Either I must be missing something or the Washington Post sent exactly one reporter to cover Capital Pride and he stood for precisely 10 minutes on a single spot during the week of events, commemorations, parades and festivals. It's been a whirlwind of activity in our nation's capital, but here's what our hometown newspaper - and one of the largest newspapers in the country - had to say in the opening paragraph of a very short article about Capital Pride - and the article was only about same-sex marriage:
There was a sense of urgency, a sense of defiance, in the way same-sex couples held hands or pushed their children in strollers yesterday at the Capital Pride festival. Politics nearly always takes center stage at the annual event set in the shadow of the Capitol, and the couples this year had something specific on their minds.
Same-sex marriages -- the legally recognized kind.
Wow~! We held hands and pushed our kids in strollers~! That's it? What about John Berry, the highest-ranking official in the Obama administration, talking from the main stage about the pending hate-crimes bill? What about Martha Wash singing "It's Raining Men?" What about headline act RuPaul talking about the importance of mentoring to LGBTQ kids?
What is disturbing about this type of coverage from The Post is the reporter framed the article as if there was only one issue on the minds and in the hearts of the LGBTQ community.
From the events commemorating gay icon Mr. Frank Kameny to the parade and festival itself - there were many things going on. Yes, same-sex marriage was one of them - but so were many other things, causes and celebrations.
First, the politics. Here's a rough transcript of John Berry, the highest ranking LGBTQ official in the Obama administration, speaking from the main state on Sunday about the Obama administration's plans for hate crimes legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Oh, and same-sex marriage.
The Obama administration hopes to secure passage of Hate Crimes this coming week and that President Obama is soon to announce an initiative pertaining to providing federal LGBT employees with benefits equivalent to those provided to their heterosexual counterparts. He also said the administration fully intends to pass an employment non-discrimination bill, repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and overturn the Defense of Marriage Act "before the sun sets on this administration."
There was headliner RuPaul belting out her wonderful songs, but also talking about the importance of mentoring LGBTQ youth:
There was also eye candy for nearly anyone's taste, parents pushing strollers (although I did not see a lot of "defiant" parents pushing their kids through the crowds), a kid's play area, a disco area and food and vendors along Pennsylvania Avenue between the U.S. Capitol and the White House. And what gay pride wouldn't be complete without a main stage filled with dancing, singing and Martha Wash and "It's Raining Men," - this year under a perfectly blue sky.
The video cuts off Ms. Martha Wash right at the end - somewhat akin to the Washington Post article cutting out everything about Capital Pride except same-sex marriage - but you get the idea. The crowd was fun - it didn't look "urgent" or "defiant" to me - and there were lots of us queers doing lots of different things. Including talking about same-sex marriage.
And yes, there were several organizations - including D.C. For Marriage - asking for people to sign petitions, volunteer or call their congressional and state representatives.
But there was so much more than just that single issue during the events of Capital Pride, and yet the Washington Post decided to write about a single issue, instead of reporting on the diverse and empowering events of the week. You should see some of the comments on the Post "article" - the loonies are coming out of the wood-work. If this is what the Washington Post is becoming - a "rag" - then cancel my subscription now.