The Police Raids And Riots At Stonewall Inn Essay

796 Words Oct 30th, 2016 4 Pages
Before Stonewall provides a historical overview of the development of the experiences within the LGBTQ community in the US in the 20th century, leading up to the police raids and riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969. The documentary begins in the early 1900s. In this time nobody really knew anything about the gay community, in fact the word gay was “dirty.” If there were any suspicions that a person had gay tendencies they were committed to a mental institution.
As the 20s’ came around speak easies began to pop up in bohemian neighborhoods in places such as San Francisco and New York. The gay communities gathered at these speak easies because they still had to hide from the rest of the world.
The 20s’ was also the time of prohibition so the gay community began to break many laws because it was the thing to do. Nearing the end of the 20s’ there was an influx of gay people that fled to New York and blacks that moved into Harlem. A singer that was performing in many speak easies was Gladys Bentley; she was one of the first overtly lesbian public figures. During this time there was also a rise in gay literature from writers such as Langston Hughes and Natalie Barney. In the end there was a ban to all gay references in art.
The 30s’ then approached, this was a time of social unrest and riots due to discrimination. The gays experienced a lot of unrest because the Nazis were on the rise

killing many homosexuals in Germany. WWII brought many lesbians and gays into…

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