Marsha P. Johnson Sparks the Stonewall Riots – Drunk History

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I’m honestly so happy right now.– Me too.– Hi!
Just kidding. – [laughing] – Hello, I’m Crissle West,
and today, we’re going to discuss
Marsha P. Johnson.So, the story beginsin the middle of
New York City,
in the Village,
on Christopher Street,
and back then, you know,New York had a growing
LGBT population.
So, basically,
the non-straight population
had a bunch of bars and stuffin Greenwich Village,
and so,
you know, all the queer kids
would go down to the Village and be like,We’re here to be ourselves.But these people didn’t have
a sense of community.Like, this was a point in timewhere you came out
as being trans,
and you were just
kicked out of the house.
Like, and nobody gave
a [bleep] about you.
And that was kind of
what happened to Marsha.
Like, she was a queer person
growing up in Jersey.Okay, so she would
get on the train in Jersey,
um, dressed as Malcolm,
which was her birth name,
and then on the way over
from Jersey to New York,
transform into Marsha
with, you know,
beer cans and pop cans,
uh, for rollers.
Just like,
I’m Marsha P. Johnson, bitch,
and if you don’t like it,
you go to hell.
Like, here I am, ho.
What you gonna do?
– Mm-hmm.
– [laughing] – You have the best
laugh in the world. I love it.
– Oh, God!
Whoo! Anyways.
– Yeah. – The 1960s is a very
tumultuous time for the United States
of America. Because every minority group
imaginableis tired of the status quo.Okay, so there was a group
of officers
in New York City
called the Public Moral Squad,
which is ridiculous,
because when in the [bleep] have morals been a part
of this God damn city? Like, the city’s trash,
and the Public Moral Squadtook their orders
directly from the mayor.
The mayor was like,
I want you to go shut down
the [bleep] gay bars.I’m sick of them mother[bleep]putting they [bleep]
on people’s asses,
and it’s time to be over.So, the night at Stonewall,
June 18th–
or 28th.
June 28th.
I know it was one of the 8s. [laughter] Oh, God.So, that night,Charles Smythe and
Seymour Pine,
they walked into the
Stonewall Inn, and they said,
Hey, bitch![clapping]
We here!
And [bleep] is under
mother[bleep] arrest.
Sit your gay ass down,and wait for us toverify your mother[bleep] I.D.with your [bleep]
mother[bleep] genitals!
[crashing][laughing] Sorry, tree. [laughter]And the trans girls was like,
Oh, no, bitch.
We didn’t ask for this.And some people were, like,
freaking out,
and trying to, like,
go for the exits,
but the police had barricaded
the whole thing.
And Marsha says,
You know what?
Today is not
the mother[bleep] day!Today is the day that I say no
to this bull[bleep].
Like, y’all are not going
to continue
to run us, to dictatewhat our lives should be like.T-t-to dish–to dic-tratewhat our lives
are supposed to be like.
You’re not in charge
any [bleep] more.
We’re here, and as long as we
have to pay taxes,
you’re gonna have to listen to
what the [bleep]
that we have to shay–
we have to sh–
to shay.To say!So Marsha P. Johnson
stood the [bleep] up,and she picked up
a shot glass,
and she smashed that [bleep]
against the mirror and said,
I got my civil rights!She had had enough that
mother[bleep] day.So, during the Stonewall riots,
that first night,
all these members
of the gay community started gathering outside.Marsha, she’s thinking, like,
Oh, my God.
There’s so many of, like, us.There’s 500 of this–of us.By the time backup showed up
to Christopher Street, it was way too late.Some of the rioters
threw rocks and [bleep].
Others found bricks and
[bleep], and they’re like,
We’re gonna [bleep] it up
by any means necessary.
– [laughing] Oh, God.
– It was good. – I told myself I was not
gonna get drunk this time. I don’t know how I thought
that was gonna work. [laughter] Okay. So, the people
at Stonewall that night realized there’s
a community of us.It’s not just 20 of us
on [bleep] Wednesday night
when it’s half off–
there’s a whole group of us
who are here
in this gay [bleep]
and you’re not
going to erase us
from the mother[bleep]
conversation no more.
So, Marsha says, Ultimately,humanness wins.
– Yes.
– Ultimately, people win.
– Yeah.
– That night,
and then the next one, constitute the Stonewall Riots, and that is what got the wholegay rights movement in Americastarted off.– Like, that gives me chills.– It’s the shot glass heard
around the world.
A few weeks later,Marsha and her friend Sylviaformed the Street TransvestiteAct–Reaction Evolution.Which is not words we–
we would use to gay–
today, obviously,
it would be more like, Street Trans-vendor. Transgender, I mean. Not trans-vinegar, yeah, it’s
not like that [bleep].Basically, Marsha and Sylviawere out there in the ’60sand ’70s just trying to getthese trans kids
a place to live.
She really was a badass.
– Yeah. – And so brave–like, I would
not have been that brave. In the ’60s and ’70s? I mean, it was bad enough
being black. – Right.
– But add in a queer identity, and then a–a queer gender
identity too? It was a lot.
It was a lot. And she still faced it. But truly? Black people deserve to be
on all this [bleep]. – Mm-hmm.
– Black people and Sacagawea. Who needs to get off
the God damn coin and onto some [bleep]
paper money. [laughter] Because this our [bleep].
– Yeah.

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