by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Mark your calendars! The fifth annual Pride ASIA event will take place Sunday, June 19, from noon to 4 p.m. at Hing Hay Park in Seattle's International District.
Founded in 2012, Pride ASIA's mission is to celebrate, empower, and nurture the multicultural diversity of the LGBTQ communities through an Asian/Pacific Islander lens. Pride ASIA is a proud member of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea).
A highlight of the group's milestone fifth-year celebration is the incredible Brooklyn Sabado Buenaventura as keynote speaker. If that name seems familiar it's because last year, Buenaventura, then a student at Renton High School, became the first-ever Transgender teen to be voted prom queen in Washington state - and one of the first in the nation. She won the title while openly transitioning from her then-male body that she was born into ('Bruce') to the person she says she really was all along - Brooklyn.
Past keynote speakers at Pride ASIA include Michael Shiosaki, Seattle's first openly Gay first gentleman and Planning and Development Division Director for Seattle Parks (2012); Ro Yoon, outspoken LGBTQ community advocate and ?Community Education Coordinator at HIV Vaccine Trials Unit - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (2013); Norma Timbang, lecturer at the University of Washington School of Social Work, former board member of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, member of Queer Bayan in Seattle, and a board member of the Filipino Community of Seattle (2014); and Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu (2015).
Hosted by its founder, Aleksa Manila, Pride ASIA 2016 will feature cultural presentations and speakers from notable Northwest organizations, drag and dance performances, live vocalists, and much more. The event started out, and remains, free and all-ages appropriate.
Music will be provided by DJ Moist Towelette (Lu Ying), DJ Legaspi (Irene Legaspi), and DJ Julie Herrera.
Pride ASIA is governed by an executive committee of volunteers. The 2016 directors are Aleksa Manila, founder; Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse, co-chair; Devon Yan-Berrong and Yee-shin Huang, logistics and operations; Kince De Vera, fundraising; Atasha Manila and Irene Legaspi, media and advertising; and I work with Pride ASIA and Quyen Luu as a community advisor.
Pride ASIA has enjoyed support and sponsorship from Asian Counseling and Referral Service, ASUW Asian Student Commission, Casa de Manila, Devonation, Dignity Seattle, DJ Lu Ying, Gabriela (formerly Pinay Sa Seattle), HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), Jai Thai Restaurant, Kelcema Productions, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, Neighbours Nightclub, Root Table by Tanya, Seattle Counseling Service, Social Outreach Seattle, United Territories of Pacific Islanders Association, Wing Luke Asian Museum, and Seattle Gay News. Hing Hay Park is located at South King Street and Maynard Avenue South. More info on the event is available at www.prideasia.org.
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