The Stonewall Inn will remain open thanks to a donation from the Gill Foundation.
The Foundation announced Sunday that it would match donations of up to $250,000 to keep the Stonewall operational. The Washington Blade reported that the announcement of the donation was made on Sunday, and timed to the 51st anniversary of the uprising.
“Stonewall is a cornerstone of LGBTQ history and it must be protected,” the Foundation said in a statement posted by co-chairs Scott Miller and Tim Gill on Facebook. “Queer people of color – including trans people of color like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major – led the uprisings against police brutality at Stonewall and in doing so helped spark the movement for LGBTQ equality. We must preserve that history and the legacy of the activists who led the charge.”
The Stonewall Inn, which is the sight of the uprising that began the LGBTQ+ rights movement, had been facing permanent closure due to the coronavirus shutdown. The venue had started an online fundraiser to help pay expenses, including the $40,000 monthly rent. It had also received some support from the Paycheck Protection funds, although not nearly enough to cover expenses.
In 2016, the Stonewall was named a national monument, the first of its kind for the LGBTQ+ community. “As the first and only LGBTQ National Monument,” said co-owners Stacey Lentz and Kurt Kelly in a statement reported by the Washington Blade, “Stonewall is home not only to the history of our community, but also the history of our city and country.”
The Washington Blade reports that the Gill Foundation envisions the Stonewall to serve as a permanent exhibition in LGBTQ+ history as a way of commemorating the momentous event that took place there in 1969.