THE LGBTQIA+ Pride Day story (initially called just Gay Pride Day, then LGBT Pride Day and how many more letters follow it to contemplate) started in New York, United States. More precisely at the Stonewall Inn bar, in the 1960s.
Located in Greenwich Village, the city’s most famous bohemian neighborhood and which at the time was a meeting point for artists, writers, musicians and thinkers, the bar was very frequented by marginalized people – mostly gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, many who had left their families because of prejudice, according to book reports.
Until the dawn of June 28, 1969, there was a police raid on the place, as had happened on other occasions. The allegation was that the sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited there. But, according to the website “Visit Os USA”, they demanded identity documents and proof that customers were wearing clothes that matched their biological sex. And anyone who didn’t comply would be taken to jail.
History of LGBTQIA+ Pride Day
That night the crowd that was present at the Stonewall Inn reacted against police abuse. The police retaliated, causing a riot. And from then on, part of the gay community began to protest.
There were several days of demonstrations for sex and gender equality. The protesters were keen to show their pride in being who they were! Something similar had happened before in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and other cities.
The date then came to be considered a milestone in the movement for equal rights and became the LGBTQIA+ Pride Day. Around the world, June became the LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, with events that even today call for equal rights and an end to violence. In Brazil, the São Paulo Parade has already entered the Book of Records as the largest in the world. And it is the event that most attracts tourists to the city.
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About Stonewall National Monument in New York
But back to New York and the Stonewall Inn… Since what happened, for many people, the place has become the meeting point for events.
Today the bar is bigger, has two floors and remains a meeting place. The program includes concerts, happy hours and parties aimed at the LGBTQIA+ community and the general public.
A curiosity is that at the turn of 2018 to 2019, a client took the stage with her teenage son, who played the guitar while she sang: it was none other than Madonna.
“I stand here proudly at the place where Pride began, at the birth of a new year. Our brothers and sisters before us were not free to celebrate as we are doing tonight, and we must never forget that.” – She said, before singing one of her classics, Material Girl.
In 2015, the City of New York made the bar a historic monument in the city. In the same year, the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country.
And in June 2016, then US President Barack Obama decreed the bar, along with a nearby park, as the 1st monument to LGBTQIA+ rights in the United States.
Stonewall National Monument encompasses Christopher Park (where since 1992 the “Gay Liberation” statues by sculptor George Segal have been located) and the block from Christopher Street, one of the streets that surround the park, opposite the Stonewall Inn.
A rainbow flag was raised at the monument in 2017, making it the first LGBTQIA+ flag officially held at a federal monument in the country.
How to get to the place that is a symbol of LGBTQIA+ Pride
For those who want to visit, the Stonewall National Monument and the Stonewall Inn are just a few blocks from the Christopher Street subway station. The bar (53 Christopher Street) is open daily from 2pm to 4am.
The park (38-64 Christopher Street) is open from 6 am to 6:30 pm Monday through Thursday and until 7 pm on weekends. The place is open to visitors from all over the world and even receives groups from schools in the region.
More than a tourist spot, it is a way of celebrating the LGBTQIA+ Pride Day story and keep it preserved for several generations.
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Main photo: mathiaswasik from New York City, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons