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White House, rainbow, gay news, Washington Blade

The Washington Blade has been covering the LGBT community since 1969 (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Blade was founded in 1969 as a black and white, one-sheet community newsletter distributed in D.C.-area bars. In October 2009, the Blade celebrated its 40th anniversary as an award-winning news source with a large following in print and online. Readers locally and around the world have come to rely on the Blade’s unmatched coverage of LGBT news, earning the paper the moniker “the newspaper of record for the LGBT community.”

In November 2009, the Blade’s former parent company filed for bankruptcy and the paper was shuttered on Nov. 16. But the community immediately stepped in — advertisers, writers, professionals from all backgrounds — and thanks to an outpouring of local support, the staff carried on the Blade’s important work. On Nov. 20, the former Blade staff debuted a new publication, DC Agenda, which was published weekly until April 23, 2010 by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, a new locally owned business created by publisher Lynne Brown, editor Kevin Naff, sales executive Brian Pitts and other former Blade staff members.

State of the Union, gay news, Washington Blade

President Barack Obama (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The company acquired the assets of the Washington Blade in bankruptcy court and brought back the Washington Blade brand effective April 30, 2010.

Whether you read us in print, online at, via Facebook or follow us on Twitter or on your mobile device, the Washington Blade continues to serve the D.C.-area LGBTQ community, while covering all the national and international news important to our lives.

Gay men's chorus of Washington, gay news, Washington Blade

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington performs on Dec. 13, 1985. (Blade file photo by the late Doug Hinkle)

What does ‘The Blade’ mean?

In the Victorian era, the phrase “gay blade” meant a dashing and charming swordsman. By the early 20th Century, the phrase had come to mean, a “dashing young man.” By the 1960s, however, sometimes ‘gay blade’ was used interchangeably with phrases like “confirmed bachelor,” as code for a gay man, generally in the closet. In October 1969, however — just four months after the Stonewall Riots in New York City — ‘The Gay Blade’ came out of the closet, as the publication of record of the gay community in Washington D.C. taking an ironic shot at a phrase that once was used to enforce a culture of hiding and shame. Since then, this publication has been the community’s voice for over 40 years. Though we briefly published as D.C. Agenda in 2009-2010, our organization has never ceased finding and recording the most important news of the LGBT community of our nation’s capital.

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