When police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, in 1969, patrons and bystanders had had enough. Triggered by years of discrimination and persecution, they fought back in riots that lasted three days and fueled the Gay Liberation Movement to end discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ citizens, paving a hard-fought path to freedom.
The first Gay Pride Parade (then known as the Gay Liberation March) to commemorate the uprising on June 28,1970, became an annual June event that expanded to cities around the United States, eventually including LGBTQ+ events throughout the month of June, today known as Pride Month.
The first Pride celebration in Denver was held in June 1975. Three years earlier, a group of Denver activists committed to stopping years of police harassment of gay men formed the Gay Coalition of Denver. Their efforts helped overturn pointedly discriminatory laws, led to prohibitions against arresting gays for displays of affection, and eventually to the establishment of The Center on Colfax, dedicated to “encouraging, empowering, enriching, and advancing Colorado’s LGBTQ+ Community.”
Celebrating Pride Month 2022
The University of Colorado System is one of Denver Pride’s proud sponsors again this year. A system-wide planning group worked to coordinate related CU activities, including an entry into the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26, 2022, with participants from all four campuses and system administration. A team from CU will participate in the 5K on Saturday, June 25, and CU will host a table at Pridefest on Saturday and Sunday.
Upcoming Citywide Pride Events:
Rainbows & Revolutions: an exhibition at History Colorado with support from the Gill Foundation featuring authentic artifacts and photographs that capture the story of Colorado’s LGBTQ + movement from the 1950s to the present.
Women’s Pride Party “Campy Girls,” Friday, June 24, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., Tracks, 3500 Walnut St., Denver, 80205 (a 21+, ticketed event).
Denver Pride 5K, Saturday, June 25, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m., west steps of the Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave., Denver 80203.
Denver Dyke March, Saturday, June 25, 12-2 p.m., beginning at The Center on Colfax, 1301 E. Colfax Ave. proceeding down Colfax Ave., then on to the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave., Denver 80203.
Denver PrideFest, Saturday, June 25, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, June 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m, Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver, CO, 80204. One of the largest Pride events in the U.S. attended by more than half a million people, the two-day festival produced by The Center on Colfax, a nonprofit organization providing programs and services to the LGBTQ+ community, features over 250 vendors and three stages.
Coors Light Denver Pride Parade, June 26, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Colfax Ave., billed as the largest Pride parade in the Rocky Mountain Region.
Cheba Hut Coors Light Denver Pride Parade Watch Party, June 26, 9.a.m., 638 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80203, the “official watch party” and fundraiser for The Center on Colfax, hosted by Cheba Hut “Toasted” Subs, with live music, events, games, and refreshments.
One Colorado Pride Rally, 12:30-1 p.m., June 26, 12:30-1 p.m., west steps of the Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80203, featuring local leaders speaking about the concerns and needs of the LGBTQ+ community.