5K run kicks off Capital Pride weekend events in DC - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

5K run kicks off Capital Pride weekend events in DC

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Hundreds of people gathered at Congressional Cemetery in Southeast D.C. for the inaugural running of the D.C. Front Runners Pride Run 5K.

The event kicked off the festivities for the Capital Pride weekend that includes a parade, street festival and many other activities.

Many participants say this year’s pride events feel more significant with the passage of marriage equality in many states and increasing acceptance.

Rob Clatterbuck and his partner live in Baltimore and have been together for 17 years. They got married in D.C. three years ago, and plan to do so again in Maryland now that it is legal. Clatterbuck says participating in Pride events celebrates the spirit and strength of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.

"It's a chance for all of us to just be together and celebrate our heritage,” he says. “To remember a time when we all had to be closeted in our jobs, in our families, in our churches, where we work, and it's the one time we could get together and be ourselves, and I think we keep up that tradition to recognize that not everyone in the world has that.”

18-year-old Aashna Dhayagude is running in the 5K in honor of her best friend, Akanksha. The 17-year-old is a lesbian and lives in India. Aashna says Akanksha has been slowly coming out to friends and some family members, but she says it has been difficult because of the stigma against gays in India.

"It's not really easy at all because a lot of her family don't really understand this,” says Aashna. “Her parents probably will, but she hasn't told them yet, but people do look down on people who are gay, so it's really hard."

It is for anyone struggling with their sexuality that the runners’ run and Capital Pride aims to embrace. The celebration will be centered on Dupont Circle and several roads will be closed to accommodate the thousands expected for the weekend-long events.

The Capital Pride Parade will be held on Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Grand Marshal will be Lynda Carter, also known as TV's "Wonder Woman.”

Entertainment begins around 3:30 p.m. at the Review Stage.

The parade begins at 22nd and P Streets, NW, proceeds around Dupont Circle, up New Hampshire to R Street, down 17th Street and then east on P Street, north on 14th Street, ending at R Street. The closest Metro Station is Dupont Circle.

The Capital Pride Street Festival will be held on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Pennsylvania Ave. between 3rd and 7th Streets, NW, will be closed. The closest Metro Station is Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter.

Capital Pride is a nationwide event held in various communities during the month of June.

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