PHOTOS: History Tour of When Pride Was Politicial

Ah, yes, Pride month. That time of the year when we get together to celebrate everything that Comcast and Wells Fargo have accomplished for the gay community.

To be fair, it is undeniably delightful that major corporations are so nice to gays. (And it’s pretty lousy how companies like Exxon continue to be stuck in their anti-gay animus like a mammoth in a tarpit.)

But we can’t deny that there’s also something delightful about the old-timey scrappy activists of decades past. There was a time when Pride was chaotic and rebellious, rather than permitted six ways to Sunday. And although we certainly don’t long for the days when bathrooms were your best bet for finding a hookup, we do miss the fervor and the politics.

These days, it seems like Pride’s more of a party than a picket. And while partying is nice, there’s still a whole lot of protest.

Come with us on a trip down gay memory lane (aka the Rainbow Brick Road) as we gaze at old-timey Prides and ruminate on these modern times.

Let’s start with this shot from Stonewall Uprising, which if you haven’t seen, what is wrong with you?

A scene during the 1969 Stonewall riots, as seen in Kate Davis a

Here we have a young protestor under attack from a brigade of mustaches.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #history #photos stories and more


  • Jim Hlavac

    You do realize that Gay Pride marches all over the world are still political, yes? Why, even politicians join in nowadays — but surely there’s just as much political action as there was decades ago – however much it changed in verbiage. Having been to gay events in many cities since 1978 in San Francisco – I still haven’t seen a lessening of the politics — which is good — for we’re still a political issue.

    And bathrooms were never the best place for a hookup — stop regurgitating hetero propaganda against us — there’s been gay bars for 100 years, and cafes, theater, and gaydar as well. And it was always the married men who were ever caught — and few of them.

    Being one of the scrappy old timers I can never recall ever being approached by anyone in a public restroom — and certainly never went after anyone in one. Plus, the vast majority of these arrests were by police entrapment smiling at some guy who thought it was his lucky day. Egad. Mush.

  • Lothar

    We are “old time scrappy ” activists and our parades are no longer political??? Since when? Oh wait, since we added “A” to GLBTQIIIIFSDGA community. Our allies who are there to make us feel better about our poor pathetic lives. I will admit, as long as I have a magazine page of Aubrey O’Day sitting by my nightstand, I know tomorrow will be a better day. Thank goodness our straight female overlords remind us of our higher purpose- to make them look and feel their best.

    When did Kathy Griffin start writing for Queerty??

Comments are closed.