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Guy Allen Overland dies at 54

Export-Import Bank official succumbs to rare disease



Guy Allen Overland, gay news, Washington Blade
Guy Allen Overland, gay news, Washington Blade

Guy Allen Overland

Guy Allen Overland, a librarian who managed libraries and resource centers in Washington for the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Export-Import Bank for more than 20 years, died Jan. 23 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He was 54.

Jim Houser, his partner of 16 years, said the cause of death was complications stemming from Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome, a rare disease marked by severe body swelling and organ failure.

Overland most recently served as Supervisory Librarian for the Research Library and Archives of the Export-Import Bank, where he worked from October 2013 until early January of this year, when he was hospitalized for his illness.

He served for 19 years, from 1994 to October 2013, as director of the National Endowment for Democracy’s Democracy Resource Center. Houser said Overland helped start the resource center and oversaw its growth from a traditional library to a technologically advanced resource facility.

Houser said the National Endowment for Democracy plans to add Overland’s name to the official name of its Democracy Resource Center in recognition of his distinguished tenure and service to the center. An aide to the organization’s president, Carl Gershman, confirmed plans for the name change.

Prior to joining the National Endowment for Democracy, Overland worked as a law librarian for the law firm Fulbright and Jaworski and, prior to that position, served as a program officer for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

“He was active in library and international organizations in Washington, D.C., and was the originator and coordinator for the Washington International Library Group,” Houser said in a statement.

“He overcame obstacles with the illness he had,” said longtime friend Patrick Kalk. “He was just a very positive person, always in a good mood, hardworking, intelligent, a good sense of humor — all of those good things.”

Overland received a master’s degree from Catholic University in Library and Information Science and a separate master’s degree from American University in International Affairs. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Florida State University, where he was president of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.

According to Houser, Overland was born in Bellefonte, Pa. He is survived by his mother, Cynthia Overland, of Fairfax, Va.; his three siblings, John Overland, Laura Maun Garcia and Linda Stewart, all of the Tampa Bay, Fla., area; and his partner Jim Houser of Arlington, Va.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, at Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. A reception is scheduled to follow the service at the church’s Fellowship Hall.

In lieu of flowers, loved ones request that a donation be made in his memory to either the National Organization for Rare Disorders, which funds research and treatment of patients with rare diseases, or Doorways for Women and Families, which provides services for people encountering domestic violence and homelessness.



Prince George’s County library system launches banned book club

First discussion to take place in Hyattsville on June 14



(Bigstock photo)

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System has launched its Rock Banned Book Club.

The club will feature monthly discussions of the 13 top banned books from 2022, most of which focus on LGBTQ-specific themes. 

The club’s first discussion, which will take place at the Hyattsville Branch Library on June 14, will be on “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe. 

Kobabe’s memoir won the 2020 American Library Association Alex Award and recounts Kobabe’s exploration of gender identity and sexuality through adolescence and adulthood. According to the American Library Association, the book faced the most censorship challenges of any novel at 151.

“We’re seeing nationally the highest rate of challenges to books in libraries since the data has been collected by the American Library Association,” Nicholas Brown, acting co-chief executive officer of the library, said. “I think what happens with all of the discourse around book banning is that, oftentimes, not everyone participating in that discourse is actually taking the time to read the full works and discuss them and understand where the author might be coming from and whose stories are being reflected in these books.”

Along with the book club, the library system is hosting a Pride celebration at the Hyattsville branch on Saturday from 12 – 4 p.m. It will feature a panel discussion, vogue and runway workshops, free HIV testing and more. 

The library system will host its second annual Rainbow Festival on June 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bowie Branch Library with family-friendly events like craft stations, story time and a live DJ. In April, the library system won a Top Innovator Award from the Urban Libraries Council for its banned books campaign.

“I think a lot of folks don’t always realize that your local public library is kind of the front line of democracy and we always have been,” Brown said. “Public libraries across the country are very united on this and if the right to read continues to be under threat like it’s been, it is not a good time for the state of our democracy.”

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District of Columbia

Bowser: No credible threats to D.C. Pride events

Mayor spoke with the Blade after flag-raising ceremony at the Wilson Building



D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the flag-raising of the Progress Pride flag at the Wilson Building in D.C. on June 1, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday said authorities have not received any credible threats to upcoming Pride events.

“We don’t have any to report,” she told the Washington Blade.

“MPD is constantly working with all of our agencies to make sure we have safe special events and we’re going to keep going with our planning, like we do every year,” added Bowser. “There’s always a scan for any threats to the District.”

Bowser spoke with the Blade after she joined D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Council members Anita Bonds, Charles Allen, Kenyon McDuffie and Zachary Parker, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, D.C. Mayor’s LGBTQ Affairs Office Director Japer Bowles and other officials and activists in raising the Progress Pride flag in front of the Wilson Building.

The Blade last month reported D.C. police are investigating a bomb threat a Twitter user made against the annual District Pride concert that will take place at the Lincoln Theater on June 29. Bowles in a May 19 statement said his office reported the tweet, but further stressed that “no credible threat at this time has been made.”

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Moore issues Pride month proclamation

Governor on May 3 signed Trans Health Equity Act



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Thursday proclaimed June as Pride month in recognition of  “the contributions, resilience, courage and joy of LGBTQIA+ Marylanders,” according to a press release.

“In Maryland, we lead with love and inclusion. I want everyone in our LGBTQIA+ community to know that they deserve to be seen for who they are, and our administration will stand with them in the fight for equality and equity,” Moore said. “We need to elevate the stories, embrace the courage, and celebrate the humanity of our LGBTQIA+ community — and as long as I am governor, we will take the steps forward to protect and celebrate all Marylanders.”

Moore on March 31 became the first governor in Maryland history to recognize the Transgender Day of Visibility and last month he signed into law the Trans Health Equity Act into law, which requires Maryland Medicaid to provide coverage for gender-affirming care beginning next year.

“This month is a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of the queer community, but it’s also a time to reaffirm our commitment to uplifting LGBTQIA+ Marylanders and continuing to fight against hatred, discrimination, and bigotry,” Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller said in the same press release that Moore’s office released. “LGBTQIA+ Marylanders deserve to be who they are, to live their pride — without fear or having to hide. This administration will always stand alongside and protect the rights of all Marylanders.”

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