Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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About Pride in Grit City: An LGBTQ Retrospective

Pride in Grit City: An LGBTQ Retrospective

Presented by John Reed, Tacoma LGBTQ Activist

Join us for the second installment of the McMenamins Elks Temple Virtual History Pub! We will be joined by John Reed all the way from Sacramento for a special retrospective on LGBTQ history in Tacoma.

John is featured with Kenny (Lisa) Olson in the history of the McMenamins Elks Temple, commemorating the Barony Ball taking place on site in 1975 and 1976. Not only was John instrumental in coordinating and hosting these major events in the Grit City, but was also active in the pioneering LGBTQ activism group, “The Tacoma Committee” before ultimately relocating to California.

Join us for a casual conversation about the early history of openly gay events in Tacoma as well as an overview of LGBTQ related materials preserved at the Washington State Historical Society.


About the Speaker:

John Reed was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1972.

John became Vice President of the Gay Social Group "The Tacoma Committee" in the summer of 1975. The group nominated John to work with and support the organizing activities for the newly formed "Barony of Tacoma," assisting in the planning of their first "Barony Ball," scheduled for November 1975. In addition to facilitating the event, John also ran for the position of "Baron of the Barony of Tacoma," in the hopes of being elected co-monarch of the Court of Tacoma.  John successfully won the title, and along with his friend Kenny Olson (who performed and dressed in drag as "Lisa",) they were crowned “Their Royal Highnesses Marquis & Marquise I of the Barony of Tacoma.”  John and Lisa went on to create the Gay Washington Pageant and completed their reign with the "Chinatown" Barony Ball in November of 1976. 

John retired from AT&T in 2013 after 35 years. He has lived in Northern California with his husband, Michael, since 1999.

About Elks Temple Virtual History Pub

Elks Temple Virtual History Pub

McMenamins History is pleased to broadcast live, free virtual programming, accessible to anyone with a Facebook account. We’ll bring you scholars, writers, experiencers, experts and more who will give presentations on Pacific Northwest history. Join us for these scheduled events on the McMenamins History page on Facebook – and don’t forget to stock up on your favorite McMenamins beer, wine, cider and more beforehand!

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