Gender Justice League announces founder Askini to step down

Askini at this year’s Trans Pride Seattle march

The Gender Justice League, a nonprofit with an important presence on Capitol Hill providing support and advocacy for transgender and gender diverse people, has announced executive director Danni Askini has stepped down from the organization she helped found:

Gender Justice League has been rapidly growing in size, budget, and influence. However, under our current model, we will not be able to sustain this rate of growth indefinitely. We are taking this opportunity to undergo a strategic restructuring of our organization.

Askini’s legal situation, meanwhile, is fraught. Continue reading

With new leader, Capitol Hill LGBTQ film nonprofit raises curtain on 23rd Seattle queer film festival

50 Years of Fabulous, a documentary on the The Imperial Council, screens October 20th

Capitol Hill LGBTQ film nonprofit Three Dollar Bill Cinema is celebrating the kickoff of its 23rd annual Seattle queer film festival with a new leader..

TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival 2018

“Three Dollar Bill Cinema is about bringing our community together around queer film and media,” new executive director Ben McCarthy says. “Being able to see ourselves reflected on the screen is really important for our community, and it’s important to come together and see a film in a theater, the way it’s supposed to be seen, rather than on your phone or on your laptop or tablet or even your TV at home.” Continue reading

‘Seattle Rainbow Housing’ — Study shows affordability crisis hits LGBTQ seniors even harder

Capitol Hill Housing is planning LGBTQ and senior affordable housing at 14th and Union

A report commissioned by the city’s Office of Housing found that there are several key challenges facing seniors in Seattle’s LGBTQ community, including inadequate services, lack of stable affordable housing, and high rates of discrimination and bias in housing.

“We wanted to understand the LGBTQ senior housing and service needs in the local area, especially given how the cost of housing is increasing,” Karen Fredrisken Goldsen, a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, said. “Certainly there are concerns regarding the lack of housing affordability and accessibility in Seattle, King County.”

The report, led by Fredrisken Goldsen, found that Seattle “is falling behind other major metropolitan areas in addressing LGBTQ housing and senior needs.” Meanwhile, cities like San Francisco, California have invested millions of dollars to address the needs of LGBTQ older adults.

“With LGBT older adults, if they lose housing, it’s often difficult for them to secure new housing,” Fredrisken Goldsen said. Continue reading

Volunteer Park hosts 2018 Seattle AIDS Walk Saturday

The Seattle AIDS Walk will circle Capitol Hill again marking the 32nd year of the important fundraiser.

Annually drawing thousands of participants, the event is now focused on walkers and pledges — and lunch. Organizers are promising “the biggest picnic our city has ever seen” at the start/finish line in Volunteer Park. Continue reading

Forum discusses connections between gentrification and violence on Capitol Hill

The “What’s Gentrification Got To Do With It?: Hate and Violence in Capitol Hill” forum covered “hate, violence, policing and gentrification occurring in Capitol Hill.”

At 12th Avenue Arts Thursday night, the Northwest Network Pink Shield Project hosted a panel discussion on hate violence, policing, and gentrification in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Much of the conversation revolved around the connection between these three topics, including how greater inequality in recent years in Seattle has created a situation that breeds hate violence, whether it be against people of color or the LGBTQIA+ population.

“You have wealth to a certain community increasing, inequality expanding, poverty worsening, homelessness skyrocketing,” Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, a panelist, said. “At the same time, you will see correlated with that, increase in violence, crimes, car break-ins, and house break-ins.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Pony bar negotiating small change to make a little room for big bus project on Madison

When it comes to Capitol Hill gay bar Pony, inches matter.

“It’s been a tough road,” owner Mark Stoner tells CHS. But he insists the Seattle Department of Transportation has been friendly to deal with even in a situation involving a multi-million project, the whims of the Trump administration’s approach to federal transportation funding, and a major Seattle artery in line for massive change.

Stoners tells CHS that a permit recently issued for removing 242 square feet of Pony’s famed patio along the E Madison side of the structure is related to a unique situation for the bar that has stood on the triangular parcel along the busy street since 2009 — its tiny chunk of patio is the only property along the route that the city needs when it finally digs in on the $120 million+, 11-stop Madison Bus Rapid Transit project that will connect First Hill through to Madison Valley via Capitol Hill with speedy, regular Metro bus service in the busy corridor.  Continue reading

Artist selected to lead AIDS Memorial Pathway project connecting Capitol Hill Station development to Cal Anderson Park

Image: Lost & Found 10′ x 30′ x 30′ Screen size: 8′ x 8′ Mixed-media installation. Single-Channel Video Projection on Silk Rose Petals and Red Thread. Image Gallery, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon An installation with projection and sound on a screen made of silk rose-petal and red silk thread. The projection is a series of portraits of Portland parents and their adopted Chinese children projected on an 8’x8′ screen; a soundtrack of a Buddhist chant plays softly in the background. The installation is a meditation on conflicting issues raised by trans-cultural adoptions: individuals and the collective, uniqueness and commonality, longing and belonging, loss and gain. The screen symbolically and literally stitched the family together, as the screen itself was communally constructed by families and friends over several weeks.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture ‏announced Friday that social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law has been selected to lead a team of artists to complete the AIDS Memorial Pathway, a Seattle AIDS memorial planned for Cal Anderson Park and the plaza at the heart of the development set to arise around Capitol Hill Station:

A five-member, community-based selection panel reviewed the submissions and interviewed three finalists in June. The committee assisted by advisers, also community based, selected social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law to lead a team of artists to complete the project. Law pursued at MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. The impetus for his arts degree was his first-hand experience during the early years of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

“Much of my work stems from my identity and experience as a gay US citizen of Asian heritage,” Law said in the announcement. “Social interaction and community participation are important aspects in my installation work and public art projects. I create work for regular people that examines issues of identity, memory, history and the meaning of community. As a public artist who is interested in socially engaged work, I value collaboration and partnership with community members through collecting ideas, cultural materials, and engaging residents in planning and production of public art.” Continue reading

Hate crime charge in Pike/Pine shattered glass stabbing attack

A 35-year-old man has been charged with a hate crime in the Sunday, July 22nd stabbing attack on two men during an altercation at 12th and Pine.

CHS previously reported on the attack here. The King County Prosecutor’s office has charged Caster Kwak with one count of malicious harassment.

According to police, the suspect stabbed one of his victims with broken glass as they wrestled in a fight started when Kwak saw the man and another man holding hands while crossing the street at 12th and Pine and started calling the men faggots. Continue reading

Capitol Hill gay bar expat Purr calls it quits in Montlake

RIP, Purr. Congrats, Union.

A year after high rents pushed it off Capitol Hill down to Montlake, Purr Cocktail Lounge abruptly closed its doors over the weekend. Meanwhile, new Capitol Hill gay bar Union made its debut.

Seattle Gay Scene had the news from Purr owner Barbie Roberts of Sunday’s last chance to say goodbye. Roberts did not cite a specific reason for the closure. Last summer, she said her move to Montlake was an economic decision with the more-than-a-decade-old lounge escaping soaring Pike/Pine rents. Queer/Bar opened in Purr’s former 11th Ave home three months later. Continue reading

Union ready to debut in ‘a perfect gayborhood location’ on Capitol Hill — UPDATE

Nathan, Mark, and Steve (left to right)

Capitol Hill gay bar veterans Steve Nyman, Nathan Benedict, and Mark Engelmann have joined to open a brand new cocktail bar on 14th and Union in the space formerly occupied by Zoe. Wednesday, the new owners were on the new patio of the updated venue ready for a new era.

Union Bar will begin its regular 2pm to 2am service on Thursday the 26th as part of a soft opening, before a “fabulous” opening party on Sunday with an all-day happy hour which includes $4.75 wells. UPDATE: Delayed! No Thursday opening but stay tuned!

“It checks all our boxes. It’s a perfect gayborhood location — it has a patio, fireplace lounge for the wintertime, and an area where you can circulate,” Benedict said.

Continue reading