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Gay author Peck mines history for new book

Series of events around the District and Maryland will celebrate release of ‘Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry’



Garrett Peck, gay news, Washington Blade
Garrett Peck (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Garrett Peck (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Local gay author Garrett Peck is releasing his fourth book “The Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry” about the long forgotten quarry that provided the redstone for the Castle and other buildings in the area. To celebrate its release, Peck will be providing several events around the region, including readings and a walking tour.

• Seneca Quarry Tour starting at the C&O Canal’s Seneca Aqueduct (located at the end of Riley’s Lock Road, Poolesville) Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Attendees are asked to RSVP on the Facebook event page.

• Georgetown Neighborhood Library (3260 R St., NW) hosts Peck at the George Peabody Lecture in the library’s Peabody Room on Thursday evening 6:30 p.m.

• Politics and Prose (5015 Connecticut Ave., NW) holds a book talk and a signing beginning at 5 p.m. on Feb. 24.

• The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE) hosts a talk by Peck and will feature his photos from prior book “The Potomac River” and “The Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28. To register for this event, visit

• Peck will host a Seneca-Quarry Tour on March 2 starting at the Seneca Aqueduct (at the end of Riley’s Lock Rd., Poolesville) at 1 p.m. After there will be a book party at the Rockland’s Farm (14525 Montevideo Rd., Poolesville) starting at 3:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to RSVP on the Facebook event.

• There will be another Seneca Quarry Tour for Politics & Prose patrons on March 16 at 1 p.m.

• Potomac Riverkeeper, one of the leading advocates for a clean, healthy river, hosts a talk about the quarry at 6:30 p.m. on March 28 at 1100 15th St., NW, 11th Floor. Registration details will follow.

• Peck will appear at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 18. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Gaithersburg City Hall Grounds (31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg).

For more information, visit

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Arts & Entertainment

André Leon Talley dies at 73

Iconic Black fashion journalist was born in D.C.



André Leon Talley being interviewed in the 1990's (Screenshot via YouTube)

André Leon Talley, a formidable iconic fashion journalist and the former creative director and one-time editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, passed away at age 73 of unspecified causes at a hospital in White Plains, an inner suburb of New York City in Westchester County, New York.

News of the famed fashion journalist’s death Tuesday was first reported by celebrity news and gossip site TMZ.

Talley was known for his close friendships with designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, and singer/actress Jennifer Hudson, and Vogue magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour among others.

Talley worked at Vogue during an unprecedented time of growth in the fashion industry in the 1980’s and 1990’s. From 1983 until late 1987, he was the magazine’s the news director and was then promoted to Vogue’s creative director in 1988, a post he held until 1995. He later came back to the magazine in 1998 as the editor-at-large until his departure in 2013.

Born in D.C. on Oct. 16, 1948 and raised in North Carolina, Talley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature in 1970 from North Carolina Central University. He later attended Brown University, after he was awarded a scholarship, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in French Literature in 1972.

Talley’s early career as a journalist saw him working at Andy Warhol’s Factory and Interview magazine. He later became the Paris bureau chief for Women’s Wear Daily.

His later career saw Talley hosting his own radio show principally concerned with fashion and pop culture on Sirius XM. He also released a book “The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir” on May 19, 2020, which detailed his early career start and some of the issues he encountered as a Black man.

Talley was also an LGBTQ icon. When asked about his sexual orientation by daytime chat show host Wendy Williams during a May 29, 2018 appearance, he stated, No, I’m not heterosexual; I’m saying I’m fluid in my sexuality, darling.”

André Leon Talley, fashion’s godfather | fashion icon profile:

VideoFashion profile in 2020 marking of the release of André Leon Talley’s memoir, “THE CHIFFON TRENCHES.”

André Leon Talley | full address | Oxford Union:

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Out & About

DC Center to host estate planning seminar series

Three sessions presented by Murray Scheel



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



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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