Monday, June 29, 2009

Commemorating Stonewall: For Immediate Release

June 29, 2009


(New York, NY) – Beginning Tuesday, June 30, commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the inception of the modern gay rights movement.

Produced by journalist Christopher de la Torre, the series features several founding members of the Gay Liberation Front, including Perry Brass, Steven Dansky, Karla Jay, John Knoebel and Ellen Shumsky. “The blog series is actually, in part, a response to the recent New York Times article ‘Why the Gay Rights Movement Has No National Leader.’ I think it’s important, now more than ever, to put a face (or faces, as it were) on the movement,” he said. “These are a few of those faces.”

Also featured is historian and author John-Manuel Andriote, whose exhibit “Victory Deferred” is currently showing at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Other contributors include Kevin Kopelson (author, Sedaris) and activist Brandon Wallace.

“I’d not only like to remember the importance of Stonewall as a catalyst for a new movement,” de la Torre said, “but I also implore the next generation of activists – gay and straight – not to lose sight of the raw transformative power of revolution, and how real change often begins with the convictions of a marginalized and fearless few.”

Selected quotes:

“From 1969 – 1972 I dedicated myself to the self chosen mission of documenting these Gay and Lesbian Liberation movements from a privileged insiders perspective. It was through my participation in this revolutionary community that I healed my divided self…” –Ellen Shumsky

“In addition to activism, a great deal of queer theory began with GLF thinkers and writers who compelled a shift in perception of reality so persistent that it radically altered assumptions about gender and sexuality.” –Steven Dansky

“We wanted to create an authentic gay culture, a real gay media, and a gay world that was part of the bigger world and yet distinct enough from the mainstream for us to survive intact in it.” –Perry Brass

“The assumption that we need a national leader is ridiculous. The reality is that we are not one people and do not share race, gender, class, sexual preferences, or a common upbringing. Queers constitute many communities…” –Karla Jay

Christopher de la Torre is a New York-based journalist and civil rights activist. A former scientist, he endeavors to take scientific discourse to a new level with the re-launch of his online publication, Urban Molecule, later this year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The information about the display marking the Stonewall 40th at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian is that Mr. Andriote's collection is a part of that display, it is not the whole display. The display includes material from other LGBT collections in the museum's Archives Center.

Franklin Robinson, Jr.
curator for the Stonewall display, NMAH, Archives Center