Friday, December 25
Friday Tea Time is a virtual social gathering at 2 p.m. for older LGBTQ adults via Zoom.
Participants are encouraged to bring their beverage of choice while socializing with friends. For more information, visit thedccenter.org/events.
Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington, Va. is hosting a traditional Christmas Day dinner starting at 4 p.m. On their website, the bar asked those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to stay home and cautioned that they would be following all safety guidelines.
Saturday, December 26
The DC Center is encouraging members of the LGBTQ community to join them in volunteering at Food and Friends at 9 a.m. Food and Friends is located 219 Riggs Road, NE. If any volunteers need a ride from the Fort Totten Metro, call the Food and Friends shuttle at (202) 669-6437.
The Wharf is continuing its pop-up movie series on Transit Pier with holiday movies this weekend. Attendees will get a private firepit and 20-inch television to watch movies like “Home Alone,” “The Grinch,” “A Christmas Story,” and “Elf.” Show times are at either 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. Each firepit seats four people and parties should reserve their firepit in advance. More information can be found on The Wharf’s Facebook page.
Sunday, December 27
The Georgetown Presbyterian Church is hosting a virtual conversation on the relationship between the church and racism in America. Talks during the event will include Reverend John Molina-Moore, who will speak on efforts by the Presbyterian Church to combat racism, George Washington University Professor Erin Chapman on the Jim Crow Era, and Howard Theological Seminary Professor Renee Harrison on the church’s historical role in racism. The Zoom link to the event, starting at 9:45 a.m., is on the church’s Facebook page.
Monday, December 28
The DC Center is hosting its monthly support group for people who identify outside of the gender binary over Zoom at 7 p.m. Meetings are on the fourth Tuesday and third Mondays of each month. More information can be found at thedccenter.org/events.
Blue Victory War Room and DMV Grassroots is holding another organizing session today at 6 p.m. to focus on campaigning strategy for the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia. The event will be hosted by Jim McBride who served as a leader with President Joe Biden’s “Communities United” program which worked to mobilize grassroots networks on the east coast. The zoom link for the event can be found at Network For Progress’s Facebook page. The meeting’s agenda includes an update on both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff who are running against incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. There will also be a presentation for volunteers and methods for grassroots organizing.
Thursday, December 31
Merriweather Post Pavilion is hosting a Symphony of Lights for New Year’s Eve, followed by fireworks at midnight. Guests are asked to bring their own chairs and tickets for the event are $15 per person or $50 for a family of 4. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to Howard County General Hospital. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, tickets must be purchased in advance and will be given for specific time slots. No food trucks or extra family activities will be available this year.
Studio House, Visual AIDS partner for educational program
Day With(out) Art 2021 to be held at Lamont Plaza
Studio House and Visual AIDS will join forces for “Day With(out) Art 2021” on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. at Lamont Plaza.
This event is a community outdoor screening of “Enduring Care,” a video program that highlights strategies of community care within the ongoing HIV epidemic followed by a discussion about the video.
There will be an open house in the neighborhood at the David Bethuel Jamieson (1963-1992) Studio House and Archives featuring newly commissioned work by Katherine Cheairs, Cristóbal Guerra, Danny Kilbride, Abdul-Aliy A. Muhammad and Uriah Bussey, Beto Pérez, Steed Taylor, and J Triangular and the Women’s Video Support Project.
For more information, visit Eventbrite.
Forget Santa Claus – Ginger Minj is comin’ to town
‘Drag Race’ alum’s Winter Wonderland Tour stops in D.C. Nov. 29 and 30
Ginger Minj is a busy little elf.
From her new country album “Double Wide Diva” to sporadic stints in TV and movies to her upcoming book, “Southern Fried Sass” (which reportedly scored her a six-figure deal), the “Drag Race” diva is everywhere these days, including a venue near you. On Nov. 29 and 30, the new queen of Christmas will perform her holiday spectacular Winter Wonderland Tour at Miracle Theatre.
We recently caught up with the multitalented actress/comedian/singer to discuss her continued success, including making friends with Jennifer Aniston while filming Netflix’s “Dumplin,’” her take on the latest Dave Chappelle backlash, the best Christmas gift she’s ever received, and what exactly makes her the “nicest bitch” this side of the North Pole – but first, let’s take a sleigh ride back to the beginning.
BLADE: Tell me a bit about how you got started in drag and the genesis of Ginger Minj.
GINGER MINJ: Like most good show-tune-loving queers, I stumbled into drag through musical theater. I auditioned for a show that required either full-frontal nudity or drag, and I figured I would fare better in a wig and heels than nothing at all. I got the role and really took to it quickly. I felt more free and honest as a performer than I ever had before, and I realized I could make a livable income doing something that I was wholly responsible for creating.
BLADE: How has your appearance on “Drag Race” helped your career, and what are your top takeaways from your time on the show?
GM: It’s an international platform that allows us to introduce ourselves to the entire world. It got me a seat at the table with people and places that refused to even open the door for me in the past. I think there was – and maybe still is sometimes – this initial assumption that drag artists are limited in their talents, but we have been able to show the world that we are just as talented and capable as any other entertainer. I don’t wear a wig as a gimmick. I wear it as an accessory, and it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be taken as seriously as any other actor, singer, etc. “Drag Race” is doing a great job of showing the world that – and I’ll forever be grateful.
BLADE: If folks didn’t catch you on “Drag Race,” they might recognize you from the 2018 Netflix movie “Dumplin’” starring Jennifer Aniston and Dove Cameron. What was your experience like on set, and do you have any other TV/film projects in the works?
GM: “Dumplin’” was the single best experience of my life! Jennifer Aniston brought me coffee every morning, and Kathy Najimy had my trailer moved next to hers so we could listen to Beyoncé and play with makeup. That entire cast and crew treated all of us queens with unbelievable respect. It really gave me a passion for filmmaking and, yes, I’m happy to say there are a few more projects – big screen and small – coming your way soon.
BLADE: What makes you the “nicest bitch you’ll ever meet?”
GM: It’s like those good ole’ southern church ladies who will give you the shirts off their backs but read you to filth for not bringing one of your own. The only thing bigger than my mouth is my heart and the “shady” things I say should never be taken seriously.
BLADE: As a comedian yourself, what are your thoughts on the latest Dave Chappelle/Netflix controversy?
GM: I’ve always felt like comedy and drag go hand in hand: It’s an outrageous way to start a conversation and make people confront their own feelings about anything and everything. That being said, I think there’s a way to do that without disparaging and discrediting an entire group of human beings. I think it’s shameful that someone with that great of a platform would choose to punch down.
BLADE: Your new single “Walk Tall” is about growing up gay in the South – and it’s a very good song. Radio worthy even, but a hard sell, given its content, to a country-music audience. How do you think that changes? Will LGBTQ+ country artists ever enjoy the kind of success their straight counterparts do?
GM: I think so. To be completely honest with you, I’ve gotten much more support for that album from the country community than I have from the drag world. The message is so universal, and we were very careful to do it in an authentic, simple way. When we stop focusing on our differences and start embracing our similarities, the world can change. I just do the things that make me happy and hope it finds the people who need to hear it.
BLADE: Christmas is just around the corner – do you prefer giving or receiving? What’s your most prized Christmas present from the past?
GM: I’m definitely a giver! I drive myself crazy for months researching and planning and looking for the perfect gifts for everyone. It’s my way of showing the people I care most about that while I may be busy, I’m listening. I hear them, I see them, and I appreciate them. The best Christmas present I ever got was a cheap plastic pair of ruby slippers from my mama when I was a kid. I still have them. That moment changed my life forever. It’s what actually inspired “Walk Tall.”
BLADE: Like Santa Claus himself, the Ginger Minj Winter Wonderland Tour 2021 is coming to town. What do you have in store for audiences this holiday season?
GM: What don’t we have in store?! There are 20 costume changes, instructional videos gone terribly wrong, singing, dancing, magic tricks, fog machines, comedy, and it even snows over the audience! This is the biggest, prettiest, most ambitious show we have ever put together.
BLADE: Looking forward to 2022, what’s in the works? What are a few of your New Year’s resolutions?
GM: So many great things — more music, some movies, some TV, a stage production of “La Cage aux Folles” in Chicago, and my book “Southern Fried Sass” will hit the shelves. It’s a great time to be the “Glamour Toad,” and I am grateful every single day.
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels.
Children’s Beach House to host holiday fundraiser
Music by artists Pamala Stanley and 2nd Time Around
The Children’s Beach House in Lewes, Del., will begin its weekend-long fundraiser with an annual holiday party on Friday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
The event will include a live auction, cocktails, dinner by Touch of Italy and music by artists Pamala Stanly and 2nd Time Around. This fundraiser will help support CBH’s work with children and families. Tickets are $150.
The celebrations will continue with a “Santa’s Workshop” event on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. This event will include cookie decorating and making holiday crafts, among other events. There will also be a cash bar available with bloody mary’s and mimosas for those 21 years and older. Tickets cost $30.
CBH will end the weekend with “Happy Hour With the Boy Band Project” on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. This event will be a musical performance by an electric boy band cover group, which was named “Best Group” by the 2019 Broadway World Awards that re-imagines the sound, movement, and energy of NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, One Direction, and more. Tickets are $150. Visit cbhinc.org for more information.
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