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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Warner, Shayna, Stonewall

The Stonewall Documentary was sort of a shattering of what I had previously thought. I'd always been aware of the name Stonewall, as it had been referred to in my high school's GSA at least once a year around May or June. However, I never envisioned the gay rights movement to have begun in a violent, riotous manner. Nor did I have any idea of the Mafia's forced involvement, as the LGBT community had no one and no where else to turn. I found that both amusing and sad, as such an association never would have occurred to me, and the Mafia's violent, seedy nature belies the desperation the LGBT community was in at that time.

Something else that shocked me was the documentary's exploration of how homosexuality had been previously "treated." Though I know conversion therapy still exists, we are now much more aware of the moral and mental dangers to it, and many psychiatrists, instead of marking homosexuality as a disease, have condemned conversion therapy. That homosexuality was deemed a criminal offense, and California itself locked up homosexual "deviants," is also so contrary to my vision of California today as a liberal, left-wing state. I'm glad I saw this film, though, because too often I feel as though i ignore the history and activists who made it possible for me to be out without fear of harassment or criminalization.

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