Stonewall Bartender Remembers Life Before and After the Riots

In this video from Time, long time bartender Tree Sequoia talks about the deep history of the Stonewall Inn, and what the 1969 riots meant for the gay rights movement in New York.

Tree Sequoia, 76, has worked at the Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 riots, for 45 years. Life before the riots meant you risked imprisonment, being outed and ostracized from your family, he recalls. And after the riots, Sequoia said, it was the first time that members of the LGBT community could walk the streets with pride. Many historians credit the Stonewall riots as the catalyst that ignited the gay rights movement, led by trans women like Sylvia Rivera.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their three dogs. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time working from a treadmill desk at home.

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