In 1969 America, it was illegal to be gay in 49 out of 50 states. You could be fired from your job and evicted by your landlord if you were found out to be gay.
Whilst protests from the gay community and its allies had happened before there, anger against this oppression was reaching boiling point.
As we move past the 54th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we take a look at the significance of this fateful night. The Big Bang moment of a large-scale civil rights movement and what now marks Pride in our calendars each year.
Who were the heroes who fought for LGBTQ+ rights in the years prior to what we now know as Stonewall? Why were the mafia so heavily involved the night of the riots? And what’s been the legacy of that courageous stand for civil rights in the years and decades since?
Joining Kate today is Ann Bausum, author of Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights, to delve into the details of this pivotal moment in civil rights history.
This episode was produced by Stuart Beckwith, and edited by Tom Delargy. The Senior Producer was Charlotte Long.