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Paths through pages

Kindle or ink and paper, this spring’s books will take you places

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Out in the Army, books, gay news, Washington Blade
Frog Music, books, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Frog Music’ (Image courtesy Little, Brown and Company)

Whether you’re looking for a fabulous read for a spring fling/getaway or you’re hoarding books for that long-anticipated summer vacation, there are lots of books to look for this spring and events you’ll want to attend.

Let’s start this trip with books.

It’s practically an Emma Donoghue signature: take one obscure historical event and wrap a “what if?” story around it — which is exactly what you get in “Frog Music,” due next month.

It’s 1876 and Blanche Beunon is nearly run over by a strange man on a penny farthing. When the man stops to make sure Blanche is OK, she learns that the man is actually a woman in men’s clothing. Jenny Bonnet knows who Blanche is; she’s seen Blanche dance and she knows that Blanche sleeps with men for money. Still, the two become friends — that is, until the night Jenny is murdered.

This imagined tale based on a real murder takes us on a trance-like journey from France to San Francisco.

Out in the Army, books, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Out in the Army’ (Image courtesy Biteback Publishing)

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” isn’t just something our military personnel know and have lived with. It happens in Great Britain, too, and in “Out in the Army: My Life as a Gay Soldier” by James Wharton (June), you’ll read about a boy who wanted adventure. To find it, he joined the Army and there, he became a man who struggled with disclosure: how to tell his loved ones and colleagues that he’s gay. This is one of those action-packed memoirs with pockets of truth and strength.

Moving on in this trip filled with books, you’ll want to read “Lost and Found in Johannesburg” by Mark Gevisser (April). It’s the story of apartheid, maps and how one led to an understanding of the other. You may find it fascinating that the author is a gay Jewish white born-and-raised South African married to a man of another race.

Then, landing back home, how about a trip to New York with “Nothing Like a Dame” by Eddie Shapiro, (February) a book of conversations with some of Broadway’s leading ladies. Peek in on Carol Channing, Chita Rivera, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Bebe Neuwirth and others. It’s almost like being there.

Almost.

Also just out is “Christ-Centered Consciousness” in which author John Ryan writes a meditation on how he found peace with being a gay believer.

Out novelist (and Washingtonian) Louis Bayard’s new book “Roosevelt’s Beast” tells of an action adventure involving Theodore Roosevelt and his son, Kermit, through Brazil’s Rio da Duvida circa 1914. It’s out March 18. Look for an interview with Bayard in next week’s Blade.

And then there are trips you can physically take this spring.

If you’re a book lover, make plans to attend BOOKS ALIVE! 2014 on March 29 at the Bethesda Marriott on Pook’s Hill. This event offers a chance to meet big-name authors and journalists, but aspiring authors will also have a chance to meet with literary agents at pitch sessions. Doors are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., early registration is $220 or $240 at the door, which includes morning coffee and a box lunch. For more information, call Deborah Gelin at 202-223-6161.

And before the spring’s over, be sure to attend the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 17. Meet authors, find your next best read and get it signed.

Oh, and just in case you missed it in January, fans of legendary gay author Armistead Maupin will definitely want to check out his latest — “The Days of Anna Madrigal,” the end of the 40-year, nine-volume “Tales of the City” series that’s let us all get a surprisingly resonating taste of San Francisco’s LGBT community over the decades.

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Sports

Raiders player Carl Nassib comes out as gay, first active player in NFL history

Nassib also announced that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project

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Carl Nassib. Courtesy of Instagram @carlnassib.

Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out today, making him the NFL’s only openly gay player.

“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in a video he posted on his Instagram account. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life. I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know I’m not doing this for attention, but I think representation matters.”

Nassib also announced that he is donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project.

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Photos: Reston Pride

In-person festival returns to Virginia suburb

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Attendees of Reston Pride dance to a recording of 'YMCA' by the Village People. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2021 Reston Pride Festival was held at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Va. on Saturday. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Out & About

Calendar: June 18-24

Events in the week to come

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Friday, June 18

Join the National Archives and Bishopsgate Institute Special Collections and Archives as they present their LGBTQ+ archive collections virtually at 8 a.m. In this event, Vicky Iglikowski-Broad from The National Archives and Stefan Dickers from Bishopsgate will explore the different strengths of their collections, to reflect on how they can be used together to build a fuller picture of LGBTQ+ lives. Event registration is available on Eventbrite.

“DISDance, Pride Edition- Still We Dance” will be at 6:30 p.m. Join the D.C. Public Library and show your Pride by dancing with the Library’s Freegal music collections. Post a video or photo of you and your crew dancing or lip-syncing to Instagram and tag D.C. Public Library on Instagram (@dcpubliclibrary) using the tags #DCPLDanceParty and #StillWeDance. The library’s favorite videos will be shared, and crown the video with the most likes the virtual Queen of Pride. All four Pride playlists are available on Freegal with the names Still We Lead, Still We Live, Still We Laugh, and Still We Love.

Saturday, June 19

Join the DC Center for its virtual job club, a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking. The event begins on Zoom at 6 p.m. For more information, email [email protected].

Sunday, June 20

Join the DC Center and the Beta Kappa Chapter of the Beta Phi Omega Sorority for a peer-led support group devoted to the joys and challenges of being a Black lesbian. You do not need to be a member of the Beta Kappa Chapter or the Beta Phi Omega Sorority in order to join, but they do ask that you either identify as a lesbian or are questioning that aspect of your identity. This event will be hosted on Zoom at 1 p.m. More details are available here.

Monday, June 21

The Center Aging Coffee Drop-In will still take place virtually at 10 a.m. via Zoom. LGBT Older Adults (and friends) are invited to have friendly conversations about current issues they might be dealing with. For more information, visit Center Aging’s webpage.

Join GenderQueer DC for a monthly support group on Zoom for people who identify outside of the gender binary. Whether you’re bigender, agender, genderfluid, or just know that you’re not 100% cis – this is your group. The event will be at 7 p.m. For more information, visit genderqueerdc.com.

Tuesday, June 22

The European Union Delegation to the United States will host “Joining Forces for LGBTI Rights Around the World” virtually at 9:30 p.m. This event is a discussion on how the international community can help advance LGBTI rights around the world and will feature panelists: Mark Bromley, chair of The Council for Global Equality, Olena Shevchenko, director of Insight, and Urooj Arshad, senior program manager of Dignity for All: LGBTIQ+ Assistance Program, Freedom House. Registration for this free event is available on Eventbrite.

“Rainbow Challah Tutorial and Discussion” will be at 5 p.m. on Zoom. All are welcome to attend this event. Challah is a type of bread traditionally baked to celebrate the Jewish sabbath. Attendees will be provided with the recipe and materials list in advance if they would like to make it at home. There will also be a discussion about food, identity, and community. For more information, email [email protected] or call 202-543-1778 x204.

Wednesday, June 23

Capital Pride Alliance and Hook Hall will host “Hooked on Capital Pride” at 2 p.m. There will be drink specials, music, and celebration of all things LGBTQ+. A portion of the proceeds from this event will support the Capital Pride Alliance and partner Pride organizations responsible for producing Youth Pride, Silver Pride DC, DC Black Pride, DC Latinx Pride, Capital AAPI Pride, and Trans Pride, through the GivePride365 Fund. Every reservation will include a bottle of Rose Bubbly, and cabana reservations will come with a bonus celebration kit! For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Join the LGBTQIA Alliance Washington National Cathedral for a free webinar featuring Billy Curtis, director, Gender Equity Resource Center UC Berkeley on Zoom at 8 p.m. Curtis is a community activist and advocate who was hired as UC Berkeley’s first full-time director for LGBT Resources in 1999. Curtis is currently the director of the university’s Gender Equity Resource Center. To register for this event, visit: capitalpride.org.

Thursday, June 24

Join the DC Public Library for a poetry reading with Micah Powell from his book “Things No One Else Wants to Say.” Micah will read from his book and join a conversation with DC’s own Regie Cabico, poet and director of Capturing Fire Press. The event will be hosted on Facebook and YouTube at 5:30 p.m. To register, visit the library’s website.

Hope in a Box will host “Books That Make Us: A Pride Month Celebration of LGBTQ+ Stories” online at 8 p.m. The event will feature a number of notable figures including Jahana Hayes, member of Congress (D-Conn.) and 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Zach Stafford, columnist for MSNBC and former editor of the Advocate. Tickets are available at: hopeinabox.splashthat.com.

The DC Anti-Violence Program will have an open meeting via Zoom at 7 p.m. At this meeting, there will be opportunities to learn more and get involved in lessening violence both within and directed toward the LGBT communities. To access the Zoom link, email [email protected].

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