October 29, 2014 at 11:30 am EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
QUEERY: Liz DeRoche
Liz DeRoche, gay news, Washington Blade

Liz DeRoche (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Liz DeRoche says her overall Halloween ineptness traces to her conservative evangelical Christian upbringing where Halloween was forbidden.

“We were kind of the scary ones, like speaking in tongues and stuff,” says DeRoche, who grew up a pastor’s kid. “It was considered the devil’s holiday so we had to go to a church potluck on Halloween. It was really sad and depressing while all the other kids were dressing up and getting candy.”

Things changed dramatically in later years.

“My dad finally came out of the closet and has a really beautiful boyfriend and my mom’s remarried,” says the 33-year-old Lebanon, Ore., native. “It really turned around.”

DeRoche makes her living as a full-time musician doing both her own solo stuff, making kids music as the Singing Lizard (thesinginglizard.com), working with the lesbian band the Pushovers and also Tom Goss and Cane in the Sticks. She calls her own stuff “electronic soul,” often with “heavy drums and big vocals.”

Look for her on Saturday at the Pinch (3848 14th St., N.W.) for a Halloween show in which she and some of her bandmates will be playing Bon Jovi covers. The show is at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 with costume, $10 without.

DeRoche came to Washington six years ago with her partner, Mandy Townsend, to “explore the East Coast and be closer to my brother and his family in Philly.”

She and Townsend live in Capitol Hill. DeRoche enjoys biking, movies, traveling and games with her friends in her free time.


How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

It’s been about seven years since I came out. I was definitely “figuring things out” for a while. The hardest person to tell was my ex-boyfriend.


Who’s your LGBT hero?

I really love and appreciate Tig Notaro. She’s hilarious on the Professor Blastoff podcast. She has a talent for taking seemingly mundane and sometimes uncomfortable topics and turning it into comedy gold.


What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?

Black Cat is at the top of a long list of amazing spots. It oozes D.C.


Describe your dream wedding.

I’m not looking to get hitched at the moment but I am thrilled that more than 64 percent of the U.S. population will soon live in a state with the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. 100 percent coming soon!


What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

Early education, especially related to art and music. I volunteer with an organization called Girls Rock! D.C. with a mission to create a supportive, inclusive and creative space for girls to develop their self-confidence, build community, stand up and rock out.


What historical outcome would you change?

There are so many horrible historical outcomes I would want to change but the environmental damage we’ve caused is terrifying. Don’t mess with Mother Nature.


What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

Following Prince in his purple limousine all over Minneapolis. Does that count?


On what do you insist?



What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

Posting pictures of my most recent concert at the Columbia Heights Day Festival. I had a bunch of awesome kids come up on stage to rock out with me.


If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“How To Write A How To Guide Book: A How-To Guide”


If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

I wouldn’t change a thing in my personal life. I’m lucky in love. But it would be really interesting to see how the world would adapt to that reality.


What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

This question made me think a little about the semantics of what a “physical world” is. I’m an existential person and I take each moment as it comes. But I also appreciate the unseen beauty in emotions, the complexity of the universe and the energy we share with everything on this planet.


What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Be a strong voice for transgender rights, supporting and fighting for workplace equality, family and parenting issues, securing identity documents and competent and accessible health care. Equality for all!


What would you walk across hot coals for?

My family, my love, my besties, my pup and a really good smoothie.


What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

U-Hauls on a first date.


What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“Blue is the Warmest Color”


What’s the most overrated social custom?

The mandatory post-sneeze blessing.


What trophy or prize do you most covet?

World’s Best Sweetie


What do you wish you’d known at 18?

Don’t take things so seriously.


Why Washington?

It’s gorgeous and full of interesting people.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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