Throughout history, social reformers have prioritised visibility in the battle for LGBTQ rights. Monuments honouring the LGBTQ community play an important role in encouraging societal acceptance. Here are five wonderful landmarks that commemorate the history of the community.
Legacy Walk, Chicago
The Legacy Walk is a half-mile-long walk down North Halsted Street in Chicago. Both sides of the street hold a total of 20 bronze-coloured columns, each with the life and work of two significant individuals in the LGBTQ community. These plaques are regularly replaced with new ones, while the old ones join the Legacy Project&rsquos archives for a future museum or a travelling wall. In 2019, the walk was formally designated a landmark district in Chicago. This LGBTQ walk of fame educates visitors on international giants such as Oscar Wilde, Audre Lorde, Christine Jorgensen, Billy Strayhorn, Margaret Chung, and many more. Meanwhile, the Legacy Project collaborates closely with the City of Chicago to safeguard and maintain the Walk, as well as to guarantee that LGBTQ history is taught in local schools.
Alan Turing Memorial, Manchester
A walk around Manchester&rsquos Sackville Park and you will find a bronze representation of Alan Turing sitting on a bench, apple in hand. The plaque at his feet reads &ldquoFather of computer science, mathematician, logician, wartime codebreaker, victim of prejudice.&rdquo From mathematics to computer science, Turing&rsquos genius spanned across academia, and even into modern-day inventions. The park is close to Manchester&rsquos LGBTQ district. Turin had committed suicide after being legally outed. In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turin, and the statue made it to Manchester&rsquos LGBTQ Heritage Trail, which marks 18 historic sites in the city denoted by rainbow mosaics in the pavement.
Stonewall Inn, New York
Stonewall Inn is the New York bar where a police raid and ensuing riot gave birth to the gay rights movement in the US. This was declared as the site of the Stonewall National Monument. The dingy little gay bar tucked away on Manhattan&rsquos Christopher Street. wasn&rsquot much unlike the other gay bars in New York&rsquos Greenwich Village. It was run by the mob, sold cheap liquor in expensive bottles, unlicensed, and was raided every few days by the police. That is until the night for June 27, 1969. A year later, activists commemorated this uprising with what was called the Christopher Street Liberation Day it was the first gay pride march. What happened that night at Stonewall Inn paved the path of resistance for the entire LGBTQ community. June is now designated as Pride Month, and pride parades are held annually the world over.
Pink Triangle, Spain
Located in the small coastal town of Sitges, the Pink Triangle was the first LGBTQ monument in Spain. Unveiled in 2006, it has &ldquoSitges against homophobia&mdashNever again&rdquo inscribed on it. The inscription refers back to 1996, when police cracked down on the beaches of the town at night, targeting gay men. Public outcry, riots, and a decade later, the Pink Triangle stands proud of Sitges&rsquo history and fight.
Often thought to be the first public monument in honour of the LGBTQ community, the Homomonument in Amsterdam was established in 1987. The three granite triangles pay homage to the LGBTQ lives lost during World War II in the hands of the Nazis, but also all the people of the community who are persecuted by their respective governments. Located on the bank of Amsterdam&rsquos Keizersgracht Canal, the Homomonument is made up of three pink granite triangles, each 10 feet long, and positioned to point to the city&rsquos National War Memorial, the Anne Frank House, and the COC Netherlands LGBTQ advocacy organization. One of the triangles protrudes onto the water (built as steps ascending from the canal), one is installed at street level, and the other rises from the small plaza-like a groundswell of hope and courage.
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