The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall
rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the
gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning
hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village
neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.
They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the
gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.
Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-gay legal system. Early homophile groups
in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored
non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the
1960s, however, were very contentious, as many social/political movements were active,
including the Civil Rights Movement, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the anti-Vietnam War
movement. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served
as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.
Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did
were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall
Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and 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. They attracted a crowd that was incited to riot. Tensions between New York City
police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and
again several 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.
After the Stonewall riots, gays and lesbians in New York City faced gender, race, class, and
generational obstacles to becoming a cohesive community. Within six months, two gay activist
organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three
newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. Within a few years, gay
rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first gay
pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago
commemorating the anniversary of the riots. Similar marches were organized in other cities.
Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark
the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall National Monument was established at the site in 2016.
Frederick "Freddie" Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a
British singer, songwriter and record producer, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band
Queen. He was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.Mercury wrote
numerous hits for Queen, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't
Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and "We Are the Champions". He led a solo career
while performing with Queen, and occasionally served as a producer and guest musician for other
Mercury was born of Parsi descent in the Sultanate of Zanzibar, and grew up there and in India before
moving with his family to Middlesex, England, in his teens. He formed Queen in 1970 with guitarist
Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Mercury died in 1991 at age 45 due to complications from AIDS,
having confirmed the day before his death that he had contracted the disease.
In 1992, Mercury was posthumously awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British
Music, and a tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium, London. As a member of Queen, he was
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the
UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2002, he was placed number 58 in the BBC's 2002 poll of the 100
Greatest Britons. He is consistently voted one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music.
In the early 1970s, Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he met through
guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington, London. By the mid-
1970s, the singer had begun an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records, and
in December 1976, Mercury told Austin of his sexuality, which ended their romantic relationship.
Mercury moved out of the flat they shared, into 12 Stafford Terrace in Kensington and bought Austin a
place of her own nearby. They remained close friends through the years, with Mercury often referring to
her as his only true friend. In a 1985 interview, Mercury said of Austin, "All my lovers asked me why
they couldn't replace Mary [Austin], but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary, and I
don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe
in each other, that's enough for me." He also wrote several songs about Austin, the most notable of
which is "Love of My Life". Mercury's final home, Garden Lodge, 1 Logan Place, a twenty-eight room
Georgian mansion in Kensington set in a quarter-acre manicured garden surrounded by a high brick
wall, had been picked out by Austin. In his will, Mercury left his London home to Austin, rather than his
partner Jim Hutton, saying to her, "You would have been my wife, and it would have been yours
anyway." Mercury was also the godfather of Austin's oldest son, Richard.
During the early- to mid-1980s, he was reportedly involved with Barbara Valentin, an Austrian actress,
who is featured in the video for "It's a Hard Life". However, in another article, Valentin was "just a
friend", and Mercury was really dating German restaurateur Winfried Kirchberger during this time. By
1985, he began another long-term relationship with hairdresser Jim Hutton (1949–2010). Hutton, who
was tested HIV-positive in 1990, lived with Mercury for the last six years of his life, nursed him during
his illness and was present at his bedside when he died. Hutton said Mercury died wearing the
wedding band that Hutton had given him.
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA is the First & Only organization for the So. Fla. Latinx|Hispanic|LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Community - advancing
Equality and Fairness through Education, Leadership & Awareness since 2002.
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA es la Primera y Unica organización en el sur de la Florida para la comunidad latinx|hispanx LGBT (lesbianas, gay,bisexual, transgénero)-
avanzando Igualdad, Liderazgo y Conciencia desde el 2002.