Yes, that was Mayor Adrian M. Fenty marching and throwing bead necklaces at the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 9. Fenty joined hundreds of other participants who marched through Washington’s Dupont Circle neighborhood, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. at 23rd and P Streets in Northwest.
And some of those participants were recognized by Capital Pride. Results the Gym was awarded Best Overall Parade Contingent; the D.C. Cowboys, won Best Float; Rainbow Families, was named the Best Walking Contingent; and Be Bar was voted the Most Original Contingent.
The next morning, the 32nd annual Capital Pride festival took to Pennsylvania Avenue, at the foot of the Capitol. With a stage anchoring the event at Third Street and booths and vendors lined up for four blocks to Seventh Street, thousands gathered throughout the day to show their pride, mingle with the community, and enjoy performances from local and national artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Wicked Jezabel, Rachel Panay, The D.C. Cowboys, God-des & She, and Crystal Waters.
For many young people who live outside metropolitan Washington, the Pride festival symbolized the importance of visibility.
”It’s a good opportunity to come and see everyone being able to be together as one, in a place where they can walk around and be comfortable with who they are,” said Wes Hough, from Fredericksburg, Va. ”It’s hard [being out] in smaller towns, because there’s not as much of an open population, and it’s better in a big city, in places like this.”
Janelle Littlejohn, 19, from Pasadena, Md., agreed.
”As a black lesbian, where I live the majority [of the population] is white and homophobic,” said Littlejohn. ”I feel fine around here. It feels like everybody’s welcome, there’s no animosity towards anyone [and] it’s good to see just how many of us there are.”
This year’s festivities, centered on the theme ”Together We Can, Together We Will,” marked the first collaboration between Whitman-Walker Clinic, the sole organizer of the event for the past several years, and 13 other organizations in presenting Capital Pride as Capital Pride Community Partners.
They Community Partners included Capital Area Interweave, The Center, D.C. Black Pride, D.C. Radical Faeries, Dignity/Washington, Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Human Rights Campaign, the Mautner Project, Metro D.C. PFLAG, National Youth Advocacy Coalition, Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry, One in Ten, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.
View hundreds of additional photos from the past Capital Pride Parade and Festival events.