PHOTOS: 50 years of LGBTQ pride showcased in protests, parades

People arrive to attend the Stonewall 50 Pride Rally, Friday, June 28, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
People attend the Stonewall 50 Pride Rally, Friday, June 28, 2019, in New York. Thousands of people have converged on New York City’s Stonewall Inn for the 50th anniversary of the rebellion that catalyzed a movement for LGBTQ liberation. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
A man attends the Stonewall 50 Pride Rally, Friday, June 28, 2019, in New York. Thousands of people have converged on New York City’s Stonewall Inn for the 50th anniversary of the rebellion that catalyzed a movement for LGBTQ liberation. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
A member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence makes a “heart” symbol toward spectators during the 45th annual Seattle Pride Parade Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Seattle. The parade commemorated both the first “gay liberation week” in Seattle in 1974 and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a police raid that sparked the modern-day gay rights movement. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Viewers watch the Dykes That Ride motorcycle riders go past to start the 45th annual Seattle Pride Parade Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Seattle. The parade commemorated both the first “gay liberation week” in 1974 and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a police raid that sparked the modern-day gay rights movement. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Crowds gathered outside New York’s historic Stonewall Inn on Sunday to celebrate five decades of LGBTQ pride, marking the 50th anniversary of the police raid that sparked the modern-day gay rights movement. Other cities throughout the country held parades.

More than 2,000 people gathered outside the bar where patrons resisted the famous June 28, 1969, police raid. Thousands also turned out for a larger parade that packed Fifth Avenue, where rainbows were on display across everything from flags to T-shirts.

Eraina Clay, 63, of suburban New Rochelle, came to celebrate the anniversary.

“I think that we should be able to say we’ve been here for so long, and so many people are gay that everybody should be able to have the chance to enjoy their lives and be who they are,” Clay said. “I have a family. I raised kids. I’m just like everybody else.”

Alyssa Christianson, 29, of New York City, was topless, wearing just sparkly pasties and boy shorts underwear. A Pride flag was tied around her neck like a cape.

“I’ve been to the Pride parade before, but this is the first year I kind of wanted to dress up and get into it,” she said.

Christianson said she is concerned that the movement could suffer setbacks during the Trump administration, which has moved to revoke newly won health care protections for transgender people, restrict their presence in the military and withdraw federal guidance that trans students should be able to use bathrooms of their choice.

“I’m definitely a little scared of how things are going, just the anger and violence that comes out of it and just the tone of conversation about it. We’ve come so far, especially in the last few decades, that I don’t want to see that repressed in any way.”

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather at Stonewall 50 years after LGBTQ uprising

In May, Trump tweeted about Pride Month and praised the “outstanding contributions” of LGBT people. But his administration has also aligned with some religious conservatives in arguing that nondiscrimination protections for those same people can infringe on the religious beliefs of others who oppose same-sex marriage and transgender rights.

At the Queer Liberation March near the Stonewall Inn, some participants said the larger Pride parade had become too commercialized and heavily policed.

“What’s important to remember is that this is a protest against the monetization of the Pride parade, against the police brutality of our community, against the poor treatment of sections of our community, of black and brown folk, of immigrants,” said Jake Seller, a 24-year-old Indiana native who now lives in Brooklyn and worked as one of the march’s volunteers.

Protesters carried anti-Trump and queer liberation signs, chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!”

“We march for the liberation of our community so they can live and celebrate their identity. So they can reclaim it. This will always remain a protest, not an advertisement,” Seller said.

Other attendees focused on the progress that’s been made within the LGBTQ community over the last few decades.

“We’ve come so far in the past 20 years,” said 55-year-old Gary Piper, who came from Kansas to celebrate Pride with his partner. “I remember friends who would be snatched off the streets in Texas for dressing in drag. They’d have to worry about being persecuted for their identity.”

“But now we’re so much more accepted. I’m not saying we don’t have ways to go, but let’s celebrate how far we’ve come,” he said.

The police presence at the march was heavy, with several officers posted at every corner. Metal barricades were erected along the entire parade route.

In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker chose the parade day to sign an executive order creating a task force to study the rights of transgender students. The task force will look at what schools are doing to promote LGBTQ rights to make sure students have “welcoming” and “inclusive” environments.

Chicago had its own Pride parade, with Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first openly gay mayor, as one of seven grand marshals. Lightfoot, who took office in May, walked alongside her wife and wore a “Chicago Proud” T-shirt with rainbow lettering. The couple held hands at times, drawing cheers from onlookers.

The parade was cut short as thunderstorms rolled through the area, forcing police to cancel the event about three hours after it began.

The larger New York Pride parade had 677 contingents, including community groups, major corporations and cast members from FX’s “Pose.” Organizers expected at least 150,000 people to march, with hundreds of thousands more lining the streets to watch.

The Pride march concludes a month of Stonewall commemorations in New York that included rallies, parties, film showings and a human rights conference. The celebration coincides with WorldPride, an international LGBTQ event that started in Rome in 2000 and was held in New York this past week.

Other Pride events will take place Sunday around the U.S. and the world.

In San Francisco, a contingent of Google employees petitioned the Pride parade’s board of directors to revoke Google’s sponsorship over what they called harassment and hate speech directed at LGBTQ people on YouTube and other Google platforms.

San Francisco Pride declined to revoke the sponsorship or remove the company from the parade, but Pride officials said the Google critics could protest the company’s policies as part of the parade’s “resistance contingent.”

Larraine and Peter Browne, who were visiting from Australia, told the San Francisco Chronicle they had never seen anything like the parade’s rainbow-colored display.

“Look at the costumes!” 80-year-old Peter Browne said.

ALSO READ: Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

___

Sabrina Caserta And Rebecca Gibian, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Kimberley Dynamiters' next two exhibition games have been postponed due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Paul Rodgers file.
Member of Kimberley Dynamiters tests positive for COVID-19

Exhibition games in Fernie, Creston postponed

A naloxone kit. (Black Press Media file photo)
Interior Health issues drug alert for Cranbrook

Interior Health has issued a drug alert in the Cranbrook area for… Continue reading

Blue Sky Kingdom.
Kimberley’s Bruce Kirkby publishes “Blue Sky Kingdom” documenting family adventure to Zanskar

Bruce Kirkby, a prolific and world-reknowned adventurer, writer and photographer who calls… Continue reading

A Kimberley resident expresses her concerns and frustration regarding proper waste management and enforcement, resulting in unnecessary encounters with bears. File Photo.
Letter to the editor: Waste management and urban bears in Kimberley

October 29, 2020 I just want to start by saying we LOVE… Continue reading

letter
LETTERS: Response to Marysville Arena closure

City Council has decided to keep the arena closed for now

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read