They Marched in America’s First Prides in 1970. They’re Still Out, Loud, and Proud.

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07/04/2020

The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City was marked in June 2019. This year saw the 50th anniversary of the city’s first Pride march, known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. But on June 27 and 28, 1970, one year after the riots, New York City wasn’t making history alone. That weekend there were also the first Pride marches in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco—although in their first iteration “Pride” was not in their names. To organize and attend those marches was brave; this was an era in which being LGBTQ and being out brought considerable personal risk. But the Stonewall genie was out of the bottle; being out and visible at marches and demonstrations was the LGBTQ rights movement’s most public statement. Below, participants and organizers of America’s first ever dedicated LGBTQ marches in 1970 talk to The Daily Beast about the era, why they marched, the drama and color of the day, how they feel the movement has evolved since, what they would like to see in the future—and what advice they have for the next generation of activists.

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