LGBTQ+ Events in Maryland and the D.C. Area
By Kerrigan Stern
Maryland is one of the numerous states in the nation that holds events for the strong and powerful LGBTQ+ community. There are numerous actions Maryland has taken to celebrate this widespread group of people. These five events are a few of the enjoyable celebrations that our state will be holding this month.
- The HONfest
This parade takes place in Baltimore June 11–12. It is called the HONfest in order to cherish “honey,” a classic Bawlmer term of endearment, which has been shortened to HON. The parade, which celebrates Baltimore’s working women, has been acknowledged in the past by The New York Times, CNN and more. It is a free celebration which showcases 36 fantastic live performers who play while the audience dances to the music. There are also several food vendors that offer their meals for the hungry attendees, along with other attractions that are meant to entertain the guests. This festival celebrates gay pride by featuring the colors and style the gay community has come to exhibit. This includes rainbow print, beehives and more. The HONfest prides itself on open and free expression of fashion and makeup. Anyone is welcome to the HONfest and every person is celebrated as an equal participant. This celebration will take place throughout four blocks of Hampden’s 36th street in Baltimore.
2) Play for Pride
Play for Pride is another celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. It will take place on Friday June 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in Washington D.C. The Play for Pride event will be a concert that hopes to raise money for the Art and Media program at LAYC. This program develops the creativity within young citizens around D.C. In addition to music, which will feature six impressive artists such as Girls Rock! DC, DJ Underdog of Okay Arica and more, five notable artists will also be showcased. Their work will be available for purchases that day. The cost for this entertaining and inspiring event, which showcases artists who are not widely popular and fundraises for a small but important group, is $15 per person if purchased before the 7th when the concert takes place.
3) National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
The NCAHAAD is a very widespread event. It takes place in five cities across the nation, including Baltimore. The committee says that the day was made to “resources, HIV/AIDS health education, evaluation, and opportunities for involvement,” according to the NCAHAAD website. Not only do the attendees hope to eliminate HIV/AIDS amongst the LGBTQ+ community, but they hope to learn more about the disease and figure out ways to solve this issue as well. Several diverse activities will be held on June 8 as part of this celebration in order to spread awareness and fuel the enjoyable time the leaders hope to start.
4) Pride Parade (D.C.)
The Pride Parade celebrates everything that encompasses the LGBTQ community with Capital Pride Heroes and Engendered Spirit awardees, politicians, drag queens and much more. This parade takes place on Saturday June 11 at 4:30 pm from 22nd & P Streets, NW, Washington, D.C. One of the featured celebrities who will attend this parade includes Grand Marshal Leslie Jordan, who stars on popular television shows and is an equal rights activist. According to the Pride Parade, their mission is to “celebrate, motivate, and support our diverse communities in order to grow and protect our legacy for future generations,” according to their website.
5) Baltimore Pride Celebration
Although this celebration takes place through July 19–24 outside of this month, it is a fun and philanthropic event for the LGBTQ community to partake in. The parade is sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore, which is a community-based nonprofit organization that was founded in 1977. The Baltimore Pride Celebration is Maryland’s largest LGBTQ visibility event with with a Saturday block party and dance stage along with Sunday pride performers and the Lady Lisa drag queen race. Other pride events will take place, such as a high heel race on the 23. The parade is a free event for anyone who wishes to attend.