Lorna Luft thinks her mother would have been proud.
The younger daughter of Judy Garland talked this week about her mother’s connection to her gay male fanbase and about the Stonewall riots which began in the days after Garland’s death in 1969.
The riots at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City are widely considered as the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight in the US for LGBT equality.
There are those who have long linked the riots to grief over Garland’s death. Others say patrons at the bar, including a number of drag queens, had simply had enough of police raids and decided to fight back.
‘I think it’s a remarkable moment in history that is attached to my family, and I carry that with pride,’ Luft tells The Huffington Post. ‘I know that my mother would’ve said that everybody at Stonewall did the right thing: they stood up for themselves.’
Luft, herself a singer and actress, was just 17 when her mother died of an accidental drug overdose in London. She was not yet aware of Garland’s impact on gay culture.
‘The gay community had lost their legend and their icon, but I had just lost a parent, so I didn’t know about that for many years,’ she says.
Adds Luft: ‘The responsibility I feel to my mom’s legacy is always making sure it is held in high regard, with respect and with honor, and that it is held for her work and what she gave to all of us as an actress, a singer and an entertainer.’