NYC Pride 2012
Historic preservationists and gay rights activists have won a skirmish in their campaign to save 186 Spring Street, a SoHo townhouse that sheltered a number of gay rights activists in the post-Stonewall era—earning landmark designation eligibility from the state and national historic registers. But without a designation from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the house’s demolition still looms as the most likely possibility.
Earning a spot on the State and National registers would be a coup for the preservationists. “It’s truly historic—only one other place in the United States has been placed on the state and national registers in relation to gay and lesbian history,” said Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The other place, also in Manhattan, is the Stonewall Inn.
Every year, in the weeks leading up to Pride Week, Martin Boyce and Danny Garvin’s phones start ringing off the hook.
“Martin here. Yup, that was me at Stonewall, June 28, 1969.”
“Yes, this is the Danny who was at the riots.”
And on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Mr. Boyce, 64, and Mr. Garvin, 63, were bombarded by even more press than usual. “I was like a puppet on a string,” Mr. Boyce said. “Anytime somebody bumped into me on the street I’d go right into ‘So I was walking towards Stonewall with my friends Birdie and Tommy…’”.
While many of the rioters from that night fell victim to drugs or the AIDS crises in the ’80s, Mr. Boyce and Mr. Garvin are two of less than twenty confirmed survivors, calling themselves the Stonewall Veterans. They’ve been immortalized in David Carter’s Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, saluted in the PBS documentary Stonewall Uprising and have been invited as guest speakers to participate in discussions on the gay rights movement over the four decades since. And on days like today, when NYC Pride takes to the streets and the riots’ anniversary is marked by the Pride Parade, which noncoincidentally ends on Christopher street right next to Stonewall, their contributions to the gay rights movement is brought to the forefront once again.
Gay-rights activist Storme DeLarverie — who famously punched a cop during the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion — will be honored tonight during an exhibit of artworks at the famously arty Chelsea Hotel, where Ms. DeLarverie also resides.
"The Stonewall Veterans Association is bringing the blue Cadillac for Storme," said event organizer and abstract Read More