ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE
D.C. played red carpet to kings, queens, cowboys — and even Eagles — this weekend at the annual Capital Pride celebration.
AU students and staff were among the many D.C. residents who came out for a parade Saturday and a festival Sunday in honor of the 36th annual event. The parade started at Dupont Circle and wound through Northwest D.C., and the Festival ran from 3rd Street to 7th Street.
AU students were invited to march in the parade Saturday with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, according to GLBTA Resource Center Director Sara Bendoraitis.For the past six years, volunteers from the center have tabled at the Festival.
Elyse Krumbin, a rising junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she attended the parade to observe the crowd and support her friends.
“It’s important for people to be confident in who they are,” Krumbin said.
Rising CAS senior Dan Remick-Cook, who has attended the Capital Pride Parade before, said he was excited for this year’s parade because of the sense of community it demonstrated.
“I like that the whole community just kind of comes out and celebrates being gay and what not,” Remick-Cook said. “And also, it’s a great time to see drag queens everywhere.”
While the parade brought out hordes of screaming spectators, the festival had moments of comparative calm. Men in high heels browsed the booths along with topless women and wide-eyed children. AU’s table, littered with buttons, information and freebies, saw a steady crowd.
One of the purposes of tabling at the Pride Festival is to make the GLBTA Resource Center available to prospective students, who can be paired up with current students to help them in the decision-making process, Bendoraitis said in an interview on Friday.
Class of 2011 graduate Cherisse Datu, Assistant Dean of Students Marianne Huger and Washington College of Law Cataloging Coordinator Mimi Games were among volunteers who represented AU at the festival on Sunday.
Datu, Huger and Games confirmed that in addition to many perspective students, they saw mothers too, who were all concerned about finding a college that was open to students of all sexual identities.
Bendoraitis said participating in Capital Pride events allows GLBTQ students to see a community of people that identifies in a similar way.
“I think [participating in Capital Pride events] puts a lot of visibility on AU as a very active place and a very GLBT-friendly place,” Bendoraitis said. “And I think on a personal level, for a lot of folks it’s often the first time that they’ve ever really been able to go to an event where this piece of their identity is celebrated.”
Staff Writer Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.