Fifty years ago, the night of Marsha P Johnson’s birthday at the Stonewall Inn was not considered anything special.
A bunch of people considered perverts protesting against the police? Even in the days afterwards, it was a non-story. Press in New York City denigrated them. History could have forgotten them.
But something changed.
Instead of fading away, a spotlight sparkles on that night in Greenwich Village. It’s become stuff of legend, an ember glowing in our shared history, sparking fires of resistance across the decades.
That’s why people are celebrating that night today (28 June). It cannot be credited for every moment of LGBTI rights progress in the last five decades – that’s thanks to thousands of people across the globe. But that night does stand for something wonderful.
Since the beginning of 2019, Gay Star News has published 50 articles from diverse voices around the world. Three of those people were at the night 50 years ago. All of them discuss the past, present and future of our struggle for love and liberation.
People who were at the Stonewall Riots
Rev. Irene Monroe: I was at Stonewall and have seen it whitewashed
Countries had their own Stonewall moment
Taiga Ishikawa: Partnerships, politics, and Japan’s own Stonewall Riot
Peter Tatchell: Are today’s activists lacking what the Stonewall rioters had?
Jeremy Helligar: The Stonewall effect: How gay pride and black power shaped me
Joseph-Zane Sikulu: I am a gay Tongan man trying to figure out how we all fit in
Jack Ganbaatar: Growing up gay in Mongolia
Ignas Rekasius: Lithuania’s LGBTI community refuse to hide away any more
LGBTI life today
Giorgi Tabagari: Police refuse to protect Pride after violence in Georgia
Jordan Charles: You don’t have to march at Pride to show your pride
Libby Baxter-Williams: 50 years after the riots, queer spaces are still not safe for all of us
Carrying on the legacy
Shaun Dellenty: If we don’t teach children about diversity, lives will be lost
Matthew Todd: What the Stonewall pioneers fought for is at risk
Spencer Freitas: There is hope for the non-binary community
June Chua: Why transgender people are agents of change
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil: Why India’s Stonewall may be just around the corner
Jeff Graham: Is Georgia at a tipping point on LGBTI rights?
Alexis Gregory: Carrying on the riot