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Holidays and holy days

Several D.C.-area churches welcome gays for Christmas services



Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade
Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Not all houses of worship spew the same old tiresome fire-and-brimstone theology. Several churches in the Washington region are openly LGBT welcoming and affirming and have services planned over Christmas Eve and Christmas. Here are a few:

Christmas Eve

Foundry United Methodist Church (16th and P streets, N.W.) holds a children and family Christmas Eve service this evening at from 6:30-7:30 p.m. At 8 the church will also host a Christmas Eve lessons, carols and candlelight service filled with music and scripture readings. Rev. Dean Snyder will share a homily. For more information visit

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) has a children’s Mass and blessing of the Creche today at 4 p.m. This includes carols, scripture and the story from the rector. Later at 7, staff will hold Christmas lessons and carols, which will include songs sung by the choir. The High Mass will be held at 11pm with a prelude of music at 10:30 pm. For more information, visit

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve worship service tonight at 8 with Rev. Dwayne Johnson. Visit for details. Johnson is openly gay and MCC is the city’s largest mostly LGBT church.

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) has carols by candlelight with Revs. Mariann Budd and Gary Hall this evening at 6. At 10 p.m., there’s Festival Holy Eucharist. For more information, visit

Covenant Baptist Church United Church of Christ (3845 S. Capitol St.) holds its Christmas Eve service tonight at 7. For details, visit

Dumbarton United Methodist Church (3133 Dumbarton St., N.W.) offers two Christmas Eve services today at 5 and10 p.m. The first service is geared toward children while the later service is more formal and will connect with the Advent worship themes. Visit for details.

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.) has a service tonight at 7:30 with a musical prelude starting at 7 that includes a vocal soloist, organ, harp and other instrumentalists. National City has one of the region’s largest and best-sounding pipe organs. For more information visit

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) holds a Christmas Eve service this evening at 5:30 p.m. and a Choir Festive service at 10:30 p.m. with a choral prelude starting at 10. For details visit

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) presents its Christmas Pageant today at 4 p.m. Later in the evening there’s a Festival Holy Eucharist service with choral prelude beginning at 8:30 p.m. Visit for more information.

Seekers Church (276 Carroll St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve dinner and service from 6-9 p.m. For more information, visit

First Trinity Lutheran Church (309 E St., N.W.) has a Christmas Eve service tonight at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit

Church of the Pilgrims (2201 P St., N.W.) offers a Christmas Eve candlelight service with Christmas music, celebration of the Lord’s supper and candlelighting. Visit for details.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) has a Christmas Eve Mass with a musical prelude today at 4, a Misa De Vigilia de Navidad at 6:30 p.m. and a Solemn Mass of Christmas with a musical prelude beginning at 9:15 p.m. The Roman Catholic Church’s official stance is anti-gay, but some parishes are quietly LGBT welcoming. For more information, visit or


All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) holds low Mass this morning at 10 a.m. Visit for more information.

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) holds Festival Holy Eucharist this morning at 11 a.m. There is a Christmas Day Service of Lessons and Carols today at 4 p.m. followed by an organ recital featuring Jeremy Filsell this evening at 5:15 p.m.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) has its Christmas Day service this morning at 10 a.m. For more information visit

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) has a Christmas Day Holy Eucharist service beginning at 10 a.m. For details, visit

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) offers four different Christmas services: one at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and a service in Spanish at 1 p.m. Visit for more information.

Dignity Washington (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has its Christmas Mass this evening at 6 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Church. Dignity is a special group for LGBT Roman Catholics. For more information, visit



PHOTOS: Benefit show for Hagerstown Hopes

Drag event at Shepherd University raises money for LGBTQ organization



Drag artists perform at Shepherd University on Saturday to raise money for the LGBTQ organization Hagerstown Hopes. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Shepherd University Program Board and GSA presented a drag show benefit for Hagerstown Hopes at the Storer Ballroom in the Student Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va. on Saturday, April 1. Performers included Ashley Bannks, Alexa V. Shontelle, Maranda Rights, Ivanna Rights, Chasity Vain, Bayley, Dezi Minaj, Nicole James and Remington Steele.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Arts & Entertainment

Washington National Opera honors Katherine Goforth

Award recognizes an artist who identifies as transgender or non-binary



Katherine Goforth, the inaugural recipient of Washington National Opera’s True Voice Award, performing in the Portland Opera Gala, with pianist Nick Fox. (Photo courtesy Goforth)

Katherine Goforth was recently announced as the inaugural recipient of Washington National Opera’s True Voice Award. This award was created to provide training and increase the visibility of opera singers who self-identify as transgender and non-binary. Each recipient will receive a financial award and the chance to participate in career training, artistic coaching, and a performance with the Cafritz Young Artists. Recipients will also be presented by the Kennedy Center in a recital at the Millennium Stage. Goforth’s recital will take place in May 2024. 

The Washington Blade chatted with this talented singer about her artistic journey, experience as a trans opera singer, her future plans for her own career, and how she hopes to shape the field of opera.

Washington Blade: Can you share about your journey as an artist? How did you begin this journey and eventually pursue opera?

Katherine Goforth: I had an interest in music and singing for my entire life, but I looked at it as more of a hobby until my high school choir teacher required me to take voice lessons. After a few months of lessons, I started winning prizes and getting special attention for my singing, which meant a lot to me at the time because I was struggling a lot socially and at home. It was easy to dedicate myself to singing after that and hard to imagine pursuing another career. 

Talking about art is a lot broader than talking about music for me. As a teenager, I attended Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, a public arts magnet middle and high school, and we had arts education integrated into most of our subjects. Some of my most memorable projects were a mural painted on school windows I co-designed and co-created, a mockumentary film about the meaning of art, and the semi-opera I composed as my senior year capstone project. 

Since I was a kid, I felt like I had something to prove and have always tried to do more than what others thought possible in my performing and creative work. It has only been since I transitioned that I really started to feel like I was enough. The part of me that wanted to prove myself could calm down and I learned that it is enough for me when I stand in my own values and desires. 

Blade: What has been your experience as a trans person in the field of opera?

Goforth: As a young person coming into a sense of trans and gender non-conforming identity, opera was a damaging space to be part of. At the time, I believed there was no way to actualize my gender identity and continue working. Sure, there were queer people in opera, but almost all of them were straight-presenting men—and those who weren’t, didn’t seem to get the same opportunities. I have a strong memory of seeing the news about the premiere of As One [a chamber opera with a sole transgender protagonist]in 2014. It was the first time I had heard anyone mention trans people in an opera space. I don’t know how much this has changed for students, but I do think that fewer people are postponing their transitions for the sake of working in this industry, which is good. 

I haven’t worked in opera very much since I came out and it will be interesting to see how that develops over the next few years. I’ve heard a lot of people say that major opera companies aren’t ready for trans singers yet, but I hope they’re wrong. My struggle is that I feel much happier playing female characters, but I’m not capable of singing soprano-alto roles on stage right now. That’s something I hope will change in the future, but I think it’s important for me to accept my voice and try to find affirming projects to work on with the voice that I have. 

I’m going to Europe this summer to sing in the premieres of Philip Venables and Ted Huffman’s The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions, which is an adaptation of a novel by Larry Mitchell. My sense is that, although I love singing standard rep, the work that will feel best to me as a human being is contemporary opera. There are new works coming out all the time where a character’s vocal range isn’t restricted by their gender, or where parts are written to be affirming to trans singers. It’s an amazing experience to work on roles like that, like the non-binary protagonist in Drew Swatosh and Brian Dang’s If Only I Could Give You The Sun, a role I premiered. 

For me, the bottom line is that even in a perfectly affirming opera space, there’s a lot for me to navigate. We haven’t even gotten into the contrast between the project of self-actualization that, for me, defines transition and the way control is exercised over singers in the operatic space. It is hard to spend your whole life working on being your authentic self only to then step into an industry where self-identity is encouraged only if you have the right identity. I’m not going back into any closet.

Blade: Congratulations on being the inaugural True Voice Award recipient. How do you hope to use this award as a platform to further your career, and more broadly, shape the field of opera?

Goforth: I’d like to thank Washington National Opera, Kimberly Reed, Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and the rest of the selection committee for choosing me for this award. When I decided to come out, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to work in this industry again. It seems to me that trans people have never had this level of institutional support in our industry. I’m honored to receive it, but I’m also aware of all the other people who competed for this award and ways that my selection leaves them out. 

For me, I think my next step is getting out of a young artist box, getting management, and moving into a career where I’m making a living wage from singing without any second or side jobs, singing lead roles instead of supporting roles, and taking the creative work that I develop to the next level. 

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PHOTOS: Jackie Cox and Jan at Pitchers

RuPaul’s Drag Race alums join local performers at gay sports bar



Jan performs at Pitchers on Wednesday, March 29. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Jackie Cox and Jan performed at Pitchers DC on Wednesday, March 29. Other performers included Cake Pop!, Venus Valhalla, Brooklyn Heights, Jayzeer Shantey and Logan Stone.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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