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Pride Campaign, The Nest

In celebration of PRIDE 2023, The Nest designer, Sam Ho created a series of stunning graphics that explored the history of different acts of resistance from across the queer community that led to the Stonewall Riots.

Editorial Illustration

Client   / 

The Nest Social Campaign

The Cooper's Do-Nut Riots of 1959 in Los Angeles marked the first act of resistance against LGBTQIA police abuse. John Rechy, wrote the novel "City of Night" based on this night. Cooper's Do-Nuts, a popular gathering spot for the gay community, became the scene of confrontation when police officers attempted to arrest two drag queens, two male sex workers, and a young man cruising for a date. In response, onlookers expressed their defiance by throwing donuts, coffee, cups, and trash at the police.

The Black Nite Brawl, which took place in 1961 in Milwaukee, holds a significant place in LGBTQ history. The incident unfolded when four men deliberately entered the Black Nite, an LGBTQ space, with the intention of causing trouble. One notable figure in this event was Josie Carter, a Black queen, who courageously swung a beer bottle at one of the instigators. This act of self-defense and resistance highlighted the determination of the LGBTQ community to protect their spaces and assert their rights.

The Compton's Cafeteria riot of 1966 in San Francisco's Tenderloin district marked a pivotal moment in the emerging trans movement. Trans women and drag queens faced constant harassment from the police in this area. Compton's Cafeteria, a popular late-night spot for trans sex workers because of their hours, frequently called the police on its trans customers. The arrests for "female impersonation" were common. One night, when the police were called, a trans woman threw a cup of coffee in an officer's face, sparking a riot. The uprising involved the use of sugar shakers, tables, dining ware, purses, and heels as weapons. The persistent protests against transphobia and declining customer support eventually led to the closure of the cafe. For more information on this historic event, watch the documentary "Screaming Queens" by Susan Stryker, which features participants such as Tamara Ching and Felicia Elizondo.

The Stonewall Riots took place on June 28, 1969, in Greenwich Village, New York City. The riots lasted for six days at the gay club, Stonewall Inn. Storme, a mixed-race butch lesbian, is believed by some to have initiated the riot after being arrested for violating the three-piece clothing law — wearing 3 pieces of clothing that match your gender. She encouraged the crowd to take action and even punched an officer herself, inspiring others to fight back. Marsha P Johnson, a Black drag queen, is known for being one of the first individuals to throw a brick during the riot, although she arrived later around 2 am. She dropped a heavy object on a police car and later co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) project with Sylvia Rivera to support homeless LGBTQ youth. Both Johnson and Rivera were prominent American gay liberation activists. Sylvia Rivera, who identified initially as a drag queen and later as a trans woman, was born and raised in NYC to parents from Venezuela and Puerto Rico. She is credited with throwing the second Molotov cocktail during the riot and actively participated for all six nights of the unrest.

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