The History of Pride in South Carolina


Kailynn Shaw, Reporter

Pride Parade is a public event that allows the LGBT community and LGBT allies to come together and express their individuality.  For the past 20 years, excluding 2000 and 2001, the pride parade has been an active part of South Carolina. People from all over the Southern Region come to participate in the parade.

The History of the Pride Parade in South Carolina isn’t well known to people who actually live in South Carolina, though. Many people are only aware of the parade which occurs every year in October. The origin of the pride Parade began with the LGBT committee which started with co-chairs, Jim Blanton and Barbara Embick.

They planned the first march in 1989, only drawing about 2,000 people, in order to march for nine demands in particular in the name of LGBT community focusing  on reforms in education, health, and civil rights—such as equal opportunity in employment, equal treatment in the military, the repeal of sodomy laws, the right to adopt children, and the monitoring of hate crimes by law enforcement.

Many people were scared to march in the first parade due to being afraid to show their faces since homophobia was more largely rampant. To solve this, they hired professional clown make up artists to give people drastic makeup looks. As people began the march there was a sense of excitement in the air.  To mark this momentous occasion everybody who is apart of the march ran onto the steps of the state capital and took a picture.

Pride this year was held on October 20-21, 2017. On October 20th Pride was celebrated 6 pm-11 pm with performance from Lil Kim, a famous female rapper.  October 21st was more of a festival with lots of performances from many people in the LGBT community from 12 pm-7 pm and then an after party for people 18+ with an admission of $15.