Magazine article The New Yorker

Julius'

Magazine article The New Yorker

Julius'

Article excerpt

Julius'

159 W. 10th St. (212-243-1928)

On a balmy afternoon in the spring of 1966, three young men from the Mattachine Society, an early gay-rights organization, entered Julius', a no-frills tavern in Greenwich Village, and announced to the bartender that they were homosexuals. "The State Liquor Authority said people had to be orderly, and men kissing or dancing together was considered disorderly," Dick Leitsch, the lead organizer of the "sip-in," recalled half a century later, over a cup of coffee at Julius'. "As soon as I said the word 'homosexual,' he said, 'I can't serve you.' " The next day, the Times ran a story with the headline "3 Deviates Invite Exclusion by Bars," and the city's Commission on Human Rights soon vowed to put an end to the injustice. Three years before the Stonewall riots, the L.G.B.T.Q. movement's opening salvo had been fired. "Before Stonewall, I was the only homosexual in the world," Leitsch said, laughing genially. …

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