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Calendar: Dec. 20-26

Holiday events abound in the week to come

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gay events dc, gay news, Washington Blade
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ screens at the National Museum of American History on Tuesday. (Production still courtesy Paramount Pictures)

Friday, Dec. 20

The Frederick Douglass in Capitol Hill Walking tour is today from 5-6:30 p.m. beginning at the Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave., S.E.). Tickets are $17.50 on Eventbrite. 

Queer Asian / Pacific Islander ZooLights hosted by KhushDC is tonight from 7-10 p.m. at the Smithsonian National Zoo (3000 Connecticut Ave., N.W.). This free event includes live music, winter treats and a craft market. Visit nationalzoo.si.edu for more information on this free event. 

The Spirit of Kwanzaa hosted by The Dance Institute of Washington at THEARC Theater (1901 Mississippi Ave., S.E.) is tonight at 7 p.m. This African-American celebration features music, dancing and storytelling. Tickets start at $20 on danceinstituteofwashington.org.

Rough House hosted by Lemz and Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) is tonight at 10 p.m. The cover charge is $5 and includes clothes check. For more information on this and other events, visit greenlanterndc.com

Saturday, Dec. 21

Hostess Desiree Dik presents the Dik in a Box holiday drag show extravaganza tonight from 9-11 p.m. at Red Bear Brewing (209 M St., N.E.). Holiday cast includes Bombalicious Eklaver, Chastity Vain, Geneva Confectionn and more. Visit redbear.beer for more information. 

The Bear Cave: #HoeHoeHoe holiday event is tonight at 9 p.m. at the Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.). This event is hosted by Bears Can Party and features D.J. Popperz and go-go boys Pup Indigo and Badger. More information is available at greenlanterndc.com

Onesie Party is at Uproar Lounge (639 Florida Ave., N.W.) tonight at 9 p.m. This 21-and-up event is open to all to drink and be merry in a onesie. Visit Facebook events for more information. 

The Annual Sugarplum Ball presented by Avalon Saturdays and Chorus D.C. is at Soundcheck (1420 K St., N.W.) tonight at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 before midnight and $20 after. For more information, visit dougiemeyerpresents.com.

The Peach Pit ‘90s Dance Party is tonight at the DC9 (1940 9th St., N.W.) at 10:30 p.m. This holiday party features D.J. Matt Bailer of Mixtape fame. Tickets are $5 before midnight and $8 after. Visit dc9.club for more information. 

Sunday, Dec. 22

The LGBTQ+ Charity Soccer Tournament hosted by the Latino GLBT History Project is today at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave., N.W.) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information on this event and the organizer, visit latinoglbthistory.org

The Georgia O’Keeffe and Modern Art tour hosted by Washington D.C. History and Culture is today from 3-5 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art (4th St., N.W.). O’Keeffe’s abstract art is claimed to portray women’s sexuality and is fueled by sensuous photographs taken of her. More information is available on Eventbrite and Facebook events. 

QT Fusion Dance: Blues Night is tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Green Lantern (1335 Green Court, N.W.). Queer and trans blues dance lessons are taught by Elaine Patterson and Colin Hay. Registration is free on eventbrite.com.

The Washington Chorus presents “A Candlelight Christmas” tonight from 8-9:45 p.m. at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.). The celebration features the National Capital Brass, over 130 signers, organ music, sing-alongs and a candlelight processional. Tickets start at $19 on kennedy-center.org

Monday, Dec. 23

“A Christmas Carol” will be performed today at 2 p.m. at Ford’s Theatre (511 10th St., N.W.). Tickets start at $64 for this holiday classic on fords.org.

The Messiah Sing-Along free concert is tonight from 6-7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.). This event concert features conductor Nancia D’Alimonte leading the Opera House Orchestra, guest soloists and a chorus. Visit kennedy-center.org for more information. 

“Black Nativity” is an Afro-centric holiday performance featuring Gospel and modern dance tonight from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Anacostia Playhouse (2020 Shannon Pl., S.E.). Tickets are $50 on anacostiaplayhouse.com.

“Come From Away” performs tonight from 8-9 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater (2700 F St., N.W.). A small Newfoundland town welcomes thousands of stranded passengers. Visit kennedy-center.org for tickets and information. 

Tuesday, Dec. 24

“It’s a Wonderful Life” screens at the National Museum of American History (14th St., and Constitution Ave., N.W.) today from 3:15-5 p.m. It’s almost George’s last Christmas then angel Clarence lifts his spirits. Tickets are $10 on si.edu.

Wednesday, Dec. 25

Dignity Washington celebrates Christmas Day Mass today at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1830 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) from 6-9 p.m. Dignity, an inclusive LGBTQ Catholic community, welcomes everyone to this public event. For more information, visit dignitywashington.org

Holiday Book Drive by An Open Book Foundation is today at Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe (1517 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) at 7 a.m. The Foundation brings authors, illustrators and their books to low income D.C.-area students to spark a love of reading. More information is available at anopenbookfound.org

Hanukkah Harry’s Reindeer Ride hosted by D.C. Jews on Bikes and Edlavitch DCJCC (1529 16th St., N.W.) is today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All are invited to help deliver holiday greetings to first responders on a day of service. Registration for this free event is on eventbrite.com.

The All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam is today from 6-7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., N.W.). A free holiday concert on the Millennium Stage. Visit kennedy-center.org for more information. 

Thursday, Dec. 26

Moonshot Studio is a free art making event today from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Kennedy Center’s The Reach (2700 F St., N.W.). The studio offers activities from dance and beat making to poetry and animation for all ages. Visit kennedy-center.org for more information. 

“Hear Me, Say My Name” hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (4th St. and Independence Ave., S.W.) from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. This free performance challenges stereotypes of what it means to be a young American Indian. More information is available at americanindian.si.edu

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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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