Pride Day ~ Good Bad or Indifferent?

Pride Day ~ Good Bad or Indifferent? ~ Revised

Author's Preamble:

A lot of the words and thoughts are mine, however, a lot them were inspired by the eloquent words of the author Snowblind. A lot of the historical info comes from the Wikipedia©. To read more of the history click on the Red Underlined Words.

My feelings about Pride Day, I guess are ambivalent, however, before I explain why, we need to understand how all of this came about.

While most people believe that Pride Day, Pride Parade, Pride Festivals, and Pride Month; are a direct result of the Stonewall Inn Raid of June 28, 1969, their roots actually date back to the 1950s. What began as 'Annual Reminders' 'Annual Reminders' ("Annual Reminders<\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">The 1950s and 1960s in the United States was an extremely repressive legal and social period for LGBT people. In this context American&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Homophile\">homophile<\/a>&#160;organizations such as the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Daughters_of_Bilitis\">Daughters of Bilitis<\/a>&#160;and the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Mattachine_Society\">Mattachine Society<\/a>&#160;coordinated some of the earliest demonstrations of the modern LGBT rights movement. These two organizations, in particular, carried out&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Picketing_(protest)\">pickets<\/a>&#160;called \"<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Annual_Reminder\">Annual Reminders<\/a>\" to inform and remind Americans that LGBT people did not receive basic&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Civil_rights\">civil rights<\/a>&#160;protections. Annual Reminders began in 1965 and took place each July 4 at&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Independence_Hall_(United_States)\">Independence Hall<\/a>&#160;in&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Philadelphia\">Philadelphia<\/a>. &#160;"), Pride Events as we know them now did have there beginning because of the protests and riots that followed that raid. Pride Events as we know them now can be directly attributed to Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes and the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO). Christopher Street Liberation Day Christopher Street Liberation Day ("Early on the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning persons rioted following a police raid on the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Stonewall_Inn\">Stonewall Inn<\/a>, a gay bar at 43&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Christopher_Street\">Christopher Street<\/a>&#160;in&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Greenwich_Village\">Greenwich Village<\/a>,&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Manhattan\">Manhattan<\/a>, New York City. This riot and further protests and rioting over the following nights were the watershed moment in modern LGBT rights movement and the impetus for organizing LGBT pride marches on a much larger public scale.<\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">On November 2, 1969,&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Craig_Rodwell\">Craig Rodwell<\/a>, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes proposed the first pride march to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) meeting in&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Philadelphia\">Philadelphia<\/a>.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-11\"><sup>[11]<\/sup><\/a><\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">\"That the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged&#8212;that of our fundamental human rights&#8212;be moved both in time and location.<\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\"><br \/>We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration.<\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\"><br \/>We also propose that we contact Homophile organizations throughout the country and suggest that they hold parallel demonstrations on that day. We propose a nationwide show of support.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-Carter,_pg._230-12\"><sup>[12]<\/sup><\/a><a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-13\"><sup>[13]<\/sup><\/a><a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-14\"><sup>[14]<\/sup><\/a><a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-15\"><sup>[15]<\/sup><\/a><\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">All attendees to the ERCHO meeting in Philadelphia voted for the march except for&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Mattachine_Society\">Mattachine Society<\/a>&#160;of New York, which abstained.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-Carter,_pg._230-12\"><sup>[12]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;Members of the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_Liberation_Front\">Gay Liberation Front<\/a>&#160;(GLF) attended the meeting and were seated as guests of Rodwell's group, Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN).<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-16\"><sup>[16]<\/sup><\/a><\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">Meetings to organize the march began in early January at Rodwell's apartment in 350&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Bleecker_Street\">Bleecker Street<\/a>.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-17\"><sup>[17]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;At first, there was difficulty getting some of the major&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/New_York_City\">New York City<\/a>&#160;organizations like&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_Activists_Alliance\">Gay Activists Alliance<\/a>&#160;(GAA) to send representatives. Craig Rodwell and his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy,&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Michael_Brown_(UK_politician)\">Michael Brown<\/a>, Marty Nixon, and Foster Gunnison of Mattachine made up the core group of the CSLD Umbrella Committee (CSLDUC). For initial funding, Gunnison served as treasurer and sought donations from the national homophile organizations and sponsors, while Sargeant solicited donations via the&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Oscar_Wilde_Memorial_Bookshop\">Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop<\/a>&#160;customer mailing list and Nixon worked to gain financial support from GLF in his position as treasurer for that organization.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-18\"><sup>[18]<\/sup><\/a><a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-19\"><sup>[19]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;Other mainstays of the organizing committee were Judy Miller, Jack Waluska, Steve Gerrie and&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Brenda_Howard\">Brenda Howard<\/a>&#160;of GLF.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-20\"><sup>[20]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;Believing that more people would turn out for the march on a Sunday, and so as to mark the date of the start of the Stonewall uprising, the CSLDUC scheduled the date for the first march for Sunday, June 28, 1970.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-21\"><sup>[21]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;With Dick Leitsch's replacement as president of Mattachine NY by Michael Kotis in April 1970, opposition to the march by Mattachine ended.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-22\"><sup>[22]<\/sup><\/a><\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\"><a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Brenda_Howard\">Brenda Howard<\/a>&#160;is known as the \"Mother of Pride\" for her work in coordinating the march. Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Pride_parade\">Pride Day<\/a>&#160;which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/\"><sup>[23]<\/sup><\/a><a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/\"><sup>[24]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;Additionally, Howard along with fellow LGBT Activists&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Stephen_Donaldson_(activist)\">Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk)<\/a>&#160;and&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/w\/index.php?title=L._Craig_Schoonmaker&amp;action=edit&amp;redlink=1\">L. Craig Schoonmaker<\/a>&#160;are credited with popularizing the word \"Pride\" to describe these festivities.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-Pride_trope,_Homolexis-25\"><sup>[25]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;As LGBT rights activist&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Tom_Limoncelli\">Tom Limoncelli<\/a>&#160;put it, \"The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why [LGBT] Pride Month is June tell them 'A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'\"<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/\"><sup>[26]<\/sup><\/a><\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">There was little open animosity, and some bystanders applauded when a tall, pretty girl carrying a sign \"I am a Lesbian\" walked by.&#160;&#8211;&#160;<em>The New York Times<\/em>&#160;coverage of Gay Liberation Day, 1970<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-fosburgh-27\"><sup>[27]<\/sup><\/a><\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street and the first&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Pride_parade\">Gay Pride march<\/a>&#160;in U.S. history, covering the 51&#160;blocks to&#160;<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Central_Park\">Central Park<\/a>. The march took less than half the scheduled time due to excitement, but also due to wariness about walking through the city with gay banners and signs. Although the parade permit was delivered only two hours before the start of the march, the marchers encountered little resistance from onlookers.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-28\"><sup>[28]<\/sup><\/a>&#160; <em>The New York Times<\/em>&#160;reported (on the front page) that the marchers took up the entire street for about 15&#160;city blocks.<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-fosburgh-27\"><sup>[27]<\/sup><\/a>&#160;Reporting by&#160;<em>The Village Voice<\/em>&#160;was positive, describing \"the out-front resistance that grew out of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn one year ago\".<a href=\"https:\/\/\/wiki\/Gay_pride#cite_note-lafrank20-29\"><sup>[29]<\/sup><\/a><\/p>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">&#160;"). What started out as a one-day Remembrance/Celebration has grown into World Wide Events that take up the whole month of June in lots of places.

However, not everything regarding Pride Celebrations has been a bed of roses. There have been protests and controversies almost every year, Pride Events have been banned in many places for a variety of reasons. There is also a large divide in the LGBT Community as a whole, regarding Pride Events, not only over what and how they should celebrate, but even who should be included in the events. And the divide seems to be getting bigger instead of smaller. Where some of the early Pride events were used to protest discrimination against our community and to campaign for equal rights, and the legal protections that all other citizens had, and took for granted; that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

As the events grew bigger, they seemed to celebrate and glorify some of the same stereotypes that have caused problems for the community for a long time. A lot of the Parades and events seem to foment illegal sexual activities during them, Unfortunately, for the community, the media always seems to concentrate on the sleazier side of the event, rather than concentrate on the positive things being displayed by the events and parades. While I lived very close to the Castro, in San Francisco, I never attended a single one, for several reasons. The first, is that that parade was always well covered by all of the media and parts of it televised. I was afraid that I would be seen on TV by folks that I hadn't come out to yet. The second reason is eloquently stated by a character from Jared: The Paramedic Book Three ~ Redemption; "Let's go back to the basics," started Barb.  "First, even as a member of the gay club myself, I've never been comfortable with all the young people in skimpy outfits using Pride as an excuse to dance provocatively in public.  I did feel it was important for us to celebrate what we've gained over the years, but let's go back to the beginning.  It's time to teach our LGBTQ2 community about the beginning, how far we've come, and where we need to go."

I have yet to attend any Pride Event and due to the circumstances, that are occurring now, I won't for a long time.

The LGBTQ2 Community has always been under attack by outside forces such as the infamous Westboro Baptist Church and others of that ilk. We have had it bad enough with the outside attacks and an occasional internal spat. However, now when the government is stripping away our rights and protections one by one; we are being divided by insidious internal attacks by groups that don't negotiate. They use hostage tactics, and Social Media Bots and Trolls to spread their demands and misinformation. Any Pride Committee/Planning Group that doesn't cave into their demand is threatened with boycotts and demonstrations. They interrupt parades and hold the Parade hostage until their demands are met. The sad thing is a lot of their demands, not requests are worth discussion. However, a lot of them aren't and those are the ones that are causing all of the problems. Their major issues are the Police and Military Personnel marching in the parades in their uniforms. These folks who daily put their lives on the line for us and have died to give us the right to have Pride Celebrations are being made to suffer the sins of their fathers. These divisive groups want to exclude the Police and Military, as well as Firefighters and even First Responders because of events that happened in the 40s, 50, and 60s. In some cities, they even want to exclude all religious groups including the MCC, and even Presbyterians! Among the events that they refer to are the Stonewall Raid, the Toronto Gay Bathhouse Raid, and other events of many years ago. The majority of the Police and Military Personnel serving today weren't even born when those reprehensible acts occurred. To me this is utterly ridiculous, to quote from the book most unfairly used against us: Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin. (Deut 24: 16).

However, those divisive groups haven't stopped there, they are accusing the Pride Planning Committees and by reference the whole of the LGBTQ2 Community of discrimination because the label LGBTQ2 doesn't include the words or initials for Brown or Black in it. I was always under the impression that the LGBTQ2 Community stood for inclusiveness and had no barriers. It seems that some people believe that I am wrong. It strikes me as very ironic that the same groups that want to discriminate against certain members of the community are now decrying; we need to be more inclusive? I have always believed that Pride Events were supposed to celebrate how far we have come as a society and to commemorate not only the injustices that we as a community have suffered; but to also memorialize those like Matthew Shepherd whose lives were taken because somebody thought they were gay. We have come along way, however, unless we get our house in order, we stand a great chance of losing everything we have gained! We need to remove our collective craniums from our rectal cavities and unite in a common cause against those outsiders that are trying to grind us into the dirt with their boot heels. We need to come together with those internally that disagree with the majority and come to an amicable conclusion or we are doomed to repeat history. For a far more in-depth look at some of these issues, I strongly suggest reading Chapters Forty~Five through Forty~Seven of Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption by Snowblind. His eloquent words are far more informative on these issues than I could ever contemplate.

In conclusion, Pride can be a good thing if it is for the right reasons and doesn't overstep the boundaries and become hubris.

I have to thank all of those that have gone before us for all of their contributions that have brought us to where we are today. I also have to thank again all of those that have put and daily put the lives on the line, so that we can celebrate the freedoms we have. The freedoms that their tireless sacrifices have guaranteed!


Aquenon wrote:
I just read your post.  I agreed with everything you said.  Since this post was partially about our history, I thought you should know about this.
In the late 80’s, early 90’s, a guy named Eric Marcus began a project of extreme importance.  He tracked down people who were at the forefront or the background of the gay rights movement and interviewed them.  And I’m not talking about events starting in the 60’s.  His interview content goes back to the 40’s and maybe before.  I couldn’t believe we had organizations as early as we did.  Mattachine Society starting in 1950, Daughters of Bilitis starting in 1955, a magazine called One in 1952, The Ladder later on...  Until I came across this project, I thought everything started in the mid-to-late 60’s.
First there was the book.  He wrote ‘Making Gay History’ and published it in 1992.  He released a 2nd edition with new interviews in 2002, including Ellen
But the magic started in 2016.  That’s when he took the tapes of the interviews and turned them into a podcast.  Listening to the actual voices of the people who lived through our history is breathtaking, and at times chilling when you realize just what they were facing back then.  He just started season 5.  The site link is below, but you can subscribe anywhere you get podcasts: iTunes, Stitcher, wherever.
I HIGHLY recommend listening to it.  You won’t like every person he interviewed, but most I think you will.  Even when you don’t, it’s still very interesting listening to the stories and their viewpoint of it.  Reading a book on our history is great.  But hearing it from the voices of the people who lived it is another thing entirely.
It also kind of covers topics that you talked about in your post and that Bruce wrote about.  Most of the organizations were united at one point, but the infighting began even back in the 60’s and 70’s.  Cutting lesbians out, cutting transgenders out. This division problem is not new, but it’s never been as bad as it is today.

Author's Note:

I wrote this piece for several reasons, first, to remind everyone of the origin of the Pride Celebrations, second to remind everyone of the original reasons for the celebrations. And last but definitely not least to open the community's eyes to the issues that are occurring and that need to be addressed.

I hope that you found this piece enlightening, and thought-provoking?

Thank you for reading.


Comments and criticisms are gladly accepted at: The Story Lover.

Art's Insights:

A very concise and well researched and verified discourse on a problem that until I read Snowblind's chapters I never knew existed. In Key West, our pride parade is the culmination of a week of festivities. Our city's motto is "One Human Family" and I have never heard of a group being denied the right to march. We hold the honor of parading the largest gay flag ever made. It stretched from the Gulf of Mexico end of Duval Street to the Atlantic Ocean end.


Darryl's Awesome Comments:

TSL, I have enjoyed your insights and information into the various historical facts and connections, as well as the deterioration of the connections that have been formed over the decades, until recently when the bonds that had been formed and forming seem to be torn and tattered and possibly torn apart to such an extent and depth that it may never be possible to bring people and groups back to a point where any trust can be pieced back together.

Hatred and mistrust seem to be the way of the world now, throughout the communities be it difference nationalities, interest groups religious affiliations, and sexual orientations,

Sadly, I have found my general optimism deteriorating more and more by the day.

I do hold out some hope that we can overcome or distrust and try to re-weld the bonds back to one another,

People like Snowblind and TSL seem to have more faith in humanity in general and the various groups in particular that we have been discussing, than I have been seeing in my daily communications that have been showing up.

Maybe with just a bit more good luck and a willingness to at least try to pull ourselves together and work for the common good will find a way to heal us.

Thanks to both of you for presenting some positive answers.

Yours truly,

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher