Fifty years ago, the night of Marsha P Johnson’s birthday at the Stonewall Inn was not considered anything special.
A bunch of people considered perverts protesting against the police? Even in the days afterwards, it was a non-story. Press in New York City denigrated them. History could have forgotten them.
But something changed.
Instead of fading away, a spotlight sparkles on that night in Greenwich Village. It’s become stuff of legend, an ember glowing in our shared history, sparking fires of resistance across the decades.
That’s why people are celebrating that night today (28 June). It cannot be credited for every moment of LGBTI rights progress in the last five decades – that’s thanks to thousands of people across the globe. But that night does stand for something wonderful.
Since the beginning of 2019, Gay Star News has published 50 articles from diverse voices around the world. Three of those people were at the night 50 years ago. All of them discuss the past, present and future of our struggle for love and liberation.
People who were at the Stonewall Riots
Pride after the riots
Rev. Irene Monroe: I was at Stonewall and have seen it whitewashed
Nance Lomax: What was it like to be a 15-year-old trans teen at the Stonewall riots?
John O’Brien: I rioted at Stonewall in 1969 – and there remain battles to be won
Countries had their own Stonewall moment
Mayu Otaki (L) and Misato Kawasaki | Photo: Instagram/loveislove.japan
Robert French: Sydney’s Stonewall: how New York’s riots shaped LGBTI activism in Australia
Taiga Ishikawa: Partnerships, politics, and Japan’s own Stonewall Riot
Dede Oetomo: Trans women led Indonesia’s LGBTI movement and this is why it’s important
Erik Alexander: How the Stonewall revolution took a few more years to reach the South
Jane Fae: You might not have heard of Italy’s Stonewall moment but it’s so important
Harish Iyer: How India’s Stonewall played out in the country’s courts
Peter Tatchell: Are today’s activists lacking what the Stonewall rioters had?
Owner Kurt Kelly and co-owner and CEO of the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative Stacy Lentz posing in front of the Inn. | Photo: Michael Salinari
Jeremy Helligar: The Stonewall effect: How gay pride and black power shaped me
Elie Ballan: Coming out in Lebanon was my own act of rebellion, but the fight isn’t over
Liam Campbell: Sex, socks and Stonewall: How my 1st NYC trip made me the person I am today
Anonymous: Why it might as well be me who fights for equality in my rural community
Joseph-Zane Sikulu: I am a gay Tongan man trying to figure out how we all fit in
Amir Ashour: Gay man who fled Iraq reveals all: Being LGBTI is a ‘death sentence’
Fred Dixon: Gay guy who’s the boss of NYC tourism on what Stonewall anniversary means to him
Jide Macaulay: How the Stonewall riots inspired me and continue to offer hope to millions
Kakyo Trinah: Meet with the woman using art and fashion to change LGBTI lives in Uganda
Jack Ganbaatar: Growing up gay in Mongolia
Zuheir Kreidieh: I had to leave Lebanon after I came out as gay and HIV positive on TV
Ignas Rekasius: Lithuania’s LGBTI community refuse to hide away any more
Erin Curran: Northern Ireland: When will we get the rights we’re entitled to?
LGBTI life today
Frank Mugisha is the director of Sexual Minorities Uganda | Photo: Supplied
Javid Nabiyev: Azerbaijan is the worst place to be LGBTI in Europe and here’s why
Tarek Zeidan: For LGBTI people in Lebanon, they go through their own Stonewall everyday
Jay Lin: LGBTI life in Taiwan tells us progress is not always a straight line
Freddie Cosmo: I’ve performed at the Stonewall Inn 100 times: here’s why it’s cooler than ever
Lisa Amin: No Pride in policing: systemic oppression has no place in our parade
Omid Razavi: Kids deserve access to LGBTI-inclusive history lessons
Giorgi Tabagari: Police refuse to protect Pride after violence in Georgia
Jordan Charles: You don’t have to march at Pride to show your pride
Libby Baxter-Williams: 50 years after the riots, queer spaces are still not safe for all of us
Frank Mugisha: This is how anti-gay governments suppress the next LGBTI rebellion
AR Fathy: 50 years after the riots, nothing has changed for LGBTIs in Egypt
Carrying on the legacy
Madonna and her son David perform at the Stonewall Inn | Photo: Twitter/
Carla Ecola: Homeless queer people started our revolution, so why do we forget about them?
Stacy Lentz: How we carry on the legacy of the Stonewall Inn 50 years after that night
Luke Waltham: LGBTI celebrities, politicians and influencers play major roles in the fight for equality
Matthew Hodson: We needed the fighting spirit of Stonewall when AIDS hit our communities
Lacey Lou: Queer queens and trans women started the riot, yet the spotlight is on guys
Sacha Coward: Stonewall is just one, important part of our never-ending queer history
Shaun Dellenty: If we don’t teach children about diversity, lives will be lost
Matthew Todd: What the Stonewall pioneers fought for is at risk
Protesters fighting for transgender rights | Photo: Twitter
Spencer Freitas: There is hope for the non-binary community
Lewis Oakley: The Stonewall riots prove you can change the world over night
June Chua: Why transgender people are agents of change
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil: Why India’s Stonewall may be just around the corner
Jeff Graham: Is Georgia at a tipping point on LGBTI rights?
Suelle Anglin: Jamaica is changing – and our Gay Agenda shows the way forward
Rémy Bonny: What we should demand from world leaders 50 years after Stonewall
Alexis Gregory: Carrying on the riot