The 50th Anniversary of Pride Month: Understanding the Origin

Charleston County News

Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – This month marks the 50th anniversary of annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions, but do you know where the traditions originated?

According to The Library of Congress, the first Pride March in New York City was held on June 28, 1970. This was on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising; a series of events between police and LGBTQ+ protesters which stretched over six days at a popular gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in New York City.

A new display at the Library of Congress will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which occurred June 28 to July 1, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, New York City.

In 1969, homosexuality was still considered a criminal offense and police raids on gay bars were not uncommon. Fueling the fire for a liberation movement, the Stonewall Uprising is said to have been, “the birth of gay pride of a massive scale.”

The inaugural Pride demonstration in New York City had about 5,000 marchers whereas today, NYC marchers number in the millions for equal rights.

Due to COVID-19, Charleston Pride, a local non-profit, decided to postpone this year’s annual Pride Parade and Pride Festival until Fall 2021. In a statement, Festival Director, Jim Shulse said:

“Our community remains strong amidst these unprecedented times and we will get through this together. As the current Festival Director, I am optimistic about our future events and our ability to adapt to change. Despite the distance between us, rest assured that all of us on the Board of Directors at Charleston Pride stand proudly with you.”

Coming up Friday, News 2’s Temple Ricke continues the Pride Month conversation with Tyler Wright, the Founder of Walk and Talk Charleston, to discuss the Leonard Matlovich, a man who challenged the military’s ban on gay service members.

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