Directed by Mathilde Fassin • Documentary • 2020 • 52 minutes
Whether in NYC or in Paris, every year in June, the Gay Pride parade is a wild party, where music resonates, floats roll by and glitter is thrown every which way. It hasn’t always been like this. While 2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary of this parade, it was originally called the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, it was the first time gays and lesbians walked the streets claiming publicly to be out, and this procession was intended to commemorate the Stonewall riots that had occurred a year earlier.
Back in 1969, amidst a crackdown on gays in the US, a police raid in a Greenwich Village gay bar called the Stonewall turned into a total melee. Soon enough, the area street kids, the people of the neighborhood, New York gays and lesbians, the drag queens who hung out at the bar all came together to claim territory around the bar for several nights. These few nights of rebellion became a major historical turning point as a few dozens of young gays and lesbians decided to start a movement. Coming out of Stonewall was thus born the Gay Liberation Front.
Stonewall - Paving the way for Gay Pride has activists from that era tell the story of how they led their gay life before Stonewall, the nights of rebellion in front of the bar, the structuring (and lack thereof) of a political organization and the very first march. To many, these events mark the beginning of gay life as we know it.