Safety, security a concern as Pride Month kicks off Thursday

Jun 1, 2023, 4:08 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2023, 9:00 am

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Seattle city leaders officially proclaimed June 2023 as Pride Month on Thursday, while raising the Pride flag above city hall.

“This isn’t just rainbows and parties and fun. This is love in action. What are we going to do with and for each other to ensure our future and liberation?” Seattle Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell said on Thursday.

Thursday was the 11th annual Pride flag-raising event held by the city of Seattle.

“The key is inclusivity. Loving each other. Pride is an opportunity to uplift the immeasurable contributions and achievements of this community,” Mayor Bruce Harrell said on Thursday. “Places seeking to erase LGBTQ+ history from school curriculums, or banning books that discuss sexual orientation or gender identity, and restricting transgender people from health care that they deserve — quite candidly, that will not happen here in Seattle. That is not what we welcome when we celebrate… We know that our diversity makes us stronger.”

Harrell was joined by a group of speakers, including Lillian Williamson, who spoke on behalf of the city’s LGBTQ+ Commission.

“Our communities are still under threat here in Washington and Seattle. It’s incredibly important that we do not become complacent as a community and as a city,” said Williamson. “This isn’t something that’s just happening in Florida, Texas or Idaho.”

The F.B.I. reports hate crimes increased by 35% in 2021, led by a spike in attacks motivated by sexual orientation.

KIRO 7 asked the Seattle Police Department about safety concerns surrounding Pride events through June.

In response, SPD stated, “We are unable to disclose allocation of resources or staffing, but preventing and responding to violent crime is a priority for SPD. We take public and community safety seriously and continue to provide police services and presence as part of our daily operations.”

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Safety, security a concern as Pride Month kicks off Thursday