Skip to Content

When was the first gay pride parade in San Francisco?

San Francisco is a city steeped in diversity and tolerance. Known for its liberalism and acceptance of different sexual orientations, San Francisco has been a popular destination for the LGBTQ community for decades. It is no wonder then, that San Francisco was home to one of the first, and most iconic, Gay Pride parades in the world.

In this blog post, we will explore the history of the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco, including its origins, how it has evolved over time, and what it represents to the LGBTQ community.

The First Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco

The Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco was first held in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which are widely regarded as the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ rights movement in the United States. The event, which was originally called the Christopher Street West Parade, was named after the street in New York City where the Stonewall Inn was located.

The first San Francisco Pride Parade was a humble gathering of around 30 people who marched from San Francisco City Hall to the Golden Gate Park. Although the parade was small, it marked a significant moment in LGBTQ history. It was a time when being openly gay was still illegal in many parts of the country, and participants were at risk of being arrested or harassed.

Despite the potential dangers, the parade continued to grow each year. In 1972, over 2,000 people participated in the parade, and by 1977, attendance had reached over 250,000 people. The parade had become a powerful symbol of the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality and their willingness to stand up against discrimination.

The Evolution of the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco

In the decades since the first Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco, the event has grown into one of the largest and most famous Pride celebrations in the world. The parade now attracts millions of visitors each year and has become a major cultural event, featuring music, dancing, and elaborate floats and costumes.

One of the defining moments in the evolution of the parade in San Francisco occurred in 1994 when the organizers made the decision to dissociate the event from corporate sponsorship. This decision was in response to criticism from some members of the LGBTQ community who felt that the parade had become too commercialized and that corporate sponsors were not genuine supporters of gay rights.

By distancing themselves from corporate sponsors, the organizers of the parade were able to maintain the event’s grassroots feel, while still promoting LGBTQ rights. This decision was just one example of the ongoing efforts of the LGBTQ community to push for greater inclusivity and acceptance, not just in San Francisco but across the country as well.

The Impact of the San Francisco Pride Parade

The San Francisco Pride Parade has had a significant impact on the LGBTQ community, not just in San Francisco but around the world. The parade has become a symbol of hope, acceptance and resistance against discrimination and marginalized treatment.

For many members of the LGBTQ community, the parade is a chance to celebrate their identity and connect with others who share their experiences. It is a moment to feel a sense of belonging and gain inspiration from the struggles and sacrifices made by previous generations of activists.

The San Francisco Pride Parade has also helped to raise awareness of LGBTQ rights and the issues facing members of the community today. In recent years, the parade has tackled issues like marriage equality, transgender rights, and the fight against HIV and AIDS.


The first Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco may have been a small and humble affair, but it marked the beginning of a movement that would change the course of LGBTQ history. Today, the parade is a global phenomenon, attracting millions of visitors and participants from around the world.

The San Francisco Pride Parade continues to serve as a reminder of the struggles of the LGBTQ community, as well as a celebration of their progress and resilience. It is a testament to the power of activism and the capacity of individuals to come together to create change.


When was the first day of gay pride?

The first day of gay pride was held on June 28, 1970, which marked the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. The Stonewall Uprising was a series of spontaneous and violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT+ community in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. The uprising is often cited as a catalyst for the modern LGBT+ rights movement.

On the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, thousands of LGBT+ people gathered to commemorate the event and demonstrate for equal rights. Marches were held in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, with participants carrying signs and chanting slogans calling for an end to discrimination and prejudice against the LGBT+ community. The marches were seen as an important step forward in the fight for LGBT+ rights.

Since that first day of gay pride in 1970, pride events have been held all over the world to celebrate the diversity of the LGBT+ community, raise awareness about issues affecting LGBT+ people and advocate for equal rights. Pride events typically include parades, festivals, rallies and other activities that bring together members of the LGBT+ community and their allies.

The first day of gay pride was a significant event that marked the beginning of a movement that has since made great strides in the fight for LGBT+ rights. While there is still much work to be done, the commemoration of that first day serves as a reminder of the bravery and determination of those who fought for equality and paved the way for future generations.

How did SF pride start?

The roots of the San Francisco Pride celebration can be traced back to the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969, when LGBTQ+ community members started to fight back against police brutality and discrimination. A year later, in 1970, a group of activists in San Francisco decided to hold a march in honor of the Stonewall uprising and to demand equal rights and protections for LGBTQ+ people.

The first events resembling the modern San Francisco Pride parade and celebration were held on the last weekend of June 1970: Organized by the San Francisco Gay Liberation Front, a “Gay Liberation March” saw 20 to 30 people walk from Aquatic Park to Civic Center on Polk Street on Saturday, June 27. This small but significant event was the first pride march to take place in San Francisco, and one of the first in the United States.

The following year, the march grew in size and scope, with more than 2,000 people participating. Over the years, the event continued to evolve and expand, drawing larger and more diverse crowds and featuring a wider range of activities and events. In 1972, the parade was moved to Market Street and a formal festival was added, marking the start of the modern-day San Francisco Pride celebration.

Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, San Francisco Pride became an important symbol of LGBTQ+ activism and resistance, particularly in the face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 1984, the first official Trans March was held during Pride weekend, and in 1994 the Dyke March was added to the festivities.

In recent years, the San Francisco Pride celebration has continued to grow, with an estimated 1 million people attending the parade and festival in 2019. The event has also become more inclusive, welcoming people of all genders, sexual orientations, and backgrounds, and highlighting a range of issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, including civil rights, healthcare, housing, and education.

The history of San Francisco Pride is a story of struggle and resilience, of a community coming together to demand recognition, equality, and respect. It is a testament to the power of activism and advocacy, and a celebration of the diversity and strength of the LGBTQ+ community.

What does Pride stand for?

Pride is a set of values that can be applied to various aspects of life, from personal to professional. The acronym PRIDE stands for five key values: Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence.

Professionalism refers to the way in which one conducts themselves in a work environment. It encompasses qualities such as being responsible, dependable, and accountable, as well as demonstrating a commitment to ongoing learning and growth.

Respect is the value of treating others as you would like to be treated. This includes showing consideration for different viewpoints and lifestyles, being courteous, and valuing the input of others.

Integrity is the quality of being honest and ethical in all aspects of life, including in your interactions with colleagues, clients, and others. Integrity means doing the right thing even when it’s difficult or unpopular.

Diversity refers to the recognition and appreciation of different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. It includes valuing and respecting the differences in people and seeking out a range of opinions and experiences.

Excellence is the pursuit of high-quality work and outcomes. It involves striving for the best possible results and continuously improving processes and practices.

Together, these values make up PRIDE, a powerful framework for living a successful and fulfilling life. Whether you are an individual striving for personal growth or a company looking to create a positive work culture, embracing PRIDE can help you achieve success and happiness.