The celebration and reflection we feel during Stonewall 50 / World Pride in NYC is an important statement attesting to the past, present, and future of the LGBT community. Beginning on the night of June 28, 1969, what started off as a police raid at the gay bar on Christopher Street soon became a multi-day act of resistance against decades of mistreatment and targeting. During the 50th anniversary of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn, we remember those who paved the way for the modern LGBTQ rights movement on the national and global scale.
Stonewall serves as a pivotal moment that led to the legalization of same-sex relationships and ultimately marriage, created space for active diversity and inclusion in the public and private sectors, and more notably, acted as one of the seminal turning points in LGBT American history. The Stonewall Inn was more than just a bar- it was and still is an LGBT business that welcomes everyone and is a home for LGBT community, especially LGBT youth. The Stonewall Inn symbolizes the strength of the LGBT community as well as economic empowerment that we now possess. In fact, as an active member of nglccNY, our New York Metro area LGBT and allied business network, they are a hub for regularly hosting meetups of our members and supporters in the business community.
(photo credit: gvshp.org)
NGLCC advocates for these safe spaces to continue to be created and for our legacy spaces to be preserved. Our network of LGBT owned businesses and business allies need them as a sanctuary of opportunity for the consumer, the worker, and the business owner. The connections made there are what help us succeed in the business community as well as our personal communities. Every visit to Stonewall, and its counterpart bars and spaces around the country, remind us that we are the heirs of legendary activists: every day queer citixens, drag queens, and transgender / gender nonconfirming women of color, who saw the need for change and took to the streets to launch a new era of social and economic justice. Stonewall 50 is about advancing the fight for equality in the face of ongoing and new challenges, vocalizing the needs of communities who have voiceless for far too long, and being proud of our economic strength to change hearts, minds, and entire industries with our clout.
At NGLCC, we are proud of those who stood up against the mistreatment of LGBT individuals on that night at the Stonewall Inn. Those who fought to preserve these safe spaces are leaders of the LGBT equality movement, and will never be forgotten. Because of Stonewall 50, we remember our past, celebrate our achievements, and participate in working towards a future with many more.
We hope you will share your stories of triumph with us online and in person as we continue the spirit of Pride at the 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference this August in Tampa. There has never been a more important time for our communities, all communities, to stand in solidarity for a society and an economy that welcomes all of us. In solitude and celebration, we wish you had a safe and wonderful Pride. Even though Pride month is over, we are committed to celebrating our true, authentic selves, every day of the year.
(photo credit: Getty Images)