“I love a challenge. Nothing’s going to stop me from going into a male-dominated field.” Tezrah is speaking of her successful career as a DJ. She recalls that at some gigs, while loading in her equipment, she’s been asked, “Are you the DJ?” “Yes, just watch me play,” she laughs. “I don’t mind being the… Read more »
COMING IN HOT. Summer is in full swing, and there’s a certain energy buzzing through the District right now. As we prepare for the city’s full reopening on June 11, there’s a palpable excitement in the air. While remaining cautiously optimistic about this next chapter is a smart move, we all deserve the opportunity to start enjoying what we’ve been missing for over a year. Our issue celebrates summer in the city in many ways, but is also a celebration of Pride. It’s never been more important to support the LGBTQ+ community than it is right now, and we relied heavily on our amazing network of friends and collaborators in D.C. to help us curate a list of LGBTQ+ locals you should know. While the list is by no means extensive, we are very excited to share the names and stories of these individuals making an impact, often while choosing to remain under the radar.
Our first four LGBTQ+ notables come in the form of our cover subjects: Morgen Hunt, Tezrah, Brandt Ricca and Ally Spaulding. Each are carving out space in the LGBTQ+ community as leaders, supporters and advocates, and all were game to put on ‘80s-inspired workout gear and pose for our cover as a tie-in to Ricca’s upcoming 100-mile race to support LGBTQ+ businesses.
We rounded up 42 LGBTQ+ locals to ask them about their work, community and how the city can better support them, and included interviews with several other community members about Pride celebrations, LGBTQ+ sports leagues and running clubs, and more. We also profiled White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ+ Engagement Reggie Greer, and “Team Mom” Jesse Garcia, who has played in 50 Fray leagues and built a very close-knit chosen family of LGBTQ+ locals. And assistant editor M.K. Koszycki put together a Pride Playlist based on our interviewees’ picks.
On the active life front, we wrote a beginner’s guide to running, checked in with local sports leagues about their upcoming seasons and learned more about Bike to the Beach’s cause. In the arts, we highlighted Wolf Trap’s summer season, the Kennedy Center’s 43rd annual Honors and free summer programming, National Landing Market, and Halcyon arts lab fellows’ latest endeavors. Plus, read about Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) entrepreneurship, behind the scenes with three restaurants navigating the new normal, and a collaboration between a literary series and local restaurants, and check out an illustration of zoo animals partying on the National Mall. And don’t miss our special guides in the issue: our picks for outdoor dining and where to explore in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.
Happy Pride, everyone!
It’s a summer worth celebrating at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Not only is the Northern Virginia destination making its triumphant return as the world emerges from the pandemic, but it is also marking its 50th anniversary as the only public-private partnership between a national park and arts institution. It’s the vision… Read more »
Louisiana native and D.C. business owner Brandt Ricca is no stranger to athletic endeavors. In fact, the founder of local creative branding agency Nora Lee often searches for boundary-pushing experiments to challenge his physical and spiritual limits. Over the past year, Ricca has partaken in the ridiculously restrictive carnivore diet, accidentally given himself tennis elbow… Read more »
There is something immensely satisfying about the act of putting one foot in front of the other and logging miles on some of the DMV’s stunning trails — particularly now. I imagine future anthropologists looking at Instagram as an artifact of the pandemic and concluding that half of all Americans took up baking while the… Read more »
Bike to the Beach, an annual bicycle-riding, autism-awareness fundraiser, is back for its 15th year on July 30. What began as a tradition between two friends transformed into a full-fledged 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raised more than $1.2 million last year for autism awareness. In 1999, without rides or cars of their own, Ben Dalley… Read more »
The sun is out, the D.C. area is getting vaccinated and locals are emerging like cicadas from a year-and-change slumber. Sports leagues around the DMV are ready to give our bodies a place to socialize and remember what it’s like to be part of a community. For the three organizations we interviewed, Stonewall Sports, FXA… Read more »
From his background in communications and working as a public servant with the U.S. government to his involvement in kickball leagues around town, Jesse Garcia uses his skills to connect with others and foster safe spaces for those in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. As Garcia celebrates his participation in 50 DC Fray leagues, we… Read more »
With a view of the Anacostia River, miles of recreation trails, open-air sports stadiums and multiple parks, you don’t have to go far to enjoy the outdoors in Capitol Riverfront. From athletes and sports fans to nature lovers and everybody in-between, the neighborhood has an outdoor activity for everybody to enjoy. Read on for the… Read more »
We all got used to the inside of our homes during the pandemic. If you’re like me, you probably even dedicated a good portion of bandwidth to some home improvements. No matter how posh the upgrade, it was still just a little short of normal. When the weather got nice and the Nationals started playing… Read more »
As a small business owner, Morgen Hunt has worked hard for herself and her company Horizon Paramedical throughout her career. After opening many doors for herself through hard work, both personally and professionally, she attended an event and began volunteering with The Equality Chamber of Commerce DC Metro Area (ECCDC). As she became more involved… Read more »
It’s no secret that bars hold the ability to bring people together, forge new friendships and be the place where lifelong memories are forged. But some bars — and the people who run them — are more than just a social hotspot for fun, dancing and drinks. This is true for lesbian/queer bar A League… Read more »
At 10 years old, Reggie Greer already knew what he’d do in life. After thumbing through history books about presidents for school in Wichita Falls, Texas, he recognized the responsibility government had in shepherding opportunity and equality for everyone. This burgeoning interest led his parents to take him to D.C., where he experienced what all… Read more »
Capitol Riverfront is home to an active community of residents. The neighborhood is friendly, with plenty of ways for people to meet and congregate including great outdoor restaurants, waterfront views and dog parks aplenty. Here are the stories, hidden talents and best neighborhood tips from just a sampling of those who call Capitol Riverfront home… Read more »
Even if the name Laurie Collins doesn’t ring a bell, chances are you know the D.C. native by her social media nom de plume, dccitygirl, as she has more than 132,000 followers on Instagram. Referring to herself as a city explorer and storyteller, Collins regularly posts gorgeous images of some of the most interesting and beautiful… Read more »
What determines our reality? What are we capable of creating? Our culture, heritage, upbringing, media and communities affect our subconscious and, thus, what we believe we can achieve. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are underrepresented in almost all industries and in executive leadership roles. A 2012 study from the Pew Research Center reports that… Read more »
A year and change into the pandemic, restaurants have established new guidelines, staff have been re-trained with additional responsibilities and customer engagement has been approached in different ways. But as restaurants and bars gear up for summertime business and full-capacity reopenings, new challenges are surfacing — from staffing shortages to supply chain strains. As the… Read more »
Although Covid has created a challenging new environment for businesses, it hasn’t stopped new restaurants, gyms and salons in Capitol Riverfront from opening and surviving over the last year. While new businesses faced challenges like opening at a limited capacity or having to provide to-go service only for months, the neighborhood is now emerging from… Read more »
When the pandemic made its way to our corner of the world last March, D.C.-based literary reading series and network The Inner Loop was on the precipice of launching its new Author’s Corner, a special section inside Adams Morgan-based nonprofit café and bookstore The Potter’s House. What cofounders Rachel Coonce and Courtney Sexton had hoped… Read more »
Every single one of us has missed something fiercely during Covid. Even the biggest introvert has experienced the pangs of loss over some part of their former routine or interactions. And while I’m an extreme extrovert and avid lover of the arts who stumbled through the past year feeling lost without my frequent touchpoints in… Read more »
Nestled among a series of high-rise buildings in the upper plaza above the Crystal City Shops, a new open-air market launched in Arlington, Virginia on May 15. During the hour or so while I visited, at least 100 people came through the plaza, browsing, shopping and chatting with the inaugural 20 vendors. Event producer David… Read more »
Through a series of weekend festivals stretching from May 27 to October 2, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage will highlight a range of artists who represent different aspects of D.C.’s rich culture. Diana Ezerins, director of public programs at the Kennedy Center, says in building the Millennium Stage Summer Series, she focused on bringing art… Read more »
The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on the arts world, both locally and nationally. But with nearly half of D.C. residents fully vaccinated at the time of writing, and the city reopening in full on June 11, local creators can start to breathe a bit easier. Writer and performer Fargo Tbakhi; performer, video artist… Read more »
Music has always been a tool for resistance, acceptance and celebration. With that in mind, we put together District Fray’s Pride playlist by asking some LGBTQ+ locals featured throughout the issue to contribute songs that represent Pride to them and tell us why they picked each song. Add our playlist to your Spotify library here…. Read more »
We’re all ready to be out and about again, even our beloved animals at Smithsonian’s National Zoo. E$ envisioned a day out for our zoo-dwelling friends: a pool party at the National Mall. Our personal faves? The panda and seal sporting bikini tops and the kangaroos kicking it by the keg. Follow E$ on Instagram… Read more »