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In Search of STONEWALL
The Riots at 50, The Gay & Lesbian Review at 25
Best Essays, 1994-2018
Pub Date: Feb 15th
The year was 1994. It was the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and, as luck would have it, the year in which a new magazine called The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review was publishing its first issue (Winter ’94).* The fact that The G&LR’s first year coincided with Stonewall’s 25th forever joined its fate with that of the founding event of the modern LGBT movement. This book commemorates the magazine’s 25th birthday with a collection of relevant articles selected from its 136 issues.
Richard Schneider Jr., Editor
“The riots that followed the 1969 raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York and the New York Gay Liberation Front that emerged from those riots were the opening salvos of a militant gay revolution.”
Contributors: Dennis Altman, David B. Boyce, Michael Bronski, Frank Browning, David Carter, John D’Emilio, Steven F. Dansky, Michael Denneny, Martin Duberman, Lilian Faderman, D. Gilson, Eve Goldberg, Jewelle Gomez, Harry Hay, Amy Hoffman, Andrew Holleran, Karla Jay, Jill Johnston, Arnie Kantrowitz, Dolores Klaich, Larry Kramer, Toby Marotta, Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon, Felice Picano, John Rechy, Will Roscoe, Ellen Shumsky, Bob Smith, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Martha Stone, and Edmund White.
* While originally published by the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus, in 1998 the magazine was reorganized as a nonprofit organization with no official ties to the University, so in 2000 the name was changed to The Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide.
2019 BOOK TOUR Events
Pride NYC: Panel discussion featuring Karla Jay, Amy Hoffman, Timothy Stewart Winter, Michael Denneny, and Richard Schneider Jr., at the NY Historical Society Museum & Library in NYC Friday June 7th from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Click here for more info & to reserve your spot!
Pride Boston: Author talk with editor, Richard Schneider, Contributor Amy Hoffman, & author Russ Lopez at the Boston Public Library June 10th from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Click here for more info.
Provincetown Book Fest. – a conversation with G&LR editor Richard Schneider, literary editor Martha Stone, Amy Hoffman, author of, most recently, the novel The Off Season, and Russ Lopez, author of, most recently, The Hub of the Great Universe. Sept. 14th.
San Francisco GLBT History Museum Sept. 19th. MORE info soon!
Unless noted, reserve your spot today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Search of Stonewall: The Riots at 50, The G&LR at 25: A discussion with editor, Richard Schneider, Contributor Karla Jay, & author/actor David Leddick at the Stonewall National Museum & Archives In Ft. Lauderdale March 27th from 7 pm – 8:30 pm.
Click here for more info.
And (Social) Justice For All: Editor Richard Schneider, Robert Fieseler, author of Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Upstairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, author Anne-Christine d’Adesky, author of The Pox Lover and Moving Mountains, and Lawyer Elizabeth F. Schwartz and author of Before I Do discuss the quest for social justice in historical and contemporary times, and talk about 25 years of writing about these issues. At the the Hotel Monteleone during the Saints & Sinners conf. in New Orleans March 30th at 11:30am.
Preface In Search of Stonewall 1
THE year was 1994. It was the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and, as luck would have it, the year in which a new magazine called The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review was publishing its first issue (Winter ’94). The “Harvard” was dropped in 2000 and “Worldwide” added, but other than that The G&LR has had an uninterrupted run of 136 issues over the past quarter-century. The fact that our first year coincided with Stonewall’s 25th proved a happy coincidence, if only because it gave us something important to talk about that year. But it also joined our fate with that of the founding event of the modern LGBT movement. This book commemorates our own 25th birthday with a collection of Stonewall-related articles selected from the issues published to date. … Continue Reading
Part I. Flashpoint: New York City, June 1969 5
Introduction Stonewall’s Challenge to Historiography 7
The six commentators who describe the events at Stonewall in the following section make honorable attempts at completeness, and none directly contradicts well-established outlines of the rioting. Yet each chooses to highlight aspects of the event that—for whatever subliminal reasons—best suit their subjective snapshot.
What Went Down (March-April 2006) 9
A Report from the Front (Summer 1994) 13
Stonewall as Event and Idea (Summer 1994) 17
The Remains of the Night (July-August 2009) 20
What Made Stonewall Different (July-August 2009) 28
The Making of Gay Liberation (the Statue) (Spring 1997) 35
Part II. Flashback: The Roots of the Riots 41
Introduction The Revolution Began on the Left Coast 43
THE riots that followed the 1969 raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York and the New York Gay Liberation Front that emerged from those riots were the opening salvos of a militant gay revolution. But as many of the following essays show, the struggle for gay rights had begun two decades earlier. The first gay organizations to last more than a few months, the first gay magazines, and the first gay protests were born on the other side of the continent.
Birth of a Consciousness (Winter 1995) 49
The Radicalism of Harry Hay (Nov.-Dec. 2013) 57
Lesbian Liberation Begins (Winter 1995) 64
Lawrence v. Texas Brings It All Back Home (Sept.-Oct. 2003) 71
Unearthing the “Knights of the Clock” (May-June 2010) 76
The Birds as a Pre-Stonewall Parable (March-April 2001) 81
Frank Kameny Takes It Public (March-April 2012) 85
The Black Cat Riot in L.A. (May-June 2012) 91
How the Castro Became “The Castro” (Jan.-Feb. 2009) 98
Part III. Flash Forward: Aftermath and Diffusion 105
Introduction After Stonewall: Liberation and Libido 107
THE first thing that struck me about these essays on the 1970s that you’re about to read is that they’re for the most part about the early years of that decade—the first gay pride marches in New York and Los Angeles, for instance, took place in 1970—though reading the memoirs by Karla Jay and Ellen Shumsky describing attempts to form gay political organizations, one is struck by how “Sixties” they all were: the abhorrence of authority, the consciousness-raising, the aversion to organizational hierarchy. Even in the photographs of the first gay pride march in Steven Dansky’s essay, “The Look of Gay Liberation,” it’s still all about ’60s hair, ’60s clothes, and the ’60s counterculture.
The Look of Gay Liberation (March-April 2009) 111
The Radicalesbians (July-August 2009) 118
L.A Spring, 1970 (Winter 1999) 124
Fire Island: The Democratic Years (Sept.-Oct. 2003) 132
Was Lesbian Separatism Inevitable? (March-April 2006) 137
As the ’70s World Turned (Winter 1994) 142
San Francisco: Still Mighty Real (May-June 2002) 147
Part IV. Stonewall’s Legacy: Whither the Revolution? 153
Introduction Stonewall’s Legacy 155
THE Gay & Lesbian Review came into being amid an epic debate that was in full swing in the early 1990s over the state and direction of the LGBT movement. With the 25th anniversary of Stonewall in the background, it was perhaps a generational shift that writers were noticing and that was in fact taking place, one that Michael Bronski summed up (in The G&LR’s Winter 1994 issue) as a shift from “sexual liberation” to “identity politics” as the guiding model of political action. The former was the vision that had held sway from the post-Stonewall era through ACT UP and into the ’90s; the latter was being embraced by well-funded organizations like the Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign, which expressly rejected the earlier revolutionary goals. This debate was remarkable both for its passion and for its volume (as in volumes published), and also the extent to which it became polarized between these two positions.
Sexual Liberation versus Identity Politics (Winter 1995) 159
What Became of the Spirit of ’69? (Summer 1999) 164
At Thirty Years A.S. (After Stonewall) (Fall 1999) 170
Sex, Pride, and Desire (Spring 1998) 174
The Quest for Identity (Jan.-Feb. 2013) 181
Queer Theory’s Heist of Our History (Sept.-Oct. 2009) 188
What’s Lost on the Road to Equality (May-June 2015) 195
“Homonormativity” and Its Discontents (Jan.-Feb. 2016) 200
Demonstrators at the Black Cat on Feb. 11, 1967
Marchers entering Central Park at the first Pride parade in New York City, June 28, 1970
Harry Hay, by Charles Hefling
© Peter Hujar. “Gay Liberation Poster Image,” 1970. Gelatin-silver print. Reprinted with permission of The Peter Hujar Archive, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, NY.
The first LA Pride Parade took place along Hollywood Boulevard on June 29, 1970. AP photo.