75 50 YEARS SINCE THE STONEWALL UPRIS­ING

Attitude - - Lgbt+ -

On 28 June 1969, peo­ple were fed up. That sum­mer night, ho­mo­sex­ual, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der cit­i­zens were drink­ing and so­cial­is­ing at the Stonewall Inn, a shabby, lively tav­ern on Christo­pher Street. Sud­denly, New York po­lice of­fi­cers raided the bar, as they of­ten did, de­mand­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and proof that male and fe­male pa­trons were wear­ing gen­der- ap­pro­pri­ate cloth­ing. Those in vi­o­la­tion would be jailed.

But in New York — as in other cities across Amer­ica, and around the world — queers had reached their limit of sys­tem­atic dis­crim­i­na­tion, crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion, and po­lice ha­rass­ment. At Stonewall that night, they fi­nally fought back. They fought for six days and nights in fiery riots that ig­nited the global LGBT+ civil rights move­ment.

A year later, the Stonewall upris­ing was marked with protest marches in sev­eral US cities, em­ploy­ing the orig­i­nal 1966 “P. R. I. D. E.” acro­nym ( Per­sonal Rights In De­fense and Ed­u­ca­tion). Modern LGBT+ Pride marches, while more cel­e­bra­tory, carry on the legacy of that fate­ful night when fairies, dykes, trans folks, queens, and sex work­ers be­gan bat­tling for their civil rights.

To­day, the Stonewall Na­tional Mon­u­ment is Amer­ica’s first na­tional park fo­cused on LGBT+ his­tory. It was cre­ated in 2016 when Pres­i­dent Barack Obama des­ig­nated 7.7 acres along Christo­pher and ad­ja­cent streets part of the mon­u­ment.

Mean­while, the Stonewall Inn lives on as a go- to Man­hat­tan bar and per­for­mance venue where pa­trons can raise their glasses high in hon­our of LGBT+ com­mu­nity her­itage and en­dur­ing for­ti­tude.

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