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D.C. loses bid for 2025 World Pride to Taiwan

Event will be held in Asia for first time

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The 2019 World Pride Parade in New York. InterPride, the organization that organizes the event, on Nov. 13, 2021, announced World Pride 2025 will take place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

InterPride, the coalition of LGBTQ Pride organizations from throughout the world, announced early Saturday that it has selected the group Kaohsiung Pride in Taiwan over D.C.’s Capital Pride Alliance to host World Pride 2025.

Kaohsiung Pride and Capital Pride Alliance represented the only two cities that submitted bids to host the international Pride event, which draws thousands of worldwide visitors to the host city.

“With this monumental vote by InterPride members, a World Pride will be held in East Asia for the first time,” according to a statement released by InterPride. “The members of InterPride voted on the host of World Pride 2025 over four days during the 2021 General Meeting and World Conference,” the statement says.

“More than 300 member organizations worldwide participated in the voting process, workshops, plenary sessions, regional and board meetings during the 8-day virtual event,” the statement notes.

In an announcement on Sept. 21 that it had submitted a bid to host World Pride 2025, Capital Pride Alliance said 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.

“The Capital Pride Alliance congratulates Kaohsiung Pride on being awarded the opportunity to produce World Pride 2025,” said Capital Pride Alliance Executive Director Ryan Bos in a statement released by InterPride.

“We extend to them our heartfelt best wishes for a successful event,” Bos said. “Capital Pride will use the next three years to continue with our long-standing plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of pride in Washington, D.C., in June 2025,” he said in the statement.

The decision to select Taiwan over D.C. for World Pride 2025 comes five years after D.C. and Guadalajara, Mexico, lost their respective bids to host the 2022 Gay Games, the quadrennial international LGBTQ sports event. Like InterPride, the Federation of Gay Games, the U.S.-based group that organizes the Gay Games, said in its 2017 announcement that the selection of Hong Kong represented the first time that event would be held in Asia.

Gay Games organizers in Hong Kong have since announced they have postponed the event for one year, to November 2023, due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hong Kong organizers last week said plans for the event were moving forward with support from corporate sponsors and LGBTQ groups despite a crackdown by China against human rights activists in Hong Kong over the past two years that has drawn international condemnation by human rights advocates.

China has long claimed that Taiwan is part of its territory and has suggested it might take military action to “reunite” the island with China, a development that has led to tension between China and the U.S., a committed Taiwan ally.

“From Rome to Jerusalem to London to Toronto to Madrid to New York City to Copenhagen, World Pride has been a worldwide event since 1997,” InterPride said in its statement announcing the event would take place in Taiwan in 2025. The statement says Sydney, Australia, will be hosting the next World Pride set for 2023.

“Bringing World Pride to this region [Taiwan] for the first time will create a significant impact to the much-needed visibility and awareness of human rights for the LGBTQIA+ community there while providing the ability for millions more to participate from surrounding countries and territories, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia,” Julian Sanjivan, InterPride’s co-president, said in the statement.

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District of Columbia

One trans woman shot, another had legs run over by car in Northeast

November incidents occurred near D.C.-P.G. County border

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D.C. police say they are investigating a Nov. 1 incident in which a transgender woman was knocked down on a street by a man who backed his car into her and then drove over both of her legs after he was shot in the arm in an unrelated dispute with another person outside an apartment building at 5920 Foote St., N.E.

The woman, Latisa Moorman, said she spent a month at Washington Hospital Center recovering from her injuries before being transferred to a rehabilitation center for continued treatment of her injured legs.

Police are also investigating a second incident in which another transgender woman was shot in her “pelvic region” by an unidentified male suspect causing a nonfatal injury on Nov. 29 inside the same apartment building. The shooting followed an “argument about a sexual act that was performed and payment of money,” according to a D.C. police report.

The victim of the second incident couldn’t immediately be reached to determine if she would like her name to be disclosed.

Moorman, the victim in the first incident, told the Washington Blade a police detective informed her that the man who hit her with his car and drove away has been arrested. She said the detective gave her the name of the arrested man. But the man’s name could not be found in court records and police have not responded to a Blade request to confirm the arrest.

A police report says police were investigating what they listed as separate cases of the shooting that injured the man who drove over Moorman’s legs as well as the incident in which the man who was shot hit Moorman with his car and drove away.

“Both cases remain under investigation and detectives are actively following up on leads, collecting evidence, and interviewing potential witnesses,” D.C. police spokesperson Paris Lewbel told the Blade in an email. “Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, we cannot discuss specific investigative steps that have been taken by detectives,” Lewbel said.

The case of the Nov. 29 shooting of the trans woman inside 5920 Foote St., N.E. and the incident in which Moorman was hit by the car outside that same building took place in a location that trans and LGBTQ activists say is known as an area where female trans sex workers as well as trans women who are not engaged in sex work congregate along Eastern Avenue and nearby side streets.

The Foote Street apartment building where the two incidents took place is located at the intersection of Foote Street, 60th Street, and Eastern Avenue.

Less than a mile away one block off the Prince George’s County side of Eastern Avenue transgender woman Ashanti Carmon, 27, was shot to death on March 30, 2019. That case remains unsolved, with no arrest made. About 100 people led by transgender activist Earline Budd held a candlelight vigil one month later in honor of Carmon at the site of where the shooting took place.

Gay D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Anthony Lorenzo Green, whose district is located near the Eastern Avenue area where trans women hang out, expressed concern that D.C. officials are not adequately addressing the issues related to why trans women are engaging in sex work in that area.

“The angle we come from is the city needs to provide services for Black trans women along this corridor as opposed to constantly trying to arrest them and hoping that will keep them away from Eastern Avenue or away from where they work out of desperation, out of necessity,” Green told the Blade.

“But that has never worked. And we tell them that over and over,” Green said. “These ladies have not been given an opportunity to advance in this city. They’ve been forced to the edges of this city,” he said, adding that the D.C. government “should be bringing social services to that corridor.”

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Maryland

Bomb threat shuts down Takoma Park holiday drag show

MotorKat evacuated when Tara Hoot was performing

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Tara Hoot was performing at MotorKat in Takoma Park, Md., on Dec. 9, 2023, when a bomb threat forced the business' evacuation. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Police cordoned off a popular strip in Takoma Park on Saturday after a bomb threat shut down businesses, including a holiday performance by drag artist Tara Hoot.

MotorKat General Manager Mike Rothman told the Washington Blade that Takoma Park police notified them of a bomb threat to their business around noon.

Tara Hoot was delivering a holiday brunch performance at the MotorKat when the evacuation order came in.

Rothman said they were notified “five minutes into her final performance.” Tara Hoot herself told the audience to leave for their safety.

Police proceeded to tape off the area and evacuated all businesses between Eastern and South Carroll Avenues, including TakomaBevCo, which is co-owned by MotorKat Wine Director Seth Cook.

Cook told the Blade that police brought in “bomb-sniffing dogs” to clear the area before allowing businesses to reopen around 2 p.m.

“The timing is unfortunate as this is one of the busiest weekends before the holidays,” Cook said.

Rothman was also disappointed by the lost revenue due to what ultimately was a false threat, but he was firm that the Takoma Park LGBTQ community is resilient and would continue to thrive despite this setback.

“Takoma Park is a pretty proud and resilient community,” he said. “I don’t expect people to lay down and be scared by this.”

MotorKat and TakomaBevCo reopened for business around 3 p.m.

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Local

Comings & Goings

Jimmy Alexander joins WTOP News as a feature reporter

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Jimmy Alexander (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Alexander)

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 Jimmy Alexander who has been hired at WTOP News as a feature reporter. Over the last four years Alexander has been covering stories as varied as the Jan. 6 insurrection to the 17th Street High Heel Race. He has been working as a co-host on the Jack Diamond Morning show on Cumulus Media, Manning Media. On his acceptance of the new position Alexander said, “I’m thrilled that at WTOP News, I will be able to focus on events and people that bring hope to your heart and a smile to your face.”

Alexander is a versatile multimedia broadcaster with more than two decades of experience covering both major news events in Washington D.C., and important human-interest stories outside the Beltway. He is an engaging interviewer with a track record of having compelling conversations with the biggest names in government and show business, from presidents to Paul McCartney. Prior to this he worked as a freelance feature reporter with WDCW50-DC News Now. He is also with Writer-20, Twenty Country Countdown, United Stations Radio Networks. There he developed a concept for a countdown show featuring country music’s weekly top songs on-air and online and prepared weekly scripts for a three-hour show. 

Alexander conducted the only Jan. 6, 2021 interview with “The QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley. Since 2016, he has served by request of the D.C. mayor as official host of the 17th Street High Heel Race, the city’s second largest LGBTQ event of the year. He is featured in the documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” and is a frequent guest on CNN’s Morning Show “New Day.” He covered White House visits by Queen Elizabeth, the Pope, and the yearly Easter Egg Roll. He also won $10,000 on the game show “Pyramid.” 

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