Curious about L.A. Gay Pride Parade history? The first L.A. Gay Pride Parade took place in 1970. Morris Knight, one of the organizers of Los Angeles' Gay Liberation Front, was phoned by an organizer of a New York march to commemorate the one year anniversary of the gay liberation movement that began at the Stonewall bar in New York one year prior. After that conversation, Knight began to plan the celebration, and the L.A. Gay Pride Parade was born!
The first L.A. Pride Parade took place on the last Sunday of June on Hollywood Boulevard. There were two sponsors of the first L.A. Pride parade: the Metropolitan Community Church and the Gay Liberation Front. The first L.A. Gay Pride Parade in history did not even begin, however, without a fight. The Los Angeles police commissioner was rather hesitant to give a permit for the first L.A. Pride Parade, but in the end, the parade was permitted to go on without any unusual restrictions.
The first gay pride parade in L.A. history began with a VW Microbus. This was followed by several notable gay organizations, including the "Advocate," which was a tabloid newspaper at that time, and Gay Liberation. The first L.A. Pride Parade was indeed a success, and the parade continued in 1971 and 1972. However, many of the initial financers and the Christopher Street West Association (CSW) that produced the previous three L.A. Pride Parades could not come to an agreement about the financing and content of the L.A. Pride Parade, so in 1973, the parade did not go on.
However, the L.A. Gay Pride Parade's history continued in 1974. The news editor of the "Advocate," Rob Cole, who was also on the initial steering committee of the parade, planned to revive it, along with Pat Rocco, a gay filmmaker and the CSW's first official president. The L.A. Pride Parade was held again, as well as multiple daytime festivals. These continued to be held in Hollywood until they were moved to West Hollywood in 1979, since West Hollywood was considered to be more gay-friendly than Hollywood at the time.
L.A. Gay Pride Parade history has continued as the L.A. Pride Parade continues annually and increasingly grows. The CSW now has much more support from corporations and a multi-million dollar budget to work with to continue the L.A. Pride events, and the L.A. Gay Pride Parade lives on.
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