Organizers making plans for safe in-person Pride celebration on Capitol Hill later in summer

It won’t happen next month but organizers are making plans for a large in-person summer 2021 Pride event on Capitol Hill.

“If it can be done safely, we will be doing it,” PrideFest head Egan Orion tells CHS.

As Seattle’s annual June Pride parade and festivities are already set to be online only again next month as the pandemic continues to slow, work is underway to bring together a safe festival around Broadway and Cal Anderson — even if it means waiting for later in summer.

“We’re working closely with the city on those plans and if all goes well, we expect to be one of the only non-sports festivals that will take place this year,” Orion said. “It will be a two day event, all on Capitol Hill.” Continue reading

Hopefully by 2022 we’re having parades and parties again — But Seattle Pride making early call to move 2021 celebration online

Hell no, you can’t cancel Pride — but you can be realistic about pandemic-era scheduling.

The organizers of Seattle Pride aren’t waiting around. In 2021, Seattle’s celebration of LGBTQIA+ will again be virtual:

As the COVID-19 pandemic response continues to restrict large public gatherings, Seattle Pride – the organizer of Seattle Pride in the Park and Seattle Pride Parade – will shift  its annual LGBTQIA+ celebratory events to a virtual weekend (June 26 & 27, 2021) of speakers,
performances and more.

“With the pandemic still spreading at a rapid pace, we could not in good conscience move forward with plans for our June events which bring thousands of people together in close proximity,” said Seattle Pride Executive Director Krystal Marx. “Our efforts now shift to building on the success of last year’s virtual Pride, so we can continue to bring our community together to celebrate diversity.”

In 2020, organizers responded to the risks around large gatherings with an April decision to move the energy from the annual parade and celebrations on Capitol Hill and Seattle Center to online gatherings and virtual events. Continue reading

Roger Winters, who gave keynote at first Seattle Pride, remembered for lifetime of LGBTQIA civil rights work

By Renee Raketty

Seattle mourned the passing of Roger Winters, an early pioneer in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. He passed away this week in his Shoreline home after suffering a recent bout of pneumonia. The former Capitol Hill resident and property owner was 75 years old.

“The Seattle community — and the world at large — lost a true champion for gay rights with his passing,” said Krystal Marx, Executive Director of Seattle Pride. “Roger’s decades of advocacy and political savvy helped to propel LGBTQIA+ rights forward in a way we would not have had without his involvement.”

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan agreed. In a written statement to CHS, she spoke of his relentless efforts to obtain equality for the LGBTQIA+ community. “Roger Winters worked for decades to ensure the dignity, rights and true equality for LGBTQ individuals. His voice and personal courage were unflagging over the almost 30 years that it took for LGBTQ people to get civil rights legislation,” said Durkan. “In the last four years, we have seen that these rights are far from guaranteed. This administration has directly targeted the transgender community and critical LGBTQ protections. In just the last few weeks, a U. S. Supreme Court Justice stated that hard fought wins for LGBTQ equality should be rolled back, and that some discrimination against LGBTQ individuals is a constitutional right. To honor the memory of Roger Winters and all of the other LGBTQ leaders we have lost this year, we must continue to fight.”

Susan Priebe, who met Winters in 2002 and became close friends, spoke with me to discuss Winters’ passing. She has agreed to handle his affairs on behalf of his family.

“Roger was deeply intellectual and also a fun-loving character — going from a profound philosophical statement one minute, to singing a ditty from a 50’s sitcom the next. He was a very loving and caring person, spending hours upon hours of personal time on issues and projects to improve everyone’s lives,” she said. “Roger was an insanely involved person, politically astute, a creative soul, and a very devout atheist… In the LGBT arena alone, Roger was involved with many groups from 1977 through the rest of his life.”

“Roger was a go-to leader and pioneer who helped pave the way for LGBTQ equality,” former Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said.

Winters grew up in a conservative Christian household in Indianapolis and spent time on farms during his youth. He attended Indiana University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. He went on to attend Harvard University on a fellowship where he became a Senior Tutor at Dudley House on campus and, later, graduated with honors in Political Science. He became an intern for Senator Birch E. Bayh, Jr., a Democrat from Indiana. In 1972, he joined the faculty of Central Washington University, where he was a Assistant Professor of Political Science. It was here, when he became involved in Seattle politics. He traveled from Kittitas County, where CWU is located, to attend board meetings of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington in Seattle.

“We white boys started out conservative because we were invisible enough to pass in a gay-unfriendly world,” Winters wrote to me in a text on March 23, 2019, while discussing his upbringing and personal growth. “Those of us who got active recognized that other people who couldn’t or wouldn’t pass were really needing the legal protection and anti-discrimination [law] we were after but we didn’t understand their point of view. We embraced diversity and sought to be inclusive.”

Continue reading

Seattle Schools will add curriculum requirements for queer history and select a ‘LGBTQI+ hero’ to honor with school name change

(Image: Seattle Public Schools)

Seattle School Board president Zachary DeWolf points out a Seattle media oversight this Pride weekend.

As the COVID-19 restricted year has moved into summer break, Seattle Public Schools has committed to a slate of initiatives including ensuring at least one gender-neutral restroom in all school construction projects, opening up the district curriculum process to add LGBTQIA+ history and other underrepresented histories, and an effort to honor a to be determined “LGBTQI+ local or national hero” that might just be of interest to the community at Capitol Hill’s Stevens Elementary.

Here’s DeWolf on the resolution (PDF) passed by his board: Continue reading

After nearly 50 years, Seattle Gay News needs your help to keep printing

Celebrate Pride and freedom of the press by helping a Seattle LGBTQ insitution stay in business.

The Seattle Gay News needs a boost after the passing of its longtime publisher George Bakan:

George saw the SGN through the worst of times during the AIDS crisis and through the best of times, including the fight for marriage equality and many other victories. We’re determined to preserve his legacy and to keep his vision going. But life, changes in the print industry, and especially COVID-19 have taken their toll on even one of the most resilient independent publications in the United States. Independent journalism is now more important than ever, and we need your help in getting our feet under us for this next adventure.

CHS wrote about Bakan’s death earlier this month here. He had been in charge of SGN since 1983.The paper has a nearly 50-year history in the city. Continue reading

Together for Pride — For 2020 Pride weekend, Seattle’s LGBTQ+ crowds move online for events, speakers, and music

Broadway Pride in 2019

It’s OK to be in front of a screen Friday night. Seattle Pride 2020 will be a virtual experience.

With COVID-19 restrictions preventing the normal large events and gatherings you’d see for Pride weekend in Seattle, organizers have put together full schedules of streaming and online events to carry forward the traditions and actions of Trans Pride and PrideFest.

The three days of speakers, performances and activities begin Friday with Gender Justice League, PrideFest, and Seattle Pride collaborating on a Together For Pride weekend at

The organizers of Seattle Pride wish to acknowledge and stand in solidarity with other regional LGBTQIA+ organizations to condemn the senseless murder of George Floyd, standing together against racism in all forms. The LGBTQIA+ community knows firsthand the feeling of marginalization, and the importance of compassion and standing together – especially in this time of need. As with other impactful movements, the LGBTQIA+ movement also began with a protest. Much of Seattle Pride’s programming will be centered on matters of activism and centering black and brown voices.

“For each of the three days, one organization is taking the lead in developing engaging program content – each day will offer a full schedule of program tracks, and featured sessions within each,” organizers say.

Echoing the growth of the annual Volunteer Park Pride Festival event as a showcase for great music, this weekend’s online Pride will also feature a lineup of “queer-artist musical performances throughout the weekend.” Continue reading

Pride 2020 on Capitol Hill: Black Queer Lives Matter

According to Joey Burgess, owner of 11th Ave’s Queer/Bar, Pride is taking a different yet necessary shape this year as Seattle protests centered on Capitol Hill press on.

“We typically do giant three-day outdoor celebrations with huge street parties. All of that is gone this year, but we have a different type of outside event and that’s the protests — that is what Pride looks like this year and should,” Burgess said.

Although the Seattle LGBTQ Commission’s kickoff Pride Flag raising event at City Hall was postponed, June 1st marked the beginning of Pride — a time that has filled Capitol Hill with celebration for nearly half a century. Celebrations will hold a different tone this year as LGBTQ organizations plan virtual events in the midst of local and global protesting against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, protests that have maintained a strong presence in Capitol Hill for almost two weeks now.

“Our announcement has been delayed because we’re standing in solidarity with the protestors now, and so we don’t want to step on any of the protests and the actions that are happening,” Seattle PrideFest executive director Egan Orion tells CHS. Continue reading

Can you cancel Pride? 2020 Seattle Pride Parade and Trans Pride celebrations to be held as ‘series of virtual events’

Organizers of Seattle’s annual Pride parade announced the 2020 edition of the downtown event is officially canceled and will replaced by online celebrations:

To our Seattle Pride family, we want to share with you that Seattle Pride, Seattle PrideFest and Trans Pride have made the collective decision to shift our 2020 annual Pride celebrations to a series of virtual events. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution – and concern for our community’s health – after conferring with local public health officials and the City of Seattle.

Organizers have posted a survey to begin collecting ideas on what types of virtual events “would be most beneficial and enjoyable for our community.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Led by thousands in Seattle Dyke March, Pride swells on Capitol Hill

There seemed to be more dykes — and people who love them — than ever on Broadway Saturday night. Friday night brought what looked like the largest Trans Pride Seattle ever to Capitol Hill. And in between, PrideFest Capitol Hill and quantifiably more beer gardens and street parties then ever filled the neighborhood with a 2019 celebration of LGBTQ rights, culture, and, yes, dogs dressed up in drag.

CHS marched along with Saturday’s Seattle Dyke March visiting the crowds and booths along Broadway for PrideFest Capitol Hill along the way. Thousands took part in this year’s march starting with the traditional rally at Seattle Central before taking to the street and heading north on Broadway. Continue reading

Mayor’s 2019 Pride Awards winners include Wildrose owners, Womxn’s March Day of Action organizer

Mayor Jenny Durkan handed out the city’s 2019 Pride Awards Thursday night at Capitol HIll’s Queer/Bar. Honorees included longtime Pike/Pine nightlife entrepreneurs Shelley Brothers and Martha Manning of The Wildrose, Capitol Hill headquartered Seattle Counseling Services, and neighborhood resident Charmaine Slye, organizer of the Seattle Womxn’s March Day of Action.

Congratulations and happy Pride to the recipients. Details on the winners and the awards from the mayor’s office are below.

Mayor Durkan Honors Six LGBTQ+ Community Members at 2019 Pride Awards


Seattle (June 26, 2019) – In her second Pride Reception, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan honored the achievements of six leaders in Seattle’s LGBTQ community with the 2019 Pride Awards. This year’s award winners have had a lasting and positive impact on our City. This year’s winners are being recognized for decades of work to better our communities and advance the rights and dignities of our LGBTQ+ neighbors. Continue reading