Progressing pride parades

Pride parades have soared in growth since their beginnings in 1970. (GoToVan/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Political modernization relies on the celebration of progressive ideological achievements. When it comes to social progression, LGBTQ rights are the prominent subject at hand. The advancement of the LGBTQ rights movement has soared since the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the first pride parade in 1970. Expanding the presence of pride marches is a crucial component to the ideological progression of the country and a platform of remembrance and respect to the historical events at the movement's core.

The parades serve as a platform of unity in memory of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which triggered the active nature of the LGBTQ rights movement and allowed for the initial growth of the proud LGBTQ community. The first pride parade took place in 1970, precisely a year after the riots, in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. While pride parades are famous for their celebratory atmosphere, they initially served as a recognition of the hardships faced by the LGBTQ community throughout American history. Contrary to popular belief, LGBTQ rights do not end marriage equality, rather they begin it. The celebratory march in D.C. two years ago served as a dedicatory platform for the Stonewall Riots which ultimately marked the active beginning of the LGBTQ movement.

Acknowledge the growth of the LGBTQ community all over the country and provide them an opportunity to fully express their identity. It is through the accepting atmosphere of the parades that the public displays its recognition of the difficulties LGBTQ community members face, especially those coming out. Parades are known to be “where people can openly express their love.” The gradual expansion of pride parades since 1970 convey the growing support for the LGBTQ community. The spread of the marches will be inevitably followed by increased political awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

In this current politically divided and tense time, the spread of pride parades serves as  an opportunity for supporters to gather and actively protest for LGBTQ rights. This unity and support is seen throughout Trump’s presidency thus far; the outburst of disapproval on his social media of his recent policy regarding transgender individuals in the military has confirms the strength of this unity as long lasting and deeply ideological, rather than simply parading together. While the political division surrounding LGBTQ rights has grown since the presidential election, the unity within pro and anti Trump citizens has also intensified. The growing political tension following the election originates between the two main parties who differ in their opinion of the president. Brian Talbert, a gay Trump supporter and an organizer of North Carolina’s pride parade, was denied participation in the parade with a pro-Trump float. This tension between supporters and opposers of the president brought on by the pride parades unifies each ideological group within itself.

The presence of both supporting and opposing views regarding LGBTQ rights is necessary for political progression. With no one to oppose LGBTQ rights, pride parades and marches would not be as crucial a component of the rights movements as they are today. Without vastly painful historical events such as the Stonewall Riots, the LGBTQ movements would not have the passionate and devoted name it has made for itself in modern day America. As we progress as a country, it is important to recognize the history that has led us to our current advancement and the views of those who oppose our own.


Keren Blaunstein is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at keren.blaunstein@uconn.edu.