Category Archives: The Seattle Lesbian

2018 Seattle Pride Parade Judges

We are honored to introduce the 2018 Seattle Pride Parade judges panel. They bring years of experience from the arts, entertainment, and journalistic disciplines. Our judges will select the best walking contingent and the best float in this year’s parade. The winners will be given free registration for the 2019 Parade along with other prizes.


Angelina Villalobos aka 179

“My name is Angelina Villalobos, my art superhero name is 179. I’m a Seattle born art activist and partner with communities connecting art with action. My work strives to engage viewers to partake in their environment through observation & participation. I believe community engagement is vital to successful art planning and that art should be accessible to all.” Angelina’s art graces the cover of the 2018 Seattle Pride Guide.


Amanda Bearse

Current Seattle resident, Amanda Bearse has enjoyed over thirty-five years in the entertainment industry, twenty-five of which have been directing comedy. She began her acting career in New York on “All My Children”, and after moving to Hollywood, Amanda was cast in the cult horror film “Fright Night” opposite Chris Sarandon, followed by another cult classic, the role of Marcy D’Arcy on the Fox sitcom, “Married…With Children”. She directed numerous episodes during the final six seasons and has since directed over a hundred sitcoms as well as the sketch comedy series, “Mad TV”. Amanda executive produced and directed “The Big Gay Sketch Show”, helping to launch the LOGO network.
In 1993, at the height of her acting career, Amanda came out as a lesbian to the public with a cover article in the Advocate. Amanda’s activism for the LGBT community began as the first poster child for HRC’s National Coming Out Day. She has served on the boards of The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and has often spoken on behalf of the LGBTQ community, promoting visibility and equal rights, including Seattle’s World AIDS Day. In January, Amanda made her off-Broadway directing debut with “Party Face”. Here in Seattle, she is lead instructor in the Acting for Film program at the Seattle Film Institute.


Melissa O’Hearn

Melissa O’Hearn is an international product and fashion photographer and stop-motion animator. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Spin, the Seattle Met, and currently, is a contributing photographer at Starbucks. She lives in Seattle via Wyoming, with her partner, two cats, and two part-time chihuahua-cha-chas. Her keen eye and queer spirit capture the beauty in everything and everyone. Her work can be found on and


Michael Strangeways

As the Editorial Director/Co-Owner, Michael Strangeways writes, edits and does about a million other jobs for Seattle Gay Scene, Puget Sound’s most visited LGBTQ news, arts and entertainment website now celebrating its 10th year as a media outlet. A semi-proud Midwesterner by birth, he’s lived in Seattle since 2000. He’s also a film producer who would like you to check out the Jinkx Monsoon documentary, “Drag Becomes Him” now available on In his spare time, he gets slightly obsessive about his love for old movies, challenging theater, “otters,” vodka, chocolate, “I,Claudius,” Lizzie Borden, real books made out of paper, disaster films, show tunes, Weimar era Germany, flea markets, pop surrealistic art, the sex lives of Hollywood actors both living and dead, kitties, chicken fried steak, haute couture  and David Bowie. But, not necessarily in that order.


Sarah Toce

Award-winning journalist Sarah Toce was honored with the 2017 Community Builder Award by
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. In June, she was recognized as one of the most powerful journalists of 2017 by Curve magazine. She was also the recipient of the distinguished 2016 LGBT Leadership Award from the Washington Diversity Council.

In 2014, she was named one of GO Magazine’s Red Hot Entrepreneurs. In 2012, the McCormick Foundation named Sarah one of their New Media Women Entrepreneurs for her work developing and publishing Seattle’s daily LGBT online newspaper – The Seattle Lesbian. In its first year alone, The Seattle Lesbian reached a threshold of one million readers on a global scale.

Sarah currently serves on the boards of the Society of Professional Journalists – Washington Chapter, GALECA -The LGBTQ Entertainment Critics Association, and is a founding committee member of Burien Pride.


Wendy Jo Carlton

Wendy Jo Carlton directed her first feature, Hannah Free, starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless, in 2009. Hannah Free won several Audience awards and is globally distributed. Carlton wrote and directed her second feature, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together, (said to be the first lesbian romance musical), which film critics Roger Ebert and Michael Phillips giving glowing reviews. Her LGBTQ digital series, Easy Abby, received 50 million views for its 13-episode Season One, and both seasons are now distributed by

Wendy Jo started her career in radio, producing fake travelogues for a weekly show. Her award-winning short films have screened internationally, including the American Film Institute and Sundance. Carlton founded a media literacy and filmmaking program for teen girls called Chicks make Flicks, and is committed to community collaboration. Carlton was an Artist-in-Residence at 911 Media Arts in Seattle and a recipient of the Navona Fellowship from the University of Illinois Chicago, where she earned a graduate degree in Moving Image.

What It Means: Trump Administration Introduces Title X Gag Rule Proposal

By The Seattle Lesbian

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced a gag rule that would undermine the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, radically restrict health care providers, and impact millions of people across the country.

In 2016, nearly half of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest the Hawaiian Islands’ (PPGNHI) visits were Title X patients. PPGNHI also uses Title X funds to support insurance enrollment services, as well as education and outreach activities designed to increase awareness about family planning and the Title X program.

“This is low, even for the Trump-Pence Administration. The result of this gag rule is that people will not get the health care or information they need. They won’t get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general women’s health exams,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. “We serve more than 43,000 people through the Title X program across our four states and everyone has the right to access information about their health care – including information about safe, legal abortion. This Administration has shown time and time again that it is are coming after our health, our freedoms and our rights, particularly those in marginalized communities. We will not back down. We will not be gagged. We will never stop fighting for our patients.”

The proposed rule would do three main things:

-Make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the country that participate in the Title X program to refer their patients for safe, legal abortion.

-Impose new restrictions designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood.

-Remove the guarantee that people are getting full and accurate information about their health care from their providers. For nearly two decades, Title X law has been clear: Health care providers cannot withhold information from you about your pregnancy options. This rule means they can.

The rule is expected to include a 60-day comment period after the yet-to-be determined date it is posted to the official Federal Register.

The domestic gag rule has never gone into effect in the United States before. The Reagan Administration tried to implement this in 1988, but the rule was held up in the courts and later retracted by the Clinton administration in 1993 after intense outcry from the medical community, including the American College of Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Reinstating this rule would prevent millions of people from getting birth control and preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. At the same time, it would also force providers to withhold information from patients across the country.

Although Planned Parenthood health centers make up only about 13 percent of the Title X health centers across the country, they serve 41 percent of the patients who get care through Title X. Preventing those patients from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers would mean many are left with nowhere else to turn.

Title X is a decades-old popular and effective program designed to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, how much money they make, and whether or not they have health insurance, has access to basic preventive reproductive health care like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and well-woman exams. It has received bipartisan support from Congress since its inception. Every year it serves more than four million people, although many people who get care through the program may not even be aware that they are Title X patients.

This rule is opposed by the medical community, lawmakers, and public health experts. Major medical associations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and more oppose this rule. More than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy.

Pop Superstar Pink Ascends Into Living Legend Territory at Seattle Show-The Seattle Lesbian

Original Story Found on The Seattle Lesbian

By Sarah Toce, Editor-in-Chief

“Who Knew” that Pop superstar Pink would light up KeyArena at Seattle Center on Sunday, May 13, 2018? Well, that’s a no-brainer. We all did. She does every time, but this time…it was different – and better still.

The “Party” got started with aerial dancers in technicolor as Pink stood behind a semi-transparent curtain before stepping out to wild applause. The crescendo of “Beautiful Trauma” came next, followed by an old classic – “Just Like a Pill.” It was full-on “Revenge” mode after that with a whimsical “Funhouse” and an air-bending ensemble of “Secrets.” Only Pink could take on a classic hit and make it her own – and she did that with Nirvana’s “It Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Pink in Seattle. Photo: Steph Brusig for The Seattle Lesbian
Pink in Seattle. Photo: Steph Brusig for The Seattle Lesbian

Act 3 of the show had a forest theme and consisted of the chart-topping hits “Try,” “Reason,” and “I’m Not Dead,” but it was the jaw-dropping pyrotechnic prodigy taking on “Just Like Fire” that had the crowd roaring for more. And more she would give – indeed.

A somewhat somber moment would occur next with “What About Us?” Some in the audience visibly moved to tears, while others raged against the patriarchy in the way Pink makes it possible, with arms raised and voices loud. “Barbies” was next on the list, followed by Pink’s emotional ballad “Perfect” – an ode to women, mothers, children, and anyone feeling less than. Pink was in her element and the crowd felt it.

If it were not apparent before now, “Raise Your Glass” for Pink, Seattle. She has proven that longevity and outlasting the competition requires guts, grit, a little dirt under the fingernails, and the willingness to say, “So What?”

Check out the photo gallery here from The Seattle Lesbian Staff Photographer Steph Brusig and follow her on social media @stephbrusig.