Pride Season

Check out Last Year’s Photos!

A Little Bit of History…

In 2020 – at the height of the COVID pandemic – then president Andrew Kada conceptualized a groundbreaking 8-week program: a queer-centric summer soccer league in the Seattle area. This club’s history has always been one rooted in inclusion, embracing our diversity and identity, and focused on amplifying queer voices in the sport. PRIDE Season launched and celebrated it’s inaugural season in 2021 and immediately became one of our highest demanded programs. It is the only league in the history of Seattle encompassing a dozen of queer teams in genderless divisions competing on Friday nights in the iconic queer neighborhood of Capitol Hill. The program is two-fold:

1. allowing us to showcase the best of our programs featuring locals in and around the King County area

2. partnering with local sponsors to highlight all the amazing opportunities that being queer in the city of Seattle has to offer

About the Program…

From the very beginning PRIDE Season has always attracted a really intense following, for many players, it is the quintessential queer soccer event of the summer. Starting in June of every year – right at the heart of Pride month here in Seattle – begins 8 weeks of: draft parties, exhibition games, community building, halftime shows, drag performances, Meet & Greets, live music, post-game celebrations, free raffles, free action shots, and so much morePRIDE Season was designed as a space where queer participants could engage and compete in the world of soccer outside of traditional gender norms and perceived “standard-heteronormativity” in sports spaces.

The program is comprised of two divisions: a recreational level, and a competitive one. Both division games are held concurrently so that friends and teams can mingle and cheer each other on in their matches. Our Recreation division is exactly that – modeled after our Kickabout program – this style of play is reminiscent of all-levels friendly neighborhood scrimmage style of community play. Our Competitive division is modeled after standard team-style play in adult rec leagues, players of all levels D1/D2/D3/D4 are equally distributed among teams and come together to compete for top team of the season. The purpose of PRIDE Season is to build community and engage with our peers to broaden our social circles; regardless of division each team is balanced by auto-drafting enrollees of all different levels sharing a common love of the game.

Who Do We Impact…

RCSC is one of the oldest queer soccer clubs in North America, we are also one of the largest. A key component of this that makes RCSC so special is that we don’t charge membership fees. Ever. Participation in the club has always been opt-in and without financial barriers. This is intentional; as a club we know that our community faces unique challenges, especially those who have been marginalized, and have committed to doing everything within our power to acknowledge that our community has some of the highest rates of unemployment, under-employment, family instability, housing instability, lack of affordable care, and barriers to access advanced education. This program – like all of our programs at RCSC – was built specifically with the underprivileged in mind and is comprised of a sliding scale assistance option to allow players to receive help with their registration fees should they need financial assistance to participate.

The club is proud to exist and operate as a non-profit in the City of Seattle, King County, and Washington state. Federally recognized, RCSC functions on a break-even model, that means that every dollar raised goes directly into funding local queer programs, events, and businesses that operate right here in the greater Seattle area. It is amazing to see the bonds that are created in our programs grow and thrive on in many aspects of members’ lives throughout the year. As a club we always joke that if you play queer soccer here in Seattle, the phrase “Seattle Freeze” will mean nothing to you.

Why Do We Do It…

PRIDE Season is an incredibly young program relative to the history of the club, it launched for the first time 21 years after the club was founded and 32 years after the grassroots idea that started it all. In 2023, PRIDE Season’s third year, 149 tickets sold out in NINETEEN DAYSThat is the fastest ticket sale this club has ever experienced. The program went on to end up with over 60 people on the waiting list hoping for a spot to open on one of the team rosters.

At a time of year when Kickabout attendance is at an all time high (~70 players every week) and full team league play in Seattle summer leagues are at their highest engagements (15 active teams with ~16 players per roster), we are still able to generate such a massive native demand for the program. Many attendees inform us that this is the only queer soccer they play all year, so many members want to engage in queer-only safe spaces where they can be surrounded by community during the most celebrated month of our existence. Seattle has always been a booming soccer town, but as a board we know we are the only club, league, or program that models this kind of unrelenting adherence to inclusion.

The most common question we get on the sidelines during the summer: “Wow, this is QUEER soccer?!” For some people, it is a lightbulb for finding their community and questions on how they too can get involved. For others the question stems from prejudice; some people have an unfortunate preconceived notion of what “queer soccer” would look like. These are the people we enjoy engaging with the most: to help reset their expectations on what being queer means, and how queer soccer is just… soccer. So come out, join us, and see what inclusive soccer looks like – there’s nothing quite like finding a space designed for whatever you are looking for.