Pride Takes Over Seattle

“Happy Pride!”  Greeting the crowd as they veered off at the end of the Seattle Pride parade route and toward the celebration at the Seattle Center,  I got lots of love from the fun crowd as we handed out refreshments courtesy of First United Methodist Church.

“Are these plain or “special” cookies?”  Wink.  Wink.  I replied that these were the plain variety but I was sure he would have no problem finding those “special” cookies elsewhere in Seattle.  Surprisingly, this was not the only time I was asked if the free cookies were “special”.  I guess after you walk 4 miles in extreme heat, hot at least by Seattle standards, you’re not only thirsty but hoping for some medicinal aka cannabis cookies.   We had water but no weed.  Still, they were very good cookies and enjoyed by all!  Among the many booths at the Seattle Center was a very popular one where cannabis lotions were being applied and enjoyed by many tired parade goers.  Got to love our hot new industry helping customers to relax and enjoy life in Seattle.

A rainbow of groups from various companies, including a huge force of Amazonians, swarmed the streets as well as many politicians, families and dancers galore rocking out to the steady beat of tunes blaring away.  Super fun.  The parade on Sunday is just one part of the celebration that takes place all over the city all weekend.  We went to the Seattle Storm WNBA game on Friday night and the whole arena was decked out to support the team AND Pride.  All the Seattle sports teams had games in town this weekend and all had special events that tied in with the celebration.  Got to love the support of Seattle sports!

At our outpost, we not only had our free “plain” cookies, cold water, frozen juice slushies and use of the church bathrooms (very popular!) but also our very own music experience.  The friendly Seattle pop cover drag band, The Pop Drops, rocked out and entertained the crowds.  Props to wearing those boots in this heat but they look marvelous, don’t they?

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Pride is part of our Seattle life.  In the past, we have walked in the parade as part of my company’s unit and also one year with the Seattle Storm.  Pride celebrations will remind you that love is love is love and we should appreciate each other and embrace our diverse country.  If you have not been one of the 200,000+ to experience Pride Weekend in Seattle, you need to jump on your Harley, grab a rainbow flag and make this a priority from now on. Go Pride!

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Pride and Politics

There was a sharp contrast between the joy of the Seattle Police Department officer kissing her girlfriend with the crowd cheering them on to the families holding hands as they waved rainbow  flags and the smiling faces of every group marching vs. the hateful signs of the anti-gay protestors.  As Lin-Manuel Miranda evangelized at the Tony Awards, love is love is love is love…and why people can’t embrace that love is beyond me.  Love trumps hate and today that showed as the participants kept on smiling despite the horrible messages being displayed along the Seattle Pride Parade route.  Love wins!WP_20160626_12_32_51_Pro

Last year we marched in the Pride Parade with the Seattle Storm contingent and had a great time handing out bam-bams.  This year, after serving 352 people in need a hot meal at the Shared Breakfast at First United Methodist for three hours, we decided to skip walking and instead cheer on the Pride along the route.  First, we hit the Seattle Center and I was glad to see that many major companies have woken up and were supporting the LGBT community with their presence, giving away a huge array of rainbow beads, wristbands, mints, pinwheels, etc.  We signed petitions for gun control and against the I-1515 Washington anti-transgender bathroom initiative.  Thom was wearing his “I’m a gun sense voter” so the anti-gun ladies had him pose for a publicity photo.  Always the model he is!   Hopefully taking advantage of the huge crowds will further these issues that are so vital to protect all people.

There was huge support at Pride by Seattle government agencies and officials from the Seattle Supreme Court to Seattle Metro Transit.  Politicians had booths as well as many religious affiliations but the odd man out (literally) was the Trump booth.  Unable to stop himself, Thom went off on the staffers because they had the gall to show up and represent their candidate who has vowed to stack the Supreme Court with justices who will repeal gay marriage rights.  “How could you sell your souls just because this is the party nominee…that’s DISGUSTING!”  I pulled him away to get a cookie from the church ladies and move on to other less stress-inducing booths.  I did have to love the “Bill for First Lady” t-shirts and just had to pose with “Bill” after trying out sticking pins into the Trump voodoo doll.  Very satisfying indeed.

At the end of the day, Pride 2016 celebrated people.  People who have the right to love who they want and be who they are in peace and without violence and hate.  Simple.  Be kind.  To all.  Oh, and dance like there is no tomorrow. 

Pride Parade in Seattle is a Rainbow of Diversity

There were rainbows shining brightly today all over Seattle as the Pride Parade attracted 500,000+ spectators celebrating a really totally damn good week for all citizens in the U.S.  Well, unless you still fly the Confederate flag.  Just take it down already-you lost.  BOOM!

I love a rainbow balloon arch-kudos to Nordstrom's who had a huge contingent in the parade!
I love a rainbow balloon arch-kudos to Nordstrom’s who had a huge contingent in the parade!
Dancing on the Cupcake Van to celebrate!
Dancing on the Cupcake Van to celebrate!

But today, it was all about celebrating diversity and equality with the crowds of all ages waving their flags with spirit and pride.  Way to go Supreme Court!  Your history-making decision affirmed everyone’s right to be married in every state.  WOW.  About time and just in time for the celebration today.  To say that smiles were on everyone’s face would be an understatement–there was dancing in the streets, on the cars, in the bars, and one naked guy entertaining the crowd with his bagpipes.  Crazy and fun to be sure!

Thom and I love the Seattle Storm, our WNBA team here that plays next door to us at Key Arena so we joined their contingent to spread the Storm love to the parade goers. The local women’s soccer team, Seattle Reign FC, also joined our group as we passed out boom sticks to the cheering crowd.  As we neared Belltown and the boom supplies dwindled due to Thom making sure every child along the parade route got one, the water guns came out and the team mascot, Doppler, started drenching the delighted crowd on a thankfully cloudy day. “Spray me, spray me!” the crowd yelled and Doppler was glad to oblige.

Doppler and I shared a moment with our boom sticks!
Doppler and I shared a moment with our boom sticks!

The SeaFair Pirates were working the crowd as well as some amazing dancers wearing headpieces bigger than me.  How on earth they were able to walk even a block is beyond me.  I was impressed!  Whether gliding along on rollerblades or walking the route in stiletto’s,  the parade moved along briskly and I got in my 10,000 steps on my FitBit before it ended by the Seattle Center.  Our church, First Church Seattle, was handing out cookies at the end of the route to all who had walked and provided communion as well-what’s not to love about a church like this!  There was even a rock band cranking up the crowd.

Elaborate headpieces and shoes were the standard uniform.
Elaborate headpieces and shoes were the standard uniform.

Every major company in Seattle embraced the Pride and had huge company representation:  Nordstrom’s, Boeing, Microsoft, Expedia, Amazon, etc.  In front of our Storm crowd, the Café Vita, a local coffee roaster was throwing coffee into the crowd…how Seattle of them.  Fresh roasted beans for all!  What impressed me the most was the inclusion of all the families in the celebration.  How wonderful that these kids will grow up knowing it’s okay to love and marry whomever you want.  It’s all good.  What a happy day!

Families and LOTS of kids enjoyed the diversity in the parade.
Families and LOTS of kids enjoyed the diversity in the parade.