Monday, September 2, 2013

I for Harmony

Resuming the CBC VIBGYOR tag after the spirited post here,

The Stonewall riots of '69 were perhaps the biggest inspiration to the whole Pride movement across the world. Following a raid by policemen on the Stonewall Inn in New York, members of the gay community resorted to violent demonstrations. Faced with discrimination even prior to that, all that was needed was a spark, to trigger a massive movement against what was considered 'unjust'.

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Originally a restaurant-cum-night club for the heterosexual people, 1966 marked the year when the inn was converted to a gay bar. It did not have any license to sell liquor, but policemen were 'paid off' once a week. Patrons were required to sign their names after a bouncer 'verified' them through a peep hole.

On June 28 1969, a few policemen had entered the bar undercover to gather evidence, and in the wee hours of the morning, the place was fully surrounded by policemen who 'took' the place under seizure. By the time police wagons arrived to take custody of all the patrons arrested, the numbers had swelled outside the bar and there was a lot of commotion. Slowly, the commotion gave way to protests by the arrested people, many of whom were trying to escape or defy the police action. Later, the police were kept inside the bar, only to be rescued by another backup team. By then, emotions were running high. Slowly, the crowds cleared. But the next day, the riots began again, this time supported by tourists, bystanders and the like. The Christopher Park(image below) nearby became base camp.

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The aftermath of the Stonewall riots saw the formation of many LGBT support groups and alliances including the Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance. The first ever Pride March in US history took place at the same Christopher park exactly a year after the Stonewall incident. Also, pride marches took place in Los Angeles and Chicago.

It must be said that the riots, though very sad in nature, served to inspire a lot of people to take up this activism world wide. Our own country too has had its share of activism with cities including Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi taking up the pride march each year where people "celebrate" who they are. Isn't that what life is all about - To be who you are?

The color Indigo signifies HARMONY

6 comments:

  1. I like how each colour stands for a specific trait. The repealing of Section 377 was a huge step in India. Naz Foundation, Sahodaran are some of the NGOs committed to working for the empowerment of LGBT individuals in India.

    Another empowering post.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thanks Susan. Each city seems to have its own NGOs and like minded groups

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  2. Wow!! Awesome, a follow up on LGBT from yesterday :)

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    1. Thanks :) Well, that's my theme for this tag

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