Sign of the Times In fact, a whole stack of signs to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (sponsored by MasterCard!). Of course, Gay Street was called that long before “gay” meant what it does today, but its prominent location in the West Village has always been a cause for mild mirth. After the ’69 riots, the word “gay” was widely adopted and had a pretty good run. The profusion of identities—some that would have been covered under “gay” but also a few new ones—is nicely captured by the pileup of signs. One wonders what it will look like in another fifty years…?