One of New York City’s cultural landmarks, the Stonewall Inn, is in danger of closing due to the coronavirus shutdown and is asking for the public’s support. The owners write in a GoFundMe campaign that the bar faces an “uncertain future” and that they are in need of community support: “We are reaching out because like many families and small businesses around the world, The Stonewall Inn is struggling. Our doors have been closed for over three months to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of patrons, staff and the community. Even in the best of times it can be difficult to survive as a small business and we now face an uncertain future. Even once we reopen, it will likely be under greatly restricted conditions limiting our business activities.”
The Stonewall Inn is the heart of the LGBTQ movement in New York, the location of the 1969 “Stonewall Riots” — a defining moment in both American and LGBTQ history. The three-day standoff between police and the gay community was a galvanizing moment in the history of the gay rights movement. In June 2015, the Stonewall Inn was declared a New York City landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission for its significance in advancing civil rights and the building’s history as a reminder of the struggle for equality. Separately, it also listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the first inclusion of a LGBTQ historic site.
The GoFundMe message also addresses how the owners “resurrected” the bar after it was closed previously, and they write, that “we stand ready to do it again- with your help. We worked diligently to resurrect it as a safe space for the community and to keep the Stonewall Inn at the epicenter of the fight for the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It has been a community tavern, but also a vehicle to continue the fight that started there in 1969. Stonewall is the place the community gathers for celebrations, comes to grieve in times of tragedy, and rally to continue the fight for full global equality.”
Next read more about the history of the Stonewall Inn.