South of Stonewall: The Atlanta Police Raid That Sparked Georgia Gay Liberation

Jun 28, 2019

It's been 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising began in New York City. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village. While accounts vary of what exactly sparked the rebellion and violent clash, what resulted was a series of protests and demonstrations — which led to the first Pride Parade in 1970.

But Stonewall, when it happened, had little effect on gay life in the South. It was another raid, a little more than a month later, that sparked outrage and galvanized Atlanta's LGBT communities. On Aug. 5, 1969, police raided a screening of Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys at Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema. 

Abby Drue was there that night. Now executive director of the Ben Marion Institute for Social Justice, she joined On Second Thought to recall what it was like living in Georgia during this juncture in queer history. Lorraine Fontana, a local social justice activist, and Dave Hayward, LGBTQ historian and coordinator of Touching Up Our Roots, also joined the conversation.


While folks across the country are remembering the impact of Stonewall Uprising 50 years ago, On Second Thought examines what life — and the fight for equal rights — was like for gay, lesbian and queer communities of Georgia.


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