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Sports enthusiast James McDonald dies at 56

Played softball in D.C. tournaments



James McDonald obituary, gay news, Washington Blade

James McDonald (Photo courtesy Frank Yodonis)

James “Jimmy Mac” McDonald, a retired retail store manager in Atlanta who was widely known for his active involvement since the early 1980s in gay men’s competitive softball and bowling leagues and whose teams traveled for tournaments to several Mid-Atlantic cities, including D.C., died July 28 of a heart attack at his home in Tucker, Ga. He was 56.

Frank Yodonis, his partner of 35 years, said he quickly learned of McDonald’s interest in softball when the couple first met on Memorial Day weekend in Pittsburgh in 1983. McDonald was participating in a softball tournament as a player for the Pittsburgh Metros, a gay men’s softball team for which McDonald served as coach.

Yodonis said that while he and McDonald lived in Pittsburgh until 1989, the couple traveled to many regional gay softball events, including several in D.C., where they became friends with the late Calvin Steinmetz, a D.C. attorney and avid softball player in D.C.’s gay softball league.

McDonald and Yodonis also traveled to D.C. and other cities to participate in gay men’s bowling tournaments, Yodonis said, including D.C.’s annual Capital Halloween Invitational Tournament in which McDonald won the men’s doubles event in 1986 or 1987.

Yodonis said McDonald was born and raised in Wellsburg, W.Va., and graduated from Brooke County High School. He said McDonald spent most of his career in the retail business, finishing his last job before retiring due to health issues as manager for a Dollar Tree store in Atlanta, where the couple moved in 1987.

According to Yodonis, since first moving to Atlanta he and McDonald also lived in Austin, Texas; Tampa, Fla.; and Raleigh, N.C., before moving back to Atlanta in 2005.

“We had the pleasure of getting to know many metro D.C. sports participants over the years,” said Yodonis. “Many in the bowling and softball communities came to know and love us.”

A memorial service is scheduled to be held for McDonald at Windsor Heights Church of God in Windsor Heights, W.Va. on Aug. 19.

Survivors include his life partner Frank Yodonis; his mother Kathryn Beckett, stepfather Clyde Beckett, stepsister Paula Kokosinski and her husband John Kokosinski; and many nieces and nephews in Wellsburg, W.Va.



Suhas Subramanyam wins Democratic primary in Va. 10th Congressional District

Former Obama advisor vows to champion LGBTQ rights in Congress



Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Fairfax County) (Photo courtesy of Subramanyam's campaign)

Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Loudoun County) on Tuesday won the Democratic primary in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) in Congress.

Subramanyam won the Democratic primary in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District with 30.4 percent of the votes. The Loudoun County Democrat who was an advisor to former President Barack Obama will face Republican Mike Clancy in November’s general election.

“I’m thrilled to be the Democratic nominee in Virginia’s 10th, and to have won this election during Pride Month,” Subramanyam told the Washington Blade on Wednesday in an emailed statement. “As I have done in the state legislature and as an Obama White House policy advisor, I will always stand as an ally with the LGBTQ+ community.”

Wexton, who is a vocal LGBTQ rights champion, last September announced she will not seek re-election after doctors diagnosed her with progressive supranuclear palsy, a neurological disorder she has described as “Parkinson’s on steroids.” Wexton is a vice chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus and a previous co-chair of its Transgender Equality Task Force.

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Police say they didn’t spray a chemical agent at Baltimore Pride. Why don’t those who attended believe it?

Attendees allege city failed to adequately respond to emergency



A parade participant is photographed clutching on to a rainbow flag at Baltimore’s Pride Parade held on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ronica Edwards/Baltimore Banner)

BY BRENNA SMITH and JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | A chemical agent that disrupted Pride Parade festivities last weekend continues to cause confusion and raise suspicion among many in the Baltimore LGBTQIA+ community, who question the police account of what happened.

The Baltimore Police Department said Tuesday that they had determined the released substance was Mace, but did not say how they came to that conclusion. A BPD spokesperson said that the chemical was released after two groups of people got into an altercation. Three people were treated and released from a nearby hospital because of injuries from the spray.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Carlton R. Smith: LGBTQ advocate, ‘mayor’ of Mount Vernon, passes away

‘The Duchess’ died on May 29 in his sleep



Carlton R. Smith, an LGBTQ advocate, died May 29. He was 61. (Photo courtesy of Carlton R. Smith)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | Carlton R. Smith was affectionately called “The Duchess” in a nod to royalty, because of his unofficial role of mayor of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was a “walking billboard” for Calvin Klein, with a love for purple, Batman, cooking, house music, Prince, and Diana Ross.

“If you said Duchess, you knew who that was,” said his close friend of 25-years, Carrietta Hiers.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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