Before Stonewall Analysis

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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
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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 literature created by gender, sexual, and racial minorities. However, as the “bohemian subculture” of the 1920s began to push homosexuality into the public discourse, responses of fear and extremism are what ushered in the 1930s. This issue radicalized and polarized political sides, and spilled over into media when the Motion Picture Association banned all references to the gays in television and

cinema in 1935. This attitude of anxiety regarding gays and lesbians was only amplified as the
1940s brought America to the doorstep of World War II.
The Second World War both unified America against an enemy that threatened their way of life and changed Americans’ way of life completely. Suddenly women were wearing short hair and pants and leaving their homes to work in factories, and gays and lesbians were
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As gay people assisted in the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement took a change in temper and tempo to one of progressively more militancy which pushed it into mainstream publicity. The collective thrust towards acceptance, or at least the cessation of abuse and marginalization, culminated into the Stonewall Riots, which were begun by trans-women of color in response to repeated police raids on the Stonewall Inn in 1969.
The riot and the demonstrations that followed catalyzed the gay rights movement by turning the tides toward greater social and political momentum.
Recently, President Obama dedicated the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding neighborhoods where the protests took place as a National Historic Site. This is noteworthy because it is one of many ways in which President Obama has been able to protect and publicize places that are culturally diverse and historically significant and more accurately reflect the
American experience. By dedicating and protecting Stonewall, inclusion and acceptance rather than hate and fear becomes legislated and can continue the work of ending discrimination

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