January 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
LGBT march on Washington planned for D.C. Pride weekend
National Equality March, gay news, Washington Blade, LGBT march

The last LGBT march on Washington was the National Equality March on Oct. 11, 2009. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A gay activist in New York City has set in motion plans for a “mass” LGBT march on Washington on June 11, which he hopes will be similar to last week’s Women’s March on Washington that drew hundreds of thousands of people.

David Bruinooge, 42, a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident who has friends and relatives in the D.C. area, said he was inspired to create a Facebook page announcing the march on Jan. 21 while he was watching the Women’s March on Washington at home on television.

“I was watching the events unfold on TV and I was very proud and inspired by all the women, the strong women in our country who were kind of taking this to the street and getting their voices heard,” he told the Washington Blade. “And in the back of my mind as an openly gay man I thought the gay community should be doing something like this to follow up on the momentum,” he said.

He said he intentionally chose June 11 for the march because it’s the same day that D.C.’s Capital Pride Festival is scheduled to be held on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. near the U.S. Capitol. Bruinooge said his thought was the march would start in the morning and end at the site of the Pride festival.

Ryan Bos, executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance, which organizes the D.C. Pride events, including the Pride Parade set to take place on June 10, said he has spoken with Bruinooge and expects that Capital Pride officials will collaborate with the march organizers so the march and the D.C. Pride events will complement each other.

Bruinooge said that at Bos’s suggestion, he has changed the name of the march from Gays on the Mall, which he initially announced on Facebook, to the National Pride March.

He acknowledges he and others working on the march will have a significant amount of work to do logistically, including obtaining permits for street closings. He said he’s hopeful that Capital Pride officials will provide support and consider the march to be a joint Capital Pride project.

“My intention was never to undermine what was going on with D.C. Pride,” Bruinooge said. “They obviously have the infrastructure and the mass support to help this become a reality.”

More information on the proposed march can be obtained here.

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

30 Comments
  • I know of the 1993 LGBT march that had like a million people at it. I also recall 2009 National Equality March, less than a year after Prop 8, which had about 200,000 people at it. Wikipedia says:

    “Many groups joined by also organizing other events for the weekend, which coincided with National Coming Out Day on October 11 and marked eleven years since the beating and murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, which prompted national attention and action to expand hate crime laws.”

    “Outcome Matthew Shepard Act signed into law (October 22);
    US President Barack Obama committed to end “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, the US military policy forbidding gays, bisexuals, and lesbians to serve openly”

    I wonder what the explicit goals of this LGBT march would be? Would it be support for the Equality Act, ending the gay/bi blood ban, more protections & support for the most vulnerable parts of the LGBT community, getting more LGBT folks to run for office, preventing the Trump administration from rolling back protections or passing new anti-LGBT laws? I’m all for a march if we have some clear goals in mind.

  • It might be nice if he had a discussion with others before unilaterally announcing a national march.

    • Oh, you didn’t get his call yet asking for your personal opinion?

      • Seemingly, no one nor any organization did.

        • And who exactly are you Kurt? And why should anyone have to ask anyones permission to get the ball rolling. This isn’t about catty gay inter-community politics. Its about fighting for our rights.

          • No one said ask permission. The issue is working collegially.

          • There would be too many groups to go through. Better way is to just start it and have everyone join in.

          • Then approach one group that has the resources to contact the others. This is my point. A single individual doesn’t have the means to make this happen. Some consultant with others before a public announcement would have been wise.

          • Completely agree Kurt. While this is an important march to have to bring everyone together, doing it during Pride Month where over 20 other cities and towns will have their own Pride celebrations that weekend is divisive and a duplication. Pride marches and events are planned long in advance and much time and resources have been put into those already and they cannot be changed. To plan a competing event that will potentially take away from people showing strong numbers in their local communities, where the change needs to happen, is misguided. I would be very surprised if Capital Pride does collaborate and would expect a strong statement coming from Prides in all 50 states not supporting this march during Pride Month. There are many other weekends between now and the end of May and then over the summer to do this march. Let’s not step on each other!

          • Kurt, I will remind you that the women’s march was organized in a matter of months from a Facebook post of ONE lady. ONE person CAN get the ball rolling. For the record, being critical of someone else trying to promote change does nothing for anyone. You can sit on the internet and complain or you can stand up and do something. Your choice. Don’t downplay the choice of another.

  • They’re just a bunch of petal pushers
    and carpet cleaners. Powerless and
    flimsy with a dash of stinky armhair.

  • Very interested, and will make no suggestions or criticisms until I see what the planning committee sets forth. There was so much in-fighting for the Women’s March that seemed counter-productive. I think we give people a break and some credit for doing this.

  • White children? is there a difference ? are white kids better than others ?

  • While this is an important march to have to bring everyone together, doing it during Pride Month where over 20 other cities and towns will have their own Pride celebrations that weekend is divisive and a duplication. Pride marches and events are planned long in advance and much time and resources have been put into those already and they cannot be changed. To plan a competing event that will potentially take away from people showing strong numbers in their local communities, where the change needs to happen, is misguided. I would be very surprised if Capital Pride does collaborate and would expect a strong statement coming from Prides in all 50 states not supporting this march during Pride Month. There are many other weekends between now and the end of May and then over the summer to do this march. Let’s not step on each other!

    • You must not have read the article. Much as the Women’s March was country, even worldwide, this needs to be throughout the country.

      • Agreed, but the women’s march and the already planned Prides during the entire mont of June are two different issues. Only similarity is the “marching”. No need to take away from all the local events when the national march can take place before the month of June or after it. The sooner the better really; June is too long away!

  • Here is one of the best reasons to support this March – GOP To Re-Introduce National Right To Discriminate First Amendment Defense Act http://www.back2stonewall.com/2017/01/gop-re-introduce-national-discriminate-amendment-defense-act.html

  • This will occur during the “holy month” of Ramadamn and will likely cause offense to the Muslim community. Therefore I urge the organizers to postpone until a later date.

  • As a straight, white women and mother of “white children”, I will say….you are a disgrace and should be ashamed of yourself. Teaching your children such hate should be considered child abuse. You give your children a hard life of outdated views in a progressive world. I feel bad for them. For the record, my white, lesbian friend has a white daughter….. Oh and my white dad is gay, too. You are nothing but a miserable troll.

  • OBVIOUSS RACCIST HATING ON GAYS. BTW THE TWO UNSPEAKABLE ANTI GAY GROUPS IN AMERICA ARE RUN BY RACISTS

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved.