Stonewell Riot Essay

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Stonewell Riots and the impact on the Gay Community The Stonewell riot took place in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1969. It was a turning point for homosexual’s equality. Though activism and advocacy did exist before Stonewall, it was limited and rare. It was also often confined to larger cities like New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The homophile organization like the Mattachine society and Daughter of Bilitis was making only small progress before the Stonewall riots. In this paper, I will look at the social and political environment before and after the Stonewell riot. World War Two brought about an awareness of homosexuals like never before. During the war, increasing numbers of individuals with same sex desires were able to break out of isolation in small and rural communities as they joined the military or moved to bigger cities to work in wartime employment. The military, which was sexual segregated at the time, gave men and women an opportunity to explore their same sex desires. In addition, women now found themselves in the man’s workplace as they helped fulfill factory work in the absence of men. Women found themselves in a new position of social and economical freedom. Women found themselves able to express themselves more freely and independently. It is during this time that gay bars began to become more visible. Though the military did not commend same sex relationships and actually fought against it, it gave a big boost to the amplification of the gay culture. The military even used homosexuality to their advantages, like in the case of molding the exemplary solider. “Psychiatrists advised Women’s Army Corps officers that they could mold ‘potential homosexual tendencies’ into strong admiration for a woman leader that would produce an exemplary solider” (Rupp 136). Military men and women also found themselves
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