Last December, the Seattle Pride Board of Directors invited the community to nominate local individuals and organizations as Grand Marshals of the 2018 Pride Parade. We asked for nominees that strive to create unity, honor diversity, and work towards the achievement of equal human rights. The Board also searched for individuals who exemplify this year’s theme: Pride Beyond Borders. Which is why we are honored to celebrate the work and accomplishments of:

Nayyef Hrebid and Btoo Allami, from Out of Iraq, A Love Story
Dr. Jen Self, Director of the Q Center and affiliate professor at UW
S. Wakefield, External Relations Director for Fred Hutch’s HIV Vaccine Trials Network
Entre Hermanos, promoting Latino/a LGBTQ health and wellbeing
POCAAN, a multicultural social service agency

Read more about our Grand Marshals and find out how you can continue celebrating their ongoing efforts:

Nayyef Hrebid and Btoo Allami
In 2004, Nayyef Hrebid was a US Army interpreter when he met and fell in love with Btoo Allami, an Iraqi soldier. Because being gay is taboo in Iraq, and homosexuality is usually met with stigma and violence, Nayyef could not reveal his feelings. Little did he know that Btoo felt the same. Their love developed in the midst of wartime danger and homophobic threats. In 2015, after 8 years of seeking asylum in the US, and living in separate parts of the world, Nayyef and Btoo were married in Seattle. Their journey was chronicled in the 2016 documentary Out of Iraq, A Love Story, winning two consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards. This story makes note of the pressing need for humanitarian aid to refugees worldwide. You can learn more about Nayyef and Btoo here.


Dr. Jen Self – Q-Center, UW
Informed by more than two decades of practice as a therapist, consultant, and anti-oppression trainer, Dr. Jen Self re-invented their queer activism through scholarship, program leadership, and teaching at the University of Washington, completing an MSW and a Ph.D. in social welfare and feminist studies. Dr. Self is Director of the Q Center and an affiliate professor at UW with a secret identity of renaissance queer with a kick-ass jump shot. They are a fiercely passionate teacher and scholar-activist who links their teaching, practice, research, and service through commitment(s) to queered racial and gender justice and cultural transformation. Leading the Q Center in collaboration with Associate Director Jaimée Marsh, the Q strives to center the experiences and lives of historically marginalized and Black and Brown queer and trans students and drive their work through student leadership cultivation, community building, education, advocacy & policy development, support & celebration, and health and well-being resource and referral.

Jen believes that all the great activists & philosophers of our time, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Patricia Hill Collins, Maxine Waters, Pramila Jayapal, and Leslie Feinberg have understood that social and economic justice requires a resistance of interlocking systems of oppression and a deep love ethic. jen has an active mind and aspires to visionary thinking, so they easily lose themselves in big thoughts and feelings; they think that we should all look at pictures of space more often to contextualize our existence. jen believes that love and light are not only the center of the universe but also the core concepts of socio-political justice. Learn more about the Q-Center here.


S. Wakefield – Fred Hutch
Steven Wakefield, or “Wakefield” as he prefers to be called, is an HIV-negative healthcare advocate
with over thirty years of involvement in projects that increase community participation in HIV prevention research and ethics. Currently, Wakefield is the External Relations Director for Fred Hutch’s HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). He also founded The Legacy Project, HVTN’s program to increase racial and ethnic population involvement in trials. In addition to his role at HVTN, Wakefield currently serves on AVAC: Global HIV Prevention Board.

With thirty-five plus years of non-profit management and public service on Chicago’s Board of Health, global and U.S. advisory groups such as WHO’s UNAIDS, he is excited about this current time for implementation of evidence-based strategies to end the epidemic. In his spare time, Wakefield finds immense joy in the performing arts. The years before moving to Seattle provided Wakefield with an opportunity to work with youth experiencing homelessness. He initially volunteered with Pride Foundation as a scholarship reviewer and as a donor. He notes, “There is nothing more heartwarming or heartbreaking than connecting with LGBTQ persons, strengthened by their struggles to creatively find ways to build useful and generous lives. Stories of their quests for higher education always move me to tears, laughter, hope, and inspiration. The love Pride Foundation shows is always reflected in these exchanges.” Wakefield is now on the Board of Directors of the Pride Foundation. Learn more about the HIV Vaccine Trials Network here.


Entre Hermanos
The mission of Entre Hermanos is to promote the health and well-being of the Latin Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and questioning community in a culturally appropriate environment through disease prevention, education, support services, advocacy and community building. Founded in 1992, Entre Hermanos came into being by the initiative of a group of LGBT Latinos/as that saw the need for social, educational, and health support services in their community. By 1993, they were affiliated with POCAAN, a non-profit organization that the offers prevention and educational services against HIV/AIDS for people of color, that was also the first year they participated in the Seattle Pride Parade.

Toward the end of 2001, they received a charter from the State of Washington to operate as a nonprofit organization, through the corporate status offered by IRS Section 501(C)(3). Since then, they continue to grow and look forward to their 27th year of service to the Latino LGBTQ community. Learn more about Entre Hermanos here.


POCAAN is committed to: “Promoting Health, Mobilizing Community, and Transforming Lives.” Established in 1987, POCAAN is a multicultural social service agency serving marginalized communities in Seattle and greater King County. For many years their work has been rooted in HIV/AIDS prevention, but it has grown with the understanding that related issues such as substance abuse, incarceration, homelessness, sexually transmitted diseases, racism, sexism, and homophobia also contribute to community marginalization and health disparities. Learn more about POCAAN here.

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