WASHINGTON — Thousands of people turned out to the return of the capital pride parade after two years of scaled back celebrations due to the pandemic.
The theme this year, reUNITED.
"It is heart warming, it takes you to a full state of euphoria," said Tucker Hull to WUSA9. The Texas native says that celebrating Pride in the nation's capital is an escape from the wave of legislation targeting LGBTQIA+ communities across the country.
We asked attendees what pride meant to them:
"Pride is all about being who you are and not having any reservation about living into who you as a person," responded Ryan Carey-Mahoney.
"Pride means a lot to me, it means self-expression, being great at who you are, just having a good time," said Amber Saint Lexington, a drag performer from Richmond, Va.
Lana Williams said pride was on full display on Saturday adding "Pride is everyone living authentically as themselves."
Precious Turner says she attended the event to celebrate self-love. "Pride means to me, let me tell you something, just embracing myself, just being my full self, just being around people who love love."
Crowds lined up for hours for the mile and half parade route in the Dupont, Shaw, and Logan Circle neighborhoods.
Jessica Long said she reflected on the importance of attending the celebration as a family on her way to the parade. "To me, it's do you worry about what society thinks or your kid's happiness and to me, it's my kid's happiness." The mother says her family got a lot of stares for their rainbow attire but showing support for her daughters was worth it.
Another couple decided to make their relationship official with a surprise. A lesbian pride flag read, "Will you be my girlfriend?" Mikayla said that she had been planning on asking Jules to be in a relationship with her for two weeks, and she thought her first pride would be the best place to ask the big question.
After embracing and sealing the deal with a kiss Jules told WUSA9, "In a way, I knew it was coming but I am so happy. I kept saying let me ask you out and she was like no, now I know why."
The route this year was changed to reflect the evolution of LGBTQIA+ neighborhoods like Logan Circle, Shaw, and Dupont Circle.