Pride History – Event Poster
Written by SUNY LGBTQA Student Alumni Club
In June…. in cities all over the world, people will come together for Pride, usually parades and festivals few other events can come close to in spectacle and scale.
But despite the fanfare and extravagance, Pride is much more than concerts and parties, Pride is deeply rooted in the LGBT community’s struggle for equality.
Pride was born from the anger and oppression that boiled over into the Stonewall Riots. And while the riots were not the beginning of the gay rights movement, they certainly were one of the turning points.
The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Greenwich Village New York City. At the time, it was illegal to operate a gay bar since New York prohibited homosexuality in public.
On June 28, 1969, as they had many times before, the NYPD raided the Stonewall. But that night is was different. The crowd was agitated and angry. As people were being led from the bar in handcuffs, they jeered and taunted the police.
Exactly what happened next is unclear. But, like a powder keg, the scene exploded. Police wagons were overturned; police were pelted with bottles, coins, and rocks. Eventually the police had to barricade themselves inside the bar.
The riots lasted six nights and drew hundreds of supporters. By the time they were over, there were numerous injuries on both sides and multiple arrests. From that point on, the Gay Rights Movement would never be the same.
One year later on June 27, 1970 the first Gay Liberation Marches were held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
The last night of the Stonewall Riots, there were an estimated 500 people gathered in solidarity. Last year, New York City’s Pride saw more than two million.
So this year at Pride, take a moment to remember the reason you’re there. Take a moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made. Look around…and be proud.