The online archive of global LGBTQ+ history, current events, and personal stories

Black Cat Riots

A poster calling for demonstrations in response to the police harassment at the Black Cat Tavern.Demonstrators take to the streets in Silver Lake, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, in 1967.Harassment by police was common in the years before Stonewall.The riot at the Black Cat Tavern and the demonstrations that followed planted the seeds for the larger gay rights movement that followed.Gene Compton’s cafeteria operated from the 1940s through the 1970s and became a hangout for transgender women and gay men, who had few places to safely congregate.A marker placed by the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District commemorates the riot and its aftereffects.Today a plaque marks the site of Gene Compton’s Cafeteria and commemorates the night that “transgender women and gay men stood up for their rights . . .”Cooper Donuts sign.Cooper Donuts, in Los Angeles, California, as it appeared in the 1950s.