Capital Pride: the do’s and don’ts of DC’s LGBT festival


Photo courtesy of Nicholas Orellana.

Seniors Nicholas Orellana and Rubin Choi celebrate at Capital Pride. Pride events are held annually around the world to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

Every year since 1970, people around the world have commemorated the progress of the LGBTQ+ community through celebrations of ‘pride.’ Pride recognizes and appreciates the validity of people whose sexuality or gender identity falls outside the heteronormative spectrum. Events include parades, festivals and interfaith services. One of the many worldwide pride locations is in Washington DC, drawing in LGBTQ community members and straight allies from places throughout the DMV.

DC’s celebrations, Capital Pride, are held during June, which is Pride Month as a recognition of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. When preparing for Capital Pride, there are a few facts to remember, such as what to bring and how to act.

“For the festival, bring something to carry stuff in, because there’s a lot of handouts and random stuff that you’ll be given from random booths,” sophomore Maggie Smith said. “Bring water and bring clothes that you can walk in cause you will be outside all day and its preferable to not be melting and dying.”

Smith has gone to the Capital Pride festival twice and plans on going to the parade again this year. They first attended the festivities in eighth grade, and remembers talking with total strangers on the metro ride to DC who they noticed were also dressed up and going.

“I would recommend going with a group because it’s a lot more fun when you’re with a lot of people that you know like you for who you are,” junior Faith Guiffre said. “My first year I got there way too early and everyone was still setting up, but at the pride of 2018, last year, I actually went to the performances. I got to see a bunch of drag queens perform onstage, and that was a lot of fun.”

There are four entertainment stages, three of which are open to all ages. All performances are free to attend, and any donations are sent to the Capital Pride Legacy Fund and other LGBTQ+ partner associations. Past Capital Pride performers include headliners such as Troye Sivan, Tinashe and The Pointer Sisters.

“I liked the festival more than the parade because Troye Sivan was performing, and I love Troye Sivan,” senior Nicholas Orellana said. “It was a great atmosphere.”

When dressing for Pride, Orellana suggests being colorful, adventurous and taking risks, rather than hiding away. Pride events welcome all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, just as long as they treat everyone with respect.

“Don’t assume people are cis or straight because they appear to be,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of couples that get harassed at Pride because they look straight, but really one of them is bi or both of them are bi or one of them is trans. So just don’t assume.”