When amateur photographer Alan Light attended Pride festivals in the 1980s and 90s, he had no idea his photos would become part of Pride history. Light, who is retired and lives in Iowa City, attended many festivals throughout the decade, but his photographs from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago have become iconic.
“It never occurred to me at the time that they would be looked at as history,” Light told Queerty. “Or that they could one day I could share them easily and widely on something called the internet. I was just attracted to the rich photographic opportunities the events offered. I have always enjoyed photographing people, and my camera is attracted to the beautiful, mostly, and occasionally the bizarre.”
These days, Pride comes with A-list celebrities, major corporate sponsors and enormous crowds. Light commented on the evolution of Pride and its trajectory into mainstream society saying, “Pride seemed like a huge event then, but looking back it is quaint compared to those of today.
Take a trip through time and check out 18 of our favorite moments from Light’s collection.