Why a game on Stonewall riots
The “Stonewall riots” were a crucial point in the affirmation of the gay liberation movement.
It is from the Stonewall riots that Gay Pride and “Gay Power” were born. Today there are many people who do not know what reasons led to the first Gay Pride march or why the Pride is celebrated in a certain way and, usually, in the month of June.
Many are unaware that Pride is not only a time for party, but also a time for celebration to remember that the first Pride was a riot. To use the words of Simone de Beauvoir: all oppression creates a state of war.
It is important to remember who struggled and who fought to say: “That’s enough with these abuses!”. People who did it by fighting on the front lines to give new generations the opportunity to be free from oppression. To allow queer people to live freely for who they are without having to submit to humiliating compromises and prejudices.
The protagonists of this story should not be forgotten, and we report them here by the names by which they were known at the time: transsexuals, drag queens, transvestites, queer, dykes; many of these people were non-white, and many were teenagers or slightly older living on the streets, kicked out of their homes and forgotten by society. The wretched of the Earth, those that had really nothing left to lose.
Furthermore, our world is still full of so many Stonewalls that we know almost nothing about, because they rarely make headlines. There are, to date, just over seventy nations in which being in the LGBT+ spectrum is still considered a crime, with penalties ranging from imprisonment, to compulsory medical treatment and even death. The prejudices, difficulties and abuses suffered by those who live in those countries are not so different, in substance, from those inflicted on gays, lesbians, trans* people, bisexuals, intersex people and queers in the 1960s, although the social and legal context is different. Recalling the facts of Stonewall through a role playing game can also be useful to reflect on the life of those who today are still in a condition of oppression, due to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.