The Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, survived the coronavirus pandemic and remains open as a space for all members of the LGBTQ+ community to live out the legacy of those who fought for their equality. Following riots that ensued in the early hours of June 28, 1969, many members of the LGBTQ+ community found the courage to speak out against legislation and leaders who oppressed them. This encouraged a movement for LGBTQ+ rights that continues today.
52 years following the riots, New York City celebrates Pride Month by flying Pride flags and holding a parade, which will be on June 27th this year. Those who want to visit Stonewall Inn can do so and celebrate with New York City residents along with tourists who are proud to be part of or an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
1. The club began as Bonnie’s Stonewall Inn
Bonnie’s Stonewall Inn was initially located at 91 Seventh Avenue South. Here, owner Vincent Bonavia opearted the inn as a Speakeasy during the Prohibition era and sold light meals and beverages. The police raided in 1930, shutting it down. Prohibition would later end in December 1933.
When Bonnie’s Stonewall Inn reopened at 51-53 Christopher Street in 1934, it finally legally served alcoholic drinks. Popular myth says that a lesbian named Bonnie owned the joint, but this has been proven false. It was only years later that the hidden tavern became a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ+ community.