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Word Count: 1,243
On a hot June night in 1969 the sexual discourses of theology law and psychology encountered resistance so strong that millions of lives were changed In a small gay bar in New York the regulars an eclectic mix of drag queens transexuals effeminate men and butch women offered up the most visible resistance ever witnessed to the relentless exercising of public power on their private lives The three-day street riot began by Stonewall patrons spilled onto the front pages and television screens of a nation The exposure placed the queen queer and dyke in the living rooms kitchens and supermarkets of straight America The resistance of gays to the external and internal subjectification of themselves as sinners sodomites and psychopaths began Before this seminal event gays were known but their lives operated in the back streets and alleyways of urban life They were invisible to mainstream North Americans and expected to stay in the shadows where their deviant bodies belonged The patrons of the Stonewall bar lived at the precipice of gay life Their adoption of cross dressing was an affront to prevailing sexual norms Women in suits and men in scarves and chiffon were the most identifiable of deviants and they relished their disobedience Strutting through urban nights they gleefully thumbed their noses at the heterosexual world They embraced every stereotype and took the constitution of the gay subject to extremes The visibility of these men and women made them easy targets for random displays of force by police Haphazard attacks on gay bars and clubs instilled fear of the unknown The visible cared little about the repercussions of these raids for they had nothing to lose For this they were shunned by their gay brethren who viewed them as circus sideshow freaks These queens queers and dykes were dangerous Their openness put average gays at risk The physical and verbal abuse by police abandonment by families and lack of social opportunity
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