What is Stonewall?

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    Feb 16, 2008 1:46 PM GMT
    This thread, "Just saw a huge great f off billboard in the roughest part of town had to share it," started me wondering how much we know about our history.
    So I ask all, what IS Stonewall?
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    Feb 16, 2008 2:00 PM GMT
    It was a gay bar in NY that was raided one night in 1969 (3 days after the death of Judy Garland) by the police. Usually the gays were forced out of the bar onto the street. Some would be arrested and hauled off. The rest would disperse. But this night, they didnt disperse. Instead, they got angry. (They were in mourning, for christ's sakes. icon_evil.gif ) They vented their angry in rioting and burning for the next several nights.

    The police didnt do dat no more.
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    Feb 16, 2008 2:02 PM GMT
    Sweet Caslon, you go to the head of the class! icon_wink.gif
  • MikePhilPerez

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    Feb 16, 2008 2:27 PM GMT
    I'm ashamed to say, I did not know that.

    Mike
  • HndsmKansan

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    Feb 16, 2008 2:32 PM GMT
    I was going to give an analysis of Stonewall Jackson or a definition of the term "Stonewall". Gay bars in New York... no.. Now Toronto, I might have a clue.


    3 days after Judy Garland?
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    Feb 16, 2008 2:33 PM GMT
    Many years ago I had visited the 'site' of Stonewall and was so surprised that such a little bar was the location of one of the biggest benchmarks in our history of civil rights.

    Genuinely an awesome feeling.
  • NYCguy74

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    Feb 16, 2008 2:40 PM GMT
    also, to add to Caslon's very good answer, this happened at the end of June, which is why Pride is held in June. New York City's is pretty much always as close as it can be to the anniversary
  • HndsmKansan

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    Feb 16, 2008 2:42 PM GMT
    Perhaps NudeWoody and Caslon can create a history thread and share some of the history. I had no idea about this.. for those of us who are younger or are newer to this scene......
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    Feb 16, 2008 2:46 PM GMT
    And, I add, that if every drag queen I've met who claimed to have been at the Stonewall that night had actually been there, it would have been the size of the LA Convention Center.

    I did, however, meet one in Dallas years ago who was speaking to a rally and who was authentic. He was pretty fierce.

    When we decry the media's focus on drags, etc. during the various pride parades, we overlook the fact that it was this marginalized segment of our own community that had, ironically, the balls to stand up to authority and say "No more!".

    Joey
  • MikePhilPerez

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    Feb 16, 2008 2:58 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidPerhaps NudeWoody and Caslon can create a history thread and share some of the history. I had no idea about this.. for those of us who are younger or are newer to this scene......


    I agree.
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    Feb 16, 2008 3:21 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidMany years ago I had visited the 'site' of Stonewall and was so surprised that such a little bar was the location of one of the biggest benchmarks in our history of civil rights.

    Genuinely an awesome feeling.


    Same here - I was really startled by how 'small' the bar/the area seemed to be. I had the same imprsesion in one other place - when I stood in the spot where the "shot heard round the world" was fired in Lexington/Concord.
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    Feb 16, 2008 3:27 PM GMT
    The gays might have been in morning over Judy Garland, however the raid on the Stonewall that incited the riot was carried out differently than previous raids. most raids happened earlier in the evening so the bar could re-open afterwards and most of the time the bar's management was tipped of about when a raid would occur. that night management was not tipped off and the raid happened later than any previous raids had happened. the crowd from the bar and area also did not disperse as crowds normally would when a raid occured. the riot started with a drag queen throwing a bottle at a police officer after being prodded by his nightstick, then as a lesbian was being dragged off she was screaming and resisting, encouraging the crowd to do the same. that's when the riot began and the crowd grew.

    the crowd returned the following night and again 5 nights later to show that they would not go away quietly.
  • zakariahzol

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    Feb 16, 2008 3:37 PM GMT
    I heard about Stonewall ever since I was in the University. It the begining of gay right movement in New York. I also heard about the murder of Harvey Milk in San Fransisco . However I am clueless about the role of Judy Garland in all this gay history.
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    Feb 16, 2008 3:44 PM GMT
    Three years before the Stonewall Riots, there was the Compton's cafeteria riot. The police picked on the wrong drag queen that night! There were boas and wigs and sequins all over the Tenderloin district of SF that night. ... icon_lol.gif

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compton's_Cafeteria_Riot

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2008 3:46 PM GMT
    Judy Garland, like Bette Midler after her, had a huge gay following. Since the Stonewall Riot took place just 3 days after Judy's death, it is often joked that the gays were still upset over Judy and that that is why they reacted to the raid on the Stonewall bar as they did. It is just a bit of gay humor.
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    Feb 16, 2008 3:52 PM GMT
    'Many gay pride celebrations choose the month of June to hold their parades and events to celebrate “The Hairpin Drop Heard Round the World" '

    icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 16, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    June 27th, 1969, the place the Stonewall Inn, the city New York, New York. The #1 song in the USA was the "Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet" by Henry Mancini (would have been more appropiate if it had been Romeo and Julian, but oh well).

    Some gay historians take this as the starting point of the gay liberation movement. That is nice, but events were taking place elsewhere in the world that showed things were changing for the better for gays and lesbians. For example in 1967 Pierre Trudeau, then Minister of Justice, removed homosexuality from the Canadian Criminal Code, stating that the government had no business in the bedrooms of the nation. The United Kingdom also de-criminalized homosexuality the same year (sadly there are many nations in the world today in which it is a criminal offense).

    A good account of the Stonewall Inn riots can be found in the final chapter of Edmund White's second volume of his autobiography titled "The Beautiful Room is Empty".
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    Feb 16, 2008 4:29 PM GMT
    Timeline of US LGBT History

    (extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_LGBT_history)

    1649 - The first known conviction for lesbian activity in North America occurs in March when Sarah White Norman is charged with "Lewd behaviour each with other upon a bed" with Mary Vincent Hammon in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Hammon was under 16 and not prosecuted.

    1779 - In 1779, Jefferson prepared a draft of Virginia’s criminal statute, envisaging that the punishment for sodomy should be castration. [Well, that kinda tarnishes his reputation]

    1903 - In New York on February 21, 1903, New York police conducted the first United States recorded raid on a gay bathhouse, the Ariston Hotel Baths. 26 men were arrested and 12 brought to trial on sodomy charges; 7 men received sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison.

    1913 - The word faggot is first used in print in reference to gays in a vocabulary of criminal slang published in Portland, Oregon: "All the fagots [sic] (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight".

    1920 - The word Gay is used for the first time in reference to homosexual in the Underground [I dont know what the Underground is. The 1928 movie by Anthony Asquith???].

    1950 - The Mattachine Society, the first American homosexual group, is founded in Los Angeles; 190 individuals in the United States are dismissed from government employment for their sexual orientation, commencing the Lavender scare.

    1962 - Illinois becomes first U.S. state to remove sodomy law from its criminal code.

    1969 - The Stonewall riots occur in New York

    1970 - The first Gay Liberation Day March is held in New York City; The first Gay Freedom Day March is held in Los Angeles; The first "Gay-in" held in San Francisco;

    1973 - The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II), based largely on the research and advocacy of Evelyn Hooker

    1974 - Kathy Kozachenko becomes the first openly homosexual American elected to public office when she wins a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan city council; Ohio repeals sodomy laws. Robert Grant founds American Christian Cause to oppose the "gay agenda", the beginning of modern Christian politics in America.

    1976 - Robert Grant founds the Christian Voice to take his anti-homosexual-rights crusade national in United States

    1977 - Harvey Milk is elected city-county supervisor in San Francisco, becoming the third out American elected to public office; Dade County, Florida enacts a Human Rights Ordinance; it is repealed the same year after a militant anti-homosexual-rights campaign led by Anita Bryant. Quebec becomes the first jurisdiction larger than a city or county in the world to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the public and private sectors

    1978 - San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone are assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White. The rainbow flag is first used as a symbol of homosexual pride

    1979 - The first national homosexual rights march on Washington, DC is held

    1980 - The Democratic National Convention becomes the first major political party in America to endorse a homosexual rights platform plank

    1982 - Wisconsin becomes the first US state to ban discrimination against homosexuals

    1983 - Massachusetts Representative Gerry Studds reveals he is a homosexual on the floor of the House, becoming the first openly homosexual member of Congress

    1984 - Massachusetts voters reelect representative Gerry Studds, despite his revealing himself as homosexual the year before

    1985 - The first memorial to gay Holocaust victims is dedicated

    1987 - ACT UP stages its first major demonstration, seventeen protesters are arrested; U.S. Congressman Barney Frank comes out

    1998 - Matthew Shepard is murdered

    1999 - California adopts a domestic partnership law

    2003 - the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down remaining state sodomy laws

    2004 - Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage while eleven other U.S. states ban the practice through public referendums; Domestic partnerships are legalized in New Jersey

    2006 - United States Senate fails to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment

    2007 - On August 9, 2007, the Logo cable channel hosts the first presidential forum in the United States focusing specifically on LGBT issues. Six Democratic Party candidates participate in the event. GOP candidates were asked to attend but turned it down.

    2008 - The "civil union" law goes into effect in New Hampshire since 1 January, 2008 and also a "domestic partnership" legislation in Oregon came into effect from February

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2008 4:38 PM GMT
    Thanks Caslon, that is very helpful and informative. I had forgotten about the bathhouse raids in 1903, makes you realize that there was a lot more gay activity in the past then people realize, it was very much underground though.
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    Feb 16, 2008 4:46 PM GMT
    2010 - World's first all homosexual army is formed bringing together gays and lesbians from around the world. Their mission is to beat the shit out of all who deny gays their rights, from the halls of montezuma to the shores of tripoli. The Bush family is their first "correction".
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    Feb 16, 2008 4:52 PM GMT
    hmmmm....beat the shit?...beat the shit? Is that what a gay army would do?

    Any suggestions what a gay army would do? ... icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 16, 2008 4:55 PM GMT
    If I was commander in chief of such an army, we'd first beat the shit out of our oppressors and then we'd head over the the officer's club for pink daquiris.
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    Feb 16, 2008 5:06 PM GMT
    For those of us who are woefully ignorant of queer history but would like to get a better understanding of how we got here Making Gay History is a fine book. It is a collection of interviews of people who were there at the scene making history; whether they be a drag queen at Stonewall, a lesbian in the Daughter's of Bilitis, or some homo cruising the bath houses of San Francisco in the 70's. It is a great, easy read.

    For you gentlemen who would like to learn more about the invention of homosexuality/heterosexuality, the creation of the gay ghettos, and 'the gay safari' please, please, please read the best book on queer history I have ever read Gay New York by George Chauncey. It is a bit academic, but very accessible.

    Or if you are an Oscar Wilde (and he figures into all this in a major way) read The Wilde Century by Alan Sinfield. This is very academic, but Sinfield is a wonderful and entertaining author.

    Thank you for participating in my book club ^_^
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    Feb 16, 2008 5:12 PM GMT
    Couldn't we just make the homophobe army watch all for seasons of Project Runway? Over and over until they surrendered! ... icon_twisted.gif
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Feb 16, 2008 5:13 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidFor those of us who are woefully ignorant of queer history but would like to get a better understanding of how we got here Making Gay History is a fine book. It is a collection of interviews of people who were there at the scene making history; whether they be a drag queen at Stonewall, a lesbian in the Daughter's of Bilitis, or some homo cruising the bath houses of San Francisco in the 70's. It is a great, easy read.

    For you gentlemen who would like to learn more about the invention of homosexuality/heterosexuality, the creation of the gay ghettos, and 'the gay safari' please, please, please read the best book on queer history I have ever read Gay New York by George Chauncey. It is a bit academic, but very accessible.

    Or if you are an Oscar Wilde (and he figures into all this in a major way) read The Wilde Century by Alan Sinfield. This is very academic, but Sinfield is a wonderful and entertaining author.

    Thank you for participating in my book club ^_^


    Considering the subject, do you have to use the Q wordicon_question.gif

    Mike