This weekend, Allen and I attended our first Seattle Pride. On Friday, we attended the TransPride festival in Capitol Hill, and on Sunday, we attended the larger parade in the city’s center.
The Bus has been attending TransPride for two years, and the festival itself has existed for three. It is organized by the Gender Justice League and depends on donations from a number of organizations, such as the Social Justice Fund Northwest (SJFN) and the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA).
Karter Booher, The Bus’ Fellowship Coordinator, stated that TransPride 2015 seemed to be about twice as large as it was the previous year, highlighting the festival’s substantial growth.
The Bus had four fellows involved in TransPride this year, whose primary responsibility was to register voters and engage people in The Bus’ youth agenda (police accountability, youth employment, housing accessibility, specifically) in regards to issues within and around Seattle’s trans community. Namely, there has been a recent increase in trans related hate crimes and violence, the necessity for protection against discrimination in the workplace, and the need for safe and affordable housing. This past year, Seattle had the third-highest rate of LGBTQ-related hate crimes in the United States.
Karter believes that education around these issues is crucial to lessening tensions. Theo Savini, a 2015 fellow, stated that The Bus’ involvement at TransPride is crucial because it urges people to vote and organize in spite of being made to feel invisible or silenced.
In attending Seattle’s Pride Parade on Sunday, the Bus teamed up with Equal Rights Washington in marching. The march was nearly two miles long, and endless lines of supporters filed along sidewalks. At the end of the parade, we saw the rainbow flag hanging atop the Space Needle, evidencing Seattle’s (and America’s) recent legislative and judicial success and fight for social justice. We’ve undoubtedly come a long way, and the fact that #LoveWon this weekend is no small feat. However, there is still so much progress to be made, and as young folks, we’re lucky to have both a hand and a say in where we go from here.
This blog post was written by Natalie, a Public Policy major at Duke University and the Bus’ 2015 DukeEngage Intern.