Wendell Walker Interview

Excerpt from interview with Wendell Walker concerning the Stonewall story:


CG: I’m kinda curious, when people, when people brought that topic up what was it --how was it perceived?


WW: Well it was, it was -- was more like storytelling, you know? It was just like… you know, there were all -- there were many different stories about it -- and most of them exaggerated, you know, what actually happened -- and you know there’s a lot of hearsay about it. Nothing -- it hadn’t really been documented at that point.  It was a lot of people’s memories and of course there were a lot of people around then who had been a part of it.


CG: Right.


WW: I used to hangout at Julius’ at 10th Street and Waverly in the West Village, which was right around the corner from where it happened, and there were a lot of older people there that, you know, the old guys -- and you'd hear stories from them about it. I never thought about -- and maybe that’s just me, but I don’t think people thought of it as a political thing at all then. It was more like, (um)…  something people were really proud of-- that it that it happened.  It was, it had a certain bit of… (um) like, ya know “and we showed them” or something. There was a little attitude with it.  I don’t think it… I don’t remember anybody talking about it as an agenda or something about laws being passed or any -- and it just wasn’t involved…


CG: Or symbolic of anything yet?


WW: It was more like we’d had enough and the queens got up and came back at em. You know? And there was lots of jokes about it and you know at the same time -- you know the people that took part in it were considered brave, notorious people but they, but they -- it was a different context.  I think the (um)… when the tenth anniversary march on Washington happened I went to that with Leon, my partner, and that was, that was a whole different awakening because suddenly it was um… Stonewall became a landmark event after that in a way -- cause it was the idea of marking it with a tenth year anniversary. But that was the first big, I don’t know, I think there were other marches and things in Washington before that, but that was the first sort of national thing that was organized in that way.

Wendell Walker Interview