Every year, in the weeks leading up to Pride Week, Martin Boyce and Danny Garvin’s phones start ringing off the hook.
“Martin here. Yup, that was me at Stonewall, June 28, 1969.”
“Yes, this is the Danny who was at the riots.”
And on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Mr. Boyce, 64, and Mr. Garvin, 63, were bombarded by even more press than usual. “I was like a puppet on a string,” Mr. Boyce said. “Anytime somebody bumped into me on the street I’d go right into ‘So I was walking towards Stonewall with my friends Birdie and Tommy…’”.
While many of the rioters from that night fell victim to drugs or the AIDS crises in the ’80s, Mr. Boyce and Mr. Garvin are two of less than twenty confirmed survivors, calling themselves the Stonewall Veterans. They’ve been immortalized in David Carter’s Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, saluted in the PBS documentary Stonewall Uprising and have been invited as guest speakers to participate in discussions on the gay rights movement over the four decades since. And on days like today, when NYC Pride takes to the streets and the riots’ anniversary is marked by the Pride Parade, which noncoincidentally ends on Christopher street right next to Stonewall, their contributions to the gay rights movement is brought to the forefront once again. Read More