Organisers launched two crowdfunding campaigns for the Stonewall Inn and its staff following concerns the historic site may face permanent closure amid the financial pressures of lockdown.
As a result of the ongoing pandemic, queer spaces are confronted by a challenging time ahead due to the economic strain of prolonged closure. Situated in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn faces an uncertain future in terms of whether there will be a reopening.
In order to support both the site and staff who are out of work, two crowdfunding campaigns have been set up. On the GoFundMe page, it reads, “Our doors have been closed for over three months to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of patrons, staff and the community. Even in the best of times it can be difficult to survive as a small business and we now face an uncertain future. Even once we reopen, it will likely be under greatly restricted conditions limiting our business activities.”
The Stonewall Inn has been a nexus point for the LGBT+ rights movement reaching across generations. In 1969, the community, led by queer POC, took a powerful stand against insitutionalised inequalities and sparked a global uprising.
In 2020, 51 years later, people gathered once more outside the iconic LGBT+ landmark to protest against Black trans people murdered by transphobic violence and police brutality. As stated on the crowdfunding campaign page, “We worked diligently to resurrect [the Stonewall Inn] as a safe space for the community and to keep the Stonewall Inn at the epicenter of the fight for the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It has been a community tavern, but also a vehicle to continue the fight that started there in 1969.”
Stonewall Inn was named America’s first LGBT+ rights monument by former President Barack Obama in 2016. Speaking about the history of the site, he said, “They stood up, and spoke out, and over the course of the next several days, they refused to be silenced. The riots became protests; the protests became a movement; the movement ultimately became an integral part of America.”
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