Birth of the Pride March

Marching for visibility and in protest

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

First Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1970 (1970-06-28) by Leonard FinkThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

The first of what we now know as the Pride march or parade was held on June 28, 1970 on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. It was dubbed the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, and organized by the CSLD Committee.

First Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1970 (1970-06-28) by Leonard FinkThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Mattachine Society

Mattachine, founded in 1951, was one of the first gay rights organizations. Their mission was  "serving the needs of all homosexuals"  whatever those needs might be; physical or emotional. They were a visible presence in the Pride marches and protests across the country. 

Marchers from Washington, D.C. at Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1970 (1970) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Christopher Street Liberation Day March flyer, 1973 (1973) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Christopher Street Liberation Day March flyer, 1973 (1973) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Countermarcher with"Sodom and Gomorra" sign at Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1970 (1970) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Counter Protesters

There was always push back from onlookers and from the authorities, but still the marchers persisted. 

Police officers at Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1970 (1970) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Gay Activists Alliance Demonstration Against Counsel Speaker Thomas Cuite at City Hall, 1971 (1971-06-25) by Richard C. WandelThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Women from the Gay Liberation Front at the March on Albany, 1971 (1971-03-14) by Richard C. WandelThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Gay Liberation Front

The GLF was formed in July, 1969 in the immediate aftermath of the Stonewall riots. It was a radical collective made up of various groups which advocated for sexual freedom in an anticapitalist and antiracist mode. Gay Activists Alliance, Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, and Lavender Menace (later renamed Radicalesbians) are a few of the groups that formed out of (and broke off from) GLF. 

Gay Liberation Front at the March on Albany, 1971 (1971-03-14) by Richard C. WandelThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Gay Pride in Central Park, 1971 (1971-06-27) by Richard C. WandelThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Gay Activists Alliance

GAA was founded in December of 1969. It branched off from the Gay Liberation Front to focus on working within the political system to forward gay and lesbian issues. 

Pride March, 1971 (1971-06-25) by Richard C. WandelThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Second Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1971 (1971-06-27) by Leonard FinkThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Marsha P. Johnson at the Second Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1972 (1971-06-25) by Leonard FinkThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Marsha P. Johnson (pictured) and Sylvia Rivera formed Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) in 1970 to address issues faced by street people, trans people in prison, poor/homeless youths, and other marginalized people who were not being adequately supported or represented by the other LGBTQ organizations.

Candlelight March City Hall, 1971 (1971-06-24) by Richard C. WandelThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

LAVENDER MENACE (later) RADICALESBIANS was a group formed under the GLF comprised of lesbians who insisted that lesbian and women's issues be included in the fight for equality and justice.

Second Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1971 (1971-06-27) by Leonard FinkThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Pride

Nothing could stifle the pride, love, and unity of the marches. No matter the resistance from society and government, the power of the movement was undeniable. 

Marcher at the Christopher Street Liberation Day March holding a "Gay is Proud" sign, 1970 (1970) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

"Gay is PROUD!"

Marchers gathering in Central Park during the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, 1971 (1971) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

"Gay is LOVE!"

Two marchers smiling at Christopher Street Liberation Day March,1971 (1971) by Rudy GrilloThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

"Gay is HAPPY!"

Credits: Story

Mattachine Society information from THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY ARCHIVES & MANUSCRIPTS

Curated by: Yasmin E. Davidson

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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