Seattle Pride’s Sarah Toce gives a sneak preview of this year’s debauchery


Seattle Women’s Pride is back for a third gay-tastic year. Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 18, 2016. Taking place at the Q nightclub, queer ladies and bois can expect to dance, laugh and celebrate pride with members of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and comedian Dana Goldberg. Eastside Women’s Health, which is dedicated to providing all women with a safe space to receive quality healthcare, is co-presenting the event this year. NYC’s GO Magazine will also head west to celebrate.

Sarah Toce- you might know her from the popular online newspaper, The Seattle Lesbian– is the founder and producer of Seattle Women’s Pride.

Sarah Toce (Photo: Steph Brusig)

Seattle Women’s Pride Founder, Sarah Toce (Photo: Steph Brusig)

How did Seattle Women’s Pride start?

It occurred to me that there were quite a few parties for men during the Seattle Pride season, but not really anything geared specifically toward women – other than dance parties. What about the rest of us? Being the founder/publisher of The Seattle Lesbian, Seattle’s only lesbian news source, I knew I had to step up to the plate.

I called on some friends – The Voice‘s Vicci Martinez, Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu, transgender activist Marsha Botzer, Seattle singer/songwriter Jack Mozie, and others – and the inaugural Seattle Women’s Pride sold out in less than a month from planning to execution. That’s when we knew there was a real thirst for this type of women’s Pride event in Seattle.

This will be The Seattle Lesbian’s third year producing Seattle Women’s Pride and it’s only getting better with each passing year. We’ve sold out each time and we have every reason to believe we’ll do it again this year.

How has the event evolved over the last few years? 

We completely outgrew our initial location and, in the second year, chose to relocate to a 12,000 sq. ft. venue in order to accommodate all of our guests. Our talented lineup keeps expanding – Vicci Martinez, Julie Goldman and now, this year, Dana Goldberg – have all headlined our event. We’ve increased staff size and are working with Eastside Women’s Health Center this year to secure sponsorship opportunities with likeminded brands and companies. Seattle Women’s Pride is quickly becoming a staple in Seattle’s Pride Month tapestry.

What surprises do you have up your sleeve to make 2016 the best pride so far? 

If I told you, they wouldn’t be surprises!

We have some wonderful sponsors this year whose aim is to make Seattle Women’s Pride 2016 the most memorable yet, so stay tuned!

The landscape of the queer community is constantly evolving. Generation Z is more likely to label as queer than any other generation, at the same time, lesbian bars and queer spaces have been closing. What role do you think Pride will play in queer people’s lives as queer becomes more mainstream? 

Pride is a celebration of who we are as a people, as a community – but also serves as a moment to stop and reflect at how far we’ve come – and how far we have yet to go. Regardless of how we identify ourselves individually, Pride is about celebrating how much we have achieved – together.

Seattle Women’s Pride takes it a step further. We’re not only celebrating our LGBTQ+ community, we’re also celebrating who we are as women in that community. This is a great moment to point out that everyone is welcome to attend Seattle Women’s Pride (as long as you’re over 21).

What is your favorite Pride memory? 

I had just come out and was living in New York City when then-Sen. Hillary Clinton was walking near Christopher Street – right in the middle of the New York City Pride Parade. I literally came out of Duane Reade and bumped into her Secret Service detail – and they allowed me to take a picture. Imagine that – completely by accident. Not sure what can top that one!

Tickets are available via Stranger Tickets at $30 General Admission and $45 VIP. The VIP Experience gets guests closer to the action with Priority Entrance, a Meet-and-Greet with Dana after the show, Swag Bags, and more. Visit seattlewomenspride or for more information.

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