St. Pete's Righteously Outrageous Twirling Core in the Atlanta Pride 2009 parade
|Genre||LGBT pride parade and festival|
|Begins||October near National Coming Out Day|
|Location(s)||Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America|
|Most recent||October 13–15, 2017|
|Organized by||Atlanta Pride Committee|
Atlanta Pride, also colloquially (and formerly) called the Atlanta Gay Pride Festival, is a week-long annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) pride parade held in Atlanta, Georgia (United States). Established in 1971, it is one of the oldest and largest pride parades in the United States. According to the Atlanta Pride Committee, as of 2017, attendance had continually grown to around 300,000. Originally a pride held in June, Atlanta Pride has been held in October every year since 2008, typically on a weekend closest to National Coming Out Day.
The annual pride week began when a group of lesbian, gay men, drag queens, and gender non-conformists joined together. At the time police raids on gay bars were common because homosexual sex was illegal in all but one state in the United States. On June 28, 1969, the police raided a popular gay bar called Stonewall Inn. Everyone was cooperative until the police began to force three drag queens and a lesbian into the back of a police car. The crowd of bystanders began to throw bottles at the police and fight back. This riot later became known as the Stonewall riot. The riot lasted for several days and began one of the first equal rights protests for the LGBT community. That riot was the beginning of the LGBT rights movements and the opportunity and gateway for Atlanta Pride.
As stated by the Atlanta Pride Committee in 1970, a year after the Stonewall Riot, many activist marched down Peachtree Street in Atlanta, GA representing the first pride parade. The first march received no media coverage or any known documentation. In 1972, hundreds of people marched in the parade, which was covered by local television stations. In 1973, marchers wore paper bags over their heads to hide their identity, protecting themselves from the dangers they may face and to represent how invisible they felt in their communities. In 2001, the Pride parade became the largest event in history with over 150 entries. In 2010, Atlanta Pride takes place in Mid-October to represent the "National Coming Out Day".
Until 2008, it was held in June in Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. In 2008, large events were banned from Piedmont Park due to drought conditions, so Pride was moved to the Atlanta Civic Center and delayed until October. In 2009, it returned to Piedmont Park, but kept the October date due to more favorable autumn weather and the difficulty to perform adequate fundraising in only nine months.
Held in October to coincide with "National Coming Out Day," the Atlanta Pride festival is preceded by a variety of events that begin in June to celebrate the Stonewall riots. Atlanta's Out on Film gay film festival offers a weeklong selection of LGBT films by, for, and about the LGBT community. Out on Film runs in conjunction with Atlanta Pride.
"The main mission of the Atlanta Pride Committee is to provide lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender and queer persons with cultural and educational programs and activities which enhance mental and physical health, provide social support, and foster an awareness of the past and present contributions of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons, through community activities and services, including an annual Pride event." The events that occur at Atlanta Pride range from speeches about violence against women, race, sexual orientation, gender, immigration, etc. The main event is the pride parade which is a march through the city filled with costumes, music, and banners. It also has marches, market layout and vendors, concerts, dance parties, motorcycle shows, and cultural exhibits.
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- "History". Atlanta Pride. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
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- "Why is Pride in October?". Atlanta Pride. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "Stonewall Week Events". David Atlanta. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
- "Out on Film, Atlanta, Georgia". Outonfilm.org. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- Atlanta Pride — official website