thumbnail of American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 2 of 3
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
it has a pool right it was a very hot night ends june it was one of those nights that day the street was maude and crowded to begin with and christopher street i had decided i wasn't going in a bar that night that i was at i was leaving to go to the city that i was in brooklyn visiting my mother and the phone rang and it was my very best friend john goodman was like to mention cruces new logo with us ann his exact words wire miss those get down here right now there's a riot at the stonewall and i was there in about forty minutes and when i got to treat or might most vivid memory and i wish there were pictures of it was a kick line of dre and queens that i know is as a novella queenan sex market p john marcia marcia teach heinsohn hormone
now i'm doing like the rockettes k clawing being faced down by the new york city tps tps the tactical police force which was the riot squad the time when i got there the queen's were doing a racket day and taking like the rockettes singing we are the stonewall girls we wear our hair in curls where i don't always above our knees are limiting fat words and there was a tactical police force facing them down and it was such an incredible sight because they didn't know how to deal with this i mean the riot squad was used the riots they were not used to a bunch of drip queens doing the rockettes decline and sort of like giving them all the finger in a way getting them off the iron showing them or you know what not to be intimidated intimidated by you anymore i was so happy i really got into it if they were rocks to be thrown like riyad mansour remember throwing
one rock at the window of the bar and i thought that the cop was going to get me but there was so much going on around around that they didn't know when to go first patti widell remember being parked in front of the barn remember as each person came out they would do little shallow and everybody would scream and carry on it went around the corner but to ten street where julius is bore was and at one point i went with a crowd around the corner and inferno julius says barr i personally witnessed a patron from julius is bar self loathing gaming and calm and graham one of us one of the demonstrators and hold them for the police i never forget that that's ingrained in my head too at one point i said to myself so this is great we have so much energy that's directed in some sort of direction where we can do something important and i started screaming let's march to city
hall let's march to city hall well there was a riot at a riot not many people were listening and do people rounding started chanting now but it didn't get anywhere very far and found i stop chanting at an airplane but i spent the whole night with crowds and the next four nights friday night saturday night sunday night and the following wednesday night it through each night it was a little angrier a little more violent i think on the second night is when the court that turned over which i was right there when the car got turned over i we try to turn a kiev over a memory couldn't turn the kiev over by members ripping putting the year is out of the streets and throwing them what wonderful nights i think they have great memories of it but i always felt during those four nights when the nights ended an animal
riots i was very very very let down because i felt it was wonderful but it wasn't going to change things and that got me very upset my wings to a very big depression iftar the rioting stop on the fourth night i was very sad because it didn't look like we were going to get anywhere it was going to be a bleeping history maybe only can go back to the same kind of stuff not having a place and you know and that's when that's that was a big time for me you know if he has a different keep eating again at furman says i just that was somebody that this a few weeks ago and that the police is this a an issue whether the
police about it and saw it because they were scared to come out during at the beginning of the riot and all of that personally i can't say i don't know and i don't think really looking back on it at it it really matters much because everything that night was on the heart or if the police got locked in at the sluice gate to leave that was unheard of at the time everything was unheard of drag queens doing a cake going was unheard of people gay people that fighting back it was all me new territory for all of us and that's another reason that it was so invigorating be course we just all went we went wee wee wee it was sort of like i'm nothing to lose and i don't care anymore this has been a change would it wouldn't it wouldn't have cared if i get arrested if i get killed really that night i really think that if if there was any kind of real danger it wouldn't have changed anything if anybody
was really in danger on they would have continued with it it wouldn't have mattered we were fed up we were angry the sixties who have been awful for us we were all young people we were energetic we were met we were taught here of taking the crap and it will explode that night and we were going to take it anymore at least that's the way that knowing you know that it will for those nights don't get into the judy garland thing this had nothing to do with do with judy garland she died and like gay people like dark i liked it till she didn't i get did not cause the riot her funeral was and why people were upset because i know that a lot of people bring that product i think that would be insulting to the gay people but i am it i always into this the same way it was time it was time
every other group was at the point of it demonstrations standing up for it for your rights that women were doing it on this black people the civil rights movement it was time and that's really the easiest way to describe why it happened that night it was time there'd been rioting in sandwiches go year or so earlier got nowhere it wasn't telling it was time it was hot we want maybe we are very very angry at everybody around the world we had no friends it was time time had come the only way i can explain it because there is no other reason why i certainly wasn't defending the bar itself i was defending my people we were all i like to think most of us were defending the war we would do we were defending our rights as
people in human liberation i was thrilled i it was like somebody uncork the champagne bottle in my head and i just cause i said earlier i didn't think the funny thing was ever going happen it really really expect that i would live out my whole life in this very impressive kind of a situation where i had no rights and i don't not have the big ability to be proud of what i was openly and this was the first time that i saw or a glimmer of hope that that night might not be the case that we might actually take a stand and do something to change that up until then there was none of that and that's one that the night was so spectacular in the times but so
spectacular but why that night it was time is no one way to explain why that night the stigma many raids on many bars many nights we had been embarrassed and you know it's b there've been many nights many bars right many nights that we were humiliated in and thrown into paddy wagons nobody objected nobody carried on we'll talk it like you know that he was getting into the avid to the m train's and being taken off to the avenue d and concentration camps it was just kind of just the mounting frustration out that we're talking about are very big you think it was the mountain it wasn't a revolutionary political group ka anything that night it was plain and simple anger frustration
anger anger is the only way i could describe it and it was time and the anger took hold um i think a lot of it had to do with the fact that there were so many of the gay people and lesbians that night that but when they would get arrested they'd put on this whole big shawl and we get us all more and more a crazed up in the world when the kick line was going on the anger became my gay gay people when we have a riot it's a riot and it's a riot so can be we turned it into work of roy it was sort of a combination of serious and carnage are the way i described it wasn't because how many rights do you have a cakewalk ein of people dancing and taunting the riot police that's not usual right so that gay people
he even when we had a riot we did it differently and sixties you're angry we had no reason to its no way to express it well you know like we define dimensionally like the cave we would go down when the trucks and have sex in public places and things like that but there really was no way to express your anger because there was no recourse you couldn't win you know i'd be good and we didn't want to fight a battle that you couldn't win and with the first night of stonewall a lot of us begin to realize that there might be a balance of fight that possibly we couldn't win or at least we can give it a good try and that had never happened before they had never been that kind of a feeling before
no way well it hit a bills up and it's like i described like popping the champagne cork out of a champagne bottle and we had a lot of pent up anger and that anger was never really expressed until that night and why wasn't expressed that until that night because it wasn't telling until that night it was towing throw in the mix it's hot we were up i was an enabler when they first got the input from one of untold was a finite people were having a good time it's probably cooler in the air and then the police come and as usual we have to stop or fine we have to
stop having a good time we have to walk out and get arrested and be humiliated and he just makes all that together and throw it throw in the fact that it was telling and that's when the anger exploded next day i don't think this could've happened in december what is it mr morris yeah it's it's back to tell really well there were the gay people who got a good jobs who had everything in life to lose and basically lived very closeted i'm those people had bars that they
went to the sad remnants of ties and they were very conservative and julius is at the time was one of those bars and they almost identify to try to identify more with the stray population that they didn't like i said there was no gay community didn't exist on end the people actually uses bar with a tie that would want to show the police look i'm not part of this here take this directly whereas you as well well we had nothing really to give up on but most of us live from place to place to place a lot of us are not me but a lot of us were homeless a lot of us have been thrown out of our families in the end had no family to speak of hung out in sheridan talk most of the time i
slept in sharon talk sometimes when there was nothing to what what will work they did was put us in jail to a lot of the people going to jail was a place to sleep at night you know you really get out the next day on sunday was really nothing to lose so we were experiencing that sort of freedom that allowed us to one do what we were doing because you could lose your job than amanda if if it came out that you were gay any the people like in julius says who have careers and things like that they had a lot of tongs and i you know i i don't i don't i give them credit for being what they wore but i'd have to say that i can understand why they didn't get involved because they were afraid you know fear it was all
day it built all day on i stayed with my friends at fifty five west fourteenth street that my arms and but i went out like about freeney afternoon and only through crowds of people here in all kinds of people there and it was like a tension in the air that was i'm getting a chill us and talking about this because i was afraid it was over and it was like this tension in the air and people began anger i hear is the basic feeling that most of us have and as it that talk that night removed groups started doing things throwing things and the police were all over the place costs i think they expected it to blow up again and i think it was that saturday night was a measure setting a semi naked was the most violent that i recall with the turning over the course of i think a volkswagen we try to turn over i'm like hey herb butter just like built and built and built and built en i remember saturday
night and sunday night wednesday night be much louder and more sort of i'm crazy then even friday night friday night got off to a good start and it was in the daytime today was no no well right in the daytime but it was like crowds of people and people would just make us we met and we were in that we work we will bring everybody stay small so you know as i described at the gated community basically stay human brain at every knew and we walked on their own religion you that a week ago we were everywhere we are all in the village we were crowds here and if the cops came and moved as we move to another place and i remember it just be and i also remember feeling that some of the people that didn't have stuff to lose restoring to join in and be part of it people like that lived in the village even non gay people who were tired of it you know that will allow
people made a place for a lot of different reasons i think that added into it to know that the police have been very violent fishes through the sixties through the way they're written in a strange and very big and i think just basic girl or dislike of that and the police get into an even amongst the other essentials at the time so their theory is here then well it was four nights lot people don't remember wednesday night i remember it may be remembering wrong but i remembered being a pretty big night and why a day and that's a good question and i didn't really have any answer for and i guess we got petered out and like i said earlier that put me into a really big state of mali well now a
week later as i said i was really really into big move very depressed and i'm i'm standing around christopher street and seventh they have a new way and a couple of people i know came over to me and they're handing out leaflets comes charlie pitts michael brown possibly more three shelley and i think i am and they've been caught out of this thing called the action khamenei of vanishing magazine was was a gay organization before stonewall it was a very establishment kind of thing if they did the demonstration yeah where atari ensue when cnn went down to our philadelphia and the much do you couldn't watch what would diminish were dressed in proper attire and it was a very a mainstream kind of thing at it and gnashing did not appeal
to that majority of the street corners gay people that i was part of but they had a militant group that formed part of the group called and they called it the action committee and they wanted to pursue more militant callings of forms of fun protests and they were handing out literature that they would have a meeting that night to try to form a more militant organization on that when units taking energy from what had gone on and build on it and when they came out of me with the literature and i took it i said oh god yes give me some that i started handing it out when the meeting was to be held a couple of blocks up the street in a place called unity university will tell you is we called it and it was this weird place at the corner of fourteenth street and six they ever
knew that was sort of served as sort of a meeting place for all the counterculture groups the hippies and the copies and the yuppies and women in the civil rights people that have no other place to me and we were having a meeting that night at six thirty and we gathered up as many people by handing out literature is possible if we all marched up there arm and have one of the most insane meetings i've ever been to in my life and i've been in some pretty insane meetings what was this group can do what we can to fight for what we didn't call it was it couldn't be homosexuals something was a can be gay something wasn't and what we can know why it is akin to be men and women deserve it it was a very chaotic meeting at one point the meeting broke off and hear from the us went into one room and hear from the swing into another room and he got down before me in the night beyond it was what we can call the cells we decided we have decided at first and we decided on gay liberation front
liberation front they stay after the young women's land endgame was on word anonymous actually gay and that that's what we decide we renew call you can hit you at sb something was wrong he writes for people you mean that we have that you won with first things that seemed to come out of it is the police were a little more up they didn't they didn't jump itself they asked to rates because they knew there might be some sort of a problem they didn't date made them very
little reticent to be as brazen is as they were with us our he got about five hours know are at a laugh was the first group that came out of the riots cio left arm about half way through the year i credit craig rodwell with coming up with the idea of having a ceremony one year after stonewall to celebrate i am the stonewall riot in what had come out of it and done before the committee called the christopher street liberation day committee that committee's job was to put on the commemoration of the first march know at the pool at that time it was uneven idea that they have a purely this is going to be something
a one time thing again we didn't know what to call at and they did try to say something like the camera you can cut it right and you know i didn't see it it and i know that the warning and it's all in here but i guess say if you're going to do something in the future in that and to talk about this kind of stuff more i'm open to their quizzes and stuff on most interested in right go back to filming where was it because i can do ten minutes every year that i well the first grade was in many ways a very frightening event we had been threatened we've been down all sorts of threats of pat come into us we had sent some people to train with the amount what was it david it was an organization that trains quakers your voice that i don't know yet
we had been trained by the quakers how to keeping some getting out of hand and my attic harold that violence and stuff like that i'm i'd into training i just wanted people in the parade on and the much excuse me it's great male used to be much i call him much flesh parade on when we first saw a reading of having people can show up i mean we need was very fearful that no one would show up we worry that we would be an embarrassing kind of thing that nobody would show up to me looked foolish for even trying and so we had a lot of concerns that may slowly namely a violent caught that data we were so worried about the weather button to be a hundred degrees was and be pouring a beautiful day not a cloudless sky small seventies temperature we formed at them the christopher street by seventy of you like a block down from the stonewall is why
we formed an when we got started it was maybe and this is a you get different estimates from different people i remember being maybe a hundred two hundred people one when we started we went up chris of history and then up sixth avenue we have one lane and six they ever knew traffic was still running and we have one lane that they blocked off and as we kept going up six am genuinely were government faced people that were involved in it like me refer to it as the first run because we went from prison the street to the sheet metal in about an hour now the same thing texas hours and hours now it's legal in the other direction but as we were going up six they never knew when it was our chance out of the sidewalks and into the streets and all that he kept growing and growing and growing and we kept looking back and it got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and as we got to the point and i remember turning random whenever i tell the
story i do get chills turned around and it was endless it was thousands of people it was it was one of the two with three great i'm getting a chill of two or three greatest moments of my life and it was just it was just pure happiness we have finally and that's the day i consider the gay community for what became real the riot was like the common conception the year between the riot in the first march was the ian gestation period and the day of the first march was the birth of the gay community is the way i see it because we
were scared we were trying to get out there as fast as possible week we had been threatened bomb threats we know that you know people to take shots at us we have moved quickly and we were scared we were scared for ourselves personally people are running it we we were just didn't want anybody to get hurt meeting wanted to a boil down to that we wanted to get up into the pop way we thought it was safer to our gay and as we called it the police i think took us is that as a big funny joke and work whenever they could they could make sneering faces in sort of light put down armed but they were ok now i can't say that was that i can recall any problem with the police other than the sneering india the general put down a lot now we
had heard that we were doing it and i've heard people saying we didn't have the permit we didn't have a permit a permit we got a permit from the city permit for the park an anthem watch now responded that whole year when we worked on putting this all together so you know we had supposedly least protection but good people can really have police protection that no protection how we really not
American Experience
Stonewall Uprising
Raw Footage
Interview with Jerry Hoose, 2 of 3
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-924bbmwg).
Episode Description
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were not unusual in the late 1960s, an era when homosexual sex was illegal in every state but Illinois. That night, however, the street erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.
Raw Footage Description
In this interview, Jerry Hoose talks about being gay in the 1950's, the Mafia, Greenwich Village, the trucks, Stonewall, raids, and arrests.
Copyright 2011 WGBH Educational Foundation
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Interviewee: Hoose, Jerry
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 041 (WGBH Item ID)
Format: DVCPRO: 50
Generation: Original
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 2 of 3,” 2011-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 25, 2023,
MLA: “American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 2 of 3.” 2011-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 25, 2023. <>.
APA: American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 2 of 3. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from