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 say the career of Rayceen Pendarvis has evolved over the decades would be a vast understatement. Throughout the past 30 years, the phenomenal “Earthmother of the Gays” has ventured into more professional areas than the powerhouse dynamo could have possibly imaged. Most recently Pendarvis has had the unique pleasure of adding a very special career achievement to a long and extensive résumé. It's a milestone that the legendary diva has waited a lifetime to attain. Recently, Pendarvis achieved the unique distinction of becoming a “legally recognized” wedding officiant for the the LGBT community, as well as, the general public. As Rayceen would often say, “How 'bout THAT!”
Below are highlights of the many other professional endeavors placed under the belt of Rayceen Pendarvis throughout three glorious decades.
May 1991: Rayceen hosts inaugural Black Gay and Lesbian Pride Day, now known as DC Black Pride
May 1998: Rayceen receives Welmore Cook Award for outstanding leadership from Black Gay and Lesbian Pride, now known as DC Black Pride
2012-2013: The Ask Rayceen Show occurred monthly at MLK Library
Spring 2013: Rayceen appears on cover of SWERV with Tracey Africa Norman and others
2014-2015: The Ask Rayceen Show occurred monthly at Liv Nightclub
2014: Rayceen honored as one of 205 Heroes in the Fight Against HIV/ AIDS in the Last 30 Years
May 2014: Metro Weekly runs Rayceen Pendarvis cover story
June 2014: Rayceen moderates NIH Transgender Health panel
June 2015: Rayceen moderates Smithsonian’s “Paris Is Burning” panel
September 2015: Rayceen honored at The DC Center’s Fall Reception
September 2015: Rayceen hosts Reel Affirmations and Team Rayceen “Paris Is Burning” event
2016: The Ask Rayceen Show occurred monthly, primarily at MLK Library
June 2016: Rayceen honored as recipient of Capital Pride Heroes Award
June 2016: Rayceen participated in Capital Pride Parade as Capital Pride Hero
July 2016: Rayceen’s debut TUV magazine article published
August 2016: Rayceen hosts annual OutWrite LGBT Book Festival
October 2016: Rayceen hosts annual Reel Affirmations LGBT International Film Festival
October 2016: Rayceen voted “Best Clergy” in Washington Blade’s Best of Gay DC Awards
October 2016: Rayceen’s debut Unite Virginia magazine article published
December 2016: Rayceen guest hosted “Inside Out Radio” on WPFW
December 2016: Rayceen named Person of the Year by Go Gay DC
January 17, 2017: Rayceen is guest co-host of The Lanada Williams Show on BLIS.fm
January 20, 2017: Rayceen’s letter to the President Elect included in Metro Weekly’s Dear President Trump feature
January 27, 2017: Rayceen hosts Reel Affirmations film screening as new host of the monthly event in DC
February 25, 2017: Rayceen is a celebrity judge at the Annual Team DC Fashion Show and Model Search
March 1, 2017: The Ask Rayceen Show begins its sixth season with a new venue: HRC Equality Center
March 17, 2017: Rayceen receives the Impact Award for LGBTQ Advocacy from Omega Lambda Phi Fraternity
May 6, 2017: Team Rayceen and Unite Virginia present The Artomatic 2017 Finalé starring Rayceen Pendarvis