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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Best and worst of this week’s headlines

Due to the massive improvement in air quality, the District was able to gather outside to celebrate Capital Pride this weekend. D.C. hosted a variety of events to give queer people the space to be unapologetically themselves, including parades, parties and concerts. During one such LGBTQ+ Pride event on the South Lawn of the White House, a transgender activist exposed herself and was then controversially banned from returning.

Unfortunately, not a cause for celebration is that in D.C., the 100th homicide of the year occurred this past weekend. Murder rates are decreasing nationwide while the District just passed the century mark earlier than it has in 20 years.

Here’s the best and worst of this week’s headlines:

Thumbs Up:

Beginning on Friday, June 9, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and District Department of Energy and Environment reported that the air quality in D.C. vastly improved, with the Air Quality Index downgrading from “Code Purple,” or very unhealthy to a “Code Yellow,” or moderate. By Monday, June 12, the air quality was determined “Good” and has been since.

On Sunday, June 10, D.C. hosted Capital Pride, where as many as 600,000 people attended. Beginning at 14th and T Street NW, a parade commenced at noon and lasted until 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, June 11, a festival featuring lesbian singer and actress Hayley Kiyoko and Broadway performer Idina Menzel was held near the Capitol.

During a time in our nation when queer citizens are at the forefront of a legal battle for basic human rights, being able to celebrate and show pride for belonging to the LGBTQ+ community proved incredibly joyful.

Thumbs Down:

One of the many pride celebrations held in D.C. this weekend was on the South Lawn of the White House, where transgender activist Rose Montoya attended. Montoya then posted a video on TikTok of her holding her breasts without a top on, which Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to by announcing she was banned from the White House after the video received immense backlash from conservative news outlets like Fox News. Jean-Pierre said, “The behavior was simply unacceptable.”

On top of clarifying that it is legal to be topless in D.C., Montoya said, “Why is my chest now deemed inappropriate or illegal when I show it off? However, before coming out as trans, it was not? All you’re doing is affirming that I am a woman.” Despite the fact that a cisgender woman would face the same consequences, the incident simply widens the already-large target on the transgender community as transphobic politicians continue to use all the unnecessary leverage they can get in order to paint gender-nonconforming people as pedophiles and groomers.

In other D.C. news, the Metropolitan Police Department reported 105 homicides so far this year on Tuesday, three of which have occurred in Ward 2 — the area encompassing GW. The department reported 88 homicides at this time in 2022. Seeing the decrease in homicides from 2021 to 2022 in D.C., with murder rates falling across the country, this year’s spike is staggering. MPD and D.C. residents should be aware of the increase in violence and take precautionary safety measures to ensure this trend does not continue.

Riley Goodfellow, a rising junior majoring in political science, is the contributing opinions editor.

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