Enthused by such results, an assemblage of non-heterosexuals followed suit: on 25 April 1965, what was believed to be the first gay rights sit-in was held in a Dewey’s in Philadelphia. Before then, that branch of the hamburger restaurant chain had been a hub for LGBTI+ patrons. Nonetheless, earlier that year, they began to discriminate against anybody they considered looked non-straight. In response, in the spirit of previous CRM acts of defiance, around 150 LGBTI+ individuals sat down and refused to budge. Three teenagers who had been instrumental in coordinating the episode were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Outraged by this, the local division of the Janus Society, a homophile organisation, conducted a five-day campaign that included handing out leaflets and picketing (another technique originally employed by the CRM). And on 7 May , there was a second sit-down in Dewey’s, but no one was detained. Ultimately, shortly after these efforts, the eaterie discontinued their bigoted policy.
In the early hours of 28 June, 1969, a watershed moment occurred in our struggle for rights, the Stonewall riots. The six-day string of protests kicked off inside the eponymous Greenwich Village-located inn (New York), which was a Mafia-owned gay bar. After yet another police raid, fed up of the perpetual harassment, many of the LGBTI+ patrons in the venue resisted. The initial demonstration and the resultant larger ones – they lasted until 3 July – were undoubtedly partly energised by the pervading atmosphere of radicalism. Nevertheless, according to historian Nicholas Edsall, the biggest influence on the incidents that unfolded was the CRM, directly comparing the Stonewall Uprising with “Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1955”.