stonewall was a riot

Black LBGTQ History Icons

Marsha P. Johnson

  • A leader of the Stonewall Riots. According to several eyewitnesses, Marsha was the one who “really started it”. She was “in the middle of the whole thing, screaming and yelling and throwing rocks and almost like Molly Pitcher in the Revolution or something”
  • Dedicated her life to activism:
    • Co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (later renamed Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries)
    • Ensured that the young drag queens, trans women and other street kids on Christopher Street were fed and clothed. Marsha also housed them whenever she could. 
    • In the 1980s, she was an activist and organizer in ACT UP. 

Stormé DeLarverie

  • Also a leader in the Stonewall Riots - has been identified as the “butch lesbian that threw the first punch” against the police officers.
  • Several eye-witnesses recollections also recognize her as the cross-dressing lesbian that yelled “why don’t you guys do something” at the bystanders that evoked the reaction from them that helped make Stonewall a defining moment in history.
  • Unofficially worked at gay bars who otherwise couldn’t afford security.

Bayard Rustin

  • Was a leading strategist of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement between 1955-1968:
    • The formidable behind the scenes figure of the civil rights movement who organized the March on Washington
    • Through his influence, the civil rights leadership adopted a non-violent stance.
    • Is and was often overlooked in African-American history because of the public’s discomfort with his sexual orientation.
  • Supported LGBTQ rights and movements.
  • Was posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

  • Another leader in the Stonewall Riots.
  • Has been involved in community efforts since 1978. She has worked at local food banks, provide services for trans women suffering from addiction or homelessness. During the AIDS epidemic she also provided healthcare and funeral services.
  • Is currently serving as the Executive Director for the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project, working to assist transgender persons who are disproportionately incarcerated under a prison-industrial complex.

Alvin Ailey

  • At the young age of 22, Alvin AIley became Artistic Directer for the Horton Dance Company where he choreographed as well as directed scenes and costume designs.
  • Formed the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 1958 but continued to choreograph for other companies.
  • Ailey’s signature works prominently reflects his Black pride.
  • Is credited for popularizing modern dance. 
  • Was also posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Feel free to add anyone I’ve missed!

10

Queer History.

The other morning I got into a ‘debate’ over the film Stonewall and one person said he didn’t care about the history of the Stonewall Riots or our queer history in general. Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This person didn’t seem to care that the only reason he (we) has any rights or can even happily come out without the fear of being arrested is because of events like the Stonewall Riots and the people that fought. Yet he enjoys the benefits of it (work equality, marriage, anti-discrimination laws, oh and being able to go to a gay bar and drink/dance the night away). So I wanted to put together a small overview of the riots in the hopes it enlightens anyone or gives someone the nudge to learn more. (If anything is incorrect just leave me a comment, I’m by no means an expert in this). Enjoy. 🏳️‍🌈✌️👭👬

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 🌈✨ Marsha P. Johnson (1945 - 1992) was a transwoman and activist and veteran of the Stonewall riots of 1969. She formed STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), a street activist group, alongside Sylvia Rivera, helped support trans and gay homeless kids and was an AIDS activist during her later years. She was once asked in court what the “P” in her name stood for, and she answered “Pay It No Mind.” Her body was found in the Hudson River, and even though it was ruled as a suicide, it is not clear how she passed away. Rest in Power, Marsha P. ✊🏾

Before she died I said to her “Sylvia (Rivera), it just drives me crazy when people say to me ‘now was Stonewall a gay rebellion or was it a transgender rebellion’”. And I told her “I just tell them yes”. “Sylvia, what do you say? What would you say if somebody says 'did you fight back that night because you were gay, because you were a self-identified drag queen, because of police brutality, because you were a sex-worker, you had to turn tricks in order to survive, because you were homeless, because you knew what it meant to go to jail, because you didn’t have a draft card when the demanded to you that night?” And I’ll never forget her answer it was so succinctly eloquent, she said: “we were fighting for our lives”. And the fact is that oppressions overlap in people’s life, as they do in this room. There are people in this room who are carrying heavier burdens of discrimination and oppression. There are people who had more dreams that have been deferred. There are people who have less opportunities, more doors slammed in their face. And that was true at the Stonewall too … But the fact is that when they all came together, shoulder to shoulder, to fight back against a common oppressor that night, they made history. Not in spite of their differences, but because they came to understand the need to fight together against a common enemy. And that was the most important lesson of the Stonewall rebellion for so many of us, that was the power of what we could do when we all came together.
—  Leslie Feinberg www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaRF0Ohb1mg
Today is International Women’s Day.

Today also marks the show of solidarity for women’s rights by way of a strike: A Day Without A Woman. Women around the world are refusing to take part in both paid and unpaid labor in the name of justice for all gender-oppressed people of all ethnicities, religions, and sexualities. In doing so, they join the ranks of women who have led protests, strikes, and movements throughout history.

Let’s celebrate a few of those women:

Dorothy Height (March 24, 1912—April 20, 2010)

Originally posted by womenthrive

Dorothy Height, former President of the National Council of Negro Women, was one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. She stood near Martin Luther King Jr. during his “I Have a Dream” speech, but did not publicly speak that day. In fact, no woman publicly spoke. “Even on the morning of the march there had been appeals to include a woman speaker,” wrote Height in her memoir. “They were happy to include women in the human family, but there was no question as to who headed the household!“ In 1971, she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus with other notable feminists like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Shirley Chisholm.

Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945—July 6, 1992)

Originally posted by dannisue

Marsha P. Johnson spent her entire adult life fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people. She’s credited for being one of the first to fight back in the Stonewall Riots. She started the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries with her friend Sylvia Rivera. Together they provided food, shelter, and care to young drag queens, trans women, and homeless children in need in the Lower East Side of NYC. She fought for what was right, and knew how to live life with exuberance and humor. When asked by a judge what what the “P” stood for, she replied “Pay It No Mind.”

Alice Paul (January 11, 1885—July 9, 1977)

Originally posted by taryndraws

Alice Paul was one of the leading forces behind the Nineteenth Amendment, which affirmed and enshrined a woman’s right to vote. She rallied 8,000 people to march in the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington—no small task in a world before the internet—with an estimated half million people watching the historic moment from the sidelines.

And some good activist blogs to follow:

  • Emily’s List (@emilys-list) slogan is “ignite change.” They aim to do so by backing pro-choice candidates for US office in key races across the country.
  • Women of Color in Solidarity (@wocinsolidarity) focuses on being a hub for the the WOC experience in the US. Original posts, incredibly informative reblogs…this place is wonderful.

Happy Pride, everyone!

The month of June is often considered LGBT+ Pride month to commemorate the Stonewall riots which occurred in June 1969. Because of this, many LGBT+ Pride events are held around the world during June to celebrate love, diversity, and acceptance.

Have fun, stay safe, and celebrate love this month!

Black Lesbians from the 1930s.

This ain’t nothing new!

I had an aunt who dressed like these ladies and she identified herself as a “stud” , a word used in the lesbian community to identify a level of masculinity. My aunt had to endure sexism, racism and scrutiny more than I can imagine. She was “out” during the 50s and 60s, waaaay before the famous LGBT Stonewall riots that took place in NYC.

youtube

NEW VIDEO: “Stonewall: The Story of Resistance- today marks 48 years since the Stonewall riots, a resistance that many consider to be the start of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. i never learned our history in school, & for most queer kids, our history is still self-taught. that’s why i made today’s video.

to commemorate today’s anniversary, i’d love if you reblogged & spread the story of what happened 48 years ago & how it sparked a revolution.