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Calendar: Aug. 30-Sept. 5

Parties, shows and events in the week to come

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gay events dc, gay news, Washington Blade
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is slated for an appearance at the National Book Festival Saturday (photo courtesy Library of Congress)

Friday, Aug. 30

The D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) hosts Queer Tango Class tonight from 7-9 p.m. The class teaches beginner students basic tango vocabulary and technique. There will also be a discussion on the assumptions of gender in dance. Attendees can experiment dancing in both gender roles. Liz Sabatiuk of Tango Mercurio leads the class. There is a requested $10 donation to support the D.C. Center. Sliding scale tickets are available by request. For more information, visit thedccenter.org.

“Gone Fishin,’” a play by out playwright Steve Langley, runs as part of the Silver Spring Stage One-Act Festival at the Silver Spring Stage (10145 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) tonight at 8 pm. Set in the ‘90s, a grieving father meets a stranger at a fishing hole where he discovers his deceased son was in a romantic relationship with another man. Axandre Oge, Sebastian Leighton and Melvin D. Smith star. Gregory Ford will direct. Tickets range from $22-25. For details visit, ssstage.org.

Saturday, Aug. 31

The Library of Congress hosts its 2019 National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mt Vernon Pl., N.W.) today from 8:30 a..m.-8 p.m. Guest speakers include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David McCullough, Michael Beschloss, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, celebrity chef José Andrés, graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier and Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction recipient Richard Ford. Admission is free. For a complete list of events, visit loc.gov.

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Brut, a Labor day weekend party, tonight from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. DJ Peter Napoli and DJ Dan Darlington will play music. Dress code is flexible with or without gear. Tickets are $25 online. Door sales will also be available. For more information, visit brutparty.com.

Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe (2475 18th St., N.W.) hosts Superstar,a new drag show, tonight from 9-11 p.m. Spots are open for drag performers all night. New drag performers looking to practice their skills and seasoned performers looking to make more tips are welcome to perform. Bombalicious Eklaver hosts the show. No cover. Visit songbyrddc.com for more details.

Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts an underwear dance party tonight from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Cover is $5. For more details, visit greenlanterndc.com.

Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts Qwerty, a gay dance party, tonight from 10 p.m.-2:45 a.m. DJ Adam Koussari-Amin, DJ Dvonne and DJ Jeff Prior will spin tracks. Claudia will serve as guest DJ. Summer Camp will perform. No cover. For more information, visit facebook.com/tradebardc.

Sunday, Sept. 1

The BackRoom (715 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts Electric Rainbow: Back from the Beach, a gay dance party, tonight from 5-10 p.m. DJ Chord will play music. KC B. Yoncé and Jazzmin will perform. The party is through the freezer door at Capo. For details, visit facebook.com/backroomcapo.

Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) presents Sunday Best, a drag show, tonight from 9 p.m.-2:45 a.m. Sylvanna Duvél and Jaxknife Complex will perform. Tammy Kunté and Vagensis will host the event. Ms. Rose, Wess the DJ and Lemz will spin tracks. There will be a walk-off contest at 11 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/tradebardc.

Flash (645 Florida Ave., N.W.) hosts Flashy Labor Day Weekend tonight from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. The Barber Streisand will spin tracks on the roof and Bill Spieler will play music on the first floor. DJ Twin and DJ Sea Morris will spin tracks on the main floor until 5 a.m. Bar is open until 4 a.m. Cover is $20. For more details, visit facebook.com/flashydc.

Monday, Sept. 2

Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts Labor Gay, a day party for “working girls,” today from 2-7 p.m. There will be popsicles, performances and a raffle for tickets to Capital Pride’s “Music in the Night” event in October. For more information, visit facebook.com/tradebardc.

Tuesday, Sept. 3

Grammy winner Mary J. Blige performs at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va.) tonight at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $45. For more details, visit wolftrap.org.

Wednesday, Sept. 4

Bookmen D.C., an informal gay men’s literature group, discusses “Such Times” by Christopher Coe at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, visit bookmendc.blogspot.com.

JR.’s Bar (1519 17th St., N.W.) celebrates Beyoncé’s birthday with its second annual B-Day Kiki: Oh My Beyoncé Edition tonight from 8-11 p.m. KC B. Yoncé and Cocoa Godiva will perform. DJ Wess spins tracks all night. There will be $4 drink specials. $2 Jell-O shots will be on sale with proceeds donated to SMYAL. For details, visit facebook.com/jrsbardc.

Thursday, Sept. 5

A support group for the Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Community meets at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 7-8 p.m. The group is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Society D.C. and Asian Queers United for Action. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

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Out & About

Studio House, Visual AIDS partner for educational program

Day With(out) Art 2021 to be held at Lamont Plaza

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One Tent Health, gay news, Washington Blade
World AIDS Day is next week.

Studio House and Visual AIDS will join forces for “Day With(out) Art 2021” on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. at Lamont Plaza. 

This event is a community outdoor screening of “Enduring Care,” a video program that highlights strategies of community care within the ongoing HIV epidemic followed by a discussion about the video.

There will be an open house in the neighborhood at the David Bethuel Jamieson (1963-1992) Studio House and Archives featuring newly commissioned work by Katherine Cheairs, Cristóbal Guerra, Danny Kilbride, Abdul-Aliy A. Muhammad and Uriah Bussey, Beto Pérez, Steed Taylor, and J Triangular and the Women’s Video Support Project.

For more information, visit Eventbrite

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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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