Pride at Stonewall 1969
The month of June is now known as PRIDE month. PRIDE month is when we come together to celebrate and support LGBTQIA+ individuals. Although PRIDE is full of joyous festivities such as parades and concerts, we can often forget that a June 1969 riot at a gay bar in Manhattan New York was the catalyst for the annual monthly holiday.
On June 28th after midnight, plain clothed police men entered the Stonewall Inn, a well known and attended gay bar and one of the only that allowed dancing. Drag Queens and bar employees were soon singled out and arrested, and eventually more police officers and patrol cars showed up to the bar. Onlookers described how the police were rough to the drag queens when they were putting them into handcuffs. The onlookers soon started to get aggravated and started shouting at the officers and slashing the police car tires, distraught and angry that one of the only safe and welcoming places they had was being attacked. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera-two transgender women of color who were being arrested, resisted and were the first to throw the bricks and start the revolution. After hours of being barricaded inside the Stonewall itself, police officers left the club after 4 am. The next night the club reopened without serving alcohol. The police arrived again, this time with tear gas and clubs and the crowd dispersed in the early hours of June 29th.
On the first anniversary of Stonewall, a parade called the Christopher Street(the street where the Stonewall is located) Liberation March was organized to kick off New York City’s first GAY PRIDE week. Thousands of people were in attendance and similar parades were soon held in other cities such as Los Angeles. Now PRIDE is celebrated globally and in several cities across the country.
While we are celebrating during this month, let us remember the ones who fought against oppression and made PRIDE possible.