Talk:Stonewall riots

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Featured articleStonewall riots is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 28, 2009.
On this day... Article milestones
August 5, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
August 22, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
October 4, 2008Featured article candidatePromoted
On this day... Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on June 27, 2004, June 27, 2005, June 27, 2006, June 28, 2007, June 28, 2008, June 28, 2010, June 28, 2011, June 28, 2014, and June 28, 2019.
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A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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"Known" homosexuals[edit]

How can you keep a list of unknown homosexuals? The word "known" adds nothing to the sentence. Writing that it's there for a purpose isn't good enough; it really has to go. RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 22:19, 4 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead image?[edit]

Is there any way to add an illustration of some sort to the lead? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 14:57, 29 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There was one, deleted about a year ago. Help find another, even if a nonfree file. ɱ (talk) 13:59, 10 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would File:Stonewall riots.jpg be suitable? It is currently later in the article, but it seems to be the only image of the actual riots. BappleBusiness (talk) 07:04, 11 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is this a link to the image you suggested BappleBusiness? --- FULBERT (talk) 17:00, 11 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep, that's the image. BappleBusiness (talk) 19:39, 11 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that "Stonewall riots.jpg" would probably be best. It is the only known photo taken on the first night of rioting, confirmed to be of rioters, with identified participants. In the text next to it (added here) I note that Jackie Hormona and another known individual are pictured. We could add some of this information. We should definitely include the photographer's name. - CorbieVreccan 18:45, 11 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Linking to image after bot deleted it; reinstating caption: "The only known photograph taken during the first night of the riots, taken by freelance photographer Joseph Ambrosini, shows the homeless gay youth who slept in nearby Christopher Park, scuffling with police. Jackie Hormona and Tommy are on the far left.(Carter 2004, p. 162.)" Licensing has changed. Apparently current licensing doesn't allow us to post image on talk. But we can still use it in the article. - CorbieVreccan 18:18, 12 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I think that would be a good caption - apart from the citation at the end, which (unless I'm mistaken) should be in wikipedia's citation format rather than an academic format. BappleBusiness (talk) 21:56, 17 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When violence breaks out[edit]

In this article is said that violence breaks out after a police hits a person in handcuffs in the head. In my opinion, violence was already out of control when police was beating handcuffed people. But I might be wrong. After all, English is not my first language and some of the nuances of the phrasal verbs, such as break out, escape my understanding. (talk) 15:46, 22 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When was there consensus to change lede from "gay" to "gay (LGBT)"?[edit]

I don't recall this discussion. The reasons the footnote and the piped link to LGBT are there is to cover this. The recent addition of the parenthetic makes this redundant. Also... ongoing research has supported the original version of events - that it was primarily gay men rioting. The other narratives that were promoted in more recent years have been debunked. - CorbieVreccan 20:53, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree, and have proposed two changes to the lead below. If no one responds, I'll assume you and I agree based on your post and make the changes with a (very weak) consensus. Given no one has responded to your question in the last four months, I'm doubtful I'll get much engagement on my post. Thoughts appreciated though! --Kbabej (talk) 17:13, 2 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed removal of piping and footnote in lead[edit]

Building off CorbieVreccan's post from a number of months ago, I think the first sentence of the lead needs an update. The text, as it currently stands, states, "...were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay community[note 1] in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969..." I am proposing two changes:

  • 1. Removing the piping from "gay community" that targets the LGBT community and replacing it with the target Gay men, as this is more accurate. The article states patrons of the bar were "98 percent male". This is reliable sourced to Duberman's book Stonewall, which is used multiple times as a source on the page. The Stonewall Inn is a gay bar, the patrons were 98% gay men, and the terminology refers to gay patrons. Why not be the most accurate we can be with the target?
  • 2. Removing the note that states "At the time, the term gay was commonly used to refer to all LGBT people." While technically true, refer to point #1. It gives undue weight to terminology to obfuscate the fact 98% of patrons were gay men and this was initially a gay rights struggle. Of course the info can appear later, if reliable sourced (which it is currently not).

Any thoughts appreciated! As this is a level-5 featured article, I'd like to gain some consensus for changing the first sentence of the lead. Thank you! --Kbabej (talk) 17:11, 2 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That would make sense. Duberman is a fairly old source; is there any recent scholarship that supports or opposes the 98% claim? Urve (talk) 23:48, 2 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good question, @Urve! Duberman updated the book in 2019 and kept the same percentage, seen here. The same percentage appears in Carter's book (which is heavily used on the page), and repeated in Tablet Mag using him as a source here. --Kbabej (talk) 23:58, 2 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is still fairly old; it seems like Duberman just published it in ebook format in 2019 (could be wrong) and Carter is still old. Tablet quotes Carter. I'm not too familiar with the recent historiography of Stonewall, but there have to be better and more recent sources than those for me to support a change. Urve (talk) 00:19, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't quite understand how source recency is a problem in this context. If we're talking about the composition of the bar leading up to and during the riots, that would be a historical fact that would be harder to determine as time passed, seeing as the available primary sources can only deteriorate with time. Pernicious.Editor (talk) 03:31, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think I can agree to this. The issue has been discussed before, see Archive 14, and Archive 10 for the most recent prominent discussions on it. There was a linguistic shift in the time since the riots to where what was described as "gay community" is better described now as the "LGBT+ community", and I do not think it would be appropriate to use the modern definition of "gay community", which refers exclusively to gay men, to overwrite the historical definition of it which was much broader.
I also have concerns over the erasure of prominent lesbian and trans women of colour that are only recently coming into focus some fifty years after the event inherent in this change. Sideswipe9th (talk) 00:10, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello @Sideswipe9th! I think that proves my point with the Archive 14 you linked. The "Clientele" section was when an editor was concerned the inclusion of a long list of communities was unsourced. The only editor to respond to the initial claim was open to updating it as a "men's bar". The "Lead contradicts content of the article" section makes my point, and the only editor to respond actually wrote the section above on this talk page taking umbrige with the target being moved from "gay" to "LGBT". The third section discusses something else. So for Archive 14 of this being "discussed before", I'd actually say that proves my point there's an ongoing issue with the target.
Archive 10 shows a user who changed the target without consensus, using the justification people no longer use "negro" to describe Black people. It was revered by EvergreenFir. The discussion continues, but something sticks out to me: @Rivertorch's Evil Twin writing "...this discussion is a variant on a recurring point of contention that has arisen repeatedly" over a period of the eight years they had been watching the article.
I'm not sure what points you were making with the archives, as they don't definitively come to a consensus, and an RfC is actually suggested at one point. As to lesbian and trans women of color being involved, an extreme minority were. Their significance in the riots has been disputed and termed as "historical revisionism", discussed at length in James Kirchick's article for Tablet, in which he writes "The narrative that "trans women of color" led the Stonewall riot rests largely upon the purported participation of just two individuals..." Article available to view here. --Kbabej (talk) 02:21, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kirchick's views seem at odds with those of mainstream LGBT+ rights organisations like Stonewall UK, GLAAD, in addition to those he cites in the article. When taking a broader view of Kirchick's writings, he seems to have particular view on the LGBT+ rights movement in general that is not shared by other writers on this topic, and he seems to have a particular bugbear for Chelsea Manning that seems as though it might be spilling over into his views on the Stonewall riots. Accordingly, I would classify him as a fringe view at best, as his work does not seem to be drawing much positive attention within the mainstream bodies of work produced in this area.
I disagree with your reading of Archive 14. The editor who responded directly addressed the concerns of the other editor, when they pointed out that the text in question was part of the article lead and was fully supported in the body. I would also point out that the responding editor actually said I'm certainly open to saying it was primarily a men's bar if we have a RS for that, however no RS has been provided for that either in that discussion nor now.
Archive 10, though I agree with what Rivertorch says about this being somewhat of a perineal discussion. I would argue that this discussion, as well as the one you replied to above from February of this year, are also examples of the perineal nature of this. On the whole though, I find the words of -sche at 08:33, 30 June 2016 and Flyer22 Reborn at 02:28, 30 June 2016 far more convincing than those of Rivertorch, and despite the perineal nature of the discussion there is an inherent consensus from the fact that the aspects you wish to change have remained for a substantial period of time.
Of course consensus can change, however I do not believe the threshold for that has been met in any way as of yet. I also have a broader concern that you seem to be extrapolating the demographics of those who frequented the Stonewall Inn to directly apply to demographics of the riots as a whole. While the riot may have started due to a raid on the Inn on 28 June 1969, the event very quickly spread to cover a wider area within the Village drawing in participants from other venues and the local area. While it has been a while since I've read Duberman, I do not think he described the wider demographics of the riots as being 98% male, only the patrons of the bar. Sideswipe9th (talk) 03:36, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, yes, you are right. I was extrapolating the demographics of those who frequented the Stonewall Inn to directly apply to demographics of the riots as a whole and was largely thinking about it as the initial night rather than the overall riots. Point taken! I do think this discussion will likely happen again, just based on the number of past discussions, but that's an issue for another day. I will no longer advocate for the removal of piping and footnote in lead. Kbabej (talk) 04:25, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don’t support this, 98% is not 100%. Why is it necessary to round up here again? This is basically just erasure for the sake of convenience/faux “accuracy”, not sure who this helps and how. Dronebogus (talk) 01:13, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello @Dronebogus, and thanks for the response. I'm not trying to say the 2% don't exist; the article covers that well. What I'm trying to covey is the target for "gay community" doesn't make sense to me. In my mind, the "gay community" should link to, well, the gay community, not the LGBT community. When it's a gay bar with a supermajority gay clientele who used the word "gay" to identify themselves and were reported as gay in contemporary sources, to me it seems WP is intentionally obfuscating the issue. --Kbabej (talk) 02:02, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The issue here is that you're arguing for using the modern definition of "gay", which does only apply to homosexual men, in a context where the term previously was used in a much broader sense. I strongly recommend @Kbabej: that you read the discussions I linked above, as well as LGBT vs gay, homosexual, etc in Archive 5, and Evolution of language in Archive 6. Those discussions detail how the use of language within this area has changed over the last fifty years. There are further links to discussions on other articles within those discussions if you wish to read further. Sideswipe9th (talk) 02:13, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think The archives you're pointing toward show arguments for "gay" and arguments for "LGBT". Are you reading the discussions before linking them, or simply linking them because they contain discussion of the subject? It seems as if you're linking them to make the point the discussion has been definitively settled, when in the previous archives you listed it clearly does not. In fact, a longtime editor infers this has been a slow moving edit war over a number of years. I would strongly encourage you, @Sideswipe9th, to read the archived discussions carefully before you list them off as if this issue has been definitively settled. --Kbabej (talk) 02:27, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would strongly recommend that you assume good faith and that I have actually read these discussions prior to linking them. Sideswipe9th (talk) 02:29, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Sideswipe9th: I'm well aware of WP policy, thanks. Perhaps you have read them, though they don't make the points you purport they do. Hence the question. As for AGF, I'll apply that here in assuming you weren't intentionally trying to come off as patronizing when you "strongly recommend" me to do something not once, but twice. You've mentioned linguistics twice now, and so I'm sure you realize when you patronize other editors and talk down to them, it's not only rude but doesn't help the project. And, to be clear, I have read the discussions you've linked and responded to those points clearly. --Kbabej (talk) 02:36, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think we should look at what recent high-quality sources say (which avoids the need to read tea-leaves into what older sources meant when they used language that has since shifted.) Looking over them:
  • When the police emerged from the bar with several patrons and employees in their custody, the multiracial crowd began to erupt. According to some accounts, a lesbian was the first to fight back; multiple accounts emphasize the distinctively aggressive defiance of trans people and street youth. Soon the crowd, which included straight allies, was shouting at the police and throwing coins at the building.[1]
  • The Stonewall Riots erupted on a hot night in June 1969 in New York City, when an unlikely group of revolutionaries, a few Black and Puerto Rican drag queens and butch lesbians, turned a routine bar raid into a street fight with the local police. The latter had just taken a payoff from the unlicensed bar owners and arrested the most obvious looking homosexuals. A motley crew of effeminate queers resisted what would otherwise have been a routine raid on a bar that catered to gay people.[2]
Based on this I don't think we should be using the term members of the gay community at all; it is dated language that doesn't reflect how more modern sources describe things. I'd definitely be opposed to any rewording that implies or emphasizes the idea that the rioters were all gay males, since that seems to directly go against the emphasis in the sources; and even the "they were 98% male" bit seems like WP:OR in this context because it contradicts how most sources frame the participants as a whole (that is, it's not appropriate to dig out statistics and use them to argue against sources that flatly describe the rioters as diverse.) --Aquillion (talk) 06:14, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would agree with this; I'm very skeptical of the 98% claim. More than one of the more famous participants in the original riot were non-men. If they really were a mere 2% of the patronage that'd be a remarkable coincidence and sample bias, especially when media credit would be biased against woman and trans woman. Additionally, not all those who joined the riot were originally in the bar, and the initial night was not the whole of what the Stonewall Riots consisted of, so a number just about bar patrons would not necessarily justify how we describe the whole event regardless. LittleLazyLass (Talk | Contributions) 21:19, 3 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Only just now seeing this discussion. I thought we had a cite for the evolution of the term "gay community -> lesbian and gay community -> LGBT community" and approx. when these shifts have happened. IIRC Hoffman is one cite, and as she was writing for Gay Community News, her perspective on it is pretty good. I'll put it in (or back). It's a bit difficult to do this precisely, however, as the shifts happened at slightly different time in different regions. Bi and Trans were not added to the names in most places until the '90s at the earliest, and in many cases till the '00s. As for the clientele... we've discussed here how a lot of revisionism has taken place in both the LGBT and mainstream press since the '00s. Those of us old enough to have seen the changes, as well as more thorough historians and those who've looked into it since it's been brought up here, know that, aside from Stormé, most of the rioters were men. Marsha self-id'ed as a drag queen, and only got there after the bar was on fire, and Sylvia was not there at all on the first night. We really need to update this with the information from Carter about how he was pressured to fabricate the content about Sylvia being there on the first night. It's been in Sylvia and Marsha's articles for years now. - CorbieVreccan 20:34, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We really need to update this with the information from Carter about how he was pressured to fabricate the content about Sylvia being there on the first night. Citation needed! That seems somewhat of an extraordinary claim, and I cannot find anything to verify that from a quick Google search. Sideswipe9th (talk) 20:47, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I said above, it's all sourced in Sylvia Rivera. Especially in Sylvia Rivera#Early activism: youth - 1973. There are tons of pop-culture "sources" that have not done due diligence, resulting in "common knowledge" about the uprising that is simply wrong. I know this is very, very common misinformation that is out there. Carter himself is to blame for some of it, and in the sources cited in the linked section, he explains and apologizes for his role in it.
Per the immediate topic here, I have cited the footnote, formatted it in with the other notes, and one of the cites is to a photo of a poster from 1979 that I quoted. I'm going to add more text from the book to the Gay Community News (Boston) article. There were quite a few Stonewall vets around working with GCN and the NY/Boston East Coast activist community the paper provided a voice for. Marsha P. Johnson and other friends from that circle were part of that activist community, fwiw. - CorbieVreccan 21:41, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support the status quo or a change in the text so that it says "LGBT community", not "gay community". This would serve two purposes: the link would not fall afoul of WP:EASTER; and we would be using modern language rather than the language of the era (as we generally do). The footnote would still be necessary to clarify that "gay community" at the time is most closely comparable to "LGBT community" today. Nonetheless, the term "gay community" can still be used with the same meaning it had at the time of Stonewall, so I don't oppose the status quo.
I do, however, oppose the change to the target gay men. Firstly, it is an article mostly about individual identity from ancient history to today (not the modern community). Secondly, it unnecessarily excludes many of the people at the Stonewall Inn (98% male does not mean 98% were not bisexual, transgender etc.). There's a switch in meaning being done between "male members of the gay community" and "gay men". — Bilorv (talk) 10:55, 18 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This strikes me in a practical sense. If, say, there were a gay male speed dating event with 20 participants, and one of the participants was bisexual, calling all participants gay men still respects the function of the each individual in the social setting. The question of self-identification is one murky, subjective and ideological. Therefore, I think attempting to accommodate that question only serves to deprive the article of its brevity. Pernicious.Editor (talk) 04:03, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Stein, Marc (7 May 2019). The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History. NYU Press. ISBN 978-1-4798-5828-6 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Arriola, Elvia R. (1995–1996). "Faeries, Marimachas, Queens, and Lezzies: The Construction of Homosexuality before the 1969 Stonewall Riots". Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. 5: 33.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date format (link)

Double use of lead image[edit]

Hello @CorbieVreccan, is it alright if you could link me the exact section you guys made consensus on using the June 28 photograph twice? I now know there is such and respect that, this request is just to resolve remaining skepticism of mine. It's also a little difficult going through 14 pages of archives. Carlinal (talk) 06:28, 5 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We just never brought up deleting the use in the body. I don't see what the problem is with having it in twice, given its importance, and the fact that we go into further detail about the image in that section. - CorbieVreccan 17:19, 5 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Alright, thank you for the reply! Carlinal (talk) 17:33, 5 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incorrectly Cited Page[edit]

The 138th citation cites the incorrect page number. 138a should be page 35 and 138b should be page 36. I know exact page numbers will differ depending on the particular book copy used, but this is quite a big difference from the page 19 cited so I figured that likely wasn't the issue. Here is the link to the book for verification: [1] (talk) 23:55, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]