It’s no secret that, throughout history, gay people endured all kinds of problems with the authorities and public in general. Homophobia was a severe problem for years, especially during the Second World War. Nazis would put people in concentration camps because of their sexual orientation.
After the end of the war, pretty much nothing changed for gay people all over the world. The US government was particularly hostile towards its LGBTQ population, restricting them from basic human rights. In June 1969, the police raided a gay bar in Greenwich Village, which was when the community said “enough.” Members of the LGBTQ community started protesting, which later led to more demonstrations throughout June 1969 in New York.
The next year, gay rights movements decided to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots by organizing the first-ever pride in Central Park. Even though the general society was still hostile towards the community, the city gave them a permit to legally gather for a gay pride parade. The rest was history.
What Is Gay Pride?
In a nutshell, pride is a way of promoting certain ideas that are meant to help LGBTQ people enjoy their lives the same way everyone else does. It’s a promotion of equality, dignity, respect, and many other human rights that make people what they are. In a way, it’s a reaction to years of discrimination and violence the community has endured.
Some would consider gay pride a way of freely expressing your sexual orientation or gender identity in public, in a safe space and among the people who support you. The LGBTQ parade and community accepted the term pride in the late ’60s. In those early days, it was strongly promoted by various important figures, such as Brenda Howard, who’s also called the “Mother of Pride.”
Pride marches usually happen in the month with many important dates for the LGBTQ community (this is often June). It’s a way of paying respect to people who went through years of discrimination and violence while fighting for the cause. Also, it’s a celebration of victory against regime oppression and cultural discrimination. The pride month is full of festive activities and events, such as parties, concerts, gay cinema retrospective, etc.
Nowadays, parades are present all over the world. In some places, there’s still some social stigma surrounding the LGBTQ community. Luckily, the Stonewall Inn anniversaries and other celebrations will continue to promote equality, freedom, and pride for years to come. In case you’re up for helping out and supporting the cause, you should get informed about your local pride month and join in the events when the possibility arises.
When Did the First Gay Pride Take Place?
After years of horrendous treatment by the public, gay people finally said no. Even if the status of the LGBTQ community still isn’t perfect, as it should be, unbelievable progress has been made in the last 50 years. Like we’ve already said, the summer of ’69 made lots of changes in the world.
That summer has brought us, among other things, the first big step in achieving gay rights. After a police raid on the now-famous gay bar, Stonewall Inn, LGBTQ people began protesting and rioting on the streets of New York. The next year, the community decided to commemorate the events by organizing the first gay parade.
Therefore, 28 June 1970 saw the first parade ever. That’s when the long walk for freedom and dignity on the streets of the Big Apple began. Even though there was fear of the city not giving the permit, it eventually did. The walk took place as planned, starting from Central Park, and the news spread all around the world.
What Is the Main Goal of Gay Pride?
The LGBT community was long in the gutter. It was looked down upon by the society; hence when enough was enough, gays, lesbians, and transgender people finally decided it was time for a change. The main goal of gay parades was always to show that these people exist. They’re your family members, your neighbors, teachers, grocery store workers — ordinary people you meet every day.
The idea is to show that sexual attraction to someone that’s not conventional is still okay. In the beginning, the goal was simply to achieve the same rights assigned at birth as everyone else. Nowadays, pride is a beautiful event in the US, promoting tolerance, freedom, dignity, and many other values.
Gay pride doesn’t exclude straight people or any other group — that would be counterproductive. Moreover, everyone’s welcome to join the fight for a better world. You could say that parades are meant to promote acceptance for everyone. So if you’re a straight ally, feel free to join in. You’ll enjoy the experience, and the community will appreciate it. SEE what other people experience in their first Gay Pride.
Why Is the LGBTQ Flag a Rainbow?
The pride community has many symbols, such as black triangles and the lowercase Greek letter lambda. However, the most prominent image you’d associate with the gay movement is the rainbow flag. In the early years of the movement, San Francisco gays would incorporate rainbow colors. The different shades represent various groups in the community, such as gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, and others.
The original flag had eight colors, but it changed to six in later years. Nowadays, it’s back to eight, with the red being on top of the vertical order. The symbolism is pretty clear — the point is to show that everyone is welcome, no matter their sexual orientation and identity.
The rainbow flag is omnipresent these days. Straight people, organizations, and even various brands use it during the pride month. This way, they show support for the community. For example, sports associations will incorporate it into their official logos to promote equality and support for LGBTQ+ people.