June 28, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride parade. Started in New York City, the event was originally known as Christopher Street Liberation Day. This activist-created march bloomed in reaction to a police raid against LGBTQ patrons of the Stonewall Inn, and the five days of community protests and riots a year earlier. The first Pride parade brought together thousands of participants. Today, millions participate in Pride events around the world.

In 1977, Mayor Charles Royer made the first official declaration of Gay Pride Week in Seattle. That year, the parade started at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, with more than 2,000 participants marching up First Avenue. As of 2020, organizations like Seattle Pride, the South King County PRIDE Alliance, and the Renton LGBTQIA+ Community plan Pride events throughout our region.

During this intense and somber time – as we endure a pandemic, and mourn and rally in opposition to racism and police brutality against Black people – we also honor and celebrate our LGBTQ+ community. We create space. We recognize the sacrifices made, and the isolation and violence endured. Pride amplifies the voices, visibility, love, and support of LGBTQ+ individuals and their families.

At King County, we strive to be a place where all people have equitable opportunities to thrive. Though in-person Pride events have been canceled or postponed across King County to maintain social distancing, Pride must ride on. We’re celebrating safely with our employees and our community:

  • Pride flags were raised at Metro’s King Street Center and 28 Metro work sites, beginning with King Street Center on June 1.
  • Starting on June 10, you’re invited to play virtual Pride Bingo – with activity squares like Dance Pride and Throwback Pride-day.
  • Our soon-to-be-released Ride with Pride tribute video will feature the voices of Metro riders, community-based organizations, and Metro employees and their family members.
  • You’ll also see Metro’s Ride with Pride bus and other colorful, celebratory transit signs rolling around town from June through October.
  • Finally, Metro’s own Equal Employment Opportunity / Equity & Inclusion Office will engage staff with thought-provoking materials.
Ride with Pride bus
Metro’s 2020 Pride bus makes its outdoor debut at Ryerson base. With social distancing, this year’s Pride may look and feel different compared to the past. But as Metro employee Jennifer Mayer recently said, “We’re out, even though we’re staying in!”

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Let’s all “Ride with Pride” in 2020!