New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Gay Liberation Monument

"This sculpture by George Segal (1924-2000) honors the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) rights movement and commemorates the events at the Stonewall Inn opposite this park that gave rise to the movement." Thus reads the plaque at the Gay Liberation Monument in Christopher Park in the West Village. George Segal (1924-2000) is a well known sculptor and this work was inaugurated in 1992 after 12-year battle of controversy and opposition (a cast of the sculpture installed on Stanford University's campus in 1984 , faced a decade of vandalism and beatings). The Stonewall Inn is just out of view to the right in the photo. If you are unfamiliar with the Stonewall Riots in July of 1969, you can read about them here. Many consider the events of that summer pivotal in the Gay rights movement. It's hard to imagine that 38 years ago, men were being arrested, harassed and beaten by police, simply for being gay - many of the arrests were made with charges for indecency. And yet arguments for legalization of homosexuality go back hundreds of years. English scholar Jeremy Bentham wrote an essay as early as 1785, at which time homosexuality was punishable by hanging. Much progress was made from 1860 - 1933 in Europe and Germany with activists like Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Magnus Hirschfeld, Ann Rüling and Helene Stöcke, but most of the gains were lost with the rise of Nazism. Progress in human rights, unlike those in technology, can be very S L O W ...

10 comments:

Glenn Standish said...

Very interesting. The USA is way ahead in terms of being liberal compared to here in Poland. Greetings from Toruń DP! Check us out!

Brian said...

glenn;
I knew very little about the details before doing this posting. And do not be deceived - the acceptance of these things is still only partially fulfilled in some cities; much less so with other demographics.
Brian

Jilly said...

Very glad to read this post. And I love the juxtaposition of the statues and real people.

Jx

Kate said...

I think Segal is a genius--recognizable instantly!

Neva said...

I found your blog(not sure how!) I lOVE your pictures....I have never been to NYC....all the other biggies and I live outside of Chicago....keep up the good photos!!

Camera Shy in WI said...

It is funny to see a photo of this statue on New York Daily Photo - before it found its permanent home, it spent some time in Madison (WI) in Orton Park. I seem to recall some grumbling at first, but then it just faded into the scenery until one day, it had gone to its permanent home.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I like the photograph a lot.

Sally said...

It's a really wonderful sculpture.

Carlos said...

Great sculptoric group. Nice photograph Brian.

Molly said...

Does anyone know if this is still standing? Would love to go see it.