June 27, 2014 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern
As June and LGBT Pride Month comes to a close, there isn’t a better time to reflect on the history of Pride, Stonewall, and the amazing accomplishments that have been achieved by LGBT activists since the first pride march 44 years ago.
New York was the birthplace of Pride in 1970, one year after the famous Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village. The riots, which spanned over three days, were some of the most prominent instances in which LGBT people resisted against police discrimination. It was a watershed moment in LGBT history – it is often accredited as the start of the modern gay liberation movement, which later expanded into the larger LGBT rights movement.
Since Stonewall, Pride has seen a great number of changes and transformations. Originally, Pride was solely a political demonstration to voice LGBT demands for equal rights and protections. More and more parades and demonstrations appeared in New York and across the U.S., including parades by PFLAG and ACT UP during the AIDS epidemic. It was not until 1991 that Pride began to resemble what it is today: a celebration of queer life and sexuality in addition to a political and social demonstration.
But as Pride grows and becomes celebrated world wide, it is important to remember its origin. Stonewall was a turning point in LGBT history because of the activism that it inspired, but it still serves as a reminder of the discrimination, violence, and brutality that LGBT people faced less than 50 years ago. As we continue to celebrate Pride, HRC remembers LGBT history and the need for full equality for all LGBT people.