Like many men and women of my generation, I was interested in the Stonewall Riots. Like most men and women of my generation, I wasn’t there. I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during the summer of 1969, but I read the initial reports in the Times, and then I watched the national press as the story developed and then later as the story about gay liberation began to develop.
Many of us seemed to understand, even in those early days, that what was happening was new, entirely new, and our lives were going to be different because of it. But it was not until much later that we began to understand something else, that a new world was being created in those early meetings in the West Village in people’s apartments, in churches, and in the meetings of the Gay Liberation Front. We were creating our world.
The Stonewall Riots need to be studied just because they are the beginning. We need to know more about the men who were present at the beginning. And we need to know more about what their options were and what their decisions meant, because we are still living in the world they created.