Metro Weekly

Think Pink

The Task Force plans to paint the town queer this weekend

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force produces the famed Winter Party Festival in Miami, with the tagline ”party with a purpose.” But why should Miami have all the fun?

”Not everything we do has to only be about politics,” agrees the Task Force’s Russell Roybal. ”We can mix a little fun in it, too.”

This weekend, the Task Force presents its second Pink & Purple Weekend in D.C., with two nightlife parties as well as an awards brunch.

”Instead of having what every Washington organization has, in terms of a stand-alone dinner or brunch or something like that,” says Roybal, ”we decided to make it a weekend of events that lets people choose what to be a part of.”

This year sees the launch of the Pink & Purple Party Friday, May 4, at Cobalt. The party features Los Angeles-based DJ Paulo, ”one of the Task Force’s favorite DJs,” according to Roybal, the LGBT organization’s deputy executive director of external relations.

The weekend also includes the return of the Pink & Purple Sunset party. ”Some say it’s the best women’s event of the season,” boasts Roybal. This year’s event, also set for Friday, May 4, moves from the rooftop of the Donovan House to the rooftop of the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel. New York-based DJ Whitney Day will spin for the event.

Proceeds from both events benefit the Task Force.

The weekend culminates in a Sunday awards brunch, which will honor Pariah filmmaker Dee Rees and local activists Ingrid Duran and Catherine Pino.

Organizers plan to give away tickets at both Friday night Pink & Purple parties to next year’s Winter Party, set for March 6 through 11. Only those wearing pink or purple – or both – will be entered into the drawing for Winter Party tickets. Pink and purple, it turns out, aren’t just the queerest colors in the rainbow. They’re also the official colors of the Task Force.

Roybal has racked up quite a queer wardrobe working for the Task Force for seven years, first in the D.C. office until transferring to New York last summer. This weekend, he might don purple shoes, even purple sunglasses.

”We’re looking forward to having a great weekend,” he says. “Through pink and purple glasses.”

Pink & Purple Sunset is Friday, May 4, starting at 5:30 p.m., at Capitol Hill Liaison, 415 New Jersey Ave. NW. Tickets are $35. Pink & Purple Party is Friday, May 4, starting at 10 p.m., at Cobalt, 1639 R St. NW. Tickets are $10. The Pink & Purple Awards Brunch is Sunday, May 6, starting at 10:30 a.m., at the Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $150 at the door. Visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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