Rayceen Pendarvis is an emcee, entertainer, activist, SWERV magazine columnist, former ANC Commissioner, and lifelong Washingtonian. Over the years, Pendarvis has hosted numerous fundraisers, pride festivals, arts festivals, talent showcases, fashion shows, balls, and other events. Furhermore, the Queen of the Shameless Plug frequently moderates panels and appears as a panelist at various conferences dealing with social justice and LGBTQ equality. In addition to a regular column in SWERV, Pendarvis also has written articles for Tagg, Unite Virginia, and TUV magazines.
The Goddess of DC has been honored by the community many times over the past several years, including awards from NYC’s Latex Ball, The DC Center for the LGBT Community, Casa Ruby, Empowerment Liberation Cathedral Church, and the Community Church of Washington, DC. In 2016, Capital Pride selected Pendarvis to be a recipient of the Heroes Award and appear in the annual Capital Pride Parade.
Later that year, despite not being ordained or ministering in a traditional capacity, Pendarvis was voted Best Clergy in the Washington Blade’s 2016 Best of Gay DC Awards. A tireless advocate, promoter, and champion of various causes, Pendarvis has earned the monikers “Queen of the Shameless Plug” and the “Goddess of DC.”
Rayceen Pendarvis can be seen regularly as the host of The Ask Rayceen Show, a free, monthly, live event on first Wednesdays (March-November) in DC. In addition to live music, show segments include panel discussions, interviews, competitions, improv comedy, and audience participation games. All are welcome and admission is always FREE.
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To further explore the extraordinary life and career of Rayceen Pendarvis, click below.
The professional career of Rayceen Pendarvis is one that constantly grows and evolves with each new endeavor. Although well known as an openly gay emcee, activist, entertainer, writer, entrepreneur, and so much more, Pendarvis is never interested in limiting professional career boundaries or creative reach. Despite this, “the Earthmother of the Gays” is also very conscious of not abandoning the basic moral integrity that has become the foundation of a meaningful life's work. For this reason, the consciously minded equality advocate has repeatedly refused financially lucrative projects that did not uphold positive values for the LGBT community, or society at large. Only creative ventures that are deemed uplifting and non-stereotypical are given the green light from the Pendarvis camp. This ensures that each new undertaking and every new avenue explored will be represented in the most admirable way. It's especially important since most of the people and causes that Pendarvis is passionate about are greatly undeserved.
With a heartfelt mission and clearly defined goals on the agenda, Pendarvis looks back on a body of work that resonates with meaningful intent. With a strong moral compass to guide the way, and a genuine heartfelt sense of advocacy, Pendarvis declares “I think it's important that you make the time that you're born and the time that you die and the dash in between account for something.” Indeed, Pendarvis is continuously working to make his “dash” in life, a throughly meaningful one!
Below are highlights of the many career endeavors Pendarvis has proudly taken on during the course of an amazing career.
Rayceen Pendarvis is probably best known as a professional emcee more than all other career achievements combined. Throughout the past several decades the "Goddess of DC" has hosted a wide-variety of local and regional events (most notably The Ask Rayceen Show), and continues to remain an in-demand and extremely active emcee. Furthermore, Pendarvis is also frequently commissioned to serve as a panelist or judge for several community forums, balls, pageants, and more, throughout the metropolitan Washington, DC, area and beyond.
Below are highlights of the many social gatherings the veteran master of ceremonies has had a prominent association with throughout a long and successful career.
A Monthly LGBT In-Person Book & Film Club
Previously Hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis
B.R.U.H.S. (Book Reading Uplifts His Spirit) is a monthly LGBT in-person book & film club. On January 13, 2014, Turner Freeman (Film Librarian - Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library) and Darrell Johnson (former Library Technician - Dorothy I. Height/Benning Library) presided over the club's first meeting. The event was originally conceived as a community outreach for SGL (same gender loving) Men of Color. Soon thereafter, an invitation was extended to Rayceen Pendarvis (DC socialite and LGBT advocate) to moderate the club.
Each installment presents the work of African-American LGBTQI authors and filmmakers. Panelists and participants are then given the opportunity to discuss and explore the work in further detail. Although originally intended for the sole discussion of material written by and appealing to men (hence the name), the club later expanded to also include the work of notable female writers. The club also began showcasing the cinematic projects of African-American and/or LGBTQ filmmakers.
B.R.U.H.S. has celebrated a variety of literary works, including The Fabulous Sylvester by Joshua Gamson as well as the complete work of acclaimed author E. Lynn Harris. The club also takes great pride in highlighting the works of up-and-coming authors, including Otis Randolf's Shadows Behind The Rainbow, O'Brien Dennis' The Cries of Men, Tim'm T. West's Pre|dispositions – Affirmations on Loving, and R.L. Norman's Honey Let Me Tell You – The Misadventures of Being Misunderstood. Previous films of social significance include Sheldon Larry's Leave It On The Floor (examining the post 90's Ballroom culture) and Dee Rees' Pariah (A lesbian coming-of-age story which won the “Excellence in Cinematography Award” at the Sundance Film Festival).
Due to the ongoing renovations of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, B.R.U.H.S. will continue to utilize various temporary venues. Visit their social media accounts for the most up to date information.
Rayceen Pendarvis served as the ongoing panel moderator from 2014 to 2016.