Tuesday, June 28, 2016

THE NIGHT THAT QUEENS SET IT OFF LIKE AN ATOMIC BOMB

Have you ever marched in a Gay Pride Parade?  Do you know why you were able to?
On June 28, 1969 the Stonewall Riots took place at the Stonewall Inn at 51 Christopher Street in New York City, sparking a civil rights movement for LGBT community in the United States. Every time I'm at the Stonewall, I can't help but think of what went on that night whilst enjoying my drink.  Let's take look at what you could expect in America at this time, and why the anger was boiling just below the surface for so many LGBT people in the US:
 
Your name (along with all of your friends and family members) would be put on a list by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, because as a homosexual you were prone to blackmail and "overt acts of perversion".
 
The United States Post Office also kept your name on a list to monitor any homosexual "paraphernalia" you were receiving so they could tip off the police and have you arrested.
 
You would be dishonorably discharged from the military, fired from your government job or job as a teacher or professor at a college if you were suspected of being gay with no legal recourse.
 
Your neighborhood would be "swept" periodically to arrest you and anyone else who was a presumed homosexual or wore clothes not "for" their gender.
 
The American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a sociopath personality disturbance and you were considered mentally infirm (this did not change until 1973).
 
You could be arrested for holding hands in public with your partner.
 
For these reasons and others, some of these amazing individuals with heart and balls are why we , today, have the lifestyle and freedoms we have.
Frank Kameny-He has been referred to as "one of the most significant figures" in the American gay rights movement
Bob Kohler-a gay rights pioneer, who also fought for the rights of many other people and animals. He was at the Stonewall riots, and considered a father figure to many of the young trans people.
And a slew of drag queens.
As Gay Pride Month comes to a close...and we celebrate....we must always remember these heroes, and that historic night.

19 comments:

  1. Amen sister!!!!!! I can't even imagine the tension and fury that night. As queens are not to be trifled with.

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  2. Nice post and a very nice tribute to some hero's. Being in new york, and going to Stonewall for drinks today, it's so easy to forget what went on. These very young guys come in and completely forget that this took place in our neighborhood bar. Great news that it was declared a national landmark. Like any holiday,it's great to remember the true meaning of a holiday or event. I'll have a drink in all their honors tonight.

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  3. Great post. I was in my mid twenties when I lived in new York then, back in my imperial court days. I was there the day before havin a night out. So different then. But I keenly remember being in the village that day.....and you could almost sense something in the air that day.i don't know what it was. My life could have been much different had I been out that night again at the Stonewall. I try to remember if I have ever seen any of these people.

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    1. Wow I never knew that! To be so close to that night. Your right, it could have changed your life.

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  4. And remember.... that prior to Stonewall there was Compton’s Cafeteria, and in BOTH instances male-to-female cross-dressers were the ones who initially stood up and angrily confronted the police. Perhaps because transgenders willingly break the ultimate taboo–males choosing to embrace their femininity–they are the bravest among us.

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  5. I find it very disheartening that some stories of Stonewall is like all the rest. It’s described as a gay men’s movement, despite that the Stonewall riots was started by drag queens, transwomen, and genderqueers. It’s time, once and for all to acknowledge that we, the so oft maligned “T” in LGBT are the ones who started this party. The muscle marys ran.

    On a separate note, these photos and post are very nice.

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  6. I came out in 1978 and attended my first march in 1981 in NYC. There were so many people it was astonishing!

    I am thankful to all the pioneers!!!

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  7. It sad that in school they don't teach this. I know my children had no idea about it till I told them.To my knowledge they still don't, as far as I know.

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  8. I'd say that post title sums it up perfect.

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  9. I was really pleased to learn that Obama has just declared the Stonewall Inn to be a National Historic Site!

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  10. Good history lesson. Seattle's was a resounding success!

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  11. Great post. At that time things were just as bad in Los Angeles. Law enforcement was FAR more intent on suppressing gays than fighting crime. They organized an all-out assault on gays and utilized incredibly unethical ploys to do it.

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    1. And sadly it still continues in other countries and parts of even our own country.

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  12. In remembrance of all the people who have fought and died for what they believed in. Because of them I can be who i really am today. I love our diversity and i am truly PROUD of my people

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  13. Such a crying shame that Roland Emmerich's film about Stonewall chose to focus the story around a fictional “straight-acting” white character from the MidWest, rather than any of the fabulous drag queens, dykes and disco bunnies who actually did fight back against the police (most of them Latino or black). It has rightly been trashed by the real veterans.

    I raise a glass (or a Molotov?) to them! Jx

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  14. It's amazing how far we've come--and we need to remember that and who fought with us and for us along the way--and amazing how much more work needs to be done.

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  15. Great post! We owe a lot to these proud, fed-up, powerful people and to so many who came before and have come since.

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  16. The true meaning of the pride celebrating!!!

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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