June 5, 2014 at 9:47 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Principal comes out at D.C. high school Pride event
Pete Cahall, gay news, Washington Blade

Woodrow Wilson High School Principal Pete Cahall came out to students at a Pride event on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Woodrow Wilson High School)

The principal at D.C.’s Woodrow Wilson High School, Pete Cahall, disclosed he is gay at the school’s second annual LGBTQ Pride Day ceremony on Wednesday.

Cahall, 50, received loud applause and cheers from students as well as from D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and City Council member David Catania (I-At Large), who attended the event.

“I want to say publicly for the first time because of your leadership, care and support that I am a proud gay man who just happens to be the principal at Wilson High School,” he said.

“Mayor Gray, you have led the way and set the circumstances that I could never imagine as a high school student or a principal to say what I want to say today,” Cahall said.

The principal’s coming out announcement came five days before members of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas were scheduled to hold a protest demonstration at 8:15 a.m. Monday, June 9, at the school in opposition to its decision to allow students to hold an LGBT Pride celebration on school grounds.

Working with the local LGBT youth advocacy group SMYAL, students at Wilson said they are planning a counter demonstration at the same time, which they say could draw more than 100 students and supporters.

Catania has said he plans to support the students’ plans for a counter demonstration.

D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) released a statement on Wednesday saying she, too, is supporting the counter protest. Bowser called on her supporters to make a contribution to SMYAL to help the group continue its work on behalf of LGBT youth.

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

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