NONFICTION

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights

128p. bibliog. ebook available. index. notes. photos. reprods. Viking. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780670016792.
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RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—This powerful, well-researched work examines the Stonewall riots, which took place in 1969 in New York City when members of the gay community fought back in response to a police raid on a gay bar. Bausum describes the restrictive lives that many gays and lesbians led in the 1960s and the relief—and risks—of meeting at gay bars. On June 28, 1969, when police arrived at the Stonewall Inn to make arrests, people—transvestites, drag queens, lesbians, and gay men—fought back, instead of filing quietly into police wagons. Quoting from a variety of firsthand sources (journalists, bar patrons, cops, and others), Bausum paints a vivid picture of the three nights of rioting that became the focal point for activists, some of whom had been fighting for gay and lesbian rights in a quieter way and others who found themselves suddenly drawn to the struggle. A month later, a large group of protestors rallied to speak out in Washington Square Park and marched down Christopher Street to the Stonewall Inn in what became the nation's first gay pride march. In the following chapters, Bausum describes the growth of gay and lesbian activism, setbacks, the impact of HIV/AIDS, and issues such as gays in the military and same-sex marriage, bringing readers to the present day and expertly putting these struggles into historical context.
VERDICT An essential purchase.

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