gay bar raids

the posts that demonize gay people for being comfortable enough to be sexual in lgbt spaces and bars are so particularly evil because historically gay people have been arrested in gay bars during police raids for lewd conduct for even having their hand on their partners knee. like genuinely go fuck yourselves if you’re going to criticize gay people for being “too sexual” when even the slightest affection has always been policed figuratively and literally and been a cause of violence against us.

Fact: The first Pride was a riot. On June 28, 1969, the police were raiding a gay bar in New York called the Stonewall Inn. They were harassing people, arresting them, humiliating them and invading their space to be a community. They raided gay bars and made arrests regularly. But June 28 was different.

People were gathering outside to watch the arrests. Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, was at the Stonewall Inn celebrating her birthday. And I guess she must have had enough, because when they came for her, she said, “I got my civil rights!” and threw a shot glass against the mirror. Others joined her. They shouted, they threw bottles and bricks, and they drove the harassing cops out. They rioted for six days and the police failed to stop them. There were drag queens, QPOC, butch lesbians, sex workers, feminine gay men, queer people and gender nonconforming people of every description. All unified in a wider community of people who were marginalized by straight and cis society, people who were resisting those who kept them down.

And the next year, activists organized a remembrance on the one year anniversary. They came back together again and again, year after year. Forty-eight years later we are still coming back together. It is a celebration of what we have fought for and accomplished, both individually and collectively. But it is also a reminder of the diverse community we belong to, the people we must uplift and support and fight alongside all year long.

police violence literally kicked off the struggle for lgbt liberation in the us. they used to raid gay bars and brutalize protestors and now they want to march with us? so that they can go back to work a day later and murder our black siblings and get away with it? no. they are more than welcome to participate, but LOSE the uniform. this murder institution should NOT be represented at pride. seriously, i don’t want ANYONE to feel unsafe during pride and police presence freaks many people out. why not a completely queer security squad? if these cops are all such good people they’d volunteer. i bet there’s many more badasses out there who would, too.


Homosexual Congregation

Pepper Hill Club Raid
Baltimore Sun, 19 October 1955

Photos taken a few days after Baltimore vice squad raided the bar in 1955.

There were 162 men and women arrested on charges of disorderly conduct at the Pepper Hill Club on North Gay Street in “the largest night-club raid ever made in Baltimore,” after male patrons among the club’s largely gay clientele were seen kissing each other. … The scope was certainly shocking: six police wagons had to make 24 trips to shuttle all the arrested to the nearby police station.

After the Pepper Hill raid, when the head of the city’s vice squad testified in court that he had previously warned the club owners against allowing “homosexuals” to congregate there, co-owner Victor Lance denied it, saying they had only been warned about one thing: A pair of female mannequin legs hanging from the ceiling.

The legs, Lance testified, had only been hung as a “gag which most people got a kick out of.”

And besides, he told the judge, department stores regularly leave mannequins in display windows without any clothing at all.

“At least,” Lance testified, “we put panties on ours.”

… A law was passed the next year banning such raids.

anonymous asked:

who "founded" the lgbt community? ive heard it was black trans women but i want to make sure and sorry for bothering you

no problem. when ppl talk about who founded the community. they usually are refering to Stonewall. which was the start of the modern fight for lgbt rights and equality in the US.

stonewall was a gay bar that got raided by police. and they took all the ppl dressed as women to “check their sex”. and any woman who didn’t have the socially-mandated ‘correct’ genitals for a woman was arrested by the police. so then riots followed. for a few days.

Sylvia Rivera (a bi trans woman) and Martha P Johnson (a trans woc) were some of the bigger figures in the riots. another notable person was Stormé DeLarverie (a butch lesbian woc) who during the riots escaped from the police wagon multiple times and physically fought 4 police officer while in handcuffs.

the riots sparked many other people to rise up against violence (mostly against gay and lesbian ppl bc trans was illegal basically) and formed groups and with the slogan “d*kes bash back” to literally fight back against the police violence against lesbian and gay ppl. (unfortunately around this time terf idealogy started getting popular. and many ppl saw trans women as ‘transvestites’ and not really women. conversion therapy, aka torture, also became popular following the riots)

the stonewall inn riots were the single most important event that sparked the lgbt fight for rights in the us. with in two years after the riots there was a major lgbt group in every major city in the us.

some ppl call the stonewall riots “the shot heard around the world” for the lgbt movement. before everything was kept in secrecy and shame. and stonewall was the call to arms.

if there was never stonewall riots. there never would have been any of the rights and visibility lgbt people have today in the us.


Title: Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives
Year: 1992
Language: Canada (English)

Plot: Documents the history and first hand experiences of lesbianism in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Intermittently, archival footage of four dramatized scenes from a pulp lesbian novel entitled ’Forbidden Love’ is shown and an author of the genre Ann Bannon, discusses the popularity of queer novels at the time. 

Basic Review:

  • A very unique documentary detailing first affairs, breaking up, gay bars, facing police raids, men’s responses, and the etiquette of butch and femme roles in Canada during the previously stated three decades.
  • I really like the way each interview topic is bordered by weird captions and covers from old lesbian pulp magazines which were popular at the time. 
  • Very interesting to consider queer culture and the role media like queer adult novels may have had on societal opinion or policy.
  • Lesbians discussing their own personal experiences about having gay men escort them to social events to avoid social stigma. Very interesting and exciting to hear how different life was.
  • Incredible positive message of progress and freedom.

Jayne County talking about trans and queer life in New York City in the 1960s. She explains the “sex searches” police would conduct on drag queens and trans women during gay bar raids, making people expose their genitals to the police.

46 years ago, the shotglass heard around the world shattered against a bar room wall, redefining the queer movement. 46 years ago, a routine homophobic raid by the NYPD turned violent when women refused to submit to genital checks. 46 years ago, the queer community came out of their respective closets, hiding from hatred, and declared their pride in who they are, their pride in who they love.

Stonewall bar on Christopher Street catered to the most disenfranchised of the queer community. It was a safe haven for queer folk of color, street queens, and effeminate men. Those in the community who faced harsh discrimination even at the social gatherings thrown by established homophile organizations. It was queer trans women of color who said enough is enough. The riots that ensued spurred change within the community. Trans women of color paved the way for the movement that is still active today.

In the years following, trans women were quickly excluded. Gay men didn’t accept us because we weren’t men, and we refused to deny who we were for an inkling of faux respect. Lesbians didn’t accept us because we didn’t fit neatly into the categories their feminism only claimed to fight. It was not unusual for the women who started movement top be booed off stage for reminding everyone that the movement was for everyone. Marsha P Johnson, Lee Brewster, and Sylvia Rivera constantly reminded protesters and celebrators alike that it was trans women, then known as street queens, who started this movement, and it was street queens who still have to fight to be included in the very movement they sparked.

In 46 years, the movement has come a great distance. It is no longer legally standard for police to raid gay bars, world government is no longer actively suppressing research on a cute for HIV/AIDS, and as of a year ago, marriage equality has been legalized in the usa. But we still have a long way to go. One year ago, in the midst of celebration, my sisters were silenced yet again when we expressed concerns that marriage equality did nothing if not make our struggle harder.

All across the country, states are beginning the process of effectively removing us from society. Bills that make it illegal to use restrooms that align with our gender passed or are pending in many states. Cumbersome and invasive processes just to get our identifications fixed so we aren’t outed simply by showing our drivers license remain unchecked. It is still a legal defense to kill us and claim panic.

Two weeks ago, 49 Americans were killed because they were queer folk of color.

Every day, the queer community faces violence from strangers on the streets and their own families.

Every day, the queer community faces at best silence, and at worst active sponsorship of violence from their leaders.

It has taken 46 years to arrive here. We have come so far from the shot glass heard round the world, but we also have so far to go. So this is my toast for the trans women who keep fighting.

Here is to those we have lost. Here is to the future. Here is to never having to hide who we are out of fear. Here is to the women who paved the way, and to the women who will blaze the trail. Here is to my sisters who are loved unconditionally, whether they know it or not. Here is to those who fight loudly, and here is to those who keep quiet out of fear. Here is to the Pride we have, and fuck ‘em if they disagree.

onthewayhero  asked:

I need (this is a need) to talk to you about bi Steve. I can just imagine an interview where the interview just assumes that Steve is straight and ask Steve to "set the record -straight- for all these disillusioned youth of today about the 'fad' of being LGBT". Then Steve being Steve just very calm and collected, TEARS the guy apart. Because what do mean FAD and DISILLUSIONED? and TODAY? What were there no LGBT people 70 years ago? That doesnt sound right, cause he was there swinging both ways.

There was actually a pretty vibrant gay community in NYC when Steve was a young adult, coincidentally (OR NOT) right where Marvel tells us he lived. At least one of his friends from that time, in the comics, is canonically gay.

Steve would have been too young (like, 15?) for the surge in popularity of gay bars that ended when prohibition did, but they didn’t all go away overnight. A lot of these places were lesbian-owned, actually, more than were owned by gay men. There was also a period where a lot of gay bars were raided and shut down to “clean up the area” starting when they decided where to put the World’s Fair that went on for a few years.

I’m not saying that Steve had a wise lesbian mentor who let him hang out at her bar and that he probably got into lots of fights defending the place but wait I totally am.

So yeah, he was bi, and he knew other people that weren’t straight, either, and the only “fad” he knows about is the fad straight people seem to follow every couple of years where they erase queer culture and history as much as they can.

[talk bi steve to me]

Small Bold Moves

Since writing the poem, To The Oklahoma Progressives Plotting Exodus, in 2010, there is this slightly uncomfortable but oh-so-sweet thing that happens where strangers come up to me at shows or email me and say things like “I love your poem about not leaving Oklahoma and staying to do the work, but I really can’t take it anymore and I have to get out. I’m sorry.” or “I know you said not to go but my husband got a job in Seattle and….” As if I am the Red State Liberal Border Patrol or the Confession Booth for Weary Progressives. I feel flattered at any of those notions. (For the record, I support any and all choices to live a full, nourishing life and gobs of Oklahomans are doing vital work all over the country.) Mostly what I get is folks who say, “Hey. That poem. It really helped. Thanks.” Which is more than I could have ever hoped for.

I wrote that poem four years ago, the day after the election that banned the use of Sharia Law, elected Mary Fallin as Governor, instituted voter ID requirements and made English the official language, among other swell things. I wrote the poem while crying at my desk. At the time, I worked for the State Election Board. I had just worked a heavily casseroled 16 hour- election day shift and spent the last several months talking to voters across the state about such lovely topics as What Will Happen When The Muslims/Gays/Mexicans Take Over, Who Do I Talk To About These Illegals and my personal favorite Why Didn’t You Check Obama’s Birth Certificate? When my boss asked why I was crying, assuring me that it is just the political tide, Democrats will have it back in a few years, I said, “I’m not crying because Republicans won, I am crying because I live in a state who just spent a ridiculous amount of time, energy and money to send the message that we are the most racist state in the nation.” He shrugged. “Oh that? That really didn’t take much time. That was like 30 minutes in the Senate and a few phone calls.” I slumped down in my chair and vowed to move as far away as possible.

But suddenly, it was like I could hear good ol’ George Dubya whispering pearls in my ear, “If you’re scared, the terrorists win. If you refuse to be scared, they lose.” Basically, if all the cool people leave, Oklahoma will become a herd of Sally Kerns storming the Hi-Lo, putting Vince Gill on the jukebox and playing earthquake drinking games until Kelly Ogle is the only drag queen in town. Or something.

Look. I am a 5th generation Okie. My family is part Creek-Seminole and part Irish preachers who moved here to “convert the savages.” My father’s mother was the first director of the ACLU in Oklahoma. My mother’s mother fought the City of Nichols Hills to allow people of color to live there. I’ll be damned if I am going to just pack up and move to Portland. Too many people have died on this red dirt to allow right-wing fundamentalists to dismantle every smidge of progress we’ve made. I wrote the poem to convince myself to stay but also to remind myself of all the small ways that we create change.

Because Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin were willing to wait 9 years to have their court case heard, I can now marry my partner in the state of Oklahoma. Because Muneer Awad sued the State Election Board for religious discrimination, the ban on Sharia Law was ruled unconstitutional. Because Dr. Larry Burns and the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the 2010 law requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion, that law was struck down. Because Ms.Stellman picked Ms. Holster up and took her to the polls yesterday, Ms. Holster was able to vote for Connie Johnson, the first African-American woman to be nominated for the US Senate. If Paul Thompson had not been the first gay man to stand up for himself court in 1969 after another gay bar police raid; if Angle’s hadn’t sued Oklahoma City in 1983 after one too many police beatings in the parking lot, maybe Al McAffrey and Paula Sophia would not have become police officers and would never have run for office. If Native women didn’t speak up against their attackers, maybe the Violence Against Native Women Act would not have been signed.

The truth is, each time our state policy makers become the butt of a joke on MSNBC, tons of other Oklahoman citizens are doing some over-looked courageous thing. A Chickasha mom introduces her trans child with his proper name and pronoun. The Mayor of Waynoka feeds pigs in the morning with his nails painted purple and in the afternoon he refuses a contract to a racist businessman. A father of two drives around town in a van powered by vegetable oil, delivering local produce to restaurants. A latino student organizes a voter registration drive at her high school. A hair stylist decides to build an off-the-grid house and teach people about urban gardening. A ten year old kid learns how to say Thank You in four different languages so he can swap treats with the other kids at the lunch table.

I don’t know if I will always live in this state, or even in this country for that matter, but I know I want to die here. I know I want to be some part of what makes this state great. When I’m old, I want to sit under a redbud tree with my grandchildren and say, “Can you believe the things we had to fight for back then? My, how things have changed. My goodness, how things have changed.”