Stonewall happened Early on the morning of Saturday, 28 June 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, at the gay bar at 53 Christopher Street, New York City. For the first time in history Gay people refused to accept the status quo of oppression and took a stand for themselves and, ultimately, the global Gay community. In 1969 the Police raided gay bars regularly. The law at the time, it was illegal to serve Gay people alcohol and for Gays to dance with one another. During a typical raid, the lights were turned on, the customers were lined up and their identification checked. Those without identification or dressed in full drag were arrested. Women were required to wear three pieces of feminine clothing, and would be arrested if found not wearing them. Employees and management of the bars were also typically arrested. The Stonewall Inn had become the iconic flashpoint that sparked the long, uphill battle towards equality for all members of the Gay community. Often referred to as the “Rosa Parks moment” in Gay history the Stonewall rebellion paved the way for future members of the community to not accept treatment as second-class citizens but rather to expect that the LGBT community be treated as equals in the eyes of both the government and society at large. The period immediately before June 28, 1969 was marked by frequent raids of local bars-including a raid at the Stonewall Inn on the Tuesday before the riots.
The Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street and the first LGBT Pride march in U.S. history, covering the 51 blocks to Central Park. The march took less than half the scheduled time due to excitement, but also due to wariness about walking through the city with gay banners and signs. To accommodate the interests of the many different groups participating, the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee named the days leading up to the march, Gay Pride Week.
In 1984, Heritage of Pride (HOP) has been the producer and organizer of Pride Events in New York City. The parade’s organizer, Heritage of Pride (HOP), is a wholly volunteer-managed, non-partisan, tax-exempt, non-profit organization that organizes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride events in New York City to commemorate the Stonewall riots. HOP is one of the few LGBT organizations that it’s run at the grass-roots level. HOP welcomes the participation of all, regardless of age, creed, gender, gender identification, HIV status, national origin, physical, mental or developmental ability, race, or religion. HOP produces five core events collectively known as NYC LGBT Pride, which include: The March, The Rally, PrideFest, Rapture on the River, and Dance on the Pier.
The LGBT Pride March is an annual march, more commonly referred to as the Parade, in New York City, traversing southward down Fifth Avenue and ending at Greenwich Village. The march passes by the site of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, location of the Stonewall riots which launched the modern gay rights movement. In June of 2000, Bill Clinton deemed the month of June, “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” The month was chosen to remember a riot in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan that is thought to be the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States.
The original gay pride flag flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. It has been suggested that Baker was inspired by Judy Garland’s singing “Over the Rainbow” and the Stonewall riots that happened a few days after her death. Gilbert Baker is said to have gotten the idea for the rainbow flag from the Hippie movement of that time that largely influenced by pioneering gay activist Allen Ginsberg. The flag consisted of eight stripes; Baker assigned specific meaning to each of the colors:
Hot pink: sexuality
November 27, 1978, after the assassination of openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased. To meet demand, the Paramount Flag Company began selling a version of the flag using stock rainbow fabric consisting of seven stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and violet.
In 1979 the flag was modified again. When hung vertically from the lamp posts of San Francisco’s Market Street, the center stripe was obscured by the post itself. Changing the flag design to one with an even number of stripes was the easiest way to rectify this, so the turquoise stripe was dropped, which resulted in a six stripe version of the flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Photos From This Year’s Pride March:
(Photos By Dom Pierre)