While many credit the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York as the spark that ignited the nation’s gay rights movement, pride and courage did not start at Stonewall. The transgender communities in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco were at the front in fighting back against police harassment and arrests.
The transgender community stood tall way back in May of 1959 at Cooper’s Donuts on Main Street in Los Angeles. Then, in April of 1965, they, along with others, were denied service at Dewey’s lunch counter in Philadelphia for wearing “non-conformist clothing.” The transgender community fought back in San Francisco in 1966 at the two-day riots at Compton’s Cafeteria, and again in 1967 in Los Angeles’s Silverlake neighborhood at the Black Cat Bar.
We’ll detail the events that lead to these protests and the actions the community took in our next episodes.
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 [...]