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It happened by accident.
We had somehow blundered our way onto the Main Stage at the 1997 Capital Pride festival. As we looked out over the vast sea of celebrants filling Pennsylvania Avenue, we thought, “That might make an interesting photo.” No one was looking at the camera. They were lolling, waiting for the next act to arrive. There was a guy in the foreground downing a bottle of beer. But the photo made the cover.
And a Metro Weekly tradition was born.
Nearly every year since, Metro Weekly photographers have taken to the Main Stage to capture the crowd at Pride at their most exuberant and jubilant. In 2000, we started priming the crowd, getting them to look our way and cheer with their hands in the air, a nod to then Pride Director (and this year’s Larry Stansbury Award-winner) Robert York’s brilliant hands beneath the Capital logo — a logo so iconic, it remains in place today.
So each and every year we’ve gotten up on stage and asked the crowd to give us their all. The result has been 12 years of covers that capture the heart, the soul, the spirit of our community, covers that broadcast to the world that strength is not only in our numbers, it’s in our show of pride.