As a warmup for the upcoming virtual "Together for Pride" weekend here in the city, NHL Seattle and its first founding partner, Symetra, will present an online "Pride Roundtable" that will be posted Wednesday.
The discussion covers NHL Seattle's work with the LGBTQ+ community in the Pacific Northwest, insightful perspective from local LGBTQ+ hockey players, plans for the new Seattle Pride Hockey Association and a must-watch conversation about allyship as it applies to our lives in 2020.
The Pride Roundtable, presented by Symetra, will premier on June 24, 2020 on NHLSeattle.com and NHL Seattle social media handles.
It features host Jonas Worth, director of partnerships and development for the You Can Play organization, and Zoom panel participants Steven Thompson, co-founder of the Seattle Pride Hockey Association; Joey Gale, co-founder of the SPHA; Trinity Parker, senior vice president of marketing, communications and public affairs for Symetra; and Kyle Boyd, director of youth and community development for NHL Seattle.
The mission of the You Can Play Project, as stated on its website, is "to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans. We achieve this by creating a community of allies that is able to foster a true sense of belonging." Worth works with the NHL among other sports organizations and says allies are vital "whether it is an NHL team captain or local groups."
Thompson and Gale provide perspectives as local recreational hockey players and activists. The SPHA aims to make hockey as inclusive as possible, says Gale: "Who you are and who you love shouldn't be a barrier to play the sport."
"We want to be a voice and support system for anybody who wants to play or who knows how to play but doesn't play because they might be scared," says Thompson, a long-time administrator with the nearly 3,000-adult-member Greater Seattle Hockey League.
"Symetra is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion," says Parker, "including gender equity and pay equity. We are partnered with NHL Seattle because we have aligned values."
Gale and Boyd pitch in with engaging comments about intersectionality and looking to support underrepresented groups, including within the LGBTQ+ community.
"We want to further the message of inclusion for the sport,' says Boyd. "We are looking at some of our tools and resources to look within and begin our own journey... when people are able to start a journey and take first steps of learning and empathy, those first can be powerful but also can be nervous or intimidating."
Seattle's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month is going virtual with three days (June 26-28) of speakers, performances and activities in partnership with the Gender Justice League, PrideFest and Seattle Pride For each of the three days, one organization is taking the lead in developing engaging program content - each day will offer a full schedule of activities, which you can find here.