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Back for round seven

Kaki King, the Shondes headline at this weekend’s PhaseFest



The Shondes, Allison Miller, Elijah Oberman, Louisa Rachel Solomon, Fureigh, music, gay news, Washington Blade, Phasefest

The Shondes are, from left, Allison Miller, Elijah Oberman, Louisa Rachel Solomon and Fureigh. (Photo by Frank Stefanko; courtesy the band).

PhaseFest Queer Music Festival

Phase 1 Lounge

525 8th Street, S.E.

Friday at 7 p.m.

$15 at the door

Saturday at 7 p.m.

$25 at the door

No presale

21 and up

Phase 1 manager Angela Lombardi is her usual self-deprecating self when it comes to the bar she runs.

Despite its historic significance, the original Phase 1 — the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the country — inspires Lombardi to call it “our little lesbian dive bar.” At the helm for nearly a decade now, she’s gearing up for this weekend’s seventh annual PhaseFest Queer Music Festival, which she says — despite the hard work — is “my favorite time of year.”

Friday night, starting at 7, The Shondes, Glitter Lust, The Coolots, D.C. Kings, Freeform Radio, Company Calls and Tiik W/ Guts will perform. On Saturday, Belladonna, Pushovers, Sexual Side Effects, Jette Kelly, Frankie & Betty, Michelle Raymond Band and Lacy Liszt will play. Guitar legend Kaki King, whom the Blade interviewed in April when she was here for a Howard show, headlines.

PhaseFest — mostly through Lombardi’s persistence — has made a name for itself among queer musicians despite its humble origins.

“We’re pretty fortunate,” Lombardi says. “We’ve worked with so many headliners over the years. Sometimes they come with these insane managers or insane contracts and riders that call for this and that, dressing rooms for everybody. I’m like, ‘Uhhh, yeah. We have a basement.’ But we’ve worked with some really cool artists and some of them have made some real sacrifices from what they’re used to come play for us. Hopefully what we lack in amenities, we make up for in experience. It shows in how many of them come back year after year. It’s really a great thing to be a part of, from the musicians’ standpoint as well.”

Lombardi says this year’s lineup is about half D.C.-based bands versus half from other places. She says “pretty much” every act has performed either at PhaseFest previously or at the Phase some other time. Most years, about 800 attendees see the shows over the course of the weekend. All the bands are either partially or totally LGBT.

Louisa Rachel Solomon, lead singer and bassist for the New York-based Shondes, can’t remember if they’ve played Phase twice or three times previously. The band just put out its new album “The Garden” last week and their set tonight will be their first since the album dropped. It will be for sale in CD, vinyl and digital format at the show. Solomon calls it a “mix of almost an ‘80s-type rock vibe combined with punkier energy.”

“It’s such a cool place for us,” Solomon says during a phone chat this week. “It’s small, homey and the crew is amazing and lovable. They’re some of my favorite bartenders in the country. We’ll keep coming back as long as they let us.”

Solomon says her band “is comprised of people of various genders and sexual orientations” and that queer sensibility is one of the band’s hallmarks.

“We’re heavily rooted in the queer community,” she says.

Nathalie Vega is the lead singer of D.C.-based band Company Calls and she also plays bass. Company Calls is an all-lesbian band that started playing last September. They made their live debut at last year’s PhaseFest.

“We had such a great experience there last year,” she says. “A lot of doors opened for us just from playing at PhaseFest.”

Vega calls Company Calls’ music a “mix of influences from pop to punk to folk to indie-alternative.”

She says PhaseFest is important because it “gives us a musical community.”

“There are lots of place you can go have a drink, but this gives us both a lesbian and musical community as well,” she says.

Lombardi agrees.

“We’re like lesbian ‘Cheers,’” she says.

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Arts & Entertainment

10 LGBTQ events this week

Set sail on the Potomac and celebrate the beginning of summer in Rehoboth



(Washington Blade file photos by Molly Byrom, Joey DiGuglielmo and Michael Key)

Below are our picks for some oDf the most fun and creative things to do this week in D.C. that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.

Number Nine 11th Anniversary

Number Nine (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Wednesday, May 19
5 p.m.
Number Nine
1435 P Street, N.W.

The gay bar Number Nine celebrates 11 years of business on Wednesday with an old school 2-4-1 happy hour.

DC Boys of Leather Happy Hour (fundraiser for DC Abortion Fund)

Thursday, May 19
6-9 p.m.
1410 14th Street, N.W.

Join the DC boys of Leather for its monthly happy hour. This month’s gathering is raising money for the DC Abortion Fund: a local DC organization that provides financial support for residents of and visitors to DC in their reproductive health care.

Taste of Point

Thursday, May 19
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Room & Board
1840 14th Street, N.W.
$50-$100 advance / $120 door

The Point Foundation, an organization that provides LGBTQ youth scholarships and mentorships, is holding its “Spring Garden Party” on May 19th at Room & Board. Several local restaurants are participating.

Blade Summer Kickoff Party

Friday, May 20
5-7 p.m.
The Pines
56 Baltimore Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Join the Washington Blade for our 15th annual Summer Kickoff Party in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The special guest this year is Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester.

Miss Freddie’s 2022

Destiny B. Childs at the Miss Freddie’s pageant. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, May 20
5-7 p.m.
Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant
555 23rd Street S
Arlington, Va.
$10 cover

The annual Miss Freddie’s drag pageant returns in person at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant in Arlington, Va. on Friday.

Rough House

Friday, May 20
10 p.m.
Green Lantern
1335 Green Court

Join DJs Lemz, Sean Morris, Dean Sullivan and the Barber Streisand and check your clothes at the door for a night of “hands on, lights off” dancing.

Booty Cruise Tea Dance

Saturday, May 21
2-4:30 p.m.
Potomac River
Meet at 3050 K Street, N.W.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Set sail with Fruity Boi Productions & N/S/A Play on the Booty Cruise Tea Dance with an open bar on Saturday. The boat leaves promptly at 2 p.m.

Worthy Mentoring Pride Brunch

Carson Kressley (Blade file photo by Molly Byrom)

Sunday, May 22
12-3 p.m.
Four Seasons Hotel
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Facebook | Website

Original “Queer Eye” guru Carson Kressley hosts the Worthy Mentoring brunch. With a gourmet brunch, bottomless drinks, multiple DJs, drag queens and a good cause, Sunday’s event is one of the hottest tickets in town.

DC Gay Flag Football League Finals

D.C. Gay Flag Football League (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Sunday, May 22
games 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Carter Barron Fields
afterparty and awards 3 p.m. at the Dirty Goose
913 U Street, N.W.

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League holds their final games of the season at Carter Barron Fields and then celebrates with an end-of-season party and awards ceremony at the Dirty Goose on Sunday.

Onyx Code Red: Crimson Cosplay

Sunday, May 22
9 p.m.-2 a.m.
5380 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite C
Alexandria, Va.

Break out your leather, fetish, and kinky looks for a night of fun and a great cause. Red is the color, cosplay is the theme on Sunday night.

If you would like to let us know about an upcoming event, email [email protected] with details.

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British soccer player comes out

Jake Daniels is Blackpool FC forward



Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels/Blackpool FC UK

A 17-year-old professional soccer player has made history only the second person in the past 30 years to acknowledge their sexual orientation publicly in the sport in the U.K.

Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels joins with Justinus Soni “Justin” Fashanu as the only two footballers to declare themselves openly out. Fashanu had come out in an exclusive with The Sun tabloid newspaper on Oct. 22, 1990, and later retired in 1997. He later passed away in London in May 1998.

Daniels made his announcement via a statement released by the team on its webpage:

“This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch. I’ve made my first-team debut, scored 30 goals for the youth team, signed my first professional contract and shared success with my teammates, going on a great run in the FA Youth Cup and lifting the Lancashire FA Pro-Youth Cup. 

But off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.

It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.        

In reaching this point, I’ve had some of the best support and advice from my family, my club, my agent and Stonewall, who have all been incredibly pro-active in putting my interests and welfare first. I have also confided in my team-mates in the youth team here at Blackpool, and they too have embraced the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.   

I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this.

There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in.

You being you, and being happy, is what matters most.


The team itself also noted:

“Blackpool Football Club has worked closely with Stonewall and the relevant footballing organizations to support Jake and is incredibly proud that he has reached a stage where he is empowered to express himself both on-and-off the pitch.

It is vital that we all promote an environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves, and that football leads the way in removing any form of discrimination and prejudice.”

The largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in the UK, Stonewall tweeted:

Blackpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in seaside resort of Blackpool on the Irish Sea coast of England.

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PHOTOS: Miss Gay DC America

Tatiyanna Voche’ crowned pageant winner at As You Are



2022 Miss Gay DC America Tatiyanna Voche'. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Miss Gay DC America pageant returned this year at As You Are on Saturday. Tatiyanna Voche’ was crowned Miss Gay DC America 2022 and is qualified to compete in the Miss Gay America 2023 competition in January.

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

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