To address this from my own perspective, which began when I joined Queer Nation in 1990 in New York City, a constant tension has existed between assimilation and radical liberation.

I wasn’t one of the founders of Queer Nation, but I joined very shortly after it was founded. I can testify that even in 1990, we were perfectly aware that transgender people had always been an important part of our movement.

In fighting against violence and for diversity, we categorically rejected the proponents of assimilation who fought only for the rights of gay white men.

We fought against the distortion of history that erased gender non-conforming people as crucial parts of the New York City LGBTQ community.

Even then, transgender had not yet become well known as vocabulary. But even then, everyone I knew was perfectly well aware that Stonewall had been very mixed in terms of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

It’s probably impossible to put together a concise picture of what happened over those three nights, partly because a lot was happening across a fairly large area. Any individual could have one perspective that is completely accurate from their point of view, but which differs from somebody else’s accurate perspective from just a few blocks or a few hours away.

But the holistic truth is that members of gender and sexual minority unquestionably came together and fought back over those three nights. And many of those people were marginalized beyond just being gay white men.

No serious queer historian doubts this. First-person accounts are simply too numerous. Hell, in 1990 I knew a lot of people who had been at Stonewall. We all did. It only happened 21 years before. The young people who had been at Stonewall then were middle aged in 1990. Getting a first-person account was EASY.

And again, we KNEW how diverse Stonewall had been. Anyone trying to claim otherwise is being disingenuous and dishonest.

Sargeant is disgraceful. He is one of those assimilations who want to snuggle up in their own white privilege by pretending that gay people are just like straight people and ignoring the fact that LGBTQ people are incredibly diverse.

But the only way he can push his point of view is by lying. He needs to sit down and be quiet.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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