After Roe v. Wade news, Seattle Pride community celebrates and prepares for hard battles ahead
Bright colors, loud music, and dancing. Lots of dancing, on a blistering hot day for Seattle — nearly 90 degrees.
Sunday's Seattle Pride event was a joyous day for the region’s large LGBTQ community. But, coming on the heels of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, there were also sounds of protest.
At the very front of the Seattle Pride Parade dozens of people waved green signs that read “abortion on demand and without apology.”
Marching with them was Tyna Ek, who is part of Seattle Indivisible, an all volunteer activist organization. Ek said one of the reasons why people here feel they can celebrate is because abortion is protected in Washington state.
“We’re part of trying to convince nationally for them to do similarly," Ek said.
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Seattle on Sunday for the annual Pride Parade, held for the first time since 2019.
A little more than an hour before the parade was set to begin, the Seattle Police Officers Guild released a statement strongly disagreeing with the organizers' request that any officers marching in the parade do so out of uniform. Mike Solan, president of the police union, called the decision “bigoted" and "discriminatory.”
Seattle Pride organizers previously explained that they made the request because their community has experienced trauma at the hands of police, stretching all the way back to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, when members of the gay community fought back against a police raid.
But the police controversy seemed to be far from the minds of parade-goers.
Chelsea Trinh, who works in advocacy for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, was visiting Seattle from Los Angeles.
"It's so exciting. I love being here. The atmosphere, seeing everyone openly celebrating together and celebrating life together. And for me, it's so interesting, I identify as bisexual, so for me it's still kinda new to be in these spaces cause I didn't figure that out until later in college, so this is really fun." Trinh said.
Sarah Backman says she came out to Pride to celebrate love and her two moms. The parade served as a break from the hard battles ahead, including over abortion rights.
“Let me surround myself with like-minded people to gear up for the fight to come," Backman said.
Savaa, a member of the military who lives in the Tacoma area and declined to give his last name, says he, too, was happy to see people coming together.
“I really like seeing all the happiness, I really do," Savaa said. "Even going through everything that we're going through, with all the prices going up, this is a good way to get release.”
Other issues at the forefront of the parade included the need for more housing, and protecting the transgender community.