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Calendar: Nov. 2-8, 2018

Reel Affirmations fest, HIPS anniversary, Wanda Sykes and more for the week ahead



LGBT DC events Nov. 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

Wanda Sykes plays the Strathmore this weekend. (Photo by Derek Wood)

Friday, Nov. 2

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) presents Exile Fridays featuring the D.C. Eagle’s Birds of Prey tonight at 10 p.m. This is the only 18-and-over weekly drag show in the District. Ba’Naka hosts the night with performances by Brooklyn Heights, Iyana Deschanel, Sasha Adams Sanchez and Gigi Paris Couture. Linda Lector will appear as a special guest. DJ Ryan Doubleyou will spin tracks. Showtime is at 10:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Reel Affirmations Film Festival screens “Eva+Candela” at GALA Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The film tells the story of two professional women who start a love affair. The Six-Pack Film Pass is $65 and includes entry to six films and priority and reserved seating. The Festival Pass is $150 and includes entry to 14 film screenings; the All Access Festival Pass is $175 and gives access to 14 film screenings and entry to the filmmaker reception; the MovieStar Pass is $225 and includes an All Access Pass and complimentary cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, popcorn and movie candy. The Moviemogul Pass is $350 and includes all MovieStar perks and a six-month pass to Reel Affirmations films. For more details, visit

HIPS celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Whittemore House (1526 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. “Pose” star and transgender rights advocate Angelica Ross will receive the Hero Award. There will be a reception, auction and a main program. Tickets are $75. For more information, visit

Saturday, Nov. 3

Stonewall Kickballs’ District Jocks hosts Cornhole for a Cause, a tournament benefitting SMYAL, at Stead Park (1519 17th St., N.W.) today from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Registration fee is $50 per team of two people. The fee includes tournament entry, 15 raffle tickets for each players, two drink tickets to JR.’s, a day pass to VIDA and a drink bracelet for specials at JR.’s and Nellie’s Sports Bar for the after party. Tournament prizes include three free months at Vida, three free training sessions at Vida, a $100 gift card to Aura Spa, Washington Capital tickets and more. Deadline for registration is midnight on Nov. 2. 

Reel Affirmations Film Festival screens “Trans Youth” at GALA Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The documentary follows seven transgender young adults as they deal with family, love, transition, hormone therapy and more. Tickets are $12. Film passes are also available. For more information, visit

Reel Affirmations Film Festival Screening presents “Fun in Girls Shorts” at the Gala Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 6-8 p.m. The women’s short film showcase will include the films “Momo,” “Marguerite,” “Freedom,” “Foxy Trot,” Getting Started” and “Lesbehonest.” There will be a director talkback after the screenings. Tickets are $12. Film passes are also available. For more details, visit

Wanda Sykes performs at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, Md.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets range from $35-115.VIP tickets are $215 and include a premium seat and a meet and greet with Sykes. For more information, visit

Sunday, Nov. 4

Reel Affirmations Film Festival Screening presents “Genderqueer Shorts” at Gala Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th St., N.W.) today from 4-5:30 p.m. The films focus on gender non-conforming/genderqueer subjects and include titles such as “Mrs. McCutcheon,” “Femme,” Mimicry” and more. Tickets are $12. Film passes are also available. For more details, visit

New Orchestra of Washington celebrates Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with a performance of “Mozart’s Requiem” at the Mexican Cultural Institute of D.C. (2829 16th St., N.W.) today at 4 p.m. New Orchestra of Washington will be joined by the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Aeolus Quarter. Tickets are $95. For more information, visit

Monday, Nov. 5

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W..) hosts coffee drop-in hours this morning from 10 a.m.-noon for the senior LGBT community. Older LGBT adults can come and enjoy complimentary coffee and conversation with other community members. For more information, visit

Tuesday, Nov. 6

Lesbian singer/songwriter Jennifer Knapp performs at the Wine Garden in City Winery (1350 Okie St., N.E.) tonight at 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $14.VIP tickets are $85 and include access to Knapp’s pre-show soundcheck, a pre-show meet and greet, one item of merchandise and reserved show seating. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit

Rogue Cornhole hosts a drag bingo fundraiser at Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. Sasha Adams and Brooklyn Heights hosts the show. Nellie’s will donate $1 for every Tito’s Vodka and soda or Nellie’s beer sold. All proceeds raised will benefit charities such as the Trevor Project, Casa Ruby, the D.C. Center, SMYAL and more. Nellie’s will also be airing the midterm election results. 

18th & U Duplex Diner (2004 18th St., N.W.) hosts Election Night Drag Bingo tonight from 7-10 p.m. Goldie Grigio hosts the show. Guests can win prizes and shots playing bingo. The major news channels will be on the TVs all night. For more details, visit

Wednesday, Nov. 7

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts karaoke tonight at 9 p.m. D&K Sounds will host the event. Drink specials include $3 rail cocktails and domestic drafts and $4 wine. 

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.

Thursday, Nov. 8

Bookmen D.C., an informal gay men’s literature group, discusses “Insult and the Making of the Gay Self” by Didier Eribon at Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, visit



More queer books we love

Bellies: A Novel, Time Out and more for your gift list



(Book cover images courtesy of the publishers)

For the person on your gift list who’d love a boy-meets-boy story, wrap up “Bellies: A Novel” by Nicola Dinan (Hanover Square Press), the tale of a playwright and the man who loves him wholly, until a transition threatens to change everything.

If there’s a romantic on your list, then you’re in luck: finding a gift is easy when you wrap up “10 Things That never Happened” by Alexis Hall (Sourcebooks), the story of Sam, whose job is OK, and his boss, Jonathan, who should have never hired Sam. Too late now, except for the romance. Wrap it up with “Time Out” by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner with Carlyn Greenwald (Simon & Schuster), the story of a basketball player who’s newly out of the closet, and a politically minded boy who could easily get his vote.

For the person on your list who likes to read quick, short articles, wrap up “Inverse Cowgirl: A Memoir” by Alicia Roth Weigel (HarperOne). It’s a collection of essays on life as an intersex person, and the necessity for advocating for others who are, too.

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Our favorite books for holiday gifts

Hitchcock, Britney, Barbra, and more!



(Book cover image courtesy of G.P. Putnam's Sons)

When it gets dark early, it’s cold outside and you want to spice up your life, what’s more intriguing than a book? Here are some holiday gift ideas for book lovers of all ages.

Who isn’t fascinated by the dark, twisty, sometimes, mordantly witty, movies of Alfred Hitchcock, or by Grace Kelly, Tippi Hedren, Ingrid Bergman and the other actresses in his films? Hitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind the Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession by Laurence Leamer, author of “Capote’s Women,” is an engrossing story not only of Hitchcock, but of the iconic “blondes” he cast in some of his most beloved movies from “39 Steps” to “Rear Window” to “Vertigo” to “Psycho.” $29. G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Reading about Hitchcock, no matter how intriguing the book, is never as good as watching his films. Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection (Blu-ray $39.96. DVD: $32.40) features “Rear Window,” “North by Northwest,” “Psycho” and “The Birds.”

Corona/Crown,” by D.C.-based queer poet Kim Roberts in collaboration with photographer Robert Revere, is a fab present for lovers of photography, museums, and poetry. Revere and Roberts were deeply affected by the closure of museums during the COVID pandemic. In this lovely chapbook, they create a new “museum” of their own. “This is what I learned when the pandemic struck,” Roberts writes, “when I couldn’t stop thinking about the artwork in all the museums, bereft of human eyes.” $21.25 WordTech Editions

Few things are as scary and/or captivating as a good ghost story. The Night Side of the River,” by acclaimed lesbian writer Jeanette Winterson, author of “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” and “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit,” is a provocative and engrossing collection of ghost stories. These deliciously chilling stories feature spirits, avatars, a haunted estate, AI and, pun intended, lively meetings between the living and the dead. $27. Grove.

Blackouts,” a novel by queer writer Justin Torres that received this year’s National Book Award for fiction, is a breathtaking book about storytelling, queer history, love, art, and erasure. A perfect gift for aficionados of characters that become etched into your DNA. $30. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

The Woman in Me,” the memoir by Britney Spears will be devoured by queers of all ages – from tweens to elders. Much of Spears’s story is known – from her youth in Louisiana to her rapid rise to fame to her conservatorship (when her father controlled her life). Yet the devil, as the saying goes, is in the details. In this riveting memoir, Spears reveals the horrifying and exhilarating aspects of her life: from how her father controlled what she ate and when she took a bath to the restrictions put on her ability to see her sons to her love of singing, dancing, and creating music. Spears writes of the queer community’s “unconditional” love and support for her.  $32.99. Gallery.

Few memoirs have been more eagerly anticipated than Barbra Streisand’s My Name Is Barbra.” In its nearly 1,000 pages, EGOT-winning (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), divine, queer icon Streisand, 81, tells seemingly everything about her life. She quarreled with Larry Kramer over filming “The Normal Heart.” It didn’t work out: Streisand thought mainstream audiences would be turned off by explicit sex scenes. Marlon Brando and Streisand were good friends, she loves Brazilian coffee ice cream and her mother was a horror show. Contrary to how some lesser mortals see her, she doesn’t see herself as a diva. The print version of “My Name is Barbra” is fab. The audio version, a 48-hour listen, which Streisand narrates, is even better. $47. Viking. $45 on Audible.

Chasing Rembrandt,” by Richard Stevenson is a terrific gift for mystery lovers. Richard Stevenson was the pseudonym for Richard Lipez, the out queer author, who wrote witty, engaging mysteries featuring the openly gay detective Donald Strachey. Sadly, Stevenson died in 2022. But, “Chasing Rembrandt,” a novel featuring Strachey and his romantic partner Timmy, was published this year. The idea for the story was sparked by a real-life incident when paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “Robbers wreak havoc, smashing the glass covers protecting masterpieces and slicing paintings out of their frames,” Stevenson writes at the beginning of this entertaining story, “They make off with thirteen works, including three Rembrandts and a Vermeer, worth more than half a billion dollars and beloved in the world of art. It is arguably the greatest property theft in human history.”

With the repartee of Nick and Nora and the grit of Philip Marlowe, Strachey works to solve this mystery. $16.95. ReQueered Tales.

Some books never get old. “The Wild Things,” the beloved children’s picture book written and illustrated by acclaimed gay writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, was published in 1963. Sixty years later, the Caldecott Medal-winning classic is still loved by three to five-year-olds, their parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles. A new digital audio version of “Where the Wild Things Are,” narrated by Michelle Obama, was released this fall. Who can resist the Wild Things, when they plead: “Oh, please don’t go–we’ll eat you up–We love you so!”? Widely available in hard cover, paperback and e-book format. Audio: $5.50.

What’s more fun than playing a festive album while you’re reading during the holidays? Deck the halls! This year, queer icon Cher has released “Christmas,” her first holiday album. Highlights of the album include: Cher singing with Cyndi Lauper on “Put A Little Holiday In Your Heart,” Stevie Wonder on “What Christmas Means to Me” and Darlene Love on “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” and the rapper Tyga on “Drop Top Sleigh Ride.” The perfect gift for Cher aficionados.

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

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PHOTOS: Walk to End HIV

Over $550,000 raised at annual Whitman-Walker event



The 2023 Walk to End HIV was held on Saturday, Dec. 2. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Whitman-Walker Health held its 37th annual Walk to End HIV on Saturday, Dec. 2. Participants gathered in Anacostia Park in heavy fog to run or walk along the Anacostia River Walk Trail. A short stage program at the finish line was emceed by NBC4 Washington’s Chuck Bell and included speakers from Whitman-Walker Health, Gilead Sciences and AARP. Whitman-Walker Health CEO Naseema Shafi announced from the stage that over $550,000 had been raised to help fund programs and research to combat HIV.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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