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SO many people constantly tell us that the reason the LGBT community has rights, is because "trans women of color started to riots at Stonewall." This is a MYTH.

My question though, is WHY do the progressive leftists feel the need to rewrite history? What do they feel they gain by doing this?

ariellescarcella 7 Oct 29
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I wish I knew, and it seems to me back then, the word "queer" just wasn't used because it was considered a slur and a very ugly one.


I heard Stormé Delaverie is actually the woman who threw first brick. But that isn’t important. Trans women have rights because better understanding from politicians and civilians. I’m not anti-cop propaganda


Relevance. Stature. Empathy. Encouragement/approval. People do things to make themselves feel better and to gain elevation and power within social structures.


George Orwell understood it.


Because they believe if they rewrite/control history, they get to write their narrative going forward without the contradiction from the past and have more control.
Have you ever heard someone say,"That's the way we have always done it." That is why they do it.
Francis Bacon said, "Knowledge is power." But then that might mean the lack of knowledge is servitude.


Did a little research. From what I can tell, what you say is a myth. But it's a myth because I'm not finding widespread evidence that anyone is saying it, because this notion of history being re-written simply doesn't have teeth.

The transwomen of color you refer to are likely Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. I found no other transwomen of color come up on my searches for "transgener stonewall riots" (if I'm wrong, please let me know and I'll amend my search.

That they were at stonewall is not in dispute. Yet, in their own words, and long before the woke movement, they deny starting the riots at Stonewall as seen in this 2019 WP article:

But in 1987, Johnson told historian Eric Marcus that she didn’t arrive until “the riots had already started.” And in 2001, Rivera said she was at the Stonewall Inn with a boyfriend when it was raided but that she wasn’t the first to resist. [1]

In this 2019 article from the NYT, they are not credited with starting the riots but merely being key figures at them:

They are also believed to have been key figures in the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising who fought police as they raided the gay bar on Christopher Street. [2]

We even have the following from USA Today with the provocative title "Why we owe Pride to black transgender women who threw bricks at cops" again from 2019 (because of teh stonewall statues). But as we read the article:

Many in the LGBT community credit transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson for throwing the first brick or shot glass that sparked the riots, though Johnson said she didn’t arrive at the bar until rioting was underway. Nevertheless, her role is hailed.

Again, the article recognizes the "urban myth" of her throwing the first brick but immediately states that Johnson refutes that and that her role, whatever it was, is hailed by the community.

So on this first pass, in three arguably liberal magazines, the "transwomen of color' boil down to two women, Mss. Johnson and Rivera... while the "started the riots at Stonewall" is soundly refuted.

For better fidelity, I then did a more exact search under your proposed myth, searched under "trans women of color started to riots at Stonewall". Here is what I found:

The first hit gives credence to your thesis. From PBS Newshour extra in 2020

This month comes on the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a series of protests started by a black transgender woman named Marsha P. Johnson [4]>

This is clearly wrong. So why the mistake? One need only read down further to the author

Today’s Daily News Story was written by EXTRA’s intern Carolyn McCusker, a senior at Amherst College.

Written by an intern. A college student. Basically a D+ term paper. Not very credible nor reputable, certainly not on the level of WP, NYT, or USA Today.

Next is a hit from Inverse in 2020. Don't know the magazine but I include it non the less. It says

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a meeting place for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. When they demanded to do sex verification checks on trans women, a spontaneous protest broke out, and at the forefront of those protests were trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Pride itself owes its very existence to a riot, and it took radical acts of change to just start the conversation about LGBTQ+ issues in America, a conversation that continues to this day. [5]

Here again, they do not reaffirm that they started the riots and while they do speak of other transwomen than Mss. Johnson and Rivera (as of course there must have been), they do not credit them with starting it or throwing the first brick.

In conclusion, my very quick and dirty google search turned up one article that supported your thesis and that written by a college student. All the rest (all from 2019 to 2020) clearly state that transwomen were at stonewall but that Mss. Johnson and Rivera did not start it.

As such I found no evidence that there is a massive rewriting of history since the history has been clear since 1987 and 2001, when the two transwomen purported to have started the riots literally said they didn't start it and yet they were there and were integral parts of the community and the movement

[1] []

[2] []

[3] []

[4] []

[5] []

It sounds like you are arguing against yourself.

The very fact that you are researching and discussing the myth of Rivera and Johnson is, it itself, evidence that the myth exists. That there is a rewriting of the story.

Neither Johnson nor Rivera were ever revived as central figures part in the Stonewall story until very recently (the 50th anniversary). Why are they discussed now? Where did they suddenly come from? Why are they being discussed in major magazines and TV shows? Hint: the disinformation campaign is real.

Both have been heavily promoted by woke progressives as intersectional alternatives to the gay men who led the uprising. You can’t have an LGBTQ2S+ origin story if the characters are mostly white dudes. That we be just a gay story.

It’s pointless to look for “evidence” Johnson and Rivera “saying it.” No one has said either has made any claims. They are being used as characters in a fantasy to support the false assertion by progressives that trans people of colour led the uprising.

The original poster is 100% correct.


Neither Johnson nor Rivera were ever part of the Stonewall story until very recently.

One piece of evidence that shows how this is a made up myth: Johnson and Rivera were clearly part of the story not just recently, given that they were discussing their roles in 1987 and 2001.

Why are they being interviewed and discussed in major magazines and TV shows?

There is no better evidence of how this is a made up myth than this quote by you as they are not being interviewed in major magazine and TV shows:
Rivera died in 2002.
Johnson in 1992.

@TheMiddleWay of course it’s a “made up” myth. Rivera and Johnson did not lead the uprising.
That’s the point. It’s a falsehood asserted by woke progressives to rewrite Stonewall.

I'm saying that the notion that anyone is trying to rewrite Stonewall is the real myth.

Your own response, putting forth the notion that dead people are being interviewed or that these two women just burst on the scene recently, show how misinformation feed the myth that there is a rewrite going on.

@TheMiddleWay progressives are upset with both feminism and the gay movement as being too white.

Every link you posted talks about how black trans women were marginalized and overlooked: “riots led by people of colour”, “transgender women at Stonewall pushed out of the gay rights movement”, “Johnson and Rivera key figures in gay rights movement”, NY erecting a statue to the two, rather than the crowd of men on hand that night. “At the forefront of the movement...Johnson and Rivera...pride itself owes its very existence...”.

Yes, progressives have fought to make women of colour the central figures here for many years, but the movement really went into overdrive on the recent 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

The rewriting of the Stonewall story is very real - it’s pure Woke theatre. Every link you cited supports the position of the original poster.

Airbrushing Johnson and Rivera as leaders of the gay rights movement makes as much sense as crediting Donald Trump with leading Black Lives Matter.


NY erecting a statue to the two, rather than the crowd of men on hand that night

Again, I point to misinformation the fuels myth: the statue is of four people, not two. And none of the four are based on Mss. Johnson or Rivera.

Airbrushing Johnson and Rivera as leaders of the gay rights movement

More misinformation: nobody is claiming they are leaders of the gay rights movement.

Don't you see what you are doing here, creating a false narrative (dead people interviewed, statue about Mss Johnson or Rivera, nobody knew about them until now, claiming they are leaders of the gay rights movement) to attack progressives?
I see it.
I wonder if anyone else, if Arielle herself, sees it as well.

@TheMiddleWay the obstacle here is playing “gotcha” rather than engaging in conversation. That is a progressive game that’s always used to derail discussion and ignore the central point - in this case, the reframing of Stonewall. Its always disappointing to see this tactic, but never surprising.

Yes, I used the word “statue”, when the correct word was “monument” for Johnson and Rivera. Gotcha! This is simply playing dumb, or perhaps being passive aggressive. The links you provide all clearly reframe Stonewall with Johnson and Rivera moved to the forefront of the movement. That’s the point.

I don’t get the repetition on interviewing dead people. Again, a word game. We both know the point is that the two have been getting a lot of press.

Regardless of the “gotcha” game the point remains.: Stonewall is being recast through the lens of trans people of colour. Johnson and Rivera are being exploited as the token characters.

I absolutely agree that there’s a false narrative here. Not mine, but that of the sources you yourself have cited: the New York Times, PBS, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

I never called you to task regarding statues or monument. You are playing gotcha with yourself.

You said they were interviewing Mss. Johnson and Rivera, both dead, and i used this as a clear example of misinformation to promote the false narative of someome changing history; nothing more to get than that.

I've said my peace, so I'll leave you to continue "gotcha"-ing yourself by your lonesome.

Be happy, be healthy; stay safe, stay sane.

I appreciate your research and your very clear layout and phrasing of your point. But... I have to point out that when I type "Who threw the first brick at Stonewall" into my Google search engine, the top of the page is... (Drum roll)...

Marsha P. Johnson

So, it seems to go a bit further than your D+ intern theory.

I have no doubt that she has been an in some circles continues to be misattributed to having thrown the first brick. This is the reason why she had to dismiss it ad early as 1987.

But this only strengthen the notion that there is no rewriting of history today given that that urban legend has existed since as early as the eighties, before the birth of "woke progresses".

So no matter how you analyze it whether by the preponderance of news sources saying that she didn't throw the first break or by people promoting an urban legend that has existed since at least the eighties, the thesis that there is some form of rewriting of history doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

@TheMiddleWay The original post didn't say history was being rewritten TODAY. It just says history is being rewritten.

What is the difference between an urban legend and rewritten history?

@TheMiddleWay Also, for the record, I agree with where you're coming from. I'm trying to start some discourse to help refine the argument and find the real truth of it.

Edit to add: Another question I have is who is perpetuating the "myth"/urban legend and what is their motive? The original post seems to assume some kind of "leftist agenda," but could there be another explanation? Perhaps a simpler one?

@TheMiddleWay now you’re gaslighting as well as playing word games. You clearly said:

My quote - NY erecting a statue to the two, rather than the crowd of men on hand that night...
Your quote - Again, I point to misinformation....the statue is of four people, not two

My error was saying “statue”, when in fact the correct word was a “monument” to Rivera and Johnson.

So yes you did indeed take me to task on statues and monuments and then attempt to gaslight by denying it:
Your quote - I never called you to task regarding statues or monument

These are typical word games aimed at sidetracking from the point - that the woke left has been re-crafting the story of Stonewall, in a campaign to put trans women of colour at the centre.

Look at the articles you yourself cite. Each is a victim piece claiming these women were overlooked and marginalized in the uprising. If there was no attempt to re-frame Stonewall, there would be no point in writing any of these stories about Johnson and Rivera, let alone asking them — and it seems self-evident they were asked while still alive — questions about who threw what and when.

@RavenMStark I’d say the difference between urban legend and revisionism rests with intent.

There is an urban legend that circulated about alligators in the sewer system that could come up through a toilet 🚽. These legends arise organically, part humour, part horror story, but always with a grain of truth that makes it stick (especially if you walk into the bathroom at night.)

Revision of history has a clear and dishonest intent. In the case of the former Soviet Union it was to glorify the state and protect those in power.

Today, among the woke left, the intent is to deconstruct existing narratives to gain power. Thus, Thomas Jefferson shifts from founding father to a slave owner forcing himself on women. US democracy is reframed not as reflecting the will of the people, but as a system of widespread corruption and voter suppression. Second wave feminism is no longer liberating, but rather a club for middle class white women.

And Stonewall is reimagined, as the media focuses not on gay liberation, but begins to emphasize an LGBTQ2S+ coalition, with stories anchored by how trans women of colour were unfairly sidelined. Woke progressives even insist on dropping the word “gay”, because it’s too white and too male. So Gay Pride Parades, become Pride Parades. The word “gay” is slowly replaced by “queer”.

The revisionism has been going on since the 1960’s in every aspect of the culture. While words and contexts have always changed with time, what’s been happening here is a very well planned campaign by progressive activists and post structuralists to change the very nature of western society.

As I read it, whenever someone is claiming "progressive leftists" are doing this or that, they aren't talking historically but contemporarily.

And as well, having followed a lot of conversations from Arielle, I wouldn't go so far as to claim "conspiracy" but there is a common thread to here ideology that "the left" is a boogeyman, destroying gay, straight, women, mens, all rights. I encourage you to view her, and her followers like GeeMac who is on this sub-thread, post on this fan-group and see for yourself if this is the case and maybe we can talk about it. Maybe she is very limited and focus in terms of what she sees "the left" doing but being in the center, I see how both sides use the full panoply of logical fallacies to support their case. But I think GeeMac, and Arielle's immediate support for his case and zero engagement on mine, shows that when you attack the left with claims of revisionist rhetoric, you are "right" but when you defend the left using evidence, you are wrong.

In this case, though I resisted saying it outright till now, the logical fallacy is see is straw man: exaggerating a position to make it easier to burn down your opponents position. In this case, the movement to better recognize the role than trans-individuals had at Stonewall is "recast" as a rewrite of history, as "the left" saying far and wide that they threw the first stone, that they started the riot, that it's all about trans and thus taking away the role that gays or lesbians had in the pivotal event. I just don't see it. I don't see an overwhelming wave of people saying that in modern times and when they do, they are likely reling on what has been said since at least the 80's, the urban myth (easily dismissed by their own words) that Mss. Johnson and Rivera started it. They didn't. The left is not pushing that they did.

Look at the way that GeeMac continues sadly, comincally to promote the notion that the stonewall statues are about Mss. Johnson and Rivera when they are not based on either of them. They are called "gay liberation" and shows two gay men and two lesbian women; zero trans. Here, the strawman is clearly on display: make up a false idea that there are two statues to Stonewall and they both celebrate transwomen thus not giving credit to the gays and lesbians and others that participated. And as the strawman works, if you believe that lie about the statues, then it's easier to believe the lie about "the left" rewriting history. But GeeMac doesn't see it that way, which is predictable because you wouldn't use logical fallacies if you saw them... or if you use them in awareness of the fallacy, then you are a dishonest interlocuter; either is bad.


"The issues are not the issue. The issue is the revolution." - Saul Alinsky

Never lose sight of that. All the rest are just distractions.


The problem progressives have with the early gay rights movement is exactly the same problem they have with the second wave of the feminist movement - both are too white. The once revered Gloria Steinem is often criticized and rejected by postmodern feminists who see the movement of her day as too white and too conservative.

Feminists like Camille Paglia are detested by progressives for their conservative views. Gay rights are not about gays, just as feminism is not about women. As Paglia observes so brilliantly in her book “Essays”:

Ayn Rand was the kind a bold female thinker who should immediately have been the centrepiece of women studies programs, if the latter were genuinely about women rather than about a clichéd, bleeding heart, victim-obsessed, liberal ideology that dislikes all concrete female achievement.

The woke-left has a similar issue with pioneers of the gay rights movement, because many men were embarrassed by the excesses of their own community, including its ridiculous alliance with openly pedophile groups, who for a time were permitted to march in pride parades. The Mattachine Society of New York — which advocated for respectability — is an embarrassment to the left, which sees them today as conventional, white, sell outs.

So Stonewall had to be reimagined. Over the past few years, for example, Wikipedia has added woke buzz words like “poor, marginalized”, “homeless youth”, and “anti-transgender discrimination” to its Stonewall page. Progressives have also searched records diligently for any mention of non-white men in the crowd, and two women of colour have recently been cast in the starring roles in the fantasy version of Woke Stonewall: Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Stonewall, like a modern TV series, has been tokenized with casting diversity.

The left is not just tearing down statues. It is busily deconstructing all of our history into something new and false.

GeeMac Level 8 Oct 29, 2020

damn this is a great point thank you


How many is "so many"?

If you are referring to a handful of Twitter twits or InstaGrab influencers, then more fool you for paying attention to the intellectual lowest common denominator.

If on the other hand this is part of established School curriculums or enjoys wide dissemination in various media outlets, then you have a point.

The extent of the problem will moderate the extent of the solution.

apparently history text books and tons of LGBT not for profits as well

Can you give examples of both and how large their influence is? We should absolutely pay attention if they are the norm but perhaps less so if they are outliers...

I did a quick and dirty google search on this topic and posted my results above.
I don't have access to history text book or lgbt non-profits so your contribution here is still welcome.


WTF? That's really a thing?

Projecting current Theory into the past promotes both "validation" and popularization. The current Theory can't predict anything in order to create evidence for itself, so it's made "true" in retrospect.

And it works.

govols Level 8 Oct 29, 2020

Please provide the rest of your argument, not just the thesis.


To continue the us and them mentality. To support the use of violence to pursue outcomes.

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