Representatives of local LGBT groups that have received financial support from the Crew Club, a D.C. sauna and gym that caters to gay men, mingled with the club’s staff during a Nov. 11 meeting called by its owner, DC Allen.
Allen said the meeting was aimed at introducing his staff to community members whose organizations have been supported by the Crew Club during its 20 years in business in the Logan Circle business district.
Among those attending were David Mariner, executive director of the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community; Ruby Corado, founder and director of the LGBT community services center, Casa Ruby; and Josh Riley, community relations director for Whitman-Walker Health.
Riley thanked Allen for the Crew Club’s longstanding arrangement that enables Whitman-Walker workers to come to the club to offer HIV testing and HIV education and prevention information to the club’s patrons. He thanked the Crew Club staff for helping to facilitate Whitman-Walker’s visits to the club.
“All of you are public health workers,” he said.
Allen asked each of the nine Crew Club staff members who attended the meeting to introduce themselves. Most said they have been on the staff for five years or longer. Some said they have been working there for 10 years or longer. Among them is longtime gay activist and writer Alan Ritter, who Allen said has left the staff several times to pursue activist projects.
“I always take him back,” said Allen.
Dan Carter, whom the Crew Club recently retained as a Yoga instructor, demonstrated his craft by leading those attending the meeting in a meditation exercise.
“This was absolutely and positively about the employees of the Crew Club,” Allen said in discussing the meeting last week. “It was purely to make sure that they understood that the club was an integral part of the community and they are on the front line of HIV/STD prevention and education.”
Unlike some smaller businesses in the bustling 14th Street entertainment and nightlife district, which have been displaced by real estate development projects, Allen said he won’t encounter that problem because he owns the building in which the Crew Club is located.