Metro Weekly

Adm. Rachel Levine, Earline Budd Among Capital Pride Honorees

Other Capital Pride awardees include Shi-Queeta Lee, Drag Story Hour, Brandon Bayton, Nancy Cañas, Benjamin Rosenbaum, and The Task Force.

Admiral Rachel Levine (left) – Photo: Chris Sean Smith/ U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; Earline Budd – Photo: Todd Franson.

The Capital Pride Alliance has announced the recipients of its annual Capital Pride Honors, recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of people who have worked on behalf of both Capital Pride and the larger LGBTQ community.

The recipients, nominated by members of the local community and approved by Capital Pride’s Board of Directors, will be honored at a gala at Penn Social on Friday, June 2, at 7 p.m.

The awards ceremony and gala kicks off more than a week of Capital Pride festivities, continuing through Sunday, June 11, when the nine-day celebration wraps up with Capital Pride Festival and Concert. 

Admiral Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be honored with the “Paving the Way” Award, given to an individual or organization whose exemplary contributions, support, or advocacy has positively impacted the LGBTQ community and whose leadership inspires continued progress.

Longtime transgender activist and health advocate Earline Budd is receiving the “Super Hero” Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the LGBTQ community provided by a past Capital Pride Hero award recipient.

Being honored as Capital Pride Heroes are four individuals who have furthered causes impacting the D.C.-area LGBTQ community and have brought about positive changes benefitting the wider community. They are:

  • Drag entertainer and musical artist Shi-Queeta Lee.
  • Benjamin Rosenbaum, a lobbyist and former chair of Nice Jewish Boys DC, a social group bringing together gay, bisexual, and trans-identifying Jews in the D.C. area.
  • Nancy Cañas, the president of the Latinx History Project.
  • Abdur-Rahim Briggs, a community advocate and Ward 8 LGBTQIA+ Commission Chair.

Drag Story Hour DMV and the National LGBTQ Task Force are receiving the Breaking Barriers: Community Impact Award.

The award is given to an individual or organization that has impacted the LGBTQ community at either the local or national level and who has helped eliminate barriers to the social, personal, or professional growth of the LGBTQ community.

The Bill Miles Award, given to a volunteer who has made exemplary contributions to Capital Pride, its programs, initiatives, and various activities, is Brandon Bayton, Jr.

All the honorees will serve as marshals of the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 10, with Levine and Budd serving as grand marshals.

The honorees will also attend the Crack of Noon Pride Parade Brunch — the first since 2019. It will take place at 11:30 a.m., a few hours before the start of the parade, at Dovetail Bar & Restaurant in the Hotel Viceroy at 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

“The Capital Pride Alliance extends our thanks and gratitude to members of the community, which has numerous individuals, leaders, and activists dedicated to fighting for LGBGTQ+ rights for all of us,” Ashley Smith, president of the Board of Directors of the Capital Pride Alliance, said in a statement.

“We are fortunate to have such a vibrant honoree selection process, with so many outstanding individuals who were nominated. We are very pleased to celebrate these individuals at the 2023 Capital Pride Honors.”

The Capital Pride Honors is Friday, June 2, at Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. Tickets range from $25 to $60 and can be purchased here.

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