The Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBTQ newspaper, today announced that tickets are now available for its 50th anniversary gala celebrating the pioneering publication founded in the aftermath of the Stonewall rebellion in 1969. The event will be held Friday, Oct. 18 at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Wharf in Washington, D.C. Beginning with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner and program at 7 p.m. The Ariadne Getty Foundation will be the presenting sponsor. Tickets are on sale now at blade50th.com.
Since 1969, the Washington Blade has covered the LGBTQ community of the metro D.C. area, nationally and internationally. Initially a local publication that covered and was a resource to the growing LGBTQ community in Washington, DC, one of several epicenters of the early gay rights movement, it has expanded over the past 5 decades to include coverage of political news and is currently the only LGBTQ source in the White House press pool and is the only LGBTQ outlet in the White House Correspondents’ Association.
Confirmed speakers include Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the senior openly gay member of the U.S. House of Representatives; and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon of “American Idol” will perform, as well Potomac Fever, part of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. More speakers to be announced as they are confirmed.
The evening will include an entertaining and informative history of LGBTQ rights in D.C. and America as told through the Blade’s one-of-a-kind 50-year archive with remarks from Blade publisher Lynne Brown and editor Kevin Naff.
“We look forward to celebrating the Blade’s pioneering work and raising a glass to 50 years of progress,” said Blade publisher Lynne Brown. “So many Washingtonians played a part in the Blade’s growth, it’s time we paid tribute to all of them.”
“At a time when media, especially LGBTQ media, is challenged by the dizzying array of multiple platforms and ways to access information, The Blade is not only surviving, but thriving, as a respected and reliable source of the news the LGBTQ community is looking for,” said Kevin Naff, editor. “The Blade is a go-to publication and site for news, investigative journalism, current and accurate stories for LGBTQ the community, by the LGBTQ community and we are thrilled to celebrate 50 years of service in this historic year,” concluded Naff.
“I am thrilled to co-chair the Washington Blade’s 50th Anniversary to ensure our lives, our voices and our stories are reflected in media,” said June Crenshaw, who along with Jocko Fajardo is co-chairing the event. “Our community has been hit hard by the Trump/Pence administration’s words and actions, most notably the marginalization, violence and discrimination directed at some of the most vulnerable members of our community, LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and transgender women of color. The balanced, fair and inclusive news reporting of the Washington Blade over the last 50 years has saved lives and kept our community both connected and informed, and I will do everything I can to support their continued work,” concluded Crenshaw.
More recently, the Blade’s mission has grown to include often hard to find international coverage, much of it focusing on LGBTQ issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Proceeds from the gala will benefit The Blade Foundation, which works to support, train and encourage diversity in the next generation of LGBTQ journalists by investing in students and enterprise journalism projects focused on LGBTQ and other underrepresented communities around the world.
For more information go to: bladefoundation.org