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Seattle Pridefest started from humble beginnings

It's a statement and a celebration.  But when Seattle Pride Week began back in 1974, it was also an act of courage. #k5evening

Disclaimer: This episode is an encore presentation of KING 5's Evening. This story was aired the first time in June 2016.

It's a statement and a celebration. But when Seattle Pride Week began back in 1974, it was also an act of courage.

“You had to be in the closet in the '70s if you wanted to keep your job.”

David Neth had recently moved to Seattle, where he felt right at home in a welcoming gay community. He wanted to create an event worthy of his new city's potential.

“Ya know, Seattle's a big enough city. We need to have a whole Gay Pride Week.”

The goal was for the gay and lesbian community and its supporters to join hands around Seattle Center's International Fountain.

“We had about 60 people. 50 to 60 people. We were kind of a motley group. And kind of by definition we were a radical group because we were out there doing this.”

Like a crowning jewel, activist Bruce Paris topped the fountain in a now-iconic moment.

“He just went up and plopped down in the center of the fountain, sort of like the Queen of Sheeba.”

Seattle Pride had taken root. Over the years, pride and acceptance would grow. But the people who started it all say the journey is not yet over.

Disclaimer: This episode is an encore presentation of KING 5's Evening. This story was aired the first time in June 2016.

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