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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.)
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Sheila Alexander-Reid to step down as director of D.C. LGBTQ Affairs Office

Veteran community activist to take new job workplace bias consultant



Mayor's Office of GLBT Affairs, Sheila Alexander-Reid, gay news, Washington Blade

Longtime LGBTQ community advocate Sheila Alexander-Reid, who has served since 2015 as director of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Affairs, is stepping down from her city job in mid-July.

Alexander-Reid told the Washington Blade she will take a few weeks of accumulated leave beginning June 15 to recuperate from follow-up knee surgery before officially leaving her current job to take on a new role as a private sector consultant in the area of workplace bias and diversity training.

She said will announce the name of the private sector company she will be joining as a senior vice president when she begins her new job in mid-July.

Among her duties at the Mayor’s LGBTQ Affairs Office has been to lead the office’s staff in providing LGBTQ related diversity or competency training for D.C. government employees at all city agencies.

According to the office’s website, other activities it carries out include connecting LGBTQ residents with city services they may need, advocating on behalf of programs and policies that benefit the lives of LGBTQ residents, providing grants to community-based organizations that serve the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ homeless youth; and host events that “enrich, promote, and bring together” the LGBTQ community in D.C.

“That work is always going to be part of who I am,” Alexander-Reid said. “But now I will be expanding on that work to look at racial equity and gender bias as well as LGBTQ bias,” she said. “I feel like I will be doing the same work but in a different format.”

Prior to starting her job at the mayor’s office, Alexander Reid served as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Washington Blade, Director of Strategic Engagement at the Washington City Paper, and Founder and Executive Director of the D.C. based Women in the Life Association. She has also served as host of Inside Out, a local FM LGBTQ radio show.

Alexander-Reid noted that when she began work at the LGBTQ Affairs Office in late January 2015, less than a month after Bowser took office as mayor, the office consisted of two full-time employees, including her, with a budget of $209,000. In the current fiscal year 2021, the office now has four full-time employees and two additional detailed employees, from the Department of Health and Department of Human Services. The mayor is proposing a budget of $561,000 for the office for fiscal year 2022.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t say what a pleasure it has been to work for Mayor Bowser,” said Alexander-Reid. “I was excited to work for her and I don’t regret it for one second. “It’s been an amazing journey and I appreciate her having faith in me.”

She said she expects an interim director to be named to run the office in mid-July while a search is conducted for a permanent director.

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Attack on trans woman in D.C. laundromat captured in video

Police seek help from community in identifying suspects.



(Screen capture via the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department's YouTube channel)

D.C. police on Thursday night released a dramatic video taken from a surveillance camera showing two women and a man repeatedly punching and shoving a transgender woman at a laundromat on Benning Road in Northeast Washington in an incident in which the victim was stabbed in the head.

Police, who have listed the Sunday, June 6, incident as a suspected anti-LGBTQ hate crime, are appealing to the community for help in identifying the three suspects, who are shown in the video attacking the trans woman before escaping in a black SUV while carrying laundry bags.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sixth District obtained the video from a surveillance camera at the Capital Laundry Mat at 1653 Benning Road, N.E., according to a police report and a police statement released Thursday night.

The video shows that the suspects were accompanied by two young children. It shows one of the adult female suspects appearing to be dancing by herself in front of a row of washing machines seconds before the three suspects lunged at the victim and began punching her.

“One of the suspects brandished a knife and stabbed the victim,” the police statement says. “The suspects fled the scene in a vehicle. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries,” the statement says.

“Anyone who can identify these individuals, or vehicle, or has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411,” the statement adds. It says the department’s Crime Solvers program offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and indictment of a person or persons responsible for a crime committed in D.C.

Police spokesperson Alaina Gertz told the Washington Blade that because the investigation is ongoing, police could not immediately disclose whether they know if the victim knew one or more of the attackers before the incident took place or what, if anything, prompted the suspects to attack the victim other than due to her status as a transgender person.

The video released by D.C. police can be accessed here:

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Trans woman attacked, stabbed at D.C. laundromat

Police seeking three suspects



shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. police are investigating a June 6 assault and stabbing of a transgender woman at a laundromat on Benning Road in Northeast Washington that a police incident report lists as a suspected anti-LGBT hate crime.

“On Sunday, June 6, 2021, MPD officers responded to a radio assignment for a stabbing at 1653 Benning Road, N.E.,” the report says. “Officers arrived on the scene with Victim 1 bleeding,” the report continues. “Victim 1 stated that they were stabbed in the head and assaulted by Suspect 1, Suspect 2, and Suspect 3,” according to the report.

The report, which lists the incident as an assault with a dangerous weapon, says officers provided first aid to the victim until an ambulance arrived and took the victim to a local hospital for medical treatment. The report does not disclose the victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

But D.C. transgender activists Earline Budd, an official with the LGBTQ supportive group HIPS, and Ruby Corado, founder and CEO of the LGBTQ community services center Casa Ruby, each said they learned that the victim is a transgender woman.

Corado said she has heard that the victim was recovering from her injuries and may have been released from the hospital where she was treated.

D.C.’s Fox 5 News reported details of the incident that were not in the police report obtained by the Washington Blade. According to Fox 5, the victim told D.C. police the assailants used anti-LGBTQ slurs during the attack and the assailants consisted of a man and two women who “beat her and stabbed her in the head.”

The police report obtained by the Blade from the police public information office does provide a description of the three suspects and does not state whether or not the victim knew them prior to the attack.

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