Monday, July 01, 2013

The Civil War and Gay freedom in New York City; Gays 1 Neo-Confederates 0.

I was recently in New York City and on all days I might have been there, I was there on the weekend of the Gay Freedom Day parade.

I of course went to the Stonewall Inn and what is now Stonewall Plaza, a small park. New York City has some streets at odd angles and it leaves little triangular wedges of land which are made into parks. 

Stonewall Inn for those of you who don't know, is the location of the beginning of the riot which sparked the modern gay liberation movement. Fortunately the name doesn't seem to have any relation to the name Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.  The police raided the place and the patrons decided not to take abuse and local gay crowds gathered and there was a riot, then protests and then a movement. The rest is history. 

The original patrons were marginal people in then gay society, drag queens, prostitutes, minority gay members. They weren't marginal in rebelling though. 

The original bar closed shortly after the riots, but now it has been reopened as a bar and historic landmark and gay tourist attraction and hundreds of thousands of middle class gay tourists go there. I had a Corona beer there. It made no sense in a way, because there was nothing of the original there. But still, remembering Karla Jay and Allen Young's book, "Out of the Closets and Into the Streets," I went. Reliving my youth in a way I suppose. CLICK ON PICTURES TO MAKE THEM LARGER. 

And then I went to the park and took this picture of these sculptures.

Then wouldn't you know it, I saw a statue of a Civil War American general Philip Sheridan. I was so pleased to see a statue of an American Civil War hero so I took a picture of him also.

As Madonna would say, "strike a pose" 

Philip Sheridan helped force Robert E. Lee into defeat at Appomattox. 

Doing his part to preserve the United States of America he insured American victory over the Confederates and the destruction of slavery. He helped keep the American story of expanding freedom going. Was he all good, I suppose not. 

He was however a part of the parade of American history and freedom which has led to the successes of the modern gay rights movement and the grinding of neo-Confederate teeth. 

Of course in visiting New York I drove through the Lincoln tunnel on the way to the Gay Pride Parade. 

The Chaplain's Corps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) may go on and on about R.L. Dabney, James Henley Thornwell, Benjamin M. Palmer, and others, but it is the raging of the increasingly irrelevant for an archaic past where they type could dominate and bully others. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts Last 30 days

Popular Posts All Time