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SUMMER IN THE CITY 2019: misc. events

OutWrite book fest, 17th Street Festival, Queen and more coming soon

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dc summer events 2019, gay news, Washington Blade
The Jonas Brothers play Washington Aug. 15. (Photo by Peggy Siorta; courtesy Republic Records)

Summer is well underway and events in the D.C. area are nowhere close to winding down. Check out ways to make the most of the remaining summer months with drag shows, concerts and festivals. 

Denizens Brewing Co. (4550 Van Buren St., Riverdale Park, Md.) hosts a birthday drag brunch, featuring Haus of Stone, on Saturday, July 13 from noon-2 p.m. The brunch celebrates the lesbian-owned Brewing Co.’s five year anniversary at its Silver Spring location. Show starts at 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/thehausofstone

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts a “Pose” viewing party every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. through Aug. 13. No cover. Visit facebook.com/eagledc for more information.

Truckeroo, a food truck and music festival, is at the Bullpen (1299 Half St., S.E.) on Friday, July 19 from 4-11 p.m. There will be a variety of food trucks including Due South, Millies, Korean BBQ Taco Box, Red Hook Lobster Pound and more. There will also be live music. Free entry. Visit facebook.com/truckeroo for details. 

9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) hosts a Beyoncé vs Rihanna Summer Dance Party on Friday, July 19 from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. DJ Mills will spin Beyoncé tracks and Craig B will play Rihanna all night. This is an all-ages show. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit 930.com.

Red Bear Brewing (209 M St., N.E.) hosts Drag Show Extravaganza on Saturday, July 20 from 9-11 p.m. Leronica Vegas, Nadia Cole, Cake and Bombalicious Eklaver will perform. Desiree Dik hosts. Visit redbear.beer for more details. 

Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts the Bear Cave: #Freaky, a gay dance party, on Saturday, July 20 from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. There will be $5 signature drinks. DJ Popperz will spin club, retro, latin and hip-hop beats. No cover. For more information, visit greenlanterndc.com.

The Try Guys bring their “Legends of the Internet” tour to the Warner Theatre (513 13th St., N.W.) on Thursday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, Zach Kornfeld and out member Eugene Lee Yang will perform live skits, original music and bring their viral videos to life on stage. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $31-81. For more details, visit warnertheatredc.com.

Slash Run (201 Upshur St., N.W.) hosts Desiree Dik’s Oddball, an oddity drag show, on Friday, July 26 at 11:30 p.m. The show will feature blood, comedy, queer art and more. Fawna, Mighty, Venus Valhalla and Cher Rub will perform. Desiree Dik hosts. Cover is $5. Visit facebook.com/slashrun for details. 

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star Tituss Burgess will be performed at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.) on Saturday, July 27 at 8 p.m. The Emmy nominee will include music from Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler and more. Tickets range from $29-99. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

Queen and Adam Lambert stop by Capital One Arena (601 F St., N.W.) on Tuesday, July 30 at 8 p.m. “The Rhapsody Tour” comes on the heels of the wildly successful Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Doors open at 7 p.m. It’s nearly sold out. A few tickets remain starting at $595. For details, visit ticketmaster.com.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Katya has her comedy show “Help Me I’m Dying” at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $12.50-150. Visit thelincolndc.com for details.

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Mid-Atlantic Leather Women on Friday, Aug. 2 from 8-11 p.m. Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman Bootblack 2019, Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman 2019 and the first ever Ms. D.C. Eagle 2019 will be special guests. For more information, visit dceagle.com.

OutWrite 2019, an annual LGBT literature festival, is at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) Aug. 2-4. The festival kicks off with a launch event on Friday. Saturday there will be readings, panels, exhibitors and book sales. On Sunday, there will be workshops for writers. Featured writers include Kristen Arnett and Jericho Brown. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/outwrite2019.

The Ask Rayceen Show,” a live variety program and community festival, is at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. Bebe Bardot will perform burlesque. Nia Simmons will perform live music. DJ Rosie will spin tracks for the evening. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the show. There will be free catered food. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more details, visit facebook.com/askrayceen.

D.C. Bear Crue hosts an adult toy party version of its Bear Happy Hour at Uproar Lounge & Restaurant (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) on Friday, Aug. 9 from 5-10 p.m. Charger Stone and Adonis Ryan Lahr host the party. The toy party is from 7-8 p.m. followed by sales from 8-9:30 p.m. There will be drink specials and free food. Bear Happy Hour is every Friday at 5 p.m. Visit facebook.com/bearhappyhour for details.

Shawn Mendes comes to Capital One Arena (601 F St., N.W.) on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $85-$695. Get details at ticketmaster.com.

The Jonas Brothers bring their comeback tour “Happiness Begins” to Capital One Arena (601 F St., N.W.) on Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $84.95-$499.95. For details, visit ticketmaster.com.

The 17th Street Festival takes place between P and R streets, N.W. on Saturday, Aug. 24 from noon-6 p.m. The festival features more than 100 vendors including nonprofit organizations, politicians, entrepreneurs and local businesses. More than 60 artists will also display items such as jewelry, ceramics, crafts and more. There will also be a kid zone with a large slide, soccer, snow cones, face painting and games. For more information, visit 17thstreetfestival.com.

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Forget Santa Claus – Ginger Minj is comin’ to town

‘Drag Race’ alum’s Winter Wonderland Tour stops in D.C. Nov. 29 and 30

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Ginger Minj will perform her holiday spectacular Winter Wonderland Tour at Miracle Theatre.

Ginger Minj is a busy little elf.

From her new country album “Double Wide Diva” to sporadic stints in TV and movies to her upcoming book, “Southern Fried Sass” (which reportedly scored her a six-figure deal), the “Drag Race” diva is everywhere these days, including a venue near you. On Nov. 29 and 30, the new queen of Christmas will perform her holiday spectacular Winter Wonderland Tour at Miracle Theatre.

We recently caught up with the multitalented actress/comedian/singer to discuss her continued success, including making friends with Jennifer Aniston while filming Netflix’s “Dumplin,’” her take on the latest Dave Chappelle backlash, the best Christmas gift she’s ever received, and what exactly makes her the “nicest bitch” this side of the North Pole – but first, let’s take a sleigh ride back to the beginning.

BLADE: Tell me a bit about how you got started in drag and the genesis of Ginger Minj. 

GINGER MINJ: Like most good show-tune-loving queers, I stumbled into drag through musical theater. I auditioned for a show that required either full-frontal nudity or drag, and I figured I would fare better in a wig and heels than nothing at all. I got the role and really took to it quickly. I felt more free and honest as a performer than I ever had before, and I realized I could make a livable income doing something that I was wholly responsible for creating. 

BLADE: How has your appearance on “Drag Race” helped your career, and what are your top takeaways from your time on the show?

GM: It’s an international platform that allows us to introduce ourselves to the entire world. It got me a seat at the table with people and places that refused to even open the door for me in the past. I think there was – and maybe still is sometimes – this initial assumption that drag artists are limited in their talents, but we have been able to show the world that we are just as talented and capable as any other entertainer. I don’t wear a wig as a gimmick. I wear it as an accessory, and it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be taken as seriously as any other actor, singer, etc. “Drag Race” is doing a great job of showing the world that – and I’ll forever be grateful.

BLADE: If folks didn’t catch you on “Drag Race,” they might recognize you from the 2018 Netflix movie “Dumplin’” starring Jennifer Aniston and Dove Cameron. What was your experience like on set, and do you have any other TV/film projects in the works?

GM: “Dumplin’” was the single best experience of my life! Jennifer Aniston brought me coffee every morning, and Kathy Najimy had my trailer moved next to hers so we could listen to Beyoncé and play with makeup. That entire cast and crew treated all of us queens with unbelievable respect. It really gave me a passion for filmmaking and, yes, I’m happy to say there are a few more projects – big screen and small – coming your way soon.

BLADE: What makes you the “nicest bitch you’ll ever meet?”

GM: It’s like those good ole’ southern church ladies who will give you the shirts off their backs but read you to filth for not bringing one of your own. The only thing bigger than my mouth is my heart and the “shady” things I say should never be taken seriously. 

BLADE: As a comedian yourself, what are your thoughts on the latest Dave Chappelle/Netflix controversy?

GM: I’ve always felt like comedy and drag go hand in hand: It’s an outrageous way to start a conversation and make people confront their own feelings about anything and everything. That being said, I think there’s a way to do that without disparaging and discrediting an entire group of human beings. I think it’s shameful that someone with that great of a platform would choose to punch down. 

BLADE: Your new single “Walk Tall” is about growing up gay in the South – and it’s a very good song. Radio worthy even, but a hard sell, given its content, to a country-music audience. How do you think that changes? Will LGBTQ+ country artists ever enjoy the kind of success their straight counterparts do?

GM: I think so. To be completely honest with you, I’ve gotten much more support for that album from the country community than I have from the drag world. The message is so universal, and we were very careful to do it in an authentic, simple way. When we stop focusing on our differences and start embracing our similarities, the world can change. I just do the things that make me happy and hope it finds the people who need to hear it. 

BLADE: Christmas is just around the corner – do you prefer giving or receiving? What’s your most prized Christmas present from the past?

GM: I’m definitely a giver! I drive myself crazy for months researching and planning and looking for the perfect gifts for everyone. It’s my way of showing the people I care most about that while I may be busy, I’m listening. I hear them, I see them, and I appreciate them. The best Christmas present I ever got was a cheap plastic pair of ruby slippers from my mama when I was a kid. I still have them. That moment changed my life forever. It’s what actually inspired “Walk Tall.”

BLADE: Like Santa Claus himself, the Ginger Minj Winter Wonderland Tour 2021 is coming to town. What do you have in store for audiences this holiday season?

GM: What don’t we have in store?! There are 20 costume changes, instructional videos gone terribly wrong, singing, dancing, magic tricks, fog machines, comedy, and it even snows over the audience! This is the biggest, prettiest, most ambitious show we have ever put together.

BLADE: Looking forward to 2022, what’s in the works? What are a few of your New Year’s resolutions?

GM: So many great things — more music, some movies, some TV, a stage production of “La Cage aux Folles” in Chicago, and my book “Southern Fried Sass” will hit the shelves. It’s a great time to be the “Glamour Toad,” and I am grateful every single day. 

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels.

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Children’s Beach House to host holiday fundraiser

Music by artists Pamala Stanley and 2nd Time Around

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Pamala Stanley performs at a fundraiser for the Children’s Beach House in Lewes, Del., on Dec. 3. (Blade file photo by Daniel Truitt)

The Children’s Beach House in Lewes, Del., will begin its weekend-long fundraiser with an annual holiday party on Friday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

The event will include a live auction, cocktails, dinner by Touch of Italy and music by artists Pamala Stanly and 2nd Time Around. This fundraiser will help support CBH’s work with children and families. Tickets are $150.

The celebrations will continue with a “Santa’s Workshop” event on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. This event will include cookie decorating and making holiday crafts, among other events. There will also be a cash bar available with bloody mary’s and mimosas for those 21 years and older. Tickets cost $30.

CBH will end the weekend with “Happy Hour With the Boy Band Project” on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. This event will be a musical performance by an electric boy band cover group, which was named “Best Group” by the 2019 Broadway World Awards that re-imagines the sound, movement, and energy of NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, One Direction, and more. Tickets are $150. Visit cbhinc.org for more information.

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Clarksburg church to host Trans Day of Remembrance

Rev. Erica Saunders will be a guest speaker

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About Trans, Trans Town Hall, Trans Visibility, Gender-Affirming Services, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Hyattstown Christian Church will host a service of remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. in person at 26012 Frederick Rd., Clarksburg, Md., and on Zoom. 

Rev. Erica Saunders will be a guest speaker at the event. Saunders is pastor of Peace Community Church in Oberlin, Ohio. 

She is one of the first openly trans women ordained in Baptist life and serves on the executive council of Christian Feminism Today. 

For more information about the service, visit [email protected]

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