Pride in Capitol Hill Quests for Queer Excellence


Jake Nelson

The Seattle skyline reflected in a window with a Pride flag hanging.

June is here and Seattle Pride is prepared to host some exciting events all month long like the Seattle Pride Parade, June 26, and Seattle Pride in the Park, June 4.

“To be able to go out with people my age and celebrate around Capitol Hill, and the idea of the city being taken over by the festivities is something that I’m excited for,” Anabel Pinto, a third-year psychology major, said. 

Pride has a long history in Seattle, dating back to 1974. However, there has been recent frustration directed towards the companies sponsoring Pride and their lack of dedication to LGBTQ+ causes throughout the rest of the year. 

“My whole conception of what Pride parades are, especially in Seattle and especially modern Pride parades, is just this ridiculous corporate ‘we’re going to put rainbows on stuff and you are going to buy it and you’re going to like it!’” Liam Jenness, a third-year political science major, said. 

Seattle Pride addressed the issue of having sponsors for the event who also support organizations that work against and are harmful towards LBGTQ+ folks in their Corporate Sponsorship Statement. 2022 sponsors include Delta air lines, Nissan, Smirnoff and Geico, to name a few. Seattle Pride cut Amazon as a sponsor.

“Because Seattle Pride has grown to become a year-round organization working on behalf of Seattle’s LGBTQIA+ community to advance diversity and equal human rights for all—through advocacy, events, community grants and sponsorships—we are reviewing our corporate partnerships to ensure our partners’ words and actions align with our organization’s values. It is critical they actively support—and do not harm—our community not only on parade day, but throughout the year,” the statement read.

All events in celebration of Pride serve as a way for LGBTQ+ members and allies to celebrate LBGTQ+ community visibility. 

“The whole reason why I want to [attend Pride] is because I haven’t been openly queer for a very long time. And I want to [be] able to be out there with a bunch of other unequivocally queer people, and hang out and have a good time. That’s just the whole point of Pride. That’s what I’m looking for, that’s why I want to do this,” Jenness said. 

In addition to Seattle Pride, plenty of local businesses are putting on events to celebrate alongside the city. Rhein Haus, conveniently located right across the street from Seattle University’s campus on 12th Avenue, will be hosting three separate events throughout Pride weekend.

Drag Brunch, June 26, will feature performers Jimbo and Mayhem Miller. Later that evening, their Saturday Night festivities will be interspersed with performances from Joey Jay, Blair St. Clair, Trinity K. Bonet and Tatianna and end with R&B singer Keri Hilson. Continuing into the next evening, June 27, there will be drag performances from Symone, Rajah O’Hara, Thorgy Thor and more. 

“This is definitely the biggest Pride event we’ve ever done,” Erica Waliser, the marketing director for Rhein Haus, said. 

Rhein Haus, a long supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, started putting on drag brunches and shows throughout the summer months in 2021. They are continuing that  model for this year’s Pride festivities. 

“It has always been important to us to celebrate Pride, to support the LBGTQ+ community and causes, and welcome all sorts of groups from that community into the restaurant,” Waliser said. 

While Rhein Haus’ Drag Brunch is already sold out, you can still buy tickets online or at the door for the Saturday Night festivities, June 26, or the Sunday Funday event, June 27.