Latino GLBT History Project hosts DC Latino Pride

Annual Latino Pride celebration will hold four separate events to mark its eighth-year anniversary

The Latino GLBT History Project (LHP), in conjunction with Empodérate of La Clínica del Pueblo, a member of the DC Latino Pride Advisory Committee, will host this year’s multi-day DC Latino Pride celebration, which is set to take place on four different days over a nearly two-week span. DC Latino Pride celebrates Latino culture, identity and contributions to the community and creates a bilingual space in which Latinos can celebrate with one another.

“The Latino GLBT History Project is proud to continue in the tradition of our founder Jose Gutierrez to celebrate LGBT Latina/o culture and history during the Pride season,” David Perez, the president of LHP, said in a statement. “Now in its eighth year, DC Latino Pride has grown into a multi-day celebration gathering upwards of 800 LGBT Latinas/os and allies. The celebration is made possible with the support of over 25 community volunteers and 35 nonprofit, government, and corporate sponsors and partner organizations.”

“My colleagues and I are thrilled to represent La Clínica del Pueblo’s Empodérate Youth Center on the DC Latino Pride advisory committee,” Alexa Rodriguez, transgender youth program coordinator at La Clínica del Pueblo, said in a statement. “It is Empodérate’s second year of stepping up in this leadership role to provide staff, volunteers and meeting space to plan Washington’s most exciting Latino celebration during Pride season.”

The four main events this year will include a coronation and drag show, a panel discussion, an interfaith service, and a dance party.

The first event, “La Coronacion,” occurs at Cobalt this Sunday, May 25, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and features the coronation of LHP’s 2014-2015 Royal Court members, selected by a subcommittee for their help in volunteering for LHP in some capacity, as well as for their community service work on behalf of other LGBT or Latino causes. This year’s honorees are Gladys Gonzalez, Juan Alvarez, and Ana Gomez. The event also features drag performances. A $5 donation is suggested to attend.

The panel discussion takes place on Thursday, May 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Forum, at 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, and focuses on the challenges faced by Latino LGBT youth and the importance of community and family support during the coming out process. The panel is followed by a reception, a community resource fair, free HIV testing and an historical exhibit, “Positivamente Latinos,” which includes biographies and photographs of community advocates and gatherings and public health posters aimed at increasing prevention and awareness, and care for those affected by HIV and AIDS, according to Esther Hidalgo, vice president of LHP and co-chair of its Historical Archives committee. Attendance to the event is free, but a $5 donation to benefit LHP’s work is suggested.

On Saturday, May 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the LGBT-affirming Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC’s Spanish Speaking Ministry, and Grupo Latino Dignity Washington DC, the religious support group for Latino LGBT Catholics, co-hosts an interfaith service at MCCDC, at 474 Ridge St. NW, followed by refreshments. All faiths are welcome to attend.

The final event, DC Latino Pride’s official dance party, take places Thursday, June 5, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Town Danceboutique. Featured guests include host Juanita Dior, Lineysha Sparx from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5, DJ Joe El Especialista from El Zol 107.9 FM; DJ X Gonzalez; Jocelyn Carrillo of Majestic; and DC Latina Drag Kings and Bio Queens: Sugar Cane, Dawn McSmiley, Diego El Sabroso, and Enzo. Tickets costs $10 if purchased in advance by visiting LHP’s website at latinoglbthistory.org/tickets.

For more information about DC Latino Pride, visit latinoglbthistory.org/latinopride. Those wishing to become sponsors, community partners or volunteer may contact LHP Program Coordinator Jesus Chavez at JChavez@latinoglbthistory.org or at 202-670-5547.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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