June 28, 2009

Happy Pride...With A Side Of History

Today is Gay Pride Day here in NYC. This year's march down Fifth Avenue celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, which mark the start of the modern gay civil rights movement. The first Pride March was held in June of 1970 as a way of peacefully commemorating the riots that began with a police raid on the Stonewall bar.
Just around the corner from Stonewall is another notable bar which has it's own place in gay history. Julius, located on the corner of W.10th and Waverly Place, has been open since just after the Civil War began and serving the gays for many decades before Stonewall. The Bowery Boys have a thorough historical write-up all about Julius that's worth reading. And if you want to experience history first hand, stop by on the 3rd Saturday of the month when they hold the Mattachine party, hosted by PJ Deboy and JC Mitchell. You will dance like it's the old days (circa 1979).