The Stonewall riots marked one of the most galvanizing periods in the fight for sexual and gender liberation and the six days of protest against transphobia, homophobia, and police repression offered powerful stories, movements, and acts of queer resistance, sexual and gender liberation, and racial, ethnic, and cultural solidarity. The riots inspired LGBTQ+ people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights, and within two years after the riots, social movements for gender and sexual liberation were sparked in nearly every major city in the United States.
Three events on May 22 and 23 for students, staff, faculty, and the community offer multidisciplinary explorations of the Stonewall riots and ongoing struggles towards queer liberation.
Pride Postcards to LGBTQ+ Prisoners
a participatory event with Josh Cerretti, Assistant Professor of History
Wednesday, May 22, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., Miller Hall Collaborative Space
Many aspects of LGBTQ+ life were criminalized throughout US history and LGBTQ+ people remain disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system. In memory of those arrested at Stonewall and in solidarity with those incarcerated today, we’ll be sending postcards celebrating Pride to incarcerated LGBTQ+ people. Stop by for ten minutes or stay the whole time. All materials provided.
Schooling After Stonewall
a panel with A Longoria, Instructor of Secondary Education, and community K-12 educators
Wednesday, May 22, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Miller Hall 152
What are the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth today? How can we best serve the evolving needs of Queer identities in schooling? This vision-setting panel conversation will highlight current youth work and perspectives on what schooling should look like after Stonewall. This panel conceives of schooling broadly, with a particular emphasis on K-12 schooling. It will consist of educators, community organizers, and activists. A brief overview of the state of schooling today, including legal and policy developments and implications, will precede a moderated panel.
Stones to the Wall: How to Remember a Riot
a talk by Chris E. Vargas, Assistant Professor of Art
Thursday, May 23, 5:00 p.m., Fraser 201
In this talk about his recent exhibition and residency at the New Museum in New York City entitled “Consciousness Razing: The Stonewall Re-memorialization Project,” Chris Vargas explores Stonewall as a geographically, demographically, and historically contested site.
For the New Museum exhibition, Vargas’s Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA) commissioned artists to propose new monuments to the 1969 Stonewall riots. In doing so, Vargas questions what we think we know about these riots, often cited as a formative event for gay liberation and the modern LGBTQI civil rights movement in the US. In 2016, to commemorate the riots, President Obama designated Stonewall Inn and the adjacent Christopher Park a national monument. Yet for years, many of the activists who led the fight against violence and police brutality against queer and trans people—including Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, and many others—were not properly recognized in popular accounts of Stonewall. These figures are increasingly acknowledged in mainstream LGBTQI histories, but narratives of their work often elide their more radical demands and their critiques of racism, economic marginalization, and transphobia. Rather than construct a neat historical trajectory, this project contends that attempting to narrate a stable history does the past a disservice. Instead, MOTHA’s “Consciousness Razing” finds new ways to uncover, recast, and recuperate elements of the past.