Before Stonewall

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In the wee hours of June 28, 1969, NYC police raided a Greenwich Village gay bar called Stonewall Inn, which led to three nights of rioting and ultimately initiated the modern gay and lesbian liberation movement. Originally released in 1984, Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community offered a decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America leading up to the charged moment with archival footage and interviews with pioneering cultural figures and activists who experienced the closeted history firsthand, many of whom have since passed—Audre Lorde, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Barbara Gittings among them. While it may seem like ancient history, LGBTQ Americans are still fighting for equality, whether it’s in the bathroom or a wedding cake shop, which makes the theatrical rerelease of a newly restored edition of the doc (which is screening at NWFF in conjunction with Seattle Pride) feel more relevant than ever. by Leilani Polk
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Greta Schiller
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