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May 17, 2024

Stonewall exhibit in New York to feature Philly's role in gay rights movement

Journalist and activist Mark Segal is the curator for the new display at the national monument's visitor center.

LGBTQ Monuments
Stonewall monument visitor center Robert Deutsch/USA Today

The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center in New York will feature videos highlighting historical moments and encourage guests to visit Philadelphia as another destination for learning queer history. Pictured above is the Stonewall Inn in 2019.

Philadelphia's role in the LGBTQ+ movement will be featured in a historic New York City monument dedicated to gay rights. 

National organization Pride Live and tourism agency Visit Philadelphia are partnering to bring an exhibit to the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center in New York. Philly journalist and gay activist Mark Segal is curating the exhibit.

MORE: James Roebuck, state representative who served Philly for decades, dies at 79

Pride Live says Segal, who participated in the Stonewall riots of 1969 and served as a marshal in the first Gay Pride March in 1970, will assemble a showcase of testimonials from the Stonewall Rebellion and other LGBTQ+ activists.

The visitor center will also promote Philadelphia as a neighboring destination and educational hub for queer history and the LGBTQ+ equality movement through video content.

"Philadelphia has had many milestones in LGBTQ+ history, and we invite all generations and communities to learn about this legacy at the SNMVC and Philadelphia’s landmark sites and join the ongoing fight for full equality," said Ann Marie Gothard, the chair of the board of directors at Pride Live.

Visit Philadelphia CEO and President Angela Val also pointed out that Philly was the site of many early demonstrations for LGBTQ+ rights. 

"We take great pride in Philadelphia's integral role in this movement and are eager to share this important part of American history," Val said in a statement, citing July 4th LGBTQ+ rights demonstrations outside Independence Hall from 1965 to 1969 that were known as the "Annual Reminder." 

Pride Live also referenced demonstrations at Rittenhouse Square in the 1960s and the founding of the gay activist group Janus Society, which was active from 1962 to 1969.

Segal founded the Philadelphia Gay News in 1976 and was a co-founder and former president of the National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild. The collaboration at the Stonewall visitor center spurred from Segal connecting Pride Live and Visit Philadelphia.

In 2016, President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn area as a national monument to honor LGBTQ+ activists and their movement. The visitor center will open June 28 to mark the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

Philly will throw its annual Pride festivities June 2, unveiling a claimed record-breaking 400-foot-long Pride flag.