Gay pride parade

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Gay Pride Parade in São Paulo]], Brazil. Photo:Rose Brasil - ABr
A gay pride parade or LGBT pride parade is part of a festival or ceremony held by the LGBT community of a city to commemorate the struggle for LGBT rights and pride.

The LGBT community of a city will typically present an annual parade, sometimes in the context of a longer celebration including performances, dances, street parties, and the like. Most LGBT pride parades take place in the middle of the year, particularly in June, to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

History

Early in the morning of June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn — a gay bar that was heavily patronized by people of colour, including a high percentage of drag queens — in the Greenwich Village section of New York City.[1] The Stonewall riots are generally considered to be the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement, as it was the first time in modern history that a significant body of LGBT people resisted arrest. Given the population that frequented the establishment, a large percentage of the people who initially fought back were persons of colour.

On Sunday, June 28, 1970, the one-year anniversary of the riots, the Gay Liberation Front organized a march, coordinated by Brenda Howard, from Greenwich Village to Central Park in New York City in commemoration of the Stonewall riots. [2] On the same weekend gay activist groups on the West Coast of the United States held a march in Los Angeles and a march and 'Gay-in' in San Francisco.[3]

The first marches were both serious and fun, and served to inspire the widening activist movement; they were repeated in the following years, and more and more annual marches started up in other cities throughout the world.

In New York and Atlanta the marches were called 'Gay Liberation Marches', and the day of celebration was called "Gay Liberation Day"; in San Francisco and Los Angeles they became known as 'Gay Freedom Marches' and the day was called "Gay Freedom Day". As more towns and cities began holding their own celebrations, these names spread.

In the 1980s there was a cultural shift in the gay movement. Activists of a less radical nature began taking over the March committees in different cities, and they dropped "Gay Liberation" and "Gay Freedom" from the names, replacing them with "Gay Pride" under pressure from more conservative segments of the LGBT community.

Many parades still have at least some of the original political or activist character, especially in less LGBT-positive settings. However, in more gay-positive cities, the parades take on a festive or even Mardi Gras-like character. Large parades often involve floats, dancers, drag queens, and amplified music; but even such celebratory parades usually include political and educational contingents, such as local politicians and marching groups from queer institutions of various kinds. Other typical parade participants include local LGBT-friendly churches such as Metropolitan Community Churches and Unitarian Universalist Churches, PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and the LGBT employee associations from large businesses.

Even the most festive parades usually offer some aspect dedicated to remembering victims of AIDS and anti-LGBT violence. Some particularly important pride parades are funded by governments and corporate sponsors, and promoted as major tourist attractions for the cities that host them. In some countries, some pride parades are now also called Pride Festivals. Some of these festivals provide a carnival-like atmosphere in a nearby park or city-provided closed-off street, with information booths, music concerts, barbecues, beer stands, contests, sports, and games.

Though the reality was that the Stonewall riots themselves, as well as the immediate and the ongoing political organizing that occurred following them, were events fully participated in by lesbian women, bisexual people [1] and transgender people [2] [3] as well as by gay men of all races and backgrounds, historically these events were first named Gay, the word at that time being used in a more generic sense to cover the entire spectrum of what is now variously called the 'queer', GLBT or LGBT community.

By the late '70s and early '80s, as many of the actual participants had grown older, moved on to other issues or died, this led to misunderstandings as to who had actually participated in the Stonewall riots, who had actually organized the subsequent demonstrations, marches and memorials, and who had been members of early activist organizations such as Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance.

But eventually the language caught up with the reality of the community and the names have become more accurate and inclusive, though these changes met with initial resistance from some in their own communities who were unaware of the actual historical facts [4]. Changing first to Lesbian and Gay, today most are called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT).

The rainbow flag, sometimes called 'the Freedom Flag', was first used to symbolize gay struggles for liberation and gay diversity by artist Gilbert Baker at that year's Gay Freedom Day parade in San Francisco in 1978, and is now commonly displayed in LGBT pride parades throughout the world. As of 2003, it consists of six colored stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The different colors symbolize diversity in the gay community.[4]

Opposition

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Pride parade as part of the 2005 GayFest in Bucharest, Romania


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Baton twirlers perform in the 2002 Divers/Cité pride parade in downtown Montreal


A portion of the LGBT and heterosexual populations regard pride parades as vulgar flaunting of sexual orientation, especially those of a more festive character. Critics charge them with an undue emphasis on sex and bizarre behaviour, which they see as detrimental to the cause of LGBT rights. The argument is sometimes taken further, arguing that they expose the "gay community" to ridicule.

Others criticize this position, seeing it as pandering to homophobia, and arguing that heterosexuality takes centre stage the other 364 days of the year and that pride parades promote visibility and discussion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. Most argue that such parades are carnivals and that they should be taken as such rather than as representative of everyday life for someone who happens to a member of the LGBT community.

Those who take socially conservative political positions are sometimes opposed to such events because they view them to be indecent and contrary to public morality. This belief is partly based on certain things sometimes found in the parades, such as public nudity, S & M paraphanelia, and other highly sexualized features. Proponents are quick to point out that Mardis Gras parades are very similer and are parades held just before the beginning of the Christian liturgical season of Lent.

Notable pride events

Main article: List of LGBT events

Belgrade

On June 30, 2001 several LGBTQ groups from Serbia attempted to march through Belgrade's streets and peacefully demand their rights and an end to oppression. The event was registered with the local police for safety reasons and according to the law, however, when the people started to gather in one of the city's principal squares, a huge crowd of soccer fans, clerics leading ultra nationalist youth, and skinheads stormed the event, attacked and seriously injured several participants and stopped the manifestation from taking place. The event was extremely tense as the police were not equipped to suppress riots or protect the Pride marchers. The conflict unravelled in the streets of Belgrade as the opposers of the event took to the streets triumphantly singing songs about killing gays and lesbians. Some of the victims of the attack took refuge in the building of the student cultural centre where a discussion was planned following the Pride event. The building was surrounded as well in attempt to stop the forum from happening, and it was successful. There were harder clashes between poorly equipped police and assilants in the area where several police officers were injured as well. The aftermath was characterized by sharp criticism of the assailants and government and security officials from the NGO's and a number of public personalities. Government officials did not particularly comment on the event nor were there any consequences for some 30 young men arrested in the riots. Serbia remains a hostile environment for the LGBTQ population and all attempts to organize subsequent Pride marches failed. This was the first Pride march organized in this region.

First Eastern European Pride

The very first Eastern European Pride, called The Internationale Pride, was assumed to be a promotion of the human right to freedom of assembly in Croatia and other Eastern European states where such rights of the LGBTIQ population are not respected and a support for organizing the very first Prides in that communities. Out of all ex-Yugoslav states, only Slovenia and Croatia have a tradition of organizing Pride events, whereas the attempt to organize such an event in Belgrade, Serbia in 2001, ended in a bloody showdown between the police and the counter-protesters, with the participants heavily beaten up. This manifestation was held in Zagreb, Croatia from June 22 - 25 2006 and brought together representatives of those Eastern European and Southeastern European countries where the sociopolitical climate is not ripe for the organization of Prides, or where such a manifestation is expressly forbidden by the authorities. From 13 countries that participated, only Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Latvia have been organizing Prides, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovakia and Lithuania have never had Prides before. There were also representatives from Kosovo, that participated apart from Serbia. It was the very first Pride organized jointly with other states and nations, which only ten years ago have been at war with each other. Weak cultural, political and social cooperation exists among these states, with an obvious lack of public encouragement for solidarity, which organizers hoped to initiate through that regional Pride event.

Jerusalem

On June 30 2005, the fourth annual parade took place in Jerusalem. It had originally been prohibited by a municipal ban which was cancelled by the court. Many of the religious leaders of Jerusalem's Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities had arrived to a rare consensus asking the municipal government to cancel the permit of the paraders. During the parade, a young Haredi Jewish man attacked three people with a kitchen knife.

Another parade, this time billed as an international event (see WorldPride), was scheduled to take place in the summer of 2005, but was postponed to 2006 due to the stress on police forces during in the summer of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. In 2006, it was again postponed due to the Israel-Hezbollah war. It was scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on the 10th of November, 2006, and caused a wave of protests by Haredi Jews around central Israel.[5] The Israel National Police had filed a petition to cancel the parade due to foreseen strong opposition. Later, an agreement was reached to convert the parade into an assembly inside the Hebrew University stadium in Jerusalem. On June 21 2007, the Jerusalem Open House organization succeeded in staging a parade in central Jerusalem after police allocated thousands of personnel to secure the general area. The rally planned afterwards was cancelled due to an unrelated national fire department strike which prevented proper permits from being issued.

Latvia

On July 22, 2005, the first Latvian gay pride march took place in Riga, surrounded by protesters. It had previously been banned by the city council, and the Prime Minister of Latvia, Aigars Kalvītis, opposed the event, stating Riga should "not promote things like that", however a court decision allowed the march to go ahead [5].

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Workers of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association participating in Taiwan Pride in Taipei in 2005.

Taipei

On November 1, 2003 the first gay pride parade in the country of Taiwan, Taiwan Pride, was held in Taipei, Taiwan with over 1,000 people attending [7], and the mayor of Taipei, Ma Ying-jeou, attended the event. Homosexuality remains a taboo in Taiwan, and many participants wore masks to hide their identities.

Poland

In 2005, gay pride in Warsaw was forbidden, but happened. The ban was considered a violation of European Convention on Human Rights (Bączkowski and Others v. Poland).

References

1. ^ "The New York Times",June 29, 1969
2. ^ "The Gay Militants", Don Teal, New York: Stein and Day 1971
3. ^ "The San Francisco Chronicle", June 29, 1970
4. ^ Television Documentary: "Out! Rainbow Pride: A Story of the Rainbow Flag"
5. ^ 9 Protesters Detained at Anti-Gay Pride Demonstration. Arutz 7 (2006-11-01).

See also

External links

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Gay pride or LGBT pride refers to a world wide movement and philosophy asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
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The sociological construct of a gay community is complex among those that classify themselves as homosexual, ranging from full-embracement to complete and utter rejection of the concept.
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The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days.
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Location: Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, NY

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Added to NRHP: May 27, 1999[2]

NRHP Reference#: 99000562

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For the song "Gay Bar" by Electric Six, see Electric Six.

A gay bar is a drinking establishment that caters exclusively or primarily to a gay and/or lesbian clientele.
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Drag queen is usually a man who dresses (or "drags") in female clothes and make-up for special occasions and usually because they are performing or entertaining as a hostess, stage artist or at an event.
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Greenwich Village (IPA pronunciation: [ˌgrɛnɪtʃ 'vɪlɪdʒ]), also called simply the Village
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The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days.
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LGBT social movements share related goals of social acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgenderism. LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their movements include the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement
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June 28 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

In common years it is always in ISO week 26.
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Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was the name of a number of Gay Liberation groups, the first of which was formed in New York City in 1969, immediately after the Stonewall riots.
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Brenda Howard (December 24 1946 – June 28 2005) was a bisexual rights activist and sex-positive feminist, who was an important figure in the modern LGBT rights movement.

Biography

Howard was born in the Bronx and grew up in Syosset, Nassau County, New York.
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Greenwich Village (IPA pronunciation: [ˌgrɛnɪtʃ 'vɪlɪdʒ]), also called simply the Village
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Central Park
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The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days.
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Motto
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Gay pride or LGBT pride refers to a world wide movement and philosophy asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day". It is the final day of Carnival (English IPA: /kɑrnɨvəl/).
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Drag queen is usually a man who dresses (or "drags") in female clothes and make-up for special occasions and usually because they are performing or entertaining as a hostess, stage artist or at an event.
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gay usually describes a person's sexual orientation, being the standard term for homosexual. In earlier usage, the word meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy", though this usage is infrequent today.
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Homosexuality and Christianity

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Unitarian Universalism (UUism) is a theologically liberal religious movement characterized by its support of a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning." This principle permits Unitarian Universalists a wide range of beliefs and practices.
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Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a group of family members and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. According to PFLAG's mission statement, the organization "promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian,
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gay usually describes a person's sexual orientation, being the standard term for homosexual. In earlier usage, the word meant "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy", though this usage is infrequent today.
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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
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The Red ribbon is a symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS.
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The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days.
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