Thursday, June 13, 2013

Taking 'Pride' in Everything We Do

This year's Capital Pride participants were instructed to "unleash [their] super hero," with Wonder Woman leading the way. Washington's 2013 celebration was filled with masks and capes, in addition to the usual glitter and feathers.

"Super" Grand Marshal Lynda Carter traded her gold crown for a wide-brimmed straw hat, leaving the boots and spandex for everyone else. But she still looked wonder-ful, waving from a pink convertible--



In an interview with Metro Weekly, (one of D.C.'s several LGBT publications) Carter was identified as an influential figure for gays and lesbians "who found something special in her onscreen persona of female strength and straightforward fabulousness."

Of course everyone coveted her amazing accessories; bulletproof bracelets and a lasso of truth. But what seems most memorable is the way she unleashed her super hero; with the twirl--



Carter is a resident of Maryland, where marriage equality was victorious last fall. She's been an LGBT advocate for many years:
It's been a long fight. We can make a difference if we speak with one voice. It's about coming together and looking at our nation and seeing that everyone should have equal rights.
With all the excitement, we can't forget the reason for the season. Gathering people in solidarity is reminiscent of standing together during the Stonewall Riots. We capture the spirit of Greenwich Village in 1969, and the bravery of the gay liberation movement's founders, as we wave our rainbow flags and salute our gay icons.

Activists like Jacob Wilson, a Washington resident and Pride participant, are fully aware of the curbside connections between the past, present and future. Wilson said:
Pride celebrations are a reminder of a not-so-distant past, when LGBT people were forced to the margins of society. It's a time to honor those who fought for basic human dignity, and celebrate the many victories we have won since then.   
However, Pride should also serve as a reminder of challenges our community still faces, like bullying that leads to suicide, or students being barred from their own prom.  

The freedom to celebrate openly in the streets of our nation's capital is a fairly new development, not to be taken for granted. And this action is a stark comparison to the political battles being waged within the buildings we're marching past. When it comes to Congress, marriage equality, workplace discrimination, and other injustices are far from settled.   
Also, the privilege of a parade in a progressive place like D.C. is a far cry from other places where LGBT folks literally risk their lives every time they assemble and attempt to use their voices for change.
Yet, Pride's message is clear; for all the rain, there are plenty of rainbows. And bubbles. And confetti. 

Cornerstones of the city's LGBT community were out in full force. D.C. favorites Nellie's, Cobalt, and Phase 1 rode a fleet of colorful floats.

There were appearances by the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, the D.C. Rollergirls, and more drag queens than you could shake a weave at. Each came with a bigger title-- and an even bigger tiara.

Reproductive rights partners Planned Parenthood and Choice USA were there, making the connection between open sexuality and sexual health. The only time it rained on this parade was when Planned Parenthood distributed condoms.

D.C.'s LGBT anti-violence coalition GLOV and national suicide prevention initiative the Trevor Project were in attendance. SMYAL, a support group for youth advocates and leaders, and PFLAG, an ally network for parents, families and friends, marched alongside countless other organizations who work tirelessly to promote the real gay agenda; safety, love and acceptance.


Known as one of the tamer parades in the country, D.C. experienced little-to-no nudity. While more conservative, it was still captivating, and the annual mission was accomplished. Because no matter where or how we're celebrating, June reminds us to take "Pride" in everything we do, all year long.

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