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D.C. launches ‘all gender’ bathroom pilot program

Reeves Building gets private facilities

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. government on March 16 opened its first two “all gender” bathrooms in the Reeves Center municipal building as part of a pilot program to assess the usefulness of such bathrooms in city government buildings.

According to Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, her office along with the D.C. Department of General Services, and the D.C. Office of Human Rights plan to arrange for additional all gender bathrooms in other city buildings. The Department of General Services manages and maintains D.C. government buildings.

“This is a step toward making sure that all transgender and gender nonconforming people have access to a restroom of their choice,” Alexander-Reid said.

She said the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, which is located in the Reeves Center at 14th and U Street, N.W., informed her office that some transgender and gender nonconforming people who visit the D.C. Center were uncomfortable using the existing bathrooms at the Reeves Center.

“It is our hope that every D.C. government building with six or more public restrooms will go ahead and designate at least one restroom an all-gender restroom,” said D.C. Center Executive Director David Mariner in a statement on the Center’s website.

The D.C. Center’s first floor suite of offices doesn’t have its own restroom and its employees and visitors must use the public restrooms in the Reeves Center building.

Monica Palacio, director of the Office of Human Rights, has said that under the D.C. Human Rights Act, transgender people are free to use the public restroom of their choice. But Alexander-Reid said many gender nonconforming people still feel uncomfortable using a “men’s” or “women’s” restroom and prefer an all gender facility or a gender neutral, single occupancy restroom.

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1 Comment

  1. Gina Hernandez

    March 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    >Monica Palacio, director of the Office of Human Rights, has said that under the D.C. Human Rights Act, transgender people are free to use the public restroom of their choice.

    This is true and no one was having a problem a few years ago.

    >But Alexander-Reid said many gender nonconforming people still feel uncomfortable using a “men’s” or “women’s” restroom

    Well get a grip on your transition and presentation and learn that life is not always perfect. No one is going to mess with you in a bathroom in DC!

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Local

Va. county supervisors back resolution against ‘required’ pronoun questions

Unanimous vote in Stafford County allows school defunding

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(Image courtesy of Liveright Publishing)

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that gives it the authority to deny funds to schools that require students to give their pronouns and teach the 1619 Project and critical race theory.

The resolution denounces “the teaching of the 1619 Project and critical race theory (CRT) and related principles in Stafford County Public Schools,” and states the board does not support Stafford County Public School students “being required to identify their chosen pronouns.”

The approved document had been updated to change “requested” to give pronouns to “required.”

Republican Supervisor Gary Snellings told the board he brought the resolution forward, which passed by a 6-0 vote margin, in response to communication from parents. One supervisor was not present.

Snellings called critical race theory “racism.” He also called the New York Times’ 1619 Project published on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony a “theory.”

Critical race theory is not taught in Virginia public schools, but a state law passed in 2020 requires local school boards to adopt policies that are more inclusive for transgender and non-binary students that follow, or exceed, guidelines from the state’s Department of Education.

Snellings said the problem with preferred pronouns was in requiring students to give them. He said that was not in the governing Virginia law.

“This (resolution) does not eliminate anything. It just follows state law,” Snellings said.

A Virginia court in July dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the Department of Education’s guidelines for trans and non-binary students. Equality Virginia and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia were parties to the amicus brief in support of the protections.

“We are deeply disappointed that these adults made such a hateful decision for kids in the community,” tweeted the ACLU of Virginia in response to the board’s vote.

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Arts & Entertainment

2021 Best of LGBTQ DC Readers’ Choice Award Finalist Voting

Vote for your favorite finalist in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd.

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It is Decision 2021! You nominated and now we have our Top 5 finalists. Vote for your favorites in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd. Our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC will be announced at the Best of LGBTQ DC Awards Party on October 21st and our special issue will come out on Friday, October 22nd.

Thank you to our sponsors: ABSOLUT, PEPCO, Washington Regional Transplant Community.

Vote below or by clicking HERE.

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Veteran restauranteurs to open Drift in Rehoboth

Second Block Hospitality eyes 2022 debut for new raw bar

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A new raw bar is coming to Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Despite the generally anti-business positions of the current Rehoboth Beach Mayor and some members of the Rehoboth Beach Commission, there are still some entrepreneurs who have faith in Rehoboth Beach.

One such group is the newly announced Second Block Hospitality Group, which brings together local industry leaders Lion Gardner, Tyler Townsend, Bob Suppies, and David Gonce.

According to the partners, “The mission of Second Block Hospitality is simple…to deliver exceptional hospitality. Second Block projects will be designed to become places that matter; that bring the community together. They aim to create unique spaces that foster positivity, a creative atmosphere, and memorable experiences. Driven by this philosophy we are thoughtful in everything we do, down to the smallest detail. In all our endeavors we are committed to crafting unique guest experiences through innovative design, authentic flavors, and warm hospitality.”

Their first new venture, Drift, will be a raw bar and dining room on Baltimore Avenue. The new project, already underway, is a massive restoration designed to transform the existing building, originally built in 1890 and used as a camp meeting house, into a modern structure with historic charm. Drift restaurant will feature a refined design, open airy spaces and lots of glass for open vantage points with an indoor/outdoor bar area and intimate back patio that will add to the allure of Baltimore Avenue.

“We could not be more excited to be breaking ground on another passion project,” said Suppies. “Coming through the last year brought many new challenges to our industry, but we were able to get very creative and grow as a company, so this new venture is very exciting for us.”

Another of the partners, Gardner, brings his skill set as a longtime chef to the new venture.

“One of my roles in the company will be to oversee the menu and kitchen at Drift and all of our projects moving forward,” Gardner said. “The great thing about our ownership group is that even though each partner has his own area of expertise, there is collaboration across the board; we are all involved in all aspects of the business. I am excited to learn and contribute in other areas as well, and luckily for me I’m working with a group of really talented, experienced and passionate guys.”

Drift is slated to open sometime in early 2022, and things are in full swing for the new restaurant owners, including menu planning. Townsend said, “Drift will be a true raw bar focusing on the art of raw seafood and not just oysters, along with traditionally prepared dishes influenced by the sea. From a beverage standpoint we will feature craft cocktails and eccentric wine and beer offerings. Think small and intimate, rustic and classic, yet casual with a focus on culinary inventiveness and creative spaces.” and good times. For more information visit driftrb.com.

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