Ahh, Capital Pride is upon us! It is a true marker that summer has arrived. Pride was one of my first impressions of the city. The summer after freshman year of college, my college roommate and a few other friends decided to make the pilgrimage up for the occasion. After living in a small, conservative southwestern Virginia town for my entire life- this felt like Mecca. We spent the day just hanging out in Dupont Circle, being among “our people.” We excitedly watched the parade, had some dinner, and then spent the evening dancing away at Apex because it was the only bar we could get into being under 21.
We decided to make this a tradition. Every summer, just a few weeks after school was out, we’d caravan to the city to celebrate. We’d get a hotel out in Vienna (to save money, I guess?) or crash with one of our many friends from the area. We just wanted to be here. It’s these trips that helped me to fall in love with this city and ultimately why I moved here.
I moved up the weekend before Pride (and in with two of the people who had made the college trips with me) in 2008 and was SO EXCITED to be able to just metro into the city and then back home to sleep in my OWN BED that night. We invited a shit ton of friends to stay with us that weekend. We had people sleeping all over our new giant apartment. It was incredible TO BE AN ADULT. And to LIVE HERE.
Flash to this weekend. This is my 9th DC Pride. While the novelty has worn off a bit, and dancing until all hours doesn’t hold the same appeal that it once did, I still find myself getting a little wrapped up in the excitement of the weekend. What surprises me the most is how the weekend isn’t just about the gays anymore. The whole city celebrates the occasion. Restaurants have specials, bars throw parties, the celebration is everywhere. Pride is just a yearly reminder of how amazing this city is, that I belong here, and how glad I am to call it my home.
Happy Pride Everyone!