Stonewall Riots

Categories: Diversity & Inclusion, PRIDE, LGBTQ+

Today, we acknowledge and remember the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall Riots were a series of protests by members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community from June 28-July 3, 1969. The riots were in response to a violent police raid at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Police raids were very common and essentially routine at gay bars in the 1960s.

On June 28, 1969, during the police raid, officers lost control of the situation, and things became violent. Customers of the Stonewall Inn and the people of the neighborhood fought back. After that chaotic night, tensions between the New York Police Department and the LGBTQ+ residents of Greenwich Village arose. More protests occurred the next evening and again several nights later. This series of events is significant because these riots are widely considered the turning point of liberation in LGBTQ+ history.

A few weeks after the riots, the Village residents founded activist groups and demanded the right to live openly, no matter their sexual orientation, and without the fear of being arrested. These organizations became very active, and within months, three newspapers were created to promote LGBTQ+ rights. A year after the Stonewall riots, the first gay pride marches took place, and several gay rights organizations were founded across the United States and the world.

The Stonewall riots are a significant part of history that sparked a movement of people fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. Today, LGBTQ+ Pride events are held annually worldwide in June in honor of the Stonewall riots. Whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, it is important to honor and remember those who participated and helped pave the way.