One year after the historic Stonewall riots in New York City, the first gay pride march was held. Now, 50 years later, Washington D.C. is ready to celebrate the anniversary of this incredible victory for civil rights. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 still very much a concern, all physical events have been canceled. The LGBTQIA+ community didn’t let that stop the party; they just moved events online. Here is a sampling of virtual Pride events to attend as well as queer-owned businesses and restaurants to support this month. Even better, support them all year round!
Socially Distanced Pride Festivities
Virtual Pride Festivals
The biggest and longest pride event is Global Pride 2020 and the Capital Pride Alliance is a proud contributor. This 24-hour celebration of all things LGBTQ+ will be live-streamed on Facebook June 27th and is completely free. The Capital Pride Alliance is also hosting several of their own events that are geared towards specific parts of the incredibly diverse queer community in D.C. La Fiesta, a D.C. Latinx Pride 2020 event is hosting their own raffle as well as a Drag Fest. The proceeds will be going to the Queer Families COVID Fund. General admission is $5 through Eventbrite.
Drag Queen Story Time Online
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is presenting Drag Queen Story Time as part of their Family Programs and Festivals series. This is a free event at 10 a.m. on June 27th but reservations are required. Join drag queen Ruth Allen Ginsberg on Facebook Live as she reads aloud classic nursery rhymes and tales for children. Their online pride activities page is full of crafts and coloring pages to celebrate pride suitable for the whole family. Kids of all ages can learn to make rainbow windsocks, rainbow salad spinner art, or design their own unique pride flag.
Rainbow Families Lunch and Learn Virtual Conference
On Wednesday, June 24th, Rainbow Families is continuing their “Lunch and Learn” series with author Lexie Bean (they/their). The Author Talk: Personal Fiction and Growing Up Queer and Trans in 1990s Midwest is recommended for adults. Bean will be discussing their debut novel The Ship We Built. They will also be leading discussions surrounding topics such as growing up in a time without language for identities or experiences and how to help young readers tackle “adult themes.” Registration is necessary to receive the Zoom link.
Hank's Oyster Bar
Shuck, yeah! All 3 of Hank's Oyster Bar locations are open and ready for business. Each location is offering delivery or pickup options and the DuPont Circle location has recently reopened their outdoor patio. Queer-owner Jamie Leeds opened the original location back in 2005 and hasn’t slowed down since. Another of her endeavors, Hank’s Cocktail Bar (formerly Twisted Horn), is experimenting with takeout cocktails available through their front window. Her pasta restaurant was due to be renamed and open in early 2020 but that has been postponed due to COVID-19.
Chef/Owner Ruth Gresser refused to stay in the closet when she opened her award-winning restaurant Pizzeria Paradiso. Since the beginning in 1991, her eatery has hung rainbow flags at every pride. Pizzeria Paradiso joined forces with Art Works Now to help feed their community at the beginning of the coronavirus shut down. They vowed to give away 1,000 pizzas every week to help families facing food insecurity. All of their locations are now open for contactless pickup and delivery. Some D.C. locations are offering discounts for carryout wine and beer as well with the order of a delicious pizza pie.
Queer-owned D.C. Businesses
D.C. residents who have been missing happy hour can support queer-owned and women-led Republic Restoratives by ordering online. Same-day delivery is available in the D.C.-metro area. Curbside pickup or farmers’ market pickup are also options. Each order comes with a free bottle of hand sanitizer or a roll of toilet paper. They offer a diverse array of craft spirits including vodka, bourbon, rye, and apple brandy. Apple brandy is one of the original American spirits, distilled even before American whiskey. What could be more patriotic than mixing up a cocktail in the nation’s Capitol? Don’t know where to start? They have handy recipes on their website.
JSquared was literally founded by a pair of Jeffs. The couple started their candle and home fragrance company back in 2016. To them, “life balance is essential,” and that’s why their products are made from all-natural or naturally-derived ingredients. No synthetic or fake stuff here! Their candles come in 2.5 and 7-ounce sizes with scents such as “sacred forest.” Room sprays and room diffusers are available in 3.4-ounce and 5-ounce sizes, respectively.