Spaceworks Participants Celebrate Queer Identity in Tacoma

As the annual festival celebrating the visibility of queer people in Tacoma approaches, we wanted to share the news of two of our participants who fly their colors with creativity and passion for this community: Destiny of Pride Community Mural and Destiny City Queer-Fem Con

Destiny of Pride Community Mural by Matamatononofo Porter

Spaceworks Special Project

Matamatanonofo’s sketch for the Special Project – Destiny of Pride

Destiny of Pride echoes the theme of 2018’s Tacoma Pride Festival. Matamatanonofo designed this mural made up of different people, of a variety of cultures and sexes collated into a single face.  Spaceworks invites the community to participate in this art wall that will be installed for one day only at the festival. We will provide art supplies to the visitors to add their own color and messages. Over 750 people participated in last year’s mural by Saiyare Refaei.

Find it at Tacoma Pride Festival

July 14, 12 PM – 6 PM
S 9th & Pacific Avenue,
Tacoma, Washington 98402
Want to help us at the event? Sign up to volunteer!

Matamatanonofo Porter is a 27-year-old abstract painter and illustrator from Tacoma, Washington. Her Samoan heritage, love for street art, and love for Sci-Fi Fantasy novels are huge influences on her work as a visual artist. Porter balances her work with public art accessible to all, and studio art created solely as a gift for family and friends. We asked her about celebrating Pride:

Pronouns: she/her

Do you identify as a queer artist?

Yes, I identify as a queer Samoan female artist. Existing at that intersection today is truly a unique and fabulous experience. Like most people, however, I have come a long and painful way towards finding self-acceptance. From family disagreements over my sexuality, Samoan culture norms that can constrict the individual, to the fearful inadequacy that haunts many artists. It has taken too long to understand my place in the world. Now I am finally confident that I belong here, I have great value, and no part of myself needs to give way to another; and (word not needed) the same is true for all of us.

As far as Tacoma goes, Tacoma is just where it’s at. Anyone who wants to be supported by a diverse, culture-driven community could be served better by no other city.

Why do you celebrate Pride?

Truthfully, I am a homebody and introspect. When it comes to parading in the streets I drag my feet and beg to be left behind at a bar or bookstore. But, because that form of celebration calls to so many people I love, and only comes a few times a year, I always Pride 😊. I go with friends, I go with family. I feel the love and I enjoy the sunshine. I hold their wallets and phones because I always sport a backpack, and during Pride I experience what it truly means to be out.

What helps you thrive as an artist in Tacoma? What kind of support do you need?

What helps me thrive as an artist in Tacoma is, ironically, a piece of advice given by RuPaul in countless TV interviews: Never burn your bridges. Sometimes a project comes undone. Sometimes a partner, individual, or organization mistakenly offends you. Be kind in your relationship with others and if you must sever ties do it gracefully. By following this rule of decency, I have basically been sustained by a community of artists who cares for its people, and I pride myself on being a contributing member. What kind of support do I need? More barbeques! Summertime fun with my people!

How can your fans stay in touch?

Connect on Instagram: @redink04 or by Email:

Destiny City Queer-Fem Con at Destiny City Comics

This Spaceworks Incubator participant expands their annual Destiny City Queer-Fem Con. Entrepreneur Michael Fitzgerald has a passion for comics and art and brings iconic artists to Tacoma including Kevin Smith of Jay and Silent Bob and Rickmobile from Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty”.

The 4th annual Destiny City Queer-Fem Con grows into a two-day event with Destiny City Comics joining King’s Books at the Tacoma Pride Festival booth. Their selection includes a curated list of graphic novels and comics that feature trans, gay, lesbian, and non-binary characters or are made by LGBTQ artists. Fans of drag queens can even get a signed copy of Mama Tits Saves the World, by the Northwest Press, inspired by the eponymous Seattle performer.

Stretch your super suit on and pop over to the Con: Event details on Facebook

Find it at Destiny City Comics

July 14-15, 12pm – 6pm
218 St Helens Ave,
Tacoma, Washington 98402

Pronouns: he/his

Do you identify as a queer entrepreneur?

Definitely queer, I’ve been in a nine year relationship with my librarian boyfriend. As far as art I do writing from time to time but mostly my focus is on the shop, setting up and curating a collection here. I want my shop to be welcoming to people of all types of backgrounds, and I’m particularly interested in stocking stories by or featuring the queer community. I’ve noticed sometimes women, in particular, can feel left out or not supported by comic book stores, so I definitely also look for books created entirely by women, which you would think would be easy to find given they make up 50% of the population, but they’re surprisingly rare.

Why do you celebrate Pride?

I never really celebrated at Pride events before moving to Tacoma, but I became more involved when I moved here when I lived in the same building the Mix is in and saw how big the community went in on it. Seems like the whole town lights up with rainbows and tries to create as much fun and positive vibes as they can.

What helps you thrive as an entrepreneur in Tacoma? What kind of support do you need?

It’s thanks to my loyal returning customers who visit every week for the latest twists for their favorite superheroes and other art lovers stopping in for a visit to grab a graphic novel to read. Might need a little help on spreading the word on events and specials I have. Spaceworks has always been a great supporter and I wouldn’t have opened without their help so thank you!