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

Thefts, on-going issue for 100 Mile RCMP detachment

From Feb. 19 to Feb. 25, 100 Mile House RCMP attended to… Continue reading

Cariboo police forces recover truck, Bobcat and trailer stolen from Quesnel

A 100 Mile House resident was arrested after trying to flee a police roadblock near Wildwood

Lodge owner in Tsilhqot’in declared title area wants to be bought out for fair price

Hausi Wittwer has operated the Chilko River Lodge for 21 years

Athlete in Focus: Quinn Mulder of the 100 Mile House Wranglers

Quinn Mulder has been gaining confidence in his own play and realizing… Continue reading

100 Mile House team finalist in B Event of Clearwater bonspiel

Five local teams headed to Clearwater to take part in the Wells… Continue reading

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read