history lesson

Remember When Activism Didn’t Include HRC’s Black Tie Galas?

Did you know there were gay people in America before the Stonewall Riots? It’s true! Not just that, but there was also gay activism. The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis were among the “settlement houses” for gay and lesbian “immigrants” — an interesting concept when you think about how religious and ethnic communities had their own outposts at the time, but not gays who wanted to live openly. Then Stonewall hit, activism matured, and everyone revolted not just against the man, but also the mainstream gays!

Splinter groups formed from the Gay Liberation Front, like Radical Lesbians, Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, the Gay Activist Alliance, Lesbian Feminist Liberation, Salsa Soul Sisters, and untold other awesomely titled allegiances. The somebody bought a building, called it The Center, and everyone came together in united form to create Act Up.

And there, folks, is our summation of decades of struggle.