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LGBT march on Washington planned for D.C. Pride weekend

Organizers collaborating with Capital Pride officials

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National Equality March, gay news, Washington Blade
National Equality March, gay news, Washington Blade, LGBT march

The last LGBT march on Washington was the National Equality March on Oct. 11, 2009. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A gay activist in New York City has set in motion plans for a “mass” LGBT march on Washington on June 11, which he hopes will be similar to last week’s Women’s March on Washington that drew hundreds of thousands of people.

David Bruinooge, 42, a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident who has friends and relatives in the D.C. area, said he was inspired to create a Facebook page announcing the march on Jan. 21 while he was watching the Women’s March on Washington at home on television.

“I was watching the events unfold on TV and I was very proud and inspired by all the women, the strong women in our country who were kind of taking this to the street and getting their voices heard,” he told the Washington Blade. “And in the back of my mind as an openly gay man I thought the gay community should be doing something like this to follow up on the momentum,” he said.

He said he intentionally chose June 11 for the march because it’s the same day that D.C.’s Capital Pride Festival is scheduled to be held on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. near the U.S. Capitol. Bruinooge said his thought was the march would start in the morning and end at the site of the Pride festival.

Ryan Bos, executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance, which organizes the D.C. Pride events, including the Pride Parade set to take place on June 10, said he has spoken with Bruinooge and expects that Capital Pride officials will collaborate with the march organizers so the march and the D.C. Pride events will complement each other.

Bruinooge said that at Bos’s suggestion, he has changed the name of the march from Gays on the Mall, which he initially announced on Facebook, to the National Pride March.

He acknowledges he and others working on the march will have a significant amount of work to do logistically, including obtaining permits for street closings. He said he’s hopeful that Capital Pride officials will provide support and consider the march to be a joint Capital Pride project.

“My intention was never to undermine what was going on with D.C. Pride,” Bruinooge said. “They obviously have the infrastructure and the mass support to help this become a reality.”

More information on the proposed march can be obtained here.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Jake GG

    January 25, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I know of the 1993 LGBT march that had like a million people at it. I also recall 2009 National Equality March, less than a year after Prop 8, which had about 200,000 people at it. Wikipedia says:

    “Many groups joined by also organizing other events for the weekend, which coincided with National Coming Out Day on October 11 and marked eleven years since the beating and murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, which prompted national attention and action to expand hate crime laws.”

    “Outcome Matthew Shepard Act signed into law (October 22);
    US President Barack Obama committed to end “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, the US military policy forbidding gays, bisexuals, and lesbians to serve openly”

    I wonder what the explicit goals of this LGBT march would be? Would it be support for the Equality Act, ending the gay/bi blood ban, more protections & support for the most vulnerable parts of the LGBT community, getting more LGBT folks to run for office, preventing the Trump administration from rolling back protections or passing new anti-LGBT laws? I’m all for a march if we have some clear goals in mind.

    • Tina L. Long

      June 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      from what Ive been reading its mostly for the healthcare act

  2. Kurt 20008

    January 26, 2017 at 10:52 am

    It might be nice if he had a discussion with others before unilaterally announcing a national march.

    • Robin518

      January 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Oh, you didn’t get his call yet asking for your personal opinion?

      • Kurt 20008

        January 26, 2017 at 3:01 pm

        Seemingly, no one nor any organization did.

        • Will Kohler

          January 26, 2017 at 3:52 pm

          And who exactly are you Kurt? And why should anyone have to ask anyones permission to get the ball rolling. This isn’t about catty gay inter-community politics. Its about fighting for our rights.

          • Kurt 20008

            January 26, 2017 at 3:57 pm

            No one said ask permission. The issue is working collegially.

          • Will Kohler

            January 26, 2017 at 4:38 pm

            There would be too many groups to go through. Better way is to just start it and have everyone join in.

          • Kurt 20008

            January 26, 2017 at 4:44 pm

            Then approach one group that has the resources to contact the others. This is my point. A single individual doesn’t have the means to make this happen. Some consultant with others before a public announcement would have been wise.

          • Scott Raskin

            January 27, 2017 at 7:18 am

            Completely agree Kurt. While this is an important march to have to bring everyone together, doing it during Pride Month where over 20 other cities and towns will have their own Pride celebrations that weekend is divisive and a duplication. Pride marches and events are planned long in advance and much time and resources have been put into those already and they cannot be changed. To plan a competing event that will potentially take away from people showing strong numbers in their local communities, where the change needs to happen, is misguided. I would be very surprised if Capital Pride does collaborate and would expect a strong statement coming from Prides in all 50 states not supporting this march during Pride Month. There are many other weekends between now and the end of May and then over the summer to do this march. Let’s not step on each other!

          • Katie Bartlett

            February 20, 2017 at 5:47 pm

            Kurt, I will remind you that the women’s march was organized in a matter of months from a Facebook post of ONE lady. ONE person CAN get the ball rolling. For the record, being critical of someone else trying to promote change does nothing for anyone. You can sit on the internet and complain or you can stand up and do something. Your choice. Don’t downplay the choice of another.

  3. alwaysright21

    January 26, 2017 at 11:35 am

    They’re just a bunch of petal pushers
    and carpet cleaners. Powerless and
    flimsy with a dash of stinky armhair.

    • Robin518

      January 26, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      As a feminine, old, straight woman, I will be there with them. You sound like someone that can’t get attention from a woman or a man.

      • alwaysright21

        January 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm

        Wrong, married happily
        for ten years with two
        beautiful white children.
        You’re a liar, no mature
        straight woman would
        have a cigar smoking
        wh0re as an avatar.

        • Steve Kay

          May 15, 2017 at 1:17 am

          YOU JUST GAVE YOURSELF AWAY NO NEED TO SAY “WHITE CHILDREN”

          JUST ANOTHER RACIST HATING ON GAYS

    • Steve Kay

      May 15, 2017 at 1:16 am

      SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE ON OF THE NUTS OF THE WESTBORO BAPTIST

      fREEIE BOY IS ROTTING IN HIS GRAVE BUT THEY HAVE ABOUT 75 PEOPLE WHO BELONG IN THE NUT HOUSE

  4. Alyce Miller

    January 26, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Very interested, and will make no suggestions or criticisms until I see what the planning committee sets forth. There was so much in-fighting for the Women’s March that seemed counter-productive. I think we give people a break and some credit for doing this.

    • cebutu .

      January 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      What infighting? Really, explain yourself.

  5. Clear Raines

    January 26, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    White children? is there a difference ? are white kids better than others ?

    • 0JosephHill0

      January 27, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Whoa…what are you doing on a gay website,alwaysright21? You sound like a VERY sad and angry person. Hope you find help…

  6. Scott Raskin

    January 27, 2017 at 7:16 am

    While this is an important march to have to bring everyone together, doing it during Pride Month where over 20 other cities and towns will have their own Pride celebrations that weekend is divisive and a duplication. Pride marches and events are planned long in advance and much time and resources have been put into those already and they cannot be changed. To plan a competing event that will potentially take away from people showing strong numbers in their local communities, where the change needs to happen, is misguided. I would be very surprised if Capital Pride does collaborate and would expect a strong statement coming from Prides in all 50 states not supporting this march during Pride Month. There are many other weekends between now and the end of May and then over the summer to do this march. Let’s not step on each other!

    • cebutu .

      January 28, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      You must not have read the article. Much as the Women’s March was country, even worldwide, this needs to be throughout the country.

      • Scott Raskin

        January 28, 2017 at 11:27 pm

        Agreed, but the women’s march and the already planned Prides during the entire mont of June are two different issues. Only similarity is the “marching”. No need to take away from all the local events when the national march can take place before the month of June or after it. The sooner the better really; June is too long away!

  7. Will Kohler

    January 28, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Here is one of the best reasons to support this March – GOP To Re-Introduce National Right To Discriminate First Amendment Defense Act http://www.back2stonewall.com/2017/01/gop-re-introduce-national-discriminate-amendment-defense-act.html

  8. Ted Sevel

    January 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    This will occur during the “holy month” of Ramadamn and will likely cause offense to the Muslim community. Therefore I urge the organizers to postpone until a later date.

    • Steve Kay

      May 15, 2017 at 1:23 am

      CLICK ON HIS NAME HE’S HIS PAST HATES STILL THERE – MUSLIMS

  9. Katie Bartlett

    February 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    As a straight, white women and mother of “white children”, I will say….you are a disgrace and should be ashamed of yourself. Teaching your children such hate should be considered child abuse. You give your children a hard life of outdated views in a progressive world. I feel bad for them. For the record, my white, lesbian friend has a white daughter….. Oh and my white dad is gay, too. You are nothing but a miserable troll.

    • alwaysright21

      February 21, 2017 at 5:49 am

      You are a Liar and a dirty jew. Children should not have homosexual freaks around them. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9a97d8da99a9190ab0e71a2513af0fec484d0d427b8834468da33d1852e1036.jpg

      • Katie Bartlett

        February 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        Not Jewish, idiot. Not a liar either. My brother and I and thousands of other children have grown up just fine. You know what kids don’t, the ones that become disadvantaged because of their parents hateful views. You teach your kids hate in a world full of acceptance. In this day and age, bigots are the minority and you guys are the freaks. You should really change your name to always wrong.

  10. Steve Kay

    May 15, 2017 at 1:19 am

    OBVIOUSS RACCIST HATING ON GAYS. BTW THE TWO UNSPEAKABLE ANTI GAY GROUPS IN AMERICA ARE RUN BY RACISTS

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LULAC Lambda announces 2021 scholarship awards

Castro, Javier Rodriguez win $1,000 honors

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Brian Castro and Victor Javier Rodriguez are this year’s LULAC award winners.

The D.C.-based LGBTQ Latinx organization LULAC Lambda has announced it has selected two D.C. residents bound for graduate studies in foreign affairs and higher education to receive its 2021 annual scholarship award.

“For a fourth year in a row, LULAC Lambda will provide scholarships to outstanding scholars who come from our LGBTQ+ Latinx community,” said Erik Rodriquez, the LULAC Lambda president, in a statement released by the group. “Our scholarship program will help these scholars achieve their academic goals and reduce their student debt,” Rodriquez said.

The statement says one of the two scholarship awards, for $1,000, will go to Brian Castro, who will begin studies for a master’s degree in the fall of 2021 at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

“The generous scholarship provided by LULAC Lambda will complement my studies by going directly into my tuition costs,” Castro said in the statement. “Though I have been a resident of Washington, D.C., working full-time at a leading public health consulting firm, I am grateful to have received the support from an organization that is also committed to social justice,” he said.

The other scholarship, for $1,300, will go to Victor Javier Rodriguez for his doctoral work in education at Florida State University. The LULAC Lambda statement says Javier Rodriquez’s academic interest lies in “exploring the relationship between school communities and districts’ implementation of anti-racist practice and student success.”

In his own words, Javier Rodriquez said, “A long-term career goal of mine is to affect change at the federal level through the United States Department of Education, in which I would work to address our nation’s education crisis by advocating for equitable policies and practices that improve the outcome for all our students, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

LULAC Lambda says it was founded in October 2014 “to mobilize and strengthen the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities of Washington, D.C. through community and civic engagement.” It is one of 1,000 chapters across the country affiliated with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s largest and oldest Latinx volunteer-based civil rights organization, the group’s statement says.

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Missing gay man found ‘alive and well’

Police say Richard ‘Rick’ Woods found in good health

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Richard G. ‘Rick’ Woods, a 65-year-old gay man, was found alive and well.

D.C. police announced on Friday that Richard G. ‘Rick’ Woods, a 65-year-old gay man who police said was reported missing and last seen on July 14, has been located. But the announcement doesn’t provide information on where he was found or why he went missing.

Friends who know Woods say he operated for many years an antique wood furniture restoration business in various locations in D.C. The most recent location of his business, friends said, was in Georgetown a short distance from where police said he was last seen on the 1600 block of Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.

“MPD does not publicly disclose the circumstances surrounding a missing person and how they are found, however we do release their flyer as well as a notification when they are located,” said D.C. police spokesperson Brianna Burch. “Mr. Woods was found in good health,” Burch told the Blade.

Police sought help from the public in their initial announcement that Woods was missing. The announcement said he was reported missing to police on Friday, July 23.

Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and LGBTQ rights advocate John Fanning, who said he has been friends with Woods for many years, said he was delighted to hear Woods was found in good condition.

“Rick is known by many in our community,” Fanning told the Blade at the time Woods was reported missing. Fanning said he and others who know Woods stand ready to provide support for him should he be in need of such support.

The Blade couldn’t immediately reach Woods for comment.

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Some D.C. gay bars to require proof of COVID vaccination

Action prompted by mayor’s order reinstating masks indoors

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Adams Morgan’s A League of Her Own is among the area queer bars requiring proof of vaccination for entry.

At least six D.C. gay bars announced last week on social media that they will require patrons to show proof that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition for being admitted to the bars.

They include the Logan Circle area gay bars Number Nine and Trade, which are operated by the same co-owners; the Adams Morgan gay sports bars Pitchers and A League of Her Own, which are also operated by the same owner and share the same building; the 17th Street, N.W. gay bar JR.’s; and the U Street, N.W. gay bar The Dirty Goose.

The six bars, which also offer dining service, announced their proof of vaccination requirement shortly after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday, July 29, issued a new order reinstating the city’s requirement that facial masks be worn inside all businesses and other public establishments.

The mayor’s order applies to all vaccinated and unvaccinated people over the age of two. It took effect at 5 a.m. Saturday, July 31.

At a July 29 news conference, Bowser pointed to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance issued two days earlier recommending that fully vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in places where transmission of the coronavirus is considered “substantial” or “high.”

The mayor said that, at the advice of her public health experts, she decided to issue the new order to help curtail the rising number of COVID cases in D.C. over the past month or more due to the rapid spread of the virus’s Delta variant, which is surging throughout the nation. Like other parts of the country, Bowser and D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbit said people who are unvaccinated in D.C. make up nearly all of the newly infected cases.

“I know D.C. residents have been very closely following the public health guidelines, and they will embrace this,” Bowser said in referring to the new mask requirement.

The four-page order released by the mayor’s office, similar to the city’s earlier mask requirements, allows indoor patrons of restaurants and bars to remove their masks while “actively” eating or drinking.

But some representatives of restaurants and bars have pointed out that other jurisdictions, including Maryland and Virginia, have followed the CDC’s initial policy of making mask wearing a recommendation rather than a requirement.

“Mayor Bowser’s announcement that nightlife hospitality patrons must wear a mask indoors when not ‘actively eating or drinking’ renders the reinstated mandate essentially unenforceable and results in the rule being reduced to a largely theatrical requirement,” said Mark Lee, director of the D.C. Nightlife Council, a local trade association representing bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other nightlife related businesses.

“The greatest disappointment for many venue operators and staff, however, is that the mayor’s decision does not allow an option for establishments to admit only fully vaccinated patrons and be exempt from the mandate, as a number of other jurisdictions across the country have done,” Lee said.

John Guggenmos, co-owner of the bars Trade and Number Nine, told the Washington Blade he and his co-owners adopted the proof of vaccination policy as an added means of protecting the safety of both patrons and employees of the two bars.

“We’re hopeful that this will be in effect for just a few weeks or a month or two,” Guggenmos said. “Our patrons have always been very supportive,” he said in referring to the city’s public health directives last year and early this year in which masks were required up until May of this year.

Guggenmos said Trade and Number Nine would allow an alternative to the vaccination requirement if patrons provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the previous three days of their admission to the bars.

In its social media postings, Pitchers and A League of Her Own said their proof of vaccination requirement was based on the concern for the health of their patrons and staff.

“We will require proof of a COVID vaccination until further notice at Pitchers/ALOHO and masks per the mayor,” a Facebook posting says. “We take guidelines and the health of our patrons and staff very seriously. We will accept a picture or hard copy of your COVID vaccination card,” it says. “No exceptions, no arguing, no talking to the manager.”

Tammy Truong, owner of the gay bar Uproar Lounge at 639 Florida Ave., N.W., told the Blade the bar has no immediate plans to require proof of vaccination as a requirement for admission, but Uproar will fully comply with the mayor’s order requiring indoor masks.

Justin Parker, co-owner of the nearby gay bar The Dirty Goose at 913 U St., N.W., told the Blade he and his staff decided on July 30 to also put in place a requirement that patrons show either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the past five days. He said a five-day window for the COVID test, which the CDC allows in some cases, was chosen rather than a three-day requirement to accommodate people who may not be able to get tested during weekends.

Owners of other D.C. queer bars couldn’t immediately be reached. But the Blade could not find any announcements by the other bars as of Friday afternoon that they planned to put in place a proof of vaccination requirement.

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