This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an event that has been etched into our history so, so deeply that we feel like it's become an integral part of us.
A little bit of history:
1969. What a time of turbulence it was. With the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War protests in full force, Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park were front and center in the action.
On June 28, police raided the historic Stonewall Inn, a gathering place for gay men, transgender folks, butch lesbians, and homeless youth right here in the Village. Stonewall was an anomaly because very few businesses at the time would allow these marginal communities to even enter their establishments...yet the tavern embraced them. The police descended with the explicit purpose to round up our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and cart them off to jail.
But the people weren't going to take this this lying down; they proceeded to riot and the officers lost control. More protests broke out the next evening and a few days later. The result? Within six months, two gay activist organizations and three pro-gay rights newspapers were formed in New York. The birth of the Gay Liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ rights was on! (Gay marriage is now legal, people! And these folks set it in motion!)
Fifty years later, organizers are going all out in commemorating that long-ago rebellion at Stonewall. Many events will take place during 2019 Pride Week, but the most important, surely the most meaningful, is the rally to take place on June 28th, 50 years to the day after the riots. (FYI the very first NYC Pride Rally occurred one month after the riots, when 500 people gathered right here in our Washington Square Park.)
So head to Christopher and Waverly St. from 6 to 9.m. and join LGBTQ folks and their allies to celebrate the people and the history. We salute all of them!
We'll write more about the events surrounding Pride Week. Not only is it a period of reflection, but it's a time for crazy fun!