Fighting Back For Gay Rights: The Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall Riots protested police brutality in the gay communities. Fighting back against the oppression helped create gay rights.

Bookstr Talks Community LGBTQ Voices Non-Fiction

Given that the LGBTQ community is still fighting back against oppression to this day suggests that there is still work to be done. Not only this but the issues or events of aggression towards gay people needs to be addressed. Seeing that Americans have a division in views, the people should stand up and speak out. When these protesters risked their lives to protect gay rights, they knew that future generations would experience the benefits of their hard work. Since then, new laws exist to support gay rights and provide new freedoms as well. Here, the Stonewall Riots or the Stonewall Uprising began in the Stonewall Inn in the year of 1969.

Beyond police protocol, one evening New York City’s police department rushed into a well-known registered gay bar. Among the people inside the bar, the police physically pushed people out. After this was a full six days of protests and violent encounters to persuade the officers to end their brutality and abuse. With little success, more gay people came together to create the gay rights movement. However, amidst the process, more police were sent out to raid other bars and local places known for LGBT Americans. Thus, same-sex relationships became illegal in New York City and criminal.

Still, gay communities found refuge in each other; only meeting in approved places that would accept them. When word spread of this, the official New York State Liquor Authority condemned businesses for serving alcohol to LGBT people. Under those circumstances, many gay people felt alone. Despite this, in 1966 this law became invalid as long as there were no public displays of affection. Moreover, police still continued to harass gay people. Although, they could not deny service in mafia-owned places. These incidents started the process of passing laws to include new rights for LGBT in America.

Before the Stonewall Riot, Henry Gerber in 1924 published newsletters. Most compelling evidence is the fact that The Society for Human Rights helped. Later on, The Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian group, was formed in San Francisco. Prior to this, in 1966 The Mattachine Society focused on gay rights. Once there was a sit-in where LGBT people openly announced their sexuality. To clarify, the goal was to prove that these places could no longer deny service. As a result, stores were liable and the police hid in the background because of their raids. In particular, after the Stonewall Riot, this is when the gay rights movement got traction.

Then the men who wore drag to these bars were also arrested. Uniquely, the police created a three-piece clothing rule. Unlike their other rules, this law forced people to wear gender-appropriate clothes or else go to jail. However, there is no record of this law because it never existed. Likewise, the authorities on the night of the raid contained themselves in the bar. When police realized there were too many people to arrest, they hid inside the bar for protection. As an illustration, protesters carried a parking meter to the door and used it as a battering ram. Overall, there were no serious injuries and no deaths on the first night of the Stonewall Riots.

Stonewall By David Carter


Expressly, the book Stonewall, written by David Carter, explores the evidence of that time. For one thing, David Carter conducted hundreds of interviews to learn the truth about the Stonewall Riots. Also, this book includes many sealed files and documents that report on the incident. In fact, the timeline of this book shows the journey of the gay pride revolution that is today. Consequently, David Carter also mentions the riots that followed and how they were significant to gay rights. All things considered, PBS supports this book and has an overall rating of four out of five overall.

Finally, this explains how the Stonewall Riots influenced America’s gender and sexuality today. In essence, the gay communities united to fight the oppression they faced for the future rights of themselves and the generations to come. After all, this particular event caused smaller riots to happen. Generally, the LGBT faced serious police brutality, which led to a couple of laws that denied authorities the right to make arrests or deny service. Under those circumstances, it was hard for gay people to find refuge, but with the help of an organization, no one could deny LGBT people their rights.

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