It’s good to be proud.

Tacoma Pride Festival is coming up, featuring almost two weeks of fun events put on by the community. I can’t think of anything else in Tacoma that goes on for that long at so many different and important spots in the city. Things are going on at City Hall, Wright Park, The Grand Cinema, King’s Books, and plenty more that you can find listed at tacomapridefestival.org.

The Mix Block Party 2011

The Mix Block Party 2011, taken by me.

The big day is Saturday, July 14. I plan on at least doing Out in the Park and The Mix Block Party as far as Pride is concerned. I’m not really sure what to expect at the park, there’s no alcohol/beer garden type of thing allowed in Wright Park. Benjii Bittle, a Pride organizer who works for the Broadway Center, said it was going to be family friendly plus drag queens. This I gotta see!

The Mix Block Party should be a blast. Road signs are already out warning motorists that St. Helens Ave. will be closed. I asked Randy and Adam at The Mix if they were ready, they sounded pretty confident and then turned it around to me and asked, “are YOU ready?” Now I’m not sure!

I’m excited that JD Elquist will be emceeing the event. I was kind of curious why a straight guy, although quite dapper, is hosting such a big Pride event. He told me it’s because he’s hosted events at The Mix before with his DJ buddies like DJ Broam that were quite successful. I also think being a part of such a big event in the city brings him one step closer to his plan of taking it over.

Poster designed by Travis Pranger.

Apparently members of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be there. My guesses are Shangela because she’s going to be performing at The Deltan Club and Shannel because she’ll be in town at her friend’s shop, London Couture. We’ll see!

The event at London Couture is recently announced and I’m pretty excited about it. Shannel will be officiating gay weddings with faux certificates. It’s ten bucks but that’ll get you cupcakes, champagne and other neat bonuses like tickets to a Deltan Club show.

Unfortunately those tickets won’t be eligible for use at their sold-out show later that night featuring Shangela, Seattle’s Mama Tits, and a long list of other amazing performers. If you already grabbed your tickets, know that I’m jealous of you.

I’m really excited that City Hall will be such a big part of the event, thanks to City Council member Ryan Mello. The raising of the rainbow flag on the Municipal Building is kind of a big deal. One better than the Space Needle! The gathering happening at B2 Fine Arts Gallery afterwards should be a hoot. Hopefully this will get the word out about Referendum 74 and WA can be the first state to establish marriage equality with a popular vote.

On the 19th, sweet pea flaherty and my librarian boyfriend, Matt, are hosting an event at King’s Books called “Queering Your Bookshelf”. Details are still being hammered out, when I heard they might include graphic novels like Love and Rockets, Wandering Son, and Batwoman: Elegy, I suggested they include Fantagraphics’ new anthology No Straight Lines (keep in mind that this is coming from a guy who volunteers for this publisher’s marketing department).

No Straight Lines comes out the day of the “Queering Your Bookshelf” discussion.

The Grand Cinema is also showing a trio of interesting films. I think the one I’m most excited about is “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”. The way Philip Cowan (the Grand’s Executive Director) described it to me made it sound like an old Ed Wood film.

I know I’m leaving out details about some really awesome events, and I’m sure there’s some I haven’t even heard of and I’m totally missing out. Check out the festival’s website for more information and be sure to ask your friends what they’re doing!

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