Essay On The Stonewall Riots

621 Words3 Pages
“I got my rights!” Marsha Johnson shouted as she slammed a shot glass into a mirror . On a summer night in 1969, the police raided a popular gay bar in New York City as they often did. What was expected to have been the routine raid of a local dive bar quickly escalated because, this time, the patrons decided to fight back. Tired of being harassed, the patrons of the bar resisted arrest, which intensified the situation into a full-scale riot that lasted over the course of five days. Johnson’s “shot glass heard round the world” is rumored to have been one of the many simultaneous catalysts that sparked the historic Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots proved to be a defining event for the LGBT community and is credited with kick-starting the gay liberation movement. Within a couple of years of the Stonewall riots, organizations that fought for gay rights could be found in most major cities in the United States.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s,
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It had previously been a restaurant that had catered to heterosexuals. In order to get around the liquor licensing laws, the Stonewall Inn acted as a bottle club. This was common practice amongst New York City gay bars as bottle clubs did not require a liquor license. In order to gain entrance to the Stonewall Inn, the patron would be inspected and recognized by the bouncer through a peephole in the door. This helped keep out any unwanted characters, such as minors and undercover police officers. The patron was then required to sign their name in a book, feigning the appearance of a membership log. Many used false names in order to keep their personal information secret. The conditions of the Stonewall Inn were far from what we are used to. The bar had no running water or fire exits on the premises and the bathrooms often failed. In order to wash glasses, a bath tub full of stagnant water acted as a sink and the glasses were immediately reused after
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