June is Pride month, the time the LGBT community with its allies commemorate the Stonewall riots that happened 49 years ago on June 28, 1969. On this day, unplanned violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community occurred in response to a police raid in the early morning hours at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwhich Village, a neighborhood in Manhattan (New York City).
These riots are the precursors that led to the gay liberation movement and the fight for gay (LGBT) rights that are still happening today.
Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: Drag queens, transgender folk, Butch women, gay men, male prostitutes and more..
Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960’s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. They attracted a crowd that was incited to riot. Tensions between NYC cops and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later.
Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexuality and gender without fear of being arrested.
Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Soon after, other cities followed. Today, these marches have turned into family friendly events and reflect how far the LGBT movement has come.
However, it’s important in our modern political climate that LGBT folks and straight allies don’t forget the not-too-distant past. While Pride has become very inclusive, it should serve as a reminder of where we came from and could return if the LGBT movement stops pushing and moving forward.
Urban Animal Veterinary Hospital is gay owned and operated, which is why we celebrate our diverse staff, animal patients and clientele as well as the month of Pride.
Come join us for the festivities and fly your flag!
Urban Animal Veterinary Hospital
1327 Yale St
Houston, TX 77008