In every city, LGBTQ+ Pride Parades aim to bring the community together in their own, unique way. To explore these different queer cultures across the United States, 5 young activists came together to combine photos of these most recent parades from 4 cities: Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and St. Louis.
In 1970, there was no pride march held in Georgia; however, many activists handed out literature in Piedmont park. In 1971, the city held their first march, making their way from Peachtree street to Piedmont park. Almost 4 decades later, the LGBTQ+ people of Atlanta are able to openly express themselves during the parade; however, that was not always the case. Those participating in the parade in 1973 wore paper bags over their heads for protection from discrimination for their identities and represented the question ‘Do you know who is under here?’. Experiencing the combination of activism and pride, Nate Fulmer, a high school senior in Johns Creek, Georgia, attended a rally and parade in Atlanta.
Beginning in 1970, between 150 and 200 people were involved in Chicago’s first pride parade. This year marked the 48th annual Chicago Pride with over 1 million in attendance. The upbeat energy of their pride is carried throughout the weekend with a two day festival and four mile march down the main streets of Lake View East. Julia Kurpiel and Tyler Gates, 2 high school students from the city, participated in Chicago Pride on the last weekend of June, experiencing the amazing event first hand.
New York City
This year, 40,000 marchers, alongside 80 floats, participated in the NYC Pride Parade. A lot has changed since the first pride parade in 1970, originally called Christopher Street Liberation Day. The city holds on to the culture and traditions of their historical roots, making a 2 mile trek down 5th avenue on to 8th street and Christopher street. Over the years, the pride parade has gained support from many nonprofits, corporations, and organizations. C Mandler, a student at Bard College, had the opportunity to participate in this year’s parade on a float.
The pride parade in St. Louis is officially titled the St. Louis PrideFest. The city’s first pride celebration didn’t occur until 1980, ten years following NYC’s first march. Breaking all previous records, 300,000 people attended Pridefest in 2017- their largest parade in history. Originally held in Central West End and Forest Park, the parade is now held in downtown on Market Street. Angel Montie, a 16 year old from Missouri, took part in this year’s St. Louis PrideFest with ‘free kisses’ written across their face, accompanying fishnet leggings.
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