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Stonewall Coalition 1977

1977
Ephemera

Stonewall Coalition 1977; California social, protest, and counterculture movement ephemera collection, SOC MOV EPH; Box 1, Folder 13; California Historical Society https://digitallibrary.californiahistoricalsociety.org/object/10242

The Stonewall Coalition was an LGBT equality group in San Francisco that formed in the 1970s to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. The riots erupted in response to police harassment of the LGBT community. This event was only one of several uprisings and acts of resistance by the LGBT community, including the Cooper Do-nuts Riot in Los Angeles in 1959 and the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco in 1966, that furthered the cause of gay liberation. As you examine the flyer, consider the following questions: What type of equality was the Stonewall Coalition seeking, and for whom? What does the flyer suggest about the organizational strategies and forms of resistance of the Stonewall Coalition? In what ways did they attempt to build intersectional alliances?

The Stonewall Coalition was an LGBT equality group in San Francisco that formed in the 1970s to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. The riots erupted in response to police harassment of the LGBT community. This event was only one of several uprisings and acts of resistance by the LGBT community, including the Cooper Do-nuts Riot in Los Angeles in 1959 and the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco in 1966, that furthered the cause of gay liberation. Ask students to examine the flyer and consider the following questions: What type of equality was the Stonewall Coalition seeking, and for whom? What does the flyer suggest about the organizational strategies and forms of resistance of the Stonewall Coalition? In what ways did they attempt to build intersectional alliances? Prompt students to go deeper by considering the intended message and symbolism of the drawing on the top right-hand corner of the flyer.

In Germany the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I did not speak up because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Trade Unionsts.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I was a Protestant and so I didn’t speak up.

Then they came for me . . . by that time there was no one to speak up for anyone.

Pastor Martin Niemoller
October, 1945

TO MAKE SURE THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN THE INJUSTICE TO ANYONE ANYWHERE MUST BE THE CONCERN OF EVERYONE.

We, the Stonewall Coalition, do speak up, and we speak now as upfront, proud gay people: Third World, women, sissies, and men. We affirm our sexuality as a free and morally responsible choice; we affirm our right to make that choice with pride. We affirm and exercise our rights to share our love, to raise and be a part of our own families, and to freely choose our own lifestyles. Society’s restraints on us are based on myths and distortions which we challenge. We seek ways to re-educate the public about our gay experiences, and we seek to act respectfully and responsibly toward one another. We are here to serve and help our communities and all people who struggle against those forces that would deny us our freedom of expression, thought, and love. We speak out to all people.
In the summer of 1969, in New York City’s Greenwich Village, a group of Third World drag queens, dykes, and effeminate men chose to violently oppose police harassment. When the police raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, GAYS FOUGHT BACK, initiating the Stonewall Rebellion that we commemorate today. Their resistance to gay oppression marked the emeence of an openly militant gay liberation movement in the United States. They were the original Stonewall Contingent - women and men who were born poor, Black, Puertorrique͠no and Puertorriqu̴͠na - and for whom choosing and openly gay lifestyle and identity meant embracing still another level of oppression. For them there was never a closet, so they fought the police-state oppressors in the same spirit of militant resistance that characterized other liberation movements of the late sixty’s.
Today we stand and march together as the Stonewall Coalition. We recognized the need to daily build our unity in the spirit of the 1969 Stonewall Resistance. We must FIGHT BACK!

The Stonewall Coalition includes: Third World Gay Caucus, Lesbians Organizing, Jeanne Jullion Defense Committee, Join Hands, Gay Latino Alliance, Gay Teachers and Schoolworkers Coaltion, Disabled Lesbians Organizing, D.A.F.O.D.I.L alliance, Bay Area Gay Liberation, and independent lesbians and gay men.