Pride is just around the corner and, when it comes to celebrating diversity, this city is certainly damn good at it. (This year PLATF9RM is even part of the parade, so make sure you give us a wave!)
However, with all the dancing it’s easy to forget Pride’s convoluted past. So, whilst we’re colour coordinating our glitter (red of course), we’d like to reflect on what Pride is really about.
It All Started At Stonewall Inn
That night, hundreds took to the street to riot and carried on for the next six nights. In amongst the ugly chaos was excitement that the beginning of a long – still ongoing – journey of liberation had begun. A year later, in June 28, 1970, the first Pride procession took place, as a remembrance of the events that happened the previous year.
To show support to the cause, you can get involved with Stonewall Charity
No. 1 Pride Babe, Martha P Johnson
Obviously, it’s the group resistance that was so vital to events that evening. But we must mention Martha P Johnson. Outside (and inside) of the riots, she was a hero and has been credited as one of the main instigators of the backlash. Whether there’s truth to that or not, Martha’s moves after – by joining the Gay Liberation movement – make her an unerasable part of Pride’s history. She also went on to found queer advocacy group, S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), with Sylvia Ray Rivera.
When you’re sporting your flower crowns on August 7th, dedicate them to dame Martha P!
Cooking Up A Stormé DeLarverie
The evening the riot began, Stormé broke out of her handcuffs, and she, plus others, let loose hell on the police. She was seized and handcuffed again, walked through the crowds, but once more broke free and ran. And the cycle would repeat. In other words, she contributed to the most politically influential Benny Hill moment of all time.
A Tall Glass Of Harvey Milk
"If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."
After the loss of one form of representation, an urgent call came for another. San Francisco artist, Gilbert Baker, answered that call by designing the Pride flag. Though it’s lost a few stripes since them, it’s the same flag you’ll see all around Pride cities today.
Harveys time in office was adapted for cinema, and it’s definitely worth a watch for anyone wanting to get up to speed (and in need of a good cry). Sean Penn won an Oscar for his performance and it’s great. And for the littluns, there’s a picture book!
Brighton Get Proud
Pride celebrations kicked off in Brighton in June 1973, organised by the Sussex Liberation Front, though the event would be completely unrecognisable compared to today. There were certainly no sponsored floats or today’s mass influx of glittered-up ravers. The small crowd marched through town, then styled it out with a dance at the Albion! After this, Pride in Brighton took a hiatus..
Pride bounced back in 1991 as retaliation against government legislation to ban the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality. It was the start of something truly special...
Feeling Our Roots
To be able to wear your best multi-coloured spandex and actually get cheered for it is great, right? We’re 100% onboard. But Pride is, first and foremost, a protest for the acknowledgement, celebration and questioning of LGBTQ rights. So, whilst painting a rainbow on your friends’ faces and drinking a Corona or ten, have a nose at the different causes going on around town, such as Allsorts , whose work support LGBTQ youth.
Don’t Forget About The Mighty Transpride!
Maybe you’ve noticed Transpride. It happened last week and it’s got shorter lineage than the broader, all encompassing Pride. But it gives a voice to those that sometimes get overshadowed, or just straight up harrassed and disregarded in the parades. (Sadly, that was more than evident in the London march this year.) When feminism doesn’t include trans-women, it’s not feminism. Sisters, not cis-ters.
Or... Black Pride!Black Pride officially took off in 2005, from the vision of Phyll Gyimah-Opoku and celebrates African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQ peeps. If you’re wondering why a separate space for subgroups exists, you don’t have to look far for answers: sadly, fragmentations within protest spaces cause a need for further minority representations.
The PLATF9RM family will be part of the parade this year, dressed to the nines (ahem), smothered in face paint and covered in glitter. We’re buzzing to be a small part of Pride’s history! Come down and give us your biggest cheer. (We promise to cheer back.)