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Pride in NYC wasn't always a big month-long bash. In fact, when it started 49 years ago as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, it was meant to be a one-time commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. (This June, WorldPride marks the 50th anniversary of that watershed moment right here in NYC.) During those first few years (hell, make that decades), being out, loud and proud was more of a political statement than a license to party. Veterans of the past four-plus decades of NYC Pride share the memorable moments that helped shape them and the LGBT-rights movement.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the NYC Pride Parade
Photographs: 1970 (2): The LGBT Community Center National History Archive/Leonard Fink; 1974: the New-York Historical Society; 1977: Collection of the New-York Historical Society; 1984: © Eugene Gordon; 1986: Jolie Ruben; 1987: Linda Simpson; 1988: Linda Simpson; 1992: Fabian Garcia; 1994: Filip Wolak; 1998: Erica Freudenstein; 2000: David Shankbone; 2001: REX USA/Erik C. Pendzich; 2005: Pauline Park; 2008: Alexandra Tereshonkova; 2011: Shutterstock; Matinée: Luciana Golcman; Teaze & Pride March: Christopher Gagliardi