WHEN HARRY HAY, founder the gay-pioneering Mattachine Society and a leftist, was called to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, he refused to testify. Though Hay died in 2002 at the age of 90, one can only imagine how pleased he would be to see his legacy, Radical Faeries -- in this case, the D.C. tribe of the group he formed in 1979 -- singing and dancing with abandon on Pennsylvania Avenue in the shadow of the Capitol.
''We want to help shape the future of Capital Pride to make it less commercial,'' says Jonathan White, or ''Snowbaal,'' as he's known to his fellow Faeries. ''We want to make it more an experience of the community. To help make that possible, we decided to take a seat at the table.''
The D.C. Radical Faeries offer people of any and all sexual orientations a chance to promote Earth-based religions and interfaith cooperation, as well as chance for members to ''share and nurture their essential 'fabulosity.'''
A good chance to do just that might start with joining the Faerie contingent as it dances along the Capital Pride Parade route, or perhaps visiting one of the group's weekly potluck dinners, reliably held every Monday for the past nine years. Don't let the boas and beads fool you -- these Faeries are dependable. ''We've never missed one. It's our ultimate claim to fame,'' Snowbaal says with a laugh.
''Our doors are open to people of all genders and all faiths who with to explore spirituality in a unique, queer way,'' he adds. ''We know how to make that fun.''
For more information visit www.dcradfeys.org.