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Clinical psychologist, former teacher Roger Bartman dies at 77

Met longtime partner via Blade personals ad in 1987

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Erwin Roger Bartman, gay news, Washington Blade
Erwin ‘Roger’ Bartman passed away last month.

Erwin “Roger” Bartman, a high school teacher in Baltimore and Silver Spring, Md. before becoming a clinical psychologist in private practice in Reston, Va., for 42 years, died on Jan. 12 at his home outside Leesburg, Va. of complications associated with Leukemia. He was 77.

Peter Kelpinski, Bartman’s life partner since 1987 and husband since 2004, said Bartman was extraordinarily dedicated to his patients and improved the lives of countless people who sought his services as a mental health professional.

Bartman was born in Lawton, Okla., and grew up in Louisville, Ky., where he graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1961 and entered the Xavarian Brothers Roman Catholic order. Kelpinski said that after completing his novitiate and taking his first vows he began his studies at Catholic University in D.C.

He received bachelor’s degrees at Catholic University in 1967 in mathematics and religious education. He received his master’s degree in mathematics education at Johns Hopkins University the following year.

According to Kelpinski, under the name of Brother Raphael, Bartman began his career teaching advanced math courses at Xavarian High Schools in Baltimore and Silver Spring, Md. His resume provided by Kelpinski says he held the positions of assistant dean at Xaverian Junior College in Silver Spring from 1965 to 1967 and served as a summer camp counselor in his role as Xaverian brother in Maryland and Kentucky from 1964 through 1966.

His resume shows that he returned to Catholic University to enter its doctoral program in psychology and received his Ph.D. there in clinical psychology in 1976. Upon completion of his doctorate degree, he began an internship at the Fairfax County Northwest Center for Community Health in Reston, Va. and soon began work there as a clinical psychologist. He served in that position through 1986.

Kelpinski said Bartman and four partners, while still working at the Northwest Center, started their own private practice in 1977 called Reston Psychotherapy. Bartman later withdrew from his position at Northwest Center to devote his full time work to the Reston Psychotherapy practice, where he remained until his retirement in 2019, Kelpinski said.

Kelpinski said he and Bartman first met in January 1987 through a classified personals ad that Kelpinski placed in the Washington Blade seeking to meet someone for a relationship. He said Bartman was one of many people who responded to the ad, but it was Bartman who immediately stood out from the others.

Kelpinski’s ad in the Blade, among other things, mentioned he had a “Catholic background,” which he later learned caught Bartman’s attention. It turns out that both men were involved with a Catholic religious order in their early adult years, with Kelpinski becoming involved with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception after considering becoming a priest.

Similar to Bartman, who chose to leave the Xavarian Order on amicable terms, as Kelpinski recalls Bartman telling him, to enter a secular life as a practicing psychologist, Kelpinski also chose to leave his religious order for a career as a florist.

Upon speaking by phone for the first time in January 1987 after Bartman responded to Kelpinski’s Blade ad, the two men had their first date over brunch at a restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. “And then we walked around Old Town and just gabbed and gabbed,” as Kelpinski tells it.

“And we kind of clicked,” Kelpinski said. “We got along immediately. We were from the same background. It was really amazing.”

Among the many things they did together that year was to participate in the October 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights, which drew hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people to the nation’s capital.

Not long after that, the couple bought a house on a large tract of land just outside Leesburg, Va., where they lived until Bartman’s passing on Jan. 12 of this year.

“He was the love of my life,” said Kelpinski. “He’s one of those few people who could say they changed the world because he helped so many people in their own lives so that they actually were able to live better lives,” said Kelpinski in referring to Bartman’s role as a psychotherapist. “And they made the world better.”

Memorial services for Bartman were being planned for this summer in Reston and Louisville. Bartman’s ashes were to be interred in Bay City, Mich., where Kelpinski plans to move to return to his hometown.

In addition to Kelpinski, Bartman is survived by his siblings Kathy Furlong and James Bartman of Louisville, Ky., and Lally House of Woodbury, Ky.; an aunt and uncle, Dolores and Frank Lally of Louisville; sisters and brothers-in-law Nancy and Jack MacKenzie and Sandi and Hank Bridges of Bay City, Mich.; and many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, and numerous friends.

He was predeceased by his parents Erwin R. and Mary Kathryn Bartman and grandparents Erwin R. and Louise Bartman and Frank and Orvilla Lally.

Contributions in Bartman’s name can be made to Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Va.

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Comings & Goings

Umana named associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

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Wolfgang Umana (Photo courtesy of Umana)

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]

Congratulations to Wolfgang Umana on being named an associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). He has been with them for more than five years and is currently its D.C. studio’s office manager. 

“I am honored to become GGN’s newest Associate,” Umana said.I have the glorious privilege of supporting GGN’s continuing dedication to progress, inclusion, social justice, sustainability, and beautification of the world we live in.”

Umana also works with NBR Computer Consulting as an LLC Computer Technician consultant. He has experience in social media, communications, outreach, and technical services, and provides a dynamic approach to the fast-changing world of technology. NBR Computer Consulting, LLC is a gay-owned business. 

Umana has also served as D.C. Army National Guard Director of Environmental Affairs and with EMS Consultation Services. 

He has his bachelor’s in Environmental Science & Public Policy, Human and Ecosystem Response to Climate Change, from George Mason University. 

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Capital Pride bids for D.C. to host World Pride 2025

International event draws thousands of visitors

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Confetti rained down in New York’s Times Square at Stonewall 50 WorldPride New York’s closing ceremony two years ago. D.C. organizers hope to host the event in 2025. (Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

The Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes D.C.’s annual LGBTQ Pride events, announced on Sept. 21 that it has submitted a bid to host 2025 World Pride, the international Pride event that draws thousands of participants from throughout the world to the host city.

The announcement by Capital Pride says its bid to host the event in D.C. notes that the event, among other things, would commemorate the 50th anniversary of D.C.’s first LGBTQ Pride event in 1975, which began as a block party near Dupont Circle.

World Pride is licensed and administered by the international LGBTQ organization InterPride. The World Pride events themselves, which usually take place every other year, are organized by InterPride’s member organizations such as Capital Pride Alliance.

The Capital Pride announcement notes that World Pride “promotes visibility and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) issues on a global level.” The announcement adds, “World Pride events include parades, marches, festivals and other cultural activities often enjoyed at Pride celebrations, along with other components such as a human rights conference and large-scale opening and closing ceremonies.”

The InterPride website says the deadline for submitting a bid for the 2025 World Pride has passed. It says D.C.’s Capital Pride and Kaohsiung Pride, located in the large Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung, are the only two remaining cities in competition for hosting the 2025 World Pride.

Ryan Bos, Capital Pride’s executive director, said InterPride was expected to make its decision on which of the two cities to select sometime in November of this year.

“A recent study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton revealed that the annual Capital Pride Celebrations, during normal years, result in approximately $371 million in positive economic impacts to the region, a number that may be doubled if the organization is awarded the prestigious event,” the Capital Pride statement says.

The 2021 World Pride took place earlier this year in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 2019 World Pride was held in New York City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of New York’s Stonewall riots, which many activists consider the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

InterPride says the 2023 World Pride will take place in Sydney, Australia.

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Va. county supervisors back resolution against ‘required’ pronoun questions

Unanimous vote in Stafford County allows school defunding

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What's Your Pronoun? review, gay news, Washington Blade
(Image courtesy of Liveright Publishing)

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that gives it the authority to deny funds to schools that require students to give their pronouns and teach the 1619 Project and critical race theory.

The resolution denounces “the teaching of the 1619 Project and critical race theory (CRT) and related principles in Stafford County Public Schools,” and states the board does not support Stafford County Public School students “being required to identify their chosen pronouns.”

The approved document had been updated to change “requested” to give pronouns to “required.”

Republican Supervisor Gary Snellings told the board he brought the resolution forward, which passed by a 6-0 vote margin, in response to communication from parents. One supervisor was not present.

Snellings called critical race theory “racism.” He also called the New York Times’ 1619 Project published on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony a “theory.”

Critical race theory is not taught in Virginia public schools, but a state law passed in 2020 requires local school boards to adopt policies that are more inclusive for transgender and non-binary students that follow, or exceed, guidelines from the state’s Department of Education.

Snellings said the problem with preferred pronouns was in requiring students to give them. He said that was not in the governing Virginia law.

“This (resolution) does not eliminate anything. It just follows state law,” Snellings said.

A Virginia court in July dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the Department of Education’s guidelines for trans and non-binary students. Equality Virginia and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia were parties to the amicus brief in support of the protections.

“We are deeply disappointed that these adults made such a hateful decision for kids in the community,” tweeted the ACLU of Virginia in response to the board’s vote.

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