Someday, Capitol Hill merchants will fly pink, blue, and white along with the rainbows.
The third annual Trans* Pride Seattle took place Friday evening. Organized since 2013 by the Gender Justice League, Trans* Pride aims to celebrate and uplift trans and gender non-conforming people.
The event kicked off at 6:00 PM with a large march starting at Seattle Central College. Hundreds of people took part in the march, many waving the blue-pink-white transgender flag and chanting slogans demanding equality for trans people. The march went down a few blocks of Broadway and Pike and ended at Cal Anderson Park.
The mood was definitely elevated following Friday morning’s Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Many LGBTQ leaders say transgender rights issues should now become a priority. In one small example, legislation was proposed this week in Seattle that will designate single-occupancy bathrooms in the city as “all-gender.”
By 6:30 most of the marchers had arrived at Cal Anderson. There they viewed a number of performances and speeches. Numerous speakers praised Jennicet Gutiérrez, the transwoman who interrupted President Barack Obama to demand the release of trans people detained by ICE.
Bamby Salcedo, a Latina transgender activist, was the keynote speaker this year. In a profane, funny, and powerful speech against the injustices faced by trans people, Salcedo electrified the crowd. Salcedo concluded her remarks by reading a poem that moved some to tears. “Even if you kill me, even if you kill us, we will always exist,” she said.
During his remarks, Mayor Ed Murray recalled his first run for the state legislature and said it was the trans community who stepped up in 1995 to stuff envelopes and help the campaign. While on stage, Murray introduced Dylan Orr, the city’s new minimum wage czar and, the mayor said, the first openly transgender person to lead a department at Seattle City Hall. Murray also proclaimed Friday Transgender Pride Day in Seattle.
— Ed Murray (@MayorEdMurray) June 27, 2015
"I'm out and trans and I want to support the cause. Plus any excuse to show off the girls" – Mandy Flame pic.twitter.com/o5iVlceFdu
— Bryan Cohen (@bchasesc) June 27, 2015
One man carrying signs with Christian fundamentalist statements inserted himself into the march, bearing a large sign condemning various groups of people, including homosexuals. He was largely ignored, although later in the evening he had been glitter bombed.
A busy Pride Saturday around Capitol Hill is in store before Sunday’s annual downtown parade:
- Pridefest Capitol Hill — Cal Anderson (info) — Back for a third year, PrideFest Capitol Hill has two stages–one with family and all ages programming and a DJ stage and a beer garden for the rest of us. Join us in Cal Anderson Park and 11th Avenue for another fun year of PrideFest Capitol Hill – we’ll post updates as we have ’em! Join us for our favorite thing of all, drag queen storytime! This year we’re planning on doing TWO sessions (each with 2 queens), most likely to start and end our family programming (1-1:30pm and 3:30-4pm).
- Capitol Hill Pride Festival March and Rally — Broadway (info) — A community festival march and rally celebrating diversity and community pride, remembering Stonewall and local history. The festival is open to everyone, LGBT, straight and anyone of any background. Live local Music, Food and Entertainment with over 150 booths of restaurants non-profits, businesses and artists.
- The Seattle Dyke March — Broadway (info) — The 2015 Seattle Dyke March is on Saturday June 27th. Rally from 5-7pm at the Seattle Central Community College Plaza at Broadway Ave E and E Pine St. The March steps off at 7pm to go around Capitol Hill and back to the Plaza.