Friday 23 August 2019

Crowd gathers outside Stonewall Inn to mark 50th anniversary of protest

The resistance to a police raid at the New York venue is seen as a landmark in LGBTQ liberation.

People gather near the Stonewall Inn (Frank Franklin II/AP)
People gather near the Stonewall Inn (Frank Franklin II/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Lady Gaga, Whoopi Goldberg, Alicia Keys, drag performers and other artists have led a crowd of thousands marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion that catalysed a movement for LGBTQ liberation.

Celebrities, New Yorkers and visitors from around the world converged on the Stonewall Inn in New York City on Friday to celebrate the uprising and its legacy.

Gaga told those gathered that they “are the definition of courage”.

Keys serenaded them with her hit Girl On Fire and other songs, including True Colours, a 1980s hit for Cyndi Lauper.

Its chorus declares: “Your true colours are beautiful like a rainbow.”

Goldberg urged the throng to “remember the people who didn’t make it this far” after helping pave a way forward for LGBTQ rights.

On June 28 1969, patrons resisted a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, sparking protests and longer-term activism.

Standing outside the bar, Robert Walker said: “Fifty years ago, people stood up for their rights, and look where we’re at now.”

The 58-year-old New Yorker and airline worker says he was “getting goosebumps just really thinking about it”.

Former US president Barack Obama tweeted: “50 years ago, history was written at the Stonewall Inn when New York’s LGBT community stood up, spoke out, and started a movement. In 2016 I was proud to designate it as a national monument—a reminder the arc of our history is an arc of progress as long as we keep pushing for it.”

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News