June 23, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 25
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Friday, Dec 13, 2019




Dear SGN,

Since Pride weekend is upon us, how about a little refresher in Seattle LGBT history? For those of you who forgot, and for those who didn't pay attention, it wasn't very long ago that the Seattle Pride Committee's community meeting was filled with a standing room only crowd.

Members of the LGBT community were there to assert our desire to keep our city's Pride Festival on Capitol Hill. I would estimate that at least 85 percent of the crowd opposed the Seattle Pride Committee's plan to move the festival.

Unbelievably, the Seattle Pride Committee decided to defy the community and move the festival anyhow! The decision was so reviled throughout the community that the Seattle Pride Committee had to change their name (they're now known as Seattle Out & Proud, or SOAP).

We need to pull together as a community and send a clear message to SOAP that we won't tolerate this type of behavior! The best way to do this is by boycotting the Seattle Center Pride Festival and celebrating Pride on Capitol Hill. There will be a lot of activities to keep us busy on the Hill: Queerfest in Volunteer Park and a March & Rally on Saturday, and many Gay bars will be having parties on Sunday. Celebrate Pride on the Hill, and ONLY on the Hill.


Carol Finner

Dear SGN,

After defying the community's overwhelming consensus to keep Pride on Capitol Hill, I don't have a lot of faith in SOAP's (Seattle Out And Proud) ability to competently assemble a Pridefest this year that can pull the community together. A lot of people are angry about the festival's move to the Seattle Center, but even more so about SOAP's failure to fairly represent the entire GLBT community.

It seems as though the majority of SOAP's members belong to that 20 percent segment of the community that supports the move, which I guess means that the remaining 80 percent of us are left with no say in the matter.

I took a quick look at SOAP's web site today and it states "2006 Theme: Out And Proud." Unbelievable! Think about this. We just narrowly averted an initiative to kill our 29-year fight for an equal rights law, a case that will decide whether we have equal rights to marriage is pending before out state Supreme Court, and the Senate just last week voted on a constitutional amendment to deny Gay marriage rights. Hmm...

Do you think this might be a good time to select a theme that somehow relates to equal rights? Instead, SOAP picks "Out And Proud." There's nothing wrong with "Out And Proud" per se, and it would be a fine theme in a year that saw little action on the Gay rights front. But for a year in which we've had so much activity relating to equal rights for Gays, the festival is deserving of a theme that touches on Gay rights. Isn't this obvious?

After the sloppy way they handled the community's rejection of their move idea, a lot of us had our doubts about SOAP. Now, we see they can't even accomplish something as basic as selecting a timely theme for the festival. It makes me wonder what else they will botch this year.

Like my friends, I think I'll skip the Seattle Center festival (and the ticket price!) this year and enjoy the free Queerfest in Volunteer Park and the other festivities on the Hill.


Dave Talbert

Seattle, WA

Dear SGN,

[Editor's Note: This letter writer makes claims that could not be verified by press time. As with any letter to the editor, the SGN assumes no liability for the accuracy of the writer's claims.]

It sure would be nice if a member of the Seattle Out And Proud board would explain why they are charging $10 to enter their Pride festival. My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that SOAP (Seattle Out And Proud) lost their biggest sponsor, Bud Light.

You see, even the suits at Budweiser realize that a GLBT Pride festival ought to happen in the heart of the GLBT community. Or maybe they decided not to sponsor SOAP after they learned that it disregarded the wishes of 90 percent of the GLBT community, who wished to keep Pride on Capitol Hill. Either way, that is probably why Bud Light is instead sponsoring Queerfest on the Hill.

SOAP, having lost a major source of revenue, is now asking the community to help foot the bill. In other words, they want us to pay for their little adventure to move the festival.

I've learned from inside sources that last year SOAP (then, Seattle Pride Committee) ran a deficit and had to be bailed out by the GSBA. Now that they've moved the festival to a more expensive venue and lost major sponsors, it's likely that they'll lose money again. And, if all the Gays who swore to boycott the Seattle Center festival stick to their guns and stay on the Hill, then, SOAP may find themselves in real financial trouble.

This year I hope the folks at GSBA have enough sense to not bail them out.


Fred Kaufmann

Dear SGN,

The fact that all 8 members of SOAP want to move the festival to Seattle Center is not enough to justify the move. Majority support from the community is needed.

Unfortunately for SOAP, the community overwhelmingly supports keeping the festival on the Hill. They made a decision to ignore the community's wishes and move the festival anyway.

I and all my friends have agreed to boycott the SOAP activities at Seattle Center. We'll be staying on the Hill to enjoy Queerfest and the barbecue & street party at the Cuff. I urge all my fellow Gays to boycott the Seattle Center festival.

Visiting the festival would be silently telling SOAP that it is okay for them to ignore the GLBT community. SOAP is supposed to be doing what the community wants, not forcing the community to do what it wants.


Bob Carlson

Dear SGN,

Tim Eyman failed to collect enough signatures to overturn the state's Gay rights law. The Supreme Court in our state is poised to legalize Gay marriage sometime soon. Seattle's Pride festival has finally moved to the park beneath the Space Needle, which is where I've always thought it should be. Things are looking great, so I should be happy, right? Wrong.

The controversy surrounding the move of the Pride festival is putting a damper on the festivities for me and for many of my friends. Although I've always thought that Seattle Center would be a great location for Seattle Pride, I disagree with the tactics used by Seattle Out And Proud to accomplish the move.

I remember several months ago when Seattle Out And Proud held community meetings on the subject of moving the festival; it was painfully clear that an overwhelming majority of the Gay community favored keeping the pride festival on Capitol Hill. So, then, why is the festival moving? Because the 8 people on the SOAP board used procedural tactics to lock out anyone who disagreed them.

They became so obsessed with prevailing in the move debate and with referencing their organization's bylaws that they lost sight of their ultimate goal; representing the community in the execution of a Pride festival.

I was in that small minority that wanted to move the Pride festival to Seattle Center. But I don't feel very glad right now. That's because I realize that attending the festival at Seattle Center will be tantamount to approving of what SOAP did to accomplish the move. Anyone who walks through that gate of the Seattle Center festival will be providing a tacit approval of SOAP's behavior. Is that the message we want to send?

So, although I find the idea of Pride at Seattle Center very appealing, I won't be going to SOAP's festival. My belief that a community organization needs to maintain a certain level of integrity and honor is far stronger than my opinion that Seattle Center would make a great venue for Pride.


Scott Beckler

Edmonds, WA


Dear SGN,

If I hear any more about how the Saturday Parade on Capitol Hill is the "protest" parade, I am going to wretch.

In case you haven't noticed, there are a number of horrific events occurring around the world, all of which far outweigh this silly parade drama. Please channel your energy into one of the following (or something of equal importance):

1. Genocide in Darfur - you can use that energy to raise funds to help millions of people from government-sanctioned ethnic cleansing.

2. Israel vs. Palestine - you can donate money/time to organizations that are helping Israeli and Palestinian children see beyond their ethnic/religious roots, and relating to each other as fellow humans.

3. Marriage equality in the States - the civil rights movement of our time is here and (gasp!) it affects our community. Volunteer for any of a number of organizations in the area helping to educate people about why marriage matters for Queers. With a court decision coming soon, this involvement is so important, as a State Constitutional Amendment could result.

4. Political involvement - donate money/time to your selected political party/issues and get involved for the mid-term elections. Take responsibility for your government, your community, and what happens on a daily basis.

5. Friends and Family - spend time with them. Develop deep, lasting relationships with these folks. They are really all that we have to depend on. Everything else is fickle at best.


Brian Judd

Seattle, WA

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