The 19th annual Washington Blade Greatest Of awards arrive amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered so lots of our perennial winners on this competitors. Theater productions, cinemas, in style fundraising occasions stay shuttered; bars and eating places function at decreased capability and battle to stay afloat. COVID has upended our world in unprecedented methods. Only a yr in the past, the Blade was making ready to have a good time its 50th anniversary with a gala get together. Now such occasions are only a distant reminiscence within the age of social distancing.
However amid the loss and heartbreak, there emerge tales of hope, heroism, and resilience. First responders, docs, nurses and even grocery retailer clerks have stepped up and change into heroes in 2020. Enterprise house owners bought artistic, shifting to digital operations, creating new merchandise (face masks, hand sanitizer), and taking their enterprise outdoors (eating places, bars). Drag queens carried out on Zoom and health instructors did the identical. We tailored. The LGBTQ neighborhood has been by way of a pandemic earlier than.
So right here we have a good time the very best of our LGBTQ neighborhood in Washington. We decreased our typical 100 classes to 40 given all of the COVID closures and restrictions on nightlife and humanities & leisure occasions. About 4,000 nominations and 25,000 votes had been solid in 40 classes for the 19th annual Better of awards. The Blade’s Stephen Rutgers coordinated the method. The photographers are credited all through. This yr’s contributing writers are Philip Van Slooten, Joey DiGuglielmo, and Kevin Naff. There will probably be no Greatest Of get together this yr, in fact, however we’ll have a good time all of the winners and nominees just about in a web based presentation at our web site. We look ahead to a raucous in-person celebration in 2021.
LOCAL HERO: RYAN MADDOCK
RUNNER UP: RUBY CORADO
In his first scientific function at Youngsters’s Nationwide Hospital, Ryan Maddock labored with children with power kidney illness. In his present function within the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, he’s mentioned organ donation with mother and father whose kids are at loss of life’s door.
So when Maddock noticed his pal Paul Johnson, whom he met in 2011 by way of Stonewall Kickball, combating kidney illness, he needed to assist.
Johnson, whom Maddock says typically seemed “terrible and sick,” initially didn’t suppose Maddock was severe, however Maddock continued.
He says giving the “reward of life” was not a tough resolution.
“I understood the method,” Maddock, a 39-year-old homosexual Eckington resident, says. “I consider in it with all my being and coronary heart.”
Johnson doesn’t have Maddock’s kidney however his willingness to donate enabled Johnson to discover a donor whom docs thought can be a greater match. A constructive cross match between Maddock and Johnson meant Johnson’s physique was extra prone to reject Maddock’s kidney, so a pairing program was entered at Medstar Georgetown and transplant coordinators labored to seek out the very best donor/recipient for every pair. Maddock doesn’t know who ended up together with his kidney however he hopes to sometime.
With out Maddock’s willingness do donate, it may have been years earlier than Johnson would have been capable of finding a match, Maddock says.
“At first he thought I used to be loopy and never severe. After we had been each by way of the analysis course of we understood one another and have a belief and love for one another,” Maddock says. “He tells me on a regular basis how grateful he’s, however I’m really grateful to have the ability to give him this life off of dialysis.”
The surgical procedures occurred July 14 at Medstar Georgetown. Maddock has 5 laparoscopic scars and one longer scar (two-and-a-half inches) on his stomach. He says it was not traumatic and he has no after results. His solely limitation due to the donation is he can not take sure sorts of anti-inflammatory medicine like Ibuprofin.
Though they don’t hang around as earlier than due to the pandemic, Maddock says he and Johnson speak repeatedly and are each doing properly. Maddock is again to work.
“I don’t have anybody else in my household with kidney illness and I knew that Paul’s life on dialysis was terrible and he deserved a second likelihood at life off of dialysis,” Maddock says. JD
BEST DRAG QUEEN: DESIREE DIK
RUNNER UP: BOMBALICIOUS EKLAVER
Need Dik says when the pandemic first hit she was “freaking out like each different drag performer” in regards to the lack of efficiency and earnings alternative.
“However after I shook it off, Purple Bear nonetheless needed to do digital drag bingo and Extravaganza so we stored doing these — safely, in fact,” Dik says.
Together with her “day job” in instructing on maintain, Dik was impressed by seeing drag performers across the nation take their artwork on-line so she did the identical. For now, Desiree Dik’s Oddbalel and Slash Run are digital. She bought in contact with Oddball vets and have stored it going.
For her tenacity, Dik has been named this yr’s Better of Homosexual D.C. Greatest Drag Queen, a title beforehand held by legends resembling Ba’Naka, Bombalicious Eklaver and Future B. Childs.
She’s working now on a Halloween present. Extravaganza is on hiatus for now however instead is “Drag-livery” the place drag queens pack takeout meals for supply. They go to properties and placed on mini-drag exhibits whereas patrons eat their takeout.
George Marius was born in Falls Church, Va., however despatched to Peru at 6 months previous to be raised by his sister. He lived there till age 10, went again to reside with mother and father in Falls Church and was kicked out at age 16 for being homosexual.
He bought into drag on his 17th birthday at Freddie’s Seashore Bar and stated it simply “made sense as a result of I used to be a homosexual theater child.” He tried it once more a yr later at a City competitors and was hooked.
“It’s been very loopy however on the finish of the day, drag is what I like to do and see in others,” Dik says. “It simply brings me pleasure.” JD
BEST DRAG KING: MAJIC DYKE
RUNNER UP: JACKSON B NITE
Majic Dyke, a Nairobi native who got here to the U.S. with their household at age 10, says a lifetime of confusion about their gender id clicked into focus in 2017 once they began performing as a drag king and bought “totally built-in” with the LGBT scene in Washington.
“That is when issues really fell into place in my life,” Majic wrote in a weblog put up on uniteuk1.com. “I lastly had the vocabulary that affirmed what I had at all times felt, and I lastly had individuals round me that beloved and accepted me in all my varieties.”
Majic identifies as non-binary and pansexual and says all pronouns are OK.
Different monikers they favor are “genderqueer,” “drag king,” “go-go dancer,” “your pleasant neighborhood homosexual boi” and “#beardsandtitties.”
In a Fb put up throughout the nomination course of, Majic campaigned brazenly for the award and stated they had been “blissful as fuck to be nominated alongside my sibs.”
Search for Majic on social media to seek out out extra about performances. JD
BEST TRANSGENDER PERFORMER: INDIA LARELLE HOUSTON
RUNNER UP: DYLAN DICKHERSON
India Larelle Houston has been performing since 2005, which is her full-time work.
“I bought into the artwork type as a result of I had a love for the performing arts and I discovered a approach to specific myself by way of drag,” Houston says.
She’s a solid member at Chanellie’s Drag Brunch on Saturdays and a solid member at Perry’s on Sundays. She additionally performs at Purple Bear Brewing Firm and different venues in Washington and past.
Like everybody, she’s been “tremendously affected” by COVID-19 as each her drag brunches are on hiatus till Washington strikes into section three reopening. A number of different venues have both closed or usually are not providing reside leisure. By now, her Sunday brunch is going on just about. She had financial savings, which has helped keep afloat.
Houston didn’t marketing campaign for this award however says, “It feels completely great to be beloved and appreciated for what I do.”
“It’s a nice honor to be chosen Better of Homosexual D.C.,” she says. “The gods will need to have had a plan for me.” JD
BEST VIRTUAL A&E EVENT: PRIDE IN THE CITY, CAPITAL PRIDE
EDITOR’S CHOICE: TIE: Shaw’s Tavern Digital Drag Bingo! & Desiree Dik’s: Oddball Virus
Satisfaction within the Metropolis is a brand new net sequence that can introduce on-line viewers to a few of Capital Satisfaction employees’s “favourite individuals and locations” in Washington.
“From bars and eating places to cultural treasures and small companies to native heroes who make our neighborhood proud,” Ryan Bos, Capital Satisfaction govt director, stated in an e-mail. “Alongside the way in which we’ll provide insider views and the chance for viewers to take part in quite a lot of methods.”
Two have been held thus far: #stillweentertain on June 28 and #stillwelaugh on Aug. 9 and can be found for viewing on YouTube. A 3rd installment will probably be introduced after the Out Brigade (a Satisfaction motorcade by way of the District) on Oct. 10. One is deliberate earlier than yr’s finish.
Discover out extra at capitalpride.org/pride-in-the-city. JD
BEST OUTDOOR DRINKING: TRADE
EDITORS’ CHOICE: DACHA BEER GARDEN
Commerce (1410 14th St., N.W.) opened in 2015 and rapidly established itself as one of many metropolis’s hottest newer homosexual bars.
Like everybody else, the Commerce group has had an extended, sluggish haul again to some semblance of normalcy after shifting to takeout solely on March 15 (digital content material was created by native efficiency artists), opening for restricted out of doors service on Might 29 and restricted indoor service on June 22. Though some job descriptions “advanced” as a consequence of COVID, no employees was laid off, says Aaron Riggins, advertising and marketing and programming supervisor (he additionally bartends and manages shifts).
Due to capability restrictions, enterprise is just not what it was pre-pandemic however its out of doors house has been in excessive demand. Reservations are really useful however walk-up tables are typically obtainable.
Tito’s and Soda is the preferred drink. On faucet, Bud Gentle and Stella are the preferred. City is owned by John Guggenmos, Ed Bailey and Chachi Boyle, the group behind the now-closed City Danceboutique.
In 2018, Commerce received Greatest ABSOLUT Completely happy Hour and Greatest Neighborhood Bar in 2017.
Commerce is in style, Riggins says, as a result of it’s “all about household.”
“It’s humbling how supportive and constant our patrons, employees and efficiency artists have been,” he says. “The well being and well-being of our household is essential to us and we’re taking the social distancing measures very severely. We’re additionally extremely fortunate to have an immensely proficient artistic household that has been serving to us produce digital content material whereas we will’t have onsite leisure. Look out for extra of the efforts as we get nearer to Halloween.” JD
1410 14th St. N.W.
BEST CARRYOUT: DUPLEX DINER
EDITORS’ CHOICE: LE DIPLOMATE
Early on within the pandemic when eating inside was unparalleled, Duplex Diner (2004 18th St., N.W.) bought artistic with takeout and curbside service.
Resident drag queen Goldie Grigio labored the window and prospects paid on-line upfront.
The diner is understood for its no-nonsense menu that options all the pieces from broccolIni salad, meatloaf, reuben and hen tenders to tasty cocktails just like the Well-known Lemon Squeeze.
House owners Mark Hunker and Jeff McCracken had been regulars there for the reason that late ‘90s and took over the Adams Morgan favourite in 2015.
Supervisor Kelly Laczko, who’s been on the diner for eight years, retains issues operating easily.
“Issues have been surprisingly good,” Laczko stated in a Blade interview earlier this yr. “We’ve had a lot love from the neighborhood and folks have been wonderful. We’ve gotten plenty of help thus far. We’re very fortunate.” JD
2004 18th St., N.W.
BEST COFFEESHOP: THREEFIFTY BAKERY AND COFFEE BAR
EDITORS’ CHOICE: COFFY CAFE
Enterprise is sort of again to pre-COVID ranges at gay-owned ThreeFifty Bakery however proprietor Jimmy Hopper and his accomplice Michael Graham are involved in regards to the coming winter months.
“Issues have been difficult throughout COVID,” Graham says. “Nonetheless, we labored early to develop the most secure potential buyer expertise by using the patio house for single buyer ordering. We’ve got additionally been extraordinarily lucky to have the total help of the neighborhood. … We’re involved in regards to the fall and winter months with indoor spacing limitations.”
Three Fifty, which opened in 2014, has 14 workers and says its buyer base is about 30 p.c LGBTQ. The most well-liked drink is a caramel latte and the preferred pastry is a tie between the quiche and apple zucchini bread.
“It feels actually nice to win this honor and we’re so proud to be an LGBT-owned enterprise and to have the continued help from the neighborhood, LGBT neighborhood and the District,” Graham says.
Three Fifty additionally received Greatest LGBT-owned Enterprise within the Blade ballot in 2017. This win is monumental — Three Fifty dethrones Compass Espresso, which had 4 consecutive wins on this class by way of 2019.
ThreeFifty Bakery and Espresso Bar
1926 17th St. N.W.
BEST COVID QUARANTINE PROMOTION OR EVENT: GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON, DC “SUMMER SOIREE” WITH LESLIE JORDAN
EDITOR’S CHOICE: TAGG’S QUEERANTINECON
The Homosexual Males’s Refrain of Washington wasn’t in a position to have its annual Spring Affair this yr due to COVID, so as a substitute, organizers held a Summer season Soiree Aug. 15, which went off with none glitches or technical points, had 679 registered attendees and raised about $125,000 for the group and now wins this Blade readers’ ballot award. Not unhealthy!
The Refrain carried out just about and carried out bits; Leslie Jordan was the superstar visitor.
The Refrain’s subsequent occasion is “Dropping My Thoughts: a Celebration of Sondheim,” a digital cabaret on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. This yr’s vacation present can also be on-line.
The Refrain and its ensembles are rehearsing totally through Zoom. JD
BEST RESTAURANT: LOGAN TAVERN
EDITORS’ CHOICE: INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON
Maybe in these unsure occasions, we don’t need one thing fancy and boundary pushing. Logan Tavern’s win right here and its unpretentious appeal — upscale however by no means snooty — appears to swimsuit our 2020 sensibilities.
Logan Tavern is owned and operated by EatWell DC and combines pleasant costs with a hip, laid-back ambiance. Logan is a superb go-to place for scrumptious, un-fussy meals. It’s a spot the place you acknowledge the components, the flavors and the dishes you might be being served. The drinks are reasonably priced and the service is great with pleasant and accommodating employees.
It’s largely hearty American fare. Dinner entrees like boneless southern fried hen, crispy skin-on rockfish, crab-stuffed chile relleno and lemon ricotta gnocchi are in style staples.
Logan received Greatest Bloody Mary in these awards in 2018 and Greatest Date Restaurant in 2012. (JD)
1423 P St., N.W.
BEST LOCAL WEBSITE/BLOG: BRIGHTEST YOUNG THINGS
EDITORS’ CHOICE: FEED THE MALIK
Brightest Younger Issues was hit “extremely laborious” by COVID-19, says co-founder Svetlana Legetic, a straight ally. It required “an entire re-do of how we do issues and earn our dwelling,” she says.
“There was completely no plan B resembling counting on buyers or fairy godparents,” she says.
BYT payments itself as an editorial and occasion platform for Washington, New York and Chicago. Because the world has shifted to digital occasions, at the least for giant gatherings, BYT has pivoted providing content material resembling “Suggestions for Sober October,” “Let Our Very Personal Prya Konings Be Your World Vegetarian Day Sage,” “It’s OK You Are Not OK” and extra at brightestyoungthings.com.
“Clearly there aren’t any bodily occasions or festivals, however we’ve seen our on-line engagement rise exponentially and the digital initiatives we’ve labored on whether or not independently or with companions like Smithsonian … confirmed to us that the neighborhood wants that constructive, high quality content material as a result of it makes them really feel linked to one another, even when aside, and we will’t underestimate the worth of that,” Legetic says.
Pre-COVID there have been 12 full-time staffers; there at the moment are 4 and a group of freelance contributors. Whereas not solely queer, BYT was conceived as being LGBT-inclusive from its inception. JD
BEST SALON/SPA: LOGAN 14
EDITORS’ CHOICE: VSL HAIR DESIGN
Temperatures are taken for anybody who comes within the constructing, funds are completely cashless, work stations have been unfold out and sanitation continues at a excessive degree. These are simply a few of the adjustments which have allowed Logan 14 Aveda Salon & Spa to remain open amid the pandemic.
“What hasn’t modified is what we do,” says Katie Rose, common supervisor, who has been on the salon, which has 41 staffers, for 5 years. “We service our company and make individuals feel and look higher about themselves.”
The salon was closed from March 16-June 10 and upon reopening supplied free companies to well being care employees nominated by prospects and employees.
Rose says enterprise is less than pre-pandemic ranges and some employees members had been laid off however she says slowly issues are getting busier. She says their prospects, about 75 p.c of whom are LGBT she guesses, have “been wonderful.”
“It’s been heartwarming to see the outpouring of affection from our company and the way glad they’re to return again in,” Rose says.
That is Logan 14’s fifth consecutive win on this class, which Rose says “means the world to us.” JD
Logan 14 Aveda Salon & Spa
1314 14th St., N.W.
BEST LOCAL TV/RADIO PERSONALITY: CHUCK BELL & WENDY RIEGER, NBC 4 (TIE)
RUNNER-UP: LARRY MILLER, WUSA9
Good ole’ Chuck Bell, meteorologist at NBC4 since October 2004. He was runner-up final yr (and in addition in 2015, 2016 and 2018). He additionally received this award in 2014 and 2012.
“It’s very flattering,” he stated of a earlier win. “I’m pleasantly stunned that persons are taking be aware.”
He’s joined this yr by his NBC4 colleague Wendy Rieger, the 2015 winner.
Rieger stumbled upon broadcast journalism when she was a school drop-out trying to earn money as an actress. She discovered a job studying the information on digital camera in Norfolk, Va., and fell in love with the enterprise.
Bell is homosexual; Rieger is an ally. JD
BEST ABSOLUT TO-GO COCKTAILS: NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
EDITORS’ CHOICE: Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse
Nellie’s big out of doors rooftop house has poised it properly to outlive COVID and this D.C. establishment troopers on.
“Issues are good,” says proprietor Doug Schantz. “We’re lacking the previous regular like everyone else however issues are higher than anticipated.”
Nellie’s is following all of the D.C. restrictions underneath section 2 reopening and is following all the standard pointers however has moved its “streetery” seating to its rooftop. A bus cease on U Road and restricted house on ninth meant the rooftop was its best choice. The 2 open areas and eight big home windows that enable ample air circulation have allowed the favored homosexual sports activities bar to remain busy and observe pointers.
But it surely’s nonetheless a battle. Schantz says 50 p.c capability figures had been estimated by standing patrons so with seating, it’s extra like 20 p.c to stay compliant, however that, in fact, is the brand new regular. There are at the moment 15 on employees, down from 40 pre-COVID.
To-go cocktails — unlawful pre-COVID — have confirmed enormously in style. Pouches are adorned with two labels — one says, “Drink your juice, Shelby” and options flavors; the opposite is a parody of the Campbell’s soup can however says Nellie’s Soup as a substitute. Different cocktails, wine or beer could be bought in 14 oz. recyclable cups with lids. One meals merchandise (a cookie, tater tots, no matter) have to be bought with every to go alcoholic beverage. All of the cups, lids and straws are recyclable.
Schantz says his clientele has stayed devoted and lots of come weekly. Weekend drag brunches are on hiatus. The massive website, which opened in 2007, has 37 TVs so it’s an amazing place to observe the debates, Schantz says.
Nellie’s is a perennial favourite within the Better of Homosexual D.C. Awards. It normally wins one thing yearly. Final yr it received Greatest Drag Present for its brunch, in 2018 it received Greatest Margarita and in 2016 it received Hottest Bar Workers. JD
Nellie’s Sports activities Bar
900 U St., N.W.
BEST OUTDOOR DINING: ANNIE’S PARAMOUNT STEAKHOUSE
EDITORS’ CHOICE: RED BEAR BREWING CO.
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, a Washington establishment since 1948, is now open for each dine-in and perform and because of its out of doors patio, it has received Greatest Outside Eating, a brand new class for this yr’s Better of Homosexual D.C. Awards.
In early 2019, Annie’s acquired the James Beard Basis’s America’s Traditional Award, which honors eating places with “timeless enchantment” and that serve “high quality meals that displays the character of their communities.” Annie’s was solely the third D.C. restaurant to earn that distinction.
George Katinas and his household opened Paramount Steakhouse in 1948. Katinas employed his sister Anne “Annie” Katinas Kaylor, to work the bar. Her reputation led to the restaurant altering its identify to Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse. She died in 2013.
Within the early years of those awards, Anne’s was a perennial favourite successful Greatest General Restaurant (2001, 2002), Tried & True (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006), Greatest Late Night time (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012), Greatest Brunch (2005) and Greatest Steakhouse (2007, 2008). Kaylor was named Native Hero Feminine in 2001.
The menu is hearty American meals with an array of burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads obtainable for lunch. Home specials like “Bull within the Pan” (sirloin suggestions), basil-pine nut pesto pasta and pot roast are staples of the dinner menu. JD
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse
1609 17th St., N.W.
BEST STRAIGHT ALLY: PAMALA STANLEY
RUNNER-UP: REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ
It was a busy yr for singer Pamala Stanley, the ‘80s disco star who has loved an extended and wildly in style residency in Rehoboth Seashore, Del. In January, she introduced plans to maneuver her present from the Blue Moon to The Pines. Then the pandemic hit. Instantly, Stanley pivoted, staging digital exhibits from residence. Then she took the present to The Pines stage with a digital viewers of lots of watching from the security of residence whereas Stanley danced and sang her coronary heart out, taking requests on-line. She used the exhibits as fundraisers for Beebe Medical Basis. House owners of The Pines introduced Stanley’s first live performance on April 26 was so profitable that she would carry out a digital tea dance to learn Beebe each Saturday till The Pines was allowed to reopen.
At that first profit, Stanley devoted one in all her largest hits, “Coming Out of Hiding,” to all her followers who had been getting stressed after weeks in quarantine: “That is for everyone,” she stated, “as a result of we’ve been in hiding for manner too lengthy, don’t you agree?”
The four-week digital fundraisers with Stanley, Mona Lotts, and Michael Solonski introduced in $19,000 for Beebe Medical Basis to assist cowl bills incurred due to the pandemic.
Stanley has since resumed common exhibits at The Pines, Thursday-Sunday nights whereas observing social distancing protocols within the massive Pines venue. JD
BEST PRO ATHLETE: NATASHA CLOUD, WASHINGTON MYSTICS
RUNNER-UP: SEAN DOOLITTLE, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Final yr, Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud helped her group win its first WNBA championship. She’s additionally a vocal and public supporter for causes she believes in like ending gun violence and supporting the Black Lives Matter Motion.
“Juneteenth is a day of celebration,” Cloud stated throughout a Wizards and Mystics peaceable protest in opposition to racial injustice and police brutality. “It’s a day of liberation. It’s a day that we had been lastly free of our bondage. We couldn’t consider a greater day than at the moment to return out right here and are available collectively, collectively and unified in solidarity with each other for a higher trigger.”
Although Cloud introduced in June that she would sit out the 2020 season as a consequence of her considerations about systemic racism and the continuing pandemic, voters acknowledged her excellence each on and off the courtroom with a “Greatest Professional Athlete” award. PVS
In 2014, Bishop Allyson Abrams resigned as pastor of a small Detroit church after asserting that she had married her spouse in Iowa. One yr later, a Supreme Courtroom ruling would legalize same-sex marriage within the U.S., however on the time she might have felt like she was risking all the pieces to be with the girl she beloved. She arrange her ministry within the D.C. space and has remained an emblem of power and braveness ever since.
“Folks say it’s wonderful to listen to a pastor say that God loves us the way in which we’re,” Abrams informed the Blade again in 2014. “I’m at all times going to ensure God is aware of them.”
This yr Allyson’s neighborhood supported her with a “Greatest Clergy” award. PVS
BEST D.C. PUBLIC OFFICIAL: MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER
RUNNER-UP: U.S. REP. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D-D.C.)
In 2017, Mayor Bowser wore a shiny yellow gown and an enormous smile whereas accepting her award for “Greatest D.C. Public Official” on the Blade’s Better of Homosexual D.C. awards. Instances have modified, notably this yr, marking her fifth in workplace.
Bowser assumed workplace as mayor in 2015 after beforehand representing Ward Four on the D.C. Metropolis Council since 2007. A local of the area, she is the District’s second feminine mayor.
This yr, Bowser helmed the District by way of a lethal pandemic, its devastating financial fall out and determined requires racial justice. An extended-time supporter of D.C.’s LGBTQ neighborhood, Bowser tweeted on June 15 in response to the Supreme Courtroom’s landmark ruling defending LGBTQ workers in opposition to office discrimination, “There’s extra work to be executed, however at the moment we have a good time equality. Completely happy satisfaction & preserve preventing.”
Right now her smile represents the District’s resilience and her shiny yellow paint despatched a message of solidarity seen all over the world. PVS
BEST NON-PROFIT: SMYAL
EDITORS’ CHOICE: CENTER FOR BLACK EQUITY
SMYAL has been working with LGBTQ youth for greater than 35 years and its empowered leaders have been staffing tables and neighborhood organizing at occasions throughout town.
This non-profit, now identified for its after-school applications, youth counseling companies, and academic and coaching applications for youth service suppliers working in faculties, shelters, authorities businesses and hospitals, started in 1984 by native professionals and activists.
In response to its web site, SMYAL began with a convention organized to handle pressing youth points after an LGBTQ-identifying youth was hospitalized. Right now SMYAL is a frontrunner in offering help companies and advocacy to youth in want of affirming care.
Throughout an particularly laborious yr for LGBTQ youth who typically look to Satisfaction as a way to attach with others and themselves, the neighborhood acknowledged SMYAL because the yr’s “Greatest Non-profit” for its efforts to keep up a way of connection for our youth. PVS
MOST COMMITTED ACTIVIST: SULTAN SHAKIR
RUNNER-UP: RAYCEEN PENDARVIS
Since taking the helm of SMYAL in 2014, Government Director Sultan Shakir has been a tireless staple on social and conventional media shops advocating for LGBTQ youth. Nonetheless, throughout this summer time of social unrest, Shakir used his platform to name for systemic change.
“SMYAL condemns the extreme use of drive employed by the police in the direction of peaceable protesters in Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation, and we stand with the Black Lives Matter motion,” he wrote in an announcement tweeted June 9 by SMYAL. “Our hope is that by doubling down on our mission to empower younger individuals, we’ll assist create a society the place Black individuals don’t need to ask for solidarity simply to remain alive, a society by which our lives matter.”
Shakir’s dedication was celebrated by the neighborhood this yr with Homosexual D.C.’s “Most Dedicated Activist” recognition for 2020. PVS
BEST CLERGY: BISHOP ALLYSON ABRAMS
RUNNER-UP: REV. DWAYNE JOHNSON
BEST LGBTQ SOCIAL GROUP: IMPERIAL COURT OF WASHINGTON, D.C.
EDITORS’ CHOICE: IMPULSE DC
In June, “Queen of the Capital,” an unbiased documentary movie about D.C. drag artist Daniel Hays’ quest as Muffy Blake Stephyns to be voted Empress of the Imperial Courtroom of Washington in 2014, premiered on the Newseum and commenced the pageant circuit.
Right now the Imperial Courtroom of Washington D.C., is one in all many LGBTQ-affirming social teams throughout the nation and in 2011 it joined the Worldwide Imperial Courtroom System, which started in San Francisco in 1965.
This yr, the neighborhood honored the Imperial Courtroom of Washington D.C. with a “Greatest LGBTQ Social Group” award. PVS
Imperial Courtroom of Washington D.C.
P.O. Field 2616
Washington, DC 20013
BEST LOCAL TV/RADIO STATION: HOT 99.5
EDITORS’ CHOICE: WTOP 103.5
This high D.C. radio station not solely retains the District present on the most recent hits, its Fb web page covers the gamut from superstar break ups, weddings and pregnancies to unusually attention-grabbing tales of Instagram influencers caught utilizing pretend non-public jets as units for picture shoots.
Throughout a time when everybody wanted to simply shut out the world and go 2015 once more, Sizzling 99.5 earned one other high spot from voters because the “Greatest Native TV/Radio Station.” PVS
BEST BUSINESSPERSON: BRYAN VAN DEN OEVER, RED BEAR BREWING
RUNNER-UP: EBONE BELL, TAGG MAGAZINE
Again in April, when pandemic lockdowns and unemployment ranges had been at their worst, Purple Bear Brewing’s Bryan Van Den Oever informed the Blade, “We’ll see what occurs when the mud settles. We’ll combat like hell till then.”
All through the disaster, Purple Bear and different in style native LGBTQ companies like Pitchers, A League of Her Personal, JR.’s, Inexperienced Lantern and others continued to combat to be a significant connection to their employees and the neighborhood, each just about and now on a restricted in-person foundation.
This yr the neighborhood confirmed its appreciation for a continued dedication to beer, music and drag with a “Greatest Businessperson” award to Van Den Oever and the remainder of Purple Bear’s feisty, tenacious group for not simply surviving the pandemic, however innovating and thriving, inspiring the remainder of the small enterprise neighborhood within the course of. PVS
Purple Bear Brewing Firm
209 M St., N.E.
BEST LGBTQ-OWNED BUSINESS: TRADE & NUMBER NINE
EDITORS’ CHOICE: BITE THE FRUIT
D.C.’s in style LGBTQ-friendly night time spots are an essential a part of the neighborhood, so TRADE tweeted on Sept. 24, “Winter is coming…and we’ll be prepared” adopted by a promise to supply heaters and socially distanced consolation amid an ongoing pandemic disaster.
TRADE opened for enterprise in 2015 and on the time co-owner John Guggenmos, additionally co-owner of Quantity 9, deliberate for a brand new bar that included a dance flooring and reside DJs. 5 years later TRADE, like different small companies devastated by the pandemic, depends closely on the neighborhood to maintain its doorways open.
Equally, Quantity 9 up to date its web site to thank the neighborhood for its help throughout the pandemic. “We wouldn’t be capable of get by way of this with out the help of our wonderful patrons and employees. So, thanks.” PVS
1410 14th St., N.W.
1435 P. St., N.W.
BEST VIRTUAL FITNESS CLASSES: VIDA
EDITORS’ CHOICE: JASON LONG FITNESS
Vida isn’t any stranger to successful this class, and staying afloat whereas innovating throughout the pandemic introduced unexpected challenges to this in style, perennial winner. They rose to that problem, taking their award-winning health lessons on-line and persevering with to ship outcomes for purchasers. JD
A number of D.C. places
BEST MEDICAL PROVIDER: DR. ROBYN ZEIGER
EDITORS’ CHOICE: WHITMAN-WALKER HEALTH
Dr. Robyn Zeiger has received this award a number of occasions for her work as a licensed scientific skilled counselor.
“You stroll right into a therapist’s workplace and they’re additionally LGBT so that you don’t have to clarify something,” she informed the Blade upon successful this award in 2017. You don’t have to show them. You may simply be your self and also you don’t need to justify something.”
Along with counseling, Zeiger has labored as an adjunct senior lecturer at College of Maryland. JD
Dr. Robyn Zeiger
BEST VETERINARIAN: FRIENDSHIP ANIMAL HOSPITAL
EDITORS’ CHOICE: DISTRICT VETERINARY HOSPITAL
Friendship Animal Hospital
4105 Brandywine St., N.W.
BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT: MICHAEL MOORE, COMPASS
RUNNER-UP: STACEY WILLIAMS-ZEIGER, ZEIGER REALTY
Michael Moore received this class final yr. Moore credit his success to constant customer support, telling the Blade final yr: “My profession started with first-time homebuyers. In time, first-time consumers change into sellers and so they purchase one other home and so they inform their pals. Now my enterprise is sort of totally referrals and repeats.
“I’m an enormous proponent of staging and doing what it takes to mission the property in its finest mild,” he says. “I attempt to create a scenario that when a potential purchaser walks within the door, they find it irresistible, and suppose to themselves ‘received’t my pals be jealous once they see me dwelling right here.’” JD
1313 14th St., N.W.
BEST REAL ESTATE GROUP: JENN SMIRA TEAM, COMPASS
RUNNER-UP: MARIN HAGEN & SYLVIA BERGSTROM, COLDWELL BANKER
As one of many high 5 agent teams in all of D.C., The Jenn Smira Group brings greater than 50 years of mixed actual property expertise to every transaction. Smira and her group have cultivated a loyal community of earlier purchasers and referrals as they empower consumers and sellers to attain their targets. A one-stop store for all of your actual property wants, Smira’s group presents a formidable vary of in-house experience — from advertising and marketing and PR, to staging and itemizing steering. Smira is a earlier board member of the District of Columbia Affiliation of Realtors (DCAR), DCAR Public Coverage Committee, and at the moment on the board of DC WISE. JD
Jenn Smira Group
1313 14th St., N.W.
BEST LAWYER: AVA BENACH
RUNNER-UP: AMY NELSON
Ava Benach works as an immigration lawyer and is the founder and coach of DC Ladies Baseball. She has written op-eds for the Blade, together with a bit on the necessity to overcome baseball’s sexist and homophobic traditions. She’s not only a expert skilled, however an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality. JD
Benach Collopy LLP
4530 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.
BEST REHOBOTH DRAG QUEEN: ROXY OVERBROOKE
RUNNER-UP: MONA LOTTS
It has been a triumphant yr for Roxy Overbrooke (aka Charles Bounds). Bounds had a very nasty time with COVID-19, contracting the illness in March. He was sick for a few month and was hospitalized within the Rehoboth space for 15 days, an expertise he calls “intense, scary and life altering.”
“With that stated, although, everybody at Beebe Healthcare was wonderful,” he informed the Blade earlier this yr. “I’m feeling a lot better now.” Bounds grew up going to Rehoboth with household and beloved it for its seashores and moved there full time about 10 years in the past.
Bounds entered a contest 12 years in the past and “caught the bug,” for drag. Now it’s his full-time work. Bounds performs as Roxy Overbrooke on the Blue Moon (35 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Seashore, Del.), internet hosting bingo, karaoke, a drag present and superstar impersonation exhibits. (Test bluemoonrehoboth.com for up to date occasion schedules.) Totally recovered from COVID, Bounds continued to wow socially distanced crowds all summer time together with his booming voice and, in fact, glittering robes. A fantastic individual inside and outside, Bounds is a fighter and Roxy is a star performer.
BEST REHOBOTH OUTDOOR DINING: PURPLE PARROT
EDITORS’ CHOICE: AQUA
The gay-owned Purple Parrot is a Rehoboth establishment and when the pandemic hit, the bar/restaurant was properly positioned for out of doors service with its in style Biergarten out again and sidewalk seating in entrance. It hasn’t been straightforward, however the indefatigable employees — particularly Chandler and Jamie — maintained socially distant protocols all summer time, holding locals and vacationers alike secure, fed, and blissful.
134 Rehoboth Ave.
Rehoboth Seashore, DE 19971
BEST REHOBOTH BARTENDER: HOLLY LANE
RUNNER-UP: JAMIE ROMANO
That is Holly Lane’s third win as Greatest Rehoboth Bartender, taking the prize in 2014 and 2017. Usually behind the bar at Cafe Azafran along with her trademark headset belting out tunes whereas making drinks, Lane went on hiatus for a lot of the yr as a consequence of COVID closures. However Azafran — and Lane — are again, although to not full capability, in fact. Issues are completely different, however Lane’s infectious kindness and bartending and singing expertise preserve her loyal prospects coming again, it doesn’t matter what.
BEST REHOBOTH LIVE SHOW: CLIMAX WITH MAGNOLIA APPLEBOTTOM AT BLUE MOON
EDITORS’ CHOICE: PAMALA STANLEY AT THE PINES
The multi-talented Magnolia Applebottom brings her sharp wit and singing expertise to the Blue Moon stage for the favored Climax present. Final yr’s Greatest Rehoboth Drag Queen winner, Magnolia wins this new class this yr amid a city filled with reside leisure competitors.
BEST REHOBOTH COFFEESHOP: RISE UP
EDITORS’ CHOICE: COFFEE MILL
Rise Up in Rehoboth is the 10th location on this regional chain, which operates in Annapolis, Cambridge, and Edgewater, amongst others. The cafe is situated on the roundabout simply as you enter city. You may’t miss the black-and-white constructing. Rise Up presents breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s even a full bar, a stunning reside edge wooden bar sits to the best of the espresso station. The 502 Bar and Rise Up provide out of doors seating and are pet pleasant, an ideal possibility in these socially distanced occasions.
BEST REHOBOTH RESTAURANT: BLUE MOON
EDITORS’ CHOICE: AZZURRO ITALIAN OVEN & BAR
The Blue Moon has received this award so many occasions that it’s laborious to depend. The enduring Moon persevered by way of COVID, providing its flawless, high-end menu for takeout throughout the spring and reopening this summer time with socially distanced tables inside. A COVID silver lining this summer time: You may order the total menu on the bar facet whereas being entertained by proficient NYC pianist Nate Buccieri.
BEST REHOBOTH REAL ESTATE AGENT: LEE ANN WILKINSON
RUNNER-UP: JASON ABELA
That is Lee Ann Wilkinson’s third consecutive win on this class. The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group has ranked #1 in actual property gross sales in Sussex County, Del., for greater than 20 years and ranks #three nationally for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices actual property community. As well as, she is a daily contributor to the Blade. Our readers know her by way of her knowledgeable articles on actual property traits on the Delaware seashores.
16698 Kings Hwy A.
BEST REHOBOTH BUSINESS: DIEGO’S
EDITORS’ CHOICE: BLUE MOON
It was a tough yr for Joe Ciarlante-Zuber (proper) and his husband and enterprise accomplice Darryl Ciarlante-Zuber. Darryl contracted COVID-19 and spent 54 days within the hospital, 34 of these within the ICU. The 2 personal the favored Diego’s, which has a big out of doors patio house. They transformed it right into a beach-themed bar, full with truckloads of sand. Joe labored laborious all season, making certain prospects stayed six ft aside and taking everybody’s temperature on the door. The dedication paid off, as Diego’s resumed as a busy fixture on the summer time scene. Darryl’s restoration and Joe’s perseverance proved an inspiration to your complete neighborhood.
BEST REHOBOTH FITNESS INSTRUCTOR: ELI LYNN
RUNNER UP: TANNER HOLT
Eli Lynn is proprietor and head coach at Elite Life-style Initiatives and trains purchasers within the consolation of their properties. Lynn, who’s straight, focuses on functioning coaching, power and conditioning coaching and stability coaching.
As for his strategy to new purchasers, he says, “First, I ask them what their targets are and if they’ve any earlier accidents or surgical procedures. After one session you may inform what they should work on and what wants to enhance.”
Lynn says COVID has pressured him to coach some purchasers by way of FaceTime, however the pandemic has additionally helped his enterprise develop, “as a result of nobody desires to work out at a gymnasium so me coming to their home and coaching them in their very own residence, everybody feels safer to work out that manner.”
As for his recommendation for many who have gained weight throughout COVID: “I inform them that everybody is in the identical spot as them and what issues essentially the most is you’re right here and beginning to work out. Everybody has other ways of coping with COVID and also you already took an enormous step ahead by hiring me and serving to you get again in form.”