Trans History: Stonewall

On June 28th 1969, there was a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City. Although the raid was in response to the Stonewall’s lack of a liquor license, the NYC LGBT community was already wary of mistreatment from police in other clubs. When the police attempted to arrest three drag queens and a lesbian, riots erupted for the sake of LGBT rights and safety. They believed, as they still do today, that gay clubs should be a safe haven to celebrate identity and solidarity. Many members of the community regard the Stonewall riots as the beginning of the call for LGBT rights and liberation.

Famously, there is controversy over who initiated the Stonewall riots. In my understanding, a black trans woman named Marsha P. Johnson threw the first brick. I’ve heard this from multiple sources on social media. The initiation of the riots was a hot topic back in 2015, back when the Stonewall film was released in Germany. The trailer depicted a white man leading the riots, which caused outrage in the LGBT community because it whitewashed history which is an all too common issue. Not only did it whitewash history, it also erased trans people from the narrative when they were, in fact, the leaders of the movement.

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