Metro Weekly

Hitched to Hillwood

Hillwood Estate's annual Gay Day celebrates same-sex marriage

“With the passage of the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in D.C., it just seemed like a great time to celebrate that newfound right for the GLBT community,” says Hillwood Estate spokesperson Lynn Rossotti.

So same-sex marriage will be the theme of this year’s ninth annual Gay Day event at Hillwood, set for this Saturday, Oct. 2. The event is just one of several GLBT-themed events each year at Hillwood.

The estate’s late founder, Marjorie Merriweather Post, was a Washington socialite and philanthropist and heir to the Post cereal fortune. While she didn’t have an explicit connection with the GLBT community, Rossotti explains that she wanted the 25-acre Hillwood to become “a public place that is gracious, welcoming, a place of acceptance for everybody.”

This year’s Gay Day will feature the displays and performances from various GLBT groups, including Straight Eights, DC Lambda Squares and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, plus a morning “Family Garden Party” with Rainbow Families. It will also include first-person comments and discussions on the topic of same-sex marriage, plus artifacts and reproductions from Post’s elegant weddings.

Just don’t go expecting a wedding.

“We’d have weddings here every weekend if we could,” says Rossotti. But the venue doesn’t rent its extravagant mansion or lush gardens for private events, in part to keep the peace in its residential neighborhood surrounded by Rock Creek Park.

So just think of it as a honeymoon daytrip.’

Gay Day happens Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW.

General admission is $12 for either the morning “family hours” or the main afternoon festivities. Call 202-686-5807 or visit

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.