In 2010, the Space Needle made history by raising the Pride flag on top of the needle for the first time ever. While the Space Needle is a private company, Seattleites proudly recognize the needle as a symbol of their beautiful city.
Seattle has the country's 2nd largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. When the Space Needle raised the Pride flag they made the LGBT community feel truly welcome in their home city. Not only did residents celebrate the Pride flag on the needle, but people rejoiced from around the world as news broke about the Space Needle's strong support for LGBT people. The message was clear: Seattle is a welcoming city for all.
The Space Needle has not announced plans to raise the Pride flag for Seattle 2011 Pride. Please join me in thanking the Space Needle for raising the flag in 2010, and ask them to raise the Pride flag again in 2011.
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 may know, several highly public suicides by young gay, or gay perceived youth were reported last year. 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 my older LGBT friends. Our older community members have struggled for the most basic rights, like being to 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.
Space Needle, we 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.
Please continue to stand with the LGBT community. Please show the world that Seattle welcomes everyone by raising the flag again for Seattle Pride 2011.