Dave Liedman grew up in Chesapeake, Va., and had an internship in Fairfax during his years at University of Virginia.
“I made some good friends here, so I was excited to get a job in the D.C. area when I graduated,” the 37-year-old Logan resident says. “I love that D.C. has all the makings of a big city with a small-town feel. And it’s beautiful.”
He’s the owner and co-founder of City Dogs Rescue (1832 18th St., N.W.) in Adams Morgan, a no-kill shelter for dogs that finds them homes. City Dogs also offers day care, boarding, grooming and training classes. Details at city-dogs.com.
Liedman lives with his partner, Darren Binder on Swann Street. Liedman enjoys following news, movies and “watching random silly videos on YouTube” in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I started coming out to close friends in 2001 after graduating from college. I also started making a lot of gay friends at bars, clubs and online. Once I got on Facebook, I didn’t hide anything. Eventually, I started friending childhood friends on Facebook and just let them figure it out and nobody ever had a problem with it. It was hardest to come out to my parents, who are evangelical Christians and politically conservative. They said they “loved the sinner, not the sin” and didn’t want to meet my partner, Darren. Only recently did I push the issue and tell them that it was time we started acting as a family and that they should finally meet Darren if they felt the same way. Previous to that, we had grown apart due to their non-acceptance. It’s still evolving, but it does get better as time progresses.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
I absolutely love Rachel Maddow! She’s so smart, has great insight into politics and is just fun to watch.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I miss Nation. Its unpretentious atmosphere and fun dance music seemed to break down the walls we put up.
Describe your dream wedding.
Getting married to Darren in a beautiful destination in the country with family and friends old and new.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Saving pets from being killed in shelters due to lack of space.
What historical outcome would you change?
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln. We were just starting the Reconstruction after the Civil War and I can’t imagine how much better this country could have been had he not been killed.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
The election of Barack Obama. I think even George W. Bush was glad to get out of the White House at that point. D.C. erupted with a spontaneous street party on U Street. Our first black president was a huge moment in history.
On what do you insist?
That people live by the Golden Rule. We all deserve to be treated with respect and love.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“Billionaire Trump would run this country like a business … So I guess we would expect to see a lot more of this” — with a picture of Hillary standing in front of an abandoned Trump Plaza building.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“You Can Do It!”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I would take all the die-hard opponents of LGBT equality and change the orientation of them and/or members of their family. I believe the reason that our movement has made huge advances in the last decade is because of all the ordinary people who came out to their friends and family, putting a face and a story on what it means to be LGBT.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I believe that God loves people of all religious views equally.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
We need to branch out and join forces with other minorities and other issues. For example, the tragedy in Orlando brought together gays and Latinos, along with the issues of gun violence and terrorism. We’ve accomplished so much and I believe we can accomplish much more.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
To end the senseless killing of animals in shelters.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
When I first came out, I was happy to see so many guys that weren’t stereotypes. It’s part of why I was scared to come out to myself. I thought I wasn’t like those stereotypes, nor did I want to be. Now, I think that all of our characteristics make us interesting and unique, whether they be stereotypes or not.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
I love “To Wong Foo.” I think it’s hysterical.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
When you’re single, I think that New Year’s Eve is the worst.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I covet love and success in my life, in whatever form it may come.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
Not to be scared about coming out.
It’s a beautiful city, with many of the people that I love, with lots to do and lots of opportunities.