Fascinating piece by former Voice writer Lucian Truscott IV in the Times this morning about his experiences as an eyewitness to the Stonewall riots 40 years ago.
In the op-ed today, Truscott tries to combat some of the myths about the uprising. He says, for example, that it was a myth that the Stonewall police raid was part of a larger citywide crackdown on gay bars in a mayoral election year — Truscott says the officer who led the raid was operating on his own, and the raid was more about fighting the mafia than cracking down on homosexuals.
No doubt some feathers will be ruffled by Truscott’s observation that older gays were alarmed by the way younger men taunted the police with their out homosexuality. The older men predicted that it would actually set back their long, gradual push for rights — and Truscott says they were right.
This week, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the riots, we reprinted the piece Truscott wrote about the riots which appeared on the front page of the July 3, 1969 issue of the Voice (which actually came out on Wednesday, July 2). That article described the action on the street outside Stonewall. Another writer, Howard Smith, was inside the bar with cops, and he wrote a gripping description of the raid from that vantage point.
Something Truscott didn’t mention in his Times reminiscence today: that it was the piece he wrote for the Voice — including words like “faggot” and “faggotry” — which set off an additional night of rioting by angry gay activists, some of whom protested outside Voice offices.