These men at the 1976 Christopher Street West celebration, in Los Angeles, embody the youthful camaraderie of Pride — and the glimpse of life’s possibilities when we are allowed to be ourselves.
For some LGBTQ people of the era, college was the time of awakening. Their first taste of independence gave them the opportunity to explore their identity. Students had the confidence and foresight to help launch organizations that support LGBTQ students well beyond their tenure, all the way to this day.
For others, like someone from a small town, or from a conservative upbringing, that first Pride sent some important a life-affirming message.
Yes, there are people like me. Yes, I can find happiness. Yes, there is hope.