The Stonewall riots 50th Anniversary sparks interest on this queer joke among netizens. The joke has been the war cry of the queer community ever since after the Stonewall uprising. But, were bricks really thrown at Stonewall? Shane O’Neill argues about it in his New York Times article.

Shane is a regular contributor for the New York Times. He is also a member of the LGBTQ community. In his New York Times article on May 31st, he wrote this article debunking the myth of the Stonewall riots. He made a video interviewing participants of the 1969 Stonewall uprising. This video is also published in the New York Times website.

The Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall Inn is a popular gathering place for the LGBTQ community. It is located in Greenwich Village, New York City. It was a safe haven for these queers until the Stonewall riots took place. This alleged uprising of the LGBTQ community led to the creation of the international gay rights movement.

But, what really happened at the Stonewall Inn? On June 28, 1969, nine NYPD policemen stormed the Stonewall Inn. They arrested the bar employees and took to custody several people for charges of not wearing gender-appropriate clothing. The New York criminal statute at this time gave these cops authority to arrest these people.

Homosexual activities were illegal in New York at that time. Those effeminate men faced public ridicule. They took refuge in gay bars like the Stonewall Inn. But policemen often came to harass them in these places. The Stonewall riots happened in a series which took place for just a short period of time. It is said to have caused the Stonewall uprising.

But, the NYPD had the right to seize the illegal operation at the Stonewall Inn. The bar was selling liquor without a license. The drag queens were also violating the city’s law. The New York criminal statute in 1969 prohibited people from cross-dressing.

Queen Of The Stonewall Riots

Netflix Documentary Film on Marsha P. Johnson features the Stonewall riots
A Netflix Documentary Film

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is a new documentary film by the veteran crime-victim advocate, Victoria Cruz, is available on Netflix. In this film, Cruz investigates the mysterious death of the famous drag queen. His real name is Malcolm Michaels, Jr. but people know her by the name Marsha P. Johnson. She is the Black American gay rights activist who influenced the gay rights movement. Her name is often associated with the Stonewall riots in 1969. Some people accuse her for starting this queer uprising.

Cruz’s film features interviews with Marsha’s friends and family as well as Marsha herself. It also features her famous speech where she is heard saying the line, “Darling, I want my gay rights now.” But, her favorite quote is “Pay It No Mind!” It became the title of another documentary about her life which was released in 2012. That is what the “P” stands for in her middle name.

Silly Brick Memes

As mysterious as the death of the drag queen, there is no clear evidence that Marsha threw the first brick at the Stonewall riots. It’s not even clear that bricks were thrown during this 1969 mayhem in Greenwich Village. The question of who threw the first brick at Stonewall is absurd. Shane O’Neill calls those stories circulating on the Internet as silly brick memes.


In his New York Times article, O’Neill argues that the Stonewall uprising was a myth. After 50 years since the incident took place, people are still arguing about what really happened in the Stonewall riots. The New York Times attempts to prove his statement with a video he made. It is a tribute for the golden anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

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