November 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm EST | by Joey DiGuglielmo
QUEERY: Rob Finn
Rob Finn, gay news, Washington Blade

Rob Finn (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington is going for alliteration in its latest outing, “The S Show.”

With its two weekend performances — at 5 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14 — the singers will tackle songs by and associated with Sondheim (who’s gay), the late Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand. Soloists will toast these three icons at the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Sprenger Theatre (1333 H St., N.E.). Tickets are $35. Details at gmcw.org.

Rob Finn has two solos. He joined the chorus in January. Also a member of the Rock Creek Singers, one of the chorus’s smaller ensembles, he says he “dove in head first” not long after moving to Washington. He was also on the chorus’s trip to Cuba this summer.

After a year of long distance, the 38-year-old Jersey City, N.J., native moved to the region to be with his partner, Dan Shaver. Finn is a self-described “out-of-work lawyer, publicist and stage director searching for his next professional venture in D.C.”

Finn and Shaver live in NoMa. Finn enjoys movies, theater, cooking, eating, performing and travel in his free time.

 

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

A few of my friends in high school sorta knew, but the process started in earnest in college. My dad was the hardest (and the last) to tell.

 

Who’s your LGBT hero? 

Ryan Murphy. I firmly believe that “Glee,” imperfect though it may have been, completely changed everything. It saved lives. And it wasn’t afraid to tell gay storylines that made gay men uncomfortable.

 

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

I’m partial to Bear Happy Hour on the roof of Rock & Roll Hotel.

 

Describe your dream wedding.

On the beach in Asbury Park, N.J. (one of my favorite places on earth), surrounded by our families and closest friends.

 

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? 

Access to safe, affordable housing, particularly in rapidly gentrifying urban areas like D.C., New York and Jersey City. I decided to go to law school after having to defend myself in Landlord-Tenant court and have been a passionate tenant advocate ever since.

 

What historical outcome would you change?

The 2000 presidential election.

 

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

Nov. 4, 2008, when Obama won his first presidential election. It just felt like the world had completely changed for the better.

 

On what do you insist? 

On splitting the check by the number of people at the table when dining out as a group.

 

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

A selfie of me, my sister-in-law and my Goddaughter outside Union Market after lunch.

 

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

“We’re Splitting the Check.”

 

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

I’d stay exactly as I am. I’d maybe try to find a way to scientifically alter the sexual orientation of a healthy percentage of right wing, anti-LGBT politicians and activists. Just to see what might happen.

 

What do you believe in beyond the physical world?

I have so many conflicting beliefs as a result of my Catholic upbringing, my experiences as a gay man and my opening my mind to a world of possibilities. I can’t help but hold on to that arrogant human instinct that we’re just too special to be completely erased after our bodies stop working. I’d also really like to talk to my mom again one day.

 

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Leave no one behind. Right now is a pivotal moment for the transgender community and we need to stand behind our trans brothers and sisters and not pull up the ladder behind us. They deserve nothing less than the full equality and acceptance we have begun to achieve for the “LGB” community. Yet just today I saw that a petition has been posted to change.org seeking to drop the “T” and demonize the trans community. It’s disgusting. Everyone who needs to fight to be their authentic selves should be fully supported, celebrated and championed by the LGBT movement.

 

What would you walk across hot coals for?

Unlimited frequent flier miles.

 

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

That all LGBT people are bad at sports. I’m bad at sports, but I hate it when people are shocked to see or hear about LGBT athletes or sports leagues. And it annoys me when gays roll their eyes at other gays who like sports.

 

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“The Color Purple” — I cry like a baby every time.

 

What’s the most overrated social custom?

Asking guests to take their shoes off when they enter your home.

 

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

Tony Award for best director.

 

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

That the sooner you come out, the better off you and everyone in your life will be.

 

Why Washington?

I was in a long-distance relationship with my partner, Dan, who lived here, for almost a year. We saw each other every weekend, back and forth. We knew we wanted to live together, and me moving to D.C. was the more unexpected choice. I’m so glad we decided to take this adventure together.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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