hilly Gay Pride has heard about the proposed LGBT March on Washington scheduled for Sunday, June 11, which conflicts with our Gay Pride Parade and Festival. We are working studiously to avoid the impact this would have on our local events. We have our Kick-Off Block Party on Friday, June 9, and the Dyke March and William Way Homecoming on Saturday, June 10, so it is a busy local weekend. A loss in 15% to 25% of our attendance is likely catastrophic, putting both our June PrideDay and October OutFest in jeopardy. Not only does this threaten the viability of Philadelphia’s gay pride organization, it will have a profound negative effect on the myriad of community non-profits that depend on our events.
This event was proposed by a single individual without consultation with local Pride organizations, many of which have their events that weekend. Capital Pride (Washington D.C.) quickly moved to support this event because it would greatly increase the attendance at their festival. Logistically, it is difficult-to-impossible to move our event to another date given our Great Plaza location, entertainment, chair/table/tent rental, obtaining floats for the parade, etc., let alone disrupting neighboring Pride events by our moving to their dates.
PhillyPride made a comment about this event being scheduled the same day as the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York. We have withdrawn that statement because it appeared insensitive, and that was certainly not our intention. We apologize.
Make no mistake about it, this event was spontaneously scheduled without any due consideration of those of us who work so hard to keep our local voices heard. It will be a one-and-done Washington D.C. event, and we will be left to deal with the devastating consequences in the future.
We are working on this very difficult matter and we will inform the community of any changes. In the interim, we ask you to write https://www.facebook.com/NationalPrideMarch/to ask the organizers to reschedule their event. We ask you to write Capital Pride at http://www.capitalpride.org/contact-us/and ask them to withdraw their support.