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No gay pride events for Broadway, planners say

No gay pride events for Broadway, planners say

By Kery Murakami
May 23, 2008

However, it appears that for the first time since 1977, there won't be a pride march on Broadway on Capitol Hill.

Michael Wells, head of Broadway's business association said he does not know of any events planned for the street this year.

Anna Bacler, operations manager of The Seattle LGBT Community Center, which helped plan the march on Broadway after organizers moved the parade downtown in 2006, said nothing is on the books this year.

The LGBT Center, which is recovering from financial problems, "believed it would not be in its best financial interests" to work on the march this year, she said.

Speaking for herself and not her organization, Bacler said, "It was nice to have" the march. But noting that some saw it as competing with the downtown parade, she said, "It's good to not have that division."

Wells said bars on Capitol Hill might suffer from the absence of a pride march on Broadway. But he said gays and lesbians would probably go to Capitol Hill after the downtown parade and Seattle Center festival that Sunday.

The annual parade and march has faced difficulties in recent years. Seattle Out and Proud, the group that organizes the parade, angered some in the gay community by moving the procession from Broadway.

The group also piled up debt from the after-parade festival at the Seattle Center in 2006.

Last year, Seattle Out and Proud said it could not afford to throw a festival at all. However, events planner Egan Orion stepped in and threw the festival, but scaled it back from three days to one, and contained it only to the center's Fisher Pavilion.

Seattle Out and Proud will still start the parade at 11 a.m. this year. Orion will organize the festival, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With more time to plan, and recruit financial sponsors, Orion said the festival will expand this year to the International Fountain and the Fisher Lawn. The festival will include music, political speakers, comedians, and tables and booths for businesses and non-profits.

Orion said the festival will also reach out to transgender people, who he said did not feel as comfortable marching downtown as they did on Broadway. The festival will have transgender comics and DJs, he said.
P-I reporter Kery Murakami can be reached at 206-448-8131 or