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In this season of pride, space on the calendar can be pretty tricky to come by. But Capital TransPride did a good job at securing its spot in the lineup in early June, just ahead of the primary Capital Pride weekend, and just after DC Black Pride. It might have fallen during the days of DC Leather Pride, but that wasn’t an insurmountable conflict.
The bigger conflict, it turns out, isn’t even in Washington.
”We changed the date because there’s a transgender health conference every year in Philadelphia,” explains Holly Goldmann, marking her second year as co-chair of Capital TransPride, referring to the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, running this year from May 31 to June 2. ”We didn’t want to interfere with anything.”
Adds Roberta Gills, volunteering as co-chair for the first time, though she’s attended all five previous Capital TransPride events, ”It really cuts into our attendance.”
So organizers examined the season and found a new home: Saturday, May 19. While the date might be new, it’s a venue they’ve used before, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Southwest. Gills and Goldmann say they hope to see about 200 to 300 attendees this year for a day that will include a panel with officers of the Metropolitan Police Department to discuss attacks against members of the transgender community, legal advice, a host of community organizations and speakers. The co-chairs point to their keynote speaker, in particular, when discussing the tone they hope to set with this year’s event.
”Speaking with Everett, he tries to see humor in everything,” says Goldmann, talking about Everett Maroon, a founder of the D.C. Trans Coalition and author of the recent memoir, Bumbling into Body Hair. Maroon will be coming from Washington state, where he now lives, to serve as keynote speaker.
”We’re going to have a panel dealing with anti-trans violence happening lately, but I do want to stress that we didn’t want to make that the focus, but to be a little more positive,” Goldmann continues. ”I’m hoping [Maroon] brings that attitude. We want to keep the mood light.”
Gills says that light mood is actually very important for Capital TransPride, noting that when it comes to local events designed specifically to bring the transgender community together, the Capital TransPride’s counterpart is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, honoring victims of anti-trans violence.
”That’s not a happy occasion. There’s nothing else like TransPride, which is happy. It’s a chance to get together in a social setting. It very seldom happens,” she says, adding that members of the local transgender community may further self-segregate along racial lines or other characteristics. ”I’m trying to break down that wall. We all need to get together. … C’mon down and have a good time. It’s easy to get to, a block from the subway. There’s no excuse!”
The sixth annual Capital TransPride is Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW. Admission is free, though a donation of $10 is suggested. For more information, visit capitalpride.org/transpride.