Upon co-founding the Wall of Honor in 2019 in partnership with New York‘s famous Stonewall Inn and the National LGBTQ+ Task Force, Nicole Murray Ramirez, Queen Mother I of the Americas, emphasized that a “movement that doesn’t know where it came from, doesn’t know where it’s going.”
She heads the International Imperial Courts of the USA, Canada, and Mexico, the oldest LGBTQ organization in North America, established in 1965. Murray Ramirez, who oversees the selection of the quintet of queer people posthumously honored each year, said the goal was simple: to ensure the inductees are remembered.
The Stonewall Inn might’ve not served as the home of the Wall of Honor had it not been saved from permanent closure in 2006.
Activist and one of the historic gay bar’s current co-owners Stacy Lentz tells GayCities it has always been a designated safe space for queer people to find their chosen family. “When we found out it was closing, my partners Kurt Kelly, Bill Morgan, and Tony DeCicco got a group of investors together to help save the bar. Stonewall literally could have been a Starbucks if we hadn’t all stepped in to save it.”
Lentz and her business partners have worked relentlessly to put The Stonewall Inn back on the map and educate younger generations about the importance of carrying on its legacy and preserving queer history. She says they understand – as owners of such a prominent place in culture – that they have a huge responsibility to keep queer resilience alive. “We have used the bar as a vehicle and always wanted to make sure we put it back at the forefront in the fight for LGBTQ rights and have solidified that work through our nonprofit, The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative.” She currently serves as the organization’s CEO, which took the original mission of the Stonewall Riots across the world.