Listen: New York City, Fire Island, Barbara discussed on Making Gay History
"Inspector Seymour, pine and other members of the NYPD's moral squad entered the stonewall in the raid sparked a series of riots that intern set off a wave of protests and organizing that transformed a small movement for gay civil rights into a national movement for gay liberation. We're sharing firsthand accounts of the raid the riots and the struggle for liberation that followed inform any so's that we've released all at once on the anniversary of the stonewall uprising, we're able to bring these very special extras. Thanks to the generous support of Christopher street financial, since nineteen Eighty-one Christopher street financial has been helping members of the LGBTQ plus community make their important life and wealth decisions. Wherever getting's and Kayla, who's in or almost as far from the action on Christopher street as I was at this time fifty years ago, they were spending their summer as many LGBTQ people's still do on fire island, when they heard about what happened, they headed straight for New York City to join the explosion of Poston, while organizing, but I almost didn't hear about that in nineteen eighty nine after several hours of interviewing Kane, Barbara about their work in Homa file movement. We were wrapping up. I was about to pack up my tape. Recorder, then I get this easy feeling that I was missing something. If I don't cover some of your involvement later involves in detail. What is your time line up to stonewall? Up to nine hundred. Well, then, well, then we have, you know. How did you hear about? She's one of the co founder. Well, I'm used to go to the gay Liberation Front meetings. Were you in New York? Yes, I worked in New York, and Barbara, and I were out on fire island where we had rented a very lovely house, along with another woman. And when we heard about the stonewall riots in them, we came back in these Galeb ration- front meetings were going on. And so I immediately started attending. It was the best thing was the only game in town, other than Mattachine society, which had been rather slow had seen to some people rather. Slow too stuffy in it, it's it's day was over these organizations, do seem to have. Mattachine seemed to be passed it for for a lively response to the stonewall riots. And instead came left to fill the void Barbara would come up to from Philadelphia, and we would sit there. This. And they were huge meetings. They didn't even know who we worse it didn't much. Not always the case. I remember meeting. That I attended along with Frank candy, you might ask him about it. If you have already covered him and a gay activist woman from Philadelphia named burn Aaronson. There were a couple of others and don't remember the year but it was early on. And we were would you believe I don't know how this happened, but we were called on the carpet. There was no carpet, of course, at a G left meeting in New York City, and Frank was there from Washington, I was there here was a brand new organization that was presuming to tell everybody how to run the show and they actually called us on the carpet to explain who we were and what we were doing there. Why were we have a meeting? It was incredible. I mean for once I think Frank was even dumbfounded so that he couldn't come up with any kind of, or he regrouped. They wanted to know what are your credentials. What are you doing here, as though you own them you presume to speak? Yes. As though you owe them an explanation of your presence in that room. When, in fact, the meetings had always been advertised as open to everyone. And I think finally, my response just boiled down to two sitting there very Mula -cially and saying, I'm gay. That's why I'm here. Wrote from this guy knew who we were we didn't have the right radical rags on. We didn't have enough money to buy, what all these leftists with no jobs, somehow, the money for C, I money. Yes radicals with million dollar boots and they got from capitalist endeavors, each one more far out than thou of their leftist, ideal Jake. I mean they were spouting stuff. I never heard before because here I am on this plane. Jane out of gay movement. A home Afam of right. I lo- I never liked that word, but sixteen. Yeah. Right. I was they didn't know me from anybody way. Frequently does try to put out of business, the last way, it was whole new, lingo of oppression oppression, and they used to the fist as the symbol and the clenched fist shown in a lot of pictures of people. Rising up angry, radical butterflies. It would had limited appeal. Let's face it for a lot of people who were not ready to was totally motion blowouts, every meeting. I mean it was like going throw catharsis step free. Unlike anything we hit ever seen, right? Out of the blow. I mean, I was aware they came out or or new left plot. Invade my efforts to investigate these people for taking over our movement. But nanny case I think most of them were gay, but had non tucked away and other leftist causes and suddenly saw the gave bandwagon is the one to hop on. And it was a total mishmash of a few of us out of the old game movement like Craig Rodwell, and his Oscar Wilde bookshop, and all he was there. Some of us who were. Working folk in New York who otherwise would have been living in up on fire island. But suddenly we were drawn into all this radical hoopla. Yes, the transition from the smaller movement before stonewall to the newer movement. Some of the things that happened in the seventies, I think ought to be talking about people what you survive from this. Yeah, that's true to the seventy. That's true. Why did you stay with lots of people because I, I always cared passionately about what happened to gay people. So I wasn't there to advance some leftist ideology, nor did. I think that was the what would save the game. I know already. I mean they were pointing to Cuba to Russia, constantly trying to make the good case for how great it would be under socialism. And how our cause was really a an economic cause, and that we really needed to overthrow capitalism, and have a socialist regime, blah, blah. You can only do so much in this world. And my passion has always been to alleviate the loneliness and increase the acceptability of gay life. But and they had so many little factions and they wouldn't have their endless blowouts, with one another and they were here today gone tomorrow. I mean even they said. We're just here as a catalyst to push things over in the right direction will push this movement over into a movement of the people in all be up front, which it could be set in a sense they did. But I think the time was ripe it would have happened. Anyway, we have been picketing was nothing to us to get out in a demonstration. We'll listen. I'll tell you what we'll pack. My driving force take you leave you with."