This week, were all queer, baby!
This week, we're all queer, baby: Betty Wetter performs in TUSH! Goddess Briq House hosts Taking B(l)ack Pride! And AMP gets a special dedication! Images courtesy of Betty Wetter/Stephen Anunson; Ms. Briq House/Steven Miller/The Stranger; and the AMP Project.

WEDNESDAY: SEATTLE GAYMERS REUNITE FOR PRIDE



Like flowers re-emerging in the spring or eggs vomiting forth endlessly from Birdo’s gullet, social events are once again spilling forth upon your calendar. The latest entry in the “hey, look what’s back” parade is the resumption of Seattle Gaymers meetups, with all your favorite local nerds crowding into CC’s to celebrate the (belated) fifth anniversary of their group’s founding. There will be cake! ...And also tabletop card games, community-sourced console gaming, and the opportunity to make new friends who understand your intense interest in that one weird X-Men run from the early '90s. There’s an online signup sheet for anyone interested in bringing games, and proof of vaccination is required, but don’t fret if you haven’t reached the end of your vaccination schedule; organizers promise that this is just the first of many meetups planned for the near future. Also, just a heads up, I WILL beat you at Mario Kart. MATT BAUME

"Seattle Gaymers Pride 2021: Reunited Edition" happens this Wednesday at 7 PM at CC's in Capitol Hill.


THURSDAY: TUSH!



I've complained for months about participating in another virtual Pride—It's cruel! The state is fully opening up in a week!—but in a darkly ironic twist of fate, Seattle's virtual Pride events will likely be the coolest ones in town this June, thanks to this massive, UnPrEcEDeNtEd heatwave that's about to bake our region this weekend. I went from desperately wanting to rage on an outdoor patio with my friends to needing to hide away in my too-familiar apartment, clutching an ice bucket and Venmoing tips to digital drag queens for what feels like the 10,000th time. So, Digital TUSH it is! Avoid this weekend's heat stroke-inducing outdoor events by making TUSH your big Pride outing. It's one of Seattle's best drag nights and this will be—fingers crossed—possibly its final virtual gathering. Special guest performers Stasia Coup, CarLarans, Arrietty, Killer Bunny, and One will join TUSH resident drag performers Arson Nicki, Angel Baby Kill Kill Kill, Beau Degas, Miss Texas 1988, and Betty Wetter for the evening, with Cookie Couture hosting. Miss Betty Wetter, the typical host, is recovering from a bad bike accident; you can help make her feel better by packing out this virtual audience. Here's to the next TUSH being back inside the Clock-Out Lounge! CHASE BURNS

Digital TUSH starts this Thursday at 8 pm.


THURSDAY AND SATURDAY: GAY JABS



According to the City of Seattle, Capitol Hill's zip code has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the city—around 69.5% of residents in the 98122 have completed their full vax process. I know that's not all that bad, but 86.2% of Mercer Island's residents are fully vaxxed. It's time to catch up! The Seattle Fire Department is hosting vaccine pop-ups with small businesses on Capitol Hill during Pride to get all you LGBTQ+ and even you non-LGBTQ+ people jabbed.

Some vaccination happy hour events already happened this week, but if you're unvaxxed or waiting on dose number two, you can hop over to Union Bar from 4 to 7 pm on Thursday. You can choose from all three vaccine options (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, or Moderna) and your jab comes with a free drink. Or, on Saturday, SFD will be in front of Chophouse Row on 11th Avenue from 1 to 5 pm. Local drag queen Aleksa Manila will host that vaccine event. In a statement to the city, Manila said, "The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we can celebrate each other TOGETHER! Did I mention it’s FAB to get VAX’d?!” Couldn't agree more.

If you're receiving your second dose at one of these pop-ups, you'll need to provide proof of your first dose. NATHALIE GRAHAM

11th Ave Chophouse Row Pop-Up

Date & Time: Saturday, June 26, 1 – 5 pm
Location: 11th Ave and E Pike St
Vaccines: All three vaccines, second dose provided with proof of first vaccination

Union & Quake Rugby Pop-Up

Date & Time: Thursday, June 24, 4 – 7 pm
Location: 1518 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Vaccines: All three vaccines, second dose provided with proof of first vaccination
Promotion: Drink on the house


THURSDAY AND FRIDAY: HEALING A QUEER BLACK SOUL


I know I don't have to remind any of you to practice self care this week, but in-between caring for your self's need to watch a drag queen competitively do the splits for cash, gayme with your fellow gaymers at some gayme thing, and shake your ass for hours on end (all while adjusting your water intake to account for obscene heat!!!), you might consider squeezing in some time to just breathe with poet, actor, and rapper Naa Akua. In Akwaaba; Healing a Queer Black Soul, Akua will tell the stories of their queer Black healing process "through poetry, sound, ritual, and monologue," reminding us that "healing" is only a series of beginnings, "a start to the process, and a determination," as the Hugo House press materials read. Whenever I'm in Akua's presence, even virtually, I feel as if I'm speaking with someone who has lived a thousand years and a thousand lives, someone who has walked a long way over some rough terrain to get to where they are right now, and so when they speak, I listen closely. You should, too. RICH SMITH

Akwaaba: Healing a Queer Black Soul is a virtual event presented by Hugo House that begins at 7 pm on June 24 and 25. Get tickets for the June 24 performance here. Get tickets for the June 25 performance here.


SATURDAY: TAKING B(L)ACK PRIDE


The Taking B(l)ack Pride event this Saturday is all about centering Black and brown queer and trans people during Pride weekend. You may have heard the bullshit the folks behind Capitol Hill Seattle Pride spewed about the event’s policy of asking white people to pay a modest entrance fee as a form of reparations. Pay them no mind. Black people in this country are owed centuries' worth of reparations. Asking white people to redistribute some of their resources to participate in this event that specifically uplifts the Black queer community isn’t outrageous. It’s necessary.

And the organizers behind Taking B(l)ack Pride went all out. Houses from across the country are flying in to participate in the Hoevid-19 Ball, which kicks off at 5 pm. Show up a little early to catch performances by Saturn Risin9, Ahya Simone, Coco Rich, Ex-Florist, and others in their stacked lineup starting at 2 pm. Event goers will be blessed by the presence of Seattle-based performer and Stranger 2019 Queer Issue cover star Ms. Briq House, who will act as host of the evening’s proceedings that run until dusk. There’s even a Lil Woody’s collab, with $1 of every Taking B(l)ack Pride Chicken Sandwich sold being donated to back the event.

Come celebrate the beauty and strength of the Black and brown queer and trans community in the city. And if you’re white, be fucking respectful—this isn’t about you. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Taking B(l)ack Pride will run from 1 pm to dusk in Jimi Hendrix Park. White allies and accomplices will be charged a $10-$50 reparations fee to enter. According to recent posts, masks are required regardless of vaccination status; if you’re unvaccinated, a mobile clinic will be on the premises so you can get your stab.


SATURDAY: THE AIDS MEMORIAL PATHWAY GETS A DEDICATION


Now free of fences and Honey Buckets.
Now free of fences and Honey Buckets. Jasmyne Keimig

Don’t tell anyone you heard it from me, but the best-kept secret hangout spot in Seattle right now is the brand-new AMP (The AIDS Memorial Pathway) that meanders from the Capitol Hill subway station down into Cal Anderson Park. Some of the adjacent elements in the park are still under construction, but the lovely plaza is now complete and 100% perfect for meeting up with friends, sitting in quiet contemplation, and buying excellent Oaxaca cheese at the once-a-week farmers market (which really should be an every-day event, but that’s a topic for another rant). The plaza features a charming curved seating area and open space, as well as iconic new public art. This weekend’s dedication will include a meet-and-mingle with the artists who created the eye-catching installations, and an opportunity to familiarize yourself with this excellent new Capitol Hill landmark — a tribute not just to the long dark years of the epidemic, but to the resilience and light that emerged. Also note: The one thing that the AMP doesn’t have yet is much shade (it will in a few years as the new trees grow in), and it's supposed to be a real sunny scorcher this weekend, so don't forget to bring water and sunscreen. MATT BAUME

The AMP Dedication will happen this Saturday from 12 PM to 3 PM.


SUNDAY: IT'S THE PATIO FROM HELL


The Kremwerk Complex partially reopens this weekend with the return of some of their core programming for Pride: Weird, Kings, and Cruisin’ with Clara all are making their 2021 debut in Timbre Room and Little Maria’s. Unfortunately, all those shows are either sold out or only have limited tickets at the door. This is what you get for being a disorganized queer during 2021 COVID Pride month!

But you’re in luck. On Sunday, you should resist the urge to spend the day sleeping off your Saturday hangover and head down to Kremwerk to bounce the afternoon away. Starting at 4 pm, DJ Having Sex will preside over the building’s outdoor patio in Patio From Hell for four blissful hours. Bathe in the sounds of DJ Having Sex’s slick and energetic set, while drinking a shitton of water because it might be 100 degrees that day. And, I don’t know, maybe bring someone cute you met from the night before. It is Pride after all. The event is free but entry is limited, so go ahead and reserve your tickets here. And seriously, wear some sunscreen and breathable (and cute) clothes—IT'S THE PATIO FROM HELL! JASMYNE KEIMIG

Support The Stranger

The party starts at 4 pm and tickets are limited but free. Reserve them here. Proof of vaccination is required for entry.


ANY DAY: INVOKE CAPITOL HILL'S PAST INSIDE SAINT JOHN'S


The dino fetish mural at Saint Johns.
The dino fetish mural at Saint John's. CM

Not long after I arrived in Seattle in 1989, I discovered Capitol Hill and determined it to be the most cosmopolitan neighborhood in Seattle. The city as a whole back then looked and behaved like an overgrown town. But not Capitol Hill. It had apartment buildings, it was dense, had a sense of fashion, and gay and lesbians clubs and bars. For me, the image that best captured the energy of this time and place was the group of weekend dancers who, in drag, dazzled a large second-floor window that faced the street. (Broadway Nails claims this window today.) Capitol Hill has changed a lot since then, but some of that early spirit is still with us. For example, some of it can be found in Saint John's Bar and Eatery, an establishment that opened nine years ago but spent much of its eighth year (the brutal pandemic year) fighting for its life. “We’re here, we’re queer,” says Michael Lee, the co-owner. "We’re still dancing the third and (hopefully) final act of the Covid Regulatory Ballet, as far as statewide gathering restrictions go. So hosting anything on the scale Pride deserves is still off the table [this weekend]." But it will be on the table the week after Pride. Go there. Chill in the back. You will smack the food, the atmosphere, and the dinosaur fetish. ("Smack" is Southern African slang for "dig.") CHARLES MUDEDE


Find more Pride events happening this weekend, including the official Seattle Virtual Pride 2021: Resilience, from EverOut right here.

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