Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City
Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City was founded in February 1986 as the first and only citywide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Democratic organization in New York City. The first event was a small cocktail party held at The Ballroom in Chelsea. Little did we know that this new organization would grow to be the largest LGBT Democratic political club in the City and State of New York.
The organization is named in honor of the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969, the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. In 1969, New York’s gay community decided to fight back against the ongoing routine of police harassment and arrest of gay men, lesbians, and transgender people in Greenwich Village. On the night of June 27-28, 1969 a conflict erupted when the patrons of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, decided to stand up and fight to defend their rights to congregate at a gay bar. The battle with police went on for nearly a week and it eventually led to a new policy by New York City and the police department to stop harassing and arresting LGT people. The LGBT community burst out of the closet and this pivotal moment became known as “the hairpin heard around the world”. There was no looking back.
The Stonewall Democratic Club was founded to continue to fight for those rights. The founders wanted to create a strong voice within the Democratic Party that would represent the interests and concerns of the LGBT community within the party. The goals were to influence elections, legislation, and policy on the city, state, and national levels of government. The most important issues of concern in 1986 were our civil rights and our health.