In both the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot and the Stonewall Rebellion three years later, it was transsexuals that rose up against police harassment and violence. So why did Compton’s fall into obscurity?
The Compton’s Riot didn’t make the newspapers, for fear that the violence would spread city-wide. It also involved poor people in the ghetto, a group often overlooked.
But maybe Compton’s came before its time. In 1966, the counterculture and antiwar movement had barely gotten started, and the racial struggle had yet to boil over. The LGBT community wasn’t primed for action yet either.
In short, the political winds were very different between 1966 and 1969.
Incidentally, the Stonewall Inn is still in business, serving as a reminder of that uprising, whereas Compton’s is long gone.
In recognition of the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, “The Rainbow Minute” is committed to bringing to light the often under-represented history of the transgender community by featuring 10 new episodes during the month of November. “The Rainbow Minute,” a radio show on WRIR, Richmond Independent Radio, is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and airs on 97.3 FM every Weekday at 9:03am, 12:30pm and 4:30pm. Listen to the WRIR’s audio stream here.
The Rainbow Minute is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and airs on 97.3 FM, WRIR Richmond Independent Radio, every Weekday at 7:59 a.m, 12:29 p.m. and 4:59 p.m. Listen to the WRIR’s audio stream here.