Stonewall riots

riots at the Stonewall inn between the police and the queer patrons of the bar.

The Stonewall Inn was a bar in the late 1960’s that catered to a variety of marginalized queer people: transgender people, drag queens,  gay men, butch lesbians, prostitutes. “In the early hours of Saturday, June 28, 1969, police conducted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher Street in the heart of Greenwich Village,” (Bronski 209). Although, raids of queer spaces were routine in the 1960’s, the police lost control during the Stonewall raid and the crowds of people refusing to leave the area turned into violent resistance. Riots lasted two days and were a response to the anti-gay legal system, and police oppression.

The Mattachine Society did not agree with the riots and felt that they were disruptive to the political progress that they had so far achieved.

 

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Gay Liberation Front

 

gay rights activist group founded in New York City after the Stonewall riots of 1969.

Believing that oppression was intersectional, the GLA showed solidarity with the Black Panther Party among other movements. Some GLA members felt they should focus solely on gay rights and activism, hence the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) was formed later that year. The GAA become more popular than the GLF, which was dismantled in 1972.

“Within a year, GLF had organized Sunday night meetings, nineteen ‘cells’ or action groups, an all-men’s meeting, a women’s caucus, three communal living groups, and a series of successful community dancces, in addition to publishing the newspaper Come Out!” (Bronksi, 210)

 

queer

 

  • Throughout historical time, “queer” has changed its meaning, yet always have referred to people, places, or things that are considered to be the opposite of the societal norm. Originally “queer” was used to describe something as “odd,” “strange,” or “quaint.” In the early 18th century, the term “queer” meant something was “bad” or worthless (Bronski, xvii).
  • Later on in the 1920’s, “queer” was negatively used as an expression for homosexuals. Today, some LGBTQIAPK communities have politically reclaimed “queer” to challenge the heteronormative mainstream culture (Bronski, xvii). 
  • Queer is an umbrella term that includes all sexual and gender identities within the LGBTQIAPK (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, Kink) community (Serrano, 3).