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Calendar: July 19-25

Parties, shows and more in the week to come

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Red Bear Brewing Company (209 M St., N.E.) presents its Drag Show Extravaganza hosted by Desiree Dik on Saturday. (Photo by Katherine Gaines of AmbientEye Photography)

Friday, July 19

The 9:30 club (815 V St., N.W.) hosts the “Beyonce vs. Rihanna” summer dance party tonight starting at 9 p.m. In an artist-for-artist, track-for-track music showdown, DJ Mills will be dropping Beyonce tracks while Craig B will be spinning Rihanna tunes. Tickets start at $15 and are limited to six per customer. For tickets and information, visit ticketfly.com.

The Chinatown Block Party “Words Beats & Life” continues tonight and every Friday from 5-8 p.m. through Aug. 9 in the Chinatown Park (I St. N.W.). Attendees can enjoy live performances while exploring a host of free activities including graffiti art, DJing, double dutch, mega chess, a dance workshop and more. The Chinatown Block Party is part of the Discover Chinatown Parks programming series supported jointly by the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District and the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. For more information, visit eventbrite.com.

Saturday, July 20

The Kennedy Center (2700 F St. N.W.) presents “NSO Pops: Apollo 11: A 50th Anniversary – One Small Step, One Giant Leap” tonight starting at 9 p.m. In collaboration with NASA, the National Symphony Orchestra celebrates 50 years since the 1969 moon landing with a concert hosted by Meredith Vieira and Adam Savage. Emil de Cou conducts with performances and appearances by Pharrell Williams, LeVar Burton and more. The evening also includes a never-before-seen video of David Bowie performing “Space Oddity” live on his 50th birthday. Tickets start at $29. Visit kennedy-center.org for more information. 

Red Bear Brewing Company (209 M St., N.E.) presents its Drag Show Extravaganza hosted by Desiree Dik tonight from 9 p.m. Performers include Leronica Vargas, Nadia Cole, CAKE and Bombalicious Eklaver. Desiree and Bombalicious also co-host Drag Bingo every second and fourth Tuesday at Red Bear Brewing, which is free to play and open to the public. Tonight’s performance starts at 9 sharp. Look for the event on Facebook for more information.

Sunday, July 21

Frederick County Public Schools hosts its annual LGBTQ and allies family picnic today from 4-7:30 p.m. at the Pavilion in Nottoway Park (9601 Courthouse Rd., Vienna, Va.). Bring your own meat or vegetables to grill and the district will provide the charcoal and two grills. Children are welcome to this family-friendly event, which includes volleyball for teens at 5 p.m. Look for the event on Facebook for more information.

The Miss Gay Maryland United States Icon yearly competition continues today from 4-11:59 p.m. when D’Marje hands her title over to the new winner. The event takes place at Baltimore Eagle Night Club and Bar (2022 N Charles St., Baltimore) and competition categories include presentation (non-judged), evening gown, Americana runway and talent. Look for the event on Facebook for more information.

Monday, July 22

Wicked Bloom Social Club (1540 North Capitol St., N.W.) presents “Wicked Bloom Mondays” this evening from 5-10 p.m., featuring entertainment by DJ Mim, whose repertoire includes an eclectic mix across multiple musical genres. The venue is a cozy bar serving craft cocktails and offering a globally inspired bar menu. For more information, visit wickedbloomdc.com.

Tuesday, July 23

The Latino GLBT History Project and Nellie’s Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) present Drag Bingo for D.C. Latinx Pride tonight at 7 p.m. The Latino GLBT History Project is a non-profit volunteer-led organization founded to respond to the critical need to preserve Latinx LGBTQ History and promote tolerance and acceptance of the community by the public. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.

Wednesday, July 24

The Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) across from Marine Barracks for duplicate bridge. No reservations are needed and newcomers are welcome. For more information or if you need a partner, phone 202-841-0279.

The Hate-Bias Task Force Meeting presented by the D.C. Anti-Violence Project and hosted by the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105) takes place tonight from 7-8:15 p.m. The task force is a collaboration of agency and community partners in the District and focuses on addressing the needs of various affinity groups in the city in combating hate-bias crimes. The group facilitates the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

Thursday, July 25

Reel Affirmations presents “Queer Japan” tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Landmark Theaters E Street Cinema (555 11th St., N.W.). This documentary explores the lives of LGBTQ people living in Japan to include activists, manga artists, drag queens, dancers, party planners and politicians. It shares their lives and stories in a world that frequently ignores them. “Queer Japan” offers an intimate look into the everyday triumphs and struggles of being a sexual minority in modern Japan. For more information, 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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