Expanding Equity: "Stonewall Did That For Me"

Our personal experiences can influence our work as planners. We all have a responsibility to advance equity within our communities, ensuring everyone can participate, prosper and reach their full potential.

In recognition of Pride Month, I'm resharing my personal experience of the Stonewall uprising that was recorded by StoryCorps and broadcast on National Public Radio.

In 1969, I was at the popular gay bar Stonewall in New York City when the police raided it. But instead of running away, the patrons stood up for themselves, in what became known as the Stonewall uprising. For me, it changed my life — and the world around me. I told my story of that night at Stonewall to my friend Matt ...

"It was a Friday night, and I was out on a date. I was at the bar getting drinks for both of us. We had just finished dancing. The music was blaring. It was a combination of beer and cigarettes and cologne. Suddenly, as I'm handing money to the bartender, a deafening silence occurred. The lights went up, the music went off, and you could hear a pin drop. My boyfriend rushed over and said it was time to go — the vice squad had come to raid the club."


Top image: People carrying a large rainbow flag. Getty Images photo.

Michael Levine, AICP
About the Author

Michael E. Levine, AICP

Michael E. Levine is an adjunct profession of urban planning at Pace University and director of the Community Planning Fellowship Program of the Fund for the City of New York. He has served the LGBTQ community in a variety of roles, including vice president of APA's LGBTQ Division and as president of the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organizations.

June 10, 2019

By Michael Levine, AICP