Homo Pride Parade: The Rat City Rollergirls’ Dilemma
posted by April 24 at 15:56 PMon
In the planning stages for our 2007 roller derby season, the Rat City Rollergirls were excited to learn that Key Arena was available the day of the Seattle Pride Parade. We immediately placed a hold, and set about trying to partner with the organizers of Pride to be a part of the post-parade Seattle Center events and entertainment. The result of our joint planning was “The Big, Gay Bout at Seattle Pride,” which was to be be held in Key Arena late Sunday afternoon on June 24 after Pride-goers were sun-crisped, pleasantly drunk and looking for a seat and a spot of air conditioning before heading to the all-out, into-the-night dance party in the fountain.
Several weeks ago we both announced this partnership (SOaP in a press release, us on our Web site). The Rat City Rollergirls were to assume all costs for playing in Key Arena, and were happy to offer a discount, day-of ticket to the masses (normally $20-25) for $10 in order to make the event available and affordable to as many Pride-goers as possible. Also, on top of our original plan to donate 10 percent of the “Big, Gay Bout” profits to Lambert House, we were also looking to donate $1 from every ticket sold back to Seattle Pride to help the organization with its costs, past and present. We were just excited to be a part of it all!
Like many, we were surprised and saddened by news of the change in Pride plans, though we certainly understand SOaP’s position. Our league’s support for the principles and ideas behind the annual event rise above scheduling details or business partnerships—no matter when and where it is, we’d really like to participate.
However, we are now a bit worried about not only playing in a venue more than five times the size of our normal Magnuson Park Hangar with no larger celebration going on outside at Seattle Center, but also that if Pride events are held elsewhere that day, we may suddenly be competing with the very events we had hoped to be a central part of.
I write to you because it seems that The Stranger’s Slog has become a town hall, real-time discussion of what’s next for Pride. Obviously the decision ultimately rests with those who are willing to do the heavy lifting to organize and plan Pride, but after reading what you and others have had to say, we wanted you to know of our Pride plans, and that we still somehow want to help and be a part of it.
If the parade remains downtown, even if there is no formal mass gathering at Seattle Center, we may consider keeping our event at Key Arena in the hopes that it would provide a fun place for people to assemble and celebrate. If the parade moves to Capitol Hill, we will likely need to seek an alternate venue. No matter where we (or Pride) end up, the beneficiary, theme and spirit of our June roller derby bout will remain the same—wherever it is, it will benefit Lambert House, it will be sometime during Pride weekend, and it will undoubtedly be as big and gay and fabulous as we can possibly make it.
aka Shovey Chase
Media, marketing and PR manager
Rat City Rollergirls