in costume to attend if possible. They will perform works of an especially gothic or “spooky” nature. Visit for details.