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

Victoria police will be making numerous arrests throughout the day Jan. 27 as part of its #VicPDWarrantWednesday project. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Numerous arrests today part of Victoria police #WarrantWednesday project

VicPD says arrests part of warrant enforcement project

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

Police are warning people of flu shot and vaccination frauds. (Black Press Media file photo)
Flu shot fraud charges West Shore resident for non-existent appointments

Fraudulent email claimed to be from London Drugs

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in Juan de Fuca Strait

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

The province is ensuring those eligible to receive the vaccine get the second shot within 42 days

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Extensive water on No. 4 and 5 at the Mount Brenton Golf Course following heavy rains earlier this month. (Photo submitted)
Island golf course does a booming business in 2020

A total of 15,000 more rounds played than the previous year at Mount Brenton

Most Read