A History Of Pride In The United States

by greenrush
history of pride

For many of us, June marks the coming of warmer weather, backyard BBQs, and all around good times in the sun. But don’t forget, June is Pride month and marks a time for millions of people around the world to celebrate love, equality, and individuality. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the history of Pride in the US and the strong ties between the LGBTQ community and the cannabis movement.


Pride In The United States

history of pride

Reno Tahoe/Flickr


The history of Pride in the United States spans over various decades. The origins of Pride date back to the late 1960s. At this time, homosexuality (or sodomy, as it was called at the time) was a heavily enforced crime. Women caught wearing less than 3 items of “feminine clothing” could be arrested, as could men caught wearing drag.


More precisely, Pride month commemorates the Stonewall Riots, considered a pivotal point in which America’s LGBTQ community began fighting back against the years of discrimination it had faced.


The riots took place on June 28, 1969, when the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in New York’s Greenwich Village. The 200 patrons inside fought back against the police and rioted, sending a clear message that they’d had enough of the discrimination that had been forced upon them for so long.


The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement across The United States. LBGTQ communities all around the nation used the incident to drive attention to their fight for equality. In November 1969, a group of attendees at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations meeting in Philadelphia proposed for the first-ever Pride march to be held in New York City.


The march was held on June 28, 1970, and covered 51 blocks from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park. It was organized by a combination of activist groups from New York and other areas across the US.


The march spread positive energy to the entire LGBTQ community in The United States. The same weekend of the march in New York, activists held a similar march in Los Angeles and a “gay-in” (similar to a sit-in) in San Francisco. The following year, there were LGBTQ marches in Boston, Dallas, and Milwaukee, as well as Paris, London, and Stockholm.


By the 80s and 90s, the Pride movement had become far more organized. Activist groups gained more members, and their events helped draw together more people from all across the nation.


Today, June is officially considered Pride Month in the United States and several countries around the world. It commemorates the Stonewall Riots of the late 1960s, but also more broadly serves as a time for the LGBTQ community to raise awareness and continue advocating for the equal treatment of all LGBTQ people around the world.


Pride And Cannabis

history of pride

Dolan Halbrook/Flickr


The history of Pride and cannabis are closely intertwined. Both the Pride and pro-cannabis movements were born in the 1960s and 1970s, a time when young people were standing up against discrimination and fighting for acceptance. Ever since, the two have shared a close bond.


Pride activists have played a key role in the legalization of medical cannabis. Following the AIDS crisis of the 1980s (which affected a majority of gay and bisexual men), people affected by the disease were quick to look for alternatives to the expensive and often ineffective AZT treatment.


One of those advocates was Dennis Peron, a cannabis dealer who drafted Proposition P, urging the State of California and the California Medical Association to set up a medical cannabis program for people with any condition, but specifically mentioning HIV/AIDS.


Peron also set up the San Francisco Cannabis Buyer’s Club, the first public dispensary in San Francisco. Through his dispensary, he served a large number of AIDS patients (who used cannabis to treat nausea, wasting syndrome, and other symptoms of AIDS).


These are just some of the ways in which the pro-cannabis and Pride movements are connected. Pride Month is an opportunity to show your support for the LGBTQ community as well as celebrate the broader notion of love and equality. Happy Pride Month!


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