Sunday, May 19, 2024

‘PRIDE: 50 Years of Parades and Protests’ provides a rich visual history

So many revolutions are over in a day, perhaps a few days, but the revolution to change the world for the LGBTQ+ community has taken many years. As we enter Pride Month, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and there is a stunning new coffee table book charting this history.

There were protests before Stonewall in California and Philadelphia, but this riot seemed different, and it led to something more solid and more changeable. The patrons of the Stonewall Inn decided to fight back against police harassment that night and over a few nights afterwards.

This resistance is widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.

Pride marches since then have been about visibility. If we are visible, we prove we exist and are not going away, and with visibility comes a record.

“PRIDE: Fifty Years of Parades and Protests” is a collection of images that chart that journey beginning with a photograph a few days after the riots until the last few that showcase how far we have come.

3/28/1989 – 3,000 Protest City’s Handling of AIDS Crisis: During New York’s largest demonstration to date by thousands who say the city provides inadequate services and funds for people with AIDS, a protester lay down in front of City Hall. About 200 people were arrested.  (also Published in NYT 03/21/97) NYTCREDIT: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

We celebrate that we are alive, but with the current threats to our rights, the parade once again this year becomes a protest, and we say again we are not going way.

The 350 images are from the archives of The New York Times, and present a powerful visual history of five decades of parades and protests of the LGBTQ movement.

Michael Knaapen, left, and John Becker, a couple from Washington, D.C. who were married in Toronto in 2006, react as they learn the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down, at the Supreme Court, in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The Supreme Court issued a pair of rulings Wednesday expanding gay rights, ruling unconstitutional a 1996 law denying federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples and clearing the way for California to legalize same-sex marriage. (Drew Angerer for The New York Times) 

These photos, paired with descriptions of major events from each decade as well as selected reporting from The Times, showcase the victories, setbacks, and ongoing struggles of the LGBTQ+ community. Also included is accompanying chapter text by David Kaufman, Editor with News Corp. and former editor at The New York Times, as well as an introduction by Adam Nagourney, The Times’s Los Angeles bureau chief.

PRIDE: Fifty Years of Parades and Protests retails at $24.99 and is available in all good bookshops and online

A memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts continues to grow on Friday, June 17, 2016. (Photographs by Todd Heisler/THE NEW YORK TIMES) 

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