Before there was Stonewall, there was the Black Cat

From the

For the gay patrons of the Black Cat tavern in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, it was a disheartening start to 1967. As balloons dropped from the ceiling to mark the New Year, undercover cops ripped Christmas decorations from the walls, brandished guns, then beat and cuffed 14 people. Two men arrested for kissing were later forced to register as sex offenders; one bartender suffered a ruptured spleen. Violent police raids on queer bars weren’t uncommon in the ’60s, but this time the gays didn’t let it slide.

Interestingly, this event helped to create The Advocate magazine.

Read the full article

And it is not the only bar of that name to have made GLBT history. Read about the Black Cat Bar in San Francisco

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1 Response to Before there was Stonewall, there was the Black Cat

  1. erichblayde says:

    An interesting note about the Black Cat Bar in San Francisco, it was also the home bar of one José Sarria, aka Mama Jose, the founder of ICS, one of the largest international drag organizations and the first openly gay candidate for public office in the US. In the early 60’s Jose performed at the Black Cat on Saturday nights and she ended each show at the back door of the bar singing the well know “God Save the Nelly Queen” across the alley to the back of the city jail where the crossdressers the police arrested were held. Stonewall was a turning point for the gay rights movement, but bars like the Black Cat should not be forgotten.

    Thank you for delving beneath the surface and bringing to light this little gem of a story 🙂

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