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West Suffolk Liberal Democrats

51 Years Since the Stonewall Riots

June 18, 2020 3:15 PM
By Coralie Ayala
Originally published by Chesterfield Liberal Democrats


Pride was spearheaded by black and trans women who put their lives at risk for others.

On the morning of June 28 1969, police raided an underground gay bar in New York city called Stonewall Inn. The raid wasn't unusual but that morning the response was.

This time, as the police got violent, the people in the Stonewall Inn fought back.

Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, threw the first brick. Stormé DeLarverie, a black lesbian woman, threw the first punch. And so began the Stonewall riots.

To this day, the Stonewall riots are widely considered to be one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT+ rights.

To mark the one year anniversary of the riots, the first Pride marches took place in cities across America. They remembered and continued the fight against racist and homophobic police brutality and harassment.

Pride was born out of a riot. This year, we need to honour and remember that.

This Pride month began in the midst of one of the biggest waves of public demonstration against racial injustice since the civil rights protests in the 1960s. The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of US police, has sparked worldwide outrage and protests.

Without the activism of black protesters, there would be no Pride. They were there at Stonewall, and continue to fight for a more understanding and equal society. This Pride month, the LGBTQ+ community must stand with the black community in a historic, pivotal moment of change.

This Pride month is shaping up to be what pride is truly about. Celebrating equality and inclusivity of everyone under the rainbow - regardless of race, sexuality or gender identity.

Pride began to remember the Stonewall Riots. And the Stonewall Riots began with black queer women.

As we celebrate Pride this month, we need to stand with black communities around the world. We need to amplify their voices, support their struggle, and fight for what's right. The LGBTQ+ community needs to say, loud and clear, that black lives matter.


The Liberal Democrats believe in a modern Britain of genuine openness and equality without exception. We champion a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect irrespective of their background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other part of an individual's identity.

We have a long and proud history of standing up for what's right; we are the party that successfully fought for same-sex marriage, gender pay gap reporting and ensured that upskirting was outlawed. But the fight doesn't stop there, today we are challenging the gender price gap and proudly standing up for Trans rights. Diversity and inclusion are right at the heart of our constitution, which you can read here: www.libdems.org.uk/constitution.