Video courtesy of Nuno Xico.
Madonna made a surprise appearance at New York's Stonewall Inn on New Year’s Eve to kick off 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a series of violent standoffs by the LGBTQ community against police raids.
The events lead to the modern LGBTQ liberation movement and inspired activists to form the first Pride marches, which took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago in the early subsequent years.
This summer, New York will host World Pride and welcome millions of queer people and allies around the globe to celebrate Pride's 50th anniversary in the city that birthed it.
Back at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, the Queen of Pop did not dissapoint. Recently, Madonna signed on as a Stonewall Ambassador, a program launched by the organization Pride Live last June to elevate awareness of the 1969 uprising.
"Fifty years of sacrifice, 50 years of standing up to discrimination, hatred, and worst of all, indifference. And it all started here, at Stonewall," Madonna said to the crowd of over a hundred people. "Let us never forget the Stonewall riots and those who bravely stood up and said 'Enough!' Enough brutatlity. Enough violence inflicted on this community. Enough stigmatism. Enough oppression. Enough pain and suffering."
She continued, "For years, violent and humiliating police raids were common occurrences at gay sanctuaries across the country. Discrimination and unjust treatment was beyond comprehension. No gathering place for the LGBTQ community was truly safe, and our brothers and sisters weren't free to celebrate like we are tonight. And we must never forget that. A half a century later, Stonewall has become a defining moment and a critical turning point in history — catapulting LGBTQ rights into public conversation and consciousness, and awakening activism,” adding a “Fuck yeah!” to the roaring crowd.
Watch the video below, where Madonna encourages the crowd to "disarm people with kindness."