Stonewall Riots Presentation

The Stonewall Riots
New York City, June 27-29, 1969
The 1960’s
Age of Experimentation in Sexual Areas,
Psychology, Psychiatry…
All the rules were off in the 60’s…
but not for gay men and lesbians.
The 1960’s & Homosexuality
In most cities, it was illegal to be a homosexual.
Homosexuals that were “caught” would endure
public humiliation.
Homosexuals were often hospitalized and treated
with shock therapy.
Public Service Announcements
 Scared Straight Tactics
 Boys Beware (1950’s)
 Mike Wallace CBS News “The Homosexuals” (1966)
 Anti-Homosexual Films (1961)
Civil Rights Weren’t For
New York had an 1845 Statute that made it a
crime to masquerade.
Being in “drag” was a crime
A person must be in 3 articles of clothing of
their gender or could be arrested—socks did
not count!
1960’s & Political Upheaval
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.
The Black Panther’s Party in Oakland was
advocating armed self-defense against police
Race riots in Watt’s, CA (1965); Detriot, MI
(1967); & Newark, NJ (1967).
Vietnam War protesters rioted in Chicago outside
the Democratic Nation Convention in 1968.
Homophile Organizations Before
Stonewall Riots
Daughters of Bilitis (1955)
 Founded by 8 women in San Francisco
Mattachine Society of New York (1951)
 Founded by Harry Hay
New York Before Stonewall Riots
Police would use many different tactics to “catch”
and arrest homosexuals.
In New York alone 500 people per year were arrested
for ‘crimes against nature’. Approximately 3,000 to
5,000 arrests were made for various solicitation and
loitering crimes.
New York State Liquor Authority made it nearly
impossible for any bar to get a liquor license that
would serve homosexuals.
The Stonewall Inn
Located in Greenwich Village, downtown New
Patrons were primarily to gay men and “drag
Owned and operated by the mafia
Summer of 1969
New York City was amidst a re-election year
for its current mayor.
Increase in raids
Police resume “entrapment” tactics
Vigilantes began coordinating attacks
The Perfect Storm
At 1:20 a.m. on June 29, 1969, 4 police officers in
dark suits, 2 patrol officers in uniform, 1 detective
(Charles Smith) and 1 deputy (Seymore Pine)
entered the Stonewall Inn.
4 undercover officers were already inside
gathering information.
It was the 2nd raid that week.
The Last Straw
“When did you ever see a fag fight back?...Now times
were a-changin’. Tuesday night was the last night for
bullshit…Predominately, the theme was ‘this shit has
got to stop!’”
 Some say…
“it was the heat of the night”
“it was spontaneous”
“it was a collective feeling”
“we weren’t going away, and we didn’t”
The Riot Begins
“Gay Power”
Stonewall Liberation
 Gay Liberation Front
 Gay Activists Alliance
 June 28, 1970—1st Gay Rights March in New York City
 3 Newspapers were est. to promote rights for gays and
 40 Years after Stonewall Riots
“The true legacy of the Stonewall Riots is the
ongoing struggle for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender equality.”
David Carter

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