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Days after the mass success of the Women’s March on Washington, the LGBTQ community began planning its own march in the nation’s capital. What’s now being called the National Pride March is the brainchild of 42-year-old David Bruinooge of New York and is expected to take place on June 11. Not only is this date during Pride month, but it’s also during D.C.’s Capital Pride celebrations and is being planned in conjunction with the Capital Pride Alliance.
As Bruinooge told the Washington Blade, watching the success of the women’s marches across the country really inspired him to think about how to get the queer community moving and make sure LGBTQ voices are heard in light of the new administration’ views on conversion therapy and anti-discrimination policies.
“I was watching the events unfold on TV and I was very proud and inspired by all the women, the strong women in our country who were kind of taking this to the street and getting their voices heard,” he told the Blade. “And in the back of my mind, as an openly gay man, I thought the gay community should be doing something like this to follow up on the momentum.”
The National Pride March aims to be inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations and hopes to be an intersectional space for all to feel welcome.
The LGBTQ community has been marching and organizing for decades, whether for same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination laws, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and even for the decriminalization of same-sex activity. However, there hasn’t been a large-scale march in D.C. for LGBTQ rights since 2009, when the National Equality March called for President Obama to allow the queer community to openly serve in the military, as well as to provide anti-discrimination laws for openly queer people at work. Given what many in the queer community fear to be an anti-LGBTQ administration, now seems a good time to reignite the community and rally en mass for equal rights.
Marissa Higgins is the editor of Green Matters. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Salon, NPR, and elsewhere.