Dicks Swinging, Strangers Kissing: How Stranger Readers Would Fix Seattle’s So-So Pride



I agree Matt. No more corporate floats as they are excruciatingly boring. Many years ago I marched for a former employer holding its logo banner on one of the ends and it felt stupid then. Parades are about art. Yes, there is pride about working for companies that are more than supportive to their diverse employees - but I don't really see that as "gay pride" but just evangelizing the company's values - which is important but it shouldn't upstage the show.


Seattle is for well to do IT professionals ONLY. Gay or Straight, you need a really good job to be able to afford a million dollar bungalow and that job is IT. So yes, boring, corporate gays who would rather be hiding behind a computer than doing wild AF gay stuff in public where their bosses might see.


No fan of corporations at all, but who the hell do they think pays for a party for 400,000 people.


There is no easy solution to Pride, and people have been arguing over it for decades.

Corporate sponsors are evil and we hate them. They're boring, and make the parade too long and it takes forever. Corporate sponsors are awesome, and show that mainstream employers are on the side of LGBT employees. Older gays remember when you could be fired for being gay without any recourse. We need the corporate sponsors to help pay for it.

Pride should be on Capitol Hill, the traditional gay neighborhood. Pride should be downtown because we need more room, and it is more inviting to more people.

Pride should be more wild and kinky, the one day a year to get our freak flag fly. Pride should be more wholesome, so as not to offend our mainstream allies.

Pride should be free! Pride costs a LOT of money to put on; past Pride organizations have gone bankrupt, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

All of these things are contradictory, and nevertheless true, and has been for years. I don't think you're ever going to completely reconcile the diverse interests and needs. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try, but I can guarantee there are no easy fixes for any of this shit.

I completely agree that Seattle Pride doesn't have any compelling hook. Other than being one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world, our Pride is kinda meh. I can't imagine why anyone from out of state would travel here for Pride. June weather here is a crap shoot. I often put off deciding if I will bother to go to Pride until I see the weather forecast the night before. If rain is forecast, I skip it. If we had any sense, we'd push Pride later, to mid-July, when we can almost count on good weather (yes I know that pushes it out of Pride month; yet another thing we can argue over!).


How do you explain the glaring lack of building even in recently upzoned areas? This is 100% on the council and to lesser extent mayors for not addressing the prohibitive permitting fees and process.


Do you know why Pride is boring? Because being non-cis'het is every bit as ordinary as being cis'het. (Punctuation added, to get the "sh" out of there.) Pride existed because some cruel, violent, bigoted cis'hets (and some self-hating closet cases) made non-cis'hets hide. And that was wrong. So we righted that wrong. We won! And thus non-cis'het neighborhoods, bars, and parades became every bit as ordinary as the cis'het kinds. (Give peace a chance, and it can really bust your chops.)

So good luck encouraging ever-more-outlandish street shows, whose time has long since passed. Everyone else will just fly their rainbow flags and hold parties at homes and bars.


@7: Your historical revisionism is predictably bad.

Prides was not about some any-man "cruel, violent, bigoted cis'hets (and some self-hating closet cases) made non-cis'hets hide."

Pride started in 1970 as a direct result of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, when a group of COPS with a history of being cruel, violent, bigoted cis'hets (and some self-hating closet cases) made non-cis'hets hide."

At the end of the first Pride March in 1970, true to form the police arrested everyone involved for the crime of being gay.

Of course, targets change with time and just as the police could proudly brag they were progressive for no longer burning witches at at the time they were violently harassing and stigmatizing gay people, police can now brag about no longer harassing gay people at the same time they violently harass, stigmatize and publicly shame sex workers and their customers (who were also central to Stonewall as well as the Compton lunch counter riot if you know your history) like the group of barefoot, backwoods Alabama Hillbillies the police remain on issues like this up to the current day.

Pride is boring because the police have picked a new group to terrorize using institutional violence and bigotry. The next time we have something on the same level as the early gay Pride parades it will be sex workers marching and police will be pretending it was someone else who violently harassed and terrorized them all that time. It's interesting to speculate on who their new target for violence, harassment and stigma will be when the time comes to pick a new target. These things tend or rotate since it more about asset forfeiture and maintaining state sanctioned violence, terror and stigma than stopping any specific group.

Accountability has never really been their thing and micro-aggression training doesn't appear to be helping.


Pride is boring because seattle is BORING.


Obviously Pride needs to end with a giant use of streamer cannons covering Amazon's balls


"We just want to be accepted into every day life and get treated like everyone else!"

::gets treated like everyone else::

"No, not like that"


Safety first, of course, and then let's see some drama and nakedness along with some pyrotechnics. Seattle has always valiantly struggled with being a reformed "Squaresville" and either tries too hard or screws the pooch--or both. At any rate, this is a worthwhile event and can be livened-up next year.


So glad Matt is on the case.


@8: Please don't hijack gay pride for your anti-cop soapbox.


@8: Your spittle-flecked cop-hating rhetoric is predictably tiresome, irrelevant, and (in this case) weirdly incomplete. (Maybe time for another new nym there, Luddite5!) You even missed the corrupt cops who helped ignite the original Pride event. (See below.)

Your historical failures also left out the reason Pride has always been flamboyant: the gay men who ventured out to the water's edge of the Village to gather at the Stonewall did so to celebrate the life of Judy Garland, who had just died in London of a self-inflicted overdose. They went to that sleazy, greasy dive because it was Mobbed-up, and the criminal owners had paid off the NYPD's Vice Squad to ignore the place. The image of New York's finest corrupt citizens trying -- and failing! -- to beat down a bunch of guys dressed like Judy Garland (!) drove home the point: the gays, those sissies, those Nancy-boys, were not going to take it any more. That was the origin of the flamboyancy and militancy of Pride -- corrupt cops beating gay men, and vice versa.


@14: Your failure to understand the connection between Pride and the police is not a case of hijacking, but it does highlight your historical ignorance.

Pride was a direct result of the Stonewall and Compton Lunch Counter riots where police targeted LGBT and sex workers for harassment.

By it's very nature Pride is anti-police. That many in Seattle have forgotten this is a primary reason the event has become so boring. It has lost its original intent and spirit.


@15: Appreciate you including the roll of the police in your second narrative you so studiously white washed from your first.

Your narrative is defined by the relevant points you avoid, not the irrelevant items you chose to include. The Judy Garland point along with the rest of it is both true and completely irrelevant to the motivation for the original Pride March you skipped in this second post as well, but I guess its more important for you to appear informed than to say anything relevant.

You being an apologist for police corruption does not equate to my hating cops, which I do not. It does, however, highlight you're own lack of seriousness on the topic of police reform. There are plenty of people here able to make a distinction between good and bad policing. I don't know why it's such a struggle for you, or why you think defending police corruption means you support the police, but you do you.


@16: The history of Stonewall doesn't preclude all the other things gay pride is about: changing attitudes, changing laws, marriage, adoption, etc.

Silly how you extrapolate a detail to the whole. We don't celebrate the 4th of July by bashing Britain.


@17: My decision not to include details not relevant is not 'whitewashing'. Your constant forcing of your anti-cop hatred into everything and anything does not actually obligate anyone else to account for it in every comment we make on every topic.

First, noting that the Stonewall riot happened because the police were (a) corrupt and (b) refusing to stay bought because (c) they wanted to have themselves some Summer-evening fun fag-bashing is just about as completely the opposite of "being being an apologist for police corruption" as can possibly be, but your blinding hatred of both the cops and anyone who refuses to agree with every last one of your anti-cop accusations won't let you see even this most obvious of points.

Second, the image of Judy queens mixing it up with the NYPD is directly relevant to both Stonewall and modern Pride. Judy queens are the very definition of "out and proud," and the police always represent the Establishment, all the way. Now that Judy queens ARE the Establishment, out-rageous display becomes nothing more than self-indulgent theatre, as @11 noted. No group can simultaneously depict themselves as in-group and out-group, hence some of the conflicts @5 so ably described. Pride will remain boring because being non-cis'het was a thing only so long as bigoted cis'hets made it a thing; they cannot any more, and so Pride is just another community's holiday -- and has been, for at least a quarter-century now.

Third, the NYPD of 1969 had plenty of help in oppressing any potential patrons of the Stonewall. Homosexual acts were explicitly illegal; homosexuality itself was officially classified as mental illness. Homosexual behaviors were generally regarded as signs of poor personal character. All of that has since been changed, for the better and forever, by combined action by progressives of every possible sexual identity. Corrupt cops were not the main police threat faced by gays in 1969; honest cops were.

Finally, the idea that you of all persons claiming some fine judgement on a topic where you have consistently shown no judgement (especially as Luddite5, which you had to scrap for exactly that reason) was great for a laugh. Please keep 'em coming!


@18: Now you're changing the subject.

Did you read the article? The topic was why the Pride parade is so boring in Seattle, not a "celebration of changing attitudes." That is what has made Pride in Seattle so boring.

Pride originated as a protest against state violence against a marginalized community based on their sexual orientation. Pride cannot be understood apart from Stonewall and the arrest of every marcher at the end of the first march in 1970.

Respectable gay people are no longer the target of police violence, but the police still commit violence against groups based on sexual orientation based on the same bigotry. For Pride to regain its meaning, it needs to incorporate those groups that have been excluded, such as the victims of the Rentboy.com take down.

You make a bad comparison, but to the extent it makes any sense at all, we did not turn over half the country to the British, then use the 4th of July to celebrate the half that won their independence.

"Until we are all free, we are none of us free."

Emma Lazarus


@20: This has nothing to do with the police, you just want the drama - after all, you said that's the way to have more fun.
You've never been harassed for being gay by the police, just you want to piggy back on George Floyd and BLM and extrapolate your DUI or speeding ticket into oppression and enjoy playing the role of the victimized and offended minority.
How pathetic!


"Most respondents gave it a three, and the vast majority of you rated it even lower."

Is it the math, or the English?


C'mon. You want what from Seattle?! Seattle may present a woke face, or a green face, or a prog face, or a diverse face, or a long-gone blue-collar heart, but at its heart it's corporate. The big money may be a little quieter here, but it still holds sway.


@21: Posts like this where you project your hopes and desires in the form of imaginary motives on others reveals so much more about you and your state of mind than the target of your projection. Your gift is that you're too obtuse to realize what you're doing.

Enjoy tilting at windmills. It suits you.


@24: Essentially, we have a disagreement of what pride is and I'm not going to pretend to change your mind. My rhetorical projection is just that, but it is not without a basis.


@25: Again, the topic in the article is why Pride in Seattle is so boring. After a brief detour to correct the chronically wrong Tensor on his history of Stonewall that miraculously for some and predictable for him did not mention the police, I went on to argued corporate and respectable Gay Inc in Seattle with their sensible shoes does not represent Pride any more than if we had Goldman Sachs out there marching for the next corporate bail out.

Your rhetorical projection is inaccurate, but more importantly irrelevant. You will find no mention of BLM or anything else you mentioned in my posts and accusations of a petty criminal history was just you wildly swinging for the fences. Even if it was all true, however, it has nothing to do with the topic of why Pride in Seattle is so boring.


I grew up in the 80s and 90s, Pride is 100% a celebration of Stonewall riots and the liberation movement it sparked. It was and is anti-cop and the attempts to make them a part of the parade and seem like your friend is obscene. When SF tried to get back to the anti authoritarian root by making Chelsea Manning the Grand Marshall they were blocked by a bunch of fash whipped lawyers.

Military and wannabe paramilitary thugs out of my parade, thanks.


@26: Sigh. Stonewall is the reason Pride exists. All of our progressive improvements since are the reason Pride is boring. If you can't or won't see the difference, that is your problem. My comment @7 explained why Pride is boring, not why it exists. You couldn't resist an opportunity to bash cops or me, so you you accused me of 'whitewashing' because I hadn't bothered to describe why Pride exists. Then you lectured raindrop (again!) on how the topic here is the one I'd addressed, not the one you'd complained about (!!).

It's fun to watch you repeatedly berate raindrop for (supposedly) missing the point, when that is exactly what you repeatedly -- and actually -- have done here.

(So, what's your next nym going to be?)


've been gay for longer than most of the commenters here have been alive: specifically, since 1964, when I fell for Jeremy Brett as he lip-synched "On the Street Where You Live." I've seen more than a little to put it mildly, including while living in Seattle for 20 years before moving elsewhere in WA State.

As Prides go, Seattle's has always been boring. It's not because Pride there has corporate involvement, or is in the wrong location. It's because Seattle's geography is almost 100% of what attraction it has beyond employment. The local population, gay or otherwise, is deadly dull. They tilted America, and guess where the damaged introverts landed?

Agrippa and Casino Royal, congrats! You are not only pathetic, stupid, self righteous, and duller than a wall of paint as it dries, you are stereotypes in neon, something to laugh at. And I'd wager among the worst lays in town (especially if you're the usual trans sporting that cringeworthy cosmetic surgery), although there'd be plenty of limp competition for that prize. I'm sure you have plenty of trenchant critiques of everyone but yourselves, Seattle's progressives managing to be BOTH self-absorbed and utterly unself-aware. Hey, life's full of parodox.

Have at it, playtime rebels. We need the laughs, but unlike you, the overwhelming majority of us are happy to take "yes" for society's answer. Go ahead and strike your alienation pose. See if anyone cares for longer than it takes to tell you that you a) don't know what you're talking about, b) are complete posers, and c) probably are failure in any job market above minimum wage, if that much. Good luck, kiddos. You'll need it. Say hi to your 5 roommates sharing the one-bedroom apartment, okay?


p.s.: If you don't want corporate floats in a Pride parade, move to Nebraska. You wouldn't last a month before realizing how literally your "outsider" pose will be taken. LOL