In the eyes of Scoop AKA Phil Carney
Dupont Circle remains the heart, soul and center of a now widely scattered and diverse LGBT community spread out over the entire DMV metro area.
Strictly speaking, Dupont Circle has never been a gay neighborhood. It has for many decades been a neighborhood that welcomes everyone. If you want to live and belong here, then you belong and you are welcomed. That open and accepting attitude has made our neighborhood a great place to live for LGBT and straight people.
Years ago, then Dupont Circle Citizens Association President Marge Young and her husband hosted an ongoing dinner for neighbors after the Pride parade. Maybe 20 people came and went with 8 to 10 people at a time sitting around their table over 4 hours. Everyone had watched the parade. Only later did I realize that out of the 20, only 3 were gay. Pride Week is not just for LGBT people, it is a celebration for all people of acceptance, respect and diversity.
Pride celebration in DC was originally started 40 years ago by Deacon MacCubban as a small simple block party in Dupont Circle. It then became a larger festival, then a parade and festival. Today we have more events than I can keep track of throughout the week, the parade is sponsored by Marriott on Saturday around Dupont Circle and the festival is sponsored by Hilton on Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, with the US Capitol for a backdrop. There are over 60 corporate sponsors this year. Last year for the first time, the parade was led by an official US Military Color Guard and as a gay veteran that means a lot to me.
I do miss the simpler and more relaxed neighborhood block party. But Deacon and our neighborhood did start something that has surpassed everyone’s expectations. To quote from part of the letter sent to this year’s Pride committee by President Obama:
“Over the past few decades, we have seen enormous progress thanks to brave Americans who have come out, spoken out, and marched for a more compassionate, more inclusive, and more equal Nation. As you gather to celebrate love for being love and people for being who they are, let us each recommit to raising our voices against intolerance and striving to ensure all people enjoy the dignity and protections they deserve. As our Nation continues its journey toward becoming a more perfect Union, you have my best wishes for a wonderful celebration.”
It has been an awesome journey.
Visit our Facebook page to view photos from the 2015 Capital Pride Parade.