The Riots At Stonewall Inn Essay

845 Words Oct 30th, 2016 4 Pages
While the riots at the Stonewall Inn were instrumental in launching the modern gay rights movement, LGBTQ individuals have existed in all spaces across the decades of American history, as pictured in the documentary Before Stonewall. Each decade of the twentieth century brought different movements, leaders, and progresses with it that set the stage for the customers of a gay bar in Greenwich Village to say “enough is enough” in the face of abuse and marginalization by the police force.
In the early part of the century, traditional views on marriage were so widely held that denial of same sex attraction was the only choice for those experiencing it. People who deviated from the norm were forced by overwhelming societal pressure to either conform to the restrictive path of heterosexual marriage or be systematically rejected. Repression of one’s sexuality led to unhappy marriages, severe anxiety, and even suicide, while being discovered could lead to commitment to mental institutions, arrest, and physical harm. Those that chose to not conform to the heterosexual, nuclear family standard were shunned from the daylight and the public to a world of disrespected people of doubtful virtue. There were virtually no good outcomes.
Because the 1920s saw a drastic increase in city populations, gays and lesbians were able to start gathering in a still publically closeted bohemian underground. The growing cities were more permissive of race and sexuality and fostered a hotbed of art and…

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