Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Second Birth

I am fond of the time I began hanging out in Greenwich Village in 1968. The Village, as it was called, was an avant-garde neighborhood filled with poets, artists, musicians and other artsy folks. I often went there on Fridays and Saturdays absorbing the vibes that pulsated. Walking along MacDougal Street or St. Mark's Place in the East Village, you didn't walk, you shuffled along so you wouldn't step on the heels of the person in front of you.

There were many different kinds of people. Gays, lesbians, straights, young, old, interracial couples,and trans (though I couldn't figure out who they were at that time). It was a fun time. I lament to a woman friend that I miss those times. She shared her own experiences of those times also. She stated that she enjoys today and is having so much fun. I admitted that I was too.

I was on Long Island when the Stonewall Rebellion occurred in 1969. When I returned a couple of days later I saw the aftermath of the riot. Transgender, drag queens, gays, and lesbians stood up to police harassment. I didn't know until years how much this event would impact me.

When I recently walked by the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, I thought of Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major and Sylvia Rivera, three ladies who started it all. Ms. Johnson and Ms. Rivera are no longer with us. Miss Major is still quite an activist. These women are my heroines. Now nearly five decades after the rebellion, their influence is till felt.     

No comments: