Pride 2019 marks 50 years since Stonewall uprising

ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
SFPD unveils 'Pride Patch' and patrol vehicle for LGBTQ Pride Month
SFPD says they are the first law enforcement agency in the country to wear the "Pride Patches."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- LGBTQ Pride month has officially kicked off -- and with special significance.

This year's Pride marks 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York City, a moment in history often credited with sparking the gay rights movement.

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"We look back now, and it's the point where we say that this new story began," Terry Beswick, Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society, explained of the demonstrations.

The Stonewall uprising took place in 1969 when members of the gay community rebelled against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City's Greenwich Village.

"It was kind of like prohibition for straight people, where it would be an underground bar where the police would come in and harass us," Beswick said.

Pride is held in June every year to mark the uprising.

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This year, the San Francisco Police Department is also honoring Pride in a new way. The Department unveiled new "Pride Patches," along with a Pride-themed patrol vehicle that will be used during the month of June.

The show of support is a signal to some that progress has been made, but for others in the LGBTQ community the relationship between police and Pride is complicated.

"It wasn't that long ago that there weren't any openly gay people in the police force," Beswick said.

But, he added, he's old enough to remember when the police raided bars in the Castro.

"It's understandable that there are people who are part of our community who are wary about the relationship between queer people and the police," he explained.

SFPD says they are the first law enforcement agency in the country to wear the "Pride Patches," which will also be sold to the public for $10. Funds raised will be donated to Larkin Street Youth Services, a local nonprofit helping homeless youth.

"I think it just marks a big change in our history," SFPD Lt. Christopher Del Gandio said during the unveiling of the patches. "And I think that it's really important to be inclusive."

San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration is scheduled for June 29 and 30. The theme this year is "Generations of Resistance."