What Is Pride, Anyway?

We are now at the 50th Anniversary of the gay rights movement, which exploded into the public eye on June 28, 1969 with the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar and was frequented by lesbians and gay men, drag queens and transgendered people. The NYC police engaged in a systematic program of harrassment of the gay bars of the time by raiding the bars and randomly arresting people attending there. On that historic day 50 years ago, many of these citizens fought back, drove the police into protective hiding and did considerable property damage. In a sense, the gay community finally rose up in rage at being constantly harrassed and not allowed to live their lives as they saw fit. Within a year, pride demonstrations had spread from coast to coast. Within another year, gay student organizations sprang up at colleges across the country. The subject of gay liberation was constantly in the press and other media.

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