Stonewall Riots

Essay by emills612High School, 11th gradeA-, October 2014

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Miller !1

Ethan Miller

US History AP

Mr. DiFilippo

June 2, 2014

Stonewall Riots: Low Key Compliance to Militant Fury

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are

endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Directly from the preamble of the

Declaration of Independence, these words, written over two-hundred years ago, strived for

equality in all of mankind. Two hundred years later in the 1970s and 1980s, the issue of

equality was still extremely prominent. By the 1970s, the LGBT movement existed in the

United States and in other countries all around the world. The efflorescence of "sexual

expression" did not start until the Stonewall Inn riots. Support for LGBT individuals in society

increased as a direct result of the riots.

The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City was not originally a gay bar.

The 1960s saw the bar owned by the Mafia. When the Stonewall Inn opened its doors to gay

people, drag queens, and homeless youth, it was one of the very few bars to do so. Prior to

Stonewall, gay people had founded a very small political movement for their rights (Carter 8).

Throughout the 1960s, police raids in gay bars was very common. The Stonewall Inn was an

ideal place for a police raid. It was located in a very large gay ghetto of Greenwich Village. The

bar could be easily be traveled to from the big cities. In terms of publicizing raids, public

telephones were readily available on the streets to notify press (Carter 256).

Miller !2

On the night of 28, 1969, police raided the Inn. "The cops had gone into the back room

and started pushing people out", one participant in the raid explained (Carter 136). Other

sources have said that...