For Seattle’s LGBTQ community, this has been a year of struggle and celebration. It started in mourning, when Cashmere teen Rafael Morelos, an openly gay student, committed suicide after enduring schoolyard bullying. His tragic death inspired Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project, prompting more than 500,000 people (to date) to voice their support for LGBTQ youth.

In February, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a long-awaited marriage equality bill, which made gay marriage legal in Washington state—until a signature-gathering drive delayed the law, putting it to a vote this November. Given the highs and lows, LGBTQ individuals, their families and friends, and community allies came out by the thousands this weekend to celebrate queer culture in the changing political climate.

They arrived with glitter canons for the 38th annual Pride Parade on Sunday. Marching alongside the city’s glamorous drag queens and Neighbors dancers were the “Many Faces of Pride”: gay and lesbian firefighters and police officers, Microsoftees for marriage equality, and dozens of support groups, including Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Gay Father’s Association of Seattle, and Open Door Ministries. View the slideshow to see scenes from the ever-colorful Seattle Pride Weekend (June 23–25).

Introduction by Ana Sofia Knauf. Captions and photos by Knauf and Sabina Cao.

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