This is the story of Bill McCallion, and everyone should watch it. It’s one of the recorded histories that are so necessary from gay men of this generation. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, and extremely moving.
McCallion grew up as a working-class kind in the north Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood and read about the Stonewall riots in the newspaper the summer he graduated from high school.
When he realized that the “Christopher Street” mentioned in the article was the same one that was on the same 1 train that ran through his neighborhood, it led McCallion to his new community, activism, and his first lover. His life in LGBTQ culture spans the 50 years we are recognizing this weekend as the anniversary of those riots, and he has seen it all, including an AIDS crisis that all but decimated that community.
McCallion’s ex, John Voelcker, enlisted filmmaker Sam Hampton to capture the stories he had heard first-hand. Watch them encapsulated in this stunning piece, which is edited down from over 90 minutes of footage.