Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gay Prides

The gay pride or simply pride campaign of the gay rights movement has three main premises: that people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity, that sexual diversity is a gift, and that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered. Marches celebrating Pride (pride parades) are celebrated worldwide. Symbols of gay pride include the rainbow flag, the Greek lambda symbol, and also the pink and black triangles

In June 1969, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. The late Miss Sylvia Rivera, a transgender rights activist and founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance, is credited by many as the first to actually strike back at the police and, in doing so, spark the rebellion.

The Stonewall riots are generally considered to be the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, as it was the first time in modern history that a significant body of LGBT people resisted arrest.

Activist L. Craig Schoonmaker claims to have coined the term "gay pride" in description of the 1969 Stonewall riots. [1]

Brenda Howard known as the "Mother of Pride" an early leader of the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance in the early post-Stonewall era coordinated the first month anniversary rally and then the "Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March" on June 28, 1970 to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.[2][3]
First year anniversary marches organized by other groups were also held in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1970.
Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around what is now known as Pride Day; this became the first of the extended annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world.

In New York and Atlanta the annual day of celebration to commemorate the Stonewall Riot came to be called Gay Liberation Day; in San Francisco and Los Angeles it was called Gay Freedom Day. Both names spread as more and more cities and towns started holding similar celebrations. In New Orleans it's known as Southern Decadence.

In the 1980s there was a major cultural shift in the Stonewall Riot commemorations. The previous loosely organised, bottom-up marches and parades were taken over by more organised and less radical elements of the gay community. The marches began dropping "Liberation" and "Freedom" from their names under pressure from more conservative members of the community, replacing them with the philosophy of "Gay Pride". The Greek lambda symbol and the pink triangle which had been revolutionary symbols of the Gay Liberation Movement were tidied up and incorporated into the Gay Pride, or Pride, movement, providing some symbolic continuity with its more radical beginnings.

Within the gay community, some reject the notion of gay pride, perceiving therein an undue emphasis on sexual orientation and a lack of discretion and modesty to the detriment of either public morals or the cause of gay rights; they propose to soften strident activism in order to better integrate into the mainstream.[citation needed] Others oppose gay pride on account of its identity politics; they say that one's sexual orientation should not be one's quintessential defining characteristic. Many gay people who are not heavily liberal believe that they are being excluded and ignored in favor of the identification of gay society with political concepts they do not agree with.

It is not unusual to see small groups of religious fundamentalists protesting at gay pride events. American gays often refer to the more strident protesters as "fundies", short for Fundamentalists.

PRIDE as a backronym

Many Australian universities have a club or society for students who identify as LGBT. These clubs often change their names, due to the rapid evolution of political correctness, and a desire to appear inclusive. One label that is currently in common usage is PRIDE, as a backronym for People Rejoicing In Diversity Everywhere.

Amsterdam Pride in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Official webiste)
Athens Pride in Athens, Greece (Official website)
Birmingham Pride in Birmingham, United Kingdom (Official webiste)
Bourne Free in Bournemouth, United Kingdom (Official webiste)
Boston Pride in Boston, Massachusetts, United States (Official website)
Brighton Pride in Brighton, United Kingdom (Official website)
Capital Pride in Washington, D.C., United States (Official website)
Christopher Street Day in Berlin, Germany (Official website)
Christopher Street West in Los Angeles/West Hollywood,California, United States (Official website)
Cologne Gay Pride in Cologne, Germany (Official website)
Copenhagen Pride in Copenhagen, Denmark (Official website)
Day of Silence
Divers/Cité in Montreal, Canada (Official website)
Europride -08 in Stockholm, Sweden
Gay Games (Official website)
Gay Pride Week in Toronto, Canada (Official website)
GayFest in Bucharest, Romania
Helsinki Pride in Helsinki, Finland (Official website)
Heritage of Pride in New York, United States
Indignation in Singapore (Official website)
LA/Valley Pride in Studio City, California, United States (Official website)
Madison Pride and MAGIC Picnic in Madison, Wisconsin, United States (Official website)
Midsumma in Melbourne Australia (Official website)
Motor City Pride in Michigan, United States (Official website)
Parada do Orgulho GLBT de São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil (Official website)
Parada Równości in Warsaw, Poland (Official website)
Pride Fest in Bismark and Mandan, North Dakota, United States
Pride London in London, United Kingdom
PrideFest (Denver) in Denver, Colorado, United States
San Francisco Pride in San Francisco, United States
Savannah Pride in Savannah, Georgia, United States
Southern Decadence in New Orleans, United States
Stockholm Pride in Stockholm, Sweden
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia
Taiwan Pride in Taiwan, Republic of China
Tallinn Pride in Tallinn, Estonia
Tel Aviv Pride Parade in Tel Aviv, Israel
Utah Pride Festival in Salt Lake City, United States
World Outgames
Zagreb Pride in Zagreb, Croatia

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