UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA is the First & Only organization for the So. Fla. Latinx|Hispanic|LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Community - advancing
Equality and Fairness through Education, Leadership & Awareness since 2002.
UNITY COALITION|COALICION UNIDA es la Primera y Unica organización en el sur de la Florida para la comunidad latinx|hispanx LGBT (lesbianas, gay,bisexual, transgénero)-
avanzando Igualdad, Liderazgo y Conciencia desde el 2002.
The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall
rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the
gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning
hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village
neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.
They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the
gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.
Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-gay legal system. Early homophile groups
in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored
non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the
1960s, however, were very contentious, as many social/political movements were active,
including the Civil Rights Movement, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the anti-Vietnam War
movement. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served
as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.
Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did
were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall
Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be
popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens,
transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless
youth. Police raids
on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the
Stonewall Inn. They attracted a crowd that was incited to riot. Tensions between New York City
police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and
again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups
to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their
sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.
After the Stonewall riots, gays and lesbians in New York City faced gender, race, class, and
generational obstacles to becoming a cohesive community. Within six months, two gay activist
organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three
newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. Within a few years, gay
rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first gay
pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago
commemorating the anniversary of the riots. Similar marches were organized in other cities.
Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark
the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall National Monument was established at the site in 2016.
(June 2, 1951 – March 31, 2017)
An American artist, gay rights activist, and designer of the rainbow flag (1978).
Baker's flag became widely associated with LGBT rights causes, a symbol of gay pride that has
become ubiquitous in the decades since its debut. California state senator Scott Wiener said Baker
"helped define the modern LGBT movement".
In 2015, the Museum of Modern Art ranked the rainbow flag as an internationally recognized symbol
as important as the recycling symbol.
Baker was born on June 2, 1951, in Chanute, Kansas. He grew up in Parsons, Kansas, where his
grandmother owned a women's clothing store. His father was a judge and his mother was a teacher.
Baker served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972. He was stationed in San Francisco at the
beginning of the gay rights movement. After his honorable discharge from the military, he worked on
the first marijuana legalization initiative California Proposition 19 (1972), and was taught to sew by his
fellow activist Mary Dunn. He used his skill to create banners for gay-rights and anti-war protest
marches. It was during this time that he met and became friends with Harvey Milk. He also joined the
gay drag activist group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence stating,"At first it was glamorous and political,
but when the Sisters became more organized, I became a tool of the right wing and raised money for
Jerry Falwell", referring to video and images of the group that were used for right-wing Christian
efforts, "so I stopped."
Baker first created the Rainbow Flag with a collective in 1978. He refused to trademark it, seeing it as
a symbol that was for the LGBT community. In 1979, Baker began work at Paramount Flag
Company in San Francisco, then located on the southwest corner of Polk Street and Post Street in the
Polk Gulch neighborhood. Baker designed displays for Dianne Feinstein, the Premier of China, the
presidents of France, Venezuela, and the Philippines, the King of Spain, and many others. He also
designed creations for numerous civic events and San Francisco Gay Pride. In 1984, he designed
flags for the Democratic National Convention.
In 1994, Baker moved to New York City, where he lived for the rest of his life. Here, he continued his
creative work and activism. That year he created the world's largest flag (at that time) in celebration of
the 25th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
In 2003, to commemorate the Rainbow Flag’s 25th anniversary, Baker created a Rainbow Flag that
stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean in Key West. After the commemoration, he
sent sections of this flag to more than 100 cities around the world. Due to his creation of the
rainbow flag, Baker often used the drag queen name "Busty Ross", alluding to Betsy Ross.
Baker died at home in his sleep on March 31, 2017 at age 65, in New York City. The New York City
medical examiner's office determined cause of death was hypertensive and atherosclerotic
cardiovascular disease. Upon Baker's death, California state senator Scott Wiener said Baker "helped
define the modern LGBT movement".
In Baker's memory, NewFest and NYC Pride partnered with a design team to create ‘Gilbert’, a
rainbow font inspired by the Rainbow Flag. As well, on June 2, 2017, the 66th anniversary of his birth,
Google released a Google Doodle honoring Baker.
The six-color version of the pride flag is most common. The original version from 1978 featured two
additional stripes—hot pink and turquoise—which were removed for manufacturing and practical
The colors on the Rainbow Flag reflect the diversity of the LGBT community. When Baker raised the
first rainbow flags at San Francisco Pride (his group raised two flags at the Civic Center) on June 25,
1978, it comprised eight symbolic colors:
Thirty volunteers had helped Baker hand-dye and stitch the first two flags in the top-floor attic gallery of
the Gay Community Center at 330 Grove Street in San Francisco.Because using dye in public
washing machines wasn't allowed, they waited until late at night to rinse the dye from their clothes,
running a cycle with bleach in the washing machines after leaving.
The design has undergone several revisions to remove two colors for expediency and later re-add
those colors when they became more widely available. As of 2008, the most common variant consists
of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Baker referred to this version
of the flag as the "commercial version", because it came about due to practical considerations of
mass production. Specifically, the rainbow flag lost its hot pink stripe when Baker approached the
Paramount Flag Company to begin mass-producing them, and the hot pink fabric was too rare and
expensive to include. The rainbow flag lost its turquoise stripe before the 1979 Gay Freedom Day
Parade, as the committee organizing the parade wanted to fly the flag in two halves, from the light
poles along both sides of Market Street, so it became a six-striped flag with equal halves.
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