The historic Stonewall Inn is teetering on closure after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close for months. The owners have launched a crowdfunding initiative to save the bar and community landmark.
Site of the eponymous Stonewall Riots that are frequently cited as “the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement,” the bar was designated a national monument to LGBTQ rights in 2016. Former President Barack Obama mentioned Stonewall in his inauguration address in 2013.
“We are reaching out because like many families and small businesses around the world, the Stonewall Inn is struggling,” the owners wrote on a GoFundMe set up to save the historic bar. “Our doors have been closed for over three months to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of patrons, staff and the community. Even in the best of times it can be difficult to survive as a small business and we now face an uncertain future. Even once we reopen, it will likely be under greatly restricted conditions limiting our business activities.”
“We resurrected the Stonewall Inn once after it had been shuttered- and we stand ready to do it again- with your help. We worked diligently to resurrect it as a safe space for the community and to keep the Stonewall Inn at the epicenter of the fight for the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It has been a community tavern, but also a vehicle to continue the fight that started there in 1969. Stonewall is the place the community gathers for celebrations, comes to grieve in times of tragedy, and rally to continue the fight for full global equality.”
“Today, we are asking you to help Save Stonewall!” they continued. “The Stonewall Inn faces an uncertain future and we are in need of community support. The road to recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic will be long and we need to continue to safeguard this vital piece of living history for the LGBTQ community and the global human rights movement and we now must ask for your help to save one of the LGBTQ+ communities most iconic institutions and to keep that history alive.”
At press time, the effort has raised almost $9000.
The bar also has a separate GoFundMe to help pay staff who have been unemployed during the shutdown. It has raised $21,000 since it was launched in April.