Next semester First-Year Writing will welcome for a public conversation the host and producer of a new podcast, Making Gay History, which is based on interviews conducted by Eric Marcus with leaders of the LGBTQ rights movement in the late 1980s. Marcus put out the book Making Gay History in 2002. Today marks the release of the first episode, featuring trans activist Sylvia Rivera. Here’s a snippet about that historic night in June 1969 when she arrived at the Stonewall Inn.
Nah, I was drinking. The police came in. They came in to get their payoff as usual. They would come in, padlock the friggin’ door. As soon as they left the mafia was there cuttin’ in the door, they had a new register, they had more money, and they had more booze. This is what we learned to live with at that time. We had to live with it. We had to live with it until that day.
I don’t know if it was the customers or it was the police. It just [snaps fingers], everything clicked.
Everybody just like, why the fuck are we doin’ all this for? The people at them bars, especially at the Stonewall, were involved in other movements and everybody just like, alright, we gotta’ do our thing. We’re gonna’ go for it. And when they ushered us out, it was nice, you know, when they just very nicely put you out the door. And then you’re standing across the street in Sheridan Square park and, but why? Buy why? All of a sudden you just feel this… everybody’s looking at each other. But why do we have to keep on constantly putting up with this? And the nickels, the dimes, the pennies, and the quarters started flying.
I’d encourage anyone to listen and subscribe.