Managing and bartending in various restaurants and bars has been conducive to Justin Croft’s bouncing around.
The 32-year-old New London, Pa. (near Philly) native went to college here at George Washington, moved to Los Angeles, returned here, went back to L.A., returned briefly to Philadelphia, then ended up here — at least for now — in May 2010.
He’d known the MOVA owner, Babak Movahedi, since Croft was in college and started bartending there shortly before MOVA moved from P Street (where Nine is now) to its current location at 2204 14th Street, N.W. (movalounge.com).
“I don’t know, it was kind of wanderlust — it was just my 20s, that’s mostly what I tell people,” Croft says. “I kind of moved back here for someone. … I just kind of went with the flow.”
So Los Angeles gay guys versus D.C.’s?
“Everybody says L.A. is pretentious but I think there are pretentious groups in every city,” he says. “I actually think L.A. guys might be a little more inviting at first. They’re more willing to get to know someone they don’t know there I think.”
MOVA has a New Year’s Eve party called “Countdown With the Divas” event planned with DJ Jason. There’s a $5 cover that will go to the D.C. Center. A pair of Lady Gaga tickets will be given away. Guests who RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org get VIP entry and open bar from midnight to 1 a.m.
Croft says things are going well for the business though it has had a significant transition from its former location. Once some of the big construction projects near it wrap — which should be soon — he expects business to take off.
Croft is single and lives in Washington. He enjoys working out, music, movies and trying new restaurants with friends in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Since I was 20, 12 years now. It was pretty easy. My family is very liberal. Looking back, coming to terms with myself was the most challenging.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, the creators of the NOH8 campaign. They have done an amazing job at bringing together both straights and gays in a very creative way to foster acceptance
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Halo, which is now MOVA.
Describe your dream wedding.
Never really dreamed about it.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
The environment — I am a bit of a tree-hugger at heart.
What historical outcome would you change?
Bush winning Florida in 2000.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Being in Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” video back when I lived in L.A.
On what do you insist?
Clean hygiene. BO is not a welcome scent; deodorant goes a long way.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
Something about MOVA.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Now” because life is really all about living in the present.
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Pass on it. I am proud to be gay.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Karma and life after death.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Keep up the great work.
Who would you walk across hot coals for?
Those whom I care most about.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
The ignorant assumption that all gay men are/must be feminine and lesbians are hyper-masculine.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Broken Hearts Club”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
My swimming trophy. When I was 6, I swam in a competition but did not win. I was devastated and so my father went out and got me a trophy.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
How much better life is when you’re honest with yourself and others about who you are.
Washington is a great city — worldly, dynamic and just a few hours from my family.