40 Years of Pride – Part 9

Kansas City’s 1990 Pride Celebration built on the success of the previous two years’ events and saw the return of a parade to the festivities.  Papers from Gay and Lesbian Awareness, the organizers of Pride events during this period, indicate strong anti-parade sentiments when the subject was initially introduced in the fall of 1989.  It was noted that when rumors of TV cameras at the 1989 Picnic spread, the crowd dissipated in quick fashion.  Many Kansas Citians of 1989/90 were limited in the extent to which they wanted to be out.  But GALA organizers were able to make a successful case for the Parade, and it was a significant component of that year’s commemoration.

1990 Pride Parade route

1990 Pride Parade route










Prior reticence about marching in a parade evidently disappeared, as there were 29 entries in the 1990 Pride Parade!  Businesses such as Phoenix Books and The Cabaret were represented, as were more unexpected organizations such as the Rainbow Society for the Deaf, the Onyx Society – A Minority HIV-Challenged Organization, and a local chapter of Dykes on Bykes.  Grand Marshals were Susan Johnson and Keith Spare.

The 1990Pride Picnic and Parade program

The 1990Pride Picnic and Parade program










One of two button designs for Pride 1990

One of two button designs for Pride 1990











The other button design from 1990


40 Years of Pride – Part 3

The late 70s saw a burgeoning of pride and Pride in Kansas City, and 1979 was no different.  The weekend of June 15-17 presented a raft of opportunities for gay and lesbian Kansas Citians to march, rally, eat, drink, and be merry.  To kick things off a parade was held on Friday night, starting at 7:00 at Liberty Memorial.  Three blocks in length, the parade made its way up Grand to 11th Street, west on 11th to Main, then south on Main back to Liberty Memorial, where paraders and onlookers gathered for a rally.  The parade marshal was Reverend Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, who spoke briefly at the rally.  Parade organizers had planned on using a horse-drawn carriage for Reverend Perry, but couldn’t secure an appropriate horse.  So, the carriage was transformed into the “human-drawn” variety.


Parade at Main and 13th.


Reverend Perry


Rally at Liberty Memorial base.


Post-parade rally