by Patheresa Wells
Pride season is upon us, with events celebrating LGBTQIA+ people happening all over the city. Pride events are held in June to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which were in response to the police raid of a gay bar in New York City in 1969. While Stonewall wasn’t the first riot in response to police violence against LGBTQIA+ people, it is commonly thought of as a pivotal moment in the fight for queer, transgender, and gender-diverse rights in the U.S. While decades of activism have increased the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, it’s important to note that activists and community members are still fighting for these rights today, especially considering the record number of proposed anti-LGBTQIA+ bills this year.
Just as important as activism and protest is celebration and joy, and this year, some of the bigger in-person Pride events are back after pandemic restrictions of the past two years. The 16th Annual PrideFest will be taking place on Capitol Hill on June 25 and at Seattle Center on June 26, and the Pride Parade will take place downtown on June 26. But Pride isn’t just for Capitol Hill and Seattle — there are also numerous Pride celebrations throughout the South End.
Below is a resource guide, listed in order of occurrence, for events happening throughout the South Seattle area, or events centering BIPOC communities.
Date: Saturday, June 11, 2022, 12 p.m.
Location: Downtown White Center
White Center Pride returns this year with numerous events, including a street festival on Saturday, June 11. The main drag of SW 16th Avenue and south of SW Roxbury Street will be closed to pedestrian traffic only. The event includes queer vendors, drag performances, dancing, and a balloon chain. There will be festivities for everyone, including a Pet Pride Parade happening at 3 p.m.! The Vendor Fair is from 12 to 6 p.m., with entertainment lasting until 11 p.m. The event is free plus kid- and dog-friendly.
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2022, 7 p.m.
Location: Supernova, 110 S. Horton St., Seattle, WA 98134
BeautyBoiz, a Seattle-based group of queer producers that puts on events by and for the LGBTQIA+ community, will be hosting their third Black Pride Celebration to celebrate Black excellence. They will also be hosting numerous events all month long, including Fruit Bowl, a queer fashion competition, and numerous dance parties throughout the month. For tickets and more information on all their events, check out their website.
Date: Saturday, June 18, 2022, 10 p.m.
Location: 19309 68th Avenue S., R103, Kent, WA 98032
Pacific Northwest Black Pride will be holding “The Lituation,” an event celebrating both Pride and Juneteenth. The event features no cover before 11 p.m., and a portion of proceeds from it will go toward its PNW Black Pride scholarships. PNW Black Pride puts on events all year long “to achieve inclusiveness, equality, respect, and awareness in the Pacific Northwest region and beyond.”
Date: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 8 p.m.
Location: Seattle Center
Sapphic Seattle, a group that hosts 21+ parties and club nights exclusively for queer women and sapphics, will be hosting a Pride party paying homage to its namesake. The events started as house parties and have now grown large enough to fill sold-out nightclubs. The Isle of Sappho Pride Party will feature numerous BIPOC performers, including host Shadae Simone, DJ MIXX, and more! Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2022, 10 a.m.
Location: Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre
Taking B(l)ack Pride, a group that arose from the unheard Black trans/queer voices of the Seattle BLM movements, will host its third Pride event this year, SEACHELLA. Join for performances by QTBIPOC artists from across North America. The event includes a family-friendly event in conjunction with Families of Color Seattle. In addition to BIPOC music, vendors, and performers, the event will include free food, activities, safer sex items, fun, and free access to Healing and Care Tents. Follow Taking B(l)ack Pride on Instagram for more information.
Date: June and July
Location: Numerous locations throughout Tacoma
Tacoma’s Pride Festival takes place in downtown Tacoma on July 9, but the city will have numerous events through the months of June and July. Events include a Pride celebration at Point Defiance Zoo, a block party, The 50th Gay Washington Pageant, and much more. A schedule of events can be found on Tacoma Pride’s website.
Location: Numerous locations throughout Renton
The City of Renton is once again holding its Renton Pride Passport through the month of June. The passport includes local businesses that are allies of the Renton LGBTQIA+ Community, encouraging support of these establishments. Passports can be picked up at participating businesses or printed online. Once you visit as many locations as you can, you can enter for a chance to win a gift certificate to a local business. Not only does the passport support Pride, but it also helps local businesses. Renton is also planning a Pride Picnic for August! Stay tuned for details by checking the Renton Pride website.
Date: August 13–14, 2022
Location: Along Alki Avenue
Alki Beach will hold its 9th Annual Pride in August over two days. The family-friendly event will be held along Alki Avenue and in participating businesses. For more information, follow Alki Beach Pride’s Instagram for the latest updates.
Patheresa Wells is a Queer poet, writer, and storyteller who lives in SeaTac, Washington. Born to a Black mother and Persian father, her experiences as a multicultural child shaped her desire to advocate for and amplify her community. She currently attends Highline College in Des Moines. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.
📸 Featured Image: Images from Seattle Pride events from 2016 and 2018. All photos by Susan Fried.
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