History of Pride Month

Why the NYC Pride March is Not a Parade

The NYC Pride March is so much more than a parade.

Throughout the month of June, events are held across the country celebrating and advocating for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and more (LGBTQIA+) community. Companies incorporate rainbows into their logos, stores send colorful marketing emails and promote their new rainbow products. Colorful displays of art appear throughout city streets, and various LGBTQIA+ flags are displayed outside storefronts and homes to show their support.


While these initiatives are well-intentioned and demonstrate their allyship, it’s important to think beyond the marketing ploys and take tangible steps that directly support the LGBTQIA+ community. Donations to organizations like the Trevor Project, It Gets Better Project, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, SAGE, GLAAD are an excellent way for companies both large and small to pledge their support. Beyond financial contributions, there are several equally important steps companies can take. These include instituting more diverse hiring practices, promoting a supportive and safe environment for employees, listing pronouns in email signatures, and incorporating gender-neutral language and spaces, just to name a few.

With our history of philanthropic endeavors, SRDS is proud to announce this year we have decided to donate to the Ali Forney Center to show our support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Based in New York City, the Ali Forney Center provides a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth. These include those who have been displaced from their homes by providing shelter, food, physical and mental health resources, as well as job readiness and educational programs.

Pride in the City

With our US offices based out of NYC and Chicago, employees get the opportunity to immerse themselves in a diverse and culturally rich environment. One of the most well-known and attended events during Pride Month takes place right here in NYC. It is held on the last Sunday in June every summer, the NYC Pride March. Hosted by the Heritage of Pride (HOP) organization, the Pride March is often mistakenly called the “Pride Parade.” What’s the difference you ask? Good question! A parade is celebratory. It’s filled with joy, laughter, people dancing, singing, playing music, and peacefully walking with flags and signs throughout the streets. The NYC Pride March is all of those things too and is certainly a day of love and celebration.

However, as the HOP emphasizes, the NYC Pride March cannot be called a parade until we achieve total equality for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. Until that day comes, we will keep marching. Now more than ever in this political climate with over 417 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills (and climbing daily), LGBTQIA+ rights, especially trans rights, are constantly under threat in the US. The Human Rights Campaign has even issued a national state of emergency for LGBTQIA+ individuals as of June 6th. It is crucial that we continue to march and speak up, to work towards equality, and to ensure a more just and tolerant future for the generations to come.

The History of Pride

The first Pride March occurred in New York City more than 50 years ago in 1970, following the famous Stonewall Riots (’69).

“Early in the morning on June 28, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar that had become a staple of New York City’s underground gay community. But this time, tired of the ongoing raids, community members fought back, striking what would become known as The Stonewall Riots.” The following year, “the first Gay Pride March was held by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee to commemorate the riots”. Over the next ten years, protesters continued showing up and marching for gay rights. “Following the 10-year anniversary of Stonewall and the assassination of Harvey Milk, thousands took to the streets for the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The struggle had been a collection of local ones, but for the first time, it garnered major national attention.”

With the AIDS Epidemic in the 1980s, the LGBTQIA+ community faced unprecedented times and lost hundreds of thousands of lives. In 1984 the HOP took over the planning of the NYC Pride March and has been planning gay pride events for the city ever since. (Source: NYC Pride)

Pride Wins

Over the years, there have been several victories both small and large for LGBTQIA+. This includes the 1999 proclamation from President Bill Clinton to make June the Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Additionally, the historic 2015 Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states. Despite these victories, there is still a long way to go until we reach equality in the United States. Until we get there, let’s keep marching.

Get Involved

If you would like to get involved with HOP and volunteer at one of the pride events, click here.

To learn more about the history of the Heritage of Pride and the gay rights movement visit the links below:

Learn more about SRDS.