Tag Archives: Stonewall

Gay History -April 14: “Oh Connie Casserole!” WATCH: “The Boys In The Band” (1970) HD.

 Mart Crowley’s play, “The Boys in the Band” opened in New York on April 14, 1968, at the off-Broadway Theater Four and ran for 1002 performances before being adapted to a successful motion picture. At a time when gay characters were seldom seen in commercial media except as crude stereotypes, although later in history some in the LGBT community would say that is indeed what Crowley’s play presented

The setup is pure theatrics. A  melange of gay men assemble in the apartment of catholically damaged Michael for   the birthday celebration of Harold a   self-proclaimed “32-year-old ugly pockmarked Jew fairy.” These boys were the last ones chosen for P. E., and the first to survive by wits. Tribal unity has the ironic element of verbal onslaughts as Crowley glories in a subculture’s   artful engagement with its own dialect.

Then came the backlash in the early 1990’s with a revival production by San Francisco’s Theater Rhino company when fearful of the characters images some LGBT advocates denounced it as Uncle Tomism because they were worried about the LGBT organizations attempts to assimilate the community into straight society ignoring what a groundbreaking piece of LGBT history the play was for the 1968.

The Boys in the Band  is among the first major American motion pictures to revolve around gay characters and is often cited as a milestone in the history of LGBT cinema.

Loved by some, hated by others the plot is a simple one:  The film is set in an Upper East Side apartment in New York City in the late 1960s. Michael, a Roman Catholic and recovering alcoholic, is preparing to host a birthday party for his friend Harold. Another of his friends, Donald, a self-described underachiever who has moved from the city, arrives and helps Michael prepare. Alan, Michael’s (presumably straight) old college roommate from Georgetown, calls with an urgent need to see Michael. Michael reluctantly agrees and invites him to come over.

Michael, who believes Alan is a closeted homosexual, begins a telephone game in which the objective is for each guest to call the one person whom he truly believes he has loved. With each call, past scars and present anxieties are revealed. Bernard reluctantly attempts to call the son of his mother’s employer, with whom he’d had a sexual encounter as a teenager, while Emory calls a dentist on whom he’d had a crush while in high school; both Bernard and Emory immediately regret having made the phone calls. Hank and Larry attempt to call one-another (via two separate phone lines in Michael’s apartment). Michael’s plan to “out” Alan with the game appears to backfire when Alan calls his wife, not the male college friend Justin Stewart whom Michael had presumed to be Alan’s lover. As the party ends and the guests depart, Michael collapses into Donald’s arms, sobbing. When he pulls himself together, it appears his life will remain very much the same.

While the movie adaptation originally received less than stellar and even sometimes hostile reviews compared to it’s widely acclaimed play counterpart because of the paradigm shift that happened with the Stonewall riots. Today it is seen as a classic of gay cinema.  Both the play and the movie were  groundbreaking.  Despite the cries of stereotyping. No one had ever seen gay people portrayed so boldly.  In The Boys in the Band, the characters dealt with homophobia whether it was internalized or came from the “straight world”. The Stonewall riots pushed gays to fight back against homophobia and not to be complacent. While the play opened in 1968, one year before the Stonewall Riots, by the time the movie adaptation was released in 1970, the gay liberation movement had moved past complacency and wanted more than what The Boys in the Band had to offer.

Bill Weber from Slant Magazine wrote “The party-goers are caught in the tragedy of the pre-liberation closet, a more crippling and unforgiving one than the closets that remain.”

The Boys in the Band showed how we, as gay men, queers, fairies, faggots and homosexuals were not alone and while compelling  and at times brutally grim at times, it is a view into the dark night of the per-Stonewall gay soul.

The Boys in the Band is the essential gay drama and a piece of our history that gay person should experience.

Watch the FULL 1970 movie below.

Gay History – September 15, 1969: “Gay Power” New York City’s First “Homosexual” Newspaper Published

 

On September 15, 1969: Gay Power, “New York’s First Homosexual Newspaper” and the first publication to emerge from the post-Stonewall movement, publishes its premiere issue.

Although the ADVOCATE began publishing 2 years earlier at that time the publication had a West Coast take on the gay life style and was not readily available on the East Coast.

Gay Power, was a biweekly newspaper, edited by John Heys.  and covered the culture and politics of the New York gay scene through a very personal vision. Each issue featured psychedelic covers and centerfolds and one of its covers was created by Robert Mapplethorpe. The newspaper also contained illustrations by Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, as well as regular contributors as Arthur Bell, Taylor Mead, Charles Ludlam, Pudgy Roberts, Bill Vehr, Pat Maxwell,Clayton Cole and regular columns from all of the active gay activists groups, from the most conservative Mattachine Society to the most radical The Gay Liberation Front, and all the other groups in between. 

John Heys would later go on to become an important star on the downtown scene as a drag queen, performance artist, and visual artist.

 

Image result for gay power nyc gay newspaper

Gay History - September 12, 1969: Gay Liberation Front Protests The Village Voice Over Homophobic Advertising Policy

Gay History – September 12, 1969: Gay Liberation Front Protests The Village Voice Over Homophobic Advertising Policy

Even though the Village Voice was the only news outlet in New York City which did extensive coverage of the Stonewall Riots. (The July 3rd. edition featured two front page stories about the riot: “Gay Power Comes to Sheridan Square” by Lucian Truscott IV, and Howard Smith’s experience of that night strapped in the Stonewall Inn with the NYPD “From the Inside: Full Moon Over The Stonewall.”) The Voice’s reporting wasn’t above the kind of mocking tone and prejudicial stereotypes that were typical at that time. Truscott wrote of “the forces of faggotry,” the “blatant queens” with “limped wrists and primed hair” battling police, which he described as “the city’s finest.” Also in the July 10 issue of the Voice writer Walter Troy Spencer called the riot “the Great Faggot Rebellion.”

A little over two months after the riot the newly formed Gay Liberation Front tried to place two small ads in  Voice. One ad in the free Bulletin Board section on page two was to publicize the GLF’s community dances, and the other one, a paid ad for the classified section, was to announced the forthcoming publication of the GLF’s new newspaper, Come Out! The second ad was supposed to have the headline “Gay Power to Gay People,” but Voice staff deleted the lead-in without notifying the GLF.  They also changed the Bulletin Board ad to read “Homophile Dance” instead of Gay Community Dance.”

As you can imagine this did not sit well with the GLF. But they decided to give it another try and placed another ad to advertise the Gay Community Dance planned for September 5th. The ad was accepted, but the person who placed the ad received a phone call from someone at the Voice the next day to say that it was Voice policy to refuse to print obscene words in classified ads and that the using the the word “gay”was obscene — even though the Voice routinely accepted, without question, ads for apartments from landlords specifying “no gays.” 

The Gay Liberation Front struck back with a protest at the Village Voice on Friday, September 12th. demanding a meeting with publisher Ed Fancher. The protest went on all day as Fancher stubbornly refused to meet with the group. Later that afternoon, a protester tried to place a classified ad reading, “The Gay Liberation Front sends love to all Gay men and women in the homosexual community.” That ad was rejected. But soon after, Fancher agreed to meet three of the protesters’ representatives.

This is how the premiere issue of GLF’s Come Out! described the meeting:

Once inside and upstairs, the representatives encountered a cry of outrage that GLF has chosen the Village Voice as a target (sooo liberal we are). The suggestion was made that we negotiate the three points in dispute I )changing classified ads without knowledge or consent of purchaser, 2) use of the words “Gay” and “homosexual” in classifieds, and 3) the contemptuous attitude of the Village Voice toward the Gay Community. GLF explained that the two issues involving classified ad policy were not negotiable and that the substance of the paper should be of legitimate concern to a responsible publisher. Ed Fancher replied that the Village Voice exercised no censorship of its articles, and that if a writer wanted to say derogatory things about faggots, he could not in good conscience stop him. Fancher also said that we had no right to tamper with “freedom of the press.”

The GLF accepted with the absolute understanding that Gay Power has the right to return and oppose anything the Village Voice staff chooses to include in the paper. On the Classified Ads policy he conceded completely. He said that not only would the Voice not alter Ads after payment, but that in Classified Ads the words “Gay” and “homosexual” per se were no longer issues. One of the GLF representatives in the upstairs office stepped to the window facing Seventh Avenue and flashed the V for Victory sign to the waiting crowd below. WE HAD WON!

Surprisingly (NOT!) the next edition of the Village Voice did not report on the protest at its front door, but the Gay Liberation Front’s small ad did appear in that issue’s Bulletin Board unedited.

A protester outside the Village Voice, 1969
American Family Association Petitions PBS to Cancel LGBT PRIDE Programming Calls It An "Attack On Christianity"

FAKE HISTORY: AFA Hate Group Claims NYPD Raided Stonewall Inn To Rescue Trans Teen From Sexual Abuse

Via Right Wing Watch:

The police officers who raided the Stonewall Inn in June 1969 were “trying to rescue a young boy who identified as transgender,” claimed Diane Gramley, the head of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Family Association, on a recent broadcast of the “Stand in the Gap” radio show produced by the American Pastors Network.

“He was being used sexually and the police were trying to rescue him,” Gramley claimed. That remarkable, and utterly false, bit of historical revisionism came during a conversation about what host Gary Dull called “the menace of Gay Pride month.”

Gramley said that the “real goal” of Pride celebrations “is to indoctrinate and they are seeking to promote their deviant sexual behavior.” She has been to Gay Pride celebrations in Philadelphia several times, she said, “just to document who was supporting it, take some pictures of what was going on.”

So the AFA Just sat on that bit of information for 50 years?  Riiiiiiiiiiight.

We already have enough fake Stonewall history flying around with the stories about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha Johnson thank you very much. We don’t need more.

Rare 1969 NYPD Footage of the Gay Liberation Front at Anti-War Demonstration [Video & Text]

Rare 1969 NYPD Footage of the Gay Liberation Front at Anti-War Demonstration [Video & Text]

On August 2, 1969 just a little over one month after the Stonewall Riots the newly formed Gay Liberation Front took to the streets of Midtown Manhattan and participated in a rally and march to demand the release of political prisoners and members of the Armed Forces who were being held in military stockades. The focus was on the Fort Dix 38 who were 38 prisoners made up of AWOLs, Vietnam war resisters and conscientious objectors who rose up against deplorable and inhumane conditions at the Army Base stockade in New Jersey.

The three films that NYPD detectives shot are silent and last just over nine minutes altogether. The films were digitized by the city’s Department of Records and Information Services, which manages the Municipal Archives. 

While the detectives did not name GLF in their report the font on the banners, including the interlocked female/ female and male/ male graphics that were GLF’s symbol, are readily recognizable.

Allen Young, who was working for the Liberation News Service in August 1969, recognized Dan Smith and Ralph Hall, two GLF members, in the film. 

NYC’s Department of Records and Information Services, which manages the Municipal Archives shared the films with Gay City News, archivists said they knew only that the film was shot on August 2, 1969.

Read the Incredibly Anti-Gay 1969 NY Daily News Piece on the Stonewall Riots – “Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Stinging Mad”

Since many of our younger generation don’t comprehend the virulent anti-gay culture that prevailed in 1969 when the Stonewall Riots occurred, I thought I would is re-print this incredibly homophobic 1969 article written in the New York Daily News about what happened the night of the Stonewall riots.

This is what our world looked like and how we were maligned in 1969.

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Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad

The New York Daily News, July 6, 1969
By JERRY LISKER

She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn’t bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.

Last weekend the queens had turned commandos and stood bra strap to bra strap against an invasion of the helmeted Tactical Patrol Force. The elite police squad had shut down one of their private gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn at 57 Christopher St., in the heart of a three-block homosexual community in Greenwich Village. Queen Power reared its bleached blonde head in revolt. New York City experienced its first homosexual riot. “We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over,” lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting from the court of the Queens.

“We’ve had all we can take from the Gestapo,” the spokesman, or spokeswoman, continued. “We’re putting our foot down once and for all.” The foot wore a spiked heel. According to reports, the Stonewall Inn, a two-story structure with a sand painted brick and opaque glass facade, was a mecca for the homosexual element in the village who wanted nothing but a private little place where they could congregate, drink, dance and do whatever little girls do when they get together.

The thick glass shut out the outside world of the street. Inside, the Stonewall bathed in wild, bright psychedelic lights, while the patrons writhed to the sounds of a juke box on a square dance floor surrounded by booths and tables. The bar did a good business and the waiters, or waitresses, were always kept busy, as they snaked their way around the dancing customers to the booths and tables. For nearly two years, peace and tranquility reigned supreme for the Alice in Wonderland clientele.

The Raid Last Friday

Last Friday the privacy of the Stonewall was invaded by police from the First Division. It was a raid. They had a warrant. After two years, police said they had been informed that liquor was being served on the premises. Since the Stonewall was without a license, the place was being closed. It was the law.

All hell broke loose when the police entered the Stonewall. The girls instinctively reached for each other. Others stood frozen, locked in an embrace of fear.

Only a handful of police were on hand for the initial landing in the homosexual beachhead. They ushered the patrons out onto Christopher Street, just off Sheridan Square. A crowd had formed in front of the Stonewall and the customers were greeted with cheers of encouragement from the gallery.

The whole proceeding took on the aura of a homosexual Academy Awards Night. The Queens pranced out to the street blowing kisses and waving to the crowd. A beauty of a specimen named Stella wailed uncontrollably while being led to the sidewalk in front of the Stonewall by a cop. She later confessed that she didn’t protest the manhandling by the officer, it was just that her hair was in curlers and she was afraid her new beau might be in the crowd and spot her. She didn’t want him to see her this way, she wept.

Queen Power

The crowd began to get out of hand, eye witnesses said. Then, without warning, Queen Power exploded with all the fury of a gay atomic bomb. Queens, princesses and ladies-in-waiting began hurling anything they could get their polished, manicured fingernails on. Bobby pins, compacts, curlers, lipstick tubes and other femme fatale missiles were flying in the direction of the cops. The war was on. The lilies of the valley had become carnivorous jungle plants.

Urged on by cries of “C’mon girls, lets go get’em,” the defenders of Stonewall launched an attack. The cops called for assistance. To the rescue came the Tactical Patrol Force.

Flushed with the excitement of battle, a fellow called Gloria pranced around like Wonder Woman, while several Florence Nightingales administered first aid to the fallen warriors. There were some assorted scratches and bruises, but nothing serious was suffered by the honeys turned Madwoman of Chaillot.

Official reports listed four injured policemen with 13 arrests. The War of the Roses lasted about 2 hours from about midnight to 2 a.m. There was a return bout Wednesday night.

Two veterans recently recalled the battle and issued a warning to the cops. “If they close up all the gay joints in this area, there is going to be all out war.”

Bruce and Nan

Both said they were refugees from Indiana and had come to New York where they could live together happily ever after. They were in their early 20’s. They preferred to be called by their married names, Bruce and Nan.

“I don’t like your paper,” Nan lisped matter-of-factly. “It’s anti-fag and pro-cop.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t see what they did to the Stonewall. Did the pigs tell you that they smashed everything in sight? Did you ask them why they stole money out of the cash register and then smashed it with a sledge hammer? Did you ask them why it took them two years to discover that the Stonewall didn’t have a liquor license.”

Bruce nodded in agreement and reached over for Nan’s trembling hands.

“Calm down, doll,” he said. “Your face is getting all flushed.”

Nan wiped her face with a tissue.

“This would have to happen right before the wedding. The reception was going to be held at the Stonewall, too,” Nan said, tossing her ashen-tinted hair over her shoulder.

“What wedding?,” the bystander asked.

Nan frowned with a how-could-anybody-be-so-stupid look. “Eric and Jack’s wedding, of course. They’re finally tieing the knot. I thought they’d never get together.”

Meet Shirley

“We’ll have to find another place, that’s all there is to it,” Bruce sighed. “But every time we start a place, the cops break it up sooner or later.”

“They let us operate just as long as the payoff is regular,” Nan said bitterly. “I believe they closed up the Stonewall because there was some trouble with the payoff to the cops. I think that’s the real reason. It’s a shame. It was such a lovely place. We never bothered anybody. Why couldn’t they leave us alone?”

Shirley Evans, a neighbor with two children, agrees that the Stonewall was not a rowdy place and the persons who frequented the club were never troublesome. She lives at 45 Christopher St.

“Up until the night of the police raid there was never any trouble there,” she said. “The homosexuals minded their own business and never bothered a soul. There were never any fights or hollering, or anything like that. They just wanted to be left alone. I don’t know what they did inside, but that’s their business. I was never in there myself. It was just awful when the police came. It was like a swarm of hornets attacking a bunch of butterflies.”

A reporter visited the now closed Stonewall and it indeed looked like a cyclone had struck the premisses.

Police said there were over 200 people in the Stonewall when they entered with a warrant. The crowd outside was estimated at 500 to 1,000. According to police, the Stonewall had been under observation for some time. Being a private club, plain clothesmen were refused entrance to the inside when they periodically tried to check the place. “They had the tightest security in the Village,” a First Division officer said, “We could never get near the place without a warrant.”

Police Talk

The men of the First Division were unable to find any humor in the situation, despite the comical overtones of the raid.

“They were throwing more than lace hankies,” one inspector said. “I was almost decapitated by a slab of thick glass. It was thrown like a discus and just missed my throat by inches. The beer can didn’t miss, though, “it hit me right above the temple.”

Police also believe the club was operated by Mafia connected owners. The police did confiscate the Stonewall’s cash register as proceeds from an illegal operation. The receipts were counted and are on file at the division headquarters. The warrant was served and the establishment closed on the grounds it was an illegal membership club with no license, and no license to serve liquor.

The police are sure of one thing. They haven’t heard the last from the Girls of Christopher Street

33

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*NOTE:  The writer of this article, Jerry Lisker was actually the sports editor of The New York Daily News.  Lisker later went on to be executive sports editor of the Fox TV Network, and passed away in 1996 from brain cancer.

Stonewall Vet Miss Major: I Did Not See Sylvia Rivera or Marsha Johnson At The Stonewall Inn

 

Ever since Roland Emmerich’s trailer for his fictionalized re-telling of the Stonewall riots has been released there has been many arguments of white-washing, acts of vandalism and the passing around of folklore as history that is not true.  Much of this centers around trans-activists Sylvia Riveria and Marsha Johnson and their involvement in the actual raid and riots itself.

So far we have heard:  Marsha was in the bar to celebrate her birthday, Marsha was outside the bar and ripped up a parking meter and used it as a battering ram and Marsha threw the first brick.  Whe have heard: Sylvia was inside the bar (even though she was 17 and had no ID),  Sylvia was outside throwing pennies, Sylvia threw the first heel, and so on.

My late uncle Bob Kohler was a Stonewall veteran; he could never actually place either Sylvia or Marsha at the bar. And in light of the recent developments I went to a source that many trans activists cannot dispute Miss Major Griffin-Gracy.  Miss Major is a community leader for transgender rights, with a particular focus on women of color and  serves as the Executive Director for the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project and was actually in the Stonewall Inn meeting with a girlfriend when the bar was raided.  In her past interviews I noticed that while mentioning that Sylvia and Marsha were both important figures in LGBT history (which they are) that she never really placed them at the bar itself.  

So I asked Miss Majors straight out.  Were either Sylvia Rivera or Marsha Johnson at the the Stonewall Inn when it was raided or when the riot started? 

Her answer was no.

Miss Majors

Now the Stonewall Inn is not and was not a large bar. And Miss Major has placed Sylvia at a rally afterwards but cannot place her or Marsha at the bar that night or the melee directly afterwards. There is no doubt that both Sylvia and Marsha were involved in the three days of rioting afterwards but no witness has ever been found that place them at the Stonewall Inn at the time of the raid or immediately following the riots.   Even Marsha P. Johnson had said herself many times that she was the one who told Sylvia about the raid after it started and things were well underway. The only person that ever claimed that Sylvia was in the bar was Sylvia herself.  And that was 15 years after the fact and and at a time when she was trying to raise awareness for her group S.T.A.R (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries). Anyone who is alive today who actually knew Sylvia could tell you that while she had good intentions she was a bit…….”emotional.”

Now both Sylvia and Marsha did a lot for trans street kids and all street kids in general L, G, B, and T and they deserve respect and credit in our history for that.  But the rumors, and folklore must stop.  No individual, no certain group of people started the Stonewall Riots.  It was ALL of us who did.  Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Straight, Black, White, Hispanic and so on. Everyone took part and honestly those who do try to claim credit or a certain individual and group are just as bad as Roland Emmerich.  

Our history is not well documented and very fragile.  Lets try to keep it truthful and keep personal agendas out of it.

 

Gay History – October 12th: Matthew Shepard Dies On This Day In 1998

 

Gay/LGBT History Month - October 12th: The National Coalition of Black Gays, Andy Warhol and Matthew Shepard Dies and the World Mourns.

October 12th.

1774Adolph Jans van Oldeberkoop of Frisia Netherlands, a fifty year old customs officer, was convicted of seduction to sodomy and banished for two years.

1971The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs recommended the repeal of a law prohibiting homosexuals from working in or frequenting bars. This occurs 2 and a half years AFTER the Stonewall Riots.

1979The National Coalition of Black Gays sponsored a conference in Washington DC, The First Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference.  It was one of the first organizations to initiate HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the black community, including pamphlets that used coded terms familiar in the black community with men who would never identify with the gay community. The group fades from existence by 1986.

1985 Andy Warhol appears on The Love Boat. REALLY!  Warhol made a guest appearance on now the Pacific Princess naturally playing himself. The plot of the episode concerns a Midwestern housewife played by Marion Ross (yes, Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days), who is startled to find Warhol on board since she doesn’t want her husband, played by Tom Bosley (aka Mr. Cunningham) to know that in her dark and misty past she hung out at Warhol’s Factory in New York. A sample bit of dialogue: Warhol wanders the deck with a camera, and Isaac the bartender quips, “When did Andy Warhol become the ship’s photographer?” Cue laugh track.

1998 – College student Matthew Shepard dies five days after being beaten and tied to a fence post in Laramie, Wyoming by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson 

Media reports contained the graphic account of the pistol-whipping and his fractured skull which shocked the nation. It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears.

Matthew  suffered fractures to the back of his head and in front of his right ear. He experienced severe brainstem damage, which affected his body’s ability to regulate his heart rate, body temperature, and other vital functions. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face, and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. While he lay in intensive care, and in the days following the attack, candlelight vigils were held around the world.

Shepard was pronounced dead at 12:53 a.m. on October 12, 1998, at Poudre Valley Hospital, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was 21 years old and the world still mourns for him.

 

Amazon Tells GOP Senators It Won’t Sell Books That “Frame LGBTQ+ Identity As Mental Illness”

ABC-TV To Broadcast NYC Pride Parade 2017 LIVE!

NYC Pride announced that WABC-TV will be its official television partner and broadcast the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The NYC Pride March started in 1970 as a civil rights demonstration on the 1-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Today, it is one of the world’s best known LGBT events, with 350 marching contingents and more than 2 million spectators in 2016.

WABC-TV will broadcast the annual trek down Fifth Avenue from Noon – 3 p.m. on Channel 7 and also stream the event on its website, abc7ny.com. This important new partnership comes at a time of political and social turmoil in many communities. “We’re excited to have Tri-state viewers welcome us into their homes for what will be an unprecedented opportunity for the LGBT community’s collective voices to be heard,” said Chris Frederick, NYC Pride Managing Director.

WABC-TV joins a vast array of nonprofits, community organizations, corporate partners, small businesses, political candidates and activists who participate each year. “Channel 7 prides itself on being able to bring important, local celebrations of community spirit to as many people as possible,” said Dave Davis, President and General Manager of WABC-TV. “We look forward to making this year’s March the best ever.”

In addition to the live broadcast, the station will also provide coverage of other essential NYC Pride events: PrideFest – the annual LGBT street festival, Pride Luminaries Brunch, the Rally, and Pride Island – a new three-day LGBT cultural experience.

This year’s theme, “We Are Proud,” speaks to the LGBT community’s unwavering ability to rise and be proud, even in the face of the existing political environment. The American Civil Liberties Union, Brooke Guinan (trans woman, FDNY firefighter), Krishna Stone (Director of Community Relations, GMHC), and Geng Le (Founder, Blued) will helm 2017’s iconic March. – Via Press Release

 

#PRIDE: President Obama Announces The Stonewall Inn And Surrounding Area As National Monument – Video

Stonewall Inn National Monument

 

Via White House press release:

Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have made historic strides in expanding opportunities and advancing equality and justice for all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. From major legislative achievements to historic court victories to important policy changes, the President has fought to promote the equal rights of all Americans — no matter who they are or who they love. That commitment to leveling the playing field and ensuring equal protection under the law is the bedrock principle this nation was founded on and has guided the President’s actions in support of all Americans.

Today, President Obama will designate a new national monument at the historic site of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City to honor the broad movement for LGBT equality. The new Stonewall National Monument will protect the area where, on June 28, 1969, a community’s uprising in response to a police raid sparked the modern LGBT civil rights movement in the United States.

The designation will create the first official National Park Service unit dedicated to telling the story of LGBT Americans, just days before the one year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 states. Additionally, in celebration of the designation and New York City’s Pride festival, the White House, in coordination with the National Park Foundation and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, is releasing a video that will be played on the billboards in Times Square on Saturday, June 25, beginning at 12:00pm ET.

The new Stonewall National Monument will permanently protect Christopher Park, a historic community park at the intersection of Christopher Street, West 4th Street and Grove Street directly across from the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The monument’s boundary encompasses approximately 7.7 acres of land, including Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the site of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising.

Today’s designation follows years of strong support from local officials, organizations, members of Congress and citizens in New York City and across the country, as demonstrated recently at a public meeting held in New York City in May. The National Park Foundation is also today announcing that it will support the establishment of a local Friends Group to support the monument and that it will work with local and national organizations and the community to raise funding for dedicated National Park Service personnel, a temporary ranger station and visitor center, research and materials, exhibits, community outreach, and public education.