When many people think about LGBTQ history in the United States, they cast their minds to New York City, where the history and mythologies around Stonewall and activist groups like ACT UP loom large.
But Los Angeles has long been a hotbed for queer resistance and activism as well. A decade before Stonewall, gay and trans people warded off a police raid of a downtown LA donut shop by flinging donuts and coffee cups at the officers trying to detain them, prompting the officers to flee and return with reinforcements. In central LA, Jewel’s Catch One operated for decades as a hub for the city’s Black LGBTQ community. Meanwhile, at the Reverend Troy Perry’s former home in Huntington Park, the reverend founded an LGBTQ church that officiated what Time Magazine dubbed the first public gay wedding in the country in 1968. Los Angeles’ queer history is colorful and diverse, but records are difficult to keep and local archives still struggle to make a record of the people who have long made up the community.
Today on AirTalk, we’re hearing more about some of Los Angeles’ most significant LGBTQ landmarks and histories. Do you have a favorite site of LGBTQ history or community in LA? We want to hear from you! Give us a call at 866-893-5722.
With guest host Sharon McNary
Arit John, lifestyle reporter for the Los Angeles Times and co-author of the piece “20 landmarks that underscore L.A.’s pivotal role in the fight for LGBTQ rights”; she tweets @aritbenie