Atlanta Pride, also colloquially (and formerly) called the Atlanta Gay Pride Festival, is a week-long annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) pride festival held in Atlanta, Georgia (United States). Established in 1971, it is one of the oldest and largest pride festivals in the United States. According to the Atlanta Pride Committee, as of 2017, attendance had continually grown to around 300,000. Originally a pride held in June, Atlanta Pride has been held in October every year since 2008, typically on a weekend closest to National Coming Out Day.
St. Pete's Righteously Outrageous Twirling Core in the Atlanta Pride 2009 parade
|Genre||LGBT pride parade and festival|
|Begins||October near National Coming Out Day|
|Location(s)||Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America|
|Most recent||October 11-13, 2019|
|Organized by||Atlanta Pride Committee|
The annual pride week began when a group of lesbian, gay men, drag queens, and gender non-conformists joined together. At the time police raids on gay bars were common because homosexual sex was illegal in all but one state in the United States. On June 28, 1969, the police raided a popular gay bar called Stonewall Inn. Everyone was cooperative until the police began to force three drag queens and a lesbian into the back of a police car. The crowd of bystanders began to throw bottles at the police and fight back. This riot later became known as the Stonewall riot. The riot lasted for several days and began one of the first equal rights protests for the LGBT community. That riot was the beginning of the LGBT rights movements and the opportunity and gateway for Atlanta Pride.
In 1970, a year after the Stonewall riots, Atlanta activists handed out literature at an arts festival in Piedmont Park. During the city's first Pride protest march in 1971, activists were not granted a permit to march; the march took place on sidewalks from Downtown to Piedmont Park. In 1972, hundreds of people marched in the parade, which was covered by local television stations. In 1973, some marchers wore paper bags over their heads to hide their identity, protecting themselves from the dangers they may face and to represent how invisible they felt in their communities.
In 2016, Pride.com named Atlanta Pride one of the eight best LGBT pride events in the nation.
Held in October to coincide with "National Coming Out Day," the Atlanta Pride festival is preceded by a variety of events that begin in June to celebrate the Stonewall riots. Each year, the Atlanta Pride Committee names Grand Marshals, including Stacey Abrams and Feroza Syed in 2019. Atlanta's Out on Film gay film festival offers a weeklong selection of LGBT films by, for, and about the LGBT community. Out on Film runs in conjunction with Atlanta Pride.
Until 2008, it was held in June in Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. In 2008, large events were banned from Piedmont Park due to drought conditions, so Pride was moved to the Atlanta Civic Center and delayed until October. In 2009, it returned to Piedmont Park, but kept the October date due to more favorable autumn weather and the difficulty to perform adequate fundraising in only nine months.
Atlanta is widely noted as the LGBT capital of the South due to its progressive reputation, highly visible and diverse LGBT community, and vibrant LGBT culture. In 2010, The Advocate named Atlanta the "gayest city in America."In 2019, Realtor.com ranked Atlanta the second best city in America for LGBTQ residents.
"The main mission of the Atlanta Pride Committee is to provide lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender and queer persons with cultural and educational programs and activities which enhance mental and physical health, provide social support, and foster an awareness of the past and present contributions of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons, through community activities and services, including an annual Pride event." The events that occur at Atlanta Pride range from speeches about violence against women, race, sexual orientation, gender, immigration, etc. The main event is the pride parade which is a march through the city filled with costumes, music, and banners. It also has marches, market layout and vendors, concerts, dance parties, motorcycle shows, and cultural exhibits.
- "social sciences - Atlanta". glbtq. Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "History". Atlanta Pride. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
- Medrano, Kastalia (June 15, 2018). "The Most Unexpectedly Awesome Pride Parades in Red States". Thrillist.
- "Atlanta City Council honors 40 years of Atlanta Pride". October 4, 2010.
- "Why is Pride in October?". Atlanta Pride. 2009-06-01. Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "Stonewall Week Events". David Atlanta. 2015-06-01. Archived from the original on 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
- "Grand Marshals for the 2019 Atlanta Pride Parade". CBS 46. 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
- "Out on Film, Atlanta, Georgia". Outonfilm.org. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- Schwartz, Kate (2009-10-14). "Atlanta Gay Pride 2009 moves to Halloween weekend". Orbitz.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "Gay Atlanta Guide - Gay Bars & Clubs, Hotels, Beaches, Reviews and Maps". atlanta.gaycities.com.
- Jones, J. Sam (March 6, 2018). "How Atlanta United became the team of LGBTQ Atlanta". Dirty South Soccer.
- "5 Southern Cities with Thriving Queer Communities". www.pride.com. December 4, 2015.
- Christian Boone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Magazine ranks Atlanta as America's gayest city". ajc.
- Atlanta Pride — official website