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A Brief History of Gay Pride Parades

Christopher Street Liberation Day

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The corner of Christopher and Gay Streets during the Stonewall riots.

The corner of Christopher and Gay Streets during the Stonewall riots.

© Larry Morris/The New York Times
After the Stonewall riots in 1969, many LGBT people—even those that did not witness the rebellion—were inspired to contribute to the cause. Gay rights had entered the national spotlight. LGBT people began organizing, protesting and mobilizing. On July 4, 1969, a year after the Stonewall riots, the Mattachine Society along with Frank Kameny, Craig Rodwell, Randy Wicker, Barbara Gittings, Kay Lahusen and many others, picketed in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia in what was called the Annual Reminder. The protest was quiet and organized to the dismay of Craig Rodwell who felt Frank Kameny and Mattachine's methods of calm protest were not enough.

Rodwell returned to New York City and organized Christopher Street Liberation Day. The march, held on June 28, 1970, was the first gay pride march in the U.S., covering 51 blocks from Christopher Street to Central Park. Today, LGBT pride parades are held annually in multiple cities and countries throughout the world. The month of June is widely considered Gay Pride Month.

Next: 40 Years After Stonewall
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