A Brief History of Pride

Check out a retrospective of Pride highlights from the past 13 years from the crew at Instinct Magazine.

The following is a guest post written by our partners at Instinct Magazine.

What’s that saying? Something like, “How do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?”

Well, at Instinct, we know that means a lot. Pride Month is not just an excuse to drink until you fall asleep with a slice of pizza glued to your chest at your local Pride festival. Pride Month is a time to celebrate all of the reasons we have to be proud.

In this day and age of information overload and 24/7 media, it’s easy to forget what happened just last week, never mind last year. Sure, we remember the major milestones, but sometimes it’s those smaller moments that slip away. Yet, all too often, it’s those memories that end up making the biggest differences.

This got us thinking — what’s made us proud over the past 13 years since Instinct first hit the newsstands? Well, from the political to the cultural, the historical to the hysterical, we’ve combed through the history books and our dresser drawers to compile a brief history of Pride!

  • 1997 — 36 million viewers watched Ellen DeGeneres’ character Ellen Morgan come out as a lesbian on the popular sitcom Ellen.
  • 1998 — Will & Grace hits airwaves, giving us thousands of “Just Jack” moments for years to come.
  • 1999 — Vermont becomes the first state in the country to legally recognize civil unions between gay or lesbian couples. The law states that these “couples would be entitled to the same benefits, privileges, and responsibilities as spouses.”
  • 2001 — The Netherlands becomes the first nation to grant same-sex marriage.
  • 2003 — Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premieres on Bravo, introducing a vast majority of Americans to everyday gay men and manscaping.
  • 2004 — June 27 marks the 35th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. 2.5 million people attend the Pride parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, making it the world’s biggest Pride parade ever.
  • 2005 — Brokeback Mountain premieres with 2 major (straight) Hollywood leading men playing the roles of gay lovers. Both Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger would go on to be nominated for Oscars for their roles.
  • 2007 — Neil Patrick Harris, our favorite former child-doc turned sassy heartthrob, comes out of the closet.
  • 2007 — Milk sweeps the Oscars, complete with a riveting win and acceptance speech by out screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
  • 2009 — On October 28, Obama signs the Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.
  • 2009 — Marking a historic first, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s most vocal activists Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach and Lt. Dan Choi pose together on Instinct’s Leading Men cover.
  • 2009 — Estimates vary, but on October 11 100,000 GLBT community members and allies take to the streets of D.C. for the historic March on Washington — demanding full equality in all capacities.
  • 2010 — Ricky Martin comes out of the closet.
  • 2010 — Laura Bush comes out in defense of marriage equality.

Okay … so, we know this isn’t everything, but it’s a short list of some pretty proud moments! Progress and Pride, what could be better?

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