Harlem, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Before Stonewall

Harlem started in 1945 a Funmakers Ball that was held every Thanksgiving which lasted into the 1960’s. Strutting and prancing. LGBT Blacks & Hispanic impersonators would fill the Harlem Rockland Palace with elaborate handmade gowns (before Sally’s Hideaway & Sally’s II). This was a time in New York City when going out really meant going out and each outfit were hand stitched to perfection. While everyone was inside strutting their stuff and having a good time for prizes. Police would wait for them outside Harlem’s Rockland Palace and as they left police would arrest or harass them. Women were of [...]

Playing With Stonewall 2008

“We had an idea to recreate the riots and? use the song “the Mattachine Society“. We filmed it atop my Herman Miller (George Nelson) credenza. I loved that object. Sold it. Had to for cash. Anyway, with a little? cardboard, lots of Playmobile, some ink, paints, brushes, etc and Kate Chappen, Eric Koziel, Frank and I, we did it.” TheAluminumGroup The Aluminum Group: Mattachine Society (Stonewall), Courtesy of flittercat. Thank you

Gay Civil Rights Movement During the Civil Rights Movement

Bayard Rustin was born in 1912 in West Chester, Pennsylvania of an unwed, black mother. He was raised by his Quaker grandparents and as part of his religious upbringing he was taught that the way to fight the prejudice in his life was by nonviolent means. Bayard’s grandmother, a member of NAACP, encouraged Bayard’s involvement in the black movement. Bayard graduated from high school and while at the City College of New York, in 1936, he organized the school’s Young Communist League. He later quit the party in 1941 when they opposed the idea of desegregating the military. At that [...]

Varla Jean Merman’s History a – Go – Go

This Logo television video is Varla Jean Merman’s dedication to Stonewall in a short but sweet little diddy… Now you know.Varla Jean Merman is the alter ego of actor, singer and drag performer Jeffery Roberson. Varla has said (fictitiously) that her father is Ernest Bornine and Ethel Merman is her mother. Combine them together and you get a top notch drag performer. Varla has appeared in movies and television such as Ugly Betty and Project Runway. She often appears in Provincetown, New Orleans, New York City, San Francisco and London. When Varla  Jean appeared on Project Runway in 2008, the episode [...]

Homosexuals and the Holocaust

This is a video that was put together for a History of the Holocaust class. Parts are quite violent but the scenes tell a story of group highly persecuted by the Nazi’s. A group that to this day many are unaware was ever a target of genocide. Scenes include clips from the films “Bent”, “A Love to Hide”, and the documentary “Paragraph 175″. Music from Lena Horne, Phillip Glass (The Hours), Donizetti (The Fifth Element) and Will.I.Am (Freedom Writers) The Pink Triangle Part Two: No Words

Losing Your Job for Being Gay? Mental Institution for Being Gay? Dangerous to Be Gay?

After the war in the 50s and early 60s there was a homophile movement that started developing. The Mattachine Society founded in 1950 (probably second to Chicago’s lived Society For Human Rights founded in 1924) , the Daughters OF Bilitis founded in 1955, The Society For Individual Rights (SIR) founded in 1964. These groups while there was few members in numbers, they made progress all be it slow in advancing the cause for gay rights. Courtesy of FantasticBabblings, Thank you. Stonewall: Out of the Closets and Into the Streets

The Pink Triangle and the Part It Played in the Holocaust

     The history of the Pink Triangle begins before World War II, during Adolph Hitler’s rise to power. During that time German law prohibited gay relations and was revised by Hitler in 1935 to include french kissing, showing affection, embracing, and gay fantasies as well as sexual acts. Estimated 25,000 convicted offenders between the years of 1937 to 1939 were sent to prison and then later moved to concentration camps. When inmates were sentence to be sterilized it was most often accomplished by castration. Hitler in 1942 revised punishment for homosexuality was extended to death instead of castration.      The Pink Triangle is one of the more [...]