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Calendar: Dec. 13-19

Meetings, concerts and events in the week to come

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gay events dc, gay news, Washington Blade
Queer band Betty returns to hometown D.C. for a concert Dec. 15 at City Winery (Photo by Gene Reed)

Friday, Dec. 13

The Smithsonian Zoolights exhibit continues tonight at 5 p.m. at the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.). This free event includes live music, winter treats and holiday shopping. More information available at national zoo.si.edu.

Holiday Bear Bust with D.J. Shea Van Horn is tonight at Red Bear Brewing (209 M St., N.E.) at 8 p.m. Festivities run all night with $30 bottomless select craft beer and cider and selfies with naughty Santa. For more information on this and other holiday events, visit redbear.beer.

Get on Bad! hosted by West Indian, Caribbean and African Lesbians in the region is tonight at 10 p.m. at XX+ Crostino (1926 9th St., N.W.). D.J. Elle Groove spins dancehall all night for this 21-and-over event. Tickets are $5 at the door or on eventbrite.com.

Birds of Prey Drag Show and Dance Party hosted by the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) is tonight. Show starts at 10:30 p.m. followed by a dance party. Details on this and other events at dceagle.com

Glo Underwear Dance Party featuring D.J.s Ultra and Phoenix is tonight at 10 p.m. at Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.). $5 cover. Visit greenlanterndc.com for more information. 

Saturday, Dec. 14

Arty Queers: The Holiday Edition hosted by Center Arts is today from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the D.C. Center (2000 14th St., N.W., Suite 105). The center’s monthly indoor LGBTQ art market features original artwork for sale to support the community. Visit thedccenter.org for more information. 

Glam Box hosts Holiday Glamour Shots at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) tonight from 5-8 p.m. An evening of retro mall merriment complete with lasers, make up and winter scenery. D.J. Joann Fabrixx spins. For more information, visit Glam Box on Facebook events.

Christmas, Mary! hosted by D.J. Travis Island is at Uproar lounge and restaurant (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m. All diva videos all night from Mariah and Beyoncé to Ariana. Details on Facebook events.

Avalon Saturdays presents A Naughty XXXmas Party with D.J. Steve Sidewalk tonight at 10 p.m. at Soundcheck (1420 K St., N.W.). $20 general admission tickets and $25 VIP until 10 p.m. Tickets and details on eventbrite.com

The Coven’s Holi-Slay is tonight at 10 p.m. in the Satellite Room (2047 9th St., N.W.) with a $10 cover for 21 and over. Free admission and one free drink to first 100. More information about the venue at satellitedc.com

Sunday, Dec. 15

TranSwap: Fall Edition presented by DCATS and Casa Ruby is today from noon-3 p.m. at The Eaton Hotel (1201 K St., N.W.). Gender nonconforming folks invited to share fall clothes in an affirming environment. Free mending by Sew Queer. More information about the event and donations on the DCATS Facebook page.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington continues its Holiday Show today at 3 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.). Tickets start at $25 at thelincolndc.com.

Queer Grrrl Movie Night Holigays 2019 is tonight from 7-11 p.m. at Right Proper Brewing Company (624 T St., N.W.). All genders, sexualities and presentations welcome to celebrate queer womxn in film. More information on this event and the venue on Facebook events and rightproperbrewing.com

Appalasia, a fusion trio from Pittsburgh, will provide live musical accompaniment to a screening today at 2 p.m. of the silent D.W. Griffith melodrama “Broken Blossoms” (1919), which tells of an outsider named Cheng Huan (Richard Barthelmess), a Buddhist who leaves China and travels West to spread a message of peace. The film has been cited as having a coded/possibly gay hero. Appalasia will perform with erhu (a traditional Chinese instrument), banjo and dulcimer. It’s at the Freer Gallery in the National Gallery of Art (1050 Independence Ave.) and is free.

BETTY, a queer band that started in Washington, returns for a show tonight at 7:30 p.m. at City Winery (1350 Okie St., N.W.). They’re planning a holiday show that includes “original songs about joy, love, longing, sex, food, heartbreak and the highs and lows of the holidays.” The band is Amy Ziff, Elizabeth Ziff and Alyson Palmer. Tickets are $30-45 at citywinery.com

Monday, Dec. 16

Queering Up for the Holidays, a poetry reading and open mic event hosted by the Line hotel (1770 Euclid St., N.W.) is tonight from 7-9 p.m. It’s presented by OutWrite and co-curated by Marlena Chertock and Dave Ring. Hosted by comic Andi Basto. More information available on OutWrite’s Facebook page.

Love is Love LGBT Book Club meets today at 7 p.m. at the Shirlington branch of the Arlington public library (4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va.). Bring your favorite book to share. For ages 18 and up, no registration required. Details at library.arlingtonva.us.

Tuesday, Dec. 17

A holiday mixer hosted by The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals is tonight 5:30-7 p.m. at Number Nine (1435 P St., N.W.). The Association is a nonprofit advocating for homeownership and wealth creation for LGBT people. Register for this free event on eventbrite.com.

The End Violence Ki Ki Ball hosted by HIPS is tonight at 6 p.m. at Ziegfeld’s Secrets D.C. (1824 Half St., S.W.). Show starts at 7 p.m. with guest host Rayceen Pendarvis. For more information, visit endviolencekikiball.com or hips.org.

The Bi Roundtable Discussion is tonight from 7-8 p.m. at the D.C. Center. Discuss bisexuality and related issues in a private setting. More information available at thedccenter.org

Wednesday, Dec. 18

Bookmen D.C., an informal men’s gay-literature group meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the D.C. Center to discuss “Speak My Language and Other Stories,” a gay anthology edited by U.K.-based journalist Torsten Hojer. All are welcome. Visit bookmendc.blogspot.com for more information.

Karaoke Night starts at 9 p.m. tonight at the D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.), presented by D&K sounds. More information on this and other events at dceagle.com

Queer film director John Waters brings his annual Christmas show to the Birchmere (3701 Mt Vernon Ave., Alexandria) tonight at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $55 at birchmere.com

Thursday, Dec. 19

Artists and Makers Studios 1 Parklawn (11810 Parklawn Dr., Suite 2010, Rockville, Md.) hosts Three Visually Rich Exhibits with viewing hours today from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Featuring gallery exhibits “Be Still My Life” by Teresa Jarzynski, “May Beauty Follow” by Vladimir Zabavskiy and “Doors of Distinction” by Jenny Nordstrom. All are welcome to this free event. More information at artistsandmakersstudios.com

The Lez Be Merry Pre-Christmas Party hosted by Ceo Blade Jones is tonight at 9 p.m. at the Red Lounge (2013 14th St., N.W.). Donate a toy for free entry before 10 p.m. $5 without toy before 11, $10 after all night. Visit redloungebar.com for venue information. Event details on Facebook events.

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Out & About

Must-attend events in D.C. this fall

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

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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

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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

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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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