“Join the Rainbow Pilgrimage” is the advertising slogan behind the attempt to make New York City into a lavender tourist destination this June when Gay Pride intersects with the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.
“And what is Stonewall?” I hear anyone under a certain age (i.e., 90) asking. Well, it’s the legendary West Village bar which, in 1969, became a really happening place when cops raided the joint and the gays fought back, creating the transitional moment in the modern LGBT movement. It was so amazing that there are still thousands of people today claiming to have been there, even though the bar only fit a handful of nellies and some drag queens.
Interestingly, Judy Garland had died not long before that event, so the gays were already anguished enough and extra ready to tussle with oppression. And now, 40 years later…parties! And marches! And protests! And more parties! And all sorts of doings signifying that while we’re come a long way, there are still a lot of proverbial police out there trying to kick our tight asses and we’ve got to sharpen our heels and kick ’em right back.