Pride. What started some 46 years ago as a march in remembrance of the Stonewall Riots has now become a global tradition celebrated with parades, brightly coloured floats and notable individuals. Today’s annual events have become a key and pivotal global celebration of LGBT diversity and history, which attracts millions of people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
On June 28th 1969, members of New York’s LGBT Community took to the streets in protests’ against police raids on the Stonewall Inn, an event which later became known as the Stonewall Riots. In response to the Riot’s in June; Craig Rodwell, Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy and Linda Rhodes proposed the first Pride March in New York City. This was to act as an annual reminder to the rest of the city and the country of the inequality in civil rights that LGBT people face. The first march took place on June 28th 1970 to mark the first anniversary of the stonewall riots, with similar marches taking place in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. It only took a couple of years before the Gay Pride March became a global event as by the end of 1972, there were marches across Europe and across America. Over the years Pride has developed and changed but the Parade has remained a constant part attracting many to this colourful spectacle. They often play host to many openly LGBT or LGBT allied celebrities who come and show their support.
The month of June has become internationally recognised by many including President Obama and Clinton as Pride Month which looks to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. As a result many Pride events are held around the world during June to recognise the impact that LGBT people have had in the world. What makes Pride such an interesting and unique celebration is there no two events and the differences are mainly attributed to cultural differences. In the historical home of Pride – New York, they look to focus on the family aspect of LGBT life by organising family film nights which look to get the whole family involved with Pride. Whilst in Sydney they host a Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, where one of the main attractions is the Fair Day in which more than 80,000 people visit Victoria Park in the centre of the city. However in Tokyo, they use Pride or ‘Rainbow Week’ to educate through a series of public lectures and workshops. However the message remains the same, one of togetherness, acceptance and love.
Pride has become more than a commemoration of Stonewall, but a celebration of all things LGBT. Regardless of how Pride is celebrated around the world the message has always been the same. One of: Togetherness, Acceptance and Love.
To find a pride event near you, check out: http://www.gaypridecalendar.com/