The very first Pride Parade took place on June 28th, 1970 in commemoration of the first anniversary of the Stonewall raid in New York City. The parade, almost a year in the making, was an opportunity for gay men and women to step out of the proverbial closet and respond as a community to the horrific attacks at the Stonewall Inn by proclaiming loudly and proudly that the gay community cannot be brought down. The courageousness and sheer strength of will in organizing this first Pride Parade cannot be overstated, as our country’s gay rights record in 1970 was not deserving of too much pride; sodomy laws were on the books and routinely enforced, discrimination was rampant, and gay visibility in the social and cultural landscapes was virtually non-existent, except as seen as a threat or a mockery.
Now 43 years hence, the LGBT community has grown in strength, in numbers and in visibility, and we have so much about which to be proud, as the arc of our country’s history bends more and more toward equality and justice for all. This is why every year I march with pride and with hope: pride in how far we’ve come, and hope that our trajectory will continue this trend.
Read More: @ jwa.org
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