This is when the Pride Parade had no floats, no go-go boys, and topless Dykes on Bikes. That would begin to happen in the next two years. It was then a parade of people. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered. All ages, sizes, and colors walking and marching side by side together for our rights.
After months of planning and internal controversy, the Christopher Street Liberation Day Umbrella Committee negotiated with more than a dozen very different gay organizations. One of the largest hurdles was which group would have the honor of heading the march. It was only when Craig and Michael Brown, who’d arranged for those first permits, decided that each group would have one representative was the matter finally settled. Even the question of a chant was endlessly discussed—the winner: “Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.” Craig and police brass worked out a glitch over permits for the parade and the post-parade “Gay-In” in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow only moments before the events began.”
Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.”
Many people don’t realize it but the raids on gay bars by the New York City Police Department didn’t end with the Stonewall riots in the summer of 1969. In fact the raids continued, virtually uninterrupted with some continuing on into the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
On March 8th. 1970 at about 5:00 am in the morning the NYPD raided the Snake Pit, an after-hours bar at 211 West 10h. Street in Greenwich Village. Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine (the same Seymour Pine in charge of the raids upon the Stonewall Inn) showed up with a fleet of police wagons, and arrested all 167 customers, staff, and owners and took them to the station house, which violated police policy.
One patron, Diego Vinales, panicked. An immigrant from Argentina who was in the country illegally, he feared what would happen to him in the police station and tried to escape by jumping out a second story window. He landed on a fence below, its 14-inch spikes piercing his leg and pelvis. He was not only critically wounded, but was also charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. As paramedics attended to Vinales, a cop told a fireman, “You don’t have to hurry, he’s dead, and if he’s not, he’s not going to live long,”
“You don’t have to hurry, he’s dead, and if he’s not, he’s not going to live long.”
Viñales was eventually cut loose and taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. he survived after spending weeks in the hospital and when released moved back to Argentina.
The Gay Activist Alliance immediately organized a protest for later that night. A pamphlet publicizing the protest read, “Any way you look at it, Diego Vinales was pushed. We are all being pushed. A march on the Sixth Precinct will take place tonight, March 8, at 9 pm, gathering at Sheridan Square. Anyone who calls himself a human being, who has the guts to stand up to this horror, join us.”
A silent vigil will occur immediately following the demonstration.” Nearly 500 people showed up for an angry and loud but peaceful protest protest to the precinct station on Charles Street, followed by a vigil at St. Vincent’s hospital where Vinales lay in critical condition.
Rep. Edward Koch, who would later become the Mayor of NYC accused NYPD Commissioner Howard Leary of green-lighting the resumption of raids, harassment, and illegal arrests against the gay community. Both Leary and Seymour Pine was reassigned to the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
The gay community, which had already witnessed a burst of organizing activity since the Stonewall uprising nine months earlier, became even more politically and socially active, setting the stage for the first Christopher Street Pride March 3 months later on the first anniversary of Stonewall Riots.
1883 – Birth date of Mauritz Stiller, the Finnish film director. Stiller was Greta Garbo’s discoverer, mentor, and friend. Tall, lean, gay, with a shock of hair and long expressive hands, Stiller, was not only gay but a flamboyant man about town…One of Stiller’s most important relationships was with Nils Asther, the Danish actor. Stiller was in demand in the film industry and his price to come to Hollywood was a contract for the then pudgy Greta Gustafsson.
1943 – Birth date of Barry Manilow, American singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, producer, conductor, entertainer, and performer. Manilow stayed in the closet for many years, but his sexual orientation was an open secret in the music industry and among the Friends of Dorothy. When Barry Manilow finally did come out in 2017 at the age of 73, it really didn’t really matter and was a shock to no one.
1948 – Anthropologist Ruth Benedict who advocated cross-cultural and racial equality died on this date. She is best remembered for her works on the national character of various cultures including several Native American tribes, and her most famous work on Japan, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. Benedict was a sometimes lover and lifelong friend of fellow anthropologist Margaret Mead.
After Benedict passed away Margaret Mead kept the legacy of her lovers work going by supervising projects that Benedict would have looked after, and editing and publishing notes from studies that Benedict had collected throughout her life
1959 – On this date a London court awarded pianist Liberace $22,400 in damages against the “London Daily Mirror” for implying that the flamboyant entertainer was a homosexual by referring to him as a “mincing ice-covered heap of mother love.” The case went to trial, and when Liberace was asked by his own counsel whether he was gay. Liberace said no, saying: “My feelings are the same as anybody else’s. I am against the practice because it offends convention and offends society.” –
Our only guess to how Liberace won the lawsuit is that the jury was both blind and deaf.
1976 – In Toronto, the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario presents a brief “The Homosexual Minority in Ontario” to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
1977 – Vice President Walter Mondale angrily left a San Francisco Democratic fund raising event when his speech on human rights in South America was interrupted by a man who demanded to know when he would speak in favor of gay rights. Members of the newly formed San Francisco Gay Democratic Club held up signs demanding a statement on human rights in the United States. The club was created by Harvey Milk.
1981 – Sen. Roger Jepson (R-IA) introduced the Family Protection Act in Congress. It specified that anyone who was homosexual or openly supportive of homosexuals could not receive student aid, social security, or veterans’ benefits; and regulated what public school textbooks could say about human sexuality. It never passed, and Jepson lost his bid for re-election when it was revealed he had a membership at a brothel.
1983 – New York State Funeral Directors Association announced its members would not embalm the bodies of those who had died of AIDS.
The state’s largest such group, urged its members yesterday not to embalm victims of AIDS until the government issues guidelines for safe handling of such cases.
Governor Cuomo characterized the action as “unfortunate.” He said he had asked state officials to investigate all legal remedies “to insure that the civil rights and human dignities of AIDS victims’ families are not compromised.”
1985 – Johnny Greene was fired from his job with McDermott International Inc. after writing an article for PEOPLE magazine about his own suspected case of AIDS. “They just walked in and said, ‘Get the hell out,’ Green said. “I hope they were acting out of panic or confusion, not belligerence or homophobia.”
Immediately after being fired, PEOPLE magazine hired Greene and put him under contract to report on the AIDS epidemic.
1989 – Jessie Portis Helm, a columnist for Gentleman’s Quarterly, died
1990 – Twelve US marines attacked three gay men outside The Remington bar(pg.4) on Capitol Hill, leaving two of them unconscious. Two of the marines were fined $400 and confined to their barracks for 30 days. Despite witness accounts that several of the marines chanted, “Kill the fags,” Marine officials ruled that it was not a gay bashing but a bar brawl.
1990 – Mayor P.J. Morgan of Omaha, Nebraska declared the week of June 17 as “Understanding Our Differences, Respect All People Week.” Though in coincided with gay pride week, he received criticism for not mentioning gays and lesbians in the proclamation.
2005 – On this date the U.S. Roman Catholic Bishops agreed to a five-year extension on their unprecedented policy of permanently barring sexually abusive clergy from church work. They did not take the opportunity to stop scapegoating gay clergy for the institutional church’s misdeeds. – Obviously the barring of sexually abusive clergy did not work.
2006 – An estimated 2.4 million people took to the streets of Sao Paulo to celebrate the Brazilian city’s 10th annual Gay Pride parade.The record attendance — the largest in the world, according to organizers — topped 2005’s official crowd count of 1.8 million, and was a far cry from the 2,000 people who took part when Sao Paulo’s first Pride was held a decade ago. Some revelers dressed up as Batman, Elvis Presley, Cinderella or Marie Antoinette; others as gay cowboy lovers Jake and Heath from “Brokeback Mountain”.
In the late 1960’s Steve Ostrow opened the Continental Baths in the basement of the landmark Ansonia Hotel, which at one time was home to such greats as Caruso, Stravinsky and Toscanini.
Famous for its lavish accommodations, the Continental Baths was advertised as being reminiscent of “the glory of ancient Rome.” The impressive features of this bathhouse included a disco dance floor, a cabaret lounge, sauna rooms, an “Olympia blue” swimming pool, and clean, spacious facilities that could serve nearly 1,000 men, 24 hours a day. (And many patrons did!)
One gay guide from NYC in the 1970’s described the Continental Baths as a place that “revolutionized the bath scene in New York.”
An extra added attraction at the Continental was the first class entertainment provided by performers such as Melba Moore, Peter Allen, Cab Calloway, The Manhattan Transfer, John Davidson, Wayland Flowers and Madame and Bette Midler, who began her career by performing there with Barry Manilow in 1972.
Despite Midler’s constant complaints about “that goddam waterfall,” her poolside performances were so successful that she soon gained national attention, beginning with repeat performances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Many of those who were fortunate enough to see Bette’s early bathhouse shows attest to the fact that her greatest achievement in show business took place the night she convinced the otherwise shy Barry Manilow to accompany her on the piano while wearing only a white towel, which was considered “proper bathhouse attire.”
As the popularity of the cabaret shows increased, a wide variety of entertainers were invited to “give it up” at the Continental Baths, including the soprano Eleanor Steber, who gave a “black towel” concert there in 1973.
The list of visitors to the Continental Baths read like a “who’s who” of the entertainment world, from actors, singers, artists, producers, to the mafia and and even the Metropolitan Oper. They all paid a visit either to see Bette, or have some fun.
And for those unfortunate souls who never descended into that legendary basement bathhouse, the Continental Baths were able to come to them in the form of the highly popular Continental Baths towel, which was sold by Bloomingdale’s department store at the height of the club’s fame.
During this period even the mainstream news talk show The Pat Collins Show broadcast live from the club. In one segment, Pat sat by the pool and interviewed proprietor Steve Ostrow while nude men, apparently indifferent to the television cameras, went splashing (WCBS-TV received only one complaint about the program.)
Below watch one of Bette Midler’s final performances in its entirety at The Continental Baths. (With Barry Manilow on the piano of course)
Apologies about the quality of the videos below but its a miracle that it exists at all
“Friends” “Fat Stuff” “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” (Andrews Sisters) “Superstar” “Empty Bed Blues” (Bessie Smith) “Marahuana” “For Free” (Joni Mitchell) “Easier Said Than Done” (The Essex) “Chapel Of Love” (The Dixie Cups) “I Shall Be Released” (The Band)
Bette Midler and The Continental Baths – ABC News Report Circa 1980
Armed Neo-Nazi protesters with police escort marching through downtown Detroit during the Motor City Pride festivities. NSM [The National Socialist Movement] members from across the country reportedly traveled to Detroit to take part in this anti-Pride demonstration.
In Detroit, an armed white supremacist group called the National Socialist Movement (NSM) descended on the annual Motor City Pride Festival, where they held placards, gave Nazi salutes and displayed armbands with swastikas.
Photos from the event, which was attended by thousands of LGBT+ supporters, showed a group of around 10 neo-Nazis marching surrounded by police officers.
Dressed in black with a number carrying firearms and shields, the NSM marchers tore apart pride flags and pushed over at least one counter-demonstrator. One even appeared to urinate on an Israeli flag. (pictured above)
Nazis out here In Detroit, Michigan right now.
"I AM SHOOK. Please be safe out there today, my brothers and sisters."- via Kelsey Hubbell
Today at Motor City Pride, a friendly LGBT+ event, Detroit PD escorted Nazi's in full uniform outside of the entrance to the festival. Detroit PD bruised those that tried to intervene (see below) and allowed this to happen. pic.twitter.com/lDcbemzhek
Cmdr. Guillermo Rivera of the Metropolitan Police said police were responding to a call of a man with a gun. As they approached the scene, they encountered people who said shots had been fired.
The panic appeared to stem from a person showing a weapon in an “altercation” on Dupont Circle. The person with the weapon was apprehended, the police officer said, and police tweeted out that the “threat has been contained.”
Rivera said there was currently no evidence that shots were fired.
Seven people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, and others were treated on site the commander said. Other people were treated at the scene, in Washington’s Dupont Circle.
Police are reviewing recordings to try to determine what the noises were and if shot were actually fired elsewhere in the crowd.
About five thousand gay pride marchers took to the streets of Ukraine’s capital Kiev, which lasted about 20 minutes despite opponents’ attempts to block them.
Some previous gay pride rallies in Ukraine have ended in violence. In 2015, a gay pride march was called off when right-wing activists pelted participants with smoke grenades
Last week, leading human rights organizations rebuked the authorities for police inaction in response to rising violence against ethnic minorities, women’s rights activists and LGBT people.
Early in the Saturday morning, more than 150 far-right protesters had sought to block off the route of the march through central Kiev. Small clashes broke out when police in riot gear moved to clear the street. “Several men who resisted and used gas canisters against law enforcement officers were detained,” the police said in a statement.
Far-right group C14 said police had surrounded its protesters, attacking them with batons and tear gas. “Look at how they protect ‘sexual minorities’ and violate the rights of regular Kiev citizens,” it said in a post on Facebook.
Kiev held its first major pride march in 2016 after the new government that came to power sanctioned such events.
A 20-year-old man has been convicted of preparing an act of terrorism after he planned to carry out a machete attack on a gay pride event in Cumbria. Ethan Stables showed no reaction as the verdicts were returned at Leeds crown court on Monday morning and he was remanded in custody before sentencing later in the day.
Officers had received a tip-off from a member of a far-right Facebook group where Stables posted a message saying he was “going to war” and that he planned to “slaughter every single one of the gay bastards”. After he was arrested, police found Stables had made internet searches for “how to make chemical poison”, “what is prison like for a murderer”, “I want to go on a killing spree” and “do you get haircuts in prison”.
The jury was shown a video of him burning a rainbow flag and posing next to a swastika hanging on his bedroom wall. He swapped messages with fellow extremists, blaming the fact that he was jobless on “faggots, niggers, spastics” and the Equalities Act.
Last week we reported here that Stables shocked the jury at Leeds Crown Court when he told them that he is actually bisexual and was ‘utterly ashamed’ of what he had done.
NYC Pride announced that WABC-TV will be its official television partner and broadcast the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The NYC Pride March started in 1970 as a civil rights demonstration on the 1-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Today, it is one of the world’s best known LGBT events, with 350 marching contingents and more than 2 million spectators in 2016.
WABC-TV will broadcast the annual trek down Fifth Avenue from Noon – 3 p.m. on Channel 7 and also stream the event on its website, abc7ny.com. This important new partnership comes at a time of political and social turmoil in many communities. “We’re excited to have Tri-state viewers welcome us into their homes for what will be an unprecedented opportunity for the LGBT community’s collective voices to be heard,” said Chris Frederick, NYC Pride Managing Director.
WABC-TV joins a vast array of nonprofits, community organizations, corporate partners, small businesses, political candidates and activists who participate each year. “Channel 7 prides itself on being able to bring important, local celebrations of community spirit to as many people as possible,” said Dave Davis, President and General Manager of WABC-TV. “We look forward to making this year’s March the best ever.”
In addition to the live broadcast, the station will also provide coverage of other essential NYC Pride events: PrideFest – the annual LGBT street festival, Pride Luminaries Brunch, the Rally, and Pride Island – a new three-day LGBT cultural experience.
This year’s theme, “We Are Proud,” speaks to the LGBT community’s unwavering ability to rise and be proud, even in the face of the existing political environment. The American Civil Liberties Union, Brooke Guinan (trans woman, FDNY firefighter), Krishna Stone (Director of Community Relations, GMHC), and Geng Le (Founder, Blued) will helm 2017’s iconic March. – Via Press Release