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AIDS activist, LGBT ally William Beale dies at 77

Dedicated advocate worked to educate



William H. Beale Jr., gay news, Washington Blade
William H. Beale Jr. was a D.C. resident and an outspoken advocate for AIDS education and LGBT rights. (Photo courtesy of Wallace Corbett)

William H. Beale Jr., a D.C. resident who in the early 1990s became an outspoken advocate for AIDS education and LGBT rights after his gay son died of AIDS and whose LGBT friends describe as a dedicated straight ally, died Jan. 3 at the D.C. Veteran’s Hospital.

His daughter, Keya Beale, said in a social media posting he was 77 years old and died of complications associated with pneumonia and a chronic heart condition.

Courtney Williams, editor and publisher of an online newsletter that covers the D.C. African-American LGBT community, said Beale and his family in 1992 created the Dwayne S. Brown Foundation as a tribute to their late son who died of AIDS.

“The foundation’s mission was to break the mold of silence in the African American Community in which some families of people with AIDS lived,” Williams said in a statement.

“Dwayne’s mother appeared on posters and in a video, hoping to persuade people to stop hating men like her son,” Williams said. “Mr. Beale talked to caregivers and youth about using condoms to protect themselves from the virus.”

Beale became the president and CEO of the nonprofit foundation, according to Williams.

Williams and others who knew Beale said he became a beloved ally for the local LGBT community, especially for African-American LGBT people.

“He had worked to educate the mainstream African-American community on GLBT issues by approaching churches, organizations and individuals to bring an inclusive message,” Williams said.

D.C. transgender activist Earline Budd and D.C. resident Wallace Corbett, who were longtime friends of Beale, said they considered him a father figure and mentor.

“He was a man of integrity and had a heart of gold,” Budd said in an email to LGBT community activists. “Most striking to me was the fact that he was a father and advocate for HIV after losing his son Dwayne Brown to HIV at an early age,” Budd said.

“He did not have to embrace the LGBTQ community nor become a leading advocate for HIV, but he did,” said Budd. “I as a transgender woman found him to be ideal as a father, and I will truly miss him.”

Corbett said he first met Beale in the 1990s when Corbett was a participant in D.C.’s annual AIDS Ride bicycle fundraising event. He said Beale was a financial supporter of the event.

“From that point on he became my father and mentor,” Corbett said. “He helped with the biking team and feeding the group and helping us raise money and talking about his son.”

Budd has joined Keya Beale in promoting a campaign to raise money for Beale’s funeral expenses through a GoFundMe appeal.

Keya Beale said tentative plans were being made for a military burial for Beale, who was a U.S. Navy veteran.

A memorial service and celebration of his life has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington at 474 Ridge St., N.W. in D.C. Corbett said friends and family are suggesting that well wishers send flowers to the church at the time of the service.

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Comings & Goings

Lane named senior counsel at Brady United



Thomas Patrick Lane

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at [email protected].

Congratulations to Thomas Patrick Lane the new Senior Litigation Counsel and Director of Affirmative Litigation with Brady United. According to its website, Brady’s mission is, “To unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.”

Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel and vice president of legal at Brady said, “The whole Brady team is thrilled to welcome Tom’s skills as a trial lawyer and his leadership as a champion for justice and a voice for inclusivity and equal rights. Tom is one of the top litigators in the country, and has been a fighter his whole life who has proven himself undaunted by any challenge, including taking on the gun industry for its role in causing gun violence in America. Tom’s expertise and insights into complex litigation involving emerging technologies, such as 3-D printed guns, “smart” technology, and online commerce, will bolster our fight for industry-wide change by holding companies accountable and forcing reforms that will make all Americans safer.”

Upon accepting the position Lane said, “From my time as a prosecutor to private practice, I have seen the effects of gun violence and the importance of defending victims and survivors and upholding common-sense laws that keep our families and communities safe. I am excited to bring that background to Brady and to continue this important work nationwide.”

Prior to joining Brady, Lane was a partner in the New York office of Winston & Strawn, LLP. Before that he was a partner in Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP. He is recognized as one of the country’s top intellectual property and new media lawyers. He tried the first Internet music case and the first Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor case before juries. He has also served as a senior trial attorney in the office of the New York Kings County District Attorney.

Lane represented the City of New York in litigation against major gun manufacturers in the early 2000s. LawDragon named him as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Lane earned his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y.; and his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans. He has created an endowed scholarship there for LGBTQ students to help law firms realize the importance of hiring diverse rosters of attorneys, and to honor the courage of his uncles Bernard Lane (an Army Ranger decorated with two Bronze Stars) and Richard Morrison (a recovered alcoholic who devoted his life to counseling others).

Both men were known for their toughness tendered by humor and both lived openly in loving relationships with same-sex partners in the 1970s. Lane is a former board member of the National LGBT Bar Association. He directs all external legal matters for the Tyler Clementi Foundation, whose mission is to end bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.

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100th anniversary celebration of Dupont Circle fountain set for May 17

GWU student creates tribute video



Dupont Circle Fountain, Russian news agency, gay news, Washington Blade
The iconic Dupont Circle fountain turns 100 this month. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

LGBTQ residents and longtime visitors to D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood are expected to be among the participants in the 100th anniversary celebration of the installation of the Dupont Circle fountain scheduled to be held at the circle on Monday, May 17.

Aaron DeNu, president of Dupont Festival, a nonprofit arts and cultural programming group that’s organizing the celebration, says it will take place from noon to at least sunset inside Dupont Circle.

The celebration will take place one week after the May 10 release of a YouTube video, “How Dupont Circle Evolved as a Hub for LGBTQ+ Life in the District,” produced by George Washington University student Dante Schulz. Schulz is the video editor for the G.W. student newspaper The Hatchet.

Among those appearing in the documentary video are veteran LGBTQ rights activists Deacon Maccubbin and his husband Jim Bennett, who owned and operated the Dupont Circle LGBTQ bookstore Lambda Rising beginning in the 1970s, which is credited with contributing to Dupont Circle’s reputation as the epicenter of D.C.’s LGBTQ community for many years.

Also appearing in the video is longtime D.C. gay activist and Dupont Circle area resident Craig Howell, a former president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.

“At this point in time due to COVID restrictions we’re not going to be doing any particular formal gathering of folks,” DeNu told the Washington Blade in describing the May 17 celebration. “But we’ll have a soundtrack that’s playing throughout the day from that original ceremony – the same songs they used in the original dedication a hundred years ago,” he said.

DeNu said the event will also feature “historic imagery” related to Dupont Circle and the people who have gathered there over the years.

“So, we’re really just inviting people to come and have lunch, stop by the park after work, and just stop and reflect on 100 years of Dupont Circle fountain, take a look at the imagery and see some old friends and hopefully stop by and see the Dupont businesses that are around the area,” DeNu said.

The LGBTQ video produced by Dante Schultz can be accessed here.

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Va. GOP governor nominee opposes transgender-inclusive youth sports

Glenn Youngkin made comment to Arlington voters in March



Glenn Youngkin (Photo via Twitter)


The Republican gubernatorial candidate to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has said he does not support allowing transgender children to play on sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

“Biological males should not be allowed to play sports in girls sports,” Glenn Youngkin said during a meeting with a group of voters in Arlington on March 25, according to the Washington Examiner. “It’s just not fair.”

The Washington Blade has reached out to Youngkin’s campaign for comment.

Youngkin, the former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, on Saturday defeated Pete Snyder, former House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield County), Peter Doran, Sergio de la Peña and Octavia Johnson in the Republican Party of Virginia’s nominating convention. Virginia Republicans nominated Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares as their candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general respectively.

The Democratic Party of Virginia will hold its primary on June 8. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is widely expected to win the vote, and run against Youngkin in the general election.

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