“The spirit that emerged outside a Mafia-run bar in 1969 became the pulse of the gay community and inspired not just an annual parade but ways to express gay pride in individual lives.
Stonewall happens every day.”
― Ann Bausum, Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
June is Gay Pride Month, and this year celebrates the impetus of the Pride movement, the Stonewall Riots of 1969. In recent years, we have witnessed laws passed ensuring marriage and workplace equality for the LGBTQ+ community. These rights were won through years of protest and legal battles – the will to fight for all of these hard-won rights began at the popular NYC hangout The Stonewall bar, which was also the epicenter of the Manhattan Gay and Lesbian community.
The New York City Police department would regularly raid the bar, arresting, or in some cases, brutally assaulting many of the customers. On June 28th 1969, the patrons of the Stonewall decided to fight back, inciting a riot when NYC Police attempted yet another raid. This time the police were met with stiff resistance, and from this uprising was born the Pride Movement, which has been fighting for equality ever since.
To read about the Stonewall Riots, and other stories about early champions of the Gay Rights Movement, start with the resources listed below. When performing your own search, make sure to utilize the filtering menus in the library catalog and library databases.
Helpful search terms for your research: Gay Pride, LGBTQ+, Stonewall Riots, Marriage Equality
The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World: America’s First Gay Marriage by Michael McConnell, Jack Baker, and Gail Langer Karwoski – 2016
Law and the Gay Rights Story: The Long Search for Equal Justice in a Divided Democracy by Walter Frank – 2014
After Stonewall: America’s LGBT Movement – 1977
The Stonewall Riots by Laurie Collier Hillstrom – 2016
Available in the Parham Circulating Collection
The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman
Available in the Parham circulating collection
Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation by Jim Downs
Available in the Downtown circulating collection