The joyous celebration of PRIDE events today, with their rainbow banners flapping in the wind, vibrant parades, and empowering speeches, has deep roots steeped in resistance, activism, and the tireless quest for civil rights. PRIDE’s history is a testament to the courage, resilience, and determination of the LGBTQ+ community, reminding us of the progress made and the work that continues in the pursuit of equality.

The Catalyst: Stonewall Riots, 1969

While PRIDE events are now global phenomena, the first PRIDE marches were born in the USA in the crucible of a series of events known as the Stonewall riots. In the early morning of June 28, 1969, the New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in Greenwich Village, New York City. The violent raid ignited widespread protests from the LGBTQ+ community, and these spontaneous demonstrations persisted for several days.

The Stonewall riots marked a significant turning point, the first time the LGBTQ+ community collectively resisted the harassment, discrimination, and oppression they experienced. The riots ignited the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, leading to the creation of activist groups, civil rights legislation, and, most symbolically, the first PRIDE march.

The First PRIDE March: Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970

The first PRIDE event, originally termed the Christopher Street Liberation Day, was held on June 28, 1970, exactly one year after the Stonewall Riots. Organized by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee, it was more than just a parade – it was a political demonstration of LGBTQ+ rights and visibility. The marchers walked from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park, defying societal norms, voicing their demands for acceptance and equality, and paving the way for future PRIDE events.

PRIDE: The Evolution and Expansion

In the years following the inaugural Christopher Street Liberation Day, PRIDE events gradually became more widespread and started to shed their solely political overtone, morphing into celebrations of LGBTQ+ culture and community. This evolution was part of a broader shift in societal perceptions, with the community’s struggle for acceptance gaining ground, culminating in key victories like the decriminalization of homosexuality and the recognition of marriage equality in many parts of the world.

From modest beginnings in New York City, PRIDE has spread across the globe, celebrated in cities large and small, from Sydney to Sao Paulo, from Johannesburg to Jerusalem. The events now span the entire month of June, known as PRIDE Month, and include activities as varied as their participants – parades, concerts, workshops, picnics, parties, and more.

PRIDE events today are a potent symbol of unity and acceptance, a festival of love that transcends social and cultural barriers. They provide a platform for LGBTQ+ people to express their identities openly and joyfully and stand in solidarity with their peers. PRIDE is a beacon of hope, a call for continued progress, and an affirmation of the power of diversity.

Legal Evolution Mirroring PRIDE

Alongside the evolution of PRIDE, there has been a significant evolution in the legal landscape concerning LGBTQ+ rights. The early days of the movement saw anti-sodomy laws and the criminalization of homosexuality. Fast forward to 2023, and we have witnessed landmark rulings such as the decriminalization of homosexuality, the recognition of same-sex marriages, and most recently, the expansion of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment.

But, the legal fight for complete equality is far from over. PRIDE serves as a reminder of this ongoing battle, amplifying the issues still facing the community, such as trans rights, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and the global recognition of LGBTQ+ rights.

Continuing the Evolution of PRIDE

The true spirit of PRIDE lies in its continued ability to evolve and adapt, reflecting the changing realities of the LGBTQ+ community. Even as we celebrate the progress made, PRIDE remains a poignant reminder of the challenges that lie ahead. For many around the world, acceptance is still a dream, and the struggle for rights and equality continues.

As PRIDE events have expanded, they have also grown more inclusive. The community has become more aware and accepting of its diversity, extending its arms to all identities on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. PRIDE events now work towards inclusivity of intersectional identities, acknowledging and celebrating the diversity within the community itself.


As we wave our rainbow flags high and let the vibrant colors of PRIDE wash over us, it is essential to remember the path that brought us here. Each color is a reminder of the battles fought, the lives lost, and the victories won. It’s a symbol of the love, acceptance, and equality that the LGBTQ+ community continues to champion. While the road ahead might still be long and fraught with challenges, the spirit of PRIDE, a beacon of resilience and unity, promises a future painted with the vibrant hues of equality and love.

As we commemorate PRIDE month, we at Ed White Law pledge our support to the pursuit of justice and equality for the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating the diversity that strengthens our society.