D.C.’s Pride Parade celebrates LGBTQ community amid political uncertainty

During a week when this city was viscerally reminded of the country ’ randomness trauma, with March for Our Lives on the National Mall and rebellion hearings at the Capitol, D.C. ’ s Capital Pride Parade on Saturday was an exercise in gladden .Wp Get the full experience.

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ArrowRight Bubbles floated, drag queens strutted, children cheered from atop their parents ’ shoulders.

Thousands gathered for the parade, which was back fully in-person after two years of limited celebrations because of the pandemic. The hours-long celebration spread along a 1½-mile route through the Shaw, Logan Circle and Dupont Circle neighborhoods. Zsannette Olson, 50, her two daughters and one of their friends arrived at the parade after participating in the March for Our Lives call up earlier in the day. Exhausted after taking part in the earnest protests against grease-gun violence, they were excited to enjoy the Pride festivities. ad however, Olson said they knew they weren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate fair there to celebrate, but besides to continue advocating for equality and safety for all. “ We ’ ra decidedly showing up more, making our voices heard, calling our congressmen and letting them know we ’ re not standing for it, ” she said of holocene legislation restricting LGBTQ rights. This year ’ randomness parade comes at a time of political doubt for LGBTQ rights around the nation. Florida legislators recently passed the Parental Rights in Education poster, which bans education or discussion about LGBTQ issues in schools for younger students ; critics call it the “ don ’ t say gay ” bill. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott ( R ) ordered investigations into the use of gender-affirming care for transgender children. “ These are bills that are affecting us and our department of education, ” said Natalia Peña, 18, who merely graduated from Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax County. ad Ryan Bos, administrator director of the Capital Pride Alliance, said legislation threatening LGBTQ rights underscores the purpose and value of the parade and Pride celebrations. “ This is our voice. This is a time for us to be visible, to be heard, ” he said. “ With the threats around, it just overemphasizes the need for these events worldwide. ” Members of Whitman-Walker Health, a clinic that focuses on LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS health wish, gathered at the start of the parade dress in purple T-shirts that said “ We say gay. ” “ We ’ rhenium fortunate adequate to live in a residential district that can be open about this, but not everyone can be as forte, ” said Heather Alt, 38, who works as the clinic ’ second deputy director of breastfeed. Kim Herrmann, 37, a baby doctor at Whitman-Walker, said it was crucial to demonstrate the importance of the manage she provides. ad “ I serve the trans community as a primary care sophisticate and as their gender-affirming provider, ” she said. “ I ’ megabyte here to very protect them and allow them to get access to health care like everyone else. ” This class marks Herrmann ’ s beginning Pride in D.C., and compared with events that she attended while populate in the Midwest, she said Capital Pride feels much more like a celebration. She said she was excited to relax and enjoy the parade with her wife. “ There ’ mho just thus much of a residential district that ’ south hera, ” she said. “ It doesn ’ metric ton feel so anxious. ” Outside a restaurant, Jackie Segler, 40, added another rainbow flag to her motorbike good before the parade began. In its basket sat her break however gay skeletal system, Che. Segler has lived in the District for six years and has attended Pride in the past, but this is her foremost since the pandemic began. She was quick to experience the energy of the celebration again. ad “ I feel like cipher judges you here, ” Segler said. “ Pride is my front-runner holiday of the class in D.C. I have friends coming out that I haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate seen in years, and it will be great to see them again. ”

last year, D.C. celebrated Pride with slimmed-down crowds along with a car caravan. In 2020, as marches were largely canceled, Pride organizers around the world offered virtual parades and events. Saturday ’ s parade headlined a slate of events from Capital Pride this month. Joe Jonas ’ s ring DNCE will play the Capital Pride festival and concert on Sunday, along with “ RuPaul ’ s Drag Race ” winners Willow Pill and Symone. On Saturday, revelers wore their Pride fashion fine : peacock feather capes, studded leather vests and fishnet crop tops. Rainbow flags and T-shirts were outdone by rainbow saint wings, rainbow thigh-high boots and rainbow crochet bikini. ad Dupont Circle was packed with thousands of people. Bus benches became viewing points as watchers climbed up to cheer on children from D.C. public schools who twirled flags and skipped across the asphalt. At the end of the parade route, men from the middle atlantic Leather contest posed for pictures dear vendors selling ice tea and unicorn masks. Across the country, the presence of law enforcement at Pride has caused tension in many cities. In D.C., protests of the parade in 2017 resulted in the Capitol Pride Alliance creating a policy than banned uniformed officers from marching in the parade. ahead of this year ’ south parade, a Capitol Pride spokesperson told The Washington Post that the policy remained in place. “ We have participated in conversations with law enforcement expressing our desire for them to acknowledge community concerns about having uniform officers present in the Parade, ” Marquia Parnell said in an electronic mail. ad But on Saturday, multiple members of the D.C. police wore their full uniforms as they marched with the cohort surrounding Mayor Muriel E. Bowser ( D ). They handed out rainbow wristbands and beads, stopping along the route to greet and hug admirers. Dozens of early uniform officers and D.C. police cruisers were stationed along the road monitoring the herd. The parade drew little counterprotests. In Dupont Circle, a belittled group yelling about sin was drowned out by the boldness band thumping to “ Shots, shots, shots. ” But most parade-goers didn ’ thymine betroth with the protesters, rather ignoring or laughing at them as they walked by. recent discussions on whether corporate sponsorship has a place in Pride celebrations came up in this year ’ second celebration. respective companies, including Target, Visa, Mastercard, Airbnb and Lockheed Martin, had their floats for the parade. ad One parade-goer held up a big check with “ End Corporate Pride ” in rainbow letter. Protesters in 2017 disrupted the parade and said Capital Pride was more interest in corporate sponsors than supporting marginalize communities. Bos said he believes there should be a libra and recognition that many of those marching in the parade are members of the community working for corporations and demanding change from within their companies. “ At times when the government doesn ’ thyroxine have our backs, sometimes the corporations are there for us, ” he said. “ So our community is everywhere. We ’ re in the churches, we ’ re in the social groups. We ’ re in the nonprofits, we ’ re in the corporations and we ’ re in the politics. We all are members of the community. ” back along the parade path, many of the people celebrating said they were eager to show their confirm for LGBTQ causes. ad Chris Ammon, a 51-year-old schoolteacher who lives in Falls Church, believes that his role as an ally of the LGBTQ community is to support those who confide in him, specially his students. “ I have flags like the ones you see all around us and students ask who they ’ rhenium for, ” Ammon said. “ And I tell them they ’ re for everyone. ” As cheers erupted from the push, Ammon admired the colored sights on P Street. “ When people come out for this, they ’ re dressing up for the herd, but besides the truest adaptation of themselves, ” Ammon said. “ When this community overcomes hurdles, they let their guard down and live their truest lives. ”

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