THE origins of Pride month date back to 1969, and a riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York.

As was common practice in many cities in the US at the time, the New York Police Department would occasionally raid bars and restaurants where gays and lesbians were known to gather.

This is what happened on June 28, 1969, when the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan popular with members of the gay community.

But this time, as the police started to drag people out of the bar, several fought back. A growing crowd gathered, sparking several days of days of protests and clashes with the police. By the time the Stonewall Riots ended the gay rights movement had gone from being a fringe issue to front-page news worldwide.

A year later, in 1970, a parade was held in New York to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

But it wasn't until 1972 that the gay pride movement transferred across the Atlantic to the UK. And when it did, two young men from Acomb were instrumental in helping to organise the country's first-ever Pride march.

Homosexuality had been decriminalised in the UK in 1967 - though only for people aged over 21, notes Jake Furby, a Trustee of the York LGBT Forum.

York Press: Jake FurbyJake Furby (Image: Stephen Lewis)

As the gay rights movement took off, two young men from Acomb - Stuart Feather and John Chesterman - went down to London, where they helped form the Gay Liberation Front (GLF).

And it was the GLF which organised the UK's first Pride March, in London in 1972.

Pride marches arrived in York in the 1980s - but initially they were only one-offs, said Jake.

Since 2006, however, they have been an annual event.

York Press: David KatoDavid Kato (Image: Supplied)

For Jake, who came to York in 2009, the most moving was that held in 2011 in honour of David Kato.

David, from Uganda, came to the University of York in 2010 for six months on the Human Rights Defenders Programme at the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR).

When he returned to Uganda in 2011, he won a court victory over a tabloid newspaper that had been calling for homosexuals in the country to be murdered. Tragically, six weeks later he was himself murdered in Kampala.

The Pride march in York that year was the 'most poignant' he has ever taken part in, Jake said.

York Press: A previous York Pride march through YorkA previous York Pride march through York (Image: Supplied)

The first Pride march in York attracted about 30 people, says Jake, who no longer helps organise the event, although he remains active in the local LGBT community.

But something like 10,000-15,000 people from all over the north of England are expected to take part in this coming Saturday's York Pride event.