Creating a scene is a time-honored tradition in the gay community. Those miles of rainbow streamers and feather boas are meant to command attention: Visibility is powerful, whether you’re a regular-looking two-dad family or a towering drag queen, like Sharon Needles, pictured. There’s nothing like the annual Capital Pride parade to remind you how diverse the community really is — and that beyond the camp and glamour, this is a celebration of acceptance, love and family. We round up the best Pride weekend events:
The party posse over at Brightest Young Things is raising the bar for Pride celebs this year with WildLife, a blowout bash featuring transgender superstar Amanda Lepore and Le Tigre’s JD Samson. DJ Natty Boom and electropop band Big/Bright provide the soundtrack; glowsticks and go-go boys provide the ambience. Plus, there’s a photo booth, so your slow descent into sweatiness will be well-documented in a format mercifully impervious to social-media broadcasting. Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW; Fri., 9 p.m., $20-$25; Brightestyoungthings.com. (Shaw)
D.C. has a strong music scene across many genres, and its club DJs are no exception. To kick off the weekend, DJs from two long-running all-female crews — She.Rex and Anthology of Booty — will join forces for Booty Rex, taking over both floors of Chief Ike’s. Downstairs will feature dancehall, cumbia and reggaeton courtesy of DJs rAt, Trash, Mothershiester and Bent while Coach Vee, DJ C.Rush and Junebullet spin rock and pop upstairs along with special guest vANNIEty kills. The beer is cheap, the crowd is cute and we hear they finally put working knobs on the bathroom doors. Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, 1725 Columbia Road NW; Fri., 9:30 p.m., free; 202-332-2211. (Woodley Park)
Pittsburgh drag diva Sharon Needles warmed the cold, black hearts of Goths everywhere when she took home the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on this season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Friday, she’ll perform at Town with two other “Drag Race” veterans, Phi Phi O’Hara and Dida Ritz. The limited number of tickets available for advance sale are, predictably, gone. So, get there early to get a ticket at the door. Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St. NW; Fri., 9 p.m., $20; 202-234-8696.
Capital Pride Parade
Hungover and dehydrated from dancing all night? Lose your keys and possibly your car? Deal with that later, because it’s time for the main event! The annual Pride Parade turns the streets in the historic gayborhood of Dupont Circle into a float-festooned conga line of pride, where drag queens, hunky firefighters and upstanding community leaders all toss beads to spectators along the P Street parade route. Sure, it’s hot, it’s loud and you’re kind of trapped down there for the duration of the parade. But it’s also a nice reminder that the flamboyant, leather-clad aspects of gay culture are alive and well — and that D.C.’s gay community is supported by a network of dedicated nonprofits, local politicians and the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of the MPD, who have also participated. 22 and P streets NW; Sat., 4:30 p.m., free; Capitalpride.org.