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Interpreting the Past: Stonewall Rebellion. Essay on LGBT Political Activism.

2 pages
521 words
University of Richmond
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The American gay rights movement dates back to 1924 when the Society for Human Rights in Chicago became the country's first gay organization. However, it was in the 1960s and 1970s that the gay liberation activists started making some progress (Rachel and Gyory). On 28th June 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York where they arrested some patrons and employees. The raid sparked off a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as the police roughly hauled arrested patrons and employees into their wagons. Six days riots and clashes between the police and patrons and their supporters followed.

One of the most important consequences of the riots was that the change of perception towards the gay people- they were no longer the invisible, passive, and fragile but tough and fought in the streets for their rights. The millions of readers, television viewers, and radio listeners adopted a new perception of homosexuality (Stachurova 34). Though the Stonewall uprising didn't start the gay rights movement, it was a galvanizing force for LGBT political activism and led to numerous gay rights organizations. For instance, the Gay Liberation Front, Human Rights Campaign, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) ( Staff 4). These movements have gained massive support throughout the country.

In the 1970s and 80s, many LGBT Americans came out to reject the idea of homosexuality to be a source of shame. In 1973 the American Psychiatry Association removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders which served as a significant step towards preventing discrimination against the gay community. Indeed, the Stonewall rebellion was a turning point for the liberation of LGBT Americans since subsequent activists pressured for the outlaw of discrimination towards the LGBT community and in 1982 Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Recently, LGBT rights have been accepted widely in North America, Western Europe, and Latin America. The Stonewall rebellion may have served as a gamechanger for gay rights in America, but it had no significant impact in other parts of the world where homosexuality is considered a curse or a social vice. It is crucial to note that even in the USA where the LGBT community is widely accepted there are still some areas that need to be addressed to ensure that they are fully integrated into the community. Take for instance the fact that same-sex marriage is outlawed in some parts of the country; this doesn't portray a society that has wholly accepted LGBT Americans as a part of the nation. The Stonewall rebellion will leave a significant mark in the history of gay liberation as it brought to the broader public concern on LGBT rights.


Works Cited Staff. "Stonewall Riots." 2017. Document. 28th November 2017.

Rachel Rub and Daniel Gyory. "Gay Rights Movement and Stonewall Riots The 70s and 80s." Gay Rights Movement and Stonewall Riots The 70s and 80s. n.d. Document.

Stachurova, Alexandra. "Media Coverage of Gay Life Before and After the Stonewall Riots." Media Coevrage of Gay Lfe Before and After the Stonewall Riots. Masaryk, 9 June 2009. Document.



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