Long Beach Pride 2019: 50th anniversary of Stonewall Riots is festival, parade theme

Long Beach Pride 2019

Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade marches along Ocean Boulevard May 20, 2018, as onlookers wave and cheer. Photo by Stephen Carr/ StephenCarrPhotography.com

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.

Stonewall Riots

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.

Queer history was made at Cooper’s Donuts in Los Angeles

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.

LA Pride 2017: Alexei Romanoff, original Black Cat protester, named grand marshal

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.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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