Stonewall Riots

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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, …show more content…
Originally located in Greenwich Village, the bar became known as the ideal spot for the more marginalized gay population -- drag queens, effeminate men, and the transgender community. In the sixties, police raids were common practice, however, the patrons of Stonewall landed their names in history for their resistance. The protestors verbally fought back when police arrested, harassed, and assaulted the patrons. Many who were present during that night claimed that they “sensed something unusual in the air” and “felt a kind of tensed expectancy” (Duberman 131). The verbal taunts quickly turned to tossed bottles and coins when an arrested patron began to physically resist the cops News spread quickly and within hours Christopher Street was thronged. Protestors formed a “chorus line of mocking queens” a counter to the brutal force of the police, and the stark contrast to the tame efforts of the homophile movement became clear (Wright). The days that followed brought on more protests, many through civil disobedience – the events were all covered by the three major newspapers of the time. Through the process of civil disobedience, it is often asserted that “the gay community obtained a Civil Right previously denied them: the right to free association.” (Clark) Those involved in Stonewall began a movement that is influential to this day. It is the paradigm of spurring change. Although it was not organized, these …show more content…
In addition to the creation of Gay Liberation Front, a newspaper called Gay was created -- the first of its kind. When the GLF disbanded, the Gay Activists Alliance was formed immediately afterwards, a new group that unabashedly proclaimed support for gay issues and forced politicians to acknowledge their cause. More over, the first anniversary of the Stonewall riot also marked the first Gay Pride march in the history of the United States. Within a couple of years, gay rights groups spread globally. In 1973, the APA removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical manual through a unanimous vote. The Stonewall riots inadvertently created an international community that forced to acknowledge the existence of the gay community. While there was clear tension between gay rights groups and other activist groups, as well as tension within the gay rights groups, gay rights became a forefront issue. There was no longer a need to remain quiet and “virtuous,” as there had been during the homophile movement. This shift in principles and how to approach gay rights has endured through the 21st century, and can be completely attributed to

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