History in the Making

Document Type



Since World War II, there has been an increased visibility of LGBTQ+ communities in the United States; however, this visibility has noticeably focused on “types” of queer people – mainly white, middle class, cisgender gays and lesbians. History remembers the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots as the catalyst that launched the movement for gay rights and brought forth a new fight for civil and social justice. This paper analyzes the restrictions, within LGBTQ+ communities, that have been placed on transpersons and gender nonconforming people before and after Stonewall. While the riots at the Stonewall Inn were demonstrative of a fight ready to be fought, there were many factors that contributed to the push for gay rights. What this paper argues is that these factors were not always gay or white and did not always fit into a category; emphasis will be placed on queer leaders like Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera, and the fearless ladies in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District.