Stonewall Inn receives $250K donation to keep its doors open during pandemic

The Stonewall Inn
Photo credit Monica Schipper/Getty Images for for Airbnb
By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The Stonewall Inn, which recently launched a GoFundMe page in an effort to keep its doors open, has received a $250,000 donation that will allow the iconic gay bar to continue serving LGBTQ New Yorkers and their allies.

The Christopher Street landmark — where the 1969 riots ocurred, paving the way for the modern LGBTQ rights movement — will remain open thanks to the donation from the Gill Foundation, which provides grants to LGBTQ organizations across the U.S. The group said the funds will cover rent and utility bills while the bar is temporarily shut down due to COVID-19.

“Stonewall is a cornerstone of LGBTQ history and it must be protected. LGBTQ history is American history,” the Gill Foundation said in a statement. “Queer people of color — including trans women 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 owners of the historic Greenwich Village gay bar launched a GoFundMe page earlier this month seeking to raise $50,000 in light of the bar’s “uncertain future.” 

The watering hole temporarily closed its doors more than three months ago, and has been “struggling” ever since, the owners wrote in a message posted to the bar's website and fundraising page. 

“Even in the best of times it can be difficult to survive as a small business, and we now face an uncertain future,” they wrote. “Even once we reopen, it will likely be under greatly restricted conditions limiting our business activities.” 

The owners didn’t provide detailed information about the bar’s financial situation, but noted that it was “in need of community support.”

The landmark bar, which was the site of a 1969 uprising that marked a turning point in the history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, has closed and reopened several times since that year. 

“We resurrected the Stonewall Inn once after it had been shuttered — and we stand ready to do it again — with your help,” the owners wrote. 

“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, they added. 

“And now we must ask for your help to save one of the LGBTQ+ communities’ most iconic institutions and to keep that history alive.”