GAY/BASH!, a monthly gay rock/dance party at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) started almost as a fluke.
Joshua Vogelsong, who co-DJs the event with his roommate Dean Sullivan, got into a conversation with the cashier at Smash Records in Georgetown about his love for vintage hair metal. Off the cuff, he mentioned wishing there was a gay rock party such as those he enjoyed during the two years (â04-â06) he lived in New York. Phone numbers were exchanged and passed on and before long, the Black Cat had the party penciled in for a trial night. Itâs been rolling there monthly since February 2011.
It starts at 9:30 p.m. but around 11:30, revelers gather around the stage for performances by âD.C.âs most experimental and avant garde queens, giving them a platform to express themselves in the most unconventional ways.â
GAY/BASH! is the Black Catâs first monthly drag show. Vogelsong, who works by day at gay-owned Comet Ping Pong and spins other events at Black Cat, says the Cat has âa good mix of gay and straightâ patrons.
The next GAY/BASH! is Saturday at 9:30 and is open to all ages (though D.C.âs curfew law is in effect). Cover is $5. Find the party on Facebook for more information. Rumor Millz and Heidi Glum host this weekendâs installment.
âItâs kind of a genre fuck but with a harder rock edge,â he says. âAnd thereâs a sense of humor about it. We do a lot of stuff people will know. They just get kind of discombobulated and thrash around. Itâs cute.â
Vogelson, a 29-year-old Houston native, has been in D.C. off and on for about 10 years. He lives in a group home near Columbia Heights, has been dating boyfriend Kevin for about a year and enjoys music, movies, restaurants and live shows in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve always been a total ‘mo. When I told my parents at age 14, they were basically like, “We were just waiting for you to figure it out and we love you.” I’m very fortunate and I love my family very much.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Divine, forever and ever.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?Â
I really miss Asylum.
Describe your dream wedding.
Marry in a courthouse, then throw a huge party.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Women’s health care and women’s issues in general. I’ve always looked up to my mother and watched her struggle in the military and other male-dominated workplaces. She’s a strong, smart woman and has always been my hero.
What historical outcome would you change?
I don’t feel comfortable discussing things like that.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
The 1997 VMAs, for Fiona Apple’s amazing “this-world-is-bullshit” speech and Marilyn Manson’s butt-cheek-baring “Beautiful People” performance. I was forever changed.
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
It was about how I’m sad that summer is ending. This has been a really good one!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
âOh My God, Whatever.â It would be a best seller!
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Inform the self-hating closeted gays so they’ll shut the hell up and leave the rest of us alone.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?Â
Nothing, really. I’m not exactly spiritual.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Be more angry and militant. Start scaring people.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
A lot of things, probably. I get passionate.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
For gay men: That we’re somehow weak or not masculine.
For gay women: That they haven’t found the right man yet.
For trans people: That they’re confused and/or impulsive.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Poison” by Todd Haynes.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
So much emphasis on first impressions.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
My trophy for first place at the third grade spelling bee.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
It gets harder, so apply yourself.
It’s clean and people are well-educated.
Like butt-hugger briefs and #BeTrue shoes, cute crossovers have become fashion faves. Such mini SUVs â with suitable storage and sedan-like rides â have higher platforms for better driver visibility. In other words, the better to see and be seen.
Strong engines and stepped-up styling add to the swagger, helping small crossovers haul ass and sass. Thatâs good news for gay and lesbian drivers looking to be stylish both inside and outside the Beltway.
MPG: 21 city/28 highway
0-to-60 mph: 6.8 seconds
Cargo space: 63.3 cu. ft.
Sure, BMW â which also makes the MINI Cooper â now has the uber-tiny X1 crossover. But the X3 is still the trendsetter, even if it was introduced 10 years ago. This is the second-gen model, with a more macho look that works in town or in the Hamptons. Call it Tom Ford chic. BMW also dropped in a new four-cylinder turbo, part of the automakerâs strategy to switch out some of its V6 engines with more fuel-efficient (but still peppy) four-bangers. It works here, saving more than just pennies at the pump. Plus, the engine shuts off automatically each time the X3 stops in traffic. Just step on the gas, and the engine starts right up again. Like all Bimmers, the cabin is Bauhaus sparse, with an upscale, utilitarian layout to the dash, knobs and switches. And thereâs generous cargo room (a big plus, compared with the Lilliputian X1). Yet the X3 is still small enough to fit in most parking spaces. Biggest downside: the price. And yes, options add up quickly, too.
MPG: 25 city/33 highway
0-to-60 mph: 9.1 seconds
Cargo space: 48.5 cu. ft.
Once upon a time, only blue-hairs drove Buicks. But GMâs near-death bankruptcy caused the automaker to reinvent itself. By shedding the dowdy demeanor, Buick went from straight-laced to steamy. Think Ms. Jane Brodie transformed into a sexy school marm. The result: stunning vehicles like the all-new Encore, which practically sold out within the first six months. Snug handling and a superb interior also help, as does the lack of any creaks or rattles â a Buick bugaboo for decades. Add in crisp handling, quick brakes and a quiet cabin, and the Encore could pass for a high-priced Lexus. Even the Encoreâs base model comes standard with rearview camera, heated side mirrors, 18-inch alloys and large seven-inch touchscreen. Must-have options: heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and two crash-avoidance systems. The only thing that misfires is the tepid turbo, which could have used a bit more horsepower. Overall, though, the Encore is reliable, nimble and hip.
MPG: 26 city/35 highway
0-to-60 mph: 9.5 seconds
Cargo space: 65.4 cu. ft.
Like Abercrombie and Fitch, Mazdas have always been sporty yet affordable. But itâs not just the athletic styling; these vehicles often boast peppy engines and tuner-like handling. And while the full-size CX-9 has been a hit, the same wasnât true for the midsize CX-7 (nixed last year). Enter the compact CX-5, which is smaller than the CX-7 but has more passenger room (especially in the backseat). Itâs also lighter and â like the Buick Encore â full of standard features, even on the base trim. Three models available, though the top-of-the-line Grand Touring boasts heated seats, blind-spot warning system and nine-speaker Bose audio. The natty cabin â with no obnoxious faux wood or cheap chrome â is attractive yet uncluttered, a la the BMW X3. And braking and crash-test scores are stellar. As for power, the four-cylinder engine is more than adequate. For more of a racerâs edge, opt for the slick-shifting manual transmission.
The Victory Institute joined with Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus, theÂ LGBT Congressional Staff Association,Â Library of Congress GLOBE and the LGBT Equality CaucusÂ to host the Congressional LGBT Pride Reception at Rayburn House Office Building on Wednesday. Speakers included Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.). (Washington Blade photos by Damien Salas) Â
A recently proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would restrict marriage to one man, one woman throughout the country has gained and lost a supporter in the U.S. House within the course of two days.
According to the Library of Congress, Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) withdrew Wednesday as a co-sponsor of the amendment, whose chief sponsor is Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), after signing on as a co-sponsor on Tuesday.
Chris Deaton, a Latham spokesperson, attributed the brief co-sponsorship to a staffer error.
“This was a staff memberâs mistake,” Deaton said. “The withdrawal was the correction of the staff memberâs mistake.”
Latham’s change is consistent with his position on the amendment when it came to a floor vote in 2004 and 2006. He wasn’t a co-sponsor of the bill at that time.
But Latham voted in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment both times the measure came to the House floor.
Deaton didn’t immediately respond to a follow-up inquiry on why Latham isn’t a co-sponsor now or whether he opposes the measure.
There are still 34 co-sponsors for the Federal Marriage Amendment â all Republicans. That’s far short of the 290 votes needed to pass a U.S. constitutional amendment in the House.
By KEVIN McDUFFIE & TIM SAVOY
If you are in the housing market, you may have noticed something that you may find frightening: interest rates are up. However, this rise in interest rates should not stop you from buying now. If you thought interest rates would stay at 3 percent forever (as they formerly were), you were most certainly mistaken and perhaps a tad naĂŻve. Within the last four months, a rise in interest rates up 1.5 percent to 4.5 percent has shocked many potential homebuyers.
This gradual rise in interest rates has shocked some potential homebuyers so much that they are no longer in the market to buy. Let us be clear: Do not let this happen to you.
Here are some basic reasons why the current market is still the best time to purchase a property in D.C. First, interest rates at 4.5 percent are still historically very low. If you are a buyer looking and feel you should wait for them to go back down, think again. The forecast and climate at the Federal Reserve shows that interest rates will be going up even higher within the next year. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew recently stated at the Washington Economic Club, âA lot of head windsâ are dying down, and banks are better capitalized and âthe U.S. is seen as a very attractive country for investment.â All of these are indicators that interest rates will rise in the future.
Now, how about we go through an example. Letâs assume you are purchasing a $600,000 property with a 10 percent down payment. If you were lucky and got the lower interest rate back in early May 2013 of 3.5 percent, the âP&Iâ â or Principle and Interest Payment â on your new property would be $2,424 month. The current rate on the same loan with 4.625 percent interest with P&I is $2,776. That is only $350 a month more than our initial example.
If we assume within a year home values will increase 10 percent (note: we obviously we cannot predict this estimate for sure as in some zip codes in D.C. this appreciation is much higher, per MLS review), and rates increase 1.5 percent, that payment will be $3,609 a month. That is $833 more than what you would pay in this market. This is of course assuming the predictions pan out.
Historically, appreciation in Washington, D.C. cycles up on a five-to-six-year cycle, while the stagnate or depreciating markets are typically shorter as only being three to four years. Because we are just into the end of the first year of appreciation, history should tell us we have another four to five years to benefit from this appreciating market.
With the U.S. economy steadily gaining momentum, the Federal Reserve has to increase interest rates to curb inflation. With the Federal Reserve chair nominee still up in the air, the markets are poised to be volatile. In addition, many other factors and influences both domestic and foreign continue to put pressure, good and bad, on rates to increase.
And so now we have the moral to the example: Jump in and do not hesitate to buy NOW! History has shown and will prove you are making a wise choice.
If you would like more mortgage and interest rate advice, please contact Rob Clark at 703-518-2814.Â Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Dupont is located in the heart of Dupont Circle at 1606 17thÂ St., N.W. at Q Street.Â If you are interested in buying or selling please reach out to us for the real scoop. You can contact us at 202-387-6180.
Thousands of people flocked to the streets of D.C. to watch the 2013 Capital Pride Parade. (Washington Blade photos by George Marc Alderman,Â Anne Barrington, Patrick Brown, John Browning, Candace Craig, Jen Huls, Michael Key, Joyce Morton, Jana Panarites, Stacey W. Parker, Robert Rapanut, Damien Salas, Amy Stubbs and Jessica Watson) Â