Something very strange happened during last June’s celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The LGBTQ community, especially those of us from Gay Liberation Front New York realized how the history we created from 1969 to 1971 was being distorted by those who had recorded it.
ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez says that as a young reporter in Miami, he was inspired by the greats of television journalism: Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters and Katie Couric. He didn’t seek out gay role models in the media, “because at the time I was very conflicted about it myself.”
At its most basic, it’s just a piece of cloth. A nice poly-blend, perhaps, or a hank of nylon in a fade-resistant color. There are holes in one end to fasten to a pole or rope, but it’s otherwise just a piece of cloth. Yet, people have died for it and, as in the new book “Rainbow Warrior” by Gilbert Baker, that flag could be the fabric of revolution.
If you are over age 55, you might have memories of the Stonewall Riots; vivid ones that may’ve become gauzy; or sketchy ones, perhaps, from the viewpoint of a child. If you’re under age 55, the Stonewall Riots are undoubtedly just a story to you, and there’s a lot for you to learn. To mark the anniversary of this event that altered so many lives, look for these new books…
Fifty years ago, I was a 16-year old high school student in Miami; and I did not learn about Stonewall until I read my first gay newspaper two years later. Today, almost every high school student in America knows about Stonewall. What was once unmentionable is now part of our country’s political and social history.