PORT TOWNSEND — The inaugural Pride in the Park, an event to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and human rights, is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Pope Marine Park.
It is free and open to all.
Food, nonprofit and for-profit vendors, an information booth, and a variety show of local and regional talent are planned at the free festival at the park at 1000 Madison St.
A variety show will include singing, comic stand–up, drag performances, a band, and governmental representatives.
A representative of the tribal community will bless the site, and Port Townsend Deputy Mayor David Faber and County Commissioner Kate Dean will read city and county proclamations citing June as LGBTQ History Month.
Activities for youth are also planned.
“We’re here to provide advocate support for queer youth and the disenfranchised,” said Emelia De Souza, president of the board of directors of Jefferson County Pride, which organized the Saturday event co-sponsored by the Quimper Unitarium Universalist Fellowship Social and Environmental Justice Council.
Last year, Jefferson County Pride organized a march from Pope Marine Park to the Haller Fountain.
“There are about 1,600 youths and elders in Jefferson County who consider themselves LGBTQ, and of those, about 170 are transgender,” De Souza said.
She said that Jefferson County Pride has worked with Jefferson Healthcare hospital administrators and commissioners advocating for more understanding of LGBTQ and transgender people.
LGBTQ 101 was developed by the Jefferson County Pride. Members of East Jefferson Fire Rescue and the Port Townsend Police have all participated in the class, De Souza said.
The poster art for Pride in the Park event was created by Lena Valentine, a Port Townsend High School graduating senior. The hands make a heart and there is the rainbow colors incorporated in the design.
De Souza hopes this event continues the discussion about human rights and dignity.
“We are stuck in a binary system. Gender is a spectrum, a binary continuum,” she said.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]