LGBTQ people have been marching every June for 50 years

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15: Joseph Fons holding a Pride Flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building after the court ruled that LGBTQ people can not be disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation, Washington, DC, June 15, 2020. With Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch joining the Democratic appointees, the court ruled 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Fons is wearing a Black Lives Matter mask with the words 'I Can't Breathe', as a precaution against COVID-19.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15: Joseph Fons holding a Pride Flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building after the court ruled that LGBTQ people can not be disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation, Washington, DC, June 15, 2020. With Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch joining the Democratic appointees, the court ruled 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Fons is wearing a Black Lives Matter mask with the words 'I Can't Breathe', as a precaution against COVID-19.Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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.

Related: Pride in Pictures: I felt like I was being represented

The First-Ever Pride

People hold 'Gay Pride' and 'Mattchine' (The Mattachine Society was a early American gay rights organization) signs during the first Stonewall anniversary march, then known as Christopher Street Liberation Day (and later Gay Pride Day), as they parade along 6th Avenue in New York, June 28, 1970.
People hold ‘Gay Pride’ and ‘Mattachine’ signs during the first Stonewall anniversary march, then known as Christopher Street Liberation Day, as they parade along 6th Avenue in New York, June 28, 1970. Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images

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

View, looking west, along on Christopher Street (between Hudson and Bleeker streets) of pedestrians, onlookers, and marchers, some with signs and balloons, during the annual New York City Pride March, New York, New York, June 24, 1979. Visible in the distance is the Hudson River.
View, looking west, along on Christopher Street (between Hudson and Bleeker streets) of pedestrians, onlookers, and marchers, some with signs and balloons, during the annual New York City Pride March, New York, New York, June 24, 1979. Visible in the distance is the Hudson River. Suzanne Poli/Getty Images

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!

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15: Joseph Fons holding a Pride Flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building after the court ruled that LGBTQ people can not be disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation, Washington, DC, June 15, 2020. With Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch joining the Democratic appointees, the court ruled 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Fons is wearing a Black Lives Matter mask with the words 'I Can't Breathe', as a precaution against COVID-19.
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 15: Joseph Fons holding a Pride Flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building after the court ruled that LGBTQ people can not be disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation, Washington, DC, June 15, 2020. With Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch joining the Democratic appointees, the court ruled 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Fons is wearing a Black Lives Matter mask with the words ‘I Can’t Breathe’, as a precaution against COVID-19. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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.

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