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The Beginnings of Pride

Nowadays Gay Pride parades and festivals are amazing parties and events where you can celebrate your pride and be loud and proud.

But it took a while to get here as the first Pride was a demonstration.

On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Riots took place in New York City. Considered by many to be the birth of the gay rights movement, they were a spontaneous series of demonstrations against police raids and many other injustices that were being done to the LGBT community. The Stonewall Riots took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in the early morning hours.

Back then, it was illegal to perform homosexual acts in almost every state. The police departments kept lists of known LGBT people, their favorite places to go and their friends; LGBT bars were shut down and customers were arrested and exposed in newspapers; and cities performed sweeps to rid neighborhoods, parks, bars and beaches of LGBT people.

After the raid at Stonewall Inn, several protests and demonstrations took place and within weeks activist groups were organized to establish places for the LGBT community to gather together and be open without fear of being harassed or arrested.

One year later, on June 28, 1970, the first gay pride march took place in New York City and was called Christopher Street Liberation Day in honor of Stonewall Inn’s location and it drew thousands.

After that, Pride celebrations took place in more and more cities and the event grew and grew. And now, over 50 years later, gay pride celebrations are held all over the country.

To further research the birth of Pride, Fort Lauderdale’s own Stonewall National Museum & Archives has more than 28,000 books and over 6 million pages of LGBTQ history.

“For us, every month is Pride month,” Hunter O’Hanian, Executive Director of Stonewall National Museum & Archives said.

You can celebrate your pride at Stonewall Pride Street Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 19. The theme this year is “Out of the Darkness, Into the Light.” The festival starts at 3 pm and the parade starts at 7 p.m. This annual event, now attracts 35,000 people.

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