In 1969, the Stonewall riots — precipitated when cops burst into the famed gay bar and started being their usually abusive selves — defined the modern gay movement.
Well, every eldergay on earth claims to have not only been there, but to have started the riot — even more people than claim to have seen the original Carrie musical.
But a documentary about “The Saint of Christopher Street,” transsexual legend Marsha P. Johnson, has uncovered some interesting info.
Director Michael Kasino interviewed Stonewall author David Carter for the documentary, and here’s what Carter said:
“When Jerry Hoost, who was a co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front, got to the Stonewall Inn on the evening of the uprising, John Goodman told him that Jackie Hormona was the one who started the riot, and that soon after, Marsha Johnson and Zasou Nova quickly joined in.
“Later, Marty Robinson, and later Morty Manford, told Robin Souza, who was one of the founders of the Gay Activists Alliance, that Marsha Johnson was involved in starting the riots.
“The story that Robin Souza told me, that Morty Manford told him, was that Marsha Johnson said, ‘I got my civil rights!’ and then Marsha threw a shot glass into a mirror. And that’s what started all the riots.
“This was later know as the ‘shot glass’ heard round the world.
“So I think when you look at the mythology, with the few known facts that withstand scrutiny, I do not think that there is any doubt that she was there the first night. And I think if we had to conclude, in all probability, that she was probably among the first to resist the police in a physical way.”
Want to know more about Marsha? Then you might want to help kick-start the movie. Here’s how. By the way, yes, I’m in it. But I didn’t start Stonewall!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 10, 2012