Ohio native Michael Lutz, 30, was a Capital Pride volunteer when Whitman-Walker staged the annual event. Now in its second year of overseeing the festivities, Capital Pride Alliance, of which Lutz is board president, is operating in the black and growing.
Lutz says even with gay rights progress, Pride is still significant. “It’s important that we celebrate all the things we’ve achieved,” he says. “We’re a distinct group of individuals who have a common connection so we need to celebrate how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go.”
Lutz, who’s been in D.C. for 10 years and lives on the U Street corridor in N.W., is a manager at Accenture, an information technologies/consulting firm. He’s single, gay and enjoys volunteering, working out, going to the beach, skiing and traveling in his free time. He’s also learning the trapeze. “It’s just the thrill of it,” he says. “There’s a throw and trust factor. You either surrender to that and trust someone to catch you or you fall to the net. It’s a great workout too. The next day you’re like, ‘Oh, who knew I had muscles there?'”
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Who’s your gay hero?
The young LGBT people across America who are breaking barriers with regard to sexual orientation in their high schools and standing up for the right to equality. People like Constance McMillan, Derrick Martin and Sergio Garcia who have started to break down the walls and promote acceptance and tolerance of all people.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Nation – it was my first “real” club and I loved the music, the energy and being able to come out and see the sun rising over the Capital dome.
What’s your dream gay wedding?
A destination wedding with a guy I love surrounded by friends.
What non-gay issue are you most passionate about?
Cancer — we need to find a cure, ideally a prevention-based cure.
What historical outcome would you change?
The slow response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It has claimed so many lives and we still don’t have a cure, although treatments have come a long, long way.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Dave Matthews Band concert, my first real concert.
On what do you insist?
Honesty and loyalty.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“Off to the Parrot” (in Rehoboth)
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Hot Mess” (just kidding)
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Absolutely nothing. I have enough trouble with fashion as it is; I need my gay genes. And, I really like the music in gay clubs so much better. Oh, and I might lose my tolerance for vodka. Yes, I’m sure: I wouldn’t change a thing. Gay is FAB-u-lous
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Well, I was raised Catholic, and that told me there’s a heaven and hell, but now my thoughts are much less binary about it.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
As leaders in the community we need to make sure that we are working for the greater cause. That sometimes means making the tough decisions, refocusing our efforts and giving up something in the short term for better long-term outcomes. It also means working together as a whole. There are a lot of different agendas out there, all focused on increasing equality for the LGBT community and we can get more done together rather than divided.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
My friends – they are my family.
What gay stereotype annoys you most?
That all gay people know each other.
What’s your favorite gay movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
That you have to gorge yourself at Thanksgiving.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
At the moment, tickets to the Lady Gaga concert here in September.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That I wouldn’t be able to stay up all night forever.
I came here for a six-month internship at the Kennedy Center almost 10 years ago. I don’t know what the draw was. It was almost instinctive. But once I got here, I knew I was never going back to Ohio.