January 23, 2013 at 11:58 am EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Queery: Jeff Prior
Jeff Prior, Queery, CTRL, gay news, Washington Blade

Jeff Prior (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

CTRL, pronounced “control,” was born out of a St. Patrick’s Day party held last year.

Jeff Prior and Adam Koussari-Amin started it, eventually teamed up with Pocket Gays’ Devon Trotter and Brett Andriesen and soon found they’d outgrown their spot at Dahlak at 18th and U where they’ve been the last nine months.

“It was just kind of an idea between three or four drunken friends at a bar,” Prior says. “We had so much fun doing it, we said we should do this regularly and took that inspiration and made it into something we could brand a little more and identify it as something different than just the regular Saturday night thing at Town or Cobalt.”

CTRL will launch at its new home Saturday night at Cobalt where the four DJs will take over both floors in rotating sets. It’s set to rotate with Rumba, Just Circuit and Bare and will be the last Saturday of the month. Its organizers say to expect “surprises, photo booths, big live performances and … the best in new indie dance, electropop and mash-ups.”

It runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Cobalt (17th and R, N.W.). Cover is $5. Look for the group on Facebook under “CTRLDC.”

Prior, a 31-year-old Jupiter, Fla., native, came to Washington in 2005 to finish an undergraduate degree at George Washington University following a few years working as a paramedic in Florida. By day, he works in human resources at the AFL-CIO and while he enjoys the stability of his day job, he says DJing gives him an outlet for music.

“I like what I do and feel lucky I work for an organization I can believe in and do work that actually makes me feel good, but it’s a totally stark night-and-day difference from what I do when I’m DJing,” he says. “You really can’t compare the feeling of seeing a hundred people dancing in front of you to the music you’re playing to sitting at a desk from 9 to 5.”

Prior spins on average two weekends per month. He’s single, lives in Adams Morgan and enjoys music, concerts, traveling and planning parties in his free time.


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

I’ve been out since I was 18 — not long after high school. The hardest person to tell was definitely the first person I told, who was a longtime friend of mine. I was secretly seeing someone we went to high school with and he ended up telling her about it shortly after, so she confronted me. I knew I couldn’t really lie about it anymore, so it was that moment when you take the plunge and realize everything you know might change.  After that it became less difficult to talk about.


Who’s your LGBT hero?

That’s a tough one.  I’d have to say at the end of the day in terms of LGBT people doing heroic work, it’s the folks who volunteer to knock on doors and have one-on-one conversations with people and families about equal rights.


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

9:30 club. So many great shows and memories.


Describe your dream wedding.

Something low key with a great soundtrack.


What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

By day I work for a group affiliated with the labor movement, so workers’ rights, health care and making sure we have a strong middle class are important issues for me.


What historical outcome would you change?

I’d like to go back in time Terminator-style to take out whomever decided to green light that Mariah Carey movie.


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

Seeing Radiohead up close in concert in the pouring rain. It was magical.


On what do you insist?

I insist that the next president be sworn in on Beyoncé’s Bible. Just sayin’. It makes sense.


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

Something about cats. That tells you pretty much all you need to know about me.


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

I’ve joked with some friends that we should write a book and just call it “50 Shades.” That sounds about right.


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

Who wants to come out of the closet twice? Ain’t nobody got time for that.


What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

Not a whole lot. Figuring out the physical world is stressful enough for me.


What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

To the elected leaders, please stay out of trouble.


What would you walk across hot coals for?

It depends on the moment. Sometimes after a night out it seems like I would walk across hot coals for a cheese steak. I’ve probably done a lot worse for a lot less.


What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

These days some of the worst stereotypes are the ones used within the gay community. We’re all guilty of it at times.


What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“Paris Is Burning.” OPULENCE.


What’s the most overrated social custom?

A holiday weekend in Rehoboth Beach. Overrated, overpriced, over it.


What trophy or prize do you most covet?

I don’t really have any special talents that one might win a prize for, so I’m just gonna keep it real and say Powerball.


What do you wish you’d known at 18?

A faster way to get out of Florida!


Why Washington?

I originally came to D.C. for school. I really fell in love with the city not long after moving here and even though I like to travel and visit new places, I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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