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Pride in the Parks

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Frederick Law Olmsted believed that parks are democratic spaces that foster free expression and heal social division. During Pride Month, we celebrate the role that parks play in the movement toward equity for the LGBTQ community.

Christopher Park in New York City is one of the most important park sites in LGBTQ history. Located across from the Stonewall Inn, the park was a place to rally, gather and heal in the days following the 1969 uprising that sparked the gay rights movement around the world.

Locally, parks have served as important places for the LGBTQ community as well. According to a Courier-Journal story by Maggie Menderski, two Olmsted Parks, Central and Cherokee, are especially significant to Louisville’s LGBTQ history.

As early as 1900, Hogan’s Fountain in Cherokee Park and Central Park in Old Louisville were both part of a network of safe places where members of the LGBTQ community could gather.
On June 27, 1987, approximately 100 people participated in the March for Justice supporting rights for LGBTQ people, racial justice, reduced military spending and more funding to fight AIDS. The march began in Central Park and was the first LGBTQ Pride march in Kentucky.
This Pride Month, we have re-imagined our popular Olmsted Parks Conservancy sticker with a rainbow background to commemorate how far we have come, and how much work there is yet to do. Members, you can pick up a complimentary sticker at the Seneca Park Beer Garden on June 7!

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