History of Pride in Greenwich Village
Though small LGBTQ+ communities had sprung up across New York City by the late 1960s, queer people still faced oppression and discrimination at the hands of both civilians and law enforcement. Police regularly raided bars and establishments that catered to the community to enforce sodomy laws and uphold the city’s moral code. After years of struggle, and on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, the modern Gay Rights Movement began with the Stonewall Uprising. The community refused to continue to suffer in silence and two nights of demonstrations and riots followed a police raid on Greenwich Village’s own Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969.
The first Pride March was held on the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in 1970 and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration. The Pride March is always an exceptionally happy and joyful celebration of the LGBTQ+ movement and community; however, it is also of significant national and international importance as an annual civil rights demonstration. Over the years, its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to illness, violence, and neglect.
There are countless favorite moments from marches that have passed through our neighborhood; our photos capture some of our favorites from our West 8th Street vantage point. Share yours with us and we will add them to our gallery!
This year’s NYC Pride Rally moves online with a virtual event on Friday, June 26th hosted by trans journalist Ashlee Marie Preston and trans actor Brian Michael Smith. The event will stream on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and focus on the intersection of the fights for racial equality and LGBTQ+ rights. Scheduled speakers include Founder and Executive Director of G.L.I.T.S. Ceyenne Doroshow, YouTuber and intersectional activist Annie Segarra, author Edafe Okporo and many more. NYC Pride’s Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts will also feature conversations with Jillian Mercado of The L Word: Generation Q and others. Head to Eventbrite to learn more and register for the Rally.
NYC Pride will also honor the legacy of the Pride March with a special broadcast event on ABC7. This special will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March in 1970 and salute front-line workers in the community as well as this year’s Grand Marshals including Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek, The Ali Forney Center, Yanzi Pang and Victoria Cruz. The event will also feature performances from Janelle Monae, Deborah Cox, Billy Porter, Luisa Sonza and more. Tune in on Sunday, June 28th from 12 PM to 2 PM. Check your local listings for more information.
Reclaim Pride Coalition announced earlier this month that they will be hosting the Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality on June 28th. The march will focus on elevating and protecting Black Lives. Time and location are to be announced; check the Reclaim Pride Coalition website for more details.
The Municipal Art Society of New York will host a virtual screening of ALL WE'VE GOT by filmmaker Alexis Clements on Wednesday, June 24th at 5 PM. This feature-length documentary explores the history and current challenges surrounding LGBTQ+ women's spaces and communities across the United States. Once centers for social, cultural and political activity, many spaces where LGBTQ+ women gather have closed for good over the past ten years. The film investigates the importance of these spaces and how some of these places have survived changing times. Following the screening, join MAS for a Q+A Alexis Clements and Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz from the Lesbian Herstory Archives. Learn more about the film and register for the event here.
NYC Pride will host several other virtual evens throughout June such as the Black Queer Town Hall, Runstreet Virtual Pride 5K Art Run and Virtual Garden Party. Check out the NYC Pride website for more details.
Find out more about the year-round work of NYC’s Heritage of Pride and their work in giving back to local communities through volunteering and awarding grants, by clicking here.