About Gay City

Gay City promotes wellness in LGBTQ communities by providing health services, connecting people to resources, fostering arts, and building community. Gay City is the leading provider of HIV and STI testing in King County.

Queer spoken word returns to Gay City

Seattle’s vibrant and diverse arts community is about to grow a little bigger. Gay City Health Project, Capitol Hill’s gay health and wellness organization, will be playing host to Word Play on Thursday, August 18. Billed as a “fun, free, smart, and sexy sober spoken word event”, Word Play is sure to please even the most discerning fan of queer spoken word.

Gay City is a proud supporter of queer and queer friendly arts through their Gay City Arts program, and includes a variety of artistic programming as part of their mission to promote health and build community. Gay City Anthologies, soon to publish Volume 4: At Second Glance, provides a creative forum for previously unpublished queer comic art, fiction, poetry, and photography. Gay City also presented the Seattle premier of The Infection Monologues, a touching, humorous, and thought provoking performance that challenged the way people think about the contemporary experience of men living with HIV.

“We’re very excited about incorporating more arts into our programming,” says Gay City Executive Director Fred Swanson. 

Word Play continues the tradition of Shifting Words, providing an outlet for queer spoken word artists in recovery to share their experiences with living with addiction. Marketing Manager Robert Roth adds, “I remember going to the Shifting Words events a few years ago and loved them.”

“I believe, actually I know, that my sobriety is inextricably linked with creating art,” says Tara Hardy, founder, and Art & Education Director at Bent Writing Institute, and Word Play’s featured performer. “It’s a way to channel all the energy that I used to focus on using, as well as being something to do with all the free floating anxiety that seems to follow addicts around.”

The evening will include performances from such notable queer spoken word artists as Maya Hersh, Jodie Knowles, Jack McCarthy, Okanomode, and Gay City’s own Susan Rees, as well as featuring Hardy.

Word Play will run from 8pm -10pm at Kaladi Brothers Coffee, and is free to attend. The event is co-sponsored by the Shift Peer Recovery Network and Kaladi Brothers Coffee.

For more information, visit gaycity.org/wordplay.

Capitol Hill community art installation to commemorate 30 years of HIV/AIDS

It was thirty years ago last month that the Centers for Disease Control published an article reporting the first known cases of what is now called AIDS. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic begins its fourth decade, a collective of local HIV/AIDS service organizations are working together to acknowledge and commemorate the past thirty years through a new community effort, HIV30: Take Action Seattle.

The HIV30 group will also be displaying a collaborative art installation on the Sound Transit “Red Wall” along Broadway on Capitol Hill. Organizers are working together to create a three-part art installation that both reflects and commemorates our unique, individual and community experiences in regard to the epidemic that changed the landscape of the world.

The community is invited to join HIV30 at the Sound Transit “Red Wall” on Broadway for the unveiling of the first section of the HIV30 Red Wall project, 30 Years, A Retrospective, on Thursday, July 14 at 7pm. This section will depict a graphic timeline of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the impacts it has had both locally and nationally. The unveiling will feature an invocation and blessing from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and will include remarks from: Fred Swanson, Gay City Health Project; Robert Yoon, Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit; and Jeffrey Hedgepeth, Pride Foundation. State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle is also scheduled to appear.

The unveiling of the remaining two sections will take place over the next six months. The project will initially depict a graphic timeline of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The second section will showcase imagery representing people’s experiences with HIV/AIDS in Seattle, and will be installed in early Autumn. The third installation will highlight ways to stay involved and demonstrate continued commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, and will be installed in conjunction with the 2011 World AIDS Day in December. 

To find out more information about the community art project or HIV30: Take Action Seattle, please visit HIV-30.org.