This year gay pride was all about one thing, the Diva. In a year where people who do not deserve to be a Diva, yet, like Lea Michele (I love Glee but after her interviews at the Tony’s and the Glee article in US Weekly, I am kind of getting over her and think that although she has the makings of a Diva and an absolutely amazing talent (I love her voice and acting) she needs to be successful for at least a few more years and in multiple venues before she should have the attitude the press portrays and get to steal the spotlight from others. Then again that is just my opinion and only based on articles I have read since I have never met her. She definitely does have an amazing voice and more talent than almost any other new star out there on broadway so in a few years, give the attitude and work the Diva status, but for now be friendly and work the crowds to earn it.) and people that do like Lady Gaga and Madonna, where everyone is impersonating them and wants to be them, DC made one thing clear. This year is about the Diva.
Pride started with shows from groups like the Dc Gay Men’s Chorus who did a Diva’s Show and their pride parade float was anything less than spectacular. Different Diva impersonators and I think they were actually singing the songs. I have to give a special shout out to the Diva who was playing Lady Gaga and wore the bubble dress on the Gay Men’s Chorus float, you looked fabulous.
The parties started a week before last Sunday and every bar and club had their contests and awarded decorated their queens. The Ms. and Mr. Capital pride pageants were held at Town Danceboutique in the U street corridor a few days before the festivals started and competition was crazy. There was so much to do this year and way to many things to talk about so I figured I would only share some highlights from Washington DC Gay Pride 2010 with you all.
The week was normal. I went to karaoke, had some drinks with friends and prepped for Pride. Friday night was insane. EFN lounge and the Motley bar were the places to go if you liked the bear crowd. A couple of my friends convinced us all to go there and when we got to Motley Bar above EFN lounge in Washington DC, we found about 150 to 200 bears dancing. They had free pizza, buy 1 get 1 any type of drink or pitcher special and the overall energy was amazing. I can say though I thought I had gotten pregnant by walking through the crowd since there was “bearly” even any standing room. After that we went out to JRs and the 17th street bars and everything was packed with people for pride. I do have to say that although I hate Mova or whatever the heck they call themselves now, DJ Alyson Calagna did do a great job and her music pulled us in on our way to real gay bars that we would actually have fun at.
Saturday was the day of the Pride Parade. I took it easy for the most part and did brunch with friends. Wholefoods on P street was pumping out house music starting very early and from there to 17th street you could see floats being set up, flags being hung and everyone getting ready for the pride parade and parties. After brunch we walked around and everywhere you looked there were flags, people setting up for parties to watch the parade and gay people out being tourists. You could tell it was pride and everyone was having an amazing day and for a change actually being friendly and helpful, even to tourists.
When the parade started there were the normal Dykes on Bikes, gay police men marching, a few marching bands, all of the politicians and everyone else you expect to see in the Gay Pride Parade in Washington DC. The nice thing about this year though was that there was a horse drawn well fargo wagon complete with a bull dog on top and a ton of corporate sponsored floats and groups. It was nice to see DC catching up to cities like Chicago and NYC where companies sponsor and allow their employees to march. The real stars of the DC Pride Parade though were the drag queens.
Not only is it weird to say that since every year my favorites are the DC Cowboys and the strip club floats, but the queens owned the parade this year. The Gay Mens Chorus had the divas float and the clubs and restaurants had their queens on their own but nothing was more memorable for me than the Wizard of Oz float. Not only do I love the Wizard of OZ but for some reason I just really fell in love with this float. Some floats had confetti canons, others had smoke machines and singing, others had hot guys in almost no clothes dancing, but this one just stood out.
Now that night was packed no matter where you went. Cobalt for a change was a night for the Lesbians but my friends and I went to Town Danceboutique to listen to Chris Cox who released a brand new dance song there with the artist in the DJ booth. Although the song had a cute beat it just really killed the mood and the song actually kind of sucked, but luckily a show came on to not only bring the mood back up but actually get the crowd going again. I cannot believe I just actually said that since I normally hate when a nightclub stops the dj for a show.
I don’t know the song that the drag queens performed but they had real women with them and professional dancers who I guess choreographed an actual dance routine. The routine was flawless and the queens didn’t try to steal from each other or steal the spotlight. Instead they all did their thing and their natural stage presence and talent started to shine through. I didn’t really know them at first but I figured their names out from the show downstairs, Sha Quita Lee, Bnaka Deveraux and something that begins with a J. Sha Quita you could tell can always perform. She loves it and she can be on a stage. The other girl whose name began with a J kind of flopped, but at least she could do the routine as it was choreographed, there just wasn’t anything amazing or special about her dancing or acting. The real star though was Bnaka Deveraux. Not only did Bnaka Deverauxget stuck in the back, but even though she was not always center stage everyone could see her and she stole the show. She added her own small twists to the routine and she just flared. Bnaka Deveraux really kicked some butt and close behind her but without the presence was Sha Quita Lee. The hostess Lena Lett really did a great job selecting the talent for this years show and she should be proud as the crowd loved the performance. Thank you Lena Lett.
Sunday is the normal Pride Festival. This year was kind of different but the one thing that didn’t change was a diva on the stage. The DC Cowboys made up their flop at the pride parade with an awesome routine, especially the Lady Gaga and pop diva mash up, but the real star was Inaya Day. Not only did Inaya Day perform all of her old hits from the late 90’s and early 2000’s but she also did an amazing cover of the song by Mousse T “I’m Horny”. She got the crowd going and reminded us of what a Diva is and why she deserves the Diva title. The show ended on a sour note with some country singer who came out. She has a few hits but she really killed the mood and you could see people start pouring out as she came on stage and started singing. She was talented but unfortunately not worth the hype. I don’t care if she was on Oprah and Ellen, she was not a good choice to close out the show and the Radio Announcer who they stupidly gave a microphone to didn’t actually entertain and announce, instead he annoyed and caused us to leave. All I heard was negative comments about him and the Country singer but then again, they probably didn’t think it through properly. They should have put her on, then the DC Cowboys then Inaya Day. Let pride end on a really high and high energy note with everyone singing and dancing and with a happy memory and energy.
DC Pride was a great time this year and if you have never been to Washington DC for Gay Pride, you should definitely check out Pride 2011 in Washington DC. The clubs have national and international talent and the festivals are amazing. DC always puts on a great pride festival and parade and it is one that you should not miss. Check back on this blog again next spring for a full list or constantly updating list of events and things to do during DC Gay Pride 2011.