For half a century, the word “Stonewall” has had a special meaning in history. Previously known as just another Village bar (complete with overpriced drinks), the Stonewall Inn became one of the most important locations in New York City on June 28, 1969.
The Stonewall Riots are one of the most important moments in LGBTQIA+ history. After the riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969, the LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement quickly mobilized, transforming from just a few activists to a nationwide movement. Thousands gathered under the banner of Gay Liberation to call for acceptance and equal rights, a battle that unfortunately still has to be fought today.
New York is due to welcome more than 3 million visitors to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots as part of WorldPride. Events like lectures, parties, and rallies last for the entire month of June, culminating in the famous Pride Parade on June 30th.
The 50th anniversary of Stonewall is the inspiration for the newest exhibition at the New York Public Library. Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 teaches the history of LGBTQIA+ activism, both in New York City and around the country.
This exhibition illustrates this history through the photographs of photojournalists Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies. Kay and Diana captured the pivotal events of this era and offered the world a different look at LGBTQIA+ people. Photos include everyday couples of the era, reinforcing the fact that no matter what, love is love.
Also part of the exhibition are other pieces from the library’s archives. Visitors get a glimpse at the history of the movement, with periodicals, flyers, and other items on display.
I thought the NYPL did a great job on this exhibit, and it gave me a new look at the history of the movement and the importance of Stonewall. I always knew a little about what had happened, but Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 provided a different perspective and historical context on how things were then, and how important it is to continue the fight today.
Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 offers a unique look at the history of the LGBTQIA+ movement. The exhibition is on display until July 19th, and shows that while there is still way too much to be done, the spirit of Stonewall will always live on.