Tag Archives: Stonewall Riots

Gay History – July 2: McCarthy, Cohn and “Sex Perverts”, Rex Gildo, and The IRS Protects Its LGBT Employees.

July 2nd.

1939:  Ludwig Alexander Hirtreiter, aka Rex Gildo, German singer of ‘schlagers’, born in Munich.  Hirtreiter aka Gildo  reached the height of his popularity in the 1960’s and 1970’s, selling over 25 million records and also starring in film and television roles.

Gildo died in 1999 aged 63, having spent three days in an artificially-induced coma after attempting suicide by jumping from the window of his apartment building. He was said to have been suffering “psychological problems”. After his death, it was reported that he had been gay and involved in a relationship with Dave Klingeberg, his secretary with whom he lived, for seven years.

1953:  The Los Angeles Herald-Express reports that the state department in California had fired 531 sex perverts and other security risks. The number of homosexuals fired was 425. Note: during the McCarthyist period from 1947 to 1953 more people lost their jobs for being homosexual than for involvement with the Communist party in which McCarthy was aided by the ice cold sleaze queen and deeply closeted homosexual Roy Cohn

1969:  Responding to the fourth and final night of ongoing Stonewall riots on Christopher Street New York police arrived and beat the demonstrators with nightsticks, leaving many many victims bleeding but in the end more then double the amount of police were injured during the riots than LGBT activist.

1970:  A group of American Lutheran leaders issues a statement calling for an end to sodomy laws and the passage of legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

1974:  In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Derksen Printers refuses to print Understanding Homosexuality, an educational publication by Gays for Equality. Group pickets printing plant.

1975: During a joint meeting of the National Organization of Women, the Austin Women’s Political Caucus and Women’s Equality Action League, the Austin Lesbian Organization is invited to give a presentation on lesbianism.

1985:  The first meeting of Heterosexuals Unafraid of Gays (HUG) is held in Wellington, New Zealand.

1986:  By only a single vote New Zealand’s parliament allows final debate to begin on a proposed law to lower the age of consent for gay sex to 16 and legalize gay sex. The bill eventually passes.

1989:  Employees of the US Internal Revenue Service who were members of the National Treasury Employees Union receive a new contract which included protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. But to this day it does not appear in internal ethics material.

1994:  Italy’s “First National Demonstration of Gay and Lesbian Pride” takes place in Rome.

#OTD - June 29, 1969: The Second Night of the Stonewall Riots.

#OTD – June 29, 1969: The Second Night of the Stonewall Riots.

The riots continue…

“Hundreds of young men went on a rampage in Greenwich Village shortly after 3 A.M. yesterday after a force of plainclothes men raided a bar that the police said was well known for its homosexual clientele.”

New York Times – June 29, 1969

Despite being torn apart by the raid the previous night the Stonewall Inn in NYC re-opened before dark on the following night of June 29, (Not serving alcohol.)

Over the next several nights, crowds continued to gather near the Stonewall, taking advantage of the moment to spread information and build the community that would fuel the growth of the gay rights movement

The police also returned for a second night of arrests and were greeted by a thousand plus protestors gay, straight, college students who gathered outside the tavern, and in the area surrounding it. Rocks, bottles and bricks were thrown at the cops as the crowd overturned several police wagons and lit garbage on fire. 

After being harassed and tortured for so many years, gays, lesbians, and drag queens (trans) had nothing to lose as the anger had reached its boiling point.  The cops retreated when a tactical unit arrived which could do nothing to calm the crowd.  Later that morning, according to witnesses, the streets turned still but one could still feel the electricity.

The five total days of rioting that ensued changed forever the face of gay and lesbian life.

June 28, 1969: The True and Unadulterated History of the Stonewall Riots.

When discussing the history of the Stonewall Riots in 1969 people must remember that the world and New York City was a very different place. 

Richard Nixon was President and the Vietnam War was in full swing and its bloody images were televised into people’s living rooms each night. Over 45,000 American soldiers were dead. The counterculture of hippies, yippies, and anti-war protestors mostly young people flocked to major cities like San Francisco and New York City to escape the draft, their parents, and moral constructs.

New York City itself was a melting pot of millions of different kinds of people.  But none were looked down upon as much and had to hide as gay men, lesbians, and other so-called “sexual deviants” of that era.

Greenwich Village at that time was a haven for outcasts in 1969 and was home to thousands of artists, actors, bohemians, beatniks, runaways, and mostly blue-collar workers.

The original Stonewall Inn was located at 51 and 53 Christopher Street. (Only 53 Christopher Street is used today and the other side of the original bar sits vacant.)  And what many people don’t know is that it was owned by the infamous Genovese mafia crime family.

In 1966, three members of the Genovese family invested $3,500 to turn the Stonewall Inn into a gay bar after it had been a restaurant and a nightclub for heterosexuals. Once a week a NYPD police officer from the 6th Precinct would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff for “protection” to keep the The Stonewall open.  The bar had no liquor license and no running water behind the bar—used glasses were run through tubs of water and immediately reused. There were no fire exits, the bathrooms were filthy and toilets overran consistently. It was the only bar for gay men and lesbians in New York City where dancing was allowed and that was its main draw since at that time same-sex dancing was illegal and those who were caught doing it were subject to arrest.

A color digital illustration of the station layout of the Stonewall Inn in 1969: a rectangular building with the front along Christopher Street; the entrance opens to a lobby where patrons could go to the larger part of the bar to the right that also featured a larger dance floor. From that room was an entrance to a smaller room with a smaller dance floor and smaller bar. The toilets are located near the rear of the building

Visitors to the Stonewall Inn were greeted by a bouncer who inspected them through a peephole in the door. The legal drinking age at that time in New York was 18 years old. To avoid unwittingly letting in undercover police who were called “Lily Law”, “Alice Blue Gown”, or “Betty Badge” at the time, visitors would have to be known by the doorman or be friends with someone who did.  The entrance fee on weekends was $3, for which the customer received two tickets. Patrons were required to sign their names in a book to prove that the bar was a private “bottle club”.  Needless to say, customers rarely signed their real names.

Police raids on gay bars in the late 1960s were frequent, but bar management usually knew about the raids in advance due to bribes made to certain police officers. The raids usually occurred early enough in the evening that business could commence after the police had finished.  During a typical raid, the lights were turned on, and customers were lined up and their identification cards checked. Those without identification or dressed in full drag were arrested and others were allowed to leave. Lesbian patrons were required to wear three pieces of feminine clothing and would be arrested if found not wearing them all.

At 1:20 AM on the night of  Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes policemen in dark suits, two patrol officers in uniform along with Detective Charles Smythe and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine arrived at the Stonewall Inn’s double doors and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!”  Stonewall employees do not recall being tipped off that a raid was to occur that night, as was the custom.

Continue reading June 28, 1969: The True and Unadulterated History of the Stonewall Riots.

READ The 1969 NY Daily News Piece on the Stonewall Riots - "Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Stinging Mad"

READ The 1969 NY Daily News Piece on the Stonewall Riots – “Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Stinging Mad”

Since many of our younger generation don’t comprehend the virulent anti-gay culture that prevailed in 1969 when the Stonewall Riots occurred, I thought I would re-print this incredibly homophobic 1969 article written in the New York Daily News about what happened that night.

This is what our world looked like and how we were maligned in 1969.


Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad

The New York Daily News, July 6, 1969

She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn’t bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.

Last weekend the queens had turned commandos and stood bra strap to bra strap against an invasion of the helmeted Tactical Patrol Force. The elite police squad had shut down one of their private gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn at 57 Christopher St., in the heart of a three-block homosexual community in Greenwich Village. Queen Power reared its bleached blonde head in revolt. New York City experienced its first homosexual riot. “We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over,” lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting from the court of the Queens.

“We’ve had all we can take from the Gestapo,” the spokesman, or spokeswoman, continued. “We’re putting our foot down once and for all.” The foot wore a spiked heel. According to reports, the Stonewall Inn, a two-story structure with a sand painted brick and opaque glass facade, was a mecca for the homosexual element in the village who wanted nothing but a private little place where they could congregate, drink, dance and do whatever little girls do when they get together.

The thick glass shut out the outside world of the street. Inside, the Stonewall bathed in wild, bright psychedelic lights, while the patrons writhed to the sounds of a juke box on a square dance floor surrounded by booths and tables. The bar did a good business and the waiters, or waitresses, were always kept busy, as they snaked their way around the dancing customers to the booths and tables. For nearly two years, peace and tranquility reigned supreme for the Alice in Wonderland clientele.

The Raid Last Friday

Last Friday the privacy of the Stonewall was invaded by police from the First Division. It was a raid. They had a warrant. After two years, police said they had been informed that liquor was being served on the premises. Since the Stonewall was without a license, the place was being closed. It was the law.

All hell broke loose when the police entered the Stonewall. The girls instinctively reached for each other. Others stood frozen, locked in an embrace of fear.

Only a handful of police were on hand for the initial landing in the homosexual beachhead. They ushered the patrons out onto Christopher Street, just off Sheridan Square. A crowd had formed in front of the Stonewall and the customers were greeted with cheers of encouragement from the gallery.

The whole proceeding took on the aura of a homosexual Academy Awards Night. The Queens pranced out to the street blowing kisses and waving to the crowd. A beauty of a specimen named Stella wailed uncontrollably while being led to the sidewalk in front of the Stonewall by a cop. She later confessed that she didn’t protest the manhandling by the officer, it was just that her hair was in curlers and she was afraid her new beau might be in the crowd and spot her. She didn’t want him to see her this way, she wept.

Queen Power

The crowd began to get out of hand, eye witnesses said. Then, without warning, Queen Power exploded with all the fury of a gay atomic bomb. Queens, princesses and ladies-in-waiting began hurling anything they could get their polished, manicured fingernails on. Bobby pins, compacts, curlers, lipstick tubes and other femme fatale missiles were flying in the direction of the cops. The war was on. The lilies of the valley had become carnivorous jungle plants.

Urged on by cries of “C’mon girls, lets go get’em,” the defenders of Stonewall launched an attack. The cops called for assistance. To the rescue came the Tactical Patrol Force.

Flushed with the excitement of battle, a fellow called Gloria pranced around like Wonder Woman, while several Florence Nightingales administered first aid to the fallen warriors. There were some assorted scratches and bruises, but nothing serious was suffered by the honeys turned Madwoman of Chaillot.

Official reports listed four injured policemen with 13 arrests. The War of the Roses lasted about 2 hours from about midnight to 2 a.m. There was a return bout Wednesday night.

Two veterans recently recalled the battle and issued a warning to the cops. “If they close up all the gay joints in this area, there is going to be all out war.”

Bruce and Nan

Both said they were refugees from Indiana and had come to New York where they could live together happily ever after. They were in their early 20’s. They preferred to be called by their married names, Bruce and Nan.

“I don’t like your paper,” Nan lisped matter-of-factly. “It’s anti-fag and pro-cop.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t see what they did to the Stonewall. Did the pigs tell you that they smashed everything in sight? Did you ask them why they stole money out of the cash register and then smashed it with a sledge hammer? Did you ask them why it took them two years to discover that the Stonewall didn’t have a liquor license.”

Bruce nodded in agreement and reached over for Nan’s trembling hands.

“Calm down, doll,” he said. “Your face is getting all flushed.”

Nan wiped her face with a tissue.

“This would have to happen right before the wedding. The reception was going to be held at the Stonewall, too,” Nan said, tossing her ashen-tinted hair over her shoulder.

“What wedding?,” the bystander asked.

Nan frowned with a how-could-anybody-be-so-stupid look. “Eric and Jack’s wedding, of course. They’re finally tieing the knot. I thought they’d never get together.”

Meet Shirley

“We’ll have to find another place, that’s all there is to it,” Bruce sighed. “But every time we start a place, the cops break it up sooner or later.”

“They let us operate just as long as the payoff is regular,” Nan said bitterly. “I believe they closed up the Stonewall because there was some trouble with the payoff to the cops. I think that’s the real reason. It’s a shame. It was such a lovely place. We never bothered anybody. Why couldn’t they leave us alone?”

Shirley Evans, a neighbor with two children, agrees that the Stonewall was not a rowdy place and the persons who frequented the club were never troublesome. She lives at 45 Christopher St.

“Up until the night of the police raid there was never any trouble there,” she said. “The homosexuals minded their own business and never bothered a soul. There were never any fights or hollering, or anything like that. They just wanted to be left alone. I don’t know what they did inside, but that’s their business. I was never in there myself. It was just awful when the police came. It was like a swarm of hornets attacking a bunch of butterflies.”

A reporter visited the now closed Stonewall and it indeed looked like a cyclone had struck the premisses.

Police said there were over 200 people in the Stonewall when they entered with a warrant. The crowd outside was estimated at 500 to 1,000. According to police, the Stonewall had been under observation for some time. Being a private club, plain clothesmen were refused entrance to the inside when they periodically tried to check the place. “They had the tightest security in the Village,” a First Division officer said, “We could never get near the place without a warrant.”

Police Talk

The men of the First Division were unable to find any humor in the situation, despite the comical overtones of the raid.

“They were throwing more than lace hankies,” one inspector said. “I was almost decapitated by a slab of thick glass. It was thrown like a discus and just missed my throat by inches. The beer can didn’t miss, though, “it hit me right above the temple.”

Police also believe the club was operated by Mafia connected owners. The police did confiscate the Stonewall’s cash register as proceeds from an illegal operation. The receipts were counted and are on file at the division headquarters. The warrant was served and the establishment closed on the grounds it was an illegal membership club with no license, and no license to serve liquor.

The police are sure of one thing. They haven’t heard the last from the Girls of Christopher Street



*NOTE:  The author of this article, Jerry Lisker was actually the sports editor of The New York Daily News.  Lisker later went on to be executive sports editor of the Fox TV Network, and passed away in 1996 from brain cancer.

FRIDAY FICTION - Love Among Chaos: A Stonewall Fantasy.

FRIDAY FICTION – “Love Among Chaos: A Stonewall Fantasy” by Will Kohler

Once upon a time, in the bustling streets of New York City, there lived a vampire named Adrian. Unlike the traditional portrayal of vampires in lore, Adrian wasn’t a creature of darkness and malevolence. He possessed a compassionate heart and a profound longing for human connection. For more than three centuries Adrian has hidden in plain sight. Watching. Staying in the shadows. Adrian was also gay, an aspect of himself he had kept hidden for centuries, fearing the repercussions of revealing this as well as his true identity.

It was June 28, 1969, a historic night that would forever be etched in history as the beginning of the Stonewall riots. The air was thick with tension as the gay community had gathered at the Stonewall Inn, a refuge for those who sought solace and acceptance. Adrian, drawn by an unexplainable force, found himself in the vicinity of the bar that fateful night.

As the night unfolded, chaos erupted when police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, their actions driven by prejudice and discrimination. And for the first time, the crowd fought back. First, a shove, then a lesbian punched a patrolman, and then an all-out battle for freedom and equal rights ignited amidst the chaos. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, drag queens, and their straight friends fought side by side against hate and oppression. Adrian watched from the shadows, his heart filled with a mixture of admiration and anguish as he brushed his long blond hair from his face.

Amidst the turmoil, a tall young man with dark curly hair named Michael caught Adrian’s attention. Michael was a kind-hearted and passionate activist who believed in the power of equality and justice. He was only 22 years old but he had been on his own since he was 16 when his small-town parents kicked him out after they found out he was gay. As Michael fought and fearlessly stood up against the injustice unfolding before his eyes, Adrian felt an undeniable connection to him. A deep pull from within him. Something stirred within his immortal soul, a longing he hadn’t felt in centuries.

Drawn by an invisible force, Adrian emerged from the shadows, his eyes locking with Michael’s. Time seemed to stand still as they exchanged a knowing glance. It was a moment that transcended the chaos and violence surrounding them, a silent acknowledgment of shared pain and hidden desires.

Adrian rushed to Michael’s side just as one of New York’s finest was about to bring a billy club down upon Michael’s head. “Noooooooooo!” Adrian roared and grabbed the cop’s wrist in mid-air before the club could connect and jerked the cop’s arm up so sharply and forcefully that the cop hit himself in his face with the club and knocked himself unconscious.

“Thanks,” said Michael as he looked into Adrian’s large hazel eyes suddenly knowing that his life was about to change forever. “C’mon,” he said. As they both raced to help others in trouble.

The two fought valiantly side by side for the rest of the night. Despite the danger lurking around them, Adrian and Michael found solace in each other’s presence. And as the Stonewall riots raged on, Adrian and Michael’s love blossomed like a delicate flower amid a storm. In a way, their connection served as a beacon of hope in a world clouded by prejudice and hatred. Their love symbolized the resilience and strength of the LGBT+ community, proving that love could thrive even in the darkest of times.

However, their love story as with all was not without its challenges. The night would end and the sun would rise. Michael would learn the truth about Adrian but he already knew what was more important. He loved him. They built a life together and lived with the danger of exposure looming over them like a dark cloud, threatening to destroy the delicate sanctuary they had built. Adrian’s immortality and identity as a vampire were secrets he couldn’t reveal, and Michael’s vulnerability as a gay man in a time of oppression only added to their shared burden.

But love, as they say, conquers all. Adrian and Michael vowed to stand strong against the odds, to fight for a world where their love could be celebrated without fear or prejudice. And they did.

As the years passed, the world slowly evolved, and the LGBTQ+ community made significant strides toward acceptance and equality. Adrian and Michael’s love story became an enduring legend, part of a hidden history whispered among those who sought solace and inspiration. Their names are a testament to the power of love and the unwavering spirit of the human heart.

And so, the love between a gay vampire and a gay human, kindled during the Stonewall riots, left an indelible mark on the world, reminding us all that love knows no boundaries, not even the confines of time, prejudice, or immortality.

What happened to Michael and Adrian?

Well that’s a story for another Friday.

#PRIDE Month: "Where Were You During The Christopher Street (Stonewall) Riots?" - Rare Flyer (1969)

PRIDE Month: “Where Were You During The Christopher Street (Stonewall) Riots?” – Rare Flyer (1969)

This rare flyer made by the Mattachine Society asks members of the gay and lesbian community “Where Were You During The Stonewall Riots?” and the main reasons for much of the tension and the aftermath.

A true glimpse at our past and the main tenants of the real problems we were facing in 1969 and in some cases still do today.

PRIDE - The Heroes of Stonewall Riots: Danny Garvin - The Stonewall Riots In His Own Words (AUDIO)

PRIDE – The Unsung Heroes of Stonewall Riots: Danny Garvin – The Stonewall Riots In His Own Words (AUDIO)

One of the few remaining verified Stonewall riot participants Danny Garvin sadly passed away at the age of 65 in December of 2014. 

Not long before his unfortunate death Danny Garvin along with fellow Stonewall veteran Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt were interviewed and described that fateful summer night in 1969.

Danny and Tommy have been noted as “the two most knowledgeable sources” on the historic riots by fellow LGBT historian David Carter.

Danny was there the night it opened (on his birthday in 1967) and became a regular customer of the Stonewall Inn,” David Carter said. “He met his first love thereby dancing with him, dated the main doorman (Blonde Frankie), and was roommates with one of the men who worked in the coat check. Danny’s knowledge of the club has contributed a lot to a better understanding of the Stonewall Inn. Fortunately, Danny also happened to walk up the street soon after the June 1969 raid began, and his detailed memories of that night significantly add to our knowledge about the Uprising,” Carter added.

Danny’s life story is all the more remarkable and historically relevant because his experiences mirrored those of his generation as if he were a gay Zelig,” Carter said. “Danny was in a gay hippie commune before Stonewall and he was roommates with gay activist Morty Manford after Stonewall. Morty Manford’s introduction of Danny Garvin and another gay friend to Manford’s parents precipitated Manford’s coming out to his parents. Morty’s mother Jeanne Manford later founded what became Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, now PFLAG. He hung out with Andy Warhol’s crowd, and he founded the recovery contingent of LGBT marchers in the LGBT Pride March each June.”

Gay men like Danny Garvin are our true heroes of the riots. They have received little or no recognition while others have been given the glory for Stonewall that they do not deserve. Without gay men like Danny Garvin and Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, we would not be where we are today.

You can listen to Danny Garvin and Tommy Lanigan Schmidt in their own words recount what happened that night over 50 years ago on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn.



Buy us a beer for PRIDE or make a small donation to not-for-profit gay independent journalism.

Always appreciated and Happy PRIDE!

PAYPAL will@back2stonewall.com – VENMO @Will-Kohler-1 

PRIDE History - Remembering Gay Activist Craig Rodwell: The Father of PRIDE.

PRIDE History – Remembering Gay Activist Craig Rodwell: The Father of PRIDE.

Thank you, Craig Rodwell. Wish you were here now. We could use your help.

Over the past two decades with much of PRIDE’s focus has been on trans and QPOC communities involved in the Stonewall Riots and PRIDE, but we continually overlook one of the most important gay activists of that era without whom the movement and  PRIDE itself would not even exist.  I am talking about Craig Rodwell, The Father of PRIDE.

Rodwell was born in Chicago, IL in 1940 and was a former Christian scientist, He later studied ballet in Boston before finally moving to New York City in 1958. It was in New York that he first volunteered for a gay rights organization, The Mattachine Society of New York.

Rodwell opened the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in 1967 and began the group Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN) and began to publish its periodical, HYMNAL. 

Rodwell helped conceive the first yearly gay rights protest, the Annual Reminder picketing of Independence Hall held from 1965–1969, and the  Homophile Youth Movement rallies in 1967.

On September 19, 1964, Rodwell, along with Randy Wicker, Jefferson Poland, Renee Cafiero, and several others picketed New York’s Whitehall to protest the military’s practice of excluding gays from serving and, when discovered serving, dishonorably discharging them. This is the first recognized gay rights protest in American history.

On April 18, 1965, Rodwell led the picketing at the United Nations Plaza in New York to protest Cuban detention and placement into work camps of gays, with about 25 other protesters.

On April 21, 1966, Craig Rodwell, along with Mattachine President Dick Leitsch engaged in the infamous  “Sip-In” at Julius, a bar in Greenwich Village, to protest the (NY) State Liquor Authority rule against the congregation of gays in establishments that served alcohol. Rodwell had at an earlier date been thrown out of Julius for wearing an “Equality for Homosexuals” button. Rodwell and the others argued that the rule furthered bribery and corruption of the police. The resultant publicly led eventually to the end of the SLA rule.

Rodwell who is verified as being present and a participant in the Stonewall Riots in 1969 said of that fateful night: 

“Several incidents were happening simultaneously. No one thing happened or one person, there was just… a flash of group, of mass anger. There was a very volatile active political feeling, especially among young people … when the night of the Stonewall Riots came along, just everything came together at that one moment. People often ask what was special about that night …”e

In November of 1969 just five months after the Stonewall Riots, Rodwell proposed the first Gay Pride parade to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations meeting in Philadelphia, along with his partner Fred Sargeant (HYMN vice chairman), Ellen Broidy and Linda Rhodes. The first march was organized from Rodwell’s apartment on Bleecker Street.

‘That the Annual Reminder, to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged-that of our fundamental human rights-be moved both in time and location.
We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration.”

Craig Rodwell continued fighting the rest of his life for gay rights and died in 1993 of stomach cancer.

His determination, persistence, inspiration, and understanding, have made people aware of their power through activism.

This is why we have PRIDE.

Craig Rodwell - Wikipedia

Black History Month -READ: Black Panthers Leader Huey Newton’s Pro-Gay Rights Letter

A little over a year after the Stonewall riots of 1969, Black Panther Party leader Huey Newtospoke these words on August 15th, 1970, in an attempt to guide his more homophobic and patriarchal brothers into remembering that oppression, any kind of oppression is wrong, even if its directed towards gays and women.

Continue reading Black History Month -READ: Black Panthers Leader Huey Newton’s Pro-Gay Rights Letter

PRIDE Month - Remembering Malcolm Michaels Jr. aka Marsha P. Johnson: The Original Drag Queen Trans Activist (1945 - 1992)

Listen to Marsha P. Johnson Talk About the Stonewall Riots In Her Own Words – “We didn’t start the rebellion.” [RARE AUDIO]

Before her tragic death in 1992 , Eric Marcus of Making Gay History interviewed self identified gay, transvestite, drag queen activist Marsha P. Johnson (aka.Malcolm Michael Jr.) and longtime gay activist Randy Wicker about the Stonewall Riots.

I was uptown and I didn’t get downtown until about two o’clock, because when I got downtown the place was already on fire.  And it was a raid already. The riots had already started.  And they said the police went in there and set the place on fire.  They said the police set it on fire because they originally wanted the Stonewall to close, so they had several raids.”   – Marsha P. Johnson

In this rare and informative audio the details of that fateful night on June 28, 1969 come from Johnson’s own mouth and puts many of the rumors and folklore of the Stonewall Riots to rest once and for all.

History matters.

Accurate history matters even more.