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Comings & Goings

New communications manager at AIDS United



Janet Redman, gay news, Washington Blade
The ‘Comings & Goings’ column chronicles important life changes of Blade readers.

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected].

Helen Jeanette Parshall, gay news, Washington Blade
Helen Jeanette Parshall

Congratulations to Helen Jeannette Parshall on her new position as Communications Manager with AIDS United. The organization’s mission is to end the HIV epidemic in the United States. Upon being named to the position, she said, “As a younger bisexual activist, I stand on the shoulders of so many in the LGBTQ community lost to HIV & AIDS — people who paved the way for me to be who I am openly and without fear. … Our communities must support the health, wellbeing and human rights of everyone impacted by HIV and center the stories of those most disproportionately affected.”

Prior to this, Parshall was Digital Media Manager with the Human Rights Campaign. She worked as a freelance writer and as an International News Intern with the Washington Blade. She was a reporter with the Capital News Service and earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Latin American Studies and a master’s in multi-platform Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Congratulations also to Jeffrey Mack, the new Assistant Dean and Director of Advancement for the College of Architecture, Design, and Art at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is leaving his position with the Kennedy Center where he was Vice President of Individual Campaigns. Mack’s team raised more than $250 million to build the new REACH at the Kennedy Center. He said, “Working for the Kennedy Center has been a true honor and a dream come true. After 10 years in this wonderful city, I am looking forward to a new chapter in life and the world of academia and the arts.”

His career at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts included being Chief Development Officer for the Washington National Opera where he also served as co-interim executive director. Prior to that he worked as senior director of Philanthropic Partnership with Hunt Alternatives and Chief Development Officer for the American Red Cross. Jeffrey was at the Human Rights Campaign as Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager.

Jeffrey Mack

Congratulations also to Tyler Hatch who began his new job as Development Director at the Friends of the Truman Foundation. Friends of the Truman Foundation is the nonprofit partner to the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Established by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship is an independent executive branch agency, and reflects President Truman’s desire not to be honored by a bricks and mortar monument but rather by a living memorial that would act as a catalyst of support for future generations of public servants. The Truman Foundation fulfills that mission by selecting as Truman Scholars, each year, outstanding young people from every state and territory of the United States who are committed to public service leadership.

Prior to starting this position, he was associate director of Donor Relations at the American Constitution Society and worked as a policy analyst with Business Strategy Consultants, D.C., and as Development Fund Associate with the College of Idaho, Caldwell, ID.

Tyler Hatch


Prince George’s County library system launches banned book club

First discussion to take place in Hyattsville on June 14



(Bigstock photo)

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System has launched its Rock Banned Book Club.

The club will feature monthly discussions of the 13 top banned books from 2022, most of which focus on LGBTQ-specific themes. 

The club’s first discussion, which will take place at the Hyattsville Branch Library on June 14, will be on “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe. 

Kobabe’s memoir won the 2020 American Library Association Alex Award and recounts Kobabe’s exploration of gender identity and sexuality through adolescence and adulthood. According to the American Library Association, the book faced the most censorship challenges of any novel at 151.

“We’re seeing nationally the highest rate of challenges to books in libraries since the data has been collected by the American Library Association,” Nicholas Brown, acting co-chief executive officer of the library, said. “I think what happens with all of the discourse around book banning is that, oftentimes, not everyone participating in that discourse is actually taking the time to read the full works and discuss them and understand where the author might be coming from and whose stories are being reflected in these books.”

Along with the book club, the library system is hosting a Pride celebration at the Hyattsville branch on Saturday from 12 – 4 p.m. It will feature a panel discussion, vogue and runway workshops, free HIV testing and more. 

The library system will host its second annual Rainbow Festival on June 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bowie Branch Library with family-friendly events like craft stations, story time and a live DJ. In April, the library system won a Top Innovator Award from the Urban Libraries Council for its banned books campaign.

“I think a lot of folks don’t always realize that your local public library is kind of the front line of democracy and we always have been,” Brown said. “Public libraries across the country are very united on this and if the right to read continues to be under threat like it’s been, it is not a good time for the state of our democracy.”

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District of Columbia

Bowser: No credible threats to D.C. Pride events

Mayor spoke with the Blade after flag-raising ceremony at the Wilson Building



D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the flag-raising of the Progress Pride flag at the Wilson Building in D.C. on June 1, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday said authorities have not received any credible threats to upcoming Pride events.

“We don’t have any to report,” she told the Washington Blade.

“MPD is constantly working with all of our agencies to make sure we have safe special events and we’re going to keep going with our planning, like we do every year,” added Bowser. “There’s always a scan for any threats to the District.”

Bowser spoke with the Blade after she joined D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Council members Anita Bonds, Charles Allen, Kenyon McDuffie and Zachary Parker, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, D.C. Mayor’s LGBTQ Affairs Office Director Japer Bowles and other officials and activists in raising the Progress Pride flag in front of the Wilson Building.

The Blade last month reported D.C. police are investigating a bomb threat a Twitter user made against the annual District Pride concert that will take place at the Lincoln Theater on June 29. Bowles in a May 19 statement said his office reported the tweet, but further stressed that “no credible threat at this time has been made.”

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Moore issues Pride month proclamation

Governor on May 3 signed Trans Health Equity Act



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Thursday proclaimed June as Pride month in recognition of  “the contributions, resilience, courage and joy of LGBTQIA+ Marylanders,” according to a press release.

“In Maryland, we lead with love and inclusion. I want everyone in our LGBTQIA+ community to know that they deserve to be seen for who they are, and our administration will stand with them in the fight for equality and equity,” Moore said. “We need to elevate the stories, embrace the courage, and celebrate the humanity of our LGBTQIA+ community — and as long as I am governor, we will take the steps forward to protect and celebrate all Marylanders.”

Moore on March 31 became the first governor in Maryland history to recognize the Transgender Day of Visibility and last month he signed into law the Trans Health Equity Act into law, which requires Maryland Medicaid to provide coverage for gender-affirming care beginning next year.

“This month is a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of the queer community, but it’s also a time to reaffirm our commitment to uplifting LGBTQIA+ Marylanders and continuing to fight against hatred, discrimination, and bigotry,” Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller said in the same press release that Moore’s office released. “LGBTQIA+ Marylanders deserve to be who they are, to live their pride — without fear or having to hide. This administration will always stand alongside and protect the rights of all Marylanders.”

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