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LGBTQ+ Rights Sites and Memorials to Visit Around the World

by Kimberly Krol

Jun 29, 2020

© Lei Xu | Dreamstime.com

Daily

As Pride Month comes to an end and following the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which marked a crucial turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, we’ve compiled a list of important LGBTQ+ sites and memorials around the world.

Stonewall Inn, New York City
The site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, Stonewall Inn is one of the most iconic spots to visit. An escape for the LGBTQ+ community in the 1960s, it was also frequently raided by police until the protest and riots in 1969, which saw the emergence of gay pride parades soon thereafter. While the Stonewall Inn took on a variety of businesses in the following years, it was once again made an LGBTQ+-friendly bar in 2007.

Also in New York City: Julius Bar, considered the oldest, continuously operating gay bar; Earl Hall at Columbia University, the first collegiate institution to host an LGBTQ+ student group; the Gay Liberation Monument, erected in 1992; and, coming soon, the city will unveil a memorial to Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, activists crucial in the Stonewall uprising, in 2021.

Memorial for LGBT Victims of Nazi Persecution, Tel Aviv, Israel
In 2013, this monument, three pink benches in the shape of a triangle, was the first in Israel to honor both Jewish and non-Jewish people.

A similar monument remembering homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis can be found in Berlin. The Nazis used pink triangles to identify homosexual men and black triangles for lesbians. The symbol now honors those individuals in Sydney, Australia, at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Holocaust Memorial, which features a soft glow at night, and in Sitges, Spain, near Barcelona, where the Pink Triangle Monument reads “Sitges stands against homophobia — never again.”

Castro Camera, San Francisco
Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, owned Castro Camera in San Francisco’s Castro District. It became a center for the neighborhood’s growing gay community and Milk’s campaign headquarters. Years after Milk’s assassination, Castro Camera became the Human Rights Campaign Action Center & Store. Also in the Castro is Harvey Milk Plaza.

San Francisco is also home to the Women’s Building, the nation’s first women-owned and-operated community center and the San Francisco Federal Building, a crucial landmark in raising AIDS awareness.

Alan Turing Memorial, Manchester, England
Located in Sackville Gardens, the life-sized bronze statue honors the man who cracked the Enigma code and led the Allies to victory in World War II. Turing was later chemically castrated because of his sexual identity.

Also in Europe, Amsterdam’s “Homomonument” was erected in 1987. The three granite triangles commemorate those persecuted by the Nazis, as well as all members of the LGBTQ+ community facing government persecution today.

The Legacy Walk, Chicago, Illinois
A half-mile of the North Halsted corridor in Chicago is an outdoor history museum. Ten pairs of 25-foot tall rainbow pylons boast markers commemorating people and moments in LGBTQ+ history. More markers are added each year on National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11.

Chicago is also home to Henry Gerber House; Gerber is considered the “grandfather of the American gay movement.”

Transgender Memorial Garden, St. Louis, Missouri
In 2015, this became the United States’ first memorial to victims of anti-trans violence and a place to celebrate transgender lives.

Another memorial in the United States is Pulse Interim Memorial, in Orlando, Florida. The temporary memorial will be replaced by a permanent commemoration to the 49 lives lost in the deadliest targeted murder in LGBTQ+ history, which occurred at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016.

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