“Diversity” certainly was present at the Washington, D.C., Pride parade as law enforcement, straight and gay families, religious groups, and others marched along the parade route on Saturday. 

Here are 15 things I noticed at the 2024 D.C. Pride parade:

1. Five Military Branches

Servicemen and servicewomen representing the five military branches marched at the front of the parade.

2. Fire Department and EMS, Too 

Washington’s fire department and emergency medical services participated in the parade. Fire department members carried a sign reading, “Fire doesn’t discriminate, neither do we.”

3. Police Participation 

The Washington metro police department marched, too, with some officers carrying Pride flags and wearing rainbow stickers. Some policemen monitoring the parade showed their support by wearing other rainbow accessories like rainbow leis.

4. ‘Free Hugs’

Multiple people walking in the parade carried signs offering free hugs. Some were middle-aged men dressed appropriately for their gender, carrying signs offering “Free dad hugs.” Other men, who were cross-dressed, simply held signs offering “Free hugs.”

5. Nudity

Topless women and androgynous individuals boldly walked in the parade. The police were too busy celebrating pride that they apparently couldn’t be bothered to write tickets for public indecency.

6. Mocking Religion

Looking like clowns from a nightmare, the D.C. Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence roller-bladed and walked in the parade, fanning themselves as they went. 

7. ‘Furries’ and Fetishes

“Furries” (people who identify as or like to dress as animals) and people wearing fetish and bondage gear followed behind a group with parents and children in the parade.

8. Drag Queens

Drag queens either dressed demonically or like a 4-year-old girl dressed them.

9. LGBTQ ‘Religious’ Groups

Various religious groups participated in the parade, including Dignity Washington, whose website describes the organization as “D.C.’s faith community for LGBTQ Catholics,” and United Methodist Churches of the National Capital Area.

10. Other Interesting Participants 

Other parade participants enthusiastically marched in the parade.

11. T-Shirt Slogans

Many parade-goers and participants wore T-shirts with sayings such as “Wake up sl-ts, it’s time to sin,” “Live, laugh, lesbian,” and “Not today, Jesus.”

12. Families With Children

Straight families with children, single lesbian mothers, and gay couples walked in the parade.

13. ‘Live Mermaid’ Display

At an area specifically for kids, there was a “live mermaid” display where children could get a pearl from the mermaid—or merman—in a large tank.

14. A Book by a Child Drag Queen 

At a booth showcasing children’s books in the kid’s area, there was one book written by a 12-year-old drag queen.

15. Anti-Israel Protesters

In addition to the drag queens, topless women, and bondage-gear wearers, there was a new addition to the D.C. Pride parade this year. 

Anti-Israel protesters, who were protesting outside the White House earlier that day, turned their attention to the Pride parade, which ended a few blocks from the White House. 

Chanting, “No pride in genocide,” small groups of anti-Israel protesters waved Palestinian flags and marched alongside the parade. The Pride parade-goers and participants seemed unphased, however, and continued cheering and dancing.