Pride in the Circle

by Diane Butts June. 27, 2020 880 views

Dupont Circle in NW Washington, DC was once coined "the gayest place in America." These days there are many neighborhoods where LGBTQ community members call home, but Dupont Circle remains a special place, and residents are celebrating pride in a special way.

Tessa

Tessa

While almost every large jurisdiction in the US has permanent rainbow crosswalks, DC did not - until this week.

Dupont Circle resident assists with the installation

Dupont Circle resident assists with the installation

Randy Downs, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, says "DC, being a very queer place, we’ve been asking for them. However, there’s been challenges with the federal government and partners, since the people who make the laws live here and because we don’t have statehood, we’re held to a different standard and so we haven’t been able to have permanent crosswalks because of that.

Randy Downs, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

Randy Downs, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

"Three years ago, the community came together with Mayor Bowser and the Department of Transportation to paint temporary rainbow and trans crosswalks … done with chalk spray paint. We did several streets in NW and ever since, for pride, we paint two or three or more as a community led effort. This year the Department of Transportation worked with federal partners on a permanent rainbow crosswalk installation.

DC Department of Transportation

DC Department of Transportation

"We are very excited that we have a permanent reminder of the history of this neighborhood, and the battles that the queer community have fought. There are many more challenges we have to overcome as we move forward.

Progress Pride Flag

Progress Pride Flag

"This design is special – it’s the first of its kind in the world.  It includes the progress pride flag, so the black, brown, blue, and pink triangle, plus the traditional rainbow design – a more inclusive design of the queer community so we are excited to be a host and sponsor for it.”

The flags have been on display for years. BLM banners were added recently.

The flags have been on display for years. BLM banners were added recently.

This year's Pride Month has different energy thanks to Coronavirus, but neighbors are still celebrating.

Tonee Grayson

Tonee Grayson

Tonee Grayson says, “I’m here in DC this year for Pride Month. So sad we have to do it low key this year with COVID. I’ve been doing this since the beginning – it used to be just one block on 19th Street and now it’s moved up to such a big thing. I was in New York last year for the 50th anniversary. I was at Stonewall (a pub in NYC known as the birthplace of the LGBTQ movement,) the night it got raided so I had to go. It was very peaceful.”

Henry, in front of JR's, a popular spot in Dupont Circle

Henry, in front of JR's, a popular spot in Dupont Circle

Henry, a Dupont Circle resident, says the celebration is still very important. “Pride Month is very important especially for young people to know what we’ve overcome and it’s much more mainstream now, especially young people in small towns. Just being out there, you know. We’re still fighting.”

Dupont Circle, NW Washington, DC

Dupont Circle, NW Washington, DC

These days, there are many other neighborhoods throughout the city where the LGBTQ community live and play, but with its myriad sights and all around fun vibe, Dupont Circle is still a place to see and be seen.

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Rachele Schneekloth 4 months ago

I'm so glad you are capturing these moments in history! Beautiful!

4 months ago Edited
Diane Butts Replied to Rachele Schneekloth 3 months, 4 weeks ago

thanks Rachele!

3 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
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