With the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling June 26 legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states the rest of the nation has finally caught up with Washington.
“It’s awesome and exciting, and let’s celebrate,” said Michelle Douglas, executive director of The Rainbow Center, Tacoma’s resource center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Washington voters approved same-sex marriage in 2012.
“We’ve had a little bit of time to settle into marriage and see what that’s like,” Douglas said. “Now we have the ability to expand our focus.”
That includes a new youth shelter, expanded services for elders and increasing resources for the transgender population.
Douglas said she is seeing increasing awareness and support of the LGBT community from straight allies. More community and civic groups are requesting education in LGBT issues, she said.
And that’s why Saturday’s Out in the Park, the highlight of Pride Week, is an important and fun event for the LGBT community and its straight allies.
“Out in the Park is about connection and family,” Douglas said.
This year’s Tacoma Pride celebration starts Friday (July 10) with a rainbow flag raising at City Hall. But the main event is Saturday with the annual Out in the Park celebration.
Beyond that, there are music events, a comicon, movies and more.
OUT IN THE PARK
The Rainbow Center’s annual pride celebration features two entertainment stages, food and information booths.
Performing artists include Hedwig and the Angry Inch (tribute band), AB Pure Entertainment (drag performers), Nena Kapone (rapper), Jack Mozie (pop singer), Whitney Monge (folk singer-songwriter), Alma Y Azucar (Latin jazz band), Camille Bloom (singer-songwriter), Gritty City Sirens (burlesque) and Tacoma’s Kim Archer Band.
Food vendors include Ice Cream Social, Josefina’s Burrito Boy, Pull My Ear Concessions, VietNom Nom, Warthog BBQ Pit and Kerry’s Caribbean Takeout.
An adults-only beer garden will be hosted by Pacific Grill.
When: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Broadway, between Ninth and 11th streets, and on St. Helens Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets, Tacoma.
Cost: Free (suggested $5 donation).
THE MIX’S PRIDE BLOCK PARTY
When Out in the Park ends at 5 p.m., the party moves up to The Mix for its annual block party. The outdoor party runs until midnight, when the scene moves indoors.
When: 5 p.m. Saturday.-2 a.m. Sunday.
Where: St. Helens between Sixth and Seventh streets, Tacoma.
Cost: $10; 21 and older.
Information: 253-383-4327, themixtacoma.com.
DESTINY CITY QUEER CON
This new event brings LGBT comic creators and cosplayers to the Stadium District’s new comic shop, Destiny City Comics, located next to King’s Books.
Queer-friendly graphic novels and comics will be available, as will their creators, including comic book artist and Magic the Gathering painter Mark Brill, artist Terry Blas and illustrator Brian Britigan, who will be debuting his new comic zine “Miss Space Teen Supreme.”
When: Noon-8 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Destiny City Comics, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma.
Information: 253-234-7112, destinycitycomics.com.
BLUES VESPERS: PRIDE EDITION
The Pride edition of the long-running Sunday music series Blues Vespers features the Kim Archer Band. Also at Immanuel Presbyterian Church will be poets J.C. Pankratz and Cathy Nguyen, Tacoma’s newest poet laureate.
When: 5-8 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 901 N. J St., Tacoma.
Admission: Free; donations accepted.
Information: 253-627-8371, ipctacoma.org.
PRIDE FILM SERIES
The LGBT-themed film series at The Grand Cinema is in its fifth year.
The two films featured this year offer historic and modern takes on the LBGT community. Each screening will be accompanied by a brief discussion.
“The Circle” mixes dramatization and documentary to tell the true story of two young men involved in a secret organization that created a censored and controversial gay publication in Switzerland following World War II. During a period of increasing repression against gays in mid-1950s Zurich, a cabaret singer and a shy bourgeois school teacher fall in love and fight oppression.
“The Circle” plays only Tuesday at 1:45 and 7 p.m. The 102-minute 2014 film is not rated.
“Tangerine,” a breakout comedy from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, was shot on the streets of Los Angeles using an iPhone and transgender actors. The film has earned attention for its style, humor and raw depiction of life for two transgender women.
“Tangerine” plays only Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. The 88-minute 2015 film is rated R.
Where: The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma.
Tickets: $8 for matinees and $10 for general admission (discounts for seniors, students and military).
Information: grandcinema.com, 253-593-4474.