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Calendar: Oct. 18-24

Parties, shows and events in the week to come



SMYAL Fall Brunch, gay news, Washington Blade
SMYAL Fall Brunch to be held on Sunday. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, Oct. 18

The Washington Blade 50th Birthday Gala is tonight from 6-10 p.m. at the InterContinental D.C., The Wharf (801 Wharf St., S.W.). The public is invited to join the Blade in celebrating five decades of LGBTQ journalism. Cocktails served at 6 p.m. Dinner and program begins at 7. Proceeds benefit the Blade Foundation’s charitable community work. For tickets and information visit

AEG presents Bianca Del Rio’s 2019 “It’s Jester Joke” Tour tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.). Tickets start at $39.50. Doors open at 6:30, and the show starts at 8. Tickets and information are available at

LaFantasy Productions hosts its Superhero Underwear Party with Eliad Cohen tonight beginning at 10 p.m. at Saint Yves (1220 Connecticut Ave., N.W.). Tickets are $35 for this 21-and-up event. Featuring guest DJ Alex Acosta and warm up entertainment by Guy Lewis. Tickets and details at

Tonight starting at 10 p.m. the Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts Rough House, a lights off, hands on dance party. $5 cover includes clothes check. Guest DJs Lemz and The Barber Streisand. For more information visit

Saturday, Oct. 19 

The D.C. Chamber Musicians present a free concert today at 3 p.m. at the Western Presbyterian Church (2501 Virginia Ave., N.W.). Concert preceded by master classes at 2 p.m. which are open to the public. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Visit for more information. 

Tonight from 9-11 p.m. is Desiree Dik’s Horror Show at Red Bear Brewing (209 M St., N.E.). Featuring Bombalicious Eklaver, Magic Dyke, Skip Squealia Gilmour and special guest Rupaul’s drag race contestant Dax Exclamationpoint. More information at

HER DC: The LockHer Room presented by HER App and Tagg Magazine is today from 2-6 p.m. at A League of Her Own (2319 18th St., N.W.). Tickets start at $15. This sports-themed dance party featuring DJ Mim is open to those identifying as cisgender lesbians, nonbinary and their trans brothers and sisters. Allies can purchase an ally ticket. Visit for tickets and information. 

Tasting Tour of Delaware is tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at Cooter Brown’s Twisted Southern Kitchen and bourbon Bar (70 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.). Guests are invited to meet at a new spot each month to sample regional foods and drinks with new friends. More information at

Pride Bowling is 7-9 p.m. at Bowlerama (3031 New Castle Ave., New Castle, Del.). Cost is $14 per bowler with two hours of bowling and free shoe rental included. Pay the Delaware Pride rep. for special pricing. For more information, visit

Sunday, Oct. 20

The 2019 SMYAL Fall Brunch is today from 10:30 a.m to 2 p.m. at D.C.’s Marriott Marquis (901 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.). SMYAL’s premier fundraising event includes a cocktail reception, silent auction, three-course brunch and a chance to hear from LGBT community leaders. Tickets available at

Bingo with the D.C. Sisters is today from 1-4 p.m. at Red Bear Brewing (209 M St., N.E.). Tickets are $20 for this 18-and-up event fundraiser for Casa Ruby. Price includes six rounds of bingo, each with a $100 cash prize, and a chance for a door prize. Other activities include a raffle, costume contest and more. Tickets and information at

Freddie’s Follies Drag Show is tonight at 8 p.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant (555 23rd St., Arlington, Va.). $5 cover. Showtime is 8 p.m. sharp. For more information, visit

Monday, Oct. 21

LGBTQ Affirming / Safe Space Yoga is tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Norfolk LGBT Life Center (248 W 24th St., Norfolk, Va.). All body types and all yoga levels, including beginners, are welcome. For more information, visit

It’s Pride Monday tonight at The Underground (408 W Main St., Lansdale, Pa.) starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free to this dance party to kick off the week. More information available at

Tuesday, Oct. 22

Tonight is Game Night from 6-8 p.m. at the Norfolk LGBT Life Center (248 W 24th St., Norfolk, Va.). The community is invited to a night of fun and friendly competition in an affirming space. For more information, visit

The newly formed Loudoun Chapter of PFLAG invites the lgbt community and allies to participate in a monthly community group meeting every 4th Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. at the Crossroads United Methodists Church (43454 Crossroads Dr., Ashburn, Va.). Meetings are free. Register at

Wednesday, Oct. 23

The Virginia Film Festival begins today throughout Charlottesville and includes numerous LGBT films as part of the lineup. Venues include Common House (206 West Market St.), Culbreth Theater (University of Virginia drama building, 109 Culbreth Rd.), Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center (233 4th St., N.W.) and more. For tickets and a film list, visit

Lesbians Got Talent! FABS Open Mic Night is tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at XX+ Crostino (1926 9th St., N.W.). Guests are invited to sing, play an instrument, perform poetry, share a story or otherwise showcase their talent in a supportive environment. More information at

Thursday, Oct. 24

The Rocky Horror Show LGBTQ+ Night Out is tonight from 6-10 p.m. at the Bucks County Playhouse (70 south Main St., New Hope Pa.). Pre-show party at The Mansion Inn Bar (9 South Main St., New Hope, Pa.) at 6 p.m. serving cocktails and light fare. Live show starts at 7:30 at the playhouse. More information at

Book Talk: Friends of Dorothy hosted by the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center (522 W. Maple St., Barnard Rustin Way, Allentown, Pa.) tonight from 6-8 p.m. A book signing by author Dee Michel and a dessert reception will follow. Visit for more information.

AfroQueer — Black LGBTQ Immigrants in America hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis is tonight from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.). This exploration of the intersections of culture, sexuality and gender is free and open to the public. Register at

Thirst Trap Thursdays Drag Show continues tonight at 11 p.m. with host Venus Valhalla at Pitchers D.C. (2317 18th St., N.W.). Every Thursday guests can enjoy a cocktail and queer entertainment starting at 11 sharp. More information at

Live Your Life Thursdays hosted by Derek Delequa is tonight from 10-11 p.m. at Pure Flavor Hookah Lounge (228 W 9th St., Wilmington, Del.). Tickets start at $10. A Delaware Pride sponsored event. Visit for more information. 

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Out & About

Must-attend events in D.C. this fall

Mix of in-person and virtual exhibits, brunches, and more



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



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



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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