The Girlfriends directly connects to the nation’s LGBT rights movement in important ways. One of the figures in this duo, Jill Johnston, was an influential Lesbian activist and author of Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution (1973).
George Segal, the artist who captured this tender moment between Johnston and another woman, also created a monument near the Stonewall Inn in NYC, shown at right. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar. Its patrons fought back against what had become city-sanctioned harassment of gay people. This riot triggered a series of protests, including the first gay and lesbian march. The events at Stonewall are credited as the flashpoint for the LGBT rights movement we celebrate this month. —Juline Chevalier, Head of Interpretation, June 16, 2016
Top: Jill Johnston in 1985; Jack Manning/The New York Times
Bottom: NYC Parks