The Spirit of Stonewall
‘I remember when someone threw a Molotov cocktail, I thought, ‘My God, the revolution is here. The revolution is finally here!’
This year we celebrate 50 years of PRIDE – and the first Gay Pride was a riot! On June 28th, 1969 members of the LGBT community violently and spontaneously demonstrated against a police raid that began in the early morning hours at the Stonewall Inn. Widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.
Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1960s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. The Stonewall Inn was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. Tensions between NYC police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again serval nights later. Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.
On June 8th, at CrossFit Milford we hosted our 2nd Annual Pride WOD to celebrate and commemorate the Stonewall Riots, and in particular the Vanguard – the pioneers of this time that dug in, stood up, fought back, and demanded their civil rights: Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Storme DeLarverie. Paying tribute to these amazing rebels for their lifelong work of organizing and activism.
The message was clear, Love Wins, 140 people came together to sweat and commemorate Pride, at CFM. Raising awareness and demonstrating acceptance of the LGBTQ community, Mayor Ben Blake made an official proclamation on behalf of the City of Milford, recognizing June as Pride Month and June 8th as CrossFit Milford Pride Workout Day.
Together as community full of love, we raised $1800 to benefit the Ali Forney Center, https://www.aliforneycenter.org, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to homeless LGBTQ youth, providing support and services to escape the streets and begin living healthy and independent lives.
Thank you to the Pride of people that made this year’s WOD possible. The story of the fight for equality is still being written today.
To learn more about the story of the fight for equality, experience Stonewall Forever: https://stonewallforever.org and take a journey through history or download the app for a free augmented reality and 360-degree view of Christopher Street Park.