compiled by Emerald Staff
There’s reason for thousands of LGBTQIA and ally communities dancing in the street, but everything is different in the age of COVID-19, and protests in support of Black Lives Matter and an end to police brutality. Like elsewhere, Seattle Pride activities this month are largely virtual. This is a community that understands only too well how the ravages of a disease can destroy it.
But there is reason for celebration: in an historic decision on June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay, lesbian and transgender employees are protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That act specifically outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin — but was silent on sexual orientation and gender identity. The decision now makes it clear that employers cannot discriminate against LGBTQ+ employees solely on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Advocates for justice hadn’t been optimistic, based on the questions asked in oral arguments and the current makeup of the court. But the decision was 6-3, with Trump appointee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, joining Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor in the majority opinion. “Today,” Gorsuch wrote in the ruling, “we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear.”
The ruling comes as thousands of Black Americans – of all different backgrounds – and their allies hit the streets across this country, demanding racial justice and end to police brutality. While the video of the murder of George Floyd was the impetus, hundreds of years of racism and oppression in education, employment, health, housing and all manner of life suddenly became impossible to ignore. This year, Seattle’s Pride events are not just in solidarity but clearly focused on Black Lives Matter.
Among the events, Seattle Trans Pride offers a full schedule of virtual talks, community discussions, spoken word, comedy, and musical performances throughout the weekend. There’s a virtual group Pride Walk/Run throughout the weekend, and Lambert House LGBTQ+ Youth Community Center is hosting a Virtual Pink Prom on Saturday, June 27, 5-11 p.m. The Faces to Faces Podcast offers a virtual Pride event featuring singer/songwriter SassyBlack, gender non-conforming activist, Alok, actor Theo Germaine and many others. And MoPop offers a virtual book club discussion hosted by Misha Stone from the Seattle Public Library, looking at “The City, Born Great” by Makeba Lavan on Monday, June 29 at 5:30pm.
For a full list of Seattle Pride activities, visit: https://www.seattlepride.org/.
Other virtual events planned as part of Seattle Pride:
- The Power of Youth Activism: An Interview with Student Activists from Kennedy Catholic High School
- The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQIA+ Communities presented by Katie Hultquist, OutRight International
- Drag Shows performed by Seattle’s favorite Drag Queens & Kings, including Dolly Madison and Glitterous.
- Kids Storytime presented by Delta Dental of Washington’s Tooth Fairy
- Immigrant & Refugee Community Rights & Social Media Organizing presented by Monserrat Padilla
- Prison Abolition Letter Writing Workshop for building relationships with LGBTQIA+ incarcerated people presented by Black and Pink
- Vashon Island’s LGBTQIA+ History: An Interview with Historian Bruce Haulman
- Online Book Discussion focused on Red, White & Royal Blue, and the representation of LGBTQIA+ youth in literature
- Seattle Pride Karaoke
Featured image: Jadea Brundidge shows off her rainbow nails, during a Pride event hosted by Sway & Swoon DJ Collective at Estelita’s Library on June 22, 2019. (Photo: Carolyn Bick)