Seattle Pride is an explosion of love: for yourself, for your friends and family, for the best parts of the city, and for the event itself. Since that love takes many forms, we asked a handful of Seattleites to share their favorite Pride moments. We hope these inspired miniature tales will push you to make your own Pride memories this week.
Adrian Ryan (writer/author): My first Seattle Pride Parade, standing in a sea of people when Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein drove by in a white convertible. I lost my mind! I started jumping up, waving, screaming, “Harvey! Harvey!” like a lunatic. He turned, stared me in the eye, and wiggled his fingers in the cutest little wave just for me. The crowd cheered! I died. I’ll never forget it.
Danni Askini (executive director, Gender Justice League): My most memorable moment about Seattle Pride was holding a “Free Chelsea Manning” poster as Grand Marshal and having people spit at me, boo, and give me the middle finger. I’ve never felt so welcome or seen!
Danny Denial (musician/filmmaker): My favorite part of Pride was seeing my magnetic friends perform at Volunteer Park on an alternatively sunny and rainy and blistering afternoon. Seeing Fruit Juice jump offstage in a frenzy to pull off a two-minute costume change and DoNormaal getting kids dancing on the grass was just beautiful.
Casey Wynecoop (part-time karaoke host): In 2005, the Bus Stop bar on Pine hung pictures of serial killers Aileen Wuornos, Andrew Cunanan, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and R Place’s drag-show host at the time, Mark “Mom” Finley, in rainbow colors in their windows. But before the Sunday parade, the pictures were gone. Mom had stormed the bar in a fury demanding they be taken down!
Takiyah “TAQUEET$!” Ward (artist): My favorite Pride memory would have to be the first Capitol Hill Pride party with bae Caela Bailey in 2013. We started dating a month prior. We pre-funked and got dressed at her apartment, then mobbed to Wild Rose and danced the night away. We only had eyes for each other. Still together.
Dani Tirrell (movement artist): Three years ago, a group of us decided to host a Black Pride party. The party was called “Love Is the Message.” We danced and we celebrated the music and culture that inspires us. It was for us by us.
Zephyr Paquette (chef): My favorite Pride happened when I was the sous chef at Café Flora. My roommates and I decided to have a small party. We had three rooms—one with two TVs showing porn. We made Rice Krispie treats with Fruit Loops and big thermoses full of special juice. Later, we all walked to the parade on Broadway, handing out treats and juice to anyone who wanted them. It’s been 15 years, but I think of that day often.
Mama Tits (drag queen): It was Pride 2014, standing tits-to-nose with hate. I was overwhelmed by the power and love from all the people there that day. I was channeling the power of past activists like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Divine. Standing there proudly face-to-face with oppression and hate in full drag was the most freeing moment of my life.
Sarah Galvin (poet/writer): My first pride, I had a fake ID. I was, like, 19. I went to [a bar] with a really wild friend who wound up pooping in the trash can. Inside—the one by the bathroom door. That was the last thing I remember. I regained consciousness in a foreign apartment covered in drawings of cocks, wearing only a mink stole, holding an empty bottle of Cook’s. I was just standing in the living room. And because I was 19, I had no hangover. It was perfect.