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Celebrate Start of Pride Month on Capitol Hill

Eighth Street SE has historically been a center of LGBTQ night life, especially the 500 block. Lynn Womack’s Guild Press printed LGBT fiction there in the late 1960s. Phase One, the oldest continuously operating lesbian bar in the city, was located on the 500 block from 1971 to 2016.

And in 1949, Johnnie’s opened at 500 Eighth St. SE, the first in a long line of LGBTQ spaces that has been reborn now with As You are Bar.

Show support and pride in the LGBTQ community right here on the Hill. Start Thursday as Barracks Row Main Street, along with DPR, hosts a Pride Weekend Kick Off leading into Pride Month. Then, check out the events at the businesses that are celebrating down the row.

Image Courtesy BRMS

Barracks Row Pride Weekend Kick Off 

On Saturday, June 3nd from 12 noon -3:00 p.m., Barracks Row Main Street with DPR will host a Pride Carnival w/cirque performances at Eastern Market Metro Park (701 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).

There will be interactive games for the whole family to enjoy, as well as carnival games, live performances, as well as cirque performances ! Honor the history and celebrate our beautiful rainbow LGBTQIA+ community, on Capitol Hill Washington DC.

Time & Location:

Friday , June 2nd, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – Pride Concerts

Saturday, June 3rd 12 noon – 3:00 PM – Pride Carnival w/cirque performances

Head over to Eastern Market Metro Plaza on Saturday, June 3rd from Noon to 3:00 PM for a Pride Carnival. There will be interactive games for the whole family to enjoy, as well as carnival games, live performances and cirque performances!

For more information and to RSVP to the free event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/

Rach Pike and Jo McDaniel outside the planned site of As You Are Bar in November, 2021 (500 Eighth St. SE). E. O’Gorek/CCN


This inclusive cafe, lounge, dance floor and events space opened in March 2022 at 500 Eighth St. SE, formerly Johnnies.  Prominent community members Jo McDaniel and Rachel Pike struggled with regulations and came to agreements with neighbors to bring an all-inclusive LGBTQ+ safe space back to the site.

As You Are Bar is celebrating Pride month with specific events, but the venue is always offering up accessible programming. Check out the full event calendar.

PRIDE Kickoff Comedy Show | Wednesday May 31 | 8 p.m. | $10 donation

Come laugh with some of DC’s best Comics who, no surprise, are QUEER!

As You Are Bar is raising money for a really good cause that will be announced at the show. (You know how Comedians love an authentic audience reaction).


  • Bria Beddoe
  • Andie Basto
  • Dan Kapr
  • Alexa Sciuto
  • Anya Pines
  • Kenny Rooster

Register for guaranteed entry or buy tickets at the door! No one will be turned away for lack of funds; contact jo@asyouaredc.com for assistance.

BlackFRIDAY Drag Show | Friday June 2 | 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Showtime at 10 p.m., featuring  the most amazing cast of BLACK DC drag performers and AYA DJ MIM until 2 a.m.

Flower Factory: Green House Dance Party | Saturday, June 3 | 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. | $5 door

  • Green House is a new DJ showcase that aims to feature up and coming queer talent in the DMV. The first edition is on Saturday, June 3 from 4-10 p.m. at As You Are, featuring:
  • @im_notyrgf, a DC-based DJ with sets ranging from progressive house to disco to techno
  • @fr_a_nx_x – THE Non-Binary High Femme Xunt Queen fuses pop and dance on the wide architecture of experimental electronic sound, Franxx’s signature XuntCore sound hits hard, heavy, sexy, light and free.
  • @brailyn.bitch, a Flower Factory regular and friend of the fam. Get ready for some techno y’all
Crazy Aunt Helen’s Co-Owners Mary Quillian Helms and Shayne Mayson.


Shane Mayson and Mary Quillian opened ‘American Comfort Food’ diner Crazy Aunt Helen’s (713 Eighth St. SE) in June 2021. Quillian is also owner of Mr. Henry’s (601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) which has welcomed the LGBTQ community since at least 1966. That tradition carried on at Crazy Aunt Helen’s, which recently made the news as protestors threatened to disrupt Drag Storytime Brunch at the restaurant.

Like As You Are Bar, Crazy Aunt Helen’s offers almost daily programming with a focus on inclusion and entertainment, both during Pride month and throughout the year. Check out the full event calendar

Wild and Crazy Drag Brunch | Saturday, June 3 | 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. | $38 (incl an entree) online

Seating and Brunch starts at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. with shows at 11am or 2 p.m., respectively. Pick your preferred time!

Crazy Aunt Helen’s hosts drag brunch on every first Saturday of the month! From comedy numbers to dancing divas to improv bits and drag DJs you’ll never know whats coming next at wild n wacky drag brunch! This show is recommended for adults only. Tickets online.

PRIDE Bingo and a Show with Tara Hoot | Saturday, June 3 | 6 to 8 p.m. | $10

Dinner, drinks and prizes! Join Tara Hoot for a fun-filled PRIDE Bingo and a Show! It’s a night of tasty treats, twirls, and LOVE, darlings. Just the thing you need to celebrate how gorgeous we all are! Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets online.

Patrick Kern is owner of Little District Books, the Hill’s indie bookstore specializing in LGBTQ+ literature.


Opened in June 2022, Little District Books (737 Eighth St. SE) celebrates LGBTQ+ authors and stories —and the community. Owner Patrick Kern told the Hill Rag that joining other LGBTQ businesses in the area, such as As You Are and Honeymade, was also a plus. “We are a proud part of a neighborhood that has been a haven for the LGBTQ+ community over the past 50+ years,” he notes.

Pride Party at Little District Books | June 22 | 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. | $40 online

On June 22, the little independent book store is throwing a party to do it up for Pride! All are welcome, whether you are single, besties, a couple, throuple, or more, join us for a queer bookish social event! Buy tickets online in advance.

Each ticket includes:

  • appetizers and desserts
  • beverages (non-alcoholic)
  • a $15 book shopping credit
  • a surprise or two

Limited tickets available.


Rainbow Donuts for PRIDE on National Donut Day | Sweet Crimes Bakery | Sweet Crimes Bakery (1238 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)

To celebrate PRIDE, Sweet Crimes has special Rainbow Donuts (gluten free of course) available all month for website pre-order and some for in-store purchase on Friday, June 2, which is also National Donut Day!

There will be six unique flavors: Hibiscus or Strawberry (Red), Passion Fruit (Orange), Lemon (Yellow), Matcha Tea or Pistachio (Green), Vanilla (Blue) and Blueberry (Purple).
To pre-order, visit sweetcrimes.com/

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