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Queery: Esther Hidalgo

The organizer of Friday’s event for Latina lesbians answers 20 gay questions

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Esther Hidalgo (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Esther Hidalgo is sometimes surprised when she meets other Latina lesbians in Washington and as she was discussing with a colleague this week, she sometimes wonders why their paths don’t cross more often.

“Unless it’s a Latin venue, we really don’t see each other,” says the D.C.-area native, whose parents are Cuban and Puerto Rican. “And we can’t always easily identify each other when we do see each other. Sometimes you don’t realize there may be other Latinas in a room.”

So Hidalgo is starting “Mujeres en el Movimiento,” a networking event for Latina lesbians that launches tonight (Friday) from 6:30 to 8:30 at the new MOVA (2204 14th St., N.W.). It’s an official event of the Latino GLBT History Project. Based on attendance, organizers will decide whether to make it a regular event.

“I’m sure we’ll do it annually at least, but maybe more often,” she says.

The name means “women in the movement” and has a dual meaning — movement as in coming together socially, but also as an extension of the larger LGBT rights movement. It’s a happy hour event with Latin music and a digital exhibition of black and white photos by Kevin Kenner of Latina activists from the area titled “Heroes Latinas.” A suggested donation of $5 includes a vodka drink (for more information, contact Hidalgo at [email protected] or 202-670-5547).

Hidalgo, a graduate student studying for a master’s in library and information science part time at Catholic University, met History Project founder Jose Guttierez years ago when they both worked at the Leather Rack. She joined the group two years ago working on its archives and Pride festivities. She juggles three jobs when she’s not in school — she prints black and white photos in a studio, works for a collections archive in Northeast D.C. and works as a student tech at the National Archives in College Park sorting and preserving government documents.

Hidalgo, who grew up in Langley Park, Md., but mostly attended school in D.C., lives now in Columbia Heights with her girlfriend of two years. (Blade photos by Michael Key)

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

Since around 18. Coming out to my dad was scary because I am close to my parents and an only child. Without missing a beat, he said that he could relate because “women are softer and they smell better.”

Who’s your LGBT hero?

Just one? I’m looking forward to meeting a few of them as they are featured in Friday’s exhibition. Most recently, my heroes are the Mujeres en el Movimiento Committee Members. In addition to working for political and humanistic causes, they saw the importance of this idea and worked hard to help bring it to fruition.

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

Wednesday Ladies Night at Chaos.

Describe your dream wedding.

There will be a lot of dancing and a lot of hip-hop.

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

This is difficult to answer because most social issues from immigration to domestic violence to education can and do affect members of the LGBT community. We are an intrinsic component of everyday society.

What historical outcome would you change?

That first moment in history where a woman took crap from a man and high-waisted jeans.

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

Michael Jackson Moonwalking.

On what do you insist?

Compassion

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

Mujeres en el Movimiento networking reception hosted by the Latino GLBT History Project on Friday, March 23rd from 6:30-8:30pm at MOVA. I am the event chair and super excited about it and promoting it all the time! :-)

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

I don’t know but it should definitely be a graphic novel.

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

Sit them down and have a real serious discussion about ethics (or just blow up the lab).

What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

In Buddhism, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is, among other things, the name of the mystic law that governs life eternally throughout the universe. I chant this every day as a form of prayer.

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

I think they should continue to build bridges of communication and cooperation between their respective causes. 

What would you walk across hot coals for?

Are you really asking me to choose between my girlfriend and my cat?

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

That gay men have all the style and lesbians have all the guitars.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“Dog Day Afternoon”

What’s the most overrated social custom?

Starting a conversation by asking. “So, what do you do?”

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

To positively affect the lives of others through action.

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

The heart will mend.

Why Washington?

D.C. holds a lot of hidden histories, like those of LGBT Latino organizations and activists, that shape the consciousness of its residents whether they realize it or not. Plus, it is the home of go-go.

 

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Out & About

Mayor’s office to host Pride tie-dye party

Guests to make colorful shirts for ‘PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION’ theme

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(Photo by Prime Look/Bigstock)

The Mayor’s Office for LGBTQ Affairs will host “Love Out Loud: Tie Dye Party for Pride” on Wednesday, June 7 at 5 p.m. at the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs.

The event, hosted along with the DC Center for the LGBT Community and Capital Pride Alliance, will be an afternoon for community and artistry. Guests are encouraged to bring their creativity to make some colorful tie-dye shirts in line with this year’s Pride theme, “PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION.”

This event is free to attend and more details are available on Eventbrite

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Out & About

D.C. to celebrate LGBTQ poetry

Pride Poem-a-Day presents second installation

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(Screen capture via Vimeo)

DC Pride Poem-a-Day will present its second installation of short videos featuring LGBTQ poetry from the Washington, D.C. area to celebrate Pride month.

A new video will be released each day in June and will feature different poets reading an original poem on the theme of “heritage.”

The videos highlight LGBTQ poets from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and countries of origin, and also poets from minority religions, multi-lingual, and disabled. 
To access the poetry, visit DC Pride Poems’ website.

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Calendar

Calendar: June 2-8

LGBTQ events in the days to come

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Friday, June 2

Center Aging: Friday Tea Time will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This event is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests can bring a beverage of choice. For more information, contact [email protected].

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Kickoff Social” at 7 p.m. at The Commentary. This event is ideal to make new friends in the LGBTQ community and enjoy the bottomless happy hour specials at Puro Gusto. Admission is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, June 3

Virtual Yoga Class with Jesse Z. will be at 12 p.m. online. This is a weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. Guests are encouraged to RSVP on the DC Center’s website, providing your name, email address, and zip code, along with any questions you may have. A link to the event will be sent at 6 pm the day before.

LGBTQ People of Color Support Group will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom. LGBTQ People of Color can come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment free. There are all sorts of activities like watching movies, poetry events, storytelling, and just hanging out with others. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

Project DC Events will host “DC Pride Crawl” at 2 p.m. at Dupont Circle’s best bars. Guests are encouraged to put on their brightest and most colorful outfit, grab friends, and enjoy a day of drinks and celebration. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Sunday, June 4

AfroCode DC will be at 4 p.m. at Decades DC. This event will be an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

“Largest LGBTQIA+ Singles Flamingle” will be at 7 p.m. at THRoW Social DC. Guests can enjoy signature cocktail and wine specials, food, games, and live music while mingling with single people in the local LGBTQ community. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Monday, June 5

Center Aging Monday Coffee and Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. LGBT Older Adults — and friends — are invited to enjoy friendly conversations and to discuss any issues you might be dealing with. For more information, visit the Center Aging’s Facebook or Twitter.

Capital Pride Interfaith Service Planning Meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The Capital Pride Interfaith Service is an “integrated service” respectfully demonstrating the breadth, depth, and sincerity of our faith, exposing the lie that anti-gay fundamentalists have a monopoly on faith and religion. For more details, [email protected]

Tuesday, June 6

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Reception” at 5 p.m. at Turkish Coffee Lady. This event is to foster cross-cultural connectedness and make friends in the LGBTQ+ and allied community. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Pride on the Patio Events will host “LGBTQ+ Social Mixer” at 5:30 p.m. at Showroom. Dress is casual, fancy, or comfortable and guests are encouraged to bring the most authentic you to chat, laugh, and get a little crazy. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite

Wednesday, June 7

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit thedccenter.org/careers.

Center Aging Women’s Social & Discussion Group will be at 6:00p.m. on Zoom. This group is a place where older LGBTQ+ women can meet and socialize with one another. To register, visit the DC Center’s website

Thursday, June 8

KINETIC Presents will host “KINETIC Pride 2023 DC Weekend Pass” at 10 p.m. at four D.C. venues. This partnership with Capital Pride Alliance will feature a performance by global pop star Betty Who at Echostage, stunning visuals, and top talent. Tickets start at $149 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

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