Between The Covers | October 2015

By Terri Schlichenmeyer, October 2015 Issue.

Your favorite hangout isn’t all that fancy.

Photo courtesy of

It’s comfortable, though: you’ve got places to sit and your friends are always around. Best of all, nobody says you can’t be there – everybody’s welcome all the time. It wasn’t always that way, though, as you’ll see in Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum (pictured).

There was a full moon that night, and it was hot. Not hot like you’d describe a person but “beastly hot,” weather-wise, and it was even hotter inside New York’s Stonewall Inn.

For years, it’d been illegal in many cities to dance with someone of the same sex. With a few rare exceptions, being gay could get you fired from work, rejected by family and generally ostracized. If you were a man wearing women’s clothing, you could be arrested immediately. But the Stonewall Inn allowed dancing, drinking, cross-dressing, and the police looked the other way because, as Bausum explains, the Mafia had ties to the Stonewall Inn and bribes kept things running.

By June 1969, this covert freedom started causing problems: “closeted homosexuals” involved in an international bond scandal were spotted at the Stonewall Inn by “organized crime operatives” with blackmail on their minds. The New York Police Department was ordered to close down the Stonewall Inn. In the wee hours of June 28, they raided the packed bar. Needless to say, it didn’t go well.

As partiers and staff were arrested, a crowd began to form to taunt police – and it grew as people ran to pay phones to call friends. Some of those arrested were freed; others were roughly handled. Bausum says that one of the latter, a lesbian, asked the crowd if they were going to do anything about it – and they did.

At first, pocket change rained down on the police, then pebbles, stones, bottles and, eventually, burning containers. Some of the officers took refuge inside the bar, awaiting backup that didn’t arrive for nearly an hour as 2,000 people raged in the streets. Riot crews eventually showed up, and were mocked.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum. Viking, 2015 | $16.99.

The unrest, Bausum recounts, lasted several nights. What lasted longer was that lesbians, gay men, transgender community members, drag queens and crossdressers suddenly knew that they weren’t alone.

Although it can become somewhat florid for the sake of drama, Stonewall is a nicely surprising book filled with history that few younger people may know.

The surprise comes in what author Ann Bausum shares, which seems tame by today’s news, perhaps even quaint: nobody was seriously hurt, and the single death was accidental and barely related. That almost made me afraid readers might forget that the riot marked the coalescence of activism for gay rights (better known as LGBT rights today), but Bausum anecdotally reminds us repeatedly of Stonewall’s significance.

Final chapters bring the battle for LGBT rights up to the present, touching on the AIDS epidemic, pride parades and the fight for marriage equality.

This historical account is meant for teen readers ages 12 and up, but it might be a challenge for those on the younger end. It certainly can be enjoyed by adults unfamiliar with the details of this event.


Keep readingShow less
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less