The Capital Pride Alliance, organizer of the 2019 Pride Festival, running May 31 through June 9, prominently lists its partners, advocates and allies — individuals and groups that support the festival in various ways.
On that list, you’ll find the name of premier Washington real estate company Long & Foster. On Saturday, June 8, Long & Foster will host a fundraising event at its Logan Circle office during the Capital Pride Parade, still the signal event of the long-standing celebration, which began as a one-day block party in 1975.
The presence of Long & Foster is a first. It was important to the company to make the event count.
“We’ve long wanted to do something in that area in terms of support,” said John Coplen, branch manager of the Logan Circle office, located at 1526 14th St. NW. “With our office right on the parade route, it seemed like a good opportunity to partner with an organization we care about.“
That turned out to be the Trevor Project, a national organization founded in 1998 and based in West Hollywood that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer and questioning, among other identities) young people.
The Long & Foster event — featuring a hospitality suite with a live DJ, hors d’oeuvres, drinks and giveaways — will also include an outdoor viewing area from which to get a close-up look at the parade, which is not only a key part of the celebration but provides a visible and entertaining vista of the city’s historical identity as a leader in the LGBTQ movement.
Lonnie Plaster, senior vice president and regional manager at Long & Foster, said: “This partnership is one of many opportunities for us and our agents to engage with our neighbors and our diverse communities that make up the cultural fabric of the city.”
The event seeks to raise $50,000. All proceeds will go to the Trevor Project, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, began with a movie: the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film “Trevor.”
Based on a true story, the film is described as a dramedy about a gay 13-year-old boy who, when rejected by his friends because of his sexuality, attempts to commit suicide. It led its creators — James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone — from “Trevor” the movie to the Trevor Project.
One of the things they discovered was that there were no organized help and support lines for teens undergoing identity and emotional crises that might lead to suicide. They therefore decided to set up a nonprofit organization to promote acceptance of LGBTQ youth while offering a network of tools to help them.
Today, the Trevor Project includes the Trevor Lifeline, Trevor Text, Trevor Chat, Trevor Space, the Palette Fund Internship Program, a Youth Advisory Council, school workshops and the Tyler Oakley Fundraiser.
The organization also holds annual celebrations at which the Trevor Hero Award, Trevor Life Award, Trevor Hope Award and Trevor Youth Innovator Award are presented. Honorees have included Roseanne Barr, Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Tony Kushner, Nathan Lane, Jane Lynch, Armistead Maupin, Cindy McCain, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Katy Perry, Daniel Radcliffe and Vanessa Williams.