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.

 

The Kinsey Scale

a scale of sexual experience ranging from 0 to 6. Zero being associated exclusively with homosexuality and six being associated exclusively with heterosexuality.

Created by Alfred Kinsey, the author of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, in the 1950’s. Kinsey believed that instead describing people as homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual that sexuality is best described on a continuum.  (Bronski, 178)

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).  

sexuality

Sexuality is a historical and theoretical identity category, expressed similarly and differently, throughout sexual systems within particular moments of time.

Sexuality is not a natural fact, rather a cultural and historical production that is imposed onto the body according to ideological discourse (Halperin, 416).

Sexuality is “what we find erotic and how we take pleasure in our bodies” (Stryker, 16). 

Sexuality is an endless intersecting “constellation of factors” that culturally inform people their understanding about sexual intimacy, desires, and activity. Bronski uses the terminology of sexuality to connect the past with the present, in order to comprehend the relationship between both (Bronski, xviii).