Founder of Seattle Pride looks back on four decades



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Posted on June 27, 2014 at 7:14 PM

SEATTLE -- As Seattle prepares for gay pride festivities this weekend, one of the founders looks back on four decades of history.

What started as a demonstration on a single day grew into Pride Week and now Pride Month and is an ever-expanding effort to spread awareness and acceptance. The celebration that now has a half million dollar budget started with $500 in 1974.

Their banner was a bed sheet with spray paint.

"We had that low budget, we took sheets and tore them up and I took a can of spray paint and spray painted," said David Neth, one of the founding fathers of the Seattle Pride Parade.

Neth shared many of his memories from over the years.

"I grew up in a small town thinking by the time I was 35, I would commit suicide, because that's what happened with gay people because they were so unhappy," said Neth.

Neth knows that desperation still exists with many. Hate crimes still persist. But there have been great gains. Seattle elected a gay mayor. Neth remembers the feeling of pride when a flag with the rainbow colors went up on the Space Needle. But perhaps the most profound moment for him was gay marriage.

He remembers it hitting him the day of his wedding.

"When the party truck pulled up with all the table linens and stuff and I went down to meet them, it's like the same moment like the flag on the Space Needle," said Neth. "I can't believe this moment happened in my lifetime."

Gains made because of the groundwork of past activists, many of them will be riding a founders’ float in the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday.