Taking place on this day in 1969, the Stonewall riots were a watershed moment for the gay liberation movement. After a violent police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, spontaneous protests began from its gay patrons — the community standing together and fighting in a mass act of resistance.

To commemorate this occasion, Exact Editions is looking back through the archives of its publishers to learn more about the Stonewall Riots, exploring its significance and vital place in wider LGBTQ+ history.

“The flashpoint that launched the gay rights movement”

BBC History Revealed, ‘The Stonewall Riots’: July 2019 issue

stonewall inn, New York, location of the stonewall riots 1969
The Stonewall Inn, New York.

Acclaimed historian Jon Savage provides a deep dive into the history and politics behind the Stonewall Riots for the July 2019 issue of BBC History Revealed.

Savage recognises the riots as flashpoint moment which pushed militancy into the foreground of gay politics, proving that “determined and courageous intervention could make a lasting difference” to the lives of many.

Read the article, pages 37–42, here.

“Legal persecution affected many”

Tate Inc, ‘Queer British Art’: Spring 2017 (Issue 39)

Tate Britain exhibition, queer British art, featuring Henry Scott Tuke The Critics 1927
Henry Scott Tuke, ‘The Critics’, 1927

Tate Inc’s Spring 2017 issue features a deep dive into the history of Queer British Art, spanning the late nineteenth century to the 1960’s.

Featuring contributions from Tate Britain exhibition curator Clare Barlow, the piece provides a stunning illustration of how LBGTQ+ lives developed in their artistic representations, as well as the impact of seismic cultural changes such as the Stonewall Riots.

Read the article, pages 76–87, here.

“How can a riot be memorialized?”

C Magazine, ‘Not One Monument but 12’: Issue 142

Stonewall riot memorial sculpture of feet New York
An installation in Chris E. Vargas’ Consciousness Razing project

“How did the act of fighting back against cops enforcing the criminalization of being queer and trans so quickly become a corporate-sponsored parade in which the police participate?”

In Issue 142 of C Magazine, Genevieve Flavelle takes us through recent artistic representations of the riots. She highlights how the memorialisation of Stonewall has become a fraught site of representation and shifting historical memory.

Read the article, pages 14–19, here.

“Resistance led by those at the very margins”

Dazed, “Letter From North Carolina”: Spring 2019 issue

Chelsea Manning, activist and whistleblower, USA
Chelsea Manning, American activist and whistleblower

Guest edited by LGBTQ+ whistleblower Chelsea Manning, Dazed’s Spring 2019 issue is an engaging celebration of LGBTQ+ figures and stories across wider culture.

In “Letter From North Carolina”, political activist Maya Little writes of the erasure of identity for marginalised non-white and non-gender conforming groups demonstrated in the historical memory of the riots. Contextualising the Stonewall Riots through a refreshingly intersectional perspective, Little reasserts their true radicalism.

Read the article on page 200 here.

About Us:

Click here to learn more about Exact Editions’ Pride Month Reading List, celebrating LBGTQ+ books and authors.

Full digital subscriptions to BBC History RevealedC MagazineTate Inc, and Dazed are all available in the Exact Editions shop.

You can also request a free institutional trial for a digital subscription to a wide array of magazines here.

*Access to the above magazine issues will be active until 24 August 2023.*