Stonewall: The Hidden History of Gay Rights

Jun 18, 2016

While today marks a major victory for gay rights in the U.S., the anniversary of a major moment in gay rights history is this weekend. The infamous Stonewall Inn was the site of a police raid 46 years ago. 

The raid on the bar with a mainly gay and lesbian clientele sparked a riot, which is itself seen as a landmark moment in the history of the LGBT civil rights movement.

New York City leaders this week announced the site of the bar, in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, has been designated as an official historic landmark.

While people coming of age today are very much aware of current events surrounding gay rights - most notably, the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling - Stonewall is still not a subject that gets a lot of ink in school history books.

Wisconsin writer Ann Bausum's new book seeks to fill that gap for teenage readers. It's called Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights.

Bausum says the spark for her to write Stonewall came while she was at a reading at the South Dakota Book Festival in 2010. Someone had come up to her privately and asked her about potentially writing a book for young people that covered gay rights history. 

"It had become clear to me that we were really ignoring a tremendously important fight for social justice in this country by ignoring the fight for gay rights," Bausum says. "And I began to wonder if I would be the right person to write that."