By Marta Rodriguez Martinez & Alastair Jamieson with AP
Pride Day commemorates the Stonewall riots, considered the most important event in the gay liberation movement in the United States.
It occurred at the Stonewall Inn, a tavern in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York, popular then with the LGBT community. Demonstrations began in the early morning of June 28, 1962 when police raided the Stonewall Inn.
Raids on gay bars were a regular occurrence, but this time aggressive agents were challenged by angry customers and lost control of the scene. Customers and passers-by began to congregate outside the tavern and the situation turned into a full-on riot.
Three nights of further unrest followed.
The event is considered a milestone in the defence of the LGBT community in the United States, a collective response to frustration generated by the homophobia of the era, in particular the hostility from law enforcement and absence of any laws to protect gay people.
In 2016, former US President Barack Obama established the Stonewall National Monument in the area.
“This anniversary is a reminder of the power of standing together in defiance of those who seek to divide us,” explains UK rights group, Stonewall.
Mark Segal, who was 18 at the time of the riot and witnessed it at first hand, said the event was a turning point,
«That night, the police pushed, and when they pushed, we pushed back. It was no more,» he said.
«The gay movement gives voice to people who are trying to end invisibility. And I think we’ve done a good job over the last 50 years,» he said.