New York City in 1970. Homosexuality was still classified as a mental illness; gay sex was punishable with fines and prison sentences. A police raid on the Stonewall Inn on Christopher St on 28th June 1969 sparked the Stonewall Riots, after which the gay civil rights movement was gathering momentum, and pride began to mean something more.
CS: My name is Craig Schoonmaker, and in 1970 I authored the word ‘pride’ for gay pride. Somebody had to come up with it!
We had a committee to commemorate the Stonewall riots. We were going to create a number of events the same weekend as the march to bring in people out of town, and wanted to unite the events under a label. First thought was ‘Gay Power’. I didn’t like that, so proposed gay pride.
There’s very little chance for people in the world to have power, but anyone can have pride.