The Stonewall Inn isn't just another bar. It's the birthplace of a global movement toward equality.
It may look like just another old pub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, but the Stonewall Inn is far from your average watering hole.
You'll probably spot a rainbow flag billowing outside its door.
"So what?" you might ask. "This is New York. There are plenty of rainbow flags billowing outside plenty of doors."
Many of those flags may not be flying today if it hadn't been for the Stonewall Inn, though.
The historic bar is what New York City councilman Corey Johnson considers to be a "birthplace of a global movement" toward LGBTQ rights. And he's definitely not the only one.
On June 23, 2015, NYC announced the Stonewall Inn as a new city landmark.
It's the first time in city history a site has been recognized as such because of its LGBTQ roots.
And almost exactly one year later, on June 24, 2016, President Obama announced the Stonewall Inn would be America's first national monument in recognition of LGBTQ equality.
The White House said the designation will create the nation's first National Park Service unit committed to highlighting the history of LGBTQ Americans.
The news comes at a pivotal moment in LGBTQ history. In just a few days, the U.S. will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of federal marriage equality. But the queer community will be celebrating with heavy hearts, as the worst mass shooting in American history targeted an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month.
A big symbolic step forward couldn't have come at a better time.
Many advocates point to June 28, 1969, as a big turning point for LGBTQ folks fighting for equality in the U.S.
For the first time, Stonewall patrons — led largely by trans women of color — stood up against police harassment of their community (which had become a regular occurrence). There were arrests, scuffles, and lots of curious onlookers.
That night spurred even more protests. And in the days that followed the initial rebellion, hundreds of supporters gathered in Greenwich Village, launching what many consider to be the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement.
Today, the bar remains a hot spot in the ongoing fight for equality.
We've come a long way on LGBTQ rights since the 1960s, thanks to those original Stonewall protesters.I mean, think about it: Did anyone believe national marriage equality could be a reality, even just a few decades ago?
America's view on LGBTQ people has evolved a ton since those Stonewall riots. According to a Gallup poll from May, a whopping 60% of Americans are in support of marriage equality — up from just 27% in 1996!