The current Capital Pride celebration traces its history to the first LGBT festival in Washington, D.C., which was held in 1975.  That year, Deacon Maccubbin, who owned Lambda Rising bookstore, organized a one-day community block party on 20th Street N.W., the then-location of the bookstore.  Maccubbin and Lambda Rising hosted the event for the first five years of its existence, until it grew to 10,000 attendees and spread over three blocks.  The P Street Festival Committee was formed in 1980 to take over Gay Pride Day (as the festival was known), and that organization moved the festival to Francis Junior High School at 24th and N Streets N.W.  The next year, the event became known as Gay and Lesbian Pride Day.

That P Street Festival Committee was succeeded in1990 by Pride of Washington.  The festival began to suffer from financial difficulties in the early to mid-1990s.  One In Ten, the organization that hosts the Reel Affirmations film festival, assumed responsibility for organizing Pride events.  The following year, One In Ten moved the street festival to Freedom Plaza near the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

However, the financial and organizational strain of producing the event proved too great. In 1997, Whitman-Walker Clinic joined One In Ten as a co-sponsor of the festival.  The event was re-named Capital Pride and the street festival was moved off Freedom Plaza and onto Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.  Whitman-Walker Clinic became the sole sponsor of Capital Pride in 2000. The festival was moved further down Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. between 4th and 7th Streets N.W., and the festival’s main stage was positioned to capture the United States Capitol building in the background.

In 2002 Whitman-Walker moved the parade to occur early evening on Saturday before the festival, while the festival continued on Sunday afternoon.  In late 2006, Whitman-Walker began exploring options for another entity to produce Capital Pride thereby allowing the Clinic to focus on its core mission of delivering health-care services to the community.

In late 2007 the Clinic put out a Request for Proposals for an organization to take over and mange the annual Capital Pride celebration.  A group consisting of members of the existing Pride Planning Committee formed the Capital Pride Alliance in December 2007 and submitted a proposal to become the producing entity.  The organization was incorporated in January 2008, submitted its proposal in February, and won the right to become the sole producer of Capital Pride in March.  The 2008 Capital Pride celebration was the last one that was produced by Whitman-Walker Clinic.

The Capital Pride Alliance, Inc., which we now refer to as Capital Pride, independently produced the 2009 and 2010 celebrations, and continues on as the steward for Capital Pride.