What to watch for outside the Stonewall tonight.
The Stonewall 50 rally will get underway at 6 p.m. outside the historic Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, where people have been gathering for hours in 90-degree heat to hear speakers and performers mark the anniversary of the uprising at the bar in 1969, a seminal event in the gay rights movement.
The speakers — who include Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Stacy Lentz, co-owner of the Stonewall — will take the stage at Christopher Street and Waverly Place. Earlier in the day, Lady Gaga urged the crowd to keep fighting for equality and Alicia Keys sang “True Colors,” the Cyndi Lauper song that has become a kind of gay anthem.
The rally is a launch into the final weekend of Pride month and one of the highlights of WorldPride, which is in New York for the first time.
Over three hours, the speakers are expected to talk about how far L.G.B.T.Q. equality has come, and the road ahead. Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse Nightclub, where 49 people were killed in a 2016 mass shooting, will address the crowd, as will Harnaam Kaur, who is known as the “Bearded Dame” and is a body positivity activist.
If the weekend is about celebration — with Saturday’s Dyke March and Sunday’s Pride March — tonight’s rally will take a slightly more serious tone, reflecting on that night 50 years ago, when a police raid at the Stonewall led to demonstrations and resistance, and transformed the modern gay-rights movement. — Corey Kilgannon
They came to celebrate Stonewall and be a part of history.
Visitors came from around the block and around the world, streaming through the streets surrounding the Stonewall Inn.
Storefronts flew rainbow flags and pumped pulsing pop music onto the sidewalks, where vendors hawked Pride merchandise.
Police officers sought refuge from the sweltering sun in doorways, and firefighters rested on their hulking red trucks.
The crowd outside the Stonewall included Chris Conzen, 42, of Roxbury, N.J., and his daughter, Sara, 10, who had come to Manhattan to see a Broadway show. Mr. Conzen said he wanted to give Sara the “basics” about Pride, so they stopped in Greenwich Village.
“I wanted her to know about the Stonewall, the harassment that happened 50 years ago and how a community finally started to fight back,” he said.
Adam Daicy, 33, and his partner of 15 years, Joey Figueiredo, 32, flew in from Kansas City, Mo., for the weekend’s festivities. Mr. Daicy’s hair was dyed purple and he wore glittery rainbow eye shadow; Mr. Figueiredo wore sunglasses and had a bright-pink beard.
“I wanted to be here to celebrate the biggest time in history,” Mr. Figueiredo said. — Derek M. Norman
The Police Department apologized for the 1969 raid in 2019.
The conflict between the police and the L.G.B.T.Q. community had been simmering long before the Stonewall uprising in 1969. It was on that June 28 night that the tension boiled over.
While law enforcement’s views of L.G.B.T.Q. people have improved since then, the police’s relationship with the community remains fraught. In recent years, activists had been pushing for Police Department officials to formally apologize for the crackdown.
They got their wish on June 6, when New York’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, formally apologized for the officers’ actions at Stonewall.
“What happened should not have happened,” Mr. O’Neill told the crowd at Police Headquarters.
It was a step toward reconciliation that was heralded by some activists. But others criticized the police for continuing practices that they said unfairly victimized L.G.B.T.Q. people, particularly transgender women of color.
The commissioner’s apology also came amid a debate over the role of the police in Pride events around the country. In New York, a group of activists created a separate march that excluded the police in an attempt to connect Pride back to the anti-police activity at Stonewall. — Michael Gold
‘Let’s show the world that love always wins,’ the former Pulse nightclub owner says.
When Barbara Poma opened the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in 2004, she wanted to make it the kind of place where L.G.B.T.Q. people would be proud to bring their mothers. Now she is trying to make it a place where survivors and others touched by the mass shooting that took place there on June 12, 2016, can find solace and peace.
Since the tragedy, which killed 49 people, Ms. Poma has founded the OnePulse Foundation, whose mission is to build a permanent memorial and museum on the site of the former nightclub, which never reopened. It would also endow 49 scholarships, one for each life lost.
In keeping with the more somber tone of the rally tonight, Ms. Poma will be among the featured speakers. One of the themes of the evening is finding strength to transform the painful history of exclusion faced by L.B.G.T.Q. people into fuel for positive action.
“It was hard to come to grips with my new reality, but it’s something I have to do; it’s something I know I was called to do, and I am honored to do it,” Ms. Poma said in a video on her OnePulse Foundation website. “Let’s show the world that love always wins.” — Sharon Otterman