A History of Pride: Stonewall

Stonewall March 1972 (  Image Source  )

Stonewall March 1972 (Image Source)

Event Sparked the Creation of Many LGBTQ+ Rights Groups

by Chelsea Young, Unspoken Voices Contributor

The celebration of Pride month began as a tribute to the Stonewall Uprising.

The Stonewall Uprising took place on June 28, 1969 in Greenwich Village, NYC, where police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular bar for LGBTQ+ people, and began arresting employees who were selling alcohol without a liquor license.

These arrests quickly escalated, and officers began taking patrons into custody. Under the New York criminal statute that allowed for arrests of individuals not wearing “at least three articles of gender-appropriate clothing” officers would pull the patrons they believed to not be conforming to the statute into bathrooms and forcibly “check their gender” before making the arrests.

Patrons at the Inn began to throw bottles and debris at the officers that were present, who then called for backup against the disorderly crowd. For 6 days, crowds of LGBTQ+ people would lash out against officers in the streets of New York, which many historians site as one of the first times large groups of lesbian, gay, and transgender people could be seen coming together for a larger cause.

This event sparked the creation of many  LGBTQ+ rights groups, such as Gay Liberation Front, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD (formerly Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), and PFLAG(formerly Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Although protests and activism had been taking place within the LGBTQ+ community prior to this event, the actions of the Stonewall patrons inspired a larger, more angsty following, that would continue to fuel activism decades after its conclusion.