We all have the power to make a difference and create change, no matter how big or small. —Jenny GK
Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the journey and achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community? Are you eager to discover the rich history of activism that has led to progress and change? Look no further, our guests Ariella Monti and Ben Chapman will provide insights and knowledge on LGBTQIA+ history. In honor of Pride month, CK & GK explore the struggles, triumphs, and contributions of the community to develop a greater appreciation for their impact on society. You'll gain valuable insights into the ongoing fight for acceptance and equal rights, and come away with a greater appreciation for the contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals to society.
In this episode, you will be able to:
Our special guests are Ariella Monti and Ben Chapman.
Ben Chapman, a passionate historian specializing in LGBTQIA+ history, offers a captivating exploration into the community's development and activism over time. His commitment to unearthing underrepresented stories is evident in his work, creating a deeper understanding and appreciation of Queer contributions to society. Alongside Ariella Monti, a knowledgeable member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Chapman delivers a compelling look at the remarkable people and milestones that have shaped the LGBTQIA+ community's growth and understanding.
How You Can Be a True Ally to the LGBTQIA+ community:
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CK & GK
Okay, so I knew you said that you were gonna sing, and then I still I never know what the song is. I never know what the Kindred's gonna be. It still made me laugh. And my child is back here snickering. Yeah.
So welcome to CK and GK. We are super glad you're year. Tomorrow is the first official day of summer, but I have been on break with my kids since the unofficial start, which is Memorial Day. So you need a break more than anybody, right? I need extra family time.
I'm loving summer break, but there's a lot of shuttling around for this play date or that event. Today, I spent more than 5 hours in the car, so we're going to call Caitlin Kindred, because I am clearly a basket case.
But Caitlin's not the only one here with me today. No. We have a couple of guests today, so with us today is Ben Chapman, an archivist with the Johnson County Heritage Center and Museum. And Ben has to have a Leslie no compliment. So, Ben, I'm going to call you a stunningly helpful warrior for today's episode.
And I also have with us our beloved Ariel Anderson, who also needs her own compliment. So she is a powerful, beautiful sun goddess, the yoga teacher, and of course, Jenny, my gorgeous rule breaking dancer. I just am so glad to have all of you here today. Today we're going to be talking about a little bit of LGBTQIA plus history in honor of Pride Month, and I'm so excited to learn a little bit, and then we'll share some resources, and it'll be a great episode. All right, should we catch up?
Let's do it. Before we do that, we have a correction to make. Yeah, we do. Oh, my gosh. Okay, so last week, Jason, the Jason person we were talking about, it's Jason Biggs of American Pie.
So did you remember or did someone let you know? No, we were working on the notes for this show, and I was like, corrections corner. Do we have any oh, my God. It's Jason Biggs.
His name is Jason Biggs. If you look to the last episode where we really couldn't figure out this man's name, I have to say, though. I'm really proud of myself to get the Jason, because celebrity names is definitely not in my wheelhouse. Oh, it's in mine. I can do it.
And I can be listening to a Southwest commercial and go, that's Anne Perkins. I know. That's Rashida Jones doing the voiceover for Southwest. She does. Also, John Krasinski used to do progressive commercials, but no, maybe not progressive.
It doesn't matter. It was an insurance company. It doesn't matter. That's the thing that I can do. And I couldn't remember this man's name, and so it's Jason Biggs.
And that's our correction. Jason Biggs. All right, now I'm going to tell you what I'm obsessed with. Do it. It's still the fish tank, of course.
So we got some new fish. We got a couple of clowns. We got a blue tang, which is the dory fish. We got a gobi that kind of lives in the sand and digs around. Got a ton of fish.
One of them, the sail fin tang, grows to be ten to 16 inches. Yikes. It's a good thing.
Right? Okay. But we had an issue shrimp gate.
So we bought three shrimp, a coral banded shrimp, a skunk shrimp, and a pistol shrimp. I have not had dinner yet, and I am hungry. So I'm just going to say these are not shrimp for eating. They would not be good eating anyway. They're very small, like sea monkeys.
Bigger than that. They're about the size of maybe two knuckles on your finger. She looks at her finger and dries the finger. Okay, I'm good. So the Pistol Shrimp is friends with the goby.
His job is to dig up the sand, and then the gobi kind of filters it and makes his little house. We named him Pistol Pete because if you have a pistol shrimp, of course you have to name him Pistol Pete. And he disappeared. And then my husband calls me. This is only day two of fish, okay?
I pulled a body out of the tank. It was a shrimp. Can you call the fish store and talk to them about this? And of course, yes, I will call the fish store, no problem. But they were closed.
This is important that they were closed. Okay? I come home, he shows me the body. He digs it out of the trash. He shows me the whole head.
And I said, yeah, that's a shrimp. That's a shrimp. We have a murderer in our midst. And I am currently reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. So of course I'm dying that we have this death one at a time in our tank.
Clue. It's like Clue, right? Well, she's a Christian. I go clue. This is the difference between you and I.
Who reads? She does. All right. Because I'm on summer break, honey. Because I'm on summer break, right?
Okay, fair. And I'm spending a lot of time in the car, so if I'm not driving and I'm just waiting for someone to come out of something or waiting for something to finish, I can sit in the car and read. That's true. So Pistol Pete is sleeping with the fishes. Wow.
That's all I get? It's just a wow. It was pretty good. We did a whole bunch of egg pun jokes. Okay, so the fish door is closed, pistol Pete is dead, and we have his body, okay?
So the next day, we're digging around, and guess who we see? Pistol Pete. So now we have this rogue shrimp body because the coral banded and the skunk shrimp are both visible. So who is either regurgitating shrimp bodies or brought one into our tank? I don't know.
But here's the thing. It only took a quick Google to find out. Shrimp molt. Thank God the fish store was closed and I didn't call like an idiot and be like, hey, you guys sold us something that ate something else. Oh, no.
So we just found Pistol Pete's exoskeleton. He's doing just fine. When we say we're reading, I am reading Lost Moon, which is Jim Lovell's book about Apollo 13, and it's what the movie was based upon, and it is amazing. I'm totally obsessed with it. Yeah.
I did not know shrimp molt. I learned something new every time I talk to you about the fishing. Still laughing at baby Jessica. Oh, goodness. Okay, for the benefit of Ben, baby Jessica is an anemy that we had to rescue from the bottom of the tank.
Oh, rescue. Her rock was at the bottom, and we didn't know it when we put the rock in, so we had to move her rock and bring her up. So it was like baby Jessica got stuck down the well. We had to pull her. Wow.
See, my fish tank, when I had one growing up, did not have nearly the lore that it sounds. Yours does. This is truly entertaining. Please tell me more. This woman is drama here, there, everywhere.
She can make a story out of anything. And this fish tank is legit a soap opera right now. It sounds like it is vanderpump rules. It is my scandalvall. But it's a fish tank.
So Roscoe was wearing a piece of algae on his head, and the sail fin was trying to eat it, but kept getting stung by roscoe is a sea urchin, and urchins normally wear things on their head. So he's wearing a piece of algae, and the sail fin is trying to eat the algae, but keeps getting stung. So he would, like, bite it and then back off. And then bite it and then back off. I'm like, there's plenty of algae in this tank.
Go eat somewhere else. This is a mess. This is like Finding Nemo. They're like all these little personalities. Oh, my gosh.
It's totally like Finding Nemo. The coral banded shrimp is the same one that's in Finding Nemo. Oh, really? The one that lives in the tank in the dentist office? Yeah, we that one exactly.
I remember. Yes, yes. Love it. We love it. Oh, goodness.
Okay, well, stop. Sorry, can't hear you. Peach. All right.
Learning new things is a theme right now, so I'm going to say my current one. We've talked about my ADHD tendencies before. Ariella is probably one of the people who talks me off of my ADHD ledge more than most people. We talked about this. The other day.
I got on a puzzle kick, and I shared the puzzle kick on the show, and I really needed a table to hold my puzzles. And Ariella is the one who was like, stop it right now. You do not need a $300 puzzle table for a puzzle you probably won't finish because your fixation is going to take you to something else. Let me tell you this. Ariella is not the only person who thinks you should not have a table during a listen back.
My daughter, who's eleven, was like, she shouldn't get a puzzle table. My mother in law said this.
My mother in law was like, okay, but really, where are you going to put it? And Ariella has also been to my house and she's like, okay, but really, where are you going to put it? And I was like, I don't know. It's not the point. That's what Abby said.
She's like, Is she going to get. Rid of a table to put in a puzzle table? I'm going to make a whole new coffee table and going to my puzzle. No. Okay, so I have a healthier hyper fixation right now than my puzzle.
And no, my puzzle is still not done from last fall. So I am learning all of these new software programs for my job. And it's actually really healthy to be focusing on these things because I have a client who is keeping me very busy. So I am learning how to put together web pages right now. I am learning a whole bunch of things about our customer service management software.
And I'll get in on a kick and I'm like, I figure this out. And it causes some problems where things don't get done. But I feel like I'm learning a lot in the process and it's been very healthy to focus on those things instead of puzzle tables, organizing the pantry and making my husband crazy, you're going to organize. Okay, great. That day that I was late to work because I was organizing the condiments on my fridge door, right?
Yeah, stuff like that. Do our helpful warrior or sun goddess have anything? Do you want to go first? I would like Ben to go because I told Caitlin that I was very excited to hear what Ben's obsessions and gems were. I would like Ben to go first.
Okay, well, one of them, I got to say, it's a show, actually, that I've been obsessed with. It's called The Other Two, and I'm not sure if anyone here has heard of it. No, it's a comedy. Essentially. The premise is two millennials living in New York City have to grapple with the fact that their 13 year old brother becomes an overnight star, akin to Justin Bieber.
Kind of, yeah. I think that's who they're modeling off of. The comedy is great because the older brother, the millennial, lives in New York, is gay. And it starts out, I think, second episode, and I'm sorry if this is a spoiler, but it's just too good with this pop song where he's saying, my brother's gay, and that is okay. And the episode follows a day in his life of the song gets published.
He hates it. He loves it. He hates it, and by the end, he's in a club where they've remixed it into a dance anthem and it's about him. I love it so much. This show is so timely with its comedy and really written from a very informed perspective from the gay scene in New York, because the jokes are just hit really.
Well, it is on. Oh, I was going to say HBO Max, but I believe it is just Max now. Max is the thing to watch. Isn't that what they say? Max?
Is that their tagline? I can't remember what it is, but it's something. Not a very good tagline if we can't remember. We don't know. Yeah.
Ariello, what are you obsessed with right now? I'm going to be honest, this is a geeky thing, but I think I've got the geeks on. I have said worms before.
That episode was fascinating, though. That was a fascinating episode. So I'm obsessed with going to the library as a place to work because I'm not responsible for anything at the library. So I've been going on Sunday like. A true adult, yet a parent.
But just the idea of I am. Not responsible for it makes me think of that Kevin Spacey quote in what is that, American Beauty? I want the job with the least responsibility possible. And they like, put them on the drive through at the fast food place. Yeah, I've been going on Sunday afternoons.
Sorry, but it's not our county library system because our county library system needs many, many improvements. So I cross the county line into Wake County so I cross the county line, and from one to five, I find a corner. And then I get work done on my book. There's no dishes to do. There's no pets bothering me.
There's no kids banging on the door. That's a great thing because you're able to get so much fun. I know. You've told me a couple of times. That's been really healthy and, like, great.
Way that you can support your library. I pay the $25 a year membership to join a library system in which I do not live, so I could take out books. And I do take out books, but very often now when I go to the library, I am just using it for its WiFi. Yeah, that's great. And no shade to Wake County Libraries because I was born in Wake County.
I love Wake County. Earlier this week, I participated in a virtual program they had called Drag Her Story. Yes, I did see that. They had that. Yes.
Yeah. They've got a whole series of virtual events this month. Johnson County Libraries does not have, unfortunately, virtual pride series. No. You all are, like, starting a library clash.
Yeah. I can already see the jets and the Sharks in front of their libraries. Like Wade County versus Johnson County. Oh, yeah. Rural libraries.
But you know what? If we do start a feud between wade county and Johnson County libraries. Maybe that will force Wake County to invest more in their libraries and we'll get better libraries. Space race competition, right? Yes.
This is the capitalism I would like to see. I would like to see competition among the two libraries so that they both get better. Battle of the books. Yeah. Wow.
I'm here for it. All right, do we have any gems? Anything ridiculous that happened this week? Mine is both ridiculous and amazing. My four year old son is practicing inclusivity, and he doesn't even know what it is.
He loves construction workers, right? Like, this is probably a typical four year old boy thing, and he wants to be a construction worker when he grows up. And we have a friend who is in construction, so we're trying to foster that. We know he's four, and it will change 17 times between now and when he turns five. But we saw these construction workers, and he screams, look, mom, misstruction Humans.
Yay misruction humans. I love that. That makes me so happy. Guest here for it. This is like you always using the word grownups in emails.
Instead of saying, like, talk to your mom and dad, you're saying, Hi, grown ups. And I got one of those emails from the director of Sam's Camp last week, and I was like, he says grown ups, and it just made me so happy. Anytime you can just use the broader word, and he's four, and he's using them. Humans. We're all I just love it.
No. I hosted an event at the Junior League, which is an organization for people who identify as female. It is a women's group. Yes. We were doing a makeup class for members, and I assumed their preteen daughters.
But instead of calling it Mommy and Me, I called it Member and Miss. And that allowed. It doesn't matter what your relationship is to the teenage girl. I love that. And all you have to do is change language.
Didn't cost me anything. Yeah. Misstruction Humans. Misstruction Humans is perfect. My kid is not that cute right now.
Okay? That's my gem for next week. Well, let me tell you what happened today. We took him to get a haircut. My child has a very intense cowlick.
His dad has it too. My child is McCauley Culkins mini me. Okay? This is like, oh, it's spot on. It's spot on.
The grocery store. It's real. We used to get stuffed in the grocery store, and the people working there would go, hey, did you know that your kid looks like the kid from Home Alone? And we'd go, oh, really? No, we've never heard that before.
And then we'd go the next aisle, and it happened again. So it's a thing, right? Yeah. Anyway, we go to get a haircut today. My child has been in a phase where he needs to have a mohawk.
Now, mohawks don't really work on people who have cowlicks. I'm just going to put that out there. So we've done the faux hawk thing because then I can spike it up in the front and I'm fine. It's his hair. He has to be happy with it, so I don't care.
But then today he was pointing at a kid and he's like, this is what I want my mohawk to look like. And it's like really short, but then, like, buzed down the middle. It doesn't really work for a kid who has a cow. We could do it, but it just. Send them to me with my thin, flat hair.
I have had a whole life of hair disappointments. Well, my husband, who again has the exact same cowlick as our child, was like, sorry, pal. I really wanted to have the split down the middle. The 1997 skater boy hair with the. Split down the middle, the butt cut.
Yeah, he really wanted that. Guess who couldn't have it? This kid. He had the Randy Travis tail rack tail in the back for forever. He was just like, you get no sympathy for me.
I don't feel bad for you. Meanwhile, I'm trying not to cry as my child is desperately wanting to have this mohawk. And so finally he just tells the lady to cut the hair all the way off right in the front, but leave the rest of it. So he just wants, like a square where you cut off the Mohawk. And the woman looks at me and she's like, no, he wants his Cowlett gone.
And I was like, well, we can buz off all your hair. And then he goes, no, don't tease me. And I'm like, no, we're not teasing. I'm telling you, this is the only solution to your problem. We can either buz it all off or you can have the mohawk that you have right now.
And he's like, but this isn't what I want. And it was just kind of a hot mess of a thing, and it turned into a near meltdown in the chair and then finally turned into an actual meltdown in the parking lot outside. And I was just like and now he's, of course, happy as a clam and all these things, but you have to have the meltdown in the middle of the parking lot after you hard. To bounce back from that as the mom. Well, yeah, I'm still mad.
I'm still annoyed with it. Yeah. So we'll see how tomorrow goes. When I have to do his hair. He's going to want it slicked down in the front because that's what he wants for the mohawk.
But guess whose hair doesn't get slick down in the front? The boy with the Calic. It's just going to be a mess. Anyway, what other gems we got from you two? Let's hear them.
Today was kindergarten graduation for my one and only. Yeah. So they did awards, like the kindergarten awards and stuff, but the first one that the teacher is like, this student gets an award for good speller and good reader. I don't remember. And then was like, and the healthy snack award.
And I was like and then she said my child's name, and I was legitimately. Like, what?
In teaching, we call that a reach.
Yeah. And for context, my child who, like like, mom, has ADHD and is is an extremely picky eater. He has been diagnosed with something called ARFID, which is avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. And it's very common among children who are neurodivergent, kids who are autistic, kids who have ADHD. It's like, take picky eating and make it so serious that you don't know if they're getting enough calories to survive, kind of thing.
So my kid, our priority is just calories. So, like, the day that I came downstairs, I woke up, came downstairs, and he was sitting on the couch with the container of potato chips, watching cartoons, like, in my house. That's okay, because he needs calories. And so when he goes to school, because he said and and parents whose kids are neurodivergent could probably know what I'm talking about when I say that. Every single day, he basically goes to school the same thing.
He goes to school with, like, a cliff kids chocolate chip bar, a quarter of a chocolate double chocolate muffin, some kind of crunchy thing that I know he'll eat. He'll get, like, a little bag of gummy bears every day. I'm like, is it because I send fresh fruit every day? Every day. He loves fruit.
He loves fruit. And so as someone and Caitlin's known me for long enough that she knows that we've been struggling so much with my kid and food that for him to get an award for eating, you frame that puppy. You frame it, right? I'm like, yeah, it feels really validating, but it's also kind of like, what? I'll take it.
All right, ben, give us your gem. The most wonderful thing that I did recently was I saw a performance of the play corpus christi. It is a passion play about retelling of the life of Jesus christ as told by gay men living in corpus christi, Texas, in the 1980s. Oh, my goodness.
Very interesting performance. And I happen to know somebody who was in it, and they were joshua or jesus. It was phenomenal. And by sheer coincidence, during intermission, I met one of the key organizers of pride of carrie, which is a local new nonprofit. And during that ten minute intermission, he was kind of able to give me some advice.
Kind of a heart to heart. Felt like a real mentor moment. It was really nice. That's cool. I'm just dying at the men in the 80s in corpus, texas.
Oh, my gosh, this premise is killing me. This is hilarious. That's so funny. I went with my boyfriend, and I mentioned to him what the play was about, but he kind of turns to me when the apostles are introducing themselves. And he was like, I don't know what's going on.
He didn't know the apostles name, but once they got to Jesus no, once they got to Judas. Oh, everyone knows Judas. Judas. He caught on, thanks to Lady Gaga. Absolutely.
Stop. I was raised Catholic. That's a different come on. We both taught at a school that said Baptist on the side. Yeah, we did.
I was raised Catholic too. My cheeks are burning because I'm trying to keep it together. Oh, goodness. All right, that sounds like a good time to take a break. Yeah, let's do that.
We're back. Welcome back. Yay. All right, so, Ariella, tell us how you and Ben happened to be part of this episode today. So you and I, we were talking about Pride episodes, and we were bouncing ideas kind of back and forth and stuff.
And I suggested doing a show on Pride history. And I know a guy that's when I connected you with Ben. Yeah. And as I do for lots of people, as I seem to introduce friends, I brought you a guest. I love it.
So I'm really glad that you did. Ben has already fascinated me with so many stories. So, Ben, you're going to give us a few historical facts about Pride and origins of Pride? Yes, absolutely. I think a lot of people like to start at Stonewall, and the Stonewall, Anne, is definitely a major part of the story, but it's not really the beginning.
But at least in the United States. I think for the history of pride, it's useful to start in post World War II California and New York and Washington, DC. Broadly. This is sometimes described as the homophile move. So one of the first individuals to actually pick it for employment protections was Frank Camden.
He spent a lot of his life as an activist advocating for nondiscrimination protections and employment. So at that first protest, I believe there were about a dozen gay and lesbian individuals. I don't believe they invited any transgender individuals. And the reason may become clear after this. He insisted that the men wear suits and the women wear dresses and heels.
So in this homophile movement, a lot of the individuals that were active and that were sought as and seen as leaders, they wanted to present themselves in a heteronormative way and appeal to respectability and conventions of the society at a time, rather than really challenging any of the social order, as it were. That's interesting. So is this kind of like, there's really no reason to be afraid because we're just like you sort of situation? Is that what you're thinking this was? Yeah.
And you'd see it in their picket lines and their protests. You'd see all of these very neatly dressed individuals holding matching sized signs in a line, very orderly. Not quite what you think of seeing LGBT people gather now. Really kind of Stonewall and the Pride movement that emerges after that takes a lot of its inspiration from the successes of the civil rights movement. So that's where you see people and activists who are more willing to directly challenge the social order.
Okay. This post World War II, you don't really think about it going back that far, right. Especially because that's the 50s are this is the June Cleaver era. This is this is not the 60s. Right.
Post World War II, in such a conservative time in so many ways. And when people are talking about the good old days, they're often talking about. The Lucy and Ricky in two twin beds. They're married, and they had to be in two twin beds. This is a big deal to even be talking about it in this time period.
So I don't even think I realized I think I only associated it with the not this far back, honestly. Yeah. Well, I think it's important to note, although there were these groups that you can point to, they created records, they staged these protests. It's fair to say that the nation as a whole was not broadly aware of their demands of what they were doing. These would have been locally reported stories.
It's not until the riot at Stonewall LGBT identity really breaks onto the national stage. Speaking of that, a lot of organizations of that time would use gay and lesbian as shorthand. The names that these different organizations use as well evolves over time. Interesting. I didn't realize that either.
Oh, yeah. Really? To kind of even push it further back, you might have heard of Max Hirschfield, who was a German sexologist. Yes, I have heard that name before, yes. So he opened up the first institution to scientifically study sexuality and gender in Germany in the 19 actually, I believe it was 1919 that he opened it.
So in the 20s, he's kind of pioneering this research in Europe lesser known aspect of LGBT history. One of the reasons I'm familiar with it is one of the first actions of the German Nazi Party, a youth organization of the Nazi Party was to occupy the university building where the library was, and they had a book burning. And that is one of the famous photos that you see survives. It was the books from the Hirschfield Institute. Wow.
That's one of the reasons I know of that name, is because of my study of that time period. But also, I was a psych major, the old most popular majors. Fun fact. But that's why I know that you. Mean wildlife fishery science.
Ain't that popular. No, not at Colorado. No. It was all marketing and psychology and the most common, actually, major minor psychology and then marketing. Anyway, but that's why I know that name, because I studied him in two contexts.
That's good to know. Okay, so that's before stonewall. Do we have more before Stonewall? I do. I will say, when you asked me for my hyper fixation earlier.
I almost wanted to say pre stonewall LGBT history. Oh, interesting. Yeah. For the last few months, I've been really interested in trying to learn as much as I can. So to go back to an early figure in American history, there is a figure in colonial history, so we're talking 17 hundreds here.
Oh, my gosh. My eyebrows are going to touch the ceiling. They are raised so high. Mine won't because they're botox, but I am do it. This figure went by the title The Public Universal Friend.
They identified themselves as genderless. A lot of non binary people point to them as an early non binary figure in American history. Oh, I've heard of this. No, I've heard or I've heard of this person. I think it was throughline did a whole episode on it, and it was fascinating.
And of course, I don't remember any of the details, but I'm feeling very excited that I recognize this. Go ahead. Sorry, continue. They lived an interesting life. They were raised as a Quaker in that community, and after suffering a fever in which a lot of people in the community died, and they were very seriously ill after they recovered, that is when they introduced themselves or reintroduced themselves to their friends as the Public Universal Friend and embraced a non binary identity.
Interesting. And Quakers are the Society of Friends. Is that right? Yes, that's right. I feel like Quakers just if you're looking for some good, authentic living a welcoming life, I feel like these people have the best reputation in that regard of, like, this is what we do.
Because if you're going to make an argument for religion, this is probably the way to make that argument. Right. Because they're the ones who adopt that sort of mentality. So I'm not at all surprised to hear that you say this person identified as non binary, and then they were a Quaker. That's why my eyebrows didn't move up that time.
It's not comfortable.
They don't move. They really don't move. And I love it. So should I address the elephant in. The room that my eyebrows don't move?
We've already talked about this. I don't know much about Stonewall, so. That was why I kind of didn't want to dwell too much on the much, much earlier history. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in New York, and in 1969, police raided it wasn't the first time that they'd raided that bar, but the people that were there were fed up. So rather than allow themselves to get arrested, they resisted physically by throwing objects at the arresting officers, by pushing them back.
It turned into a larger riot on the streets of that neighborhood in New York. This is not the first time that Stonewall had been raided. This kept happening over and over and over again. Am I right about that? Yes.
I will say I'm not well versed in the historiography of Stonewall, but I recently was exposed to the idea that the owner of Stonewall had an agreement with the police, so when he got a certain amount of money, he would allow them to come in and arrest and raid. There's been conflicting accounts from the kind of veterans of Stonewall. I should mention two major figures are Marcia P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who are two transgender women who lived in New York. And I believe Marcia was present at Stonewall.
But a lot of people say through the first brick, I've heard through the first shot glass. It's one of those stories that it gets told so many times and there is so much interest in it that it can almost be difficult to hear through the noise. Well, and it's a riot. Anytime there's chaos, the accounts are going to all be a little bit different. So there is that piece of it.
My understanding also is that payment that you were talking about also had maybe something to do with some underground, shall we say, businessmen ties. I don't want to say the mob. I sincerely apologize. I'm not familiar enough with the facts. I need to go back to the primary sources.
No, I have been known to be fact adjacent, so that's all I was going to say. It's kind of the theme of the show, right? It's like sometimes I'm telling the truth, and I swear I know I know what I'm talking about most of the time. Well, that takes the pressure off me, right? No, you're good.
You're an actual historian, so I'm just going to take what you say and go with that. Sounds about right. Well, the fact you're right, it was a riot. It was chaotic. A lot of the first hand accounts and the facts of that event kind of weren't properly documented at the time.
But there's also the trend of individuals who were not present who later wanted. To own a piece of it. Absolutely. I'm an activist. I was there.
So what was the aftermath? Yes, the aftermath from Stonewall, really, it's when everybody was really pushed to begin considering the existence of gay and lesbian people. So prior to this, everyone's in the closet, and there's not even really an opportunity for people to come out of the closet, as it were, because there is just this prevailing ignorance, and it doesn't disappear overnight. And I would even say that it hasn't fully disappeared in all parts of the United States. But, yeah, the real change that happens after Stonewall is this rejection of the homophile strategy.
So after 1969, there was never again a national coalition of these different what we recognize today, LGBT groups. They couldn't coalesce into a political coalition. There's been some historians who've written about this and have said it's because Stonewall was an event that allowed for a paradigm shift. Really, after Stonewall, people that were involved in these homophile organizations, they didn't just disappear, and some of the organizations didn't disappear, but there was a shift. There's two scenes, really, that dominate LGBT history of the It's.
New York, California. Some LGBT historians are trying to kind of start to document wider histories, but right now, that's what's kind of been the focus. So there isn't as much that has been written about kind of what is the impact of Stonewall in Kansas? Yeah, in Kansas, which is a fascinating historical question for some young enterprising historian. Sure.
Stonewall kind of begins to allow people to come out of the closet. And the parents in New York City are actually some of the early activists that are willing to go out on the streets, willing to put themselves out there and say, my child is gay. My child is lesbian. My child is bisexual. Once people started to become aware of their brother, their cousin, their aunt, their uncle of this phenomenon in New York City broadly, there was growing tolerance.
But I think it's useful in terms of kind of talking about the broader LGBTs stream, to talk about it in cycles. So there are kind of periods where there's a waxing, where there's progress and there's advance, and then there's a waning occasionally where things will seem to regress and there's backlash. Stonewall begins this period of momentum and growth of communities. You start to see in the late 70s, conservatives begin to organize opposition in California. This comes in the form of a few efforts.
One of the major ones to talk about is the Briggs Initiative. So there was a conservative state senator in California who said or thought these gay and lesbians who work as teachers are dangerous because they're going to turn our kids or try to recruit them. So he wanted to make it so that the state of California could not employ openly lesbian or gay teachers. Oh, wow. What people don't know about history.
History is doomed to repeat itself. Talk about cycles. Here we go. Absolutely. So one of the major figures to oppose that was a man by the name of Harvey Milk, the first open elected politician.
And the reason we frame it that way and phrase it that way is there have been gay politicians before, and there are even some that have come out during their tenure in office, but they weren't elected. Precisely. So the movie Milk with Sean Penn, and this is like a big figure. Tell us a little bit more about him, if you can. Yeah.
So he's actually this really interesting figure. He moves to the Castro. It's a neighborhood in San Francisco. Yes, it is. He kind of goes through these changes over the course of his life.
So when he first moved and embraced California, he embraced this kind of countercultural look, aesthetic and lifestyle. And after a few years, he had cut his hair, put him on a little bit more of a professional performance, as it were. He had started to advocate for people in the Castro because there was a growing recognition that California and some of these port cities were seen as a refuge for gay teens all across the United States. Oh, yes. San Francisco in particular in California, new York City on the East Coast.
And it's a little bit of cliche at this point, but it really is for a time the destination for queer use. That's not to say that some didn't stay, but by and large, if you were looking to embrace your identity or even explore it, these cities would have began to have reputations. A year after Stonewall, there's this broad awareness in the public consciousness. It kind of builds over time. Sure.
There was a parade one year after anniversary of the Stonewall, and this is the liberation of Christopher Street Parade. It's kind of a deliberate opportunity. These activists wanted to embrace celebration. There was, of course, a serious reason for it. But rather than a picket, rather than a very professional response, they wanted to march down the street, commemorate the day where they stood up and said that they wouldn't be bullied anymore.
It's something I love reading about. To imagine that time innovating it and trying things out for the first time. I can't imagine. Yeah, man, that's so interesting. Yeah, I think that's really special.
And I love how much it's spread and how Pride has become just this big thing across the country, and it's fun party time, and there's all these hilarious jokes and just silly things happening all around you. And then, of course, you have a few people who are like, narrow minded, bigots and whatever, but then everyone's like, do you need a hug? You must need a hug. You look like you're really sad. You clearly need a hug here.
This is all about love. Come on over. And I've just decided that I'm clearly too old to participate in Pride the way that I used to. But I'm going to go down and be one of the moms who gives out mom hugs because I love it so much. It's so special to show up and actually be a part of something that matters to you like that.
And I can't even imagine the courage that it must have taken for that first parade to have happened. Right. Can't even imagine what it would have been like for them to start to get this vision of, we don't have to accept these conditions. I want to pivot a little bit from Pride history to you as a historian, ben, throughout your practice. How has the definition of history changed for you?
Interesting question. Well, I'll start with my undergrad. So like I said, I studied the history of science. My undergraduate career, once I got this very excellent mentor, was pretty much just I wanted to take these classes and explore how humanity built our understanding of the natural world around us. So I was a philosophy minor.
I studied the history of philosophy, the philosophy of science the history of the philosophy of science, et cetera. Yeah, very meta. And it's a great word to describe this. Absolutely. Maybe historian.
I am not I prefer student of history still, but the ones who think. They know everything are the ones who get it wrong, so I like that. And in sign language, when you sign for a career, it's that thing person. So you're a history person. I didn't know that.
That's interesting. I have heard one of the terms I like is memory professional.
I am not a memory professional. I have sticky notes that I've covered up on my desk, and I forgot what was on the sticky note earlier. This year, Caitlin, I don't know if I told you this. I thought of something really important, and it was so important that I took a sticky note off right then so that I could write it down and put it on my calendar. The problem is I didn't write it down.
You did tell me. I just had a blank sticky note. And I was like, Whatever. That was a really big deal. And I think we've talked about this before, where I have started doing something really random.
When I remember something, I have a yoga mat next to me over here because my super professional office is never mind for tax purposes, there is no yoga mat in here anyway. Sometimes I will remember something, and I'm like, oh, that's good. I should remember that joke for later. And then I'll throw the non yoga mat into the middle of the room. And then when I get up and turn around, I'm like, Why is it in the middle of the room?
Because there was a thing that I was going to remember, and usually it comes back to me, but it doesn't. Always go back to me. So memory professionals, we are not you want to call yourself one? I'm here for it. No, you should see how many postits I have on my desk.
I like records management. That's actually for graduate school. I focused as a library school student on archives and records management. So the idea that there's a system that can remember things for me is very comforting because I will forget nobody's. Business.
In graduate school studying library science at UNC Chapel Hill. And a significant event happened on campus. We had a Confederate monument that was torn down by act. Oh, yeah, silent Sam was the name of it. And UNC Chapel Hill, in so many.
Ways, Chapel Hill is known for being very progressive, especially like, science, medicine, things like that. You hear about that, and then there's a Confederate monument in the middle of the campus. That's interesting. Broadly, I'll just say, as a memory professional, as someone who's in this field, pretty necessary for us as historians to be responsible with history of the Civil War, history of enslavement. These statues are not books, and they are not the history.
They are monuments that were erected by people with goals. And if you look in the archives of UNC Chapel Hill, you can find a speech delivered by one Julian Carr at the dedication of Silent Sam. And that speech referenced the fight not during the war, but in the years after that, men of the white race were engaged in and again, I'm not quoting precisely, but he was alluding to the fact the defense of the south that these men had engaged in in the dedication of this speech, of this monument. So past is present, and I mentioned these kind of cycles. I believe there was a recent study that showed educators kind of most consistently fail to really teach is the Reconstruction era.
And I'd have to say that's true. As somebody who's worked as a med Marine professional in North Carolina, that era is kind of the least well understood. I'm trying to think of why that would be. One, it's not really understood by the teachers themselves, that's one thing. But also, it is a controversial time period, and so people tell teachers to stay away from it, but also, sometimes you just don't get to it in your curriculum.
I'm just thinking about, like, integrity. It's a breakpoint. Right. It's a good stopping point for yeah. Once you get to that point, then you kind of wrap, like, if you go a mile wide, an inch deep, you can get through a lot of US.
History in one year, but if you spend any time kind of diving deeper, you really can't. And I mean, I'm thinking about my own instruction when I was teaching Texas history and how the reason that we talked about Juneteenth is because we talked about Black History Month, which it didn't fit in what I was teaching at the time, but because I talked about Black History Month and how that impacted Texas history and then ultimately the creation of the Juneteen Th holiday, it's the only reason that it came up. Right. Even though the reason that we have Juneteen Th is because of Texas not telling its enslaved people that they had actually been free for several years. Right.
So there's a lot about this kind of stuff that kids just don't get to because their teachers don't get to it, but also because it's already not well understood. It should be studied more than it is. I completely agree with you. Yeah. I got to go back to my philosophy roots and just say there's a lot of times where I just think I'm the most ignorant person about this.
I know absolutely nothing. And that really is the most useful perspective you can adopt when you're studying history. I love that starting I don't know anything about this. I'm going to go learn about it. I love that I had to ask about Stonehall.
Yes. And just the facts that you're willing to say, hey, that's not something I'm familiar with. So that is so great. Such a great tie in. I think that we can say, overall, your perspective as a historian and your definition of history is that you're coming at this from the perspective of I really don't know, so please let me learn myself, or someone teach me, or whatever that may be.
So I think that that's super interesting, and I love that as final thought when it comes to all of this. It's just if you don't know, don't presume that you do. Right. Let's take some time to learn about it and educate oneself, and maybe that might even bring you to perspective and a place of empathy with your new knowledge. Exactly.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you. Well, with that, I just want to say thank you for everything that you gave us. Thank you for the time. And some really great quotes I'm kind of resonating on.
These statues are not books.
I'm thinking about those things, and they're going to kind of linger for a while. We always close the same way. So I will say, like, any good mom, make good choices. Yeah. And assume you know nothing.
Go learn you some stuff. And happy pride, everybody. Yay. Yay.