Seeds: The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, first gained national fame when it was infamously raided by policemen in 1969. This sparked outrage in the masses, and soon rioters filled the streets protesting the injustice of the NYPD’s targeting of the gay community. Decades later, the LGBTQ+ movement has made great strides. With each passing day, the concept of homosexuality is seen as normal and American society as a whole has become more accepting and inclusive of the LBGTQ+ community. We welcome Ellen DeGeneres into our homes everyday at 3:00 (but that might just be me) and the U.S. just selected its first openly gay secretary of the army. Unfortunately, despite the gradual acceptance, hate still runs rampant throughout our society.
Core: On June 12th, Omar Mateen killed 49 people at a gay nightclub and injured more than 50, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The shooting directly targeted the LGBTQ+ community, stirring up emotions throughout the nation both within and outside of the LBGTQ+ community, especially since this tragedy took place during the first national Pride Month, a nationwide celebration of LBGTQ+ pride recently established by President Obama. Despite the hatred shown in the Orlando shooting, as a symbol of how far we’ve come as a nation, President Obama recently declared the Stonewall Inn a national landmark. In the wake of the Orlando shooting, the Stonewall Inn has become a place to mourn those lost to such senseless violence and a place to recognize and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
Skin: In the shooting’s aftermath, stories about the victim's lives litter social media and over 500 people gathered around Stonewall Inn in remembrance of the lives lost during the Orlando shootings. In order to face the shock and terror of the attack, the American public has searched for unity and has found it at this historical landmark.
Leaves: Regardless of one’s own personal views on the LGBTQ+ community, it is imperative that now, in this time of terror, we embrace the importance of this historical landmark and stand together in solidarity, otherwise we succumb to the chaos that the terrorists intended to create.
Food for Thought: Why do you think the Stonewall Inn was picked to be a national landmark? Has there been true progress for the LGBTQ+ since the Stonewall Riots?