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Calendar: March 29-April 4

Parties, festivals and events in the week to come

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DC gay events, gay news, Washington Blade
‘Flower Orb,’ a work from ‘In Peak Bloom’ by Akiko Yamashita is being displayed as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. (Photo courtesy Artechouse)

Friday, March 29

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts queer tango classes tonight at 7 p.m. Instructor Liz Sabatiuk of Tango Mercurio will lead the course. The class is intended for beginner students and will combine instruction on tango vocabulary and technique. There will also be a discussion on how assumptions about gender can affect dancing. Students will be invited to experiment with both gender roles during the class. Admission requires a $10 donation. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/events/queertangoclass.

Gay District hosts game night at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 8-10 p.m. Board games will be provided but feel free to bring your own. Gay District is a community organization focused on building understanding of gay culture and personal identity. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

ONYX Mid-Atlantic presents Leather & Lace at the Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Dress code is leather and lace. Drink specials will include $5 Fireballs, $8 Long Islands and $5 margaritas. IcyFunk will spin tracks. Cover is $5. For more information, visit greenlanterndc.com.

D.C. Bear Crue hosts Bear Happy Hour at Uproar Lounge & Restaurant (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) today from 5-10 p.m. Drink specials include $5 rail cocktails and $5 32 oz. draft pithcers. Free appetizers will be handed out throughout the night. For more details, visit facebook.com/bearhappyhour.

Saturday, March 30

The 39th annual Capital Art Fair is at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn (1900 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington, Va.) today from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and tomorrow from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. About 21 art dealers will will have fine prints, drawings, photos and other works on paper for sale. Works range from the 15th century to present day and include American, European and Japanese art. Tickets are free. For more details, visit capitalartprintfair.com.

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Code RED V: Stigma Can’t Stop Us, a red-themed masquerade ball supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS, tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Vjuan Allure will spin tracks and recording artist Kevin Aviance will perform. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks and gear. The color red is suggested but not required. There will be giveaways, raffles, a silent auction and Code Red baked goods. Main event tickets are $25. Tickets for Code Red and the 9:30 p.m. drag and cabaret extravaganza are $30. For more information, visit dceagle.com.

Center Trans hosts its pot luck at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) today from noon-2 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share. Center Trans’ mission is to be a safe space for transgender individuals to share their stories. Allies are asked to reach out to other groups for ally support. Admission is free. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

DCATS hosts the Trans Visibility Community Festival at Spaces (1140 3rd St., N.E.) today from 1-5 p.m. Organizations that serve the transgender community and transgender artists and creatives will all exhibit their services and work. There will be an open mic, film screenings, art exhibitors and a raffle. All ages welcome. For more information, visit transvisibilityfestival.com.

CTRL hosts Qwerty, a queer dance party, at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2:45 a.m. DJ Adam Koussari-Amin, DJ Dvonne and DJ Jeff Prior will spin tracks. Sippi will give a performance. No cover. For more details, visit facebook.com/ctrldc.

The Imperial Court of Washington hosts an underwear dance party at Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Alpha and DJ Omega will play music. Cover is $5 and will benefit the True Colors Fund. For more information, visit facebook.com/imperialcourtdc.

Sunday, March 31

Atlas Obscura Society D.C. hosts Wine, Spirits and Stories, a guided tour of LGBT icons, at the Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St., S.E.) today from 5-7 p.m.  Jeff Rollins will guide the tour and focus on the “Gay Corner” of the cemetery. Tickets are $36 and include the tour, two drink tickets and light snacks. For more details, visit facebook.com/atlasobscura.

Mariah Carey brings her “Caution World Tour” to the MGM National Harbor (101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill, Md.) tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $200-624. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.

Monday, April 1

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 thedccenter.org.

Tuesday, April 2

Artechouse (1238 Maryland Ave., S.W.) presents “In Peak Bloom,” an interactive and immersive digital art installation inspired by the cherry blossoms, through May 27. Artists Liza Park, Akiko Yamashita, Scenocosme and Sachiko Yamashita designed the exhibit. Sunday-Thursday daytime hours are from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and after hours are from 7-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday daytime hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and after hours are from 5:30-11:30 p.m. After hours will include Augmented Reality Cocktails which will be sold separately. Attendees must be 21 and over to attend after hours. Daytime general admission tickets for adults are $16 online and $20 on-site. Student, senior and military ID holders tickets are $13 online and $15 on-site. Children ages 2-14 are $8 online and $10 on-site. After hours tickets are $16 online and $20 on-site. For more details, visit dc.artechouse.com.

Wednesday, April 3

“The Ask Rayceen Show” hosts its annual #AskRayceen Mini Ball at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight from 6-9 p.m. This live monthly variety program and community festival will feature vendors, exhibitors, food, a cash bar and a raffle. Rayceen Pendarvis and Anthony Oakes host the show. DJ Vjuan Allure will play music. Doors open at 6 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. For more details, visit facebook.com/teamrayceen.

Bookmen D.C., an informal gay men’s literature group, discusses “Don’t Call Us Dead” by Danez Smith at the Cleveland Park Library  (3310 Connecticut Ave.,  N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com.

Thursday, April 4

A support group for the Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Community meets at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-8 p.m. The group is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Society D.C. and Asian Queers United for Action. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

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Out & About

Must-attend events in D.C. this fall

Mix of in-person and virtual exhibits, brunches, and more

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fall LGBT virtual events, Washington Blade
SMYAL Executive Director Sultan Shakir addresses the crowd at the 2018 Fall Brunch. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Last year, the pandemic forced many event planners to cancel their projects or move everything entirely online. However, this year, with the number of vaccinated people increasing and the mask mandate in place, events are slowly returning to the in-person format. Check out the list below for a good mix of both in-person and virtual events to watch out for this fall:

Smithsonian Associates will be hosting “Palestinian Embroidery 101: The Tatreez Sampler Series” on Friday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. This online event teaches the art of Palestinian embroidery including the basic Palestinian cross-stitch and how to create a tatreez sampler, using Aida cloth fabric. The class will be taught by Wafa Ghnaim who began her training in embroidery with her mother at age 2. Visit the Smithsonian’s website for more information.

Join Capital Pride Alliance virtually to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Monday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. This event will focus on “[supporting] the continuous fight for full inclusion for transgender and intersex servicemembers.” Keynote speakers include former Rep. Patrick J. Murphy, and Jennifer Dane, Air Force veteran and Executive Director of the Modern Military Association of America. Guests will get to hear extraordinary stories from service members of all branches and learn more about the fight for the codification of transgender military service and the effort to lift the ban on service for intersex individuals and folks living with HIV. For more information, visit Capital Pride Alliance’s website.

The 2021 LGBTQ Intergenerational Symposium will be on Thursday, Sept. 23. This is a free two-day virtual event sponsored by the DC Department of Aging and Community Living, Capitol Hill Village, and the DC Villages and is open to LGBTQ individuals and allies of all ages. There will also be a virtual kickoff for attendees, speakers, and organizations that are involved to get to know each other. Each day will include two health and wellness sessions, one panel, and breakout session.

The Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will host New Vistas in Astronomy: Imaging a Black Hole on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. This event will celebrate the 51st year of the New Vistas in Astronomy lecture series at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO). There will be speakers from across the many scientific divisions of the Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian led by founding director of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Shep Doeleman. 

DC Front Runners will host its 40th anniversary party on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Jack Rose Dining Saloon at 3 p.m. This event will be held outside on the large roof deck. Tickets for this event are $35 and cover two drinks, passed appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. You are welcome to open a tab at the bar after your drink tickets have been used. Drink tickets for paid attendees will be available starting mid-September at the runs, and also available day of the event by contacting Josh Yankovic. More information about this event is available on DC Front Runners’ website.

All Things Go and the Capital Pride Alliance are joining forces to launch “Club Pride”, a third stage and dance party at the All Things Go Music Festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. This all-day event will feature special intimate artist performances, DJ sets, special guests and more throughout the day. Access to Club Pride is included with all festival tickets. Club Pride is located at Merriweather Post Pavilion’s 9:32 Stage. For more information, visit Capital Pride Alliance’s website.

Capital Pride Alliance will host the first ever “Colorful Fest” that will include a block party and street fair on Sunday, Oct. 17. The Street Fair will feature small independent businesses, community groups, artisans, and food along 15th Street. The Block Party will include entertainment, an As You Are Bar pop-up, and dancing throughout the day for guests 21 and over. For more details, visit Capital Pride Alliance’s website.

Smithsonian Associates presents “The Philosophical Thought of Thomas Aquinas” on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. This event will be hosted online and Aquinas scholar Gregory T. Doolan will explore Aquinas’s philosophical thought. Thomas Aquinas’s work presents one of Western civilization’s most comprehensive philosophical systems. Although a theologian by profession, this man of faith dedicated much of his vast writings to discerning what the human mind can learn independently of faith. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s website. 

“SMYAL’s Annual Fall Brunch” will be on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis. This event ​​includes a cocktail reception featuring a silent auction, three-course brunch, and a chance to hear from some of the LGBTQ community’s most inspiring leaders. This event will bring together LGBTQ individuals and allies, friends, and families in support of the inspirational youth SMYAL works with every day. For more information, visit SMYAL’s website.

DC Area Transmasculine Society (DCATS) will host “Transmasculine and Nonbinary Social Hour on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at Red Bear Brewing Company. At this social hour, DCATS will be accepting binder donations and will also give out needles to those who are in need. All partners and friends are required to be accompanied by a transmasculine individual. The event is reservation-only, and you can RSVP online on Eventbrite. 

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Arts & Entertainment

Lil Nas X heads up new role at Taco Bell

The 22-year-old musical artist, now riding the success of two global No. 1 hits was an hourly wage earner as part of a Taco Bell team in 2017

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Lil Nas X (Screenshot courtesy of Taco Bell)

The iconic American fast-food chain serving Mexican-inspired fare such as tacos, quesadillas and nachos has a new pitchman, former Taco Bell employee and now Grammy award winning rapper & singer-songwriter Lil Nas X, (real name Montero Lamar Hill).

In an announcement Monday, Mark King, CEO of Taco Bell commented that “Lil Nas X knows the job, the experience and the culture Taco Bell creates for its fans – including its people,” King added; ““This unique partnership will deliver on more than just marketing, allowing us to tap into the genius of Lil Nas X to inspire our team members and align with our commitment to unlocking opportunities for young people.”

As a cultural icon with an insider’s perspective on the Taco Bell team member experience, Lil Nas X has been appointed the title of ‘Chief Impact Officer,’ a newly created role that will allow him to collaborate on the brand experience from the inside out.

The 22-year-old musical artist, who catapulted to fame and now is riding the success of two global No. 1 hits in “Old Town Road” and “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” was an hourly wage earner as part of the Taco Bell team at an Atlanta-area restaurant in 2017.

Two years later as a successful up and coming musical artist, on June 30, 2019, the last day of Pride Month, he came out publicly as gay tweeting: “some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. 🌈🤩✨”

(Courtesy of Taco Bell)

In today’s announcement the company acknowledged his ascendency to artistic celebrity as well as his sexual orientation.

Back in 2017, Lil Nas X laid down roots working at an Atlanta-area Taco Bell as a team member and less than five years later he’s ascended to stardom by defying conventions, charting his own course and remaining authentically true to himself – all things that Taco Bell stands for in its own way.”

As part of his new role, Lil Nas X will support the Taco Bell Foundation’s mission and help announce awards to recipients of the Live Más scholarship to enable them to pursue their creative passions. The Taco Bell Foundation breaks down barriers to educate and inspire the next generation of America’s leaders.

Since 1992, the Taco Bell Foundation has reached more than 4 million young people across the country and has awarded more than $110 million in Live Más Scholarships and grants to youth-serving nonprofit organizations focused on education and career readiness.

The artist’s “expertise in understanding social media and youth culture alongside his skills in creating great music makes this partnership with Taco Bell exciting, brave and one of the most innovative campaigns I’ve had the pleasure of creating,” said Jennifer Frommer, senior vp brand partnerships & commercial sync at Columbia Records.

As one of his first initiatives, Lil Nas X will make a cameo in Taco Bell’s breakfast campaign, which kicks off today, as the brand brings its breakfast offerings back to approximately 90% of restaurants nationwide by mid-September.

According to music industry trade magazine Billboard, in June, the rapper revealed his highly anticipated first full-length album would be “coming soon,” though a release date has not been announced.

Lil Nas X x Taco Bell:

From the press release:

As a brand known for its late night Fourth Meal, Taco Bell is celebrating fans who begin craving and planning for their morning meal in the evening to remind them that Taco Bell breakfast awaits come morning.

Breakfast, In Bedtime Stories – Toasted Breakfast Burritos (Commercial) |Taco Bell:

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Music & Concerts

Erasure’s ‘Neon Tour’ coming to The Anthem

Features out lead Andy Bell

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Erasure (Photo courtesy of The Anthem)

Erasure will play The Anthem on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The band features lead singer Andy Bell who is openly LGBTQ and HIV positive.

Tickets cost between $69.50 and $89.50. Super Excellent Seats are non-transferable. The ID of the original purchaser must be presented to pick up the tickets, and also, Super Excellent Seats will be made available for will call pick up no earlier than 30 minutes prior to doors. 

For more information, visit The Anthem’s website.

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