In this YouTube video published by QWIST (a YouTube channel featuring LGBTQ videos), David Carter, author of Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution, and two veterans of the Stonewall riots discuss what happened that night in 1969. During the 1960s, despite the Civil Rights Movements, gay people were still criminalized and victims of violence. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar owned by the Mafia in New York City where gays and lesbians could drink and dance together, even though it was against the law. The police regularly raided the Stonewall Inn, but on June 27, 1969, gays and lesbians fought back, throwing rocks and bottles at the police. After the riot, the first gay rights organizations were formed, and one year later the first gay pride parade was held to commemorate the riots.
Who are the “veterans” interviewed in this video, and why are their voices historically important? How and why are their stories interspersed with historical photos and footage?
How did the Stonewall riots spark the modern gay rights movement? How does the video situate these riots in the context of other civil rights era events? How did these riots lead to the formation of gay rights organizations and the first gay pride parade?
The subtitle of this video is “Profiles of Pride.” What do the Stonewall riots have to do with gay pride?
After watching this video, do you think that “coming out” counts as a political act? Why? Why not?