By Jon Barrett
Fifty years ago this June, when police raided the New York City gay bar the Stonewall Inn, it sparked a six-night, sometimes violent protest that The Daily News, at the time, described as having “all the fury of a gay atomic bomb.” Fallout from that 1969 upraising resulted in the city’s first Pride parade and now, WorldPride NYC/Stonewall 50, a monthlong 50th anniversary party expected to draw as many as 4 million people to the city. Of course, hustle and bustle have both always been part of Pride’s appeal. And, to that end, this year’s June 30 parade and surrounding parties and performances — Madonna is still rumored, while Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Melissa Etheridge and Jake Shears are confirmed — won’t disappoint.
Pride or protest, much of the past 50 years has been reflected in art. An extensive “Art After Stonewall” exhibit spans the space of two galleries — Leslie-Lohman Museum (212-431-2609, leslielohman.org) and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery (212-998-6780, greyartgallery.nyu.edu) — and includes more than 150 pieces by openly gay artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, David Hockney and Andy Warhol.