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February Networking Lunch Recap: Outspokane & 'Pride 25'

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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OutSpokane Board members Bridget Potter and Dave Little

Last Wednesday, February 10, INBA hosted our monthly networking lunch with Michael Jepson as our primary speaker, joined by other OutSpokane Board members, who gave us a history of Pride in Spokane, and a preview of the 2016 Pride Parade and Rainbow festival.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Pride festivities in Spokane and in celebration of how far we’ve come, the theme for Pride 25 is “Silence to Celebration.”

Spokane’s annual Pride celebration began in 1992 with the first Pride march. There were 300 people marching, restricted to the sidewalks by police tape, but the message was clear, making Spokane’s LGBTQA voices heard loud and proud. This timeline extends well before the first Pride march. Where did OutSpokane come from and how did it develop into the robust nonprofit organization that it is today?

1970The formation of the Dorian society. A commercial and political organization and the first of its kind in Spokane.
1972- Imperial Sovereign Court of Spokane is formed as a fundraising opportunity. To this day, the longest continually operating LGBT organization in Spokane.
1982 – Metro Community Church, the largest LGBT organization in the World
1984 – PFLAG Formed by Helen Bonzer, Parents and friends of Lesbians and Gays. Organized the first march.
1985 – Spokane AIDS Network, now known as SAN
1992 – Odyssey Youth – The location was kept secret, you required a password, and youth required screening to be admitted, for the protection and privacy of the youth.
1992 – first March
1994 – Inland Northwest Business Alliance established.
1999 – City Council grants protection from discrimination for LGB individuals in housing and public services. Mention of Transgender was excluded as a sort of political compromise.
2001 – Dean Lynch becomes the first openly gay man to serve on the Spokane City Council.
2004 – The Spokane Pride march became a parade, meaning cars and parade floats were allowed.
2005 – OutSpokane was formed as a nonprofit, taking over Pride celebration responsibilities from Inland Northwest Pride.
2005 – City of Spokane offers full benefits and protections for its LGBT employees.
2006 – Odyssey Youth first published its location. Now known as Odyssey Youth Movement, it operates out of the Perry district as a resource for Spokane’s youth.
2014 – Gender identity is added to the City’s nondiscrimination ordinance.
2014 – Color guard from Fairchild Airforce base led the Pride Parade, making Spokane the third city in the nation to have a military color guard to lead its Pride parade, just behind San Diego and Washington, D.C.
2015 – Largest Pride Parade in Spokane’s history, with over 9,000 people in attendance.

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