Trans Pride Seattle shares its stage with immigrant rights to start off 2018 Pride weekend on Capitol Hill

With reporting and photography by Alex Garland

Trans Pride, the feistiest of Seattle’s annual Pride celebrations, also proved to be the most inclusive Friday night, making space for the fight for rights for trans and gender non-conforming people and the cause of ending the separation of immigrant families at the southern border.

Graciela Nunez Pargas of the Washington State Immigrant Solidarity Network was invited by Trans Pride organizer the Gender Justice League to speak about the effort to reunify families.

“We have about 200 families that are being held in Sea-Tac and these are moms and dads that have been separated from their families,” Nunez Pargas told CHS about the opportunity to speak Friday night. “And the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project is doing a lot of good work reunifying them and giving them free legal advice. But what we’re seeing now is that this is going to be impossible — this is going to be very very difficult. People are already getting deported by the zero tolerance policies from the administration that is still ongoing.”

Her time on the stage in Cal Anderson was part of a night of activist speeches and pro-trans entertainment in the park after Trans Pride’s annual rally and march on Broadway.

2018’s Trans Pride overcame more than the usual barriers to organizing a major big city event as Gender Justice League director Danni Askini’s surgery left the advocate unable to use her voice. Despite the challenges, organizers once again stared down the challenges and self-funding the event again in 2018. Askini is still getting her voice back and spoke with CHS Friday night.

“It was hell. I’m able to speak a little bit. I sound like Bea Arthur. This year was chaos,” Askini said of some of the growing pains the event has gone through. “I think every year what happens… is the same five people organize Trans Pride. And there is like 15,000 people here now.”

What the event needs is some fresh energy and more event planning resources and help.

“It’s a labor of love,” Askini said.

Seattle Trans Pride is the largest Trans Pride event in the Northwest, drawing crowds of more than 10,000 people yearly.

Saturday now brings Capitol Hill’s big Pride day as the city gears up for Sunday’s annual Pride parade downtown. PrideFest Capitol Hill returns with an expanded event that stretches along Broadway from John to Roy, onto E Denny Way and into Cal Anderson Park for Family Pride and Queer Youth Pride.

Earlier this year, City Hall turned away the longtime organizers of the Pride weekend Broadway street festival after citing safety issues last summer. But the group returns undaunted in 2018 with plans for a Capitol Hill Pride March & Rally on Broadway, also on Pride Saturday.

Broadway will be busy that day — the Seattle Dyke March also returns with its 2018 event on Broadway.

Check out more 2018 Capitol Hill Pride events on the CHS Calendar.

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