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Clinton supporters plan 2 D.C. Pride fundraisers

Gay campaign manager to appear at June 11 event



Hillary Clinton, gay news, Washington Blade
Hillary Clinton, gay news, Washington Blade

Hillary Clinton (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Separate LGBT Pride fundraising events for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign are scheduled to take place on successive nights on June 10 and 11 in Washington, with the second one to include appearances by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and four of her gay colleagues in the U.S. House.

That June 11 event is an official event of the Hillary for America campaign and is being co-hosted by D.C. gay Democratic activist Peter Rosenstein along with 22 other prominent LGBT rights advocates who signed on as co-hosts. Among them are former Human Rights Campaign presidents Joe Solmonese and Elizabeth Birch and former Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund CEO Chuck Wolfe.

The minimum donation required for admission to the event, which will take place at Lost Society Rooftop nightclub at 2001 14th St., N.W., is $100. It’s being billed as an “LGBT Pride Kick-Off Party In Support of Hillary for America” and will include an appearance by Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook, who’s gay. Clinton is not scheduled to attend. Visit for tickets.

The other event set for June 10 is being organized by gay Democratic activist Lane Hudson as a “low dollar, grassroots” fundraiser that’s not an official event of the Clinton campaign. Hudson is promoting it on Facebook as a “Hillary for D.C. – Pride Edition – More Dance Party, Less Fundraiser.” The admission price is $20.16, and it will be held at D.C.’s historic Howard Theatre.

“What I’m intending to create is a new kind of event that targets folks that aren’t traditional political donors and tries to turn them into repeat donors,” Hudson told the Blade. He said he would announce in the next few days the names of some prominent officials who will attend as special guests.

Among those scheduled to attend the June 11 event as special guests, in addition to Baldwin, are out gay U.S. Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), and Mark Takano (D-Calif.). Also scheduled to attend is U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), a strong LGBT rights ally.

Others who have endorsed the event and signed on as hosts are LGBT rights leaders Aisha Moodie-Mills, the current CEO of the Victory Fund; Scott Fay; Winnie Stachelberg; Tom Sheridan; Robert Raben; Claire Lucas; and Judy Dlugacz.

Rosenstein said the Clinton campaign is organizing its own low-cost fundraiser in D.C. that’s scheduled for June 23 with a $20 admission. He said it’s not a specific LGBT event but organizers are reaching out to the LGBT community to attend.

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  1. Shelter Somerset

    June 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Keep following the wolves in sheep’s clothing. But please, don’t bend over for them.

    • Michael Wiedenhoeft

      June 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      I’m Gay and have a great husband. While I think you’re hateful I agree that Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person in politics. I’d never vote for her even though we’re gay. To bad most gays could careless about the character of a person when voting for them but do so only for the sake of one issue. Let’s remember that president Clinton was responsible for the existence of DOMA and Hillary as a US senator agreed with states right to deny or pass gay marriage.


      June 5, 2015 at 5:47 am

      Oh please Ted Cruz needs your support

      • Shelter Somerset

        June 6, 2015 at 7:59 pm

        I’m not Ted Cruz supporter, but you’re free to if you wish. Thanks for judging and stereotyping.

        • THEBEARCUB

          June 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm

          Really don’t care Hillary 2016!

  2. Michael Wiedenhoeft

    June 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    My husband and I are gay and always have been in case you didn’t know how that works. I think your comment is hateful. However, we’d never vote or do anything for Clinton because we think she is the most corrupt politician in our government. Almost all gays could careless about the welfare of our country as long as their agenda is met. Let it be known that President Clinton was responsible for DOMA and Hillary as a senator supported that each state has a right to decide if they wanted marriage equality. She has flip flopped so much my head spins. I know someone that knows her and Bill personally and he said she is the meanest women he’s eve met and that was evident the other day when she told a supporter to go to the end of the line because they just simply asked for an autograph. That was the real Hillary Clinton in action.

  3. Brooks Austin

    June 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I support the Democrats as much as the next liberal but it seems shady to hijack Pride to promote a politician and Hillary’s not even going to be there

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Comings & Goings

Nathanson takes role at Outright Action



Rikki Nathanson

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected] 

The Comings & Goings column also invites LGBTQ+ college students to share their successes with us. If you have been elected to a student government position, gotten an exciting internship, or are graduating and beginning your career with a great job, let us know so we can share your success. 

Congratulations to Rikki Nathanson on her new position as Senior Advisor – Global Trans Program with OutRight Action International in New York. Nathanson will be based in D.C.  

 “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on this new role as Senior Advisor in OutRight’s Global Trans Program,” said Nathanson. “I have finally found the perfect fit for me: as a trans woman who has been fighting for equality not only for myself, but for others globally, this position is not only a job, it’s intrinsically part of who I am. So, what better way to live, nurture and grow myself.” 

Nathanson will be working closely with all program staff to ensure a cohesive and intentional approach to gender issues throughout OutRight’s programs, including its approach to gender ideology movements. She will lead new initiatives on gender advocacy and policy change, focused but not limited to legal gender recognition and anti-discrimination legislation and policies.

Prior to this Nathanson was director of housing programs at Casa Ruby in D.C. She has also held a number of other positions including: founder/executive director of Trans Research, Education, Advocacy & Training (TREAT), Zimbabwe; chairperson Southern Africa Trans Forum, SATF, Cape Town, South Africa; executive director, Ricochet Modeling Agency, Zimbabwe; and company secretary for Dunlop Zimbabwe Limited, Zimbabwe. 

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SMYAL Director Shakir to step down Dec. 31

Board to launch Executive Search beginning in January



SMYAL Executive Director Sultan Shakir addresses the crowd at the 2021 Fall Brunch. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Sultan Shakir, who has served as executive director of D.C.’s LGBTQ youth advocacy organization SMYAL since August 2014, announced on Friday that he will be stepping down from his position effective Dec. 31.

In a Dec. 3 announcement, SMYAL said details of Shakir’s future career plans would be announced in the coming weeks.

“While we are sad to see Sultan leave, we wish him nothing but the same success in his new endeavor as he had at SMYAL,” said Rob Cogorno, SMYAL’s board chair. “His leadership and vision enabled SMYAL to expand greatly needed services to LGBTQ youth in the DC metro area throughout his tenure,” Cogorno said.

“I am immensely proud of the work we have been able to accomplish together in my time at SMYAL,” Shakir said in a statement released by SMYAL. “SMYAL has been an integral and vital resource in the DMV community for over 37 years, and while we have come a long way in combating homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexual health stigma, homelessness, violence against the LGBTQ community, and oppression, we have a long way to go,” he said.

“This work has never been about one person,” said Shakir. “SMYAL was founded by our community and we’re still around because of our community,” he said. “I leave knowing that the commitment and passion of the SMYAL Board, staff, volunteers, and youth leaders have created a solid foundation from which our work will continue to grow until LGBTQ youth no longer need us.”

The SMYAL statement says that under Shakir’s tenure, SMYAL, which stands for Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, expanded its programs and services for LGBTQ youth. Among other things, in 2017 SMYAL opened its first of several housing facilities for homeless LGBTQ youth that include culturally competent case management, education and employment assistance.

“The Youth Housing Program now comprises five programmatic models that serve a combined 61 youth residents,” the statement says.

It points out that also under Shakir’s leadership, SMYAL expanded the age range of the youth its programs serve under a new Little SMYALs program, which welcomes LGBTQ youth ages 6-12. And earlier in 2021 under Shakir’s guidance, SMYAL began a new Clinical Services Department “which provides affirming and accessible mental health counseling,” the statement says.

“The SMYAL Board of Directors will officially launch an Executive Search beginning in January 2022 and expects to have named a new Executive Director by summer 2022,” the statement says. It says the board will soon name an interim executive director to work with SMYAL’s Deputy Executive Director, Jorge Membreno, and the organization’s leadership team to oversee the day-to-day activities until a new executive director is named.

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Rainbow History Project to honor LGBTQ ‘Pioneers’

Virtual celebration to take place on Dec. 9



David Mariner, gay news, Washington Blade
David Mariner (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

D.C.’s Rainbow History Project says it will honor and recognize 12 individuals and one organization by designating them as Community Pioneers “for their diverse contributions to the Washington-area LGBTQ community” at a Dec. 9 virtual celebration.

“Rainbow History Project is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the LGBT history of metropolitan Washington, D.C.,” the group says in a statement announcing the event. “The Pioneers awards recognize diverse community leaders for their roles as organizational founders, innovators, advocates and volunteers,” the statement says.

“The Pioneers celebration will be held virtually and is designed with special features that reproduce the feeling of attending in-person, such as live streaming and video chatting with other attendees and Pioneers before and after the core awards programing,” according to the statement.

“Celebrating our Community Pioneers has been a cherished tradition since Rainbow History Project’s founding 21 years ago,” said Rob Berger, the organization’s chairperson. “It’s always an inspiring event, and we are happy that our virtual platform will still allow participants to meet and talk with the Pioneers,” Berger said in the statement.

The virtual event is free and open to the public, the statement says. Organizers released this link for those interested in attending, saying a short registration process may require registering in advance. 

Remo Conference

Following is the list of Community Pioneers scheduled to be honored at the Dec. 9 event as released by Rainbow History Project along with the project’s description of their backgrounds.

Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, a local group that since its founding has addressed equal rights issues for LGBTQ Virginians from a state and local perspective.

– Eboné F. Bell, founder and editor-in-chief of Tagg Magazine and Tagg Communication LLC.

Bart Forbes, founding member of “Gay Fairfax,” a pioneering television newsmagazine program in Northern Virginia.

– Ellen Kahan, youth and family advocate, president of Rainbow Families, former director of the Lesbian Services Program at Whitman-Walker Health, and currently senior director of programs and partnerships at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

– Theodore Kirkland (deceased), a co-founder of D.C. Black Pride in 1991, member of the Gay Liberation Front and Skyline Faggots, active community health volunteer and advocate.

– Paul Marengo, community leader through LGBTQ organizations including Reel Affirmations, Cherry Fund, and Pride celebrations for youth, Latino, Black and Transgender communities.

– David Mariner, executive director of CAMP Rehoboth, and former executive director of the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community.

– Mark Meinke founder longtime chair, Rainbow History Project, and co-founder of Rainbow Heritage Network, a national organization for the recognition and preservation of sites, history and heritage associated with sexual and gender minorities.

– Michael “Micci” Sainte Andress, artist, health educator and advocate and an early leader in bringing African Americans into HIV/AIDS clinical trials.

– Boden Sandstrom, founder and owner of Woman Sound (later City Sound), the first all-woman sound company, which makes LGBTQ rights rallies and the women’s music scene possible.

Casse Culver (deceased), nationally acclaimed D.C. lesbian feminist singer-songwriter, and partner of Boden Sandstrom, whose followers said her love songs and feminist lyrics moved audiences from foot stomping to silent reflection.  

Alan Sharpe, playwright, director and co-founder of the African American Collective Theater in Washington, D.C., in 1976, which now focuses on LGBTQ life and culture in the Black community.

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