Where It All Started

PHOTOS: Outside Stonewall Bar At the Birth of Marriage Equality

I joined the Sheridan Square throngs late last night, just after the New York State Senate approved the same-sex marriage bill in Albany. Over 1,000 people came down to the Village to celebrate in front of the Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay-rights movement was born. Revelers hugged and kissed complete strangers on the street, lovers embraced for pictures, and people weaved in and out of the crowd with tears of joy streaming down their faces. I walked past the Duplex bar and heard local favorite Shanna Sharp singing an Adele cover and looked up to see an enormous rainbow flag raised above the Stonewall.

I thought back to the brave men and women who stood up and fought back in the summer of 1969, of those who marched in the streets year after year, and everyone who had taken a personal risk to speak out against oppression and up for equality. This is a momentous occasion, we have seized the day, and the sweet victory of equality is finally ours. Happy Pride, New York!

 

Photography by Jeffrey James Keyes