Pride to me means to love yourself. Being comfortable in your own skin is very crucial in order to be happy. Growing up you are pressured to fill the roles people set out for you, and more times than none, that role just isn’t for you. Being around thousands of people displaying their true selves to the fullest for all eyes to see is an inspiring thing. You can’t help but to smile.

This year was my first time attending DC Pride. When I think about the day it comes back to me in snapshot images: It started as Thalya and I walking down P street looking for a place to sit and watch the parade. All of a sudden we hear Beyoncé blaring on a spea

ker followed by a crowd of people marching and dancing down the street. Thalya runs to the front of the March, so I followed her. First thing I do is grab my camera, snap a few pics get some footage. I decided to do less with my camera and live more in the moment. Escorted by the police we marched a good 6 blocks before walking into a huge crowd that seemed to be waiting for us.

All of a sudden there’s a big circle around this small platform and this guy gets in and starts dancing, everyone is screaming cheering him on. Followed by a girl dancing, then some friends. It’s all fun and smiles. Then Thalya jumps in and starts jamming. Thousands of people packed shoulder to shoulder, but you can’t help but to feel free. Fast forward and we’re walking towards Carolyn, Billy jo, and Britton to go watch the Parade with them. We can’t seem to get through a small crowd in front of the CVS, turns out a lady was passed out and people were aiding her, goes to show how hot it was!

We meet up with them and wait for the official parade to start, Madeline comes thru with a great Mango ice tea. We were standing in front of a hotel blocking the sun and giving us some nice shade. The parade starts. Marching bands, dancers, endless necklaces, frisbees, and condoms being thrown at you, just fun. My favorite part of it all was throwing frisbees up at the people on the deck on their apartment four stories up. There was so much joy all around and it seemed that all the little things were what made people smile the most.

Apparently there’s no tv coverage of pride and that’s a shame. Everyone there was so care free, joyful, and just living in the moment. Every type of person seemed to be there, I saw parents with kids, elderly, teens. I’m especially grateful for the parents who bring their kids to PRIDE because it gives me hope for the future. That there will always be PRIDE.