In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.
Prominent Figures in the Stonewall riots:
Stormé DeLarverie was a lesbian whose scuffle with police was, according to Stormé and many eyewitnesses, the spark that ignited the Stonewall riots, spurring the crowd to action.
Marsha P. Johnson was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.
Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt is an American artist and one of the few surviving figures from the riots.
Sylvia Ray Rivera was a Latina American gay liberation and transgender rights activist significant in the LGBT history of New York City and of the United States as a whole.
LGBTQ+ History: 1969 to 2019
The Stonewall riots take place in America.
The Campaign for Homosexual Equality is formed, making it the first LGBTQ+ advocacy group in the UK.
The Nullity of Marriage Act is passed, banning marriages between same-sex couples.
The first Pride is held in London, attracting approximately 2,000 participants.
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, an information and support helpline for LGBTQ+ people, is established.
Labour MP Maureen Colquhoun comes out as a lesbian, making her the first MP to do so.
The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, now the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, is founded.
The first Black Gay and Lesbian Group is formed in the UK.
The first case of AIDS in the UK is documented.
Terry Higgins dies of AIDS and the UK’s first HIV/AIDS charity, the Terry Higgins Trust (later known as the Terrence Higgins Trust) is founded in his honour.
Men who have sex with men are asked not to donate to UK blood banks amid the AIDS crisis.
Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign is launched in support of striking workers.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher introduces Section 28, forcing local authorities not to “intentionally promote homosexuality”.
Sir Ian McKellen comes out on BBC Radio in response to Section 28.
Denmark becomes the first country in the world to legally recognise same-sex partnerships.
Gay advocacy charity Stonewall is founded.
A candlelight vigil is held in London for five murdered gay men. The campaign group OutRage is formed in response to call for police to better protect gay and bisexual men.
Manchester and Northern Ireland both hold their first Pride events.
The World Health Organisation stops classifying same-sex attraction as a mental illness.
The age of consent is lowered from 21 to 18 for men who have sex with men. There is still no age of consent for women who have sex with women set.
The court case P vs S and Cornwall County Council finds that an employee about to undergo gender reassignment was wrongfully dismissed, making it the first piece of case law to prevent discrimination against transgender people in employment.
Waheed Alli becomes the first openly gay member of the House of Lords and one of the few openly gay Muslims in the public eye.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is founded to memorialise those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and bring attention to continued violence against transgender people.
The UK government lifts the ban on lesbians, gay men and bisexual people serving in the armed forces.
The age of consent for men who have sex with men is lowered to 16 and introduced into law for women who have sex with women, also at 16, making it the same for everyone regardless of gender.
Equal rights are granted to same-sex couples applying for adoption.
The UK government recognises that being transgender is not a mental illness.
Section 28 is repealed, allowing local authorities to treat homosexuality as acceptable.
Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations become law in the UK, making it illegal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.
The Civil Partnership Act is passed, allowing civil partnerships for same-sex couples to give them the same rights as married couples.
The Gender Recognition Act is passed, giving trans people the chance to apply for their gender to be legally recognised.
The Adoption and Children Act officially comes into force, allowing unmarried and same-sex couples to apply for joint adoption.
The European Court of Human Rights finds that denying state pension from a trans woman at 60 (the age at which other women can access their pension) is a breach of the right to private life.
The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act recognises same-sex couples as the legal parents of children conceived through donated sperm, eggs or embryos.
The UK government apologises for the treatment of Alan Turing, who played a crucial part in the war effort during World War II but was chemically castrated because of his homosexuality.
The Conservative Party apologises for Section 28.
The Equality Act officially adds gender reassignment as a protected characteristic and an allowance for religious groups to perform civil partnerships on their premises.
The Department of Health lifts the lifetime ban on men who have sex with men donating blood, instead changing this to a required 12 months of celibacy.
Stonewall begins working with human rights defenders to campaign for gay rights in 80 countries across the world.
Ofsted school inspections begin explicitly referencing homophobic bullying.
Protection of Freedoms Act is passed in the UK allowing for historic convictions for consensual sex between men to be removed from criminal records.
Same-sex couples are granted the right to marry in England and Wales.
The first Trans Pride takes place in Brighton.
Queen Elizabeth II grants Alan Turing a posthumous pardon.
Nikki Sinclaire comes out as transgender, making her the first openly trans member of Parliament.
The USA legalises same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Stonewall begins campaigning for transgender equality.
An attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando that kills 49 people and injures 53. Major cities across the world hold vigils to show solidarity with the victims.
The Department of Health reduces the deferral period for men who have sex with men who wish to donate blood from 12 months to 3 months.
Inclusive relationships and sex education becomes mandatory in all schools across England and Wales.