LGBTQ poetry festival brings art, ‘Queer Resurgence’ to Capitol Hill

LGBTQ poets are preparing to battle until the best wordsmith emerges in the first Queer Resurgence on Capitol Hill Poetry Festival.

Seattle Poetry Slam is launching the new festival featuring a poetry slam competition, panel discussions, and workshops Sunday through Tuesday.

Ebo Barton, booking and events coordinator for Seattle Poetry Slam, said the festival was born from the effects of Capitol Hill changing and the desire to bring art and an LGBTQ presence back.

Barton told CHS there’s been a lot of positive feedback about the event, and many are looking forward to the workshops.

“Folks are really excited to have these actual conversations while doing art … in a place where we feel as comfortable as we can,” Barton said. Continue reading

Cal Anderson’s all-gender restrooms part of park’s summer 2017 construction plans

In the summer of 2016, Bobby Morris got a new playfield surface. In 2017, Cal Anderson Park’s notoriously gross restrooms are getting an all-gender, all-ability makeover. Both projects could become models for parks across Seattle.

Plans to redo the park’s bathrooms as an all-gender and mobility-friendly facility have been filed with the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections and are awaiting approval. The project will be paired with infrastructure upgrades for Cal Anderson’s much-loved mountain fountain for another busy summer of construction inside the popular Central Seattle park.

“It’s one of the first ones that we’re doing in the city transforming men’s and women’s restrooms into individual stalls,” Kathleen Conner, planning manager with Seattle Parks and Recreation, told CHS about the bathroom overhaul. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Sixth annual March of the Mistletomosexuals

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There were a few sugar plum fairies. Lots of Santas. And this year, the Night King summoned a few White Walkers along the way. Saturday night, the March of the Mistletomosexuals, Capitol Hill’s gay-friendly response to Santarchy-style pub crawls, returned for a sixth year of holiday spirits and made its way from gay bar to gay bar from E Olive Way to E Madison. We found the start of the night’s holiday fun gathering as is tradition at Santa’s favorite bear bar, CC Attle’s. Thanks to all the elves and snowmen for being good sports and showing off their winter wonderful costumes. More pictures, below. Continue reading

Gender Justice League launches emergency fund for name, gender marker changes

A marcher at 2016 Trans* Pride (Image: CHS)

A marcher at 2016 Trans* Pride (Image: CHS)

With a Donald Trump presidency looming, the Gender Justice League is raising money for an emergency fund to help transgender people change their legal documents to correspond with their identities.

Danni Askini, executive director of the group, launched an online fundraising campaign for clinics to help people change their identification documents and to provide direct funds to trans people who can’t afford to make the legal changes.

“We need to prepare for the potential State-sanctioned discrimination that is to come,”Askini writes. “Having legal identification documents that correctly correspond to our identities is the first step in helping us navigate a Trump regime as smoothly as possible.” Continue reading

As Seattle gay film fest gets new Twist, a story of love in Iraq has happy Capitol Hill ending

When Nayyef Hrebid talks about his husband his whole face lights up; he can’t stop himself from smiling.

Hrebid and Btoo Allami live a happy life together on Capitol Hill, but it the Iraqi couple spent years trying to get here — a place where they were free to be together and themselves.

“It’s the place we most feel safe,” Hrebid told CHS.

The documentary Out of Iraq tells the story of Hrebid, a translator working for the U.S. military, and Allami, an Iraqi soldier, falling in love during the war and the lengths they went to to be together. The film’s Northwest premiere will be at the TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, at 7 PM on October 15th at the Northwest Film ForumContinue reading

Seattle’s AIDS Walk reaches 30 years with health for the living and hope for a cure

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

For 30 years in Seattle, people have walked and run to raises money to fight HIV and AIDS. Saturday, the End AIDS Walk will again circle Volunteer Park.

AIDS walks have historically been held to remember those who have lost their lives and to gather as a community, Jeremy Orbe, development coordinator with community health organization and event host Lifelong, told CHS. While the End AIDS Walk Seattle still honors lives that have been lost, education and outreach help prevent new cases and medical advancements make the disease more manageable. People who have HIV or AIDS and are receiving treatment can live healthy lives.

“Folks aren’t necessarily losing their lives. … They’re able to live long and happy and fulfilling lives,” Orbe said.

Because of advancements in treatments, the walk is now more focused on supporting those living with the disease and looking to the future for a cure. Continue reading

Pride Lives will walk Capitol Hill to distribute suicide prevention information

In 2002, Judd Shapiro attempted suicide. Now he looks at what he’s achieved since then including starting a nonprofit called Pride Lives to get resources to help those considering suicide.

“Life has changed for me so drastically in ways that I never thought were even possible,” Shapiro said. “If I had succeeded and ended my life then, I wouldn’t have experienced so many things.”

Shapiro moved to Seattle in 2014. When he got here, he heard about people in the LGBTQ community as well as in other cities who had recently committed suicide.

He noticed when that happened, the community would remember the person with a memorial or moment of silence at a bar, but then would go back to their lives. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Cupcake Royale effort to Make America Gay Again pays off with $8K check for National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cupcake Royale’s quest to Make America Gay Again had done more than provide a good, subversive chuckle of a response to the warped circus of the Donald Trump campaign. A portion of proceeds from sales of the hats and shirts and the bakery’s much-loved The Gay cupcakes during this year’s Pride was poured into a giant prop check and handed over Thursday night to Kate Kendell of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

We did it! In June, with money raised from the sale of The Gay cupcakes and Make America Gay Again apparel, we (our whole community) raised $8000 for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Come join us as we celebrate the NCLR and present them with this donation! Meet members of the NCLR and learn more about their work advancing the human and civil rights of LGBT people and their families.

Continue reading

Artists paste portraits of older, queer women across Capitol Hill for gentrification art project

At Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu and around Pike and Pine streets, women peer out of black and white photographs at passersby.

The nine older, queer women are the subjects of In This Place 206, an art project about the gentrification and loss of queer space on Capitol Hill.

“It’s really about taking up the space saying, ‘As you walk by this place, as you stand on this street corner, I stood here, I had a life here, I hung out here, I got my heart broken here,’” Nilda Brooklyn, one of the project artists told CHS. “It’s really just a reminder that there’s always somebody who came before us.” Continue reading

‘Alotta Sh*t Has Happened’ — Gay City brings voices of ‘LGBTQ Elders’ to the stage

Capitol Hill’s Gay City is bringing the voices of LGBTQ artists over 40 to the stage to share their experiences in a performance called Alotta Sh*t Has Happened: LGBTQ Elders Speak.

It’s a free show that has grabbed many people’s attention. Friday and Saturday are already packed. Sunday’s matinee and evening show still have seats. Snag your ticket quickly, young one, and settle in to hear some stories.

“I know friends of mine in their 40s, 50s and 60s are really thirsty for other LGBTQ people to talk to,” Tara Hardy, Gay City arts director said.

But it’s not just that demographic that is interested. Hardy said she knows people in their teens, 20s and 30s who are interested in hearing what the older generations have to say.  When she first became arts director about a year ago, Hardy, who has a background in the arts and social justice, asked herself, “Who are the populations who have not been historically served at Gay City?” Hardy, 52, said she had no idea there would be such huge response to a show about the topic. Continue reading

22 things CHS heard during the #disarmhate panel at Gay City

IMG_6632Attendees of a panel discussion on curbing gun violence and hate crimes didn’t have to look far beyond the walls of Capitol Hill’s Gay City auditorium to find reasons for the event.

Four shootings on Capitol Hill recently took place in the span of four weeks. A black woman was shot to death in Madison Valley. Days before Capitol Hill’s trans pride event, a transgender person was physically attacked.

“It’s striking that all theses incidents are happening in spaces that are supposed to be safe environments,” said Seattle Urban League CEO Pamela Banks, who moderated the event.

Panelists representing diverse populations around Seattle gathered Thursday to discuss gun violence in their communities. It was perhaps the type of wide ranging, “real conversation” that many politicians often plead for around issues of guns and hate crimes but so rarely happen. Continue reading

LGBTQ business owners lament Capitol Hill’s eroding gayborhood in meeting with Sen. Murray

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Sen. Murray (front left) meets with small business owners at E Pine’s Sugarpill apothecary. (Image: CHS)

In the midst of Congress’s summer recess, Senator Patty Murray visited our Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to hear from LGBTQ small business owners about issues facing Seattle’s gayborhood. Their response was fairly unanimous: the biggest concern is that it is disappearing.

As three small business owners sat down with Murray inside the Sugarpill apothecary on E Pine, the conversation quickly turned to rapidly rising rents and how they erode LGBTQ small business, displace artists, and diffuse the center of Seattle’s gay community.

For Sugarpill owner Karyn Schwartz, the recent mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub crystallized the issue as she said many gay people she knew in Seattle were left feeling vulnerable without a well established community to grieve with.

“It used to be that because we weren’t accepted in our families we had to ban together, and now that’s changing,” Schwartz said. “The center of gravity is different and I think people freaked out.” Continue reading