Joe Mirabella

Seattle's Space Needle Historic Pride Flag Raising

Filed By Joe Mirabella | June 26, 2010 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay pride, LGBT community, LGBT history, Pride Flag, pride month, Seattle Pride, Space Needle

I was honored to be invited to the Space Needle to witness history early Friday morning. For the first time ever, the Space Needle raised the rainbow flag on top of the iconic Seattle symbol. It was a pure joy to participate in this event.

Several brave souls got to go where few people ever get to go -- the roof of the Space Needle. Together each took their turn raising the enormous rainbow colored flag. This was no small feat. There is nothing but a rope separating you from the ground below, and you have to climb three separate ladders to get to the pole -- of coarse it was raining.

Despite the clouds, the mood was warm and celebratory as a handful of local and national icons realized the importance of the symbolism.

The Seattle Space Needle is an internationally recognized symbol of our Emerald City. We have the second highest LGBT population in the country, some of the oldest LGBT organizations and institutions, and continue to break ground as we advance towards full equality.

Thanks to the courage and photographic talent of Seattle Gay News photographer James Whitely I have these once in a lifetime photographs to share with you. Thank you to George Bakan, Seattle Gay News owner and Seattle activist icon, for giving me permission to share these photographs.

Anne Levinson, Joe McDermott, Jamie Peterson, Sally Clark.jpg

Pictured Left To Right, Seattle City Council Member Sally Clark, State Representative Jamie Pederson, Seattle Storm Owner and Chair Washington Families Standing Together Anne Levinson, State Senator Joe McDermott

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Looking at that second photo -- goddess, that's beautiful. Thanks for posting this, Joe.

Wow, Joe. That's spectacular.

For some historical context, 12 years ago when I came out as FTM, I was serving as the Democratic State Committeewoman in my district and needed to tell my friend and Democratic State Committeeman that I was serving with about my then impending transition. After I did so, he said he needed to come out to me, as well.

I said, please forgive me, but under the circumstances, I need to ask you, coming out as what? He said as a gay man.

That gay man was Joe McDermott (fourth on the right in the top picture), long before he was an openly gay state senator.

What were the odds?

Rory, thank you for sharing that story. Sen. McDermott is a super guy.

Oh, I wish I could have been there too.

Wow. I can't believe they put a rainbow up there while some towns are still debating on whether people can put them up themselves.

Stuart M Wilber | June 28, 2010 10:32 AM

Great article, Joe. In person it was even more impressive. Let's make sure that it flies there next year. The Space Needle is owned by a private corporation;please send thanks to: president@spaceneedle.com

Nelson Smith | June 28, 2010 9:47 PM

I have prevented gay youth, as young as 12 and most are Christians, from committing suicide. Imagine what a beautiful symbol of pride and acceptance this high-flying flag over a large city landmark means to the self esteem of these most vulnerable youth.
Thank you and God bless each of those responsible.
O Be Joyful!,
Nelson blaine USAF Retired