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Officers, activists recognized at police liaison reception

LGBT community leaders point to ‘reinvigorated’ GLLU in DC



Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department, GLLU, MPD, Sergeant Carlos Mejia, gay news, Washington Blade, Dupont Circle
Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department, GLLU, MPD, Sergeant Carlos Mejia, Assistant Chief Diane Groomes, DCTC, D.C. Trans Coalition, Jason Terry, gay news, Washington Blade, Dupont Circle

Assistant Chief Diane Groomes speaks to members of the community attending the Metropolitan Police Department Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit meet-and-greet event. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

More than a dozen LGBT community activists and the five officers assigned to the department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit were awarded by D.C. police officials with a certificate of appreciation Thursday night recognizing their service to community.

Capt. Edward Delgado and Sgts. Carlos Mejia and Matt Mahl, who serve as supervisors for the Dupont Circle headquartered GLLU, handed out the certificates at an open house reception. The event, hosted by the GLLU, attracted more than 50 people from the community and about a dozen police officers and police officials, including Deputy Police Chief Diane Groomes.

“Thank you on behalf of the chief,” said Groomes, referring to Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who was unable to attend the event.

“I know we aren’t perfect. We have a ways to go,” Groomes said. “But I think overall, with the support of the community, we’re definitely getting better every day. So I appreciate all of your support for us and I look forward to working with you.”

Groomes and Delgado told the Blade that Sgt. Mahl, who had been detailed earlier this year to serve as the GLLU’s full-time supervisor, was temporarily assigned earlier this month to a special police robbery unit in response to an upsurge in robberies throughout the city, including “snatch-and-grab” cell phone robberies.

Mahl had worked on robbery investigations prior to his assignment with the GLLU.

The two said Mahl, who is gay, would be returning shortly to the GLLU where he will resume his duties as supervisor.

LGBT activists, including officials with the local group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), have expressed concern that Chief Lanier several years ago placed the GLLU under the supervision of a sergeant — Mejia — who also headed the Latino Liaison Unit, requiring that he divide his time between two important units.

While praising Mejia for doing an excellent job in juggling his time between the two units, a number of LGBT activists called on Lanier to assign a sergeant as the full-time supervisor of the GLLU. Lanier has said limited MPD resources prevented her from doing that until earlier this year, when she said she was able to detail Sgt. Mahl to head the unit.

In response to Groomes’ remarks, gay activist Peter Rosenstein told the GLLU reception that he has seen an improvement in both the GLLU’s work and the department’s overall response to LGBT community concerns over the past year or so.

“I speak personally but I think for a lot of the community,” Rosenstein said. “We appreciate under this mayor and under your direction and under the unit’s direction that there is a reinvigorated look at what’s going on in the LGBT community and once again a reinvigorated GLLU.”

Rosenstein added, “As you well know, there was a period of time when the community felt the attention wasn’t being given to the community. But I think most of us now believe that there is a new effort to get together, to work together to make the city a safer place to be. So thank you all from the community for what you all do.”

A.J. Singletary, the head of GLOV, and Ruby Corado, the transgender activist who operates an LGBT community center with an outreach to the Latino community, said they, too, have seen an improvement in the department’s and GLLU’s activities and communication with the LGBT community.

The current full-time GLLU members stationed at the GLLU headquarters office are Officers Joseph Morquecho, Zunnobia Hakir, Juanita Foreman, Kevin Johnson and Justin Markiewicz.

Among the community activists receiving the police certificate of appreciation were Jason Terry of the D.C. Trans Coalition; Earline Budd, Jeri Hughes and Brian Watson of Transgender Health Empowerment (THE);  Singletary of GLOV; Corado of Casa Ruby community center; June Crenshaw of Rainbow Response; and Savannah Wanzer of the Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Committee.

According to the MPD website, 91 officers assigned to one of the department’s seven police districts serve as part-time affiliate members of the GLLU. The affiliate program, created by Lanier, provides training officers assigned to the police districts to enable them to respond to calls on matters related to the GLLU in locations throughout the city.

In addition to the GLLU, the Special Liaison Division includes the Asian Liaison Unit, the Latino Liaison Unit and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison Unit.



Moore signs executive order to protect gender-affirming health care in Md.

Ceremony took place during Pride month reception at Government House



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on June 5, 2023, signs an executive order that protects gender-affirming health care in the state. (Photo from Moore's office)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Monday signed an executive order that protects gender-affirming health care in the state.

Moore signed the directive during a Pride month reception at Government House in Annapolis.

“In the state of Maryland, nobody should have to justify their own humanity,” said Moore. “This order is focused on ensuring Maryland is a safe place for gender affirming care, especially as other states take misguided and hateful steps to make gender affirming care cause for legal retribution. In Maryland, we are going to lead on this issue.”

“In signing this executive order, this administration is saying to all LGBTQIA+ Marylanders: You deserve to be your authentic selves — during Pride month and every month,” added Lieutenant Gov. Aruna Miller. “You deserve to live safely, openly and freely; and receive the gender-affirming care you need.”

Moore last month signed the Trans Health Equity Act, which requires Maryland’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming care. Moore on March 31 signed a proclamation that proclaimed the day as the International Transgender Day of Visibility in Maryland. 

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22 ways to celebrate Pride month in Delaware

From Wilmington to Rehoboth, there’s something for everyone



Delaware hosts an array of Pride-related events this month.


QUEER FILM: The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and CAMP Rehoboth kick off the three-day Pride Film Festival featuring 12 movies, ranging from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” to “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” which explores author Giovanni’s life and six decades of work. The schedule has not been announced yet as of publication of this guide. The films will be shown at Cinema Art Theatre at 17701 Dartmouth Rd. #2 in Lewes. $12 per film.

A HISTORY LESSON: Delaware LGBTQ history researcher Carolanne Deal explores the queer history of Sussex County and a new exhibition with parts of Delaware’s queer history in the Zwannendael Park by the museum with the same name. 5 p.m. at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes. Free.


PRIDE FESTIVAL: Delaware Pride is putting on its annual Pride festival, with more than 100 vendors and many entertainers making up the single largest LGBTA gathering in Delaware, the organization says. Seventeen entertainers are listed on Delaware Pride’s Facebook page, including “American Idol” contestant Alisabeth Von Presley – “Lady Gaga meets Pat Benatar with a dash of Michael Jackson,” Little Village Magazine writes; Aunt Mary Pat, the drag queen and singer; Jenna Tall, who’s won five Miss titles; The Manhattan Prairie Dogs, a dance group that’s legal to watch despite prairie dogs being illegal to keep as a pet in New York; and Ryan Cassata, a singer and public speaker on trans issues. That’s not even mentioning 83 vendors that are scheduled to attend. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at 411 Legislative Ave. in Dover. Free.

PRIDE AFTER-PARTY: Double D’s Taphouse is hosting an after-party throughout Saturday night for adults 21 and over, hosted by Scarlett Masters (who’s also hosting the drag bingo above). 6-10 p.m. at 137 Jerome Drive in Dover. $15.

COUNTRY DANCING: Get yir boots on and saddle up, gays! Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center is hosting a country dance party for gay men and women in Rehoboth. 7 p.m. at 1 Baltimore Ave. on the Boardwalk in Rehoboth. $10.

BRING YOUR GAY ASS OVER HERE: Flash your colors at Wilmington’s Crimson Moon bar. Brush up on your gay history to understand why: When it was illegal to be gay, LGBTQ people put a colored handkerchief in their back pocket to signal their queerness to other community members. Community leaders periodically changed that color so they would not reveal their sexuality to undercover cops. Over time, it evolved into what it is today – a way to show who you are and what you’re looking for. 9 p.m. at 1909 W. 6th St. in Wilmington. No cover.


RUN FOR FUN AT THE FUN RUN: Fun for run, no, run for fun in Rehoboth, organized by a Delaware shoe store, Charm City Run. 8-9 a.m. at 200 Rehoboth Ave. in Rehoboth. Free.

MIDDLETOWN PRIDE: Middletown is hosting its second annual Pride Walk and Festival – with vendors this time. 12-5 p.m. in Middletown. Free.

BINGO FOR A CAUSE: AIDS Delaware is hosting a spring bingo with The Rainbow Chorale in the Mill Creek Fire Company’s Chambers, with all proceeds benefitting the two organizations. It’s hosted by drag queens Scarlet Masters and Aura Buboyz and organizers encourage guests to dress in Pride attire or your “best ally” attire. Doors open at 5 p.m., games begin at 6 p.m. at 3900 Kirkwood Hwy in Wilmington. $15 for admission and one game board.

SUPPORT AGING LGBTQ+ PEOPLE: Learn about the challenges facing older LGBTQ adults and resources for them in a roundtable discussion hosted by Sussex Pride at the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware’s building in Lewes. 6-7:45 p.m. at 30486 Lewes Georgetown Hwy. Free.  


A NIGHT OUT: Bring your friends and (queer) family to this LGBTQ social event at Constitution Yards Beer Garden. It had a record turnout of about 300 last year, and organizers are hoping to crack 400 this year. 6-9 p.m. at 308 Justison St. in Wilmington. Free. 

GAME NIGHT: If going out isn’t your thing and you’d prefer a more chill night, fear not: Sussex Pride is hosting a game night in the Epworth United Methodist Church. 6:30-8:15 p.m. at 19285 Holland Glade Rd. in Rehoboth. Free.


GET INTO THE HOMO SPIRIT: Listen to CAMP Rehoboth’s Chorus singing all-time favorites like Chad & Jeremy’s “A Summer Song,” Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park,” and, of course, a Beach Boys medley at Epworth United Methodist Church. Friday and Saturday 7 p.m., and Monday 3 p.m. at 19285 Holland Glade Road in Rehoboth. $25. 

GAYEST SONGS EVER: Celebrate the super gay pop hits of yesteryear (and this year) with performer Todd Alsup. 8:30-10:30 p.m. at The Pines, 56 Baltimore Ave. in Rehoboth. $25-150.


DRAG BRUNCH: Miss Troy, who is also performing at the Pride Festival, is hosting a drag brunch at The Queen in its Crown Room. The Queen is normally a live music venue but has a history of hosting all kinds of events. 12 p.m. at 500 N. Market St. in Wilmington. $39-61.50

POOL PARTY: If you want to take a splash in the pool while being a little tipsy this is the place to do it. Bring your own booze if desired, and bring food if you wish. 3-9 p.m. at 128 Honey Brook Lane in Felton. Free.

PLAY DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: Take a break from celebrating with a round of Dungeons & Dragons hosted by Sussex Pride at the Groome Church. 6:30-8 p.m. at 601 Savannah Rd. in Lewes. Free.


QUEER STORY TIME: Bring your little (or not so little) kids to the Woodlawn Library and read picture books with LGBTQ characters. You must register for the event beforehand here. Masks are strongly encouraged at the event. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at 2020 W. 9th St. in Wilmington. Free.

BRING YOUR DADDY TO BRUNCH: Goolee’s Grill encourages you to bring your dad (or daddy) to this family-friendly drag brunch because it’s Father’s Day. The event is hosted by the runner up for Rehoboth’s Best Drag Queen in the 2019 Blade awards, Regina Cox. 12-2 p.m. at 11 South 1st St. $15.


ZOO VISIT: The Brandywine Zoo is holding its annual Pride Day – only the third – with educational programming, a scavenger hunt, and story time. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at 1001 N. Park Dr. in Wilmington. $7 for seniors and youth, $9 for adults.


STONEWALL RELIVED: Listen to four actors recreate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising at CAMP Rehoboth with the words of those that were there – reporters, drag queens, trans youth, gay people, and homeless kids that confronted the police, letting out their anger. It wasn’t the first LGBTQ uprising of the era, but the most consequential. 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. at 37 Baltimore Ave. in Rehoboth. $25. 


GAY COMEDY: Standup comedian Jen Kober, an out lesbian from Louisiana, is touring the country and stopping in Rehoboth Beach at The Pines along with Jeff D. She won NPR’s Snap Judgment of Comedic Performance of the Year and went viral for her standup about Girl Scout cookies. 7 p.m. at The Pines in Rehoboth. 

Did we miss anything? Let the author know at [email protected] 

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People of Pride: A look at Maryland’s LGBTQ community

Prominent activists, leaders spoke with the Baltimore Banner



Marquis Clayton, 35, poses for a portrait around Mount Vernon in Baltimore on May 31, 2023. (Photo by Kaitlin Newman for the Baltimore Banner)

By John-John Williams IV | With the LGBTQ community under assault in many states, LGBTQ Marylanders say Pride month has taken on added meaning this year.

There are an estimated 11 million LGBTQ adults in the United States, with 151,000 in the state of Maryland, according to the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at UCLA School of Law. The community covers a diverse spectrum of genders, identities, races and cultures.

The Baltimore Banner spoke and emailed with members of the community about the meaning of pride and the greatest challenges facing the LGBTQ community. Here are their answers, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner website.

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