If you have a news tip or story idea, I'd love to hear from you...
To leave a voice message for Linda about any of her stories call toll free 1-855-251-2363
Gay pride flag on the Space Needle, 2012?June 19, 2012 @ 6:08 pm (Updated: 3:47 am - 6/21/12 )
UPDATE: This statement in my email from The Space Needle: "As we don't raise any flag but the American flag on a regular basis, there are no plans to raise the Rainbow Flag again this year. We will continue to support equal rights and actively foster these causes as we have in the past."
The Space Needle flew a gay pride flag for the first time in 2010. A petition and fundraising effort convinced them to do it again in 2011. What about 2012?
The Space Needle, a symbol of Seattle though owned by a private company, initially said it would not fly the rainbow flag last year. The company changed its mind after $50,000 was raised to benefit charities that work with the LGBT community, and the flag waved during Seattle's 2011 Gay Pride Parade.
The 2012 parade is this weekend. Space Needle managers haven't responded to my question about whether they will or won't fly the flag atop the structure, now painted "galaxy orange" in honor of its 50th anniversary.
Supporters are asked to sign a petition to raise the flag again.
"What a sight. I will never forget seeing the Pride flag on top of the Space Needle for the first time. I felt so proud of Seattle, and completely welcome in my home town," writes Stuart Wilber, who is behind the latest petition campaign.
Here's his essay, stating what seeing the flag flying on Seattle's symbol means to him:
Whenever I see photos of the Space Needle with the Pride flag, I think about how important that moment was for young people in Seattle and around the world. As you know, bullying has continued to lead to highly public suicides by young gay or gay-perceived youth. It is still very challenging for young people in this country. However, when I see photos of the Space Needle with the Pride flag, I can't help but think of the young people, and how much hope your symbol of acceptance must give them.
I also was inspired by how important that moment was for me and my older LGBT friends. Our older community members have struggled for the most basic rights, like being able to rent an apartment, or hold a job, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I will never forget the smiles on their faces as they gazed upon the Space Needle proudly waving the flag.
Those of us who are gay and live in Seattle and WA State are fortunate - many of our representatives are supportive of our equality. And when we saw that rainbow flag flying over the iconic Needle, we for a brief time felt included and welcomed - a feeling many of us as LGBT folk never get to experience. Many of our youth are homeless and have no access to computers; others watch the "It Gets Better" videos and wonder, "when?" Last year our President and our Governor, the King County Council, The Seattle City Council and our Mayor again proclaimed Gay Pride and the rainbow flag again flew over the Space Needle. No one will remember those proclamations, but thousands will remember seeing the flag atop the Needle. And everyone who saw it will know that thanks to you, it had already gotten a little better.
Space Needle, we still need you to continue to show your pride because young people are still bullied for who they are. We need you to be a beacon of hope for people around the world who are oppressed - and even threatened with death - simply because of who they were born to be. This year in November we face a referendum on our struggle for equality. Please join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality and continue to stand with the LGBT community. Please show the world that Seattle welcomes everyone by raising the flag again for Seattle Pride 2012.
By LINDA THOMAS
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.