On June 12, the “Capitol Pride” (GLBT pride) parade marched through what once was DC’s traditional Gay neighborhood centered around Dupont Circle. That same weekend, it was reported in the Washington Blade that the DCBRA has temporarily ordered Zigfields/Secrets closed!
How Dare Mary Cheh show up at Pride, given that her support for anti-First Amendment legislation aimed at animal rights protesters is also a threat to clubs like Zigfields/Secrets?
Zigfields/Secrets is the only one of the strip clubs displaced by the Nationals stadium to be allowed to repoen, now they are being kept under a microscope by officials who seek to shut them down again.
Under these circumstances, it was good to see Councilmember Gray, who is challenging Mayor Fenty for Mayor, show up at the parade. After all, Fenty has just kept on closing down traditional GLBT institutions even after the baseball stadium was completed. First the stadium area, then then “men’s parties,” now Zigfields/Secrets. Hopefully Ziggy’s will survive this round of harassment, but if the closures of African-American clubs by Fenty, Graham, and their regulatory agencies are any precedent, once a club is in their gunsights, it’s days are numbered.
As usual, there were too many corporate themes and floats in the Parades, but there were also contingents supporting the traditional values of the GLBT community, and standing against assimilation.
While some in the parade are suit-and-tie businessmen who cheer the replacement of almost all traditional GLBT institutions by marriage, that wasn’t who everyone seemed to be cheering for as contingents of the parade passed through dense crowds reminescent of the day-long takeovers of P st that marked pride parades during the 1980’s.
Contingents like the Radical Faeries and other pro-sex, anti-assimilation groups got raucous cheers from huge crowds lining both sides of the parade route.
Given that the immense crowd of spectators must include a LOT of registered voters, perhaps Fenty ought the consider the reality that supporting marriage can never counterweight closing GLBT clubs in the minds of those who prefer to stay single.