The Gill Foundation, founded in 1994 by software entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Gill, has made a $250,000 to the Stonewall Inn after it warned in a GoFundMe campaign that the historic venue, long considered the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, might not survive the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are reaching out because like many families and small businesses around the world, The Stonewall Inn is struggling,” the organizers wrote. “Our doors have been closed for over three months to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of patrons, staff and the community. Even in the best of times it can be difficult to survive as a small business and we now face an uncertain future. Even once we reopen, it will likely be under greatly restricted conditions limiting our business activities.”
“As you may be aware, The Stonewall Inn is the first national gay historic landmark and the birthplace of the modern day LGBTQ rights movement,” the GoFundMe campaign continued. “We celebrate and pay homage to those individuals who first stood up for gay rights and sparked the Stonewall Riots. Those brave souls who first stood up for their rights and the rights of others, triggered a global movement that continues to be celebrated world-wide via gay pride celebrations and parades.”
Said Gill Foundation Co-chairs, Scott Miller and Tim Gill in a statement: “Stonewall is a cornerstone of LGBTQ history and it must be protected. Queer people of color — including trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major — led the uprisings against police brutality at Stonewall and in doing so helped spark the movement for LGBTQ equality. We must preserve that history and the legacy of the activists who led the charge.”