Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) are among those who joined grand marshals Lynda Carter and Brigadier Gen. Tammy S. Smith of the U.S. Army Reserve, who became the first openly gay and lesbian flag officer to serve in the military, and others as the parade wound its way from 22nd and P Streets, N.W., to Whitman-Walker Health at 14th and R Streets, N.W.
“The Pride parade is a great celebration of diversity in the District of Columbia,” Mendelson told the Washington Blade as he lined up with supporters along 22nd Street, N.W.
“There’s a lot of ground left to cover, but it sure feels different from the earlier Prides,” D.C. Councilman Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) added. “There’s so much more of a sense of acceptance and tolerance.”
First held in 1981, the annual parade has grown to include dozens of LGBT organizations and other groups.
SMYAL, D.C. Frontrunners, the D.C. Center, Whitman-Walker Health and the Trevor Project are among the groups that marched in this year’s parade.
“It’s always thrilling,” former D.C. Councilwoman Carol Schwartz, who attended the parade with PFLAG, told the Blade shortly after it began in Dupont Circle. “It’s especially thrilling now that we have same-sex marriage and that we’ve seen so many advancements.”
Tens of thousands of people also attended the 17th annual Capital Pride Street Festival that took place on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets, N.W., on Sunday. Emeli Sandé, Icona Pop and Cher Lloyd will headline the main stage.