Key Players in the Stonewall Riots
There is debate on how the riots were sparked, however something that historians can agree on is the significant impact that BAME LGBT people and Trans Women had on the night. Some key players included;
Stormé DeLarverie - Stormé DeLarverie was a butch lesbian who is thought to have been hit by the police the night of the Stonewall Riots and sparked the crowd to fight back. She was a performer and gay civil rights activist and was known as the “guardian of lesbians” in Greenwich Village.
Marsha P. Johnson - Marsha P. Johnson was labeled as the person who ‘threw the first brick at Stonewall’. Though she herself denied this, stating she threw a shot glass and not even the first one - there is no denying that she had a huge impact on the night and on the LGBT community in general through her work helping the trans community in Christopher Street.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracey - Another Black Trans Woman involved in the night, Miss Major Griffin-Gracey was a leader in the riots and went on to be the executive director of the TGI Justice Project.
Sylvia Rivera - was also a key player in the riots who later went on to establish STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) an organisation providing housing and support to homeless LGBT+ Youth.
BIPOC LGBT people were monumental in the riots that began the modern LGBT rights movement, and have been heavily involved with many advances within the movement since the Stonewall Riots. It is important to remember the intersectionals of our community and involve ourselves in movements and organisations that help BIPOC also.
The Aftermath of the Stonewall Riots
The aftermath of the riot involved a surge of new gay right movements. The Gay Liberation Front was born, with a flyer announcing the occasion: "Do you think homosexuals are revolting? You bet your sweet ass we are." On June 28th 1970, the following year, a few hundred gay men and lesbians marched from Christopher Street up Sixth Ave and to Central Park bearing handmade banners with slogans like "Gay Pride" and "Gay is Good." It's the first gay pride march in New York—known back then as the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day. In London, the first Pride Parade took place in 1972. We now celebrate Pride annually as a way of both commemorating the generations before us and as a way to take pride in ourselves now. This is why it is important to us that we continue to celebrate Pride even now during lockdown.