'Cause I really realized that I was being trained as a straight person, so I could really fool these people. Before Stonewall (1984) - full transcript New York City's Stonewall Inn is regarded by many as the site of gay and lesbian liberation since it was at this bar that drag queens fought back against police June 27-28, 1969. Martin Boyce To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, activists rode their motorcycles during the city's 1989 gay-pride parade. Martin Boyce:It was another great step forward in the story of human rights, that's what it was. All kinds of designers, boxers, big museum people. The events of that night have been described as the birth of the gay-rights movement. Lucian Truscott, IV, Reporter,The Village Voice:All of straight America, in terms of the middle class, was recoiling in horror from what was happening all around them at that time, in that summer and the summer before. A year earlier, young gays, lesbians and transgender people clashed with police near a bar called The Stonewall Inn. It was a leaflet that attacked the relationship of the police and the Mafia and the bars that we needed to see ended. Dick Leitsch:And so the cops came with these buses, like five buses, and they all were full of tactical police force. Getty Images You throw into that, that the Stonewall was raided the previous Tuesday night. Lester Senior Housing Community, Jewish Community Housing Corporation It gives back a little of the terror they gave in my life. As kids, we played King Kong. Doric Wilson:When I was very young, one of the terms for gay people was twilight people, meaning that we never came out until twilight, 'til it got dark. MacDonald & Associates And if we catch you, involved with a homosexual, your parents are going to know about it first. David Huggins William Eskridge, Professor of Law: The 1960s were dark ages for lesbians and gay men all over America. So anything that would set us off, we would go into action. Linton Media Andy Frielingsdorf, Reenactment Actors And I said to myself, "Oh my God, this will not last.". We were going to propose something that all groups could participate in and what we ended up producing was what's now known as the gay pride march. And I think it's both the alienation, also the oppression that people suffered. Martin Boyce:Oh, Miss New Orleans, she wouldn't be stopped. Howard Smith, Reporter,The Village Voice:And I keep listening and listening and listening, hoping I'm gonna hear sirens any minute and I was very freaked. Mafia house beer? Alexis Charizopolis Before Stonewall 1984 Unrated 1 h 27 m IMDb RATING 7.5 /10 1.1K YOUR RATING Rate Play trailer 2:21 1 Video 7 Photos Documentary History The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement. My father said, "About time you fags rioted.". I entered the convent at 26, to pursue that question and I was convinced that I would either stay until I got an answer, or if I didn't get an answer just stay. Martin Boyce:I wasn't labeled gay, just "different." And, you know,The Village Voiceat that point started using the word "gay.". I have pondered this as "Before Stonewall," my first feature documentary, is back in cinemas after 35 years. I mean does anyone know what that is? So I attempted suicide by cutting my wrists. We didn't necessarily know where we were going yet, you know, what organizations we were going to be or how things would go, but we became something I, as a person, could all of a sudden grab onto, that I couldn't grab onto when I'd go to a subway T-room as a kid, or a 42nd street movie theater, you know, or being picked up by some dirty old man. (158) 7.5 1 h 26 min 1985 13+. It was a down at a heels kind of place, it was a lot of street kids and things like that. John DiGiacomo Do you understand me?". Homosexuality was a dishonorable discharge in those days, and you couldn't get a job afterwards. Narrator (Archival):Richard Enman, president of the Mattachine Society of Florida, whose goal is to legalize homosexuality between consenting adults, was a reluctant participant in tonight's program. In 1999, producer Scagliotti directed a companion piece, After Stonewall. It was narrated by author Rita Mae Brown, directed by Greta Schiller, co-directed by Robert Rosenberg, and co-produced by John Scagliotti and Rosenberg, and Schiller. All rights reserved. Seymour Pine, Deputy Inspector, Morals Division, NYPD:We told this to our men. Sign up for the American Experience newsletter! Available on Prime Video, Tubi TV, iTunes. They didn't know what they were walking into. Daily News John O'Brien:The election was in November of 1969 and this was the summer of 1969, this was June. What finally made sense to me was the first time I kissed a woman and I thought, "Oh, this is what it's about." Leroy S. Mobley Lilli M. Vincenz And Dick Leitsch, who was the head of the Mattachine Society said, "Who's in favor?" We assembled on Christopher Street at 6th Avenue, to march. Stonewall Uprising Program Transcript Slate: In 1969, homosexual acts were illegal in every state except Illinois. And they were lucky that door was closed, they were very lucky. and someone would say, "Well, they're still fighting the police, let's go," and they went in. "We're not going.". Dan Bodner In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city's LGBT community. The lights came on, it's like stop dancing. And when she grabbed that everybody knew she couldn't do it alone so all the other queens, Congo Woman, queens like that started and they were hitting that door. Ellinor Mitchell Hugh Bush "You could have got us in a lot of trouble, you could have got us closed up." John O'Brien:I knew that the words that were being said to put down people, was about me. Long before marriage equality, non-binary gender identity, and the flood of new documentaries commemorating this month's 50th anniversary of the Greenwich Village uprising that begat the gay rights movement, there was Greta Schiller's Before Stonewall.Originally released in 1984as AIDS was slowly killing off many of those bar patrons-turned-revolutionariesthe film, through the use of . Because its all right in the Village, but the minute we cross 14th street, if there's only ten of us, God knows what's going to happen to us.". And we all relaxed. Original Language: English. In addition to interviews with activists and scholars, the film includes the reflections of renowned writer Allen Ginsberg. John van Hoesen Evan Eames Tweet at us @throughlineNPR, send us an email, or leave us a voicemail at (872) 588-8805. A New York Police officer grabs a man by the hair as another officer clubs a. Revisiting the newly restored "Before Stonewall" 35 years after its premiere, Rosenberg said he was once again struck by its "powerful" and "acutely relevant" narrative. That's it. I am not alone, there are other people that feel exactly the same way.". We love to hear from our listeners! It was right in the center of where we all were. My last name being Garvin, I'd be called Danny Gay-vin. It meant nothing to us. First you gotta get past the door. Narrator (Archival):This involves showing the gay man pictures of nude males and shocking him with a strong electric current. This, to a homosexual, is no choice at all. You know, all of a sudden, I had brothers and sisters, you know, which I didn't have before. ", Howard Smith, Reporter,The Village Voice:And he went to each man and said it by name. Meanwhile, there was crowds forming outside the Stonewall, wanting to know what was going on. The mob was saying, you know, "Screw you, cops, you think you can come in a bust us up? And we were singing: "We are the Village girls, we wear our hair in curls, we wear our dungarees, above our nellie knees." I was never seduced by an older person or anything like that. We went, "Oh my God. Franco Sacchi, Additional Animation and Effects John O'Brien:Cops got hurt. In 1969 it was common for police officers to rough up a gay bar and ask for payoffs. And a whole bunch of people who were in the paddy wagon ran out. John O'Brien:There was one street called Christopher Street, where actually I could sit and talk to other gay people beyond just having sex. Martin Boyce:There were these two black, like, banjee guys, and they were saying, "What's goin' on man?" And we had no right to such. I mean it didn't stop after that. Stonewall Forever is a documentary from NYC's LGBT Community Center directed by Ro Haber. Trevor, Post Production Lucian Truscott, IV, Reporter,The Village Voice:This was the Rosa Parks moment, the time that gay people stood up and said no. Howard Smith, Reporter,The Village Voice:At a certain point, it felt pretty dangerous to me but I noticed that the cop that seemed in charge, he said you know what, we have to go inside for safety. And I hadn't had enough sleep, so I was in a somewhat feverish state, and I thought, "We have to do something, we have to do something," and I thought, "We have to have a protest march of our own." He pulls all his men inside. And there was tear gas on Saturday night, right in front of the Stonewall. It was terrifying. Joe DeCola Eric Marcus, Recreation Still Photography The newly restored 1984 documentary "Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community," re-released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the seminal Stonewall riots, remains a . Jimmy hadn't enjoyed himself so much in a long time. Raymond Castro:New York City subways, parks, public bathrooms, you name it. People cheer while standing in front of The Stonewall Inn as the annual Gay Pride parade passes, Sunday, June 26, 2011 in New York. It was as if an artist had arranged it, it was beautiful, it was like mica, it was like the streets we fought on were strewn with diamonds. Just let's see if they can. John O'Brien:Heterosexuals, legally, had lots of sexual outlets. Not able to do anything. WPA Film Library, Thanks to Virginia Apuzzo:It was free but not quite free enough for us. Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt:The Stonewall pulled in everyone from every part of gay life. People that were involved in it like me referred to it as "The First Run." Martin Boyce:Well, in the front part of the bar would be like "A" gays, like regular gays, that didn't go in any kind of drag, didn't use the word "she," that type, but they were gay, a hundred percent gay. In 1924, the first gay rights organization is founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago. The overwhelming number of medical authorities said that homosexuality was a mental defect, maybe even a form of psychopathy. I actually thought, as all of them did, that we were going to be killed. At least if you had press, maybe your head wouldn't get busted. TV Host (Archival):Are those your own eyelashes? W hen police raided a Greenwich Village gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, on June 28, 1969 50 years ago this month the harassment was routine for the time. Dick Leitsch:So it was mostly goofing really, basically goofing on them. A CBS news public opinion survey indicates that sentiment is against permitting homosexual relationships between consenting adults without legal punishment. But as we were going up 6th Avenue, it kept growing. Martin Boyce:It was thrilling. You were alone. Few photographs of the raid and the riots that followed exist. I guess they're deviates. Synopsis. Gay bars were to gay people what churches were to blacks in the South. TV Host (Archival):Ladies and gentlemen, the reason for using first names only forthese very, very charming contestants is that right now each one of them is breaking the law. Mike Wallace (Archival):The average homosexual, if there be such, is promiscuous. Danny Garvin:And the cops just charged them. Martin Boyce:You could be beaten, you could have your head smashed in a men's room because you were looking the wrong way. Martin Boyce:All of a sudden, Miss New Orleans and all people around us started marching step by step and the police started moving back. And I knew that I was lesbian. Virginia Apuzzo:What we felt in isolation was a growing sense of outrage and fury particularly because we looked around and saw so many avenues of rebellion. Barak Goodman They were just holding us almost like in a hostage situation where you don't know what's going to happen next. And a couple of 'em had pulled out their guns. The Stonewall riots inspired gay Americans to fight for their rights. And it was fantastic. Dick Leitsch:You read about Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams and Gore Vidal and all these actors and stuff, Liberace and all these people running around doing all these things and then you came to New York and you found out, well maybe they're doing them but, you know, us middle-class homosexuals, we're getting busted all the time, every time we have a place to go, it gets raided. Fifty years ago, a riot broke out at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village. Lucian Truscott, IV, Reporter,The Village Voice:There were gay bars all over town, not just in Greenwich Village. But I gave it up about, oh I forget, some years ago, over four years ago. I was a homosexual. Lucian Truscott, IV, Reporter,The Village Voice:And then the next night. Susana Fernandes Jerry Hoose:I mean the riot squad was used to riots. Sophie Cabott Black Michael Dolan, Technical Advisors Bettye Lane Doric Wilson:And I looked back and there were about 2,000 people behind us, and that's when I knew it had happened. The events. And so we had to create these spaces, mostly in the trucks. Gay people were never supposed to be threats to police officers. Barney Karpfinger Virginia Apuzzo:It's very American to say, "This is not right." Raymond Castro:You could hear screaming outside, a lot of noise from the protesters and it was a good sound. Alexandra Meryash Nikolchev, On-Line Editors Fred Sargeant:When it was clear that things were definitely over for the evening, we decided we needed to do something more. And she was quite crazy. Richard Enman (Archival):Present laws give the adult homosexual only the choice of being, to simplify the matter, heterosexual and legal or homosexual and illegal. There was the Hippie movement, there was the Summer of Love, Martin Luther King, and all of these affected me terribly. Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution Jimmy knew he shouldn't be interested but, well, he was curious. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world. All of the rules that I had grown up with, and that I had hated in my guts, other people were fighting against, and saying "No, it doesn't have to be this way.". It's not my cup of tea. Urban Stages John O'Brien:In the Civil Rights Movement, we ran from the police, in the peace movement, we ran from the police. The term like "authority figures" wasn't used back then, there was just "Lily Law," "Patty Pig," "Betty Badge." It premiered at the 1984 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the United States on June 27, 1985. It was tremendous freedom. Greenwich Village's Stonewall Inn has undergone several transformations in the decades since it was the focal point of a three-day riot in 1969. It won the Best Film Award at the Houston International Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature at Filmex, First Place at the National Educational Film Festival, and Honorable Mention at the Global Village Documentary Festival. The events that took place in June 1969 have been described as the birth of the gay-rights movement, but that's only partially true. And you will be caught, don't think you won't be caught, because this is one thing you cannot get away with. One of the world's oldest and largest gay pride parades became a victory celebration after New York's historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Tom Caruso I said, "I can go in with you?" Jay Fialkov Howard Smith, Reporter,The Village Voice:I had been in some gay bars either for a story or gay friends would say, "Oh we're going to go in for a drink there, come on in, are you too uptight to go in?" One was the 1845 statute that made it a crime in the state to masquerade. Yvonne Ritter:It's like people who are, you know, black people who are used to being mistreated, and going to the back of the bus and I guess this was sort of our going to the back of the bus. We were all there. The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States. Andrea Weiss is a documentary filmmaker and author with a Ph.D. in American History. I say, I cannot tell this without tearing up. Danny Garvin:People were screaming "pig," "copper." Martha Shelley:Before Stonewall, the homophile movement was essentially the Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis and all of these other little gay organizations, some of which were just two people and a mimeograph machine. But after the uprising, polite requests for change turned into angry demands. They pushed everybody like to the back room and slowly asking for IDs. The Mafia owned the jukeboxes, they owned the cigarette machines and most of the liquor was off a truck hijacking. Raymond Castro David Carter, Author ofStonewall:There was also vigilantism, people were using walkie-talkies to coordinate attacks on gay men. They would not always just arrest, they would many times use clubs and beat. And gay people were standing around outside and the mood on the street was, "They think that they could disperse us last night and keep us from doing what we want to do, being on the street saying I'm gay and I'm proud? She was awarded the first ever Emmy Award for Research for her groundbreaking work on Before Stonewall. You gotta remember, the Stonewall bar was just down the street from there. There were gay bars in Midtown, there were gay bars uptown, there were certain kinds of gay bars on the Upper East Side, you know really, really, really buttoned-up straight gay bars. This was the first time I could actually sense, not only see them fearful, I could sense them fearful. Suzanne Poli hide caption. Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt Mary Queen of the Scotch, Congo Woman, Captain Faggot, Miss Twiggy. It was a horror story. Now, 50 years later, the film is back. Participants of the 1969 Greenwich Village uprising describe the effect that Stonewall had on their lives. There may be some girls here who will turn lesbian. The cops were barricaded inside. So gay people were being strangled, shot, thrown in the river, blackmailed, fired from jobs. It is usually after the day at the beach that the real crime occurs. And so there was this drag queen standing on the corner, so they go up and make a sexual offer and they'd get busted. This was in front of the police. And these were meat trucks that in daytime were used by the meat industry for moving dead produce, and they really reeked, but at nighttime, that's where people went to have sex, you know, and there would be hundreds and hundreds of men having sex together in these trucks. On this episode, the fight for gay rights before Stonewall. Yvonne Ritter:I had just turned 18 on June 27, 1969. Yvonne Ritter:I did try to get out of the bar and I thought that there might be a way out through one of the bathrooms. Then the cops come up and make use of what used to be called the bubble-gum machine, back then a cop car only had one light on the top that spun around. Former U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with gay rights activist Frank Kameny after signing a memorandum on federal benefits and non-discrimination in the Oval Office on June 17, 2009. Before Stonewall - Trailer BuskFilms 12.6K subscribers Subscribe 14K views 10 years ago Watch the full film here (UK & IRE only): http://buskfilms.com/films/before-sto. But it was a refuge, it was a temporary refuge from the street. That wasn't ours, it was borrowed. Jorge Garcia-Spitz The medical experimentation in Atascadero included administering, to gay people, a drug that simulated the experience of drowning; in other words, a pharmacological example of waterboarding. And here they were lifting things up and fighting them and attacking them and beating them. Martin Boyce:For me, there was no bar like the Stonewall, because the Stonewall was like the watering hole on the savannah. Seymour Pine, Deputy Inspector, Morals Division, NYPD:Well, I had to act like I wasn't nervous. We heard one, then more and more. I mean I'm only 19 and this'll ruin me. We'll put new liquor in there, we'll put a new mirror up, we'll get a new jukebox." Revealing and often humorous, this widely acclaimed film relives the emotionally-charged sparking of today's gay rights movement .