The New York Pride and Stonewall

The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT community against a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.

In 2019, NYC Pride welcomes WorldPride as we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQIA+ liberation.

This year what it was probably the biggest queer celebration in New York City history consisted of dueling marches – the gigantic, official annual Pride march with all the celebratory floats, fueled by big business sponsors and a breakaway march designed to be a grassroots protest not only for the cause of civil rights but against the over-corporatization of the main parade.

There were moments of celebration, moments of contemplation, moments of commemoration — and complaints about commercialization. There were people who were passionate about equal rights and people who reveled in being free to be themselves.

It was the Pride March, a buoyant global celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity. It swept down Fifth Avenue and into Greenwich Village at a moment in history that many said was a crucial one, a half-century after the landmark Stonewall uprising: More gay rights have been affirmed than ever before, but L.G.B.T.Q. issues remain a flashpoint in the nation’s culture wars.

But the march was also showy and splashy. Bands blared. People in wild wigs and extravagant makeup danced. Rainbow balloons drifted skyward, and rainbow banners rippled in the early summer breeze. Rainbow flags adorned apartment towers, townhouses, storefronts, scaffolding, and people: on their T-shirts, dresses, lei-like necklaces, socks and shoes.

“Fifty years ago, this is where the revolution began,” said Tiffany Fantasia, a drag queen from Miami, as she danced her way along. “Fifty years ago was when we decided enough is enough.”

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