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Calendar: Feb. 21-27

calendar, Mark Evans, Book of Mormon, gay news, Washington Blade

Mark Evans in ‘Book of Mormon,’ which opens next week in Baltimore. (Photo by Joan Marcus; courtesy Broadway Across America)

Events calendar for the week ahead.

Friday, Feb. 21

Katzen Arts Center (4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) presents “RENT” tonight at 8 p.m. It runs through March 1st. The musical is set during the AIDS epidemic in New York City and follows a group of young bohemian artists, including a drag queen, a lesbian couple and a gay couple, as they fight against their capitalist landlord who wants to make changes to their neighborhood. Tickets are $15. For more details, visit american.edu/cas/auarts.

Ziegfeld’s Secrets (1824 Half St., S.W.) hosts its fifth year anniversary party with adult entertainment star Angel Rock tonight at 9 p.m. There will be special events on both floors all night. Music by DJ Steve Henderson and a special laser show by John Klaja. For details, visit secretsdc.com.

Gay District meets at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) tonight from 8:30-9:30 p.m. The facilitated group discussion covers building understanding of gay culture and personal identity and awareness of community events for LGBT men between the ages of 18 and 35 in the D.C. area. For more details, visit thedccenter.org or gaydistrict.org.

Saturday, Feb. 22

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers for Food and Friends (219 Riggs Rd., N.E.) tonight from 8-10 a.m. Volunteers will chop vegetables and pack groceries. To volunteer, email jonathan@burgundycrescent.org. For more details, visit burgundycrescent.org.

Town  (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts “Bear Invasions: SCRUFF’D UP,” hosted by Johnny Scruff, tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. Drinks are $3 before 11 p.m. Drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For details, visit towndc.com.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts “CTRLympics Closing Ceremonies” tonight from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Enjoy $3 PBR Tallboys, $5 rail drinks and $4 Fireball shots. Music by DJs Jeff Prior and Adam Kousarri-Amin. There will be a special Olympics competition. Cover is $5. For details, visit cobaltdc.com.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts a free relationship workshop for lesbian couples today from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. This workshop is led by professional relationship coach Jayne Kelly and focuses on family. Bring your lunch and learn how to address spoken and unspoken needs and how to strengthen your bond with your partner for a healthy family. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Sunday, Feb. 23

“Music with the Angels” concert series presents “Vocal and Instrumental Music of the 20th Century” at Church of the Holy City (1611 16th St. N.W.) today at 3 p.m. There will be musical performances and poetry readings. Reception follows. Admission is free but donations to the Organ Fund are appreciated. For details, visit churchoftheholycity.org.

Adventuring, an LGBT outdoors club, hosts a C&O at Seneca Quarries hike this morning at 10 a.m. The walk goes through 19th century industrial ruins, including Rowsers Ford and Riley’s Lock, in the Washington area. Lunch will be near the Seneca Creek Aqueduct. Bring beverages, lunch, boots and $6 for transportation fees. Meet at Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station (10300 Rockville Pk., Bethesda, Md.) on the red line. For details, visit adventuring.org.

Nellies Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts a drag brunch today with two shows at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Monday, Feb. 24

SAGE Metro D.C. and AARP D.C. present a screening of “The New Black” at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The documentary focuses on how the African-American community is dealing with the gay rights issue by examining the black church and documenting activists, families and clergies on both sides of the debate. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th 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.

Allied in Greek,” an amateur drag competition and Trevor Project fundraiser, has been rescheduled for tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Lisner Auditorium (730 21st Street, N.W.) after snow forced a postponement two weeks ago. Allied in Pride, the George Washington University LGBT student advocacy organization, and the GW Greek Community are joining efforts on the event which will feature contestants in drag who will lip sync to a song. Chanel Devereaux, a local drag queen, will be on the judging panel. Half of the proceeds will go to the Trevor Project. Tickets are $5 general admission. Find out more by searching for “Allied in Greek” on Facebook.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Tony Award-winning musical “Book of Mormon,” a satirical comedy about two Mormon missionaries who are sent to Uganda, opens at the Hippodrome at France-Merrick Performing Arts Center (12 N Eutaw St., Baltimore) tonight at 8 p.m. and continues through March 9. Tickets range from $43.55-$199.85. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit baltimore.broadway.com.

The D.C. Center and Pros in the City host speed dating for gay men at the Navy Yards Boilermaker Building (300 Tingey St., S.E.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. Dating is approximately one hour. After enjoy a mixer with fellow speed daters. Cash bar. Check in is at 7 p.m. and dating begins at 7:20 p.m. Cost is $30. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

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.

Revel hosts a queer women’s “#BeachLife” happy hour at VeraCruz Gallery (2108 Vermont Ave., N.W.) this evening at 6 p.m. Enjoy Caribbean décor and drink specials. The first 20 guests receive a free pair of sunglasses. Mautner Project, a women’s health organization, will join to share information on women’s wellness, fitness and health care options.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

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 new comers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540.

The D.C. Center and Pros in the City host speed dating for lesbian and bisexual women at the Navy Yards Boilermaker Building (300 Tingey St., S.E.)  tonight from 7-9 p.m. Dating is approximately one hour. After enjoy a mixer with fellow speed daters. Cash bar. Check in is at 7 p.m. and dating begins at 7:20 p.m. Cost is $30. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Thursday, Feb. 27

Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) hold a meeting at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. GLOV works to reduce violence against LGBT individuals through community outreach, education and assisting members of anti-LGBT violence. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

Whitman Walker provides free and confidential HIV testing at Glorious Health Club (2120 West Virginia Ave., N.E.) tonight from 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m. For more information, visit whitman-walker.org.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts “Café SMYAL,” a fun event to get out of the cold, today from 4-5 p.m. Drink hot cocoa, play board games and make new friends. For more information, visit smyal.org.

20
Feb
2014

Police chief to release hate crimes report

Cathy Lanier, MPD, Metropolitan Police Department, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is expected to release a report on how the department investigates and reports hate crimes. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier was expected to release this week a report prepared by an independent task force that assessed how the department investigates and reports hate crimes, including anti-LGBT hate crimes.

A statement on Tuesday by a police spokesperson that Lanier planned to release the report this week came less than a week after the local group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) sent the chief an open letter asking about the status of the report, which was commissioned in June 2012.

“It has now been several months since the research phase of this study was completed, and we would like to inquire on the status of the final report findings,” said GLOV co-chairs Hassan Naveed and Matthew Corso, who signed the letter along with representatives of five other local LGBT groups.

Lanier announced at a June 2012 news conference that she had enlisted the Anti-Defamation League, a national group that fights prejudice and discrimination, to create the task force to conduct an impartial study of police practices and procedures for responding to hate crimes.

She said the effort was aimed at helping the department strengthen its efforts to combat hate crimes.

At the time, ADL Director David Friedman announced he had recruited representatives of the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and two university professors considered experts on hate violence to join the ADA as members of the task force.

Since its launching, the task force has interviewed more than two-dozen representatives of the LGBT community to obtain their views on how police have responded to anti-LGBT hate crimes in D.C, activists familiar with the task force have said.

“If the report has been completed, we request that it be released as soon as possible,” GLOV said in its Feb. 19 open letter. “We look forward to reviewing the report findings and discussing them with you.”

26
Feb
2014

Calendar: March 21-27

Wonder Women, gay news, Washington Blade, calendar

‘Wonder Women!: The Untold Story of American Superheroines’ screens tonight in Germantown. (Still courtesy BlackRock)

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

Friday, March 21

Iron Crow Theatre Company presents a “pay what you can” performance of “The Homo Poe Show,” a “queering” erotic performance of Poe, at Theatre Project (45 W. Preston St., Baltimore) tonight at 8 p.m. The show, created by Steven J. Satta-Fleming, features work from Daniel Talbott, Megan Gogerty, Rich Epsey and more. The show runs through April 5. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit theatreproject.org.

BlackRock Center for the Arts (12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown, Md.) screens “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines,” tonight at 7:30 p.m. The movie chronicles comic book character Wonder Woman’s legacy and how powerful representations of women reflect on gender roles. Tickets are $8. For more information, visit blackrockcenter.org.

Gay District, a facilitated group discussion focused on building understanding of gay culture and personal identity for men ages 18-35, meets at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 8:30-9:30 p.m. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Number Nine (1435 P St., N.W.) hosts a happy hour today from 5-9 p.m. All drinks are half price. Admission is free. For more information, visit numberninedc.com.

Saturday, March 22

Bishop Allyson Abrams brings “It’s Her Season,” a welcome back concert, to City of District Heights Municipal Building (2000 Marbury Dr., District Heights, Md.) today at 2 p.m. The concert brings Rick Brown of New Hope Baptist UCC Church and psalmists from around the local area as they celebrate Bishop Abrams’s return to the D.C. area.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts “Bearracuda D.C.,” the largest bear dance party in the U.S., tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Music will be played by DJ Matt Consola and Bil Todd. Cover is $7 before 10 p.m. and $10 after. For more information, visit cobaltdc.com.

MOVA Lounge (2204 14th St., N.W.) hosts a CD release party for Kylie Minogue’s latest release “Kiss Me Once” tonight. DJs will be playing Kylie Minogue songs all night. Drink specials are $6 for bottom shelf drinks and $9 for top shelf drinks. Martinis are $3 extra. For more details, visit movalounge.com.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts a free relationship workshop for lesbian couples today from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This workshop is led by professional relationship coach Jayne Kelly and focuses on family. Bring lunch and learn how to address spoken and unspoken needs and how to strengthen your bond with your partner for a healthy family. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts “Direct Action: What is It Good For?,” a community discussion about direct action protests, today at 3 p.m. Kelly Cogswell, community activist and author of “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger” and Wayne Turner, co-founder of ACT UP D.C., are featured speakers. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Sunday, March 23

Australian indie-pop singer Betty Who performs at Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St., N.E.) tonight at 8 p.m. Her debut EP “The Movement” has received critical acclaim. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $16. For more information, visit rockandrollhoteldc.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.

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts a drag brunch today with two shows at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers today for the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation at the Alexandria PetSmart (3351 Jefferson Hwy., Alexandria, Va.) at 12:15 p.m. today. You will be paired with a dog on a leash to walk around and play with. Wear casual clothes. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

Monday, March 24

The D.C. Center (2000 14th 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, March 25

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.

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) offers all drinks half price tonight until 2 a.m. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

Wednesday, March 26

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts “Café SMYAL,” a fun event to get out of the cold, today from 4-5 p.m. Drink hot cocoa, play board games and make new friends. SMYAL also provides free and confidential HIV testing from 3-5 p.m. For more details, visit smyal.org.

Thursday, March 27

Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) hold a meeting at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. GLOV works to reduce violence against LGBT individuals through community outreach, education and assisting members of anti-LGBT violence. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts its monthly Poly Discussion Group at 7 p.m. People of all different stages are invited to discuss polyamory and other consensual non-monogamous relationships. This event is for new comers, established polyamorous relationships and open to all sexual orientations. For details, visit thedccenter.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.

20
Mar
2014

Attack ad blames Mendelson for rise in hate crimes

Phil Mendelson, D.C. Council, Washington Blade, gay news

‘Rather than doing nothing, I publicly disagreed with the MPD’s decision to reorganize the GLLU,’ said Council Chair Phil Mendelson. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

LGBT activists are defending D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) against an election campaign ad by the D.C. police union that accuses him of failing to take steps to prevent the number of anti-LGBT hate crimes from nearly doubling between 2009 and 2011.

The Fraternal Order of Police, Metropolitan Police Department Labor Committee (FOP), which serves as a police union, is calling on city residents to “vote no on Phil Mendelson” in the April 1 primary in which he is running for re-election.

Rick Rosendall, president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance; transgender activist Jeri Hughes; and gay activist and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bob Summersgill called Mendelson a champion of LGBT rights and disputed the FOP’s claim that he didn’t adequately respond to hate crimes targeting the LGBT community.

In what appears to be a first-of-its-kind attack ad accusing a politician of failing to protect the safety of the LGBT community, the FOP ad says that when Mendelson was chair of the Council’s Judiciary and Public safety Committee in 2009, he “sat by and did nothing as the Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) was dismantled.”

The ad, which the FOP posted on its website and placed in the Washington Blade, goes on to say, “The result of Mendelson’s failure to act? The police department’s effectiveness in responding to hate crimes was weakened and it led to an almost 50 percent jump in hate crimes based on sexual orientation.”

Kristopher Baumann, chair of the FOP, told the Blade that LGBT organizations and activists joined the FOP in 2009 in criticizing a decision by the police department to reorganize and restructure the GLLU in a way that most activists said would decrease its effectiveness.

Baumann noted that concerns about the GLLU reorganization were found to be correct by a report assessing the police handling of anti-LGBT hate crimes released earlier this year. The report was prepared by an independent task force created and led by the Anti-Defamation League of the national capital area at the request of D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Most LGBT activists don’t dispute the findings of the task force report that the reorganization of the GLLU by Lanier led to its becoming less effective in addressing hate crimes and led to strains in relations between the LGBT community and the police department. But Mendelson and some of his LGBT supporters, including Rosendall and Hughes, dispute the claim that Mendelson was responsible for these developments.

“The charge is inaccurate and false,” Mendelson told the Blade in a statement on Monday. “Rather than doing nothing, I publicly disagreed with the MPD’s decision to reorganize the GLLU, and this was the subject of a number of public hearings that I held — including several specifically focused on hate crime and MPD’s handling of hate crime,” he said.

Mendelson said he held separate hearings on hate crimes and determined that the increase in hate crimes targeting the LGBT community was likely due, in part, to improved reporting of hate crimes on the part of LGBT victims rather than an actual increase in the number of such crimes.

“It’s easy for negative campaigns to level false charges days before an election, but the charges neither comport with the facts, nor are echoed by any of the LGBT groups that have actually worked on this problem,” Mendelson said.

“This campaign to hold Phil Mendelson accountable is nothing more than an egregious campaign to smear and malign,” said Hughes. “I know several rank and file officers,” she said. “None of them feel that Phil Mendelson deserves this abuse – none.”

Baumann, who has been a longtime critic of Chief Lanier, said Mendelson held “hearing after hearing” but chose not to take legislative action to correct longstanding problems associated with hate crimes reporting and the police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.

Mendelson said the hearings were productive and that none of the LGBT advocacy groups or Baumann proposed legislative changes at that time.

“They forced MPD to address the issue — prior thereto they were downplaying it,” Mendelson said of the hearings. “Police handling of [hate crimes] reports improved.”

According to Mendelson, the hearings also prompted the independent Office of Police Complaints, which investigates citizen complaints against police officers, to weigh in on the issue and led to the revival of the then inactive group Gays and Lesbians Against Violence (GLOV).

Baumann said the FOP has not endorsed Mendelson’s Democratic opponent in the primary, Calvin Gurley. Baumann said the police union’s ad campaign was aimed at urging voters to “take another look” at Mendelson and decide how best to vote both in the primary and, if Mendelson wins on Tuesday, as expected, whether to vote for an opponent that surfaces in the November general election.

GLAA gave Mendelson a +10 rating on LGBT issues on a rating scale of -10 to +10, the highest possible score. The group gave Gurley a +1 rating.

Although most political observers believe Mendelson is the odds-on favorite to win Tuesday’s primary, Gurley received close to 69,342 votes when he ran against Mendelson in a special election in 2012. According to Board of Elections returns, Mendelson won that election with 174,742 votes, with 3,017 voters writing in someone else’s name on the ballot.

Hassan Naveed, co-chair of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, and Jason Terry, an official with the D.C. Trans Coalition, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the FOP’s attack ad targeting Mendelson.

31
Mar
2014

Calendar: April 4-10

calendar, gay news, Washington Blade

Director Tom Story, center, with actors David Nate Goldman and Allie Villareal in ‘Moth’ at Studio Theatre. (Photo by Igor Dmitry; courtesy Studio)

D.C.-area LGBT events calendar for the week ahead.

Friday, April 4

The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival begins at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds (16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg, Md.) today from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Sunday.  Purchase jewelry, home décor, fine arts and much more made from American craftsmen. A few craftsmen will also be doing live demonstrations in jewelry making, hand carving and furniture making. Admission is $8 online and $10 at the door. For more details, visit sugarloafcrafts.com.

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 towndc.com.

Charm City Fetish Fair begins today at Doubletree Hilton BWI (890 Elkridge Landing Rd., Linthicum Heights, Md.) at 5 p.m. and goes through Sunday. There will be a meet and greet, parties and workshops led by experts on the fetish lifestyle. For more information, visit charmcityfetishfair.com.

Bishop Allyson Abrams and Empowerment Liberation Cathedral launch an affirming fellowship service at Church of the Ascension (633 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring, Md.) tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more details, visit empowermentliberationcathedral.org.

Saturday, April 5

D.C. MeetMarket, an outdoor community market, begins on the corner of 15th and P St. N.W. today from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Over 40 local vendors will be selling goods including Baked and Wired, Twisted Aristocrat and more. The market’s goal is to help support the city’s small businesses and creative community. There will be live music by American Hearts, Light Arms and DJ Vanniety Kills. There will also be an interactive photo booth and free raffle.

Lesbian singer Lisa Moscatiello and singer Chris Noyes perform together for “We are Takoma Park,” a concert at the Takoma Park Municipal Building (7500 Maple Ave., Takoma Park, Md.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. The performance includes Celtic ballads, contemporary folk, country and more. For more information, email arts@takomaparkmd.gov or call 301-891-7266.

Code Redux presents “CODE All Colors,” a BDSM party, at the Crucible (16 M St., N.E.) from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Fetish dress code required. This is a membership-only event. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Online membership is available. For more information and to join, visit the-crucible.com

Sunday, April 6

Queer for Christ, a Christian LGBT group, attends “Evensong/Evensocial,” a 20s/30s meet up group, at National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) today at 4 p.m. For more information, visit nationalcathedral.org.

Guitarist Charles Mokotoff performs Latin American melodies at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church (9601 Cedar Ln., Bethesda, Md.) today at 4 p.m.  For more details, visit cedarlane.org.

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.

Victory Fund holds is “National Champagne Brunch” today from11 a.m.-2 p.m. Special guests include Maine gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud, Massachusetts attorney general candidate Maura Healey and Washington D.C. City Councilmember David Catania. Tickets are $250. For more details, visit victoryfund.org.

Monday, April 7

Opera on Tap D.C. Metro perform at Vendetta Bocce Bar and Tavern (1212 H St., N.E.) tonight from 7-9:30 p.m. Local opera singers Colin Michael Brush, Melissa Chavez, Aaron Halevy and more will be performing. There will be $1 sliders all night long with a 2 drink minimum. There will also be $4 Prosecco and Peroni and $5 house wine. There is a $5 suggested cover. For more information, visit operaontap.org/dcmetro.

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 8

GLOV hosts a happy hour reception at MOVA Lounge (2204 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 5:30-8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and supports GLOV, which aims to reduce violence against LGBT individuals and to assist victims of anti-LGBT violence. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

JQ Baltimore, a Jewish LGBT outreach and support group, hosts Seder at Waxter Center (1000 Cathedral St., Mt. Vernon, Md.) tonight at 6:30 p.m. The Seder will be conducted by Rabbi Gila Ruskin and a kosher dairy dinner with traditional Passover foods will be served. Tickets are $12. For more details, email jqbaltimore@gmail.com or call 443.300.8996.

Wednesday, April 9

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

Big Gay Book Group meets at 1155 F St., N.W. Suite 200 tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss “The Towers of Trebizond” by Roe Macaulay. This comedy tells the story of what it means to be a Christian in the modern world with a wacky group of characters including spies a Greek sorcerer and a deranged camel. For more information email biggaybookgroup@hotmail.com.

“Moth” begins its run at the Studio Theatre (1501 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. “Moth” tells the story of an anime-obsessed boy and his emo-Wiccan friend whose friendship is changed forever when Sebastian is forced on an apocalyptic mission after a horrific event at his high school. Tickets are $30.The play runs through May 4. For more details, visit studiotheatre.org.

Thursday, April 10

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers for Food and Friends (219 Riggs Rd., N.E.) tonight from 6-8 p.m. Volunteers will chop vegetables and pack groceries. To volunteer, email jonathan@burgundycrescent.org. For more details, visit burgundycrescent.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.

 

03
Apr
2014

GLOV, HIPS launch violence response hotline

Silent March for Victims of GLBT Violence, Columbia Heights, hate crimes, gay news, Washington Blade

(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The local groups Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) and Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS) are jointly launching a new 24-hour, seven-days-a-week LGBTQ Violence Response Hotline, according to GLOV spokesperson Matt Corso.

“LGBTQ individuals who are victims of a violent crime, such as intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, bias or hate motivated violence, police misconduct, sexual assault or pick-up violence can call the hotline to speak with a trained volunteer to receive immediate crisis support and ongoing assistance or referrals to LGBTQ competent service providers in the Washington, D.C. area,” Corso said in a statement to the Blade.

GLOV is a program of the DC Center for the LGBT Community.

01
May
2014

Lanier gives briefing on police-trans issues

Cathy Lanier, DC Metro Police, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier (Washington Blade photo by Strother Gaines)

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told a transgender community town hall meeting Tuesday night that her department is moving quickly to implement recommendations by an independent task force on ways to improve police response to crimes targeting the transgender community.

Lanier, who was joined by nearly a dozen high-level police officials, including a captain and sergeant in charge of the police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, said the overwhelming majority of officers are sensitive to the needs and concerns of transgender citizens.

She said that in cases where members of the LGBT community in general and the trans community in particular encounter improper or abusive treatment by a police officer, such incidents should immediately be reported to the department through an established complaint process.

“If there is wrongdoing on the part of a police officer, we want to know about it,” she said. “We should address that, and we will.”

The town hall event was sponsored jointly by the D.C. Trans Coalition, Casa Ruby, Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the LGBT youth advocacy group SMYAL and the sex worker advocacy group HIPS.

The meeting was held in a community room of the D.C. Department of Employment Services on Minnesota Ave, N.E.

The sponsoring groups asked Lanier to discuss the department’s response to the findings and recommendations of a 41-page report prepared by the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force, an independent body created by the Anti-Defamation League of Washington at Lanier’s request.

Among other things, the task force found that although the “vast majority of MPD leaders and personnel” are committed to the security and safety of the LGBT community, shortcomings exist in the department’s relations with the transgender community.

“With the exception of GLLU officers, most transgender people do not trust the police and believe that MPD officers too frequently see them as criminals because they are transgender,” the report states.

The report says the task force conducted its research between April 2012 and September 2013, which included “extensive interviews with LGBT leaders and advocates, LGBT community members, and MPD personnel of all ranks throughout the department,” with an emphasis on officers assigned to hate crimes, LGBT outreach and related duties.

In response to at least two-dozen questions from audience members, Lanier outlined the department’s efforts to address issues raised by the task force report, most of which are included as an addendum to the report.

The department has already taken steps to revamp the GLLU’s officer affiliate program to improve the training and selection of GLLU affiliate officers, who are assigned to each of the department’s eight police districts throughout the city.

The task force report says many in the LGBT community expressed concern that the GLLU became more distant and less visible to the community after the affiliate program was created by Lanier to expand the reach of the GLLU beyond its half dozen or so “core” officers.

Lanier said her supervisors in the police districts are now carefully assessing how the GLLU affiliate members are interacting with the community. Those found not to have a “good fit” for community interaction will be reassigned to other duties and officers more suited for the GLLU’s duties will replace them, she said.

“So we’ve come a long way,” she told the Blade after the meeting. “Are there individuals in the department — we have almost 5,000 employees — that may harbor a bias? Of course there are. But we can’t let that define our organization. We have to let the mass of the police define our organization and keep looking to get rid of people who don’t belong here,” she said.

Veteran transgender activist Earline Budd and Jason Terry, a member of the D.C. Trans Coalition, said they were optimistic that Lanier will carry out the task force report’s recommendations for improving the department’s relations with the trans community.

12
Jun
2014

Captain of gay police unit accused of harassment

Edward Delgado, MPD, Metropolitan Police Department, gay news, Washington Blade

Capt. Edward Delgado, who heads the GLLU, is accused of referring to gay officer Justin Markiewicz as ‘Justine.’ (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The supervisor of the D.C. police department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit has filed an internal police complaint accusing the captain in charge of the unit with repeatedly addressing a gay male officer assigned to the GLLU by using a female version of his name.

According to sources familiar with the development, who spoke on condition of anonymity, GLLU Sgt. Matthew Mahl filed the complaint against Capt. Edward Delgado with the department’s Internal Affairs Division on behalf of GLLU Officer Justin Markiewicz.

The sources say the complaint accuses Delgado of addressing Markiewicz as “Justine” repeatedly in face-to-face conversations and in at least four separate emails, copies of which have been obtained by the Washington Blade.

Among the recipients of one of the emails in which Delgado addressed Markiewicz as “Justine,” which was transmitted on Jan. 13, 2012, were Deputy D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes and former GLLU supervisor Sgt. Carlos Mejia.

Mahl and Markiewicz, when contacted this week by the Blade, declined to comment, saying they are required to refer all media inquiries to the department’s public information office.

Gwendolyn Crump, director of the Public Information Office, said she too was not authorized to comment on the matter.

“This is a personnel matter that is being investigated by the MPD’s Internal Affairs Division,” she said in an email. “I cannot comment further at this time.”

The sources said Mahl filed the complaint with Internal Affairs on July 29 after Markiewicz confided in him that he was troubled and under stress over Delgado’s alleged repeated references to him using a female name. Markiewicz reportedly considered Delgado’s action derogatory, demeaning and a form of harassment based on his sexual orientation, the sources said.

Mahl reportedly felt duty bound to file the complaint, which requires Internal Affairs to open an investigation, based on a longstanding MPD policy that requires both police officials and rank-and-file officers to report all instances of possible “improper conduct” committed by a member of the police force within two hours of learning about such conduct, one of the sources said.

Delgado serves as commander of the Special Liaison Division, which oversees the GLLU and three other police liaison units – the Latino Liaison Unit, the Asian and Pacific Islander Liaison Unit and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison Unit.

In addition to the Jan. 13, 2012 email, the complaint filed by Mahl includes copies of emails dated Sept. 20, 2012; June 6, 2014; and July 7, 2014, according to the sources. In each of those emails Delgado refers to Markiewicz as “Justine.”

The July 7, 2014 email has a subject heading that states, “RE: Sixth District Listserv Message PROSTITUTION, DISORDERLY CONDUCT, AND PUBLIC NUISANCES ON EASTERN AVE, NE. It goes on to state, “Flag for follow up” and adds, “Justine…please ensure that we stay on top of this.”

The June 6 email message by Delgado was a response to an email from Markiewicz to him with the subject heading, “Pride photo.” A photo embedded in the email has a caption saying, “Group photo from La Fiesta Latino Dance Party. This has been a very successful pride thus far!”

Delgado’s response states, “Thanks Justine.”

Paul Tupper, chair of the local group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), which works with the GLLU and MPD officials to help curtail anti-LGBT violence, including hate crimes, said he has no direct knowledge about the complaint filed against Delgado.

“Although GLOV is not familiar with the particulars of this complaint it serves as a reminder that if any members of the LGBT community have concerns about a member of the MPD force, they should report it, and that includes those within the MPD,” Tupper told the Blade.

Chris Farris, a former GLOV co-chair, said he has had dealings with Delgado over a period of several years and the nature of the complaint filed against him came as a surprise.

“I’ve always found him to be a pretty open and approachable person,” Farris said. “I’ve never had any reason to believe he was homophobic. But I will also tell you that Justin is a great person. He’s a very valuable asset to the GLLU,” said Farris, who added, “And so I would also have no reason to believe that he wouldn’t be telling the truth.”

Farris called on the department to conduct a “thorough investigation” into the complaint and to report its findings to the public.

Two other LGBT activists who have had dealings with Delgado, and who spoke on condition that they are not identified, shared Farris’s assessment, saying they were caught by surprise over the complaint.

But the sources familiar with the complaint say that Delgado’s persistent references to Markiewicz as “Justine” could be viewed as a form of workplace harassment that has the potential of harming the overall effectiveness of the GLLU.

They said the matter was especially troubling for Mahl, prompting him to file a separate police incident report on Delgado’s alleged action toward Markiewicz that is part of the department’s public records.

The report, however, refers to Delgado and Markiewicz only by their initials. It lists the incidents as “anti-male homosexual (gay)” in nature and describes them as “demeaning and harassing language.”

The complaint filed by Mahl with the Internal Affairs Division and the incident report come at a time when most LGBT activists say relations between the LGBT community and the MPD have improved significantly over the past several years.

At a town hall meeting earlier this year organized jointly by MPD and the LGBT community that focused on transgender issues, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the department continues to improve its longstanding policies and procedures calling for treating LGBT people with respect and for thoroughly investigating crimes committed against members of the LGBT community.

06
Aug
2014

Calendar: events through Jan. 23

Birdie LaCage, gay news, drag, Washington Blade

Birdie LaCage hosts a ‘Grease’ sing-along Tuesday at JR.’s. (Washington Blade file photo by Blake Bergen)

Friday, Jan. 17

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 nelliessportsbar.com.

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) holds a happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. tonight with all drinks half price. Music begins at 11 p.m. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is $5 after 9 p.m. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.

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 towndc.com.

POV Live is tonight with Glorious, a “livetronica” drummer and D.C.-area native, performing with DJ Tempo at the W Hotel (515 15th St., N.W.). She also plays Saturday night with DJ Oz. Free. RSVP at whappenings@brandlinkdcrsvp.com.

Saturday, Jan. 18

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers today for the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation at the Falls Church PetSmart (6100 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, Va.) at 11:45 a.m. today. You will be paired with a dog on a leash to walk around and play with. Wear casual clothes. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

Bistro Bistro (1726 Connecticut Ave., NW.) hosts “Let Freedom Ring,” a Martin Luther King weekend ladies bash, tonight from 11 p.m.-3 a.m. Enjoy music from two lesbian DJs with the cast of lesbian web series “District Heat.” There will be giveaways by Style is Freedom, a lesbian clothing line. Cover is $10 before midnight and $15 after midnight. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over.

Onyx Cocktail Party and Gear Show, a leather/BDSM auction, is at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill (400 New Jersey Ave., N.W.) today from 2-6 p.m. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to SMYAL, a local organization that aids LGBT youth in the District. For details, visit leatherweekend.com.

Several Species: the Pink Floyd Experience,” a Floyd tribute show, is tonight at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.). Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35. Details at thelincolndc.com.

Merrifield Garden Center starts its winter/spring series of free seminars on gardening and landscaping today with events at each of its three locations. A session on orchids with the Smithsonian’s Jonathan Kavalier will be held at the Merrifield location (Merrifield Community Hall, 8104 Lee Highway, Merrfifield, Va.). “A Gardener’s Calendar” with plant specialist David Yost will be held at Fair Oaks (Fair Oaks Meeting Room, 12101 Lee Highway in Fairfax, Fa.). Terrariums with Regina Lanctot, a tropical plant specialist, will be held at the Gainesville location (Our Garden Room, 6895 Wellington Road, Gainesville, Va.). Visit merrifieldgardencenter.com for details.

Sunday, Jan 19

Del Ray Artisans (2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.) hosts “From Board Game to Book,” a workshop to create a hand-bound notebook or journal with a board game as the cover, today from noon-4 p.m. Recycle any cardboard board game into an art book using traditional bookbinding methods. Supplies will be provided. Tickets are $48 for Del Ray Artisans members and $53 for non-members. For details, visit thedelrayartisans.org/bookmaking.

Patty Boom Boom (1359 U St., N.W.) hosts “Free to Be,” an LGBT dancehall event, tonight from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dance to reggae, dancehall and roots music to raise funds to support J-Flag, an organization dedicated to supporting LGBT people in Jamaica. Entry is free. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For details, visit pattyboomboomdc.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, Jan. 20

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts a free relationship workshop for lesbian couples today from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. It’s the first workshop in a series of six. This workshop focuses on sex and intimacy led by professional relationship coach Jayne Kelly. Bring your partner and lunch to learn how to have a healthy and sexually satisfying relationship. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

The D.C. Center (2000 14th 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 today, 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, Jan. 21

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers today for the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.  at the Atlas Center (1333 H St., N.E.) tonight at 7 p.m. Duties include ushering the event and a chance to watch the concert. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

Special Agent Galactica performs “Intoxicating” with Peter Fields at Banana Café (500 8th St., S.E.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. The show is a mix of jazz, burlesque and modern hits. No cover. For details, visit pinkhairedone.com.

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.

Birdie LaCage hosts a “Grease” sing-a-long at JR.’s (1519 17th Street, N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m. Drinks are two-for-one ‘til midnight.

Wednesday, Jan. 22

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 new comers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540.

The D.C. Center and Professionals in the City host speed dating for women in their twenties and thirties at Finn and Porter located inside the Embassy Suites Hotel (900 10th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. Dating is approximately one hour. After enjoy a mixer with fellow speed daters. Cash bar. Check in is at 7 p.m. and dating begins at 7:20 p.m. Complimentary valet parking offered to anyone who purchases two drinks or other items from the bar or restaurant. Cost is $30. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Thursday, Jan. 23

Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) hold a meeting at The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. GLOV works to reduce violence against LGBT individuals through community outreach, education and assisting members of anti-LGBT violence. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

Rude Boi Entertainment hosts “Tempted 2 Touch,” a ladies dance party, at the Fab Lounge (2022 Florida Ave., N.W.) tonight. 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.

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) hosts “Café SMYAL,” a fun event to get out of the cold, today from 4-5 p.m. Drink hot cocoa, play board games and make new friends. For more information, visit smyal.org.

Whitman-Walker provides free and confidential HIV testing at Miriam’s Kitchen (2401 Virginia Ave., N.W.) today from 4-6 p.m. For details, visit whitman-walker.org.

16
Jan
2014

Defense calls for new trial in Marine murder case

Marine Barracks, gay news, Washington Blade

Witnesses said Lance Corp. Phillip Bushong was stabbed in the upper chest with a pocketknife on 8th Street, S.E., across the street from the Marine Barracks. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A D.C. Superior Court judge has postponed the sentencing of a former U.S. Marine convicted in December of voluntary manslaughter for the April 2012 stabbing death of a fellow Marine following an altercation in which he reportedly called the victim an anti-gay name.

The postponement of the sentencing set for Feb. 7 came after Judge Russell Canan agreed to a request by defense attorney Bernard Grimm for more time to prepare a motion to request a new trial for his client, 22-year-old former Pfc. Michael Poth.

According to court records, Canan gave Grimm until March 24 to file his motion, known as a Rule 33 Motion, for a new trial. Canan directed prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office to file a response to the defense motion by April 21.

It couldn’t immediately be determined whether Grimm, who represented Poth during the trial, cited a reason for seeking a new trial rather than appealing the conviction before the D.C. Court of Appeals.

A Superior Court jury found Poth guilty of voluntary manslaughter on Dec. 2 following a 9-day trial. The jury found him not guilty of a more serious charge of second-degree murder while armed.

Poth has been held in jail since his arrest on April 21, 2012, minutes after witnesses said he stabbed Lance Corp. Phillip Bushong, 23, in the upper chest with a pocketknife on 8th Street, S.E., across the street from the Marine Barracks.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Liebman, the lead prosecutor in the case, stated at a pre-trial hearing last year that the stabbing appeared to be a hate crime. But the government never formally classified the case as a hate crime. Had it done so, the judge would have had an option of handing down a more severe sentence.

Liebman argued during the trial that Poth called Bushong a faggot when the two crossed paths on the street outside a bar on 8th Street near the barracks with the intent of provoking Bushong into a confrontation to give Poth an excuse to stab him.

He said the hurling of the anti-gay slur took place a short time after Bushong called Poth a “boot,” a term used by Marines to describe a new recruit that’s considered an insult. Liebman argued that the “boot” remark angered Poth to such a degree that he made plans to track down Bushong after the two initially went their separate ways with the intent to stab him and kill him.

Grimm argued that Poth stabbed Bushong in self-defense after Bushong, who was taller and heavier than Poth, walked toward him with a friend and pulled back his arm with a clinched fist in an attempt to assault him.

The D.C. group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence planned to submit a victims impact statement to the judge at the time of the sentencing describing how Poth’s use of an anti-gay slur immediately prior to the fatal stabbing had a negative impact on the LGBT community, according to GLOV co-chair Hassan Naveed.

06
Feb
2014