It must have been 2008 or 2009, only one or two years after I relocated to New York, when I was walking around Greenwich Village and a sudden epiphany struck. * The Village People! They named their band after this neighborhood! *

In what must be some sort of straight people gentrification, the gay scene moved more northwards over the years, with its current epicenter in Chelsea, bleeding well into Hell’s Kitchen to the North. But back in the 60s, Greenwich Village was where it happened. Literally.

Gay Street has nothing to do with it, but just around the corner is the iconic Stonewall Inn. It was here that this Sunday 46 years ago, in the early morning hours on June 28 1969, a police raid on the gay bar went awry. The crowd from the bar was forced onto the street where it became rowdy, gaining mass and momentum to eventually exploded into a full blown riot. The raiding police officers were quickly outgunned and got trapped inside the bar, only to be rescued by NYC’s Tactical Police Force hours later.

The post-riot chaos lingered for days, and the ripples of what came down that night are still felt today, as the events became a symbol of defiance for the LGBTQ community, a symbolic call to arms that marked a turning point in gay culture, letting it break loose from under the shrouds of shame where it had been tucked away and ignored for as long as anyone could remember.

Exactly one year later on June 28 1970, the first Pride March was held in New York to commemorate the Stonewall riots. And over the years, Pride Month has grown into an international movement stretching from Japan to South Africa and Brazil, demanding attention for the inequality and prejudices that are still ingrained in the cultures and the laws of our societies around the globe.

Tremendous international progress has been made over the past decade, and this weekend’s Pride March in New York demands for extra celebration as the US Supreme Court has finally ruled – today – that same sex marriage is a constitutional right in the USA.

In a way, the riots are still going on. Only now they are organized and beautifully choreographed, not subverting any establishment but instead celebrating love, peace and progress.

This exhibition, curated by Anthony J. Thomas, is a shout-out to the LGBTQ community in support of Pride Month and our collective march towards equality for all men, women and every shade in between.