On June 28, 1969, patrons at the Stonewall Inn in New York City rioted against police officers who had terrorized and bullied them for far too long.
Now just one year short of the Stonewall riots’ 50th anniversary, the NYPD are recognizing the efforts they’ve made to be inclusive to gay people within the organization.
Last night, the gay police union called the Gay Officers Action League of New York (GOAL), the NYPD, and the Stonewall Inn joined together to celebrate the gay men and women who have served the city of New York while wearing blue.
Even further, the organizations gathered to watch the premiere of the documentary The Journey, which spotlights the struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ NYPD officers.
“What you have right now is the NYPD owning some of its history, especially an ugly part of its history,” said Detective Brian Downey, President of GOAL to New York’s WPIX 11.
Despite the NYPD’s turbulent history with LGBTQ people, the department has since worked hard to support LGBTQ people within its ranks. This is especially true after Charlie Cochrane, the first openly gay officer in the NYPD, formed GOAL back in 1983.
“From where we were in 1982 to where we are today is a world of difference and it’s so much better,” said NYPD Chief Terence Monahan at the premiere. “I’m standing here, Chief of Department and I’m in Stonewall Inn, 50 years ago, cops were storming the Stonewall Inn.
But this premiere isn’t the end of The Journey. The producers of the film plan to extend it into a longer movie that will then be circulated around the city and beyond.
We look forward to seeing the finished product.
h/t: New York’s WPIX 11