In late June 1970, the New York Times reported on the first Gay Pride Parade, held a year after the Stonewall riots.
Thousands of young men and women, homosexuals from all over the Northeast marched from Greenwich Village to the Sheep Meadow in Central Park yesterday proclaiming “the new strength and pride of the gay people.”
From Washington, Boston and Cleveland, from Ivy League colleges, from Harlem, the East Side and the suburbs, they gathered to protest laws that make homosexual acts between consenting adults illegal and social conditions that often make it impossible for them to display affection in public, maintain jobs or rent apartments.
In 2017, many of those issues still affect us just as they did then. Gnarled veterans of those early marches will, a touch misty-eyed, recognise echoes of those days as cities across the US talk less of parades and more of protest. The LGBTQ community (among others) is squaring up to the uncertainty and sense of threat engendered by the Trump regime and its emboldened supporters.
June 11th looks like the key date, and the Equality March for Unity and Pride in Washington, D.C. appears to have been the catalyst for other cities such as Los Angeles to talk less of partying atop floats belting out Britney, Beyoncé and Cher (fun though that can be) and more about protest.
In LA, the #ResistMarch will replace the Pride Parade.
We are calling on everyone to peacefully march with us on June 11th from Hollywood and Highland to West Hollywood. Instead of a Pride Parade meant to celebrate our past progress, we are going to march to ensure all our futures. Just as we did in 1970’s first LGBTQ+ Pride, we are going to march in unity with those who believe that America’s strength is its diversity. Not just LGBTQ+ people but all Americans and dreamers will be wrapped in the Rainbow Flag and our unique, diverse, intersectional voices will come together in one harmonized proclamation.