City Desk

LL’s 2009 Capital Pride Reviewing Stand

The next local election day might be some 15 months off, but Saturday's Capital Pride parade still had a political charge—mostly due to the recent heat on gay marriage, but also thanks to a mayoral campaign kicking into full gear and possible council challenger in the mix.

LL was there with camera. Behold!

Adrian Fenty, Mr. Smart Car, opted for something a bit larger than his signature everyday conveyance for parade purposes: a white Hummer. Not a mini-Hummer, either—the big one. Gotta support American automakers these days, right? (What's that? Hummer's been sold to the Chinese? Whatever.)

Before the march, Bill Rice and John Falcicchio engage in high jinks:

No one tosses beads like Hizzoner:

After the parade, Fenty and his 30-some marchers (including sons Matthew and Andrew) gathered for pictures:

Vincent Gray's wheels were even less fuel-efficient. But his giant truck at least carried a couple of dozen staffers supporters:

Gray again handed out custom beads with a "One City" pendant:

Jack Evans and family (that's companion Michelle Seiver) hanging out pre-parade:

Evans had 25-plus in his retinue:

Eleanor Holmes Norton showed off her signature parade pose:

Phil Mendelson showed LL his campaign-ready tough-guy look:

Mendo alone among politicos opted for leis over beads. Gal pal Carol Mitten helped hand 'em out:

Mendo couldn't ask for a better advertisement than this homemade banner, which led his entourage:

And just so you know Mendo means business, his retinue was followed by a black Cadillac driven by his "muscle" (aka staffer Mike Battle):

Mendelson's likely challenger, former DPR chief Clark Ray, was also marching, but near the back, with local Gay Games promoters:

A smattering of "DC NEEDS CLARK RAY" stickers (in Fenty green-and-white) were spotted in the crowd:

David Catania printed up custom marriage equality signs—one of the most popular items along the parade route:

Once again, Catania had a special guest rider: Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, aka the Queen of Green. LL asked Catania if he was king of anything: "The King of Queens, honey!"

Kwame Brown, however, was the king of bling, riding in a Porsche 911 Carrera:

Staffer Enrique Fernandez Roberts captured the hipster demo however, with his Kwamefied scooter:

Kwame brought a bubble machine, but LL did not see it in use:

Fenty wasn't the only politico to somewhat de-green. Tommy Wells traded in the Zipcar Mini Cooper he had last year for a Toyota Tacoma pickup:

For the second year running, couple Michael Ulrich and Paul Cooper, whom Wells joined in marriage, participated:

After missing the Pride parade for the first time in decades last year, Jim Graham was back in the saddle this year:

In one of the more eardrum-unfriendly developments, Graham marchers sported whistles:

Muriel Bowser brought a strong crowd:

Gay rights legend Frank Kameny, among the festival honorees:

D.C. For Marriage:

Gertrude Stein Democratic Club:

D.C. Democratic State Committee:

Ward 7 Democrats (Juan Thompson, right):

Ward 8 Democrats (Phil Pannell and Charles Wilson):

UPDATE, 4:20 P.M.: A couple of addenda:

Doxie McCoy, spokesperson for Gray, writes in to point out that "more than staffers were riding with the Chairman. We had people from GLOV/Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, DC for Marriage, Metro TeenAIDS, and Gertrude Democratic Stein Club, in addition to reps from DC Vote, Pre-K for All DC, State Board, etc."

And Charles Allen, Wells' top aide, notes, "Just for the record, Tommy had rented a Mini-Cooper again. Zipcar notified him on Friday that they were cancelling his reservation because the car had to be taken into the shop for repairs. The Tacoma was the only open top (-ish) vehicle left in the Zipcar fleet on such short notice."

OK, green cred's intact!

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  • huh?

    Is Jim Graham okay? He looks pretty unhealthy.

  • Q

    Please forgive me, but these photos are about as sincere as their support. LL this is basically a political publicity stunt if I ever heard/read one. The newest victim, the GLBT population. It deftly shows that politicians will get face time with ANYBODY for their support. So, from LL's portrayal, does that mean Harry Thomas, Marion Barry, Michael A. Brown, Yvette Alexander don't support the GLBT population? Were they not able to rent expensive cars in time? Were their beads held up in delivery?

    Passing out beads, grinning, and driving (renting) expensive cars is all about campaigning. Makes me wonder though, if there was a Christian Pride parade would they be out in force passing out green crosses. Or if there was a KKK or Neo-Nazi parade would they be passing out swatzikas, etc.

    If only we could get them to come out and support...say ALL of DC citizens, maybe things could be a little better.

  • Q

    Speaking of campaign vehicles, obviously some of these were not personally owned (non DC Tags), but what's up with the Fenty-mobile? No front tag, isn't that a ticketable offense?

    The fact that EHN can show her face after the 'Vote' failed takes some guts. She looks well though. LOL!

  • Dave

    Would D.C. politicians march in a neo-Nazi parade? Hmm... I'm going to go with no on that one, but that's pure speculation. LL, you're the expert here. What do you think?

    And Q, what was your point again?

  • Q

    Dave, my point is that most of the elected officials present were PRO- same-sex marriage, then PRO- referendum (putting it to the people to decide, only when outrage increased). Yet, they march in the parade and smile as if everything is okay.

    Granted not all (note I said some), switched positions in terms of the referendum, but honestly, I would hope that GLBT folks can see through the obvious smoke screen put out by some of the elected officials. There presence at the parade wasn't really about support, unless they were solicited to participate. There presence was about being seen, faux solidarity, and giving the illusion of support while trying to garner potential votes.

    Look at it like this, note how many {INSERT POLITICIAN NAME HERE} signs there were. If they were really supporting and celebrating GLBT, it wouldn't be about electioneering, campaigning, etc. What LL captured was opportunistic politicians...unless like I said before that the council who sponsored this event solicited elected officials attendance.

    I also doubt that the Mayor or Council would march in a KKK rally, but the question remains, depending on the event, some would march simply to get their names out there. Not for any real reason of support.

    Fenty having his SONS there was an interesting touch.

  • Dave

    Ahh yeah... I'm going to have to disagree with you there. I don't think there's any possible circumstance in which a DC politician would ever march in a KKK rally. True, they might lose some white-hooded votes, but I think the politicians can live with that.

    As for your other point, that the mayor and the council members are only parading to win votes, well yeah, duh. THEY'RE POLITICIANS! That's what they do! It's pretty much their only job requirement. You should be happy that they view the GLBT community as being powerful enough that they have to pander to it, unlike the aforementioned white supremacist crowd, which they just ignore.

  • anonymous

    That being said Dave...the pandering comment and all, SHOULD THEY BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY then?

  • Dave

    They should, to the extent that any politician should be taken seriously. All they care about are votes - your votes, our votes, anyone's votes.

    So if you want to influence the political process successfully, like the GLBT community clearly has done, get your people to the polls and start shelling out bucks to the lawmakers who stick up for your causes.

    That's the way the game is played. You can choose not to play it, but don't act all shocked sitting there on the sidelines.

  • DCBob

    Actually, none of the Councilmembers changed their position on a referendum. They just stated them for the first time. The opinion of the Council, as delivered by the General Counsel Brian Flowers, is that a referendum on the bill is improper because it would authorize discrimination prohibited under the Human Rights Act.

  • Q

    DCBob, Flowers might've given that account recently, but when hard pressed, several of the Councilmenbers (some at the Capital Pride Parade), backpedaled a bit regarding letting the citizens decide. It wasn't just Harry Thomas Jr. or Yvette Alexander saying this. Bowser and Kwame Brown gave rare constituent-based commentary.

    So instead of asking the Council individually on their opinions, should I simply forward all requests to Brian Flowers?

    Since I kinda started this discussion (no office WCP or LL), what I'm getting at is simply how sincere or trustworthy should are expectations be towards our elected officials?

    My opinion, if you haven't gleaned it by now, is to be leary of politicians bearing gifts. I wonder if there was a "Gays against Fenty" platform or signs, other than Clark Ray being present?

  • Q

    Typo Alert: "(no offense WCP or LL)" and "how sincere ... should OUR expectations be ..."

  • KCinDC

    Q, the politicians voted to recognize same-sex marriage. I expect most, if not all, of them will vote later this year to legalize same-sex marriages performed in DC. What exactly is it that supporters of marriage equality should be unhappy with them about?

  • NCA&T Grad

    D.C. is now Sodom and Gomorrah and this city will feel God's wrath. You can't celebrate man's laws and forget God's laws. Many white gay homosexuals and the D.C. Council along with nappy headed Eleanor Holmes Norton are Godless and they will repent in the end. Mayor Adrian Malik Fenty is an atheist. May God have mercy on D.C. when the Rapture comes.

  • JayAre

    Next, they will be indoctrinating the young kids in sexual diversity like California is doing. We are living in the last days and times.