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Gay Life: the 1960s

Gay Life: the 1960s

Gay Life: the 1960s

What an amazing and exciting time the sixties were. The Beat Generation of the ’50s paved the way for the hippie generation. Free love was born. Young women burned their bras and young men burned their draft cards. With visionaries like Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland leading the charge, erotic entertainment emerged from behind its posing straps and we saw the beginnings of modern porn.

On Oct. 21, 1967, openly gay poet Allan Ginsberg, along with over 100,000 citizens, faced down nearly 5,000 federal troops and National Guardsmen, at the Pentagon, in an anti-war protest. An event, which became bloody and later inspired Norman Mailer to write the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Armies of the Night.

But of all the things for which gay historians will remember the 1960s, the Stonewall Riots figure first and foremost. It began in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 28, 1969 and extended through the following Wednesday. For the first time ever, queers of all stripes decided they were mad as hell and were not gonna take it any more. As Allen Ginsberg allegedly said on the second days of riots, “You know, the guys there were so beautiful — they’ve lost that wounded look that fags all had ten years ago.”

A year later, the first Pride parade and celebration was born.

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