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.
Washington DC's International LGBTQ Film Festival
Hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis
In 2015, Rayceen Pendarvis began hosting sporadic Reel Affirmations screenings and various associated events. This ultimately led to Pendarvis being commissioned to serve as the ongoing host of Reel Affirmations XTRA: A Monthly LGBT Film Series. Each month (except one month in Autumn which is reserved for the “annual” festival), the non-profit, all-volunteer, LGBT film festival holds special film screenings that highlight the work of LGBT filmmakers. Screenings are held at the Human Rights Campaign building at 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW in Washington, DC. Films generally begin at 7pm (with occasional showings after 9pm) and are always held on a Friday. Admission is $10.00, with VIP tickets/passes starting at $25.00.
Since its first festival, Reel Affirmations has grown to include a companion Pride Film Festival, special events throughout the year with a variety of community partnerships, and a grant program to support LGBT filmmakers. The festival has premiered several Academy Award winning films and hosted critically acclaimed producers, directors and actors. At its height, Reel Affirmations has enjoyed being one of the Top 5 LGBT film festivals in the country.