And with those, of course, came the general unrest that always seems to accompany social and political gains for minorities. As activists pushed to challenge and change the status quo across multiple domains, they found common ground in a cultural revolution that had people lining up for blocks just to take part. Behind velvet ropes, blacks, Latinos, and whites, women and men, rich and poor, gays and straights were encouraged to wear whatever they wanted, kiss whoever they wanted and — of course — dance however they wanted. The rules were off, and young people embraced their new-found freedom to the fullest. The owners of now-iconic clubs like Studio 54 , The Electric Circus, Ice Palace 57, and Hurrah created spaces for New Yorkers to explore their own sexualities and embrace different means of self-expression.
NYC’s iconic 21 Club to shut down
NYC's iconic 21 Club to shut down
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Bars & Nightlife
During the s, photographer Steve Eichner documented the rowdy, over-the-top debauchery that was New York City's club scene and nightlife. He had unique access to the era's most exciting parties as the house photographer for Peter Gatien, the man considered to be the "king of New York clubs" and owner of the notorious Limelight, Club USA, Palladium, and Tunnel. Right: Rhonda Shear kisses a masked partygoer at Film Studio in A topless woman dances onstage above other patrons during a party at New York City's Webster Hall,
The Stonewall riots also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay LGBT community [note 1] in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, , at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan , New York City. Patrons of the Stonewall, other Village lesbian and gay bars, and neighborhood street people fought back when the police became violent. The riots are widely considered to constitute one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement   and the twentieth century fight for LGBT rights in the United States. Gay Americans in the s and s faced an anti-gay legal system.