The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, from telework to dining out, but D.C.’s singles scene perseveres with outdoor dates, igloo dinners, and Zoom meetings.
This is the seventh annual Washington Blade Most Eligible LGBT Singles issue. It began with reader nominations; from that list, our staff chose the most eligible with an eye for locals with interesting stories, those doing compelling work and yes, those who are easy on the eye.
This year’s crop of top singles agree that confidence is a turn on and bad breath is a deal breaker. Meet D.C.’s Most Eligible LGBTQ singles for 2021.
Aramis Angleró, 31, Accountant
How do you identify? Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? I’m looking for someone who challenges me and motivates me to try new things. Someone who has a great smile, knows what he wants and is driven by his passions.
Biggest turn off: Dishonesty, rudeness, someone who thinks they know it all and is not willing to grow and hear someone else’s perspective.
Biggest turn on: Someone confident in their own skin that they can hold a conversation and an active guy in sports or fitness.
Hobbies? Competitive volleyball is my passion (I play in the local league DCPVL), picked up running in 2020 and love live musicals and comedy shows.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? It’s been difficult. I normally connect with a guy face to face, which makes the interaction more organic. However, during COVID I’ve used dating apps but it sometimes feels forced.
Pets, kids, or neither? I would love to have a dog but I know it’s a lot of responsibility so co-parenting would be a plus. Kids? Well, I’m not there yet but open to the conversation if we both feel ready.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Simple answer: No. I’m open to having a conversation as long as it’s respectful and the values where we differ aren’t extreme.
Celebrity crush: Darren Criss
Name one obscure fact about yourself: One would think being Latino from Puerto Rico I would enjoy the summer weather but I hate sweating so unless I’m in a pool or at the beach, I enjoying being in A/C.
Craig Cipollini, 53, Director of Marketing
How do you identify? Gay male
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone with a sense of humor (!!!), passionate, focused, confident (but not arrogant,) responsible, caring, comfortable, relaxed, someone who loves the performing arts, someone I find physically attractive, and a sense of fun.
Biggest turn off: Arrogance
Biggest turn on: Confidence
Hobbies? Artwork, working out, dance, movies, hanging with friends
How has COVID impacted your dating life? Where to start LOL … Haven’t really been able to date or meet people, so I’ve just been hanging with my friends. I’ve tried a few dating apps and had a few dates (mostly Zoom calls) but not much dating really.
Pets, kids, or neither? No pets or kids (but I love dogs!)
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Possibly. It would really depend on how different their political views were from mine.
Celebrity crush: Can I list more than one? Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Marwan Kenzari, Regé-Jean Page, Simu Liu, Jonathan Bailey
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I’ve performed on live national television.
Maria Miller, ripe 29
Occupation: You name it, I’ve probably done it.
How do you identify? DYKE
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone to finish Patsy Cline lyrics when I’m singing terribly.
Biggest turn off: Bad tippers and people who are rude to ANY sort of service industry staff.
Biggest turn on: Kind and genuine people.
Hobbies? Community organizing, painting, making jewelry, wine.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? It’s literally non-existent.
Pets, kids, or neither? I love pets and kids, I have none.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Why would I?
Celebrity crush: Ciara and Selena (not Gomez)
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I still have two baby teeth.
Derrick Johnson, 35, Chief Diversity Officer & Director of Event Strategy
How do you identify? Gay (Pronouns: he/him/his)
What are you looking for in a mate? I’m looking for a man who is confident, thoughtful, goal-oriented, philanthropic, open-minded, and makes me laugh. He must have a sense of humor and be driven by impacting the lives of others.
Biggest turn off: Entitlement (i.e. being rude to servers)
Biggest turn on: A man who dances like no one is watching.
Hobbies? Music touches my soul; flag football and fitness classes keep me in physically good shape; video games distract my mind; traveling expands my awareness; volunteering makes me feel good.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? COVID has limited my ability to meet people while doing the things I love. It has shown me the importance of cultivating relationships and the value of maximizing moments in life.
Pets, kids, or neither? Dog(s) and kid(s)
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Political views, yes. Humanitarian views, no.
Celebrity crush: Brendon Urie (the talent…woof)
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I almost went to Mars #marsone
Amanda Haverkamp, 25
Occupation: Just started work in the cybersecurity sales arena after spending three years in the U.S. Senate.
How do you identify? Lesbian
What are you looking for in a mate? I’m looking for someone who can be my biggest cheerleader in all areas of life, and who will welcome me to be the same to her in return. I’d like my person to appreciate the grandiosity of how I show affection, but also recognize the simplest moments and be able to appreciate those together. Must haves: a strong personality, a grasp on her “story,” and a little bit of hopeless romanticism.
Biggest turn off: A “floater,” which is what I call those who don’t know what they’re looking for.
Biggest turn on: Charisma, decisiveness, sense of humor
Hobbies? Cars and mural-hunting! I’ve loved cars since I was a kid. There are several childhood pics of me with Hot Wheels in my hand or playing with toy trucks on the beach. In college, I focused in on German performance cars, and have never looked back! Flying through the backroads and going on road trips are my favorite activities. As for murals, whenever I visit a new city, I make it a point to scout out the street art. In fact, a lot of my Instagram is dedicated to combining these hobbies through car photography. I’m super nerdy about it, but if you think you can handle it, drop me a line (or a like) @semperamanda.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? The pandemic has led me to go on a lot more outdoorsy dates, which is awesome. Hikes, beach walks, picnics, boating, and scenic drives are some of my favorites.
Pets, kids, or neither? Neither at the moment, though my three-year plan involves adopting a cat! I’m open to pets 100%.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? This is such a Washingtonian question! Haha. I’ve done this in the past, and it hasn’t worked out, though I do believe that if the issues that a couple disagrees on are not pivotal to the point of negatively affecting others in any way, shape, or form, then it can be discussed. Definitely very case-by-case.
Celebrity crush: Jessica Chastain
Name one obscure fact about yourself: When I was in the Coast Guard stationed on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, I did my Search and Rescue swim test in the harbor where they filmed the movie “Jaws” — during the peak of great white shark mating season.
Mike Reddy, 33, Director of Advocacy at Marketing for Change
How do you identify? Open to all types of humans, except for adult fans of those Minion characters.
What are you looking for in a mate? I’m not a very “online” person, so someone who wants to do lots of stuff in the real world. But not hiking. If you enjoy hiking, I’m sure there’s someone else on this list for you.
Biggest turn off: Hiking
Biggest turn on: Hill staffers. Tell me about your proximity to power, baby.
Hobbies? Cooking Indian food
How has COVID impacted your dating life? Peace and stability are my biggest motivations right now. It’s a wild world out there!
Pets, kids, or neither? I’ve got an unruly Pitt-mix pup. And I’d love kids, but honestly I’m just so tired.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Sure! But I’m not generally compatible with people at the far ends of the spectrum.
Celebrity crush: Jacinda Ardern
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I used to take Richard Simmons’ workout class when I lived in LA.
Ari Schwartz, 34, Attorney
How do you identify? Lesbian, Jewish, Feminist
What are you looking for in a mate? Romance, kindness, vision, a ride or die, and Big Dyke Energy — a lesbian who is joyfully settled in her life and is also making it a priority to meet her last LTR and future wife/baby mama. I’m looking for a witness to my life and the opportunity to fall in love all over again every single morning with the same woman. Do you want to dance at your 50th wedding anniversary, too? Let me know via IG @apschwartzesq.
Biggest turn off: Someone who doesn’t know who they are. Know what you want and need. If you know how to ask, I’ll know how to answer. Be an active participant in every moment of the creation of your life, please.
Biggest turn on: Stability, ambition, unapologetic laughter, a big bright smile, strong hands, power lesbians.
Hobbies? You can catch me at your local plant nursery every weekend with an oat milk latte in hand. Big houseplant enthusiast, re-teaching myself piano, reconnecting with my ancestral roots by actively learning Hebrew, building lesbian community and campfires, daily REDFIN scrolling, and pretending to understand my growing crystal collection beyond their aesthetics. I’d always rather be at the beach.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? While I no longer have the chance encounter at Trader Joe’s or Home Depot, or a first-date at an arcade playing air hockey, I still make dating a priority in my life. All it takes is one moment, one person, and one decision to change the entire trajectory of your life. Don’t let COVID stop you from meeting someone that makes every nerve in your body send a shockwave through your soul each moment you’re near her (even if it’s outside from six-feet apart).
Pets, kids, or neither? I definitely want both kids and a dog. The con in dating me is that I am allergic to cats. But I’ll take Claritin for the right woman.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? As long as our core values still align, and the difference isn’t rooted in challenging my right to exist.
Celebrity crush: Bette Porter 4eva
Name one obscure fact about yourself: My playlists jump from country pop to trap music within seconds.
Murray Penner, 59, U.S. Executive Director, Prevention Access Campaign/U=U
How do you identify? Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? I’m looking for an independent, easy-going, family-oriented, trustworthy, fun-loving man who is looking for someone to complement his life.
Biggest turn off: Clingy people
Biggest turn on: Confidence
Hobbies? Travel, movies, dining out, spending time with family/friends
How has COVID impacted your dating life? I’ve mainly stayed home and haven’t dated at all during COVID, which wasn’t much of a change from pre-COVID. I’m just now getting back into dating, but I take COVID very seriously so dates will mainly be outdoors. I’m also fully vaccinated now so I will feel safer re-entering the dating life.
Pets, kids, or neither? Dog, cat and two adult children (20 and 24 years old)
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? This is a very important issue for me. In the past, I would say yes. But in this era, I would say most likely not. Because of the polarization of political views that has occurred over the last four years, I would need to be sure that the values one has for fundamental respect and rights of all people are aligned with mine, and that who they support politically also has similar values. That would be the determining factor if I would date someone, not their political views alone.
Celebrity crush: Steve Kornacki
Name one obscure fact about yourself: People see me as outgoing and personable, but I’m incredibly shy and introverted.
Stephanie Schweitzer, 32, Graphic Designer
How do you identify? Lesbian
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who likes adventure, traveling, and being active, while also perfectly thrilled with nights in. The counterbalance is important to me. Paired with someone who also values family, whether it’s blood related or chosen family.
Biggest turn off: Passing judgement too quickly.
Biggest turn on: Confidence. Someone who truly knows who they are at their core and isn’t intimidated by the confidence of their partner. And patience.
Hobbies? Indoor skydiving, cars/motorcycles, volunteering with animals, stuffing my face with food/drinks from new restaurants I discover. Anything art related.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? Before the pandemic, I lived a busy life; end-to-end each day with work and hobbies. COVID has forced me to slow down and focus my attention on what the next phase of my life looks like. While work and hobbies are still a huge part of that next phase, finding someone to share my life with has become more of a priority.
Pets, kids, or neither? Have pets, want kids eventually.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Sure, as long as we can meet at the understanding that difference of opinions can be a positive thing.
Celebrity crush: Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Lawrence, Chelsea Handler, Betty Who
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I’m a sculptor.
Joe Kozel, 38, Fifth Grade Teacher
How do you identify? Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? In an ideal world, I’d find someone who is honest, driven, and athletic. In the real world, I’d find someone with a cute dog.
Biggest turn off: My biggest turn off is gas lighting — and bad breath.
Biggest turn on: My biggest turn on is someone with a cute smirk and hair I can run my hands through.
Hobbies? My most recent hobbies are getting ignored on Grindr, and trying not to become popular on @gaysovercovid. Other hobbies include reading, playing chess, working out, and pretending I can cook.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? What dating life?
Pets, kids, or neither? DOGS
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? It depends on the views, and where they are on the political scale. So … maybe?
Celebrity crush: Ricky Martin
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I have run five marathons.
Drew Kelly, 28, Attorney
How do you identify? Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? Easy-going guy who enjoys nights out on the weekends and documentaries after work on the weeknights — and a guy who likes my eclectic taste in music and who prefers the beach to anywhere else.
Biggest turn off: Arrogance and guns and boat shoes.
Biggest turn on: Someone who is comfortable around others, and who makes others comfortable around them. Also good teeth.
Hobbies? Drinking rum and Cokes with friends, running, and stalking online real estate sites. Also anything water-related: boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, waterskiing.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? It has slowed things down quite a bit, but made more time for me. Hopefully when we come out of this, we all know ourselves a bit better.
Pets, kids, or neither? If my guy wants them, I want them.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Political views? Maybe. Morals and ethics? No.
Celebrity crush: Cal Shapiro, Robbie Rogers, Dacre Montgomery, Faith Hill
Name one obscure fact about yourself: My favorite restaurant is Wawa.
Jasmine “Jazzy” Garcia, 29, Scheduling Coordinator
How do you identify? Lesbian
What are you looking for in a mate? You absolutely have to make me laugh because life is too short to take so seriously. Let’s make each other laugh about anything and everything.
Biggest turn off: JEALOUSY. If I’m yours, I’m yours. I also hate tardiness. Be ready and be on time.
Biggest turn on: I’m turned on by confidence. Standing strong in who you are and your convictions is just so sexy to me (as long as your convictions do not harm a person or group). Someone who is open, optimistic, easy going, 420 friendly and a person who is spiritually connected with who she is.
Hobbies? I play a lot of video games (especially in quarantine). Before COVID, you could find me at Flash nightclub. I take my dog on hikes and when the world isn’t in shambles, I love traveling. The beach is my happy place.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? COVID has completely halted my dating life. Meeting new people right now is impossible. I tried dating apps and I delete them within a week.
Pets, kids, or neither? REGGIE! My four-year-old pitbull/beagle mix is my whole life. I take him everywhere if he’s allowed. Sometimes I’ll decline an invite if he can’t come along. He is my furry child. As of right now I have zero interest in children.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Absolutely not. Trump supporters need not apply.
Celebrity crush: Katherine Moennig (duh!), Samira Wiley and Snow tha Product.
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I am the creator and admin of Lesbians in DC Facebook group! I am also starting a podcast for queer women with a friend, so join my Facebook group for the official launch.
Nikki Goldschein, 27, PAC Manager
How do you identify? Lesbian, Gay, Queer
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who is outgoing and has a strong sense of humor. Liberal, duh. A person who gets excited about a good drink or fun activity. Affectionate. A woman who is DOWN (ex. we’re hosting a dinner party tonight, great! We’re going to a costume party, let me grab my wig. I need some space tonight, see ya).
Biggest turn off: Cats and someone who is super messy.
Biggest turn on: Someone ambitious and passionate about their work or hobbies. Good cooks. Someone living their life loud and proud. Someone who has been around the sun a few more times than I have.
Hobbies? Cooking and baking. Being outdoors: beach and mountains. Road tripping. Newly into tennis.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? Woof. It’s been, uh, tough.
Pets, kids, or neither? Don’t have either but hoping for both
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? Hard to imagine in this day and age, especially since my politics and work life are so deeply intertwined. Plus, the right has really gone off the deep.
Celebrity crush: Toni Collette, Rosario Dawson (sorry Cory) and Aubrey Plaza (like most other gays on Twitter this year)
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I was president of my high school’s GSA.
Calvin Seino, 31, IT Delivery Manager
How do you identify? Gay
What are you looking for in a mate? Someone who is true to who they are, that goes to therapy, and takes vacations.
Biggest turn off: Not having drive or ambition
Biggest turn on: Drive and ambition
Hobbies? Cooking, listening to music, going to concerts, working out, and reading tech/car blogs.
How has COVID impacted your dating life? I prefer to meet people organically, ideally while doing things we both enjoy. COVID has forced that interaction to happen online. I find it extremely difficult to read personality via a screen.
Pets, kids, or neither? I have a beautiful Goldendoodle named Belair. Kids are on my life vision board.
Would you date someone whose political views differ from your own? I try to give people room to be individuals in thought and even embrace/explore differences. I actually prefer to not date people who are too similar in thought as it stifles each other’s growth. However, there is a hard line with social injustice, and systematic issues.
Celebrity crush: Regé-Jean Page
Name one obscure fact about yourself: I think capers can go in almost any dish.