In 1958, eleven years before Stonewall, gay men and drag queens at Cooper’s Do-nut shop in Downtown LA, rioted against abusive police. They threw donuts and took over the street.
Los Angeles has a rich history of LGBT activism and culture, which is often overlooked by those who focus on New York and San Francisco. LAvender Los Angeles aims to change that misperception by telling the story of LA’s LGBT community and the birth of the modern LGBT movement which began in Los Angeles in 1950.
LAvender Los Angeles is a two week exhibit that will run from November 8 - 20 at 114 W. 5th Street near Main Street (MAP), with a fundraising preview on November 7th at 7:00.
In addition to the exhibit itself, LAvender Los Angeles will present several discussions and special events, including discussions on LAPD relations, the Gay Press, LGBT Political Power, and a weekend walking tour. This history exhibit focuses on the history before the Stonewall Riots in NYC in 1969, and highlights how efforts here in Los Angeles led to LGBT empowerment across America.
Roots of Equality (RoE) is producing LAvender Los Angeles after noticing a lack of connection to our past in the post-Prop. 8 generation.
“We are responsible for passing on our history and our culture.” said RoE co-founder Teresa Wang. “This is not something we’re going to learn from our parents and relatives.”
As Los Angeles takes the lead in this most recent wave of the LGBT rights movement, this generation’s leaders can look to our own city’s past. “Los Angeles has just as much importance if not more than any other city in this country’s LGBT history,” explained RoE co-founder Tom De Simone, “we aim to show this city’s LGBT citizens that they have a rich history to be proud of.”
For more information, visit the Roots of Equality website.