Millions around the world took part in parades and marches in honor of National LGBTQ Pride Month, but these celebrations may not have been possible if not for a group of LGBTQ activists who 48 years ago stood up in a local New York bar and fought back against hate.
On June 28, 1969, when New York City police began again harassing LGBTQ patrons of the Stonewall Inn simply for congregating, those patrons decided they’d had enough. They began bravely fighting back against the consistent oppression and brutal intimidation they faced. From those early demonstrations grew a modern social movement determined to rid the nation of discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans.
Exactly one year later, the first Pride marches took place in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to commemorate the anniversary of the historic stand against injustice at Stonewall.
The significance of the events at Stonewall, and their influence in shaping the national conversation surrounding LGBTQ equality in America, cannot be overstated. Last summer, then-President Obama acknowledged the historic contributions of the events of 1969 by designating the Stonewall Inn as the country’s first LGBTQ national monument, a place essential to telling the story of the LGBTQ community’s struggle for equality.
“We can’t rest, we gotta keep pushing for equality and acceptance and tolerance, but the arc of our history is clear,” said Obama. “It’s an arc of progress and a lot of that progress can be traced back to Stonewall.”
The LGBTQ community hailed Obama’s announcement, which recognized what many consider the birthplace of the LGBTQ movement, providing a public acknowledgement of Stonewall’s much-deserved place in history.