Central PA's LGBT News Source


9 first-ever Pride celebrations in 2019


In June 1970, one year after police in New York City raided the famed Stonewall Inn, the first Christopher Street Liberation Day march took place. The march became the earliest iteration of what is now known worldwide as Pride, a monthlong celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, the festivities of which are often concentrated around spring and summer weekends.

Following the Stonewall riots, the city of Los Angeles hosted the first city-sanctioned Pride parade. Today, almost 50 years later, salutes to the widespread LGBTQ community have gone national — and international — as more and more cities enact their own Pride celebrations for the first time.

This year, at least 10 new U.S. cities announced plans to host inaugural Pride festivities. And in addition to the 10 cities listed below, Disneyland Paris, the Balkan country of North Macedonia, and the Serbian city of Novi Sad are all hosting or have hosted Pride celebrations for the first time this year.

While Los Angeles was the only city to recognize Pride as an official paradein 1970, San Francisco and Chicago also hosted Pride marches that first year. Forty-nine years later, 10 of the newest U.S. cities joining in to commemorate a momentous month in LGBTQ+ history range in population from just over 8,000 citizens to more than 180,000, and they’re scattered widely across the country.

Buffalo Grove, Illinois

This northwest Chicago suburb is hosting its first Pride celebration on June 2 thanks to the hard work of its 13-year-old organizer, Molly Pinta, according to the Chicago Reader. Molly and her mom, Carolyn, started crowd-funding for the event immediately following last year’s inaugural Pride parade in the neighboring city of Aurora, during which Molly came out.

By the time the mother-daughter duo established their efforts as an official 501(c)3 organization, the Pinta Pride Project, in September 2018, the Pintas had raised more than $50,000 to cover events costs. Following the parade, the Buffalo Grove Park District will host the Uniquely Us Festival, with live performances, games, and food and drink, according to the Reader.

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Students from New Mexico Highlands University and a contingency of supportive community members hosted the small New Mexican city’s first Pride celebration on April 27. One of the event organizers, 37-year-old Jay Quiles, also served as the parade’s Grand Marshall.

“Now…kids here have the chance to feel loved and accepted in a way that wasn’t provided to me,” Quiles said, according to local news source the Santa Fe New Mexican. “To me, that is more fulfilling than being in the parade itself.”

Princeton, New Jersey

The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice is organizing Princeton’s first Pride celebration, taking place on June 22, according to Out in Jersey. The events are being cosponsored by the Princeton Record Exchange, a local record store. “[We’ve] always tried to welcome all who share our passion for music,” owner Jon Lambert told Out in Jersey. “We are proud to cosponsor this event with the hope that it will help spread this spirit of inclusiveness everywhere.”

Annapolis, Maryland

The capital city of Maryland and home to the United States Naval Academy will host its inaugural Pride parade and festivities on June 29, according to the organization’s event page. At the request of Annapolis Pride, a volunteer-run organization, Annapolis mayor Gavin Buckley officially recognized the month of June as LGBTQ+ Pride month for the city, and the group has since hosted several other Pride-adjacent social events for locals in the lead-up to the city’s first official Pride day this year.