Reflecting on the First Pride Parade in Kansas City after many Years

Remember the name Lea Hopkins as Kansas City prepares for another Pride Parade.

In 1977, Lea Hopkins played a crucial role in the organization of the inaugural Pride Parade in Kansas City.

KSHB 41 recently caught up with Lea, who played an instrumental role in organizing the inaugural event almost 50 years ago. Together, they reflected on her contributions and the impact that her work had on the success of the event.

Lea stated that she made the decision to do it.

She is determined to prevent others from going through the same experience that she went through.

“When I was 13, I realized that I was gay, but it wasn’t something that was openly discussed in the Black community,” she shared.

The inaugural Pride Parade was relatively modest in size.

She mentioned that their group was not large. Specifically, there were only four individuals involved in the task.

Lea modestly downplays the immense success that the event has become, despite it being a massive happening decades later.

As she spoke, she made it clear that she didn’t require any accolades. Instead, she pointed out that it was commendable for someone to have the fortitude to march in a gay pride parade. “You don’t need to pat me on the back for this,” she said. “I need to pat you on the back that you’re strong enough to be in a gay pride parade.”

UMKC’s Special Collections and Archives house a treasure trove of black and white pictures and documents that offer a glimpse into the enduring legacy of Lea.

Lea is regarded as a close friend by Stuart Hinds, who serves as the archivist at the same place.

According to Hinds, “She is truly remarkable. Her passion is unyielding and she is a legend in her own right. Injustices still rile her up and her current focus is on helping young people.”

Lea’s love and dedication are undeniable, and her impact on Kansas City’s past is a part of its rich history.

Lea confidently stated, “I possess a strong mind and speak my thoughts without hesitation. I firmly believe in speaking up and expressing myself.”

Reference Article

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 7384

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *