Grammy Award Nominee Featured at Gayla Event

by Jonah Barrett for OLY ARTS

Grammy award nominee Mary Lambert will be featured at this year’s Pizza Klatch “Gayla” celebration at Olympia’s Washington Center. Lambert worked with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on the song “Same Love” on their multi-platinum album The Heist. She also performed the song at the Grammy Awards with Madonna and Macklemore.

Pizza Klatch hosts up to 1,000 attendees at their annual “Gayla” event at the Washington Center. This year, alongside Lambert, the event will feature the Old Growth Poetry Collective, Pizza Klatch Youth Voices and former Washington State representative and current Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal.

Founded by Lynn Grotsky, Pizza Klatch operates in schools at lunchtime, serving students pizza and checking in with each member, while also providing additional support, education, and ways to connect with others. The Gayla is the Pizza Klatch annual fundraiser, and draws attendees from across the region.

“Olympia’s just a really cool spot. There’s a lot of rich culture there,” Lambert said of our city. “Queer youth is like the lifeblood of culture, and community, and… anything good! I think queer youth are so radically progressive. There’s so much we can learn from their viewpoints.”

Lambert is not the centerpiece of the night, however. That title goes to Olympia’s queer youth themselves, or as Grotsky put it: “The most powerful thing of the night.” Youth voices from Pizza Klatch are invited to share their stories during the night, and queer youth speak upon topics such as being transgender, coming out to family and school, body dysphoria, and how they have found support and freedom to live as their true selves.

Being a teenager is hard enough, and throwing the gay element into the mix only makes growing up that much messier. This is where Pizza Klatch comes in— the group creates an inclusive high-school community on every campus that encourages growth of LGBTQ+ youth and empowers students in terms of safety and resiliency.

“There are new concepts out there that help me further my understanding of my humanity, and I wouldn’t have known these concepts had it not been for queer youth,” said Lambert. “This isn’t just about doing good for the community, this is about humanity and society in general.”

(Pizza and cupcakes will be provided at this event, for a suggested donation of a dollar a slice or a dollar a cupcake.)

What: “A Slice of the Good Life” Annual Pizza Klatch Gayla

Where: 512 Washington St SE

When: February 3rd, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $35 – $75

Learn more: Pizza Klatch Information