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Rally Commemorates Half Century Since Stonewall

Thousands jammed blocks surrounding historic bar in June 28 gathering

The crowd that filled Christopher Street and Waverly Place outside the Stonewall Inn on Friday, June 28 for the WorldPride rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.
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In the early evening and well past the setting of the sun on June 28 — exactly 50 years after the Stonewall Uprising began following a police raid on the West Village bar — WorldPride hosted a commemorative rally at Christopher Street and Waverly Place outside the historic Stonewall Inn.

Among several dozen speakers were grand marshals of the June 30 WorldPride March — Monica Helms, the creator of the Transgender Flag; Lady Phyll, a co-founder of UK Black Pride; and Amit Paley, representing the group he heads, the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention group.

Elected officials who spoke included out gay City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Mayor Bill de Blasio, West Side Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Darragh Dandurand, the rally director for NYC Pride, which produced the WorldPride activities in June, including Sunday’s march, explained that the rally aimed to “honor the diverse voices and diverse issues that have marked the remarkable progress of the LGBTQIA community over the past half century,” while recognizing “the critical importance of the need to continue our unrelenting fight for progress on so many fronts as we work toward full equality.”

Martha Shelley, an early activist first with the Daughters of Bilitis and later with the Gay Liberation Front, who witnessed the Stonewall Uprising.
The Gays Against Guns’ Human Beings, who represent those lost to gun violence.
Monica Helms, the creator of the Transgender Flag and a grand marshal at the WorldPride March on June 30.
Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse nightclub who now leads the onePULSE Foundation, with Neema Bahrami, a survivor of the June 2016 attack on the club.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
Río Sofia, a trans woman speaking on behalf of Planned Parenthood, where she is a client.
Lady Phyll, a co-founder of UK Black Pride who is a grand marshal at the June 30 WorldPride March.
The LGBT Big Apple Corps Band.
Cathy Marino-Thomas, speaking on behalf of Gays Against Guns.
Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The drag artists of Stephanie’s Child: Jansport, Rosé, and Lagoona Bloo.
A woman on her way to the June 28 rally.
The Momma’s Boyz Drag Kings.
West Side Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Amit Paley, executive director of the Trevor Project, which is among the grand marshals on June 30.
Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate and retired Army captain who was a leader in the fight against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and now heads the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
Sateen, the married lesbian disco duo of Exqusite and Miss Queen Sateen.
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Emma González, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting and a gun control activist.
Robyn Kennedy, a member of the Sydney 78ers, who marched in the Australian city’s first Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras, held June 24, 1978.
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, deputy commissioner for the Division of Disease Control of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Lars Henrikson of Copenhagen Pride, which plays host to WorldPride in 2021.
Drag artist Marti Gould Cummings, a founder of the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats.
Matthew Reimer and Leighton Brown, authors of “A Visual Guide to the History of Queer Liberation, So Far.”
Police Officer Joy Garcia.
David M. Greene, a gay veteran from Canton, Ohio, rainbowed up his mustache for the occasion.
A crowd member captures the scene on their phone.
The Stonewall Inn, where it all happened exactly 50 years earlier.
A rally attendee recalls what June 28, 1969 was all about.
Updated 10:11 pm, June 29, 2019
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Reader feedback

Kate Alucard from NA says:
Those are NOT the names of Sateen! Queenie and Ruby are their names and they do not go by anything else! Please correct.
July 1, 12:20 pm
Rusty Rose from Long Island says:
Darragh Durrand, James Fallarino and those at HOP did NOT honor surviving Stonewall Participants. I am a Trailblazer and was pulled from the HOP Rally after asking at the LGBTQ Center about why the SVA (Stonewall Rebellion Veterans' Assn.) was not honored on the 50th. This is the organization of Storme DeLarvarie, Sylvia Rivera, I and others. It was posed as a question, not a confrontation. I was immediately pulled from rally. I am a LGBTQ Poet Laureate! My poem Put the T has world recognition. Coming soon: Inside Stonewall, a documentary by the Riot police at Stonewall and the NYPD/Hudson Blue productions. So all this HOP talk about honoring Stonewall Trailblazers and love in the community is pure Bunk!
July 1, 1:59 pm

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