Pride 1983

June 24 - October 9, 2023

On June 25, 1983, fourteen years after the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village, the first Lesbian and Gay Pride March in Vermont took place in Burlington. From the beginning, the Pride events in Vermont were a celebration as well as a march. Three hundred and fifty people rallied in City Hall Park and marched through downtown Burlington in a memorable event that has recurred in either Burlington or Montpelier every year since.

By publicly announcing their sexuality and fighting for civil rights, participants in the first Vermont Pride March risked their jobs, personal safety, and relationships with their families. But they knew that the visible presence of what was then described as the “Lesbian and Gay Community” could also help push politicians and community members to understand the need for job and family protections and basic civil rights. This visibility has grown and transformed as LGBTQ2+ identity has changed and shifted in the past few decades, and it still takes collective action and organizing to continue progress towards equality.

Pride 1983 explores the origins and legacy of Burlington’s first Pride celebration. The exhibit draws on archival materials from the Pride Center of VermontUVM Special Collections, and the Out in the Open Andrews Inn Oral History Project, as well as the personal collections of individuals featured in the exhibition. It also includes interviews with twelve activists and organizers crucial to the establishment of Pride in Burlington.

This exhibit is presented by the Pride Center of Vermont and Vermont Folklife. Pride 1983 was curated by Meg Tamulonis of the Vermont Queer Archives, a program of the Pride Center of Vermont. Interviews were conducted by Meg Tamulonis, Mary Wesley, and Madeleine Winterfalcon. Portraits of Pride photographs are by M. Sharkey. Audio production is by Abra Clawson and Madeleine Winterfalcon.

We are profoundly grateful to Euan Bear, Lucy Gluck, Bill Lippert, Peggy Luhrs, Jim Morgan, Steph Pappas, Harry Russell, Howard “Howdy” Russell, Sam Sanders, Lynn Vera, Wilda White, and Leah Wittenberg for sharing their perspectives and experiences with us.

Special thanks to HB Lozito for all their assistance, to Out in the Open for permission to use materials from the Andrews Inn Oral History Project, and to University of Vermont Special Collections.

This exhibition is supported by Liz Shayne and Tiffany Bluemle, the Samara Fund, the Vermont Humanities, and Vermont Folklife’s generous donors.

This exhibit is presented by the Pride Center of Vermont and Vermont Folklife.


June 24, Saturday, 5 p.m. — Opening of Eight New Exhibits
July 28, Friday, 7 p.m. — Queer Dance Party
September 23, Saturday, 10-8 — Remembering Andrews Inn and Queer Archives Collection


Virtual tour
Installation views