Pride events are back in person this year. Here's how to show your support.
It's Pride Month. After two years of virtual festivities, in-person parades, concerts, and parties are finally back.
For some, this may be their first Pride experience. For others, it's like reuniting with an old friend.
Not sure where to start? We got you covered: We're taking you for a tour of Pride events around the Sound.
Let's start in Seattle, where the Seattle Pride Parade is back Sunday, June 26, at 11 am.
Soundside host Libby Denkmann spoke to Seattle Pride Executive Director Krystal Marx about what it'll be like to celebrate in-person for the first time since the pandemic, and what paradegoers can expect.
The theme of this year's Pride is "Family Reunion," which was decided by members of the community. Marx says it holds a special meaning.
"Not just the idea of coming together after the pandemic as a LGBTQAI+ family and our straight friends and allies, but also the word family has a lot of meaning in our community," Marx said. "We would refer to our significant others as 'family' in spaces where it wasn't safe to identify them as a spouse or significant other."
Community members also played a key role in deciding another change for Seattle Pride: Uniformed police officers will no longer participate in the parade.
Marx says this decision was made after collecting survey responses from members of the LGBTQAI+ community about police engagement at Pride.
"The majority of respondents let us know that they were the most uncomfortable with members of the police walking in the parade in uniform," Marx said.
Police officers are still welcome to walk in the parade, Marx added, but they've been asked to do so out of uniform and without any police vehicles.
Other changes include the start of a sober garden for families with young children, and the use of ASL interpreters to improve accessibility.
Pride in Port Townsend
If you're looking for a Pride event on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic Pride has you covered.
The organization is hosting their Sound of Pride 2022 concert at Pope Marine Park on Saturday, June 25 from 10 am to 4 pm.
Between the music, food, and vendors, Olympic Pride Executive Director Ellen Michael says Sound of Pride offers a "home grown" event that'll give visitors a unique flavor of Port Townsend.
And even after the concert ends, LGBTQ+ youth on the peninsula will still be able to take advantage of Olympic Pride's summer youth programming with in-person and virtual events.