ANTH 3420 Urban Archaeology OER

Public Group active 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Week 10: Stonewall Field trip

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    Kelly M Britt

    If attending the Stonewall field trip, write a reflection on your experience, highlighting one aspect that can tie into this week’s readings or readings from the semester.

    Jaeden Granger

    I was at first uncertain about my travel to the Stonewall Inn, due to my ignorance of the place, and how important the place is to the LGBTQ community. When I reached inside the Inn in the evening, the first floor was packed with many people. Several people were mingling with one another, dinking different sets of alcohol, with two guys playing pool. The television screens were showing Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, while music was blasting. Upstairs, there was another bar, but smaller in scale. Upstairs was having a drag show which started at 8:15 pm, which was an amusing experience since it was the first drag show I have seen. The show lasted for a duration of two hours, which led to a dance party for the rest of the night.

    Although dated, Kathleen A. O’Donnell’s document Good Girls Gone Bad: The Consumption of Fetish Fashion and the Sexual Empowerment of Women has some relevancy to the drag show I witnessed at Stonewall Inn. Although the drag performers were men, they were comfortable with the clothing, make up, and their temperament which would typically be defined as feminine products and qualities. The drags were wearing stilettos and one wore a corset, which are considered as examples of fetish fashion. Just as these fetish fashion could make women feel sexually empowered, the same can have an affect on men in drag. The men in drag had a sense of empowerment and freedom at the Inn, not fearing a sense of judgement from the crowd.

    Matthew Wojcik

    I went to Stonewall Inn with a friend last Saturday evening. The commute there was definitely something, considering it’s been a while since I went to Greenwich Village. Trains got delayed, but we got there eventually. When we finally got it the bar, though, it was nice. Everyone was friendly and talkative. As for the bar itself, it looked pretty standard, save for some changes changes in the decor of the place. We had a good time, long story short.

    To tie this expieriene with a reading, I will be using Linn’s “Elixir of Emigration.” In both instances, a group of people were discriminated against in society. The Irish were dehumanized to the extent that they were seen as carriers of disease. The leprechaun itself has racist connotations. For them, water springs and wells provided a place of social gathering. Just like the Stonewall Inn is a bar that provides a place for people to communicate freely with each other. Irish immigrants would unite to create better lives for themselves. Unions would be created, and the Irish would gain prominent places in government. Just like the events after the Stonewall Riots would kickstart the liberation movements of the 60’s.

    Kelly M Britt

    Nice work tying to different readings and glad you had a good time!


    Denille Samuel

    I visited Stonewall Inn on October 29, 2019 at around 4pm in the evening and I must say it was a unique experience for me since I had never been in a gay bar before. Stonewall Inn is a gay bar located at 53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, in Manhattan, New York City. It is an important historical landmark because it is the place (in 1969) that marked the beginning of the gay rights movement, which came out of the events called the Stonewall Riots. The riots were about the gay community fighting back, the riots occurred because the police were in the habit of unjustly closing down gay bars on the premise that they didn’t have liquor licenses (it was also extremely hard for gay bars to get these licenses because they were gay bars) kept taking away the places that the gay community could go and dance or just enjoy each other’s company. I think it is interesting to know that the bar was once a restaurant and nightclub owned by the Genovese crime family. A few members of the family invested money into the then restaurant/nightclub and made it into a gay bar. What makes this establishment such an important place for people of the LGBTQ+ community is that it is a haven from those that don’t approve of or participate in the lifestyle (at least that is how the atmosphere felt to me) and a beacon for the LGBTQ+ community. It was my very first time in a gay bar and it seems like Stonewall Inn was a good first for me to have the experience of being in a gay bar.

    Andrew Poccia

    I visited the Stonewall Inn on Tuesday during the afternoon around 3 pm. It was pretty quiet around that time which was expected. The Stonewall Inn is definitely a place that I have learned about in history class and even passed by many times while walking around the village. Something that immediately struck me about the place was the old feel and look that it has. It is really cool how the bar has that old historic style with subtle modern touches like the dim lighting. It has an interesting atmosphere that overall reminds me of New York culture and what comes to mind when thinking about areas like Greenwhich Village, which I love. The strong history of the Stonewall Inn is what makes it such an important site today. It is not only an important part of history but serves an important purpose for the gay community today as well. From its early start as a gay bar in the mid 1960s to the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the Stonewall Inn became a landmark for the gay community in New York. The site and events that coincide with it eventually would lead to the first gay pride parades in America and in 2000, the Stonewall Inn became a National Historic Landmark and preserved site. The preservation of the Stonewall Inn ties in with the theme of historic preservation that we spoke about in class. With its historic significance and deep meaning to a specific community of people, in this case the gay community, it is important that the site remains preserved and available for people to see and experience.

    Jared West

    Going to the Stonewall Inn was quite a trip for me as it’s a little over an hour away from my house back in Long Island. Despite that, I had a really nice time. I got to see a piece of history as well as have a good time meeting new people and just soaking up the history in general. The Stonewall Inn is a really important part of LGBTQ history. In 1969, the Stonewall Uprising occured in which police raided the bar in the early morning hours. However, the raid didn’t go as “planned”, that being arrest any man dressed as a woman. However, that night they refused to go with the police. Violence insured and what followed followed the day after this raid was the creation of activist parties, so that gay men and women could have a place where they felt safe, a place away from being marginalized. The best article from this week that I can compare the history of the Stonewall Inn too is the article about Leatherman written Gayle Rubin. Rubin’s article talks about how for Leatherman gay bars were a safe space for them to be without fear of being deprecated because of their sexual orientation, which the Stonewall Inn was and is for members of the LGBTQ communitu. I enjoyed my trip to the Stonewall Inn as it exposed me to something that I normally would never be exposed to.


    I went to Stonewall after class during the week.  It was somewhat empty, there were about 10 people there maybe. However, I could tell this place still held importance to the LGBT community.  Both the inn and the park across the street were decorated with rainbow flags and people were gathered in the park. As I walked in and out of the in I saw grade school classes on field trips learning about the history of the inn. I’m grateful for the experience even though the inn was empty. I think it is important to experience that history.


    The reading this week had a lot to do with community and stone wall is very important to the LGBT community and important to our NYC community in general.

    Kelly M Britt

    Nice posts-glad you all enjoyed your field trip and nice connections back to readings and class discussions.


    Blessing Tate

    My trip to the Stonewall Inn in New York was a revelation of the advances made in the fight against social injustice in this country. As a gay bar in Manhattan, its location marks the landmark uprising to the fighting for LGBTQ rights in the country. As I learned during the trip about the history of the structure, it was the first landmark historic building to mark LGBTQ uprising in New York City, hence an important mark of the revolution in the US. The restaurant’s structure has been ruined through riots and fires but as a historic reminder of the struggle for recognition, it has always managed to reopen. Today, the inn is a place that represents the dynamics and revolution of the LGBTQ community and the merging of traditional wars and acceptance of the community similar to the symbolic systems of culture such as leather for gay men (Robin (2000) and settlement systems. Again, emphasize relationships between the sexuality of the past and Archaeology.
    The inn has inspired the production of artworks including the movie Stonewall as an important landmark of the 1969 riots. My visit to the inn was a reflection of the politics surrounding sexuality at a period when the minority community started demonstrations to fight for their rights in a country that claimed to recognize democracy. At the time, gay bars became safe havens for gays to meet and socialize without police harassment and as Stonewall Inn got attacked to root out the sexually non-compliant individuals resulting in an uprising The revolution sparked a discord through most of the urban centers in the country, which eventually saw a review of the rules governing sexuality. The steps taken towards appreciating and accepting all despite their sexual orientation is an indicator of how far the country has come in revolutionizing and treating all citizens with equality.

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