The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village has been in the news recently, and unfortunately, it’s because of the critically-panned Roland Emmerich film, Stonewall. Mostly everyone who’s seen it has hated it, either for its poor story, its whitewashing of actual LGBT history (which includes people of color at its center) or both. But now, The Stonewall Inn is in the news for a great reason: it’s now an official landmark.
New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer reports that the Landmark Preservation Committee voted to make the bar a landmark, and now, with the City Council’s blessing, the bar now has the designation of being a place protected from renovation or destruction.
There’s still something else The Stonewall Inn could become: a national park. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has stated that she’s working on legislation to make it part of the U.S.’ national conservation properties. The inn is part of the National Historic Register and has been on the list since 1999.
So why is this important, and why am I invoking the awful movie? Well, aside from it being in the recent news, the movie takes away Stonewall’s history, including how the revolt began that fateful night in the 1969. As I wrote in my Stonewall article:
For some quick history, the Stonewall riots started in New York City’s Stonewall Inn, and like many gay bars, was subjected to police raids. However, a raid in 1969 led to a riot. The leaders of the movement were people of color, such as Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracey and Marsha P. Johnson, who has been labeled the first person to fight back against the police in the riots.
The new designation the bar now has not only keeps that history in place, it also protects it, I feel, from further degradation.
What do you think about The Stonewall Inn getting recognized? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
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Photo credit: Travis Wise (Flickr Creative Commons)