50 years of Pride: A visual history of the victories, setbacks, and celebrations that have defined LGBTQ Americans since the very first Pride march

pride flag 2020 pride flag 2020
Joseph Fons, holding a Pride Flag, stands in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building after the court ruled that a federal law banning workplace discrimination also covers sexual orientation on June 15, 2020.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner
  • On this day 50 years ago, LGBTQ activists and allies in New York City marched from Greenwich Village to Central Park to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
  • The event became known as the first gay-pride march or parade.
  • From the first gay-pride march in 1970 to the US Supreme Court's ruling protecting LGBTQ people against workplace discrimination earlier this month, here are 25 monumental moments in the fight for equal rights for people of all genders and sexual orientations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Joe Negrelli, a lifelong New Yorker, was at the Stonewall Inn the hot and humid June night 51 years ago when LGBTQ patrons rioted against a police raid, launching the modern gay rights movement. 

A year later, he marched with hundreds of others from Greenwich Village to Central park to commemorate the uprising. That event marked the world's first Pride parade, which turns 50 today.

2020欧洲杯足彩外围app"There's a tremendous lack of understanding of how far the LGBTQ movement has come," Negrelli, who was 18 back then and is now 68, told Business Insider.

Since then, Negrelli has kept careful tabs on all the milestones America's queer community has reached, both the good and the bad.

2020欧洲杯足彩外围app"If you had told me decades ago that the gay liberation movement would get to this point, where we'd go from being arrested, evicted, fired from our jobs for being gay to now the Supreme Court ruling we can't be discriminated against at work, I wouldn't believe you! I can't believe it's happened during my lifetime," said Negrelli, who is a member of the , an advocacy group for LGBTQ elders.

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appThis year, Pride parades across the country, including New York City's, have been canceled due to the coronavirus. But that doesn't mean people aren't celebrating: Many are tuning into online events, like yesterday's virtual on June 27. 

Read below for a visual tour of the setbacks and victories America's LGBTQ community has seen in the years since the very first march, and click here2020欧洲杯足彩外围app to read more about Negrelli's experiences as a gay man before the Stonewall riots.

June 28, 1969: Patrons of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York City resisted arrest. Word spread quickly through the area, and more people joined to protest.

Stonewall Raid 1969
A crowd attempts to impede police arrests outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.
NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appAccording to Negrelli, the uprising began when a police officer flung slurs against someone who identified as transgender. The officer pulled off her wig, and the patron punched him. 

Trans-rights advocates and self-identified drag queen Marsha P. Johnson was at the Inn the night of the riot. Along with friend and drag queen Sylvia Rivera, she would create the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens and LGBTQ youth. 

June 28, 1970: On the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, thousands of members of the LGBTQ movement marched through New York from Christopher Street into Central Park on what would become America's first gay-pride parade.

I am a lesbian and I am beautiful sign pride parade 1970
Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Though other commemorations were held around the country, New York's as the first Gay Pride march.

"We have to come out into the open and stop being ashamed, or else people will go on treating us as freaks," one member of the group the Gay Liberation Front told the New York Times.

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December 15, 1973: The board of the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. The move helped shift public opinion of the LGBTQ community.

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A member of STAR, the Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries, poses at New York City's 1973 Gay Pride Day March.
Getty Images

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July 8, 1980: The Democratic party became the first major political party to endorse an LGBTQ platform at the Democratic National Convention.

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© CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

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March 2, 1982: Wisconsin became the first US state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for both government and private-sector employees.

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Pictured: The Wisconsin State Capitol.
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appHowever, it wouldn't be until 2020 that such a law would be enacted on the federal level.

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October 11, 1987: Hundreds of thousands of activists gathered for the National March on Washington, demanding that President Ronald Reagan address the AIDS crisis, the first case of which was reported in 1981.

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Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

That year's National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights became known as "The Great March" for its large turnout, which activists estimated to be more than 500,000 people.

The goal was to get more federal funding to address the AIDS epidemic, which at its height in the mid-1980s killed 150,000 per year, most of them LGBTQ people. The federal government began funding more national, regional, and community-based programs a year after the march.

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August 18, 1990: The Ryan White Care Act was passed, which created the federal government's largest program providing services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

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Taro Yamasaki/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

The legislation was named after Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who contracted AIDS in 1984 through a tainted hemophilia treatment. After being banned from school due to his HIV-positive status, White became a well-known activist for HIV/AIDS research and anti-discrimination laws. He died in 1990. 

More than half of people living with diagnosed HIV in the US receive services through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program each year. That means more than half a million people have received services through the program, . 

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December 21, 1993: The Department of Defense issued the policy that became known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appThe policy directed that military personnel "don't ask" if someone is gay, but also that members of the armed forces "don't tell" that they're gay either.

It theoretically lifted a ban on gays serving in the military that had been instituted during World War II, though in reality, it forced members of the armed forces to stay closeted. Over 13,000 people were expelled, many without honorable discharge.

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April 30, 1997: Ellen DeGeneres comes out as gay on air in the sitcom "Ellen." The widely watched episode sparked a national conversation around gay rights.

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Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appIn response to the episode, several companies pulled advertisements from ABC. Co-star Laura Dern, who played DeGeneres's love interest on the show, said that after the episode, she did not receive a call for work for over a year.

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March 25, 1998: The Trevor Project is founded.

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The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project was founded by the creators of the Oscar-winning short film "Trevor," which follows a boy's attempted suicide after being outed at school.

The nonprofit focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. It runs a 24/7 suicide-prevention hotline at 1-866-488-7386. Other resources include text and online-chat . 

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April 26, 2000: Vermont became the first state in the US to legalize civil unions and registered partnerships between same-sex couples.

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Gov. Howard Dean (pictured) signed the bill into law a few days later.
AP

A civil union is different from marriage in that it is only recognized at the state level. It also doesn't provide all of the rights that marriage does. For example, federal protections such as certain tax breaks and social security benefits are unavailable to those who are in a civil union.

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June 26, 2003: In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruled that laws banning gay sex in the US were illegal.

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Pictured here are the plaintiffs John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were arrested for having gay sex in Lawrence's bedroom.
AP

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May 18, 2004: Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage.

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Supporters of gay marriage hold signs of congratulations for couples waiting in line to get marriage licenses in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 2004.
Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

The state's Supreme Court found the prohibition of gay marriage unconstitutional because it denies the dignity and equality of all individuals.

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November 4, 2008: California voters approved Proposition 8, making same-sex marriage in California illegal. In response, gay-rights supporters across the US participated in the NOH8 campaign, a photo project that used celebrities to promote marriage equality.

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The Spice Girls' Melanie Brown, aka Mel B, was one of many celebrities to promote the NOH8 campaign.
Michael Kovac/FilmMagic/Getty Images

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June 17, 2009: President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum allowing same-sex partners of federal employees to receive certain benefits.

obama signs a Presidential Memorandum same sex
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appA presidential memorandum is a type of directive issued by the president that dictates certain actions and policies of the various departments and agencies reporting to that office.

Obama's June 2009 memorandum gave same-sex partners of civil-service employees the right to be added to an employee's long-term healthcare. It also allowed employees to use their sick leave to care for their partner.

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October 28, 2009: Congress passed the Matthew Shepard Act, which President Obama signed into law.

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A screenshot of Matthew Shepard
Gina Van Pool

Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998, because of his sexual orientation. Graphic media accounts of his death caused a national outcry. Candlelight vigils were held around the world, and requests for new legislation to address hate crimes based on sexual orientation gained momentum. 

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appThe measure named after him expanded the 1969 U.S. Federal Hate Crime Law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

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December 18, 2010: The Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

don't ask don't tell repealed
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appAs a result, LGBTQ people could now serve openly in the US Military.

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September 22, 2010: 18-year-old Tyler Clementi died by suicide after his college roommate secretly recorded him kissing another man. The death sparked a national conversation on cyberbullying and suicide risks among LGBTQ youth.

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Students pay their respects at a memorial at Rutgers University for Tyler Clementi.
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appIn 2011, his parents Jane and Joseph Clementi created the , which champions acceptance of LGBTQ teens and advocates against all forms of bullying.

Today, suicide is the third leading cause of death among those ages 15 to 24, and LGBTQ youth are more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.

Editor's note: If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357) anytime for free, confidential help, or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. LGBTQ youth struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts can also call 1-866-488-7386 anytime.

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June 16, 2017: Oregon became the first state to add a third sex to drivers' licenses. Residents there can choose "male," "female," and "X" for nonbinary, intersex, or unspecified.

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A protestor holds a transgender flag.
AP Photo/Robin Rayne

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September 17, 2019: Merriam-Webster added the nonbinary "they" as a singular pronoun to the dictionary.

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Merriam-Webster

Merriam-Webster, America's oldest dictionary, announced that the definition of "they" included its usage as a singular pronoun for gender-nonbinary people.

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appThe singular "they" has become an increasingly common option for people who don't identify as either male or female and want to avoid "he" and "she."

Sources: Business Insider,

June 12, 2020: The administration of President Donald Trump erased transgender civil rights protections in healthcare.

Transgender rights activists protest the recent killings of three transgender women, Muhlaysia Booker, Claire Legato, and Michelle Washington, during a rally at Washington Square Park in New York, U.S., May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Demetrius Freeman
Transgender rights activists protest the killings of three transgender women during a rally at Washington Square Park in New York.
Reuters

Part of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act established that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of "race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities."

In 2016,  that protections regarding "sex" included gender identity. Trump's recent ruling reverses this, effectively no longer protecting transgender people from discrimination in the healthcare system.

Source: Business Insider,

June 15, 2020: The US Supreme Court ruled to protect LGBT people against workplace discrimination.

US Supreme Court protects LGBT people against workplace discrimination
REUTERS/Tom Brenner

In a 6-3 decision, conservative justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch sided with the court's four liberal members. The justices ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act applies to LGBTQ individuals, delivering a blow to the Trump administration, which argued it did not encompass such protections.

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appTitle VII protects employees from facing discrimination from their employer on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Put simply, the decision empowers LGBTQ employees to not tolerate workplace discrimination.

Source: Business Insider

2020: The place where the modern LGBTQ movement began, the Stonewall Inn, announced it may be forced to close its doors forever.

Stonewall
Dev Chatterjee/Shutterstock

The coronavirus pandemic has caused sales to drop dramatically for many businesses, as people self-isolate.

An online fundraiser was launched on June 13 to support the iconic institution.

"The Stonewall Inn faces an uncertain future and we are in need of community support," says. 

2020欧洲杯足彩外围appThe fund has surpassed its $100,000 goal, with people raising over $137,000.

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