National Parks Rangers Anne Stanley, left, and J. Adams place flags around the Stonewall National Monument Thursday, June 27, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather at Stonewall 50 years after LGBTQ uprising

The modern incarnation of the Stonewall Inn was the focal point of a day of celebrations

Hundreds of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world filed past the landmark Stonewall Inn on Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion that catalyzed the LGBTQ liberation movement, taking photos, awaiting musical performances, and reflecting on the uprising and its legacy.

“Fifty years ago, people stood up for their rights, and look where we’re at now. We’ve got flags all over the city,” said Richard Walker, 58, an airline worker from New York. “I’m getting goosebumps just really thinking about it.”

On June 28, 1969, patrons at the gay bar resisted a police raid, sparking days of demonstrations, followed by longer-term organizing that made the cause of LGBTQ rights considerably more visible than it had been.

HJ Farr, an actor from Madison, Wisconsin, recently worked on a show there about Stonewall and made a point of going Friday to the place where it happened.

“I benefit directly from the events that took place, and I wanted to pay my respects and just feel the history,” Farr said.

Robert Beaird travelled from Dallas to attend the anniversary events. At 53, Beaird came out only recently after being married to a woman and fathering children.

“I just kind of hid who I was for my whole life, and then within the last two years, I’ve been going through this kind of cathartic experience of accepting myself,” he said. “Just to be here with all these people is pretty amazing.”

The modern incarnation of the Stonewall Inn was the focal point of a day of celebrations that was to include musical performances and an evening rally.

ALSO READ: New commemorative loonie marks progress’ for LGBTQ2 people

Sunday’s huge Pride parade — and an alternative march intended as a less corporate commemoration — also will swing past the bar and a tiny park outside. The park is at the centre of the Stonewall National Monument.

Jocelyn Burrell remembered Friday how she’d felt welcome at the Stonewall Inn years before, despite identifying as a heterosexual woman. She feels a sense of common cause with its legacy.

“Just like we fought — black people fought — for civil rights, I feel I should support other people who fight for civil rights,” she said.

Cities around the world also began celebrating Pride on Friday. Participants in a march in the Philippines went by the presidential palace in Manila, waving placards as they marked the 25th year since the first such gathering.

In 1969, the Stonewall Inn was part of a gay scene that was known, yet not open. At the time, showing same-sex affection or dressing in a way deemed gender-inappropriate could get people arrested, and bars had lost liquor licenses for serving LGBTQ customers.

The police raid on the bar began early the morning of June 28. It was unlicensed, and the officers had been assigned to stop any illegal alcohol sales.

Patrons and people who converged on the bar on Christopher Street resisted , hurling objects and at points scuffling with the officers.

Protests followed over several more days. A year later, gay New Yorkers marked the anniversary of the riot with the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. Thousands proudly paraded through a city where, at the time, LGBTQ people were largely expected to stay in the shadows.

The Stonewall Inn itself closed not long after the raid. The current Stonewall Inn dates to the early 1990s.

“We understand we’re the innkeepers of history,” said current co-owner Stacy Lentz. “We really feel like the fire that started at Stonewall in 1969 is not done. The battleground has just shifted.”

Ali Swenson And Jennifer Peltz, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Members of the LGBTQ community embrace each other during a Pride march outside the Presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Friday, June 28, 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York. The group is also marking the 25th year since the first Pride march in the country as they continue to call for gender equality and same-sex marriage.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Members of the LGBTQ community embrace each other as they wrap themselves with a rainbow flag during a Pride march outside the Presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Friday, June 28, 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York. The group is also marking the 25th year since the first Pride march in the country as they continue to call for gender equality and same-sex marriage.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

People gather near the Stonewall Inn Thursday, June 27, 2019, in New York. The original Stonewall Inn didn’t survive the 1969 police raid and riots that made it famous as a birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, but the current version will be a focal point of this week’s celebrations marking the uprising’s 50th anniversary. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Just Posted

Shea Long roosts in the Shoot Out in the Telkwa Range. (SnoRiders, Houston/Shea Long photo)
Telkwa Range snowmobiling permit lottery opens

Application period is Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 for snowmobiliers and skiers to gain access to Starr Basin

The Dupras family has been regulars at the Babine River and have seen plentiful grizzlies over the years. (Jay Dupras photo/Lakes District News)
A family’s close encounter with a grizzly on Babine River bridge

Photo-enthusiasts let the bear access the bridge for photos putting others at risk

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals. (Black Press Composite Photo)
Nathan Cullen, right, looks on as Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader Chief Woos, also known as Frank Alec, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relation, Carolyn Bennett and B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser address the media in Smithers, B.C., Sunday, March 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
10 Gitxsan hereditary chiefs call for BC NDP to remove Cullen as Stikine candidate

Ten Gitxsan hereditary chiefs have called for the firing of NDP candidate… Continue reading

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, Cullen apologize for Stikine candidate’s comments about Haida candidate

Nathan Cullen had made insensitive comments about Roy Jones Jr. Cheexial

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Most Read