Stonewall Riots Essay

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Pages: 11

Stonewall Riots "Liberation for gay people is to define ourselves how and with whom we live, instead of measuring our relationships by straight values… To be free territory, we must govern ourselves, set up our own institutions, defend ourselves, and use our own energies to improve our lives" (Wittman, 75). Carl Wittman's Refugees from Amerika: A Gay Manifesto, drew together many of the themes dealing with gay liberation. This quote demonstrates the goals of the gay and lesbian movement, a movement which many believe started with the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots proved to homosexuals that a sufficient amount of time had passed that they were persecuted and maltreated and it was time to speak up for their rights, resulting in the …show more content…
The police now feared for their own safety so they decided it was time to let the patrons know that they were still in control. As they proceeded to leave the blazing building the officers drew their guns and shouted, "We'll shoot the first faggot that comes through the door." This only fueled the crowd's rage as they continued to fight and cause a commotion throughout the night that continued for the next few days. The next day when the Stonewall management crew went to repair the damages from the previous night, they found that the cops had stolen money from the jukebox, cash register, cigarette machine, and the safe. After being charged with the illegal selling of alcohol and being robbed the night before, the Stonewall management responded by giving away their liquor rather than selling it. The crowds quickly grew as the free alcohol persuaded more and more people to come. The streets swiftly filled with people singing and chanting. At first the crowds were primarily gay, but tourists soon began to gather in the area as well. When the tourists asked what was going on, they were told that homosexuals were protesting the closing of a gay club, many became very sympathetic and decided to stay and watch and some even participated (Stonewall Inn Riots 1969- Anderson). The crowds were getting louder as more people began to join in. There were over 4,000 gay men, drag queens