Diana Davies Collection of Historic LGBT Images

Following on some groundbreaking events last week – the LPC designation of the Stonewall Inn as the city’s first LGBT individual landmark and then the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality – we thought we’d feature some historic images taken by photographer Diana Davies. Yesterday, we also celebrated the 46th anniversary of the June 28, 1969 Stonewall rebellion, which this year fell on the same day as the LGBT Pride March.

The photos featured here are from 1969-1971. A collection of her images can be found in the digital collection of the New York Public Library.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1970. Source: NYPL.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1970. Source: NYPL.

These first two images were taken on “Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day” in 1970. Held on June 28th to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots, participants marched from Christopher Street in the Village up to Central Park. Preparations for the march had begun earlier in the year.

Noted as the first LGBT Pride March in our nation’s history, the event sparked similar ones across the country, and has evolved into a global movement for raising awareness of the fight for LGBT rights. Pride Week here in New York City, as well as the LGBT Pride March held yesterday, stemmed from this historic 1970 event.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1971. Source: NYPL.

The Diana Davies collection also includes photos of the same parade in 1971.

Ellen Shumsky, author, member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), and founding member of Radicalesbians, wrote that the Radicalesbians was formed in the winter of 1970 by a group of GLF women “with a growing women’s consciousness.” The above photo shows their inaugural march for LGBT rights.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1971. Source: NYPL.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1971. Source: NYPL.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1971. Source: NYPL.

More photos of Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day in 1971.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1969. Source: NYPL.

The Stonewall Inn was also captured in this great black and white image taken in 1969. Unfortunately, the iconic sign is no longer there.

The building was included in the Greenwich Village Historic District, which was designated on April 29, 1969, almost exactly two months to the day before the Stonewall rebellion took place.

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Photo by Diana Davies, 1969. Source: NYPL.

Members of the Mattachine Society – the group that organized the 1966 sip-in at the nearby Julius’ Bar – wrote a message on the window of the Stonewall Inn that had been partially removed by the time Davies took this photo in 1969. You can see the whole message on their Tumblr page.

See more of Davies’ photos in the New York Public Library collection. You can also watch a video of the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day parade here, and see more of GVSHP’s efforts to raise awareness of LGBT history in the Village here.

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Amanda

Amanda was GVSHP’s Director of Preservation & Research from January 2012 to July 2015.