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D.C.’s LGBTQ Community: ‘Unapologetically Proud’

The Capital Pride Parade kicked off Saturday, June 10 in Northwest with the roar of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and continued with loads of rainbow flags and multi-colored beads being pitched from vehicles into the crowd — from small utility vans to 16-wheelers. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser led her green team in the parade, followed by D.C. Council members Chen, McDuffie, White, Gray, Grosso and Gray with members of their staffs.

The long and winding parade showcased colorful banners, community churches, international oats and many local businesses. Rainbow was clearly the color of the day and was displayed on faces, suit lapels and scantily clad celebrants.

The three-day celebration, from June 8-11, featured parades, parties, concerts, pontificators — even those sporting pumps and plumes as hundreds of thousands of participants expressed support of the LGBTQ community.

New York City resident John Young, 54, said about pride, “Same-gender-loving people, especially Blacks, continue to amaze me with their creativity and ability to enhance the community — to highlight the fact that we’re a fabulous people. Pride does not include elicit parties, all-night clubbing and definitely not fighting — it’s Umoja.”

One couple from Richmond, Erica, 32 and Jackie, 24, had this to say: “Many of the people who come to Pride are not part of the LGBTQ community but they show up because they realize that we know how to have a good time. They don’t understand what Pride is all about or why we celebrate, why we’re happy and joyful. And while we all remember what happened a year ago in Orlando, we refuse to live in fear. We are determined to live our lives freely and in love.”

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