Stonewall riots: Global legacy shows there’s no simple story of progress for gay rights

By Senthorun Raj, Keele University

Millions of people will take to the streets around the world in the coming weeks to celebrate “Pride”. Those who find themselves doused in glitter or wrapped in rainbow flags may think this is merely an annual summer party of sexual and gender diversity. But, the last weekend in June anchors Prides around the world for a reason: it marks a queer uprising that took place at New York City’s Stonewall Inn in 1969. Stonewall’s 50th anniversary is a moment to reflect on the riot that helped to globalise what many now call the “gay rights movement”. In the early hours of June 28 1969, the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn in an attempt to permanently close a bar that was violating licensing regulations.

How the New York media covered the Stonewall riots

By Chad Painter, University of Dayton

The Stonewall riots were a six-night series of protests that began in the early morning of June 28, 1969, and centered around the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. Four days earlier, on June 24, 1969, the police, led by Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine, raided the Stonewall Inn and began arresting bar employees and confiscating liquor. But when Pine led a second raid on the 28th, patrons fought back. Approximately 150 people fled, regrouped on the street and stormed the bar, trapping the police inside. The protesters began throwing bricks, bottles and garbage, and attempted to set the bar on fire.