Every June, people across the country come together to celebrate Pride Month. But no one seems to do it better than the Capital. Thousands of people participated in some of the nation’s largest Pride celebrations, including the 48th annual Captial Pride Parade.
And this year, it was more important than ever to show up and offer support for the community as anti-gay rhetoric continues to wreak havoc across communities. Texas and Florida recently passed laws against gender-affirming care for minors. Montana laws now ban children from attending any events that include drag performers. And a Colorado web designer won a lawsuit stating she had the right to refuse service to a same-sex couple.
But there is always a silver lining. Record crowds gathered at DC pride events all month long. Now more than ever, to honor and support those in the gay community. Here’s a look at some of the month’s most memorable events. And remember, pride is not just one month. It’s important to keep the good feelings and community outreach alive year-round.
Pride Honors June 2
The Capital Pride Alliance honored outstanding leaders and activists in the National Capital Region who furthered causes important to the LGBTQ+ community. Among the recipients were Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, who serves as the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Earline Budd, a long-time LGBTQ advocate and DC resident, and Brandon Bayton, a Captial Pride volunteer for the past 24 years.
RIOT! Opening Party June 9
Pride weekend was kicked off by one of DC’s largest Pride parties – RIOT! Some even call it the main event. Partygoers danced the night away and enjoyed local, national, and world-famous queer performance artists at Echostage.
2023 Capital Pride Parade June 10
Thousands of people attended this year’s parade, where the theme was “Peace, Love, and Revolution.” The parade routes were lined with people there to see celebrity guests, floats, musical acts, and more.
Capital Pride Block Party June 10
The Capital Pride Block Party took place in tandem with the parade and featured local performers, DJs, local performers, and tons of food and beverage booths.
Trans Pride Pool Party June 10
People were able to cool off after the parade for an evening of sipping, splashing, sunsets, and more at the Penthouse Pool Club and Lounge.
Pride Festival June 11
DC residents joined the LGBTQ+ community on America’s Mainstreet, historic Pennsylvania Avenue, for the Capital Pride Festival, enjoying a full day of entertainment on three stages, food, drink, and advocacy with over 300 exhibitors. The Festival is the largest annual event in the national capital region and continues to be free to the public.
Pride Concert June 11
Held in conjunction with the Pride Festival, the Capital Pride Concert was a great end to a fun-filled Pride weekend. Guests enjoyed the entertainment on three stages, from international headliners to local and regional LGBTQ+ talent.