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‘Ready for Hillary’ event draws packed house

LGBT supporters to host second event in January at gay club



Phil Pannell, Ready for Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party, LOOK, gay news, Washington Blade
Phil Pannell, Ready for Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party, LOOK, gay news, Washington Blade, Ready for Hillary

Democratic activist Phil Pannell (left) is among the more than 450 Hillary Clinton supporters who turned out Thursday for a ‘Ready for Hillary’ event. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

More than 450 people, including LGBT activists, turned out for D.C.’s first official rally and fundraiser Thursday night for Ready for Hillary, the independent super PAC formed earlier this year to urge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016.

As many of the attendees entered Look restaurant and lounge on the 1900 block of K St., N.W., where the event took place, they were greeted by veteran D.C. gay rights and civic activist Phil Pannell, who was among the volunteers staffing a check-in table.

“I’m really excited to be here and excited about Hillary,” said Pannell, who is among a growing number of D.C.-area LGBT activists who supported Barack Obama over Clinton in the 2008 presidential race but who are enthusiastic Clinton supporters now.

“Like so many people I know, I want to be a part of this,” Pannell said.

In keeping with their policy of encouraging support from small donors, organizers of the Ready for Hillary rally Thursday night set the admission price at $20.16.

Gay Democratic activist Peter Rosenstein, one of Ready for Hillary’s early supporters, said that same admission price will be in place for the organization’s next event in D.C. that will target a specific LGBT audience. Called “Out and Ready for Hillary,” the event will take place Jan. 15 at the gay nightclub Town Danceboutique.

Among those working on plans for the January event is Lisa Changadveja, Ready for Hillary’s LGBT Americans director. Changadvja announced the January event at Town from the stage at the rally Thursday night.

In an interview with the Blade in November, Changadveja said she and a corps of volunteers will be setting up Ready for Hillary booths at LGBT Pride events across the country in 2014.

“We’re here to encourage her to run in 2016 because she has the grassroots support behind her and she has the LGBT community behind her if and when she decides to run,” Changadveja said.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), the first member of Congress to officially endorse Clinton for president in 2016, told the gathering Thursday night that he sees support for a Clinton candidacy growing in his home state of Ohio and all parts of the country.

“What we want this campaign to be is something that ushers in the new era of politics in the United States, that Hillary can break the logjam in Washington, D.C. and move our country forward,” he said. “And with your help she’s going to be able to do that.”

Among the LGBT activist leaders listed as members of the host committee for the January Ready for Hillary event at Town nightclub are veteran transgender advocate Dana Beyer; gay Democratic National Committee member and Center for Black Equity CEO Earl Fowlkes; gay Democratic activist Lane Hudson; Gertrude Stein Democratic Club Secretary Jimmie Luthuli; and gay restaurant manager and civic activist Dito Sevilla. Rosenstein is also a member of the host committee.

Tim Ryan, Democratic Party, Ohio, United States House of Representatives, Ready for Hillary, Hillary Clinton, gay news, Washington Blade, Ready for HIllary

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) spoke at the event. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

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  1. Brooks Austin

    December 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Why should anyone support Hillary Clinton? She supported the Iraq war and as far as I know, she never apologized for it or admitted she was wrong for it. She's a devout neoconversative Israel supporter and has made atrocious comments about obliterating Iran. She's also outrageously said that security is more important than human rights. Clinton is a fraud and not an ally to liberals at all.

    • Kree

      December 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      I see somebody sure doesn’t pay attention and before you run your mouth make sure you know what your talking about. Hillary been apologized publicly for that vote and at this point in time who gives a flying fu*k. No one stands up for rights of all better than Hillary once again your ignorance is on full display on all things Hillary. I suggest you go have a seat get your info right then come back again. #Hillary45

  2. Chris

    December 15, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Geewhiz can Pres. Obama at least finish out his last two years? As one who will support her. Ummmm Kree for you to say that Hillary have stood up for rights better than anyone else is a misquote. She was the last one to come out and approve marriage equality and before that she did not approve of it she only believed in civil unions. So she has stains on the towel as well still I support her.

  3. Stephen Gorman

    December 17, 2013 at 7:09 am

    We’ve seen this movie before. Its really less about the candidate and more about delegate selection to the Democrat National Convention in 2016. There will be much more blood on the floor during the selection process this time around.

  4. Alister

    December 17, 2013 at 11:59 am

    @Brooks Austin: Many Democrats in Congress voted to authorize the war in Iraq. Given the environment at the time, it is foolish to expect that senator from New York would have voted against it. Had Barack Obama actually been in the U.S. Senate for the vote, he probably would have voted for it, too. If you notice, all of the presidential candidates from Senate voted for that war resolution, including Joseph R. Biden — the man Obama picked as his running mate! I can’t make any sense of your other comments regarding Hillary, so I’ll leave that to others.

  5. Rick Mangus

    December 19, 2013 at 12:48 am

    This country had a brush with social experimentation electing this clown (Obama) to two terms with disastrous results, we don’t need to make the same mistake with this liar!

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Long-time LGBTQ activist running for Md. House of Delegates

Patrick Paschall is former FreeState Justice executive director



Patrick Paschall (Photo courtesy of Eli Sauerwalt of Patrick Paschall for Delegate)

Former FreeState Justice Executive Director Patrick Paschall last week announced via social media that he is running for the Maryland House of Delegates.

“As a proud parent of two kids in Prince George’s County public schools, former Hyattsville City Council member, and lifelong civil rights advocate and policy analyst, I’ve spent my life and career working for equity, community and sustainability for my family,” Paschall said in a statement posted to Facebook on Nov. 23. 

Paschall, who currently is the American Rescue Plan Program Manager for the city of Hyattsville, previously served as executive director for FreeState Justice from 2015 to 2017. 

His LGBTQ advocacy work also includes serving as senior policy counsel for the National LGBTQ Task Force, as an organizer for Pride at Work and as a policy fellow for the National Center for Transgender Equality.  

He also worked for Family Equality Council, an organization advocating for the rights of same-sex couples and their children. 

“One of the things I’m running on is being a parent,” Paschall told the Washington Blade. “We can provide more opportunities for families to succeed in our communities.”

Paschall is running to represent District 22, which includes Hyattsville, where he has lived for over 10 years with his two children, who currently attend Hyattsville Elementary School, and his wife, who identifies as pansexual. 

He told the Blade he views his family as a “rainbow family,” but pointed out since he and his wife did not have to endure the same difficulties as his friends who are married same-sex couples when they wanted to adopt children.

“When I became a parent, no one stopped by my house to make sure it was an adequate living situation for my child, no one checked to make sure I had a room dedicated to the child and for no other purpose,” he said. “But my friends Jamie and Sean went through all of that when they tried to adopt a kid.”

Paschall explained that even though he and his wife didn’t go through these experiences, there was still room for Maryland to improve in the areas of adoptions and civil rights. 

“It strikes me how much privilege I have because the state doesn’t design to make it hard for me like it does for so many same-sex couples,” he explained. 

Patrick Paschall with his family. (Photo courtesy of Eli Sauerwalt of Patrick Paschall for Delegate)

Much like with the recent elections in neighboring Virginia, Paschall said helping parents is an important issue for him — one he wants to carry to Annapolis — if elected “because my district deserves better schools for our kids, more child care options and family support like paid family leave.”

“I think that District 22 needs a voice in Annapolis to represent progressive parents and to exercise policy expertise in achieving the values of our community,” he added. “And I have the experience to get it done.”

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D.C. area LGBTQ bars, eateries receive $100K COVID-19 relief grant

Pitchers, League of Her Own received NGLCC, Grubhub funds



indoor dining, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. LGBTQ sports bar Pitchers and League of Her Own, its adjoining lesbian bar, are among the nation’s first LGBTQ bars that serve food as well as alcoholic beverages to receive a $100,000 COVID-19 relief grant under a $2 million Community Impact Grant Program.

The program, aimed at supporting LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-allied small businesses struggling from the pandemic, was launched in September as a joint project of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which goes by the initials NGLCC, and the global online food delivery company Grubhub.

In a Tuesday announcement, NGLCC and Grubhub said Pitchers and League of Her Own, which operate as one business in adjoining buildings in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, are among the first three recipients of $100,000 grants under the Community Impact Grant Program. The other two recipients are FOODE + Mercantile of Fredericksburg, Va., and Café Gabriela of Oakland, Calif.

“Following this initial round of recipients, more grants will be issued in late 2021 and early 2022,” the announcement by the two groups says. In an earlier announcement, the groups said the application period for the grants program took place from September through Oct. 12, and the grants would range in amounts from $5,000 to $100,000.

“The impact of COVID-19 has been debilitating for countless restaurant and bar owners, including the many LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across the country who have persisted through lockdowns, operational changes and labor supply shortages,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “We’re grateful to have partnered with Grubhub to offer real lifelines to support businesses throughout the nation,” Nelson said.

“Building community in a fun and safe place has been our mission since the very beginning,” said David Perruzza, the owner of Pitchers and League of Her Own. “We’re relieved and thankful for these funds, and are looking forward to more stable days ahead,” Perruzza said.

“As a trans masculine and queer immigrant person of color, I’ve worked hard and put all my love and energy into building a beautiful and welcoming space in Café Gabriela,” said owner Penny Baldado. “I’ve remained resilient through COVID, and this grant is the injection of funds that we need to continue along our journey to full recovery,” Baldado said.

The statement announcing the first three grant recipient says funds for the $2 million grant program were generated by Grubhub’s “Donate the Change” program of which NGLCC became a partner in June. Grubhub says the program asks customers receiving food delivered by Grubhub “to round out their order and donate the difference” to the charitable fund.

“COVID has turned the restaurant industry on its head the last 18 months, and at Grubhub, we’ve been working hard every day to support our restaurant partners across the country,” said Amy Healy, Grubhub’s vice president of government relations. “As the world starts to return to a new normal, we’re proud to partner with the NGLCC and provide these grants to LGBTQ+-owned and LGBTQ+ ally-owned restaurants across the country that are pillars of their communities.”

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Va. businessman apologizes for burning of rainbow flag poster

‘Shocked and horrified’: Ashburn incident caught on video



Organizers of an event where a Pride symbol was burned say the incident was a misunderstanding.

The owner of a Virginia technology company that hosted a private Veterans Day party on the grounds of an Ashburn, Va., brewery in which a company employee used a flame-throwing device to ignite a rainbow flag poster said the selection of the poster was a mistake and he and his company have no ill will toward the LGBTQ community.

The Washington Blade learned about the poster burning from a customer of the Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, where the incident took place on its outdoor grounds. The customer made a video of the incident with his cell phone and sent a copy of the video to the Blade.

The video, which includes an audio recording, shows a man using a hand-held flame-throwing device to ignite the rainbow poster, which was hanging from a cable and appeared to be mounted on cardboard or a thin sheet of wood. Bystanders can be heard laughing and cheering as the poster is set on fire.

The poster consisted of a variation of the LGBTQ Pride rainbow flag that included the word “love” configured from an upper white stripe on the rainbow symbol.

The customer who took the video, who has asked not to be identified, thought the decision to set the poster on fire was a sign of disrespect if not hatred toward a longstanding symbol of LGBTQ equality and pride.

Chris Burns, Old Ox Brewery’s president, shared that view, telling the Blade he and his staff were “shocked and horrified” when they learned later that a rainbow flag poster had been burned on the brewery’s grounds. Burns said Old Ox supports the LGBTQ community and participated in LGBTQ Pride month earlier this year.

He said the company that held the private party paid a fee to hold the event on the brewery’s grounds, but the brewery did not know a rainbow poster would be burned.

“I’m mortified that our event was interpreted in this way,” said Nate Reynolds, the founder and partner of Hypershift Technologies LLC, the Falls Church, Va.-based technology company that organized the Nov. 11 party at Old Ox Brewery. “I can assure you that ZERO ill-will or offense was meant,” Reynolds told the Blade in a Nov. 24 email.

“We held a small private party for a few clients, which included a demonstration of Elon Musk’s Boring Company ‘Not a Flamethrower,’” he said in his message. He was referring to one of billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s companies that specializes in boring through the ground to create tunnels for cars, trains, and other purposes. 

“After so many being isolated during COVID, we wanted to have an event that was lighthearted and to some small effect, silly,” Reynolds said in his message to the Blade.

According to Reynolds, in thinking about what should be used for “fodder” for the flame-thrower, he went to a Five Below discount store and purchased items such as stuffed animals and posters, including a “Space Jam” movie poster as well as what he thought was a poster of the British rock group The Beatles.

“When I pulled the Beatles poster out of the tube it was instead the ‘Love’ poster,” he said, referring to the rainbow flag poster the Blade asked him about in an earlier email.

“All I focused on was the ‘Love’ wording and not the rainbow and did not draw the conclusion that the poster was an icon that represents the LGBTQ community,” Reynolds said. “It was my own ignorance of not connecting the symbolism of the poster. If I had realized it was a symbol of the LGBTQ community, I would not have used it,” he said.

“I feel terrible, and I want to emphasize that I am solely responsible for this mistake – not the Old Ox Brewery,” he wrote in his message. “Nobody at Old Ox had anything to do with this activity.”

Reynolds added, “Hate has no place in my heart, and I sincerely apologize for any offense that could have been drawn from what I now realize was poor judgement on my part. I simply didn’t correlate this poster with the LGBTQ pride symbol.”  

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Before Reynolds issued his statement of apology, Burns, the Old Ox Brewery co-owner, told the Blade in an email he was “saddened and upset” over the rainbow poster burning on the grounds of his brewery.

“We do not wish to benefit from this event,” he said in his email message. “Therefore, Old Ox is donating 100% of the revenue generated from the private event to GLSEN.”

GLSEN is a national LGBTQ advocacy group that focuses on education and support for LGBTQ youth. Burns said Old Ox Brewery also donated proceeds from a Pride month event it organized earlier this year to GLSEN.

LGBTQ activists and organizations contacted by the Blade said they were unfamiliar with the variation of the rainbow flag with the word “love” that was the subject of the poster burning incident. The poster is available for sale at Five Below stores in the D.C. metropolitan area for $5.

Small print writings on the poster show it is produced by Trends International LLC, which describes itself on its website as “the leading publisher and manufacturer of licensed posters, calendars, stickers and social stationery products.” The Blade couldn’t immediately determine who designed the poster.

 The video of the poster burning incident can be viewed here:

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