Conflict Marked Gay Pride Events of Early 1970s, Professor Stein Says

Friday, June 01, 2018
Photo of Marc Stein

ELITE DAILY -- I spoke to Marc Stein, professor of History at San Francisco State University and author of Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement, about the history of Pride month. His next book, Documenting the Stonewall Riots: A Primary Source Reader, will be published by New York University Press in 2019 — and he gave me a little preview.

“The final chapter will feature a set of articles from 1970 to 1973 that document the earliest gay pride marches, parades and protests,” says Stein. “In the early years, gay pride events were conceptualized more as marches and demonstrations than as parades and festivals.”

Stein explains that in the first four years of gay pride events, “there was great emphasis on community solidarity and unity, but there were also conflicts.” These conflicts occurred with police and local authorities about permits, routes and more, as well as within LGBTQ+ communities: “Between men and women, between white people and people of color, between cisgender and trans people, between commercial interests and anti-capitalist activists and between those who embraced and those who rejected the politics of respectability,” says Stein.

Photo by Hannah Anderson