Celebrating Pride Festival History - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Palm Springs

Celebrating Pride Festival History

Posted: Updated:
Palm Springs, CA -

A busy weekend for downtown Palm Springs where more than 100,000 people are expected to gather to celebrate Palm Springs Pride 2017, but pride events haven't always been so welcomed across the country.

The year was 1970, a monumental time in the fight for gay rights. In the midst of the fear, resilience was led by dozens including Pat Rocco.

"The world got to know who we were in that first parade on Hollywood boulevard but we were scared to death," said Rocco.

It was a time when hateful slurs filled the streets and even newspapers demeaning the gay community. A year following the Stonewall Riots in new York's Greenwich Village, gay activism traveled cross-country to California where Rocco was currently living at the time.

Story Here: Palm Springs Police Steps Up Security Ahead Of Pride Parade

"Why did you march?" asked KMIR's Patrick Price. Rocco's response, "Because we had to, because we were called to it, because the garbage that had been done through the years had to be stopped some way, by somebody. I'm glad to have been that person and among others of course."

Rocco was elected president shortly after to one of the first gay organizations, Christopher Street West. There, he took the pride "march" and transformed it into a gathering to celebrate love while continuing to fight for equality. That movement quickly spread across the country and around the world, as dozens of major cities hosted their own marches.

"All over the world, and we became a community, we became likable, we became understandable, we became people who stood up for each other but had a good reason for doing it. The public now understood what we were all about and yes, we were their sons, their daughters, their baker...we were part of the world," said Rocco.

Story Here: Palm Springs Pride Festival Weekend Road Closures

The 80's and 90's brought a new challenge that would again endanger the rights of the gay community. The fear of contracting HIV/AIDS across the nation, paved the way for AIDS activism. But it only fueled the fight for equality even more. Pride festivals still managed to bring gay communities across the country even closer together.

"Gay rights, marriage, all of those were different steps, steps, steps and steps." said Rocco. "What it was to me, they were all my babies."

He's watching his children flourish before his eyes. Signs of Palm Springs Pride 2017 are already taking shape. Although he's traveled the world experiencing pride events, there's one he's eager to be a part of for the first time ever.

"I love it, I'm going to love being here and I'm going to love those hugs I'm going to get from some of those people," said Rocco.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coachella Valley

    Man Charged With Solving Missing Couple Case Breaks His Silence

    Man Charged With Solving Missing Couple Case Breaks His Silence

    Friday, January 19 2018 9:16 PM EST2018-01-20 02:16:13 GMT
    Sergeant Walter Mendez and his team of detectives have been working for months trying to find two people: 28-year-old Jonathan Darling Reynoso and 26-year-old Audrey Moran.  "It has been tough for a variety of reasons the specifics as to investigating a missing cases are particularly difficult ... the emotional side is very difficult," says Mendez, who works for Riverside County Sheriff's Department Homicide Unit.  Difficult because behind the two images many of ...
    Sergeant Walter Mendez and his team of detectives have been working for months trying to find two people: 28-year-old Jonathan Darling Reynoso and 26-year-old Audrey Moran.  "It has been tough for a variety of reasons the specifics as to investigating a missing cases are particularly difficult ... the emotional side is very difficult," says Mendez, who works for Riverside County Sheriff's Department Homicide Unit.  Difficult because behind the two images many of ...
  • Whitewater

    Whitewater Preserve Closed After Discovery of Partially Eaten Animal

    Whitewater Preserve Closed After Discovery of Partially Eaten Animal

    Friday, January 19 2018 6:09 PM EST2018-01-19 23:09:25 GMT
    The Whitewater Preserve was closed Friday by the Preserve due to discovery of a partially eaten calf that appears to have been killed by three feral pit bulls in the area. Story: Coachella Residents Concerned About Location Of Marijuana Dispensaries The BLM did receive a report from hikers on the Pacific Coast Trail (runs right through the preserve) having observed three feral pit bulls attacking a full grown steer north of the Preserve several days ago. Story: Singl...
    The Whitewater Preserve was closed Friday by the Preserve due to discovery of a partially eaten calf that appears to have been killed by three feral pit bulls in the area. Story: Coachella Residents Concerned About Location Of Marijuana Dispensaries The BLM did receive a report from hikers on the Pacific Coast Trail (runs right through the preserve) having observed three feral pit bulls attacking a full grown steer north of the Preserve several days ago. Story: Singl...
  • Palm Springs

    Wang's in the Desert Front Door Vandalized Following Campaign Dinner

    Wang's in the Desert Front Door Vandalized Following Campaign Dinner

    Sunday, January 21 2018 3:16 AM EST2018-01-21 08:16:08 GMT

    A Palm Springs restaurant is vandalized early this morning and it all stems from a picture of a local politician posing with employees at the restaurant.

    A Palm Springs restaurant is vandalized early this morning and it all stems from a picture of a local politician posing with employees at the restaurant.

Powered by Frankly