The Stonewall Riots Celebrate its 45th Anniversary this June 28

Abby Shapiro, Managing Editor

One of 50,000 marchers carries a sign during New York’s annual Gay Pride Day parade, June 28, 1981. The parade, which commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Stonewall riot, moved up Fifth Avenue to a rally in Central Park. (AP Photo/G. Paul Burnett)

The infamous Stonewall Riots will be celebrating its 48th birthday this June.

The Stonewall Riots were a series of violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT community when the Stonewall Inn, an openly gay establishment, was raided by police on June 28, 1969. The Inn was raided for housing drag queens, transgenders, homosexuals, and more when homosexuality was illegal in all states except Illinois. This act initiated by the police created a push for the gay liberation movement, and thousands in the LGBT community began to fight back.

According to, when the Stonewall Inn was raided, three drag queens and a lesbian were forced into a police van which caused many LGBT bystanders to fight back by throwing bottles at the police, shouting, “gay power.” When the news of these protests broke out, the rioting began to disperse into streets close by, lighting a flame into what was known as “The Stonewall Riots.”

The Stonewall Riots are considered to be one of the first major protests on behalf of equal rights for homosexuals.

Within two years of the riots, according to The Leadership Conference, gay rights groups were created in all major cities, with discussions sparking across New York City in regards to civil rights.

When the crowd began to build, the police beat them away. But, the next night, the crowd came back with a larger number of people, joining in with full support.

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, The Stonewall Riots acted as a catalyst for a new generation of political activism.

Although The Stonewall Riots created violence and hatred between the LGBT community and police officers, it paved a way for adults and children to reach acceptance.