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Remembering the Past

so we can shape our Future




Gay communities around the country immediately latched on to the Stonewall riots as an event that brought attention to their cause. Just a year later, in 1970, a committee was formed to commemorate the riots. The problem? The committee didn't have a name for the series of events it wanted to hold in honor of LGBTQ rights.


It tossed around the slogan "gay power" for a bit, but when committee member L. Craig Schoonmaker suggested "gay pride," everyone else agreed on the phrase right away. "People did not have power then; even now, we only have some," Schoonmaker said in a 2015 interview with The Allusionist's Helen Zaltzman. "But anyone can have pride in themselves, and that would make them happier as people, and produce the movement likely to produce change."

The history of the gay rights movement is dated to 1969, when the patrons of a New York City bar fought back against a discriminatory police raid. At the time, homosexuality — or "sodomy," as it was referred to in the legal books — was still a crime. Men could be arrested for wearing drag, and women faced the same punishment if they were found wearing less than three pieces of "feminine clothing." The harassment continued for years, infuriating the gay community.



On June 28, 1969, the police arrived at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. However, the 200 patrons inside didn't just sit down and wait to be arrested — they resisted, then rioted, sending the police a loud and clear message about their frustration with the status quo for LGBT individuals.



Although it seems like a symbol so obvious it would have been around from the beginning, the rainbow flag didn't come to represent the concept of gay pride until 1978. Before then, the pink triangle had symbolized the LGBTQ community. However, since that image had been used during Nazi Germany to mark "sexual deviants" in concentration camps, plenty of people felt like the triangle wasn't hopeful enough, or even appropriate. Artist Gilbert Baker created the first rainbow flag for a San Francisco march organized by Harvey Milk. Baker's version had eight stripes rather than the six the flag carries today, and he intended each stripe to represent an aspect of the gay identity: "hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit." Today, rainbow flags are the most common symbol at Pride parades, and parade-goers often wear bright clothes that incorporate as many different colors as possible.






Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992) was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. A founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Johnson co-founded the gay and transvestite advocacy organization S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries),

alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. A popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene, Johnson modeled for Andy Warhol, and performed onstage with the drag performance troupe, Hot Peaches. Known for decades as a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village, Johnson was known as the "mayor of Christopher Street". From 1987 through 1992, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP.

Malta Pride Archive

LGBTQ+ Progress in Malta 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Malta are of the highest standards, even by comparison to other European countries, according to the United Nations.


Throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the rights of the LGBT community received more awareness and same-sex sexual activity became legal in 1973, with an equal age of consent. Malta has been recognized for providing a high degree of liberty to its LGBT citizens.


In October 2015, the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) ranked Malta 1st in terms of LGBT rights out of 49 observed European countries.


Malta is one of the only few countries in the world to have made LGBT rights equal at a constitutional level. In 2016, Malta became the first country in the European Union to ban conversion therapy.


  • 1973: Decriminalisation of same-sex sexual activity

  • 2002: LGB people allowed to serve openly in the military

  • 2004: Anti-discrimination laws in employment

  • 2013: Grounds for Asylum Protection

  • 2014: Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods, services, indirect discrimination, hate speech and those concerning gender identity.

  • 2014: Recognition of same-sex couples and adoptions through civil-unions 

  • 2015: Right to change legal gender

  • 2015: Intersex minors protected from invasive surgical procedures

  • 2016: Conversion Therapy banned

  • 2017: Marriage equality came into force

  • 2017: Third-Gender option

  • 2018: Access to IVF for lesbian couples


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Allied Rainbow Communities

NGO Registered No. VO/1136

19, St. Mark Street, Valletta



Tel: +356 99272999