June is Gay Pride month and the reason is the StoneWall uprising . June 28 , 1969 is a landmark day for the homosexual movement . It's the day he comes out. With a midnight "cry" he abandons his passive role and goes into action to claim his rights.
We are transported to the 60s. Mass and dynamic youth movements – social, political and cultural – are challenging the conservative regimes that dominated the past. As in most parts of the world, homosexuals in the US were "hiding" in the dark for decades , marginalized in a homophobic society that recognized as illegal even the solicitation of same-sex relationships.
The authorities kept files on the names of homosexuals and their contacts, and those arrested in "sweep" operations were leaked to the press. Professors were kicked out of universities and workers were fired from their jobs on "suspicion" of homosexuality. People were even sent to psychiatric clinics, as the American Psychiatric Association had recognized homosexuals as "antisocial and disturbed personalities".
In this terrifying reality the members of the LGBT community were trying to survive. In the mid-60s something begins to change. Fueled by young progressive movements, homosexuals are taking the first steps for their rights. Some gathered in gay bars and clubs, their own sanctuaries, where they could express themselves and socialize without danger. These shops are turning into nuclei of the movement.
New York's authority, arguing that even a mere gathering of gays constituted a danger and "disorder," imposed fines and closed establishments that served alcohol to known or "suspected" members of the LGBT community. The relevant law, thanks to the efforts of activists, was partially amended in 1966, allowing the serving of alcohol, but public homosexual behavior (for example, kissing or even holding hands and dancing) was still illegal.
So we arrive at 1969 and June 28th . In the early hours of the morning, the police attempt one of their usual raids on StoneWall , a gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village in New York City. But this time things turned out very differently . The police forces, in their attempt to arrest the employees and customers, were faced with the reaction of the patrons and the residents of the area.
That night, unlike what had happened in the past, the crowd did not disperse, did not run for cover in fear of arrest. In fact, as time went by, the gathered people grew, wanting to express their opposition to the constant harassment of the police and social discrimination. Eyewitnesses remember that at one point a police officer hit a woman on the head, as he was trying to force her into the police vehicle during her arrest. She called on people to act, triggering a shower of stones, bottles and other objects against the police.
"A series of incidents are happening at the same time. There is no one event or one person, there is only one outburst of crowd anger ," activists said. Within a short time, angry riots broke out involving hundreds of people, while the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF), the anti-protest unit, also made an appearance. Clashes continue throughout the night and the situation gradually calms down as the crowd begins to leave to return the next day for a new dynamic mobilization.
It was the start of a six-day uprising centered on Stonewall with demonstrations and clashes spreading to the area and nearby Christopher Park. Although less intense social eruptions had preceded it, the Stonewall events marked a historic turning point for gay rights and acted as a catalyst for the LGBT community movement in the US and around the world. The organization of homosexuals is strengthened and the Gay Liberation Front is created, which will play a key role in the next years in the movement. At the same time organizations for the rights of homosexuals are appearing in many countries.
On the one-year anniversary of the riots, on June 28, 1970, thousands of people marched through the streets of Manhattan from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park in a march dubbed Christopher Street Liberation Day . The central slogan was: "Say it loud, I'm gay and I'm proud." It was the first gay pride parade (Gay Parade) in the USA . It was the birth of Gay Pride , celebrated every year in many countries in the month of July, and June 28 has now been established as International Gay Pride Day.