June 28th, 1969 At Stonewall Changed LGBT History Forever
47 years since the riots that started the Gay Rights movement, President Barack Obama declares the Stonewall Inn. a national monument. Following the recent mass shooting tragedy at LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, the gesture feels so kind. This is also one year after the Supreme Court made marriage equality legal.
To inform anyone who may have missed Roland Emmerich’s film about the subject, here’s what the riots entail. Around 3 a.m., New York gay club Stonewall Inn. was raided by police. Instead of the usual mayhem caused by the police, the patrons of the bar fought back. This led to bystanders joining in which started the riots against the New York police. Among the first to fight back was trans woman of color, Marsha P. Johnson. She is forever known as the queen who threw the first brick at Stonewall. The riots lasted for two nights. By the end of it, thousands of protesters stood up against the unfair treatment from the NYPD.
This landmark moment changed the LGBT community and shifted pop culture. A year after the original riots, gay pride parades began appearing all over the nation. That same year, ‘Midnight Cowboy’ starring Jon Voight as a gay hustler in New York won 3 Academy Awards. The effects of these riots at Stonewall were felt in film and TV. Not to mention society began embracing the LGBT community slowly.
Stonewall Inn. is the first US national landmark designated for a LGBT historic site.