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MOVA liquor license faces challenge

Mova, gay news, Washington Blade, LGBT nightlife, bar guide

Mova (Washington Blade file photo by Pete Exis)

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B, which has jurisdiction over the 14th and U Street, N.W. corridor, voted earlier this month to protest the liquor license renewal application of the D.C. gay bar MOVA Lounge, which is located at 2204 14th St., N.W.

The action by the ANC follows by three months a decision by a group of 14 residents of a condominium building 1407 W St., N.W. and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association to file separate protests against the MOVA license renewal. The condo building is located directly behind MOVA.

Each of the three protests say the bar is adversely impacting the “peace, order, and quiet” of nearby residents.

“MOVA has an open-air roof deck that is open late into the evening with loud music played directly into the bedrooms of residents in our building,” the protest by the condo residents says.

MOVA’s general manager, who identified himself only as Brad, told the Blade Tuesday night that MOVA owner Babak Movahedi was taking steps to address the neighbors’ concerns with the intent of resolving the protest.

Gay ANC Commissioner Marc Morgan said he was among the commissioners that voted for the protest. He said the ANC’s intent is to persuade MOVA to enter into a settlement agreement with the ANC that would ensure that the bar curtails any noise that may be disturbing its neighbors. He said he sees no indication that MOVA is being targeted because it’s a gay bar.

“Just because we file a protest doesn’t mean we want to see an establishment closed,” said Morgan. “We plan to drop the protest if a settlement agreement is reached.”

The D.C. City Charter, which created the ANCs, limits their authority to providing advisory recommendations to city government agencies, which must give “great weight” to ANC recommendations. The final decision on liquor license matters rests with the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which is an arm of ABRA.


Mujeres en el Movimiento

The Latino GLBT History Project hosted its annual Mujeres en el Movimiento celebration for Women’s History Month at Mova on Friday. Honorees included Lisbeth Melendez-Rivera and Rosa Roldan Torres. (Washington Blade photos by Damien Salas) Mujeres en el Movimiento


Chocolate City come alive

Black Pride, Retro Dance Party, Gay News, Washington Blade

Revelers at Black Pride. (Blade file photo by Pete Exis)

Both D.C. Black Pride Weekend and Chocolate City Pride 2013 kick off this week with several different events and parties to celebrate.

Chocolate City Pride starts on May 24 with the Genesis Pre 5,000 Men Pride Mega Party Warm-Up at MOVA Lounge (2204 14 St., NW). Anticipated cover is $10. This is followed by the fourth annual 5,000 Men Pride Mega Party at the Majestic Ibiza Nightclub (1222 1s St., NE). Cover is $40. The rest of the weekend involves parties at some of the Washington’s top clubs. Attendees can pay for these events can be paid for separately, or attendees can pay for a pass for $99.For more information, visit

D.C. Black Pride also starts May 24 with an opening reception and community awards presentation at the Hyatt Regency Washington (400 New Jersey Ave., NW) at 6 p.m. Award recipients include D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray who is receiving the Eleanor Holmes Norton Award, Dr. Imani Woody and Courtney Williams who are receiving the Welmore Cook Award, Theara Coleman and Christopher Watson, recipients of D.C. Black Pride Leadership Award, and Donald Burch, III, who is receiving the Charlotte Smallwood Volunteer Award. The rest of the weekend includes discussions, workshops, a film festival and different celebrations. For more information about schedules are sponsorship, visit


MOVA hosts reception for Meth recovery group

Mova, gay news, Washington Blade, crystal meth working group, DC LGBT Community Center

Mova hosts the 8th anniversary reception for the Crystal Meth Working Group — a project of the D.C. LBGT Community Center — this Tuesday. (Washington Blade file photo by Pete Exis)

MOVA Lounge (2204 14th St., N.W.) hosts a reception for the Crystal Meth Working Group to celebrate the organization’s eighth anniversary on Tuesday from 5-8 p.m.

The Crystal Meth Working Group, part of the D.C. Center, addresses issues of methamphetamine addiction and recovery within the D.C. LGBT community. The group provides education, outreach and prevention advocacy.

Guests will give a $10 donation to the Crystal Meth Working Group to enter. Free champagne will be served from 5-6 p.m., and MOVA will serve happy hour-priced drinks until 8.

For more information, visit


Queery: Curtis Tate

Curtis Tate, National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, gay news, Washington Blade

NLGJA D.C. Chapter President Curtis Tate (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

As far as journalists go, reporter Curtis Tate has fairly broad reach with his job as a transportation reporter for the McClatchy Washington Bureau.

Not only do his stories regularly appear in the chain’s 30 papers, they’re syndicated through the Tribune News Service and get picked up in hundreds of other papers.

The 34-year-old Louisville, Ky., native came to Washington a bit more than five years ago to join the company, where he started as a night editor. That followed stints at the Indianapolis Star and Dow Jones in New Jersey.

Tate has been active with the D.C. Chapter of the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association for about seven years and is its current president. The group’s monthly happy hour is Monday at 6 p.m. at MOVA (2204 14th St., N.W.). Find the group on Facebook at NLGJA-DC.

“We have a lot of members in the LGBT media and a lot who work for other national media and in online media as well,” Tate says. “As fragmented as journalism has become in some ways, I think for us as LGBT journalists, having this group is extremely valuable.”

Tate is single and lives on Capitol Hill. He enjoys biking, travel, photography, music, food and wine in his free time.


How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

Since 18 and myself.


Who’s your LGBT hero?

Harvey Milk, Bayard Rustin, Billie Jean King

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? 

Busboys & Poets


Describe your dream wedding.

On the beach or in the mountains, with just close family and friends.


What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

Transportation, which is what I cover for McClatchy.


What historical outcome would you change?

The present, before it becomes history.


What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

Dressing up for Halloween as a Rubik’s Cube.


On what do you insist?

Washing hands.


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

Photos from a 36-mile bike ride last weekend (sore legs not pictured).


If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“Trains of Thought: How I Got Sidetracked and Got There Anyway”


If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

It’s all in my head.


What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Keep up the good work.


What would you walk across hot coals for?

Grandma’s Vietnamese cooking.


What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

That there is a “man” and a “woman” in every relationship.


What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”


What’s the most overrated social custom?

Giving gifts, sending notes, making calls to your loved ones on holidays, instead of spontaneously or when they need it.


What trophy or prize do you most covet?

I like giving them more than receiving them.


What do you wish you’d known at 18?

Sometimes it takes a few tries.


Why Washington?

We go back a long way.


Some gay bars offering ‘furlough’ specials

Dos Locos, Joe Zuber, Darryl Ciarlante, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, restaurant, gay news, Washington Blade

Drinks at Dos Locos (Photo courtesy Dos Locos)

A few D.C. gay bars are offering specials to federal employees while the government remains closed.

Among those:

Number Nine (1435 P Street, N.W.) is offering a $3 Absolut “Shutdown” special Monday through Thursday starting at 9 p.m. just after the two-for-one regular happy hour special. One does not have to be a federal employee to get the special.

Level One (1639 R Street, N.W.) is offering half-priced burgers every day from 5-8 p.m. until the shutdown ends (offer available to anyone). Drink discounts are also available.

At MOVA (2204 14th Street, N.W.) federal employees can get one free well cocktail or 10 percent off their check total if they show valid government ID.

Other bars say their regular prices are reasonable enough that those prices should suffice.

“Tonight is flannel night at Phase 1,” says Manager Angela Lombardi. “If you wear flannel, there’s a ton of $3 and $4 drink specials. That’s a pretty damn good deal.”

Managers at Nellie’s and JR.’s echoed similar sentiments.

“We are really cheap already, so we really can’t go any lower,” says Dave Perruzza, manager of JR.’s

Freddie’s Beach Bar and Town Danceboutique are also maintaining their regular prices. Several calls placed to Ziegfeld’s/Secrets were not immediately returned. No “shutdown” specials are listed on its website.

MOVA Manager Korosh Yazdanpanah says a federal employee who visited the bar Thursday gave him the idea, even though the person was “essential” and thus, working.

“Even though he’s working, he was just saying there’s a lot of uncertainty about whether he’ll get paid on time,” Yazdanpanah says. “So we decided to offer something a little different.”


Ward 1 a vibrant part of city’s LGBT community

Jim Graham, Washington, D.C., gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) (Washington Blade file photo by Jeff Surprenant)



As an openly gay man elected to the D.C. Council I am proud of the diversity of Ward One.

Enhancing and preserving that diversity is important to me. With 1,000 new residents moving into the District each month — many into Ward One — our diversity is changing every day.

Ward One is diverse in every sense of the word. It is home to more than 80,000 residents from all over the world — 50 different countries are represented and 24 different languages are spoken here. It is also a ward where one out of five persons lives in poverty — to whom I have a special responsibility as chairman of the Committee on Human Services.

By choosing to live in Ward One, every one of us has an opportunity to move beyond our own personal identities and learn from persons different from ourselves. Our differences can make us stronger as individuals and more resilient as a community.

A significant part of that diversity has been and continues to be lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons.

Indeed, Ward One is well on its way to being the center of D.C.’s LGBTQ community.

Consider the facts:

• On Georgia Avenue, in Ward One, Casa Ruby provides care and support for transgender persons and Us Helping Us has been supporting gay men of color and others living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the pandemic.

• At 14th and U, the DC Center provides myriad services and programs for the LGBTQ community and our allies. Neither the DC Center nor the U.S. Post Office — both of which I helped bring to the Reeves Center — will be displaced if there is a change in ownership of the Reeves Center. Whitman-Walker’s Elizabeth Taylor Center is also just steps away.

• Perry’s and Duplex Diner, Nellie’s and Town, and MOVA generate responsible nightlife energy in the Ward. The owners and staff of each of these establishments deserve our thanks and support.

• So many members of the LGBTQ community volunteer their time and resources to make Ward One a better place for all. Sergio Herrera (founder of Columbia Heights Day) and Kent Boese (ANC commissioner) are just two examples of change makers in the Ward.

• David Franco, D.C. Native and co-founder of Level Two Development, is investing millions in innovative housing and retail options. “The Harper” located at 14th and Wallach Place, N.W., opening in January 2014, will offer 144 studio/ junior one-bedroom apartments and will be home to Universal Gear.

• Students at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus form LGBTQ affinity groups, regularly participate in the annual Capital Pride Parade, and work to create a more supportive school climate for all.

• The Latin American Youth Center provides short-term housing and counseling services for LGBTQ youth that have run away or been thrown out of their homes.

• All Souls Church, Unitarian has been a safe place for the LGBTQ community to openly worship for decades. Since 2009, dozens of same-sex couples have legally married at All Souls Church.

I learned long ago that assembling diversity and achieving harmony in diversity are two different things. Unfortunately, LGBTQ persons suffer verbal and physical attacks far too often. I have worked closely with Chief Cathy Lanier and her officers in efforts to make MPD vigilant in their investigations of hate crimes.

The LGBTQ community is a welcome addition to the diversity of Ward One. So much so, that the Capital Pride Parade should be extended up 14th Street!

Jim Graham represents Ward 1 on the D.C. City Council. 


Queery: Doug Yocum

Doug Yocum, Chantry, gay news, Washington Blade

Doug Yocum (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Doug Yocum loves choral singing so much, he’s in several local groups.

He sings in the National Cathedral choir, another group called District 8 and a Spanish group called Coral Cantigas. His group Chantry, which specializes in Baroque and Renaissance “early” music, has two concerts this weekend.

Though he loves singing different types of music with the various choirs, he says the balance of parts in early music makes singing with Chantry especially enjoyable.

“It really provides an opportunity to interact with the other singers,” he says. “You’re not just up there watching a conductor wave his hands. We do have a conductor, but there’s something about the way we sing that’s really special. You can truly interact with each other and the music is really a dialogue.”

Chantry has two concerts in the region this weekend. Tonight (Friday), its members will be St. Bernadette’s (70 University Blvd. East in Silver Spring) at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 8, the group will perform at St. Mary Mother of God (72 Fifth St., N.W.) in Chinatown. The group will perform “Spain in the Sistine at Christmas” a Mass by Cristobal de Morales. Tickets are $35 and $15 for students under 24. Visit for details.

Yocum has been in the group for about a year. The 27-year-old Philadelphia native came to D.C. to go to school at the University of Maryland. By day, he works as a sales and supply support specialist for IKEA at its College Park, Md., location.

Yocum is single and lives in Columbia Heights. He enjoys music, kickball and exploring new bars and restaurants in his free time.


How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

I came out my first year in college. The toughest person to tell was my best friend from high school. I kept so much of my personality guarded, so when I wanted to share that part of my life, even with someone close to me, it was like reintroducing myself.


Who’s your LGBT hero?

Teresa Butz. As she and her partner were repeatedly raped and stabbed, Teresa sacrificed her life fighting off the attacker to give her partner a chance to escape. While opponents of equal rights continue to question the legitimacy of LGBT relationships, Teresa is an undeniable example of the love that can exist between two people, whatever their sexual orientation.


What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? 

MOVA. The bar is beautiful and the bartenders are friendly. The location is also convenient, and the rooftop is amazing in the summer.


Describe your dream wedding.

I’ve always dreamed of a big, traditional wedding mixed with some fun, quirky elements.  It will be one of the most important days of my life, so I want to be able to share it with my family and friends.


What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

Animal rights is an issue close to my heart. We all have a responsibility to advocate for animals. They can’t speak for themselves, so when we see injustices against them, it’s up to us to raise our voices.


What historical outcome would you change?

The 2000 presidential election. In addition to undermining the electoral system, it put us on a path that turned away from progress and reconciliation.


What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

Probably the Janet Jackson nip slip. I was at a Super Bowl party with my church youth group when it happened, which, of course, resulted in immediate chaos, making it even more laughable for me. “Wardrobe malfunction” jokes were totally in vogue for months after.


On what do you insist?

Punctuality. It’s such an easy way to show respect to others.


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

An Instagram of the National Cathedral in the snow.


If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“Wall Cats, Temper Tantrums and Other Short Stories”


If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

The world is only as interesting as the people living in it. I definitely wouldn’t want to live in a less diverse world, so I would encourage everyone to embrace what makes them unique, and to share that with those around them.


What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

I believe we’re all connected on some level. Every action, whether positive or negative, has consequences, so it’s important that we think about how our actions might affect someone else.


What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

I think it’s important to highlight the unique accomplishments and social contributions of LGBT people. It’s also vital that members of the LGBT community live lives that exemplify the values we wish to see in the world.


What would you walk across hot coals for?

Really good sushi. I was only recently turned on to sushi and now I can’t get enough of it.


What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

When straight friends think that their gay friends should date, just because they’re gay. “Oh you’re gay? I have a gay friend, I’ll have to set you up!”

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.” My grandmother let me watch it on Pay-per-View when my parents weren’t home. I don’t think she cared for it, but I thought it was great. It still makes me laugh and the ending gets me every time.


What’s the most overrated social custom?

Asking “How are you?” We say it out of ritual, just to be polite, but we rarely stop to listen to the answer.


What trophy or prize do you most covet?

The TED Prize (Technology, Entertainment, Design). It’s a grant awarded to an extraordinary thinker to help them inspire others to change the world. It would be an incredible opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the world.


What do you wish you’d known at 18?

I know it’s a cheesy cliché, but I wish I had truly understood that “fitting in” is really about being comfortable in your own skin.


Why Washington?

If you’ve never gone to the National Mall for the Fourth of July, do it. Every summer, relaxing between the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument with thousands of other Washingtonians to enjoy the fireworks, I’m reminded how awesome this city is.


Calendar through April 11

Diana Damrau, opera, music, gay news, Washington Blade

Opera singer Diana Damrau performs at the Kennedy Center on Monday night. (Photo by Eric Richmond)

Friday, April 5

Bowen McCauley Dance returns to the Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW) tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The group, known for its commitment to live music and collaboration, presents some newly commissioned works along with some older ones, including “Before the Fall,” “Fire and Air,” “Tableau de Province” and a tribute to the centennial of Stravinsky’s work, “Le Sacre du Printemps.” Tickets are $36-$40. For more information, visit

NoVa Gay and Lesbian Professionals host a spring social at the Pinzimini restaurant in the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel (801 N. Glebe Road) this evening at 6 p.m. There is no cover charge. For more information, visit

Phase 1(1415 22nd Street, NW) hosts the Isis Deverreoux Drag King Race tonight at midnight. Cover is $5. Visit for more details.

MOVA Lounge (2204 14th St., NW) holds its “Catalyst” party with DJs TWiN and Kostas. Cover is $12 at the door. For details, visit

Saturday, April 6

Burgundy Crescent members volunteer this morning at Food and Friends (219 Riggs Road, NE) at 8 a.m. Volunteers will help with food preparation and packing groceries. The shifts are limited to 10 per shift. They’ll also be at the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation at Falls Church PetSmart (6100 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, Va.) starting at 11:45 a.m. For more information, visit

Equality Virginia holds its Commonwealth Dinner at the Greater Richmond Convention Center (403 N. Third St., Richmond) this evening at 5 p.m. The night will include a silent auction and an after dinner dance. Attendees must register for the event. For more information, visit

Blowoff, a gay dance party featuring indie rocker Bob Mould and DJ Richard Morel, takes place tonight at the 9:30 Club (815 V St., NW) at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. Visit for more details.

Bob Mould discusses the origins of Blowoff:

Code DC hosts a Cherry edition gear party tonight at 9 p.m. at the Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, NW). For more information, visit

Sunday, April 7

Victory Fund’s annual National Champagne Brunch takes place today at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Ave., NW) at 11 a.m. The organization works to elect LGBT leaders to help change America’s politics. Individual tickets range from $150-$200. Visit for more information.

Monday, April 8

The 29th Helen Hayes Awards takes place this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Warner Theatre (513 13th St., NW). The award celebrates the achievements of about 80 professional theaters throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Local gay theater professionals are always a big part of the event. Tickets are $400-$2,000. For more information, visit

Opera star Diana Damrau performs for the Washington National Opera Celebrity Opera Series tonight at 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., NW). Damrau will be accompanied by French harpist Xavier de Maistre. Tickets are $40-$180. For details, visit

Diana Damrau:

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., NW) holds coffee drop-in for the senior LGBT community today at 10 a.m.-noon. The Center will provide complimentary coffee and a community to chat with. For more information, visit

Bears do Yoga takes place this evening 6:30 p.m. as part of a series at the Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, NW). This is part of a basic yoga series that takes place every Monday and is open to people of varying body types and experience. There is no charge. For more information, visit

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its HIV+ Newly Diagnosed Support Group tonight at 7. It is a confidential support group for anyone recently diagnosed with HIV and the group welcomes all genders and sexual orientations. Registration is required and attendees must call 202-797-3580 or email For details, visit

Tuesday, April 9

Fleetwood Mac performs at the Verizon Center (601 F St., NW) as part of its 2013 tour tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $60-$160. Visit for details.


The 2013 Youth Working Group Reception takes place at MOVA Lounge (22014 14th St., NW) this evening at 5 p.m. The reception provides attendees with the opportunity to meet youth working group members and learn how they work to support the LGBT youth in the area. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit

D.C. Bi Women meets tonight at 7 at Dupont Italian Kitchen (1637 17th St., NW) in the upstairs room. For details, visit

Whitman-Walker (1701 14th St., NW) holds its group Starting Over for Women tonight at 7. The group is for women whose long-term relationship with another woman. Registration is required and attendees must call 202-797-3580 or email For more information, visit

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) hosts its Safer Sex Kit-packing program tonight from 7-10:30. The packing program is looking for more volunteers to help produce the kits because they say they are barely keeping up with demand. Admission is free and volunteers can just show up. For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 10

The Big Gay Book Group meets tonight at 7 p.m. at 1155 F St., NW to discuss “Angels in America: Part II Perestroika” by Tony Kushner. For more information, visit

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its HIV+ Newly Diagnosed Support Group tonight at 7. It’s a confidential support group for anyone recently diagnosed with HIV and the group welcomes all genders and sexual orientations. Registration is required and attendees must call 202-797-3580 or email For details, visit

Thursday, April 11

Burgundy Crescent volunteers with this evening with Food and Friends (219 Riggs Road, NE) at 6 p.m. Volunteers will help with food preparation and packing groceries. For more information, visit

The Lambda Bridge Club meets at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., SE) tonight at 7:30 p.m. No reservations are needed ad newcomers are welcome. For details, visit

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its gay men over 50 support group this evening at 6:30 p.m. The group is for gay men entering a new phase of life. Registration is required to attend. Registration is required and attendees must call 202-797-3580 or email For more information, visit


D.C. Center to launch immigrant asylum program

Mova, gay news, Washington Blade, LGBT nightlife

Mova (Washington Blade file photo by Pete Exis)

The D.C. LGBT Community Center held a fundraiser Jan. 8 at MOVA to launch a new program to assist LGBT foreign nationals who apply for U.S. political asylum to escape persecution in their home countries.

The program, called Center Global, is aimed at providing temporary housing, financial assistance and referrals to service providers for LGBT foreigners in the D.C. area who are going through the complicated process of applying for and awaiting approval for political asylum, according to Center director David Mariner and Center Global coordinator Matthew Corso.

The two noted that legal groups have long provided pro bono legal representation for people going through this process, some of whom have fled their home countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Jamaica after encountering violent assaults and death threats due to their sexual orientation.

But those going through the legal process are banned from working in the U.S. until their asylum application is approved, making it difficult for them to pay for housing, food and other basic necessities, Mariner and Corso said.

“Basically, what we’re trying to do is raise the funds to help support the folks who are here going through this process,” said Corso. “We also want to raise awareness within the D.C. LGBT community of the plight of LGBT people being persecuted in other countries around the world.”