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This Author: David Isay
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This Publisher: Story Corps

Remembering Stonewall by David Isay

Remembering Stonewall

by David Isay

Title Details

Running Time
25 Min.


On June 27, 1969, eight officers from the public morals section of the New York City Police Department pulled up in front of the Stonewall Inn, one of the city's largest and most popular gay bars. At the time, the vice squad routinely raided gay bars, and patrons routinely complied with the police, frightened of being identified in the newspaper. But this particular Friday night at the Stonewall Inn was different. It sparked a revolution, and a hidden subculture was transformed into a vibrant political movement. What began with a drag queen clobbering her arresting officer soon escalated into a full-fledged riot, and modern gay activism was born. This documentary marked the 20th anniversary of the riots and is the first documentary - in any medium - about Stonewall. It weaves together the perspectives of the participants in the riots, from Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine, who marshaled the raid, to Sylvia Rivera, one of the drag queens who battled most fiercely that night. The revolutionary impact of the riot is better understood by looking at life for gay men and lesbians in the era before Stonewall, seen through the eyes of people like Bruce Merrow and Geanne Harwood, a gay couple who have been together for 60 years, and Jheri Faire, an 80 year old lesbian. Remembering Stonewall also examines how Stonewall affected gay politics.

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