Montonegro Pride Mirrors the Beginnings of Christopher Street

In 1970, the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots was commemorated with a march in New York City. Originally called the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, we now know it as gay pride. That first march had some humble beginnings as noted from outhistory.org:

On the morning of June 28th, 1970, gay activists convened for the first annual Christopher Street Liberation Day March. Gathering on Christopher Street, marchers made their way up 6th Avenue to Central Park, where they spent the afternoon listening to speeches, hanging out on the lawn, and reveling in the excitement of having been part of the first gay pride march in history. Although the march began with only a few hundred participants, more and more individuals joined along the way.

Fast forward into 2014. The country of Montenegro held it’s second Pride parade. The 2013 parade had violent clashes between police and anti-gay protesters. The second march went on without the violence, but a heavy police presence. Like the first Pride parade here in America, turnout was humble. From Yahoo! News:

Podgorica (Montenegro) (AFP) – Barely 100 people joined a gay pride parade Sunday in the capital of deeply conservative Montenegro, vastly outnumbered by some 2,000 police amid fears of violence.

Waving banners reading “Traditionally Proud,” “Silence = Death” and “This is Just the Beginning,” they marched past the main government buildings of central Podgorica.

Human Rights Minister Suad Numanovic and Podgorica Mayor Slavoljub Stijepanovic joined the parade along with ambassadors of several member states of the European Union, which Montenegro is in talks to join.

Though the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people of Montenegro may not have had more people join them on their march, if our own history is any indication, more people will join in future years. Harvey Milk said something akin to ‘You gotta give ’em hope.’ LGBTs of Montenegro, take hope in our own history. May your Pride celebrations grow just as ours have…actually, my hope is that your growth will be much, much quicker.

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