County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Darlington ARQ, Durham Rainbow Alliance and Darlington Borough Council are working in collaboration to raise awareness and support for the LGBT Community. February is LGBT History month and this year’s theme is around peace, reconciliation and activism. Each week in February CDDFRS, Darlington ARQ, Durham Rainbow Alliance and DBC will be showcasing particular events and milestones in the LGBT history around this year’s theme.
This week’s publication is from CDDFRS and concerns the Reconciliation part of this year’s theme:
Stonewall riots and the reconciliation of the LGBT community.
Ask anyone about LGBT history and it won’t be long before they mention the Stonewall riots and their significance as a symbol of resistance to social and political discrimination that inspired solidarity among LGBT groups for decades.
Prior to Stonewall, the LGBT community gathered in gay pubs and clubs in an attempt to seek a ‘safe space’ from the hostilities of everyday life. The harassment of LGBT patrons in bars and clubs was a targeted and routine activity by law enforcement. At this time, statutes were in place against homosexual activities and cross dressing.
On the 28th June 1969 violent demonstrations occurred in the early hours, following a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan,
where patrons and employees violently fought against the police. This altercation spilled onto the street and lasted for six days, the stonewall riots spread across the world and acted as a catalyst for the LGBT rights movement and political activism.
Following on after the Stonewall riots, on the 28th of June,1970, movements took place in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. In NY, the LGBT community got together and with allies and marched from Christopher Street to Central Park, these were the first Gay Prides marches in US history.
Two years later, in 1972, the Gay Pride marches in the US were prevalent in more US cities and in England, London, the first Gay Pride march was held.
The stonewall riots are considered to be one of the most important events leading up to the gay liberation movement and the continued fight for LGBT rights within the US. This was the impetus for the formation of the Gay Liberation Front as well as other gay, lesbian and bisexual civil rights organisations, such OutRage! GLADD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays).
For more information on the LGBT History month go to www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk
Why not show your support and wear a badge?
The overall aim of the LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. This is done through:
- Increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community;
- Raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT community;
- Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT communities; and
- Promoting the welfare of LGBT people, by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT people to achieve their full potential, so they contribute fully to society and lead fulfilled lives, thus benefiting society as a whole.
If you would like to find out more about the services offered by Darlington ARQ, contact ARQ on 01388 229516 or www.darlingtonarq.com
For more information about Durham Rainbow Alliance contact 07402025609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on CDDFRS Safe and Wellbeing services contact 0845 2234 221 or #email@example.com
This is the link for the resources for educators/ schools: http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/for-educators/