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The Stonewall Generation has seen it all… and they’ve got stories to share

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criminal offense.“Nobody knows what we went through,” Jacobs told LGBTQ Nation. “In Hawaii, it was the worst. We had to wear buttons saying ‘I am a boy’ while walking on the street.

And if we didn’t have it, the cops would beat us up right there on the spot. I know, because it happened to me.”But Jacobs wasn’t backing down: “After the third beating, I should have just said, I’m not going to do this.

I’m going to give it up.’ But I was like, ‘No, honey — I wanna be on that stage. I’m not going to give this up. I don’t care.’ And here I am, 57 years later, still doing it.” Jacobs’s life has been full of ups and downs, from excelling as a drag performer to being diagnosed with HIV during the height of the AIDS crisis.

She is a member of a generation rightly valorized as heroic in the long fight for LGBTQ equality. These elder activists are responsible for the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, and overcoming the apathy of the government and the medical establishment during the AIDS crisis.

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