James Kirchick takes on the myth makers, including the Human Rights Campaign, writing:
Contemporaneous press accounts and the most credible scholarship both confirm that the crowd which partook in the Stonewall uprising was primarily not trans, female, and of color, but gay, male, and white. …
Put aside the question of whether the people described as “draq queens” 50 years ago would today identify as transgender (some might, many would still identify as drag queens, that is, gay men impersonating women)—by most accounts they were relatively few in number.
And yet, as Kirchick notes, we have the big lie perpetually repeated:
“Harassed by local police simply for congregating, Stonewall’s LGBTQ patrons—most of whom were trans women of color—decided to take a stand and fight back against the brutal intimidation they regularly faced at the hands of police,” asserts an article on the website of HRC.
What might have been a laudable effort to highlight the role of transgender people alongside gay people in a major historical event has been corrupted by an effort to expunge gay people, and gay men in particular, from that story. After the AIDS epidemic nearly destroyed a generation of gay men, the stealing of Stonewall amounts to a second erasure.