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Calendar: June 28-July 4

Festivals, parties and events in the week to come

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gay events dc, gay news, Washington Blade
Van Hansis (Photo courtesy of Hansis)

Friday, June 28

The Kennedy Center and the National Symphony Orchestra present “50 Years Over the Rainbow: A Judy Garland Celebration” tonight from 8-10 p.m. The NSO and Tony nominee Laura Osnes, Broadway performer Capathia Jenkins and Pink Martini’s Jimmie Herrod will recreate the 1961 concert “Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall.” Tickets start at $24. For more information visit kennedy-center.org.

Annapolis Pride invites the public to come commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising at the Brass Tap (2002 Annapolis Mall road, Annapolis, Md.) tonight from 6-11 p.m. The venue offers over 300 craft beers, daily specials and live music. Tickets are $10 on eventbrite.com.

GAMMA, a peer support group for gay or bi men who are now or have been in relationships with women, meets in D.C. tonight and on all second and fourth Fridays at Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Ave., N.W.) from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Meetings are also held in Vienna, Va., and in Frederick, Md. For more info, visit gammaindc.org

Saturday, June 29

Daytime Pride 2019 is today from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. at HRC (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.). Tickets start at $125. Daytime Pride is an event celebrating and honoring LGBTQ characters in daytime television. Celebrity guests include Freddie Smith (“Days of Our Lives”), Greg Rikaart (“Days”/“The Young and the Restless”), Camryn Grimes (“The Young and the Restless”), Ryan Carnes (“General Hospital”), Van Hansis (“As the World Turns”), and Jake Silbermann (“World”). The day event includes autographs, photo ops, panel Q&A and a meet-and-greet hour. The VIP Dinner event (6:30-9 p.m.), held at The Mayflower Hotel (1127 Connecticut Ave., N.W.), gives attendees a chance to sit and have a meal with one of their favorite actors. Proceeds will be donated to True Colors United, a program supporting LGBTQ homeless youth. For tickets and information, visit daytimepride23.simpletix.com.

The Washington Mystics will host its annual Pride celebration today starting at 2 p.m. in a game against the Connecticut Sun that will be televised on ESPN. The team unveiled an updated Pride version of its logo and is also offering a special Mystics Pride Pack which includes a game ticket and pride T-shirt. NBC4 anchor/reporter Meagan Fitzgerald, who recently announced her engagement on air to her fiancée Kelly Heath, will serve as the game’s honorary captains. There will also be a Pride auction featuring team and player signed items from the Capitals and the Wizards as well. Proceeds will benefit the HRC Foundation. Tickets start at $12 and can be purchased at washingtonmystics.com

Slash Run’s (201 Upshur St., N.W.) brunch and drag show, hosted by Desiree Dik, kicks off noon today. Admission is $31 and includes bottomless mimosas, food item of choice and a rotating cast of drag performers from the region. Look for the event on Facebook for details. 

The Annapolis Pride inaugural parade and festival is today from noon-5 p.m. The parade runs noon-12:45 p.m. from Amos Garrett to Calvert street and the festival is from noon to 5 p.m. between Calvert and Church Circle. The public is invited to this free family-friendly event filled with vendors, face painting and local entertainment. Visit annapolispride.org for more information.

Tendancies,”an interactive gay-themed family play by gay playwright Steve Langley, will have a free staged reading today at 4 p.m. at THE ARC theater (1901 Mississippi Ave., S.E.). Directed by Gregory Ford, the reading is part of the D.C. Theater & Arts Festival. The play tells the story of a conflicted family whose members have trouble communicating but find common ground in a sex club. Sonny, 22 and openly gay, clashes with his construction worker father while his mother, also a teacher and pill addict, is their buffer. Theatergoers will get a chance to speak to the actors and interact with the performance by clapping and singing along. A Q&A will follow the reading. For free tickets, visit eventbrite.com.

MoCo Pride Party 2019 is tonight at the Rockville Town Square (200 E. Middle Ln., Rockville, Md.) from 6:30-10:30 p.m. and features “RuPaul’s Drag Race” superstar Peppermint. This event includes live performances by DJ Confetti the First, BOOMscat, Malijra Belly Dance, Pretty Boi Drag and more. The public is invited out for food and drink vendors, live entertainment and a community atmosphere. Tickets start at $7.50 and are available on Eventbrite.

#TeamHusband presents Rest of GAY D.C. Drag Show at the Dew Drop Inn (2801 8th St., N.E.) tonight at 7 p.m. This show features local drag kings and queens performing a fake award show highlighting the rest of the D.C. queer scene. Includes performances by Mo Lasses, Majic Dyke, Blaq Dinamyte, Xemi the Two-Spirit and many more. Jorge Escobar hosts. For tickets and information visit eventbrite.com.

THE ARC theater (1901 Mississippi Ave., S.E.) hosts “The Belle & The Bulldagger” tonight at 7 p.m. This is the story of Belle and Di, a sophisticated femme lesbian and a dapper butch who have now matured and recall scandalous accounts of living and loving freely during the civil rights movement. Audiences will explore their journey from the bigoted South to the nation’s capital. Tickets are $15. Look for the event on Facebook for details. 

Eastern Panhandle Pride in West Virginia is hosting the “Be PROUD” drag show and dance party tonight from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at the War Memorial Building (102 East German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va.). Performers include Chastity Vain, the current Miss Gay Maryland America and Miss Hagerstown Pride; Butch Kelly, Hagerstown’s current and first King of Pride; Siren, a Britney Spears impersonator; and more. Entertainment also includes a rap performance by Ryan Banks and dance music by DJ Andre. Tickets start at $10 and are available on Eventbrite. 

The QWERTY dance party and drag show are tonight at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) from 10 p.m.-2:45 a.m. The show features music by DJ Dvonne and burlesque by drag king performer, Blaq Milk. Performances also by Adam Koussari and Jeff Prior. Visit Facebook events for more information. 

Sunday, June 30

The Newseum’s “Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement” continues its run through December 31. The Newseum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and today from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. This exhibit explores the modern gay rights movement in the U.S. and features artifacts, images and print publications exploring key moments in gay rights history including the 1978 assassination of Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials; the AIDS crisis and more. Visit newseum.org for tickets and information. 

Monday, July 1

Actor/singer Hugh Jackman, who’s balanced his “Wolverine”-heavy movie career with an equally acclaimed Broadway career, plays an exceedingly rare local date with “Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show” tonight at Capital One Arena (601 F St., N.W.) at 7 p.m. He’s straight but an unabashed ally and show tunes lover. He played gay as Peter Allen in “The Boy from Oz.” Tickets start at $25.50 at Ticketmaster. 

A “Jaws” movie party is tonight at 7:45 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse (15200 Potomac Town Pl., suite 100, Woodbride, Va.). The screening will feature interactive props and surprises. The 1975 Spielberg classic is a summer thriller favorite. Details at drafthouse.com

Tuesday, July 2

The “Pose” viewing party continues tonight from 10-11 p.m. at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.). Every week the D.C. Eagle invites the public to come watch “Pose” and enjoy their spacious venue with two large screens. Register at eventbrite.com.

Wednesday, July 3

A League of Her Own (2319 18th St., N.W.) will hold Wine Down Wednesdays tonight from 6-8 p.m. Center Women and Fabulous Lesbians over 40 (FABS 40+) invite area queer women to a night of mingling with a favorite adult beverage. For more information check out their group on meetup.com.

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay literature group, discusses Craig M. Loftin’s “Masked Voices: Gay Men and Lesbians in Cold War America” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave., N.W.). This is a free event and all are welcome to attend. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 4

Venus Valhalla hosts Thirst Trap Thursdays, a weekly drag show, at Pitchers D.C. (2317 18th St., N.W.) tonight at 11 p.m. Look for the event on Facebook for details. 

The Trump is a Big Baby Festival, featuring the D.C. premiere of the giant Baby Trump blimp, is today at 2 p.m. on the west side base of the Washington Monument. Prize will be awarded for the best Trump impersonator present and a men’s swimsuit contest will be held. Comedian Lee Camp will perform. The Alien Rock Band will perform. Look for the event on Facebook for details. 

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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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