This 2010 documentary looks at the role of the June, 1969 Stonewall Riots – so named for the Greenwich Village gay hotel and bar, the Stonewall Inn, in front of which the riots occurred – in gay liberation and the foundation of gay rights in the United States is presented. The riots are largely seen as the turning point in establishing what gay rights there are today. The societal situation for homosexual men and women – including the laws of the day – in the mid-1960s before the riots is presented. Those include forty-nine of fifty states banning homosexuality, homosexual men and women being able to be arrested for a plethora of reasons outside of gay sex (those reasons for which straight people would probably not be arrested), the rise of a homosexual enclave in among other places a one block stretch on Columbus Street in Greenwich Village, and no homosexual man or woman in the United States truly being “out”. Those involved on both sides of the riots discuss the situation that led to the first night truly becoming a riot, it which could have been like any night in any large American city where the police were raiding gay bars for the purpose of arresting homosexuals.
The Smith is screening this film in support of FLX Pride Weekend. Admission is free.
It is part of the theater’s 125th Birthday Celebration.
Film sponsor is Bank of the Finger Lakes.