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Gay Pride Parade Big Hit

Accompanying images can be viewed in the July 2016 issue pdf

By Phil Carney

As we have for two decades, Scoop the dog who advocates for pet owners to clean up after their dogs and Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) joined in the Pride celebration and marched in our biggest annual neighborhood event. After days of nice weather, we got typical parade heat in the 90s, but that didn’t stop tens of thousands from enjoying the parade and cheering on the marchers. However, I was recovering from a heart attack and that meant for the first time in decades I could not participate in the march as Scoop. Fortunately, neighbor Jill Foster, who was had served as her college mascot, graciously offered to be Scoop this year. And thanks to car air conditioning both Scoop and I were able to ride in the parade without getting heat stroke. Thanks go to neighbor Renee Schwager who once again drove her convertible with the air conditioning in operation. Also thanks to the many volunteers for their work to make our parade possible.

Saturday, June 11th was a celebration of how far we have come:

■ from Frank Kameny being fired for simply being gay to dedicating part of 17th Street, NW in his honor with the dedication speaker having been the openly gay then director the federal personnel office;

■from a small and simple block Pride party at 19th and S Streets, NW organized 40 years ago by then Lambda Rising Bookstore owner Deacon Cubin to a Parade stretching from 22nd & P Streets to U Street led by the U.S. military and Boy Scouts of America color guards — and sponsored by Marriott, plus a festival the next day on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and sponsored by Hilton;

■from Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Tavern riots to the Stonewall and the little park opposite being designated by the U.S. Interior Department as a National Monument last month;

■and then the night of the parade in Orlando, Florida — how far we still have go and a painful reminder that whether internalized or external, homophobia kills.