Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 2012

Get ready, Poppets, because we’re moving into Pride season, and what a season 2012 is shaping up to be! While most events take place next month, you can find a way and a place to show your Pride all summer long.

Start in Olympia, the weekend of June 8-10. Traditionally, this has been a smaller, very family-friendly event and it certainly seems to be what they are aiming for this year, as well. If you’ve got little ones, this might be a good choice for you. The kickoff is the night of June 8th at the Urban Onion. The fun really begins, though, at the festival, which runs the 9th and 10th in Sylvester Park. Even the hours are family-friendly: Saturday, 10:00-5:00 and Sunday, 10:00-3:30. Catch the Parade Sunday, too, starting at the Capital building. Check www.capitalcitypride.net for more information.

Next up is Portland and Pride NorthWest. Be at the festival in Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Saturday, June 16th from noon to six, or the 17th, during the same hours. The Parade is Sunday, as well. They are requesting a couple of things. First, a $7.00 donation to attend the festival would be a really cool thing, but it is only a donation suggestion, not a mandatory ticket. Second, parking is minimal, so if at all possible, walk or take the light rail. More information can be found at www.pridenw.org.

You can be in Seattle June 21-24 at the Seattle Center. This one’s huge, Poppets, and if you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. There are men’s parties; there are women’s parties. This year, there are four stages of (almost) nonstop entertainment over four days. That being said, Sunday is the really big day. The formal, official festival runs from noon to 8:00 pm, immediately after the Parade. Enough goes on that I’m simply going to refer you to www.seattlepride.org and www.seattlepridefest.org for all the deets.

Surely, you know what July brings, right? July brings Pride to Bellingham – and our beloved Betty reigns supreme (as she always does). July 11-15, starting with a kickoff at Rumors with Betty Desire! It’s at 10:00 pm. I know you’ll be there. The 12th is an all-ages dance at the Depot Market Square. The $3.00 donation goes to local charities, so it’s important and worthwhile. So, honestly, is this dance, in my opinion. All-ages dances may seem passé or boring or beneath those of us who can – and do – drink legally, but we’ve got kids being bullied, being hurt, and even killing themselves because they are gay. I cannot stress the importance of adults who love, accept, and act as strong role models for all ages. Please, Poppets, attend this dance. Show the next generation we’ve got their backs. It’s another $3.00 donation, and seriously worth it. Friday night, The Betty Pages turns eight! Show your love at Rumors again. No cover before 10 and free food. Saturday and Sunday, it gets really big. Betty’s throwing a picnic, people are dancing and dressing, and the celebration kicks into high gear, culminating with the Parade on Sunday. If someone wants more information, point them to www.bhampride.org. Everything you want to know is there.

But I promised you all summer, and I plan to deliver. Head over the border to Vancouver B.C. August 3-5 and celebrate there, as well. It’s closer even than Seattle, let alone Portland or Olympia! If you can only get away for one day, make it the 5th. The festival begins on Sunset Beach at 11:00 a.m, but the Parade is downtown at noon, so plan wisely. And my favorite event of the day runs from 4:00 to 7:00. It’s the Grey and Glamorous Dance, for “older and aging Queers and Allies.” Again, there’s a $5 donation request, but it’s just a suggestion. If you think you might make it up to our neighbors in the north, check out www.vancouverpride.ca.

Finally, I can hear you now, wondering what’s going on in the queer Mecca of New Orleans for Pride. Surprisingly, the truth is very little. But, NOLA Pride is June 22-24 and you’re going to be in Seattle anyway. However! I would never let you down. Labor Day Weekend – and who doesn’t love an end of summer vacation? – brings you Southern Decadence down here in the Crescent City. If you don’t know, just trust me: it is everything you would expect from something named Southern Decadence. This is not a family-friendly event, nor is it for the faint of heart. It is, however, a city and a people embracing our more…flamboyant side. I’ll leave you to www.southerndecadence.net for more details, pictures, and generalized debauchery. And hope to see you there.

Wherever you celebrate, Poppets, be sure to celebrate. Have Pride. Show your Pride. We are all worthy of greatness – and great Pride.

Until next month, Poppets, take care of you.

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