Quieted by pandemic and trashed by break-ins and squatters, Capitol Hill gay dance club Neighbours says it needs your help to survive

(Image: Neighbours)

Break-ins and squatters have decimated the space home to Capitol Hill dance club and iconic Seattle LGBTQ venue Neighbours, shuttered for months under COVID-19 restrictions.

“After 9 years in Vancouver and 38 years in Seattle, Neighbours may have to close their doors,” performer Roxy Doll writes in a fundraiser plea launched to help the nightclub. “COVID-19 is one thing, but to have to replace and rebuild everything on top of being shut down for who knows how much longer. I don’t know if they are going to make it.”

The goal, Doll tells CHS, is to raise enough so that Neighbours can reopen again when restrictions are relaxed and to give any extra to a charity to help others.  You can give here.

But that day is currently a long way away — made even more distant by a mix of brazen and desperate actions. People breaking in cut through the fire door and even a walk-in freezer door at one point. The sound systems, all alcohol, lighting equipment, and all the cameras have been stolen, Doll said. The club has ended up filled with human waste, needles, and trash dragged in from outside. The floor and walls have been spray painted and tagged. Someone cut holes in the walls looking for copper pipes. Continue reading

A blast from the past: Q Patrol resurfaces on Capitol Hill

Long ago, a group roamed Capitol Hill’s streets at night to protect their community alongside police. Now, a new Q Patrol takes shape, readying its members to de-escalate and assist those facing discrimination, violence, and hate crimes — without the Seattle Police Department.

“A core focus is empowering other queers and other marginalized groups of people,” said Emma, a Q Patrol member. For this story, CHS agreed to not use the full names of members for their safety and security. “We think police are the problem. We’re not trying to antagonize them per se.”

Despite the Q Patrol name, this group is not a vigilante group. They say they don’t want to punish anyone. The Q Patrol is about harm reduction. Continue reading

As Seattle task force ponders a queer youth homeless shelter on Capitol Hill, LGBTQ community center is back on the table


Jackie Sandberg (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Having lived on the streets as a queer youth, Jackie Sandberg says she’s all too familiar with the hate crimes inflicted on the city’s disproportionately LGBTQ homeless population. Unfortunately, Sandberg says the situation isn’t much better when she and others seek refuge inside the city’s shelters.

“So much of what holds us back is not having a place where we feel completely safe,” Sandberg said at the recent LGBTQ violence forum at Capitol Hill’s All Pilgrims Church. “A LGBTQ youth shelter is an essential step to saving youth from experiencing the level of hatred and indifference that we currently do.”

Creating a city-funded queer youth shelter in the neighborhood was one of the most concrete ideas to emerge from the forum. The idea was roundly applauded throughout the evening and in her closing remarks, council member Kshama Sawant vowed to fight for city funding to make it happen.

“Often, queer youth experience harassment at shelters,” Sawant told CHS. “It’s a serious enough question that elected officials should be exploring.” Continue reading

LGBTQ and black young people disproportionately homeless as numbers rise in King County

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This year’s One Night Count of homeless youth and young adults in King County zip codes

The Central Area has one of the highest concentrations of homeless youth and young adults in King County, a population that is a fifth LGBTQ and a third African American, according to results from a survey released this week.

The county’s annual One Night Count found a total of 824 people between the ages of 12-25 were homeless on Wednesday, January 21st. That’s up from the 779 youths and young adults that were counted in 2014 and included a 21% jump in the overall homeless population.

Building a LGBTQ youth homeless shelter on Capitol Hill was on of the most applauded suggestions discussed at a recent Capitol Hill community forum on ways to stop LGBTQ hate crimes. City Council member Kshama Sawant said she would do everything in her power to get it into next year’s budget. Mayor Ed Murray will announce details of a task force this week to address LGBTQ hate crime. It’s not clear at this point if planning for a shelter will be part of the anti-hate crime plan.

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The longest running lesbian bar in the country, The Wildrose celebrates 30 years on Capitol Hill

Wildrose owners Shelley Brothers and Martha Manning inside the longest running lesbian bar. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Wildrose owners Shelley Brothers and Martha Manning inside the nation’s longest running lesbian bar. (Photo: Alex Garland)

10858440_10152919919594496_4025993403955907010_nOn New Year’s Eve 1985, a group of five women opened the doors to The Wildrose bar at 11th and E Pike. After 30 years, the “place for women” where “all are welcomed” is very likely almost the longest running lesbian bar in the U.S., not to mention a Capitol Hill cultural institution (San Francisco’s lesbian bar The Wild Side West has been open at the same location since 1976).

Part clubhouse, part refuge, part restaurant, with a heavy dose of dancing and Seahawks on the TV, the Rose continues to be Seattle’s “third space” for many of the area’s gay women.

Shelley Brothers and Martha Manning have co-owned the Rose since 2005, although both were working and drinking at the bar years before taking it over. The duo remain a constant presence inside the Rose today, holding down full-time hours behind the bar.

“Thirty years gets a little lost on us because it’s so day to day, until you sit down and really think bout it,” Brothers told CHS.

“It’s a big deal,” Manning added. “This doesn’t happen often.”

On Wednesday, Brothers and Manning will celebrate the Rose’s 30th with a Pride-style block-party bash. The celebration will shut down part of 11th Ave to make way for a heated outdoor tent, DJ’s, burlesque, a buffet dinner, and a midnight champagne toast. We suspect there will be lots of reminiscing as well.

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CHS Pics | Capitol Hill Pride colors 2014


Thanks so much to Kate Clark for sharing her work in the CHS Flickr Pool

The rainbow colors of Pride are again flying across Capitol Hill. Thanks to CHS Flickr Pool shutterbug Kate Clark (see her amazingly great neighborhood photos here) took it upon herself this year to explore the streets to capture these many images of the Pride flag flying on Capitol Hill.

Don’t let the Capitol Hill ubiquity of the rainbow flag hang your pride upside down. Sure, QFC’s Pride promotions run headlong into the “Tast of Mexico” campaign alive in the Kroger chain across the rest of the region. Sure, it’s about marketing. But it’s also about incredible changes, amazing characters, and a long history.

In the meantime, get ready for a busy weekend of activities including some fun and important Pride 2014 events around Capitol Hill including the Trans* Pride Parade, PrideFest Capitol Hill in Cal Anderson Park, The Capitol Hill Pride Festival on Broadway, Seattle Dyke March, and Prom Dress Rugby.

You’ll find more than 60 pictures of Capitol Hill Pride, below. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Pride Picnic defeats Juneuary gloom with bubbles, $1 hot dogs


2014 Seattle Pride Grand Marshal Aleksa Manila hosted the day's events...

2014 Seattle Pride Grand Marshal Aleksa Manila hosted the day’s events…

This weekend saw another of Capitol Hill’s Pride traditions play out — the just a little bit shiver-y Pride Picnic in Volunteer Park.

The crowd was a little lighter than some years but picked up around lunchtime as families and friends enjoyed the biggest bargain of Seattle Pride — the $1 hot dog picnic.

10441914_668206496586829_6615794651694939141_nHome-neighborhood hero Ed Murray waxed nostalgic in his post about the picnic on Facebook.

“I have been coming to Pride events for years, but never did I imagine that I someday take the stage as mayor of Seattle,” Murray wrote. “We have come a long way friends.”

And found time to play some fetch

And found time to play some fetch

Major Pride activities on the Hill will now go through a short lull before picking up again just in time for the month’s grand finale on June 29th.

Next up for Hill Pride is this Friday, June 20th’s Seattle Women’s Pride at E Pike’s Lobby Bar.

For a full rundown of the month’s days of fun and Pride, check out Pride 2014 on Capitol Hill includes PrideFest in Cal Anderson, street festivals, parades.

More pictures from the Pride Picnic, below.

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Blotter | Broadway/Pine robbery victim says he was beaten because he is gay

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Hate beating reported: Police are investigating a possible hate crime after a male Somali victim told police he was beaten and robbed early Wednesday morning at Broadway and Pine because he was gay and “an abomination to Allah.”According to the report on the June 11th incident, police arrived to find the victim being treated for minor injuries and a large bump on his head after the beating at Broadway and Pine just before 1 AM. Witnesses told police they saw two male suspects beating the victim. One woman said she heard one of the suspects yell “East Side Nigger,” before he walked away.
    Continue reading

CHS Pics | Clean Sweep tidies up Hill for Pride 2014

IMG_4352IMG_4689Dozens of volunteers rallied at Cal Anderson Park Sunday morning for a clean-up event that has grown into a Seattle Pride tradition. The Capitol Hill Clean Sweep helped tidy up the neighborhood and gloss things up a little bit just in time for the neighborhood’s busy roster of Pride events and parties. If you volunteered, let us know about anything cool you found on your rounds. But don’t tell us about the gross stuff. We’re glad you were there to pick it up and throw it away.


10380023_10152453422898276_2083029480054333696_o-1000x422What’s next? This coming weekend includes the June 14th Pride Picnic in Volunteer Park:

Join us for The 5th Annual Seattle Pride Picnic! The Seattle Pride Picnic is a chance for family and friends to come together in one of Seattle’s iconic parks and celebrate our amazing community.All the fun begins at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 14 at Volunteer Park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.$1 Picnic Meal
Including hot dogs, delicious side dishes, refreshments and desserts (All proceeds to benefit YouthCare)FREE live entertainment all day
Hosted by 2014 Seattle Pride Grand Marshal 
Aleksa Manila More info / 2013 Pictures

A full roster of Pride 2014 on Capitol Hill events is here.