In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the First Pride March: 14 Iconic Photos from Years Past
Take a look back at the very first Pride march, which took place in New York City on June 28, 1970 — and the groundwork it laid for future marches
The first Pride march, known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, took place in New York City. It was held to honor the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and to protest laws that made homosexuality illegal, which made it nearly impossible for LGBTQ people to maintain jobs, recieve proper healthcare and stable housing.
The event took place with a few thousand participants and was organized by LGBTQ activists, including Craig Rodwell, Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Linda Rhodes and Brenda Howard.
"The Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March was as revolutionary and chaotic as everything we did that first year after the Stonewall riots," Mark Segal, the marshal of the first Pride march told the New York Times. "The march was a reflection of us: out, loud and proud."
After the inaugural year, Pride marches began to pop up in other states, and soon in other countries. Many took the opportunity to celebrate progress, but to also push for more.
The fight for equality — in the eyes of society and the law — continued for years to come.
LGBTQ members and allies used marches to spread awareness and demand support for issues that plagued the community, such as the AIDs epidemic — which erupted in the early 1980s and has killed more than 700,000 since its first reported case.
Through cries of protests and celebratory chants, there were also quiet moments, including this one of a peaceful protester posing with a flower in N.Y.C. from the early '90s.
On Aug. 16, 2009, in India, at least 2,000 people danced in the streets of Mumbai for their annual Pride march following the news that a New Delhi court had overturned a British colonial-era ban on sex between men.
An attendee showed off his Pride flag proudly in Melbourne, Australia, during the city's celebration in 2011.
Throughout recent years, Pride celebrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful. However, marches are ever-evolving and are still met with several anti-LGBTQ adversaries and police, monitoring things closely as many pack the streets in cities around the world during the month of June.
Here, a gay couple shares a kiss during the Pride march in Istanbul on June 28, 2015, shortly before police used tear gas and a water cannon to disperse thousands of participants. The authorities began to unload against the crowd when demonstrators began shouting slogans accusing the social conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of "fascism."
In West Hollywood on June 11, 2017, Angelenos filled the streets with flags, signs and smiles during their Pride march.
Another beautiful moment from N.Y.C. during Pride: EMT Trudy Bermudez and paramedic Tayreen Bonilla of the city's Fire Department got engaged on June 24, 2018.
A protester held a sign that said, "MARCHING FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T" during the 9th annual pride event in Prague on Aug. 10, 2019, where approximately 30,000 people were in attendance.
On June 12, 2020, hundreds took the streets in Richmond, Virginia, to protest police killing George Floyd and the many Black trans men and women who've died from hate crimes.
This Pride month, protests combined efforts to push for both LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter movements.
A young protester is seen here holding a sign to honor the life of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed while on a jog in broad daylight on Feb. 23, 2020, after allegedly being chased down a suburban neighborhood street in Brunswick, Georgia, by two white men, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis.
"Black trans lives matter," was chanted on the streets of Hollywood in Los Angeles on June 14, 2020.
Another protester is seen holding up signs in support of Black Lives Matter, while wearing the colors of the Pride flag, in L.A. on June 14, 2020.