This video is treasure. It is the only existing footage of the original 1970 “Christopher Street Liberation Day,” the year after the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion erupted. It is archival footage of a long by-gone era.
On June 28, 1970 the Christopher Street Liberation Day in New York and the Christopher Street West Association in Los Angeles marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the first Gay Pride Parades in United States history.
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 Atlanta and New York City and the marches were called Gay Liberation Marches, and the day of celebration was called “Gay Liberation Day”; in Los Angeles and San Francisco they became known as ‘Gay Freedom Marches’ and the day was called “Gay Freedom Day”. As more cities and even smaller towns 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”.
Watch the video and look at the faces of the men and women who stood up and became visible so that you can have the rights that you enjoy today.
*Many thanks to Mike Lavery for the link to additional footage.