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.
In this photo by Fred McDarrah, a simple, plain but powerful message is seen on a placard held up by American lawyer Dick Ashworth, during Gay Liberation Day, June 30th 1974. Ashworth and his wife Amy were key in the inception of PFLAG, and in a quote attributed to Morty Manford, who was present when the police raided the Stonewall Inn in 1969 (and whose mother Jeanne also helped to found PFLAG), ‘I think the most important single organization in the United States is the parents…’
‘Life Is Good With Women’ – so says one of the placards in this early parade in the Back Bay area of Boston in 1975. In that same year, Elaine Noble, a graduate of Boston University, became the first openly lesbian or gay candidate to be elected to a state legislature in the United States and served two terms as representative for the Fenway-Kenmore and Back Bay neighborhoods.
This image shows New York activism on the streets before Pride was Pride, during the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day in 1971. Members of the Buffalo Radical Lesbians may have been geographically removed from the bigger centers of activism, but the fight for LGBTQ rights and equality is a universal issue. This photo was part of an edit the Getty Images Archive Editors undertook to unearth more imagery reflecting gay life, from its analog archives.