While my community’s movement goes back to 1924, when the first documented gay rights organization was founded in Chicago, its watershed moment occurred on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village.
That night the police raided the bar and demanded identification from those dressed in what they considered to be gender-inappropriate clothing. While waiting for police wagons to arrive, a crowd began to form, and Michael Levine recalled at an NPR StoryCorps booth that “the drag queens, they’re the ones who said to the police, ‘We’re not leaving.’ And they formed a chorus line outside, in front of the bar. And they stood there, dancing in the street. They were all Puerto Rican drag queens and Irish cops. It was a funny, funny confrontation.”