Our local NJ Herald reported on the first day: “NYC patrol forces were called to the scene of a police raid at a gay bar [Stonewall Inn] where disgruntled people were setting trash cans afire.” And that was just the beginning of an uprising which lasted over a week. Police beat, tear gassed and arrested patrons. Drag queens, gay men, lesbians, transexuals, and others fought back. These were the people who paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community of today.
Folks from New Jersey, including Teaneck, crossed the Hudson to join in solidarity. The following year the NY Gay Activist Alliance was formed, and then followed by the Gay Activist Alliance of New Jersey which met weekly in Teaneck’s Saint Mark’s church. Another Teaneck church hosted support sessions for lesbians.
Along the way elected leaders from Teaneck fought for our rights, including Ben Mazur, Byron Baer, Matthew Feldman, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, particularly Loretta Weinberg, and others.
Such leadership was not found in our current Council. Members limited themselves to reading a PRIDE proclamation at their last meeting which was heard only by attendees.
Council’s next step: PRIDE is not limited to one month. The Council after admitting to having “dropping the ball” must pick the ball up, and show that Teaneck welcomes LGBTQ+ residents and supports this community. The most visible way to do that is to proudly raise the flag on the Teaneck Green SOON and not wait until next year.