Metro Weekly

Capital Pride Grand Marshal Judy Shepard: Pride is “really important” in the Trump era

The Capital Pride Parade brings marchers and spectators together for an afternoon of fun, friendship, and floats

Capital Pride Parade — Photo: Todd Franson

“If you’ve never been to the Pride Parade, just the energy of the crowd is overwhelming,” says Ryan Bos, executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance. “There’s such a diverse group of participants from all age ranges and aspects of our community.”

Starting at 4:30 p.m., a steady stream of marchers, floats, and trucks — representing hundreds of community organizations, unions, companies, and local restaurants and bars — will traverse a 1.5-mile long route through D.C.’s West End, Dupont Circle, and Logan Circle.

Some participants dance or lip sync atop floats, while others hold banners or throw out beads, candy, and prizes to the throngs lining the street.

Human rights activist Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, will serve as Grand Marshal along with her husband, Dennis.

She says events like Pride are important to remind people that LGBTQ people exist and are still fighting for recognition and equality.

Judy Shepard, Photo: Priorities USA / YouTube

“I think it is really important right now, especially since the current administration is trying to turn back the clock on progress for the gay community, and, in fact, all marginalized communities,” says Shepard. “Of the Pride events we’ve been to, the most wonderful thing is the joy on everybody’s faces, being around their friends and their equals, their co-workers, their families, and celebrating who they are…. It’s the sheer joy that comes from bring together with like-minded people.”

The Capital Pride Parade kicks off on Saturday, June 9, at 4:30 p.m. at 22nd and P Streets, NW and ending at 14th and R Streets, NW. For more information and a parade route map, visit

Capital Pride Parade map

Have you ever been at the Capital Pride Parade? We might have a Pride photo of you in our archive of Scene photos. Come and see…. 

Capital Pride Parade — Photo: Ward Morrison

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

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