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GLAAD extols LGBTQ ads, trolls One Million Moms on eve of Super Bowl

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A Doritos ad starring Little Nas X is one of 7 LGBTQ-inclusive spots that will air during this weekend’s Super Bowl broadcast (Image courtesy Doritos/Frito-Lay)

With the news that this weekend’s live broadcast of Super Bowl LIV will feature at least eight LGBTQ-inclusive ads, it’s fitting to pause and take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come in the struggle for LGBTQ acceptance – even if it’s only to remind ourselves that, no matter how disheartening the political tides may be, there is still reason to hope that support for the community continues to grow within the culture at large.

On Friday, GLAAD issued a statement marking what they called “an unprecedented level of LGBTQ inclusion” scheduled for Sunday’s FOX airing of the NFL championship game, as well as the milestone represented by San Francisco 49ers coach Katie Sowers, who is the first out LGBTQ woman to serve as a coach in a Super Bowl game. They also took the opportunity to give the homophobic conservative advocacy group One Million Moms a taste of their own medicine, announcing they had launched petition a calling for the organization to “call it quits.”

The statement included comments from GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, who said, “The level of diverse LGBTQ inclusion from at least seven brands during advertising’s biggest night, coupled with Katie Sowers’ trailblazing role on the field as Offensive Assistant Coach of the 49ers, mark a rainbow wave at the Super Bowl this year.”

GLAAD went on to chart some of the progress that has been made in LGBTQ representation by advertisers on the Super Bowl broadcast, citing a 2007 Snickers ad depicting two men who become disgusted when they accidentally kiss, a Coca-Cola ad from  was celebrated for an ad featuring a diverse collection of American families, a Coca-Cola ad from 2014 that featured a family with two dads, and another from 2018 that used gender-neutral pronouns.

In addition, the LGBTQ media advocacy organization noted several out LGBTQ celebrities who have appeared in Super Bowl commercials over the years, such as RuPaul (who was the first drag queen to do so, twenty years ahead of this year’s ad featuring “Drag Race” alumni Kim Chi and Miz Cracker), Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris (who has appeared twice), and Carson Kressley, who co-starred with Cindy Crawford in a 2005 Diet Pepsi ad.

The brands offering this year’s eight LGBTQ inclusive ads, as noted by GLAAD, are:

Pop Tarts (with Jonathan Van Ness)
Sabra (with Kim Chi and Miz Cracker, former contestants on “RuPaul’s Drag Race”)
Microsoft (with 49ers coach Katie Sowers)
TurboTax (with Trace Lysette and Isis King, as well as other LGBTQ members of the ballroom community)
Doritos (with out Grammy-winner Lil Nas X)
Olay (with Lilly Singh, out bisexual host of NBC’s “A Lilly Late with Lilly Singh,” and the host of the GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 19)
Amazon Alexa (with Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
Budweiser (with married World Cup champs officially designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBTQ hate group. In the petition, OMM raises issue to the commercial’s inclusion of drag queens Kim Chi and Miz Cracker, saying, “Normalizing this lifestyle is contrary to what conservative, Christian parents are teaching their children about God’s design for sexuality.”

In response to OMM’s latest in a long history of failed campaigns against brands that have taken steps toward LGBTQ inclusion, GLAAD announced that it has launched its own petition, blasting the organization for claiming a mission to “stop the exploitation of children” when “nearly all of their public work and actions center on targeting brands/networks that include LGBTQ people in programming or ads,” and calling on them “to pack it up and go home.”

Ellis commented, “Leading brands have learned that fringe anti-LGBTQ organizations like Monica Cole and so-called One Million Moms project of the AFA, are not a reflection of where Americans are. Family-friendly brands today include all families, including LGBTQ ones.”

When the eight scheduled LGBTQ-friendly commercials air during Sunday’s game between the 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, it will mark a record level of inclusivity for ads airing during the Super Bowl.


As Ellis puts it, “Now, American families will see and cheer on LGBTQ icons… it’s about time.”

Below, you can watch Little Nas X star opposite movie icon Sam Elliott in his Doritos ad, which will air during the Super Bowl LIV broadcast on Sunday, February 2, at 6:30pm ET.

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Sports

DC Aquatics Club swimmers reflect on world title win

Team took 125 gold medals en route to breaking 72 DCAC records

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The District of Columbia Aquatics Club sent 42 swimmers to the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics world championships in Palm Springs, Calif. (Photo courtesy DCAC)

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club sent 42 swimmers to the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA) world championships in Palm Springs, Calif., in April on a mission to capture their first world title since 2013.

It was a long road back to international competition for the DCAC swimmers after the disruption of training and travel brought on by the worldwide pandemic.

When the team returned from IGLA in Melbourne, Australia in March of 2020, their training pools were closed, and all competitions were canceled.

By May they had established a training site in the South River in Annapolis where they swam until November of that year. Eventually, pools began to reopen, and the team was faced with battling for training time in COVID-restricted pools.

Following the postponement of the 2022 Gay Games in Hong Kong, the IGLA community scrambled to put together a competition in Palm Springs that would be hosted in tandem by West Hollywood Aquatics and the Long Beach Grunions. 

DCAC’s swimmers in Palm Springs consisted of a mix of veterans and rookies ranging in age from 22 to 76 years old. Each swimmer was eligible to enter five individual events and three relay events.

With 67 teams in attendance, DCAC jumped out to an early lead on day one in the large team category with West Hollywood Aquatics and San Francisco Tsunami in close pursuit. 

Despite the disqualifications of two of their winning relays for early takeoffs, DCAC held on to their lead over the remaining three days to claim their first world title in nine years.

Three DCAC swimmers, Grant Casey, Carmen Robb and Jerry Frentsos, won gold in all five of their individual events. In total, the team won 125 gold, 66 silver and 35 bronze medals en route to breaking 72 DCAC team records.

Addison Winger was a first time IGLA swimmer and hadn’t competed in 12 years. He had heard the tales from past IGLAs and wanted to join in on the fun.

“It was a great experience to compete for DCAC at an international competition. I had never been in a championship meet before where you go through the process of tapering, shaving, and suiting up in tech gear,” says Winger. “The relays were amazing, and I enjoyed taking advice and feedback from our coaches to incorporate into future races. It was also great spending quality team with my teammates outside of the pool.”

Olivia Kisker had competed with DCAC at IGLA Melbourne in 2020 and was looking forward to traveling with her team again.

“Even though the days were long at the pool, we still had time for Joshua Tree, the gondolas and all that Palm Springs has to offer,” Kisker says. “I love traveling and doing it with your teammates provides a setting for bonding and getting to know people better. I also enjoyed competing against my teammate Sarah. It’s like a friendship and a rivalry.”

Craig Franz restarted his post-COVID competitive swimming at IGLA Palm Springs and went on to a training camp and open water race in Hawaii this past month.

“The whole thing about this team is relationships and sharing swimming as a common denominator. The swim competitions legitimize building relationships and supporting each other in healthy ways,” say Franz. “Palm Springs felt like a more relaxed setting, and we needed this meet to rebuild the team. It provided a nutritional base for what we are about – swimming and friendships.”

Sarah Padrutt had not competed since 2019 and all the talk about past IGLAs prompted her to attend for the first time.

“I had so much fun, and it was cool having people cheering and being supported by teammates,” Padrutt says. “It was also a nice wakeup call, a reminder of how much I like competing. I like the pressure of racing and being on relays with my team. It was a very positive experience.”

Charles Cockrell has been a Masters swimmer for decades and is the chair of the Legislation Committee for United States Masters Swimming. He came out in 2019 and these championships marked his first time competing at IGLA.

“I wanted to compete at a swim meet that was a combination of the LGBTQ community and the sport of swimming. It was a fun, accepting and engaging environment,” says Cockrell. “The takeaway was that everyone was enjoying themselves and it was nice to be gathered together in a queer space. There was an atmosphere of camaraderie, and it was great being attached to a big team like DCAC.”

Coming up next for DCAC is the United States Masters Swimming Nationals in Richmond in August. Next year, the team will travel to London for the 2023 IGLA world championships to be held in the London Olympic Pool.

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Out & About

10 LGBTQ events this week

See more than just the fireworks in the days ahead

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From movie nights to dance parties, there is a lot to do in the region this week. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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


MNSkating’s Pride Too!

Monday, June 27
7:30 p.m.
Laurel Skating Center
9890 Brewers Court
Laurel, Md.
Facebook | Meetup

Join the Monday Night Skaters for a Pride-themed skating party in Laurel, Md. on Monday.


Queen of the Capital at Adams Morgan Movie Nights

Tuesday, June 28
8-11 p.m.
Adams Morgan Soccer Field
Facebook

The Adams Morgan Partnership BID will be showing “Queen of the Capital” from local documentary maker Josh Davidsburg.


Pride Night at Frederick Keys

Wednesday, June 29
6-9 p.m.
Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium
21 Stadium Drive
Frederick, Md.
Facebook | Tickets

Join Pride on the Patio for a night of baseball as the Frederick Keys hold Pride Night sponsored by the Frederick Center.


LGBTQ Families Discussion & Beer Tasting

Wednesday, June 29
7-8 p.m.
Aslin Beer Company
847 South Pickett Street
Alexandria, Va.
Facebook | Tickets

Rainbow Families will have an informal discussion about such topics as coming out, celebrating your child’s identity, being a good ally in the workplace and more . . . followed by a beer tasting! No charge, but donations will be taken.


First Friday LGBTQ+ Social with GoGayDC

Friday, July 1
7-9 p.m.
The Commentary (in the Westin)
801 North Glebe Road
Arlington, Va.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Join GoGayDC for a monthly social gathering in Ballston.


Drag Race All-Stars Viewing Party

Friday, July 1
7-9 p.m.
JR.’s Bar
1519 17th Street, N.W.
Facebook

Get together with other Drag Race super fans for an evening viewing party hosted by Citrine.


Outdoor Movie Night

Friday, July 1
8:30-10:30 p.m.
Stead Park
1625 P Street, N.W.
Facebook

Bring your blanket and catch a movie on the big screen at Stead Park.


FireWerk with DJ Chord

See more than just the fireworks in the days ahead

Friday, July 1
9 p.m.
AquaGrill Reho
57 Baltimore Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Facebook 

Kick off Independence Day weekend in Rehoboth with a no cover dance party at AquaGrill.


Zodiac Drag Contest

Zodiac Drag Contest (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Sunday, July 3
8 p.m.
Freddie’s Beach Bar
555 23rd Street S
Arlington, Va.
$5 cover
Facebook

The monthly amateur drag competition returns to Freddie’s on Sunday. Check out the new talent (or try it out yourself).


Flashy 4th of July Weekend

Sunday, July 3 – Monday, July 4
10 p.m.
Flash
645 Florida Aveune, N.W.
$30
Facebook | Eventbrite

Celebrate Independence Day with a Flashy 4th of July on the dance floor of Flash.


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Photos

PHOTOS: Loudoun Pride

LGBTQ community celebration held at Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Va.

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Loudoun County, Va. elected officials gather on the main stage at Loudoun Pride on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The first Loudoun Pride was held at Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Va. on Saturday, June 26.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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