Fifty years after the Stonewall Inn uprising, and after decades of enormous strides for queer equality, you would think that life would be a breeze by now. Instead, everyone's fighting with each other.
People fight about which colors should be on the Pride Flag, and whether straight people should be allowed to have a flag (not if it's that butt-ugly one!!!!). People fight about who's allowed to be a drag queen (and who's allowed to say who's allowed). People fight about whether douching is necessary (c'mon, guys, the last thing we need is a resurgence of santorum). People fight about R Place vs. Queer Bar (even though the sickening drag happens at Kremwerk). People fight about Katie Herzog (which kinda makes sense—she's a pain in the ass!). People even fight about Stonewall and who threw the first brick (even though no one threw any bricks—although there was a kick-line).
All you have to do to get in a fight with someone these days is express an opinion. Or leave the house. Or breathe. So when trying to choose a theme for this year's Queer Issue, we sat around The Stranger's office going: What can we all agree on?
"Fuck Trump!" is our answer. In a world of infighting, anxiety, confrontation, and measles, we need to come together as a community and remind ourselves of what we jointly believe in. And the Cheeto-in-chief is the reason we're all at each other's throats in the first place. He showed that if you're aggressive enough in your assholery, you can tweet your way into the Oval Office.
So, yeah, fuck that guy. Just don't actually fuck him, or anyone who voted for him, okay?
He makes up stories about gang members crossing the border in caravans, but never bothers to mention the refugees who are themselves on the run from them—people like Marbella Caporr, a trans woman who escaped unimaginable violence in El Salvador and is now living in Seattle. Read her incredible story here.
He spits in the face of transgender people every day, including the transgender soldiers who are literally willing to sacrifice their lives for this country.
He brags about assaulting women, to the shock of young women just now becoming old enough to vote. Read some thoughts about growing up a lesbian in the age of Trump.
But despite what he has done to our sanity, our safety, and our sense of what human hair should look like, queer leaders continue to fight to create a better world.
Ms. Briq House, our gorgeous cover model, is a femme black queer performer and community advocate and absolute goddess who hosts a monthly night called Sunday Night Shuga Shaq. If you do not already know about her, you need to fix that.
Bobby Higley is a comedian who escaped Mormonism in Utah and Idaho to become one of the most outlandish stand-ups on the Seattle scene.
Emily Randall is the first state senator in Olympia to identify as queer—and spent her first legislative session this year explaining what that means to old white guys.
Adé is a fixture in the nightlife scene who works at Pony and Re-bar and has an interesting perspective on the way Capitol Hill has changed.
Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay man to seek the presidency, and even more bizarre, he actually has a decent shot to unseat Trump.
Rain City Jacks is a men's jack-off club in Pioneer Square where categories like "gay" or "bi" or "straight" (or "Democrat" or "libertarian" or "pescatarian") don't divide people like usual, because they never come up.
White Center is so dreamy and diverse, the residents just celebrated their own Pride this year. We sent Chase Burns down there to meet the locals and report back.
And rounding out the issue is grumpy grandpa Katie Herzog
telling us all to get off her lawn reminding us how much worse things used to be for the gays, and how much we have to be thankful for, even with what's-his-name in the White House.
PLUS: Go check out our Pride Calendar for information about every damn event in the city!
Happy Pride, everyone! (And confidential to Judy Garland: We still miss you!!)