First gay pride photos discovered at LSE

It's wonderful to put dates on photographs, particularly these photographs which record such a historic event.
- Gillian Murphy, LSE Library
GLF 747x560
Hall-Carpenter archives, LSE Library

LSE Library has discovered a group of six photographs of the first gay pride, organised by the Gay Liberation Front, which took place 50 years ago. The photographs were originally marked as 'undated', but with some detective work, they were dated to 1 July 1972. The curator found them while looking for material on gay pride in the library's Hall-Carpenter Archives.

Along with the photographs, there are leaflets giving information about the day. “Be your most colourful. Bring banner, balloons and all other fun things” were the instructions. Saturday 1 July 1972 was International Gay Pride Day coinciding with similar events happening in Europe, the United States, Canada and the main cities of the UK. The carnival parade was starting in Trafalgar Square and two of the photographs show people gathering there. “After happenings, street theatre and other fun”, the parade was to make its way down Lower Regent’s Street to Piccadilly Circus, then along Shaftesbury Avenue, and Charing Cross Road, to Oxford Street and Speakers’ Corner. There was then to be a Gay Day in Hyde Park. The photos show the parade in motion and one of the games they played in Hyde Park.

Dr Gillian Murphy, Curator of Equality, Rights and Citizenship at LSE Library, made the discovery. She said: “It's wonderful to put dates on photographs and particularly to these photographs which record such a historic event. They show the world the importance of being proud to be gay.”

You can view the photos here: LSE Library | Flickr

Some of the photos feature in  Pride at 50: The LGBT revolution sparked in a basement - BBC News

Watch a BBC feature with founder members of the GLF, filmed in LSE's Old Theatre (from 30.57-37.33):  BBC iPlayer - Breakfast - 01/07/2022 

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Gay Liberation Front exhibition The Story of Gay Liberation Front in Britain — Google Arts & Culture

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