By KEVIN McDUFFIE & TIM SAVOY
As President Obama designates June as National LGBT Pride Month, it is easy to see how the times have changed in just a few decades and how the discrimination of many is slowly changing for the better. For all of us, pride shouldn’t fall solely into a celebratory three or four-day weekend, let alone a designated month; rather, our pride should be celebrated daily and embraced as a part of our being.
This week, it is fitting that our celebrations will echo throughout some of the District’s most historic neighborhoods. Places like Dupont, Logan, U Street, and Shaw will erupt in the celebration of LGBT Pride. It is within some of these neighborhoods that the LGBT community of D.C. has called home.
This weekend, more than any other, it is important to recognize the significance of a neighborhood or place in shaping our lives. For gays, a neighborhood can translate to a safe haven from fear and discrimination. Our example here in D.C. isn’t the only one; hence, look at places like Boy’s Town in Chicago or Chelsea in New York City. These communities, and many more, have provided members of our community an escape to a place where our lives could be better understood, and we could truly be ourselves. The idea of place not only shapes where we come from, but also who we are.
Every community takes pride in its past, and our community has been shaped in many ways as a transition from impoverished places to vibrant, diverse communities that are leading the way in art and culture. You see, our communities are constructed with the aspiration that we can all achieve for the better if we come together and build on ideas that are beyond just ourselves. Like any other group of individuals, we all seek a safe, secure place to call home that we can interact in and shape for the better.
Each of us defines pride in unique ways. For some of us in our community, we express pride through our property. Homeownership gives us pride in celebrating our vibrant communities and acts as a medium to embrace the people we are. As home prices have steadily increased due to the influence of gay gentrification over several decades, we have vastly improved the standard of living and the beauty of the communities that many of us call home. Even now as the heart of the gay community in D.C. continues to move from its origins in Dupont Circle, we can take pride in rehabilitating a community for the better and continuing to do so in communities across the District.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Dupont is located in the heart of Dupont Circle at 1606 17th St., N.W., at Q Street. As a member of one of the great communities that the LGBT movement has built up, Coldwell Banker is honored to provide many of us with one of our proudest possessions; that is, our property that we call home.
As we celebrate Pride this weekend, let us remember that our pride is not limited to weekend celebrations, lavish parties or even the most fabulous parade float; rather, our pride is celebrated every day without hesitation through our community, actions and love.
Here’s to pride; here’s to us.
Kevin McDuffie is managing broker of the Coldwell Banker/Dupont office. He can be reached at 202-439-2435. Tim Savoy is a graduate student at The George Washington University.
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