Sunday Reading: Pride and the Fiftieth Anniversary of Stonewall
Around the country this month, people are celebrating L.G.B.T.Q. Pride. This year is especially meaningful since it marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a decisive moment in the advancement of human rights in this nation. This week, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces about the progress of the gay-rights movement during the past few decades. Anthony Hiss reports on a parade, from Greenwich Village to Central Park, celebrating the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, in 1970. Frances Fitzgerald profiles Harvey Milk and explores the growth of the gay community in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco during the nineteen-eighties. Alex Ross reflects on the political progress that gay men and women have made since the seventies, and Michael Specter chronicles the life of the playwright and activist Larry Kramer. Mark Seliger offers a selection of portraits of trans people in Greenwich Village. In “The Perfect Wife,” Ariel Levy recounts how the gay-rights activist Edith Windsor fell in love with her future partner and won a landmark Supreme Court case for gay marriage. Finally, Masha Gessen considers the historian Martin Duberman’s concerns about the future of the gay-rights movement. Taken together, these pieces show how far we’ve come—and how far we still have yet to go.
“For the first time in a raid on such a bar, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn did not go quietly but fought back—and fought back against both the police and the bar itself.”
“The gay world is confronting a question with which other marginalized groups have long been familiar: the price of assimilation.”
“It was in the Village, on Christopher Street and the nearby piers, where many trans and queer people first shared space with others like them.”
“For people to embrace same-sex marriage, they needed to focus on the universal desire for romantic love and committed intimacy.”
“By adopting a narrow agenda that is also socially centrist or even conservative, the movement has forfeited its ties to other oppressed groups.”
“By the end of the eighties, Larry Kramer had started the two most effective AIDS advocacy organizations in America—both of them conceived in flashes of pure rage.”