The transgender community has fought back against police brutality even as early as May of 1959. It all started at Cooper’s Donuts on Main Street in Los Angeles. This coffeehouse-style establishment stayed open all night and was situated between two gay bars in a rough section of town. It attracted a mixed crowd of drag queens, male hustlers – many Latin or African American – and their acquaintances.
Police often patroled the area demanding identification, and looking for I.D.’s that didn’t match their name or gender designation. Arrest often followed.
On this night they fought back, hurling donuts, coffee cups and trash at the police – forcing them into their squad cars as those inside poured into the street – dancing around the trapped police.
This would not be the last time they would fight back.
Tens of thousands of gay servicemembers have been kicked out of the U.S. military both before and after the adoption of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And with the U.S. Senate’s December, 2010 vote to repeal that policy, it is fitting we remember the very first discharged – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin. It all [...]