In the early hours of 28 June 1969, the day after Judy Garland’s funeral, a police raid on a Christopher Street bar in New York’s Greenwich Village accidentally triggered a new, more radical phase of the struggle for gay liberation, when queer rioters stood up to police bullying and violence—fighting back, over a period of six days, against lifetimes of abuse and repression in a collective uprising. These are now known as the Stonewall riots.
The following year the first Gay Pride marches, commemorating the riots, took place in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The UK’s first Gay Rights demonstration took place at London’s Highbury Fields in 1970, and in 1972, around 2,000 people marched on London’s first Gay Pride – towards visibility, solidarity and equal rights. In 1971, marches took place in Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm.
To commemorate the riots, the 12 Star Gallery at Europe House are showing a selection of work by Kate Charlesworth, taken from her upcoming graphic memoir, Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide.
‘Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide will be a crucial cornerstone in building our future by making sure we remember our past. And Kate’s style—feisty, questioning, open, witty and sometimes angry—is the perfect vehicle to communicate that lived history of feminism, activism and liberation history in a uniquely accessible way. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.’—Val McDermid
Kate Charlesworth is a Barnsley-born cartoonist and illustrator. She attended art college in Manchester and worked as an illustrator in London and Edinburgh, where she now lives. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, comics, and digital media. In 2014 she illustrated Sally Heathcote: Suffragette by Costa Prizewinners Mary and Bryan Talbot.