In 2009 Richmond native Cris Tuck was a Staff Sergeant in the US Airforce working in Kyrgyzstan as part of a military team supporting US combat operations in Afghanistan.
Fast forward 13 years and Tuck, who came out as transgender five years ago, is now a resident of Northern Virginia, President of Equality Loudoun (the county’s oldest and largest LGBTQ+ nonprofit), and about to help stage the largest Pride event in Loudoun County history.
“Pride is such an important part of the LBGTQ+ Heritage,” said Tuck who assumed the presidency of Equality Loudoun in 2021. “Loudoun Pride is an incredible opportunity for Loudoun to celebrate diversity and equality and to help build community among people who feel vulnerable and at risk.”
The event, part of National Pride Month, will take place at Claude Moore Park on Sunday, June 26 and has already been billed as “the biggest, boldest, brightest pride festival in Northern Virginia.”
“We love working with Claude Moore Park,” said Tuck. “They do great spring and fall festivals and the venue is so historic. It’s the perfect place for Loudoun Pride.”
Pride at Claude Moore Park
Commencing at 1 p.m., the event will feature seven hours of live music from the likes of Loudoun soul and jazz queen Tracy Hamlin, Indy-folk artists Crys Matthews and Heather Mae and country-bluegrass singer Justin Trawick, as well as family-friendly activities such as group yoga, face painting, bouncy houses, balloon art and a scavenger hunt. There will also be one of the largest drag shows in Northern Virginia as well as dozens of food and beverage vendors, crafters and nonprofits.
Loudoun takes pride in being a welcoming destination for all and Loudoun Pride is not the only event celebrating LGBT+ in the county in June.
On June 8, local soccer club Loudoun United presents its 3rd annual Pride Night, (sponsored by Equality Loudoun as it happens) at Segra Field, with proceeds going to the Equality in Education scholarship.
Pride in the Vines
The following Saturday, June 25, Forever Farm & Vineyard outside Purcellville hosts Pride in the Vines – a musical celebration featuring Potomac Fever, an ensemble from the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C. and food from the Roaming Bistro Food Truck. The winery has joined with Williams Gap Winery and Two Twisted Posts to offer a "Passport to Pride” in which visitors to all three wineries that day have their names forwarded for a grand prize of a basket of wine as well as smaller gifts such as bracelets, pins and stickers from each winery.
Paint, Pride and Sip
Back east meanwhile, closer to Claude Moore Park, the hopping new Vietnamese beerhall and restaurant Saigon Outcast in Ashburn will host a Paint, Pride and Sip event June 10 with a master acrylic artist on hand to give instruction in between noodles and some great beer.