"Before Stonewall" an older documentary

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    Jan 12, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    The other night I was at the video store and saw a docudrama entitled
    "Before Stonewall" Over the years I had heard bits and pieces of the story but never really got around to renting this little gem.What a classic piece of Americana this really is! I am now so thankful to all those courageous gay people who came way before me. I don't know if the Gays of the present day could ever have pulled this one off but I do know that I should not take my rights and freedoms so lightly after having watched this one.

    "The Story"
    In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city's gay community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the Gay Liberation Movement had begun.Before Stonewall pries open the closet door--setting free the dramatic story of the sometimes horrifying public and private existences experienced by gay and lesbian Americans since the 1920s. Revealing and often humorous, this widely acclaimed film relives the emotionally-charged sparking of today's gay rights movement, from the events that led to the fevered 1969 riots to many other milestones in the brave fight for acceptance.
    Homosexuality in America through eye-opening historical footage and amazing interviews with those who lived through an often brutal closeted history. A Masterpiece!

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    Jan 13, 2011 8:50 PM GMT
    Thanks for that. I being a person in the beginning of the 80's being pro active in helping decriminalise homosexuality in my state, and also having it removed from the mental health act too. because if you where a police man, a fireman, in the military and they found out you played with men. This was enough to have you removed from your post for having a mental health issue. We changed all of that, and I was apart of the change. With my job in the gay community we also had to endure police raids, and the fact we worked there, meant we got the real bad treatment too. But I stood stead fast.

    Then AIDS come along and the irresponsible actions of many sent us in backward motion, the advancement had stoped, and I'm not sure the gay community of today has what it takes either.

    Yes I was once a gay activists, who was able to experience positive change for a time.
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    Jan 14, 2011 5:57 AM GMT
    I remember this 1984 documentary fondly - it kicked off my greatest and most unexpected life epiphany, a real watershed moment.

    In 1986 before the internet when we bought into limited images fed us on the news and in films I was uptight and knew nothing about Stonewall or the gay community, thinking it only a subculture from which to distance myself of lisping limpwristed mustachioed disco sissies, cruising leathermen, butch lesbians, AIDS victims and cinematic transvestite serial killers until late one night, flipping channels and landing on PBS, I stumbled upon and surreptitiously watched, with the volume turned low, "Before Stonewall" and the interviews given by gay seniors alone changed my perspective and my life. Suddenly I was no longer alone and was proud, not only comforted by the unexpected images of traditional masculinity to which I could relate but moved and impressed by each and every grizzled bulldyke and faded queen waxing nostalgic who, by the end of the program, evolved in my mind from stereotypes to honorary aunties and role models, gay godparents one and all. Within a year I moved to Greenwich Village and was, as the below pic of me all dimpled smiles with the "groom" attests, happily getting wasted at lesbian weddings. I'd recommend "Before Stonewall" to anyone!

    4r9lhj.jpg
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    Jan 14, 2011 7:26 PM GMT
    Am glad you saw this. It's important for everyone to know the history, to see where we have come and how far we have to go, I have said this before: We were "All the Sad Young Men" that McKuen sang about..victims by default. Then Stonewall. And then "I Will Survive" and power and self worth.
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    Jan 14, 2011 7:58 PM GMT
    I just watched this documentary with my boyfriend a few days ago. Highly recommended, especially for the younger generation.

    Coming out for me was remarkably easy and this documentary explains why. Brave individuals risked everything to stand up against injustice.