News & Politics

Wilson High Principal Comes Out as Gay at School’s Pride Event

Principal Pete Cahall said he had "hid in the shadows for the last 50 years."

Wilson High School—yeah, that is a lot more likely to be renamed. Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

Wilson High School Principal Pete Cahall announced he is gay at the school’s annual Pride Day event, inspired, he said, by his students’ activism. 

“I want to say publicly for the first time because of your leadership, care and support that I am a proud gay man who just happens to be the principal of Wilson High School,” said Cahall, 50, standing alongside Mayor Vince Gray and mayoral hopeful David Catania, the first openly gay member of the DC Council. Catania promptly tweeted that it was a “proud day” for Wilson. Other DC officials, including Catania’s mayoral rival Muriel Bowser, were quick to add their praise, too.

This is the second year Wilson has staged Pride Day as a lead-in to the District’s annual Pride Weekend events. It’s also gathered the attention of Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas group best known for its obnoxious anti-gay protests at military funerals. Westboro members plan to picket outside Wilson and around other sites in the District next Monday.

“They can go straight to hell,” Gray told reporters when asked about the Westboro demonstration. Wilson students plan to stage a counter-protest.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.