LGBTQ* History You Should Know
(And Probably Never Heard Of)
— Compton Cafeteria Riots 1966
“One weekend night in August — the precise date unknown — Compton’s, a twenty-four-hour cafeteria, was buzzing with its usual late-night crowd of drag queens, hustlers, slummers, cruisers, runaway teens, and down-and-out neighborhood regulars. The restaurant’s manager became annoyed by a noisy young crowd of queens at one table who seemed to be spending a lot of time without spending a lot of money, and called in the police to roust them — as it had been doing with increasing frequency throughout the summer.
A surly police officer …. grabbed the arm of one of the queens and tried to drag her away. She unexpectedly threw her coffee in his face, however, and melee erupted…. The paddy wagons arrived and the street fighting broke out in Compton’s vicinity.”
Text from: Stryker, Susan. Transgender History. Berkeley, CA: Seal, 2008. P. 64