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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ ‘Versace’ win big for LGBT TV at Emmys

‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ rack up the most awards



RuPaul accepts the award for Outstanding Reality Competition Series (Screen capture by Joey DiGuglielmo)

The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards honored the best in television on Monday night including a few wins for LGBT TV.

The biggest night in television kicked off with an opening dance number led by “Saturday Night Live” cast members Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson. The bit jokingly celebrated Hollywood finally finding a solution to its diversity problem. McKinnon and Thompson were later joined on stage by other TV stars such as “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star Tituss Burgess and RuPaul.

“Saturday Night Live” continued to represent itself as the show passed on to its hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” made herstory with its win for Outstanding Reality Competition Series rounding out five total wins for the show. RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley all were on stage to accept the award.

“Thank you to the Academy. This is so lovely. We are so happy to present this show. I would like to thank, on behalf of the 140 drag queens we have released into the wild, I’d love to thank Dick Richards for introducing me to Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey,” RuPaul said in his speech.  “All of the dreamers out there, listen,” he said. “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here? Now let the music play.”

RuPaul also won his third consecutive award for Outstanding Host at the Creative Arts Emmys.

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” also was honored with Ryan Murphy winning Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special and Darren Criss winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie. The show also won Outstanding Limited Series. Murphy used his speech to spotlight hate crimes against the LGBTQ community.

“‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ is about a lot of things, it’s about homophobia, internalized and externalized,” Murphy said in his acceptance speech. “One of out of every four LGBTQ people in this country will be the victim of a hate crime. We dedicate this award to them, to awareness, to stricter hate crime laws, and mostly, this is for the memory of Jeff and David and Gianni and for all of those taken too soon. Thank you very much.”

LGBT representation continued throughout the night with lesbian comedian Hannah Gadbys, known for her critically acclaimed Netflix special “Nanette,” who presented Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. The cast of “Queer Eye” also took the stage to present as well as RuPaul and Leslie Jones, who recently became close after Jones’ “Drag Race” binge.

“Game of Thrones” was the big winner of the night taking home nine awards including Outstanding Drama Series. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” followed close behind with eight awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, and “Saturday Night Live” also won eight awards.

Other notable moments of the night were Henry Winkler’s first Emmy win in his decades-long career for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for “Barry;” an appearance from Betty White and Glenn Weiss who used his win for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special to propose to his girlfriend on stage.

The complete list of winners is below.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Brian Tyree Henry – “Atlanta” (FX)
Louie Anderson – “Baskets” (FX)
Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Tituss Burgess – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
Henry Winkler – “Barry” (HBO) 
Alec Baldwin – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Tony Shalhoub – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Zazie Beetz – “Atlanta” (FX)
Laurie Metcalf – “Roseanne” (ABC)
Leslie Jones – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Alex Borstein – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon) 
Betty Gilpin – “GLOW” (Netflix)
Aidy Bryant – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Kate McKinnon – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Megan Mullally – “Will & Grace” (NBC)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Donald Glover – “Atlanta” (FX)
Stefani Robinson – “Atlanta” (FX)
Alec Berg, Bill Hader – “Barry” (HBO
Liz Sarnoff – “Barry” (HBO)
Alec Berg – “Silicon Valley” (HBO)
Amy Sherman-Palladino – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Donald Glover – “Atlanta” (FX)
Hiro Murai – “Atlanta” (FX)
Bill Hader – “Barry” (HBO)
Mark Cendrowski – “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Jesse Peretz – “GLOW” (Netflix)
Mike Judge – “Silicon Valley” (HBO)
Amy Sherman-Palladino – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon) 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon – “Better Things” (FX)
Lily Tomlin – “Grace & Frankie” (Netflix)
Allison Janney – “Mom” (CBS)
Tracee Ellis Ross – “Black-ish” (ABC)
Issa Rae – “Insecure” (HBO)
Rachel Brosnahan – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson – “Black-ish”(ABC)
Ted Danson – “The Good Place” (NBC)
Larry David – “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
Donald Glover – “Atlanta” (FX)
Bill Hader – “Barry” (HBO)
William H. Macy – “Shameless” (Showtime)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Adina Porter – “American Horror Story: Cult” (FX)
Merritt Wever – “Godless” (Netflix)
Penelope Cruz – “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
Letitia Wright – “Black Museum” (“Black Mirror”) (Netflix)
Sara Bareilles – “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” (NBC)
Judith Light – “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Jeff Daniels – “Godless” (Netflix)
Ricky Martin – “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
Finn Wittrock – “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
John Leguizamo – “Waco” (Paramount Network)
Brandon Victor Dixon – “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” (NBC)
Edgar Ramirez – “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
Michael Stuhlbarg – “The Looming Tower” (Hulu)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus – “American Vandal” (Netflix)
Scott Frank – “Godless” (Netflix)
David Nicholls – “Patrick Melrose” (Showtime)
Tom Rob Smith – “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
David Lynch, Mark Frost – “Twin Peaks” (Showtime)
William Bridges, Charlie Brooker – “USS Callister” (“Black Mirror”) (Netflix) 

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
Scott Frank – “Godless” (Netflix)
David Leveaux, Alex Rudzinski – “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” (NBC)
Barry Levinson – “Paterno” (HBO)
Edward Berger – “Patrick Melrose” (Showtime)
Ryan Murphy – “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX) 
Craig Zisk – “The Looming Tower” (Hulu)
David Lynch – “Twin Peaks” (Showtime)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
Jessica Biel – “The Sinner” (USA Network)
Laura Dern – “The Tale” (HBO)
Michelle Dockery – “Godless” (Netflix)
Edie Falco – “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” (NBC)
Regina King – “Seven Seconds” (Netflix)
Sarah Paulson – “American Horror Story: Cult” (FX)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Antonio Banderas – “Genius: Picasso” (National Geographic)
Darren Criss – “Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX) 
Benedict Cumberbatch – “Patrick Melrose” (Showtime)
Jeff Daniels – “The Looming Tower” (Hulu)
John Legend – “Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert” (NBC)
Jesse Plemons – “USS Callister”/”Black Mirror” (Netflix)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
Melinda Taub, Samantha Bee – “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)” (TBS)
John Mulaney – “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous At Radio City” (Netflix)
Michelle Wolf – “Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady” (HBO)
Patton Oswalt – “Patton Oswalt: Annihilation” (Netflix)
Steve Martin, Martin Short – “Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life” (Netflix)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
Stan Lathan – “Dave Chappelle: Equanimity” (Netflix)
Michael Bonfiglio – “Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld” (Netflix)
Marcus Raboy – “Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life” (Netflix)
Hamish Hamilton – “Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake” (NBC)
Glenn Weiss – “The Oscars” (ABC) 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Mandy Patinkin – “Homeland” (Showtime)
Matt Smith – “The Crown” (Netflix)
Peter Dinklage – “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
David Harbour – “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
Joseph Fiennes – “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Lena Headey – “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Vanessa Kirby – “The Crown” (Netflix)
Ann Dowd – “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Thandie Newton – “Westworld” (HBO) 
Millie Bobby Brown – “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
Alexis Bledel – “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Yvonne Strahovski – “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
David Benioff, D.B. Weiss – “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – “Killing Eve” (BBC America)
The Duffer Brothers – “Stranger Things” (Netfix)
Joe Fields, Joe Weisberg – “The Americans” (FX) 
Peter Morgan – “The Crown” (Neflix)
Bruce Miller – “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Alan Taylor – “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Jeremy Podeswa – “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Jason Bateman – “Ozark” (Netflix)
Daniel Sackheim – “Ozark” (Netflix)
The Duffer Brothers – “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
Stephen Daldry – “The Crown” (Netflix) 
Kari Skogland – “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman – “Ozark” (Netflix)
Sterling K. Brown – “This Is Us” (NBC)
Ed Harris – “Westworld” (HBO)
Matthew Rhys – “The Americans” (FX)
Milo Ventimiglia – “This Is Us” (NBC)
Jeffrey Wright – “Westworld” (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Foy – “The Crown” (Netflix) 

Tatiana Maslany – “Orphan Black” (BBC America)
Elisabeth Moss – “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Sandra Oh – “Killing Eve” (BBC America)
Keri Russell – “The Americans” (FX)
Evan Rachel Wood – “Westworld” (HBO)

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
“American Ninja Warrior” (NBC)
“Project Runway” (Lifetime)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1) 
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
“The Voice” (NBC)
“Top Chef” (Bravo)

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
“At Home with Amy Sedaris” (TruTV)
“Drunk History” (Comedy Central)
“I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman” (Hulu)
“Portlandia” (IFC)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“The Tracey Ullman Show” (HBO)

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” (TBS)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (ABC)
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO)
“The Late Late Show With James Corden” (CBS)
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (CBS)

Outstanding Limited Series
“Genius: Picasso” (National Geographic)
“Godless” (Netflix)
“Patrick Melrose” (Showtime)
“The Alienist” (TNT)
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)

Outstanding Comedy Series
“Atlanta” (FX)
“Barry” (HBO)
“Black-ish” (ABC)
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
“GLOW” (Netflix)
“The Marvelous Ms. Maisel” (Amazon)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)

Outstanding Drama Series
“The Americans” (FX)
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO) 
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
“Stranger Things” (Netflix)
“This Is Us” (NBC)
“Westworld” (HBO)



Quito and the Galápagos on Celebrity Flora: blog #4

Turtles, iguanas and birds abound



Celebrity Flora

After Floreana Island we continued our tour of the Galápagos with stops first on Isabela Island, and then then the next day we continued to spend some time on a different part of Isabela Island, and then went on to Fernadina Island. Then Friday it was South Plaza and Santa Cruz Islands.

Each day there continued to be morning and afternoon excursions off the Flora. Some involved walking, and some were taking a tender around the Island. The first day on Isabela Island we had the option of a long walk and a short tender ride, or just a tender ride in the morning. They warned everyone it was a very rocky trail. I passed on that, and took the tender ride where we saw some amazing sights. Turtles in the water, hundreds of Iguanas on the rocks, and loads of birds of all kinds. Then it was back to the Flora for lunch and relaxing. We had a great lunch outside on Deck 7 in the Ocean Grill and Bar.  In the afternoon we were given the option of a short walk and swim, or just a short walk. Basically, the same thing. It only mattered as to what time you got on the tender to head back to the ship.  I took the short walk and saw tortoises up close, more Iguanas, various birds, including flamingos. We are seeing many of the same animals on most of the Island walks, but there always seems to be a new one, something a little different, and it has been so much fun. I have some great pictures. 

Then it was time for the cocktail of the day; a Margarita, served in the Discovery Lounge on Deck 4. That is the place where we get briefings from naturalists each day, and the place we meet to leave for our excursions. Dinner was at the Seaside restaurant, the indoor dining room, also on deck 4.  Then a lazy evening. They did show a movie in the Discovery Lounge, Life on Fire, about the active volcanos in the Galapagos. There are still five alone on Isabela Island.  It was Valentines Day and to celebrate the pastry chef baked heart shaped cookies. They were really good. I know because I tasted one of each kind. While I haven’t been blown away by the food in general, I think the Executive chef is maybe trying too hard to be different; the pastry and dessert chefs have done a yeoman’s job. Could just be I like sugar.

The next day’s morning options were either a short or long walk, and I did the short one. In the afternoon there was only one option, a tender ride. Then back to the ship for another cocktail of the day. This one called the Yellow Warbler, served again in the Discovery Lounge.  Before dinner there were some games, including a trivia challenge. Then dinner outside in the Ocean Grill and Bar. To eat dinner outside you needed to make a reservation and Mike and Scott did that and ten of us ate together. The evening ended with the option of another movie; Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life. There are TVs in the suites with a number of options, and if you are into the news like I am, they had the usual Celebrity channels available; FOX, MSNBC, and the BBC.

Friday dawned clear and the options were a short or long walk. This was to be a dry landing which meant you could step onto shore without getting your shoes wet. But it was not an easy walk as you were on some volcanic rock, and uneven paths. I decided to take a sea day, and stayed on the ship. I used the time to do some writing, including starting this blog, interviewing the Captain, and to relax with some friends who decided to do the same. We had lunch in the indoor dining room where they served a meal which they called Asian inspired. Some sushi and other dishes. The afternoon choices for those who wanted to head out were; a long fast-paced fitness walk, or a short walk. We did pass Daphne Major Island, and a naturalist told us about it. We could see it from our balconies on the Port side, or from deck 7 or 8. I headed to deck 7.

Then for those of us traveling with Scott and Dustin of My Lux Cruise, we got a reminder of our transatlantic cruises. They hosted a 6:15pm cocktail party in their suite. They do this regularly on the longer cruises. They had a great spread and a bartender. It was fun. Then the crew of the Flora wanted to pretend they were a bigger ship, and announced a ‘silent disco’ party in the Discovery Lounge at 9:00pm.  I was surprised at the silent disco as it didn’t seem to fit the Galapagos. But to be fair, there were many who did enjoy it. 

Now our last full day in the Galapagos will be tomorrow, Saturday, and it will be different. I will share that in my final blog, so hope you will keep reading them.

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D.C. Travel and Adventure Show to highlight LGBTQ travel

Event to take place at Walter E. Washington Convention Center this weekend



A sunset in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

This weekend D.C. welcomes travel enthusiasts and adventure seekers looking to find their next destination. The ticketed event is open to travel professionals and consumers alike. It’s the first time the event comes to the nation’s capital.

One may wonder why LGBTQ travelers need a pavilion of their own. Ed Salvato, a consultant for the organization hosting the event, is a travel professional who is an educator in tourism, hospitality and marketing at New York University recently spoke with the Washington Blade. 

“Vendors, suppliers, destinations, marketing companies, airline marketing companies, etc. when they think of travelers the image that probably comes to mind is heterosexual couples. Maybe 1.5 kids,” Salvato said. “Most likely able-bodied, and maybe white.”

Gay travelers, however, may feel compelled to ask, “Will I be comfortable with my same-sex partner at your resort, destination, venue? Or “I’m traveling with my same-sex Latino partner and he’s a little younger, and will he be welcome at your resort?”

“The idea you know that, if I send an email or ask that the response can come across as defensive, ‘Oh, everyone is welcome here,’” explained Salvato.

Many community members may be familiar with this response. Many also may not have found the response to be true. A city or destination may come off as being liberal due to its politics. But what about that particular hotel you booked in the next town over?

“It should be, ‘Oh, everyone is welcome here! What are your needs and concerns? What can we do to make you feel comfortable?’ That to me makes me want to visit the destination,” Salvato said.

The point of the pavilion can go larger than just LGBTQ individuals. It also reflects the diversity, equity and inclusion of other individuals.

Rio de Janeiro (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

“In reality,” Salvato says, “everyone travels with unique characteristics, some hidden, some not so hidden. Two Black travelers, a traveler in a wheelchair, solo women. A family coming up to me and asking where they can go for a family reunion which includes a bi-racial lesbian couple. A grandmother wanting to send her son and his husband on safari, where will they be safe and welcome? That kind of thing.”

There is also the stereotype of the gay couple being rich, white, living in an elite neighborhood in a city, and traveling frequently.

“But that’s not really the case. We’ve got a lot of ‘Chuck and Bobs’ out there. Let’s say, Chuck is an accountant, Bob is a public school principal, they live in Jersey somewhere, almost all their neighbors are straight, they may have a child they adopted together. Where can they go as a family on their vacation and feel comfortable?”

The LGBTQ pavilion will be an inclusive space. But, of course, Salvato expects there’s going to be a touch of whimsy for which our community is known.

“At a recent event, we had three bears promoting an event in Fort Lauderdale. A really cool bear event.”

As Salvato earlier explained he once saw camels as part of a vendor display and photo opportunity, this reporter was confused.

Trained bears! Indoors?

“No. Members of the gay, male bear community.”

Madrid (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Félix Alcaraz Vellisca, the consul for Tourism Affairs with the Tourism Office of Spain, explained why the country is consistently ranked one of the best international destinations for LGBTQ tourists.

“Spain is already widely known as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations on the planet, but it is important to continue communicating and explaining this to all our potential visitors. Spain is a very diverse and heterogeneous country but sometimes,” he explained. “LGBTQ travelers know only the most important spots. But we want to gradually publicize other destinations that may be interesting for LGBTQ travelers. In any case, we are happy to know the extremely positive perception that all LGBTQ travelers have of our country and the desire they have to visit us. And that’s why we will be at the D.C. Show, to help travelers to fulfill their wishes.”

Vellisca, and his organization, are also using this appearance at the pavilion to celebrate the 2026 Gay Games, which are being held in Valencia.

“The audience comes largely from the United States,” he said. “We also want to be there to communicate this event and provide information about it.”

Vellisca’s booth will also entice guests to come experience Spain through a raffle of Spanish gastronomy.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Of course, there are also destinations which are normally welcoming centers for the community. One state in particular which some LGBTQ travelers may be wary of heading due to some recent press: Florida, which has come under scrutiny due to the “Don’t Say Gay” law. 

Many would-be tourists have stated they wouldn’t spend their travel dollars in the Sunshine State. But that’s a blanket statement that will potentially harm gay-friendly destinations and gay-owned businesses. Towns like Wilton Manors, adjacent to Fort Lauderdale, and Key West come to mind known as they are for gay guest houses, nightclubs and dining options.

Michelle Pirre, who represents the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, will not be at the D.C. event but was at a recent New York event representing Florida’s West Coast.

“The NYC Travel Pavilion was amazing and well planned! While thousands came by our booth, we spoke directly to over 1,000 LGBTQ attendees with a genuine interest in our area,” she stated. 

Clearly she wants gay travelers to realize her destination is and continues to be welcoming. 

“We collected hundreds of names for our newsletters, distributed standard visitor guides, LGBTQ guides and so much more collateral from weddings to golf and arts and culture, we had very little leftover. Looking forward to next year,” she said.

Aaron Tabor and his husband David Ardelean, the first gay couple married in Everglades City, Fla., met in Wilton Manors. They found their way back to Tabor’s hometown located near Naples on the Florida Peninsula’s West Coast. They later became stewards of the Parkway Motel and Marina of Chokoloksee, as they are avid outdoorsmen, they were saddened to learn so many LGBTQ tourists were swearing off the Sunshine State due to the controversies coming from Tallahassee.

“Living authentically, we openly invite and affirm all of our guests regardless of their individualisms,” the couple shared. “Political theater can be dramatic sometimes, but this doesn’t need to stand in the way of the enriching travel experiences we offer guests as the gateway to the great southwestern Florida outdoors.”

Their motto is, “Fuss less, fish more!” to entice LGBTQ travelers to still come to Florida they hosted a booth at the New York show. For the D.C. event: Timothy Kelley, the Parkway Motel and Marina Manager will be on site at the booth to explain and engage visitors along with a $200 travel voucher sweepstakes along with some really cool swag give-aways. 

This is a ticketed event taking place on Feb. 24-25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. To learn more, visit and look under “Shows” to book one or two day tickets to the event.

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PHOTOS: Cupid’s Undie Run

Scantily-clad joggers face freezing temperatures for a cause



Cupid's Undie Run was held at The Wharf DC on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Cupid’s Undie Run, an annual fundraiser for neurofibromatosis (NF) research, was held at Union Stage and at The Wharf DC on Saturday, Feb. 17.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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