Rapper Big Freedia headlined at Queer/Pride in 2019. She's succeeded this year by Princess Nokia, Kim Petras, and Iggy Azalea. Photo by Chris Schanz.
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Celebrating Pride isn’t just about hoisting progress pride flags and donning body glitter (although body glitter is highly advisable). A coalition of Amazon employees reminded the tech giant of that fact during the company’s Pride Month kickoff, and simmering discontent over rainbow washing led Seattle Pride to drop that same e-commerce juggernaut as a corporate sponsor this year.
So let’s not forget, amidst this month of joyous celebration, the ongoing fight for gender-affirming healthcare, legal representation, and the freedom to live truthfully. Even here in Seattle, there’s still work to be done.
Art and Activism
Through Jul 2
Seattle-based artist Molly Vaughan stages a performance art exhibition centered around the act of shearing volunteers' hair into identical styles. The creation of a fleet of "clones" underscores the pressure trans individuals face to pass as cis, and the protective insulation provided by anonymity.
All proceeds from the 4K and 8K runs, departing from Seward Park at 9am, will go to LGBTQ advocacy nonprofits, with the lion's share of funds allocated to Peer Seattle.
Food and Drink
What better environment to pound cocktails and watch drag queens lip sync their hearts out than on a downtown rooftop? Throughout the month of June, Frolik hosts drag brunches with zany themes like Y2K, space cowgirl, and “who’s your zaddddy”?
Crawl With Us hosts a bar crawl around Pioneer Square, hitting such locations as the aptly named Good Bar and commencing at Cowgirls Inc. (no relation to space cowgirl). Two drinks and after-party access are included with ticket purchase.
Such festive libations as Sailor Jerry daiquiris are promised at this tropical karaoke haven in Capitol Hill, which will be opening early at 1pm and commencing karaoke at 2pm in observance of Pride.
Pride is about many things, and one of them is tasteful day drinking. The Capitol Hill brewery opens its beer garden at noon, with a show hosted by Londyn Bradshaw slated to start at 7pm.
Queer folk who fall under the broad umbrella of "dyke-identifying" congregate on the streets of Capitol Hill for the 28th annual march (the past two years' pandemic weirdness excepted). In a city with only one dedicated lesbian bar—an unfortunately pervasive state of affairs all over the country—femme perspectives deserve particular attention during Pride Month.
Finally returning after a two-year hiatus, the colorful caravan will be moseying down Fourth Avenue from Pike Street to the Space Needle. With 200 groups marching and attendance projected to number in the hundreds of thousands, this could look like Pride of a pre-pandemic past.
Parties, Live Music, and Performances
One of Seattle's most of-the-moment venues is going all out for Pride. BeautyBoiz hosts a Black Pride celebration on June 16, while ascendent queer femme events collective Sapphic Seattle sets sail for the Isle of Sappho on June 23. It all culminates on June 24 with the finale of Fruit Bowl, a drag runway competition hosted by local queen Mona Real and BeautyBoiz.
This opportunity for a high school do-over comes courtesy local arts nonprofit Puckduction, which aims to center BIPOC and LGBTQ perspectives in cabaret, burlesque, and film. The festivities, hosted in the historic Oddfellows Building, commence at 8pm with performances by burlesque dancers and drag artists. The evening doubles as a fundraiser for What the Funk, an all-BIPOC burlesque festival that comes to the Triple Door in August.
Dark, piercing comedy takes the stage in a stand-up show especially for the sex-positive community of Seattle. Comedians Sean Riccio, Andy Iwancio, and headliner Steven Wilber follow an opening drag performance by Mizz Honey Bucket.
The Cuff Complex and Queer/Bar owner Joey Burgess is throwing not just one, but two ragers. Queer/Pride Fest packs in headliners like Princess Nokia, Kim Petras, and a large ensemble of drag queens, including Drag Race season 14 finalist—and Seattlelite—Bosco. Just a quarter mile away at Cuff Fest, the sounds of local rock n’ rollers Thunderpussy, dance mixers Horse Meat Disco, and the synthy, melancholy beats of Boy Harsher will be filling the block.
Spilling out onto the street outside of the iconic lesbian bar, this three-day event is back with an army of DJs and performers. On Sunday, they’re teaming up with KEXP to showcase a lineup of local spinners from the station.
The annual street fest fills several blocks of Capitol Hill with beer gardens, plentiful food options, and two live music stages, all free to attend. Family Pride and Queer Youth Pride, at the Capitol Hill Station Plaza, give people of all ages the opportunity to celebrate together.
In reaction to feeling unseen by both the 2020 BLM protests and Seattle's Pride institutions, organizers created this BIPOC-centered celebration. Happening at Seattle Center this year, the Seachella-themed festivities include live music and local vendors. The event is free of charge to Black- and brown-identifying people, while allies are asked to provide a donation.