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Arts & Entertainment

Calendar: events through Dec. 27

Parties, concerts, exhibits and more for the coming week

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TODAY (Friday) 

Ford’s Theatre (511 10th St., NW) hosts Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” tonight at 7:30 p.m. It runs with performances planned throughout the rest of December. The musical was originally conceived by Michael Baron and acclaimed Washington actor Edward Gero leads the show as Scrooge. Tickets are $55-$100. For more information, visit fordstheatre.org.

Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., NW) presents “Course Corrections” by Gale Wallar and “The Best of Touchstone” with artwork from 40 artists. Wallar’s pieces explore places we may not know. The annual holiday show features several artists whose artwork is affordable and great for gifts. The show runs until Dec. 30. For more information, visit touchstonegallery.com.

“Zoolights” is on display at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park (3001 Connecticut Ave., NW). The show includes around 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights that make animal silhouettes, musical light displays and new garden scene light sculpture. Admission is free, but parking costs $9 for members and $16 for non-members. For details, visit nationalzoo.si.edu.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre (641 D St., NW) presents “The Pajama Men: In the Middle of No One,” the highest rated comedy routine at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, tonight at 7. Tickets are $55. For more information, visit woollymammoth.net.

The Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW) holds its “Dr. Who Happy Hour” tonight at 7 p.m. on its backstage. There will be one episode of “Dr. Who” along with drink specials. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com.

Phase 1 (528 8th St. SE) has its weekly dance party with DJ Jay Von Teese tonight starting at 7:30. Cover is $10. For more information, visit phase1dc.com.

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts Bear Happy Hour tonight from 6-11 p.m. This event is for people 21 and older. There is no cover charge. Later the drag show will start at 10:30 p.m. and the GoGo boys come out at 11. Cover is $5 before 11 and $10 after. There are $3 drinks until 11. For details, visit towndc.com.

The Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) is having its happy hour tonight starting at 5 p.m. All drinks are half off until 7:30 p.m. After 9 p.m., admission is $10. The dance floor opens at 11 with DJ Tim-Nice and DJ Cameron. For details, visit thebachelorsmill.com.

The Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW) screens “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance” tonight on its backstage at 9:30. This event is free. For details, visit blackcatdc.com.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) opens its doors at 10 tonight and the drag show begins at 10:30. Cover is $8 before 11 p.m. and $12 after. There are $3 drinks before 11. For details, visit towndc.com.

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, is helping in food preparation and packing groceries for Food and Friends (219 Riggs Road, NE) this morning at 8 and again at 9:45. For more information, visit burgundycrescent.org.

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, NW) holds its “Tainted Love: ‘80s Dance Party” tonight starting at 10 p.m. Cover is $5. For more information, visit greenlanterndc.com.

The Black Cat(1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts, “Hellmouth Happy Hour” where attendees watch one episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with drink specials. Cover is free and doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com.

Sunday, Dec. 23

The National Symphony Orchestra gets into the holiday spirit by performing Handel’s “Messiah” today at 1 p.m. at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., NW). Tickets are $10 to $85. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.)  holds its weekly Martini Sundays and Homowood Karaoke. Karaoke starts at 10 p.m. and there is no charge for admission. For details, visit cobaltdc.com.

Monday, Dec. 24

Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, NW) has its normal hours and drink specials this evening from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. but there will not be “Bears Do Yoga” and karaoke. Admission is free. For more information, visit greenlanterndc.com.

Tuesday, Dec. 25

The Kennedy Center (2700 F St., NW) brings the annual traditon from Millennium Stage, “All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam” with Chuck Redd, Rober Redd, Lenny Robinson, Tom Williams, James King and Delores Williams. This event is free. For details, visit kennedy-center.org.

The Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW) hosts “James Brown Death-Mas Holiday Bash” tonight at 9. The party is to commemorate the death of the “hardest working man in show business” who died on Christmas in 2006. For more information, visit blackcatdc.com.

Wednesday, Dec. 26

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its gay men over 50 support group this evening at 6:30 p.m. The group is for gay men entering a new phase of life. Registration is required to attend. For more information, visit whitman-walker.org.

Whitman-Walker Health (1701 14th St., NW) holds its HIV+ Newly Diagnosed Support Group tonight at 7. It is a confidential support group for anyone recently diagnosed with HIV and the group welcomes all genders and sexual orientations. For details, visit whitman-walker.org.

Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 pm at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., SE). Newcomers are welcome and no reservations are needed. For more information, visit lambdabridge.com.

Thursday, Dec. 27

Whitman-Walker Health offers HIV testing at Miriam’s Kitchen (2401 Virginia Ave, NW) today from 4-6 p.m. For more information, visit whitman-walker.org.

Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W) is hosting its weekly Best Package Contest tonight at 9 p.m. There is a $3 cover and there are $2 vodka drinks. Participants in the contest can win $200 in cash prizes. The event is hosted by Lena Lett and music by DJ Chord, DJ Madscience, and DJ Sean Morris. For details, visit cobaltdc.com.

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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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