The Capital Pride Alliance announced on Thursday that it has selected two cast members from the hit FX cable network show “Pose” and three prominent LGBT activists, including longtime transgender advocate Earline Budd, to be the grand marshals for D.C.’s June 8 Capital Pride Parade.
“Pose”, a critically acclaimed weekly drama series that depicts New York’s ballroom dance scene in the early 1980s, includes numerous LGBT characters.
The two cast members selected by Capital Pride to be grand marshals in the Pride Parade are trans actress Dominique Jackson, who plays the “Pose” character Elektra Abundance, and actress Hailie Sahar, who stars as the character Lulu Abundance.
Budd currently serves as executive director of Empowering the Transgender Community, or ETC, a new nonprofit group providing services to the D.C. area trans community. She also serves as the non-medical case manager at Helping Individual People Survive, known as HIPS, which also provides services for LGBT people.
Also named by Capital Pride as grand marshals are Brandon Wolf, media relations manager for the LGBT group Equality Florida and vice president and co-founder of the Dru Project, a nonprofit group that provides services to LGBT youth; and Matt Easton, a 2019 graduate and political science valedictorian of Brigham Young University who drew national attention when he came out as gay during his valedictorian speech.
“These grand marshals perfectly exemplify our theme of Past, Present & Proud,” said Ryan Bos, the Capital Pride Alliance’s executive director. “It is a momentous year for Pride and we are honored to have such diverse, dedicated and valued advocates in the LGBTQ+ community serving as grand marshals,” Bos said in a statement.
“To recognize how far we have come in the 50 years since Stonewall, we must remember our history and work towards imaging our futures,” Bos said. “These grand marshals epitomize what it means to be engaged with the struggles, needs, and hopes of the growing and changing LGBTQ+ community,” he said.
“The impact ‘Pose’ has on me is overwhelmingly beautiful,” Sahar said in a statement. “Many youth have said my character, Lulu, has given them hope to survive and strive for their dreams,” she said. “I’m humbled to be a part of a show that is changing history and giving others the opportunity to see someone on the screen who reflects them and speaks for them.”
Easton, whose public coming out drew widespread attention in Utah’s Mormon community, said his role as a grand marshal in D.C.’s Pride Parade would emphasize the “positivity” of living one’s life authentically.
“I am so humbled and excited to be a grand marshal for Capital Pride in 2019,” he said. “As I stated in my graduation speech, I am proud to be a gay son of God — I believe that every part of who I am and who we are as a community is exactly as intended.”
The Capital Pride Parade is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on June 8 at 21st and P Streets, N.W. It will continue along a 1.5 mile route to its finishing point at 14th and R Streets, N.W., according to Capital Pride officials. It will include more than 200 contingents of “organizations dedicated to expressing their pride through commemorating the history of the LGBTQ+ community,” Capital Pride said in its statement announcing the grand marshals.