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Calendar: May 6

Parties, meetings, plays and more through May 12

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'Trees at Lock 24' by Harvey Kupferberg is part of the photography exhibit, 'Infrared: The Invisible Light' at Touchstone Gallery. An opening reception is schedule for tonight.

TODAY (Friday)

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) is hosting an open mic night tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. hosted by Mike Brazell.

RAW, hosted by DJs Bil Todd and Shea Van Horn with special guest DJ Sirlinda, will be at Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Free entry before 11 p.m. with a $5 cover after. There will be an open bar from 10 to 11 p.m. Attendees must be 21 or older.

DJ Tracy Young will be spinning at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m.

Aja Feen is giving same-sex argentine tango lessons at Ballet Teatro Internacional (1643 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) tonight from 8 to 9:30 p.m. with practice time and social dancing from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. For more information, call 202-588-8282.

Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) is hosting an opening reception tonight from 6 to 8:30 p.m. for its newest exhibit “Life Is Too Serious” featuring paintings and drawings by Marcia Coppel and “Infrared: The Invisible Light” featuring photographs by Harvey Kupferberg.

The Lodge (21614 National Pike) in Boonsboro is hosting May Madness featuring drag performers Stephanie Michaels, Nicole James, Sasha Renee, Chi Chi Ray Colby and Araya Sparxx tonight at 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover from 9 to 10:30 p.m. and an $8 cover after. For more information, visit thelodgemd.com.

Saturday, May 7

The Beltway Poetry Slam, The Fridge D.C. (516 8th St., S.E.) and the D.C. Center present two-time world poetry slam champion Buddy Wakefield tonight at 7:30 p.m.

DJ Drew G will be performing at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight with music and video downstairs by Wess. Doors open at 10 p.m. There is an $8 cover before 11 and $12 after. All attendees must be 21 or older.

52 O Street Studios is holding open studios today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be workshops, discussions and performances. This event will continue on Sunday. For more information, visit 52ostreetstudios.org.

Cobalt’s (1639 R St., N.W.) second annual amateur DJ contest starts today at 4 p.m. The club will provide CDJs and turntables for participants to use. To enter, send your name, DJ name, phone number and e-mail to [email protected] For more information, visit cobalt.com.

Code has its monthly installment tonight at Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.). Gear, rubber, skin, uniform or leather dress code will be strictly enforced. Music provided by DJ Frank Wild. Admission is $10. All attendees must be 18 or older. There will be an open bar from 9 to 10 p.m.

The Lodge (21614 National Pike) in Boonsboro is hosting “Villains and Hos: The Slutty Party” tonight from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Prizes, including $40 cash, $20 bar tab and free drinks, will be given for best costume.

Sunday, May 8

Nellie’s (900 U St., N.W.) has its weekly drag brunch hosted by Shi-Queeta Lee today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The brunch buffet is $20, which includes a free mimosa.

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s 54th annual Mother’s Day House and Garden Tours are today from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the tour weekend. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit chrs.org.

Monday, May 9

Professionals in the City and the D.C. Center are hosting a speed dating event for lesbian and bisexual women at Chi-Cha Lounge (1624 U St., N.W.) from 7 to 9 p.m. Attendees will date for about an hour and then be able to mingle with everyone. After the event, matches can be made online. Tickets are $20. For more information, visit prosinthecity.com.

Bears do Yoga at Green Lantern (1335 Green Court N.W.) tonight at 6:30 p.m. Class lasts for an hour and serves as an introduction to yoga for people of all different body types and physical abilities. It’s taught by Michael Brazell. For more information, visit dccenter.org.

Tuesday, May 10

Beeswax, a newly formed, Washington-based arts promotion and advisory service working with artists, dealers, collectors and galleries, is hosting its second monthly D.C. Artists Networking Happy Hour tonight at the Science Club (1136 19th St., N.W.) from 6 to 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover.

“Follies,” an award-winning musical starring Bernadette Peters, will be performed tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $150 and can be purchased online at kennedy-center.org.

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance will hold a membership meeting tonight from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archive (1201 17th St., N.W.).

DCBiWomen will have its monthly dinner at Dupont Italian Kitchen (1637 17th St., N.W.) tonight from 7 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit dcbiwomen.org.

Wednesday, May 11

Washington Wetskins Water Polo team is having its monthly happy hour at Nellie’s (900 U St., N.W.) tonight from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Academy is hosting a panel discussion featuring Mame Dennis, Destiny B. Childs and Carlton Stevens as part of its 50th anniversary tonight at the National Trust for Historic Preservation (1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The Big Gay Book Group will meet tonight at 7:00 p.m. at 1155 F Street, N.W., Suite 200.  The book discussed will be “The 19th Wife” by David Ebershoff. For more information, visit biggaybookgroup.com or e-mail [email protected]

Thursday, May 12

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington has its monthly piano bar/open mic tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. at Black Fox Lounge (1723 Conn. Ave., N.W.). Singers of all levels are welcome to sing alone or with members of the Chorus.

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Out & About

DC Center to host estate planning seminar series

Three sessions presented by Murray Scheel

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The DC Center hosts a series of talks on end-of-life planning next week.

The DC Center for the LGBT Community and the DC Department on Aging and Community Living will host “Estate Planning Tools with Murray Scheel” via Zoom. 

Scheel will walk guests through the process of taking care of the end-of-life planning business that needs to be addressed during the golden years. Scheel is Senior Staff Attorney at Whitman-Walker Health’s Legal Services.

This event series will consist of three 1.5-hour sessions:

Jan. 19, 3 p.m. – “Tools for while you’re living” (overview, general power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, disposition of remains, etc.)

Jan. 26, 3 p.m. – “Tools for after you’re gone” (living wills, last wills, assets, etc.)

Feb. 2, 3 p.m. – “Healthcare insurance & long term care” (Medicare, Medicaid, correcting misinformation, skilled nursing, hospice care, etc.)

To register for this event, visit the DC Center website.

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Out & About

DC Center to host legal seminar for trans people

Attorney Richard Tappan and paralegal Miranda Shipman to give legal advice

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The DC Center for the LGBT Community will host a “Gender and Name Change Legal Seminar” on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. online. 

Attorney Richard Tappan and paralegal Miranda Shipman will give legal advice and speak on the importance of the legal community within the LGBTQ community, the difficulties of the LGBTQ community in the legal field and name and gender changes. 

Guests can find the link at the DC Center website.

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Books

Seeking love and community in Nicaragua

‘High-Risk Homosexual’ explores author’s youth, coming out

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(Book cover image courtesy of Soft Skill Press)

High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir
By Edgar Gomez
c.2022, Soft Skull Press
$16.95/304 pages

Here. Try this.

It fits you, but the color isn’t flattering. It’s too long, too short, too tight, too loose. That’s not your style, so try something else until you find the thing that looks like you. The perfect thing is out there. As in the new book “High-Risk Homosexual” by Edgar Gomez, when something’s right, it’s right.

He was 13 when he figured out that he was a problem to be solved.

Edgar Gomez’ mother had left him in her native Nicaragua with his tíos, just for a while because she had to return to Florida to work. He wasn’t there without her for long, but it took years for him to understand that his time with his uncles was meant to make him more masculine.

In retrospect, he says, nobody wanted him to be a man more than he did. He wanted to be liked by other kids and so he told lies in school to make himself stand out. He wanted his mother to see his love of pretty things and say that it was OK. He wanted his brother to acknowledge that Gomez was gay, and to tell him that he loved him.

Instead, after his brother left for college, Gomez got his first boyfriend, a boy he came out to but who couldn’t come out to himself. He was called names in school. He came out to his mother, who freaked out about it. He befriended a drag queen, but “Princess” used him.

Things he wanted: a real boyfriend. Love. A ban on the stereotype of a macho Latinx man.

Things he still had, while in college: his mother and older brother. A tormentor-turned-mentor. A part-time job. His weirdness. His virginity.

Things he wanted to lose, while in college: his room at his mother’s house. His virginity, but that wouldn’t happen until later, during a painful one-afternoon-stand with a hot man who said he had a girlfriend. That hurt, both physically and emotionally but like so many things at so many times, Gomez tried not to think about it.

If he never considered what he didn’t have, he says, “I wouldn’t miss it.”

In a way, you could say that “High-Risk Homosexual” is a book in search of a point. It’s really quite random and told (mostly) linearly, but not quite. It has its peaks, but also low valleys. And you won’t care about any of this, because you’ll be enjoying every bit of it.

Yeah, this memoir is good: author Edgar Gomez’s literary wandering makes it feel much like an honest conversation with readers. There are wince-worthy moments that allow empathy here, and experiences that are unique but oddly ubiquitous, that leave space for a sense of sympatico. There are passages that are so wistfully uncomfortable that you might squirm, or start “snort-laughing,” or want to stop a moment and just think.

And there’s room for that, too, so take your time. “High-Risk Homosexual” is an affable book with just enough seriousness to make it worth a try.

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