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The Stonewall Riots were a flashpoint in LGBTQ history. After the riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969, the LGBTQ civil rights movement went from handfuls of pioneering activists to a national movement mobilizing thousands under the banner of Gay Liberation.

This exhibition illustrates this history through the photographs of Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, two pioneering photojournalists, who captured the pivotal events of this era and changed the ways that LGBTQ people perceived themselves. Featured alongside these images are other items from the Library’s vast archival holdings in LGBTQ history, including ephemera, periodicals, and more.

Explore related programs and collections.

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Installation views

Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 opened February 14, 2019 in the Katherine J. Rayner Special Collections Wing & Print Gallery in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

All installation photographs courtesy of HvADesign

neon sign on left of photo reads "Love & Resistance" also shows framed photos on gallery wall
photograph of neon sign that reads "BARS" and framed photos on gallery wall
photograph of exhibition, looking down the corridor gallery
photograph of woman looking at frames on wall
five frames on a wall, installed over a graphic of an illustration of a man wearing a leather jacket
photograph of frames on wall, installed over photographic wall graphics
neon sign and wall graphic of photo of woman wearing a shirt that reads "FEMME"
neon sign reads "BARS" to left of wall text
neon sign reads "PRINT" and photograph of exhibition installation
photograph of brochure holder in front of wall with text
three framed items and one larger, photo print of a black woman holding a sign at a protest
neon light on left side of image reads "BARS", photo shows wall graphics and groupings of framed items

Accompanying publications

Digital Collections & E-Resources

The Library has digitized more than 3,000 images from our collections, all freely available in the Library’s Digital Collections. Images include many of the images you see in this exhibition by Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, as well as rare portraits of Walt Whitman and Gertrude Stein, posters from ACT UP and Gran Fury, and Robert Giard’s portraits of LGBTQ writers. Explore these and many other images in the Digital Collections

The Library also provides excellent electronic resources for researching LGBTQ history including the Archives of Sexuality and Gender, the American Civil Liberties Union, and The Alternative Press Index and Archive

LGBTQ Research Collections

Gay Liberation Front demonstration

The New York Public Library has one of the premier collections of LGBTQ history in the world. These collections include the publishes record of both academic and popular literature, rare books, little magazines, historic newspapers, and major archives. Explore the collections through the Stonewall 50 Research Guide

The Library also intensively collects the social history of the AIDS crisis, which has so disastrously impacted LGBTQ communities. 

Highlights include: ACT UP New York, W. H. Auden, James Baldwin, Black Gay and Lesbian Archive, William S. Burroughs, Martin B. Duberman, Gay Activists Alliance, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Gay history papers and Photographs, International Gay Information Center, Jonathan Ned Katz, LGBTQ Periodicals Collection, Charles Ludlum, Mattachine Society of New York, Walt Whitman , and Virginia Woolf.

How to Support the Library’s LGBTQ Initiative

When you donate to the LGBTQ Initiative, you provide critical funds to help the Library build, preserve, and increase access to its LGBTQ collections—not only for New Yorkers, but for people across the country and around the world. 

Your contribution will also make you a Friend of the Library, and you'll enjoy special benefits such as discounted tickets and exclusive invitations to member events.

To join the LGBTQ Initiative, click here.

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