An online journal celebrating the joys of living bare with pride! This site usually publishes every Monday and Friday. I may be irreverent but I am no way irrelevant! My preferred personal pronouns are he, him, his.
“If only for once, join with us and see, how it feels to be natural and free!”
A ReNude Pride photo-essay to celebrate being a true bare practitioner!
More than a decade ago, while first publishing my original A Guy Without Boxers here, I combined gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ+) pride celebrations with naked and/or nude (clothes free) pride. After my original site was closed closed (without notice or warning or any type of communication from wordpress.com) I was somewhat hesitant about following this tradition when I began ReNude Pride. After thought and consideration, and the love and support of my spouse, Aaron, ReNude Pride has continued in the footsteps of honouring not only our GLBTQ+ heritage but also our bare practitioner (same gender loving naturist/nudist) culture. We are, after all, proud to be both!
Come join us in GLBTQ+ Bare Pride! Join with me in nudity!
We celebrate ourselves: bare and bold!
We stand together, without any sense of guilt or shame. We’re just being what we basically all are: naturally ourselves. Just as we were created to be, all living together in mutual respect and harmony!
For the overwhelming majority of us bare practitioners, with the warmer weather, we hardly need a reminder to be proud of ourselves and our nakedness. The passing of another winter has guaranteed our joy in another month of GLBTQ+ pride and the approaching season of Summer, 2023! Add to that the opportunity to celebrate the ability to throw off our clothes and enjoy ourselves and one another as we engage in the triumph of being our natural selves, without any embarrassment or humiliation!
Our nudity alone is enough for us to welcome this exciting time of the year!
Our philosophy of body freedom and clothes freedom compliment one another. Our freedom entails us to enjoy living naturally while respecting those who are uncomfortable with their own personal nudity. We all know that all lives are not identical and that all values vary from person to person. What is good for one may not necessarily be good for another!
Some people are more accepting of clothes freedom, especially when in the bare environment where there is almost no judgment expected. Others, even when surrounded by body and clothes freedom enthusiasts, still retain the discomfort of exposing themselves around others. We respect the rights of all persons to live within their personal “comfort level.”
Some persons express disdain for appearing bare (naked/nude/clothes free) in public. One of their principle reasons for discomfort is the obvious lack of clothing. However, they often are left behind when they understand that in the company of others, the ones who are wearing garments are often the objects of notice by others who surround them without any clothing whatsoever!
“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” ~ Syrus ~
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, June 5, 2023, and the proposed topic is: “Tan-Lines!”
Brazilian-born fashion and bare practitioner model Felipe Ferreira is very proud of his pride tattoo and has no qualms about his same gender loving sexuality nor his preference for nudity. As his career has progressed, he is increasingly comfortable about both of those aspects of his private life.
Unfortunately, sometimes the photography captures the tattoo in reverse but that doesn’t stop our model from continuing to flaunt his pride in being himself! edirP (Pride spelled backwards) is not a recognizable word (spoken or text) in any human language that I am aware.
Felipe initially attracted my attention in 2017, when his employment as a model for men’s underwear launched. At the time, he garnered celebrity status as a bold and honest openly bisexual man with his pride tattoo proclaiming his sexuality.
Two years later, in 2019, Felipe publicly announced himself as an exclusively same gender loving (gay) man. In his interview, he credited his bisexual “cover” as the work of a modeling agency’s public relations expert intent on advancement in his career.
At that time, the publicity person’s deception was labelled a falsehood with the goal of keeping Felipe as appealing to both men and women. He readily admitted to his discomfort and regret with the duplicity regarding his sexual nature. In his interview he stated:
“The reason for my having the pride tattoo is my confidence in being a same gender loving man! We all know that pride in who we are is not just limited to the month of June. A tattoo is one way to show our pride to all 365 days every year.” ~ Felipe Ferreira ~ gay model, 2019
Of course, we all know that the wearing of a pride tattoo is no guarantee that we automatically experience the confidence we desire. The tattoo itself doesn’t bestow pride – it is merely symbolic of what we achieve through self-acceptance, effort and hard work. Ferreira understands this and by his example – the pride tattoo and being the man he truly is – is showing others his self-acceptance and reminding us all of his pride!
Aside from his modelling men’s underwear, his professional engagements have expanded into music as well. He is a professional DJ promoting popular and progressive house, hip-hop and reggae. In this industrial field, being clothes free and same gender loving is not a concern or a problem.
Felipe’s pride isn’t restricted to just his sexuality. Some of his more recent photography assignments openly depict his confidence and self-acceptance of his nakedness. He’s never personally felt any conflict or discomfort whenever he privately engaged in a social nudity situation although with his modelling career he has been “encouraged” by industry publicists to pursue – at the very least – appearing underwear.
Felipe Ferreira does not publicly self-identify with the label: bare practitioner. Probably because many people misunderstand the distinction. He does openly acknowledge himself as a gay nudist – which qualifies himself for that identity.
Now, as his celebrity and professionalism has increased and soared, his recognition and his same gender loving status is no longer considered a major issue. He now appears in male only scenes on camera and video with other openly gay and bare entertainers (soft pornography). In the image directly above with Raphael Horst and below with Shabazz, he promotes his bare practitioner comfort and pride!
“Gay and naked is who and what I am as a man. It is not a problem or a reason for shame. It is me and my tattoo!” ~ Felipe Ferreira ~ gay model, 2021
Obviously, he needs no more for a Halloween costume than his pride tattoo! As a bare practitioner, do we require any better endorsement? In my humble opinion, Felipe Ferreira’s company is enough example and recommendation!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Monday, October 31, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Bottoms-Up! Happy Halloween!”
There have been times in our lives when we have looked upon a picture and wondered: What is the meaning of this? Either the subject or the actual photographer (or perhaps both) are communicating but…what is the message?
Is he bidding farewell?
Is he expressing sorrow?
Sometimes, communicating using body language (expressions, body positioning) is very similar to using sign language (the communication language for us Deaf persons). Body language may not have the grammar and syntax that sign language does but both are visual instead of hearing.
With the popularity of today’s “selfie” photography, think of a message that you would like to convey to others. Consider your options for posing and then capture your pose in a photo. Share your images with friends – fellow bare practitioners if you posed naked – and ask if they understand your meaning or purpose.
Have fun engaging in your body language assignment!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, October 28, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Felipe: Tattoo Costume!”
The headline photograph is the current Progress version of the GLBTQ+ pride flag that represents our community and our culture. Despite our novelty among the numerous movements in the civil rights world, we do have a history of different banners and what they symbolize waving above us. This “first Friday” of the 2022 GLBTQ+ History Month will examine and share images of these and briefly offer a story of the respective flag.
The Pink Triangle Flag:
The downward-pointing pink triangle was used by Nazi Germany as a badge of shame. It was sewn onto the shirts of homosexual (gay) men in concentration camps to identify and dehumanize them.
Homosexuality was made illegal in Germany in 1871, but it was rarely enforced. When the Nazi Party assumed control in 1933, it was made a priority in order to culturally and racially “purify” Germany. The Nazis arrested tens of thousands of GLBTQ+ individuals, the majority whom were homosexual men, whom they viewed as degenerate.
The early 1970s was when the gay rights movement began to emerge worldwide (after the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots) and various organizations reclaimed the pink triangle as an empowering symbol. It also serves as a reminder to remember the past – and to recognize the persecution GLBTQ+ people continue to suffer around the world.
The Lambda Flag:
The Greek letter, lambda, was first chosen as a gay symbol when, in 1970, for the first anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Riots (SIR), it was adopted by New York City’s local chapter of Gay Activist Alliance as the emblem of their growing movement of gay liberation. Some identified the Greek letter with the representation of the word “liberation.”
In 1974, lambda was subsequently adopted by the International Gay Rights Congress meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, as their official symbol designating gay, bisexual and lesbian civil rights. Following this selection, lambda became internationally popular and recognized as representing the growing movement for civil rights for all people, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
Lambda was first designated in December, 1969, as representative of the new gay liberation movement by the graphic artist and one of the Gay Activist Alliance’s founding members, Tom Doerr. Doerr chose the letter because in chemistry it was a sign for catalyst. Others argue that lambda denoted the synergy of the growing gay movement: the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of all its parts.
Some view the lambda as being synonymous with males exclusively.
The Rainbow Flag:
First publicly raised on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco, California, USA, the flag flew over the United Nations Plaza in honour of then-gay pride at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. The original flag consisted of eight coloured stripes and was designed by Gilbert Baker and hand-stitched and dyed with the help of friends and volunteers Lynn Segerblom, James McNamara, Glenne McElhinney, Joe Duran, and Paul Langlotz.
The eight-stripe original rainbow flag was soon revised to six stripes with pink (symbolizing “sex”) and turquoise (symbolizing “art and magic”) eliminated as the colours and dyes were unavailable in flag fabric. Baker conceived the flag would empower his “tribe” and a “rainbow of humanity” motif would represent the movement’s diversity.
The six stripes and what the colours represent:
The six stripes on the revised rainbow flag symbolize values held dear and not the various people comprising the community and culture.
The Progress Pride Flag:
The Progress Pride flag was developed by non-binary artist and designer Daniel Quasar in 2018. Based on Gilbert Baker’s 1978 Rainbow flag, Quasar’s redesign celebrates the diversity of the GLBTQ+ community and culture worldwide and encourages a more inclusive general society. The redesigned banner has increased the representation of discriminated minority identities covered by the GLBTQ+ umbrella.
Quasar’s creation placed black and brown stripes (emblems representing peoples of colour) and light blue, pink and white stripes (representing transgender, non-binary and intersex persons) in the shape of an arrow on the left of the Progress Pride flag. In Daniel Quasar’s words “…the arrow points to the right to show forward movement and illustrates that progress towards inclusivity still needs to be made.”
The black stripe has a double meaning as it is also intended for “those living with HIV/AIDS and the stigma and prejudice surrounding them and those who have died from the disease.”
The Progress Pride flag has been immediately an international success. On the evening of June 6, 2018, Quasar posted the design on social media and woke up the next morning to find that it had gone viral. It has been enthusiastically received by the GLBTQ+ community and culture all around the globe!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, October 10, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Coming Out Day!”
Every year during the traditional gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) pride celebrations, this question is continually posed to members of our community and culture, mainstream society, politicians and social commentators. The responses vary as to the background, political and religious leanings and social opinions and views of the persons asked.
Unfortunately, each year the replies increase in the expression of negativity. Aside from our community and cultural populations, the consensus grows as to the useless need for any GLBTQ+ pride commemoration. Many believe that equal rights have been obtained and flourish for all of us, regardless of our identity. However, recent actions and events indicate otherwise.
It is important to note that the visibility of our display of our pride frequently varies from individual to individual. Some feel the need for a prominent unfurling of our confidence by waving a flag or painting our bodies. Others are comfortable and content with merely publicly demonstrating their affection within our community by physically touching our otherwise engaging themselves and their nudity. There exists no concrete standard to be observed by all. My spouse, Aaron, and I use whatever method we find appropriate and available for the occasion.
Immediately following the SIR (Stonewall Inn riots) in June, 1969, the emerging same gender loving communities recognized the need for celebrations in honour of all the newly “liberated” people to acquire acceptance, identification and recognition of themselves as a confident and proud culture within the mainstream population. Having survived the “closet” lifestyle for the vast majority of their secreted lives, these individuals needed to embrace themselves and build their new identity.
Pride celebrations were seen as a tool to encourage this need and in June, 1970, exactly one year after the SIR uprising, “gay liberation” events were held in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles to honour the occasion and to promote a fostering of community. These first observances attracted sizeable crowds of the growing community and their supporters – as well as protestors!
The initial events were determined to be successful and by the second anniversary of SIR, other municipalities were planning and staging their own festivals and parades to mark the occasion. Stonewall riots had most definitely captured and inspired our attention and our dreams for eventual equality!
The first “gay liberation” observances soon evolved into pride festivals in order for people to celebrate their sexual freedom and identity. These witnessed the growing confidence that we felt as a community experiencing the first steps toward self-identification. We no longer accepted the archaic and derogatory label of “homosexual.” We welcomed the terms gay, lesbian and bisexual as appropriate titles of distinction and identity as constituents of the emerging culture that now entailed all of us. The decade of the 1960’s opened the doors for change and we became inspired by a new identity and hope for an improvement in our collective future. Freedom from centuries of condemnation, isolation and oppression was finally underway!
The popularity of pride events and the audiences they attracted made us aware of the fact we now numbered more than just an isolated “few.” There were now a sizable group of us and we were no longer alone. This awareness opened our eyes to the reality that we had much more in common than just our sexual situation. Others existed with similar abilities, attributes, ideals and interests. Community-building was now another development happening!
Our discovery of pride – within ourselves, in what we are and in who we are – became a solid foundation. It enabled us to become a working movement to initiate change, enhancement and growth, not only within our own society in general but throughout the world.
Despite our many differences, we acknowledge shared goals, ideals and objectives. In order to emblaze and empower our recognition and visibility, the Rainbow flag was selected to represent us. Each colour represents a common behaviour, belief and/or standard. The flag was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker and was first used in 1978. It was rapidly adopted across the globe.
The Progress Rainbow flag was first unfurled in 2017 and was designed by Daniel Quasar. It includes the original banner plus the addition of insertions to represent the components of both racial and sexual diversities as well as representation of persons living with HIV/AIDS and those who died from the virus. The Progress flag is considered by many to truly reflect the majority of all persons within the GLBTQ+ culture. Many persons, both within our culture and from the outside, have commended Dan Quasar for incorporating the original Rainbow flag as a part of his design.
Author’s note:This flag is my personal favourite as I believe it is entails a greater representation of all of us – no matter what or who we consider ourselves.
In 1988, the GLBTQ+ culture launched National Coming Out Day on October 11, annually, in support of all people taking a “giant step” out of the closet and making themselves an example of pride. The concept is based on the personal being political – a popular idea. The emphasis is the basic form of social activism as openly acknowledging oneself to family, friends and colleagues and living life as a confident bisexual, gay or lesbian person.
The fact that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of ignorance and silence, once people know they have loved ones – family or friends – who are themselves bisexual, gay or lesbian they will be less than willing to engage in homophobic or hateful behaviours. The goal being making the world a less repressive place.
The examination of the title question here today, Is Pride Necessary?, provides mewith the simple response: yes! Not every one of us are raised to maturity in an environment that is accepting and supportive of a person’s prerogative to become the person that they indeed are. Not all of us are able to make that determination in our lives. Therefore, I feel that pride is not only necessary but essential.
If at least one person questioning her/his sexual identity is answered, then yes, pride is necessary.
If at least one suicide over sexual identity is averted, then yes, pride is necessary.
If at least one despondent and lonely person finds acceptance and friendship, then yes, pride is necessary.
If at least one ideal is met and achieved, then yes, pride is necessary.
If at least one person reaches out and helps another, then yes, pride is necessary.
If at least one dilemma or problem is solved, then yes, pride is necessary.
A community is based on determination, purpose and through person-to-person contact. A culture is built upon communities interacting and working together. A cultural dynamic often opens doors and initiates a positive development for humanity, then yes, pride is necessary.
This year, on June 13, 2022, police in the state of Idaho, in the USA, arrested 31 people who had face coverings, white supremacist insignia, shields and an “operations plan” to riot and open gunfire on an GLBTQ+ Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a city of about 50,000 people near the border with Washington state. Police identified all those arrested as members of Patriotic Front, a white supremacist group already known for extremist tactics.
The organizers of the GLBTQ+ event said it was a family-friendly community event celebrating diversity and building a stronger and unified community for all. The sponsoring group is the North Idaho Pride Alliance and the event was entitled “Pride In The Park.”
In another incident related to the same Pride In The Park, police conducted a similar action against the Panhandle Patriots, a local motorcycle club. The cyclists were organizing a “Gun d’Alene” event to disrupt and openly assault the Pride In The Park “queers.” Firearms were seized in the motorcyclists arrests.
If law enforcement need to take actions such as the above, then yes, pride is necessary.
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Monday, August 29, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Making Memories #2!” This post is composed by my spouse, Aaron.
As are most observances within the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer + communities (GLBTQ+), Bare Practitioner’s Day (today) is a recent celebration that is slowly gaining acceptance and recognition within both the naturist/nudist culture and the GLBTQ+ world. Prior to 2008, there were few, if any, references to “homosexual” – GLBTQ+ – naturist/nudist events outside the limited number of social organizations promoting same gender loving nudity.
Before I progress any further on this topic, I should explain or remind everyone that “Bare practitioner” is the term that I prefer to use for self-identification as well as describe who and what we are. I believe the overwhelming majority utilize the term “gay naturist/nudist.” In most social settings, sexual actions are not permitted. That’s the reason I’d much rather be a bare practitioner as opposed to gay naturist/nudist. “Gay” (unfortunately) has simply too much sexual baggage or innuendo.
There is a paucity of information available on the existence of a social nudity movement within the homosexual/same gender loving community before the June, 1969, Stonewall Inn Riots. There is no doubt individual interest in the practice, but societal norms and restrictions prevented any acknowledgment and the development of any support within our culture. Religion and society created, empowered and enabled a legal system that fanatically and zealously prohibited and severely punished any semblance of sexual deviancy.
The 1969 Stonewall Inn Riots (SIR) opened the door and introduced the concept and ideal of equality to our same gender loving clothes freedom community and culture. Soon, “homosexual rights” and “gay liberation” were prevalent and relevant themes to our growing list of actions and concerns that needed to be addressed. Our “time” in history had arrived!
July 14, annually, is observed as Bare Practitioner’s Day here on ReNude Pride. This date is also known as Gay Naturist Day, Gay Nudist Day and as Gay Naturist/Nudist Day. Just as there is no need for us to feel any disgrace or shame as being body and clothes freedom enthusiasts, there is likewise no reason to remain closeted or secretive as bisexual or same gender loving. We should all be proud of ourselves every day!
“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.” ~ Jason Collins ~
Jason Collins, professional basketball player (retired). Jason is the very first openly same gender loving man to play not only in the National Basketball Association (NBA) but also for any of the four professional American sports leagues. He retired from the Brooklyn Nets team in the NBA.
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, July 18, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “In Memory of: E. Lynn Harris!”
Today marks the last day of Pride Month here on ReNude Pride as well as being our regular Bottoms-Up! June, 2022! feature. It is with honour that we show some interracial harmony as well as pride in our post entry today!
Our trio presented above unite in sharing their buttocks while standing fully nude side-by-side with no feelings of shame! They’ve earned the distinction of having a true concept of both GLBTQ+ pride and nude pride! Congratulations on learning the concept, men! Firm looking buttocks, by the way!
Sunbathing is an ideal time to strip out of our swimsuits and beautify our world by baring our bold buttocks!
Skinny-dipping is a major favourite past-time activity for all of us who enjoy being bottoms-up!
The sunshine and the water always feel good and help us relax! Additionally, it also helps to keep us cool during the rise in summer temperatures!
A sandy beach and a towel are ideal once the Summer officially begins on June 21, annually! Snacks and a water help to keep us refreshed!
An endless summer of Bottoms-Up! buttocks for all! Take care and stay bare!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for tomorrow, Friday, July 1, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Canada Day: Platinum Year!”
June 28, 1969, is a date that has become chiseled in stone for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) people worldwide due to SIR (Stonewall Inn Riots). What happened on that night first erupted and shortly exploded into a global movement for dignity, equality and respect for GLBTQ+ persons specifically and in general, everyone. The Stonewall Inn Riots were an unplanned reaction to centuries of abuse, discrimination, intimidation, oppression and violence waged against people considered as “homosexual” (man sexuals). This protest served as a flame that quickly ignited into raging fires worldwide.
The robust and spirited social settings in the 1920’s post-Great War (World War I) era often overshadowed the climate of hatred and ridicule of the then “homosexual” (same gender loving) community. For the most part, they were largely publicly ignored. However, disdain and discrimination didn’t cease or end. It was simply temporarily replaced by the emerging “good times.”
The economic crisis and worldwide depression of the 1930’s prolonged the disregard that society held for all “homosexuals” no matter their gender. Everyone was focused on survival and the source of their next meal. Few, if any, had any curiosity, interest or time to devote to social deviants.
World War II followed the global financial situation and suddenly “homosexuality” again temporarily lost notoriety. What better way to rid humanity of this disgusting condition than to send “homosexuals” off to fight and die for freedom? The need for bodies to sacrifice trumped denying “homosexuals” the right to serve their country.
After World War II, the Cold War/Iron Curtain mentality emerged and harsh judgments on all persons and things viewed as abnormal abounded. “Homosexuals” soon became as notorious as communists as enemies of the state. Government, law enforcement, the press and society were quick to label “homosexuals” as misfits, outcasts, pariahs and perverts.
“The door of the Stonewall had wrought-iron bars across this little peephole, a little wooden thing that slid open. And the man inside would look at you and, if you looked like you belonged there, he would let you in.”
Chris Babick, describing the entrance to the Stonewall Inn, 1969
The Stonewall Inn (it was never a hotel) opened as a bar catering to the “homosexual” community in 1967. Prior to that, it had been a stable (for horses), a French bakery, a tearoom and lastly, a restaurant that had burned out of business. It opened as a bar under Mafia-affiliated management and was very connected to organized crime. The establishment consisted of two main rooms, each with its own dance floor. The front room was popular with the older clientele and the back room attracted the younger ones.
At the time of the Stonewall Inn Riots (SIR), it was unlawful for “homosexuals” to gather together in public and same gender intimacy was illegal in every state in the USA except Illinois. Same gender loving persons could and were fired from their jobs without any legal recourse. They were ridiculed and attacked publicly often without any consequence. Simply being a “homosexual” was considered an antisocial and criminal act. Everyone was required, by law, to wear clothing appropriate to their birth gender. The only exception allowed was for Halloween.
The Raid and Ensuing Riot:
Friday evening, June 27, 1969, was a hot and humid start to a weekend. Most of the patrons gathered inside the Stonewall Inn were looking forward to a night of dancing, partying with friends, relaxing with cocktails and enjoying a summer’s night in New York City. They had no idea that they were about to witness a historical event that would change their lives – and the “homosexual” world – forever.
Both the dance floors at Stonewall Inn were full of dancing “homosexual” couples. It was now after midnight and June 28, 1969, was now in its infancy. Suddenly, the surging music stopped. The lights that were dimmed to enhance the atmosphere came back on in a bight glare that caught everyone by surprise. Almost at once, the realization dawned on the festive crowd: the police were raiding the bar.
The New York City Police Department was long familiar with conducting raids on gay and lesbian bars. It was a frequent occurrence and standards rarely varied in all boroughs throughout the city. Their process was fairly routine and all officers recognized “homosexuals” as a relatively compliant and passive population. For this reason, only one police transport vehicle (paddy wagon) and one marked police squad car were involved in the raid on the Stonewall Inn. Less than a dozen officers were assigned the tasks of managing and segregating the patrons, confiscating all the alcohol and arresting the Stonewall Inn employees.
“The police weren’t letting us dance. If there’s one place in the world where you can dance and feel yourself fully as a person and that’s threatened with being taken away, those are fighting words.”
Tommy Lanigen-Schmidt, Stonewall Inn patron and riot participant
The arrival of the police raiding force caused pandemonium to erupt inside the Stonewall Inn. Customers searched in vain for an escape route or for a place to hide. Law enforcement immediately began confiscating both beer and liquor as evidence against the establishment and segregating the crowd: bar employees, cross-dressers (transgender persons) and then the “regular homosexuals.” The bar employees and the cross-dressers were to be arrested for their violating the law. The “regular homosexuals,” once they showed officers their proper identifications, were to be given citations and then permitted to leave.
The year, 1969, was at the end of a decade that had witnessed massive social unrests. The African-American struggles and protests for civil rights, the birth of the feminist and women’s rights movements, the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations and the equal pay marches for primarily Latino immigrant farm workers were underway during this time. The “homosexuals” who had participated in some of these public unrests were energized and many wondered when their time for equality would happen. Little did they, and the police raiding the Stonewall Inn, realize that particular moment was actually upon them.
As the police began checking the identities of those inside the Stonewall Inn, those with proper credentials were released and herded outside the bar. Only this time, instead of simply leaving the premises, they congregated on the sidewalks and at a nearby park. Once law enforcement attempted to disperse them, they grew confrontational and belligerent.
The police, completely unaccustomed to “homosexual” defiance, continued to press the order to vacate the area. The crowd, emboldened by their frustration with being treated as “deviants” and second-class citizens, began to chant and to empty trash cans and hurl the garbage at the officers.
By this time, passers-by, curious as to what was happening, joined the vocal and upset “homosexuals” to express their dissatisfaction with the raid. The crowd outside the Stonewall Inn began to grow in number, anger and frustration. Once the word of what had transpired inside the bar began to spread, even more “homosexuals” started to descend into the neighborhood and amass in the bar’s vicinity.
“There was no gay pride before Stonewall. Only gay fear and gay isolation and gay distrust and gay self-hatred.”
Edmund White, gay author
Law enforcement, confused and distracted over the reaction to the raid, soon had a very sobering moment. The gathering outside the bar had them surrounded inside the bar with little, if any, relief in sight. Those “homosexuals” who were kept inside were fast becoming as bellicose as were those gathered outside.
By now, the police trapped inside the facility understood that the situation had gotten beyond their control. They tried to call for reinforcements but were unable to reach any source for assistance. They had secured the bar but were trapped inside and the crowd outside was swelling in both fury and size. A few hundred patrons had now grown to an angry mob of several thousand and more were joining by the minute.
“You could hear screaming outside, a lot of noise from the protesters, and it was a good sound. It was a real good sound that, you know, you had a lot of people out there pulling for you.”
Raymond Castro, a Stonewall Inn customer being detained inside the bar during its siege
No one in the New York City Police Department had anticipated the “homosexuals,” always perceived as being meek and mild, to fight back. The years of abuse, oppression and ridicule had taken its toll and the frustration now became revolution, and the time for retribution was at hand. Unfortunately for the police, the pent-up anger at law enforcement was now being released and returned in kind. The officers were now prisoners inside the Stonewall Inn.
Slightly over two hours after the raid had started, the police and their detainees were trapped in the Stonewall Inn and no relief was in sight. The two-way communication devices between the raiding party and their office weren’t working inside the bar and the only commercial phone in the facility couldn’t connect with any local police stations. The passive “homosexuals” had finally achieved a “first” in their spontaneous riot: the raiders were contained, surrounded and all very nervous. By this time, the crowd outside the Greenwich Village bar now numbered several thousand with a full-fledged riot underway.
In an effort to relieve the inflammatory predicament, the trapped police decided to send the detainees and half the officers in the two police vehicles to the closest local precinct. There, the detainees would be formally charged with arrest and the officers could make arrangements for a police riot force to assemble and rescue the remaining law enforcement personnel. This relief effort finally returned to the bar and eventually dispersed the angry crowd of “homosexuals” and curious onlookers several hours later.
Despite damage to the Stonewall Inn and the loss of the license to sell alcoholic beverages, the bar opened for business (dancing) the following night. By Saturday evening, word of the incident had spread throughout the city’s closeted “homosexual” community (primarily by word-of-mouth). A larger than usual crowd gathered both inside and outside the Greenwich Village establishment. Most didn’t expect a repeat of the raid the night before and a significant number of those present mainly wanted to inspect the damage.
The police, however, had different ideas. They were strictly outside the bar in full force with a large number in riot gear. They had learned their lesson and were determined to remain in full control should the patrons become unruly again.
The “homosexuals” had been empowered by the riot the previous evening and weren’t about to be bullied into submission again. As the large police presence attempted to disperse those gathered outside the Stonewall Inn the second night, they were confronted by verbal assaults and an array of street-savvy tactics that saw law enforcement chase off onlookers, only to have them run around the city block and return again. Silent obedience to uniformed policemen was no longer a fact of life for New York’s “homosexuals.” They were tired of suffering abuse, disrespect, ridicule and treatment as second-class citizens.
The second night of the Stonewall congregation wasn’t as disruptive as the one before. No further damage was done to the bar facility. However, an awakening consciousness was raised within the municipal “homosexual” community that would change the way society viewed them and – most importantly – the way they perceived themselves.
For the first time, the often assumed passive community stood up for their rights and demonstrated that they, as a full community, had “had enough!”
Happy Stonewall Inn Riot day!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Thursday, June 30, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Bottoms-Up! June, 2022”
The red ribbon adorning our bare practitioner in the photograph above represents or symbolizes HIV/AIDS awareness (knowledge). It is featured here as a serious reminder that HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Despite advances in medication, there exists no cure for HIV infection; however, with proper care HIV is now manageable disease with medical supervision.
Undiagnosed, HIV remains a serious health threat. That is the reason this day is important for all of us. In order to receive life-saving treatment, we must know our HIV status. Testing provides us the power to seek treatment and take the process that allows us to manage our lives.
HIV/AIDS Basic Facts
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
AIDS is a result of HIV infection.
HIV is not spread through everyday casual contact.
Only a doctor can diagnose AIDS.
The coronavirus COVID-19 and variants have overtaken health news reports recently but HIV/AIDS remains a major and, if undiagnosed, often fatal infection. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises more than 630,000 AIDS-related deaths for 2020. Testing gives us the opportunity to reestablish and to regain direction in our lives through counseling, education, medication and treatment.
Take the test.
Know your HIV status.
Control your life.
Even now, a significant number of persons living with HIV have no idea that they are even infected. This not only deteriorates their own health but also the health of others they hold dear. Knowledge of one’s HIV status and regular testing keeps all of us healthy and safe!
Become involved in the efforts to remain healthy. Get tested and know your status. Encourage your family and friends to get tested so they can protect themselves and others. Encourage them to get involved in HIV/AIDS prevention education efforts within their own communities. It has been a long, slow process, but we are finally seeing progress in prevention efforts!
During the many years that I was a volunteer HIV/AIDS prevention education instructor to the American Red Cross, I was always amazed at the number of certification candidates who revealed they had never been tested for HIV. I truly believed then – as well a now – that a test should have been a prerequisite for enrolling to seek certification.
Don’t be a transmitter! Protect yourself and others! Take the test!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note:The next post entry for here is planned for tomorrow, June 28, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “SIR: 1969!”
As an introduction, World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is most definitely not affiliated officially with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) community. Many of our culture endorse and support this global effort, but we do so as individuals. There are numerous allied endorsers and or sponsors, but for the most part, the WNBR is an independent international movement of primarily environmental and safety concerns and interests. As the name itself suggests, it is widely popular and supported by the naturist/nudist enthusiasts worldwide.
Our bold and courageous bare practitioner in the above image has decorated his chest with body paint reflecting the Progress flag. This banner depicts the inclusive diversity found within our community and culture worldwide.
The “thumbs-up” approval along with his rainbow designed neckwear is this rider’s salute to the WNBR! The spring and/or summer months, depending on the hemisphere, appear to be the primary time of year for these events to occur. All bike rides are locally generated and operated and there is no central organization to schedule. The majority of registrations and promotions happen online as do sponsorships.
The WNBR is an international clothing optional bike ride with the overwhelming majority of participants riding bicycles but every year with more riding skateboards or inline skates. In 2003, Conrad Schmidt developed the concept of the WNBR after organizing the same for the Artists for Peace/Artists Against War (AFP/AAW). The original WNBR message was against oil dependency and advocating the individuality and power of the human body.
The first WNBR took place in 2004.
Since 2006, the message has simplified and the main focus of the event is cycling advocacy, pedestrian safety and sharing the roadways.