Seattle PI: Gay rights Festivus pole headed to Olympia Capitol

Staff Festivus, Press, Projects 114 Comments

seattlepi.comGay rights Festivus pole headed to Olympia Capitol
By LYNSI BURTON, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
Updated 4:05 pm, Monday, December 14, 2015

The Humanity Fund, an organization that supports social justice causes and LGBT rights with a heavy dose of humor, has won the right to erect a Festivus Pole in the Olympia Capitol building. Festivus, a fictional holiday created by the ’90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” celebrates the Dec. 23 event with an aluminum pole, the “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength.” Photo: Courtesy Chaz Stevens

Photo: Courtesy Chaz Stevens

The Humanity Fund, an organization that supports social justice causes and LGBT rights with a heavy dose of humor, has won the right to erect a Festivus Pole in the Olympia Capitol building. Festivus, a fictional holiday created by the ’90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” celebrates the Dec. 23 event with an aluminum pole, the “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength.”

The Humanity Fund, an organization that supports social justice causes and LGBT rights with a heavy dose of humor, has won the right to erect a Festivus Pole in the Olympia Capitol building. Festivus, a … more
Photo: Courtesy Chaz Stevens

The Humanity Fund, an organization that supports social justice causes and LGBT rights with a heavy dose of humor, has won the right to erect a Festivus Pole in the Olympia Capitol building. Festivus, a fictional holiday created by the ’90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” celebrates the Dec. 23 event with an aluminum pole, the “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength.”

The Humanity Fund, an organization that supports social justice causes and LGBT rights with a heavy dose of humor, has won the right to erect a Festivus Pole in the Olympia Capitol building. Festivus, a … more
Photo: Courtesy Chaz Stevens

The Humanity Fund, an organization that supports social justice causes and LGBT rights with a heavy dose of humor, has won the right to erect a Festivus Pole in the Olympia Capitol building. Festivus, a fictional holiday created by the ’90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” celebrates the Dec. 23 event with an aluminum pole, the “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength.”

The Humanity Fund, an organization that supports social justice causes and LGBT rights with a heavy dose of humor, has won the right to erect a Festivus Pole in the Olympia Capitol building. Festivus, a … more
Photo: Courtesy Chaz Stevens

Here’s a feat of strength: An organization supporting LGBT rights has won a spot for a gay rights Festivus Pole to be displayed along with a nativity scene and other religious displays on the Olympia State Capitol grounds.

The Humanity Fund — perhaps inspired by George Costanza’s Human Fund? — has spent the past few holiday seasons working to get a Festivus pole into state capitols to represent an alternative viewpoint to the typical nativities and menorahs.

It started with the Tallahassee, Fla. Capitol in 2013, a feat that went viral and received play on “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and Fox News.

Festivus is a holiday concocted by the character Frank Costanza on “Seinfeld,” which introduces an antidote to Christmas consumerism with a spare aluminum pole as its decorative symbol. It it celebrated with the airing of grievances (often done unintentionally at family dinner tables, to be sure) and feats of strength, in which celebrants must pin down Papa Costanza.

The Humanity Fund’s Festivus Pole, however, deviates from the original Spartan vision, painted with purple glitter, covered in the colors of the rainbow and topped with an 8-inch disco ball. It’s about 6-feet-6-inches tall.

Frank Costanza might call it “distracting,” but it’s another take on the holiday symbol. It will provide “plenty of opportunities to air one’s grievances,” Chaz Stevens of The Humanity Fund says.

The Humanity Fund’s Festivus Pole has since made its way into Springfield, Ill., Lansing, Mich., and Washington, D.C., and is awaiting approval from the Oklahoma and Missouri state capitols.

Olympia’s Festivus pole will be located by the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol campus, about 25 feet from the nativity.

So far, three displays have been approved on the Capitol grounds: a Christmas nativity, a Winter Solstice display and the Gay Rights Festivus Pole, said Curt Hart, spokesman for the state Department of Enterprise Services.

A Menorah was also approved for Sylvester Park, a nearby park in downtown Olympia. It was set up Dec. 4 and is scheduled to come down Friday.

Let the airing of grievances commence. Festivus for the rest of us!

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