March 22, 2017 at 9:00 am EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
QUEERY: Chad Koratich
Chad Koratich, gay news, Washington Blade

Chad Koratich (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C.’s Different Drummers celebrates the work of LGBT composers at its spring concert this weekend.

“Glitter & Be GAY!” will be held on Saturday, March 25 at the Church of the Epiphany (1317 G St., N.W.) at 7 p.m. featuring compositions by Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Cole Porter, Julie Giroux, Jennifer Higdon and more. Ruby Corado will narrate a piece called “Lincoln Portrait,” which features excerpts from the Gettysburg Address. Tickets are $20 and are available at dcdd.org.

Chad Koratich is the Drummers’ saxophone section leader and has been with the ensemble since 2003. He’s been in the marching band, the Sax in the City sax quartet and also on the Drummers’ board.

“The folks in DCDD are amazing people and we love coming together every week with our friends to make wonderful music,” says the 45-year-old Rices Landing, Pa., native.

Koratich came to Washington 24 years ago and returned in 1999 after a three-year stint in the Army. He lives in the U Street/Shaw area with Matthew Ruest, his husband of nearly a year and partner of 22 years, and their two pit bull-mix dogs, Roxy and Brandy.

Koratich is retired and enjoys music and cooking in his free time.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

I came out to myself in the summer of 1992 when I was at Walter Reed as a nurse cadet. One Saturday afternoon, I took the Metro into the city, got out at Dupont Circle and just started walking. I eventually ended up on 17th Street and saw a bar with a Pride flag hanging in the window. It took me about 20 minutes of pacing back and forth in front of it, but I finally welled up the courage and walked into JR.’s and ordered a drink. Two years later, living in suburban Maryland with Matthew, I did one of the hardest things in my life and came out to my mother over the phone.

Who’s your LGBT hero?

Hard question, but the many individuals I cared for in the era of HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy). Words can’t fully describe the admiration I have for their strength and perseverance.

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? 

I had the best times in the ‘90s at Trumpets and Badlands. I miss those days. Today, Bear Happy Hour at Town is the place to be.

Describe your dream wedding.

I had it last June. My husband and I got married in the garden in front of our home during our annual wine and cheese party surrounded by friends.

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

It incenses me that we still do not have universal health care coverage in this country.

What historical outcome would you change?

Without a doubt, the 2016 election.

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

Going to New York City and seeing my first musical on Broadway, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

On what do you insist?

Kindness

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

I reposted a video of Trae Crowder, the “Liberal Redneck,” talking about Trumpcare.

If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“A Series of Fortunate Events”

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

I would question the validity of the science.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

I’m an atheist. I believe in nature’s awesome power and the beauty of this amazing planet. I also believe we can’t possibly be the only intelligent life in the universe.

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

I would encourage them to be a recurring presence in the offices of elected officials from conservative rural areas.

What would you walk across hot coals for?

To protect those I love.

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

It enrages me that there are people today who still believe being LGBT is perversion.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

I’d like to have a more profound answer for this but yeah, “Priscilla.” It came out around the same time I was coming out.

What’s the most overrated social custom?

Saying “god bless you” when someone sneezes.

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

In a different life I would be a Tony Award-winning Broadway performer.

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

That I really did possess the courage to be 100 percent me.

Why Washington?

I first fell in love with D.C. on vacation when I was 6 years old and visited several more times growing up. When the occasion came to choose my first duty assignment in the Army, D.C. was the obvious choice. One of the best choices I’ve ever made. I love this city.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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