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Smaller regional Prides plan virtual, postponed events

NOVA, Frederick, Annapolis et. al. thinking outside the box in pandemic’s wake

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regional Prides, gay news, Washington Blade
A scene from a past NOVA Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Washington

Capital Pride #StillWe launches a virtual series of streamed events June and beyond through a partnership with The D.C. Center. 

Programs include monthly online town halls, expanded resources available through its website and a shared community calendar. Pride 2020 Reimagined includes new Pride month programming as well as ongoing virtual versions of the D.C. Center’s Reel Affirmations film series, Outwrite Literary Festival and more.   

For more information and a listing of events, visit capitalpride.org and thedccenter.org

This weekend would typically be D.C. Youth Pride weekend (although they had their 2017 in the fall). No virtual events are listed on either the Youth Pride Alliance website or Facebook page. Organizers did not immediately respond to Blade request for details. 

D.C. Leather Pride has been postponed until further notice. 

D.C. Trans Pride and Silver Pride (60 and older), usually held in May, may have fall events. 

Maryland

Annapolis Pride has cancelled its second annual parade and festival due to COVID-19 concerns and gathering restrictions. But in its place will be an online event live-streamed via YouTube and Facebook on June 27 at 4 p.m. Participants are encouraged to turn their home into a “float” and show off Pride-themed outfits during the virtual event. Visit annapolispride.org to register and for more information. 

Baltimore Pride 2020, originally scheduled for Saturday, June 20, has been postponed to either August or September, depending how the COVID-19 situation in Maryland and globally unfolds. The community is encouraged to monitor the Baltimore Pride website for further updates.

Frederick Pride events have been postponed due to pandemic concerns. On Sunday, Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. the rescheduled parade will travel along Carroll Creek Linear Park in historic downtown Frederick. Vendor registration is now open at frederickpride.org. News about Pride events and entertainers will be posted at a later date. 

Howard County Pride has been postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus. However, they are planning virtual drag queen story times, poetry slams, a talent show and other virtual events throughout Pride month. For more information, email [email protected] or visit howardcountypride.org

Hagerstown Pride plans a virtual Pride Festival on Saturday, July 18 at 11:30 a.m. Details at hagerstownhopesmd.org

Virginia

Hampton Roads Pride announced on its Facebook page a decision to postpone its 32nd Annual PrideFest, ninth annual Pride Block Party and second annual Pride at the Beach all scheduled for June 19-21, 2020 due to pandemic-related health concerns. New dates have not been announced. 

However, Pride Night at Harbor Park hosted by Hampton Roads Pride and the Norfolk Tides has been rescheduled to August 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $13 on Ticketmaster. Continue to monitor this event’s Facebook page for any changes due to COVID-19. 

Ghent Pride, presented by the Ghent Business Association and Hampton Pride, has not announced dates for this year’s event. The public is invited to monitor ghentpride.com and its Facebook page for updates as pandemic guidance evolves. 

Winchester Pride is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24 at noon in the Downtown Walking Mall. Its third annual Pride celebration will include guest speakers, entertainment and more. For details and information about this event, the Miss Winchester Pride Pageant scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29, or for possible postponements or adjustments, visit winchesterpridecelebration.com.

No word yet from NOVA Pride, usually held in August. Check later at novapride.org

Reston Pride is cancelled. 

Shenandoah Valley Pride hopes to have its event on Saturday, Sept. 19 from noon-6 p.m. Details at shenandoahvalleypride.org

VA Pride (Richmond) is also looking to fall with a Sept. 26 event. Details at vapride.org

West Virginia

Eastern Panhandle Pride in Shepherdstown, W.Va., is postponed indefinitely. Look for the organization on Facebook later in the year for updates. “Alternatives” are being considered, organizers said. 

International

Global Pride is June 27 and is an international response to multiple Pride cancellations due to the ongoing global health crisis. This first-ever gathering of the worldwide LGBTQ community includes an impressive slate of speakers to include the President of Costa Rica, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of India and more. The show will be livestreamed on the Global Pride website and YouTube, and will be free to view. More information is available at globalpride2020.org

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Photos

PHOTOS: Baltimore Pride Parade

Thousands attend annual LGBTQ march and block party

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A scene from the 2024 Baltimore Pride Parade. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party was held on Charles Street in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, June 15. 

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Sports

Washington Mystics to hold annual Pride game

Team to play Dallas Wings on Saturday

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Mystics will be having their upcoming Pride game on Saturday against the Dallas Wings.

The Mystics Pride game is one of the team’s theme nights they host every year, with Pride night being a recurring event. The team faced off against the Phoenix Mercury last June. Brittney Griner, who Russia released from a penal colony in December 2022 after a court convicted her of importing illegal drugs after customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage, attended the game. 

Unlike the NBA, where there are currently no openly LGBTQ players, there are multiple WNBA players who are out. Mystics players Emily Englster, Brittney Sykes, and Stefanie Dolson are all queer.

The Mystics on June 1 acknowledged Pride Month in a post to its X account.

“Celebrating Pride this month and every month,” reads the message.

The game is on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (1100 Oak Drive, S.E.). Fans can purchase special Pride tickets that come with exclusive Mystics Pride-themed jerseys. 

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Theater

Queers win big at 77th annual Tony Awards

‘Merrily We Roll Along’ among winners

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(Photo courtesy of the Tony Awards' Facebook page)

It was a banner night for queer theater artists at the 77th annual Tony Awards, honoring the best in Broadway theater at the Lincoln Center in New York on Sunday. Some of the biggest honors of the night went to the revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Merrily We Roll Along” and the dance-musical based on Sufjan Stephens’ album “Illinoise.

“Merrily We Roll Along,” which follows three friends as their lives change over the course of 20 years, told in reverse chronological order, picked up the awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. 

Out actor Jonathan Groff picked up his first Tony Award for his leading role as Franklin Shepard in the show, while his costar Daniel Radcliffe earned his first Tony Award for featured performance as Charley Kringas. 

Groff gave a heartfelt and teary acceptance speech about how he used to watch the Tony Awards as a child in Lancaster County, Pa.

“Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was three,” he said to his parents in the audience. “Even if they didn’t understand me, my family knew the life-saving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgment.”

Groff also thanked the everyone in the production of “Spring Awakening,” where he made his Broadway debut in 2006, for inspiring him to come out at the age of 23.

“To actually be able to be a part of making theatre in this city, and just as much to be able to watch the work of this incredible community has been the greatest pleasure of my life,” he said. 

This was Groff’s third Tony nomination, having been previously nominated for his leading role in “Spring Awakening” and for his featured performance as King George III in “Hamilton.” 

Radcliffe, who is best known for starring in the “Harry Potter” series of movies, has long been an ally of the LGBTQ community, and has recently been known to spar with “Harry Potter” creator JK Rowling over her extreme opposition to trans rights on social media and in interviews. It was Radcliffe’s first Tony nomination and win.

Lesbian icon Sarah Paulson won her first Tony Award for her starring role in the play “Appropriate,” about a family coming to terms with the legacy of their slave-owning ancestors as they attempt to sell their late father’s estate. It was her first nomination and win.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked her partner Holland Taylor “for loving me.” Along with Paulson’s Emmy win for “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” she is halfway to EGOT status.

The Sufjan Stephens dance-musical “Illinoise,” based on his album of the same name, took home the award for Best Choreography for choreographer Justin Peck. It was his second win.

During the ceremony, the cast of “Illinoise” performed “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us!”, a moving dance number about a queer romance.

A big winner of the night was the adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel “The Outsiders,” which dominated the musical categories, earning Best Director, Sound Design, Lighting Design, and Best Musical, which earned LGBTQ ally Angelina Jolie her first Tony Award.

Also a big winner was “Stereophonic,” which dominated the play categories, winning the awards for Best Play, Featured Actor, Director, Sound Design, and Scenic Design.

“Suffs,” a musical about the fight for women’s suffrage in the U.S., which acknowledges the lesbian relationship that suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt had in song called “If We Were Married,” took home awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score, both for creator Shaina Taub. 

Had “Suffs” also won for Best Musical, producers Hilary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai would have won their first Tony Awards. 

Other winners include Maleah Joi Moon for her lead role and Kecia Lewis for her featured role in the Alicia Keys musical “Hell’s Kitchen,” Jeremy Strong for his lead role in An Enemy of the People, and Kara Young for her featured role in “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.”

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