Intersectional Pride 2020

This is now the future of “Pride”:

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2 Comments for “Intersectional Pride 2020”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Right on schedule this June, we are treated to the annual conservative homosexual complaint about transgendered folk and Stonewall. The conservative homosexual obsession with all things trans baffles me, but there is much more to the Stonewall uprising than disagreement over whether or not the drag queens who fought the police that night were transgender. It really doesn’t make any difference.

    The Stonewall uprising is important because those few days of resistance, unlike earlier similar flash-points of resistance, changed the face of the gay rights movement. Within a year after Stonewall, the older, respectable LGBT organizations like the Mattachine Society were replaced by younger, more vigorous groups like the Gay Liberation Front. That change of leadership, tactics and strategy shaped the gay rights movement as most of us in our seventies experienced it.

    If you would like to get a better understanding of the Stonewall uprising, Wikipedia has a reasonably balanced and carefully sourced article that is worth reading. The article is not by any means definitive, but Stonewall won’t so easily be reduced to cartoon images and political fodder-making after you read it.

    Any number of books, of varying quality, have been written about Stonewall. Among is “The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History” by historian Marc Stein, which gathers together contemporary non-mainstream newspaper accounts and articles, along with other relevant documents from the period. Oddly, the book is not dry as dust, which is what I expected from the title.

    I would also commend an article written by Paul Varnell (1941-2011) for the Windy City Times, a Chicago LGBT newspaper, and republished on IGF as “Stonewall: Get A Grip“, Paul Varnell on June 10, 1999. Hit the “Search” box and you’ll have no trouble finding it. Varnell’s thesis is best expressed, I think, by this excerpt:

    But focusing on “Stonewall” as some sort of beginning or defining moment for the gay movement is deeply misleading. It blocks recognition of the important fact that there was a rapidly growing gay community consciousness in the 1960s, and that there was already a gay movement that not only grew rapidly but accelerated as the 1960s progressed. Stonewall, we could say, was as much an effect as a cause.

    In any event, it might be useful for those of you born post-Stonewall to get a better understanding of the complexity of the LGBT movement pre-Stonewall, and to better understand the factions and cross-currents within the LGBT community in New York that contributed to spontaneous the “We’re not taking this any more …” uprising of the time.

    Let me suggest this as a way to celebrate Stonewall this year: Read up on the LGBT history that a few up us old fossils actually lived. I think you’ll be surprised.

  2. posted by Jim Michaud on

    The only thing correct about all this is neither Marsha Johnson nor Sylvia Rivera were at Stonewall when the spark hit. They came down from uptown a couple hours later. So this whole narrative of “trans women of color threw the first bricks and started the riots” is historically inaccurate. Little props are given to the butch lesbian who actually had a hand in the spark: Storme DeLarverie. She is the one who shouted out “why don’t you guys do something?” as she was being roughed up by police. People (mostly white gay men (oooh!) obliged and started the riot. And I had to laugh at Chadwick Moore’s nitpicking about the location of the current Stonewall. Yes, it’s not at the same exact place as the riots. But it’s not on the next block either. It’s just next door. The original Stonewall was at 51-53 Christopher St. The current incarnation is at 53 Christopher St. Big whoop. Maybe when the owners reopened it, they couldn’t afford to buy both spaces.

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