Coming Out Pride Picnic set for Saturday

SEQUIM — A Coming Out Pride Picnic is planned at 6 p.m. Saturday.

SisterLand Farms, a CSA farm, is joining forces with Out Loud Story Slam, B&B Family Lavender Farm, North Olympic Library System, North Olympic Land Trust, North Olympic Healthcare Network, Esoterica Shop and others to celebrate Pride with a community picnic, according to a press release.

It will be hosted at B&B Family Lavender Farm, 5883 Old Olympic Highway in Sequim.

The event will include a craft table, a clothing swap, a vegetarian potluck picnic, tables of healthcare resources, a story slam hosted by Out Loud Story Slam and a poetry reading by Clallam County’s first Poet Laureate: Jaiden Dokken.

The entire event is free, although there will be opportunities to tip musicians and donate to community projects.

Organizers encourage attendees to bring packed meals or vegetarian dishes to share, and “dress to impress.” Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed and to the story slammer who tells the best story with the 2023 theme “Proud of you!”

“Back in 2018, I created a two-word mission statement for my farm: Grow radically,” said Arleen Jenson, who uses they/them pronouns, at a recent Pride planning meeting.

“If I’m going to honor that mission to the fullest, I need to make sure that this business is rooted in its most radical, vibrant and colorful community,” they said. “As farmers already know, if a crop is going to root into land for the long haul, that plant has to give something back. Pride is one way SisterLand can return the love that’s fed us so well.”

Navarra Carr, Port Angeles City Council member, said she is excited to see more Pride festivities in the region.

“Events like these let the local LGBTQ+ community connect with one another, bring our whole selves to our community, and provide much-needed representation and acceptance,” Carr said.

Eli Smith, garden assistant at the Jamestown S’Klallam Traditional Foods and Culture Program, said events like these can change the lives of local youth and long-term residents.

“I can’t imagine the positive impact events like these would’ve had on me as a child when I was developing my own identity as a queer person,” Smith said.

SisterLand Farms is a queer-owned vegetable and flower farm founded in 2018 in Port Angeles.

Co-winner of the 2020 Land Trust “Farm of the Year Award” and finalist for the 2021 Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce “Emerging Business Award,” SisterLand Farms has implemented the county’s first kitchen waste compost pickup program, hosted monthly online learning sessions and has helped develop the Clallam Growers’ Collective, a body of volunteer growers dedicated to building friendly community between regional farms.

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