13 Vintage Photos of Los Angeles Pride from ONE Archives
The Birth of Los Angeles Pride
Years before the Stonewall Riots sparked the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement in New York, Los Angeles had become an important crossroads for the community and the site of some of the largest protests in the country.
This series of historic photos from ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, provided by ONE Archives Foundation, explores the roots of L.A.'s queer community -- including the police raid at Black Cat Tavern in 1967 that inspired the first editions of The Advocate, and the founding of L.A. Pride.
P.R.I.D.E./Personal Rights in Defense and Education Issue 1
Credit: PRIDE, Issue 1, May 1966, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE) was a radical gay political organization. Established in 1966 by Steve Ginsburg, it set a new tone for groups like the Gay Liberation Front, ACT UP, and the Radical Faeries.
PRIDE led demonstrations against the oppression by the Los Angeles Police Department of gay gatherings or same-sex meetings in the city of Los Angeles and published a monthly single-page newsletter which later evolved into The Advocate, the nation's longest running gay news publication.
Black Cat Protest (1967)
Credit: Creator unknown, February 11, 1967, Advocate records, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.
In 1967, the Black Cat Riots took place in Los Angeles in response to police brutality after eight undercover officers raided the Black Cat in L.A.'s Silver Lake neighborhood on New Year's Eve, beating patrons and the bartender.
These protests, which preceded the Stonewall Riots by two years, were the largest LGBTQ+ protests in American history at this point. The riots were organized by PRIDE and an estimated 300-600 people took part in the demonstrations.
Today, the Black Cat is recognized as an L.A. Historic-Cultural Monument and reopened in 2012 as a gastropub.
Stonewall Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (undated)
Credit: Creator, date, and source unknown
Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, prominent figures in the Stonewall Uprisings. Photo taken in New York City.
Gay-In at Griffith Park (1970)
Credit: Creator unknown, 1970, Gay Liberation Front (GLF) Los Angeles records, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
A crowd gathers at the Gay-In at Griffith Park, Los Angeles, 1970. The Gay Liberation Front/Los Angeles (GLF/LA) was a loosely structured group of gay rights activists. Founded soon after the Stonewall Riots in 1969, members of GLF/LA organized gay-ins, dances, public protests, and kissing demonstrations.
Christopher Street West: The Gay Parade Poster (1971)
Credit: Christopher Street West/Los Angeles, June 1971, ONE Archives LGBTQ Poster Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
The Christopher Street West Association (CSW) was formed in 1970 to organize a parade in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall riots. This poster, created in 1971, announced the Gay Parade down Hollywood Boulevard on Sunday, June 27. CSW continues to organize LA Pride today.
"Gay Youth" Banner (1971)
Credit: Pat Rocco, 1971, Pat Rocco Photographs and Papers, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Marchers at the Christopher Street West (CSW) Pride Parade in Los Angeles holding a "Gay Youth" sign, 1971.
"Black Gays Unite" (1975)
Credit: Pat Rocco, 1975, Pat Rocco Photographs and Papers, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Pride attendees hold a "Black Gays Unite" banner at the Los Angeles Christopher Street West Pride parade, 1975.
"Gay Pride" Banner (1975)
Credit: Creator unknown, 1975, Christoper Street West Association Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Marchers holding GAY PRIDE letters in the Los Angeles Christopher Street West Pride Parade, 1975.
Harry Hay/Radical Faeries (undated)
Credit: Creator unknown, undated, Harry Hay papers, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Harry Hay marches with the Radical Faeries, a group he helped found. Hay was an American gay rights activist, and a co-founder of the Mattachine Society, founded in 1950 as the first sustained gay rights group in the United States.
"Lesbianas de Latino" (1981)
Credit: Creator unknown, 1981, Christopher Street West Association, ONE Archives LGBTQ Photograph Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Lesbianas de Latino America at the Los Angeles Christopher Street West Pride Parade, 1981.
Asian/Pacific Lesbians and Gays (1982)
Credit: Creator unknown, 1982, Christoper Street West Contributor, ONE Archives Photography Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Asian/Pacific Lesbians and Gays (A/PLG) contingent march in the Los Angeles Christopher Street West Pride Parade, 1982. The woman on the right is June Lagmay.
Catch One Disco float (1982)
Credit: Walker and Meyers, 1982, Christopher Street West Association, ONE Archives LGBTQ Photograph Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Catch One Disco float at the Los Angeles Christopher Street West Pride Parade, 1982. Opened in 1973, Jewel's Catch One was one of the first Black discos in the United States and was longest-running Black gay dance bar in L.A.
L.A. Pride Poster (1990)
Credit: David Jensen, June 1990, ONE Archives LGBTQ Poster Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
A poster from the Christopher Street West Association (CSW) announces the 1990 Pride celebration in West Hollywood, saying: "With pride in yourself, you can appreciate the differences in others."