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above: Sylvia Rivera, left, and Marsha P. Johnson protest at a rally for gay rights in New York in 1973. (Diana Davies/Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library), Washington Post.

Fifty two years ago today, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. Police specifically targeted the establishment's transgender patrons and drag performers of color. Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Stormé DeLarverie, and others at the Stonewall that night made history - by fighting back. By the early morning hours, the police had barricaded themselves inside, while thousands of protestors gathered in the streets outside the bar. The Stonewall Riot continued until July 1. One year later, the first gay pride parade set out from the Stonewall. Although there have been great strides for LGBTQ people in the United States and around the world since that time, in the first six months of this year alone, 33 states have introduced over 100 bills to limit the rights of transgender people; and violence against gender non-confirming people, particularly Black and Brown transgender men and women, is at its highest levels since tracking began in 2013, with 44 murders in 2020 and, so far, 28 in 2021. 29 states still do not fully protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

There is much work to be done. Today, we honor the legacy of Johnson, Rivera, DeLarverie, and all those who have struggled for LGBTQ liberation; we celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ people around the world; and we acknowledge all the diverse struggles that intertwined that June night at the Stonewall - struggles against white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia.

Learn more about the Stonewall Riots by watching Stonewall Outloud, a StoryCorps project that gathered the stories of LGBTQ pioneers based on tape-recorded interviews. Or, dip into the award-winning documentaries, Before Stonewall, and After Stonewall, available via Kanopy from the UCI Libraries (using the VPN).