by Lee Lynch
Before Stonewall, having a drink with friends or your girl could mean jail.
In 1961, The Old Town Tavern is more than just a gay bar. It’s a home to strangers who have become family. Murph, the dapper unschooled storyteller. Rockie Solomon, the gentle, generous observer. Lisa Jelane, in all her lonely dignity. Gorgeous Paul, so fragile, and his twin (straight?) sister Cissy. Deej, the angry innocent. Norman, plump and queenly lover of a college professor who’s happiest in schoolmarm drag. Harry Van Epps, police officer, and old Dr. Everett, “family” physician. They drink, they dance, they fall in lust and in love. They don’t even know who the enemy is, only that it is powerful enough to order the all-too-willing vice squad to destroy the bar and their lives.
Would these women and men still have family, a job, a place to live after…The Raid?
This was how it was done then, this was the gay life, and this is the resilient gay will.