December 31, 2014 at 8:00 am EST | by Joey DiGuglielmo
QUEERY: Jon Gann
Jon Gann, gay news, Washington Blade

Jon Gann (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Want to start the new year off with a few laughs? D.C. Shorts, voted “Coolest Short Film Festival” by Movie Maker Magazine, presents two nights of comedy on Jan. 9-10 with D.C. Shorts LAUGHS!,  a block of short comedies interspersed with live stand-up performances by the local comedians.

There’s an early and late show on both nights that feature different films and comedians. Each show will last 90 minutes and feature comedies that have previously appeared in the D.C. Shorts Film Festival, which started in 2003.

“This is a perfect opportunity to catch films you might have missed from last year’s festival while whetting your appetite for the big D.C. Shorts Film Festival in September,” says Jon Gann, founder and director of D.C. Shorts. “Comedy fans generally love funny movies as well as stand up, so we wanted to throw an event that brings both of them together.”

The shows are at Burke Theater at the U.S. Navy Memorial Heritage Center (701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) at 9 and 11 p.m. both nights. Regular tickets are $20 but “double header” packages are also available. Details at

Gann is a 48-year-old native Washingtonian. He and partner Michael Shankle live in Penn Quarter/Chinatown. Gann enjoys his dog, film, cooking, traveling, writing and knitting in his free time.


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

I’ve been out for 20 years. Whatever drama there was is long past and not important.


Who’s your LGBT hero?

John Scagliotti, the producer/director of “Before Stonewall” and many other important LGBT media.


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

Past: Tracks. Present: I have no clue. My last bear happy hour was two years ago.


Describe your dream wedding.

Having planned many weddings for friends, my perfect wedding is not to have one.


What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

Grammar. In particular, the Oxford comma.


What historical outcome would you change?

If history was changed, would we be here today?


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

1988. All of it.


On what do you insist?

Respect and tolerance.


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

I praised my espresso machine for being more awake than I.


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

“Behind the Screens”


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



What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

Karma is a bitch.


What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

New voices are needed — let them be heard.


What would you walk across hot coals for?

Michael, Pilot and my friends. And Osetra caviar.


What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

What is the fascination with labeling everyone as an animal?


What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

What kind of question is that for a film programmer? My name isn’t Sophie and I’m not making a choice.


What’s the most overrated social custom?



What trophy or prize do you most covet?

Trophies are only physical manifestations of sentiment. I value the relationships developed on the road to being honored.


What do you wish you’d known at 18?

It’s not about the goal — it’s about the journey.


Why Washington?

I’ve seen the city change many times and it is always the culture and arts that is the grand equalizer. It has been my great pleasure to have helped develop our amazing film, video and media community into one of the most vibrant in the world. When a filmmaker tells me that they learned or advanced because of something I helped to create, there is no greater sense of pride.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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