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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 3, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 23
4th annual City of Seattle City Hall Pride Flag raising ceremony
Section One
ALL STORIES
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4th annual City of Seattle City Hall Pride Flag raising ceremony

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

City of Seattle LGBT Commission held the 4th annual City of Seattle City Hall Pride Flag Raising Ceremony, June 1, from 3:30-5 p.m. at the flagpole outside of City Hall. The event was open to the public and did not cost anything to participate. Nearly 100 people were in attendance.

According to the LGBT Commission, the event is important because it symbolizes the City of Seattle's commitment to honoring the community by hoisting the rainbow pride flag at the first of the month of June (LGBT Month), and flying it until July.

Seattle Office for Civil Rights sponsored the event.

Entertainment was provided by Adra Boo of Fly Moon Royalty & Rain City Rock Camp who sang several songs to enthusiastic applause from the audience. Additionally, Director of Diversity at Gender Justice League, Ryannah Quigley, offered a dance performance that was well received by the audience, too.

Welcome by Seattle LGBT Commission & Introduction of Mayor
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray read a City of Seattle Proclamation proclaiming June LGBT Pride month. Murray, who is openly Gay, reminded attendees about the battle the LGBT community in Washington fought to get where we are today. But the fight is still on he said, referring to I-1515, which aims to take away important rights for Transgender Washingtonians.

Murray attended the first flag raising ceremony in 2013, but he was a State Senator at the time. Since being elected mayor, he often speaks out about the struggles that LGBT people face on a daily basis. In a particularly heartfelt moment on Wednesday, Murray reminded attendees that two years ago, June 1, 2014, two Gay men of color, Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young, were brutally executed and asked for a moment of silence to remember them, and the lives of all LGBT people killed simply for being who they are.

Following the mayor's remarks, immigration reform advocate Ray Corona, a commissioner with the LGBT Commission, introduced Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold who spoke about intersectionality and the importance of allyship.

The event's Keynote Speaker, Jen Self, who runs the University of Washington Q Center, delivered a powerful speech about inclusion and supporting all parts of our community. Self challenged people to 'take back Pride' from corporations and made the case for a stronger, more inclusive LGBT community - particularly one that recognizes and empowers Queer people of color.

The event featured a Two-Spirit Blessing by Eaonhawinon Patricia Allen, who performed a traditional song from her tribe.

More than 50 representatives from various Seattle LGBT organizations then, under the direction of two nuns from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Abbey of Saint Joan, opened the Unity Flag (a giant rainbow Pride flag that was flown above the Space Needle).

The crowd then joined Mayor Murray at the flag pole to officially raise the rainbow pride flag.

The Seattle Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Commission advises the Mayor, City Council and city departments about issues of concern affecting the LGBTQ community, recommend policies and legislation, bring the LGBTQ communities and the larger Seattle community together through long-ranged projects, and ensure that City departments fairly and equitably address issues affecting and involving Seattle's LGBTQ communities as individuals and as a protected class afforded accessibility and inclusion to the services of the City of Seattle.

Mission
The Commission's role is to effectively address and present the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of Seattle to the Mayor, City Council, and all City Departments.

The Seattle LGBT Commission consists of 16 representative residents of Seattle appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, City Council, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and other Seattle City departments. Seven commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and seven appointments are made by the City Council. The Commission appoints the 15th member. Commissioners are appointed to a two-year term of office and serve without pay. A 16th member joins the Commission each year through Get Engaged, a leadership development program for 18-29 year olds.

Current Commissioners include Debra Salls, Elijah Grossman, Luzviminda Uzuri 'Lulu' Carpenter, Manuel Venegas, and more.

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4th annual City of Seattle City Hall Pride Flag raising ceremony
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LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2016

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

A PROCLAMATION


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