The Greatest Gay Generation


“Tom Brokaw, the NBC News anchor, wrote a fantastic book honoring the men and women that literally saved the world from the terror of the Nazis; it was entitled “The Greatest Generation” and deservedly so.
I recently viewed the DVD “Stonewall” starring Guillermo Diaz and Frederick Weller for maybe the fifth time—first, in the theater in 1998, on VHS and now DVD—and it was a kick in the head. The Stonewall Riots of 1969, the theme of the film, has so impacted the lives of every gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual (GLBT) person who has breathed since that day!
I am now retired and living the easy life far from New Jersey, but looking back on my life, the changes brought about by my generation have changed the world for all GLBT people like none that preceded us. Okay, the suffragettes, the African American Civil Rights movement, and the women’s movement paved way for the “Gay Rights Movement.” But for us in the GLBT community, the “Big Bang” was that night in June of 1969, the evening following the death of gay icon Judy Garland. It was the night when a group of drag queens, hustlers and their friends said “NO!” to police harassment and fought back after a raid on the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village in New York City. The year 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of that event.