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It was a bold move to hold such a party in that neighborhood. It was even more outrageous that Bradley held it in the home that he grew up in. And it was predictably not well received by them. And a statement it was indeed! There would be no turning back! The party was a raging success. Queens from all over the city converged on this Dundalk bungalow and made their way to the backyard tent. Music was blaring the Supremes and people were dancing and drinking and having a grand time.
During that era, same-sex dancing and homo-affection were strictly forbidden and the only places that gay people could be so intimate were at private parties — and, oddly enough, Sunday excursions to a bar in North Beach, Maryland, called the Golden Key Club. And so it was that Dundalk maryland lesbian. until neighbors — very hostile neighbors — called the police. When the Baltimore County Police arrived there was pandemonium as the queens pulled up the sides of the tent and dashed out, high heels in hand, into the backyard and through a stream, Bread and Cheese Creek, to escape.
The queens had to get away. During these repressed times, a man dressed as a woman might get arrested. The arrival of the police did not just scare away the drag queens. Inany lesbian or gay person could be fired, ostracized by family and friends, or become another victim of police oppression through an arrest on trumped up charges no pun intendedmerely for attending a gay party. The sudden police presence led to a mass exodus and an abrupt end to the Tent Party as most attendees chose to disappear as quickly as possible. His next-door neighbors were particularly not pleased see the picture of two men glaring as the events of the evening unfolded.
However, their hate was not at all unusual at that time and it would become expressed in a far more dramatic way. For this act of defiance, the boy from Dundalk set in motion events that led to a shooting and a brave defiant response. Dundalk maryland lesbian. Tent Party was history but there was more to come. The next year on his birthday, Bradley held an afternoon barbeque that once again stirred the ire of his neighbors.
During the party his next door neighbor became very agitated, brought out a gun, and fired three shots, one of which wounded Bradley in the arm. Despite this outrageous, potentially fatal act, the police response was nearly as outrageous! Bradley was taken to the hospital for treatment and then arrested. How, you might ask, could this possibly be? Well, back then Bradley, as a homosexual, was a non-person. And this action by his neighbor and response by the authorities were par for the course.
Both the neighbor and the police were enforcing community standards—just one glaring example of the extreme oppression faced by gay people then. Vigilantly justice and police oppression were daily occurrences.
Lesbians and gay men understood that we lacked basic rights — it was deeply ingrained in all of us. We were happy if we could enjoy our private times together and go unnoticed in the wider community. As Bradley stewed about the outrageous treatment that he experienced, he did what few had the courage to do. He decided to fight back.
One can see the brave souls that took part in these demonstrations, called the Annual Reminder, in the documentary Before Stonewall.
Bradley contacted the organizer of the demonstration, legendary gay pioneer Frank Kameny, and ed them in Philadelphia that July 4th, nearly a year prior to Stonewall. People may not be able to understand or appreciate now how much courage it took to stand up in To come out publicly was truly to risk everything.
That Bradley had the backbone, the sense of self-worth and personal integrity to do so is absolutely amazing. He is truly a trailblazing activist for the cause of Gay Liberation. What we do know is that he was never held able and he has never apologized to Bradley. Courage certainly has its rewards, although it may be a long time coming and history requires time to provide perspective. Events— a party, a raid, another party, a shooting, an arrest, a Dundalk maryland lesbian. gain meaning in the responses.
Our advances today required people like Bradley. They provided the foundation for Stonewall and what came afterwards. Author Archives. Now What? Share Tweet Share. Author Profile. Latest entries Author Archives Current Issue HeadlinesDundalk maryland lesbian.
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