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We Raise Our Voices
Gay and Lesbian Pride and Politics

Pride & Empowerment

The first gay and lesbian Pride events were held in a handful of American cities to commemorate the Stonewall Rebellion, the symbolic birth of the modern gay liberation movement. On June 27, 1969, police raided a popular gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, New York City. Finally fed up with systematic harassment, a diverse group of bar patrons, led by drag queens, spontaneously began to fight back, pelting police with rocks, pennies, and bricks, and setting fire to the bar. The uprising provided a rallying point in the struggle for gay rights and acceptance, as in subsequent decades gays and lesbians publicly and proudly proclaimed their difference and organized to end discrimination and oppression. From their beginnings as small political rallies, gay and lesbian pride events today are annual, colorful, choreographed celebrations, marked by parades of diverse interest groups, lavish costumes, various entertainment, speeches, and large crowds.


Boston Lesbian and Gay Pride news feature (1982)

Love Is All You Need flyer (1970)