New York City Subway Station To Be Renamed in Honour of Stonewall Riots

New York City Subway Station To Be Renamed in Honour of Stonewall Riots
Image: Christopher Street Subway Station to be renamed for Stonewall Riots. Image: Elvert Barnes / Flickr

A New York City subway station is being renamed in honour of 1969 Stonewall riots, which galvanised the LGBTQI+ rights movement and spurred widespread law reform for LGBTQI+ people.

The stop in question is the Christopher Street-Sheridan Square subway station in Greenwich Village.

It will be changed to the Christopher Street-Stonewall National Monument station.

The legislation for the subway name change has been approved by the state’s lawmakers this week. From here, it now only needs the approval of the state’s Governor, Kathy Hochul.

“This change will memorialize the history of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement and inspire NY to demand justice and equality for all,” said state senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the proposed name change.

Subway station will commemorate Stonewall Riots in 1969

The name change commemorates the uprising that occurred at The Stonewall Inn on 28 June 1969, when police raided the LGBTQI+ venue.

This raid sparked a riot between the patrons at the venue and the police, which evolved into days of protests and became a key moment in the history of the LGBTQI+ rights movement.

Raids like the one at Stonewall were common practice for police at the time, and reasons for their arrests in the raids were similar to how Australian police would use discriminatory ‘public decency’ laws in Australia to arrest LGBTQI+ people prior to the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

If people of the same sex were showing affection in the venue, or even dressing in a way that was ‘inappropriate’ for their gender meant police could arrest them, and the bar in question could lose the liquor license. But in 1969, patrons fought back.

Stonewall’s historic landmark status

The Stonewall Inn is now a registered national historic landmark, part of New York City’s Historic Greenwich Village. The Stonewall National Monument is a national park unit that sits across the street from the bar, which is still open to patrons today.

A visitor centre next door to the Monument is set to open on June 28, 2024. This will be the National Park Service’s first centre that is solely focused on LGBTQI+ history.


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