Stonewall Museum to Re-Enact Riot June 29 | WATCH

Stonewall Museum is going to riot like it’s 1969... and so can you.

June 29, the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot, reenactors will take the roles of NYC Vice cops and patrons of the bar. Patrons will be enjoying cocktails inside the museum, which has a recreation of the Stonewall Inn on the night it was raided.

Then police will show up and “raid” the bar. As they leave, a crowd outside will pin them down and force them to fight their way out. Tree, a bartender at Stonewall Inn who was there the night of the raids, recently told OutSFL the situation that night was dire.

“I was dancing with some friends. In the other room we heard [a regular customer] scream out ‘Don’t touch me, my husband’s a cop.’ We knew it was another raid. This was the raid of all raids.”

He says the phrase, “another raid,” very casually. Indeed, gay bars were routinely targeted.

“I was arrested so many times just for being in a gay bar,” Tree said. “The cops came in and threw drugs on the floor and said, ‘that’s yours.’”

In 1969, the riot went on for several nights. In 2024, police and patrons will eventually emerge hand-in-hand as a show of unity.

“Nothing is more important than knowing where we came from. As for global understanding of where it began. History equals pride. Pride without history is like standing on clay feet,” Stonewall Museum Executive Director Robert Kesten said.

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Courtesy of Stonewall Museum.

Tree’s visit to the museum provided a physical link to LGBTQ’s most important event. “We had no rights in those days. It was a disease! If we touched you, then you were gay.”

Everything related to being LGBTQ was outlawed. Same-sex partners couldn’t dance. You can forget about holding hands in public. It was even illegal to serve alcohol to homosexuals.

At a time when LGBTQ rights are under the most vicious government attacks since Stonewall, Tree, Kesten, and others work to keep history alive and relatable to the present.

For more on this weekend’s event, visit Stonewall-Museum.org.

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