Puyallup Indians recognize their gay and lesbian members with Pride events

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07/12/2019

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is embracing its gay and lesbian members, and it’s doing it in a big way. Although the tribe recognized same-sex unions in 2014, it hasn’t until now publicly acknowledged that it has lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members. “We knew there were (LGBT) people but we just didn’t talk about it,” tribal council member Annette Bryan said of the tribe’s attitude. That changes on Sunday when the tribe will raise a custom-designed Puyallup Tribe Pride flag at its headquarters in Tacoma. The four-hour celebration that follows will be a mix of tribal songs and drag queens, food and speeches. The tribal council proclaimed July as Pride month and donated $25,000 to help fund the Tacoma Pride celebration on Saturday. The impetus for the tribe’s actions was a social media post tribal chairman David Bean saw two months ago. In it, a tribal member offered her support to LGBT tribal members who were struggling with their identity. The post got Bean thinking. He has a 31-year-old gay son.

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