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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Mad Pride Day

Approved by the NCIL membership July 2011

WHEREAS, Mad Pride celebrates the human rights and spectacular culture of people considered very different by our society;

WHEREAS, The name “Mad Pride” got its start in London when activists there saw a Gay Pride event and got madly inspired;

WHEREAS, Mad Pride may be celebrated anytime but is most often observed in the month of July, usually on or around July 14, Bastille Day; 

WHEREAS, The tradition of using Bastille Day as Mad Pride Day was started in New York in 1981 by the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance and has since spread around the world. The 14th of July marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in Paris, France in 1789. For over the past two centuries, the storming of the Bastille has been a universal symbol of liberation. In addition, when the Bastille was stormed, two prisoners with psychiatric labels being detained there for that reason were freed;

WHEREAS, The Mad Pride celebrations have grown directly out of a historic but little known international social change movement led by psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers that began in about 1970;

WHEREAS, some members of this movement use the word “mad” to do as the “Gay Pride” and other social movements have done and reclaim language for our own creative, positive use;

WHEREAS, This movement is open to ALL, whether or not you have personally been labeled by the psychiatric system since Mad Pride is really about Human Pride;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED:  that NCIL support Mad Pride Day.

Respectfully submitted by: The NCIL Mental Health Task Force

Supported by:

IndependenceFirst, Milwaukee, WI

Independent Living Council of Wisconsin

David Oaks, NCIL Member, Eugene, Oregon

Lake County CIL, Mundelein, IL

Julie Alexander, NCIL member, Milwaukee, WI

Mike Bachhuber, NCIL member, Madison, WI

Krista Erickson, NCIL member, Mundelein, IL

NCIL Mental Health Task Force

Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living