The NYC Pride Parade kicked off at noon Eastern Time today, celebrating the LGBTQ movement’s victories in the past, and looking toward obstacles yet to overcome. And in a cooperative effort between Google, Youtube, Mashable, and the parade organizers, the event was streamed live on the internet.
Three prominent members of the LGBTQ community had the honor of serving as co-grand marshalls of the parade. Laverne Cox is a transgender woman who portrays Sophia Burset – also a transgender woman – on the critically-acclaimed Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) June 29, 2014
The focal point of this year’s event was the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, considered by many to be the beginning of the Gay Rights movement in the United States.
Early in the morning of June 29th, 1969, police officers arrived at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York. At the time, police raids of gay bars were common. Men in drag would be arrested, as would women who were deemed to not be dressed feminine enough. At the time, patrons and employees of gay bars were used to the raids and considered them a part of life. However, at Stonewall, they’d had enough.
The 200 patrons and employees present that morning refused to cooperate. As the police struggled to bring more vehicles on the scene to transport the would-be arrestees, a crowd began to gather outside the inn. When a woman was forcibly thrown to the ground by police, a riot ensued. The riots escalated and continued over the next two days, eventually resulting in over a thousand protesters, and five arrests.
Also celebrated in today’s NYC Pride Parade was the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. The decision paved the way for gay couples to legally marry in California; since the decision, seven other states have come on board with gay marriage, bringing the total to 19, plus the District of Columbia.
In addition to the parade, NYC Pride plans to continue week-long celebration with events through Sunday. Pridefest will include a wide array of street vendors and live performances; and the event will conclude tonight with Dance on the Pier, a dance party headlined by Demi Lovato.
Did you attend this year’s NYC Pride 2014 parade, or any other Pride Parade? Tell us about your experiences in the Comments.
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