New York Marks 40th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots: a Round-up


Tonight marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, widely regarded as the symbolic birth of the LGBT rights movement in America. Below, I've collected some interesting articles and interviews regarding Stonewall and the events surrounding it. For everyone celebrating Pride this weekend, have a safe and peaceful time of it.

NYT: politics behind culture.

Frank Rich: 40 years later, still second-class Americans


At OurSceneTV, Stonewall veterans talk about the uprising.



NY Daily News: 40 years after the Stonewall riots, gays are still "fighting to be seen as full humans."


The Advocate looks at the 40 years since Stonewall with 40 of its favorite covers.


Lucian Truscott, who covered the riots for the Village Voice, writes about it in the NYT and breaks down some of the myths regarding who was behind it, who got involved, and the mafia's involvement: "Soon enough, loose cobblestones from a nearby repaving site rained
down on the bar’s windows. An uprooted parking meter was used to ram
the club’s doors. Someone lighted a wad of newspaper and threw it
through the bar’s broken window, starting a small fire. The policemen
inside the Stonewall put it out with a fire hose, which they then
turned on the crowd. Instead of dispersing, the people in the
street cavorted sarcastically in the spray, teasing the officers with
suggestive come-ons. A few moments later, patrol cars came screaming
down Christopher Street from Sixth Avenue. And at approximately 2 a.m.
on Saturday, June 28, the gay men decided they weren’t going to take it
anymore. The clash outside the Stonewall went on for 48 more hours and
become famous as the riots that started the gay-rights movement."


AARP launches Stonewall 40th anniversary site.



NBC talks to Raymond Castro, a Stonewall vet who now lives in Florida with his partner. "When the police raided the place, I was outside. Then I remembered a friend inside who did not have a false ID and he
was going to get in trouble, so I went inside to give him one. Once I got inside, the police wouldn’t let us out. It got
really hot. I remember throwing punches and resisting arrest. The
police handcuffed me and threw me in the paddy wagon. But I sprung back
up, like a leap frog, and when I did that I knocked the police down."


Another witness, Fred Sargeant, discusses the night of the riots.


Top Stonewall cop: Raid was "right." "I don’t think not liking gay
people had anything to do with it."


The TakeAway talks with Stonewall vet David Bermudez and young activist Jason Haas about Stonewall and gay activism since Stonewall. Bermudez: "That night was different because, you see, when we were raided we never
fought back. Never ever fought back. And that night I feel that because of Judy Garland's
death and all that we just had it. Enough was enough. When the cops started hitting us and
harassing us and putting us in paddywagons and all, we just went ahead and fought back, and
started hitting back."


Stonewall baby: "I was born on the day of the Stonewall riots."


Below, "Live narration from SFGMC's 2009 Spring Concert 'Tune In, Turn
On, Sing Out', relating Stonewall to today's current equal rights
battles; accompanied by video montage of SFGMC taking part in rallies
and marches fighting for rights throughout the State of California."


  1. says

    I wasn’t there since I was only ten at the time. I’m not gay but bisexual who’s lived like a straight guy. Nonetheless, the gay rights movement and the Stonewall Inn riots arouses passions I never knew I had in me. For the last year, I’ve been gearing myself up to write about the riots and this is the result. We’ve learned some things from Stonewall but there are still many, many lessons we have yet to learn.

  2. Mark says

    Cool. Let’s all celebrate with lots of drugs and booze at Blowoff, the Saint-at-Large Party, the Pier Dance and Roseland. Because as an “out”, “proud”, self-loathing “Gay!” I’m still too repressed to act naturally in my daily life. I wait for party weekends like this to go nuts and blow off the stress. Cuz Monday morning it’s back to work being the perfect Gay Man I have to be. If not everyone will hate me for not being perfect and I am nothing without the attention and adoration of others. I don’t need self-respect at all. I just need you to think very, very highly of me.

  3. Paul R says

    Mark, I assume there’s a fair bit of sarcasm in your comment, but perhaps not entirely. I stopped giving a shit what other people thought of me when I was about 12. My mother’s “what will the neighbors think???” attitude (about everything) always bothered me, and this is no different.

    If gay people are that unhappy, they should move or change careers. Only you are responsible for being a sad wreck.

  4. says

    “Bitter -Table for One,” Mark.

    Never went to Stonewall, though I hung in the Village and knew some of the Stonewall kids. Especially Tommy (lower righthand corner of THE Photo) It was a very different time. Many things have changed.

    But many others have remained the same. We STILL aren’t fully utilizing the power that we have. And we’re STILL crippled by Internalized Homophobia.

  5. Dan says

    There’s been a lot of progress in 40 years but reportedly there seems to be a recent rise in homophobia and hate crimes. It’s up to the gay community to present an image of “normalness”, that gay couples are just like straight couples, that they’re not just the flamboyant dancers of the gay pride marches. It’s those types of images that prevent non-LGBT people from becoming indifferent to homosexuality, and that’s why there is still homophobia around the world as shown in this recent study by

  6. Mark says

    No, David Ehrenstein. What I said is the most pro-Gay thing possible: realize and reject how Gay Culture is constructed by heterosexual bigotry to accomodate and perpetuate Gays marginalization.

    Instead of projecting your insecurity onto me because what I think threatens you we should all be thinking about moving forward.

    From DC blog The New Gay:

  7. Mark says

    From The New Gay:

    “Are high rates of substance use and rising rates of HIV infection proof that Gay culture has assimilated the animus of a mainstream culture that seeks to undermine and marginalize Gay people? Does the absence of outrage to decades of ongoing violent attacks betray a sense of powerlessness and inevitability? The uncomfortable answer, I think, is yes. It is arguable Gay (sub)culture is not a separate culture but the instrument of a system that seeks to control us. That coercive control has produced an oppositional culture of conformity, self-loathing and hostility within clear boundaries: The Gay Box.”

    “The time has come for a rigorous prolonged public discussion of what “Gay Identity” and “Gay Culture” actually is. How it has never been formed outside of oppression, how damaging it is to sustain such an obsolete subculture and to whose advantage we perpetuate our now irrelevant cooperation. Assuming it is even possible how do we surpass this plateau and form a Gay culture that is legitimately, objectively ours and not a defense against external coercion?”

  8. luke says

    In San Francisco PLAYWRIGHT ARRY MYERS is
    speaking to some of the original Comptons’ Cafeteria riot alumni for his play “Banquet at Compton’s Cafeteria.” It’s on a double bill with “Getting Down at Deweys” (concerning the l965 13 Street Phladelphia Lunch counter incident which involved trans-teens denied service for wearing “sex inappropriate” garb.

  9. Trent says

    It’s interesting how AARP is actually featuring news of Stonewall on their site. I look at the two print publications that my mother gets as a member of AARP, and from them one gets the impression there are no gay or lesbian senior citizens. (Which is why I won’t join AARP even though at 50 one’s –unfortunately–eligible.)

  10. Jim says

    Re: TRENT, I was thinking exactly the same thing re: AARP. I’m 49 and my parents get the mag. I checked out their gay site and really I’m impressed–lots of coverage and gay-specific content, positive, very well-done, I thought, and very surprising! I don’t even look at the mag(s) anymore since they were always very gay-negligent. I’m wondering of their June 09 issue has any Stonewall coverage at all?

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