United States

Hartford Marks 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots

Friday was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and people came out to Hartford to mark the occasion and to celebrate diversity and each other.

It was a major turning point for the gay rights movement.

"I think it's important to show support for all people and be present for all people," said New Haven resident Odia Kane.

That's what many came out to do in Hartford Friday night at the "Pride Under the Stars" event near city hall.

"I appreciate that tenacity for all those who helped pave the way for us to be able to be here, be in a safe space like Hartford, to live, and be who we are," said LGBTQ+ Commission Secretary Curtis Porter III.

That tenacity was in full view back in 1969 when the Stonewall Uprising began fifty years ago to the day.

"At one this morning was the beginning of the riots in Greenwich Village in that bar called Stonewall," said Dr. Richard Stillson with Hartford Pride.

The NYPD raided the gay club. Back then, police could arrest people showing same-sex affection, but that morning many resisted. For days, thousands protested. It served as a critical moment for the gay rights movement in the US and around the world.

"We have pride parades because of Stonewall," said Porter. "Each time there's a pride parade, there's a piece of Stonewall in that."

Those at "Pride Under the Stars" say there's still more work to do but that the progress made is something to celebrate.

"I think we're celebrating people. People living their lives, people being who they are, and as boldly as possible even when they're told they can't," said Kane.

"I want to tell everyone just be yourself because you are authentic and you should love yourself and it shouldn't matter what anybody else thinks but you," said Hartford resident Jesy Clausell.

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