How to Be a Better Ally, Part 3: History of Pride

Part 3 of our series on “How to Be a Better Ally” looks at the history of Pride in the United States.

Table of Contents

Part 1: What Does Being an Ally Mean?
Part 2: Breaking the Binary
Part 3: History of Pride (current)
Part 4: Pride Flags (next)
Part 5: Things You Can Do

History of Pride (U.S.)

The exact details of the history of Pride will vary depending on sources, but most can agree that it all started with the Stonewall riots in New York City back in June of 1969. Early in the morning of June 28th, New York City’s Public Morals Division officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a local gay bar.

These types of raids were not uncommon and police even had the right to arrest LGBTQ+ folks as they operated in the name of Morality and against the vice of homosexuality. However, that night in June the LGBTQ+ patrons had finally had enough and they finally fought back. What ensued was an all-out brawl between the LGBTQ+ community and the local New York police force. The riots and protests lasted for 6 whole nights in the name of LGBTQ+ equality and respect.

A year later, demonstrations and marches were held around the US to commemorate what was then known as “Christopher Street Liberation Day”. The demonstrations were a uniting point for the LGBTQ+ community and a way to publicize LGBTQ+ struggles to the world.

These demonstrations and parades were a critical part in lighting a fire within the LGBTQ+ rights movement as they offered a platform for visibility of the community in a way they had never had before. As time progressed, more and more cities began to celebrate these “Pride” events around the country and they slowly morphed into the parades and celebrations you know today. 

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