Presented in partnership with The Seattle Public Library and Vanishing Seattle.
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.
Cost: Free! Advanced registration appreciated.
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.
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.
Aleksa Manila – “Drug counselor by day, drag queen by night.” Aleksa Manila is Seattle’s sweetheart of fundraising and everything fabulous! She’s been Miss Gay Filipino, Miss Gay Seattle and Empress of Seattle among many of her crowns. She’s recognized for her social activism and community leadership by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, The Greater Seattle Business association, and Seattle Women’s Pride. She is also the founder of Pride ASIA whose mission is to celebrate, empower and nurture the multi-cultural diversity of the LGBTQ communities through the Asian Pacific Islander lens.
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.
Photo: Seattle’s first openly gay bar was Shelly’s Leg in Pioneer Square (1973-77). Credit: MOHAI.