On this day in 2016, President Barack Obama announced that
the Stonewall Inn, the epicenter of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the birthplace
of America’s modern LGBT rights movement, was officially a U.S.
National Monument under the protection of the U.S. National Parks Service.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from all
around the world have been existing in the United States and combating
systematic violence for centuries, but it wasn’t until the riots at the Stonewall
Inn in New York City that those individual struggles coalesced into a true
liberation movement. The Stonewall Inn has been a sacred place to the LGBT
community since 1969, and with President Obama’s 2016 announcement the nation recognized that Stonewall should be sacred to all and that LGBT history
cannot be divided from the whole of American history. The actual monument covers
8 acres in Greenwich Village aside from the Stonewall Inn itself and it is the
very first site in the U.S. National Parks System dedicated to LGBT history.
People gather to look at a makeshift memorial for victims of the Orlando nightclub shootings in front of the historic Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the West Village, on June 13, in New York. Courtesy of Kathy Willens/AP (x).
with the consecration of The Stonewall National Monument, the National Parks
Service also published LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer History in 2016 – a 1200-page study of LGBTQ American
history as a part of their extensive “Who We Are” program. The study includes essays such as The Preservation of LGBTQ Heritage by Gail Dubrow,
Breathing Fire: Remembering Asian Pacific American Activism in Queer History by Amy Sueyoshi, and so much more. If you’re a fan of our blog, we definitely recommend checking out what this study has to offer!