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.

 

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

CT scanner officially open in Smithers

As of noon on July 12 the machine had scanned 45 patients, five of which were emergency CT scans.

Musical collaboration comes together at Midsummer Music Festival

The project was done to acknowledge a potential for harmony among otherwise disparate communities.

WATCH: Mip performs at Bulkley Valley Brewery July 12

Catch two songs from Mip’s nearly three-hour set at the brewery on July 12.

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

VIDEO: Woodchuck rescued from under car on Main Street

Angelika Langen, co-founder of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, made the rescue.

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read