The Stonewall Of A New Era For The Gay Rights Movement Essay

1495 Words Aug 14th, 2015 6 Pages
The early morning hours on June 28th 1969 marked the beginning of a new era for the gay rights movement. The Stonewall Inn, at the time one of the few establishments that openly welcomed the gay demographic, was raided by the police. Subsequently, a riot erupted amongst the arrested crowd – the first time that the gay population had protested a police raid. The incident incited several more violent demonstrations in the following days, which have been famously dubbed as the Stonewall riots. The series of riots are often regarded as the sole catalyst for the modern gay rights movement. Moreover, the Stonewall Inn has become a landmark that embodies the notion of a grassroots movement and fight for civil rights. Prior to the events at Stonewall, the homophile movement was the predominant staid method of mobilizing gay rights. However, the movement was politically cautious – constituting of members who aimed to depict homosexuals as “virtuous and respectable” and eradicate their sense of self by attempting to align them with what heterosexuals deemed acceptable (Sibalis 267). Often, even those involved in the homophile movement felt the need to keep their sexuality under wraps, due to the political and social environment of the era. Expressing themselves was openly was considered provocative and inflammatory. The Stonewall riots radicalized the gay rights movement and moved to empower the gay demographic rather than attempt to instill the heteronormative conformities of the…

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