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Seattle Pride Weekend: joyful, colorful and kid-friendly

Paul and Jamie Trudel-Payne are excited to take son Ander, 3, to Pride Weekend: “We can’t wait for him to feel the joy that fills the air."


The final weekend in June, Seattle city streets flood with color. More than 150,000 people gather in a happy mob of rainbows, glitter and body paint. It’s Seattle Pride Weekend, when the LGBTQ community comes out in full force to celebrate diversity and equality.

It’s a spectacular party. But is it kid-friendly? To quote Jonathan Van Ness, from the Netflix reality show Queer Eye, “Yaaasss, Queen!”

In fact, there are two events planned especially for young people: Family Pride and Queer Youth Pride, both part of PrideFest Capitol Hill, a free, five-block street party along Broadway.

[Related: Book Corner: Great LGBTQ+ books for all ages]

“There aren’t many places where LGBTQ parents, or families with kids who identify as something other than the mainstream, have a place to celebrate who they are — even in Seattle,” explains PrideFest Director Egan Orion. “I’m in the process of starting my own family. I’ll be a single dad through IVF and surrogacy. It’s not a standard path, but I view PrideFest as a place where choices like mine are affirmed and welcomed.”

At Family Pride, kids can cozy up for Drag Queen Story Time, watch dogs from the Seattle Humane Society ‘werk it’ at the Doggie Drag Show, and enjoy a great medley of kid-approved entertainment. The event will be held at Cal Anderson Park on Saturday, June 29, from noon to 4 pm.

“We love the energy of Pride,” says Seattle dad Paul Trudel-Payne. Paul and his husband, Jamie, plan to attend with their 3-year-old son, Ander, this year. “We can’t wait for him to feel the joy that fills the air. Not to mention, being in such an accepting part of the nation, like Seattle, gay families and allies alike are everywhere.”

Queer Youth Pride, also held on Saturday at Cal Anderson Park, from 4 to 7 pm, is run entirely by and for youths age 13 to 20.

“LGBTQ youth are empowered with a safe space to participate in the PrideFest experience,” says Melvin Givens, marketing and communications director at Gay City. “Queer youth are at the helm: They determine the vendors, the services represented and the performances.”

The entertainment lineup is still in the works, but expect creative arts, poetry, and music. “Gay City will also unveil a new campaign to help queer youth learn healthy ways of dealing with challenges they may be facing in their lives,” says Givens.

On Sunday, June 30, kids of all ages will love the flashy costumes at the iconic Seattle Pride Parade, which starts at 11 a.m. and wends along 4th Avenue toward Denny Way. The parade culminates with PrideFest Seattle Center, where there’s entertainment well into the night.

Sunday’s events are also where to expect more mature content. Will there be public nudity? Yes. Will people talk openly about about sexuality? Definitely. Will children have a million questions about it all? For older kids, plan on it.

“And that’s a good thing,” says Orion. “A big part of PrideFest is honoring gay history and talking about what’s next for LGBTQ rights. What families see and learn at Pride gives them an important opportunity to join that conversation.”


If you go, mind these tips:

  • Take public transit: Ride Link Light Rail, or use the Monorail.
  • Get to the Pride Parade early to snag a good viewpoint.
  • Watch the Pride Parade near its ending point on Denny Way, so you have a short walk to the festivities at Seattle Center.
  • Food lines get long; pack snacks and water.


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