ALEXANDRIA, VA—On Thursday, June 10, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads celebrated its first annual, and long-awaited, Pride Parade.
At 2:30pm on a warm and welcoming afternoon, residents and staff gathered outside the entrance of Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, adorned in feather boas, rainbow hats, and colorful clothing, lifting their Pride Flags and homemade signs.
“This was a team effort,” says Elizabeth Whitehouse, the Cultural Arts and Events Manager at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads. “We started thinking what we can do for Pride this year to make it amazing for everyone, whether you are in the LGBT community or an ally; we wanted it to be fun for all. Everyone has been feeling a lot of excitement.”
Leading up to the parade, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads had been hosting poster workshops and educational videos to promote acceptance and equality throughout its housing community.
Those proactive efforts proved successful, as the turn-out for the parade was overwhelming, with dozens of residents and staff present to celebrate their pride for Pride.
One resident, Carol Lewis, marched for her gay son, who came out in the 90s. Carol became a Pflag—Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays—facilitator for 10 years and helped start a Pflag youth group in Fairfax.
“[This parade] means the world,” states Carol. “I used to go to Capital Pride Parades in the 90s and early 2000s and kids would come out from the streets and wave at the Pflag contingent and say things like ‘I wish you were my mom.’ It was kind of heart breaking, so today indicates to me how far we’ve come.”
Another resident, Paul Gordon, marched for himself and his late husband.
“I’ve been very active in gay pride and gay rights for 50 years. I used to have a gay bar in DC in Dupont Circle and Pride days in there were always great. I found that [Goodwin House] is an extremely friendly place to live when I moved in here. I love it here. I was with my husband for 46 years, and I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came out today and attended. It was wonderful, and I think it will continue.”
Leading the parade and hoisting the Pride banner, Carol and Paul represented the true meaning of Pride.