(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off Pride Month by raising the LGBTQIA+ pride flag at the John A. Wilson Building. At the flag raising, which represents the first time the pride flag is flying outside of the John A. Wilson Building, the Mayor highlighted DC’s commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusivity and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Today marks the start of Pride Month, but in DC we celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community 365 days a year,” said Mayor Bowser. “I am proud to be here today to celebrate our DC values and to send a message to DC residents and everyone who visits Washington, DC that we are an inclusive city, we are a city that loves and values the LGBTQ+ community, and we are a city that knows we are stronger when we stand together and when we celebrate together.”
During the event, Mayor Bowser highlighted that Washington, DC has the highest percentage of LGBTQIA+ people in America. The Mayor announced that DC was selected to host World Pride 2025, which will take place from May 23 until June 8, 2025.
The Mayor also invited residents and visitors to celebrate at the upcoming 48th Annual Capital Pride parade and festival. The parade will take place on Saturday, June 10 and community members can register to walk with Mayor Bowser HERE. The Capital Pride festival will take place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW on Sunday, June 11 starting at 12 pm and include entertainment on three stages, food, drink, and advocacy with over 300 exhibitors. Learn more about the festival HERE.
Today’s event was also a celebration of DC’s long history as a leader in LGBTQIA+ rights. In 1973, the District voted, ahead of the nation, to update DC’s human rights law to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; the DC Human Rights Act remains the most comprehensive law of its kind in the nation. In 2009, DC was among the first states in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, ahead of the 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationally.
Under Mayor Bowser’s leadership, the District has invested broadly in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, investing nearly $1,000,000 in community development and cultural competency LGBTQIA+ training grant funds in Fiscal Year 2024, establishing the DC LGBTQIA+ community center, funding counseling services for LGBTQ residents impacted by intimate partner violence, and dedicating housing vouchers for LGBTQIA+ community members. Last year, the Mayor also opened the District’s first low-barrier shelter that is specifically dedicated to providing shelter and services to District residents who are experiencing homelessness and identify as LGBTQ+. The Mayor allocated funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to establish and operate the 40-bed shelter for unaccompanied adults, 25 years of age and older, who identify as LGBTQ+.
“DC is home to the highest percentage of LGBTQIA+ in nation, we are proudly celebrating 48 years of Capital Pride in the District, and we will be hosting World Pride 2025 in two years,” said Director of the MOLGBTQA Japer Bowles. “To say that DC is just LGBTQIA+-friendly is an understatement. We support our Trans Youth, we celebrate the Art of Drag, and we will continue to lead the nation in LGBTQIA+ resources.”
Tonight, on June 1, and then again on June 10 and June 11, the District will light up the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge with Pride colors. In addition to the bridge lighting, the District also will show support for LGBTQIA+ communities by wrapping 20 Capital Bikeshare bikes, a DC Circulator, and a DC Streetcar in pride flags.
To view more upcoming pride events offered through the MOLGBTQA office, visit linktr.ee/dclgbtq or follow @DCLGBTQ on social media.