Stonewall National Monument to Honor LGBT Rights

Add this NYC stop to your national parks list.

On Friday, President Obama annouced that a new monument was added to the national parks system: The Stonewall National Monument. The historic New York City site of the Stonewall Uprising honors the history of and movement for LGBT equality.

This is the Stonewall Inn in New York City's Greenwich Village. This popular tavern became the center of a burgeoning civil rights movement after gay and lesbians fought back against a routine police raid in 1969.

On this day, June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular club for LGBT people. It wasn't the first time, but this time a riot broke out on Christopher Street and Christopher Street Park. The following week of protests around Stonewall sparked a movement for LGBT Americans.

The Stonewall Inn is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but now the National Parks Service will protect more than 7 acres of land that contains the inn, park and side streets where other protests occurred. 

Like other LGBT travelers, the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park have been on my travel bucket list, right up there with attending a major Pride festival. It's important to me to visit and give thanks for the men and women who were trailblazers and fought for equal rights decades ago. Now that this spot is a national monument, it feels even more important because LGBT history is finally being recogized as an important part of the American story. I've collected a lot of stamps in my national parks passport, but I can't wait for the day I stamp for Stonewall. I imagine I'll feel a lot of things, but mostly pride.

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