The history of Gay Pride events in New Jersey

Asbury Park Jersey LGBTI Pride Parade in 2015 photo by Steve Dovidio

sbury Park has long been synonymous with New Jersey’s largest yearly LGBT celebration. This June marks the 26th year of the celebration, which takes place across the street from Asbury’s historic Convention Hall. The celebration is just one of many celebrations of gay pride taking place throughout the month of June and beyond.

The concept of Pride started as an act of revolt and defiance in 1970, following the Stonewall Riots in New York City. On June 28, 1969, a group of patrons at the Greenwich Village bar took a stand against police harassment and intimidation. The patrons were joined by men, women, and drag queens from all over the city, shouting “gay power” as the police did their best to disperse the crowd.

After that night, other demonstrations popped up throughout the city. On the first-year anniversary, they marched in what would become the first gay pride parade in United States history. Members of the LGBT community in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco had their own parades in a show of solidarity.

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