LONG BEACH — Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — a significant moment the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality — is the theme for Long Beach Gay Pride 2019.
Long Beach Pride theme
Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride, the nonprofit that organizes and runs the festival and parade, chooses an annual theme that coordinates with InterPride, the international organization that ties Pride organizations together.
The Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival will take place May 18 and 19 at Marina Green Park and Rainbow Lagoon along Shoreline Drive. The Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade will march along Ocean Boulevard May 19. Tickets, $20 each day plus service fees, are available online.
The Stonewall Riots took place June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. New York police officers had raided the neighborhood gay bar and harassed patrons numerous times.
June 28 was the tipping point that evoked a six-day riot against police brutality and brought thousands of people to the streets and the bar in a fight for equality.
L.A. area protests before Stonewall
It was another galvanizing milestone for the LGBTQ community. Several protests took place in the Los Angeles area before Stonewall.
- In May 1959, an uprising took place at Cooper’s Donuts in downtown Los Angeles that many historians regard as one of the earliest acts of resistance by queer people against police abuse and harassment.
- On Aug. 17, 1968, after two of his bar customers were falsely arrested by Los Angeles police, Lee Glaze lead a non-violent, “flower power” protest to the department’s Harbor Station, where the men were being held.
- On Feb. 11, 1967, hundreds of demonstrators picketed in front of the Silver Lake bar the Black Cat and demanded the Los Angeles police stop harassing and arresting gay people.
In 2016, President Barack Obama designated the site of the riots — Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks — a national monument in recognition of the area’s contribution to LGBTQ and human rights.