District Fray Summer 2021 GIF

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COMING IN HOT. Summer is in full swing, and there’s a certain energy buzzing through the District right now. As we prepare for the city’s full reopening on June 11, there’s a palpable excitement in the air. While remaining cautiously optimistic about this next chapter is a smart move, we all deserve the opportunity to start enjoying what we’ve been missing for over a year. Our issue celebrates summer in the city in many ways, but is also a celebration of Pride. It’s never been more important to support the LGBTQ+ community than it is right now, and we relied heavily on our amazing network of friends and collaborators in D.C. to help us curate a list of LGBTQ+ locals you should know. While the list is by no means extensive, we are very excited to share the names and stories of these individuals making an impact, often while choosing to remain under the radar.  

Our first four LGBTQ+ notables come in the form of our cover subjects: Morgen Hunt, Tezrah, Brandt Ricca and Ally Spaulding. Each are carving out space in the LGBTQ+ community as leaders, supporters and advocates, and all were game to put on ‘80s-inspired workout gear and pose for our cover as a tie-in to Ricca’s upcoming 100-mile race to support LGBTQ+ businesses.

We rounded up 42 LGBTQ+ locals to ask them about their work, community and how the city can better support them, and included interviews with several other community members about Pride celebrations, LGBTQ+ sports leagues and running clubs, and more. We also profiled White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ+ Engagement Reggie Greer, and “Team Mom” Jesse Garcia, who has played in 50 Fray leagues and built a very close-knit chosen family of LGBTQ+ locals. And assistant editor M.K. Koszycki put together a Pride Playlist based on our interviewees’ picks. 

On the active life front, we wrote a beginner’s guide to running, checked in with local sports leagues about their upcoming seasons and learned more about Bike to the Beach’s cause. In the arts, we highlighted Wolf Trap’s summer season, the Kennedy Center’s 43rd annual Honors and free summer programming, National Landing Market, and Halcyon arts lab fellows’ latest endeavors. Plus, read about Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) entrepreneurship, behind the scenes with three restaurants navigating the new normal, and a collaboration between a literary series and local restaurants, and check out an illustration of zoo animals partying on the National Mall. And don’t miss our special guides in the issue: our picks for outdoor dining and where to explore in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. 

Happy Pride, everyone! 

Monica Alford