Gay Pride parades step off around the world.

Gay Pride parades step off around the world.

After a year of legislative victories for the community, this Sunday's New York Pride Parade comes with plenty to celebrate.

Gay Pride parades are ready to step off around the world.

In the U.S., celebrations are planned from coast to coast, in New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, as well as many smaller cities.

Festivals were held Saturday in France, Spain, Mexico and Peru.

New York marchers will commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which are credited with launching the modern gay rights movement in 1969. On the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar popular with the gay community, transvestites, transgender people, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth.

The parade starts at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue, and ends at Christopher and Greenwich Street at the Stonewall Inn.

Sunday will mark New York’s 45th parade. Among the many marchers, spectators can expect to see Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo join the parade.

This year has been an eventful one since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the statute that denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and cleared the way for gay couples to wed legally in California. Since then, seven more states legalized same-sex marriage, bringing the total to 19, plus Washington, D.C.

More than 1 million people are expected to line the New York parade route when it kicks off at noon. One of this year’s grand marshals is actress Laverne Cox of the hit show “Orange is the New Black.”

The parades will witness muscular men in Speedos gyrating to thumping dance music and drag queens decked out in formal gowns. Pride parades have transformed from small, defiant, sexually daring protests to family-friendly, mainstream celebrations.

On November 2, 1969, Craig Rofdwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes proposed the first gay pride parade to be held in New York City with a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) in Philadelphia.

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