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STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans' Association

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Mission Statement~~~~~~~~



In 1969, it was very, very different for Gay people.  That's what we were known as then, within, Gay people -- one name, one community, one unity!  
 
The unexpected and unplanned  Stonewall Rebellion of late June 1969 on a hot, late Summer night began when the New York City police and other "authorities", once again, raided The STONEWALL Club (no one called it an 'inn'), a Mafia-owned, two-part drinking and dance bar on Christopher Street near Seventh Avenue in New York City's Greenwich Village, New York.  What began simply for the Gay patrons and their friends by the local police department as another routine "fag-bar" raid, later involving other law enforcement agencies such as the New York City Police Department ("NYCPD") Tactical Police Force, quickly escalated into five, inconsecutive nights and early morning hours when Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender ("GLBT") people and their supporters and friends decided to stand-up and fight back.  As an assembled group we finally, bravely and harmoniously sang out loud and clear "Stop!"  
   
 
Why did this Gay civil rights rebellion finally happen?
 
Over the years continuing to the present time, there have been many instances of the New York City Police Department and legislators abusing the rights of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender people and their friends and supporters.  These abuses continue -- though far less frequently -- not only in New York but... throughout the U.S.A. and the entire World at large!
 
Back in 1969, "WE", as an inconsequential, unorganized and disrespected people, had absolutely no rights.  And, policies were inconsistent.  While it was 'illegal' for boys to dance with boys or men to dance with men, in contrast, girls could dance with girls and women could dance with women!?  Thus, there was a double, illogical, discriminatory standard against all Gay males even within the imaginary walls of the GLBT community and far beyond!  WE as a people survived by gathering at diverse and mixed places like The STONEWALL Club which, to many of the teenagers then, was the first place where we truly felt free.  Free to be who we were!  Free to dance with whomever we chose.  Free to hear the special music we wanted.  Others better felt the weight of the invisible shackles that tied us to clandestine, Mafia-owned and operated bars where the threat of abuse and possible violence was often present.
 
But, the late night hours of Friday, June 27, 1969, took away whatever security we thought we had solid.  It was seemingly time for us to move on once again... to another Gay bar or Gay dance club or another dark street consciously hiding from the society that gladly took and absorbed from our culture whatever it could.  Only beginning then, WE, as a Gay people, refused to take it anymore and spontaneously WE fought back!  The signs -- subsequent to the first ambush night of the Stonewall Rebellion -- read:   "Gay People", "Gay Power", "Gay Unity",  "Gay Rights" and "Gay Marriage".   Clearly, the only operative word was what it was:  "Gay"!

"STONEWALL" was a catalytic event for the GLBT Community!
 
"STONEWALL", as it has condensedly come to be known, was ultimately a catalytic event for the GLBT community and eventually the World!  This was the historical turning point for ALL of us leading suppressed lives (to one degree or another) in 1969 and for future generations of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenderists.  We were tired of and angry at being victims and no one was going to succeed in abusing US as a group or a people ever again.  At last, we demanded our independence and freedom.  As of June 27th, 1969, also known as "Gay Independence Day", WE immediately achieved the former!
 
For several decades since, it has been an uphill struggle spiritually, politically, economically, legally and in every other sense.  Our lives are still very much in danger and whatever liberty and freedom we have achieved is somehow at risk.  Before the Stonewall Rebellion, there were other concerned Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender ("GLBT") people who attempted to fight the system making minor in-roads here and there.  However, the effective 1969 Stonewall Rebellion made the public, the media and, more importantly, "US", realize that:  We are a people and we demand our rights generally as human beings and particularly as American citizens!  In fact, at long last -- and only through the revolutionizing Stonewall Rebellion -- we symbolically achieved "minority" status.
 
   


"The STONEWALL Inn" bar and dance club depicted in 1969
Question:  Do you know what the top word in the STONEWALL sign says?  
We do!  You may email your guess to the S.V.A. at:
SVA@StonewallVets.org

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Purposes of the STONEWALL Veterans' Association

Even though the Stonewall Rebellion took place in 1969 -- not 1869 -- the rebellion was not photographed or filmed by the media because they deemed it "unimportant".  Likewise, they were not allowed (as in 'keep away')!  Picture-taking was forbidden!  Unless a treasure trove of forgotten images is one day unearthed, there will be endless speculation of what exactly occurred during those five, inconsecutive, steamy nights and early morning hours.  We must preserve the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender ("GLBT") heritage we have before it is significantly and irrevocably lost!

The National STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans' Association ("S.V.A.") positively and proudly represents Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender ("GLBT") history, education and culture.  The Executive Committee of the S.V.A. consists exclusively of real patrons of The STONEWALL Inn police raids from 1966 through 1969 and/or participants in the five-night, historic 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in Manhattan, New York.  The S.V.A. focuses our multi-dimensional and diverse organization as a viable group of Gay men, Lesbian women, Bisexual folks and Transgender people.  We strive for the facts and challenge the inaccuracies.  The S.V.A. delivers the following:  (1) education, (2) community-building, (3) support, (4) communication and (5) outreach as our primary purposes.  Therefore, to educate, for example, we provide, on a regular and reliable basis, unquestionably unique, invaluable and factual information to individuals, groups, public officials, organizations and institutions via various means including mailings, phone calls, promotions and guest speakers.  An expanded purpose under our rainbow umbrella of support consisits of homecare assistance, legal advice and financial support to help keep all of the actual Stonewall veterans active, healthy and united.

 

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STONEWALL Veterans' Association's Goals Include:
The STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans' Association ("S.V.A.") is a not-for-profit, volunteer membership organization primarily for GLBT people and their non-GLBT friends, colleagues, relatives and supporters.  The S.V.A. regularly publishes a newsletter entitled "STONEWALL Newzletta".  The on-line edition is updated daily.  There is an expanded print edition which is published quarterly.  Press releases and other media communications by the S.V.A. are generated as warranted.  The S.V.A. focuses on the continuing struggles of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenderists.  S.V.A. is a historical, cultural, educational, advocacy and politically-aware group with a long reach, great visibility and tremendous staying power.
 
   


                                                                                                         "No two eyewitnesses ever agree on every detail!"
                                                                                                      (Line from the movie "Courage Under Fire" (1996)      
 investigating whether they should give the Medal
     of Honor to a fallen, female wartime officer.)

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  S.V.A. is registered with the State of New York Charities Bureau.
www.CharitiesNYS.com
"Search" enter:  STONEWALL Veterans' Association or S.V.A.

Most recent N.Y.S. Charities Bureau renewal:  September, 2016

  The S.V.A. is registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The S.V.A. is a non-profit, historical, educational, civil rights
and community organization since 1969 in its proud 48th year!

It is the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the 48th
year of the 1969 Cadillac convertible (which S.V.A. owns) and
the 48th year of the STONEWALL Veterans' Association!

The S.V.A. may also be referred to in descriptive version as the
National STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans' Association.

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                                             2017
                     Worldwide GLBT Pride Month!
                                                                                               

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=====2017:  48th Anniversary of the GLBT Stonewall Rebellion=====
[Friday night, June 27 ~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]

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