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Stonewall 50: From Uprising to the Gay Rights Movement

Participants of the gay pride parade stand in front of the Stonewall Inn

June 2019 Pride Month marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. In "Stonewall 50" WFUV News explores the events leading up to the night of June 28, 1969 and the past five decades of the LGBTQIA+ movement.

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)


The Gay Liberation Movement is widely recognized as having begun nearly fifty years ago in New York City. On June 28, 1969, patrons at a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn fought back against police harassment during a raid.

Now, these raids happened on a regular basis, but for some reason, things were different that night. The riots lasted for six nights and sparked activism and a shift in perception of LGBT people. They would not hide who they were and they demanded equal rights.

In this hour-long documentary, we’ll hear about the night in question from several people who were there. We’ll also hear from a film professor about how the evolution of media portrayals of LGBT people has changed since the Stonewall Uprising. We’ll hear from LGBT pioneers, like Fred Sargeant, who was an organizer of the first Pride March. We’ll also hear from Keith St. John: the first openly gay African American elected to public office, and Billy Bean, the only living openly gay Major League Baseball Player, current or former.


Narrator & Producer: Stephanie Cohen
News Director & Editor: George Bodarky
Reporters: Caroline Albacete, Stephanie Cohen, Emmanuel Berbari, Natalie Migliore, Julia Rose Herman