'What does Pride mean to you?': Washington, D.C. festival attendees share their stories

·2-min read

In honor of Pride Month, the In The Know team recently attended Washington, D.C.’s Capital Pride festival. Our producers spoke with attendees to ask, “What does Pride mean to you?”

We challenged each interviewee to share their answer through an acrostic poem from the word “Pride.”

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P is for:

“Proud to be myself, 100%,” said Abby Cannon.

“Proud to be out,” said Stephen Wood.

“Proud to be who you are because that’s what really the essence of Pride is. It’s about really establishing what your identity is and being free to be who you are,” said Sharan Ahmed.

R is for:

“Respect. People need to have respect for your choices and who you care about,” said Azanae Barrow.

“Respect everyone’s identity because even within the gay community, it can be hard to find respectful and safe places,” said Ahmed. “So I really think it’s important that as we talk about Pride, [we need] to make sure that everyone’s identity is respected, even if you’re not really aware of what their identity really means.”

I is for:

“Inclusion,” said Cannon.

“Individuality, because I think what’s beautiful is that everybody can be themselves,” said Abigail Katz.

“Inclusivity. Events such as this are really helpful to people who are struggling with their identity or maybe do not know,” said Barrow. “This is really important for them to see that there are safe spaces like this that are safe for everyone.”

D is for:

“Don’t have to hide. For a long time, I had to hide. And I don’t anymore,” said Cannon.

“Diversity,” said Ahmed. “In order to have impactful and significant spaces in Pride and the LGBTQ community, you need to make sure everyone is represented and that you have a diverse community.”

E is for:

“Equal, for all of us,” said Wood.

“I’m excited to be a gay woman,” said Cannon.

“Everyone deserves love. I mean, that’s just what Pride was founded on,” said Ahmed. “I think every human, no matter who they are, no matter what they identify as, I think they are worthy of love and compassion.”

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