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Queery: Kimberley Bush

The Reel Affirmations director answers 20 gay questions

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Kimberley Bush (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Kimberley Bush believes strongly in LGBT-themed films as one might expect — she’s director of One in Ten, the group that stages the Reel Affirmations Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday and is in full swing all weekend.

Bush, a 43-year-old Westchester County, N.Y., native, sells real estate for Long & Foster in Georgetown by day and describes herself as a person who’s “always on the go, working or making something happen and always on.”

She does find spare moments; she enjoys ceramics, running, yoga, making soap, traveling and, of course, film.

She’s single and lives in Alexandria. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

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

I would say about 25 years. It all started when I was around 18ish and at that age I was in college so my Mom was the hardest to tell. She was not a happy camper. But she did embrace me at some point.  

Who’s your LGBT hero?

Phill Wilson, the founder of the Black AIDS Institute. People of color have been lost in the media, health care system and in general around the fight for/about AIDS/HIV and Phill is/was key in bring people of color to the forefront in regard to awareness/education, public policy and advocacy.

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

I have to say Tracks in SE was amazing back in the day. Consistent women’s night, outdoor space for all kinds of fun, music — just a great time!

Describe your dream wedding.

It of course stars the woman I adore and cherish completely and ideally would be out of the country. It begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. A simple, down-to-earth, lovely celebration with good food, friends and family to celebrate our union.

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

Racial and cultural equality. I am quite sensitive to individuals being treated fairly and appropriately in the workplace and in society in general.

What historical outcome would you change?

Dr. Martin Luther King’s death. He had so much more to do for all of our communities.

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

When Ilene Chaiken put her foot in it, and created “The L Word.” It provided an open environment for lesbians to see themselves elsewhere and not just in our everyday situations.

On what do you insist?

A must have in my life is a high level of integrity. What I insist for myself is to put my best foot forward every day, acknowledge how fortunate I am regardless of the outcome of the day and walk through the world with positive energy, patience, tolerance, understanding and positively affecting others.

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

Twitter: “@reelaffirmation Reel Affirmations 21: Washington DC’s International LGBT Film Festival is 2 DAYS away. Come out and support this Thursday through Sunday, Nov 1st – 4th #RA21”

Facebook: “it is several hours after I finished the 37th Marine Corps Marathon & while this is a huge accomplishment I am unsatisfied w/ my performance. Unfort round mile 13 both my calves seized up. In my training were I would run 20 miles per run I NEVER had this problem so this was problematic. I learned that my potassium/salt intake was low! Who knew? I had to grow a pair & kick the last 13 miles’ ASS!”

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

“Anything is Possible”

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

Bust every test tube, contaminate every trial, discredit all involved.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

Karma

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Regardless of the this year’s presidential election, I would urge our leaders and advocates to continue their efforts and perseverance to the acts, bills and legislation that affect us all on the day-to-day basis.

What would you walk across hot coals for?

To have my mom back. My mother unexpectedly passed away a few years ago and it was more than a shock to my system. This loss was devastating, leveling, extraordinary. We were each other’s support system, friend, confidant, biggest fan — we were each other’s everything, and even though I know she is with me in spirit, I would walk across the world on hot coals to have her back in my life.

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

The fact that as a community we at times see it necessary to take on distinct gender roles in our same-sex relationships. In print, we are often portrayed as one person wearing pink with long hair and makeup while the other has on blue, short hair and more pronounced manly features. As a lesbian, and knowing many people in our community, we all know you cannot help who it is you are attracted to. Society has created this mold that we unfortunately have begun to play into even if that same society has yet to grant us the same rights to live and be happy.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

As an active participant in the nation’s fourth-largest LGBT film festival for the last several years, there are so many films that I appreciate for their production merit, content, depictions, powerful storylines, character development, poignant life lessons and the ability to move people while changing lives. This select list personally resonates with me and has a forever place in my DVD collection: “Gods and Monsters,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Bad Education,” “A Single Man,” “High Art,” “Paris is Burning,” “Fire” and “Before Night Falls.”

What’s the most overrated social custom?

I am guilty of it, but when you think you HAVE to bring something over to a person’s house for a gathering.

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

Even though I have run several half marathons, the MCM medallion was always in my sights. This year I no longer have to covet this medal, I trained and completed my first marathon, the 37th annual Marine Corps Marathon and now have my medal to show for it.

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

At 18, you are trying to get to the next level, do more, be more and now that I have grown up, I am realizing that you just have to work with what is before you. I shouldn’t have worried about life getting any better. It is what it is and I should appreciate what life has to offer.

Why Washington?

It was a family decision. My mom was an analyst for a telecom company and she moved our family here in 1989 to continue her career and upward mobility. After moving here I stayed to be close to my mom. I learned to like the area and do enjoy what it has to offer socially and culturally. Let there be no mistake made that I am happy here, but at this point in my life however, I do infrequently think about moving back home to Westchester County, New York.

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Out & About

DC Center to host Alzheimer’s awareness event

‘Seniors & Cognition’ talk to explore warning signs, healthy brain practices

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The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center, the DC Department on Aging and Community Living, and the Alzheimer’s Association are joining forces to host “Seniors & Cognition with the Alzheimer’s Association” on Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. 

Guest speakers will walk the audience through understanding Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, their warning signs, healthy brain practices, and more. The lecture series will consist of three 1.5-hour sessions, with the others set to take place in August and September. 

To register, visit the DC Center’s website

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Sports

Brittney Griner and wife celebrate birth of their son

Cherelle Griner gave birth to healthy baby boy earlier this month

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Brittney Griner (Screen capture via Instagram)

It’s a boy for Brittney and Cherelle Griner. The Phoenix Mercury center revealed the news in interviews with CBS Sports and NBC News. 

“Every minute I feel like he’s popping into my head, said Griner. “Literally everything revolves around him. And I love it.”

The couple officially welcomed the baby boy on July 8. He weighs 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

“That’s my man. He is amazing,” Griner told CBS Sports. “They said as soon as you see them, everything that you thought mattered just goes out the window. That’s literally what happened.” 

Griner, 33, corrected the CBS News correspondent who said, “You’re about to be a mom!” She told her Cherelle, 33, had already delivered the baby and that she preferred to be called,“Pops.” 

Griner told NBC News correspondent Liz Kreutz they chose to name their newborn son, “Bash.” 

The WNBA star said she is Bash’s biggest fan and is constantly taking photos of him. “My whole phone has turned into him now,” Griner told CBS Sports.

The baby comes as Griner gets set to play in Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game and then head to Paris with Team USA to compete for their 8th straight gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games. 

“It kind of sucks because I have to leave, but at the same time, he will understand,” said Griner. 

Her time in Paris will mark the first time since the basketball star was released from a Russian gulag, where she was held on drug charges for nearly 10 months in 2022.

“BG is locked in and ready to go,” Griner told NBC News on Friday. “I’m happy, I’m in a great place. I’m representing my country, the country that fought for me to come back. I’m gonna represent it well.”

Griner also spoke with NBC News about her hopes the U.S. can win the freedom of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian maximum security prison on Friday. 

“We have to get him back,” she said. 

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Calendar

Calendar: July 19-25

LGBTQ events in the days to come

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Friday, July 19

“Center Aging Friday Tea Time” will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of choice. For more details, email [email protected].

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Happy Hour” at 7 p.m. at Puro Gusto. This event is ideal for making new friends, professional networking, idea-sharing, and community building. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, July 20

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Brunch” at 11 a.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. This fun weekly event brings the DMV area LGBTQ+ community, including allies, together for delicious food and conversation. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

“LGBTQ People of Color Support Group” will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom. This peer support group is an outlet for LGBTQ People of Color to come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment free. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

Sunday, July 21

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Dinner” at 6:30 p.m. at Federico Ristorante Italiano Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. Guests are encouraged to come enjoy an evening of Italian-style dining and conversation with other LGBTQ+ folk. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Funday Social and Games” at 3 p.m. at Moxy. This event is ideal for making meaningful new connections and informal community building, or just to unwind and enjoy the group happy hour. There will be Monopoly, chess, checkers, Jenga and many other games. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

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.

Monday, July 22

Center Aging: Monday Coffee & Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of their choice. For more details, email [email protected].

“Queer Book Club” will be at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. The club meets on the fourth Monday of the month to discuss queer books by queer authors. This month’s read is yet to be announced. For more details, email [email protected].

Tuesday, July 23

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

Coming Out Discussion Group will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a peer-facilitated discussion group and a safe space to share experiences about coming out and discuss topics as it relates to doing so. For more details, visit the group’s Facebook page.

“Genderqueer DC” will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a support group for people who identify outside of the gender binary, whether you’re bigender, agender, genderfluid, or just know that you’re not 100% cis. For more details, email [email protected].

Wednesday, July 24

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.

“Asexual and Aromantic Group” will meet at 7 p.m. on Zoom and in person at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This is a space where people who are questioning this aspect of their identity or those who identify as asexual and/or aromantic can come together, share stories and experiences, and discuss various topics. For more details, email [email protected].

Thursday, July 25

Virtual Yoga with Charles M. will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a free weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. For more details, visit the DC Center for the LGBT Community’s website.

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