Pride Parade for the LGBT community is an event celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture and pride. Let’s see the history and some interesting facts behind it!
1.Early on the morning of Saturday June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.
2. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar which catered to an assortment of patrons, but which was popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community: transvestites, transgender people, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth
3. On Saturday, June 27, 1970, Chicago Gay Liberation organized a march from Washington Square Park (“Bughouse Square”) to the Water Tower at the intersection of Michigan and Chicago avenues, which was the route originally planned, and then many of the participants extemporaneously marched on to the Civic Center (now Richard J. Daley) Plaza.
4. The date was chosen because the Stonewall events began on the last Saturday of June and because organizers wanted to reach the maximum number of Michigan Avenue shoppers. Subsequent Chicago parades have been held on the last Sunday of June, coinciding with the date of many similar parades elsewhere.
5. On the West Coast of the United States held a march in Los Angeles on June 28, 1970 and a march and ‘Gay-in’ in San Francisco.
6.That the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged-that of our fundamental human rights-be moved both in time and location.
8. All attendees to the ERCHO meeting in Philadelphia voted for the march except for Mattachine Society of New York City, which abstained. Members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) attended the meeting and were seated as guests of Rodwell’s group, Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN).
9. Meetings to organize the march began in early January at Rodwell’s apartment in 350 Bleecker Street At first there was difficulty getting some of the major New York organizations like Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) to send representatives. Craig Rodwell and his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Michael Brown, Marty Nixon, and Foster Gunnison of Mattachine made up the core group of the CSLD Umbrella Committee (CSLDUC).
10. For initial funding, Gunnison served as treasurer and sought donations from the national homophile organizations and sponsors, while Sargeant solicited donations via the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop customer mailing list and Nixon worked to gain financial support from GLF in his position as treasurer for that organization.
11. Other mainstays of the organizing committee were Judy Miller, Jack Waluska, Steve Gerrie and Brenda Howard of GLF.
12. Believing that more people would turn out for the march on a Sunday, and so as to mark the date of the start of the Stonewall uprising, the CSLDUC scheduled the date for the first march for Sunday, June 28, 1970.
13. With Dick Leitsch’s replacement as president of Mattachine NY by “Michael Kotis” in April 1970, opposition to the march by Mattachine ended.
14. Brenda Howard is known as the “Mother of Pride”, for her work in coordinating the march. Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.
15. Additionally, Howard along with fellow LGBT Activists Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker are credited with popularizing the word “Pride” to describe these festivities.
16. The first marches were both serious and fun, and served to inspire the widening activist movement; they were repeated in the following years, and more and more annual marches started up in other cities throughout the world. In Atlanta and New York City and the marches were called Gay Liberation Marches, and the day of celebration was called “Gay Liberation Day”; in Los Angeles and San Francisco they became known as ‘Gay Freedom Marches’ and the day was called “Gay Freedom Day”. As more cities and even smaller towns began holding their own celebrations, these names spread. The rooted ideology behind the parades is a critique of space which has been produced to seem heteronormative and ‘straight’, and therefore any act appearing to be homosexual is considered dissident by society. The Parade brings this homosexual behaviour into the space.
17. In the 1980s there was a cultural shift in the gay movement. Activists of a less radical nature began taking over the march committees in different cities, and they dropped “Gay Liberation” and “Gay Freedom” from the names, replacing them with “Gay Pride
18. Many parades still have at least some of the original political or activist character, especially in less accepting settings. The variation is largely dependent on the political, economic and religious settings of the area.
19. However, in more accepting cities, the parades take on a festive or even Mardi Gras-like character, where by the political stage is built on notions of celebration. Large parades often involve floats, dancers, drag queens, and amplified music; but even such celebratory parades usually include political and educational contingents, such as local politicians and marching groups from LGBT institutions of various kinds.
20. Other typical parade participants include local LGBT-friendly churches such as Metropolitan Community Churches, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist Churches, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and LGBT employee associations from large businesses.
21. Even the most festive parades usually offer some aspect dedicated to remembering victims of AIDS and anti-LGBT violence.
22. Some particularly important pride parades are funded by governments and corporate sponsors, and promoted as major tourist attractions for the cities that host them. In some countries, some pride parades are now also called Pride Festivals. Some of these festivals provide a carnival-like atmosphere in a nearby park or city-provided closed-off street, with information booths, music concerts, barbecues, beer stands, contests, sports, and games.
23. The ‘dividing line’ between onlookers and those marching in the parade can be hard to establish in some events, however in cases where the event is received with hostility, such a separation becomes very obvious. There have been studies considering how the relationship between participants and onlookers is affected by the divide, and how space is used to critique the heteronormative nature of society.
24. Though the reality was that the Stonewall riots themselves, as well as the immediate and the ongoing political organizing that occurred following them, were events fully participated in by lesbian women, bisexual people and transgender people as well as by gay men of all races and backgrounds, historically these events were first named Gay, the word at that time being used in a more generic sense to cover the entire spectrum of what is now variously called the ‘queer’ or LGBT community.
25. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, as many of the actual participants had grown older, moved on to other issues or died, this led to misunderstandings as to who had actually participated in the Stonewall riots, who had actually organized the subsequent demonstrations, marches and memorials, and who had been members of early activist organizations such as Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance. The language has become more accurate and inclusive, though these changes met with initial resistance from some in their own communities who were unaware of the historical events.
26. Changing first to Lesbian and Gay, today most are called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) or simply “Pride”.