Bob Ahern, the Director of the Getty Images archive, is the caretaker of a vast collection of LGBTQ history. While some of the most famous photos from queer history are part of the archive, there is also an untold number of lesser-known pictures that haven’t been displayed publicly.
Ahern is sharing some of his favorite photos with LGBTQ Nation for pride month. Fifty years after the first pride parade, festivals nationwide have been canceled, but a look back through the years at parades from around the country proves one important thing… We will persevere and we will win equality.
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The First-Ever Pride
June 28th 1970. A frame shot by photographer Fred McDarrah as he covered the very first Pride event – the Christopher Street Liberation March on June 28th 1970, just one year after the Stonewall riots. Here marchers can be seen, with signs aloft, making their way along 6th Avenue around Milligan’s Place, New York. One sign is for the Mattachine Society, founded in LA in the 1950’s and which had offices on Christopher Street during the early 1970’s. It was one of the earliest gay rights organizations in the U.S. and remains a poignant reminder of the longevity of the organized fight for equality.
From My Window
Suzanne Poli has been photographing Pride in New York since the earliest days and has one of the best ringside seats in the house – a vantage point from her apartment on Christopher Street itself. Following her work from the early 70’s to the present day gives us a unique perspective on the evolution of the event. She was there to see the activism of the early marches and the incredible celebrations we all know today. This photo of Pride 1979 looks west along Christopher Street.
Pride At 50!
Fast forward to today and despite the obvious challenges presented by COVID-19, the 50th anniversary will of course be celebrated across cities in the US and around the world, with many plans also being driven by the coming together in support of Black Lives Matter. Pavements are being painted, and cities are being lit up with the colors and spirit of Pride. This photo, taken in Washington DC by Chip Somodevilla on June 15 this year shows the Pride Flag being waved, after the recent Supreme court ruled on LGBTQ rights at work.