Boston's first Gay Pride Parade was held on June 26, 1971 — two years after the Stonewall riots in NYC. In the three years following Stonewall, over a dozen cities across the globe had started an annual pride (or "liberation") parade during the month of June.
The 1971 parade route was structured around four locations: a church (St. Paul's Cathedral), a gay bar (Jacque's Cabaret), the police headquarters, and the State House. At each location, the organizers made speeches, including a list of demands of each institution. According to Boston Spirit Magazine, many marchers were harrassed along the route, and several even wore paper bags over their heads (in order to protect their identities).
In the day following the parade, most of the group boarded buses to NYC for that city's celebration, and what would be the third anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
The History Project has been documenting Boston's LGBT community for 25 years — including historic photos of pride parades, protests, and celebrations.