Next Year at Stonewall
June 30, 2013 11:17 AM   Subscribe

During this Pride season, 44 years after Stonewall and 17 years since HAART was introduced, writers reflect on what the past can teach us about the way forward and what the end of DOMA has to do with it. John Weir on AIDS, death, trauma, and liberation; Reina Gossett on resistance, assimilation, and the life of Marsha P. Johnson, one of the first to fight back at Stonewall. And Stonewaller Sylvia Rivera at the 1973 Christopher Street Liberation Rally, recently rediscovered by Reina Gossett, and Gossett's reflections on what Rivera, like Johnson and countless other transwomen of color, had to do to make space for herself.
posted by liketitanic (11 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

The hard part is hopefully behind them.
posted by Space_Lady at 11:39 AM on June 30, 2013

Thank you for this post. That Sylvia Rivera video is awe inspiring.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:50 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

The 'Stonewaller Sylvia Rivera' link goes to the wrong place for me, I think because I'm on a computer and not a tablet.
posted by hoyland at 12:14 PM on June 30, 2013

Mod note: Think I've fixed that third link, thanks.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:17 PM on June 30, 2013

I am delighted to see that Reina Gossett's link has a Trigger Warning for "Neoliberal Gay & Lesbian Events"
posted by layceepee at 12:35 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

AZT has been around since 1985. Do you mean 17 plus years of HAART (the effective combination therapy)?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:54 PM on June 30, 2013

Jerome Horwitz of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine first synthesized AZT in 1964 under a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. Development was shelved after it proved biologically inert in mice
posted by robbyrobs at 1:02 PM on June 30, 2013

Since Vimeo doesn't work for me, I found a couple documentaries on YouTube that do:

Sylvia Rivera: Trans Movement Founder
Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson
posted by jiawen at 1:02 PM on June 30, 2013

Mod note: Fixed!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:27 PM on June 30, 2013

OMG. I was there. That person speaking in the 1973 link above was a PITA. She refused to cooperate with the marshals request about where she marched, constantly trying to upstage the first banner in the parade. I happened to be carrying the middle of the front banner that day, so I saw all of it. I only recognize her because of that body suit.

The rally was after the parade, there under the arch in Washington Square. What can I say about the whole thing? LOL! Don't ask a teenager things like that! That day was the first time I ever met an admitted gay person that was my own age. I lacked even the slightest capacity at that age to follow anything remotely political. I was there in the vane hope my photo would end up in a newspaper for my parents to see. I wound up at the front because I walked the length of the parade hoping to find a group from closer to home. There were some regional groups there, then. When I got to the front, they needed "someone tall" to help carry the front banner.

Listening to this woman speak now is a very different thing. She was on message while many of us were just out for the party and hoping to meet someone to go to bed with. Some folks wanted to talk about being gay, other folks wanted to do gay things. What would you expect? :-/
posted by Goofyy at 6:31 AM on July 1, 2013

liketitanic: it was clear that there was "more". It was, after all, 1973. Here was this person (I thought a male at the time), seeming to me (and I wasn't alone) to be out to flaunt every negative stereotype about gay people. That was the superficial appearance.

The phrase "under the bus" is the appropriate one, I'm sure. And plenty of us I'm sure felt the outfit justified it, regardless of the politics. After 40 years, I still cringe.

Today, hearing what she had to say, I'm impressed with her words. Today, I know far more of the reality of which she spoke. Then, I couldn't even stop to listen. I lasted all of about 20 minutes at the park before I went back to the apartment. But, to be fair, I hate the after-parade activities and never stay long.
posted by Goofyy at 9:11 AM on July 1, 2013

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