Christopher Street Day

Christopher Street Day, also known as CSD, is an LGBT celebration held in numerous cities worldwide. It is a day when members of the LGBT community can come together to show pride in themselves and their community and to make the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community more visible to society.

It is celebrated on June 28th in some communities and on the last Saturday of the month in others. It has been celebrated since 1970 and is the predecessor of Gay Pride Day.

History of Christopher Street Day

Christopher Street Day can be traced back to June 28th, 1969, in New York City. This is when members of the LGBT community fought back against police assaults at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. Known as the Stonewall Riots or the Stonewall Rebellion, this event was marked by several spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBT community—many of which ended in violence.

This is because the legal system considered the LGBT lifestyle to be illegal and not only raided homosexual establishments regularly but also imposed draconian sentences for engaging in homosexual behavior. At the time, engaging in homosexual acts could get a person arrested and then sentenced to anywhere from 5 years to life imprisonment.

In observance of the Stonewall Rebellion, Christopher Street Liberation Day and Christopher Street West Association, located in New York and Los Angeles respectively, started the holiday on June 28th, 1970, and established some of the first Gay Pride Parades in U.S. history. To further broaden the celebration for all members of the LGBTQ community, Gay Pride Week was established the week prior to Christopher Street Liberation Day.

Today, Christopher Street Day continues to be celebrated on the last Saturday in June in both New York City and L.A. However, the holiday has also spread throughout Europe to celebrate the LGBTQ community. In 1978, Christopher Street Liberation Day was observed in Switzerland. In 1979, Berlin, Germany, started celebrating the day on an annual basis.

Christopher Street Day Customs & Celebrations

Christopher Street Day is celebrated in various ways. In most communities, it is celebrated with a parade that usually includes floats as well as people walking in front of or behind the floats.

It is also common to see men dressed as women or women dressed as men during these parades. Many people will also dress up in other types of costumes. In many cities, the day is usually marked with various artistic events, lectures, concerts, parties, readings, and even political events.

Another tradition is for people to wave the rainbow flag on this holiday or to incorporate the design into their clothing. The rainbow flag is symbolic of the self-esteem felt by members of the LGBTQ community and is also symbolic of peace and tolerance, which is what Christopher Street Day stands for as well.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 28 Friday
Next year (2025)
June 28 Saturday
Last year (2023)
June 28 Wednesday
Awareness & Cause