Ways to Show Your Pride this June


As June is Pride Month, there are many opportunities for West Potomac students to celebrate and get involved with the LGBTQ community and celebrate LGBTQ identities. Here are some of the biggest local events for teenagers to participate in Pride this year:

Saturday, June 10, Capitol Pride is hosting the D.C. Pride Parade, starting at 4:30 pm from 22nd & P Streets, NW, going 1.5 miles and ending along the 14th Street corridor at S Street. The D.C. Pride Parade is D.C.’s largest parade, with over 180 contingents and almost a hundred thousand people expected to attend. Parade marshals include Jim Obergefell, plaintiff of the famous Obergefell v. Hodges case, which overruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and made gay marriage legal in all 50 states and U.S. territories, and Edie Windsor, plaintiff of United States v. Windsor, the case which established that the DOMA’s definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman was unconstitutional, paving the way for the Obergefell decision.

Sunday, June  11, the D.C. Pride Festival will begin at noon on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 3rd and 7th Streets, NW. One of the largest single-day festivals in D.C., there will be 3 stages, over 300 exhibitors, and expected attendance of more than two hundred and fifty thousand people.

Also on Sunday is the Equality March for Unity and Pride, starting at 10 am at 17th & I Streets NW. Approximately 100 thousand are expected to attend.

All the above events are free, and you can visit their websites for directions on how to reach the celebrations via metro, further details and tips on how to prepare, and information like maps, lists of entertainers, and more.

If the festivals in D.C. aren’t your style, but you still want to be active in the community, you can still get involved with local groups in the area. FCPS Pride is a group for LGBTQ employees in the county’s schools, but they have loads of information on their homepage, mailing list, and twitter page that can be helpful for students to supporting activism. PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) has several local chapters which meet at different times of the month, focused on helping educate and guide young LGBTQ youth and their families. GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) offers an amazing amount of programs for educating anyone, no matter who, on LGBTQ issues, history, and activism, or for getting involved in activism and teaching others. They have a Northern Virginia chapter which hosts volunteer opportunities and events several times a month.

Even more local, there’s the West Potomac GSA (Gender identity and Sexual orientation Alliance) which meets every Thursday after school in room 318, sponsored by Mr. Rigby and headed by president Oliver DiCaprio.

“We [The GSA] provide a safe space for LGBT teens to hang out and just be themselves,” said DiCaprio.

Rigby added, “The GSA’s goal is that West Potomac be safe, accepting, and welcoming for all students, all people—teachers, staff, and students—regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”