This year’s Seattle Pride Parade will have a unique and special moment just before the parade begins; a call for a moment of silence in remembrance of all those that have lost their lives to gun violence, and immediately followed by a mass singing of the song by Ken Ascher and Paul William’s (and made famous by Kermit the Frog), “Rainbow Connection”. And it will involve all of the hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Abbey of St. Joan has partnered with Seattle Pride, the Seattle Men’s Chorus/Seattle Women’s Chorus, and the Rainbow City Marching Band to create this ambitious project.
At exactly 10:55 A.M. on the morning of June 24, Sisters and singers from the Choruses will be stationed along the parade route, leading the crowd in the moment of silence. “It’s a big challenge,” says Sister Amanda, chair of the Pride committee for the Sisters. “We are spreading the word via social media, posters and handing out leaflets the entire weekend of Pride. The goal is to get enough people to join in this moment to make a clear statement; senseless violence is a tragedy that will only be solved when the fill our hearts with hope for a better tomorrow.”
Sister Amoré, Prioress (President) of the Abbey, said, “When Sister Amanda approached me with the idea to make the moments just before the Pride Parade a memorial, I was concerned that this would be too overly emotional on a day we celebrate who we are. But as we discussed the idea, adding the layers of thoughtfulness, sincerity, and partnering with groups like the Rainbow City Marching Band, there was a real sense of creating unity and togetherness that our LGBTQA community really needs.”
Just after the moment of silence the Rainbow City Marching Band will begin playing Rainbow Connection. The band is formed by members of the LGBTQA community and is led by Timothy V. Norris Jr, Artistic Director, Rainbow City Performing Arts.
“One of my primary goals with Rainbow City Performing Arts,” Tim said, “is to unify our seemingly disparate Seattle communities through music. Rainbow Connection truly exemplifies the common humanity that brings us all together. I am honored and touched that our musicians will join with the Sisters, the Choruses, Seattle Pride and our greater LGBTQA community to use music as our power to spread love and joy, and a conduit for change!”
After the song is completed the traditional start of the parade will happen; the thunderous roar of the Dykes on Bikes starting their engines, a tradition they have perpetuated in Seattle for decades.
Each of the groups involved are working closely together primarily from a shared vision of creating a truly special moment before the parade starts, and the hope it empowers the LGBTQA community going forward.
“We as Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” Sister Amore explains, “are here to serve our beloved community, and we serve our mission around the world as well. Our mission has always been to expiate stigmatic guilt and promulgate universal joy. The song Rainbow Connection is a great song with a long history associated of bridging generations since its release in 1979. The Sisters are excited to celebrate the song’s message of wanting more for everyone, being together and focusing on the future for all ‘the lovers, the dreamers and me.’”