Metro Weekly

Capital Pride Alliance Names 2022 Capital Pride Honors Recipients

Awards honor those making extraordinary contributions on behalf of the local LGBTQ community and Capital Pride.

Heroes Award recipients (clockwise from upper left): Pierce, Pollard, Frisch, Wade, Henderson, Fitz

The Capital Pride Alliance has announced the recipients of the 2022 Capital Pride Honors, who will be honored at an awards reception at Penn Social on Friday, June 3.

The Capital Pride Honors, awarded annually, honor LGBTQ individuals and allies who have furthered causes important to the LGBTQ community in the D.C. metro area, donated their time, money, and efforts to the celebration of Capital Pride, and advocated on behalf of, or made significant contributions to, the local LGBTQ community.

Receiving the Capital Pride Heroes Award are six individuals who have brought about positive changes benefitting the LGBTQ community. They are: Karl Frisch, an LGBTQ activist and member of the Fairfax County School Board, who has advocated on behalf of LGBTQ students and pro-LGBTQ policies during his time in office; Diana Fitz, who previously worked as Director of Latinx Affairs at Casa Ruby and currently works at Ayuda, an immigrant support organization, where she is its first transgender employee;  and Tarik Pierce, the competency development manager for the Department of Veterans Affairs, who has been involved in various LGBTQ sports leagues and has volunteered for the Capital Pride Alliance and the Annual 17th Street High Heel Race. 

Others receiving Heroes Awards are: Keith Pollard, an award-winning activist and LGBTQ rights advocate who has volunteered with various LGBTQ organizations, served on the board of “May Is? All About Trans,” ran housing programs for at-risk LGBTQ youth at the Wanda Alston Foundation and SMYAL; Lessie “Les” Henderson, the founder of endoQueer and host of the Be A Beacon podcast, who has advocated on behalf of those diagnosed with endometriosis, as well as social justice causes like same-sex marriage, better transit options in Prince George’s County, faith-based work related to Black Lives Matter, and reproductive justice; and the Reverend Dr. Aaron B. Wade, the founding and senior pastor of The Community Church of Washington, DC — United Church of Christ, who runs an LGBTQ-affirming ministry that seeks to facilitate change by empowering people to change their communities, has created a conference for inclusive church leaders, and created “Churches on the Frontline,” a collaboration of churches in the D.C. area working to achieve social equality for LGBTQIA individuals.

The Bill Miles Award, given for outstanding volunteer service to a person who has made “exemplary contributions” to the Capital Pride Alliance and its various programs, initiatives, and sponsored activities, is being awarded to Deborah McQueen, a volunteer of 17 years.

The Presidential Award, given by the president of the Capital Pride Alliance’s Board of Directors to an individual or organization for their contributions to and support of the local LGBTQ community, will be given posthumously to Wendy Rieger, the longtime NBC4 anchor who was also an LGBTQ ally and advocate for equal rights.

The recipients will be honored at a reception, hosted by Penn Social, and sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Sam Adams’ Love Conquers Ale, Truly, and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Edward Daniels, with a special performance by musical artist Inaya Day.”

The Capital Pride Alliance extends thanks and gratitude to our community, which has numerous individuals, leaders, and activists dedicated to fighting for LGBGTQ+ rights for all of us,” Ashley Smith, the president of the Board of Directors of the Capital Pride Alliance, said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have such a challenging honoree selection process, with so many outstanding individuals who were nominated. We’re very pleased to announce and celebrate these individuals at the 2022 Capital Pride Honors.”

The 2022 Capital Pride Honors will be held on Friday, June 3, at Penn Social, 801 E St. NW, from 7-10:30 p.m. Tickets include food, two drink tickets, and access to games and music and dancing, and range in price from $25 to $60. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Capital Pride Alliance and the Pride 365 Fund. For more information, visit

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