Throngs line Capital Pride route to celebrate 50 years of LGBT movement

Thick crowds lined the 1.5 mile route to celebrate the Capital Pride Alliance’s annual pride parade in D.C., one of many celebrations nationwide to celebrate Pride Month, and to mark the 50 years since the Stonewall Rebellion, which sparked the modern movement for LGBT rights.

It was a sea of rainbow flags, fans, beads, balloons and more at Dupont Circle and along the parade route, with a steady procession of floats, trucks and even sightseeing tour buses with folks throwing rainbow beads, balls and other parade keepsakes to those lining the streets.

Bass beats from speakers and brass instruments alike resonated down the street, and when the song was familiar, the crowd sang or rapped along.

“It’s just the chance to be out there and be yourself and let people see who you are. It’s not about pushing [Pride] down your throat. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it, but I’m still here, you know what I mean? We’re just trying to be ourselves,” said Jacy from Maryland, who told WTOP that this year’s D.C. pride parade was his first.

And there were plenty of allies along the route as well.

“Pride means to me, I’m an ally and an advocate for people who are different and living the lives that they want to lead and supporting people [in] who they want to love,” said Audrey Rodriquez. “It’s a celebration of love of everybody.”

Sammi, who declined to give a last name, came out as bisexual last year and tells WTOP that pride events are safe spaces “where people who have come out and people who haven’t come out can celebrate that fact and it’s a comfortable space.”

“Even if people haven’t come out yet, they can feel like they belong in a group,” Sammi added.

Dreama, Citrine and Logan Stone of The Haus of Stone at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Dreama, Citrine and Logan Stone of The Haus of Stone at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Detail from the Smithsonian's 2019 Capital Pride Parade float. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Detail from the Smithsonian’s 2019 Capital Pride Parade float. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Staff from the Washington National Cathedral march in the 2019 Capital Pride Parade with a replica of one of the cathedral's spires. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Staff from the Washington National Cathedral march in the 2019 Capital Pride Parade with a replica of one of the cathedral’s spires. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
The Humanities Truck, a mobile art space sponsored by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a partnership with American University, collects stories from the LGBTQ experience as part of Capital Pride.
The Humanities Truck, a mobile art space sponsored by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a partnership with American University, collects stories from the LGBTQ experience as part of Capital Pride. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
The rainbow flag was everywhere, including on jewelry, during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
The rainbow flag was everywhere, including on jewelry, during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Leggings depicting characters from the television show, "The Golden Girls" at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Leggings depicting characters from the television show, “The Golden Girls” at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Members of the AFGE Union on the union's float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Members of the AFGE Union on the union’s float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Members of the AFGE Union on the union's float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
The rainbow flag as fashion inspiration during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Families from Great Britain celebrating Pride Month during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Families from Great Britain celebrating Pride Month during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Australians celebrate Pride Month during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Australians celebrate Pride Month during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Sunny skies and warm temperatures at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Sunny skies and warm temperatures at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Political outreach was a part of the day at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Political outreach was a part of the day at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Starbucks employees celebrate Pride Month at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Starbucks employees celebrate Pride Month at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Vanessa Garrison, one of the co-founders of the nonprofit GirlTrek whose mission is to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among African-American women, at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Vanessa Garrison, one of the co-founders of the nonprofit GirlTrek whose mission is to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among African-American women, at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Stu Clown on her stilts during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Stu Clown on her stilts during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
The Korean Queer and Transgender Association drum circle at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
The Korean Queer and Transgender Association drum circle at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Pets celebrated Pride at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
Pets celebrated Pride at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
British pride on display at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
British pride on display at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
A group of friends get ready to board their float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
A group of friends get ready to board their float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
One of the many costumes featured at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
One of the many costumes featured at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling of the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church (center, purple shirt) at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade joined by area United Methodist Church clergy, including (left-right) Tony Love, assistant to the Bishop; Donna Claycomb Sokol, Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, Washington, DC; Rev.Will Green of Foundry United Methodist Church ; Rev. Dr. Mary Kay Totty of Dumbarton United Methodist Church; Rev. Leo Yates of Magothy Deaf Church UMC; Malcolm Frazier, Chaplain of Asbury Methodist Village; Joey Heath-Mason, United Methodist Chaplain, American University; and Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, Director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Arizona. (Shannon Finney Photography)
Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling of the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church (center, purple shirt) at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade joined by area United Methodist Church clergy, including (left-right) Tony Love, assistant to the Bishop; Donna Claycomb Sokol, Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, Washington, DC; Rev.Will Green of Foundry United Methodist Church ; Rev. Dr. Mary Kay Totty of Dumbarton United Methodist Church; Rev. Leo Yates of Magothy Deaf Church UMC; Malcolm Frazier, Chaplain of Asbury Methodist Village; Joey Heath-Mason, United Methodist Chaplain, American University; and Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, Director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Arizona. (Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
A marcher in the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
A marcher in the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
Ya-Ya the Cat at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
Ya-Ya the Cat at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography) (Shannon Finney Photography)
(1/29)
Dreama, Citrine and Logan Stone of The Haus of Stone at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Detail from the Smithsonian's 2019 Capital Pride Parade float. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Staff from the Washington National Cathedral march in the 2019 Capital Pride Parade with a replica of one of the cathedral's spires. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
The Humanities Truck, a mobile art space sponsored by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a partnership with American University, collects stories from the LGBTQ experience as part of Capital Pride.
The rainbow flag was everywhere, including on jewelry, during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Leggings depicting characters from the television show, "The Golden Girls" at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Members of the AFGE Union on the union's float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Members of the AFGE Union on the union's float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Families from Great Britain celebrating Pride Month during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Australians celebrate Pride Month during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Sunny skies and warm temperatures at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Political outreach was a part of the day at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Starbucks employees celebrate Pride Month at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Vanessa Garrison, one of the co-founders of the nonprofit GirlTrek whose mission is to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among African-American women, at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Stu Clown on her stilts during the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
The Korean Queer and Transgender Association drum circle at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Pets celebrated Pride at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
British pride on display at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
A group of friends get ready to board their float at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
One of the many costumes featured at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling of the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church (center, purple shirt) at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade joined by area United Methodist Church clergy, including (left-right) Tony Love, assistant to the Bishop; Donna Claycomb Sokol, Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, Washington, DC; Rev.Will Green of Foundry United Methodist Church ; Rev. Dr. Mary Kay Totty of Dumbarton United Methodist Church; Rev. Leo Yates of Magothy Deaf Church UMC; Malcolm Frazier, Chaplain of Asbury Methodist Village; Joey Heath-Mason, United Methodist Chaplain, American University; and Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, Director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Arizona. (Shannon Finney Photography)
A marcher in the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)
Scenes from the 2019 Capital Pride Parade (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)
Ya-Ya the Cat at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade. (Shannon Finney Photography)

June marks five decades since the Stonewall Rebellion, which is seen as the spark for the gay rights movement in America.

WTOP asked longtime friends Rebecca and Fiona about this commemorative year as the two were sitting and leaning on metal stanchions just outside of Dupont Circle.

“That’s how the gay and trans community especially got noticed and got recognition that — no, the way you’re being treated is wrong, and demanding to be treated differently,” said Fiona who came from Minnesota to attend the parade.

“I think it’s something to keep in mind. Where we are today was fought for, and it didn’t come without sacrifices. It took a lot of bravery, and a lot of pain and suffering to get where we are at. So having some sort of remembrance of where we came from, what we started with, and what we have right now wasn’t free,” said Rebecca who lives in D.C. “We have to remember that, so it can’t be taken away again. We know that the price has already been paid and we don’t need to keep paying it over and over and over.”

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