Some folks may not realize that while Pride in D.C. has been around for decades, the Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes modern-day Pride here, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The Red Party will be held Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. at Echo Stage (2135 Queens Chapel Rd., N.E.) with Alex Newell (“Glee”) Pretty Rik E, DJ Tracy Young, Jujubee from “Drag Race” and more.
“The Red Party will celebrate 10 years of joining forces and resources and commemorate Capital Pride’s commitment to the advances made by the LGBT movement as well as recognize the important work that yet remains,” Alliance Executive Director Ryan Bos said in a statement.
Tickets are $15 at capitalpride.org. All proceeds go to the Capital Pride Legacy Fund.
Vernon A. Wall has been a volunteer on the Capital Pride board for three years and has been helping plan Capital Pride entertainment for about six years. He’s also on the Red Party planning team.
“We would like to take a moment to celebrate 10 great years and thank everyone for their support,” Wall says. “It’s also World AIDS Day so we want to also reflect on the importance of the day.”
Wall works part-time as director of business development for the non-profit LeaderShape, Inc. and is president of One Better World, a consulting firm where he conducts social justice trainings and gives keynotes. He came to Washington 14 years ago after seven years in Iowa when he was hired by a higher education in D.C. to coordinate meetings and events.
Wall is “happily single” and lives in Logan Circle. The Hope Mills, N.C., native enjoys travel, food, movies and college sports in his free time. He calls his DVR his “best friend” and also says he’s a “go-out person who knows way too many bartenders worldwide.”
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out my sophomore year of college. It was actually a pretty uneventful process for me. I was probably much harder on myself that others were to me. I believe that the coming-out process is ongoing and much more than one single event.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Harvey Milk, James Baldwin and Thor (I’m holding out that Thor’s bisexual).
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Past: I miss Nation and Tracks. Present: D.C. nightlife is pretty amazing these days. Sure, I miss Town, but we have such diverse options with fantastic managers and bartenders who really care about our community. You’ll probably see me at Trade, Number 9, JR.’s, the Fireplace or Pitchers. And Secrets from time to time.
Describe your dream wedding.
I would probably have a private ceremony then host a big reception to celebrate with friends. Provincetown is one of my favorite vacation spots so I might consider a destination celebration there.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
I believe that any issue that I care about becomes an LGBT issue if I’m connected to it. I’m passionate about all social justice and equity issues. It’s my life work. Transphobia and racism in our community is just sickening.
What historical outcome would you change?
Slavery, internment camps and the Holocaust would be at the top of the list.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
I am so glad I was able to see Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston in concert.
On what do you insist?
That all people be treated with dignity and respect.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I posted about the music of Ella Mae. She’s fantastic. Download some now!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Travel, Cocktails and GoGo Boys: Living my Truth Every Day”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I can’t imagine my life being anything other than what it is today. I’m pretty content.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I believe there is a higher power in some form and she is pretty fierce.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Recognize the diversity of our community as a strength. We must also be open to compromise as we work to create equity and justice in our community.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
The whole “masc/fem” conversation. Please stop. Just be you, boo.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Trick,” “Moonlight,” “Paris is Burning” and “Call Me By Your Name.”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Celebrating Columbus Day. He didn’t discover America. He literally bumped into a country that people were already living in. If Columbus discovered America then I discovered McDonald’s yesterday.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
My diamond status on Delta Airlines.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
It’s much harder to find a good life partner.
I love everything about the District. Great food, Stonewall and rogue sports, fun nightlife, vibrant neighborhoods and it’s diverse and cozy for a city of its size. I’m also very lucky to have a fantastic group of friends whom I cherish. This is truly home for me.