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Baltimore Neighborhoods

Visions of Baltimore Pride, 2000

Hippo Float Truck, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. Kohl Photograph Collection. PP284, MdHS.

Hippo Float Truck, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. Kohl Photograph Collection. PP284, MdHS.

This week, the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland is celebrating the 41st year of Pride events in the city. What began as a modest rally at the Charles Center plaza in 1975 has grown over the years into block parties, a massive parade in Mount Vernon, a festival in Druid Hill Park, and now a range of events and activities throughout Station North. Organizers expect 30,000 attendees this year.

Baltimore Gay Alliance, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Baltimore Gay Alliance, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

In honor of Pride Week, we look back sixteen years to the summer of 2000 and the photographs of Joseph Kohl (1957-2002), who seemed to follow every step of the parade that year.

Bear Pride, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Bear Pride, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Kohl’s collected work was given to the Maryland Historical Society shortly after his death and was left untouched for almost a decade before archivists began cataloguing the thousands of prints, negatives, slides, and ephemera he left behind. Kohl took pictures for outlets like The News American, The Afro-American, Village Voice, Baltimore Business Journal, City Paper, Catholic Review, Easy Rider, and Recycling Times, and like most professional photographers he also took a lot of pictures for the hell of it. He was comfortable at the press conferences, flower shows, and Little League games he covered as a freelancer, but he was in his element wherever the scene was a little heated, like at protests, or a little hot, like at the S&M parties and drag show powder rooms that welcomed his camera. His preferred beat as a photographer was passion—especially when on display without shame and in public.

NOW Baltimore Chapter, Lesbian Issues Committee with banner, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

NOW Baltimore Chapter, Lesbian Issues Committee with banner, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Just like the partiers in these photos, we share a city and country wracked by struggle and tragedy at Pride this year (and this year, only half over, more so than many). The summer of 2000 saw 50 people picket the Boy Scouts’ office by the Stieff Silver building after the Supreme Court upheld the Scouts’ right to homophobia. That summer also, a 25 year-old Charles Village man was convicted of attacking two gay men and killing one of them because, he told police, he thought they were “evil.”

Drag performer in white robe with umbrella, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Drag performer in white robe with umbrella, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

In a letter of welcome to the celebrations this week, Jabari Lyles, the Chair of Baltimore Pride, wrote: “We are not all the same, but all of us can take Pride in identifying as LGBTQ in Baltimore and across Maryland.” We share these photos this week not only because they belong to the city, as Joe Kohl intended them to, but because they show a vision of community that Kohl believed in and wanted us to remember. He wanted us to remember these people and remember them this way—as celebrants, as neighbors, as the proudest versions of themselves.  (Andrew Holter)

Two men in leather with sashes, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Two men in leather with sashes, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

 

Two men, many balloons. Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Two men, many balloons. Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

 

On the Hippo Float, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

On the Hippo Float, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

 

SAIM Banner and Marchers, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

SAIM Banner and Marchers, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

 

Two men on motorcycle with flag, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Two men on motorcycle with flag, Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

 

Three women with paper flowers. Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Three women with paper flowers. Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

 

Hearts. Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Hearts. Pride Parade, 2000. Photo by Joseph Kohl. Box 33, Group 17. PP284, MdHS.

Do you see someone you know in these photographs? Please get in touch at specialcollections@mdhs.org and share your knowledge with us. We’ve relied on public collaboration from the beginning of our work with the Kohl Collection and your memories can help us honor the subjects of these photos for generations to come.

Andrew Holter is a graduate student in history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He’s worked on the Joseph Kohl Photograph Collection as a volunteer and an intern for the past year.

 

Discussion

One Response to “Visions of Baltimore Pride, 2000”

  1. This might seem misplaced but I love that shot of Magillivray’s pharmacy. Got many a check cashed there.

    Posted by scott carberry | 21. Jul, 2016, 1:10 am

Reply to scott carberry

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