A schism among organizers of D.C.'s Latino Pride celebration has resulted in two different sets of events in the days leading up to Capital Pride's LGBT celebration.
A disagreement between the Latino GLBT History Project (LHP), the chief presenter of DC Latino Pride, and 11 other groups such as Casa Ruby, Foundation Angie, and Project Stripes, arose when some felt they had been left out of LHP's planning process, according to Ruby Corado, a local transgender activist and the executive director of Casa Ruby.
''People felt that it was not Latino Pride, it was all about LHP,'' Corado says of the disagreement, noting that Latino Pride also serves as one of the LHP's major fundraisers. ''It shouldn't just be controlled by one group for their financial gain.''
Other presenting organizations for the alternative Latino Pride events include The DC Center, the city LGBT community center; the transgender support organization Grupo de Apoyo de Mujeres Trans Juana Mancia; Fuego Party at Phase 1 of Dupont; Club Majestic of Virginia; Ma-Ma's Restaurant & Bar; Latin Soul Productions; and Heroes Latinos Internet Video Show.
Corado says the skirmish started four months ago when she asked LHP, as the chief organizer, to send invitations to some of the other groups, particularly those dealing with the transgender community, which were not sent. Last month, Corado says she threatened to go to Capital Pride because LHP appeared to be ignoring the concerns of the other presenting organizations and downplaying the transgender-related aspects of Latino Pride.
Corado says it also appeared to some of the other dissident organizations that LHP was more focused on tailoring the Latino Pride events to appeal to larger, national groups rather than engaging local grassroots or community organizations. As a result, she and representatives from some of the other groups who felt excluded decided to hold their own events.
''This is all about inclusion,'' Corado says of the alternative Latino Pride. ''It's all about coming together.''
David Perez, president of the Latino GLBT History Project, says LHP did invite Casa Ruby to be part of the advisory committee for Latino Pride, but that Corado and the others decided on their own to hold separate events.
''Our events are inclusive of transgender individuals,'' Perez says in response to the criticism levied by groups holding the alternative Latino Pride events.
The LHP-organized Latino Pride has already held two of its three scheduled events – a bilingual discussion on immigration and LGBT rights held May 30 at the headquarters of the national LGBT rights organization the Human Rights Campaign, and a June 2 faith service and reception. The final event, a dance party, will be held June 6 at Town Danceboutique. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) is expected to attend, kicking off the program at 10:15 p.m., with Carmen Carrera from RuPaul's Drag Race serving as headliner. Tickets to the event are $10, available online at latinoglbtistory.org/tickets.
The alternative Latino Pride held its opening party at Arlington's Club Majestic June 4. This group will also hold a community resource fair and LGBT panel discussion at 3 p.m. June 6 at Casa Ruby, located at 2822 Georgia Ave. NW. Later that night, at 9 p.m., the groups will move to La Cabaña, another supporter of the alternative pride, at 3614 14th St. NW, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Casa Ruby's opening. Special guests for that event also include Gray and Carrera, as well as two LGBT-rights activists from El Salvador, Edvin Patty Hernandez and Ricardo Hernandez.
The alternative Latino Pride will also host an event as part of the Fuego dance party at Phase 1 of Dupont at 10 p.m., Friday, June 7. The 11 groups will wrap up their alternative pride Sunday, June 9, at a closing party at Ma-Ma's Restaurant & Bar, at 3118 Georgia Ave. NW.
[CLARIFICATION: While this story lists 11 organizations as being part of the alternative Latino Pride events led by Ruby Corado, seven of those organizations supported both that effort and the events organized by the Latino GLBT History Project. They are: La Cabana Lounge, Club Majestic of Virginia/Carillo Productions Majestic Crazy Tuesdays, Latin SOUL Productions, Fuego at Phase 1 of Dupont, Grupo de Apoyo de Mujeres Trans Juana Mancia, The DC Center and Project Stripes of the Latin American Youth Center.]