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Best of Gay D.C. 2013: Nightlife

Blade readers choose their favorite clubs, parties, monthly events and more



Best of Gay D.C., nightlife, gay news, Washington Blade
Best of Gay D.C., Freddie's Beach Bar, Best Outside District Bar, gay news, Washington Blade

Freddie’s Beach Bar (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best outside-D.C. bar: Freddie’s Beach Bar
555 23rd Street
South Arlington, Va.

Runner-up: Club Hippo (Baltimore)

Best of Gay D.C., Blue Moon, Rehoboth Beach, Best Rehoboth Bar, gay news, Washington Blade

Blue Moon (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best Rehoboth bar: Blue Moon
35 Baltimore Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Runner-up: Rehoboth Ale House

Best of Gay D.C., Number Nine, Best Place to Meet Men, Best Happy Hour, gay news, Washington Blade

Number Nine (Washington Blade photo by Lee Whitman)

Best happy hour:
Best place to meet men:
Number 9
1435 P Street, N.W.

Runner-up for both: Cobalt

Best drag show: Big Bang Bingo at Mellow Mushroom
2436 18th Street, N.W.

Runner-up: Ziegfeld’s

Best place to meet women: glittHER by V Spot D.C.
1807 4th St., N.W.

Dancing won’t feel right again without being covered in glitter.V Spot D.C.’s glittHER dance parties infuse great music, glitter, dancing and did we mention glitter? All while mingling with local ladies. (MC)

Runner-up: BARE by LURe at Cobalt

Best of Gay D.C., Best Gay-Friendly Straight Bar, gay news, Washington Blade

Stoney’s (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best gay-friendly straight bar: Stoney’s
1433 P Street, N.W.

Runner-up: Brixton

Best live music: 9:30 Club
815 V Street, N.W.

Runner-up: Black Cat

Best neighborhood bar: JR.’s Bar & Grill
1519 17th Street, N.W.

Runner-up: Nellie’s Sports Bar

Hottest stripper or gogo dancer:
Christian Lezzil

By day he’s a graduate student with one semester left to earn his master’s in literature. By night, Christian Lezzil strips at Secrets.

Having done some modeling during his time in Virginia Beach — he came to D.C. about a year ago — Lezzil says dancing nude, initially at the behest of a drag queen friend, was a lark. He says in addition to paying for grad school, it’s had an unexpected benefit — it’s given him plenty of material for his writing. He has two books — “Crimson & Caramel” and “The Maniac in the Coffee Shop” — out (written under his real name, Eddie Generazio).

“It started with a student body competition in Virginia Beach,” Lezzil says. “Somebody said I should enter and I just thought, ‘Hell, why not? I’m not doing anything else.’ I was waiting to hear back from my graduate school application. … I was looking for some kind of alternative lifestyle-type of thing to do and I just thought, ‘Well, what’s more alternative than dancing in a male revue?’ There’s a lot of poetry in there and it just kind of started taking off after I arrived in D.C. I got so much material, my second book kind of wrote itself.”

The 23-year-old bi Virginia native, Lezzil (a stage name) says he enjoys the irony of stripping and writing. He says many of his colleagues at Secrets are also smart, though some try to hide it. He views his Best Of Gay D.C. award as a validation of sorts.

“Maybe I’m just a jerk and I’m inflating it, but I think of it as a kind of performance art,” he says.


Best of Gay D.C., Christian Lezzil, Hottest Stripper, Secrets, gay news, Washington Blade

Christian Lezzil (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Runner-up: Ben Reznik

Best men’s party: CTRL at Cobalt
Last Saturday of the month
1639 R Street, N.W.

Runner-up: Bear Happy Hour at Town

Best of Gay D.C., BARE, LURe, Cobalt, Best Women's Party, gay news, Washington Blade

BARE by the Ladies of LURe at Cobalt. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best women’s party: BARE by LURe at Cobalt
Third Saturday of the month
1639 R Street, N.W.

Runner-up: glittHER by V Spot D.C.

Best of Gay D.C., best Alternative Party, Gay/Bash, Joshua Vogelsong, gay news, Washington Blade

Joshua Vogelsong of the Black Cat’s Gay/Bash. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Best alt party: Gay/Bash! at Black Cat
Next event: Oct. 26
1811 14th Street, N.W.

Runner-up: Mixtape



PHOTOS: Miss Gay D.C.

Courtney Kelly crowned winner of annual drag competition



Courtney Kelly is crowned Miss Gay D.C. 2023 at The Lodge on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2023 Miss Gay D.C. competition was held at The Lodge in Boonsboro, Md. on Saturday, Dec. 2. Six contestants vied for the crown, and Courtney Kelly was crowned the winner.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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More queer books we love

Bellies: A Novel, Time Out and more for your gift list



(Book cover images courtesy of the publishers)

For the person on your gift list who’d love a boy-meets-boy story, wrap up “Bellies: A Novel” by Nicola Dinan (Hanover Square Press), the tale of a playwright and the man who loves him wholly, until a transition threatens to change everything.

If there’s a romantic on your list, then you’re in luck: finding a gift is easy when you wrap up “10 Things That never Happened” by Alexis Hall (Sourcebooks), the story of Sam, whose job is OK, and his boss, Jonathan, who should have never hired Sam. Too late now, except for the romance. Wrap it up with “Time Out” by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner with Carlyn Greenwald (Simon & Schuster), the story of a basketball player who’s newly out of the closet, and a politically minded boy who could easily get his vote.

For the person on your list who likes to read quick, short articles, wrap up “Inverse Cowgirl: A Memoir” by Alicia Roth Weigel (HarperOne). It’s a collection of essays on life as an intersex person, and the necessity for advocating for others who are, too.

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Our favorite books for holiday gifts

Hitchcock, Britney, Barbra, and more!



(Book cover image courtesy of G.P. Putnam's Sons)

When it gets dark early, it’s cold outside and you want to spice up your life, what’s more intriguing than a book? Here are some holiday gift ideas for book lovers of all ages.

Who isn’t fascinated by the dark, twisty, sometimes, mordantly witty, movies of Alfred Hitchcock, or by Grace Kelly, Tippi Hedren, Ingrid Bergman and the other actresses in his films? Hitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind the Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession by Laurence Leamer, author of “Capote’s Women,” is an engrossing story not only of Hitchcock, but of the iconic “blondes” he cast in some of his most beloved movies from “39 Steps” to “Rear Window” to “Vertigo” to “Psycho.” $29. G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Reading about Hitchcock, no matter how intriguing the book, is never as good as watching his films. Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection (Blu-ray $39.96. DVD: $32.40) features “Rear Window,” “North by Northwest,” “Psycho” and “The Birds.”

Corona/Crown,” by D.C.-based queer poet Kim Roberts in collaboration with photographer Robert Revere, is a fab present for lovers of photography, museums, and poetry. Revere and Roberts were deeply affected by the closure of museums during the COVID pandemic. In this lovely chapbook, they create a new “museum” of their own. “This is what I learned when the pandemic struck,” Roberts writes, “when I couldn’t stop thinking about the artwork in all the museums, bereft of human eyes.” $21.25 WordTech Editions

Few things are as scary and/or captivating as a good ghost story. The Night Side of the River,” by acclaimed lesbian writer Jeanette Winterson, author of “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” and “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit,” is a provocative and engrossing collection of ghost stories. These deliciously chilling stories feature spirits, avatars, a haunted estate, AI and, pun intended, lively meetings between the living and the dead. $27. Grove.

Blackouts,” a novel by queer writer Justin Torres that received this year’s National Book Award for fiction, is a breathtaking book about storytelling, queer history, love, art, and erasure. A perfect gift for aficionados of characters that become etched into your DNA. $30. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

The Woman in Me,” the memoir by Britney Spears will be devoured by queers of all ages – from tweens to elders. Much of Spears’s story is known – from her youth in Louisiana to her rapid rise to fame to her conservatorship (when her father controlled her life). Yet the devil, as the saying goes, is in the details. In this riveting memoir, Spears reveals the horrifying and exhilarating aspects of her life: from how her father controlled what she ate and when she took a bath to the restrictions put on her ability to see her sons to her love of singing, dancing, and creating music. Spears writes of the queer community’s “unconditional” love and support for her.  $32.99. Gallery.

Few memoirs have been more eagerly anticipated than Barbra Streisand’s My Name Is Barbra.” In its nearly 1,000 pages, EGOT-winning (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), divine, queer icon Streisand, 81, tells seemingly everything about her life. She quarreled with Larry Kramer over filming “The Normal Heart.” It didn’t work out: Streisand thought mainstream audiences would be turned off by explicit sex scenes. Marlon Brando and Streisand were good friends, she loves Brazilian coffee ice cream and her mother was a horror show. Contrary to how some lesser mortals see her, she doesn’t see herself as a diva. The print version of “My Name is Barbra” is fab. The audio version, a 48-hour listen, which Streisand narrates, is even better. $47. Viking. $45 on Audible.

Chasing Rembrandt,” by Richard Stevenson is a terrific gift for mystery lovers. Richard Stevenson was the pseudonym for Richard Lipez, the out queer author, who wrote witty, engaging mysteries featuring the openly gay detective Donald Strachey. Sadly, Stevenson died in 2022. But, “Chasing Rembrandt,” a novel featuring Strachey and his romantic partner Timmy, was published this year. The idea for the story was sparked by a real-life incident when paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “Robbers wreak havoc, smashing the glass covers protecting masterpieces and slicing paintings out of their frames,” Stevenson writes at the beginning of this entertaining story, “They make off with thirteen works, including three Rembrandts and a Vermeer, worth more than half a billion dollars and beloved in the world of art. It is arguably the greatest property theft in human history.”

With the repartee of Nick and Nora and the grit of Philip Marlowe, Strachey works to solve this mystery. $16.95. ReQueered Tales.

Some books never get old. “The Wild Things,” the beloved children’s picture book written and illustrated by acclaimed gay writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, was published in 1963. Sixty years later, the Caldecott Medal-winning classic is still loved by three to five-year-olds, their parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles. A new digital audio version of “Where the Wild Things Are,” narrated by Michelle Obama, was released this fall. Who can resist the Wild Things, when they plead: “Oh, please don’t go–we’ll eat you up–We love you so!”? Widely available in hard cover, paperback and e-book format. Audio: $5.50.

What’s more fun than playing a festive album while you’re reading during the holidays? Deck the halls! This year, queer icon Cher has released “Christmas,” her first holiday album. Highlights of the album include: Cher singing with Cyndi Lauper on “Put A Little Holiday In Your Heart,” Stevie Wonder on “What Christmas Means to Me” and Darlene Love on “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” and the rapper Tyga on “Drop Top Sleigh Ride.” The perfect gift for Cher aficionados.

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