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Calendar: Sept. 6-12

Parties, meetings and events in the week to come

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Neil Patrick Harris, gay news, Washington Blade
Neil Patrick Harris will be in town Sept. 11 (Photo by Mark Veltman)

Friday, Sept. 6

Gay District meets at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 8:30-9:30 p.m. The facilitated group discussion covers building understanding of gay culture and personal identity and awareness of community events for LGBT men between the ages of 18-35 in the D.C. area. For more details, visit gaydistrict.org.

Red Bear Brewing (209 M St., N.E.) hosts Slay Them, a drag competition, tonight at 9 p.m. Desiree Dik and Wang Newton host the competition. The prize is $50 and the chance to co-host and perform at a future event with Desiree Dik at Red Bear. For more information, visit facebook.com/redbearbrewing.

Saturday, Sept. 7

TheatreWashington hosts its kickoff party at Arena Stage (1101 6th St., S.W.) today from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be performances, demonstrations, conversations and giveaways. Performers include Felicia Curry, Hasani Allen, Erin Driscoll, Rayanne Gonzales, Aaron Bliden and more. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/theatrewashington.

Sunday, Sept. 8

DCATS hosts Naming Yourself, an event for the transmasc community, at Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.) today at 5 p.m. General information will be provided on how to change your name but it will not focus on the legal process. DCATS meetings are for individuals assigned female at birth but who believe this is an inaccurate description of themselves. For more information, visit facebook.com/dcatsociety.

DCATS hosts Partners of Transmasc Folx, a support group for partners of transmasc individuals, at Whitman-Walker Health (1525 14th St., N.W.) today at 5 p.m. The group will share stories on their experiences having a transmasc partner. For details, visit facebook.com/dcatsociety.

Monday, Sept. 9

TheatreWashington hosts ShowTunes and Cocktails at the Beacon Bar & Grill (1615 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. The event will be hosted by pianist Glenn Pearson. Guest artists include Greg Maheu and Monique Midgette. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Ten percent of the night’s proceeds will benefit the Beacon Bar & Grill. For more information, visit facebook.com/theatrewashington

D.C. Startup Week welcomes Ebone Bell, found and editor of Tagg Magazine, at Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center (901 15th St., N.W.) to moderate a panel at 3:30 p.m. on closing the equity gap in your workplace. Registration is free. For more details, visit dcstartupweek.com.

A Night For Kristina Kelly” is tonight at 8 p.m. at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W. first floor) with performances by many local drag and performance D.C. regulars, some of whom are coming out of retirement for this one-time benefit event for Kelly, one of D.C.’s drag legends. Kelly is having gastric bypass surgery and is insured, but needs about $3,000 for her recovery needs. Friends are uniting to help. Look for the event on Facebook for details.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

“Queer Eye” food and wine expert Antoni Porowski appears at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) tonight at 8 p.m. to discuss his new cookbook “Antoni in the Kitchen.” Porowski will demo recipes from the book, answer audience questions and discuss why food and healthy living is important to him. Tickets range from $45-95. For more information, visit thelincolndc.com.

The Office of LGBTQ Affairs hosts its Advisory Committee Meeting at the Reeves Center Municipal Building (2000 14th St., N.W.) this evening from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The meeting will advise the mayor on LGBTQ issues for D.C. residents and offer recommendations on the focus of the Office of LGBTQ Affairs. For more details, visit thedccenter.org.

The D.C. Chapter of StartOut moderates a panel for D.C. Start Up Week at CrossLead (1445 New York Ave., N.W.) this evening at 6 p.m. The panel focuses on alternative ways to fund a startup. The introduction begins at 6 p.m. followed by the panel discussion at 6:30. There will be a post-event networking event at 7:30 p.m. Registration is free. For more details, visit dcstartupweek.org.

Leslie Jones tapes comedy specials at the Warner Theatre (513 13th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $37. For more information, visit warnertheatredc.com.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

The National Book Festival presents Neil Patrick Harris at the Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave., S.E.) tonight at 7 p.m. Harris will discuss his book “The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third,” the third book in his New York Times bestselling book series. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase. Admission is free but tickets are required for entry. Seating is first-come, first-served. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/libraryofcongress.

WeDC House presents Building an Inclusive Culture at Your Startup, a panel discussion for D.C. Start Up Week, at Eaton (1201 K St., N.W.) at 11 a.m. The panel discussion will focus on LGBTQ issues in hiring and startup life. For details, visit dcstartupweek.org.

The Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No reservations required and new comers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540.

Big Gay Book Group meets at Trio Bistro Restaurant (1537 17th St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss “Like a Love Story” by Abdi Nazemian. Newcomers welcome. For more details, visit biggaybookgroup.com or email [email protected].

Thursday, Sept. 12

Pitchers D.C. (2317 18th St., N.W.) kicks off Pitchers Drag World Series, a new drag competition, tonight at 10 p.m. Ten contestants will compete for the crown. Venus Valhalla hosts the show. For more information, visit facebook.com/pitchers-drag-world-series.

Metropolitan A.M.E. Church (1518 M St., N.W.) presents 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams today at 6:30 p.m. Abrams will discuss fighting voter suppression and ensuring that every American is counted in the 2020 Census. Tickets are $40. Proceeds benefit Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. For more details, visit thefamilyroom.eventbrite.com.

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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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