History of LA Pride Parade
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles Pride Parade, we’re sharing the history of Pride in LA.
The rise of a collective effort for recognition and protection under the law by the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community has a long history in Los Angeles. While New York and San Francisco are central to the history of LGBTQ+ rights, LA is also a city of firsts. Although the Stonewall Uprising is often seen as the beginning of collective action for LGBTQ+ rights, LA was the home of the first recorded incident of protest against police actions against the community (Cooper Do-Nuts, May 1959), as well as one of the first demonstrations against police raids of bars after the Black Cat Tavern was raided on New Year’s Eve, 1966.
Following the raid, a civil demonstration was organized by the organization PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) on February 11, 1967; the first use of the word Pride to refer to LGBTQ+ rights has also been attributed to their name. Prior to these events, LA had the first organized LGBTQ+ rights organization (the Mattachine Society) in 1950, the first LGBTQ+ magazine (The Advocate, founded in 1967), and the first “gay motorcade,” organized in 1966 to fight discrimination against gays in the military.
The first Pride march in LA took place on June 28, 1970 and has been organized by the Christopher Street West Association ever since. While the first parade was attended by approximately 1,000 people, the LA Pride parade is now a 2-day event, including a festival, that draws tens of thousands of people every year.
For more information on LGBTQ+ rights movements in LA visit:
Mapping Los Angeles’s groundbreaking role in LGBT history by Bianaca Barragan on Curbed LA
Before Stonewall, the Queer Revolution Started Right Here in Los Angeles by Jason McGahan in Los Angeles Magazine
Christopher Street West / L.A. Pride Parade, from the Los Angeles Conservancy
Visit our online album to see photos from LA County Library’s participation in the 2019 LA Pride Parade.
Our West Hollywood Library holds our LGBT Collection, a comprehensive collection of LGBT fiction and non-fiction literature and history in a variety of formats: books, journals, periodicals, VHS, and DVD. The collection reflects the rich history, culture, and experiences of the LGBT community both locally and globally. It includes popular and academic materials, out-of-print and hard-to-find titles, LGBT classics, current bestsellers, and new Lambda Literary Award winners and nominees.