Support from the crowd continued to heighten as politicians rode along on their floats. Among them was openly gay D.C. City Council member David Catania, who has constantly fought with his peers over his beliefs.
While many were experiencing the festival for the first time, Ajah Hameed enjoyed a repeat year of attendance.
"This is my second parade, better than it was last year," Hameed said. "I love the unity -- it’s nothing better than seeing everyone come together as one."
But Hameed, who has always been open about her sexual orientation, acknowledged that at times it’s been difficult.
"There are people that judge me," she said, adding that having tough skin has been one of her gifts.
Although coming out in the open can be tough for some members of the gay community, others contend that the parades and festivals, which celebrate their lifestyle, are necessary.
"[Such events tend to create a far more] positive crowd, and it’s always very festive," said Bob Shusterman, who has lived in the District for almost 20 years. "It’s always someone’s first gay pride parade, and for the younger generation [of gay people], it’s important."