“A Place for All of Us”: Burien Celebrates and Stands with LGBTQIA+ Community

Two people raise Pride banner on flagpole.
Debra George, exeutive director of Discover Burien and Burien Pride, and Burien Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx raise Pride banner at Burien City Hall on June 8, 2021.

June is Pride Month, when the world’s LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning [one’s sexual or gender identity], intersex, and asexual/aromantic/agender) communities celebrate the freedom to be themselves. Pride gatherings are held in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which many consider the spark of the modern gay rights movement. Celebrations include parades, picnics, parties, workshops, concerts, and more. Memorials are held during this month for those who died as a result of hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

Most Pride events were canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, but this year, Pride events are returning. Burien Pride held a two-day “Drag Queen Bingo” event in Burien Town Square Park. They also invited community members and city leaders, including Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, and Burien Police Chief Ted Boe, to hang Pride banners throughout downtown Burien.

Pride Banner Flies at Burien City Hall

A Pride banner will fly in front of Burien City Hall throughout the month of June. This is the first time the Pride banner has been raised, and it accompanies a proclamation issued by Burien City Council.

In addition to highlighting the contributions of Burien’s LGBTQIA+ community, the proclamation acknowledges the progress made toward eliminating systemic barriers to inclusion as well as recognizes the work that still remains.

Debra George, executive director of Burien Pride, and Fred Swanson, executive director of Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center and Burien resident, accepted the proclamation. George thanked the Burien City Council on behalf of Burien Pride, encouraging community members to join them for the raising of the Pride banner at Burien City Hall the following morning.

Swanson added, “I’ve lived down here now eight years, raising my family down here, and I’m just so proud to be a part of a community that really cares about all of its citizens, including our LGBTQ citizens, and the work that we do with Highline Public Schools to try to create better spaces for LGBTQ students as well is really meaningful.”

Swanson concluded by thanking the Council for the proclamation as well as “the work that [the Council is] doing really to make Burien a place where all of us can raise our families and be full people.”

Highline Heritage Museum Hosts Series of Events for Pride Month

Highline Heritage Museum, as part of a year-long program on social justice themes, is hosting a series of free events for Pride Month. They will also be sharing Pride Month facts on their website and social media throughout the month of June.

Live Discussion: Gender & Identity – Fighting Stigma

When: June 19, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Where: Zoom (online). Contact info@highlinehistory.org for link.

Join a panel discussion with Janice Van Cleve (Sound Generations), Putsata Reang (author and journalist), and Taylor Farley (Program & Development Manager at LGBTQ Allyship)

Live Storytelling with Jacque Larraizar

When: June 26, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Where: Zoom (online). Contact info@highlinehistory.org for link.

Join Jacque Larraizar for a storytelling event about her experience as one of the first people from Mexico to be granted asylum in the U.S. because of her sexuality.

Garden Fence Art Project at New Start Community Garden

Highline Heritage Museum is partnering with Burien Arts Association to create Pride-themed art to add to a community art project on the fence of the New Start Community Garden (Shark Garden).

Learn more on Burien Arts Association website

Highline Heritage Museum receives funding from City of Burien’s Arts & Culture Grant Program.

Continue Celebrating and Learning About LGTBQIA+ History and Stories

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