Stonewall Riots activist brings personal stories of gay fightback to Edmonton

Stonewall Riots activist Martin Boyce during an appearance in Edmonton on May 16, 2022 (Darcy Seaton/CTV News Edmonton).

A man who pushed back against "bullying" while participating in the Stonewall Riots in the United States spoke about his experiences at Edmonton City Hall Wednesday.

"I did fight," Martin Boyce told a crowd of a few dozen people.

The riots began on June 28, 1969 after police raided a New York City gay bar, an event that is considered a major catalyst for the LGBTQ2S+ liberation movement.

The raid sparked demonstrations and violence, but Boyce said many of the participants had simply had enough.

"Young people know the pain of bullying, a lot of victims, still," he explained.

"This was codified. This was institutionalized. Bullying was the order of the day when you were a gay person, and you expected it from the day you were born until the day you die."

Boyce said gay-rights effort are now more organzised and well-funded than ever before, and people like him will continue to fight back against descrimination.

The event was free and hosted by Pride@theCity. Other events in Edmonton were hosted by the Pride Centre of Edmonton and Evolution Wonderlounge. Boyce is speaking in six Canadian cities.