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Closing time for Stonewall Inn? Don't bet on it. It has historical protection.

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.

Image via Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

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.


Image via Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

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.

Photo by Monika Graff/Getty Images.

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.


A married couple celebrates the end of the Defense of Marriage Act near the Stonewall Inn in 2013. Image via Mario Tama/Getty Images.


Advocates rally against hate crimes toward the LGBTQ community outside the Stonewall Inn in 2010. Image via Yana Paskova/Getty Images.

Paradegoers kiss in New York City's Gay Pride March in 2012. Image via Michael Nagle/Getty Images.

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!

If there is some big gay agenda in the works, it's definitely succeeding. And I am SO here for that.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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