Capital Pride Countdown

Rupaul, Ndegeocello set to headline full slate of entertainment at Pride Festival

by Yusef Najafi
Published on May 21, 2009, 12:00am | Comments

If Destiny B. Child's (aka Richard Legg) performance at the final Capital Pride meeting on Wednesday, May 13, is any indication, organizers of the 34th annual Capital Pride event are ready to ''Get the party started.''

At the festive evening meeting at Loews' downtown Madison Hotel, Child's delivered her take on Pink's hit, courtesy of Shirley Bassey's voice, moving throughout the room filled with volunteers and organizers, including Dyana Mason.

Mason, executive director of Capital Pride, announced that this year's headliner at the Sunday, June 14, Capital Pride Festival will be another famous gender illusionist, RuPaul. She told the crowd of about 100 that there will be many ''crowd pleasers'' at this year's Pride events, which officially begin June 5 with the Mr. and Ms. Capital Pride Leather pageant at Cobalt. The week of events leading up to the Capital Pride Parade on June 13, and the Capital Pride Festival on June 14, includes Capital Trans Pride, also at the Madison Hotel, as well as the Mr. and Ms. Capital Pride pageant at Town Danceboutique, both June 6.

This year's festival also features performances by Melissa Ferrick and Meshell Ndegeocello.

''I think there's going to be something for everybody who's coming to the festival,'' Mason said, adding that organizers are expecting a large turnout for the parade, at which actress Valerie Harper is slated to serve as the Capital Pride Parade Grand Marshal.

Vince Micone, co-chair of the Capital Pride Alliance, announced this year's 2009 Capital Pride Heroes, scheduled to be honored during the Capital Pride Heroes reception, again at the Madison Hotel, on June 2.

They are: Andrew Abell, who performs as Blair Michaels; David Lett, who performs as Lena Lett; Ellen Kahn, of the Human Rights Campaign and Rainbow Families; Margaret Murray, executive director of One in Ten, the organization that produces the annual Reel Affirmations Film Festival; Donna Payne, associate director of diversity for the Human Rights Campaign; and Bob Witeck, co-founder of Witeck-Combs Communications, who serves as the CEO of that company.

Micone said in addition to the Capital Pride Heroes, Capital Pride plans to honor two local, longtime activists as ''Superheroes'': Frank Kameny and Lilli Vincenz, among the first activists to picket for equal rights for gay people in front of the White House -- or anywhere else.

''[They were] involved in paving the way for LGBT rights in our community,'' Micone said.

The theme for Capital Pride 2009 is ''Generations of Pride: Celebrate and Remember - Stonewall at 40.''

To sign up as a Capital Pride volunteer, or to view this year's full schedule, visit www.capitalpride.org, or call 202-719-5304.