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Out rapper Lil Nas X wins American Ingenuity Award

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Photo: Gettyimages/Roy Rochlin

Lil Nas X, fresh off the heels of becoming the first out gay performer to win a Country Music Association Award, is already being honored again.

On Tuesday, Smithsonian magazine announced that the rapper-singer-songwriter, who rose to stardom with his genre-bending, record-breaking single “Old Town Road,” is the recipient of their American Ingenuity Award for Youth.

The award is one of seven bestowed by the magazine annually, across a wide range of categories: Youth, Visual Arts, Social Progress, Technology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Performing Arts.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Lil Nas X, rapper-singer-songwriter who rose to stardom with his genre-bending, record-breaking single “Old Town Road,” honored for Youth.

Amy Sherald, painter known for her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama, whose work seeks to fit African Americans into the canon of American portraiture, honored for Visual Arts.

José Andrés, restaurateur and founder of World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit that is revolutionizing the way emergency food aid is delivered, honored for Social Progress.

Alex Kipman, Brazilian-born inventor and visionary behind many of Microsoft’s most pioneering products, including the “mixed-reality” headset known as HoloLens, honored for Technology.

Ewelina Mamcarz, Stephen Gottschalk and Brian Sorrentino (posthumously), the team of doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who developed a cure for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency—a genetic disorder colloquially known as “bubble boy” disease, honored for Life Sciences.


Sheperd Doeleman and the Event Horizon Telescope Team, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard University, who led a team of more than 200 researchers in the international effort to create the first-ever image of a black hole, honored for Physical Sciences.

Heidi Schreck, writer and star of “What the Constitution Means to Me,” a play that opens an honest debate over the meaning, value and limitations of America’s founding document, honored for Performing Arts.

“Our American Ingenuity Awards honor those individuals who are spearheading revolutionary change in society,” says Smithsonian magazine creative director Maria Keehan. “We are celebrating visionaries across a multitude of platforms, from those aiding disaster victims worldwide to those developing a life-saving gene therapy or redefining what is means to mix genres in music. We are proud to honor this year’s class, all of whom are at the top of their respective fields.

The winners are featured in Smithsonian magazine’s special December American Ingenuity Awards issue, available now at Smithsonianmag.com/ingenuity and on newsstands Nov. 26.

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Sports

New York Rangers forgo Pride jerseys and stick tape for team Pride night

NYC Pride organizers responded to omission

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Out Broadway star and actor Michael James Scott prepares to sing the National Anthem at the opening of the NY Rangers Pride Night 2023. (Photo Credit: The New York Rangers/NHL)

New York LGBTQ Rangers fans were disappointed after the National Hockey League team forwent wearing the team’s special warm-up jerseys and using Pride stick tape during the team’s 7th annual Pride Night Friday.

The Rangers had promoted Friday night’s Madison Square Garden home game against Vegas Golden Knights, saying players “will be showing their support by donning pride-themed warm-up jerseys and tape in solidarity with those who continue to advocate for inclusivity.”  But ultimately the team wore their “Liberty Head” jerseys in warmups instead.

After the game, a 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights, the Rangers released a statement: “Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night. In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”

In an emailed statement to the Washington Blade Sunday Dan Dimant, media director for NYC Pride | Heritage of Pride, Inc. said:

“In recent years, numerous National Hockey League (NHL) franchises including the New York Rangers have introduced a series of ‘Pride Nights’ to engage the LGBTQ+ community. NYC Pride has been honored to take part in these celebrations, including as recently as last night at Madison Square Garden.

NYC Pride was not made aware in advance of our participation in last night’s ceremonial puck drop that Pride jerseys and rainbow tape would not be worn as advertised. We understand and appreciate that this has been a major disappointment to the LGBTQ+ community in New York and beyond. We are communicating these concerns with NY Rangers and NHL leadership as we continue to discuss the ways these organizations can work toward inclusion.

NYC Pride has a duty to both support our partners and hold them accountable. We are committed to continuing our relationships with the NY Rangers and the NHL and maintaining substantive dialogue with them about meaningful allyship with the LGBTQ+ community.”

ESPN reported that the team’s annual Pride Night was celebrated throughout the game in other ways. Fans were given a pride-themed fanny pack as a giveaway. The exterior and interior lights at Madison Square Garden were illuminated in rainbow colors. The Rangers also made a charitable donation to the Ali Forney Center on Pride Night, the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths in the country.

ESPN noted that Andre Thomas, co-chair of NYC Pride and Heritage of Pride, participated in the ceremonial puck drop.
(Photo Credit: The New York Rangers/NHL)

The Rangers’ Pride Night was held 10 days after Ivan Provorov, the alternate captain for the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers, opted out of participating in the team’s Pride Night charity event before the game Tuesday, claiming a religious exemption based on his Russian Orthodox faith.

Provorov, 26, was the only member of the Flyers to not take part in the pre-game exercise on the ice. A video tweeted by the team’s official account shows the rest of the players wore special Pride Night-themed black jerseys with the traditional Flyers logo on the front and rainbow-colored names and numbers on the back; many of the players practiced using hockey sticks wrapped in rainbow-colored tape known as Pride tape. Both the sticks and the jerseys were auctioned off after the game with the Anaheim Ducks, to raise money for local LGBTQ charities. 

The defenseman, who was born in Russia, told reporters after their victory, “I respect everybody and respect everybody’s choices,” adding that he declined to take part in the warmup “to stay true to myself and my religion.” 

After Provorov opted out of participating in the Flyer’s Pride Night charity event the NHL put out a statement that said players can decide which team and league initiatives to support.

“Hockey is for Everyone is the umbrella initiative under which the league encourages Clubs to celebrate the diversity that exists in their respective markets, and to work to achieve more welcoming and inclusive environments for all fans,” the league said. “Clubs decide whom to celebrate, when and how — with League counsel and support. Players are free to decide which initiatives to support, and we continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues.”

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Out & About

10 LGBTQ events this week

Howard hosts first Pride Night, GMCW performs ‘Judy’ among highlights

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Events this week include a birthday celebration for Desiree Dik, a Gay Men's Chorus production of 'Judy' and Howard University Basketball's first Pride Night. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

Below are our picks for some of the most fun and creative things to do this week in the DMV that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.


Howard University Basketball Pride Night

Monday, January 30
5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Burr Gymnasium
Howard University
$25
Tickets

The Bison hold their first Pride Night game on Monday as they face off against South Carolina State University.


JR.’s Showtunes

Monday, January 30
9 p.m.
JR.’s Bar
1519 17th Street, N.W.
Facebook

JR.’s holds its weekly Monday Night Showtunes event, so dust off those pipes and sing along.


Meaningful Networking for LGBTQ Professionals

Tuesday, January 31
6 p.m.
Number Nine
1435 P Street, N.W.
$0-$85
Facebook | Eventbrite

Out Professionals holds a networking event at Number Nine on Tuesday. Come by to make business and social connections with fellow LGBTQ professionals.


Sleaze: Poundhog Day

Thursday, February 2
Doors 9 p.m.
DC9 Nightclub
1940 9th Street, N.W.
$10
Facebook | Eventbrite

Whether Phil sees his shadow or not, dance the night away at the monthly LGBTQ+ party. Performances by Sirene Noir Sidora Jackson and Jane Saw with DJs THABLACKGOD, Lemz and Kennan Orr.


Kinky Bears

Friday, February 3
5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
UPROAR Lounge & Nightclub
639 Florida Avenue, N.W.
No cover
Facebook

DC Social and UPROAR present Kinky Bears happy hour featuring DJ Popperz.


Desiree’s Dirty 30!

Friday, February 3
9 p.m.
Red Bear Brewing Co.
209 M Street, N.E.
Facebook

Award winning drag queen Desiree Dik celebrates her Dirty 30 with a show on Friday at Red Bear Brewing with Baphomette, Millie Meringue, Mari Con Carne and Evry Pleasure.


District 1st Friday: Traffic Light Underwear Party

Friday, February 3
10 p.m.
Green Lantern
1335 Green Court, N.W.
$10
Facebook

Be naughty with an all-body-types-welcome underwear attire party.


‘JUDY’ Cabaret

Saturday, February 4
5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Crazy Aunt Helen’s
713 8th Street, S.E.
$45
Eventbrite

Members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington perform “JUDY” celebrating the music of Judy Garland at Crazy Aunt Helen’s with two cabaret shows on Saturday.


Avalon Saturdays: ElectroPOP

Saturday, February 4
10 p.m.
Soundcheck
1420 K Street, N.W.
$25-$30 / 18+
Facebook | Tickets

DJ Xiver and DJ AytonH spin high energy, pop hits and remixes all night long on Saturday at Soundcheck.


Oddball

Saturday, February 4
Meet & Greet 11 p.m. / Show at midnight
The Runway DC
3523 12th Street, N.E.
$25
Facebook | Eventbrite

Join special guest Koco Caine for an Oddball show hosted by Desiree Dik. Performers include Baphomette, Evry Pleasure, Javon Love and Sextia N’Eight.

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Photos

PHOTOS: New Year Still Queer

The Washington Blade holds appreciation happy hour at Pitchers

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The Washington Blade held the 'New Year Still Queer' party at Pitchers DC on Friday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Blade held a New Year Still Queer appreciation happy hour at Pitchers DC on Friday, January 27.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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