The Library will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in observance of Juneteenth.

Anniversary of Pride

Anne Olivier, Adult Librarian, Woodland Hills Branch Library,
Colorized photo of gay fathers march down Santa Monica Boulevard during the 17th annual Gay Pride Parade
Gay fathers march down Santa Monica Boulevard during the 1987 Gay Pride Parade, [1987]. Herald Examiner Collection

On June 28, 1970, the very first Pride Parade in Los Angeles was held on Hollywood Boulevard, one year after the Stonewall uprising in New York City. New York held its own parade on the same day, as did a few other cities, though the Los Angeles parade was the only one to take place with a parade permit.

The Los Angeles Times headline for the June 29 article on L.A.’s parade read, “Homosexuals Stage Hollywood Parade: Event Evokes Boos and Catcalls but No Violence.” The article further stated that “the parade sponsors, an umbrella group known as Christopher Street West, used a mechanical counter and said there were 1,169 participants.” Additionally, the Times estimated that there were 25,000 to 30,000 onlookers. At first, the Police Commission required a 1.5 million dollar insurance policy for the event, due to fears of violence. After parade organizers contacted the ACLU, the commission dropped this requirement but still insisted that the organizers post a $1,500 bond. Superior Court Judge Richard Shauer ruled that this restriction was illegal, however, and the permit was then granted unconditionally.

The parade and festival have grown to approximately 250,000 attendees, according to the 2019 L.A. Pride Impact Report. This year marks the 50th anniversary of L.A. Pride, but there will be no parade due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Enjoy these photos from past parades here and in our library’s digitized photo collection, TESSA.

Gay Pride March down Hollywood Boulevard
Supporters of gay rights march down Hollywood Blvd. in the annual Gay Pride Week parade. An estimated 12,000 persons watched the parade, [1977]. Photo credit: Lawrence Downing, Herald Examiner Collection
G.A.Y. Freedom Band
Drum major Terry Dunn, leads the 100-member G.A.Y. Freedom Band down Santa Monica Blvd., [1981]. Photo credit: Paul Chinn, Herald Examiner Collection
 a car load of participants rolls down Hollywood Boulevard
Dressed flowing gowns with Carmen Miranda-type headgear, a carload of participants in the Gay Pride Parade rolls down Hollywood Boulevard, [1977]. Photo credit: Lawrence Downing, Herald Examiner Collection
A proud mom
A proud mom raises a salute to her gay son at the Gay Parade and Festival, which attracted many parents as supporters,1989]. Photo credit: Steve Grayson, Herald Examiner Collection
Gay rights supporters
Gay rights supporters voice their approvals at the Gay Pride Parade and Festival, [1989]. Photo credit: Steve Grayson, Herald Examiner Collection