The Capital Pride Alliance has had a wonderful year because of the contributions of so many people, and for that we are very grateful. The events we produced were tremendous successes as a result of the hard work of the staff, Board, and volunteers as well as our sponsors and partners.
But, 2016 has seen its share of tragedy, including the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and disappointments, including the results of November 8. It is quite likely that those events will forever color our recollection of this past year.
It is appropriate to recall that Pride is a celebration born out of a protest. In 1970 in New York and 1975 here in D.C., the community decided that we would commemorate what had occurred at the Stonewall Inn at the end of June 1969, when courageous individuals took a stand and said they weren’t going to tolerate discrimination and abuse any longer.
For almost 50 years we have continued to celebrate the actions of those brave people. Their determination to do what was right has provided us with inspiration and hope. Thanks to them and the millions who have followed – along with our allies – we have made steady progress. That is why, recently, the protest that is at our core has become more a celebration than a confrontation. But, as we know, the path forward for justice and equality is never smooth, and along the way we invariably encounter both pitfalls and setbacks.
The LGBT community has had many extraordinary friends over the past eight years help make our world a little more equal and accepting. For them, we are grateful. While we do not know what the future holds, one thing is certain, no matter who moves in down the street or around this city, we are not going back. We have fought too long, and struggled too hard to give any ground on the successes we have achieved.
What can we do? Volunteer. We would love to have you spend some of your time with us, and so would our partner organizations, which also need your time and talents. Contribute. Again, we welcome your donations. We stand in good stead because so many people, groups, and businesses have generously contributed to Capital Pride.
So, as we close out 2016 we ask that you renew your commitment to assist in whatever way and however you can: to Pride, to the community, to neighbors, and to each other. Whatever storms we are facing in the years to come, we will be stronger together.