Pride Month — celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, as well as other sexual orientations and genders — honors a landmark anniversary this year. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, regarded as the beginning of the struggle for LGBTQ rights. Pride Month is held in June every year in memory of the police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York on June 28, 1969, which led to the first major demonstrations for gay rights in America.
The Seattle Pride Parade, coming up on Sunday, June 30, in downtown Seattle, honors not only the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, but also the 45th year of the parade. The festive event is one of the biggest Pride events in the country, drawing 300,000-plus spectators annually. More than 200 groups are participating in the march in support of LGBTQ pride, and the parade’s grand marshals include community organizations Bailey-Boushay House, Camp Ten Trees, Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic and UTOPIA (United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance) Seattle; as well as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and performer Jinkx Monsoon, winner of TV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The parade, which begins at 11 a.m., runs on Fourth Avenue from Pike Street to Seattle Center, with the announcers’ booth at Westlake Park and ADA viewing areas available at Westlake Plaza and at Fourth Avenue and Bell Street.
Pride weekend festivities continue at PrideFest, with entertainment, events, vendors and community organizations celebrating LGBTQ arts and culture, June 30 at Seattle Center.
There are many other Pride events around the city and region throughout the month; this weekend brings the Bainbridge Pride Festival, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at Waterfront Park, Bainbridge; and Capital City Pride in our state capital, Olympia, with entertainment, vendors, a family fun area and Pride Parade on Sunday, June 23.
Seattle Pride weekend events open with Trans Pride Seattle on Friday, June 28, organized by Gender Justice League to support the Seattle-area trans and gender-nonconforming community. Community members and allies gather at 6 p.m. at Seattle Central College to march to Cal Anderson Park for a rally and celebration.
PrideFest Capitol Hill on Saturday, June 29, returns to the place where Pride was held for decades for a festive day of entertainment on five stages, vendors and activities. A diverse crowd of 50,000 is expected for the day, from noon to 9 p.m., along a five-block area of Broadway closed to traffic for the celebration. The day also features Family Pride events for kids and families, including Drag Queen Storytime and a Doggy Drag costume show, from 1 to 4 p.m., and the Queer Youth Pride events organized by and for young people from 4 to 7 p.m., both at Cal Anderson Park.
Capitol Hill Pride, a smaller, more casual event, is also on June 29, starting with a rally and march at noon and continuing with music, speakers and activities throughout the day on the plazas outside Seattle Central College.
Seattle Dyke March, another local Pride tradition, honors the experiences, activism and identities of queer women and dyke-identified people across the gender spectrum, also on June 29. People of all genders and identities are invited to join in celebration at the rally, 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, at Seattle Central College plaza, followed by a march around Capitol Hill.