On Saturday, October 9, 2021 Seattle Pride held its official in-person event for the year, delayed by the pandemic and the struggle to vaccinate the country. The event, titled All Together Now, ran from 3 PM to 7 PM at Volunteer Park. It took place on one of the park’s large lawns and featured a full lineup of music, prizes, a beer garden, and several food trucks. Proof of vaccination was one of the requirements for entering the beer garden and several other areas, and masks were to remain on at all times.
The full line-up included Drag Queen Bingo, where participants would receive prizes based on several layouts on the paper bingo cards. Aleksa Manila, the host of bingo, remained firm about the importance of in-person Pride events. “Human touch is so important. Even an air kiss or hug, it’s so important to be able to see everyone’s beautiful faces and be in contact with another.” she stated. The pandemic remained not far from everyone’s minds, particularly with a vaccination pop-up provided by UW Medicine. Manila was pleased to receive a large response upon questioning the crowd’s vaccination status. “I think it’s very important that we can do outreach at events like this and educate people.”
In spite of the classic bone-soaking October rain that remained present throughout the majority of the evening, there was a humble but mighty crowd who stayed for the full line-up, with many patrons even dancing uncovered in the downpour. The event featured music and performances from Cassandra Lewis, BeautyBoiz, CarLarans, and Chong the Nomad. The night wrapped up with a goodbye from the hosts and music by DJ Dark Wiley. Many patrons questioned whether the weather or lack of a pandemic would have made a difference in the turn out, but as the clouds headed off and people began to file into their cars, spirits still ran high — as did the city’s pride.
All Together Now happened to land just before National Coming Out Day on October 11, and had a video booth set up by C89.5 to record the coming out stories of any participants who wished to have theirs shared. If you did not get a chance to record yours at the event, you can submit a recording of your story online on their website.
Danny Barber is the Managing Editor of the Seattle Collegian and an English student at Seattle Central college. She enjoys writing creatively, drawing, baking, video games, and going on long-winded random internet research sessions. After Seattle Central, she plans on getting her Master’s in English and working on the editorial board of another paper someday.