In a public Facebook post, the former manager at Ziegfeld's bar in Washington, DC explains that he was fired from his post after twenty years serving the LGBTQ community by the owner citing "budget cuts".
Jon Parks has been in Washington, DC, managing the two incarnations of Ziegfeld's from it's original location at 1345 Half Street SW (now part of Nationals Park) to it's current location at 1824 Half Street SW. Along the way, Mr. Parks helped pioneer the drag scene in DC by working to develop Ziegfeld's into the premiere drag bar in the country. In fact, it's one of the oldest in the country, a 'dual bar' with its counterpart "Secrets" residing on the upstairs level.
If you've ever been to Ziegfeld's/Secrets, you've undoubtedly heard Mr. Parks announcing the drag shows on Friday & Saturday nights featuring local and national drag queens.
According to the Facebook post from Mr. Parks, he phoned the owner of Ziegfeld's/Secrets to tell him he would be back at work this week: "At that time, and over the phone, I was told 'due to budget cuts I need to make, in order to keep the doors open....I have to let you go."
Washington, DC has been redeveloping the area where Ziegfeld's/Secrets is located for the new DC United soccer stadium and it's been rumored that this new development would eventually cause Ziegfeld's move or close for stadium development. It's a historically important bar to the LGBTQ community and to lose it entirely would be a detriment to both the community and to the city itself. Gentrification at its finest.
The community and the city would also be at a great detriment to lose the contributions of Jon Parks. He's been a significant force in the shaping of the LGBTQ community in DC and many of his patrons feel that he was not given a fair shake and are calling on the owner of Ziegfeld's to respond. In fact, Mr. Parks was one of the first great people I met when I moved here and first ventured out to see what the gay community had to offer. Although a bit brash at times, that's his beauty. Jon will always let you know exactly what's on his mind and you know exactly where you stand. He's insightful, generous and always willing to help push the LGBTQ community forward.
Now that Mr. Parks is out of work and recovering from the flu, Chris Smith aka Kristina Kelly, has set up a GoFundMe page to help. At the time of this writing, $820 has been raised out of the $3,000 set goal.