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Gay minister seeks Baltimore Council seat

AIDS activist, father of 5, is second out gay man to run



Kinji Scott, gay news, Washington Blade
Kinji Scott, gay news, Washington Blade

Rev. Kinji Scott is running for Baltimore City Council in the 5th district.

Citing flaws in the Baltimore City government and drawing upon his own experience of discrimination, Rev. Kinji Scott has filed as a candidate for the Baltimore City Council in the 5th District. In doing so, he becomes the second openly gay candidate to run for the City Council in 2016. Kelly Cross recently announced he is a candidate for the 12th District.

Scott, 46, and a father of five sons, will be among seven candidates vying for the seat in the 5th Councilmanic District, which includes the West Baltimore neighborhoods of Pimlico, Mount Washington, Cheswolde and Glen. It has been represented by the retiring Rochelle “Rikki” Spector for the past 36 years.

“I am running for office because the Baltimore City Council has lost touch with the citizens,” Scott told the Blade. “I am not a politician.”

Scott said that there is a need for a voice that represents the people’s interests and not those of the politicians and noted he is that proven voice.

“I have stood against the city administration, criminals in our community, and Baltimore City Police Department on behalf of Baltimoreans,” he said. “I will continue when I am elected to the City Council.”

Scott, who prides himself as being the only gay Baptist minister in Baltimore, was an activist most of his life. However, he says a tragic event in 2005 motivated him to do more.

He had been a group home manager for the now defunct Fellowship of Lights — a place in Baltimore where homeless or runaway gay or straight youths ages 12 to 17 came for shelter.  When Scott found suitable housing for a 16-year-old boy named Vatell Murray, who was a resident of the home, the Baltimore City Department of Social Services dismissed it, according to Scott, and instead placed the teenager in an area where people had threatened to kill him.   Department officials, said Scott, had promised to keep him safe.

Tragically, the teen was murdered 45 days later, and after denouncing the tragedy publicly, Scott said he was fired from his job. Since then he has spoken out on such community issues as lead paint poisoning, juvenile services, housing, police reform and public education. He has also been a strong voice concerning hate crimes against LGBT community, such as the beating of Kenni Shaw in 2012.

Scott accelerated his activism after his experience at a Baltimore City Health Department clinic soon after being diagnosed in 2012 with the co-infections HIV and syphilis. Scott said contracting both infections is not uncommon from MSM encounters.

“Syphilis ulcers on the genitals establish entry ways for HIV,” Scott explained. “We can’t simply talk about HIV without talking about syphilis. Baltimore City Health Department has to do a better spreading this message in our schools, churches and places where people gather like bars and clubs. Especially when it comes to our young LGBTQ community members that message has to be established.”

He added, “The Baltimore City Police stepped up patrolling the infamous ‘meat rack’ in Mount Vernon where young black men sex workers can be found, but the Health Department canvassing and outreach has not increased. That needs to happen and when I am elected I will get it done.”

Scott earned a master’s in American history from Southern Illinois University and has completed all but his thesis for a second master’s in city planning from Morgan State University. He said his life’s experiences and his zeal to help others in need provide the rationale for his candidacy.

“I am an outspoken and passionate activist with a history of advocating on behalf of Baltimoreans,” he said. “I want to advocate on behalf of Baltimoreans as a member of Baltimore City Council.”

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Pride flags vandalized, stolen in Loudoun County town

‘Bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand’



Vandals destroyed or stole several Pride flags that had been displayed at homes in Lovettsville, Va. (Screen capture via WUSA9))

Vandals this week destroyed or stole Pride flags that Lovettsville residents had displayed on their homes.

Calvin Woehrie told WUSA the vandals used a blade to slash the Pride flag that was hanging from his house. The D.C. television station reported the vandals also targeted Woehrie’s neighbors who are a lesbian couple with four children.

The Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office said the vandals damaged five Pride flags from three homes and they stole two more. A spokesperson for the Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office told WUSA the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

“I wanted to address events that happened over the weekend, that are deplorable and devastating to the entire community,” said Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine in a letter he sent to town residents on June 16. “Over the weekend, there was destruction of property that specifically targeted our LGBTQ community. To make this even more heinous is that the destruction of property was done during Pride Month. To have property destroyed targeting members of our community is horrible and can be frightening for those targeted.” 

“For the individuals who committed these crimes, know that your bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand,” added Fontaine. “We are working closely with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and this has also been added as an agenda item for our June 24th Council meeting.”

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, on Saturday described the vandalism as “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Whether someone is voicing an opinion or flying a flag, as Virginians — and as human beings — we must be respectful of one another,” wrote Youngkin in a Facebook post.

“Politicians always seem to be pitting neighbor against neighbor, but I am committed to bringing people together around our shared values, like treating others the same way you want to be treated,” he added. “We must all do better by respecting others’ right to live their lives freely, without being targeted because of who they are.”

WUSA reported Lovettsville residents bought Pride flags to replace the ones that had been vandalized and stolen.

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Transgender man murdered in Va.

EJ Boykin was shot outside Lynchburg store on June 14



EJ Boykin (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A transgender man was murdered in Lynchburg, Va., on June 14.

The News and Advance, a local newspaper, reported EJ Boykin, who was also known as Novaa Watson, was shot outside a Family Dollar store on the city’s Fort Avenue at around 6 p.m. Boykin passed away at Lynchburg General Hospital a short time later.

A spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department told the News and Advance the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute. Authorities added there is no evidence to currently suggest the shooting was a hate crime based on Boykin’s gender identity.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reported Boykin was born and raised in Baltimore and was a student at Morgan State University. The blog said Boykin celebrated his 23rd Birthday on June 10, four days before his murder.

Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement notes Boykin is the fifth trans man reported killed in 2021. HRC notes at least 29 trans or gender non-conforming people are known to have been murdered so far this year.

“The level of fatal violence we’ve recorded this year is higher than we’ve ever seen,” said Cooper. “All of these individuals deserved to live. We must strike at the roots of racism and transphobia, and continue to work toward justice and equality for trans and gender non-conforming people.”

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Comings & Goings

Jarvis lands lead consultant role at Meridian



Ted Jarvis

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 Ted Jarvis on his new position as Lead Consultant with Meridian Compensation Partners, in D.C. He will work on executive compensation, governance research and development. When asked for a response to news of his new role, Jarvis told this story: “I was on the prowl for a new job, I contacted the CEO of Meridian, who worked closely with me during our years at Towers Perrin. After half an hour on the phone, he asked: ‘Send me a list of things you really like to do.’ I followed up with a list of activities that continually engage my interest. Within a few days he mailed me a job description that reiterated my list almost word-for-word. I feel truly blessed to have a job so aligned with what I enjoy doing. This is going to be great.”

Prior to working for Meridian, Jarvis worked as Managing Director with Main Data Group in D.C. and Wilton Manors, Fla. He has also worked as Global Director of Executive Compensation Data, Research & Publications, Mercer, in D.C.; principal with Willis Towers Watson; and as a research consultant with McKinsey & Company. Jarvis is a member of the Lotos Club (New York); a benefactor at Drew University (Morristown, N.J.). He funded two undergraduate prizes (Wettstein Drama Prize; Norton Wettstein and Jane Brown Memorial Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement); a benefactor, Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia): funded William Joseph Coverley-Smith Prize, awarded annually at the Juried Art Competition; and a benefactor, St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church (Rochester, N.Y.).

Jarvis earned his MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business; his bachelor’s (cum laude); his Ph.D. (ABD) major in music history, literature and theory from NYU. He earned a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Vienna.

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