January 5, 2012 at 8:53 am EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Queery: Nick Lopata

Nick Lopata (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Nick Lopata has several DJs he likes to hear spin when he’s in different cities. He’s bringing them together next weekend for a new party in Washington.

“Luther” (it’s on MLK weekend) is set for Jan. 15 at the U Street Music Hall (1115 U St.) from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $12 at the door until 9 ($15 thereafter). Gay DJs Mark Louque (Provincetown), Pee Play (San Francisco), Ryan Smith (New York) and Bil Todd (D.C.) will alternate sets. Go to ticketfly.com or look for the event on Facebook for more information.

Lopata, who’s a VJ at Blowoff each month, says he wanted something different with this event.

“I envision sort of like a business guy with a little bit of a dark club side,” he says. “The music will be very progressive house/club-type music and each DJ has his own style. Overall I would say it’s sort of sexy and groovy and will just make you want to dance and enjoy yourself.”

Though not an official Mid-Atlantic Leather event (it’s the same night as MAL’s “Reaction Dance” at the 9:30 club), it’s early enough that people can attend both.

“They let us put our advertising in their packets and they’ve been nothing but helpful,” he says of MAL organizers. “We’re not connected to them but they’ve been very helpful and very friendly. It’s a great group of guys.”

Right now only one installment is planned but if it’s successful, more such events could happen in the future.

Lopata, 48, hails from nearby Ellicott City, Md. He spent about 10 years in Baltimore and has been in D.C. for about 10 (he lives in Takoma Park). He’s a promoter, indie record label partner, VJ and Realtor.

“I’ve always dabbled in several things at once,” he says. For years he was in hospitality but has always had a hand in music. For a time he sang in a band.

Lopata is single though a relationship is what initially drew him to Washington. He enjoys traveling, sightseeing and biking in his free time. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

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

About 18 years, I was 30. My girlfriend at the time was the hardest person to tell. My parents and a few friends were tough, but I loved her very much and knew that this was going to hurt her. It was also extremely scary.

Who’s your LGBT hero?

Frank Kameny. In 1957 this guy gets fired from the United States government for being a homosexual. He fights back. In 1961, his is the first civil rights case on sexual orientation argued in front of the Supreme Court. Kameny formed one of the first groups to fight for gay rights and launched some of the earliest public protesting of the gay movement. He was out, vocal and loud in the early ‘60s when there is no support structure for homosexuals. Man, I wish I had balls half his size.

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

9:30 club. Over the years I saw amazing shows at both the old and new locations.   U Street Music Hall because it gets amazing DJs and is probably the best sounding room in town.

Describe your dream wedding.

Simple service with friends and family.

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

It’s gonna sound strange, but none. There are issues that I care about and still donate to, but as I have gotten older I have realized that the issues that matter most are those that hit closest to home. That I should be able to marry whom I like and that I should have the same rights and protections as anyone else.

What historical outcome would you change?

Monica Lewinsky and how Bill’s stain on the blue dress paved the way for Bush in 2000.

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

Barack Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. Wow. Mentioning gay people in a positive sense after all the gay baiting of the past administration. And when he was elected president. I was so proud to be an American. We aren’t perfect in this country but we really do try to live up to something better.

On what do you insist?

Good service

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

“Add attending the Luther party to your New Years Resolutions!”

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

“Too Much Stuff”

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

Nothing. My sexual orientation is an important part of forming me into the man I am today.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world?

I am spiritual but not religious.

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Keep a wide focus and include issues that are important to gay and lesbian people

living in small towns.

What would you walk across hot coals for?

Can I keep my shoes on?

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

That gay men are more often equated with heterosexual women. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Men are men. We have much more in common with straight guys than straight guys would like to admit.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“Broken Heart’s Club”

What’s the most overrated social custom?

Not sure if this falls under social custom, but text messaging. I miss the phone call. You get more done in one call than 10 texts and you really connect to the other person. Inflection and tone tell you so much.

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

None at the moment.

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

I wish I had known I had a lot of time to make mistakes and I had  taken more chances.

Why Washington?

I moved here to be with my ex and I love it. It is a beautiful city. And getting better every year. There is also a large gay population.


Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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