On June 28, 1969, a riot occurred outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village — the LGBT crowd was protesting a police raid of the bars. That riot spawned the modern-day LGBT rights movement.
In the summer following the Stonewall riots, the first Gay Pride Parade was held on the city's Christopher Street. Every summer since then, in recognition of that historic event, the parade has been held in New York City. Last year it was attended by more than 2 million people.
These photos by NYC-based artist Stanley Stellar document some of the people who celebrated at the parades from 1978 to 2008. Through Stellar’s skilled eye, we see into the souls of some of those who ventured out in those early years to celebrate an integral part of their lives — a part that otherwise might not be revealed on a daily basis. These images depict brave pioneers who knew they were on the right side of a cause, not only for themselves but also for later generations. Sadly, due to the ravages of AIDS, many of the people captured by Stellar's camera are no longer with us.
The Pride parade will be celebrated again this June in New York City and in thousands of cities around the world — until then, feast on these wonderful images.
Looking Back/Looking Forward: NYC’s Gay Pride Parades 1979-1995
Photographs by Stanley Stellar
Presented by the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Curated by Hunter O’Hanian
Hudson County Community College
The Benjamin J. Dineen, III and Dennis C. Hull Gallery
71 Sip Ave.
Jersey City, N.J.
Stanley Stellar, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.