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The Black Cat Tavern raid & protest: an oft-forgotten moment in queer history that predates Stonewall

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Subscribe to our daily newsletter for a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail) of LGBTQ+ entertainment and pop culture, served up with a side of eye-candy.During the 1960s, the queer community faced widespread discrimination and oppression.

Being openly gay was ostracized, and anti-sodomy laws were enforced. Police raids on gay establishments were frequently happening and often brutal, serving as a clear message from society: being LGBTQ+ was not acceptable.The Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles was a haven for the community.

However, on New Year’s Eve 1966, the popular Silverlake establishment became a symbol of oppression. Police stormed the tavern, claiming lewd conduct violations.

Patrons were savagely beaten, and several were arrested, marking an escalation in the police’s battle against LGBTQ+ individuals.Two months after the raids, on February 11, 1967, advocates organized a protest outside the tavern.

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