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Calendar: events through Jan. 16

Parties, support groups, concerts and more for the coming week



Caroline Thorington, BlackRock, lithograph, gay news, Washington Blade
Caroline Thorington, BlackRock, lithograph, gay news, Washington Blade

A lithograph by artist Caroline Thorington on display now through the end of February at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantonw, Md. (Image courtesy BlackRock)

Friday, Jan. 10


Gallery B (7700 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md.) holds an opening reception for its new exhibit “New Works on Paper” from 6-9 p.m. this evening. The exhibit features artwork by local artists Cathy Kwart, Catherine Levinson, Bonny Lundy and Virginia Mahoney. The exhibit runs all month. For details, visit

Women in Their 20s, a social discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and all women interested in women, meets today at The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105) from 8-9:30 p.m. All welcome to join. 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

Bachelor’s Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) holds a happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. tonight with all drinks half price. Music begins at 11 p.m. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is $5 after 9 p.m. Must be 21 and over. For more details, visit

TempTation, D.C’S biggest new gay dance party, is tonight at Howard Theatre (620 T St., N.W.) from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Doors open at 11 p.m. Music by DJ Mike Reimer. Tickets are $15. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Saturday, Jan. 11


BlackRock Center for the Arts (12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown, Md.) holds an opening reception for its new exhibits “Forma Reliquias” and “Between Two Portraits” today from 3-5 p.m. There will be a brief artist talk at 4 p.m. Admission is free. For details, visit

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105) has free HIV testing from 4-7 p.m. today. For details, visit

Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts “DIRTY POP with DJ Drew G” tonight at 10 p.m.  Drew G plays electro-pop music all night long. Cover is $8 from 10-11 p.m. and $12 after 11 p.m. Drinks are $3 before 11 p.m. The drag show starts at 10:30 p.m. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit


Sunday, Jan. 12


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

Burgundy Crescent, a gay volunteer organization, volunteers for D.C. Central Kitchen (425 2nd St., N.W.) from 9 a.m.-noon. Volunteers will cook alongside chefs who are graduates of D.C. Central Kitchen’s job training program. To volunteer, RSVP at [email protected]. For more information, visit

Number Nine (1435 P St., N.W.) hosts “Sunday Oneday: A Onesie Party” from 4-7 p.m. Rail drinks are $1 from 4-5 p.m. for anyone in a onesie. No cover. For details, visit


Monday, Jan. 13


The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105) hosts coffee and conversation this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee while engaging in a discussion facilitated by Ron Swanda, a member of Mayor Vincent Gray’s Advisory Committee for LGBT Affairs, about what is important for older adults in D.C. For more information, visit

Us Helping Us  (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) holds a support group for gay black men to discuss topics that affect them today, share perspectives and have meaningful conversations. For details, visit


Tuesday, Jan. 14


Lord Fairfax Community College (173 Skirmisher Ln., Middletown, Va.) hosts a Veteran’s Hiring Event and Conference today from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in its Community Development Center. There will be workshops and hiring representatives. Admission is free. For more details and to register, visit or call 540-868-7021.

D.C. Bi Women hosts its monthly meeting in the upstairs room of Dupont Italian Kitchen (1637 17th St., N.W.) from 7-9 p.m. tonight. For more details, visit

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


Wednesday, Jan. 15

Big Gay Book Group meets tonight at 1155 F St., N.W. Suite 200 at 7 p.m. to discuss ”Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns” and “The Gallery” both by John Horne Burns. The first book is Burns’s autobiography and the second is a novel that examines gay life in the military. Newcomers welcome. For details, email [email protected].

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

Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts its “January Women’s Wednesday” at Godiva (1143 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The lecture will be on the legend of how an 11th century woman influenced a master chocolatier while networking with prominent female business leaders. The event is free for Chamber members and $25 for guests. For details, visit

The Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs has a forum today called “Protecting Our Diversity: A Criminal Justice Forum” from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at 441 4th Street, N.W. In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the forum will focus on various criminal justice issues that impact the LGBT community in Washington including hate crimes, domestic violence, wage theft and visas for non-immigrant witnesses. For more information, call 202-727-9493.

Also today, the Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Committee has its first meeting of the new year from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the City-wide Conference Room on the 11th floor at 441 4th Street, N.W. Those attending will have two minutes to speak during a public comments section at the beginning of the meeting. For more information, call 202-727-9493.


Thursday, Jan. 16


Rude Boi Entertainment hosts “Tempted 2 Touch,” a ladies dance party, at the Fab Lounge (2022 Florida Ave., N.W.) Doors open at 10 p.m. Drink specials $5 and vodka shots $3 all night. No cover charge. Admission limited to guests 21 and over. For more details, visit

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105) hosts its monthly Poly Discussion Group at 7 p.m. People of all different stages are invited to discuss polyamory and other consensual non-monogamous relationships. This event is for newcomers, established polyamorous relationships and open to all sexual orientations. For details, visit

The D.C. Center and Professionals in the City host speed dating for women in their 20s and 30s at Chi-Cha Lounge (1624 U St., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m.  Dating is approximately one hour. After enjoy a mixer with fellow speed daters. Cash bar. Check in is at 7 p.m. and dating begins at 7:20 p.m.  Complimentary valet parking offered to anyone who purchases two drinks or other items from the bar or restaurant. Cost is $30. For details, visit



PHOTOS: Benefit show for Hagerstown Hopes

Drag event at Shepherd University raises money for LGBTQ organization



Drag artists perform at Shepherd University on Saturday to raise money for the LGBTQ organization Hagerstown Hopes. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Shepherd University Program Board and GSA presented a drag show benefit for Hagerstown Hopes at the Storer Ballroom in the Student Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va. on Saturday, April 1. Performers included Ashley Bannks, Alexa V. Shontelle, Maranda Rights, Ivanna Rights, Chasity Vain, Bayley, Dezi Minaj, Nicole James and Remington Steele.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Arts & Entertainment

Washington National Opera honors Katherine Goforth

Award recognizes an artist who identifies as transgender or non-binary



Katherine Goforth, the inaugural recipient of Washington National Opera’s True Voice Award, performing in the Portland Opera Gala, with pianist Nick Fox. (Photo courtesy Goforth)

Katherine Goforth was recently announced as the inaugural recipient of Washington National Opera’s True Voice Award. This award was created to provide training and increase the visibility of opera singers who self-identify as transgender and non-binary. Each recipient will receive a financial award and the chance to participate in career training, artistic coaching, and a performance with the Cafritz Young Artists. Recipients will also be presented by the Kennedy Center in a recital at the Millennium Stage. Goforth’s recital will take place in May 2024. 

The Washington Blade chatted with this talented singer about her artistic journey, experience as a trans opera singer, her future plans for her own career, and how she hopes to shape the field of opera.

Washington Blade: Can you share about your journey as an artist? How did you begin this journey and eventually pursue opera?

Katherine Goforth: I had an interest in music and singing for my entire life, but I looked at it as more of a hobby until my high school choir teacher required me to take voice lessons. After a few months of lessons, I started winning prizes and getting special attention for my singing, which meant a lot to me at the time because I was struggling a lot socially and at home. It was easy to dedicate myself to singing after that and hard to imagine pursuing another career. 

Talking about art is a lot broader than talking about music for me. As a teenager, I attended Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, a public arts magnet middle and high school, and we had arts education integrated into most of our subjects. Some of my most memorable projects were a mural painted on school windows I co-designed and co-created, a mockumentary film about the meaning of art, and the semi-opera I composed as my senior year capstone project. 

Since I was a kid, I felt like I had something to prove and have always tried to do more than what others thought possible in my performing and creative work. It has only been since I transitioned that I really started to feel like I was enough. The part of me that wanted to prove myself could calm down and I learned that it is enough for me when I stand in my own values and desires. 

Blade: What has been your experience as a trans person in the field of opera?

Goforth: As a young person coming into a sense of trans and gender non-conforming identity, opera was a damaging space to be part of. At the time, I believed there was no way to actualize my gender identity and continue working. Sure, there were queer people in opera, but almost all of them were straight-presenting men—and those who weren’t, didn’t seem to get the same opportunities. I have a strong memory of seeing the news about the premiere of As One [a chamber opera with a sole transgender protagonist]in 2014. It was the first time I had heard anyone mention trans people in an opera space. I don’t know how much this has changed for students, but I do think that fewer people are postponing their transitions for the sake of working in this industry, which is good. 

I haven’t worked in opera very much since I came out and it will be interesting to see how that develops over the next few years. I’ve heard a lot of people say that major opera companies aren’t ready for trans singers yet, but I hope they’re wrong. My struggle is that I feel much happier playing female characters, but I’m not capable of singing soprano-alto roles on stage right now. That’s something I hope will change in the future, but I think it’s important for me to accept my voice and try to find affirming projects to work on with the voice that I have. 

I’m going to Europe this summer to sing in the premieres of Philip Venables and Ted Huffman’s The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions, which is an adaptation of a novel by Larry Mitchell. My sense is that, although I love singing standard rep, the work that will feel best to me as a human being is contemporary opera. There are new works coming out all the time where a character’s vocal range isn’t restricted by their gender, or where parts are written to be affirming to trans singers. It’s an amazing experience to work on roles like that, like the non-binary protagonist in Drew Swatosh and Brian Dang’s If Only I Could Give You The Sun, a role I premiered. 

For me, the bottom line is that even in a perfectly affirming opera space, there’s a lot for me to navigate. We haven’t even gotten into the contrast between the project of self-actualization that, for me, defines transition and the way control is exercised over singers in the operatic space. It is hard to spend your whole life working on being your authentic self only to then step into an industry where self-identity is encouraged only if you have the right identity. I’m not going back into any closet.

Blade: Congratulations on being the inaugural True Voice Award recipient. How do you hope to use this award as a platform to further your career, and more broadly, shape the field of opera?

Goforth: I’d like to thank Washington National Opera, Kimberly Reed, Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and the rest of the selection committee for choosing me for this award. When I decided to come out, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to work in this industry again. It seems to me that trans people have never had this level of institutional support in our industry. I’m honored to receive it, but I’m also aware of all the other people who competed for this award and ways that my selection leaves them out. 

For me, I think my next step is getting out of a young artist box, getting management, and moving into a career where I’m making a living wage from singing without any second or side jobs, singing lead roles instead of supporting roles, and taking the creative work that I develop to the next level. 

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PHOTOS: Jackie Cox and Jan at Pitchers

RuPaul’s Drag Race alums join local performers at gay sports bar



Jan performs at Pitchers on Wednesday, March 29. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Jackie Cox and Jan performed at Pitchers DC on Wednesday, March 29. Other performers included Cake Pop!, Venus Valhalla, Brooklyn Heights, Jayzeer Shantey and Logan Stone.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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