Metro Weekly

Capital Pride’s 2018 theme “Elements of Us” will focus on diversity

Year-long theme celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ community and intersecting identities

2017 Capital Pride Reveal. Photo by Ward Morrison

On Thursday, the Capital Pride Alliance unveiled “Elements of Us” as the theme for its 2018 festivities.

The theme was chosen to acknowledge the diversity within the LGBTQ community and celebrate people’s intersecting identities. Past Pride themes have included: “Unleash the Superhero in You,” “Build Our Bright Future,” Make Magic Happen,” and, most recently, “Unapologetically Proud.”

“When we came together to focus on this year’s theme, there were a lot of different topic matters we were looking at,” says Ashley Smith, the newly elected Board President of the Capital Pride Alliance. “Understanding the temperament of the community today, and really understanding some of the things that have happened to our community over the past few years, and, in the last year, dealing with the current leadership we have in our country, we felt this was an opportunity to look at all the different aspects that make up who we are as a community and celebrate that, and be proud of who we are, and not let anything turn us back.

“This is an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate Pride and be a way to bridge the gaps within the LGBT community like never before,” adds Smith. “We have a great opportunity, and I’m hoping to seize the moment, working with all of our community partners,  volunteers and board members, in order to make D.C.’s Pride even greater than it has been in the past. We are the nation’s capital, and we should be the nation’s Pride.”

The theme was revealed at the Seventh Annual Pride Reveal, at SAX Restaurant & Lounge in downtown Washington, D.C. 

“Elements of Us” plays up a renewed emphasis on the importance of diversity and intersecting identities in the LGBTQ community, with specific focus on highlighting the voices of people of color, transgender, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary people, and other sub-groups that have historically been marginalized.

It also ties in with the recent announcement of several new board members and Pride producers, who will oversee and carry out this year’s Pride celebration.

In addition, Capital Pride announced that its Volunteer With Pride program is being expanded to support not only major Pride events, but other LGBTQ partner organizations in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Also revealed was the launch of the Capital Pride Legacy Fund, which will raise funds to support three types of grants aimed at encouraging local organizations to become involved with Capital Pride.

“Participation Grants” will assist new organizations to help them participate in their first Pride. “Working Grants” will be given to organizations that provide volunteer support to help carry out Pride events, such as The DC Center, Casa Ruby, and Team DC, whose members have helped run the Beer Garden and other features of the Capital Pride Festival. “Experience Grants” will expand access to events and activities for individuals or organizations that would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in Pride.

Ryan Bos, executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance, says Pride-goers can expect to see Pride do more coalition work, and reshape or reestablish partnerships with DC Black Pride, Latinx Pride and Youth Pride, and with organizations like Rainbow Families to create more opportunities for LGBTQ families to celebrate pride.

“To me, these [partnerships] are positive things, because it provides different opportunities for folks to enter a space in a way they feel comfortable, and experience Pride in a way they want to,” says Bos. “So for us, it’s about providing as many opportunities as possible. If there’s new ideas, new things, new programs people want to see, that’s great. It doesn’t need to replace something, but just add to the celebration.”

The Capital Pride 2018 Celebration will take place from June 7-10, with the annual Pride Parade on Saturday, June 9 and the Pride Festival and Concert on Sunday, June 10. For a list of times an other Pride-related events, visit capitalpride.org.

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