The Stonewall riots became a symbolic call to arms for many, it was gays and lesbians literally fighting back. After the riots many gay rights groups found new hope in gaining rights. New ideas, tactics, events and organizations were all a result of the riots.
Shortly after the Stonewall Riots, it was time for the Annual Reminder, a picket in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This year seventy-five picketers showed up, their biggest turn out yet. The picket started out like the previous ones; the protesters marching silently in a single file line holding their signs. But two young women held hands, something they were forbidden to do by longtime leader, Frank Kameny. Craig Rodwell, another activist, became angered at Frank for not allowing the women to hold hands. He believed that a new day called for new tactics, a lot had changed since the first picket and much had changed in the past week alone.
Rodwell urged other couples to hold hands and he told two journalist in a passionate outburst about what Stonewall and what it meant. He said that gay people had the right to do all of the things a straight person could do, and that included holding hands in public. On his way home Rodwell came to the conclusion that, they just held the last Annual Reminder. He decided that they needed another event to commemorate the Stonewall riots and embrace gay activism. This idea became the Christopher Street Liberation Day.
Mattachine, an activist group in New York, called for a meeting July 16 to organize around gay liberation. Dick Leitsch, an old time leader, tried to lead the meeting. “ Acceptance of gays and lesbians would take time,” he explained, but one young man shouted, “we don't want acceptance, we have got to radicalize, man!”
This young man and like-minded activists, many of whom were young and new to the movement, had no time for patience. They wanted to use the energy from the riots to create fast and dramatic change. By the end of July, a new organization had formed: The Gay Liberation Front (GLF). Unfortunately, though some members of the GLF thought that they should join forces with other groups for other issues. This multi-issue approach upsetted a number of members. In November 1969, these members broke off and formed yet another new group: the Gay Activist...