As much as we eagerly await June’s rainbow-fueled festivities, our targeted support for the queer community doesn't have to be restricted to a mere 30 days. Seattle's robust LGBTQ+ community means there are tons of queer-owned businesses, advocacy groups, and events. Here are a few ways you can show your allyship year-round.
1. Attend a Whole Slew of Pride Events
There are a lot of LGBTQ+ and ally events happening this month—don’t let the spotlight parade distract you! These activism events cater to myriad audiences: Queer Prom (June 22), the Trans Pride Parade (June 28), Color Me Proud, PrideFest Family Pride, and Queer Youth Pride (all June 29). (Oh, and Family Pride will have a doggy drag show.) For even more events, check out Gay City’s and Seattle Pride’s calendars.
2. Support Queer-Owned Businesses
From cupcake eateries to funky tattoo parlors, here are a few of our local out and proud companies.
Known for funky desserts (kombucha sorbet, compost bin cupcakes), this outside-the-box bakeshop with Capitol Hill, Ballard, Madrona, West Seattle and Downtown locations serves up sweet treats for everyone, even the gluten-averse. Whether you go for the over-the-top rainbow sherbet cupcake or stick with the Plain Jane, one thing is certain—you have to check out their June specialty, The Gay.
When Kim Beecroft left her corporate job at Amazon and her partner Sofia McKee decided to venture outside of hairdressing, the power couple pursued a new path: opening a side-by-side bar and metaphysical shop in Mount Baker. The Velvet Elk, previously known as The Saloon, sports a uniquely sexy, femme vibe, complete with board games, rentable Polaroid cameras, movie showings and trivia nights, and live music. Pop next door to find McKee's carefully curated collection of tarot cards, crystals, plants, and other items to help you connect to the earth. Both businesses are intrinsically intentional with their purchases—nearly all of Phantom Quartz’s inventory was created by queer folks, women, or people of color.
We've gushed about this gender-neutral undergarment company before, and we're going to do it again. With a wide range of underwear, bras, and swimwear, TomboyX aims to affirm the fit and style of folks who break the binary of women’s and men’s clothing. Founders Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez knew how frustrating it was to find clothing that met their standards of quality, fit, and aesthetic, so they uprooted how they looked at underwear and created their own. First stop: uncomfortable thongs and poorly constructed bras. Next stop: the patriarchy.
The Oddfellows Building's restobar and dance space are known for replicating tradition with a twist: catfish po'boys and Jamaican-style chicken and waffles; workshops on the Argentine tango or kizomba. With 21 dance instructors, cabaret shows, and extensive cocktail, wine, and liquor selections, owner Hallie Kuperman has created a diverse space full of boogie and boozy fun.
This isn't your typical auto shop. With a 90 percent queer, trans, or female staff, Repair Revolution and founder Eli Allison are combatting the boys club of auto repair. The car maintenance shop offers diagnosis, service, and repair on all makes and models, and holds workshops on car-owning basics.
► Some other notable spots to check out include Tutta Bella Restaurants, Marination, Tilth, Stoup Brewing, Queen Anne Coffee Co., Wildrose, Lilith Tattoo, True Love Tattoo and Art Gallery, Jenny GG Photography, Sweatbox Yoga, and Dumas Build.
3. Celebrate Queer Artists
Seattle is awash in art and the queer folks who love making it. Check out Gay City’s arts calendar for workshops, shows, and all sorts of creative, and oftentimes cultural, events. You can discover new artists at the Queer Art Walk on June 13, or at Sky View Observatory’s June show, “Look How Far We've Come: A Queer Art Show 902 Feet in the Air,” but we figured we could give you a head start by naming a few here.
This badass queercore punk rock band will get you all sorts of angsty, because, yeah, misogyny is such a bitch. They’ve been on Seattle’s radar for a while, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The experimental hip-hop artist’s music varies from social commentary pieces like “Gold Rooster” to empowering bops like “Magic Donormaal.” Need yet another reason to check out this other-worldly rapper? She fights aliens and vampires in the largely reflective music video for “Ego Slave.”
This black, trans, queer poet not only founded awQward—the first trans and queer POC talent agency—but also writes some pretty dope stuff. With his first book behind him, J Mase dives into the world of workshops and consulting, offering services with topics of faith, sustainability, poetry, and cultural competency.
This spacey, chill hip-hop nonbinary femme rapper, singer, and songwriter has a lot in store. Stay posted for their new album, Renaissance Bitch, coming in hot come August, and don’t miss their set at Capitol Hill Block Party.
4. Volunteer or Donate to Queer Advocacy Groups
While Seattle is a relatively welcoming city for LGBTQ+ folks, there’s still plenty to be done to ensure real-life equality.
A safe space for LGBTQ youth with hangout spots, a calendar full of events, support groups, and other activities that connect young queer folks who have been through, or are currently facing, the same challenges. Lambert House has an arsenal of resources, from a queer library and cybercenter to HIV prevention education and mentoring programs.
A Washington-based outdoor adventure education organization, OUT There Adventures facilitates backpacking trips, urban expeditions in San Francisco, service projects, and river rafting excursions to help empower queer youth by connecting them with the natural world.
This national organization works to combat homophobia and heterosexism in the school system by training educators to make their classrooms and school more welcoming and safe for LGBTQ students and faculty. It also handles the registration of and offers resources to Gay-Straight Alliance student organizations.
Legal Help and Resources
By providing low-cost legal services and community programming focused on social justice for trans and queer people, LRP ultimately hopes to build community resiliency. It holds workshops to help folks obtain up-to-date identification documents and name change clinics. The project also works to make rural places and the trades industry safer for queer workers.
The NW Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse focuses on violence prevention and building support for survivors by offering resources and advocacy services; fostering community engagement through education and youth programs; and providing training and technical assistance for healthcare providers, policy makers, and advocates alike.
Generations Aging with Pride recognizes generational differences and celebrates queer folks of all ages. That's why the org holds community conversations, offers fitness and wellness classes, and hosts free movie screenings, peer groups, and other events that foster community across generations.
Between screenings of queer film and media for the LGBTQ community (including the Seattle Queer Film Festival) and training youth in video production and media literacy, Three Dollar Bill Cinema offers a space that explores the oftentimes neglected media of queer film.