It certainly seems like staggering progress has been made in an extremely short amount of time – just under seven years after the passage of California’s notorious proposition 8, full marriage rights were finally extended to gays and lesbians earlier this year. But that progress is the result of a painful, 46-years long fight that began in earnest on June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The shady, mob-run club that became a haven for disenfranchised LGBTQ was a frequent target of extremely zealous enforcement of the city’s anti gay statutes, but after an early morning raid on the 28th, police lost control. A series of spontaneous demonstrations followed, erupting into riots that lasted with varying intensity for several days. In the aftermath, the gay rights movement as it came to be known emerged.
It’s thrilling stuff, and it’s the subject of director Roland Emmerich’s next film, Stonewall. An account of the uprising that inserts fictional characters into the drama, the film portrays the community centered around the bar before, during, and after the riots. Starring Jeremy Irvine, Ron Perlman, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joey King, Caleb Landry Jones, Matt Craven, Atticus Mitchell and Mark Camacho, it’s written by Jon Robin Baitz. Emmerich, Michael Fossat, Marc Frydman, and Carsten Lorenz produce. Stonewall hits theaters September 25.