Researchers using data from the 2000 Census revealed that an estimated 33,000 adults in the District of Columbia identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, about 8.1% of the city's adult population. The city council passed legislation in 2009 authorizing same-sex marriage and the District began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in March 2010.
Gentrification efforts are taking hold in Washington, D.C., notably in the neighborhoods of Logan Circle, Shaw, Columbia Heights, the U Street Corridor, and the 14th Street Corridor. Development was fostered in some neighborhoods by the late-1990s construction of the Green Line on Metrorail, Washington's subway system, which linked them to the downtown area. In March 2008, a new shopping mall in Columbia Heights became the first new major retail center in the District in 40 years. As in many cities, gentrification is revitalizing Washington's economy, but analysts claim its benefits are unevenly distributed throughout the city and that the economic growth is not directly helping poor people.
Logan Circle is a traffic circle, neighborhood, and historic district in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. The primarily residential neighborhood includes two historic districts, properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and sites designated D.C. Historic Landmarks. It is the last major circle in the District that remains entirely residential.
During the 2000s, the area gentrified and housing costs sharply increased after derelict buildings were torn down or remodeled. The commercial corridors along 14th Street and P Street underwent significant revitalization, and are now home to a variety of retailers, restaurants, art galleries, live theater, and nightlife venues such as Halo, a gay bar catering to the neighborhood's large LGBT population. A watershed event in the development of the neighborhood was the opening of a Whole Foods Market two blocks from Logan Circle in December 2000, on a site previously occupied by an abandoned service garage; it is now one of the chain's highest grossing markets. Gentrification in Logan Circle has resulted in a dramatic change of neighborhood demographics; since the 1990s, thousands of white young adults have moved into the neighborhood, while thousands of black adults have moved out of the neighborhood.
1700 T Street
The Logan Circle Historic District is an eight-block area surrounding the circle, containing 135 late-19th-century residences designed predominantly in the Late Victorian and Richardsonian Romanesque styles of architecture. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 1972.
Former Residence of John A. Logan
The former home of Mary McLeod Bethune, an African American educator, author, and civil rights leader who founded the National Council of Negro Women, is located at 1318 Vermont Avenue NW, one block south of the circle. The Second Empire-style building is a designated National Historic Site and houses the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum and the National Archives for Black Women's History.
2000 N Street
Dupont Circle is a traffic circle, park, neighborhood, and historic district in Northwest Washington, D.C. The traffic circle is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue NW, Connecticut Avenue NW, New Hampshire Avenue NW, P Street NW, and 19th Street NW. The Dupont Circle neighborhood is bounded approximately by 15th Street NW to the east, 22nd Street NW to the west, M Street NW to the south, and Florida Avenue NW to the north. The local government Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2B) and the Dupont Circle Historic District have slightly different boundaries.
Former Residence of Senator James G. Blaine in 1900
The neighborhood began to decline after World War II and the 1968 riots, but began to enjoy a resurgence in the 1970s, fueled by urban pioneers seeking an alternative lifestyle. The neighborhood took on a bohemian feel and became an area popular among the gay and lesbian community. Along with The Castro in San Francisco, Hillcrest in San Diego, Greenwich Village in New York City, Boystown in Chicago, Oak Lawn in Dallas, Montrose in Houston, and West Hollywood in Los Angeles, Dupont Circle is considered a historic locale in the development of American gay identity. D.C.'s first gay bookstore, Lambda Rising, opened in 1974 and has gained notoriety nationwide. In 1975, the store ran the world's first gay-oriented television commercial.
Central Union Mission
Gentrification accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s, and the area is now a more mainstream and trendy location with coffeehouses, restaurants, bars, and upscale retail stores. Since 1997, a farmers market has operated at Dupont Circle.
House of the Temple
Capital Pride is an annual LGBT pride festival held each June in Washington. As of 2007, the festival is the fourth-largest LGBT pride event in the United States, with over 200,000 people in attendance. The Capital Pride parade takes place annually on Saturday during the festival and travels through the streets of the neighborhood.
Dupont Circle Fountain
The annual Dupont Circle High Heel Race, first held in 1985, takes place on the Tuesday before Halloween (October 31). For several hours before 9 p.m., more than 100 drag queens stroll up and down 17th Street, often referred to as "The Runway". The race itself, which lasts about one minute, begins at 9:00 p.m. Spectators and participants begin the festivities hours earlier. The "race course" extends south from 17th and R Street NW down to Church St, a distance of about three short blocks.
Former Residence of Ambrose Bierce
The event is sponsored by the Alpha (Washington, D.C.) chapter of the Delta Lambda Phi fraternity and by JR's DC Bar and Grill. The grand marshal of the 2009 race was D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty.
The Iowa by Thomas Franklin Schneider, 1901
Further Readings :
Gay and Lesbian Washington D.C. (DC) (Images of America) by Frank Muzzy
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (May 11, 2005)
Amazon: Gay and Lesbian Washington D.C. (DC) (Images of America)
In the identity of gay and lesbian America, Washington, D.C., has a history, perhaps unknown, that begs to be acknowledged. This history ranges from the planner of this new city on the Potomac River to generations of gay women who fought, lobbied, and marched for the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Prohibition promoted the rise of underground clubs with back rooms for gays and lesbians to socialize in the 1920s. The history of these clubs and cruise spots reveals the migration of gay neighborhoods across the city, from Georgetown to Lafayette Square to Dupont Circle. In the 1960s and 1970s, gays and lesbians marched with Pride to be recognized. In the 1980s, they covered the Mall with a quilt to finally hear politicians utter the word AIDS. Today, the word is marriage: equal under the law and equal in the heart.
Ask the Fire by Dennis Paddie
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (July 10, 2010)
Amazon: Ask the Fire
''I had a friend who was a spy.''
So begins this story of espionage, set just before the terrible events of September 11th. Ask the Fire features a brilliant, almost enlightened, but emotionally jaded and politically cynical secret agent, a man who has seduced secrets out of Araby for decades for American intelligence agencies. Now, this agent struggles on his own to prevent the start of the Terrorist Wars. This is a story with a vast sweep that places spying and spiritual vision within the larger history of heresy and homosexuality in Western culture from the Crusades to our contemporary clash with Islamic fundamentalism. What events tie together the political activism of 1960's Texas with the legends of courtly love, the secrets of the Knights Templar and mysteries of Freemasonry in the architecture of the D.C. streets? The gay Mata Hari of Ask the Fire learns the truth.
Dennis Paddie has penned a remarkable thriller, a book that transcends its story of spies and terrorists to reach for a deeply spiritual vision of human life in the charged world of the 21st century.
Collage - A Novel by Ted Wojtasik
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Livingston Press, University of West Alabama (March 14, 2004)
Amazon: Collage - A Novel
"Living up to its title, COLLAGE blends the power of poetic expression with the classic elements of prose to create a unique assemblage of time, place, and experience. Wojtasik's innovative and daring style truly captures the complex narrative of the mind as we follow Zee piecing together past experience, present conflicts, and future hopes to create and define himself. Part poem, part novel, part history, part lyric, and all great-COLLAGE adds up to a wonderfully balanced whole and a compelling composition"--Richard Blanco.
In Ted Wojtasik's complex novel of gay love, the problem isn't one of coming out of the closet-but one of maturing into responsible love. Wojtasik superbly mixes the unlikely ingredients of Central European history, Admiral Peary's North Pole expedition, the artistry of collage and the national onset of AIDS into just such a life lesson for his young protagonist.