Let’s talk for a moment about the need for gay pride. If gay pride brings to mind Black Parties, White Parties, Bar Hopping, wearing leather harnesses and thongs, then you’ve got the wrong idea of what Gay Pride is all about.
PBS succinctly puts it:
When police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City on June 28, 1969, the street erupted into violent protests that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/stonewall/player/
THis article, by civilrights.org and the leadership conference has a bit more detail:
This Sunday, June 28, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the event largely regarded as a catalyst for the LGBT movement for civil rights in the United States. The riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights, and within two years after the riots, gay rights groups had been started in nearly every major city in the United States.
At the time, there were not many places where people could be openly gay. New York had laws prohibiting homosexuality in public, and private businesses and gay establishments were regularly raided and shut down.
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, a group of gay customers [out and proud drag queens who had enough of police bullying, arrests, public scorn, etc] at a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village called the Stonewall Inn, who had grown angry at the harassment by police, took a stand and a riot broke out. As word spread throughout the city about the demonstration, the customers of the inn were soon joined by other gay men and women who started throwing objects at the policemen, shouting “gay power.” http://www.civilrights.org/archives/2009/06/449-stonewall.html
Still feel like dancing till dawn in those pussy pants? We also celebrate gay leaders such as Harvey Milk, who was the first gay politician and was assassinated. Here is a bit more from the Harvey Milk Foundation:
Harvey and Our Vision
Harvey Milk’s dream for a better tomorrow filled with the hope for equality and a world without hate guides the Foundation. Harvey Milk’s ground breaking election in 1977 as one of the world’s first openly gay elected officials-and its most visible one- symbolized the freedom to live life with authenticity to millions of LGBT women and men around the world.
Harvey served less than a year in public office before his brutal assassination but his life profoundly changed a city, state, nation and a global community. His courage, passion and sense of justice rocked a country and stirred the very core of a put down and pushed out community, bringing forward new hope and a new vision of freedom.