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‘All About Trans’ month returns with bustling schedule of activities

Awards, talent night, socializing, name-change seminars and more slated for busy May

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All About Trans, gay news, Washington Blade
SaVanna Wanzer, the visionary behind May Is? All About Trans. (Photo courtesy Wanzer)

We the People, a local transgender activist group, is bringing back May Is? All About Trans, a series of transgender-centric events in May, for a second consecutive year. 

SaVanna Wanzer, founder of D.C. Trans Pride and We the People, explains that the title May Is? All About Trans is meant to be a call-and-response cheer.

“I’m asking someone else a question ‘May is?’ and then the other person says ‘All about trans.’ It’s to motivate you like ‘Christmas is?’ Tomorrow,’” Wanzer says. 

There will be plenty to cheer about with the events list this year which includes a community mixer at the Library of Congress hosted by KeeKee Ke’niya Funches and NBC4’s Leon Harris, a Trans Summit featuring trans-focused workshops, an open mic and an art show featuring transgender artists.

The transgender community is also celebrated during Trans Pride but Wanzer says Capital Pride only allots 45-60 minutes to discuss transgender issues. We the People has organized events that allow up to three hours of conversation focused on the transgender community’s “mind, body and spirit,” according to Wanzer. 

See the complete list of events below. For more information on May Is? All About Trans, visit mayistransdc.com.

Wednesday, May 1 

Trans Summit is at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. From 9-10 a.m. there will be registration and breakfast followed by a greeting at 10 a.m. The morning session will include discussions entitled Navigating Medical and Legal Spaces from 10:45 a.m.-noon and then lunch from 12:15-1:15 p.m. The afternoon session will include Connecting Voices from the Community (1:15-2:15 p.m.), Growing an Activist/Growing the Entrepreneur (2:15-3:15 p.m.), Showing Up Spiritual/Showing Up Professional (3:15-4:15 p.m.) and closing remarks from 4:15-4:45 p.m. There will be dinner after the summit at Busboys and Poets (625 Monroe St., N.E.) from 6-9 p.m. The first 40 people to register for the summit will be invited to the dinner. 

Thursday, May 2

Name & Gender Change Clinic, a free legal clinic for D.C. and Virginia residents, is at 11:30 a.m. in Tysons Corner, Va. Meet with an attorney to complete name and gender change documents. Email [email protected] to register and to receive the exact address. 

Saturday, May 4

A Conversation About Addictions is at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) from 1-3 p.m.

Monday, May 6 

The Awards Dinner featuring keynote speaker Diana Feliz Oliva is at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St., N.W.) from 6-9 p.m. Two people from the transgender community, one youth activist and one organization that represents the transgender community will be honored. Admission is free.

Tuesday, May 7

Trans Conversations is at Us Helping Us (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. There will be a conversation on transmasculine health in room one and a conversation on transfemme health in room two. The conversations will followed by dinner and a cocktail reception at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Friday, May 10

Silver Pride, a celebration of the older LGBTQ community, is at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) from 3-7 p.m. There will be tabling and a dance. Free.

Saturday, May 11

Trans Art Showing is at Westminster Presbyterian Church (400 I St., S.W.) from 3-5 p.m. Art from local artists in the transgender community will be on display. Free admission. 

Open Mic is at Westminster Presbyterian Church from 5-7 p.m. All are welcome to showcase their talent. Free.

“Transmilitary,” a documentary about life as a transgender person in the military, will be screened at Westminster Presbyterian Church from 7-9 p.m. A Q&A will follow the screening. Admission is free. 

Sunday, May 12

Happy hour is at Denizens Brewing Co. (1115 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Md.) from 2-4 p.m. 

Tuesday, May 14

Do Tell, a conversation about the pros and cons of sex-reassignment surgeries, is at Us Helping Us (3636 Georgia Ave., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. 

Wednesday, May 15

A conversation on HIV vs. PrEP is at Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. 

Friday, May 17

Community Mixer is at Library of Congress (10 First St., S.E.) from 6-9 p.m. Keynote speaker will be Queen Victoria Ortega and NBC4’s Leon Harris hosts the event. This event is invite-only.

Saturday, May 18 

Whitman Walker’s Trans Mixer is at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. 

Sunday, May 19

TWEET Church Service, a church service for the transgender community, is at Westminster Presbyterian Church (400 I St., S.W.) from 11 a.m.-noon. 

Wednesday, May 22

Bridging the Gap: Conversation Between Gay Men and the Transgender Community is at Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.) from 6-8 p.m. Light dinner will be served. 

Saturday, May 25

Black Pride Our Truths in Harmony, a transgender town hall, will be a part of Black Pride at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel (999 9th St., N.W.) from 1-2:30 p.m. 

Youth: Building New Activist, a conversation with LGBTQ youth on how they can become activists, is at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel (999 9th St., N.W.) from 3-4:30 p.m. This event is closed to anyone over the age of 25. 

Monday, May 27

Beauty Make Over is at 1 p.m. at a to-be-announced location. Celebrity hair stylist Kiyah Wright will teach a workshop on hair, makeup and style. 

Thursday, May 30 

The Finale: Giving Back is at a to-be-announced location from 5-8 p.m. The We the People board will prepare a dinner for LGBTQ youth at Wanda Alston House.

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Business

Maryland LGBT Chamber holds expo

Business event held in Columbia, Md.

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Maryland LGBT Business Expo. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

Over 35 Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce member businesses and organizations participated in the 2022 LGBT Business Expo in Columbia, Md. on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Panels and presentations at the event covered a variety of business topics, including:
We will also feature panel talks and presentations on a variety of business topics throughout the afternoon including: “Master Your Budget: 3 Simple Steps to go from Surviving to Thriving” presented by Financial Coach, Amy Scott; How we got our Rehoboth Beach cottage (without saving up for it)… And how YOU can too!!!” presented by the Retire on Real Estate author, K. Kai Anderson and “Why and How to get your small business LGBTQ Certified”, presented by NGLCC.

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Real Estate

Standing on both feet in the current real estate market

Interest rates are up and contingencies are back

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Buyers have more power than they’ve had in recent years.

Gone are the days of a home receiving 25 offers and going well over asking price by more than $250,000. One would think…

The housing market in our immediate area as well as most of the United States has changed from what we’ve seen during the earlier pandemic days. Here in the nation’s capital, we have seen a market that is more in keeping with what we have historically seen. The fall market this year has brought on a substantial amount of new inventory to the market, which is consistent with earlier market trends. We have seen the prices reduce a bit and we have seen days on market linger a bit. But what exactly is going on here?

RISING MORTGAGE RATES

For two years we saw a wild real estate market that was fueled by the need for more space, new space, fresh space, and insanely low interest rates. The lack of inventory in the market also assisted in allowing sellers to get substantial amounts of money over their asking price and left buyers giving everything away. Since then the landscape has changed. Due to higher than the “old normal” interest rates, the market has begun to correct itself a bit. I would like to point out that the interest rates are NOT the only reason for the market correcting itself, this is also due to the influx of inventory coming to the market. Buyers now have so many options to look at, things to consider, and time is truly back on their side in order to make a more sound and informed decision when it comes to home ownership.

Please don’t get it twisted — if a home is well photographed, well marketed, and well priced in addition to having a brilliantly charming Realtor at the open house — it will surely sell with several offers and over asking. That is just no longer the norm.

TIT-FOR-TAT NEGOTIATIONS 

Although we no longer live in a world where sellers can expect to receive $250,000 above asking, we also don’t live in a world where buyers can expect to offer 30-50 percent less than asking and expect for the results to be positive. Similar to dating – we are back to a more intimate handholding experience when it comes to both the home buying and selling experience. As a seller it is important to ensure that your home is in tip-top shape while pricing it properly. As a buyer you should ensure that you have a great pre-approval, provide an appropriate EMD and realize that now you can include CONTINGENCIES! Yes! Once again, you can actually have a home inspection, financing contingency and even a radon test if you are feeling frisky. Those are the most valuable changes in the market for buyers.

INFLATION OR INFLATEGATE?

While turning on the news might be grim these days between inflation, the stock market, and interest rates – home prices are still over 6 percent more expensive than this time last year. If you look at the job market for example, unemployment is at an all-time low. You are still getting paid every week and if your manager makes you angry enough you have the flexibility to quit one job and find another relatively quickly. This mindset combined with an increase in active home listings and decrease in demand – you will likely still say: “Let’s go buy a home.”

Justin Noble is a Realtor with Sotheby’s international Realty licensed in D.C., Maryland, and Delaware for your DMV and Delaware Beach needs. Specializing in first-time homebuyers, development and new construction as well as estate sales, Justin is a well-versed agent, highly regarded, and provides white glove service at every price point. Reach him at 202-503-4243,  [email protected] or BurnsandNoble.com.

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Real Estate

What you get for the money in D.C.

Plenty of options from $200,000 to $10 million

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Looking to buy in D.C.? There are plenty of options at all price points.

As I write this, the national average 30-year, fixed-mortgage rate is 6.33%, with VA and FHA loans hovering around 5.7%. These rates can fluctuate based on the amount of your down payment, your assets and liabilities, your credit score, and the type of home you purchase. 

A $400,000 mortgage that cost $1,686 per month in 2021 at 3% will now increase your monthly payment by an additional $798. Sadly, this may eliminate a portion of the buyer pool or necessitate postponing a purchase, particularly for the first-time buyer.

On the other hand, we are beginning to see an increase in inventory, longer marketing time, periodic price reductions, and even offers of closing help and repairs to items found in a home inspection. So where are these homes and what do you get for your money?

First, let’s define the term “home.” 

There are two types of fee simple structures: a detached house and a rowhouse (a.k.a. townhouse in the suburbs). With a fee simple purchase, you own the land and the structure(s) on it.

Another type of home is a condominium, where you own the unit and a corresponding percentage of the land beneath the building and the common areas within it. 

In a cooperative apartment, instead of owning the unit and peripheral areas, you own shares of stock in the corporation that holds those things. 

Believe it or not, you can still buy property in D.C. for less than $250,000. It will most assuredly be a condo or co-op. It will probably be a studio or one-bedroom, although there are a few two-bedroom units and even four three-bedroom units currently available to choose from. If you’re looking under $100,000, however, you’ll be sleeping in your very own parking space.

Where are these inexpensive homes hiding? You can find many of them in Adams Morgan, Cleveland Park and Petworth and quite a few east of the river in Congress Heights, Deanwood, Hillcrest, and Randall Heights. 

River Park, a popular co-op along the Southwest Waterfront, features a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit for only $189,000, if your budget can withstand a monthly fee of nearly $1,400, including property taxes and utilities.

If you raise your purchase price to $500,000, then you can select from 538 available homes, including dozens of rowhouses in Anacostia, Congress Heights, Deanwood, and Lily Ponds just west of the Anacostia Freeway.

One-bedroom condos and co-ops abound in this price range as well, so check out those in Brightwood, Brookland, Capitol Hill, and even Friendship Heights and Georgetown. For the brand-conscious, there’s even a 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom co-op available at the Watergate for only $425,000, reduced from $570,000. Who says you can’t get a bargain in D.C.?

In the $500,000 to $750,000 range, you can live pretty much wherever you want by selecting from a rowhouse or detached home in the Brookland-Woodridge-Michigan Park-Riggs Park enclave or an assortment of two-bedroom condos in Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle and Logan Circle, and even three-bedroom units in Shaw. Why not? There are 471 homes to choose from.

Inching up further to $1 million, there are 330 homes on the market: beautifully renovated houses in Park View, Petworth, 16th Street Heights, Brookland, Brightwood and Capitol Hill, as well as condos in Georgetown and co-ops in Foggy Bottom.

If you can afford the next price band of $1 million to $1.5 million, 197 homes await. There are some lovely three- and four-story rowhouses available in Bloomingdale, Capitol Hill near the H Street Corridor, and Columbia Heights. You’ll also find condos in West End, in the Central Business District, and along the U Street Corridor.

There are 83 homes available in the $1.5 million to $2 million range. Select from fee simple properties in Upper NW, Capitol Hill, Chevy Chase, and Georgetown, or splurge and choose one of two two-bedroom, 2.5-bath condos at the Ritz-Carlton. You’ll only pay a “small” monthly fee of about $3,100. 

For those lucky people for whom price is no object, there are 142 homes currently listed from $2 million to $10 million. They are scattered throughout Georgetown, Forest Hills, Logan Circle, Dupont, Kalorama, Wesley Heights, and the Embassy Row area of Massachusetts Avenue.

Unlike New York or Los Angeles, you won’t find anything in the tens of millions, but there are four homes listed between $10 million and $12 million in Wesley Heights and Massachusetts Avenue Heights, as well as one 11-bedroom beauty in Forest Hills, with an estimated 17,000 finished square feet on four levels – just perfect for you and 10-20 of your closest friends.

Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate / @properties. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs

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