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10 LGBTQ events this week

Sports, concerts, drag, dancing and more May 2-8



Below are our picks for some of the most fun and creative things to do this week in D.C. that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.

John Waters at Politics & Prose

John Waters (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Monday, May 2
7 p.m.
Politics & Prose
5015 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Free / masks required
Website | Facebook

Multi-hyphenate king of trash John Waters joins author and professor Marion Winik in a discussion over his new book, “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance” at Politics & Prose on Monday.

Detox at Pitchers

(Promotional poster via Facebook)

Wednesday, May 4
Meet-and-greet 9 p.m./Show 10 p.m.
Pitchers / A League of Her Own
2317 18th Street, N.W.
Free / 21+ / vaccination required
Facebook | Twitter

Detox of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame makes an appearance at Pitchers on Wednesday. There will be a free meet and greet hosted by BaNaka that starts at 9 p.m. with wristbands given to the first 100 people to purchase food or a beverage, so it is suggested by organizers to arrive by 8 p.m. to secure your spot in the meet and greet to get a photo with Detox.

A drag show hosted by Cake and Venus Valhalla follows with performances by Dr. Torcher, Echinacea, Mia Vanderbilt, Rico Pico and Tiara Missou.

Revenge of the Fifth

(Promotional poster via Facebook)

Thursday, May 5
Doors 5 p.m. / Show 6 p.m.
Dragon Distillery
1341 Hughes Ford Road
Frederick, Md.
$20 / 21+
Facebook | Eventbrite

A drag show will pay tribute to favorite Star Wars characters. Axe throwing and drink packages are available upon arrival. The event is hosted by Chasity Vain.

Cinco de Mayo

Thursday, May 5
6-10 p.m. TDG Rooftop / 10 p.m. Kiki
The Dirty Goose and Kiki
913 U Street, N.W.

Gay bars Kiki and The Dirty Goose are teaming up for a Cinco de Mayo party. DJ Alex Love entertains on the Dirty Goose rooftop from 6 to 10, followed by an underwear contest at Kiki featuring Crystal Edge and djDJ.


(Image via Facebook)

Thursday, May 5
Doors 9 p.m.
913 U Street, N.W.
$10 / 21+ / vaccination required
Facebook | Instagram

Sleaze is a monthly LGBTQ+ party at DC9 with drag, DJs and dancing. Performers include Jane Saw and Blaq Dinamyte with DJs Keenan Orr and Lemz joined by special guest DJ SPRKLBB.

Flag Football Recreation League Playoffs and Afterparty

D.C. Gay Flag Football League (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, May 6
Game 6:30-9 p.m.
The Fields at RFK
Afterparty 9 p.m.
Wunder Garten at NoMa
1101 First Street, N.E.

Semifinals for the D.C. Gay Flag Football League (DCGFFL) Recreation League start at 6:30pm at The Fields at RFK. Winners will play in a championship at 8 p.m.

Following the games, players and spectators celebrate at Wunder Garten.

Legends: Celebrity Impersonations Show

Ashley Bannks will perform on Friday and Saturday at ‘Legends’ show. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Friday, May 6
Doors 7 p.m. / Show 7:45 p.m.
ACT Black Box Studio
43 S Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Md.
$15 General Admission/$30 Dinner at the Dog House
Facebook | Tickets

Go to ACT Black Box Studio in Hagerstown, Md. on Friday for a night of celebrity impersonations and fun. Performers include Ashley Bannks, Onyx D. Pearl, Ivanna Rights, Chasity Vain, Nicole James and Madison St. Lawrence. If you can’t make it on Friday, there is another show on Saturday, May 7 (see details in links above).

First Friday LGBTQ+ Social

The Commentary (Photo via Eventbrite)

Friday, May 6
7-9 p.m.
The Commentary
801 North Glebe Road
Arlington, Va.
Free / RSVP at Eventbrite
Eventbrite | Meetup | Facebook

This free social event hosted by Go Gay DC is an opportunity to meet new friends and hang out with fellow members of the area LGBTQ+ community in a relaxed setting.

Queen ‘n Drag Brunch Revue

(Image courtesy of

Saturday, May 7
Seating 11 a.m. / Show 12 p.m.
Fairouz Lounge
3815 South George Mason Drive
Falls Church, Va.
$25-$45 +tax
allevents | Eventbrite

Tori Love and Dee Dee Amor Dior host a drag brunch revue at Fairouz Lounge in Falls Church, Va. on Saturday.

Tori Amos at MGM

Tori Amos (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Sunday, May 8
8 p.m.
MGM National Harbor
101 MGM National Avenue
Oxon Hill, Md.
$49.50 – $202.50
Tickets | Website

Tori Amos brings her Ocean to Ocean Tour to MGM National Harbor on Sunday.

If you would like to let us know about an upcoming event, email [email protected] with details.



New book explores why we categorize sports according to gender

You can lead a homophobic horse to water but you can’t make it think



‘Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates’
By Katie Barnes
c.2023, St. Martin’s Press
$29/304 pages

The jump shot happened so quickly, so perfectly.

Your favorite player was in the air in a heartbeat, basketball in hand, wrist cocked. One flick and it was all swish, three points, just like that, and your team was ahead. So are you watching men’s basketball or women’s basketball? Or, as in the new book, “Fair Play” by Katie Barnes, should it really matter?

For sports fans, this may come as a surprise: we categorize sports according to gender.

Football, baseball, wresting: male sports. Gymnastics, volleyball: women’s sports. And yet, one weekend spent cruising around television shows you that those sports are enjoyed by both men and women – but we question the sexuality of athletes who dare (gasp!) to cross invisible lines for a sport they love.

How did sports “become a flash point for a broader conversation?”

Barnes takes readers back first to 1967, when Kathrine Switzer and Bobbi Gibb both ran in the Boston Marathon. It was the first time women had audaciously done so and while both finished the race, their efforts didn’t sit well with the men who made the rules.

“Thirty-seven words” changed the country in 1972 when Title IX was signed, which guaranteed there’d be no discrimination in extracurricular events, as long as “federal financial assistance” was taken. It guaranteed availability for sports participation for millions of girls in schools and colleges. It also “enshrine[d] protections for queer and transgender youth to access school sports.”

So why the debate about competition across gender lines?

First, says Barnes, we can’t change biology, or human bodies that contain both testosterone and estrogen, or that some athletes naturally have more of one or the other – all of which factor into the debate. We shouldn’t forget that women can and do compete with men in some sports, and they sometimes win. We shouldn’t ignore the presence of transgender men in sports.

What we should do, Barnes says, is to “write a new story. One that works better.”

Here are two facts: Nobody likes change. And everybody has an opinion.

Keep those two statements in mind when you read “Fair Play.” They’ll keep you calm in this debate, as will author Katie Barnes’ lack of flame fanning.

As a sports fan, an athlete, and someone who’s binary, Barnes makes things relatively even-keel in this book, which is a breath of fresh air in what’s generally ferociously contentious. There’s a good balance of science and social commentary here, and the many, many stories that Barnes shares are entertaining and informative, as well as illustrative. Readers will come away with a good understanding of where the debate lies.

But will this book make a difference?

Maybe. Much will depend on who reads and absorbs it. Barnes offers plenty to ponder but alas, you can lead a homophobic horse to water but you can’t make it think. Still, if you’ve got skin in this particular bunch of games, find “Fair Play” and jump on it.

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

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An exciting revival of ‘Evita’ at Shakespeare Theatre

Out actor Caesar Samayoa on portraying iconic role of President Perón



Caesar Samayoa (center) and the cast of ‘Evita’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company. (Photo by DJ Corey Photography) 

Through Oct. 15
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Harman Hall
610 F St., N.W.

When Eva Perón died of cancer at 33 in 1952, the people’s reaction was so intense that Argentina literally ran out of cut flowers. Mourners were forced to fly in stems from neighboring countries, explains out actor Caesar Samayoa. 

For Samayoa, playing President Perón to Shireen Pimental’s First Lady Eva in director Sammi Cannold’s exciting revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” at Shakespeare Theatre Company is a dream fulfilled. 

As a Guatemalan-American kid, he had a foot in two worlds. Samayoa lived and went to school in suburban Emerson, N.J. But he spent evenings working at his parents’ botanica in Spanish Harlem. 

During the drives back and forth in the family station wagon, he remembers listening to “Evita” on his cassette player: “It’s the first cast album I remember really hearing and understanding. I longed to be in the show.”

As an undergrad, he transferred from Bucknell University where he studied Japanese international relations to a drama major at Ithica College. His first professional gig was in 1997 playing Juliet in Joe Calarco’s off-Broadway “Shakespeare’s R&J.” Lots of Broadway work followed including “Sister Act,” “The Pee-Wee Herman Show,” and most significantly, Samayoa says, “Come From Away,” a musical telling of the true story of airline passengers stranded in Gander, Newfoundland during 9/11. He played Kevin J. (one half of a gay couple) and Ali, a Muslim chef.  

He adds “Evita” has proved a powerful experience too: “We’re portraying a populist power couple that changed the trajectory of a country in a way most Americans can’t fully understand. And doing it in Washington surrounded by government and politics is extra exciting.” 

WASHINGTON BLADE: How do you tap into a real-life character like Perón?

CAESAR SAMAYOA: Fortunately, Sammi [Connald] and I work similarly. With real persons and situations, I immerse myself into history, almost to a ridiculous extent. 

First day in the rehearsal room, we were inundated with artifacts. Sammi has been to Argentina several times and interviewed heavily with people involved in Eva and Peron’s lives. Throughout the process we’d sit and talk about the real history that happened. We went down the rabbit hole.

Sammi’s interviews included time with Eva’s nurse who was at her bedside when she died. We watched videos of those interviews. They’ve been an integral part of our production. 

BLADE: Were you surprised by anything you learned?

SAMAYOA: Usually, Eva and Perón’s relationship is portrayed as purely transactional.  They wrote love letters and I had access to those. At their country home, they’d be in pajamas and walk on the beach; that part of their life was playful and informal. They were a political couple but they were deeply in love too. I latched on to that. 

BLADE: And anything about the man specifically? 

SAMAYOA:  Perón’s charisma was brought to the forefront. In shows I’ve done, some big names have attended. Obama. Clinton. Justin Trudeau came to “Come From Away.” Within seconds, the charisma makes you give into that person. I’ve tried to use that.  

BLADE: And the part? 

SAMAYOA: Perón is said to be underwritten. But I love his power and the songs he sings [“The Art of the Possible,” “She is a Diamond,” etc.]. I’m fully a baritone and to find that kind of role in a modern musical is nearly impossible. And in this rock opera, I can use it to the full extent and feel great about it.

BLADE: “Evita” is a co-production with A.R.T. Has it changed since premiering in Boston? 

SAMAYOA: Yes, it has. In fact, 48 hours before opening night in Washington, we made some changes and they’ve really landed. Without giving too much away, we gave it more gravity in reality of time as well as Eva’s sickness and the rapid deterioration. It’s given our second act a huge kind of engine that it didn’t have. 

BLADE: You’re married to talent agent Christopher Freer and you’re very open. Was it always that way for you?

SAMAYOA: When I started acting professionally, it was a very different industry. We were encouraged to stay in the closet or it will cast only in a certain part. There was truth in that. There still is some truth in that, but I refuse to go down that road. I can’t reach what I need to reach unless I’m my most honest self. I can’t do it any other way.

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Out & About

HRC’s National Dinner is back

LGBTQ rights organization’s annual gala features Rhimes, Waithe, Bomer



Actor Matt Bomer will be honored at the HRC National Dinner.

The Human Rights Campaign will host its annual National Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The dinner’s honorees include world-famous producers, actors and entertainers whose work spotlights the fight for civil rights and social justice, including Shonda Rhimes, Lena Waithe and Matt Bomer.

A new event, as part of the weekend, — the Equality Convention — will take place the night before the dinner on Friday, Oct. 13. The convention will showcase the power of the LGBTQ equality movement, feature influential political and cultural voices, and bring together volunteer and movement leaders from across the country to talk about the path ahead.
For more details about the weekend, visit HRC’s website.

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