On These Shoulders We Stand

Sat, June 4, 2011,  2pm

Film subject Don Norman in attendance

With so much emphasis—and rightly so—on the events of the Stonewall riots, it’s easy to overlook the struggles and achievements of our community in other parts of the country. On These Shoulders We Stand counters that notion by exploring the early decades of the gay rights movement in Los Angeles through the eyes of 11 extraordinary individuals with firsthand experience of the city’s gay past.

Gay life in ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s Los Angeles was both a haven where lesbians and gays could find each other as well as a trial of social and legal homophobia and persecution. In particular, LGBT individuals faced threats, intimidation and humiliation from the Los Angeles Police Department through harassment, raids and arrest. Yet with each setback, new people found their way into the movement. Fear and shame slowly transformed into defiance and community building. In the wake of Stonewall, Los Angeles hosted the first Gay Pride Parade and the community came into its own. Social, health and political organizations were founded, and those who survived the earlier times became mentors and leaders to a new generation of activists.

On These Shoulders We Stand is an important reminder of how we got to where we are today, and a testament to the heroic contributions and triumphs of those who have come before us.

Community Partners: Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest
Gay & Grey