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SPRING ARTS PREVIEW CONCERTS: Sounds of spring (and beyond)

GMCW, Jane Lynch, Bette and more coming to region



concert, gay news, Washington Blade
concert, gay news, Washington Blade

Trans singer/songwriter Eli Conley plays Ebeneezer’s Coffeehouse next month. (Photo courtesy Conley)

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington has its “When You Wish” show, Disney songs with a gay twist, March 13-14 at Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.). For tickets and details, visit

Out singer/songwriter and GLAAD Award-nominee Mary Gauthier plays Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave., E. Vienna, Va.) March 19. She’s touring behind “Trouble & Love,” her first studio album in four years. Visit for tickets.

A capella group Pentatonix performs at the Patriot Center (4500 Patriot Cir., Fairfax, Va.) on March 19 at 8 p.m. Their Christmas album “That’s Christmas To Me” was a hit album over the holiday season reaching No. 2 on the Billboard chart. They have performed on “The Today Show” and “Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.” Tickets range from $29.50-49.50. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more details, visit

Soul singer Ledisi comes to DAR Constitution Hall on March 21 at 8 p.m. Singers Raheem DeVaugn and Leela James will also be performing. Tickets range from $85-110. For more information, visit

British songstress Jessie Ware performs at 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) on March 31. Her album “Tough Love” includes her latest single release “Champagne Kisses.” Ware will be joined by alternative R&B singer Jesse Boykins III. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30. For more details, visit

Broadway legend Audra McDonald will play the region twice in the coming months. She’s at the Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.) on March 27 then plays Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Va.) on June 22 with the National Symphony Orchestra. Details at and respectively.

Audra McDonald, gay news Washington Blade

Audra McDonald (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Out concert pianist Stephen Hough returns to the Kennedy Center on April 1 to play a mostly Debussy recital in the Terrace Theater. Tickets are $49. Details at

Trans folk artist Eli Conley and his band play Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse (201 F St., N.E.) on April 2. Tickets are $10. Details at

The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of out music director Yannick Nezet-Setuin plays the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on April 7. On the program are the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor and the Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor. Tickets are $35-105. Details at

Singer and actress Jane Lynch performs her musical comedy show “Sing Jane Sing” at the Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.) March 24-25 at 7:30 p.m. Lynch, best known for her portrayal of Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” will perform both American standard songs and show tunes. Tickets are $89.50.

concert, gay news, Washington Blade

Jane Lynch will perform at the Birchmere two nights later this month. (Photo courtesy Birchmere)

Singer Neil Diamond performs at the Verizon Center (601 F St., N.W.) on April 4 at 8 p.m. Diamond’s latest album “Melody Road” was released last year. Diamond will perform songs from “Melody Road” as well as classic favorites. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $65-175. For more details, visit

Drummer and percussionist Sheila E. comes to the Howard Theatre on April 30 at 8 p.m. Sheila E has worked with Prince, Lionel Ritchie, Beyonce and many more. She has released seven albums to date. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $37.50 in advance and $42 day of show. Seating is first come, first seated. There will be a full dinner menu available. For more details, visit

Legendary actress and singer Julie Andrews joins Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, Md.) for “An Evening with Julie Andrews” on April 25 at 9 p.m. Andrews will be joined by moderator Peter Marks and Strathmore Children’s Chorus will perform. The show will be part conversation, stories and clips. The performance is part of Strathmore’s 10th anniversary Spring Gala. Andrews will not sing. Tickets range from $58.50-157. For more information, visit

concert, gay news, Washington Blade

Though she won’t be singing, locals get a rare chance to see Julie Andrews live on April 25 at the Strathmore. (Photo courtesy Strathmore)

Alternative indie dance duo Matt and Kim perform at 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) on May 11-12. Their well known singles include “Let’s Go” and “Daylight.” Doors open at 7 p.m. The May 11 show is sold out. Tickets for the May 12 are at

Aretha Franklin plays the Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, Md.) on May 13. Details at

Howard Theatre presents “Salute to the Divas: Girl Groups and Ladies of Hip Hop,” a concert drag show headlined by drag performer Shi-Queeta-Lee on May 24 at 8 p.m. Impersonations will include Nicki Minaj, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot and many more. This show is a part of Black Pride. General admission tickets are $49.50. General admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show. There will be a full dinner menu available. For more information, visit

Shi-Queeta Lee, drag, drag queen, gay news, Washington Blade, Howard Theatre, Drag Salute to the Divas

‘Drag Salute to the Divas’ returns to the Howard. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Lesbian singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke performs at the Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.) on May 29 at 7:30 p.m. Brooke has released 11 albums and has toured internationally. Tickets are $29.50. For more information, visit

And to peek ahead slightly to summer, some huge names are on the calendar.

Pop-country hybrid singer Taylor Swift performs a two-night show at Nationals Park (1500 S Capitol St., S.E.) on July 13-14 at 7 p.m. The first night is sold out. Swift’s opening acts will be alternative rock group Vance Joy and pop singer Shawn Mendes.Tickets range from $54.50-134.50. VIP tour packages range from $199-399 and include a limited edition set of Taylor Swift “1989” tour lithographs among other perks. For more information, visit

Bette Midler brings her tour to the Verizon Center (601 F St., N.W.) on June 22 at 8 p.m. Midler’s latest album release ‘It’s the Girls!” is a musical tribute to famous girl groups in history from the Andrews Sisters to TLC. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $55-290. For more details, visit

Sam Smith performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion (10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, Md.) on July 24 at 8 p.m. Smith, who is gay, has won four Grammy awards from his first album “In the Lonely Hour.” Tickets range from $45-97.50. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. This is an all-ages show. For more information, visit

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett perform at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on July 31 and Aug.1 in promotion for their new collaborative jazz album “Cheek to Cheek.” Songs from the album include both solo and duet performances. Songs from the album include classic jazz songs such as the title track “Cheek to Cheek,” “But Beautiful” and “I Won’t Dance.” Tickets range from 4125-275. Tickets go on sale March 11. For more information, visit



New book explores ‘Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling’

The benefits of coming out at work



(Book cover image courtesy of Bloomsbury)

‘Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling’
By Layla McCay
c.2024, Bloomsbury
$24/240 pages

You can see the CEO’s office from the outside of your workplace.

You’ve actually been in that office, so you know what it looks like inside, too. Big, expansive desk. Cushy, expensive chair. Ankle-deep carpet. The CEO got there through regular means over the course of his career – something you’d like to do, too. But as you know, and as in the new book, “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling” by Layla McCay, you’ll have to take a different path.

Of all the thousands of board seats and C-suite occupiers in American businesses, only a very tiny number – less than one percent – are occupied by people who identify as LGBTQ. In London, says McCay, no one on the Financial Times Stock Exchange identifies as such. Just six of the world’s leaders, past or current, have come out as LGBTQ.

The reasons for this are many, from discomfort to a sense of a lack of safety or just plain mistrust. Employees often don’t talk about it and employers can’t or don’t ask, which can lead to a lot of issues that cis, heterosexual employees don’t have to think about.

LGBTQ employees make less money than their straight co-workers. They experience discrimination ranging from sexual violence on one end, to micro aggressions on the other. Discrimination can be found in educational settings, and networking events, in a lack of mentorship, and the feeling that one needs to “code-switch.” Even an overseas job offer can be complicated by identifying as LGBTQ.

And yet, says McCoy, there are benefits to coming out, including a sense of authenticity, and feeling as if a load has been removed from one’s shoulders.

If you are an employer, McCoy says, there are things you can do to help. Include LGBTQ people in your diversity programs at work. Insist on it for recruitment. Make sure your employees feel safe to be themselves. Make all policies inclusive, all the time, from the start. Doing so benefits your business. It helps your employees.

“It’s good for society.”

Pretty common sense stuff, no? Yeah, it is; most of what you’ll read inside “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling” is, in fact, very commonsensical. Moreover, if you’re gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or queer, you won’t find one new or radical thing in this book.

And yet, inside all the nothing-new, readers will generally find things they’ll appreciate. The statistics, for instance, that author Layla McCay offers would be helpful to cite when asking for a raise. It’s beneficial, for instance, to be reminded why you may want to come out at work or not. The advice on being and finding a mentor is gold. These things are presented through interviews from business leaders around the world, and readers will find comfort and wisdom in that. You’ll just have to wade through a lot of things you already know to get it, that’s all.

Is it worth it? That depends on your situation. You may find nothing in “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling,” or it may help you raise the roof.

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Out & About

Under Armour hosts LGBTQ obstacle course

‘Unmatched Pride’ event held in Baltimore



Unmatched Athlete in partnership with Under Armour Unified will host the inaugural “Unmatched Pride event for LGBTQ+ and allied youths” on Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m. at the Stadium at 2601 Port Covington Dr. in Baltimore Peninsula.

Teens 13-17 and kids 8-12 will have the ability to compete in obstacle course activity and skills challenges. The obstacle course will consist of a variety of fun stations that will test participants in strength, agility, and cardio. Flag football skill challenges and more will be offered.

For those who are interested, there will be an opportunity for youths to compete with and/or against their parents as well at 1:30 p.m. Registration is available on Eventbrite

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Out & About

Blade’s Peter Rosenstein holds book talk in Rehoboth

‘Born This Gay’ memoir explored



Longtime Washington Blade contributor Peter Rosenstein will hold an author talk on Thursday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m. at CAMP Rehoboth (37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.) in conversation with fellow author Fay Jacobs. The pair will discuss Rosenstein’s new memoir, “Born This Gay: My Life of Activism, Politics, Travel, and Coming Out.” Register at

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