You have three choices for Pride festivities this year. Well, really four, but the fourth one is less an option and just pure unbridled chaos.
Option one is corporate Seattle Pride, the big one, the one with all the money. Brought to you by Alaska Airlines, Facebook, T-Mobile, Comcast, with media partners KIRO, Movin 92.5, and The Stranger (Seattle’s only website). Seattle Pride is going to be all online this year, with free virtual events and an appearance (whatever that means in this context) by Big Freedia.
Option two is Capitol Hill Pride, the small one, sponsored by the Broadway Business Owners Association, the Northwest Museum of Legends, The Trading Musician, and the Castle adult megastore. Capitol Hill Pride will be happening live and in-person, with a march and live music and a debate and a dog drag contest.
Both of those Prides are happening the same weekend: June 26 and 27.
Option three (and three point five?) is Alki Beach Pride, confirmed for August 14-15; and also Seattle PrideFest, which is flagging itself as a two-day, in-person event all on Capitol Hill, probably late this summer, maybe in August. But we don't know an exact date for that one yet so let's just keep it moving, Seattle.
The real action will most likely be happening a week after options one and two, around option four, which is a nebulous and undefined cloud that Governor Jay Inslee just unleashed upon the state.
“We are on track for a full reopening of our economy by June 30,” Inslee’s office announced yesterday.
After June 30 — a Wednesday — pretty much everything can fully reopen. “Restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys, you name it,” Inslee says, presumably while slipping into his bowling shoes at a restaurant while making plans to go see a screening of Erin Brockovich.
That means that just four days after Seattle’s dueling Prides, queer clubs will theoretically be allowed to fling open their doors at full capacity, and that is when the true Pride-y celebrations are likely to take place.
Of course, we don’t need the state to give us permission for the marches and rallies and protests that form the foundation of Pride. But that’s all distinct from the partying that goes on at local queer-owned businesses— drag shows, drinking with friends, going to gay movie screenings, and paying $500 for a brunch table for four. July is going to be very busy, and very expensive. (Spend wisely and support local performers and bartenders and artists, obviously.)
But hopefully that won’t overshadow the June events, which will be quite pleasant indeed. Capitol Hill Pride is likely to provide a nice warmup to the resumption of debauchery in July: There’s going to be a March on Saturday June 26 at noon, followed by a debate among the candidates for mayor and city council, and then live music and entertainment in Cal Anderson Park.
“We hope to bring in a certain coffee company that’s very familiar with community organizing,” says CHP organizer Charlette LeFevre. “We’re putting an emphasis on live music. Speakers. It’s going to be a fun, pretty-much all-ages event.” (The event is still seeking volunteers, speakers, artists, and entertainers, if you’re looking for something to do that weekend.)
Personally, I’m intrigued by their plans for the debate, for which a handful of candidates have so far confirmed: Colleen Echohawk, Teresa Mosqueda, Sara Nelson, Nikkita Oliver, Lance Randall, and Brianna Thomas.
“One of the things we were thinking was how to make a debate somewhat fun,” circumlocutes LeFevre. “We were rolling around a couple ideas. We may or may not have a dating game. My understanding is there’s a modern day version coming back. Are you familiar with The Dating Game? Those goofy balloon flowers. It goes along with our theme of ‘Summer of Love.’”
I don’t know what that means, but I can’t wait to find out.