“We are so delighted to be kicking off the ninth season of The Ask Rayceen Show, because 2020 is the season of change,” says Rayceen Pendarvis. “There’s so much in the air, with the election, politics — so many people are just feeling the need for change, to be in spaces that accept them and not just tolerate them. The Ask Rayceen Show is a place that celebrates the fullness of the LGBTQ community and our allies.”
The show was created as a forum to showcase various artists, newsmakers, and community activists. Pendarvis sees her hosting role as a way to further the forum’s mission of educating, motivating, and supporting the LGBTQ community in the D.C. area.
Joining Team Rayceen this year is Krylios, a longtime volunteer, emcee, and online content producer for Team Rayceen’s YouTube channel. Earlier this week, the show’s season premiere kicked off with performances and interviews featuring KiDé, the DMV-based soul/R&B duo consisting of Kia Bennett and Desiree Jordan, burlesque performer Ganja Kitty, and PoetRaeMonet.
On April 1, the show will host the annual #AskRayceen Mini-Ball, a popular pageant-meets-fashion-show where competitors strut their stuff, show off, and vogue for prizes, with the grand prize going to a contestant who best imitates their favorite celebrity. In May, the show presents its annual community forum, followed by a Pride-themed event in June and an annual poetry slam in July, to include a panel discussion previewing The DC Center’s OutWrite literary festival.
Pendarvis plans to hold a special forum ahead of the June 2 primary and June 16 Ward 2 special elections for the D.C. Council. In addition, Pendarvis is embarking on a project in which she has been holding one-on-one interviews with local candidates seeking public office in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The interviews will be posted to YouTube over the coming weeks and months.
The ninth season of The Ask Rayceen Show will be the show’s penultimate. “We will celebrate our tenth season in 2021, and after that, I’m formulating something new,” she says. “We’re going to go into a whole new chapter of the Team Rayceen experience.” —John Riley
The Ask Rayceen Show is generally held on the first Wednesday of each month. The next scheduled show is Wednesday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at the HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, email AskRayceen@gmail.com.
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