by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
On January 5, Seattle Out and Proud (SO&P) announced 'The Many Faces of Pride' as the 2012 Seattle Pride Parade theme.
'This year, as you revel and participate in the 2012 Seattle Pride Parade, look to your left, then to your right. Look behind you, ahead of you, across the street,' said SO&P officials in a media release. 'All around, you'll see it - community, and the beautiful people who make it theirs. Some will be immediately recognizable; others may catch you by surprise. But there you stand, shoulder to shoulder, comfortable and cohesive among them, your collective individualism on parade even as you stand in place - unblemished youth at the elbow of battle-scarred senior; the utterly fabulous against the gently indistinguishable; the confident alongside the questioning; the jubilant beside the impassive. All around you, the intricate jigsaw of pride will unfold to you; our friends, our families, our allies. Twenty-year locals and first-time visitors; these are The Many Faces of Pride.'
According to SO&P officials, this year's theme is intended to promote and recognize the diversity within the LGBT community and, additionally, recognize the broad cross-section of the Puget Sound population.
'The LGBT community finds itself a part of every social, economic, and political division - all ethnicities, races, sexes, ages, economic situations, political persuasions, and lifestyles,' SO&P officials pointed out. 'Seattle Out and Proud encourages parade participants to embrace, promote, and demonstrate this uplifting theme in their preparation and planning for the event.'
Adam Rosencrantz, SO&P president, says he is excited that the parade committee chose The Many Faces of Pride as their theme. 'In a time where Washington state is about to become the seventh state to bring marriage equality to all of its citizens, it's important that we show Seattle - and the world - that we aren't just drag queens and leather, as we are so often depicted. The past year, we have witnessed the repeal of DADT, which has allowed our LGBT service members to no longer fear serving their country and being outed for who they really are. This year's theme allows us to demonstrate that we are just like everyone else; we are the men and women driving your bus in the morning or the police officer who comes to your aid, or members of your closest family.'
SO&P officials report that the development of the 2012 parade theme began several weeks ago as it was among the first agenda items for the parade committee.
'This year's search spanned a larger swath of the community than any previous year, and for the first time, included direct and active engagement of the community through social media and other community outlets throughout Seattle,' SO&P officials told the media. 'Community solicitation of this year's parade theme was encouraged and discussed, and over two dozen thoughtful, creative, and fantastic ideas were offered for consideration by the community.'
Eric Bennett, SO&P secretary, said, 'The LGBT community is all around you. & This year we will need all of the diverse groups in Seattle to band together to bring full marriage equality to the great state of Washington. I believe we can do it together.'
The SO&P Parade Committee, an all-volunteer cross-section of the LGBT community and its advocates, said they 'seriously considered every suggestion offered.'
'Through spirited debate and thoughtful consideration, the committee chose a theme that both reflects and represents the LGBT community of Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area,' said Parade Committee officials. 'In celebration of the many victories and positive change the LGBT community has realized, the committee held a preference for a positive, reflective concept for the parade - a concept that will translate to a pride season of celebration, uplifting joy and harmony with the entire Seattle community.'
SO&P is a non-profit organization based in Seattle, focused on informing and educating the community on LGBT issues through community outreach and produced events. SO&P organizes, produces, and sponsors several events throughout the year, including Pride Idol (beginning April 1 at Neighbours Seattle), the Seattle Pride Picnic at Volunteer Park, and the annual Seattle Pride Parade.
For more information, including how to become a volunteer with the organization, contact SO&P at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.seattlepride.org.
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