Our group drew a still larger crowd. The cops hustled half of the bartenders into a squad car and drove off, leaving several policemen behind, barricaded inside the Stonewall with the remaining staff. Everyone booed the cops, just as though they were committing a shameful act. We kept exchanging peripheral glances, excited and afraid. I had an urge to be responsible and disperse the crowd peacefully, send everyone home….
But in spite of myself, a wild exhilaration swept over me….
Text taken from “The Beautiful Room Is Empty” by Edmund White, 1988. His account of the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969.