B2 High-Intermediate 344 Folder Collection
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Perhaps you've heard of this big event called Pride.
There's usually a parade, maybe some speakers and workshops,
some communities make a whole rainbow-colored week of it.
But do you fully understand why?
June 28th, 1969.
Stonewall Inn at 51st through 53rd Christopher Street,
between 4th and Waverly in Manhattan's Greenwich Village
was, at the time, a mafia-owned gay bar where the LGBT community could drink and dance as themselves.
Kind of.
In 1969 crossdressing and homosexuality were considered mental illnesses and treated as crimes.
Essentially, operating a gay bar was a known business risk, and being at one, whether or not you were
LGBTIQQA2KP etc, was a known patron hazard.
Gay bars, including Stonewall Inn, weren't persecution-free zones.
Cops could come in at any time, arrest, and humiliate people.
It was just at least you could take the chance of being yourself until this happened, unlike
everywhere-else clubs where you couldn't.
At around 1:20-1:30 AM on the 28th, policemen, patrol officers, and a detective
entered the scene to, quote, "take the place".
It was a raid.
There are lots of speculations about why this particular raid incited a riot.
It's human nature to try to understand these things, to pinpoint what caused everything to start changing.
We don't know. What we do know is that without any planning or discussion
the historic, game-changing stonewall riots,
the, quote, "single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern
fight for LGBT rights in the United States" began.
Patrons did not show their IDs, those cross-dressing refused police crawling, one queen hit a cop when
he pushed her, and all this commotion moving into the streets attracted crowds.
Eventually 500 plus people amassed fighting in any way they could
against the police for their freedom to be themselves.
The original handful of officers took shelter in the Stonewall building until rioters broke
through the windows and doors
and more chaos ensued.
Cars were turned over, things lit on fire, there was harsh name-calling and beating of one-another.
Eventually New York City's tactical police force intervened
but the raging continued with rioters chasing the police out of the neighborhood until
streets were left charred and broken.
Eventually there was quiet, but once word got out - people talking, newspapers releasing their
stories of the riot
thousands returned to the cause of Stonewall the following night to go at it again.
You may wonder, why the battle?
Finally there was an out. A real "out on the public streets" kind of out.
People declaring with victory arms that they were gay and okay because before this anything but
conformative sexuality was shunned.
First by religion, then psychiatry. There was no "out of the closet" proud and gay, unless you wanted
to lose yourself to torture treatments and incessant public ridicule, forced to "straighten up".
Can you imagine all these rules to hide yourself and finally the streets are filled with people like
you and your allies demanding that the police stop discriminating against you?
The historian David Carter writes in his book Stonewall how it not only changed the rioters, it changed
the people who witnessed it in papers and on TV.
They were touched by the actions of a socially despised minority standing up to the police.
It's a big deal!
I mean gay activism and the LGBT rights movements were in place before Stonewall
but this catapulted them forward.
Joan Nestle called the Stonewall rioting a coming together of historical forces
refusing to endure discrimination.
Lillian Faderman called it an emblem of gay and lesbian power and a shot heard around the world.
It wasn't the start of LGBT history but it is arguably the most influential event.
People energized by the riots were ready to take action. Groups like the Gay Liberation Front and
Gay Activist Alliance were swelling with members and momentum.
They spread news through their pamphlets and then even more organizations for equal rights mobilized.
Their plan was to put in place Christopher Street Liberation Day.
On the anniversary of Stonewall a crowd covering 15 city blocks marched
from Christopher Street to Central Park, proud and out to the world.
Los Angeles and Chicago coordinated their marches the same day, and a year later
what has become known as pride was in three more states and four more countries.
That's the parade. The colors and songs to celebrate who we are, specifically the
lesbian, gay, trans, bi, and queer "us".
It is not the completion of our efforts though.
Sexual and gender minorities still don't have equal rights, and still face stonewall raid like discrimination.
I hope this history lesson inspires you to change that.
Stay curious.
That's what the shirt says, stay curious!
There's also this video looking back on Stonewall after 40 years,
and this one is a full documentary since you're staying curious.
[gibberish], stay curious!
Nick: That's the one, [imitates gibberish] that's it right there.
Nick: Put that on a shirt.
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History of Pride

344 Folder Collection
羅紹桀 published on August 8, 2016
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