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Grosso beats Brown in ‘gay’ precincts

Both candidates strong supporters of LGBT rights



D.C. Councilman Michael Brown (I-At-Large)
David Grosso, Washington D.C., Capital Pride, gay news, Washington Blade

David Grosso accomplished a rare feat in D.C. politics by unseating an incumbent last week. (Photo courtesy of Grosso for Council 2012)

Independent D.C. Council candidate David Grosso beat incumbent Council member Michael Brown (I-At-Large) on Nov. 6 in 15 out of 16 voter precincts with large numbers of LGBT residents.

According to final but unofficial returns from the D.C. Board of Elections, Grosso finished ahead of Brown in the so-called “gay” precincts by a significantly greater margin than Grosso bested Brown in the citywide vote.

Grosso surprised many political observers by accomplishing a rare feat in D.C. politics — unseating an incumbent Council member.

In the citywide vote, Grosso came in second place in a seven-candidate race with two at-large seats in play. Under the city’s election law, a Democratic candidate is eligible for only one of the seats.

Incumbent Democrat Vincent Orange won re-election by finishing first with 37.4 percent of the vote. Grosso finished second, with 20.8 percent, making him the winner of the second of the two seats. Brown came in third place, with 15.3 percent of the vote.

However, in 11 of the 16 precincts with high concentrations of LGBT voters Grosso came in first place. He finished second in another four of the “gay” precincts.

Brown came in second place in just one of the precincts with high concentrations of LGBT residents – Precinct 112, which is located in Anacostia.

Brown finished in sixth place in six of the precincts and finished third or lower in the remaining four.

In the citywide tally, Republican Mary Brooks Beatty finished fourth with 7 percent of the vote, independent candidates A.J. Cooper and Leon Swain tied for fifth place with each getting 6.6 percent, and Statehood Green Party candidate Ann Wilcox came in last place with 5.8 percent.

Although political insiders acknowledged that Brown was hurt by the latest in a series of personal financial problems, most pundits expected the otherwise popular Council member to survive his re-election bid.

D.C. Councilman Michael Brown (I-At-Large)

Michael Brown (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Brown has been a longtime strong supporter of LGBT rights, voting for virtually every LGBT supportive bill or amendment, including the city’s same-sex marriage bill that has come before the Council during his close to four-year tenure as a Council member.

Grosso has worked for pro-gay former Council member Sharon Ambrose (D-Ward 6) and for pro-gay Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). He has expressed support for LGBT issues during the campaign. He and Brown also campaigned aggressively in the LGBT community.

Nearly all of the precincts with a high concentration of visible LGBT residents are in majority white sections of the city. Most of the majority white areas voted for Grosso and most of the majority black sections of the city voted for Brown and Orange over Grosso.

D.C. political consultant Chuck Theis, who has been a longtime observer of D.C. elections, said the parts of the city where Grosso finished ahead of Brown, including the gay precincts, are made up largely of liberal-progressive whites who voted overwhelmingly for President Obama’s re-election. Theis said these voters, who supported Brown four years ago, appear to have lost confidence in him due to the widely publicized reports of Brown’s financial problems, including Brown’s disclosure earlier this year that more than $100,000 in campaign funds were stolen by his campaign treasurer. The treasurer denied stealing the funds.

Most of the majority black sections of the city, especially in Wards 7 and 8, appear to have had less of a problem with Brown’s financial issues and view him as a strong supporter of the issues they deem important, such as affordable housing and efforts to curtail the high unemployment rate in the two wards.

“Michael Brown stepped into a perfect storm,” Theis told the Blade. “He had almost no money due to his missing campaign funds, and the missing funds became a scandal. This raised the issue of all his past financial problems.”

The unexpectedly strong campaign waged by Grosso, who attacked Brown on his financial problems, and the unusual at-large election system, in which voters are asked to select two candidates but close to half the voters select just one (the Democrat) – appear to have created an insurmountable problem for Brown, Theis said.

Following is a list of the 16 precincts with large concentrations of LGBT residents and the vote count, by percentage, as reported by the D.C. Board of Elections:

  • Precinct 14 (Dupont Circle): Grosso, 30.2; Orange, 23.5; Brown, 5.6
  • Precinct 15 (Dupont Circle): Grosso, 30.5; Orange, 21.9; Brown, 6.3
  • Precinct 16 (Logan Circle): Grosso, 30.8; Orange, 25.0; Brown, 8.9
  • Precinct 17 (Logan Circle): Orange, 28.8; Grosso, 26.5; Brown, 11.1
  • Precinct 141 (Logan Circle): Grosso, 29.4; Orange 24.3; Brown, 8.6
  • Precinct 22 (14th and U Street, N.W. area): Grosso, 29.4; Orange, 24.9; Brown, 10.2
  • Precinct 23 (Columbia Heights): Orange, 35.1; Grosso, 21.3; Brown, 13.1
  • Precinct 24 (Adams Morgan): Grosso, 30.1; Orange, 26.5; Brown, 9.9
  • Precinct 25 (Adams Morgan): Grosso, 33.1; Orange, 19.8; Brown, 8.8
  • Precinct 39 (Mt. Pleasant): Grosso, 30.8; Orange, 26.2; Brown, 11.3
  • Precinct 40 (Mt. Pleasant): Grosso, 33.4; Orange, 22.3; Brown, 9.1
  • Precinct 89 (Capitol Hill): Grosso, 41.3; Mary Brooks Beatty, 16.2; Orange, 13.7; Brown, 5.5
  • Precinct 90 (Capitol Hill): Grosso, 36.2; Orange 18.2; Brown, 5.0
  • Precinct 112 (Anacostia): Orange, 58.2; Brown, 23.8; Grosso, 4.8
  • Precinct 127 (Southwest Waterfront): Orange, 37.8; Grosso, 18.7; Brown, 16.4


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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Anti-LGBTQ activists protest Fairfax City Pride event

Stacy Langton organized demonstration



Anti-LGBTQ protestors gather outside Old Town Hall in Fairfax City, Va., on June 3, 2023, to protest the city’s Pride celebration. (Photo from Public Advocate of the United States /Instagram)

The Fairfax City Council declared June as LGBTQ Pride Month, with a celebration planned at Old Town Hall on Saturday to include a drag queen performance. Outside of the event in front of the building roughly two dozen people gathered in protest of the city’s Pride event.

According to the local conservative right publication the Washington Examiner, the protest was coordinated by Stacy Langton, a Fairfax County resident who gained notoriety for leading a group of parents protesting two controversial LGBTQ-themed books available in high school libraries in September 2021 that Langton falsely claimed promoted pedophilia. 

The Fairfax County School Board, and officials with Fairfax County Public Schools announced they had removed the books from the school libraries to reassess their suitability for high school students.

At the time the Washington Blade reported: “I’m not one of those activist moms or disgruntled moms,” Langton stated in an interview with Fox News. “This is not about being anti-gay, anti-trans or whatever. I would have been there and said every single word I said if this had been the depiction of a heterosexual couple with heterosexual acts — pornography is pornography and I don’t care what the gender is.”

Langton also appeared in several ads for now Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin during his 2021 gubernatorial election.

Also appearing at the protest were members of the Southern Poverty Law Center-listed hate group, Public Advocate of the United States, and its leader, Eugene Delgaudio.

The Examiner reported that Fairfax Mayor Catherine Read, who was attending the event, told the tabloid that the city is paying for the event. Other sponsors of the event include George Mason University and Fairfax Ace Hardware.

The announcement from the city published online stated:


Saturday, June 3rd
5PM – 10PM
Old Town Hall
3999 University Drive, Fairfax

The city of Fairfax and Mason are thrilled to host its inaugural “Fairfax Pride” event on June 3rd, 2023!

While Pride is celebrated 365 days of the year, it’s most recognized during the month of June. Pride Month evolved out of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and has since become a time to reflect and celebrate both the progress and the people of the LGBTQIA+ community.

This collaborative event will kick off In Old Town Hall with informational vendors from both Mason campus and the NOVA area, as well as children’s activities, such as face-painting, Fairy Hair, crafts and more! Later in the evening, a warm welcome will be given by representatives from both the city of Fairfax and Mason, to commemorate this exciting new event. The event will conclude with a dance party featuring several drag queen performances throughout the evening.

All are invited and welcome to attend! 

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