DC selected to host WorldPride 2025 celebration, but was not 1st choice

D.C. has been selected to host WorldPride 2025, on what will be the 50th anniversary of the local celebration of LGBTQ+ diversity, but the District was not the first choice.

InterPride, the international association of pride organizers, announced it had awarded the Capital Pride Alliance the license to hold the 2025 event.

According to its website, WorldPride “is an event that promotes visibility and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) issues on an international level.”

In its letter of intent, local organizer Capital Pride Alliance said besides being the capital of the United States, D.C. is the city with the highest LGBTQ+ population percentage in the United States.

“The National Capital Region has long been a melting pot, as people come here from around the United States and around the globe. This diversity gives us the ability to work on issues and solutions from many perspectives,” wrote organizers in their efforts to land the event, which will likely include parades, marches, festivals and other activities.

In a tweet, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser voiced her excitement about the announcement.

D.C. was not InterPride’s first choice to host WorldPride 2025 — in 2021, Taiwan was initially selected to host the future event.

However, in August of this year, after disagreements between InterPride and Taiwanese organizers, the country withdrew from the project.

“The final straw that led the negotiation to a deadlock was the abrupt notice from InterPride, requiring the name of the event to change from “WorldPride Taiwan 2025” to “WorldPride Kaohsiung 2025.” This is despite the fact that the name “WorldPride Taiwan 2025” was used throughout the entire bidding process,” wrote Taiwanese officials, according to an article in the Washington Blade.

In August, InterPride’s Board of Directors said it was surprised and disappointed to hear of the decision, but said it respects and acknowledges it: “We were confident a compromise could have been reached with respect to the long-standing WorldPride tradition of using the host city name. We suggested using the name ‘WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan.’”

The first Capital Pride festival was in 1972, but it didn’t become an annual event until 1975, according to the Capital Pride Alliance’s archives: “Decades of Pride in the Nation’s Capital: Timeline of Triumph, Struggle and Resilience.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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