May 15, 2012 at 9:42 am EDT | by Staff reports
Deborah Cox to headline Capital Pride Festival
Deborah Cox, Capital Pride, gay news, Washington Blade

Deborah Cox will headline the Capital Pride Festival on Sunday, June 10. (Courtesy photo)

Capital Pride this week announced the recipients of its annual Heroes Awards, along with the entertainment lineup for the 37th annual parade and street festival set for June 9-10.

Dance diva Deborah Cox will headline the festival on Sunday. Cox, a 37-year-old hit-maker famous for songs like “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” “I Never Knew” and “Mr. Lonely” (she’s had nine No. 1s on the Billboard U.S. dance chart), told the Blade she sees gay audiences connecting with her songs on a deeper level than straight audiences.

“Their reaction is more heightened with emotion,” she said. “There’s something about the songs that really connects. Maybe it reminds them of when they came out or when they met their partner. I hear many stories about that. The straight crowd connects with the songs, but I think the gay community … there’s just a connection to the stories in the songs.”

Also performing Sunday at the festival will be fellow dance artist Crystal Waters and a diverse array of entertainers, including Alma Tropicalia, Aiden Leslie, Crys Matthews, Simulover and 13-year-old dynamo Ani Hesse.

“I’m so excited,” Ani told the Blade. “I love performing for big audiences. I can’t wait.”

Capital Pride also announced the recipients of this year’s Heroes Awards. They are: Andrew Barnett, executive director of SMYAL; Ebone Bell, founder of B.O.I. Marketing & Promotions and the Capital Queer Prom; Michelle Benecke, co-founder of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network; Kevin Platte, founder of the DC Cowboys Dance Company; and Justin B. Terry-Smith, an Air Force veteran and HIV/AIDS activist who founded the blog Justin’s HIV Journal.

The honorees will be recognized at the Capital Pride Heroes Gala & Silent Auction on Wednesday, May 30, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at LivingSocial, 918 F St., N.W. For more information, visit

  • What time does the festival on June 9-10 start?

  • WHO? That girl hasn’t had a hit since when? The 90’s? Come on DC Pride Committee, get bigger acts and bigger stars. What did it take to get her? A room at the motel on New York Ave, a Greyhound bus ticket and $20 for performing? Get some A and B list celebs, not F list. SMDH

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