When Pride Month rolls around each June, revelers take to the streets of America’s major cities for parades that capture the LGBTQ imagination, with empowering and subversive displays of pageantry, theatrics and, of course, rainbows. That rings especially true this year, which marks 50 years since the pivotal Stonewall riots.
But amid the procession of branded floats, from Starbucks and HSBC to Salesforce and IBM, it’s easy to gloss over the fact that early marches weren’t mere parties; they were brave acts of political resistance at a time when living an openly queer life in the United States was illegal in almost every respect.
This year, don’t end your Pride plans when the parades wrap up and the bars shut down. As you travel across town or across the country for the festivities, here’s how you can retrace the steps of queer and trans pioneers, dive into little-known chapters of LGBTQ history and reconnect with Pride’s radical roots.