Last Sunday, New York’s LGBT community celebrated another anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots when gay, lesbians and transgender individuals fought back police’s abuse and persecution.
The Stonewall riots, named after Christopher Street’s emblematic gay bar, marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement and have been celebrated ever since with “pride marches” across the country and around the world.
This year, the New York State gay parade also celebrated the first anniversary of marriage equality as well as what it seems like great progress in LGBT rights as prominent politicians – including New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the President of the United States himself – had voiced their support to the cause.
Following, 7 ways in which things have changed for the LGBT community on the 43rd anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots.
1. A Younger LGBT Generation:
This year’s parade attendees belong to a much younger generation than the one who was systematically abused and beaten up by police in the 1960s. Will LGBT millennials take for granted the right to get married in the state of New York – and event just hold hands on the street – four decades after their brave ancestors fought discrimination?
2. A More Mixed and Diverse Community:
As it has been the case in recent times, this year’s parade crowd was more mixed and diverse, and not only generationally and ethnically. Rainbow flag-clad families, neighbors, co-workers and friends attended this year parade regardless of their sexual orientation in a gesture that demonstrates more acceptance and unity.
3. Cops Now on Our Side:
In 1969, police was deployed to Christopher Street to arrest gay and lesbians who were fed up after years of systematic abuse, which included raids to mob-owned clandestine gay bars. Now, the NYPD was present to protect the parade attendees and even share the spirit of celebration.
4. Smaller Parade:
The media commented how New York’s gay parade has shrunk over the last few years as mainstream society has become more accepting of gay people and the LGBT community has started to make some progress, such as marriage equality and the vocal support of prominent politicians. Will gay pride disappear once gay and lesbians enjoy society’s full benefits?
5. More Politicians Involved:
New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg – who marched on the parade – and President Obama are just two of many prominent politicians who have voiced support for the gay community. As the LGBT community's political clout increases, will gay parades become hot spots for political organization and campaigning?
6. Marriage Equality, Trans Inequality:
Though gay and lesbians have now the right to marry in New York state, transgender people are still trapped in the 1960s as their rights continue to be violated in the work place and even on the streets. Are transgender rights the LGBT’s community next fight?
7. The Kids Are All Right:
As a new generation of gay parents raises their children, kids have become the new allies in the fight for LGBT rights. However, though marriage equality is now a reality for gay New Yorkers, there is still work to be done regarding gay adoption.