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There Goes the Gayborhood! Panel Discussion

June 8, 2019 @ 10:30 am - 2:00 pm

In the face of rapid redevelopment, how do we save the places that anchor Seattle’s LGBTQ communities but may lack the architectural significance typically required for landmarking? A panel of preservationists, small business owners, and activists will discuss important community places and the challenges we face in making preservation more inclusive.

Our panel:

Rich Freitas – a cultural landscape specialist for the National Park Service who serves on Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board. His professional work supports the stewardship of historic landscapes across the country. He holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Washington where he focused on the history and preservation of Pioneer Square’s queer landscape.

Kevin McKenna – historian, activist, educator. Kevin is an editor and contributor to the LGBTQ section of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project, and he has worked with the Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project.

Sylvia O’Stayformore – A legend in Seattle’s drag community, Sylvia has performed in over 2000 shows throughout the region. She was voted Seattle’s Best Drag Show by Seattle Weekly and is currently the producer of Bacon Strip. She performs in Rainbow Bingo throughout the region and she is a partner in the recently established Palace Theatre & Art Bar in Georgetown.

Jeff Henness – Longtime owner of the iconic E. Pike Street leather and kink shop, Doghouse Leathers, Jeff has been a fixture in his community for over 25 years. He recently completed the move of the store a couple blocks down the hill, to the 108-year-old Neal Apartments building, where the store will continue to provide meeting space to community groups.

Steve Bennett – owner of the Gaslight Inn, a Seattle Landmark, for over 30 years. In that time the house and business have assumed a significant role in the neighborhood’s LGBTQ community, from its time as a refuge for grieving families devastated by AIDS to its use for political events for the state’s first openly gay legislator and mayor.

Martha Manning – Owner of Wildrose, Seattle’s pioneering lesbian bar for over 30 years and the sole remaining lesbian bar north of Los Angeles. Martha and co-owner Shelley Brothers changed the women-only policy in place when they took over the business, creating a more inclusive space on Capitol Hill. The Wildrose is a cherished business that has given the LGBTQ community a safe place to congregate on Capitol Hill.

Cost: Free! Advanced registration appreciated.

Photo: Seattle’s first openly gay bar was Shelly’s Leg in Pioneer Square (1973-77). Credit: MOHAI.

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