During a groundbreaking ceremony last month, it was announced that The Stonewall Visitor Center will serve to celebrate LGBTQ history and culture. While Pride month and celebrations have become a yearly event, little is known about the origins of the movement. The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will be set to open in New York City during the summer of 2024 to honor the fight for LGBTQ rights, which started 53 years ago.
The Stonewall National Monument was designated as the first national monument dedicated to LGBTQ history by President Obama in 2016. It is meant to commemorate how patrons fought for their rights against a police raid on June 28, 1969, where many people were arrested. This resulted in protests outside the bar for weeks which helped kickstart the LGBTQ rights movement. The Stonewall rebellion is typically commemorated every year with Pride marches in cities across the U.S. and the world, and now, a visitor center will be established to better honor this historic event.
The visitor center will open in Greenwich Village and cover an area of around 3,700 square feet surrounding the Stonewall Inn bar. This announcement comes just after the start of this year’s Pride Month in June. The Stonewall Visitor Center will provide visitors access to tours, exhibits, and displays centered dedicated to LGBTQ culture and history. The visitor center aims to celebrate LGBTQ history and serve as a center for learning about the community’s ongoing fight for civil liberties.
The project will be led by Pride Live, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. The likes of Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Ellen DeGeneres will be providing support and funding to help bring the project to fruition. The National Park Service will also help in managing the visitor center with park rangers using it as a base.
“Our goal is to create a place that honors both the bravery and courage of the past five decades of the movement while also motivating the next generation of leaders to take up the fight because we know that there is more work to be done when it comes to full equality,” stated Ann Marie Gothard, president of Pride Live’s board of directors. Ms. Gothard hopes that the opening of the Stonewall Visitor Center would lead to the establishment of other important historic LGBTQ sites.