About the Pride Movement
In order to understand the origins of the Pride Movement, one must look back to June 28th, 1969. The Stonewall Inn, an LGBT bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City, was the location for what is "widely considered to be the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States" (National Parks Service).
The years leading up to the events at Stonewall were filled with violence, police brutality, discrimination, and hate toward the LGBTQIA+ community. Continued, targeted raids by the New York City police led to tension between themselves and the patrons at Stonewall. It wasn't long before the tension developed into protests, and then riots. Anger toward the injustice experienced by the LGBT community came to a point, and the crowd struggled against the police. One individual who was there, Michael Fader, said the following: "We felt that we had freedom at last, or freedom to at least show that we demanded freedom. We weren't going to be walking meekly in the night and letting them shove us around—it's like standing your ground for the first time and in a really strong way, and that's what caught the police by surprise. There was something in the air, freedom a long time overdue, and we're going to fight for it. It took different forms, but the bottom line was, we weren't going to go away. And we didn't."
Photo from PBS, originally published in the New York Daily News.
Photo from PrideFest 2014 in St. Louis.
The first true gay pride, called the "Christopher Street Liberation Day" was held on June 28th, 1970 in New York City. Christopher Street was the location of the Stonewall Inn. This first pride, simultaneously held in Chicago and Los Angeles, commemorated the Stonewall Riots. A year later, more prides took place around the world -- everywhere from the United Kingdom, to France, to Germany, to Sweden.
Ten years later, in 1980, St. Louis had their first Gay and Lesbian Pride Celebration. Sponsored by the "Magnolia Committee," named for the street where the majority of the member lived and had their meetings, a week's worth of activities were planned in April of 1980. Each year thereafter, Pride in St. Louis grew larger. In the process, "Pride St. Louis," the nonprofit organization planning PrideFest each year, was born.