Spirit of ’74: Seattle’s first Pride and the gay ‘communes’ of Capitol Hill

Seattle's first Pride in 1974 -- from JAKE Talks

Seattle’s first Pride in 1974 — from JAKE Talks

One of the original CHS contributors, Capitol Hill videographer David Albright sent us a note about a recent project just in time for this weekend’s 40th anniversary of Seattle Pride:

I’ve been working with a group called JAKE Talks (basically TED talks for the gays)… and our first video is on Seattle’s first pridefest back in ’74. It includes some interesting tid-bits about what the hill was like back in the 70s.

The talk by longtime community leader David Neth provides glimpses into life on Capitol Hill before real estate prices sky rocketed and countercultures could afford to put down roots. “All of these old capitol Hill homes. They were run down,” Neth begins. “They were rentals. Cheap rentals. You couldn’t even give them away if you were going to sell one. It was the perfect encampment for the washed out hippies and the newly emerging gay and lesbian community.” Here are excerpts from the full talk:

“We were the LGBT community. We weren’t behind closed doors. We weren’t in bars — right now. We weren’t protesting,” Neth says about that day in 1974. “We were in a public space, having a good time and enjoying life with our heads held high in the bright sunlight.”

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