Dear Seattle Buddhist Temple and Sangha Friends Participating in the Pride Parade,
Thank you everyone for signing up to participate in the Pride Parade! We are expecting another fantastic march this year. Please read this post fully, it includes staging location/arrival information and other useful tips. If you marched last year, this may look familiar:-)
Mentally Preparing for the Parade. It’s important for each of us to reflect on why we’re participating in the Parade. Each person has their own reasons. The reason the Betsuin is participating is to demonstrate that the temple is about compassion for all and is inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of people who identify as LGBTQ.
“The Buddha’s teachings are for everyone. We strive to follow the spirit of Buddha and share the dharma with others universally. All of our Buddhist Church of America temples share a common teaching of openness and inclusion. Our struggle is to ensure that each of our temples expresses it. Exclusion and discrimination, even in our minds, is not justifiable. That said, discriminatory attitudes may arise. At such times, we should humbly scrutinize ourselves under the light of the dharma and sincerely receive Buddha’s guidance. Only then can there be genuine respect, enabling everyone to find a safe and welcoming place within the Buddhist community.” Reverend Kiyonobu Kuwahara, Co-Director of the Buddhist Churches of America Center for Buddhist Education.
Physically Preparing for the Parade. Eat healthy, hydrate, and bring snacks and a water bottle. There are first aid and restroom stations along the Parade route. However, the restroom lines might be long, so go before we go! Don’t forget the sunscreen! One possible restroom option is the YMCA near our staging area. They have allowed attendees to use their facilities in the past. (Located one block S. of our staging area.)
Safety. This is a very large event, and thousands of people attend! Parents and all participants- let’s look out for each other, especially our children. We have many children participating. Parents – it’s a good idea to provide a bracelet or something similar with contact information, in the event that they get separated. We encourage you to have a fanny pack or light backpack to carry essentials, including money, identification, cell phone, medications, etc. Please note that all marchers will need to keep the left- hand lane of 4th Ave. clear for emergency vehicles if needed. We will have safety monitors who will keep an eye on the immediate contingent area and be available in case of emergency.
T-shirts, onenju, hats and Clothing: Please wear your SBT t-shirt and or hat. If t-shirts aren’t your thing, or you’d like to be even more festive, we encourage you to wear hapi coats, yukatas, or whatever colorful thing you’d like! We’ll have tenugui in rainbow colors. We’ll pass them out the day of the Parade. Hats, onenju and uchiwa kits will still be for sale at the temple the day of the event as well.
Banner, Signs, Flag, Uchiwa. At the front of our contingent will be our banner that says, “Seattle Buddhist Temple.” Followed by Matsuri Taiko, musicians and Bon Odori dancers. We have some signs to support LGBTQ, and anyone can carry them. One person will be carrying the Buddhist flag in a harness. Please bring your own signs, rainbow flags, and whatever you’d like to show your support for the Parade. Uchiwa (fans) have been decorated for the Parade, can be used for the dances, for fanning in case it’s hot, and will be passed out the day of the Parade. We’ll need some people to hand out give away fans to spectators along the route. More coordination instructions will be given the day of.
Vehicle. Tyler and Thy Moriguchi have generously offered to let us use their vehicle. Minister’s Assistant Rosalie May will be driving it. The vehicle is for carrying our supplies,and for individuals who want to participate but prefer not to walk.
Parking, Transportation, and Staging. Our staging window is 11:00 am to Noon located on 4th Ave. between Spring Street and Madison Street, contingent number 80. Volunteers can arrive as early as 8:00 am. Our vehicle will be at the area before 11:00 am. We will officially meet at the staging area.
Tentatively, you can plan on driving to the Betsuin, parking there, and then taking the trolley from the 14th and Main Station to Japantown Station, and then walking to the staging location. You may also choose to park on Beacon Hill and take the light trail. If you are coming from the north end, you could try to park near Seattle Center and take public transportation to the staging area. Note that traffic will be heavy into downtown Seattle, so carpool and plan accordingly. The Parade officially starts at 4th and Union Street and ends at 2nd and Denny Way. Once the Parade ends, you are free to do what you like and are invited to meet up with members of our group at the festival at Seattle Center. Returning to the Betsuin may be by bus, light rail, or transportation of your choice.
Finally, it is important to note that we are just one group of dozens of groups in this very large parade. Let’s be open-minded, supportive, enthusiastic, and most of all, let’s have a great time!
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.
Seattle Betsuin Pride Parade Organizers
Lynne Goodrich, firstname.lastname@example.org, (206)412-2359
Dean O’Shields, email@example.com (206) 755-3787
Joe Gotchy, JosephGotchy@msn.com
Anna Tamura, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosalie and Matt May, email@example.com
Tara Tamaribuchi-Gibbs, firstname.lastname@example.org