50 years ago was a Friday Night, and gay men in New York City gathered in one of their favorite bars, even though being gay, even serving gay people whiskey, was illegal in all but one of the US States. No one knew when he went in that bar that night that there would be a police raid in the wee hours of the coming day, a raid that would set fire on the struggling movement of gay people in the US.
There were previous gay organizations. Most of these had operated on the theme of be nice, wear a coat and tie, and protest quietly, all things that had not worked. The Stonewall riots gave birth to the "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more." Within a month a new organization, The Gay Liberation Front, was formed that began the "in your face" tactics. A year later New York City had its first Gay Pride March to celebrate Stonewall, and the movement had feet.
Give some thankful thoughts this weekend to those gay guys a half century ago who are largely responsible for the civil rights we now take for granted.