Jeff Marootian came to Washington in 1997 to attend college at George Washington. He wasn’t necessarily sure he’d stay but he did, first to get his master’s degree in public administration, then to accept a job with D.C. Metro Police where he worked as a legislative liaison, then manager of community partnerships.
Since 2008 he’s been in the District Department of Transportation.
“I don’t necessarily consider myself a political junkie, but I really like public policy and all the dimensions of the discourse around policy,” he says.
The 32-year-old Wayne, N.J., native is also on the board of Out For Work, a group that helps LGBT college students make the jump from college to the work force.
He lives on U Street and enjoys traveling, running, cooking, racquetball and working out in his free time. He can often be found at the 9:30 club or the Black Cat listening to live music, which he says is one of his favorite ways to relax. (Blade photos by Michael Key)
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
My sister told me I was gay when I was 16. The rest just happened.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
What is Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I love the Rock & Roll Hotel.
Describe your dream wedding.
Good wine, good friends and good cake.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Reforming the criminal justice system.
What historical outcome would you change?
I am still bummed about the cancellation of the “United States of Tara.”
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
I had a really amazing opportunity to be an extra in the film “Milk” (you can see me for about .004 seconds). It was a real privilege to be there to meet Cleve Jones and several of the other people who were a part of Harvey Milk’s inner circle.
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A picture of my car covered in glitter from my trip to Provincetown for Carnival.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
Can I just skip to the movie? Maybe written/directed by Judd Apatow?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I know that I don’t know, and I am OK with that.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
I take what I do very seriously, but I try not to take myself so seriously. That’s the best advice I can offer anyone who is passionate about making a difference and trying to maintain sanity in the process.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
I lost a very good friend not too long ago and would pretty much walk across anything to get her back.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Well, I don’t listen to Lady Gaga and I eat a ton of carbs.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
I love the “Broken Hearts Club” on the more light-hearted side. On the curl-into-a-ball-and-cry side, I love “Freeheld,” which is about my home state.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
There are too many underrated social customs. I am still partial to a phone call for someone’s birthday.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
A Tony Award. I love the theater, though I can’t imagine ever being in a position to win one.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That my dad was right about pretty much everything.