2018 marks the 23th year since Pride Month was established by the General Assembly of the National Education Association.
Pride commemorates the Stonewall Uprising, which happened on June 28th, 1969, in New York City. At that point, it was still illegal for LGBTQ+ people to meet in public places. The police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, and the patrons (led by queer and trans people of color) fought back. The Stonewall Inn stands to this day.
The first pride parade was organized by a bisexual woman named Brenda Howard. The first iteration was a liberation march about a month after Stonewall, which evolved into a parade and festival the next year.
Many cities have spinoff festivals for trans people and people of color in addition to the main Pride Parade.
The first rainbow Pride flag, created by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, debuted in 1978.
The colors on the pride flag are symbolic, representing nature, sexuality, and other things.
The first west coast events happened on June 28, 1970, in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The parades were originally more serious events focused on activism. While most of Pride has evolved into a fun party in many developed nations, political aspects still remain.
In 2016, Stonewall, its surrounding area, and an adjacent park were made into Stonewall National Monument by President Barack Obama, making it the National Park Service’s first LGBTQ+ rights monument.
Most cities continue having specific events for Trans activism, HIV/AIDS awareness, anti-LGBTQ+ violence, and other important LGBTQ+ issues.
The first Dyke March, which focuses on lesbians, was held in New York City in 1993, the night before the Pride Parade.
The largest pride parade in the United States takes place in San Francisco, which also has a different theme every year.
San Francisco Mayor George Moscone was the first city mayor to attend a Pride Parade. He was assassinated alongside activist and city supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978.
Not all Pride events or parades take place during Pride Month. Moscow’s Pride Parade was held in May, because it commemorated when Russia decriminalized homosexuality. Moscow banned pride parades in 2012.
Capetown Pride was originally held in October, then moved to December, and now happens in February.
In 2011, Brazilian politician Carlos Apolinário sponsored a bill for a ‘Heterosexual Pride Day’, which is not a thing.
Ironically, Sao Paulo hosted the largest Pride Parade in the world in 2017.
Madrid and New York City also host some of the world’s most popular parades.
Many of the parades had ‘Freedom’ and ‘Gay Liberation’ in their titles until those were dropped for ‘pride’ in the 1980s or 1990s.
Not all cities and countries celebrate their pride parades.
Istanbul’s 2015 parade was broken up by police, and has been banned ever since.
Pride events in Uganda were broken up in 2016. Homosexuality is still illegal in Uganda.
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month
- 7 Facts Your May Not Know About LGBT Pride
- 21 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About LGBT Pride
- Pride Parade Trivia: 26 fun facts about the famous event!
- The Most Fascinating Facts About San Francisco’s Gay Pride
- Governor’s Office bans LGBT Pride March in Istanbul
- Ugandan police break up gay pride event
- ‘Why Is June So Gay?’ And Other Pride 101 Facts You Need To Know