Friday, December 29, 2023

Mob Packs Seattle Community Meeting To Argue Against Kids' Playground


According to The Seattle Times, “Hundreds of people packed a Seattle community meeting” recently “to oppose a proposal by the city to build a kids play area at a beach park known for decades as a nude hangout, especially for LGBTQ+ folks.”

The crowd was passionate, determined not to let a children’s playground be built so close to Denny Blaine Park, a nude LGBTQ beach.

To spare the kids seeing the nude bathers? Perish the thought! Virtually all of the crowd, “so large it spilled into the street outside the MLK FAME Community Center,” was there to defend the beach from kids—and the prudes that might not like them being so close to public displays of nudity.

The Times noted that many in the mob “held signs with messages like ‘Don’t Displace Historic And Diverse Community,’ ‘Gay Buns Over Shady Funds’ and ‘Save Denny Blaine.’”

The children’s park was pitched as a privately funded project that would address a playground deficit in the Denny Blaine neighborhood without spending public money. This in no way moved the meeting attendees, many of whom spoke against the project. Incredibly, not a single soul spoke in favor of it. More than 8,500 people have signed an online petition opposing the project. Speakers described the existing beach park as a precious place where queer and trans people can be themselves…while expressing concern that, should the kids’ play area go forward, they may be cited for indecent exposure—or otherwise be made to feel uncomfortable.

One speaker stated that he views the playground as a ploy, saying “It’s hard to even come up with a different reason beyond the one that feels most obvious, which is that this is someone trying to shut down the nude beach.” (Unless it is an attempt to address the playground deficit and give kids more space to……be kids.) He, oops, “they,” went on to compare the proposed project to banning books with LGTBQ+ themes from kids. (Quite the contrary, it would put them in close proximity to LGBTQ+ “themes.”) And, for the pièce de résistance, “they” exclaimed, “This is kind of the weaponization of children to try to exclude or harm the queer community. This is just another example.” (The “weaponization of children” to “harm the queer community?!” Sorry, pal, but precisely the inverse is too often the case.)

Another attendee said, “You come here on a peak summer day and there are people laying around everywhere. Getting to see other people be comfortable in their bodies in a community that sometimes has problems with that is really special. … Being queer here is normal.” (Right, so being straight there is “queer?”) 

Still another solemnly-- if preposterously-- averred: “Being nude at Denny Blaine quite literally saved my life.” (I don’t even want to know why this person believes this.)


Postscript: In one of the most predictable decisions in the history of decisions, Seattle Parks and Recreation leaders decided not to proceed with the kids’ playground.



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