The story of Dito Sevilla coming out to his father — as he tells it — is like hearing a rapid-fire stand-up comedy routine. It would be impossible to duplicate in print but its core components — a decree from his mother that he tell his father within days and a horoscope that led to confession-via-fax — give Sevilla a lot of fodder with which to play.
Shifting voices and accents — his family is Nicaraguan — and bringing into play several relatives, his description is a tour de force. It incorporates much of the charm and personality Sevilla undoubtedly uses at Floriana, where he’s been bar manager since 2004, a gig he stumbled into. He was working on his aunt and uncle’s web business at the time when the spot opened and the owners, who knew him as a regular, twisted his arm to join their staff. He’d just closed an antique store in Kensington, Md., and was ready for something new.
The 32-year-old has spent most of his life in the D.C. area. He was born near Georgetown and has also lived in Forest Hills and Potomac, Md. He went to college in Delaware and spent four summers with his family in Argentina, but considers D.C. home. He’s been on 17th Street for seven years. Sevilla, who’s single, enjoys reading, especially history and biographies. He also likes collecting memorabilia and antiques. His apartment walls are covered and he’s an eBay junkie. “I love things that connect me to the past or to history or things that remind me of people I love or wish I could have known,” he says.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out on October 20, 2000. After coming out to my mother, the hardest person to tell was my father. I sent him a fax. Needless to say, it was not my shining moment.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, and now the poor guy is buried on Rockville Pike. You just can’t win.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Nothing compares to the clandestine elegance of Mark Lee’s original Sunday night Lizard Lounge. A welcoming and totally unexpected oasis of style. VIP glamour on what then was a much different 14th Street. I made some great friends there. Then again, ‘01, ‘02, ’03 … those were some great years for D.C.’s nightlife. Who can forget Chaos’s Tuesday night drag bingo or the triumvirate of debauchery that was Southeast then? Great times.
Describe your dream wedding.
My dream is that as a community we would learn from our straight forefathers’ track record and focus less on the wedding and more on the marriage. That aside, two grooms in white tie, escorting their mothers up an aisle flanked on both sides by family and friends, gathering at an altar to commit their lives to each other does seem pretty dreamy.
What non-gay issue are you most passionate about?
The fight to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
What historical outcome would you change?
The election of our 39th president.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
It involved an Oval Office, a cigar, a nice Jewish girl and one very soiled blue dress.
On what do you insist?
Authenticity, loyalty and freshly cut, seedless Persian limes. I am repulsed by liars, traitors and old fruit.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“Egypt still has better internet than Comcast customers.”
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Russian science already has. They call it vodka. Serve it chilled. The results are mixed and short lived, but very effective.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Get it together. Literally, unite. Stop trampling over each other’s messages and form one diverse but clear resounding voice, and use it. Loudly.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Family, friends, Gnocchi (my dog, not the pasta) and David Rak. As they would for me.
What gay stereotype annoys you most?
That which portrays gays as weak not only annoys me, but more importantly insults the men and women serving in our armed forces. Gay means many things, but weakness is not among them.
What’s your favorite gay movie?
“Auntie Mame.” I have been blessed with a life overflowing with beautiful, powerful and inspiring women. “Mame” resembles them all in different ways.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Without good manners and traditions we’d be barbarians. The world as we know it today is held together with duct tape and thank-you notes. Though we could do away with the exchanging of heart-shaped crap on Valentine’s Day.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
It is an honor just to be nominated.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
Gravy is not a beverage.
Interns, motorcades, proximity to power, a 555-foot obelisk — because there’s no place like home.