May 13, 2010 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Capital Pride, Black Pride plans coming together

Deacon Maccubbin, a veteran D.C. gay activist and former owner of Lambda Rising bookstores, will be recognized as this year’s Capital Pride Super Hero. (Photo by Joe Tresh)

Singer and actress Mya will headline this year’s Capital Pride and the D.C. City Council will receive special recognition at Black Pride, according to newly released event schedules.

Mya, who hails from the D.C. area, will appear on the Capital Pride festival’s main stage June 13. Best known for singing “Lady Marmalade,” a collaboration with Pink, Christina Aguilera and Lil’ Kim in 2001, Mya went on to win a Screen Actors Guild award for her role in the film “Chicago.”

Separately, Black Pride is set to honor the City Council during the annual event’s opening reception May 28. An award will recognize the role that Council members played in enacting same-sex marriage in Washington. Additional awards will be given that night to Jeffrey Richardson, president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, and posthumously to Charlotte Smallwood, a longtime LGBT activist.

Top honors from this year’s Capital Pride will go to Deacon Maccubbin, the former owner of Lambda Rising bookstores and a veteran D.C. gay activist. He’ll receive the Capital Pride Super Hero award for his years of service to the LGBT community.

Maccubbin, among other things, initiated and organized the city’s first Gay Pride celebration in 1975 on the Dupont Circle neighborhood street where he first opened Lambda Rising. Maccubbin and his domestic partner of 32 years, Jim Bennett, closed the popular bookstore in January after announcing Maccubbin’s retirement.

This year’s Capital Pride parade and festival, scheduled for June 12 and 13, mark the 35th anniversary of D.C. Pride events, which began with the street festival that Maccubbin organized in 1975. Black Pride, which runs May 27-31, marks its 20th anniversary this year.

Maccubbin is among five Capital Pride Hero honorees and five Capital Trans Pride Engendered Spirit honorees selected this year for work that has “positively impacted the local LGBT community” and “greatly contributes to the transgender community,” Capital Pride officials said in a statement.

Other hero honorees are Marta Alvarado, for her work in support of the local Latino LGBT community; Rick Legg, for fundraising and other work in support of local LGBT causes and his role as female impersonator Destiny Childs; Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, for her ministerial work associated with D.C.’s Metropolitan Community Church and the MCC Conference for African-American Leaders; D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, a gay-straight alliance of local clergy who called on the City Council to pass the District’s same-sex marriage law last December; and D.C. for Marriage, a group of local residents committed to same-sex marriage in the District.

Trans Pride Engendered Spirit honorees are Anthony Hall, executive director of the D.C. social services group Transgender Health Empowerment; Revs. Ruth Hamilton and Brian Hamilton, co-pastors of the LGBT-supportive Westminster Presbyterian Church and host of the city’s first Trans Pride event in 2007; Sadie-Ryanne Baker, a leading member of the D.C. Trans Coalition; Thomas Coughlin, patient advocate for transgender-related health care services at the Whitman-Walker Clinic; and Leandrea Gilliam, a staff member for the D.C. Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • Great if Capital Pride and Black Pride merge. Black Pride has better entertainers at their events.

    Mya heads Gay Pride this year? Sounds like another year of boring so-called “entertainment” and yet another reason to skip the festival. I guess it still better than Lesbian’s singing about their Va Jay Jays!

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