News Seattle , Activism

Seattle Pride’s Statement in Support of Palestinian People & Immediate Ceasefire

Jun 30, 2024 | Seattle Pride

Seattle Pride stands in unwavering solidarity with Palestinian people, who are undergoing a genocide. Over 1.5 million people are at serious risk; approximately one million Palestinians have fled Rafah since Israel first issued unlawful “evacuation orders” there on May 6. Since October, more than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed, and thousands are lying underneath the rubble, following more than 70 years of systemic oppression, occupation, and apartheid. We echo the United Nations Security Council’s demand for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

We also stand against the ongoing genocides happening in Sudan, Myanmar, Congo, Turtle Island, China, Ethiopia, Iraq, Syria, and to all Indigenous peoples worldwide.

We unequivocally stand against antisemitism, and we firmly reject the notion that supporting the people of Palestine equates to antisemitism. Criticizing the actions of the state of Israel is not tantamount to discrimination against Jewish people, as Jewish people are not synonymous with the Israeli government.

Current Actions & Calls to Action

We demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

We are actively in conversation with local queer Palestinian and Jewish organizers to best understand the desired response on a local level.

We have donated to organizations that lead direct relief initiatives for Palestinian people to help ensure that immediate needs are met and essential services are provided to those most affected by the crisis. We encourage our community to explore supporting the relief initiatives.

Denouncing Pinkwashing and Homonationalism

We strongly denounce pinkwashing and homonationalism—propaganda tactics that attempt to justify or distract from state violence and oppression by promoting a facade of LGBTQIA2S+ tolerance. We reject any attempt to exploit LGBTQIA2S+ rights as a cover for human rights abuses.

Upholding a Legacy of Activism

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride celebration in Seattle, which followed the Stonewall Uprising and other acts of resistance around the country. These pivotal moments in the fight for LGBTQIA2S+ rights were driven by outspoken, loving, dissenting, and liberatory voices (particularly Black and Brown femmes and trans women). We honor this legacy by celebrating Pride each year.

Sponsorship Transparency

To plan free, inclusive, accessible spaces for the LGBTQIA2S+ community, Seattle Pride accepts sponsorship funding from employee resource groups and their corporations. We use these funds to pay local LGBTQIA2S+ performers; facilitate paid youth internships; disperse grants to and sponsor local LGBTQIA2S+ organizations and groups; and cover staffing and operational expenses. Our sponsors and the funding we receive do not have any influence over the content of our programming and do not – and will not – influence the stance of our organization. We are committed to upholding the LGBTQIA2S+ community at the center of what we do.

With urgency and intention, Seattle Pride is committed to reviewing our sponsorship policies with an expanded view in evaluating our sponsors, including the identification of a clear path forward before accepting any additional sponsorship funds and for divesting from sponsors complicit in human rights violations and international law violations, including support of apartheid and genocide.

As part of this review, we will take a fresh look at the Corporate Equality Index, which we currently utilize to help us assess sponsors. We recognize this tool is not without its limitations and encourage the community to join us in providing feedback to regarding the gaps present in the index.

Commitment to Our Community

Our team of four staff and small board of directors—queer and trans individuals—is acutely aware of the power of our platform. We are committed to amplifying the voices of our community, to echoing the calls to action, and to fighting for those who are most marginalized. We will continue to focus our efforts on stewarding spaces for LGBTQIA2S+ people to gather in Seattle and on fostering a sense of community, resistance, and communal joy. Our culture is one of radical resistance, and we are deeply honored to stand in solidarity with, work alongside, and learn together with those who share a vision for queer liberation.