June 28th 1969.
The Stonewall Riots began.
Police raids at gay bars were a common occurrence in 1969 but one raid on the Stonewall Inn made history. The attendees that night refused to be treated with such disrespect and did not cooperate with the police. One patron was beaten and thrown carelessly into the patrol wagon surrounded by a curious crowd of onlookers. From that moment objects such as bottles, pennies, and even bricks were hurled towards the wagon. Some tried to overturn the wagon. The riots began. For hours the crowd continued to throw everything they could at the police wagon as well as the Stonewall Inn as police members had barricaded themselves inside. That night 13 people were arrested. This was the spark that lit the flame of the gay rights movement.
Objects being thrown during the riots.
Every year, June is celebrated as pride month. This is to commemorate the Stonewall riots. The bar is still open today and a hugely popular attraction for visitors of every sexual orientation. You can even purchase Stonewall Inn merchandise!
In 1989 a new LGBT+ organisation was set up under the name Stonewall. Originally created by a small group of passionate people fighting against Section 28 (a legislation to ban the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools), this charity aims to help those who struggle with problems faced by LGBT+ members today.
The Stonewall Inn as it stands today.