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Calendar: Oct. 12-18, 2018

Concerts, parties, support groups and more for the week ahead



DC gay events fall 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

The annual SMYAL Fall Brunch is Sunday morning. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, Oct. 12

SMYAL hosts its  National Coming Out Day Dance at Eastern Market North Hall (225 7th St., S.E.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. Youth ages 13-24 are invited for dancing, music by DJ Honey, food, performances and more. 

Bang Salon and VIDA Fitness host “Runway to Recovery” a fashion show benefitting N Street Village, at Penthouse Pool Club (1612 U St., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-9 p.m. Ba’Naka Devereaux will host the show. DJ Alex Mavro will play music. All proceeds will benefit homeless and low-income women. Tickets are $30 and includes one glass of sparkling wine. For more information, visit

Gamma D.C. a support group for men in mixed-orientation relationships, meets at Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Ave., N.W.) tonight from 7:30-9:30 p.m. The group is for men who are attracted to men but are currently, or were at one point, in relationships with women. For more information about the group and location, visit

Go Gay D.C. hosts its LGBTQ Community Social at the Embassy Row Hotel (2015 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. TJ Flavell will be on site to greet guests. All are welcome. There will be a cash bar and an appetizer and dinner menu available. Name tags will be provided. Dress code is casual attire. No cover. For more details, visit

Saturday, Oct. 13

VIDA Fitness hosts its fourth annual 5K Run/Walk at Hains Point in East Potomac Park (Ohio Dr., S.W.) today. Warm-up and stretch starts at 7:30 a.m. followed by the National Anthem at 7:55 a.m. The race kicks off at 8 a.m. 

Bethesda Row Arts Festival is at 4841 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Md., today from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 190 artists will showcase and sell their work. There will also be live musical entertainment and performance art. For more details, visit

Distrkt C: Dungeon, a gay dance party, is at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) tonight from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. DJ Kirk and DJ Joe Ross will play music. Tickets are $25. 

Team D.C. hosts its Fall Casino Night at Buffalo Billiards (1330 19th St., N.W.) tonight from 8 p.m.-midnight. Attendees can play poker, blackjack and craps with their favorite teams. There will also be raffle prizes. 

The Mighty Tucks hosts Rainbow Race Fundraiser, an “Amazing Race” style fundraiser, at Francis Field (2500 N St., N.W.) from noon-5 p.m. Teams of two will travel to Cobalt and Nellie’s Sports Bar and compete in games. Competitions will include finding hidden clues, trivia duels, navigating your partner through a maze and tightrope walking. The winning team will receive $200. There will also be prizes for best team name and best team outfit. Registration is $30 per team. All proceeds will be donated to Strength in Our Voices, a D.C.-based, LGBT-led non-profit that works toward defeating stigmas about mental health  

Sunday, Oct. 14

SMYAL hosts its 2018 Fall Brunch at the Marriott Marquis (901 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.) today from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be an open bar cocktail reception with a silent auction and a three-course brunch. Guests will also hear from community leaders and SMYAL youth. 

Red Derby (3718 14th St., N.W.) hosts LGBTQ Prison Letter Writing Workshop today from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Attendees will write letters to an inmate pen pal. Stamps, envelopes and other materials will be provided. The event is free. For more information, visit

Silver Spring Record Fair is at Denizens Brewing Co. (1115 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, Md.) today from 1-6 p.m. More than 20 vendors will sell records and local DJs will play music throughout the night. Nocturnal Wax, Marcello Bentine, Kenny M and Wade Hammes and Elliott Sloan will perform. For more details, visit

Monday, Oct. 15

Trixie Mattel brings her “Now With Moving Parts Tour” to Rams Head Live (20 Market Pl., Baltimore) tonight at 8 p.m. The “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3” winner will bring a mix of live music, comedy and drag. 

Tuesday, Oct. 16

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts its Packing Party from 7-9 p.m. tonight. Volunteers will assemble safer sex kits to distribute to the LGBT community. For more details, visit

Wednesday, Oct. 17

The Tom Davoren Social Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for social bridge. No partner needed. For more information, call 301-345-1571.

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses the poetry collection “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” by John Ashbery at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For details, visit

Thursday, Oct. 18

Rainbow History Project Foundation hosts Cops and Queers: The History of the Police and the LGBTQ+ Community in D.C. at Thurgood Marshall Center for Service & Heritage (1816 12th St., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-9 p.m. Rayceen Pendarvis moderates the panel discussion featuring Earline Budd, Craig Howell, Mindy Daniels, Dee Curry and Brett Parson. The discussion will focus on the intersection between the LGBTQ community and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Admission is free but RSVP is required. 

BloominGays, a group for LGBT residents of Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, Shaw and Eckington, hosts its fall kickoff happy hour at Tyber Creek Wine Bar & Kitchen (84 T St., N.W.) tonight from 9 p.m.-midnight. There will be happy hour drink specials and small bites. For more information, visit



Tragedy and comedy intertwined in witty ‘Quietly Hostile’

Irby’s fourth essay collection addresses pandemic, TV writing career, more



(Book cover image courtesy of Vintage)

‘Quietly Hostile: Essays’
By Samantha Irby
c.2023, Vintage
$17/304 pages

You know from the get-go that “Quietly Hostile,” essayist, television writer and humorist Samantha Irby’s fourth essay collection, is filled to the brim with the author’s mordant wit, cynicism and empathy. Who else but Irby, 43, who has struggled with depression, would write: “This book is dedicated to Zoloft”?

There are zillions of essay collections. But few are as memorable, poignant, funny (sometimes grossly, in a good way) and heart-filled (a term Irby might hate) as “Quietly Hostile”

This long-awaited collection is filled with what Irby would call “good shit”: from hilarious descriptions of her bad dog in doggie day care to bits about, literally, shit, (that will gross you out, but reduce your shame about pooping).

Irby, who is Black and bisexual, grew up in poverty in Evanston, Ill. Her parents died when she was 18 (her mother from multiple sclerosis; her father, who gambled, likely, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder).

At the age of nine, Irby’s mother’s MS went out of remission. While still a child, she was called upon to care for her Mom.

“When I was an actual kid growing up on welfare with a sick mom and expired Tuna Helper from the dollar store, the future and its infinite possibilities stretched before me like a sumptuous buffet I couldn’t afford to go to,” Irby writes.

There is a backdrop of pain, sadness and, sometimes, anger to much of Irby’s humor. But  self-pity and rage don’t consume the book.

Irby, the author of “Meaty,” “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life” and “Wow, No Thank You,” knows that the cliche is true: tragedy and comedy often are often intertwined. 

It’s fun to learn in “Quietly Hostile” that Irby, who was a writer for the popular TV shows “Shrill” and “Tuca & Bertie,” is as much a fan as the rest of us of the TV shows she loves.

In 1998, Irby couldn’t afford cable or HBO. She had to wait to watch the “City” until it came out on VHS. “The show reflected nothing of my life,” she writes, “but provided something of a road map for my future…” she writes.

In a future, she wouldn’t have dreamed of then, she grew up to become a writer on “And Just Like That,” the “Sex and the City” reboot. (She’s a writer on season two of “And Just Like That” which premieres on June 22 on Max.)

Irby was stunned when Michael Patrick King of “And Just Like That” asked her to write for the show. “I was like … Are you allowed to work on a show like this if you only wear nine-dollar T-shirts,” she writes, “and have no idea how many Brooklyns there are.”

 “During my interview,” Irby jokes, “I said, ‘Can I give Carrie diarrhea?’ and I was hired immediately.”

Even ardent “Sex and the City” aficionados may find too much of SATC in “Quietly Hostile.”

No worries: Irby who speaks of herself as being “fat” and “sick” (she has arthritis and Crohn’s disease), riffs on many things in “Quietly Hostile.” Irby turns her sharp wit on everything from what it’s like to run for a public toilet when you have diarrhea to why she’s a David Matthew’s fan girl to her love for (approaching addiction to) Diet Coke to the “last normal day” before the pandemic to the “food fights” that are a part of the most loving marriages.

Grab a Diet Coke (or libation of your choice), tell your bad dog to quit barking and enjoy “Quietly Hostile.”

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

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Arena’s ‘Exclusion’ is a piece of art about art

Majority Asian production features intelligent performance by Karoline



Karoline brings intelligence and energy to every role they tackle.

Through June 25 
Arena Stage
1101 Sixth St., S.W.

When Asian-American historian Katie’s best-selling book about the racist Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is optioned for a mini-series by a Hollywood mogul, she couldn’t happier. However, artistic and commercial visions clash and things go awry. This is the premise of Ken Lin’s new comedy “Exclusion” now at Arena Stage. 

Katie is played by Karoline, the mononymously named New York-based actor who brings intelligence and energy to every role they tackle. 

“I’m similar to Katie — honest to a fault, optimistic, both strong and naïve,” says Karoline, 28. “For me, the challenge is watching Katie choose yes or no at every turn. Should she address what’s coming at her with truth or not? Or hide what she’s thinking? My struggle in life has been similar. How do I stay true and at the same time get what I want in a corrupt world.”

When asked to be part of “Exclusion’s” early development, Karoline was unsure: Doing a piece of art about art can be tricky. But they soon changed their mind. 

“The workshop changed my life. I got into the room and it was majority Asian. Seeing Ken [Lin] talk about coming back to theater and about being able to write about Asian people with a play that’s ostensibly a comedy and obviously super personal, drawing from his life and what he’s learned from colleagues.” 

Karoline describes their experience with anti-Asian racism as more microaggressions. “I don’t have people point at me saying ‘you’re a chink.’ It’s been subtler versions of that.”

As a stage actor, they’ve had an activist history, taking complaints of racism to a company’s board, a move that can be contentious. Typically, it’s preferred actors “be grateful, listen and interpret, and not speak up.” 

When a respected mentor later asked Karoline whether they wanted to be an actor or an activist, they didn’t understand why it had to be mutually exclusive. “I was too young to say it could be both. Now it depends on the situation. Maybe both in theater because I have more of a career there. But in TV, I don’t know.”

Karoline was born in Shanghai and grew up in South Texas where they had little exposure to the arts. After graduation from a pre-med magnet high school (with no intention of a career in medicine), they headed off to Harvard on full scholarship: “I showed my family that I can be smart, but I was going to do my own thing.” 

They took a gap year from Harvard to train at Atlantic Acting School, then went to apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Weeks after moving to New York they were cast as closeted lesbian Bo in Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem” at Lincoln Center Theater.

“I’ve played more than one lesbian in my career,” says Karoline with a chuckle.  In the fall, they can be seen in the entire first season of “Death and Other Details” (Hulu) as a very rich lesbian heiress, a darkly funny role. 

“It seems when you’re Asian, you’re expected to talk about your parents’ accents or dumplings,” they add. “The narrative is vivid and bright. I wanted to do classical theater so my work could speak about everything else. From the start, I was ready to do the work, and hoped to have a long career that included many different things.”

Not long ago, Karoline shed their surname owing to a difficult childhood and a feeling of estrangement from their family. “It’s unusual, especially for Asian Americans, but after some self-healing and thinking, I decided I didn’t need it. Now I feel a lot freer.” 

And there have been other changes in addition to their last name including coming out as queer and sharing their gender identity. This is the first year they’ve only used “they” pronouns. 

“When you’re queer, I believe you’re always queer even if you’re not in a queer relationship. I think of my character like that. In this space and time, Katie’s with a man but that doesn’t mean that’s the whole conversation about this person. 

“For me, playing Katie in ‘Exclusion’ has been a huge vote of confidence. Sometimes it takes someone writing something wonderful and casting you for you to know where you need to be.”

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Out & About

Mayor’s office to host Pride tie-dye party

Guests to make colorful shirts for ‘PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION’ theme



(Photo by Prime Look/Bigstock)

The Mayor’s Office for LGBTQ Affairs will host “Love Out Loud: Tie Dye Party for Pride” on Wednesday, June 7 at 5 p.m. at the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs.

The event, hosted along with the DC Center for the LGBT Community and Capital Pride Alliance, will be an afternoon for community and artistry. Guests are encouraged to bring their creativity to make some colorful tie-dye shirts in line with this year’s Pride theme, “PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION.”

This event is free to attend and more details are available on Eventbrite

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