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Calendar: Nov. 1

Parties, concerts, exhibits and more through Nov. 7



Forever Tango, dance, gay news, Washington Blade
Forever Tango, dance, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Forever Tango’ explores the history of the tango at the Strathmore. (Photo courtesy of the Strathmore)

Friday, Nov. 1

Adodi D.C., a black same-gender-loving men’s social/spiritual group, hosts its bi-monthly potluck discussion at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. Please bring food to share. For details, call 202-360-1143 or email [email protected].

D.C. Aquatics Club hosts its “November Happy Hour” at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) from 6-9:30 p.m. The upstairs bar will be reserved and there will be drink specials. For details, visit

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts Bear Happy Hour tonight from 6-11 p.m. There is no cover charge and admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit

Saturday, Nov. 2

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers today at Food and Friends (219 Riggs Rd., N.E.) from 8-10 a.m. Come help with food preparation and packing groceries. Coffee and donuts will be provided. For details, visit

Metro Cooking D.C. hosts “The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertainment Show” at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Pl., N.W.) today from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy samples and tastings from more than 40 chefs and restaurants, 300 vendors and cooking demonstrations from local chefs and workshops. Tickets range from $24.50-$63. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit

Run or Dye, a tie-dye 5k race, comes to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium (2400 East Capitol St., S.E.) today from 9 a.m.-noon. All ages and levels of fitness welcome. Team registration is $52 per person and individual registration is $57 per person. For registration, visit

JR.’s Bar and Grill (1519 17th St., N.W.) host a scavenger hunt and trivia challenge from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. today to raise money for Stonewall Kickball’s official charity The D.C. Center. Meet at JR.’s at 11 a.m. for instructions and teams have until 3 p.m. to earn points. At 3 p.m., meet at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) for an after party and prizes. Entry fees are $50 per two-person team. Registration includes one free drink at Cobalt, 25 percent off food at Level One (1639 R St., N.W.) and happy hour pricing. For registration, visit

Jinkx Monsoon performs her cabaret show with Major Scales “The Vaudevillains” at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $20, open seating tickets $35 and open seating and meet-and-greet tickets are $50. For details and to purchase tickets visit

fallFRINGE, a festival that brings back seven of the top shows from this summer’s Fringe Festival, kicks off this weekend. An opening party with an “all souls potluck” is tonight at 8 p.m. at Fort Fringe: The Shop, Redrum and Bedroom (607 New York Ave., N.W.). Tickets are $20 or $15 with a Fringe button. Visit for details on returning shows and more information on the opening party. The festival runs through Nov. 17.

Sunday, Nov. 3

Chick Chat, a singles group for lesbians ages 50 and over, meets at Brookside Gardens (1800 Glenallan Ave., Silver Spring, Md.) today at 2 p.m. for a walk rain or shine. Event is free. Please RSVP to [email protected].

Perry’s (1811 Columbia Rd., N.W.) hosts its weekly “Sunday Drag Brunch” today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $24.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet. For more details, visit

Converge D.C., a new LGBT-inclusive church, holds its official launch at First Congregational United Church of Christ D.C. (945 G St., N.W.) tonight from 6-7 p.m. For more information, visit

SMYAL hosts its 16th annual “Fall Brunch” at the Mandarin Oriental (13300 Maryland Ave., S.W.) today at 11 a.m. There will be a cocktail reception and a silent auction. Ally Sheedy will be honored as a community advocate. Tickets are $150. For details, visit

Monday, Nov. 4

The D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit

The D.C Center (1318 U St., N.W.) hosts a volunteer night from 6:30-8:30 p.m. tonight. Come check out the new facilities, meet new people and give back to the local community center. Activities may include sorting through book donations, cleaning up around the center and taking inventory for FUK!T packets. For details, visit

Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts poker night tonight at 8 p.m. Win prizes. Free to play. For more information, visit

Tuesday, Nov. 5

Maryland Corporate Council hosts a look forward at 2014 legislative session with Michael Busch, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, at Ballard Spahr (300 East Lombard St., Baltimore) today from 8-10 a.m. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served. For details, visit

Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts its weekly ”FUK!T Packing Party” from 7-9 p.m. tonight. For more details, visit or

SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) holds free and confidential HIV testing drop-in hours from 3-5 p.m. today. For details, visit

Wednesday, Nov. 6

The Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner needed. For more information, call 301-345-1571.

The Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) hosts happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. today. All drinks are half price. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. For more details, visit

Us Helping Us (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) hosts a support group for black men living with HIV/AIDS tonight from 7-9 p.m. For more details, visit or call 202-446-1100.

Thursday, Nov. 7

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses “Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It” by Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin at Tenleytown Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. All are welcome. For details, visit

Sphinx Virtuosi, an ensemble comprised of alumni from the Sphinx Competition for young black and Latino string players, performs at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32. For details, visit or call 202-785-9727.

Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.) presents Luis Bravo’s “Forever Tango” tonight at 8 p.m. for one night only. The Tony-nominated show tells the history of tango with a cast of 14 Argentine dancers and an 11-piece orchestra. Tickets range from $36-$78. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit



PHOTOS: Miss Glamour Girl

Maryland drag pageant held at McAvoy’s



Miss Shantay is crowned Miss Glamour Girl 2023 at McAvoy's in Parkville, Md. on Sunday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Miss Glamour Girl 2023 Pageant was held at McAvoy’s in Parkville, Md. on Sunday, Oct. 1. Miss Shantay was crowned the winner and qualified to compete in the Miss Gay Maryland Pageant in November.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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New book explores why we categorize sports according to gender

You can lead a homophobic horse to water but you can’t make it think



‘Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates’
By Katie Barnes
c.2023, St. Martin’s Press
$29/304 pages

The jump shot happened so quickly, so perfectly.

Your favorite player was in the air in a heartbeat, basketball in hand, wrist cocked. One flick and it was all swish, three points, just like that, and your team was ahead. So are you watching men’s basketball or women’s basketball? Or, as in the new book, “Fair Play” by Katie Barnes, should it really matter?

For sports fans, this may come as a surprise: we categorize sports according to gender.

Football, baseball, wresting: male sports. Gymnastics, volleyball: women’s sports. And yet, one weekend spent cruising around television shows you that those sports are enjoyed by both men and women – but we question the sexuality of athletes who dare (gasp!) to cross invisible lines for a sport they love.

How did sports “become a flash point for a broader conversation?”

Barnes takes readers back first to 1967, when Kathrine Switzer and Bobbi Gibb both ran in the Boston Marathon. It was the first time women had audaciously done so and while both finished the race, their efforts didn’t sit well with the men who made the rules.

“Thirty-seven words” changed the country in 1972 when Title IX was signed, which guaranteed there’d be no discrimination in extracurricular events, as long as “federal financial assistance” was taken. It guaranteed availability for sports participation for millions of girls in schools and colleges. It also “enshrine[d] protections for queer and transgender youth to access school sports.”

So why the debate about competition across gender lines?

First, says Barnes, we can’t change biology, or human bodies that contain both testosterone and estrogen, or that some athletes naturally have more of one or the other – all of which factor into the debate. We shouldn’t forget that women can and do compete with men in some sports, and they sometimes win. We shouldn’t ignore the presence of transgender men in sports.

What we should do, Barnes says, is to “write a new story. One that works better.”

Here are two facts: Nobody likes change. And everybody has an opinion.

Keep those two statements in mind when you read “Fair Play.” They’ll keep you calm in this debate, as will author Katie Barnes’ lack of flame fanning.

As a sports fan, an athlete, and someone who’s binary, Barnes makes things relatively even-keel in this book, which is a breath of fresh air in what’s generally ferociously contentious. There’s a good balance of science and social commentary here, and the many, many stories that Barnes shares are entertaining and informative, as well as illustrative. Readers will come away with a good understanding of where the debate lies.

But will this book make a difference?

Maybe. Much will depend on who reads and absorbs it. Barnes offers plenty to ponder but alas, you can lead a homophobic horse to water but you can’t make it think. Still, if you’ve got skin in this particular bunch of games, find “Fair Play” and jump on it.

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

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An exciting revival of ‘Evita’ at Shakespeare Theatre

Out actor Caesar Samayoa on portraying iconic role of President Perón



Caesar Samayoa (center) and the cast of ‘Evita’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company. (Photo by DJ Corey Photography) 

Through Oct. 15
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Harman Hall
610 F St., N.W.

When Eva Perón died of cancer at 33 in 1952, the people’s reaction was so intense that Argentina literally ran out of cut flowers. Mourners were forced to fly in stems from neighboring countries, explains out actor Caesar Samayoa. 

For Samayoa, playing President Perón to Shireen Pimental’s First Lady Eva in director Sammi Cannold’s exciting revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” at Shakespeare Theatre Company is a dream fulfilled. 

As a Guatemalan-American kid, he had a foot in two worlds. Samayoa lived and went to school in suburban Emerson, N.J. But he spent evenings working at his parents’ botanica in Spanish Harlem. 

During the drives back and forth in the family station wagon, he remembers listening to “Evita” on his cassette player: “It’s the first cast album I remember really hearing and understanding. I longed to be in the show.”

As an undergrad, he transferred from Bucknell University where he studied Japanese international relations to a drama major at Ithica College. His first professional gig was in 1997 playing Juliet in Joe Calarco’s off-Broadway “Shakespeare’s R&J.” Lots of Broadway work followed including “Sister Act,” “The Pee-Wee Herman Show,” and most significantly, Samayoa says, “Come From Away,” a musical telling of the true story of airline passengers stranded in Gander, Newfoundland during 9/11. He played Kevin J. (one half of a gay couple) and Ali, a Muslim chef.  

He adds “Evita” has proved a powerful experience too: “We’re portraying a populist power couple that changed the trajectory of a country in a way most Americans can’t fully understand. And doing it in Washington surrounded by government and politics is extra exciting.” 

WASHINGTON BLADE: How do you tap into a real-life character like Perón?

CAESAR SAMAYOA: Fortunately, Sammi [Connald] and I work similarly. With real persons and situations, I immerse myself into history, almost to a ridiculous extent. 

First day in the rehearsal room, we were inundated with artifacts. Sammi has been to Argentina several times and interviewed heavily with people involved in Eva and Peron’s lives. Throughout the process we’d sit and talk about the real history that happened. We went down the rabbit hole.

Sammi’s interviews included time with Eva’s nurse who was at her bedside when she died. We watched videos of those interviews. They’ve been an integral part of our production. 

BLADE: Were you surprised by anything you learned?

SAMAYOA: Usually, Eva and Perón’s relationship is portrayed as purely transactional.  They wrote love letters and I had access to those. At their country home, they’d be in pajamas and walk on the beach; that part of their life was playful and informal. They were a political couple but they were deeply in love too. I latched on to that. 

BLADE: And anything about the man specifically? 

SAMAYOA:  Perón’s charisma was brought to the forefront. In shows I’ve done, some big names have attended. Obama. Clinton. Justin Trudeau came to “Come From Away.” Within seconds, the charisma makes you give into that person. I’ve tried to use that.  

BLADE: And the part? 

SAMAYOA: Perón is said to be underwritten. But I love his power and the songs he sings [“The Art of the Possible,” “She is a Diamond,” etc.]. I’m fully a baritone and to find that kind of role in a modern musical is nearly impossible. And in this rock opera, I can use it to the full extent and feel great about it.

BLADE: “Evita” is a co-production with A.R.T. Has it changed since premiering in Boston? 

SAMAYOA: Yes, it has. In fact, 48 hours before opening night in Washington, we made some changes and they’ve really landed. Without giving too much away, we gave it more gravity in reality of time as well as Eva’s sickness and the rapid deterioration. It’s given our second act a huge kind of engine that it didn’t have. 

BLADE: You’re married to talent agent Christopher Freer and you’re very open. Was it always that way for you?

SAMAYOA: When I started acting professionally, it was a very different industry. We were encouraged to stay in the closet or it will cast only in a certain part. There was truth in that. There still is some truth in that, but I refuse to go down that road. I can’t reach what I need to reach unless I’m my most honest self. I can’t do it any other way.

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