Stonewall 50 finally gets our history right

By : Mark Segal, member Gay Liberation Front 1969-71 and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News
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Something very strange happened during last June’s celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The LGBT community, especially those of us from Gay Liberation Front New York realized how the history we created from 1969 to 1971 was being distorted by those who had recorded it.

Even LGBT organizations, whose mission is to give resources and information to mainstream media, fell short and had to be corrected by the mainstream media it was supposed to assist. On an anniversary of this scope, communities begin to both look back at their history and think critically about where they are at present.

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The Stonewall Inn: 50 Years Ago

By : Mark Segal, Gay Liberation Front 1969-71
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That night, standing in Stonewall, I could not have imagined what the next few hours would do to change the gay and lesbian community around the world. I doubt anyone else could have known. How could we have known, on June 28th, 1969, that we’d be participating in history?

It started when the lights flickered on and off, alerting the patrons to something imminent, though I had no idea what. It was my second month in New York, my second month walking Christopher Street, my second month being an out and proud gay. Looking over at my friend, I asked what was happening and he said, nonchalantly: “Oh, it’s just a raid.” As an 18-year-old new to everything, his words were frightening.

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LGBT History Project: An unlikely advocate for gay rights emerges as America’s first equality governor

By : William Burton, special to Watermark from the LGBT History Project
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In April of 1975, a groundbreaking event occurred in the fight for gay and lesbian equal rights. In Pennsylvania, a state not generally known for liberal politics, a courageous and progressive Governor, Milton J. Shapp, signed an executive order that banned discrimination in state government. This was the first state in the nation where a governor had taken such action. It would be another four years before another state would take such a bold move.

In Pennsylvania, activist groups had sprung up throughout the state. Gay activist Mark Segal had been active in the Gay Liberation Front in New York (GLF-NY), and gained notoriety as founder of the Gay Raiders, famous for their “zaps.” As Segal’s visibility and reputation grew, he soon brought his urgent feelings of activism back home to Philadelphia, wanting to make an impact politically.

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