Connect with us


Vice president’s husband visits vaccination station at D.C. gay bar

Second Gentleman Emhoff expresses support for nightlife outreach



Douglas Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Second Gentleman at Pitcher’s on Thursday.

The D.C. gay sports bar Pitchers, which opened its first-floor space as a COVID-19 vaccination site on Thursday afternoon, June 3, received a surprise visit by Douglas Emhoff, the husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris who holds the title as the nation’s first Second Gentleman.

Pitcher’s customers and employees, including owner David Perruzza, joined D.C. government officials in greeting Emhoff and members of his staff who accompanied him warmly. The D.C. officials said they came to lend support for the city’s efforts to expand vaccination sites to nightlife establishments such as bars and restaurants.

Emhoff said he had heard that Pitcher’s and League of Her Own, the lesbian bar located in Pitcher’s lower floor space, would be serving as a vaccination site and he wanted to stop by to show his support while he was in the Adams Morgan neighborhood where Pitchers is located for another engagement.

He readily agreed to numerous requests by customers to allow them to stand next to him for photos as he greeted people in Pitcher’s outdoor and indoor space. He stood a few feet away from three tables where members of the staff of Giant Food’s pharmacy waited to administer vaccine shots to interested customers.

Emhoff stayed for about 30 minutes before leaving to attend another nearby engagement. He was accompanied by staff members and members of the Secret Service.

Among those present who greeted Emhoff was Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, which worked with the D.C. Department of Health to arrange for a vaccination site at Pitchers.

“We’ve been doing these all over the city,” Alexander-Reid said in discussing the vaccination site. “So, this was like a natural next step to reach out to the LGBTQ community,” she said. “And because Pitcher’s is a part of the community this was kind of a no-brainer to do this here,” Alexander-Reid told the Washington Blade.

Among the D.C. government officials joining Alexander-Reid at the event was Shawn Townsend, director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture, who played a role in arranging for the vaccination station to be set up at Pitcher’s as well as other D.C. bars.

“The idea was to go to different sectors of business in different communities to encourage folks to get the vaccine,” Townsend said. “I think that if you wanted a vaccination, you’ve gotten it at this point,” he said. “So, moving forward we have to think about how to reach others in different communities in the city,” he said, who up until now have chosen not to get vaccinated.

Other D.C. officials who came to Pitcher’s to support the vaccination site were Ben DeGuzman, director of the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; Jim Slattery, former head of the LGBTQ charity group Brother Help Thyself who serves as Correspondence Officer for the Office of the D.C. Mayor; and Patrick Ashley, senior deputy director at the D.C. Department of Health.

Perruzza said some of his customers came forward to get vaccinated as of around 5:30 Thursday evening, 90 minutes after the Giant Pharmacy staff set up their vaccination tables. He said a larger number of customers would be arriving at Pitcher’s and League of Her Own in the next few hours and he expected more people to consider taking the vaccine.

“I’m grateful they’re here and I immediately said yes when the mayor’s office approached me to do this,” Perruzza said. “But from talking to a lot of people I think most people in the gay community have been vaccinated,” he said.

The vaccination site was scheduled to stay at Pitcher’s until 8 p.m.

(Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Comings & Goings

Umana named associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol



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. 

Continue Reading


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

International event draws thousands of visitors



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.

Continue Reading


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

Unanimous vote in Stafford County allows school defunding



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.

Continue Reading

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts