PRIDE – origins and history
To kick off our celebrations of this year’s LGBT+ PRIDE month we thought we’d take a look at the origins and history of the PRIDE movement and some of the key figures in its development.
So where and when did PRIDE begin? The answer lies in New York City over 50 years ago …
On June 28th, 1969 the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club situated in Greenwich Village. They forced more than 200 people out of the bar and onto the streets using excessive violence in the process. The result was six days of protests and clashes now known as the ‘Stonewall Riots’ led by, amongst others, Marsha P. Johnson, an African-American gay man and drag artist (more on Marsha next week).
It wasn’t until a year later that bisexual activist Brenda Howard (known as ‘The Mother of Pride,’) organised Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade. It was this annual event that, over a number of years, grew in popularity and became what we now know as the New York City Pride March, the catalyst for parades and marches across the world in recognition of sexual diversity. And it would be almost a decade later that the now familiar rainbow flag would become associated with the movement and 30 years before being officially recognised by the U.S. government (Bill Clinton in 1999).
So there you have it a brief history of the movement, later in the week we’ll take a closer look at Marsha P. Johnson and next week we’ll look a little closer to home for our history lesson when we feature the origins of Walsall PRIDE.