Gay Activism before 1969

Gay activism and the LGBT rights movements were active before Stonewall, but this event gave them the fuel to move forward. Joan Nestle called the Stonewall rioting “a coming together of historical forces refusing to endure discrimination.” Lillian Faderman called it “an emblem of gay and lesbian power and a shot heard round the world.”

The LGBTQIA+ history started before 1969, but the Stonewall Riot probably is its most influential event. People felt there was hope and were inspired to take action. Organizations like Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activist Alliance were attracting more members than before, and there was a tremendous momentum. They spread information through their pamphlets and shortly after more organization advocating equal right were mobilized.

Their intention was to establish Christopher Street Liberation Day. On the anniversary of Stonewall, the first Pride Parade covering 15 city blocks marched from Christopher Street to Central Park, for everyone to witness.

Los Angeles and Chicago synchronized their marches the same day, and a year later, the newly evolved Pride spread over in three more states and four more countries.

That is the History of Gay Pride. The Parade and the colors and songs celebrating acceptance of those who are “different.”

That is not the end of the history lesson though, sexual and gender minorities still do not have equal rights, and still face Stonewall-like discrimination.

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