Stonewall Inn to get NYC’s first permanent LGBT pride flag

October 10, 2017

Stonewall Inn, photo via Wikimedia

LGBT activists will unveil a rainbow flag outside the historic gay bar Stonewall Inn on Wednesday, marking the 30th anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The Greenwich Village bar at 53 Christopher Street is often credited with launching the gay rights movement after multiple violent police raids in the summer of 1969. President Barack Obama designated Stonewall as a national monument last year, the first National Park Service unit dedicated to the gay rights movement (h/t DNA info).  Stonewall’s rainbow flag will be the first permanent LGBT pride flag in New York City. 

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An LGBT Solidarity Rally in front of Stonewall Inn earlier this year, photo via mathiaswasik on Flickr

During the summer of 1969, police violently raided Stonewall and other gay bars in NYC. In response, the city’s LGBT community protested for six days around the bar and in Christopher Park. These demonstrations became the catalyst for the national movement. The rainbow flag, a longstanding symbol of LGBT pride, will fly from a pole in Christopher Park.

In June, Senator Chuck Schumer announced a $1 million grant from Google to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. The money will go toward preserving the oral histories and human experiences from early LGBTQ leaders present during the Stonewall riots. The initiative will also create an educational curriculum for students and a digital platform expected to launch by 2019, the 50th anniversary of the protests.

The co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, Ken Lustbader, said: “Flags convey meaning and, therefore, having the pride flag raised at the Stonewall National Monument is an important step in sustaining LGBT visibility. Flying above this important monument, it will symbolize the struggle for LGBT rights and engender a sense of pride for all visitors.”

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Walking tour map for NYC LGBT history, via National Parks Conservation Association

The first self-guided walking tours of Stonewall were launched by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project last month and takes visitors to nearly 20 significant sites. A user-friendly map lays out sites like Julius’ Bar, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop and a bar, the Snake Pit. Explore the map here.

[Via DNA info]


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