Pridewatch: Washington D.C.
Images in Order: (1-3) Courtesy Getty images, (4, 5) courtesy Worleyx
Story by Jason Nelson
Let’s face it; we have a lot to be proud of this year. With marriage equality passing in four states, Congress voting in favor of the Matthew Shepherd Hate Crime Bill, and a Democratic majority for the first time in years in both the House and Senate—it’s time to kick up our heals and celebrate. And what better place to do so than in our Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C.!
Washington D.C.’s 34th Annual Pride celebration will run for ten days – starting on Friday, June 5, and culminating on Sunday, June 14, with the annual Street Festival on Pennsylvania Avenue in view of the White House. Prior to the official start D.C. will be hosting the Pure Love Unity & Health-N-Wellness Expo at the DC Armory on East Capitol Street on Sunday May 24. This is event is part of D.C.’s Black Pride and it’s a fantastic way to get the party started with cocktails, new friends, information and live music provided by Crystal Waters (of “La da dee, la da da” fame) and Amerie.
After volunteer orientation on June 4th, the following day things really start to heat up with a Pride staple; The Mr. & Ms. Capital Pride Leather contest at the Eagle (does every major city in the world have a leather bar called The Eagle?). Other parties include the Capital Trans Pride Party, Mr. And Miss Capital Pride, a performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and many more.
One event that you won’t want to miss is the Bachelor and Bachelorette auctions on Thursday June 11 with all proceeds going to defray the cost of the festivities. Each bachelor/bachelorette represents an “auction package” that includes various prizes (airline tickets, hotel vouchers, weekend getaways, etc.). Bidders actually bid on the auction packages and not the person, however, the auctioned-off person will occasionally agree to go on a real date with his or her winning bidder.
June 1969 is recognized as the birth of the modern gay rights because of the Stonewall uprising. Therefore the theme of DC Pride this year, “Generations of Pride: Celebrate and Remember - Stonewall at 40,” acknowledges our past, rejoices in our shared experiences through the years and into the present, and anticipates a bright future ahead for the GLBT community.