Debra George, exeutive director of Discover Burien and Burien Pride, and Burien Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx raise a Pride banner at Burien City Hall on June 8, 2021.

June is Pride Month, when the world’s LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning [one’s sexual or gender identity], intersex, and asexual/aromantic/agender) communities celebrate the freedom to be themselves.

Pride gatherings are held in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which many consider the spark of the modern gay rights movement. Celebrations include parades, picnics, parties, workshops, concerts, and more. Memorials are held during this month for those who died as a result of hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

Most Pride events were canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, but this year, Pride events are returning. Burien Pride held a two-day “Drag Queen Bingo” event in Burien Town Square Park. They also invited community members and city leaders, including Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and Burien Police Chief Ted Boe, to hang Pride banners throughout downtown Burien.

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King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Debra George (Burien Pride), Burien Police Chief Ted Boe, and Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx join community members to hang Pride banners throughout downtown Burien. Photos courtesy of Burien Pride.

Pride Banner Flies at Burien City Hall
A Pride banner will fly in front of Burien City Hall throughout the month of June. This is the first time the Pride banner has been raised, and it accompanies a proclamation issued by Burien City Council.

In addition to highlighting the contributions of Burien’s LGBTQIA+ community, the proclamation acknowledges the progress made toward eliminating systemic barriers to inclusion as well as recognizes the work that still remains.

Debra George, executive director of Burien Pride, and Fred Swanson, executive director of Gay City News and Burien resident, accepted the proclamation. George thanked the Burien City Council on behalf of Burien Pride, encouraging community members to join them for the raising of the Pride banner at Burien City Hall the following morning.

Swanson added:

“I’ve lived down here now eight years, raising my family down here, and I’m just so proud to be a part of a community that really cares about all of its citizens, including our LGBTQ citizens, and the work that we do with Highline Public Schools to try to create better spaces for LGBTQ students as well is really meaningful.”

Swanson concluded by thanking the Council for the proclamation as well as “the work that [the Council is] doing really to make Burien a place where all of us can raise our families and be full people.”

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Debra George, executive director of Discover Burien and Burien Pride, Fred Swanson, Gay City News and Burien resident, Krystal Marx, Burien Deputy Mayor and executive director of Seattle Pride and Rob Johnson, Burien Pride.