by OLY ARTS staff

Capital City Pride is the culmination of the month-long celebration of LGBTQ life in Washington state. Last year, Governor Jay Inslee honored that history by issuing a public proclamation that stated, in part, “The state of Washington has a long and proud history of honoring diversity. Our own law against discrimination predates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and we were one of the first states to extend civil rights protections to our LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family members. In Washington we know that the diverse families, expressions of personal identity, and experiences of all our residents enrich our future. We traditionally celebrate June as LGBTQ Pride Month … yet our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond a single month of recognition.”

Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby joins in this acclamation: “Pride is an integral part of the Olympia community, not only because it lifts up the experiences of LGBTQ members of our community, but also because we have the opportunity to stand with our friends of all genders and all experiences and demonstrate what it means to be a true community, here in Olympia.”

Many Olympians celebrate Pride to indicate their support for a diverse and inclusive community.

“I’m so glad I’ve made a tradition of taking my son to Pride,” says state worker and Olympia mother Jenny Heddin. “We walked in the parade last year and plan to again this year. I felt it was important to show that my whole family supports our LGBTQ friends. We all had so much fun being in the parade and checking out the Pride event after. I think this year especially it’s important for everyone in Olympia to show support for our LGBTQ friends and family.”

Supportive faith communities in Olympia, including Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, First Christian Church and the unified Presbyterian and United Church of Christ congregations at United Churches, also take part in Pride festivities. Ted Ryle of the Community for Interfaith Celebration notes his faith community’s participation: “Our family has deeply enjoyed participating in Cap(ital) City Pride over the years in celebration, support and solidarity with our friends and the community. We’ve marched regularly with our open and affirming Community for Interfaith Celebration,” says Ryle. “Our children always enjoy the festivities and entertainment. It’s one of the yearly Oly events where downtown comes alive and expresses what our city stands for, and who we stand with.”

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