In this special series, LGBT celebrities and public figures talk to Tim Teeman about the Stonewall Riots and their legacy—see more here.
Murray Bartlett is an actor (Looking, Netflix’s Tales of the City).
When/how did you first hear about the Stonewall Riots, and what did you make of them?
In my early twenties I did a play which had a Stonewall riot scene in it which was the first time I got a clear idea of what went down. I found it very inspiring and emotional. It fills me with nostalgia and gratitude thinking about those brave pioneers who stood up for their/our rights.
What is their significance for you?
They paved the way for the rights that we have now. It’s important to celebrate their bravery and achievements and never become complacent. We should let the memory of their actions fortify our resolve and determination to continue fighting for LGBTQ rights and, more generally, equal human rights for all.
How far have we LGBT people come since 1969?
We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
What would you like to see, LGBT-wise, in the next 50 years?
I’d like to see a completely even playing field for all of us regardless of gender and sexuality, so that we all have completely equal rights and opportunities under the law and in every aspect of life—and that this is reflected socially and culturally. I’m excited for a time when gender and sexuality are non-issues, just part of the rich fabric of our human life that we can all celebrate together.