Today marks 43 years since the Stonewall Inn riots in New York City. Drag queens and patrons fought back, pushed to the edge by NYC PD and, in the process, launched an entire movement for LGBT inclusiveness and equality. Stonewall is recognized at the starting point of Pride.
But what about the Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles? Two year prior to Stonewall, the little gay bar 3909 W. Sunset Blvd. in LA was raided by undercover police and men were arrested for kissing. The Advocate Magazine began from this, in a way, as it sparked the first publication of the organization Personal Rights in Defense Education (Pride, anyone?).
Equality California posted an excellent write-up today by Josh Steichmann which, through a little bit of history, explains why the West coast version of “Stonewall” wasn’t the right time to launch a movement. Or the right place.
The Black Cat Tavern has sense closed, naturally. The building has been designated a historic monument, but will never reach the heights of the Stonewall Inn in New York City. On a recent trip to the East coast, our publisher stopped into the Inn to snap a few photos.
Happy Pride, everyone.