Pride is alive and well in Renton.
On June 6, the city’s first openly queer councilwoman, Carmen Rivera, raised the Progress Pride flag in front of Renton City Hall. In a proclamation by Mayor Armondo Pavone, the flag will remain there until June 12, and the entire month of June is officially LGBTQIA+ Pride Month.
To celebrate Pride in Renton, the city’s LGBTQIA+ community is partnering with local businesses and organizations in a program called the organization’s second Renton Pride Passport event.
“It’s supposed to be a mutually beneficial program,” said Renton LGBTQIA+ Community President Sara Palmer. “At the end of the day it’s all about respect and being kind and that helps us be good neighbors.”
Passport to Pride is a month-long event that highlights Renton establishments, businesses and organizations that have supported and been allies to Renton’s LGBTQIA+ community, an organization that “seeks to foster a community that celebrates all LGBTQIA+ identities and their intersectionality throughout greater Renton. area.”
“We originally formed in 2019 and had big plans for 2020, before the pandemic hit. At the height of the pandemic, we wanted to give back to the community, but we didn’t want to create an overbroadcast event,” Palmer said of how it was the passport of pride. “We wanted an event that allowed people to feel safe and go to these places when they wanted.”
The physical passport can be found at participating businesses or can be downloaded and printed at home, which can then be used to purchase stamps or stickers from each Pride Passport participating establishment. The passport includes addresses and a map of participating locations.
According to the event website, once participants receive as many stamps or stickers from as many establishments as possible, a passport photo must be emailed before midnight on June 30 for a “chance to win a gift certificate to a local business.”
Local Renton restaurants, cafes, bars and bars that are part of the Pride Passport include 8-Bit Arcade Bar, The Brewmasters Taproom, Dubtown Brewing Company, Four Generals Brewing, The Local 907, Melrose Grill, New Zen Japanese Restaurant, Puget Sound Cider Company , The Rose Gift and Cafe, Sparkle Gifts and Whatnots, Wyldwood Creative, Vino at the Landing.
Other businesses and establishments in town include 4 Sisters Holistic Remedies, Antiques 4U, Ascendance Studios, Cugini Florists and Fine Gifts, Handsome Devil Ink, Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport, Idolize Tattoo, Obelisk Body Piercing, Renton Civic Theatre, Renton History Museum, Renton Chamber of Commerce, Renton Cedar River Library and Renton Highlands Library.
There are also some medical facilities involved with the Passport such as Ooodle Family Medicine, Valley Medical Fairwood Primary Care Clinic, Valley Medical Highlands Primary Care Clinic and Valley Medical Renton Landing Primary Care Clinic along with some churches, specifically the Lutheran Church of Sant Mateu and United Christian Church.
Along with the ongoing ventures there is also the opportunity to earn a pride passport stamp Renton’s Juneteenth Celebration event at noon on June 18. Including the June Day celebration in the passport is part of the mutual benefits that help bring communities together. “Some of our members are also involved in local BIPOC organizations and we let them know that we would like to raise the profile of the event and include it in our passport,” said Winter Cashman, Vice President of Renton’s LGBTQIA+ community.
Along with the Pride Passport, Renton’s LGBTQIA+ community is also hosting a fundraising event at the Renton Civic Theater where members will volunteer for the live screening of the musical “HAIR” at 8pm on June 18 . Palmer and Cashman want to encourage everyone to come. see the musical and attend the fundraiser after the Juneteenth celebration.
However, pride is not limited to the month of June. Renton’s LGBTQIA+ community is making plans for the 2022 Renton Pride Picnic in July.
(L to R) Renton City Councilwoman Carmen Rivera, Mayor Armondo Pavone, Councilman Ryan McIrvin, Councilman Ed Prince, Police Chief Jon Schuldt and Councilwoman Valerie O’Halloran hold the flag of the Pride of Progress outside the Town Hall. Photo courtesy of Renton City Council.
Renton City Councilwoman Carmen Rivera, the city’s first openly queer councilwoman, gives a speech for LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. Photo courtesy of Renton City Council.
The Renton Pride Passport includes a map of all participating locations. Photo courtesy of Renton LGBTQIA+ Community.