Dignity/Washington News - July 2016
Capital Pride 2016 was a huge success. Dignity/Washington was present for the smaller celebrations of Youth Pride and Trans Pride in late May. And then to start off June, the chapter was covered in the Gay Issue of the local Washington City Paper. You can read the wonderful article of the essence of the community here.
On Sunday, June 11, thanks to our Pride Committee, we had a wonderful float in the Capital Pride Parade. More than 40 community members and our friends joined us to march as a contingent of LGBTQ Catholics and our allies — either riding on or walking alongside a well-decorated 48-foot truck. Complete with our current chapter President, Vin Testa, in drag dressed as a nun, blasting Sister Act songs and other similar tunes, the enthusiastic crowds loved our float. Dignity/Washington is thankful to about 15 members of CUAllies, the unofficial gay-straight alliance of the Catholic University of America for joining us as well. The 2016 Capital Pride theme was Magic — Dignity/Washington built off of that theme: Since the magic of God is LOVE, we marched under the theme of Our Magic Is Love and #MakeLoveHappen.
On Sunday, June 12, we had a prominent position in the Pride Festival with some of the same elements from our float, like the centerpiece being a background for selfies for visitors to post with the hashtag #MakeLoveHappen.
Already in the couple of weeks following Pride weekend, we’ve had several new faces that have joined us for Mass, referring to our presence in Pride as their reason for coming. All in all, it was a beautiful weekend to celebrate God's love and the spirit of Dignity/Washington.
Dignity/Washington community members and their friends bought nearly 70 tickets for the annual Night OUT at the Nationals — a baseball game during Pride Month. It’s always a fun evening to join with the broader LGBTQ community and this year was particularly meaningful in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington singing a tribute to those lost in the tragedy.
On Wednesday night, June 15, Dignity/Washington organized an interfaith vigil to mourn those murdered at the Pulse nightclub in. An estimated 2,000 people gathered in Dupont Circle to hear reflections and prayers from about 20 leaders of various faith traditions and faith communities throughout the Washington, D.C. area. After 102 seconds of silence — one for each of those killed and wounded — the names of the 49 victims were read aloud with the crowd responding “Presente!” Overall, it was a beautiful night of solidarity and love among the area’s faith and LGBTQ and allied communities. Many local news media were there to cover the event, several acknowledging the organizing efforts of Dignity/Washington.