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Beyer falls short in bid for legislature

7 gay, lesbian candidates advance in Md. races

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CHEVY CHASE, Md. — The scene at Dana Beyer’s Chevy Chase, Md., home is somber. With all but seven of the 35 precincts having reported their votes, it’s clear the transgender eye surgeon-turned-political hopeful has not garnered enough votes to secure one of the three state General Assembly seats for her home turf of District 18.

Beyer was pragmatic during a brief concession speech in her living room to a houseful of canvass workers, family, friends and supporters.

“I think you all did a great job,” Beyer said. “This doesn’t reflect on you and it doesn’t reflect on me. The people we ID’ed just didn’t vote. It was the difference between the IDs and the votes. They said they were voting for us and they just didn’t. So that’s it. We just have to live with that. And as they say, people get the elected officials they deserve.”

Beyer was running against incumbents Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Jeff Waldstreicher in this race, the Democratic primary. According to unofficial numbers, Beyer trailed all three incumbents but was ahead of the other two challengers. With all precincts accounted for, Gutierrez led with 7,397 votes, Waldstreicher was in second with 6,946 and Carr in third with 6,349 (24.17, 22.69 and 20.74 percent of the vote respectively). Beyer had 5,064 votes or 16.55 percent. Vanessa Atterbeary had 3,982 (13.01 percent) while Michael Heney trailed with just 868 votes (2.84 percent).

After her speech, Beyer admitted the loss was a tough blow.

“It’s very disappointing,” she said. “I don’t know why it happened. As I’ve said before, I knocked on over 10,000 doors, my team knocked on 18,000 doors. We made 10,000 phone calls. Over 5,300 committed to vote for me but it hasn’t happened. Why it hasn’t happened, I don’t know.”

The winners are expected to coast to an easy victory in the November general election as the district, which includes Chevy Chase, Kensington and Wheaton, is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Beyer ran on a platform of health care reform, fair taxes for the middle class and civil rights. Hot-button issues in her district include Metro’s controversial Purple Line, Pepco response to storm-induced power outages and speed cameras.

What were the topics on people’s minds during her door-to-door visits?

“It depended when it was,” Beyer said. “When we started early on, it was the budget crisis. That was the No. 1 issue. So we talked about taxes and spending. I would have preferred to speak about health care because that’s my personal interest as a physician, but that was not the hot topic. We talked about transportation, mass transit, the Purple Line, and such.”

Had she won, Beyer would have been in a solid position to make history as the first transgender person to be elected to a state legislature. Beyer also ran unsuccessfully in 2006.

She says she doesn’t think being trans was a factor this time.

“The media didn’t bring it up other than the gay media,” she said. “It was never raised in my interviews with the Post or the Gazette. With all the other media, people didn’t seem to think it was relevant. And no voter has ever, back in 2006 or this year, ever brought up the issue. And one could say, ‘Oh well they’re just being very polite,’ but it’s hard to believe that the 15,000 doors I knocked on were all just very polite people. Or that they were truly homophobic but they were just being nice to me. I don’t believe that. I think they really didn’t care.”

Elsewhere in Maryland, seven openly gay and lesbian candidates won their races. Incumbent Dels. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20), Maggie McIntosh  (D-Dist. 43) and Anne Kaiser (D-Dist. 14) advanced to the general election, along with newcomers Mary Washington (D-Dist. 43), Luke Clippinger (D-Dist. 46) and Bonnie Cullison (D-Dist. 19). Gay Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Dist. 18) also won his race. With those victories, Maryland is poised to join just a handful of states served by seven openly gay and lesbian state legislators, according to a statement from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

During informal conversations at Beyer’s house while waiting for poll numbers to come in, canvassers said Beyer’s trans status was a rare, though occasional, issue when they went door to door.

“One [person] said he wasn’t voting for her because of her lifestyle choices,” said one canvasser who wasn’t authorized to speak to the press. “But I don’t think most people even knew. I had one older person say, ‘Well you know she used to be a he,’ but I really think people like that, people of that generation, are becoming extinct. People like us, under 30, we just don’t care.”

With some liberal voters, it appeared to be an advantage.

“It did come up once, I can’t remember how,” another person on Beyer’s campaign said. “They were like, ‘Holy shit, that’s progressive. I’m gonna put her picture on my refrigerator.’”

Beyer said she has no immediate plans other than sleeping in and then going on a vacation, her first, she says, in “many, many years.”

“I’m proud of the job I did, so we’ll see,” she said. “I’ve reinvented myself enough times that when I went into this, of course I didn’t know what would happen, but I intended to win. I worked very hard to win but at the end of the day, I knew it wasn’t about the end result. I’d given it my best and I’m proud of that and I’ll move on.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steve

    September 16, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I know Dana since she first came to Equality Maryland, I think she is a board member also.

    And to the haters out there, so called christians so busily punching heir own ticket to hell, my commnent is……………

    About 5 years ago in my health club locker room, there was someone I recognized. Took a few minutes to remember who he was. He testified at a hearing “growing up as a girl…………………..”

    And did I care one bit if he saw me in my birthday suit. Why should I.

    Its only the ultra-narrow minded bigots, who in the past believed the earth was flat, and it was created in 6 days etc, who just can’t stand the idea that something might be different.

    What is fundalmentally wrong with fundamentalists is they are victims of their own churches lies and hatreds and ignorance.

    Reminds me of the jerk who worked with me at now deceased circuit city.

    He one day said to me in the company of a whole bunch of the kids there – “you people don’t believe in the bible” To which I responded “thats right Bennyboy”

    The place just burst out with laughter.

    So this bigot – I was the very openly supoortive person there re gay rights etc – he went to best buy (worst buy now), and god fired, details unknow.

    And how did he go to best buy. He was a Bush freak. So I got the vanity license plate “IMPEACH”.

    He couldn’t stand it, stopped comming itn etc, late etc.

    What his chruch did to him was basically build up all kinds of fears if he didn’t do as he was told.. Turned him into a robot etc.

    Which btw, included the rumoor that he never “wasted his seed”. For which one of hte other kids said to me “steve – we ‘ve got a pervert in the making…………..

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2021 Best of LGBTQ DC Readers’ Choice Award Finalist Voting

Vote for your favorite finalist in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd.

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It is Decision 2021! You nominated and now we have our Top 5 finalists. Vote for your favorites in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd. Our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC will be announced at the Best of LGBTQ DC Awards Party on October 21st and our special issue will come out on Friday, October 22nd.

Thank you to our sponsors: ABSOLUT, PEPCO, Washington Regional Transplant Community.

Vote below or by clicking HERE.

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Veteran restauranteurs to open Drift in Rehoboth

Second Block Hospitality eyes 2022 debut for new raw bar

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Double L, Diego's Hideaway, Fourth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade
A new raw bar is coming to Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Despite the generally anti-business positions of the current Rehoboth Beach Mayor and some members of the Rehoboth Beach Commission, there are still some entrepreneurs who have faith in Rehoboth Beach.

One such group is the newly announced Second Block Hospitality Group, which brings together local industry leaders Lion Gardner, Tyler Townsend, Bob Suppies, and David Gonce.

According to the partners, “The mission of Second Block Hospitality is simple…to deliver exceptional hospitality. Second Block projects will be designed to become places that matter; that bring the community together. They aim to create unique spaces that foster positivity, a creative atmosphere, and memorable experiences. Driven by this philosophy we are thoughtful in everything we do, down to the smallest detail. In all our endeavors we are committed to crafting unique guest experiences through innovative design, authentic flavors, and warm hospitality.”

Their first new venture, Drift, will be a raw bar and dining room on Baltimore Avenue. The new project, already underway, is a massive restoration designed to transform the existing building, originally built in 1890 and used as a camp meeting house, into a modern structure with historic charm. Drift restaurant will feature a refined design, open airy spaces and lots of glass for open vantage points with an indoor/outdoor bar area and intimate back patio that will add to the allure of Baltimore Avenue.

“We could not be more excited to be breaking ground on another passion project,” said Suppies. “Coming through the last year brought many new challenges to our industry, but we were able to get very creative and grow as a company, so this new venture is very exciting for us.”

Another of the partners, Gardner, brings his skill set as a longtime chef to the new venture.

“One of my roles in the company will be to oversee the menu and kitchen at Drift and all of our projects moving forward,” Gardner said. “The great thing about our ownership group is that even though each partner has his own area of expertise, there is collaboration across the board; we are all involved in all aspects of the business. I am excited to learn and contribute in other areas as well, and luckily for me I’m working with a group of really talented, experienced and passionate guys.”

Drift is slated to open sometime in early 2022, and things are in full swing for the new restaurant owners, including menu planning. Townsend said, “Drift will be a true raw bar focusing on the art of raw seafood and not just oysters, along with traditionally prepared dishes influenced by the sea. From a beverage standpoint we will feature craft cocktails and eccentric wine and beer offerings. Think small and intimate, rustic and classic, yet casual with a focus on culinary inventiveness and creative spaces.” and good times. For more information visit driftrb.com.

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McAuliffe participates in Virginia Pride roundtable

Gubernatorial candidate highlighted plans to keep Va. ‘open and welcoming’

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Terry McAuliffe, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Lee Whitman)

Terry McAuliffe on Monday met with Virginia Pride in Richmond to discuss his plans to keep the state “open and welcoming” for the LGBTQ community.

“Great opportunity to speak with @VA_Pride in Richmond this AM,” McAuliffe tweeted following the roundtable that took place at Diversity Richmond’s headquarters. “VA is the #1 state for business because we are open and welcoming — but that’s all at risk this November. Glenn Youngkin’s far-right social agenda would harm LGBTQ+ Virginians and send our economy into a ditch.”

McAuliffe and Youngkin are running a close race for the governorship, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released Saturday that shows the former Virginia governor leading by a 50-47 percent margin among likely voters.

The Human Rights Campaign endorsed McAuliffe, who was governor from 2014-2018, for his record of supporting LGBTQ rights, including supporting marriage equality and signing an executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ state employees as his first action in office. 

“LGBTQ leaders in Richmond had a great meeting with Gov. McAuliffe where he was able to lay out his agenda for building on the tremendous progress Virginia has made towards equality,” said Virginia Pride Program Director James Millner in an email to the Washington Blade. “The governor talked extensively about his record on LGBTQ issues and promised to work with us to ensure that every LGBTQ Virginian is able to live openly and authentically.”

McAuliffe’s legacy includes welcoming businesses turned off by North Carolina’s passage of its anti-transgender “bathroom bill.” 

When North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law requiring students to use public restrooms and locker rooms aligned with the gender on their birth certificates, took effect in 2016, McAullife recruited CoStar, a real estate information company that operates databases for Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com and similar companies, to move its headquarters to Richmond. This recruitment brought 730 jobs to the state.

David Dorsch, a senior vice president at Cushman and Wakefield, which represented CoStar nationally, told the Charlotte Business Journal that CoStar’s primary reason for choosing “Richmond over Charlotte was HB 2.”

Youngkin is a former business executive who previously ran the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm named by the HRC in 2019 as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” in its annual Corporate Equality Index. HRC, however, has called out Youngkin for “anti-LGBTQ and transphobic language” during his current campaign.

McAuliffe in April released an LGBTQ rights platform that includes a call to repeal the so-called “conscience clause,” which allows religious-based adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Governor Ralph Northam, who was McAuliffe’s former lieutenant governor and has signed historic LGBTQ-inclusive legislation during his time in office, also endorsed McAuliffe for governor.

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