6/28/69

If this image offends you the problem is yours, not theirs.
If this image offends you the problem is yours, not theirs.
My uncle Gary was a decorated pilot in the Viet Nam war. My uncle Gary was a homosexual. My uncle Gary was a pilot for Flying Tigers after the war. My uncle Gary made the best Bloody Mary you ever could have tasted, had you been honored to know him. My uncle Gary loved me and let me stay with him one summer when I was having severe, teenage, emotional problems. I was not a perfect kid. Actually, looking back, I’m glad I was raised by Hillary Clinton’s proverbial village because anything else would have resulted in a prison sentence. Our lives diverged as I got older and the last time I saw him was a couple of years before he passed away due to AIDS. But I was always in his heart just as he was, and is, always in mine. His true love, Joe, was with him until the end and, last I checked, has not been with anyone else since Gary died. If you read this and the most important fact you glean was that my uncle Gary was a homosexual then you have severe problems. You’re a stilted, broken, human being. You want to take the Christian attitude? Please do. Jesus hung out with 12 sailors and a hooker. You could do well to follow His example.

I am not gay and, despite the demise of DOMA, have not been offered gay marriage. Not even a gay one night stand. Given the phobia surrounding the decision I’m mildly disappointed.

I mean I’ve lost weight, have a job, most of my own teeth … you could do worse.

Moving on.

If you read the title of today’s blog you either realized that it’s not today’s date or one of the most significant dates in LGBT history. The fact that both are true shows you how little facts mean taken out of context.

In 2009 About.com memorialized the Stonewall riots, also known as the Christopher Street Uprising. Since they did such a good job I’m going to share their efforts with you today.

The Stonewall is an unassuming little bar in Manhattan’s West Village that has become a true landmark in gay history. Forty years ago, the New York gay community rose up here in a riot that sparked the modern gay rights movement.

The Stonewall Riots

In the summer of 1969, the New York gay activist movement was born when a group of gay New Yorkers made a stand against raiding police officers at The Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Village. In those days, gay bars were regularly raided by the police. But on June 27, 1969, the patrons of The Stonewall Inn had had enough.

As the police raided the bar, a crowd of four hundred patrons gathered on the street outside and watched the officers arrest the bartender, the doorman, and a few drag queens.

The crowd, which eventually grew to an estimated 2000 strong, was fed up. Something about that night ignited years of anger at the way police treated gay people. Chants of “Gay Power!” echoed in the streets. Soon, beer bottles and trash cans were flying.

Police reinforcements arrived and attempted to beat the crowd away, but the angry protesters fought back.

By 4AM, it looked like it was over. But the next night, the crowd returned, even larger than the night before. For two hours, protesters rioted in the street outside of the Stonewall Inn until the police sent a riot-control squad to disperse the crowd.

On the first night alone, 13 people were arrested and four police officers were injured. At least two rioters were said to be severely beaten by the police and many more sustained injuries.

The following Wednesday, approximately 1000 protesters returned to continue the protest and march on Christopher Street. A movement had begun.

The Stonewall Legacy

Stonewall turned out to be a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement. It united the gay community in New York in the fight against discrimination. The following year, a march was organized in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots and between 5,000 and 10,000 men and women attended the march.

In honor of Stonewall, many gay pride celebrations around the world are held during the month of June, including New York City’s Gay Pride Week.

Today, the Stonewall bar is once again a popular gay night spot in New York City. Occupying part of the original Stonewall Inn, the bar attracts plenty of locals and out-of-towners aiming to pay tribute to a gay New York landmark.

Here’s the deal; homosexuals bleed red, just like you, love freely, just like you, shop at the Jewels, just like you, have friends, just like you and want to be treated fairly, just like you.

Simply put, you are one night of gay sex from being just like them.

And they are one night of straight sex from being just like you.

Since no sane person defines themselves solely by the sex they had let’s just admit we’re alike.

I know an old man named Joe who would approve of that thought.

The Fortune Teller: 50 Yrs of Gay in 5 Mins, By Leo Herrera from Herrera Images on Vimeo.

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