Queer (In)justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States

Published: April 14, 2011

The fight for LGBT rights started with a riot. Gays, drag queens, transgender people, and other gender and sex non-conforming individuals were hounded, attacked and criminalized by the legal system just for being themselves in those days. LGBTs had no freedom of association. Gays were banned from the military and from government employment solely based on a queer criminal archetype – the ‘queer security threat’, which, along with other queer archetypes, would make appearances at different times in our history.  Gay bars and hangouts were routinely raided, their patrons arrested and charged with crimes. Then, in 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York, LGBTs started fighting back – attacking the police establishment and the prevalent belief that LGBT people should be charged with crimes and branded as lawbreakers.

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