Gay Equality Through Yoga

Organizers of an outdoor class are hoping for unity, community, and a $15 donation at Cal Anderson.

If you've walked around Capitol Hill lately, you've likely seen "EQUALITYOGA, 6/27/09, 10 AM, Cal Park" scrawled in chalk on a stretch of sidewalk. The explanation: Held at Cal Anderson Park, Equalityoga will be Seattle's "largest-ever outdoor yoga class" (probably larger than any indoor class as well), a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riot, the event often cited as the birth of the modern gay-rights movement.The brainchild of a woman named Genessa Krasnow, formerly the creative director for Seeds of Compassion (which hosted the Dalai Lama's recent visit), and co-organized by Kyler Powell, the guy behind Seattle's antiā€“Prop 8 rallies, the event is intended to create "unity and community," says Krasnow. "There's this energy that takes place during yoga class, a really focused energy," she adds. "When you walk out, you still feel it, this resonant energy that just flows through you. We want to have that many people come together, using that energy to focus on equality, what equality really means, focusing on equal rights for everybody. It's an opportunity to reach all these people through the yoga movement...a way to use our bodies, use this energy, to reach straight people and use yoga to introduce them to something they might not otherwise be thinking about...and keep gay people out of the bars. Often with [LGBT] events, it all goes on in the bars."The organizers are asking participants to pay $15; the money will go to Equal Rights Washington and Lambda Legal. It's part of a full summer of Stonewall anniversary events, including "Equal Voices" (spoken-word artists on soapboxes around town), a September "Equality Bowl" at the Garage, and "Equalitini" drink specials at restaurants around town. Hence, while some yoga might be hot, the whole of Equality won't go dry.

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