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An Uprising, A Movement: Celebrating the Stonewall Rebellion

Credit: By Rhododendrites – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


Fifty-one years ago yesterday, police in New York City raided a bar in Greenwich Village well known for serving LBGTQ+ patrons. As noted by the Library of Congress’s Today in History entry for Stonewall, “[in New York state,] it was illegal to serve alcohol to a gay person until 1966, and in 1969, homosexuality was still considered a criminal offense. This led many gay establishments to operate sans liquor license, providing an open door for raids and police brutality.” It was not the first time police had harassed patrons at the Stonewall Innpolice routinely raided the bar; sometimes they would make arrests or they’d simply turn up to intimidate people and demand pay-offs in return for not publicly releasing patron names or giving out code violation citations.

This particular raid would make an indelible mark in history.

Rather than leaving as they were dismissed, patrons and locals from the neighborhood angrily stood outside. And as the police arrested thirteen of the staff and customers, the crowd became incensed at the rough treatment. They’d had enough. They pelted the police with pennies and debris, and minutes later hundreds of people began rioting.

That night sparked five more days of rioting, involving thousands of people and it became a pivotal event for LBGTQ+ people, an inspiration to stand up and demand equal rights. In 2016, the Stonewall Inn and close surroundings were designated a National Monument, the first such monument commemorating the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

As we conclude Pride Month, we celebrate those in the LBGTQ+ community who rose up, that night and in the many decades afterward, to be heard and be seen.

We noted in an earlier blog post that it is more important than ever to remember the significant contributions of LGBTQ+ people of color this year as Pride Month overlaps with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. GLAAD’s statement earlier this month declared, “It is important to remember that the revolutionary riots at Stonewall in 1969 were spearheaded by many LGBTQ people of color, and that none of the progress made for the acceptance and equality of LGBTQ people over the past 51 years would be possible if not for the action and courage of those protestors. … There can be no Pride if it is not intersectional.“

If you want to learn more about the Stonewall Uprising, delve into the many resources that Falvey Memorial Library has to offer.

If you want to catch up on Falvey’s Pride Month coverage, check out our additional Pride Month coverage:


Shawn ProctorShawn Proctor, MFA, is communications and marketing program manager at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Diversity and Inclusion Subject Guide: LGBTQ+ Resources for Pride Month

By Beaudry Allen, Laura Bang, Deborah Bishov, Sarah Wingo, and Kallie Stahl

Philadelphia Pride Flag.

June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in New York City held June 28, 1970 on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Pride Month is celebrated every June in tribute to those involved in the Stonewall Riots of 1969, an uprising that occurred in response to a long history of police brutality. On the night of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, which resulted in bar patrons, staff, and neighborhood residents rioting onto Christopher Street outside. (Note: a post on the Stonewall riots is forthcoming on the blog June 29).

Pride 2020 was already going to be different this year, with COVID-19 making large public gatherings, such as parades and other celebrations typically held for Pride, impractical and leading organizers to pivot to virtual events. Furthermore, in keeping with the roots of the LGBTQ+ movement, the community has mobilized to shift more of the focus of this year’s Pride to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as protests are currently taking place all over the world. These current events intensify the importance of recognizing how nuanced and interconnected all forms of identity and politics are, and we hope this LGBTQ+ resource list provides more information.

At Falvey Memorial Library we believe that learning is a lifelong process that is essential for education and personal growth. We support and encourage exploration through respectful discourse and hope that our collections can contribute to this conversation. If you are looking for a specific work or for literature on a specific topic, please feel free to get in touch with our librarians at

Explore LGBTQ+ resources on Falvey’s Diversity and Inclusion subject guide—below is just a snapshot of the many resources available. Share your own content to the page using the Resource Submission Form.

LGBTQ+ Databases:

  • The National Archives: Gay and Lesbian History—”This guide will help you find records relating to sexuality and gender identity history.”
  • LGBT Thought and Culture—”An online resource hosting books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social, and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day.”
  • LGBT Magazine Archive—”A searchable archive of major periodicals devoted to LGBT+ interests, dating from the 1950s through to recent years.”

LGBTQ+ Books and eBooks:

LGBTQ+ Content Curated by the Villanova Community:

  • Trans Student Educational Resources—”A youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment.”
  • GLMA Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality—”A national organization committed to ensuring health equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and all sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals, and equality for LGBTQ/SGM health professionals in their work and learning environments.”
  • The Attic—”The Attic Youth Center creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society.”

LGBTQ+ Resources Recommended by Falvey Subject Librarians and Staff:

Additional LGBTQ+ resources will be featured all month long. Check back weekly for news and updates. Be sure to follow VU Pride for more information on programs and campus initiatives to help create a welcoming community at Villanova University for all students, staff, and faculty.

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Last Modified: June 15, 2020