Space needles are churning in response to a chilling announcement on Apr 24 from Out and Proud. The volunteer group that presents Seattle’s annual gay pride parade and festival said it was filing for bankruptcy and canceling this year’s event.
Later in the week, following expressions of overwhelming support and assistance from Seattle’s LGBT community, Out and Proud said it would move forward with plans to produce a parade on June 24, but it would not deliver an accompanying festival this year.
The gay pride festival for 32 years was held on Capitol Hill, the center of Seattle’s gay community, until last year when it moved to Seattle Center to accommodate crowds exceeding 200,000. That change in location raised the group’s expenses, and it could not collect enough money from sponsorships and donations to cover the $102,000 debt it incurred.
Last year, the location change also raised the ire of many gay faithful, and the LGBT Community Center held a counter event called Queerfest that featured music and other events. The center has expressed interest in taking the lead this year, in light of the distressing news from Out and Proud.