This is the fifth annual Washington Blade Most Eligible LGBT Singles issue. It began with reader nominations. From that list of about 200, our staff chose the 20 most eligible with an eye for locals with interesting stories, those doing compelling work and yes, those who are easy on the eyes. Meet them in person Saturday, Feb. 9 at Avalon Saturdays (1420 K St., N.W.) at 10 p.m. Singles will be introduced at 11:15 p.m. Cover is $15 (21 and up). The Blade staff thanks its sponsors Avalon Saturdays D.C., Bite the Fruit and Absolut. Click here for more details.
VOTE HERE ON WHICH SINGLE SHOULD WIN A FREE DATE NIGHT COURTESY OF HANK’S OYSTER BAR!
Occupation: Business development, JL Restaurant Group
Identify as: He/him/his
What are you looking for in a mate? I’m looking for someone who can hold his own in social situations. Someone who has a great sense of humor and an optimistic outlook on life. Being romantic is super important to me. I’d like him to have a passion for what he does for a living. Someone who has compassion and gives back to the community. I want someone that has an active lifestyle and loves to travel.
Biggest turn-off: Someone who doesn’t keep his word. And bad tippers.
Biggest turn-on: Someone who is thoughtful and romantic.
Hobbies: Love to travel. Sing with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington.
Describe your ideal first date: My ideal date would be to meet at a restaurant where we can talk and get to know each other.
Pets, kids or neither? Pets
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? No
Celebrity crush: George Clooney
One obscure fact about yourself: I was a drama major in college.
Occupation: Bartender and manager of A League Of Her Own
Identify as: Queer; she/her
What are you looking for in a mate? At this point in my life, a great deal of flexibility and understanding is what I’m looking for. I have a ridiculous schedule and a lot going on, so if quality time is your love language, I’m likely not to be able to fill your needs. As a human goes, I’m looking for someone who is quick to laugh and slow to anger, someone who wants to seek joy everywhere, similar to me. I need someone who’s a cheerleader and can hang with how much I’m lucky enough to be doing.
Biggest turn-off: Malicious intent. If your intention is to harm, in anything you do, I’m just not interested. Also, an ugly tone will undo any attraction I’m feeling. Words of affirmation is my top love language, so if you’re capable of being ugly with words, particularly toward me, I struggle to come back from that.
Biggest turn-on: Abject kindness. Sweetness in nature goes a long way, with me. A balance of a bold nature and seeking consent is pretty hot — too shy can feel like mixed messages, and I don’t really have time for that. “Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” (Basil King)
Hobbies: My entire life, I’ve been addicted to the written word. Any chance I get to settle into a book is one I’m going to take. Other than the one I run, my favorite bar is my backyard, hanging out with friends and my pup. All the better if I’ve got a fire going.
Describe your ideal first date: Because of the schedule I keep, I’m not generally up/available for Friday night dinners. A cup of coffee and a sunrise at Gravelly Point. A good museum in the middle of the week. Hell, be my gym buddy and let’s get lunch, after. I’m super easy, this way. Maybe I don’t know how to date.
Pets, kids or neither? Well, I’ve got both. Ava’s my blonde teenaged mini-me and Bentley’s my brindle pittie rescue.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? No, that’s a hard stop for me. There are enough people surrounding my life who are out to harm my community. I can’t add that to my romantic life.
Celebrity crush: I’ve wanted to take Chili from TLC out on a date since probably high school. It’s more cerebral than anything, but I really want to hang out with Michelle Obama and let her talk to me.
One obscure fact about yourself: I’m obscure on so many levels! I was head cheerleader — that surprises most people. My mom drew my first tattoo as a reward for getting straight As in high school. There are more McDaniel girls; I’m the oldest of four sisters. I started going by Jo professionally because Jordan was too hard to hear over the din of Apex when I first started bartending.
Identify as: Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? A partner in crime. A fun loving trouble maker. I like to press buttons and force people to think and am drawn to guys looking to do the same.
Biggest turn-off: Blandness
Biggest turn-on: A guy who has something to say.
Hobbies: Does hanging out at gay bars with friends count as a hobby? Well if not, I also enjoy video games, photography and running.
Describe your ideal first date: An ideal first date would start with a cocktail or coffee before a visit to an art gallery or museum or maybe even a live show. Followed by a relaxing dinner where we talk into the night.
Pets, kids or neither? My baby cousins seem to like me, so I guess I could raise a child or two. But, it’s not a must for me.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? I enjoy a good debate, so in theory, yes. But if a guy’s views parrot some of the bigotry I see in our nation’s political discourse, then he wouldn’t be the guy for me.
Celebrity crush: Neil Patrick Harris
One obscure fact about yourself: A lot of guys see me as this unapproachable, loud personality, but I’m actually a lot more low key one on one with close friends.
Occupation: Sales at a software startup
Identify as: Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? A partner in every sense of the word. Someone who is always open to new things. Family oriented. Understanding and confident is a must. Work has me on the road pretty frequently and it takes a special type of person to deal with my schedule sometimes.
Biggest turn-off: Insecurity, phone/social media addiction
Biggest turn-on: Confidence, intelligence, genuine, and self-aware with a great smile. A huge plus if they can handle my large, extroverted extended family.
Hobbies: Working out, traveling, skiing, college football (Go Clemson!), golf, long weekends in the Outer Banks.
Describe your ideal first date: Keep it simple. Grab drinks at a bar where we can actually hear each other talk.
Pets, kids or neither? I have a dog now and we are a package deal. Definitely want kids with the right person.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? I think so. I consider myself pretty moderate.
Celebrity crush: Natalie Portman, Anna Kendrick
One obscure fact about yourself: I love all things related to aviation. Chances are I can tell you what type of plane is in the sky. One day when I have the time I’ll get my private pilot license. Oh and I am a Type 1 Diabetic.
Occupation: Cosmetic tattoo artist at DOLLISTIC
Identify as: Queer
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who awakens my soul and makes my heart smile.
Biggest turn-off: Jealousy, insecurity and possessiveness.
Biggest turn-on: Confidence. Someone who is living their best life independently.
Hobbies: Is wine a hobby? Also, travel, dance, cooking, art and pretending I’m a comedian.
Describe your ideal first date: Surprise me! (But tell me what to wear.)
Pets, kids or neither? I don’t currently have either, but I’ve always dreamed about being a mommy.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Absolutely not. My experience as an elected official allowed me to see first hand how impactful political views are.
Celebrity crush: Ruby Rose
One obscure fact about yourself: I was the youngest Maryland State Delegate from 2014-2018 and successfully aided the ending of conversion therapy by publicly sharing my personal story.
Occupation: Accidentally killing air-plants.
Identify as: Millennial dumpster fire
What are you looking for in a mate? I’m honestly just out here trying to exist.
Biggest turn-off: Jogs in place at red lights while on a run
Biggest turn-on: Doesn’t believe that drinking more water solves all of your problems
Hobbies: Marie Kondo-ing other people’s tchotchkes.
Describe your ideal first date: We rent a U-Haul. You help me move.
Pets, kids or neither? Committing to working out once a week is all I got right now.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? In this political climate?
Celebrity crush: Fiji water girl (she’s 31 don’t worry).
One obscure fact about yourself: I think I’ve shared enough.
Occupation: Mortgage loan consultant
Identify as: Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who’s equally happy spending the night on the sofa with the Dominos Pizza Tracker as they are bouncing between Trade and Number 9. They have to be able to make me laugh and know how to make French toast.
Biggest turn-off: Arrogance, smoking
Biggest turn-on: Confidence, goal oriented and a large vocabulary. Also, a beard doesn’t hurt.
Hobbies: SweatBox, 801 Sunday Brunch and buying my nieces the loudest toys I can find.
Describe your ideal first date: I don’t have one ideal first, but rather I think a great first date where the both of us are doing something that we share an interest in.
Pets, kids or neither? Need dogs.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Everyone is raised from a different background and there are opportunities to learn from those who differ from yours. As long as we can have a conversation and respect each other’s thoughts I’m open to it.
Celebrity crush: Sam Hunt
One obscure fact about yourself: I can turn my feet backwards.
Occupation: Higher education administrator
Identify as: Black/gay/male
What are you looking for in a mate? Common sense is not as common as it used to be, so some of that would be great. Someone who is naturally joyful and cares deeply for his friends and family. A love of ’90s R&B music is also a huge bonus.
Biggest turn-off Smoking and racism (not in that order)
Biggest turn-on: Authenticity, sense of humor and spirituality
Hobbies: Traveling, concerts, kickball, exploring new places in D.C.
Describe your ideal first date: Something low key and casual with music, free flowing conversation and a meal.
Pets, kids or neither? Maybe
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? In the words of the incomparable Randy Jackson, “It’s a no for me dawg!”
Celebrity crush: Senator Kamala Harris and Nyle DiMarco
One obscure fact about yourself: Take me on a date and find out!
Occupation: Lifestyle and entertaining consultant
Identify as: Male; he, him, his
What are you looking for in a mate? Curiosity, adventure and a sense of self
Biggest turn-off: Bad hygiene
Biggest turn-on: Thoughtfulness
Hobbies: Cooking, singing, calligraphy, paper-crafting, painting
Describe your ideal first date: A picnic indoor or outdoor
Pets, kids or neither? Either, provided mutual support
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Yes
Celebrity crush: Josh Duhamel
One obscure fact about yourself: I am a certified massage therapist
Occupation: Private chef/owner District Elite
Identify as: Lesbian (she/her)
What are you looking for in a mate? A person who is honest, independent, confident and emotionally available. We make each other better and laugh a lot at jokes that only we get.
Biggest turn-off: Games, attention seeking and flakiness.
Biggest turn-on: Warm eyes, big smile and lipstick. Enjoys sandwiches as much as I do. Vulnerability.
Hobbies: Food research, the gym and taking bubble baths.
Describe your ideal first date: We go somewhere and have a really hard time ending the conversation. The result being a second date.
Pets, kids or neither? Cats: definitely; dogs: they’re cool; kids: maybe
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? They need to align for the most part, but I respect differing views as long as they are reasonable.
Celebrity crush: Tied: Halsey and DJ Kittens
One obscure fact about yourself: I learned how to juggle from a circus clown. I’m not too bad either.
Occupation: [solidcore] coach & VP acquisitions at CB Development
Identify as: Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? A life partner who is an avid traveler, gym junkie, confident, supportive, hilarious, hard worker, go getter, communicative, dancing queen, dabbles in drag, can cook and can equally enjoy a wild night out staying up till the sun rises or staying in and watching a movie.
Biggest turn-off: Bad smells (b.o. and cigarettes), ambiguity and, stage-five clingers.
Biggest turn-on: Ambition, a cute face, competitiveness and when guys take my class at [solidcore] and can keep up with me (or better yet beat me) in a workout.
Hobbies: Going to the beach, throwing dinner parties and cooking, traveling, rosé — have I mentioned fitness and working out yet?
Describe your ideal first date: Everyone knows you can only agree to casual drinks or coffee for first dates because you may potentially be meeting a psychopath and need to get out. If it’s going well, drinks turn into dinner, which then turns into more drinks to lead to a fun night, which is ideal. My ideal second date is dinner plus an activity (a show, concert, sporting event, workout). Something we can experience together and talk about how we felt about it and get to know each other better.
Pets, kids or neither? Both — kids and pets but no cats. I’m allergic to cats and also they’re cats.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? No. I left a date once because this guy was bashing HRC and Venmo’d him money for the bill and only regret giving him any money.
Celebrity crush: Adam Rippon, Darren Criss, Michael B. Jordan, Zac Efron, and of course Ariana Grande.
One obscure fact about yourself: I was a diver in college.
Occupation: Box office manager
Identify as: Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? Looking for someone who can reciprocate energy; professionally, personally, physically. Someone to be my biggest fan! And vice versa — pushing me to jump at opportunity, imagine and execute.
Biggest turn-off: Dirty dishes.
Biggest turn-on: Someone who can order for me at restaurants.
Hobbies: Anything that involves Chief (dog). Runs, outdoors, long drives, farmers markets.
Describe your ideal first date: Something active or creative (e.g. pottery making, paint night, rock climbing). Finished off with food (your recommendations) and walking Chief.
Pets, kids or neither? Pet: Chief. Genus: Canis. Species: Dachshund.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Sure!
Celebrity crush: Anderson Cooper and Ryan Gosling.
One obscure fact about yourself: I grew up competing in rodeo, roping only.
Tarik S. Pierce
Occupation: Training and development director
Identify as: Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who can make me laugh, is a friend and confidant, is smart and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Oh and he has to be his own person and happy in his own right. A complete person.
Biggest turn-off: Insecurity
Biggest turn-on: Knowing who and what you are.
Hobbies: Traveling, Stonewall (& Rogue) Sports, running, working out, my friends (believe me they are an activity in and of themselves), theater and brunch.
Describe your ideal first date: An activity. Something other than dinner or drinks. Whether we’re bowling, playing darts, walking through the memorials. Something other than sitting across from each other inorganically coming up with things to talk about. An activity makes for a loose environment and, if you want to get closer, there’s not a table between you.
Pets, kids or neither? Ha, this one is on him. I’m not opposed to either, but I am not doing it alone.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? I have and would, as long as he was able to have an intelligent conversation about his views. Maybe I can learn a different point of view and, in the process, learn more about him.
Celebrity crush: Celine Dion
One obscure fact about yourself: I think most people who know me would be surprised to know that I love my alone time.
Monika M. Pickett
Identify as: “The Lesbian”
What are you looking for in a mate? I am looking for a partner who is courageous enough to adore me publicly and privately, someone who is kind and as beautiful on the inside as the outside. I’m attracted to feminine women.
Biggest turn-off: Pretentiousness, lack of compassion, dishonesty
Biggest turn-on: Confidence, self-awareness, laughter, kindness
Hobbies: Working out, Finding quaint consignment shops, watching foreign/indie films, care-free day trips to new places.
Describe your ideal first date: Lunch or dinner at a waterfront restaurant, laughing as we vibe on our mutual attraction.
Pets, kids or neither? Not much of a pet person. I love kids. I have an adult son, an amazing daughter-in-law and two beautiful grandchildren.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Definitely, as long as their views aren’t aligned with classism, oppression and inequality.
Celebrity crush: Ava DuVernay; Cate Blanchett
One obscure fact about yourself: From a very young age, I challenged assumptions on what a lesbian “looks” like. I look like a girl on the outside but I am one chromosome from being my mother’s second son on the inside.
Occupation: Social worker
Identify as: Queer
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who has a close relationship with Jesus. Someone who is a fiercely loyal friend. Someone who will keep me on my toes while also making me feel one hundred percent safe.
Biggest turn-off: Inauthenticity and flakiness.
Biggest turn-on: When someone is secure in who they are.
Hobbies: Cooking, photography, serving in the church, reading and yard work. I stay busy, I have many more.
Describe your ideal first date: I enjoy any combination of food or drinks and exploring. I would love a picnic at the Tidal Basin, where I bring homemade food. We can people watch together and walk around.
Pets, kids or neither? Yes to dogs and kids.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Yes, if the differences are within reason and the person is understanding and respectful of my views.
Celebrity crush: None, I’m not actually that interested in celebrities.
One obscure fact about yourself: This is it. I created a public dating profile.
Occupation: Graphic designer for the United Nations Foundation
Identify as: Lesbian
What are you looking for in a mate? Hopefully a Hufflepuff. Someone who wants to talk through the intricacies of Ariana Grande vs Carly Rae Jepsen. Someone interested in radical friendships and community building. Someone who’s just as passionate about exploring this world as I am.
Biggest turn-off: Being too quick to judge. A lack of empathy. Too big an ego. I like to laugh at myself so I hope you will, too.
Biggest turn-on: Kindness. Sounds lame, but I love people who love people.
Hobbies: I’m kind of a hobby queen. I’m currently learning how to play the piano. I also love pole dancing and DIY projects of any kind. If you have a denim jacket, I can embroider a custom patch for you. I also just backpacked through Europe for three months with my best friend, and planning a trip I might never even take might be my favorite way to whittle away a slow afternoon.
Describe your ideal first date: Wine, cheese, lots of laughter.
Pets, kids or neither? I have one cat, Potato, who is my only roommate but he really runs the house. Yes to puppies and yes to kids!
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Yes. We can argue over whether or not D.C.’s straw ban is really relevant or making a difference. But if our views differ on things beyond straw policy — like Trump, travel bans, the general awfulness of this administration, it probably won’t work out.
Celebrity crush: Miley Cyrus, but I’m sufficiently embarrassed about it.
One obscure fact about yourself: I run the Bud Light Lime instagram, @budlightlimeofficial
Occupation: LGBTQ policy associate
Identify as: Queer
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who’s goal oriented with a nice sense of humor. Someone who enjoys arts, exploring nature, bottomless brunch and social justice. Someone willing to work through our imperfections together.
Biggest turn-off: Lack of communication and dishonesty
Biggest turn-on: Intelligence, humor and goals
Hobbies: Exploring museums, nature walks, bottomless brunches, social justice lectures, dancing and singing.
Describe your ideal first date: Perfect first date would be dinner or brunch, a museum tour and walking the monuments at night while having a long meaningful conversation.
Pets, kids or neither? I love cats and dogs. I would love to have children. I definitely plan to foster and adopt in due time.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Yes and no. I value a difference of opinion and can respect someone with opposing views. However, when those views work to uphold the various forms of systemic oppression, I have to draw the line. I will not compromise my values, beliefs or identity for someone else’s comfort.
Celebrity crush: Kofi Siriboe
One obscure fact about yourself: I have a really flexible back.
Occupation: Digital campaigns manager
Identify as: Queer transgender woman
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone whose life is full with drive and ambition and passion and isn’t afraid of communicating their thoughts and wants and desires in a healthy way. In short, let’s be a power couple.
Biggest turn-off: Indecisiveness, probably followed by treating wait staff poorly or being a bad tipper.
Biggest turn-on: Confidence, intelligence and humor. Bonus points if you can cook a good breakfast (I’ll make dinner).
Hobbies: I’m a voracious reader and an avid PC gamer.
Describe your ideal first date: Dinner and drinks! Keep it simple and allow plenty of time to talk and get to know each other.
Pets, kids or neither? Same answer to both — I don’t have any currently, but am open to the possibility with the right person in the right situation.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? To a point. I don’t expect someone to feel the exact same way as me, but I won’t compromise on certain issues. Trump voters (and non-voters) need not apply.
Celebrity crush: Hayley Kiyoko
One obscure fact about yourself: I adore trains and my favorite vacation that I’ve ever taken was a solo cross-country train trip from D.C. to Seattle.
Occupation: Project manager
Identify as: Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who is open, honest, caring and thoughtful. Comfortable in his own skin and isn’t afraid to be himself with his friends, family and others. Has a good, smart sense of humor. I’m looking for a partner in life, so definitely someone who is also looking for commitment. Nerdy helps, too!
Biggest turn-off: Bigotry
Biggest turn-on: Romance, wit and a good cuddler with some scruff.
Hobbies: Musical performance, museums, video games, board games, trying new foods, movies, cosplay
Describe your ideal first date: Sharing stories over dinner at a new place neither of us have tried before (so we can both complain about it if we hate it), followed by a walk to get dessert and talking and laughing. We’d kiss and part ways, but continue via text at home until one of us (probably me) falls asleep.
Pets, kids or neither? Neither, though pets (dog) if I had to pick
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? Absolutely not
Celebrity crush: Dan Levy
One obscure fact about yourself: I did Army JROTC in high school. My hair was much shorter then!
Occupation: Composer, vocalist, teacher and performance artist
Identify as: Non-binary, queer. they/them
What are you looking for in a mate? An honest, kind, fun-loving partner in crime. Open-minded excitement for life. A patient person who loves art, music and nature. Passionate and considerate with a strong sense of purpose. A switch.
Biggest turn-off: Game playing/dishonesty. Be real.
Biggest turn-on: Kindness
Hobbies: Dancing in the garden, making things grow. Butterflies. Hiking with my dog and cuddling with my cat. Treasure hunting (I have a vintage clothing line). Word nerd.
Describe your ideal first date: Yummy food and a show of any kind. Drinks after to talk through the thoughts the show inspired. Or we just go dance it out.
Pets, kids or neither? Babies with and without fur.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from yours? No
Celebrity crush: Rosario Dawson
One obscure fact about yourself: When I was 13, I lived in an eco-village in Findhorn, Scotland.