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August 12, 2022 1:36 am

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1. Gay News

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights: Shop local this season and make a difference

gift guide, gay news, Washington Blade

In a year of political upheaval and protest, The Outrage, located at 1722 14th St NW, provides every kind of gift needed for progressive friends and family members. The pride gift box comes with “Pride was a Riot” socks, Black Lives Matter and Pride pins, pride balloons, and a “Say Their Names” postcard. The proceeds from this $25 set go to the Trevor Project and Black Lives Matter.

The Outrage offers an array of Pride and BLM gift ideas.

They also have several different versions of the “Pride was a Riot” T-shirts in different sizes and colors. This shirt is currently on sale for $16 instead of $32. The Outrage sells candles made by the Queer Candle Company in different scents like honeycomb, apple tree, and whiskey&wood. The 100% soy candles are $22 and proceeds go to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

(Photos courtesy of The Outrage)

Many different $5 pronoun pins can be found at The Outrage with funds from these purchases going to The Trevor Project. Parents looking for gifts for family members could also turn to the “I Love My Dads” and “I Love My Moms” onesies which come in various sizes for $25.

(Photo courtesy of The Outrage)

Busboys and Poets, a combined restaurant, bar, bookstore, and coffee shop with several locations around the city, offers several options for LGBTQ-specific merchandise. For $25 you can get a “Peace and Love Pride” T-shirt. They also offer a Busboys and Poets T-shirt in rainbow colors for $25 and a “Resisting” T-shirt for the same price.

DCATS sells a variety of trans pride shirts. (Photo courtesy DCATS)

The DC Area Transmasculine Society, a nonprofit devoted to helping transmasculine people, sells a variety of merchandise including trans flag pins, which go for only $4 and make perfect stocking stuffers. DCATS also sells a variety of trans pride shirts including a they/them pronouns shirt and trans visibility shirt, which are both sold for $20.

D.C.-based company Scout Bags offers dozens of different options for shoppers, including the $45 Daytripper shoulder bag, and the $58 Pack Leader backpack. For those shopping on a budget, Scout has a whole section for gift options under $50 and under $25.

Scout Bags offers dozens of different bags.

Freres Branchiaux is a D.C.-based, Black-owned candle business. Their candles are hand-poured and come in dozens of different scents.

For an array of modern, unique gift ideas, check out Naked Decor. From tea towels and umbrellas to vases and D.C.-centric gifts, Naked Decor offers creative options at affordable prices. A Michelle Obama “Women We Admire” ornament is $21.95. D.C.-themed face masks $15.95 for two; D.C. neighborhoods pillow is $49.95. Check them out at

Make a Donation

For the holidays this year, you could also substitute traditional gifts for a donation in the name of a loved one. Some D.C.-based LGBTQ organizations to consider donating to are: SMYAL, Casa Ruby, Capital Pride Alliance, D.C. Black Pride, Whitman Walker Health, Friendship Place, and, of course, the Blade Foundation.

Another gift option to support local LGBTQ businesses is to buy gift cards for family and friends from bars that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Options include Nellie’s Sports Bar, A League of Her Own, Pitchers, Trade, and Number Nine.

A League of Her Own

The post Shop local this season and make a difference appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights

1. Gay News Attend a Virtual ‘Prom’ With the Film’s Cast and More

Janelle Monae and Jonathan Van Ness

Jonathan Van Ness will host the event, with a performance by Janelle Monáe and appearances by the stars of The Prom.

1. Gay News

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights: Deb Price won over straight readers with beloved column

Deb Price, gay news, Washington Blade
Journalist Deb Price asking questions at a White House briefing in 2010. (Screen capture via C-SPAN)

There’s no question that transphobia and homophobia persist, even five years after marriage equality. Yet, today, many people don’t bat an eye when celebs say they’re LGBTQ.

“Who cares now when somebody’s gay,” a member of my family asked recently.

She’s far from being a rainbow flag-waving LGBTQ rights activist. Yet, she wasn’t shocked or judgey when actor Elliot Page came out as trans. “He’s the same person – still a great actor,” she said.

This was far from the prevailing attitude when the first column with a queer perspective by trailblazing lesbian journalist Deb Price debuted in The Detroit News in 1992. When her column premiered, it was the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act. Ellen was still in the closet, AIDS was a death sentence and same-sex marriage wasn’t even remotely on the horizon. As I’ve written before, then, when my partner was hospitalized, I could only visit her when I said I was her sister.

Price’s column was the first nationally syndicated weekly column on gay life to run in the mainstream press.

Price, who wrote 900 columns over 18 years, died on Nov. 20 at age 62 at a Hong Kong hospital from interstitial pneumonitis. Price is survived by her wife Joyce Murdoch. She was allowed to stay by Price’s side at the hospital for the last 11 weeks of her life, Murdoch told The New York Times.

Price’s many columns, as much as any legislation, helped to change attitudes toward LGBTQ rights.

Murdoch and Price became a couple in 1986. Her debut column appeared in 1992 in The Detroit News. In her first column, Price asked her readers what she should call Murdoch. It’s hard to imagine but in those days people rarely, if ever, used the word “partner.”

I remember all too well how awkward it was then when people called my partner “your friend” or “your companion.”

“I found the courage to ask for the column that I’d always wanted to read,” Price told the Association of LGBTQ Journalists. “I wanted to be entertained, not offended. Talked to, not about. Informed, not maligned. Inspired, not demoralized.”

In her first column, Price jolted hetero readers awake. “So tell me, America,” she asked, “how do I introduce Joyce?”

“Maybe we should seize a word, as we did with ‘gay,’” Price added, “and make it ours. Or is it simply part of gay culture to have a love that answers to many names?”

When Price posed this question, queer love, in most circles, still didn’t dare speak its name.

Many more of us queers were closeted then – afraid to come out to our families, employers, even our friends. Though there’s still a long way to go for queer representation in movies and TV, queers on screen were even fewer. Those who were on screen were rarely portrayed as ordinary people who fell in love, had families or held jobs.

Price made being queer less scary for hetero readers. She wrote about how we fight over dishes and she wrote about us gardening, working, and taking vacations.

Price used the language of domesticity to make readers understand how demeaning it was when same-sex couples couldn’t marry.

“We watch our siblings get eight silver trays, 12 pickle forks, a fondue pot and a trip to Hawaii for settling down,” she wrote. “And then our relatives give us a hard time or nothing at all.”

Price must have had a thick hide. She received hate-filled responses. Yet, so many readers, queer and hetero, loved her column.

At a time when few hetero people knew openly LGBTQ people, Price’s column made us seem approachable – maybe even like folks they’d enjoy getting to know.

Thank you, Deb, for your bravery and pioneering work! R.I.P.

Kathi Wolfe, a poet and writer, is a regular contributor to the Blade.

The post Deb Price won over straight readers with beloved column appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights

1. Gay News

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights: EXCLUSIVE: Mashrou’ Leila lead singer discusses struggles, activist’s suicide

Hamed Sinno (Photo courtesy of Hamed Sinno/OutRight Action International)

The out
lead singer of the Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila says their career has been
“a constant battle for breath.”

is an act of intentional breathing,” Hamed Sinno told the Washington Blade
on Dec. 11 during an exclusive interview after they spoke at OutRight Action
International’s annual OutSummit that took place virtually this year. “We
just haven’t been able to find space.”

“We’ve had these weird moments where there’s space by exception, where we got to play for a few years in one country before getting banned and then for a few years in another country before getting banned, yadda yadda yadda, but it’s always been a case of exception.”

Mashrou’ Leila formed at the American University in Beirut in 2008.

Sinno —
who came out when they were a student at the university — in 2010 waived a
rainbow flag during a concert at Lebanon’s Byblos Festival.

Christian groups in 2019 successfully pressured
festival organizers to cancel a Mashrou’ Leila concert that had been scheduled
to take place. The Jordanian government has also prevented Mashrou’ Leila from
performing in the country.

authorities in September 2017 arrested Sara Hegazy, an LGBTQ activist, after
she raised a rainbow flag during a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo. Hegazy was
tortured in prison before an Egyptian court in January 2018 ordered her release
on bail.

one who grows up on our side of the world is under the illusion that things
will be easy, but that level of injustice is really difficult to imagine,”
Sinno told the Blade as they discussed Hegazy. “Obviously when we were on
stage we saw the rainbow flags, but really it was a beautiful moment. I don’t
think anyone was thinking that what happened would happened.”

noted Mashrou’ Leila publicized Hegazy’s case when she was in custody
“because we were getting stories about the kind of abuse she was being
subjected to.”

no need to go into details, but it was just brutal and it made it really
difficult for me not to focus on her,” said Sinno.

after her release asked for asylum in Canada.

Sinno said
he “very briefly” met Hegazy backstage after a Mashrou’ Leila concert
in Toronto.

died by suicide in June.
Sinno in a lengthy tribute to her on
their Facebook page
told their young LGBTQ fans that they are “God’s
creation, as much as anyone else is. You are perfect. You are beautiful. You
are loved. You deserve better.”

during the interview further reflected upon Hegazy’s death.

not about me,” Sinno told the Blade. “What happened to Sara is very
much about her.”

guess part of it is this strange relationship that you imagine having with your
audience … where even if these people aren’t part of your life you feel
invested in their well-being because you know that they’ve been invested in ours,”
they added. “I don’t know how to qualify the nature of that bond, to be
honest, but it’s something.”

added “being part of that moment where that flag was raised, understanding
the courage that it took for her to do that because of my own history, and
being in that moment and sharing in that joy, and then seeing it dissolve and
turn into misery over the course of the weeks that followed and for the three
months after made it such a huge part of our lives as a band and made it a huge
part of everyone’s life in the Middle East.”

majority of the LGBT community was implicated in that, but then for us the
whole experience of that concert in Cairo, it’s sort of been downhill from
there,” they said.

Lebanese LGBTQ group ‘big part of my coming out journey’

spoke with the Blade roughly four months after a massive explosion in Beirut’s
port killed more than 200 people and devastated large swaths of the Lebanese

The blast nearly
the offices of Helem, the country’s oldest LGBTQ advocacy group,
and left several staffers injured. OutRight Action International launched a
fundraiser to help Helem and members of Lebanon’s LGBTQ community recover from
the blast.

Sinno in their OutSummit speech said the explosion is the result of “the criminal negligence of the Lebanese state,” but they declined to comment further to the Blade. Sinno did note, however, they continue to support Helem and its work in Lebanon.

was a big part of my coming out journey,” Sinno told the Blade, noting he
volunteered at Helem when he was 18.

lot of what I guess I’ve been trying to do over the last few months is just to
amplify their fundraising campaigns through my own social media
platforms,” they added.

Sinno told
the Blade they are “very good friends with everyone at the center, those
people in the center when I was 18 and those people that took over

The massive explosion that destroyed large swaths of Beirut, Lebanon, on Aug. 4, 2020, seriously damaged the offices of Helem, a Lebanese LGBTQ advocacy group. (Photo courtesy of Tarek Zeidan/Helem)

Sinno has publicly discussed their struggles with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and their sobriety. Sinno during their interview with the Blade also spoke about the stigma around mental health in the Middle East.

stigma around people who are read as presenting masculine sharing their
struggles with that is ridiculous and toxic and counterproductive,” they

know that a lot of my issues come from having to deal with shared problems that
I know a lot of (my) audience will also have to face, so I think it matters to
be transparent about sharing that with those people,” added Sinno.
“There’s little more than I can do in my position to be honest as a
musician. There’s not much we can do. We’re pretty useless. We shake our asses
on stage, but it’s just how we navigate that relationship with an audience is
all we have.”

‘Exhausting being here’ in U.S.

OutRight summit took place a month after President-elect Biden defeated President
Trump in the U.S. election. The coronavirus pandemic and the continued fallout
over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May also overshadowed it.

always going to be a lot of reasons to be cynical and my default modus operandi
is to just want to be that cynical,” Sinno told the Blade when asked about
their experience living in the U.S. right now. “There are also a lot of
reasons to be optimistic right now.”

is a fierceness in people who are much younger than I am that I have never
experienced before and that’s just not in the U.S., but back in Lebanon as well
and it really is cause for so much optimism,” they added. “Seeing the
way people came together after the assassination of George Floyd is not
something that we can dismiss. Seeing prison abolition become a conversation
that is not deemed too radical by a large segment of a population is not a
little feat.”

Sinno also
said “what we are witnessing in terms of the fruits of the labor of Black
activists and Black trans activists who are in the history of this country is

seeing it, hopefully, come to fruition,” they said. “If we manage to
create more space for that community that inevitably means better things for

Sinno admitted it is currently “exhausting being here” in the U.S. Sinno also said he has begun to examine how they have benefitted from systemic oppression.

“I’m not Black, I’m an Arab and I have to explore my own complicity in various systems of oppression, anti-Blackness, and examine how I benefit from those systems as well,” they said. “None of it is easy … it’s been an exhausting few months for everyone here, I think, but I’m inclined at this moment that maybe things are exhausting because we’re all growing, at least I really hope that’s the case.”

The post EXCLUSIVE: Mashrou’ Leila lead singer discusses struggles, activist’s suicide appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights

1. Gay News

“gay” – Google News: ‘Gay Chorus Deep South’ – Good Day Sacramento

‘Gay Chorus Deep South’  Good Day Sacramento

“gay” – Google News

1. Gay News

“gay” – Google News: Mansfield Gay Pride Association selects new president — organization plans to refocus in 2021 – Richland Source

Mansfield Gay Pride Association selects new president — organization plans to refocus in 2021  Richland Source

“gay” – Google News

1. Gay News

Queer Voices – LGBTQ News, Opinion and Conversations: Elon Musk Skewered For Tweet Complaining About Pronouns In Bios

“Guy who named his kid X Æ A-12 cannot fathom using 3 different pronouns,” one critic tweeted.

Queer Voices – LGBTQ News, Opinion and Conversations

1. Gay News

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: RT @MoscowTimes: Almost 50% of the migrants living in Russia before the coronavirus pandemic have left the country, Russia’s Interior Minis…

Almost 50% of the migrants living in Russia before the coronavirus pandemic have left the country, Russia’s Interior Ministry said Wednesday…

Retweeted by

Michael Novakhov (mikenov)
on Thursday, December 17th, 2020 12:18am

12 likes, 6 retweets

mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)

1. Gay News

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: 7:08 PM 12/16/2020 – ‘Cabinet of firsts’: Joe Biden touts Pete Buttigieg’s historic nomination – NBC News…

7:08 PM 12/16/2020 – ‘Cabinet of firsts’: Joe Biden touts Pete Buttigieg’s historic nomination – NBC News…

mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)

1. Gay News

“gay tv” – Google News: Below Deck’s Izzy Wouters comes out as gay – Monsters and Critics

Below Deck’s Izzy Wouters comes out as gay  Monsters and Critics

“gay tv” – Google News