Pride began after the New York City Stonewall uprising in 1969, a riot turned movement turned a decades-long push and pull between celebration, liberation, and protest that exists in cities across the U.S. today. A year after Stonewall, Pride marches sprang up in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and later spread to cities worldwide.
Pride, of course, was preceded by many protests over harassment: in Philadelphia at Dewey's Lunch Counter (1965); in San Francisco at Compton's Cafeteria (1966); in New York at Whitehall Street (1964) and the Julius Sip-in (1966); and in Los Angeles at the PatchBar (1968); Coopers Do-nuts (1959); and the Black Cat (1967). The latter gave rise to The Advocate, founded the same year. (There was even a White House protest by the East Coast Homophile Organization in 1965.)
Times have changed, but the resilience of Pride remains. Ahead of Pride month 2022 when there are new and pointed attacks on trans folks and queer kids with more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the works around the country, Pride and protest go hand-in-hand as much as ever. Here's a look back in photos at this 53-year tradition of Pride and protest.
(Opposite) Drag performers from NYC's 82 Club at the fourth annual Gay Pride Day in 1973 including (far right) trans performer Chrysis St. Laurent and (next to her) Canadian queen Jene Chandler (who later starred in Strange Shadows in an Empty Room).
This story is part of The Advocate's 2022 Champions of Pride issue, which is out on newsstands May 17, 2022. To get your own copy directly, support queer media and subscribe -- or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.
1975 NYC Pride
Marching en masse toward Central Park at the Gay Pride Parade in NYC, 1975.
1983 Gay Lib Parade
A 1983 Pride march shows intersectionality isn't new.
1984 NYC Pride
Queer people march during the Gay Pride Parade in New York City in June 1984.
1988 ACTUP Protest
OK, technically it's not at Pride, but when ACT UP famously shut down the Food and Drug Administration for the day in 1988 (carrying effigies of George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, and others who refused to address the AIDS epidemic it was (wait for it) legendary.
1990 Dykes on Bykes SF
These Dykes on Bikes rev to open San Francisco Pride in 1990. Over 400 cyclists start the parade each year on behalf of the 46-year-old multichapter organization
1990 Peace Sign
Kink goes all peace and love at San Francisco Pride in 1990.
1991 ACT UP Protest
In an era of Queer Nation, people touched tongues to show "kissing doesn't kill" at 1990's International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco
Wielding super platforms and a whip at NYC's LGBTQ+ Pride Parade in 1991.
1993 March On Washington
Queer solidarity at the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Rights and Liberation.
1995 Lesbian and Kids
Two moms, two kids, and one "Dyke" sign at a 1995 California Pride event.