January 26, 2016 at 4:16 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Graham fights blizzard with free admission to strip club
Jim Graham, Rock Hard Sundays, The House, Mark Guenther, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay former D.C. Council member Jim Graham, on right, is offering free admission to his male strip club on Tuesday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Gay former D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) says he’s offering his LGBT constituents in Ward 1 a chance to overcome cabin fever following the epic snowstorm last weekend by inviting them to visit the male strip club he operates on Georgia Avenue, N.W. free of charge on Tuesday night, Jan. 26.

In a Jan. 25 email to a Ward 1 listserv Graham said his invitation to visit his RockHard venue of male strippers at The House nightclub at 3530 Georgia Ave., N.W., comes at a time when he plans to become more active in city politics and LGBT-related issues.

“After 16 years of service as your councilmember, I intentionally stepped back these past 12 months,” he said in his email. “I now feel it is time for me to again engage, as a businessman and neighbor, with issues of concern to me in D.C.,” he said.

Graham lost his re-election bid in the 2014 Democratic primary to political newcomer Brianne Nadeau, who took office as the Ward 1 Council member in January 2015. In a development that surprised his former Council colleagues, Graham announced last year that he was teaming up with the owner of The House, a longstanding female strip club, to operate a Sunday night male strip club venue at the Georgia Avenue club that Graham called RockHard.

Graham told the Blade that Tuesday night’s RockHard operation would be a one-time endeavor but that he would consider the possibility of holding the male stripper venue on other nights in addition to the regular Sunday night venue.

“What I am about to say is obviously not for everyone,” he said in his Jan. 25 email message. “But I know there are many LGBTQ persons 21 and over who live in our area. So I’m having a special NO admission charge on tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 26, for those persons who may enjoy such entertainment,” he said.

“I have followed closely the actions and messages on the blizzard and its consequences by Mayor Bowser and Councilmember Nadeau,” he wrote in his email. “They are to be commended for all of what they are doing.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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