So when I joined a friend for a picnic at Dupont Circle today, with gorgeous weather, neither of us had realized it was the day of the Capital Pride Parade! We both knew it was gay pride week, but we hadn’t paired that with Dupont Circle (epicenter of all that is gay in DC). So our picnic became parade watching. And this became my new thing for this week, something that I had never attended in my 20 years here. Though I have a number of gay friends, I’m not, and I’m afraid the parade has never been on my radar. (I’m sure some of you are thinking of gaydar here, ha, ha.).
For my weekly “something new and different,” I had been thinking of biking over to see the contemplative gardens (and catacombs) of the Franciscan monastery here in DC, but I rolled with the flow instead, and David and I stayed and enjoyed the crowd and noise, the community and fellowship. Thousands upon thousands of people attended (last year 150,000), and the parade was quite long. Parts were boring (politician and his/her support group walking, followed by another politician/support group walking, followed by…), some quite risque, and some quite fun (the Miss Drag Queens of the various local areas, of course.)
The sense of pride, by both the marchers and the community, was strong. As were the colors.
It was also great seeing folks from various companies marching, putting their support into the LGBT community. This included the Hilton and the Marriott hotels, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. Various churches were represented as well. And when military folks marched, the applause was deafening. It was the first year that the Department of Defense participated, and military reps from each branch led the parade. (no picture though, of that, but see the photos further below.)
Midway through we went to go get milkshakes, and we didn’t stay til the end (I stayed a little later than David to get some more photos) but all-in-all, I was glad to be part of it. Proud that our country is changing enough to begin accepting this community for who they are. And inspired to dye my hair blue more often (which would make twice).