Stonewall Riots of 1969
Introduction The stonewall riots of 1969 happened consecutively for 3 days, it all started on June 27th in Greenwich Village, New York at the Stonewall Inn. During the 1960’s it was common for the police to raid gay bars, and when this would happen the gays and lesbians would try to sneak out the back door. The police would arrest the patrons and drag them off to jail, their names were written down and published in the newspaper by the next day and as a result they would be fired from their jobs. “The 1960s was a time of revolution.
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The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing and people took to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam. It was only a matter of time before gays and lesbians stood up for their rights as well. ”(A history of Gay and Lesbian Pride) June is now the month known as Gay Pride month, a time when all gays and lesbians prance and parade to celebrate. Setting/Background Living in the 1960’s as a gay and or lesbian was very difficult in fact the only way to be safe was to be “in the closet”, not openly gay to the public.
Police took it up as their duty to arrest gay patrons who were seen kissing each other, dancing with one another, or even holding hands with one another. “Generally just being present was enough in their minds to warrant an arrest. Of course when this appeared in the newspaper they were tabbed as having committed a Crime against nature. ”(The history and impact of the Stonewall Riots) Issues Involved/Causes During the 1950’s – 1990’s gay couples were not allowed to touch or dance with one another; it was also illegal for women to dress up in men’s clothing and men to dress in women’s clothing.
If three known homosexuals were sitting at a table together then it would be illegal to serve an alcoholic beverage to them. “If the gay’s didn’t comply with the laws then they were faced with a fine, a night in jail, and the next morning they would have their names printed the daily newspapers and have a record under criminal activity”. (The history and impact of the Stonewall Riots) Event On June 27th police raided a gay bar in Greenwich, New York at the Stonewall Inn.
Police demanded identification papers from costumers, they escorted them outside on to the sidewalks were they were pushed off and others were put into a paddy-wagon. That’s when some of the lesbians and gays started to fight back. They Chanted “Gay Power” all while throwing bottles and rocks at the police. “Riot veteran and gay rights activist Craig Rodwell says: “A number of incidents were happening simultaneously. There was no one thing that happened or one person, there was just… a flash of group, of mass anger. (The stonewall riots-1969) Crowds soon began to grow outside the Stonewall Inn. Every time the police would have the crowd spilt up it would just start again right behind them and again they would start to chant. Thirteen arrest had been made on the first night of the riot many of the protesters were singled out and beaten and then later were arrested. With about two thousand protesters and only about four hundred police officers, the tactical patrol force was called in to disperse the riots but with a failed attempt the riot continued on.
Outcome/Effects/Aftermath Effects of the Stonewall Riots were that the gay community in new York united in the fight against discrimination and June became known as a gay month to celebrate their pride in homosexuality. The gay liberation front was organized. Gay people learned to take a stand for themselves and to fight back. Reflection Though gay issues are still a problem today in America, the Stonewall Riots was the first step toward uniting the gay community to start taking a stand for what they believe is right.
I believe that if it wasn’t for the Stonewall Riots then life for gays and lesbians would still be the same as it was then. It was the Stonewall Riot that led to gay liberations and for the gay community to start working together to make life easier for them. I don’t believe that the police should have gone as far as they did with raiding gay bars, but it was there ridings that led up to the Stonewall Riot so actually I’m glad that they did that otherwise the gay liberation front may have never been formed.