Your Capitol Hill lawn is gender-fluid, too. Bobby Morris? That’s a different essay.
Pride month is here and I have something to tell you: Nature is queer. I don’t mean strange (though it is that too), but that the natural diversity of gender and sexuality in the Hill’s nature is part of its beauty. Culture can blind us, sometimes presenting facts that are actually fiction, particularly about the more than human world. Let’s bust that up a bit.
I write this as a white, straight, cisgendered man inexperienced in getting into the weeds on the subject of the LGBTQ world. Pride is easily co-opted as social capital, something I’d like to avoid. I am writing this not to co-opt but in an attempt to offer a few clumsy words to uplift some stories of natural diversity (and hopefully not inadvertently perpetuate violence or my privilege).
The complexities of gender and sexuality in nature (you may need to be reminded that this includes us), are fathomless. Despite being trained as an environmental educator, I am not a people expert; we will speak here about the more than human world, possibly as lessons for being human. The version of nature we are often given, of male and female organisms on an endless trail of sexual reproduction is a far cry from reality. Continue reading
With fairy wings, rainbow swimsuits, hip-hop funk, blues, and rock and roll, the Volunteer Park Pride Festival brought Seattle’s celebration of LGBTQ+ to Capitol Hill Saturday as part of a busy month of events in the neighborhood culminating with a weekend of parties around Pike/Pine and Broadway before the city’s annual parade on June 30th.
“The event being in the backyard of where I grew up is such a huge thing for me. I’m so proud to be on stage singing my heart out for the Seattle queer community,” J GRGRY, one of the musical artists who performed at Saturday’s festival told CHS. Continue reading
If You Want To See Something Look At Something Else by Geoffrey Farmer
With Saturday’s Volunteer Park Pride Festival again bringing the celebration of queer love and civil rights to the northern Capitol Hill green space, two Seattle arts groups are planning a new Pride event for the historic Capitol Hill park.
Hugo House and Western Bridge announced this week they will host a poetry festival celebrating Beat poet and LGBTQ icon Allen Ginsberg later this month in Volunteer Park. The festival will include local and visiting poets, writers, and artists, and a photographic installation by Canadian artist Geoffrey Farmer titled If You Want To See Something Look at Something Else, displaying images of Ginsberg.
Tree Swenson, executive director of Hugo House, believes the festival captures how Ginsberg’s advocacy for the LGBTQ community remains prevalent in 2019 through exhibitions of art, photography, spoken word.
“Ginsberg’s politics along with his loving kindness allowed him to advocate for acceptance in many different ways. He led the way to showing how make acceptance a reality, which is still important in 2019, given the threats we’re facing echo some of the threats his book Howl faced in the late 1950s.” Swenson said.
Ginsberg poetry festival and art installation: If You Want To See Something Look At Something Else
Fears that redevelopment construction also ripped away a recent but highly visible symbol of the gayborhood were painted over this week as crews restored the Capitol Hill rainbow crosswalks along 11th Ave just in time for Pride.
When the construction crews dig in on any Capitol Hill project, Seattle Department of Transportation requirements mandate the right of way and its resources be restored. It’s no different for the city’s “Community Crosswalks” program. Continue reading
Seattle is marking Pride’s radical roots this year as it remembers the 50th anniversary of Stonewall when “a member of the #LGBTQ community threw the first brick to fight against police brutality.”
Celebrants attending Seattle City Hall’s annual raising of the Pride flag were encouraged to bring a brick to the ceremony. Mayor Jenny Durkan led the ceremony with support from Marsha Botser of Ingersoll Gender Center and representatives from the Indian Health Board. Thursday, Durkan also celebrated Pride with the Amazon LGBTQ affinity group, Glamazon. Continue reading
Volunteer Park Pride Festival’s 2018 headliner, Tacocat
Born in 2019, the annual festival has grown into one of the city’s largest free music parties
The shifting personality of the annual Volunteer Park Pride Festival into one of the largest free music parties in Seattle was celebrated Tuesday with an announcement of the fest’s 2019 lineup live on KEXP.
Marco Collins, a longtime Seattle DJ credited for helping fuel the city’s grunge explosion on the national music scene and now part of the lineup of voices at the city’s nonprofit music giant KEXP, took to the airwaves Tuesday morning to announce “Seattle-based band and phenomenon” Thunderpussy as the 2019 headliner. Collins is curator for this year’s Volunteer Park Pride Festival and will help host the June 8th event along with drag queen Betty Wetter.
Volunteer Park Pride Festival
The KEXP announcement was a contrast with the lineup announcement for this summer’s Capitol Hill Block Party which typically is done live on the station but took a quieter route in 2019. Continue reading
Gray skies gave way to a sunny Broadway celebration of Pride this year. Appropriately themed Rain to Rainbows, PrideFest drew a large crowd of glitter and rainbows-adorned LGBTQ+ Seattleites and their allies to Broadway and Cal Anderson.
PrideFest Capitol Hill again turned Broadway from John to Roy into a party street. Hosted by local teen drag queen Rainbow Gore Cake, its main stage featured a variety of DJs, live performances, and special drag guests. An all-day karaoke stage drew performers across a variety of genres, drumlines and street performers wowed crowds, and the cast of Julia’s on Broadway put on a spectacular drag show. Continue reading
With reporting and photography by Alex Garland
Trans Pride, the feistiest of Seattle’s annual Pride celebrations, also proved to be the most inclusive Friday night, making space for the fight for rights for trans and gender non-conforming people and the cause of ending the separation of immigrant families at the southern border.
Graciela Nunez Pargas of the Washington State Immigrant Solidarity Network was invited by Trans Pride organizer the Gender Justice League to speak about the effort to reunify families.
With more street parties and the return of the neighborhood’s annual events, the gayborhood is busier than ever this Pride. Here is everything happening on Capitol Hill for Pride 2018.
With so many new parties joining Pride weekend classics at the Cuff and the Wildrose, they City of Seattle decided to produce a map for 2018 showing all the street closures: Continue reading
Not everything made the map — check out Surreal Soirée!, free at Fred Wildlife Refuge (Image: @cybeles_spells)
With the celebration of Capitol Hill’s “only holiday” in full swing, Thursday night brings a special “Queer” edition of the neighborhood’s monthly art walk. A map of the special events, shows, and performances is below. Continue reading