Campus Events Mark 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ+ Western and Western faculty are collaborating to present “50 Years Since Stonewall: the June 1969 Stonewall riots, memory, and terrains of LGBTQ+ liberation.”  The series of events for students, staff, faculty, and the community takes place May 22 and 23, offering multidisciplinary explorations of the Stonewall riots and ongoing struggles toward queer liberation.

WWU Events Mark 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots
The Stonewall riots marked one of the most galvanizing periods in the fight for sexual and gender liberation and the six days of protest against transphobia, homophobia, and police repression offered powerful stories, movements, and acts of queer resistance, sexual and gender liberation, and racial, ethnic, and cultural solidarity. The riots inspired LGBTQ+ people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights, and within two years after the riots, social movements for gender and sexual liberation were sparked in nearly every major city in the United States.

The events are as follows; additional details here. Faculty are welcomed to bring their classes.


Pride Postcards to LGBTQ+ Prisoners

A participatory event with Josh Cerretti, Assistant Professor of History

Wednesday, May 22, from 1-3:30 p.m. in the  Miller Hall Collaborative Space

Many aspects of LGBTQ+ life were criminalized throughout US history and LGBTQ+ people remain disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system. In memory of those arrested at Stonewall and in solidarity with those incarcerated today, we’ll be sending postcards celebrating Pride to incarcerated LGBTQ+ people. Stop by for ten minutes or stay the whole time.


Schooling After Stonewall

A panel with A Longoria, Instructor of Secondary Education, and community K-12 educators

Wednesday, May 22, from 4-6 p.m. in Miller Hall 152

What are the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth today?  How can we best serve the evolving needs of Queer identities in schooling?  This vision-setting panel conversation will highlight current youth work and perspectives on what schooling should look like after Stonewall.  The panel conceives of schooling broadly, with a particular emphasis on K-12 schooling.  It will consist of educators, community organizers, and activists. A brief overview of the state of schooling today, including legal and policy developments and implications, will precede a moderated panel.


Stones to the Wall:  How to Remember a Riot

A talk by Chris E. Vargas, Assistant Professor of Art

Thursday, May 23 at 5 p.m. in Fraser 201

In this talk about his recent exhibition and residency at the New Museum in New York City entitled “Consciousness Razing: The Stonewall Re-memorialization Project,” Chris Vargas explores Stonewall as a geographically, demographically, and historically contested site. For the New Museum exhibition, Vargas’s Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA) commissioned artists to propose new monuments to the 1969 Stonewall riots.  In doing so, Vargas questions what we think we know about these riots, often cited as a formative event for gay liberation and the modern LGBTQI civil rights movement in the US. MOTHA’s “Consciousness Razing” finds new ways to uncover, recast, and recuperate elements of the past.


LGBTQ+ Western works to advance the holistic thriving of diverse LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff at Western Washington University by collaboratively engaging the university community with transformational knowledge, resources, advocacy and celebration. You can sign up to receive periodic emails from LGBTQ+ Western at