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June 29, 07
V 35 Issue 26

 
 
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The roots of Seattle's Gay Pride was topic of presentation at New Freeway Hall
The roots of Seattle's Gay Pride was topic of presentation at New Freeway Hall
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN Staff Writer

It's always good to sit and break bread with the members of Radical Women and Freedom Socialist Party at one of their provocative and lively dinner programs, but last week's Thursday program about LGBT Pride in Seattle was even more eye opening. The topic was 'The Raucous, Radical Roots of Seattle Gay Pride', and Radical Women member Su Docekal, FSP organizer Chris Smith and an impromptu Native American activist, where on hand to speak about what it was like at the beginnings of Seattle's ever changing Pride landscape.

Speaking from his experience as an organizer of the Freedom Day Committee, which organized the first Gay Pride marches, Smith talked of how threats to take away rights by right wing activists like Anita Bryant had fueled many of the early marches. And adding on this discussion, Docekal and the Native American speaker (who came late to replace a panelist who fell ill briefly last week), emphasized that in the beginning, more than having a large party, the marches were focused on building a political coalition. All the speakers spoke to the need to have that beginning idea become more of a part of the current Pride celebrations, pointing out how changes in this year's and last year's Pride celebrations have created not only rifts, but room for further discussion on the future of the LGBT movement.

And after a delicious light dinner prepared by RW members and the panel presentations, audience members got to give some of their own ideas and remembrances from past Pride events and speak to what people hoped for the future of Pride in Seattle. Then, both panelists and members gathered after the formal presentation to further discuss and toss about ideas on not only Pride in Seattle, but other relevant, political issues, including the upcoming presidential elections and the situation in Iraq.

For more information on upcoming RW/FSP events, call 206-722-6057, visit www.radicalwomen.org, or e-mail Rwseattle@mindspring.com.

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