by February 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Dito Sevilla. Email him at dito[AT], follow him on Twitter @DitoDC.

"Wig Night Out"

Wig Night Out 2012. (Luis Gomez Photos)

We live in the greatest city in the world! Okay, maybe we do. After all, we have some of the nation’s worst traffic; we attract ignorant tourists who seem genetically inclined to block the escalators descending into the one of the world’s most disappointing transit systems, and our taxicabs stink, literally.

Our summers are hot, and they are humid. We lack a vote in Congress. President Kennedy called Washington, a city of Southern efficiency, and Northern charm — and right he was. We are not the nicest people on earth, certainly not the kindest, and even, it seems, almost 5% of us may be Republican voters.

One trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles will expose you to levels of efficiency that will make digging your own grave with a baby spoon seem productive — and desirable. But the fact is, it’s still the greatest city in the world because of us.

Washingtonians are highly educated, extremely tolerant, and generally pretty attractive. We are politically active, highly motivated, and very well read. Look, you’re reading this, aren’t you?

“Get Out Your Wigs”

The email read: “Get Out Your Wigs.”

Assuming that basically every gay man owns a wig, James said he’d like to fill the little bar at Floriana with friends — our friends — and just have a “wig night out” — just us, in wigs, with drinks, having fun, among friends; why not? Being no stranger to Washington’s multitudinous annual drag events, pageants, costume balls and other extravaganzas I consented immediately. How exciting, a drag party in the middle of the week; so much to do, so much to prepare, what heels to wear?

As the party has outgrown both the bar at Floriana and Level One, this year, our event will be held at JR’s Bar and Grill on Saturday, February 23 (17th and Church Streets NW).  We are expecting 250 generous, wig-clad attendees, and with their help, we hope to raise more than $10,000. For more information on Wig Night out, visit the Facebook event page.

“No, no, no…” said James, “it’s just your ordinary wig night out.”

Well, that sounded strange. No heels, no makeup, no dress?  I was confused.

“We’ll just be men in wigs!”  I had an image to protect, so I thought.

James insisted, it’s just your ordinary wig night, he kept saying, “because drag is too much work…”

Of course, but this is not just a bar I thought, it’s a restaurant, we have dinner customers… we call them ‘guests’ now. Are they not going to be startled by the sight of 10 men standing around in wigs? Drag, they might understand, but just wigs? People need a reason, don’t they?

The First Wig Night

Wig Night Out 2010 was upon us. Though back then, we just called it Wig Night. And it was just that; 10 men in assorted wigs, filling my little bar, enjoying a drink.

There was however one addition to the original plan. On the bar I placed a glass jar, which simply read “Donations.”

I had thought, that perhaps were anyone to inquire about the mid-week appearance of ten wig-clad gentlemen, rather than explain the point that there really was no point, well that it would just be easier to say that we were raising money for some wig-related cause. After all, it must have been a few years before people stopped asking thousands of women why they were jogging about the city in head-to-toe pink.

At any rate, the jar sat mostly ignored, until it didn’t. A lovely suburban couple had been sent to the bar to await their reservation when they wife, her name was Susan asked the question I had been awaiting: “Why, uh… are…?”

“Why are we in these wigs, you ask?” I launched into a completely fabricated account of this new tradition we began, where we wore wigs, and nothing more in order to look silly and raise awareness for assorted causes, and that we had chosen Locks of Love, a charity that provides… I couldn’t keep lying, because suddenly the unexpected happened.

Susan opened her purse, and began writing out a check, for $60 to Locks of Love, coupling it with another $40 in cash from her husband, placed it in the Jar. We had accidentally, on purpose began turning Jaime’s party, and my lies, into reality. That night all the men in wigs put a little something in that jar. Just over $230 was raised, by accident, on purpose. We had begun a tradition.

The 2011 party grew, and so did the donations. We broke the $1,000 mark and sent it off to our charity of choice, the Point Foundation, providers of financial support, mentoring, leadership training and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Last year’s WNO at Level One raised more than $5,000 — no longer by accident, and most certainly on purpose.

As the party has outgrown both the bar at Floriana and Level One, this year, our event will be held at JR’s Bar and Grill on Saturday, February 23 (17th and Church Streets NW).  We are expecting 250 generous, wig-clad attendees, and with their help, we hope to raise more than $10,000. For more information on Wig Night out, visit the Facebook event page.

Something tells me, it can be done, either by accident or on purpose. It’s just not your ordinary wig night out anymore.

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by June 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm 2,426 0

"Drag Kickball"

Sunday's 2012 Stonewall Drag Kickball at Stead park. Click above to see the photo album. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

View the photo album of Sunday’s Drag Kickball at Stead Park.

With a crowd of 500-plus people cheering the action, Stonewall Kickball held its second annual Drag Kickball festivities on Sunday at Stead Park Field on P Street NW. The winner was the Cobalt Division, beating the division from JR’s Bar & Grill by a score of 4-0. The event benefited The DC Center for the LGBT community and Capital Pride.

Sadly, the tug-of-war between competing teams of Stonewall Kickers was not part of this year’s festivities as it was in 2011.

The event was presented by JR’s and Cobalt. Sponsors of Sunday’s event included Bar Number Nine, Pizza No. 17, Town Dance Boutique, VIDA Fitness, Washington Hilton, Jimmy Kickit, Looks by Dorothy, Bukkicke, 21st Amendments, Sit On My Base, Whornets, Oprah’s Ball Club, Hotmess Kickers, Public Enemy and Harder, Faster.

Learn more about the DC Stonewall Kickball on their Facebook page and website. Their spring season is about to wrap up with the summer season getting underway shortly; Stonewall Kickball also has a fall season. For more information, email info[AT] is proud to be among the sponsors of Capital Pride 2012. Find an entire list of this year’s events, as well as details on each event, on Capital Pride’s website calendar.

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by October 24, 2011 at 11:30 am 1,841 0

"Borderstan" "High Heel Race" "17th Street NW"

Tuesday, October 25: Get ready for the 2011 High Heel Race on 17th Street NW. An added benefit to the festivities this year is food trucks at 17th and O Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Check out photos from 2010 festivities and High Heel Race on 17th Street.

It’s race time! The run for the roses! Each year on the Tuesday prior to Halloween is the 17th Street High Heel Race with this year being the 26th running. The blocks of 17th Street NW between P and S Streets will be closed off at 6 pm with the race starting at 9 pm sharp. Of course, the real fun is the parade of costumes leading up to the race (check out last year’s photos).

New this year at the High Heel Race: The Washington Blade Food Truck Rally with 10 food trucks at 17th and O Streets NW. And for only 20 dineros US you can buy an official High Heel Race T-shirt!

The first event in 1986 drew a respectable crowd and has grown steadily over years. Recent races and pre-race festivities have brought tens of thousands of Washingtonians to 17th Street for the High Heel Race — last year’s crowd was estimated at 60,000. The event is sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill. JR’s was the creator of the annual event the year it opened in 1986.

Race Details. As for those heels, they must be at least 2 inches high or you will be ineligible to win. Registration will be in front of COBALT, 1639 R Street NW, starting at 6 pm.

VIP Passes. You can purchase a $40 VIP pass for the tented area at Church Street where the race ends. Proceeds help cover the cost of the event with the remainder of the funds going to HDCMS.

by October 27, 2010 at 10:17 am 2,381 3 Comments

Tuesday evening on 17th St. NW: Mayor Adrian Fenty gets a lift at the Annual High Heel Race. (Luis Gomez Photos)

17th Street High Heel Race Luis Gomez Photos

Click on the image to see photos from Tuesday night’s 17th Street High Heel Race 2010, including pre-race parade pics. (Luis Gomez Photos).

Check out Luis’ photos from Tuesday night of the pre-race parade of costumes on 17th Street. has video, with report from Amanda Hess: “Are Drag Queens Feminists?”

Be sure to take this week’s Reader Poll on the landing page: “For guys only: Ever dressed in drag?”

It was the 25th running of the annual 17th Street High Heel Race, with volunteers, parade marshals, police and tens of thousands of revelers. JR’s Bar and Grille started the event in 1986 right after it opened at 17th and Church St. NW. What started out 24 years ago as a small neighborhood event has turned into one of the most popular Halloween-week events in the DC Metro area.

One estimate put last night’s crowd on 17th Street between P and Riggs at 60,000 people.

Moreover, the High Heel Race is officially a “First Amendment event,” according to an article in yesterday’s Examiner. Rightly so, but it’s also an awfully lot of fun.

The 2010 event was sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill. The High Heel Race is always held the Tuesday before Halloween (unless it falls on the 31st, of course). While the race takes place at 9 pm, the two-or-so hours leading up to the race are the best part of the evening. Police block of 17th Street from S down to P and the parade of costumes — runners and non-runners alike — is the best amusement in town.


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