In a NBC Washington Interview, LGBTQ Historian Eric Cervini discussed his new book, “The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual versus the United States of America”. In his book, he discussed some of the less known groups, names and events in the LGBTQ history.
The Celebration of Pride and fight for equality has always been attributed to the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
Cervini said, “Stonewall didn’t start everything, but it changed everything”.
According to Cervini, before the riots, activist Frank Kameny, was already fighting against the “federal government’s systematic persecution of sexually deviant, federal employees who were being purged from their jobs in the 50s and 60s”.
Kameny, inspired by the black freedom movement, was the first gay man to translate the movement into a concrete political action for the gay community.
Cervini shared that the LGBTQ community, “have borrowed Pride, from the black freedom movement, every step of the way, it wasn’t just Stonewall”. He said, “we have gay rights, because of trans women of color.
Cervini also discussed the Homophile movement, which was the movement’s name before the Gay Rights movement and the Queer Liberation movement. It was called Homophile to show that it is not a movement that was open only to homosexuals, everyone is welcome in it, so long as they wanted to fight for gay rights.
The movement, according to him, was predominantly white and had rules that are hetero normative and a bit exclusive. Other activists find it problematic to the whole cause.